This girl!

This girl!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ten things of thankful

This week was little better than last week, we saw Sophia's orthopedist and we have a date for the surgery: September 3rd. He said that the cast will be on for about 4 weeks, most likely the first few days she'll be in the hospital and Eric will be with me the whole time. The second week she should be able to go to school at least half day and we may increase the time she is there little by little. I can't wait to get this over with and have my baby use her walker again.

So here is this week's list:

Ten Things of Thankful

  1. Sophia's surgery: yes, you read right! Of course I don't want Sophia to go through that kind of procedure, but I know that her hip being dislocated is going to potentially cause her difficulty walking and could also cause pain down the road. So I am thankful that there's something we can do to help her walk the best she can.
  2. My award nomination for the Versatile Blogger: An awesome mom and blogger and new friend of mine, Joy from nominated me for this award and I am so grateful! It is very encouraging!
  3. 4 weeks with the cast instead of 4 months: For some reason we thought the doctor had said 4 months when we first talked about the possibility of a surgery and the only thought of a bored, cranky 5 year old in a spica cast was driving me crazy. So 4 weeks doesn't sound too bad now.
  4. This bloghop: I think I said it before, but it really does help to sit down and look at your week and see the good things, even if your week was not that great focusing on the positive makes the negative seems a little less important. Thanks to the great people who created this bloghop and thank you for letting me participate every week.
  5. Friends: This week I posted a not so happy entry which you can see here. I got really nice comments from friends and family who visited the blog and also from friends and my husband who made me look at things from a different angle and that made me feel a lot better.
  6. Sophia's hair: See for yourself:

   7.   An end to what seemed like two week heat wave: I love summer but I also like being able to breathe    comfortably when I go outside, so the cool couple of days and the rain felt pretty good.
   8.   My parents: I am very lucky to have the parents I have. They are smart and very interesting. My              mother loves to read, her job is to read books and classify them, best job ever! You can talk about              anything with her, we have a really great relationship. My father is an intellectual, he is a stage actor and it      feels awesome to see him perform.
   9.   My driver's license:  When I moved to the USA I didn't know how to drive and for a while I depended    on my husband to bring me places. He taught me how to drive (very good teacher, by the way) and now I    have a car and go wherever I want, if Sophia is bored I can go to the mall, the park, my mother in law's        pool, whenever I feel like it.
   10.  My iPhone: I honestly don't know what I would do without my phone (how sad is that?), I use it for      everything, to check my email, to chat with my mom and friends, to text my husband, to check Facebook,    to take a hundred pictures of Sophia a day and sometimes I even use it to make phone calls! 

Here is the evidence that Sophia is Eric's daughter:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm still not used to the stares.

During Sophia's 5 years I have had to endure very few rude stares (fortunately). Don't get me wrong, there's been hundreds of stares but most of them are stares of compassion and admiration, and most of the people who stare express how cute Sophia is. These stares I'm used to and I still very much enjoy them.
But the ones I'm not used to are kids' stares.

Sometimes when we go to the mall and hang out at the playground, I get the usual questions from other moms: How old she? 5 really? She is a peanut, she is so cute!  Again, I'm used to this, but when the other kids stop and stare at my daughter it hurts. Sophia is very loud when she is having fun, she makes happy noises and of course that draws attention to her. These kids notice that Sophia is not like them, or maybe they wonder why she is making those noises, or why she laughs at nothing, I'm not sure.  And so they stare...  and it hurts.

 I know that right now kids don't have bad intentions when they stare at Sophia, they are more curious than anything, but it makes me think about the future. As Sophia gets older, it's going to be more obvious that she is different from her peers and I am afraid that they are going to make fun of her or pick on her. Kids can be cruel sometimes and I don't know how to protect Sophia or myself for that matter, from rude comments and rude stares. This topic has been in the back of my mind since she was born, but because we have been so lucky with Sophia's classmates who genuinely love her just the way she is, we haven't had to deal with that. That's why I'm not used to it.

I don't think Sophia realizes this, fortunately, but I'm not sure it's going to be like this forever and I'm definitely not sure how I'm going to deal with that, I guess I'll find out when the times comes. Right now, I'm going to do what my husband said to me today: I'm going to choose to believe that people, kids and adults, stare at Sophia because she is so cute!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ten things of thankful.

This week I have been a bit overwhelmed and stressed about all the things that are going on with Sophia. It seems like I have a lot of things to think about all at once: get ready for Sophia's surgery, keep an eye on her at all times to make sure that the increased seizure medicine dose is working, make sure I talk to the doctor about her braces, study for the citizenship test, study for a test for work, keep working on teaching Sophia to feed herself... the list is endless. So this is one of those weeks when I really need to come up with at least 10 thinks I'm thankful for, it does help to see that not everything is bad:

Ten Things of Thankful

  1. My husband: He said today that Sophia is lucky to have a mommy like me! To hear my partner say that in a moment when I needed it the most is priceless.
  2. AC...again: The humidity has been brutal the last couple of days, I don't know what I would do if our central air was still broken.
  3. Sophia's smile: It takes just seeing her smiling to recharge and keep going.
  4. The fact that Sophia wants my attention: I remember when we tried to get her engaged in a toy or a game with us and got nothing, she was in her own little world. She couldn't care less if we where in the same room or not and that used to upset me a lot. Now, Sophia is always looking for interaction, she crawls to the couch and asks me to pick her up, or sometimes she looks at me from her tent and grunts at me asking me to play with her. Love it!
  5. My friends: I mention something about my stressful week on Facebook and it felt very good to read the comments from friends encouraging me and telling me that it's going to be ok.
  6. Skype: I spent a really nice afternoon yesterday talking to my dad while I was making dinner, I put the IPad on the counter and it was as if he was here, Sophia smiled when she saw him and "talked" to him! 
  7. Boston Market: For a while we were going out to dinner a lot and spending a lot of money on restaurants each week so we decided to cut down a bit and for some reason we always passed by Boston market until now and boy am I glad we did! Good food, reasonable price and you still get to sit down and you don't have to leave a tip!
  8. Pintrest!  My name is Natalia and I am a Pintrest addict. 
  9. Home made trial mix: The store bought ones always come with something I don't like, making my own  ensures me that every bite has exactly what I like.
  10. My Bluetooth device: My husband got me a Bluetooth device for my car so I could listen to the music I have in my phone. I love it because that way I can listen to my own bilingual mix.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Second opinions are worth it.

Second opinions are not only worth it but it's also a right. Sophia has seen a lot (a lot) of doctors in her short life, just in the delivery room there were four doctors from the NICU because we didn't know what to expect. Little by little we were adding specialists to our list: orthopedist, neurologist, ent doctor, audiologist, geneticist, cardiologist (who fortunately we don't see anymore as well as a pulmonologist) and most recently urologist and endocrinologist. We see all these doctors at the same place where Sophia was born, they know her medical history and most of them know her by name.
We never even thought about going to a different hospital, it always seemed like it made sense to have all her health care in one place and what the doctor suggested as treatment always made sense as well. Until now.

Sophia's orthopedist has performed her three hip surgeries. Sophia was born with hip dysplasia and the first surgery, which was done when she was just four months old, was supposed to fix that. But it didn't. A second surgery was done when she was three years old. It didn't work either. I said in a previous post that every time Sophia has a procedure done where she has to go under the anesthesia, she has a hard time keeping things down because of nausea and keeping her oxygen above 90. So when the orthopedist said we need to do a third surgery we had to wonder if we should put her through another surgery.  We wanted to be sure it was necessary. He did say this one was a bit different from the previous ones, but still we were nervous.

Are we going to put her in risk and over and over again? Is is really worth it? How is a third surgery going to affect our daughter?  Is this one going to work? We had these and many more questions to ask.
That's when my husband suggested a second opinion. I never thought about it and I don't know why. It just makes sense, it's my daughter we are talking about. I need to make sure that we are doing the right thing and asking for a second opinion would either confirm that or give us a new way to go.

And so we did. We talked to another doctor from a very prestigious hospital, he read and studied all of Sophia's records and images, he discussed the case with his colleagues and told us that what our orthopedist suggested makes sense and that he didn't think Sophia needed to go to a different place for the procedure. Ok, so he didn't tell us anything new but we needed to hear from a different doctor, besides I feel like this doctor explained a little bit better the cons and the pros and made us feel better about doing the surgery. In the end it's not that we didn't want to fix her dislocation but we wanted to make sure it was the right way to fix it.

So we are doing this! It's going to be hard, for Sophia and for us but we are doing it. We didn't get a different opinion from asking a second opinion and that's ok.  We, as parents, have the right to double check, to doubt and to make sure. It's our right.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

10 things I am thankful for

I am late with my list this week but I have been busy having a lot of fun, so here it is:

Ten Things of Thankful

  1. My friends: I went out with some good friends of mine on Saturday and I had a blast! I am lucky to be part of this amazing group of girls. We ate, drank, laughed and cried. We had a great time!
  2. Drinks with chocolate in them: I had a vanilla vodka with Godiva white chocolate! Whoever invented this is a genius!

  3. Desserts: What would we do without desserts? (besides losing weight)? We had great food at this place but the desserts were to die for!
  4. My mother in law's back yard: It is huge, the grass is very green, a lot of flowers and a very nice garden. Sophia and I spent the day there today and it was perfect, she was playing in her little pool and I was relaxing having a cold drink enjoying the nice view.
  5. My blog visitors: It's very encouraging to know that a lot of people are stopping by and getting to know my sweet girl.
  6. Sophia's interactions with others: She is getting better and better every day. Sometimes she grabs my husbands's face or my face with her tiny hands and looks at us smiling and letting us know that she loves us. She had a moment like this with her grandmother today and I know it made my mother in law's day.
  7. Sophia's relationship with Lauren: Sophia's former 1-on-1 and now friend came to visit this week, and even though Sophia was a little confused in the beginning, she melted Lauren's heart by crawling to her and sitting on her lap and putting her head on Lauren's chest. I can tell this friendship is going to last.
  8. Central AC conditioning: A couple of weeks ago the AC broke down and we had a rough night with Sophia, luckily we got it fixed because the forecast for next week is going to be hot and uncomfortable.
  9. Access to good doctors: We looked for a second opinion about Sophia's hip surgery and we are fortunate to have different options, I know that some families are not that lucky.
  10. The fact I don't look my age: I've got to be honest here, I don't take good care of myself, I try to wash my face every night but that's about it and yet nobody guesses my age right, and they don't miss it by a year or two, sometimes even 6 to 8 years younger than I really am!!!! I should not take that for granted!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My other self, the selfish one showed up the other day.

Every once in a while, I have one of those moments in which it really hits me: Sophia has developmental delays. Of course I am always aware of that, but she has been so good lately, we've seen so much progress and she is kind of following the path of a typical kid, just slower, and I've been focusing on what she can do instead of what she can't. And that's very good, but sometimes my other self, the selfish one, comes to the surface. Fortunately it's rare for that to happen.
Last week, I decided to have an art session with Sophia like they do at school. At first she was having fun and she was mesmerized by the paint on her hands:

But that lasted about a minute. Then she was done. All of a sudden, she didn't want the paint on her hands anymore, which is normal I know, but that's when my selfish side came through. I wanted to have the same interaction that a mom has with their typical kid: I guess I wanted Sophia to get excited about what I was drawing on the paper, or maybe I wanted her to show me what she drew all proud of herself... I don't really know what I was expecting Sophia to do but my selfish side got sad, maybe a little mad and definitely frustrated. It's like acknowledging what I don't have because of Sophia's chromosomal disorder, things like conversations, discussions, arguments and fights. 

Then, there's the guilt. My true self comes and punishes my selfish side for feeling that way.  Then I feel so bad and I want to apologize to Sophia and I hug her and I tell her I love her the way she is, Because it is true! I love my daughter and all the things she does, all those things that make her so special and unique. These episodes happen very rarely, fortunately! What does happen very often is the progress she is making, the interactions with us in her own special way, the smiles, the laughs, the playing games.

 I have learned to focus on Sophia's abilities instead of her disabilities, and even though my selfish side shows up every once in a while, the real me, the one who loves Sophia unconditionally will fight and will win. 

Besides, how could I be sad for long when I get to see this every single day??

Sunday, July 7, 2013

This week's 10 things I am thankful for.

I am late to post this list but I have a very good excuse: we just came back from vacation and we had a great time. We went to NJ and NYC, Sophia was so good the entire time even in the car when we were stuck in traffic for hours! So here is my list:

Ten Things of Thankful

  1. I am glad I live within driving distance from NYC:   And even though it took us 7 hours from MA to get to were we stayed in NJ, it was a pleasant drive because my sweet girl was very good the whole time and never complained!
  2. Friends: I am glad our friends were so nice to let us stay with them, I was really looking forward to go to NYC but paying for a hotel was not at option so staying with them was a huge help.
  3. Our friends' daughter: What a sweet girl she is, Maddie is about Sophia's age and was really nice to my baby, letting her play with all her toys and making sure Sophia was always happy. It's rare to find kids that are willing to share their toys and even the house with another kid but this girl made our stay a pleasant one.
  4. My husband: Once again he demonstrated why I said "I do". He is so supportive and understanding! I am lucky to have him with me!

  5. Air conditioning: When we were in NYC walking in Central Park and walking along 5th Avenue, the humidity was brutal, but the 2 second moment of heaven we felt every time a store door was open was enough to get us going, then we got to Rockefeller Center and cooled off, that gave us our energy back to face the walk back to our car.
  6. Sophia's mood during the trip: She is very happy most of the time, but we were a little worried that she was going to get bored after 1 hour into the drive there, or anxious at our friends' house for being a different place, or tired walking in NYC because of the heat and humidity, but my girl was very good, sooo good every single day we were away and I will always be thankful for her great behavior.
  7. Summer school starts tomorrow: I know this was on my last week's list too,  but I have a thousand things to do and the 4 hours Sophia is going to be at school are going to be a big help.
  8. Colombian products at my local grocery store: They have just a couple of Colombian products there, but one of them is like a griddle cake that I often have for breakfast. I wish they had more but I am thankful they have this one!
  9. Once again, my international phone plan: This is something I am thankful for not only every week but everyday that I get to talk to my mom. It's only 20 bucks for me and free for her, but talking to her is priceless.
  10. I am glad it's not too busy at work today so I can catch up with my blog hopping and post this list (I hope I'm not jinxing it).
See you next week!