Saturday, July 19, 2008

I won the lottery- well, sorta'

I have been battling with Katy since 5 AM. That's when she woke up. From that moment up until now, the little critter bug has been a naggy little thing. She caught a mild cold. Just a runny nose. Apparently, that was enough to steal the peace. I have tried and tried to get her back in bed all day. But-

Which in turn, changes all of my plans. Instead of spending my "free" nap time crossing things on the to do list, I find myself throwing the list away entirely. Ever had one of those days? Please, pleeeeeease tell me about it if you have. It would make me feel like so much less of a loser.

I mean, bed time has always been my home run hit. Ive struggled with everything but BED TIME. Tonight, I swore I would put an exhausted little toddler in her bed where she would lay peacefully with a smile.


Its been two hours of screeming. Screeming like never before. I never lost my cool. I stayed calm as I tried technique after technique ad naseum (however you spell that, like I care). I finally decided that it was me who needed a time out, and after two intense hours, I closed the door, got on YOUTUBE and watched videos as I tried to tune out the screeming. Half way through my favorite vbloggers videos I stopped to have a dialogue with myself.

Inner me #1: Did you hear that?

Inner me #2: Hear what?

Inner me #1: Exactly...

Inner me #2: Is it.... Is it silence?

Inner me #1 & Inner me #2: SHE'S ASLEEP!!!!

(inner me's hold hands and begin to river dance in rupturous celebration)

Basically, I could have won the lottery. But this feels oh-so-much-better!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I never got to tell her...

Usually when you see a friend's picture in the paper, your heart swells up with pride and happiness. It's as if you were friends with a local celebrity, and to a certain point- you are.

Today, I saw an old friend's picture on the paper and my heart sunk. She looked just like I remembered her. Her radiant smile and shining eyes reflected all the infectious happiness she had inside. It wasnt the picture that struck the sad note, but the story to which it was attatched.

"the wreck claimed the life of a well-known and respected Christian school leader whose life inspired many children."

Cheri Sarver was my first boss in the professional field. I became a part time school teacher just a few weeks after graduating from college. It didnt make sense to me, I had studied communication, but I had always wanted to teach. I was hired as a kinder garden teacher aide.

In just a few weeks, a wealth of knowlede and experience poured out from Cheri and unto me. I felt like I was living that scene from "The Matrix," in which Neo learns difficult skills in mere instants by simply plugging in and loading up.

Cheri's imput and ideas extended far beyond the academic realm. She was more than just a school principal. She was a mother, a counselor, a teacher, a friend, an entertainer, an engenier, and at times- a firm disciplinarian. Cheris unique teaching style affected the whole school with a possitive and playful attitude. It was not uncommon to see her skipping from classroom to classroom dressed as a princess or even a weight lifting champion. She inspired the children (and the teachers) to learn through play. For her, history was not a lesson- it was a discovery- and we were the voyagers.

Through Cheri, I learned that there was no such thing as a stupid student, just bad teachers. I learned that in each chair sat a unique and individual person. A child who could grow up to change the world if only his teacher got to know him and meet his specific needs. I learned the value of not giving up. I discovered that the world is not flat, but full of angles. If an entrance to a child's mind is not granted through one method, there were still a million other ways to try. Cheri taught me to discipline in love, never losing the firmness that a child so desperately needs.

In the two years that I worked with her, Cheri saw me change and evolve. I may have never told her how much I learned from her, but Im sure that she could tell. What I never got to tell her was the following...

That I had a daughter. Her name is Kathryn. She looks just like me and she changed my life. I didnt know it, but my little Katy was born sick. Very sick. Deep down, on a chromosomal level, Katy was suffering constant attacks. Her brain was bombarded day and night. Her doctor didnt think there was anything wrong with her- until it was "too late."

By the time Katy was a year old, her brain had suffered serious traumas. There was very little hope for her recovery. But then the Genetecist told me about neuroplasticity. The brain's ability to rewire itself and learn through undamaged brain sections. A child's brain is very resilient up to about two years of age. Basically, I had one year to teach my daughter all that she had missed. I thought of Cheri and the lessons she left imprinted on my heart. I knew it was possible, if I gave it my best shot.

So I gave it my best shot.

I have cried, I have screamed and I have even bled- but I have not given up.

As a result, my two year old Katy is making a beautiful recovery. About a year ago, I was told she might not learn to walk. Today she walks, runs, spins and is even learning to jump. Her little mouth has started to blurt its first words and her way of play is just like any other child- save a minor delay. Katy is taking in the beauty of this world and discovering it bit by bit, because of what Cheri taught me.

I never got to tell her that, but when I meet her in heaven I will thank her for giving my child a second chance at life.

Cheri, I will miss your sweet precesnce here on earth.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nope. I did not fall off a cliff

Contrary to the popular belief, I have not fallen off a cliff and dissapeared from the face of this planet. Though I kind of feel like I did. Things are going kind of fast now, and its hard to take it all in. Because I'm pressed for time, Im going to give you the roundup update version.

1. Isaac has finished his first solo CD! A year ago, I never imagined that he would turn into a musician. Now, he is scheduled to tour all of Mexico giving concerts non stop for two months. Here is the link to his webpage. At the top, click on "CD" and then click on the little "e-snip" bird to hear a portion of his song. (if you're unfamiliar with the story of Isaac turned musician, this is the link to the blog I wrote about it).

2. Who switched out the bassinets? Katy is a whole new child! This is where I just blurt out the major changes, paying absolutely no attention to detail-
  • She has almost dominated going up the stairs by herself.
  • She's learning to play "pretend." (her favorite game is taking her teddy bear for a stroll, but now we walk to the corner store with her shopping cart to buy milk and eggs.)
  • She understands me when I speak
  • She says "again" all the time to get what she wants- and it works
  • She is engaging in meaningful play. Today, for instance- she found a can and carried it all the way to the kitchen. Then, she opened up the silverware drawer, grabbed a spoon and banged away. All without help!
  • She can tolerate a few minutes (just a few) playing with other children. I've touched her chest and noticed that her heart beats really loud when there are other kids around. She's really nervous, but gives it a shot anyway. My brave little trooper!
  • She learned to use the Ipod. She likes to wear it on her hip and listen to the "Numa Numa" song over and over and over....

3. Building up a strange library- I started buying books on Sensory Intergration Dissorder (of which Katy suffers). I've also been adding Occupational, Physical, Moral Otor and other kinds of therapy books to my library. I've learned so much and I have seen amazing results. So much, that I am now adding "regular" books to my shelf such as- "Gymboree Toddler Games" and "The Everything Guide to Potty training." I wish I could describe the joy of this developmental transition.

4. Isaac is going to Malaysia. And Spain. And Germany. Just a few days from now I will be sad and lonely.

5. Again, Isaac is giving a concert on Saturday evening. 7 pm central time. The cool part is that you can watch it online. go to our church media page and then click on the little television icon. Woohoo!

6. All my cameras are broken. Yes. even the webcam. I feel so useless.

7. Katy is having surgery. It will be an in and out eye surgery for her right eye. I suppose that her low muscle tone affected her eye muscle as well, because one is drifting. Its pretty minor, and the doctor is amazed that she has perfect vision considering her seizure history (which has been wiped off the map).

8. My coffee break is over and I gotta get back to my piled up laundry and dishes.