Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Orchestra Concert

I have to post about our adventure on Sunday.
My sister's twin girls had a orchestra concert in New Orleans.
After Eric played in the Youth Praise and Worship band for both services we got on the road. I was hoping little G would nap this time. The only other trip weve taken with her was only 2 weeks after coming to America. I had hoped that she would feel more at ease with us and nap in the car. Nope. I am wondering if she thinks she is going to miss something? She fell asleep and startled away 20 mins later. She has a happy disposition so it was no problem.

We went out to eat supper at a great burger place. Sorry the name is no where to be found in my memory bank. My brother in law was able to get seats on the fourth row in the middle. Little G was entranced. She started directing, following the conductors lead. ( she has incredible sense of timing and can find the beat in any song it seems)

I was so proud of my nieces.
Theyve been playing since they were little. (they will always be little in my mind)

The thought occurred to me while sitting there.
As I watched little G's face
light up with the wonders of
new music
and new sounds......
We really are the perfect family for little G.

Under His wings,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a little shocking if you arent expecting it

I know its not the end of the world.
By far!
But I was in shock today after a phone call from my neighbor.
Remember last week?
It seems that after talking to the man in charge of the roads and bridges dept they decided to put signs on our street. This is after I expressed my thoughts and feelings.I was calling to request a speed bump on our road. I didnt think that bright yellow signs would slow the cars down any more than our already existing speed signs did.
He asked me to call them back if we changed our minds.
Go figure.......
It isnt this exact sign.
but you get the gist.
Its shocking,
when you dont expect it.

I remain,
Under His wings,

Friday, March 25, 2011

take time to smell the roses....

or wisteria....
or azaleas!

If that doesnt cure what ails you.... maybe you should take your inchworm for a ride.
Enjoy your weekend!

Under His wings,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy dance

So we have a term around here called the "happy dance".
Little G does it
when husband comes home,
when brother comes home,
when Oldest daughter comes over to visit.

Ive never gotten the happy dance before.

Until today.....

Today I got the REAL,
full blown,
"happy dance".

It was a beautiful thing.

Ive waited a long time for it.

When oldest daughter called home after work today I mentioned it to her. She laughed and said, "Well mom. Of course she did the happy dance. She loves you. You just had to go away for awhile and then come back for her to do it for you too." :0) Just like oldest daughter to get to the root of the matter in such a blunt way! ha ha!
We had a good,
yet tearful,
From the heart
laugh about this.

I remain,
Under His wings,

(by the way,in case you were wondering, Art classes went well. I forget, Im teaching teen boys in a detention facility..... this is WAY different than my typical day. God is faithful. Will be teaching again tomorow.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Owl City - In Christ Alone - WITH LYRICS!

In Christ Alone

I posted on my other blog about little G and her Dr appointments if youd like to follow along here.

I just heard this song redone by Owl City and cant put it on my music player. Insert big frowny face here. So here is a youtube linky to "In Christ Alone."This is a beautiful song.
Especially as we are all looking forward to Easter.
Looking ahead.

Under His wings,

A Doctors appointment

I mentioned a month or so ago that little G was going to have a few tests run and we would follow up with the pediatrician. The Dr. spent almost an hour with us. She has a nurse in training from the local college and I thought she was incredible. The nurse in training was better than many of the "trained people" I have worked with the past few months.(she was from Chile and spoke lots of Spanish with little G.BONUS!) Maybe some need to go back for a refresher course in bedside manner? I really appreciated how she treated little G. She interacted with her. So many techs and Drs as of late treat little G like a thing while they speak to us etc. I appreciate it when I am seen as a patient for you to tell me what you are doing and alleviate my fears of the unknown. Just because little G isnt speaking doesnt mean she doesnt understand. Just because she is tiny, or you can tell she has down syndrome doesnt mean she cant comprehend. Maybe my perceptions are way off base.
I am thankful that I didnt speak my mind about one of the Drs we saw in preparation for this follow up. I think he has a good reputation and what was said when we met with him was just processed in my mind as something totally different than what he meant. Our pediatrician hasnt gotten any of the audiology results since that ended up being a HUGE process due to wax buildup in little Gs ears.
First one set of tests,
wax removal appt,
then repeat the audiology tests,
and then some......
Little G does have "mild hearing loss" and it is due to nerve damage.
This quite possibly means that we will be putting little G in hearing aids.
Take for instance yesterday at the Dr.
Little G was looking at a book and had seen a picture of a squirrel. She signed squirrel when I told her that is what the picture was.... then when the Dr was in the room I asked her to find the picture of the squirrel and she signed "school". While at the audiologist appointment the Dr asked her to touch her nose little G signed "snow". I had been seeing this for a few months and also have had to turn the volume on the TV to a certain level so that she doesnt feel the need to stand with her ear up to the speaker.
Our past has formed our perceptions of hearing loss,
no matter what degree,
it needs to be treated.
We are seeing communication issues because of the hearing loss,
no matter how mild it might be,
no matter if its typical to children with down syndrome.
These factors do not matter to us.
If there is a hearing loss in our household it will be addressed if it is causing learning difficulties. A child learning a language cannot move forward if they are not hearing what is being said clearly.Then when you add how soft spoken I am.....
I also dont want to have to announce to everyone in her world. "Little G has mild hearing loss. Please speak up when you are talking with her."

We did not come up with a definitive answer to Little Gs "spells". All of the tests have come back with good results. Due to little Gs behavior, we were all distracted and we did not discuss what our next steps will be. I know the Dr will be calling me after she consults with the other Drs about the hearing loss and test results. I will bring that up then too.
where is my post -it pad......

I just mentioned little Gs behavior. I am going to need to figure out a "plan of attack" for our next visit. Lets just say that Dr walks in and little G squeals with delight.(Dr loves little G and would love to adopt a little one with "a little something extra" herself.) "oooh one of my favorite patients!" yeah, a little love fest ensued. ;) Little G had to play patty cake, sing her songs and be the center of all that went on. It made it hard for us to discuss the issues at hand and stay on track. We did rather well in spite of it all.... I was shocked when I left that we hadnt discussed the other tests and how to proceed. We really were broadsided by a cute little girl with piggy tails and overpowering personality.

We did discuss a behavior that I had taken for granted as "something little G does" but recently was reading a blog and thought,"huh. I think little G does that."
I described little Gs response when I turn music on and how instantly like flipping a switch little Gs eyes roll back in her head and she starts going round and round in a circle. Im talking 20 mind straight or more.
I told the Dr that since reading that word "stimming" and correlating her behavior with it I now found myself upset when she does it. Whereas before it was cute for little G to dance when she heard Ecuadorian types of music or, gasp, 80's music..... The Dr laughed and said it was nothing to get upset about.
I will have to read more about it.
I know nothing about "stimming".
I had kept that "huh?" moment tucked away in my mind to discuss with the Dr so that SHE could give it a name,
Not me.
(lets not cross the bridge until we get there type thing.)
Or, perhaps, I dont want a label.
Im not going out looking for new things.....
I dont like adding things to our list.
I think little G has alot more to teach me.
Like being scared of labels,
names of things that to a mommy person seem scary.
The unknown.

The Dr. asked me who our OT and PT was. I replied,"me." She asked if Id like a few clients! ha ha! I told her it wasnt a one hour a day or one hour a week thing that has gotten us here. Its day in and day out. Talking, signing, playing games, music, its hard work.
It felt good to be validated.
I am just doing whatever it takes for us to make progress.
This is my job.
If I dont do it who will????

I contacted the agency in charge of roads and bridges about a speed bump.
This has been an issue since before we moved here.
Ive been told by our neighbors about the runaround they were given.
I have an e-mail in my box about how to proceed.
Not sure how this will look.
I mentioned this to our pediatrician and her comment was,
"Good luck with that!"
I am finding this new person inside me that is very very protective of her little "chick". Have you ever seen a mama hen with her little Spring chicks?
We had beautiful laying hens and let them have chicks one year. The hens were tame and let us pet them. Those chicks were so cute and fluffy....... but those mama hens would go psycho on you if you tried picking up and touching their little chicks...

Off to enjoy the rest of the day.
When Little G is napping I will get lessons together for Art classes tomorrow.

I remain,
Under His wings,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Winter sure does make me appreciate Spring !

I am just going to link to this post and this one.

These are two mamas being real in the "after".
My hats off to both of them.

Makes me think of how beatiful Spring is after Winter!
the contrasts!!!!
The contrast of light and dark,
grief and true joy.....

I could go on and on.
But I wont.
I am so glad that with time,
that feeling of being the mama,
the real bonding,
the true nitty gritty love
can be found.

Im so glad that God is patient with me.
More patient than I am with myself.
I think in the unknown its easy to get worried about the
"what ifs?"

Yesterday morning we were snuggled up in bed and little G looked at me and signed,"Good Morning."
Tears pricked my eyes
and a lump was in my throat.
Of course it wouldnt be a good morning without her all snuggled up next to me and starting the day off with lots and lots of kisses being given and recieved.

I think she likes me.

I remain,
Under His wings,

Monday, March 14, 2011

My internal clock is off an hour......

I dont know about you.....
But my internal clock is off.....
Miss G just slept too long too.

Ill share a few photos from yesterday.....Little G had a cute outfit to wear to church from my sister. Was a Tags still on, never been worn hand me down. Too cute. I need to find some shorts for her to wear under it. I love little skorts much better for her.....

Neighbor saw little G out playing and brought her an Easter Bunny. Was so cute for Little G to be signing and saying rabbit with her new yellow rabbit.

We celebrated N's 21st birthday with an Alton Brown recipe. Chocolate peanut butter pie. Super easy.... and so so yummy. I ended up making home made pizza again.....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What a difference a day makes!

.The weather that rolled through yesterday was pretty harsh
see the great dane hiding under the table!
I was sad that Ash Wednesday services had to be cancelled because there wasnt any power. I wouldve been fine with acustic guitars and candlelight myself.(I dont think there wouldve been a need for heat or ac)
I know that its hard for others to think outside the box.....
just a thought.....

Today the sun is shining and the birds are singing.(little G too.... shes a rockstar!)
Its snapped cold again
but I dont mind the cooler weather hanging around a bit longer.
Summer will be here all too soon!

Yesterday I worked in the dark with the rain poundig on the windows.
I learned how to create a power point presentation on my own and made slideshows for little G to watch and learn how to sight read the words to each of her "signing time" videos.I was pleased with my efforts. We have never watched much television so her watching the DVDS has been a hard subject for me. I continue to offer myself some grace and treat it as "school time". Since my last count of 170+/- words I know shes learned well over 20 new words. She now asks "can I be excused" when she is done eating and my heart thrills at watching her go through her routine in sign. She will sign "bed" then "wait", then "pajamas", and "wait", then "brush teeth" and "wait"..... her sister also taught her "later". So last night she asked P for "ice cream" then immediately told herself "later".
Monday we were outside playing and she was walking very fast looking at the ground signing "grass". E came outside and died laughing. When I stopped and watched it was quite funny. "grass grass grass grass."

She started saying rabbit and its ADORABLE! sounds like "ribbit ribbit ribbit" as she signs rabbit. She loves her books. I rearranged things in her room last week and took all the board/baby books and placed them in a canvas basket that she could reach. I dont know why I hadnt thought of it earlier...... I love walking past her room to see her reading to herself, or when she toddles out and brings me a book or two saying "up up UUUUPPPPP".
Little G after Church on Sunday.

With all the learning and language I long to hear her speak of things of the heart. She had several procedures on Tuesday and I wanted so badly to know if she was scared so I could comfort her.Or even yet for her to call out, dont leave me...... I wanted to play the "poor little orphan needs her mommy card". But is that good for little G? Is it MY NEEDING TO BE NEEDED or an actual need? I wonder if she misses her tias? Or does she miss certain foods? Routines? Does she know she is different? Does she know Im her mommy.... that I will love her forever? No matter what???? I think that as time passes I will see that these questions and not having all the answers could be some of what led to anger and frustration on my part. As I am having quiet time regularly I will be able to process some of the feelings that were crammed so far down in the dark and quiet places.....

As we experience Lent.......
and grace.....
and look forward,
the past in our rearview mirror
in the distance.......
ever mindful of it
keeping the future
in our sights
as it grows

I remain,
Under His wings,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cell phones

The funny thing about cell phones is that they wont work if the battery is dead. (meaning not charged) If said phone is put on silent mode on Sunday for church you will not know that it is not operational until you try to use it. If you are like me, it would be days you are walking out the door..... That might make an already hectic day all the more chaotic especially if you dont have a car charger......

Take it from me.
life does go on.
If youve raised a level headed teenager
He is quite capable
to check your e-mail
and facebook
to see if an SOS- for a ride for him to get to church,-since the arrival time changed last min. unexpectedly- while you have daughter at hospital having tests performed- had any he can attend this Hillsong United concert in Birmingham, Al!

Little G did well,
the EKG two weeks ago,
EEG today and ultrasound of the heart today.(Not sure but I think it was harder on me than her. I wanted to tell them that even tho the policy was no parents during the test I NEEDED to be there.She needed to know Mommy doesnt leave....... I kept quiet tho and she saw that I came back....So did she need me? Did she need to know I wouldnt leave her when things were scary? Huh.... I wish she had more words.

Audiology appt next Wednesday.....
I start teaching art classes on Fridays next week......
this month is looking crammed to the hilt.
I feel very agitated about it.....
Praying for a clear answer to little Gs two episodes so I have no worries when I am leaving her care to others......

I will need to make sure to allow room for the things that are truely important.

Off to enjoy some quiet.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A tribute

This is actually a wall that was along a sidewalk in downtown Quito......

I took some pictures while we were in Ecuador that reminded me of a dear friend.
I think of Olivia whenever I see dandilions.....
She actually grew them in a pot on her porch.
I have let the month of February pass without doing the tribute that I had in mind.
Olivia passed away in Feb of 2008.
A brain Aneurysm.
One day she was here,
and the next she was gone.
When we were together earlier in the week she had complained of a headache.
I wish I had told her to go have it checked out.
I just had no idea.

She was so ssweet.
Such a kind heart.
She loved my family.
Jut thought the world of A, N and E.
I know she would adore little G.
Olivia was so supportive.....
When we were helping take care of Victoria.
She was there for me on A's wedding day,
helping in the kitchen.
What a friend.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A nice visit......

A friend and I sat together.
I brought up Mother Teresa.
I am amazed at the the inner conflicts she had.
I wanted to ponder some of the very insightful quotes Ive read by her.
To know that she still had inner conflicts give me peace.
I have settled into a quiet place with God lately.

Here are a few of my favorites.

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired."

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."

"God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try."

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."

"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."

"It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters."

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

"Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God - the rest will be given."

"Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work."

"Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand."

"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread."

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls."