Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Grateful Heart

One day last week I got my daily devotional via email per usual, it has really stuck with me.  It was a story about a woman complaining about all the troubles in her life to God.  She decided to take a different approach instead, praising God for all her blessings.  Quite frankly, I don't really remember how it all turned out for her but her approach has remained on my mind.

I've been walking through the past few days with a heart of gratitude.  I'm taking a hiatus from my prayers being consumed by frantic 'needs' or requests, but only by praise.  It almost certainly leaves me in tears each time.  But they are happy tears.  It is so hard to believe that after everything we've been through, our blessings are honestly so abundant.  It can be so tempting to constantly ask God for what I want but when I consider everything that I already have, it can all seem so little.

Now, I'm sure I'll be slipping in a "God, if you could just....", but the last few days my heart feels so much more full when I'm not emphasizing my problems to God.  Plus, maybe He'll appreciate my shorter request list and be more inclined to answer them :) I'm certain that's not how He works, but that's the human in me!

Today I'm unbelievable grateful for this sweet spirit and beautiful baby girl.  She has enriched our lives incredibly in just two years.  She endures far more than I could ever imagine, but is almost always happy.  For that, I am so, so grateful.

Friday, August 9, 2013

First Week Down

We made it to Friday....barely.

To say Elena and I are exhausted is an understatement.  It has been an incredibly long week but we made it.  You better believe Elena and I have spent an entire hour this morning doing nothing but simply cuddling, kissing and hugging on the couch.  Our entire week has been go, go, go so we have thoroughly enjoyed our time together this morning.  She still has another therapy in an hour and our afternoon is packed with a trip downtown to pick up some things up at the office and an appointment with our architect.  Soooo, this break is short-lived.

Elena was a champ this week.  I swear we must be the luckiest parents on the planet.  We put Elena through so much and yet, she always goes with the flow.  Tuesday was our first day at the Jackson Center.  I was in a frenzy to get out of the house on time.  The 40 minute drive was easy.  Handing my baby off to practically strangers, was not.  I could hear Elena's protests (hysterics, rather) from the waiting room.  I chitchatted with the other Moms for a bit before deciding I couldn't handle listening to her cry for the entire three hours.  The Moms all assured me their children did the same for the first few weeks, but I hustled off to sit at Starbucks for an hour.  She was quiet when I came back, which gave me a bit of assurance.  The report at the end of the first day was mixed.  She did cry, a lot.  But, they said she relented and participated in a majority of the therapies.  I think the scariest part for her is being handled by a bunch of people she doesn't know.  In my mind, that would be incredibly scary too, especially considering she relies on the sound of their voice and their touch.  Poor baby.  We raced home for a quick nap before another therapy later that afternoon.

Thursday was better, well and worse.  She cried harder, sooner when I handed her over.  So, I immediately darted out of the door and off to Starbucks.  Again, she was quiet when I came back.  They said she cried for about 30 minutes pretty hard then did really well with the therapies they put her through.  We again raced home for a nap before an appointment with her Vision Teacher.

All in all, I can't believe how well she did for her first week.  She easily could have cried for the entire three hours.  She easily could have cried through the two additional therapies I put her through in the afternoons.  But, per usual she adjusted.  She's two...not many two year olds can last through three hours of anything, let alone a rigorous work out and tasks that are incredibly difficult for her.  So, I'm proud of my little gal this week.  We made it, no doubt with the help of your prayers, emails and texts!  Thank you!

And next week....her first day of her other "school"...Mother's Day Out!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Goodbye Summer!

Last week marked the unofficial end to our summer.  We seriously enjoyed our last week of practically any free time.  Elena didn't have therapy at all last Tuesday, Thursday and Friday so we lived it up!  On Tuesday, Gramma came up and played with Laney while I got to run all the errands I had been stocking up.  Thursday, we went down to Gramma's with my cousin and her two girls to swim and have lunch.  Elena has really enjoyed all her pool time this summer!  Friday, Gramma, Elena and I went to the Indiana State Museum to check out the Abraham Lincoln exhibit and had lunch on their terrace overlooking the canal.  It was such a fun week!  I wasn't stressed about napping and schedules...what a reprieve!

But this week, so it begins.  Tomorrow will be an early morning as we head down to Elena's new therapy in Mooresville.  I'm not sure how things will go...for her or me, so prayers this week will be much appreciated.  August is going to be a whirlwind of a month.  She'll be in therapy 11 hours a week and for whatever reason, she has at least one doctor appointment a week this month.  So, needless to say, we'll be girls on the go!

Elena's been enjoying another nice little bump from the Botox the last couple weeks.  She's been able to use her arms a little more, which is so encouraging.  It's another reminder to us that she really can comprehend what we are asking of her, it's just so hard for her little body to communicate that she understands.  We're praying that the Botox continues to work as well as it has these last couple weeks.

I'll leave you with a little video from last week.  Elena is borrowing a "switch" from a family we met here in the neighborhood.  Their son will be in Elena's class at the Jackson Center.  A switch is basically a button that you plug into an adapted toy.  When Elena pushes the big button, it makes the toy turn on, teaching her cause and effect.  We tried the switch for the first time with her in therapy last week, and she got the hang of it very quickly!  I've never seen her be able to use her arms that much at was so exciting for me to see.

Thanks for all the prayers this week!  I'll let you know how everything goes!