Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Old Pictures

 These are completely out of order. 
But here goes ... 
Above I have captured the 3 minutes that the DVD player worked on the flight to Maine.
 Our first day with Grapevine T. Elephant, Lily's class pet. 
We took him straight to Chick-Fil-A of course.
Cute Girls in their sunglasses.

Those are old glasses of mine - Lily calls them her "Rockstar" sunglasses.

After yet another Chick-Fil-A trip ... Lola and Imogene on the little motorized toys. 
We never put any money in them. 
What they would do if they found out what they could be doing if we put money in there!

Lily wanted to record how sad and pathetic she looked when she was sick a few weeks ago.

Some self-portraits.

We love participating in Garden Club at school. We have lunch first, then Mrs. Burke reads a story, and then we head outside.

Lots of leaves to play in! 

Like I said, out of order. Here she is at the VT game in October.

This is on the way to the cabin after the game that day. Both so tired. Imogene fell asleep before we even got out of the parking lot.

Lily almost looks like she's faking sleep, but she was out!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Phone Photos

So I finally downloaded pictures I've had on my phone for months.

 Fun at the park ... it was so cold that day we were the only people there! 

 Both girls and baby dolls. (Imogene loves Lily so much. She wanted her picture taken with a doll too.)

Lily is an "Artist of the Month" at school this month.
 Imogene riding the carousel at the mall. This is the day we went to get the big white shoes for the orthotic, and she really wanted to ride. She was very happy about it, and every time we turned the corner the rest of the time we were at the mall, she would say "Neigh." :)

 The only picture I have of Bill from his birthday. Not good photographer of me at all!

Thanksgiving in SC.

 Lily was a big help!

 Naney got all the supplies and had lots of crafts for the girls to do the day to decorate the Thanksgiving table. Lily really enjoyed it, and was so proud! 

I forgot my camera again. This is the best we could get of both girls with the camera on my phone. 

She had eaten her share of turkey well before any of had fixed our plate. She loves turkey and chicken!

And finally, we're decorated for Christmas. Well, at least from the outside. I could live in front of the door this year. I love, love, love the way this turned out. Usually I make my own wreath at a workshop at church. But I can't go this year. So I spruced up the garden-center one with some berries and a bow. I absolutely love Christmas and everything about it!  

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving to our blog family! I know there are those of you that read this blog loyally, and I don't even know it ... for you I am very thankful for allowing us to share the fun, the silly, the sad, the frustrating, and most of all the wonderful things about raising two girls in this crazy world we live in. We are so thankful for the blessings and the challenges that God has given us in this life. Truly, we would not change a thing. Except that we wish Susan and Matt could be with us and in Florida at the same time today!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Welcome to Holland

So the 'poem' is actually about Italy ... Thanks Miss Pam for sending it. It's more "Exactly how I feel" than I remembered.


Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday to Bill! We are having a nice day, and despite a cancelled babysitter (poor sick Colleen!) are going to continue a wonderful celebration. Later today we'll have pictures of our bowling trip we're headed on!


There's a 'poem/story' that I came across shortly after we found out about Imogene's CP. The gist is that the person bought a ticket to France, but ended up in Holland. And Holland is lovely, and the person is happy because they had never been there before, and there is so much to see. And the tulips are nice, but the person was planning on France and the Eiffel Tower. So the person is happy, but disappointed all at the same time. It's not that they don't love being in Holland, it's just not what they were planning on.
I wish I could find it, because it's how I've felt a lot this week. Imogene got her orthotic on Wednesday. It is very cute (I'll post pictures soon.) But it's much bigger than her foot, and so none of the shoes we have fit it. Stupidly, I asked Susan at PT how long she'd be wearing orthotics, and she said that it would be for the foreseeable future, years at least. Of course I heard "Forever" from that. And I'm sure it's not forever. But it requires wearing a sock under it, so immediately I think of all the cute summer shoes that she can't wear. It just broke my heart. I held it together during therapy, but cried and cried the whole way home. (Thank you Ryan for listening.) As the wise, wise preschool teacher we know & love said to me, "She has a foot to put in it." I know that. I know that we are so blessed by everything. And I know that  it's vain to worry about what shoes she wears. But as the wise, wise preschool director said, "It's okay to mourn that it didn't turn out just the way you wanted it to." So that's what I'm mourning. I want her to be able to absolutely everything and anything she wants to do - including walking into a shoe store and picking out exactly what shoe she wants to wear. Imogene and I found some shoes that fit. They are big and white and clunky lace-up tennis shoes. (I also bought her a cute pair of brown shoes to wear the times she doesn't have to wear the orthotic.) The lady at Stride Rite took pity on my disastrous state, and sold me one pair of 4s that fit her left foot and right foot without the brace, and then just gave me a size 6 1/2 for the right with the orthotic in it. Yes, the orthotic makes it 2 1/2 sizes bigger. The "average" two-year old is a size 6-7 by the way. Tiny over here is a 4!!!!
So I'm doing better, but still just bummed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Hadley!

One of my favorite people (and fellow blogger and loyal blog reader) is celebrating her daughter Hadley's 2nd Birthday today. We miss the Buchanans lots and lots here in Virginia, but love how much fun they are having in their new home, Pittsburgh! Happy Birthday Hadley. Your buddy Imogene misses you - and knows y'all would get into lots of trouble together if you could. XOXO

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Welcome to Tissueland

Lily started coughing Friday afternoon, and was up most of Friday night, and is still battling a runny nose and yucky cough. And let me tell you what I'm battling. Tissues. Tissues everywhere. She must use a new tissue every time she wipes her nose, and if the tissue falls out of the box, that means it's used. They are everywhere. Imogene is sounding just like Lily did Friday afternoon, so she will probably be up all night tonight. They have both run low fevers off and on over the of the weekend/today. It's pouring rain here today, which isn't so bad since we don't feel much like going anywhere. Poor Lily misses school so much (and cannot wait to find out who has been covering for her "job" she has at school and told me today she's going to "freak out" when she finds out what her job is). We missed her first OT session yesterday, and it looks like Imogene will miss OT tomorrow. Which stinks because she was supposed to get her constraint cast made again. But we will go pick up the orthotic tomorrow afternoon. I'm so interested to see what she thinks of it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's Another Trip to Springfield?

So Lily will be starting occupational therapy. We weren't surprised. Based on Amy's evaluation, Lily is about a year behind in what's called "visual motor" skills. She can hold the pencil properly, but she can't take the pencil from one side of the paper to the other without moving the pencil, the paper, or her body.  From my research: "Visual motor skills refer to the ability to coordinate vision with the movements of the body." And "Visual motor skills are the skills a child uses to pair together activities that use the eyes and the hands. These skills are often referred to as hand-eye coordination and apply to more than just writing and sports."

She had a hard time following Amy's pencil moving around with just her eyes, and she couldn't follow the pencil all the way to her nose ... it's not her acuity - ironically she had her vision screened at school the same day she had her OT evaluation and her vision came back fine. She also showed some signs of sensory issues based on what Amy knows about her, and what we answered on an evaluation. (I feel like I can talk more about this once I've talked to Amy again) One of our responses, plus the fact that Lily tried to climb up what she thought was a ladder without anyone's permission, led Amy to wonder about what she referred to as "personal safety awareness." We've noticed this more than ever this weekend. She climbs all over the furniture, and was climbing on top of the playhouse outside on Saturday. Totally strange - and really happening more and more. So we'll work on that, plus some ways to help her cope with things that seem to send her off the deep end, like socks and tags.
Her therapy will be weekly on Mondays. She would start tomorrow, but she's not been well this weekend, so we'll probably keep her home. Imogene will love that. So, on the weeks that IBS has speech (every other week), we'll have Lily's OT Monday, Imogene Speech Tuesday, Imogene OT Wednesday, Imogene PT Thursday. The therapy center is closed Friday, or I'm sure I'd find reason to be there then too :)

Imogene amazes us every day. She's picking up new words (her 'sounds' for words that we understand) and can point to about 15 - 20 different animals in books. Her love for dogs may be expanding into other animals! We go get her foot brace on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Air Force Memorial

Lily loves to drive by "the poles" which is what she calls the United States Air Force Memorial, which sits on a hill above the Pentagon complex. It's very impressive from the road, but it's magnificent up close. We highly recommend a visit. It was also nice for Naney to be here, since my grandfather was in the Air Force.
Lily is taking pictures with her "Cell Phone" that she got at Target on Friday. Yesterday while playing with it, she said, "Hold on Mommy. I've got to finish sending this text message."

Gorgeous day. Such an amazing sight! Way to go Bill for the great idea to do this today.

View of the City.

Looks just like a plane taking off.

Arlington Cemetery in the distance.

Silly Sleeping

These are from last week when the girls were playing "go to sleep."