Sunday, January 31, 2010

together

maybe it's just me, but i've noticed something when i'm out and about with akaiya. it really struck me yesterday when i was standing in line at our local wal-mart. there was a man with his two children waiting behind me. they were both boys, big boys, one looked to be about 8 and the other a teenager. the younger one was sitting in the cart, which i thought was odd, but hey - to each his own. so as we were waiting (i always get into the line with the slow check-out!) i talked to kaiya, and people watched. i noticed that the boy in the cart was really interested in akaiya. at first i just figured he was staring at her because she was throwing herself around and laughing hysterically. then she gave out one of her big yells, and he clapped his hands over his ears and looked really worried, stared at me, looked to his dad, kind of whimpered, and said something unintelligible. it was at this point i started to realize that maybe this boy had some issues of his own. so i kept an eye on him and tried to keep kaiya from yelling (good luck with that...) watching them i became pretty sure in my assumptions and it made me realize that whenever i am in public it seems like people that have children with disabilities seem to assemble together even if they don't know each other. i have been in countless checkout lines and have families come stand behind me. are we just naturally drawn to each other? i even notice myself going to the lines in the grocery store that have people with disabilities doing the bagging...comfort in the known?

so back to my checkout line at wal-mart. the person in front of me finally got themselves together and it was my turn. it took forever and a day to get all the stuff i was buying bagged and into the cart and as i was going to pay the older boy was saying something very quietly to his father, and then he was pointing and saying "over there, over there" - the language he was using and his gestures made it evident that he too had some issues. i was walking to the door, and saw where the boy went to stand with his mother, and what looked like his sister - who also appeared to have issues....and it sent my head reeling! here i am dealing with 1 child. yeah, she's got some things going on, but for the most part she's pretty easy. she's getting heavy, but hey - i need to work out and get some muscle anyway! to be the parent to 3 children with disabilities...it's just beyond my comprehension. i get a little taste of it at work each day i guess...but i'm sure it can't compare to raising 3 children. it reminds me to always be thankful for what i have b/c some people have a lot more difficulties that i do.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

new year = new skills

happy new year everyone! we hope that everyone's holidays were safe, happy, healthy, and filled with lots of love from family & friends. kaiya and i spent christmas eve and christmas day surrounded by lots of family members. we rang in the new year together watching the countdown on one of the local channels. we both stayed up just long enough to say happy new year, and then it was off to bed. we have both been on winter break from school, and have been able to spend a lot of one on one time together.

having a break from work has given me a chance to really pay attention to all the cool little things she is doing now. i think that one of the biggest blessings of having a trisomy child is learning to appreciate all of the tiny little steps she makes towards her milestones. one of the things i noticed has to do with her communication. i think i get so used to just sticking to the routine, that i fail to notice how kaiya responds to it. our routine has completely gone out the window these past 2 weeks b/c both akaiya and I like to sleep in and stay up late (school is going to be awful on monday!) when i take kaiya out of bed, she immediately turns and looks at her changing table. if i walk away from it she looks back at it and just stares. i saw her do this a couple of times and i decided to see if she was using her eye gaze to tell me where she wanted to go. lo and behold, she does! as soon as we finish at the changing table in the morning we usually go to the kitchen and get breakfast. she stares in the direction of the kitchen and when she sees her high chair she starts staring at that. i tested her by passing it up a couple times and she squirmed herself around so she could keep staring at the chair until i put her into it. so then i started to wonder if every time we went to the changing table she would expect to go to the kitchen and eat...and she doesn't. if it isn't around the time i would usually feed her, she stares at her mat, or her chair. the kid is making choices, and now i feel guilty b/c i have probably been ignoring her for a long time! so we are going to have to be a lot more aware of the non-verbal communication going on with this lil lady!

akaiya has been trying to sit herself up for a long time now. she gets into a side position on her elbow, and that's usually as far as it would go. a couple of times she launched herself all the way up, but it didn't happen often, and when it did she usually just fell over the other way. well today mama was hanging out on the couch and kaiya was laying on her mat. she was looking like she was going to fall asleep so i just let her be. all of a sudden i looked up and found her almost sitting all the way up. she had her elbow extended and was using her hand to support. i grabbed the video camera, but i didn't get her getting into this position, only sitting in it already. i'm so proud of my little munchkin for teaching herself how to sit up all on her own! hopefully she made a new year's resolution to become mobile!


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