Monday, June 23, 2014

Wisdom From a Friend

"The mountains never stop appearing; they just get easier to climb.  As I have said before, you have had a loss of what you thought Sarah's life would be.  Even though she is perfect and delightful as she is, it is not what you expected nor what you wanted for her; it is okay to be sad because you are also able to be joyful."

Birthday Fun

We began Sarah's birthday with the one and only present she asked for. A wagon. Doug and Joshua assembled the wagon the night before. I wrapped the empty box so she would have something to open but the wagon was just sitting in the dining room. Before she even started to open it, she asked me, "Issa wagon? Issa wagon?" Thankfully, it WAS the wagon. I have no idea how I would try to explain otherwise.
She was barely awake and could hardly open her eyes.

At church, we sung to her and her grin just grew as she knew it was about her! 

We decided that in order to reduce the amount of busyness and stress on her, we'd have a very low-key, quiet afternoon. She's not a fan of cake but she loves the two bite brownies that can be bought. I topped them off with a dollop of pink icing and she was delighted!

Later on in the day, I took Sarah for the maiden voyage in her wagon. She was delighted and when I told her that the wagon needed to stay in the garage, she replied with, "But, the wagon wants to be inna house!" The wagon is still in the house.

Because this was the first year that her birthday has meant anything to her, it was extra fun to treat her in a special way. There came a point in the evening when her little world came crashing down. Bedtime. We had put the toys away, cleaned up after the party mess and began the trek upstairs. I fondly refer to it as the post-birthday meltdown.

I sat with her in her bed until her breathing settled down and she finally fell asleep. As much as I love celebrating my kids' birthdays, I do enjoy the next day when things are quiet and returning to normal!

Happy Birthday Sarah! I hope you had a great day!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sarah, You Are SIX! (Warning: Many photos)

Six years ago today, I went into the hospital ready to meet our fourth baby. I was nine days overdue and I had a very important wedding to attend the following weekend. I didn't want to be pregnant for it, nor did I want to miss it due to being in the hospital. After an afternoon of labor, shortly after 9:00 that evening, our much awaited for baby made her entrance into the world. Barely tipping the scale at 6 pounds and no taller than 17 inches, Sarah was by far our smallest newborn. Doug actually had to go and buy a preemie sleeper for us to take her home in. As I reflect on this day in complete wonder at this tiny baby and who she's become to us, I am nearly brought to tears as the love for her is so great.

About six weeks ago, we celebrated Joshua and Arianna's birthdays. Sarah thought it should be hers too and so, since then, we have been telling her that her birthday was coming soon. And she reminded us of that fact frequently. A short time after that, she said she wanted a present for her birthday. When I asked her what she wanted in the present, she replied, "a wagon". This request didn't change. Ever. Last night, I went out and bought her the one thing she asked for. The main reason we decided to get her exactly what she requested is because this is the first time that she's had an awareness of her birthday AND it's the first time she's even made such a request and didn't change it. She fully expected a wagon and to not get it would disappoint her and I'd be unable to explain it.

 Two Years Old

 Three Years Old

 Four Years Old (finally her hair started to grow)

Four Years Old

Five Years Old

The day after the dental surgery

My coffee loving baby

SIX years old!

Oh littlest daughter, I can't believe you are turning six years old. Occasionally, on birthdays I will post a certain number of things about the celebrated one. Six doesn't seem like enough things, 72 (months) is a LOT to think of. So, I will just start writing tid-bits about you and who you are on this birthday!

  1. You are SO fun to be around.
  2. You love everyone and seem to have a few favorite people in your life.
  3. You don't eat meat.
  4. You don't eat (most) veggies.
  5. You love peanut butter, Ritz crackers, goldfish crackers and french fries.
  6. When we laugh at your antics, you reply with "Whatchoo waffing at?"
  7. Spending time outside is one of your favorite things to do.
  8. Parks are fun but only if there is no one else there.
  9. Loud, sudden noises will make you stop whatever you are doing.
  10. You are still terrified of the medical community.
  11. You weigh 34 pounds.
  12. Sleepers are still your most favorite article of clothing.
  13. Curious George still ranks as one of the tops shows that you watch. 
  14. You also enjoy Frozen, Mickey Mouse, Garfield and Little House on the Prairie.
  15. The iPad is a {necessary} tool that you use frequently during the day.
  16. Developmentally, you talk and act like a three year old.
  17. You love playing with your Playmobile sets. 
  18. You are sleeping all night, in your own bed. 
  19. Number 18 requires Arianna to be with you till you fall asleep.
  20. Although you like pretty much everyone, there's a few extra special people in your life. 
  21. Asking me for a "hug-uppy" or "I need a cungle" still makes my heart melt and I'm always happy to oblige.
  22. You refer to my iPhone as the "George phone". 
  23. You are my early bird riser and enjoy the last few sips of my coffee when you come down.
  24. You can count to 10 but still skip the number 4. I don't know why. 
  25. You can identify a circle, square, star and kite shape.
  26. Colors are still not used correctly with much consistency yet.
  27. You can tell when there are "two" of something and you'll say they match.
  28. Going to Sobeys and sitting in the big cart with a cookie bring you such delight.
  29. You are easy to please. 
  30. I'm glad you are still small enough to sit in the stroller while we go for walks. 
  31. God has blessed us with you. I thank him daily for letting us be your family and being given the privilege of raising you. He has made you so perfect in his sight and knew exactly what he was doing when he made us your mum and dad. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thankful Thursday {06.19.14}

  • The 2013/2014 school year is officially over. I have brought my kids to the end of grade nine, eight and four. I'm looking forward to the next 10 weeks of lazy sleepy mornings with coffee and books. Long walks with my kids and park dates with friends.
  • The weather lately has been so summery and warm lately. It does such good things to my body and heart to be outside.
  • We're heading to Calgary this weekend for a short visit with my sister. I'm looking forward to having a good visit with her and the family. I'm thankful that things fell into place and my older two will be cared for overnight. (Not quite ready to leave them home alone over night)
  • My family is healthy. 
  • God is doing an amazing work in me. I'm thankful for his Grace as He walks with me on this journey of life.
  • I am blessed by friends.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Guest Post

Last week I was invited by a fellow special needs blogger mom to write up a guest post to be featured on her blog. Her daughter Bethany survived brain cancer when she was younger and you can read about her story here: Bethany's Diagnosis

You can also check out my post on Learning and Living With Our New Normal.

I had to summarize three years of "life" into a couple paragraphs and I think (other than one grammar error) I did alright. It wasn't easy to pull just the highlights of how we got to where we are today.

Thank you Sylvia for allowing me to be a featured poster on your blog!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pediatrician Appointment {06.10.14}

On Tuesday morning, Sarah and I headed out to the doctor for her quarterly visit. On this day, there was no snow storm, no icy roads and no university traffic. I must have made it there in record time!

It started out to be pretty discouraging when Sarah began to cry. In the van. In the driveway. I felt deflated and we hadn't even moved but thankfully she settled down and we headed off. This entire visit to the pediatrician was the most pleasant that I've experienced in a long time. Once we arrived, she wasn't happy or even in a good mood but she was pleasant and cooperative. One of the things that I notice with her is that she seems scared and nervous. I try to ease those fearful feelings simply by telling her that it's going to be okay, nothing will hurt as well as lots of prep beforehand. We talked about the doctor looking in her ears and mouth as well as listening to her tummy. My girlfriend's daughter has an app on the iPad that is an interactive doctor's visit and the two girls would play on that once in a while. Maybe that helped? I'm not too sure.

Overall, the doctor seemed satisfied with her and he said she's simply growing at her own (slow) pace.

In six months she's gone from 33 to 34 pounds (less than 3rd percentile) and she's grown half an inch and is now 42 inches tall (4th percentile).

She was pretty snuggly while waiting for the doctor.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Speech Appointment {06.04.14}

This morning Sarah had a speech appointment, basically to see what's happened in a year and what we're going to do next. She was so nervous and scared when we arrived that she just vibrated in my lap. Once we entered the room, she calmed down a bit but still appeared agitated. Thankfully, it didn't take long for her to settle in and realize that there was nothing to be concerned about. The little book that was the focus has a dog as the main character and then each page has an object focus that Sarah had to say. For instance words like: house, elephant, zebra, ladder, pyjamas, and chair. There were maybe 50 of these pictures and her knowledge of them was so much greater than they were last summer. Sarah has also made huge progress on many of the letter sounds.

I was given a few exercises to focus on this summer to help her pronounce the letter 'L' and 'S'. They are simple mouthing actions that we can do just a couple times a day to train her tongue to work properly.

It was really encouraging to hear something encouraging like this. Because I'm with Sarah all the time, I don't think I really notice the progress the same way someone who hasn't seen her in a year would. It makes my heart full and happy to know that she is improving!

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"Meet With Me"

I'm here to meet with you
Come and meet with me
I'm here, to find you;
Reveal yourself to me

As I wait, you make me strong
As I long, draw me to your arms
As I stand, and sing your praise, 
You come, You come,
And fill this place;
Won't you come, won't you come and fill this place.

I'm here to meet with you
Come and meet with me
I'm here, to find you;
Reveal yourself to me

As I wait, you make me strong
As I long, draw me to your arms
As I stand, and sing your praise, 
You come, You come,
And fill this place;
Won't you come, won't you come and fill this place.

As I wait, you make me strong
As I long, draw me to your arms
As I stand, and sing your praise, 
You come, You come,
And fill this place;

As I wait, you make me strong
As I long, draw me to your arms
As I stand, and sing your praise, 
You come, You come,
And fill this place;
Won't you come, won't you come and fill this place.
Lord come, Lord come and fill this place.

I'm here to meet with you
Come and meet with me.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday's Musings

  • Joshua and I are on the countdown to the last. four. weeks. of. school. We did it. He stuck with it, even though the initial transition from traditional homeschool to a more aligned focus was rough. He's learned how to write essays, take exams and hopefully is prepared for high school in the fall. He has done so very well and I'm bursting with pride! I am also pretty proud of myself for getting him to this point. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who doubted I could do it and I feel like I've conquered the world! I have always promised that I would homeschool the kids up until grade nine and then reassess each one as they got there. I'm so thankful for the love, support and prayer of friends who helped me pull through the rough waters!
  • Andrea is done her school year and has successfully completed grade 8. She proved to be very independent and did most of her learning on her own, asking for help when needed. She's gotten a part time summer job as a helper in a day home which is keeping her quite busy but also earning some spending money. I miss her when she's gone but when she gets back home, she's just beaming with delight at how great her day was. About a month and a half to two months ago, Andrea cut her hair. Just the other day, she decided to change it up again and she went with a red color! I think it looks fabulous and she's so happy with the switch.
  • Arianna completed grade 4 last week. She required a bit more hands on but that was to be expected as she's younger. For her birthday, she had saved up and received enough money to buy an American Girl Doll. Her doll of choice was Isabelle who is the girl of the year. The excitement on her face when it arrived made the 10 days of waiting so worth it. She'll stay busy this summer with some reading, lots of playdates with friends and a week of VBS at the end of August.
  • Sarah is really fun right now. She loves her chunky wooden puzzles and created little scenarios with all the farm animals, zoo animals and other pieces. She also spends most of her day with Playmobile. It is for sure the most used toy in the house. She is consistently sleeping though the night in the bed with Arianna and I'm so glad we finally were able to get over that hurdle this winter. She's still getting up pretty early and I'm simply learning to take it in and deal with it. 
  • We were at church yesterday and something so very amazing occurred and only God can be given the glory for it. I can't go into details due to protecting privacy of people, but I'm here to say that God is at work, especially in our little church. I love the extended family they have become and I'm excited to be a part of such a growing people. I am developing my faith walk and I am looking forward to seeing what God is going to continue to do with me.

 Arianna and Isabelle.

 One of the many views I have on my daily walks. 

 Sarah got a haircut on Sunday... with some curls, I think she defines "cute".

Ephesians 1:11

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will...


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