Sunday, June 25, 2006

If I Could Only Wrap My Arms and Legs

...around childhood, I surely would.

I'm sure all of us who are parents have some little "guilty pleasure" that we indulge in with our kids--those little things that we do, or allow, for a little bit longer in childhood than is really needed--those things that keep our children close to our hearts and tucked safely near us even if its just for now.

Well, my confession would have to be that my children have rarely just gone straight to bed without me. For years, I would lay with Dakotah; at first reading to her, and then later, she would read to me. And I would stay until she fell asleep.

Even now, at almost 13, I still enjoy visiting with her just before she goes to sleep...its often our most intimate time of the day--when secrets are shared, and guards are let down. And I'm happy to say that she still welcomes me whenever I go for a visit.

For Paige who is 9, I have to admit that she has never gone to bed on her own--not once--to the great dismay of people who need to have an opinion about it, lol.

We just love, love, love that cuddle time at night, when she crawls into our arms, and drifts off to sleep until Wayne carries her off to her bed for the night. She's so sweet and calm, and looks right to us for a conversation. She never complains or fights bedtime, and its a system that works quite well for us.

Well...for the past two or three weeks, Paige has taken to getting her blanket and going to bed all by herself!! She just goes! Not a peep out of her, nothing.

I suppose (yes, I know)that its time that she does that...she is too long for me to even lift anymore...she's all arms and legs and everything gets all tangled up when she is in that 'deadweight' sleep zone.

But, it sure tugs at the see her make that choice for independence. I guess its like when a baby decides to wean himself...sometimes Mom is just not ready, even though she was kind of hoping for it.

For those of us who are parents of kids with special needs, I think its even more intense--as we often fret and worry over milestones that take a while to show up. We play lots of "what if" and "when will this ever happen" games.

But, just like having a typical I sit at the computer tonight because I had a bit more free time, and empty arms tonight, my advice is don't rush it...

Cherish the now, and what is happening today. Even if you're frustrated because you can't get your little one off the bottle, or out of diapers, or off to sleep when you want, trust me---all too soon it will be over, and you'll be looking back at it with a little smile, and a bit of an ache in your heart that the days have gone by so fast.

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's The Most Wonderful Time.......Of The Year!!!

Like Kramer in the Seinfeld Episode with the Mackinaw Peaches that are only in season two weeks of the year -- I am in my glory right now.

My very favourite food in the entire world is in season - fresh, sweet strawberries, still warm from the summer sun are now ready!!

I was allergic to strawberries when I was very young, and I've never fully recovered from that traumatic time in my life - I have never really 'caught up' from all of the strawberries I should have been eating then!!

The strawberries that are fresh picked cannot be compared to anything you can get any other time of the just can't ship them on a truck from California in February and capture that taste of sunshine.

I always say that strawberries are proof that God exists--so perfect in every way.
Paige and I grazed on strawberries all day long on Father's Day.

I have gone on fad diets and eaten nothing but fresh strawberries for two weeks at a time. Not the best choice of diets, but by far the yum-meeee-ist!

So, if I'm not posting very much in the next two weeks, just imagine Kramer as a short blonde with red strawberry stains all over her face and hands...that will be me!!!!


Friday, June 16, 2006

There's A Word For This!

A strange fate-like thing happened to us tonight!

Tonight, Dakotah and I walked to my friend, Julie's house. Julie lives just a few houses away, and we have been friends for a few years. Julie has a son named Tyler who is a little older than Paige, and a son named Connor who is a little younger than Paige.

Tyler has cerebral palsy, and Julie was the co-founder of the Special Families, Special Kids group with me a few years ago.

So, we're visiting, and playing with Tyler and Connor's new dog, Pepper, who is an 8-year-old Schnauzer who just joined the family last week.

Our dog, Oreo, died last May. She was 14 years old. We had her before we had kids. Oreo had a stroke one morning when she was home alone with me, and lost the use of her back legs. Poor thing was blind and deaf and didn't know where she was. So, we had to put her down.

At first, we said, "No more dogs!!!"

But, now we are softening to the idea a bit more. Wayne has his heart set on a Golden Retreiver. I like them too, except the shedding! But we've done a lot of research about the breed, and they make EXCELLENT family dogs, and would be wonderful with Paige.

Wayne's parents have a Shih-tzu, and he is definitely not the kind of dog our family needs. Paige is very nervous around him.

So, anyway, we are talking to Julie, telling her we'd like to get a Golden, and she tells us that someone she knows just gave one away. We are all like "awww...bummer."

We stay and visit for a while, and then come home.

As we round the corner to our house, we see this right in front of our house!!

Isn't that the strangest thing?!?!

So, of course, in comes the dog to see if it has tags on it. Paige LOVES it; isn't afraid, goes right over and loves it right up. The dog has some water, and we see it has a bandana on it.

We are pretty sure we know who's dog it, so after a bit of fawning, Dakotah and I go to see if we are right.

As we are walking the dog home, here comes a Mom and 3 kids walking down the street. They stop and look at us, but keeping going --its dark out, and we are a bit away from them.

I can tell they are looking, so I say, "Is this your dog?" As they are coming toward us, the kids are all saying, "Hi, Dakotah!" Dakotah says hi kind of hesitantly--she doesn't know who the kids are.

Then the mom leans over to the dog and says, "Dakotah!! Where have you been?!?!?"

The dog's name was Dakotah!!!!

Funny, huh?


So, now we are all googly-eyed over this sweet dog...and although I was committed to naming my next doggie "Ruby", I think I can sense a "Penny Lane" or "Fenway" in our near future...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Welcome Camille...

For all of my friends who read my blog, please go and see my friend Camille's newest blog. There you will hear of the adventures of Miss Emma, who is all of five years old, and ready to take on the world!

You'll often read about Emma in my blog, as she is one of Paige's best friends in the whole wide world, and was born 4 years and one day after Paige...I always call her the best birthday gift Paige ever got!

Emma is a happy, curious little girl that makes me laugh right out loud with her funny little stories. For a while, she named everything after her family...all of her colors had names like "Amy" "Carl" "Gaby" "Billy" -- it was the neatest thing, because she was very consistent in the labels she gave to everything.

Now, Emma counts to "Infinity and beyond" and recognizes many of the letters of the Alphabet.

Emma makes my heart sing--and I often scoop her up for a quick hug before she's off and running again.

I hope Camille will share all the funny stories she has about Emma with all of you--from when she turns grandpa's O2 down, to drinking out of the kitty's bowl, lol...who wouldn't love this kid?!?!

Camille is one of those treasures you rarely meet in matter what is going on in her life, she keeps wonderful perspective on the important things, and has a heart a mile wide.

She is someone I often look to for great wisdom, and can totally be "me" with...we have that kind of relationship where we know we could always run to one another if we needed to. I know she will always love and watch over Paige for me, and I hope she knows I would do the same for Emma.

She is that kind of friend that can show up at your door while you are still in pj's at 2 in the afternoon, and you don't worry that she are totally comfortable inviting her in for coffee.

Her sister is a SLP, who has taken Paige under her wing, and given me such great hope of really conquering this language barrier that Paige has.

I'm so blessed in so many ways in my life...and here you will find one of the greatest of my blessings:

Please leave her a note!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Walk On, Bobby!

Paige started therapeutic horseback riding again!

This year, she has a new horse that looks just like this. His name is Bobby, and he is so sweet and gentle, and very pretty too!

Paige fell in love with horses the first moment she saw one, and gets so excited whenever we get anywhere near the farm where she rides.

Paige has been riding for 4 years now. When she first started riding, she could barely sit up on the horse, even with support, and by the time she was done her first 6-week session, she was laying down backwards on it

By the end of that summer, she was sitting proudly by herself and getting quite independent. Its a wonderful therapy that allows her to use many muscles in her body that she not normally be able to use.

Paige has severe hip dysplasia, that has affected her hips, her knees, and her ankles. She is not very sturdy on her own legs, but when she is on Bobby--oh my!! She is Queen of the World!

Sometime in the near future, Paige will have to have surgery to correct her hip problems. She will have to be in a full body cast for 12 weeks, and undergo two major surgeries less than 10 days apart.

Because her problems are quite involved, our surgeon has told us that there is a 75% chance of failure from this surgery, and if it does not work, Paige will lose her ability to walk.

Needless to say, with those odds, we are proceeding with extreme caution. She didn't walk until she was almost 6 in the first place, and we are going to do everything we can to preserve that ability for as long as we can now.

Her surgeon is taking her file to "case conference" throughout the summer...where he will discuss her case with many other doctors in his field to see if they have some suggestions that will increase the odds of success for Paige.

One of the incentives for Paige to get better will be her horse!! We know she will work hard to do what she needs to do if it means she can ride Bobby again.

And, until then, we will make lots of visits (with carrots and apples in tow) to visit our newest 4-legged friend.