This girl!

This girl!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

10 things I'm thankful for "End of school year" edition.

Yesterday was Sophia's last day of school. It was a very emotional day since we were saying good bye to most of the role model kids who are moving up to kindergarten and to Lauren, Sophia's 1 on 1. I always give a little present to all the teachers and therapists that help Sophia to get as far as she has. This year I took a picture of Sophia with a sign and made greeting card with it where I wrote why I was so thankful for each one of them. I also baked chocolate chip cookies and put them in cute little boxes.

 For Lauren I wanted something special and I made a nice collage with pictures of Sophia and her from day 1 two years ago to last week.

I wanted to show them how much I appreciate what they have done for Sophia and that they have played a very important part in Sophia's progress.

Having said that, here is this week's list:
  1. Our town's school district:  From the principal to the secretaries have shown us that Sophia's well being and progress are very important for them. On the very first meeting we had with the principal, he said: "Everything that Sophia needs to reach her potential, she will get" and they have kept that promise. I know this is not always the case for most SN families, we are so fortunate!
  2. Sophia's head teacher, Eileen: She has respected my opinions and has listened to my concerns, I really value that. I know that Sophia is safe and taken care of when she is at school because Eileen is there.
  3. The other aides in the classroom, Theresa and Pam: They are very nice and love Sophia very much, when Lauren is out, one of them takes over and makes sure Sophia eats well and has everything she needs.
  4. All of the therapists, PT, OT and ST: Every one of them has a special relationship with Sophia and I have good communication with all of them and we work together as a team where the only goal is to help Sophia get better and better each day.
  5. Lauren: I am going to miss her so much but I am thankful for the two years she spend with us as Sophia's 1 on 1. I am glad my daughter got to meet her and benefit from Lauren's loving care.
  6. Summer school:  Sophia starts summer school in one week, she is going to have all her therapies there and  there's going to be familiar faces around which is always reassuring.
  7. Sophia's 1 on 1 during the summer: Her name is Dona and she has worked with Sophia during the last two summers. She is very nice and she took the time to meet up with Eileen to know what Sophia has been working on and to get all of the same communication boards and toys that she has been using this year.
  8. Sophia's classmates: Both, the role models and the other special needs kids are very nice to Sophia, it's as if Sophia is the star of the classroom, the girls used to fight to see who got to sit right next to Sophia! Every morning, all the kids would say 'hi' and compliment on how cute Sophia looked in her outfit or what a beautiful smile she has. I am so thankful that none of the kids tried to bully her, ever!
  9. My creativity: That's right! I said it! It was hard though, but I have to admit that I am thankful that I could come up with a nice card for the teachers and therapists to show how much I appreciate them. They really loved it!
  10. This blog hop: I am never going to stop being thankful for the chance to participate on this link up. I need to remind myself every week that there are a lot things to be thankful for.
See you next week.

Ten Things of Thankful

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another perfect day.

Saturday was one of those days where everything was perfect. Sophia woke up at a decent hour and in a very good mood. We got ready and headed to the zoo. Even though the ride was a little less than a hour, Sophia didn't fuss and was smiling the whole time as if she knew we were going somewhere fun. We got there and she was very excited:

And then we were off to see all kinds of interesting animals. Last year we went to a different zoo and Sophia was not really enjoying the trip, she didn't really pay attention to what was going on around her, she was like in her own world. At that time, going to public places like that was a little stressful, she would get overwhelmed and I would stress about that and Eric would stress because I was stressed. It would also make it kind of obvious that she is special and we would get a little sad because at that time we thought we couldn't enjoy activities like going to the zoo like everybody else. But that was not the case this time. Actually, it hasn't been the case lately.  She has become more and more alert and she is really engaging with what is  happening around her, it's amazing to see the transformation.

We wanted to give the backpack carrier a try. We didn't know how Sophia was going to like it so we brought the stroller with us just in case. She loved it!

Sophia got a good look at the giraffes, monkeys, llamas and zebras. Then we watched the bird show. Sophia couldn't really see anything from where we were sitting but waited patiently till the end so we could take a picture with the parakeets:

Then we headed to the petting zoo to see and feed the little goats. Sophia really liked it even though an older goat jumped on Sophia and scratched her leg, she made a face but didn't cry and continued to enjoy the little baby goats:

We ended our awesome day at the zoo feeding the deer, it's an amazing feeling walking around them. Sophia was not sure what to make out of them at first but warmed up quickly and really liked them:

We had a really great day and I am very happy that Sophia had a lot of fun doing an outdoor activity like every other kid her age. Seeing her this happy is priceless!

Friday, June 21, 2013

This week's 10 things i'm thankful for

Last week I started to participate in a weekly blog hop that focuses on finding things to be thankful for. I think it's an awesome idea, not only for special needs parents but for everyone who is going through tough times. Things aren't always as bad as they may seem.

  1. My husband: Again, he is so understanding and supportive. I love you baby!
  2. Sophia's teachers and therapists: Once again, they showed me that they are there for me and Sophia and they made me feel that we are not alone.
  3. The time I get to spend with my baby: Everyday it's so much fun with Sophia, we laugh, we play and we learn everyday.
  4. Fat free cool whip: It's my guilt free dessert, a fruit bowl topped with this while I read blogs and I'm in heaven.
  5. Blog hops and blogger link ups: I have met incredible people thanks to these weekly  activities.
  6. My international call plan: For a small monthly fee, my mom can call me unlimited times at no cost to her. I don't know what I would do without our daily conversations.
  7. Consignment stores: I scored two awesome products this week. A maze cube and a child back-pack carrier, both for a lot less than half their original price.
  8. Black clothes: They definitely make me look thinner ;)
  9. Summer days: My husband and I love going for long rides with the windows down around our town. Sophia likes it too.
  10. Sophia's smile: Seeing her smiling makes everything look much better.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Not everything is rainbows and butterflies...

A few weeks ago, I talked about how Sophia's orthopedist suggested a third hip surgery and how puzzled we were because we didn't want her to go through that again. Well, we saw an orthopedist at Children's Hospital yesterday for a second opinion, and he basically agreed that Sophia indeed needs another hip surgery. The difference is that this doctor explained a lot better why it's important for her to get this fixed. He gave us reasons that make sense.  He said that if she was going to be in a wheel chair for ever then he'll consider not to have her go through that, but since she wants to walk and is doing so well crawling and cruising she would really benefit from the surgery. I have always said that we would do anything and everything so Sophia can reach her potential and I mean it, we gotta do what we gotta do to help our little girl.

Now, that doesn't mean I'm not freaking out. It's always so difficult for Sophia to recover from the anesthesia and she always ends up in the ICU for few days and that scares me so much, I don't want to see her struggling for air or vomiting from the nausea. It's something really hard for me to see. But that's not what scares me the most. I know she would be in a hospital where there's nurses and doctors looking out for her, no, what scares me the most is when we are home and she is in a cast that goes from her chest to her ankles stopping her from playing and moving the way she wants. The doctor said she'd be in it anywhere from 3 to 6 months!! It freaks me out to think about her frustration for not being able to do what she wants, and my frustration for not being able to help her. Sophia has her personality and she wants what she wants and he sure lets us know when she doesn't like something, It scares me to death that I wont be patient enough to deal with both our frustrations. I am also mad, so mad because I don't want her to have a set back! not now that she has progressed so much and wants to keep going. It sucks! But... we have to do it. I know that.

Oh I need my mom so much! That's why I am going to try one more time to have her ask for the visa so she can come and help me during Sophia's recovery. But this time I'm doing something different. I am applying to become a citizen and see if that helps my moms case a bit. When the time comes, I'm going to ask all you to please pray, lit a candle, sent positive thoughts this way so she gets approve this time. That would mean so much to me. Thank you in advance!

On a positive note, I'm so grateful for the school system we have. As soon as I told Sophia's teacher all about the surgery, she started to look for ways to help us. She talked to Sophia's PT and I met with her today. She made me feel like we are not alone in this. She gave a lot of information about where to get help, equipment and services. She also told me that if we do the surgery at the end of the summer, Sophia would be able to go to school in the fall and that would give me a little break. I know they do this because of who Sophia is and because of how much they love her, but I also know they would do it for any of their students. We are so fortunate!

So I have very busy days ahead of me between getting ready for the citizenship test and getting all the things we are going to need for after the surgery. Also we are going to be very busy having a great summer, I 'm going to make sure my Sophia enjoys every minute before she is limited to a very few activities due to the cast. I will deal with rest when the time comes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

To a very special daddy

Sophia may not talk yet but she sure knows how to show her daddy she loves him. And she is right to love him, he is caring, loving, understanding, knows how to cuddle, knows how to read books and how to tickle.

My husband Eric deserves much of the credit people give me. When they ask me how I do it, I say that I can do it cause I have a man by my side like Sophia's dad. He is the one who brings me back to reality when my mind starts wondering in the "what ifs" world. He gets all the load of my frustration when something doesn't go the way I want it to (sorry for that baby). There's so many other reason why he is a great dad, but I am going to tell him in person, I want to show all of you the special bond the two most important people in my life have.

He is truly the best dad for Sophia, and i am forever grateful for all the things you do for us, for our little family. WE LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

10 things I'm thankful for.

One of my new blog friends is co-hosting a hop blog called 10 things I'm thankful for and she invited me to participate and I love the idea. It's always good to focus on the positive, its what gets us through the tough times. So here is my list:

  1. My husband: I don't know what I do with out him, he is my rock and I am certain I could not do as much as I do for Sophia if he was not around.
  2. My family: Even though all of them live miles and miles away, they are very close to us. My parents, my brothers and a couple of friends check up on Sophia very often and I know I can count on them for anything and everything.
  3. Technology: Oh I don't know what I would do without internet or phone. It's how I keep in touch with my family. 
  4. Sophia's love for me: Every time pick her up from school or I get home from work, she greets me with a huge smile on her face and a bunch of happy sounds,  then she grabs my face and "talks" to me,  it's a love fest.
  5. The opportunity to live in the USA: All the services and the education Sophia gets here are very valuable to me cause I know not everywhere kids with special needs are this lucky.
  6. Sophia's teachers: All of them have gone above and beyond to make sure my daughter get everything she needs to succeed.
  7. My friends: They have helped me through tough times. Thank you girls!!
  8. This beautiful weather: There's so many warm weather activities Sophia really enjoys, going to the beach, the pool, the park, getting on the swing... and so many more.
  9. My husband's job: Thanks to his accomplishments and promotions, I am able to stay home and focus on our daughter and be there for her. I would not change that for anything.
  10.   Sophia's cuteness: Let's face it! she is so darn cute!

Ten Things of Thankful

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happy birthday my Sophia!

You are 5 years old!!! You have grown so much, physically and intellectually. You have gone farther than we ever thought, you keep amazing us every day and you make us very happy. Mommy and daddy love you so much!

Sophia's birthday celebration was a success. Perfect weather, delicious food, yummy cake, pool time, lovely company with friends and family and Sophia was her happy self. Could not ask for more.

In the past, on her birthday party Sophia would get overwhelmed and shy and she would not have a good time so i would not have a good time and it would be obvious (at least for me) that she is a special needs girl. This time Sophia really enjoyed the party. She laughed, played splashed, ate cake and had such a great time that I totally forgot about her challenges and felt... normal.

The celebration continued on Monday, we went to Davis Farmland with some friends of mine. We had gone last year, and just like with the party, Sophia was not too impressed and didn't really enjoy it. But this time, she was very interested in all the animals. She was curious about their hair and the noises they were making. We enjoyed the hay ride and had a great lunch. Another great day with my beautiful daughter.

What are you doing on my wagon?
The goat thought Sophia was offering her hair as food.

We ended the day playing with her new toys and having a good time at home. I am very grateful for this year, despite Sophia getting sick a few times, she has really come a long way and I can't wait to see what this new year is going to bring.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sophia is special

Sophia is special. And I don't mean special needs special, but extraordinary and unique special. She makes people happy, she touches people's hearts and she changes people's lives. Even strangers, not one day goes by without at least 2 people, at a restaurant, at the mall or at the park, that say to us: "she is adorable". At school, everybody knows who Sophia Frost is, from the secretaries to parents and children from other classrooms. Everybody agrees, Sophia is special.

Just last week, we had our annual IEP meeting and every single person in the room (8 in total) genuinely cares for Sophia and inevitably loves her. They respect her and they understand that she is her own person, somebody who needs help in achieving her goals but goes on her own pace. She is learning from them but they are also learning from her; and she is leaving a mark in their hearts.

Unfortunately, one of her biggest fans, her 1-on-1, Lauren, has to leave in order to pursue her graduate studies. It was a difficult decision for her to make because (in her own words) "Sophia changed my life in the last 2 years." Sophia even influenced Lauren's choice of what field to study, Early Intervention. In a way, because of Sophia, many kids are going to be able to enjoy and benefit from Lauren's expertise and kindness  So, in a way, Sophia will change those kids' lives too.

I'm so glad that Lauren genuinely wants to keep in touch with Sophia and I know Sophia would love that. I knew the day when Lauren had to leave was going to come sooner or later. I am sad but I am also very, very happy for her and I am sure she will do great.

We will miss you Lauren and we wish you the best!