Friday, July 31, 2009

A New Perspective

Our summer days are flying by faster than I'd like to admit. I think we've only got like 2 weeks until school starts back and that makes me really really sad. I/we are totally not ready for it. As happens just about every summer, by the end of July my kids are staying up much later than they should be and not getting up some days until after 9:00. Oh, it's going to be quite an adjustment come August 12 (first day of school, I think) and that's probably the nicest way I can put it at this point.

While therapy has certainly been on the "down low" this summer for Miss Sassy, the end of July has brought some major changes to the landscape of our house. I am happy to say that we now have two new (to us) pieces of equipment for SK that I have been trying to acquire for some time. We got both of them on the same day, isn't that something? SK now has a supine stander (like the one I mentioned 2 posts ago) and a gait trainer! The supine stander I believe we get to keep indefinitely at this point and the gait trainer is on lone for a couple of weeks while her therapists work on getting Sophie Kate one of her very own!!

In the meantime we are keeping very busy here with all the standing and scooting around the house we are doing. SK can't maneuver the gait trainer around our house by herself b/c there is too much going from hardwood to carpet so we help her roll it around, but she is still picking her feet up and stepping all by herself and doing a great job of it.

Both of these new additions give Sophie Kate the opportunity to view things from a more upright position, to sit/stand like we do and to be a part of things and interact from a different vantage point. She totally loves being a part of all the happenings of every day life, it's a beautiful thing to see. I can actually be in front of her now and see her sweet face and all her reactions instead of always being behind her b/c I was usually holding her.

In times like this when we are experiencing such highs over here you would think that I wouldn't be thinking about the first few months of her life, but I have been. I guess the place we are at now puts the place we were at then in such stark contrast it's hard not to see it. Just last night I called Sophie's name from across the room, where I was and the way she was positioned she could not see me, but when I called her name and started talking to her, her arms and legs started moving and she started turning her head and smiling like she was looking for me. In a small, cold, unfeeling hospital room, I was told "she may never know who you are," those words were said to my face. Praise you Lord that is not the case! She may not be able to say "mama," but everything else in her says it! How GREAT is our God!!

Since we don't have any pictures/video up yet of our girl doing her "thang," I am going to leave y'all with some shots of Miss Sassy getting her swim on. Oh yes y'all know there will be video, I won't leave you hanging. Thank you for your continued prayers for our girl.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting Spoiled

I'm missing my two oldest children today, they left last Friday for a solid week at my parent's house. Chad and I had a great weekend celebrating 12 years of marriage and spending some quality time with our two babies. Grey is relishing the role of the oldest right now, at 3 he's not quite ready for 6 nights away from home, yet very much ready to play the role of daddy's only right hand little man for a week. As for the big brothers, they I'm sure are getting spoiled unmercilessly, yes, there are rules at MiMi and PawPaw's house, there just aren't very many of them.

So I am going to share more pictures of our Zoo trip a week ago, b/c while I am missing them, these pictures bring a smile to my face.

Of course leave it to my boys to be climbing up to places where they should not have gone, but it did make for some good pictures...then we said "Get down from there before we all get in trouble, you're not supposed to be up there."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome to our New Website

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome to the new home of, it's still us just fancied up a bit the way SK likes it. It's still a work in progress, like we all are. Hope y'all like the new design and what a way to kick of the first day of the new blog...

Where do I begin? This story is WAY too big for this blog, but I am going to do my best to do it justice. I wish I could rely this story to each of you personally b/c it is such a joy to tell it.

Sophie Kate and I went in to outpatient PT (physical therapy) at Children's South on Monday to have SK fitted for ankle/foot orthotics (AFO's) in order to help her stand properly when she is putting weight on her feet. It just keeps everything in proper alignment when she is standing. Anyway molds have to be made of her feet and legs and then they will make the orthotics from that, so in the course of having the molds made we were just talking about the things SK can do and what kind of equipment we have at home for her.

I was lamenting our "getting a stander for SK" issues and also telling her how much she hated the old stander we had for her and how we had returned it to the people who had loaned it to us. SK needs a different type of stander and of course the one she needs is much harder to come by so this new PT asks me, "Has Sophie ever been in a gait trainer before?" I am going to stop here for a second b/c I know some of you don't know what all this is, so I am going to clarify.

This is a stander and is used for children to stand in so they can weight bear...

This is the type of stander that SK needed b/c it has a higher back and can support her head, it is called a supine stander...

Alright back to the after telling the PT all she wanted to know about Sophie Kate, she suggested we try SK in a gait trainer...

As you can see, it's kinda like a little walker with 4 swivel wheels and lots of support on the inside for the child. When Sophie Kate got strapped in to that thing she started walking, really walking, putting one foot in front of the other, it was amazing. She needed a little bit of help, b/c she was trying to roll it over carpet and didn't quite have the strength, but she didn't need any help with her feet. The therapist we were with asked me if she had ever walked before. My answer of course was "No." She couldn't believe that she was doing all of that having never worked on it before. She was very impressed with our little girl. In fact she said that Sophie Kate was a lot smarter that we were giving her credit for. She wants to be up and she wants to be moving and that she was able to do those kinds of motions and movements having never been shown them before was remarkable. Yes, I would say remarkable indeed but not b/c SK is remarkable but b/c her Creator is!!

I don't have any pictures or video from that day to share with y'all and I have to say that if I had been "busy" taking pictures or videoing I would have completely missed the experience and I didn't want to miss a thing. Our therapists are now working on getting us a gait trainer of our own, so once we get that all our girl will need is wide open spaces.

Now that I have given y'all all the technical stuff (I guess it's the nurse in me) let me give you the mama stuff...My eyes welled up with huge tears that spilled over more than once. SK walked all the way down their hallway and common area. I don't know how long it was but she did it for a while that I do know and did it with a huge smile. She was sooo proud of herself and so happy, you could just see it all over her face. I wish you all could have seen her.

I watched my baby girl taking steps, no not on her own I know that I am still in touch with reality, but I watched her work and think and concentrate and then put one foot in front of the other, she did it, she can do it!! After being told that she should not have survived, after being told for the first 4 days of her life everyday that she could still live or die, after being sent home from the NICU on hospice not knowing which direction she might go in...I almost physically cannot stand once again not in the utter sadness and brokenness of heart, but from a grateful heart and the unworthiness of my person that I should be given such favor, grace and mercy from a Holy God.

Only God could take the circumstances and situation we are in and actually make good come from it, only He can. He is the source of our hope. I am not talking about the hope that SK may walk on her own one day, although I long for that so deeply, it's the assurance we have in Him that if she doesn't we will be able to survive it and endure. Thank you Father for the renewed hope and strength You place in us everyday, may we never forget that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Swimmin' and Zoo Visitin'

We had quite a weekend with all of Chad's family in town, well almost all of them we were missing one brother-in-law, but all the cousins were in full force so they could not have been happier.

Grey has officially been unleashed in the pool, he is no longer confining himself to the steps...

Jacob's third and final birthday celebration. He is definitely 7 now, ending his tour of birthdays with a baseball cake made by Aunt Aimee.

Sophie Kate's first trip to the zoo!!

Continuing with the firsts...SK's first train ride...

All of the cousins...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Babies and Baseball

My sweet girl was looking so deliciously cute in her little stripped dress the other day that I could resist an impromptu photo shoot with her and Grey.

Funny story about blankie...the other day we were getting in the van and Grey asked me to buckle blankie, oh yes like in a seat belt. Blankie has started taking on a life of it's own. The funnier thing is that I actually did it...ok Grey blankie is buckled in, now can we go?

My absolute favorite, I love, love, love this one!! I wonder what she's thinking about her big brother, he's pretty awesome isn't he Sophie? Well...he's pretty taken with you too, baby girl.

Chad, Cooper and Jacob had father/son baseball camp at UAB this week. The highlight of the camp was the father/son game on the last night. The sons had a winning streak to protect, the dads have never won...

Too bad daddies, better luck next year, you ain't getting a win on these boys...not to be left out, Grey played the role of team mascot.

Cooper and Jacob with Coach Shoop (head coach of the UAB baseball team). Again, I can't say enough good things about this camp, Coach Shoop and his coaching staff, it was a great week for everyone.

Here are my boys with the most important man in their life. They couldn't be happier when they are with him and I wouldn't have it any other way. They have a great role model in their daddy and that they want to grow up and be just like him thrills me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Me Monday

I'm going to give this "not me" Monday thing a try. If you're not familiar with it then you do not read way too many blogs, which is my problem. It's just a little fun thing to talk about all the crazy things we do under the premise of "Oh no, not me!"

So here goes...

I have so Not been sucked in by the blogging world that I am not trying to keep up with waaaay too many people, who I have never even met before. I am not sitting up in a dark house way too early checking in on all my "blogger friends" when I should still be sleeping b/c all my kids are.

I also keep telling myself it is NOT one month before school starts, b/c we have so not thrown our schedule out the window. I am not letting my kids stay up way too late with us watching movies on the new HD TV my husband did not recently purchase.

I have not almost let breakfast go completely, since my kids are not coming and telling me their hungry until about 10:30 or 11:00, hey is it not pretty much lunch time by then?

The boys are not loving playing too much Wii and are not watching too much TV, they are also not being worn slap out by swimming all day or by playing backyard baseball games. Probably the only true thing about "not me" Monday here is that SK really is NOT going to too much therapy this summer.

So your wondering why I keep trying to convince myself that school is not really going to start in a month? keeping with the whole "not me" Monday theme...the starting school schedule is totally NOT going to kick our tails. plan to sneak back in the bed and grab some more sleep while my kids are still in bed is sooo not going to happen, b/c all my kids are NOT up now!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

We're Still There

Alright, I think this will officially wrap up our Smith Lake trip. My dad rented a boat for a couple of the days we were there and we had a blast.

All of the cousins on the boat, doesn't SK look thrilled...

When we asked who wanted to be the first in the innertube, of course Jacob's hand shot straight up. He really is fearless, don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

This is what happens after 2 days of boat riding and tubing...

My sister and Grey, she was the best, she went with him every time and as long as Daddy didn't drive too fast, he was lovin' it.

Cousins Cooper and Emma Claire, he was so sweet with her and she just adored him. He never stops being the big brother.

Life Jacket-check, floaty ring-check, ok now Grey is ready to get in the lake.

After SK got dressed that morning she was really hoping it was the 4th of July, love her sweet smile...

My mom and Sophie Kate...

Oh please, don't act like you didn't know they would have on matching dresses that day, my mom made certain of that.

All of the cousins...

Thanks PawPaw and MiMi for a super fun trip with the whole family. Praise God for family and fun times, good weather, good food and worn out kids. SK did great, she spent 2 full days on the boat and didn't miss a beat. She was held, fed, loved on, played with and fussed over by many people who love her. Thank you Jesus for her health this summer, she has been our go along and get along girl and an absolute sweetheart. We spent 8 days swimming, boating, tubing, eating, playing Wii, watching a little Star Wars, ummm....floating, running wild, sleeping (some) and even less bathing (for the kids of course) and SK was in on almost all of it.

This is my gift, when I look at these faces it's almost more than my heart can handle. I want to give them the bestest, most funnest summer before scheduled, routine life catches up with us again.