Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kelly's Kidz

There was a time when I could not see the light. A time when I literally struggled to get through the day. A time when I cried so much, and felt so guilty, that I wondered if I would be able to be a good mom to my girls. I literally pasted a smile on my face and forced myself to put one foot in front of the other to go through the motions of being me.

I got to a point where I needed help. I went to a psychiatrist and started taking antidepressants, which on one hand worked to improve my mood, but on the other hand caused all kinds of rather unbearable side effects like nausea, sleeplessness, and ringing in my ears. Still, they worked to get me out of the pit I was in, and eventually I started feeling better.

The other thing I did, which may have been even more invaluable, was to surround myself with a support network of people, online and in real life, who really knew what I was going through.

There was a time when I was desperate to hear about the "good things" even though I didn't believe in them.

Now, even while acknowledging all of the heartache and sorrow and hard work that goes into being the parent to a child with special needs, I finally get it. I am in that place where I see the good things.

One of those good things has been the opportunity to develop relationships with people I would have never known otherwise, and one of those people is Kelly.

Kelly is mom to Maggie. Maggie is a beautiful little 6-year-old girl who lives in our city and goes to kindergarten in our school district. She also has CP, drives her power chair using her head, and is learning to talk using a computer. She is pretty inspirational all on her own. I'm glad to know her, and I am glad for my girls to have her as a friend. Maggie was Eden's inspiration for finally giving the Creepster Crawler and the head float a chance! Both are things she wouldn't touch until she saw Maggie using them:)

Kelly (aka "Maggie's Mom") has been so generous to us in terms of loaning us equipment, and passing down things that Maggie has outgrown (such as the head float). And if that wasn't inspiration enough, she has started a non-profit called Kelly's Kidz, to provide financial assistance and equipment for children with special needs, when their families are unable to obtain it on their own. Until you try to navigate the world of raising a child with physical challenges, medical equipment, and health insurance, you have no idea the barriers that we face in obtaining the things our kids need. Even with great medical insurance, it gets pricey (and that's an understatement).

So, way to go Kelly! It is so very exciting that Kelly's Kidz is up and running, and we are totally looking forward to Maggie's Lucky Strike Challenge at the beginning of February. Thank you so much for all of the support you have provided us, and for all of the children whose lives you will touch in your endeavors. I am proud to call you my friend:)

Please visit Kelly's Kidz website, donate if you can, and for those in the area, join us for their first big fundraiser!

**And yes, that picture at the top is a picture of Eden sitting...on a bench.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hey Papa

Watch the Christmas slideshow again. I added a pic just for you;)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Milestone Achieved

Those of you who had a chance to watch the xmas slide show may have noticed one major noteworthy event that bears repeating. In fact, in my mind it warrants splashing across the front page of the newspaper and shouting from the rooftops!

**EDEN IS SITTING!!!!!!!!!!!!

She has made slow and steady steps toward being able to do this, including bearing more and more weight on her arms, learning to pull her knees up under her, and prop sitting for very short periods of time. She has also been spending a lot of time, by choice, playing at her bench, which has really helped to strengthen her trunk, as well as her learning to bear weight on her arms with her knees under her for longer periods of time. (The bench is our equipment of choice right now, and highly recommended if you have a kiddo with abilities similar to Eden's.)

It's been a gradual process, but over the holidays she has finally gotten to a point where I can say it's a milestone ACHIEVED! She is pushing herself up to a sitting position, and maintaining it for a few minutes at a time. She is even starting to lift one or both hands to play her toys, as well as using her arms to scoot forward and backward while staying upright.

While I LOVE the new camera that Daddy bought me for Christmas (Thanks John!), this gift from Eden takes the cake and is better than anything I could have asked for. I am so proud of her.

Next steps are four point crawling, bench sitting, and pulling to stand, all milestones I was not sure she would EVER achieve, but now feel confident will happen over the next year.

Look out 2009, here we come!

**I know it is a W-Sit, but we'll take function over form any day! That said, we have to be careful to keep her adductor muscles stretched out really good, and will encourage other sitting positions often (so long as they don't interfere with her ability to be independent and play).

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy 2009!