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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This, That, and Happy Day

We, the big Sis and I, are in full swing with a little game I call Oia, will you puh-leease pee-pee on the potty? I don't really care for it much but it beats the alternative. I'm on a mission to get this girl fully potty trained. We are about 3 weeks in and going strong. And she's doing it. She is more ready now than she ever has been.

I've toyed with this game a number of times before. But my approach this time? Cold turkey. No more Pull-ups. Even if it means I'm changing wet pants 18 times a day, we are not going back and there is no turning around. Thankfully, it's actually going pretty well, meaning we have more dry days than wets ones and each day is getting progressively better. It started out pretty rough but now, at most, I'm changing one accident a day and we have left the house for a quick errand or a stroll in the neighborhood on multiple occasions and Oia has returned home dry every time. School resumes in a little over a week and she will waltz into her classroom wearing her big girl undies. I'm sure there will be accidents but these are to be expected for a while. I'm proud of her. Actually, I'm proud of us. Those who know my sweet Oia well also know how hard-headed she is. Potty training wasn't going to work until SHE wanted it to, no matter how hard I would have pushed before.

In other news, there has been some change to Oia's therapy schedule. We have begun private OT sessions and this has now been added on an every other week basis, which means we are now alternating weeks with PT. Previously, Oia has had PT every Tuesday and no OT. It's all about balancing the needs. Hopefully, OT will help refine some academic skills such as cutting, coloring, writing, opening/squeezing glue bottles, using glue sticks, etc. and overall right arm/hand strengthening. All these things Oia wants to do and enjoys trying to do but is not really that independent with any of it. I hold high expectations in the OT department... and hope we aren't being to lenient in the PT department.

And in more exciting news, Oia's expressive language is moving right along. Our trip to the Kaufman Children's Center in Michigan has been the best decision we've made in a long time. Hands down. The K-SLP is slowly allowing us to chip away at the apraxic wall Oia faces every single day. We script all the time. Oia repeats everything we say, with at least an approximation. And she enjoys doing it. It's lovely. She still loves to read the workout book each day and wants to read it for way longer than I have patience for. I'm so appreciative of the fact that our ST is learning the technique as best as she can by watching our videos from camp and borrowing our cards and workout book for our sessions. And the best part of all... when her ST says to me after each session is over, "She. Did. Awesome!"

And the proof of progress happens when you least expect it. In preparation for Esme's first birthday on July 20th, we practiced and scripted Ha-pee Bir-Day over and over again. On the evening of Esme's party, the 21st, I was getting ready to put Oia to bed. I found her standing in the kitchen holding and examining the box that the cupcake stand came in, and after noticing I was standing there watching her, she looked up to me and said Happy Day. Oh, happy day it was... I live for those spontaneous words from my almost 5 year old. And what's even better than that? The birthday wish Oia was able to communicate to Rob whose birthday followed on the 29th... a very clear and cheery Happy Day, Daddy!

Yep, best birthday present ever.


  1. This post is the cherry on top of my ice cream cone of good news and answered prayers! God is good!

  2. I just love her. Thanks for sharing Oia with the world!

  3. awesome job on the potty training! I am an official believer that the parent has to be as ready as the kid! I am not ready to draw that line in the sand with our youngest but I know I need to soon! Nice job. Our daughter Libby was so so easy, hoping Esme is a one dayer like Libs!