Friday, June 29, 2007

I Confess

Ok, I had a weak moment. During all the thunderstorms these past weeks, Lauren was very concerned about the lightning and thunder. I got her to relax by saying 'boom' after every rumble. She would smile and also say 'boom' when she heard thunder. All was well with the world. Except I couldn't find an easy way to explain lightning so that she wouldn't be scared. She would run to the window, cry and point furiously at the blinds after every flash. So I caved. I hate to admit that I just made up a sign for lightning and taught it to Lauren. I have no idea if it is correct, but I have a distinct feeling that I am not even close. I told her to make a fist and then open it up like you were going to give a high-five to someone. I figured it looked like something was flashing. In my defense, it was night and I didn't have the time or desire to look for the correct sign. Call it lazy, mean, or confusing. You're probably right. I call it creative. At least I can say Lauren and I have our own language. Not many moms and daughters can say that. I wasn't trying to find an easy way out, I was just trying to create a special bond that only Lauren and I would share. Do you buy that? Oh well, I had to try.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Little Blue Stool

Lauren has a little blue stool that she uses all the time. I often wonder if it has been glued to her hand because she never puts it down. She carries it in my room to get up on the bed with me at 7:00 am. She uses it to grab dirty cups out of the sink to drink from. She uses it to reach my perfume and make-up on the bathroom counter. It really is a lot of fun. You would think that a parent would love the freedom such device could provide. Sure, I do. What I don't love is the fact that when it gets quiet, I know the little blue stool has something to do with the eerie silence.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mystery Solved

I think I have figured out why Lauren keeps getting up and sitting in front of our room at all hours of the early morning. She did it again this morning, twice. Ty laid her back down the first time and I took round two. Round two happened to be 5:30 am. I couldn't fall back asleep knowing I only had a short time until I had to get up anyway. I decided that I would sit in Lauren's room and contemplate life. It was better than sitting on the couch by myself or in my bedroom listening to Ty snore. Anyway, as I was sitting on the rocking chair, I heard Lauren's belly growl. At first I thought there was a lion in her closet. That's how loud it was. As a matter of fact, her stomach woke her up. It growled three more times in a five minute span. Now, if you know this kid, you know that she eats as if it were her job. Listening to her belly rumble, you would have thought we never fed her, ever. I guess a filling, yet healthy and substantial snack before bed is in order. Any suggestions?

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I have come to the realization that Lauren could care less about saying the word 'yes'. Every time she is trying to communicate a need or a want we go through this whole routine. For example, I know she wants something from the fridge when she pulls it open and starts pointing to things. Since she can't talk and neither of us really know a lot of sign language, I start saying things that I think she wants one item at a time. I start with the things she really loves like, yogurt, apple, or juice. If she doesn't want it she shakes her head and I move on to the next item. What cracks me up is when I get to the item she wants she says "WOW", giggles and pulls her arms to her chest. I've tried this with other things than food. I go through the books she wants to read and "wow" is the response I get when I find the one she wants. No matter what we are trying to get, the answer is always the same. Don't you wish the little things were still that exciting to us?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Help Please

I need some sound advice from my trusted friends. Lauren has been doing the most unusual thing and I need to know if I need to stop it and how to do so. For the past three weeks Lauren has scared to jeepers out of me. I would wake up around 4 am every morning to a soft sucking sound in the hallway outside my door. I would get up and open our bedroom door, and there would be Lauren sitting with her back against the hallway wall with her book in hand staring into the darkness. Our door is not closed so she can easily get into our room. She doesn't make a sound except to suck on her pacifier. She's not reading the book. She's just sitting in a pitch black hallway. Should I be alarmed about that? It seems weird to me. It feels a bit stalker-like. One of us gets up and puts her back to bed. She smiles and waves as we leave. If I need to stop it, how do I do that? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Lauren cracks me up sometimes. Like today, she was watching The Big Rock Candy Mountains (a Wee Sing video) and was laughing at certain parts of the movie. I would listen to see if she was just laughing because the characters were laughing or if she really knew what was going on. After listening intently in the kitchen, I discovered that she laughed when two of the characters were telling knock-knock jokes to each other. She would literally throw her head back and laugh from the deepest part of her belly. It was so convincing of a laugh I thought for a minute that she got the joke. I have a feeling she is going to grow up and be a jokester. Wonder where she gets it?

Friday, June 15, 2007


It was funny to watch Lauren today. She wanted to carry her little cup of fruit over to where I was sitting and be with me during lunch. I try not to help her so that she will learn to find ways around her difficulties. She got the cup in both of her hands and stopped for a few seconds trying to decide how to get the spoon over to me as well. You could see the wheels turning. She would start to let go with her right hand to grab the spoon and the cup would begin to slip. So she put the cup on the table and came up with her own solution. She left the spoon in the cup and bent down to pick up the cup of fruit. On her way up to a standing position, the end of the spoon found its way into her mouth. She turned around and walked toward me with the cup in her hands, the spoon in her mouth, and a smile on her face.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It shouldn't be this hard

I made the mistake of sitting down on Tuesday afternoon, foolishly thinking that I would find a preschool that Lauren would love to attend next year. I know that many preschools already have a waiting list, so I actually was ahead of the game. Go me! Little did I know that it was harder than it looked. I started my search by looking at curriculum, proximity to home, prices, etc. After narrowing it down to a select few, I started calling them one by one. I used my sweetest, most grown-up voice and started gathering the important info that I needed to make the the most informed decision. I just wasted my time. No one would accept Lauren into their program because of her CP. I was floored. I had no idea that I would run into such resistance. I got every reason in the book: 'We don't have the facilities for kids with disabilities'. Do you have a roof, books, crayons? Then you have the facitilites for Lauren. 'We're not trained to handle that type of disability'. Can you help her up the stairs? Can you open her juice box? Can you help her down the slide? Then you are trained to handle Lauren. I called eight schools in the greater Charlotte area. Some were privately owned franchaises, some were churches. The conversations went great until I mentioned she had Cerebral Palsy. The word scared some people so much that they didn't even want to hear the facts about how mild her case really is and how she would do great in that type of environment. I finally found a place that is willing to give it a try. It is a Christian academy and preschool in the Matthews area. I am going to tour the school in a couple of weeks. It was a pain to go through and sad to see that a label had prevented me from choosing the preschool that I thought was the best place for Lauren. With that being said, maybe the best place for Lauren was a small little Christian academy tucked away in the back corner of Charlotte and I would have never looked twice or even known it was there unless some other doors were shut. God doesn't make mistakes, He just makes alternate routes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

God's Provisions

I am a firm believer that God does not put things in your life without giving you the proper tools. You might not know what they are for a while, but they are always close at hand. For example, God knew that I would struggle sometimes with thoughts of an uncertain future for Lauren. He knows how my personality works and my inclination to worry needlessly about things that I can't change anyway. So, God gave me Tyler. Ty is the best husband a woman can ask for, especially since Lauren came along. He looks at circumstances completely different than I do. For a while that made me want to ring his neck on a daily basis. Now it helps more than I can express. I will read results from a testing session Lauren completed and want to open a quart of ice cream and not get up from the couch for a week (ok, maybe a little dramatic). Ty will read the same thing and share with me a totally opposite perspective. The good thing is that I always like his answers better. He's not saying things to make me feel better, either. It makes sense and I feel a little silly because I didn't see that in the first place. So if you are wondering how you are going to deal with something in your life that seems overwhelming and scary, look around. Chances are the tools for the job are somewhere close by.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Pity Party

I was having a good, old-fashioned pity party this week until Extreme Home Makeover ruined my wallowing. I was at the beach this past week having a great time. I guess I was sad about returning to the real world because I started paying more attention to the stuff Lauren couldn't do. I was sad because she wasn't talking. Then I was getting frustrated because she couldn't get in her car seat by herself. The downward spiral went on for a few days. It was all little things, really. I had let them get bigger in my mind. I started looking into the future and wondering about all the things that could go wrong when she went to school, on her first date, whether she would have a first date (Ty is a Marine and I am pretty sure no boys will come around her for a while). I sat down Sunday night and flipped through the 5 channels we have on our poor-man's cable plan. The only thing on besides the Catholic channel was Extreme Home Makeover. It was an older episode, but I decided that it would be something I could mindlessly stare at for a while. Wouldn't you know it, they were re-doing a house for a 14 year old with Cerebral Palsy. It is fair to say that I started crying on my couch like a five year old girl from the very first minute of the show. This boy named Aaron was in a wheelchair, had two arm splints, and was non-verbal with a rather involved case of CP. I felt like God reached down from Heaven to knocked me upside my head for being selfish. Lauren was less severe than this boy and I suddenly realized that it could be a lot worse. I may have some struggles to face, but nothing like what I saw last night. Sometimes it takes the littlest thing to put your life back into perspective. For me, it was a re-run.