Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kaitlyn's First Day of Kindergarten

Kaitlyn was a trooper today. She was so excited to get out the door and to her new school. She had fun. She was all smiles. She came home with her note that said "Kaitlyn was a perfect student today". We are so proud!
Here are a few pics of her day.

Kaitlyn and Ms. Stuman at lunch time
One more hug and kiss in the classroom before starting our day. Okay mom, I'm going to be fine with my teacher Ms. Trautman.
Made it to school and super excited!!
"I'm ready to go mom"!
This day was bittersweet. We long for our children to grow and develop and hit milestones but at the same time we mourn the innocent days. This marks the beginning of her journey in public education. She has 13 years and hopefully she will choose college. Ask her and she will tell you she wants to grow up to be a doctor one day. Love this kid!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ponders of a Mother's Heart

So I have been wondering about so many different things lately related to parent hood and children. Why do some of us, wishing like others to enter parent hood with easy going children, end up with the most challenging kids? Why are children born already facing problems and behind the developmental scale? Didn't I deserve to have happy and healthy children? Don't get me wrong I know kids are going to get sick with colds and fevers. But surgery for both my girls before 6 weeks old and then several to follow is the reason I have so many unanswered questions.

I celebrate that Kaitlyn is a happy 5 year old that only seems to struggle with vision, transitions, and some social delays but otherwise is on track now. But it wasn't always so easy with her. Then along came baby sister that sent us up in a tornado of a whirlwind. She has fought through many illnesses, poor growth, surgeries and delays. Now she is a happy and for the most part healthy almost 2 year old that is just showing her differences in other ways. She can walk now, she can say a few words, and she is growing. Yet, it is not the norm.

I long for Kaitlyn to speak in fluid sentences that resound like all brilliant 5 year olds. I wish she didn't know that she couldn't see out of her one eye and that it didn't cause her struggles. I wish I could turn off the switch that ignites in her when she gets angry and frustrated or when she struggles with transitions. But I love that she can talk to me, has an appetite for any food you offer, loves books, and is eager to learn.

I long for Kyleigh to make it through an entire year with only facing colds and teething temperatures. I dream of the day she picks up a chicken nugget takes a bite, chews, swallows and asks for more with words. I pray she continues to grow in leaps and bounds and catches up with the other highly typical 2 year olds that talk, run, and eat what their parent puts in front of them. I hope she outgrows milk allergy and can eat real cake and ice cream.

These all seem so silly. But I doubt that any mom out there reading this would dare say they would ask God any less than just simply to make their children happy, healthy, and normal. When I say normal, I mean to blend in. Hardly a week goes by that someone curious doesn't say something about Kyleigh's differences to me or asks why Kaitlyn is giving them that "look". Sometimes they are people that know us well, at least I thought they did.

Kaitlyn isn't giving you a "look" when her eye turns the opposite direction. She is trying to see the details of you. Kyleigh isn't "sleepy" when her eyes are squinted, she is struggling to see and her eye lids are made like that. Kyleigh isn't a brat because she won't eat, she just didn't wake up one day like most children and start chomping on table food. Kaitlyn's giggles are silly and bountiful but they are often a means of covering up her flaws. Kyleigh is smarter than she is able to tell us right now but one day she is going to rock this world.

I guess, I needed to write this down to reaffirm that I believe in my children and their special gifts. I wish I could change their differences that hold them back and exchange them for talents to make them stronger. But the fact remains, I can't. I didn't do anything wrong while carrying them, it isn't because I was a rotten kid and they act like this because it is in their genes, it isn't because of anything just is what it is and I continually am faced with learning to accept it. I continually have to evaluate my jealous attitude towards others for having "normal", "highly typical", and "healthy" children 24/7 all 365 days of the calendar year. I long to squash that jealous monster that keeps creeping into my heart and continue to celebrate the children I have. I only have them for a little while and they won't stay this way for long.

I love my family. I love my husband and his support. I love how he interacts playfully with the girls. I love my girls and how they long for interaction with me and their dad. I am thankful for the healthy and happy times we have had this past summer. I hold my breath in anticipation for fall and winter to begin knowing that the sun only shines briefly and when that rain cloud comes I hope to be a little stronger in my faith and ready to hold up my umbrella.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Little Delayed Update

We had an amazing family vacation to Carolina Beach July 31st-Aug4th. We stayed in our friend Heather's family place and it was perfect. We spent time on the boardwalk, beach, pool, arcade, and just enjoying each other's company. We visited the NC Aquarium and also took the opportunity to ride a "family" bike with the girls. It was so fun. We have pics and I can post them soon.

This past Tuesday Kyleigh went in for her blood work to confirm or deny the possibility of Stickler Syndrome. I was so nervous about the whole thing because everytime she has had an IV or blood drawn or shots I have cried along side of her. But this time was surreal. She sat on my lap, looked at the nurse, looked at her arm, I sang songs, and she just sat while they drew the blood. NOT A SINGLE TEAR! She even kept the bandage on afterwards and was curious but not enough to pull it off. The lab tech was pleasantly surprised and I was thrilled. I cried afterwards just as a release of all the built up emotions but was so very proud of my amazingly brave little girl. We should find out something in approximately 6 weeks. The test was sent off to Tulane University in Louisiana, the only lab that is equipped to complete the test on the specific DNA chromosomes.

School is right around the corner for us. Dennis and I have had workshops this week in preparation for the new year. Kaitlyn has gone back to school shopping already and was excited about her new items of school supplies and clothes. However, she still has that anxiety of transition that I am sure will disappear once she is in the classroom and making friends. Kyleigh will continue at Gateway Education Center this year in one of the rooms that is led by a classroom teacher. We also opted to continue the extra occupational therapy at home during the school year in efforts to move her off of baby food.

Until next time, we are going to enjoy the last few days of summer at the pool and with friends and family and will post pics soon.
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