This girl!

This girl!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

My baby is not a baby anymore

This one was a big week for the Frost family: no more crib for Sophia, it was time to switch to a toddler bed. Our baby is officially a big girl!
I bought a pink race car bed a couple of months ago and I got an awesome deal for it. I picked this bed for several reasons, not only because it's pink and very cute:
I wanted a very short bed, I also wanted the edges to be round and soft so she could go in and out easily without getting hurt. After reviewing many toddler beds, this one seemed to be the perfect match. I decided to wait until after the surgery and she was out of the cast, so this weekend we set it up and gave it a try. We were really nervous that she was going to roll out when she was asleep and we didn't want to put a safe guard because if she decided to kneel and lean on it she could flip over and fall. But I also want to encourage independence and teach her that she could get out of bed on her own. After trying different things I decided to put a body pillow between the mattress and the border opposite to the wall and it works great! 
Sunday night was the night. I showed Sophia the bed and she smiled and knew immediately what she was supposed to do. The crib is still in her room (and it will be who knows for how long, I love you hubby ;) and she looked at it and the the bed and was confused for a minute but never tried to go towards it, instead, she got in her usual position to sleep with a huge smile on her face. We said our good nights, turned the light off and shut the door. We didn't hear a thing except for a very familiar snoring on the monitor, we were really excited but still ready for what the night was going to bring.
 After one hour of so, she wakes up crying. She has done this before so it's hard to tell whether it was the new bed or not. Eric held her for a bit, she feel asleep and stayed that way until the next day. I was very attentive the whole night and I heard her making noises around 5:00 am, then she was laughing and talking to herself. At 6:30 I went in to get her and this what I saw:
I think it's safe to say that Sophia liked it. It has been four nights and every night she is very happy to get into bed and wakes up very happy. In the morning I have been showing her how to get out by lying on her belly and then she basically pushes herself out until she is on her knees on the floor and I can tell she is proud for doing it. 
This is a big deal for me because it's the first step towards the transition that I am determined to help Sophia to go through. I want her to reach her full potential, I want her to grow as much as she can, to be as independent as much as she can. It's a difficult process because I need to do it without compromising her safety, I need to make sure she is ready and then help her to overcome the challenges that come with every change. It would be very easy for me to keep treating Sophia like a baby and  keep doing everything for her: keep feeding her, changing her diaper, talking for her and deciding for her what she is going to eat. But I want her to be her own person and that's a lot of work but in the end it's so worth it. 
It's a long process and Sophia is making the transition form baby into a toddler slowly, but surely. Today was a big girl's bed, tomorrow it's self feeding, then it'll be potty training. I don't know what her best is going to be but I am going to help her get there, one step at a time.

*I already see what the next step is going to be:
Tonight Sophia grabbed the bottle and brought it to her mouth, twice!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'm not there yet.

A few weeks ago, in my post: I am starting to own it I talked about how good I felt when the teacher said that Sophia was participating in the different school activities in her own special way. It was a long process but I was finally able to enjoy a meeting with parents of typical kids without feeling isolated. That's definitely a step in the right direction, but I still have a long way to go, I am not there yet.
There's other occasions when I still grieve for that child that I thought I was going to have when I learned I was pregnant. Most of those occasions are the celebrations and holidays I spend with my friend who is the mother of two typical kids.
 We have been friends for over 15 years and we have been there for each other through all the milestones: engagements, weddings and pregnancies. We get together at least once a week and try to cook something colombian and have a play date. I can deal with these visits, when it's just us and we are talking and the kids are playing. I don't feel isolated and I almost forget that Sophia is chronologically older than my friend's daughter. The problem is when it is this girl's birthday party, or Christmas or Halloween. I see in my friend's daughter most of the things that I am missing out on not having a typical kid: the excitement of opening presents at her birthday party and realizing that it's the toy that she has been asking for, or making sure she is being a good girl because Santa is watching, or having an argument about what she is going to be for Halloween.  It still hurts, and even though I adore Sophia just the way she is and I would honestly not change anything about her, it still hurts. My friend knows that this is nobody's fault, it's the way things are and it's our reality, she also understands my feelings and respects them and I so appreciate that. There will come a day when I can celebrate all of her children's milestones without feeling bad about it, but I am not there yet.

This year I decided to not go to my friend's house for the traditional Halloween party. I am not ready. I decided to stay at home that day and play with my little girl; maybe we will play one of her favorite games and enjoy her laugh and silliness. I might go next year, who knows, but not now, I am not there yet.
Make no mistake, I love this girl!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ten things of thankful

It'a been a busy and productive week. I am in cleaning mode which is exhausting,  but I love the feeling of accomplishment when the work is done, plus "spring cleaning" was way overdue. Anyway, here is this week's list:

Ten Things of Thankful

1. I am cleaning one room at a time and this week is the kitchen. along with scrubbing and disinfecting I am also redecorating, I am usually able to get a refresh look on a very tight budget and this time is not an exception. I am very happy with how things are turning out in this room.

2. I made apple pie for the first time ever and it actually looks and tastes pretty good. In order to get my excitement you need to know that I am not great in the kitchen, I just know how to cook a couple of things and that's it. But this came out great:

3. Sophia's recovery: it's a slow process but she is getting there. As always, the help from the teacher and PT have been very valuable and I am very confident that Sophia is going to get where she was before the surgery and even beyond that.

4. Last weekend we went to a local farm and Sophia had a blast! She liked sitting by the pumpkins and loved the wagon ride:
5. My mother in law came over to babysit so hubby and I could go on a date. We so needed that! Thank you Nancy!

6. Eric and I are still adventurous, well sort of. We thought about watching the ball game sitting at the bar at Wild Wings for our date, but as we got in the car we decided to take off and drive 50 miles and go to a casino. We only had less than 2 hours to spend there before we had to go back. We were so excited and then sad that we had to leave so soon, like teenagers with a curfew!

7. Sophia is having more eye contact with her grandmother. For the longest time Sophia was not really paying attention to other people when they say hi to her, but lately she is not only maintaining eye contact but she is actually smiling and saying "hi" back to my mother in law.

8.Eric's coworker has been sending me hand me downs from her daughters. Lots of beautiful clothes and I don't remember the last time I bought an outfit for Sophia. I have to think of a way to thank her for her generosity.

9. I finally warmed up to Carmen, Sophia's new 1-on-1, she is very nice and most important she loves Sophia and wants the best for her. I miss Lauren a lot but Carmen has done her best to make sure that Sophia has everything she had when Lauren was her aid.

10.  My wonderful husband sent me beautiful flowers just because! That gesture made my whole week! Thank you baby!

Have a great week every one!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

You did it Sophia!

On Monday afternoon Sophia's cast came off and we could finally put this episode behind us. Her skin was very dry and irritated but nothing that can't be solved with some lotion and TLC. She is very stiff, of course, but she is going to get where she was before the surgery slowly but surely. It's wonderful to see her looking at her legs and rub them while a huge smile appears on her face.
The first thing we did was give Sophia a bath and I don't know who was happier, Sophia for being able to play freely in the tub or me for finally being able to get her really clean and get rid of that stinky smell of 4-week-old cast. She had the time of her life!
 We all had a great night and Sophia was happy to sleep on her belly, which she loves, and woke up very happy. The rest of the week has been good, still adjusting to the feeling of being cast-less and to the stiffness. Sophia has sat on the floor near her tent to play with her toys several times already and even though it is still hard for her to move she loves having all her favorite toys close by so she can choose which one she wants to play with:
So it's over, it's done, and there's no one else to give credit to than Sophia herself. Sure, we had some sleepless nights and she was very heavy to carry because of the cast and of course it was very painful to see her while she was in the hospital, but the one who had to be in pain from the incision, the one who was swollen and uncomfortable was Sophia. The one who could not move wherever she wanted was Sophia, the one who was forced to sleep on her back all night long (her favorite position to sleep is on her belly) was Sophia. The one who had to be in a sweaty and smelly cast for a month was Sophia and not us. And yet, I can count on one hand the amount of times she complained. There were days that Sophia was as happy as anyone can be and that made the whole process a lot easier than we thought it was going to be. Seeing her laughing and being silly like she was assured me that everything was going to be ok.

The surgery was a success in the sense that everything looks exactly like it was intended to and there was no complications during and after the procedure. Now Sophia will get back to crawling and using her walker and hopefully the hip stays in place so Sophia can walk as best as she can. Little by little we are getting back to normal, we are getting back to our routine and to enjoying the beautiful sound of our daughter's laugh, that laugh that is worth all the sacrifices we went through last month. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

This week's TToT

First of all I want to apologize to all the blog hop bloggers for not replying to the very nice comments on my posts and for not leaving any comment on theirs. I haven't had time to read since I am trying to catch up with all the things that were on stand-by while Sophia was in the cast. This has been a busy and exciting week with a lot of things to be thankful for:

Ten Things of Thankful

1. The cast is off! Don't have to explain that one.

2. The wound is completely healed and her skin is very dry, but not irritated nor has any bed sores.

3. I started to work out again and it feels pretty good.

4. To see Sophia doing the things she loves so much like sitting on the floor and playing with her toys, or having a real bath in the tub or riding the shopping cart at the grocery store is priceless:

5. I reconnected with my dear friend from Colombia and I am so glad to confirm that our friendship is still strong after all these years apart.

6. This is my tenth year living in the USA and while I miss my family as much as I did on day one, I am so glad I stayed because here is where I found the love of my life and the best father for our beautiful daughter.

7.Talking about living in the USA, today I passed the test and interview to become a citizen of this great country. I am very excited and I really hope this will help my mom next time she asks for the visa to come and visit her granddaughter.

8. Colombia's national soccer team qualified for the World Cup for the first time after 15 years!!! I am so excited to see them playing in Brazil.

9. On-demand TV shows. I love that I don't have to stay up late to watch my favorite shows but I can watch them anytime I want.

10. Fall in New England. I love when the weather is a little cooler, but not too cold. I love my pumpkin flavored goodies, and the beauty of the leaves changing colors on the trees.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

10 things of thankful

I didn't get to do my list last week, not for lack of thankfulness but because my laptop was acting up and I have been too tired to deal with it. But I am here, feeling very lucky and grateful and here is why:

Ten Things of Thankful

1.  Sophia is a very brave little girl. She didn't let the cast to stop her from being the happy girl she has always been, making this episode in our lives much more bearable.

2. The weather these last few days, week actually. It has been a very pleasant transition from the heat to the cold, last year we didn't have it at all.

3. Sophia's teacher and physical therapist. I can't thank them enough for all their help these last two weeks, they have truly gone the extra mile to make sure that Sophia is comfortable and able to participate in the all the activities.

4. Pumpkin latte. I know I said before but I just love that stuff, the smell, the taste and the feeling I get when I have it =)

5. My mother in law. She came over last weekend while Eric was away on a trip and kept me company. It was nice to have the distraction plus she brought lunch and dessert.

6. I still have a job. I work only two days a month and a few weeks ago it seemed like they were taking those hours away from me; but I was worrying about nothing because it ends up that I am keeping my hours after all. It's only two days but they help a lot.

7. Boston market. Eric and I have this sort of tradition, we eat at this restaurant once on a weekday and we get a coupon for a free meal on Saturday. We love it, it's cheap and delicious and a nice alternative to burgers and fries all the time.

8. Sophia's classmates. They all have been very sweet and so helpful now that Sophia is in the cast making her last two weeks in it fly by.

9. School open houses. I attended Sophia's school open house for the first time in three years, which you can read about here. I am thankful for her progress and  for how I was able to appreciate Sophia's unique and special way to participate in the activities without feeling sorry for myself.

10. Butternut squash oven fries. If you haven't had this you've gotta give it a try. Even Eric likes them and that says a lot!!

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I'm starting to own it.

First of all I want to give a quick update about Sophia's recovery, she is doing so well and so much better than I expected. She has accepted the fact that she has a cast on and has adapted to this reality. She still looks at her tent and the toys in it and wants to get them but doesn't get frustrated when she can't do it, she just wants me to play with her and read books together and I can definitely do that. The biggest challenge has been carrying her and keeping the cast clean and dry and we've done our best to do so. Sophia has been going to school for a week and is very happy to be able to have a somewhat regular routine. The cast is off on Monday and she is going to wear a brace which we are going to wean her off little by little and after that we can really put this episode in the past for good.

Today there was an open house at Sophia's school and even though I talk to her teacher everyday and Sophia has an IEP and her curriculum is a little different from the rest of the kids I wanted to go and see what kind of activities Sophia is exposed to everyday.  The teacher showed us all the things the kids are working on, projects, paintings, self portraits, etc, and I could see my daughter's work in every one of them.  Even though there are other special needs kids in the classroom, it's very clear that Sophia is behind the rest but that didn't bother me at all today. The teacher explained that in every activity, all the kids, no matter where in their development they are, all of them get exposed to it and get the chance to participate and the teachers help them with their individual needs. Sophia may be a little behind but she hasn't stopped progressing since day one and these teachers and therapists have made sure of that.

One of the things that I liked the most was the beautiful drawings that the kids made of their families. Sophia's wasn't a drawing but a photocopy of a picture of Eric and me. Sophia decorated them with dot markers, the teacher told me that she recognized us and was smiling the whole time. I could see her work on the photocopy and I could picture her coloring it with the markers. Today I was able to enjoy my daughter's work without longing for what it would have been if she wasn't special needs. Up until today I was able to do that only at home, isolated from the rest of the world, it was still hard for me to sit in a group of typical and special needs parents and not being a little sad for not belonging to the first one. But not today.

 Yes, Sophia is a special needs child. She has specific and unique needs, she is getting the help she needs and she is responding to it. She is a special needs kid and that is not stopping her from participating in the school activities, socializing, playing and having friends just like the rest of the kids, only in her own special way.