a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happiness is...

There's always something to blog about when the title reads Happiness is... In no particular order:

Happiness is the view from my new double jogger. Feels so good to finally be able to dust off the running shoes and work up a good sweat again. I've so missed it. Oia weighs somewhere in the ballpark of 35 lbs, and Esme is close to 20. Lord knows how much the jogger weighs but no matter how you slice it, the workout is a good one. And I love it. Despite my efforts to trudge along as fast as I possibly can, my sweet Oia says Run, Mommy, ruuuun! She's brutal I tell ya, and quite possibly the best personal trainer I've ever had.

And speaking of the view from my double jogger ~ Happiness is simply saying "my girls". Plural. Two. I have TWO girls. Holy cow, when did that happen? Eight months later and I'm still trying to soak it all in. Rob and I are so fortunate. We have a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, petite Daddy's girl and a red-haired, brown-eyed, nubby Momma's girl. Both seem so different from one another yet they absolutely adore each other. Esme only laughs for Oia. And Oia is still introducing Esme to those who already met her 8 months ago. Despite what any medical textbook says about either, they are so undoubtedly perfect. And perfect for us. Already two peas in a pod. I think I'm in trouble.

And lastly, happiness is witnessing Oia tackle and master new terrain. Actually, happiness is an understatement on that one. Take this tiny hill:
It's the hill on our side yard. Perhaps our front steps give the slope some perspective. It's fairly small yet relatively steep. Perfect for pint-sized ones to sled down. It's nothing too extreme for most yet it's always been too dangerous for Oia to navigate on foot independently. Oia has been a walker now for a little over 2 years but never has she been able to navigate this slope. Always an instant tumble and for a girl with delayed protective reflexes, a dangerous one. But last week, she decided to give the hill another try, her first try since last Fall. I was hesitant but forced myself a step back. Success. She made it to the bottom, with control, then giggled and turned around to head back up and do it again. Her face was smothered in sheer pride. After some obnoxious cheering, I ran inside to grab my phone for this quick video...

Happiness indeed!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Communicating with Oia takes some skill and a good dose of interpretation. You can't just ask her any ol' question and expect to get a clear answer. That's not to say she doesn't know the answer or have an opinionated response. Too often though, the words just fail to come from her mouth correctly making many of her words unintelligible. Conversing with questions that require a yes or no response works best for us which means give-and-take conversations are almost non-existent in our home, although we do try. But recently, her expressive language has picked up some speed and is developing into something we had always hoped and knew it would (though the road is still long). Last night's conversation with Daddy is proof that expressive language is indeed still emerging...

Daddy: Hey Oia, tell Daddy where the kitchen rug is.
Oia: (pointing to the back deck door) Out.
Daddy: Why is the rug outside?
Oia: Pee!
Daddy: It's outside because there is pee on it! Who pee'd on the rug?
Oia: (tapping her chest and smiling) Me!

It came and went just like that. A "real" conversation concluded with laughter. Her words, not to mention her honesty, made our hearts smile.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tiny Change

The tiny cotton candy pink glasses with original lenses no bigger than that of a quarter, had to be custom made to fit Oia's face when she was just 16 weeks old. Over the years, they have been chewed, stratched, stepped on, bent, twisted, broken and fixed, thrown about and even temporarily lost. You name it and they have been wiped clean of it ~ food, drink, rain drops, dried tears... the list is endless. They have been modified on multiple occasions to fit our growing girl. And they have been life changing. From infant, to toddler, to preschooler, and now big Sis ~ these tiny glasses have witnessed so much. But from a different perspective, these glasses have allowed Oia to witness so much. Her dainty face is still so perfect with them on, yet a tad lost without them, as they have just become a special part of her. They have aided in her view of the world and in turn have been imperative to her progress and development. But the time has come. The one and only pair of glasses she has ever worn have become too small. In recent days, they have been replaced with a slightly bigger pair and the cotton candy pink is now more like watermelon. Most who know her haven't noticed the change and that's just the way we like it. The original pair have been neatly tucked away inside her special box of keepsakes. There they will forever reside with her first Onesie, first pair of lenses, first splint and cast, first AFO's. I imagine the day when both girls and I are seated together on a bedroom floor, reminiscing as we dig through each ones little box of treasures. I pray that when Oia discovers the tiny, worn glasses and pulls them out, that she'll have the words by then to look up at me and say "Oh my, Mommy! These were mine? They're so cute and little!" To which I'll smile and reply, "Yes, I know, Honey. And so were you."