Friday, May 25, 2007


Lauren has been using her sign language in a new way this week. She actually asks to do something using her signs. For example, I was letting our horse of a dog outside this morning and she asked to put her shoes on. She knows that she can't go outside without them, so she ran up to me and did the sign for shoes. That might not seem like a big deal, but to me it is. For the longest time she would get frustrated not knowing how to communicate her wants and needs. I would have to play a guessing game and ask 20 questions (along with signing the possible source of frustration) in hopes that I guessed right. Now she can ask without a second thought. Lauren's stroke affected the muscles in her mouth and speech is a long way from where it should be for her age. I guess I am glad I get to celebrate the victories according to Lauren's ability and not from what a book says she should be doing right now. Rejoice in the little things, the big things will take care of themselves.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Go, Go, Gadget Eyes!

I am now convinced that our child has bionic eyes. They must be from a robot or have a special micro-chip implanted somewhere. This girl can see a fly on a flower two miles away! OK, maybe a little dramatic, but close to accurate. She spent the day chasing, what I later found out to be a fly, around the kitchen. Every time it landed, and I mean EVERY TIME, she would turn to me and do the sign for 'bug'. She had to have done it for a solid hour. Maybe I should have just killed the fly. Oh, well. Later that same day, Lauren was hanging out by the window and did the sign for 'bird' over and over again. I would say, "Yes, there's a bird out there." and try to focus on whatever task I was doing at the time. Apparently that wasn't good enough because she pulled me over to the window to look in the yard for it. I guess I had to see it in order to end the coronary she as having. I must have looked in the yard for 10 minutes before I spotted it. Maybe she can see all of these things better than me since she is closer to the ground. Who knows. All I can tell you is that you better not be in a hurry if you are with Lauren. She will spend the day pointing out every little bug she sees. Aaahhh, to be young again!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Good Cry

Have you ever cried over your children? I mean REALLY have a good cry? I can remember three times that I have cried like that over Lauren. Now, you have to understand that I don't mean a tear down the cheek or an occasional sniffle. I am talking about deep down in your soul, cry until you have no strength left in your body to even stand up kind of cry.

The first time I cried for Lauren was right after she was born. When I woke up from the C-section I found out what had happened. I was out cold for hours after she was born and was spared the horror of actually seeing what went down. I handled it well when Ty told me, but I lost it when I saw her hooked up to ventilator, tubes coming out of her belly, and monitors beeping all around her. I think I didn't really believe what I was seeing.

The second time was when we came home from the hospital without her. I think that might possibly be the worst feeling I have ever experienced in my life. No mother expects to give birth and then go home without a baby. I got in the car and looked in the back seat where Lauren should have been and cried the entire way home. It got worse when I got home and had to go though the door and try to process the fact that I had a baby and she should be here with us. That cry came from the bottom of my feet and didn't stop for hours. I couldn't cry hard enough to release the sadness I felt inside.

The third time was when I found out that she had Cerebral Palsy. I found out days before I started a new job and moved to another city. Ty was out of town and I couldn't reach him after I found out. I was by myself in the middle of the living room hoping to wake up from a dream. I called my friend Krista and tried to blurt out the words and sobbed so hard that the phone was soaking wet when I was done. To this day, I have no idea what I said to her.

Did I tell you all of this to make you depressed on this beautiful, sunny day? Of course not. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God thought I was the best person to be Lauren's mother. However, He never promised that it would be an easy job. God might have a plan for you that isn't all butterflies and roses either. But it's His plan and it's perfect. Yes, I get to be Lauren's mom and that's incredible. But being Lauren's mom might come with some extra tears and worries. Would I trade it for the world? Never. The good stuff I get to experience far out weighs the occasional sob fest. My point is this: I can count the number of times that I have really cried for Lauren on one hand. I couldn't even begin to tell you the number of times I got to laugh with her, too. When it comes right down to it, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I found myself in the weirdest situation today. Here's a little background first. Lauren has trouble eating things out of little cups, such as yogurt or applesauce. Her right hand isn't able to hold the cup while the left one scoops out the food. She does a pretty good job and only relinquishes control when there are one or two bites left at the bottom. She hands me the spoon and container and I get the last few morsels for her. Well, today I wish I had a camera. No one would have believed what this little muffinhead pulled off. I got distracted during lunch and Lauren decided that the current seating arrangements were no longer satisfactory. She had gone into the foyer and pulled her little purple rocking chair to the edge of the couch. She grabbed her applesauce and sat down. She propped her feet on the edge of the couch and handed me her applesauce. I wasn't paying attention, but later realized that she barely touched her applesauce. Almost out of reflex, I started giving what I thought were the last few bites to Lauren. Five minutes later I focused on the situation that had just occurred right before my eyes. Lauren had her feet propped on the couch, leaned back in her chair and had me feed her the entire cup of applesauce while she relaxed and watched Curious George. Who says 2 year olds don't have us parents figured out. I think I have just created a monster.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Top 10

In honor of Mother's Day, I have created the top ten reasons I love to be Lauren's mom:

10. She smiles at everything and everyone.
9. She can spot a plane in the sky before I can even hear it.
8. She loves to tell me when she has found a bug.
7. She can make her Daddy laugh from deep in his belly.
6. She loves to cuddle when she first gets up in the morning.
5. She loves to be chased...ALL the time.
4. She sings in her car seat.
3. She prays several times during dinner (once is never enough).
2. She gives the best squeezes around your neck.
1. She could give you kisses all day and never get bored.

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Sounds like a funny topic, but that is exactly what one of Lauren's therapists wants to inject into her right leg. I would have a really hard time introducing that into her tiny little system. From what I know, it is a temporary fix to a permanent problem. The theory behind it is this: Botox has the reverse affect on a child with Cerebral Palsy just like Ritalin has the reverse affect on a child with ADHD. Since the muscles are tight, introducing Botox should make the muscles loosen up for a while. Therapists say that allowing a child to use his/her affected side during this 'relaxed' time frame will encourage your child to use it more when the affects wear off. My opinion? Why do it? What good would it do for Lauren (who is not even three) to have a small window of time that allows her to use the arm freely and then try to explain why she can't do it when it wears off? She has so many frustrations in life already, why introduce another? I could justify it if it was a permanent thing. From what I understand, the affectiveness of it decreases everytime you do it. Think of it like antibiotics. The more you take the less it works. Why do it once and have a great result, then try it again and it not work as well? That would be the definition of frustration to a child. Lauren is going to have CP all her life. She will have to learn how to face the world as she is. Botox won't cure CP, only lessen the affects for a short time.

I may be biased in my opinion. Lauren has a mild form of CP. She can walk with an AFO (a leg brace for her right leg) and she can use her right hand with some difficulty. She is a functioning, independent, wonderful little girl. I just can't bring myself to inject Botox into her leg or arm. I have watched Lauren from day one cope and adapt to her limitations. It's all I've ever known. Do I want to see what it would be like if she was 'better' using a Botox injection then go back to seeing her struggle again? No thanks. At least with her leg brace I know it will work everytime I put it on. I can't say the same for Botox. This is the way she was made and until she is faced with a surgery to maintain her ability to walk, I will not be doing Botox. It just doesn't seem right.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Roller Blades?

I often look at object now and wonder...Will Lauren be able to use those? Something as simple as a pair of roller blades become something much different to me. Looking at everyday objects makes me think about her future.

I will always have the attitude that Lauren will be able to do anything she is determined enough to do. I am also, however, a realist. I know there are things that she won't be able to do. For example, Lauren will probably never be neurosurgeon. Not because she isn't smart enough, but because not a lot of people want a surgeon operating on them with one hand. Especially not on the brain. I am not trying to limit Lauren. I could say the same thing about me. I will probably never be accountant. I am horrible with numbers and I mess up our checkbook everytime I try to touch it. The good news....God already knows what she will do. He doesn't make mistakes and He's never taken by surprise. He has already equipped her with the desires and talents she needs to chose the career that she is supposed to do. It's up to me to make her believe that she can do it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I Finally Remembered

I did it! I was actually ready when Lauren's speech therapist came today!!!! I NEVER remember that she comes on Tuesdays. I have written it in my Palm Pilot and on the big calander in the kitchen, but it never helps. She shows up every week and I have the 'deer in headlights' look all over my face. The floor isn't vacuumed and there are toys thrown about as if a tornado has just plowed through. The dog isn't in his crate and I am hoping I remembered to get dressed for the day. I have to pretend that I was expecting her the whole time while resisting the urge to do a frantic three-minute pick-up. All the while I scan the room to make sure there is nothing embarassing like a stray pair of underwear or a dirty diaper laying around. Don't get me wrong. The house is never horrid when people show up. I just would like to have the therapist leave without taking cracker crumbs or dog hair with her.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Beginning

Ok, so here's the scoop. I am a little behind in the blogging world. I spend most of my free time reading what others have to say and wishing I could join in the fun. So here's the very first post of Little Muffinhead. (In case you are wondering, that's the nickname I call my daughter, Lauren.) I wanted to create a place that gives moms of special needs children a place to celebrate victories, vent frustrations, share successes and tap into the knowledge from moms who have been there.

My daughter has Hemi-plagia which is a mild form of Cerebral Palsy. She suffered a stroke when she was born and was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 12 days. From that day forward I became a mother of a special needs child. You may not know it, but it's like a sorority. It's an elite club with passwords and secret hand-shakes. Ok, not really, but it feels that way sometimes. I invite you to share with me your stories, your advice, and your prayers as we continue to love these precious little angels.