Dirty Soles and Knee Holes

I think we have official hit toddler-hood around here. We have had hints of it here and there, but I can officially say we are there. Abigail will be three in about two weeks, and she is going to be a full-fledged toddler. Usually toddler refers to babies who are toddling around and learning to walk. Toddler hood can mean some fun adventures as children get more and more curious. It can come with some defiance as the child is learning independence. It can be a hard time for the parent as they enter into a new, challenging time. But it is also so fun to see your child learning and growing into a little person with their own likes and dislikes and attitudes and personalities.

Well we have hit toddler hood head on! We have a little girl (my baby girl) who is taking steps and trying to be Miss Independent. She is learning to say ‘no’ and is pushing our buttons. She gets into things she shouldn’t and squeals at us if we aren’t doing things her way. She loves trying new things and being asked questions. She is learning she cannot do everything she wants. She can’t pull our hair or rip our glasses off our face – two things we are trying to get her to stop!

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She loves to push this bus around the house – this is her helping me “cook” in the kitchen…really just getting under my feet so I sent her under the table to play

It’s such a fun stage, but it is all new for us. We have to actually parent. I know that sounds awful, but Abigail has always been so easy and has never gotten into anything so we had an easy job of just taking care of her. Now we have to step up our parenting game and teach her right and wrong. She hates being told ‘no’, so we are working on finding ways to redirect her. We are working on how to discipline. But I don’t want to make it sound like she is awful. She really is as sweet and joyful as ever! She is just a toddler – into everything and learning her boundaries.

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That precious smile and dirty pink shoes!

But what I am most excited about in this stage is dirty soles and knee holes. Abigail’s shoes are dirty! Her pants have wear and tear on them!! We don’t wear shoes a lot around here. It’s not uncommon for Abigail to go barefoot to restaurants and stores. I never see the need to wear shoes on a child who will never touch the ground. Shoes are more for warmth than for actual purpose. So her shoes look brand new! Her pants and clothes look brand new too because she never sat and crawled and got dirty. Until now. Her little tennis shoes that go with her braces are dirty! We have been doing a lot of walking in our neighborhood and her shoes show her hard work. Her pants are getting worn where she has been crawling around so much. She has boo boos all over her. Bruises and cuts from crawling around. We had to put on our first band-aid yesterday. It lasted about a minute, but it was our first real boo boo.

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Looking at her boo boo

My almost three-year old is an official toddler! I have no idea how to parent a toddler. I have no idea how long we will be in toddler hood. But I plan to savor every day of this new chapter. My baby girl is growing up. I am excited what her chapter of toddler hood will bring. What mess she will get into or what she will get in trouble for. What her little mind will think of and how fast she will learn new things. I am excited to she her grow stronger and walk more and more. My back is giving out before her legs do now, and that’s scary! I want to keep up with her, but she is literally lapping me. This new chapter will be amazing to watch unfold, and I am thankful for those dirty soles and knee holes!!!

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Loving Through the Delay

When I wrote the first post for this blog I simply wanted to share our story. A lot of our friends had no idea anything was going on with Abigail at the time. She was a few weeks from being a year old. We had zero answers and really had no idea what Abigail’s future held. We were just beginning our journey into special needs and all that entails. I felt it was time to share our simple story and let people know we still had hope! Today Abigail is a few weeks from being a three-year-old and I am two years into my blogging journey. Two years of sharing Abigail’s story and the blessing she has been to us.

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Our little cutie at 11 months old – right around the time I began this blogging journey.

A lot of people always share how joyful I am or how uplifting I am. How they always love my view of things and how hopeful I seem. I do want these posts to encourage and shine some positive light on the special needs community. Abigail’s joy is also fairly contagious and it’s hard to be pessimistic with her around. It’s easy to share the good things. It’s easy to talk about her progress and amazing willingness to learn. She really is always as happy as she seems to be in pictures. But there are hard moments in this journey too.

I titled my blog, “Loving through the Delay.” That’s my first goal is to love. Love God and love people. God has given me two very precious people to love and I love Jordan and Abigail with all I have. A lot of times they are the only two people I see all day long, and I am so thankful God has called me to be a wife and a mother. But through this developmental delay of Abigail’s it is sometimes hard to find the joy of the excitement or the good feelings. But it’s never hard to find love. So while we can’t always be happy through the delay, I can love through it. And by loving my family I hope I can learn to love unconditionally, and share this love with all we see.

This life is often lonely. It can make you crazy with jealousy if you let it. I had to quickly stop the comparison game a long time ago when Abigail’s peers passed her up. Now when I see a friend’s 5 month old already crawling it only hurts a little bit. It makes me sad to think about all Abigail is missing out on. It breaks my heart every test we have to have. Every doctor appointment makes me nervous because I never know what they will say or what other test they will order. And now we are starting the scary world of public school special needs education. Special needs is not a journey for the faint of heart.

But this journey is not without its rewards. I have met some amazing moms who have traveled this path ahead of me, and they are all amazing and wise! I have often heard these moms express that their children have made them better people. That their children have built their faith up, and helped them believe in miracles. These moms have gumption, passion, hope and a love like you won’t find anywhere else. These precious children God has blessed us with show us a whole new world many people don’t get to experience and I am privileged to be Abigail’s mom.

Abigail is still a handful. She is beginning to learn to say, “no” and to communicate her wants. This is amazing, but it also means there is a lot more whining and kickback than usual. It’s a new chapter of toddler independence we are entering and I’m not sure how to handle it sometimes. It’s tough for Abigail because she thinks she’s independent, and I try to let her be but there are just some things she cannot do – well there’s a lot of things. Like now that she thinks she’s a pro at walking, she will just start taking steps whether you’re ready or not. Well if you aren’t holding her to topples over, but she doesn’t know that she will because we have never let her topple over. So she takes off while you are getting all adjusted and you have to stop her. Then she gets mad you won’t let her walk. So how do you teach a very independent little girl that she is still very dependent without losing her independent spirit? That’s my newest dilemma.

I plan to blog more about many of these things later – about how special needs children can change your whole outlook on life, and how I can see life with such joy and potential, but tonight I just want to soak in some sweet memories these last two years of held. To see Abigail’s progress in my posts, and to read what I wrote for these last two years has been amazing. I never planned for this blog to last, and I don’t know what it’s future holds. But I am thankful for each of you, my readers. I am thankful to have a way to share a little of our story. I am thankful for my precious little girl and my amazingly, supportive husband who prof-reads most of these posts. For now I plan to keep writing posts as they come and to keep loving Abigail through this delay. Delay is normally a negative word. No one likes delays, but I am grateful for her delay. I am about to have a little three-year-old in my house, and this delay helps me soak in all my minutes with her a little longer. This delay is never what we hoped for, but it’s helping us learn to be the people God has called us to be. It’s teaching me  servant hood like nothing else could. And it’s helping me learn what love is – true, unconditional love.  There will be lots more posts to come as this little girl continues to grow and amaze us all!!!

 

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I love my little family!

My Partner Through it All

My blogs focus a lot around Abigail because let’s face it when you have a cute baby that people care about they want to hear about the latest updates and all the details of her development. I love sharing our story and telling about all the things I am learning and things Abigail is teaching me. But this story would not be complete, it would not even be possible, without someone I rarely talk about. Not because I don’t like that person, but because he isn’t one to draw attention to himself. He is my other half, my hubby and my best friend. Jordan isn’t mentioned a lot because this space is usually reserved for Abigail, but Jordan is who keeps our story running and tonight I thought I would share how Abigail has impacted our marriage.

In a world where the divorce rate is skyrocketing and single parenthood is so common, I am thankful I can share my story. Of course we are no experts at marriage. We only have four very short years under our belts and one kid. There are millions of other couples who could give lots better advice, but I am not here to dish out marriage advice tonight. I am simply here to share our story – our short, crazy, unplanned story.

Jordan and I met in college. If I was sitting down with you over smoothies (I hate coffee, so I’m saying smoothies) I would give way to many details about the beginning of our relationship which mostly include him thinking I was a crazy weirdo (he still thinks that too) and me thinking he was too popular and cool to be with the likes of little old me. But since I’m not sharing our dating life, let’s just say it’s a miracle we ever made it to the girlfriend/boyfriend stage. However we did, and then 6 weeks into dating I nearly died. I might be exaggerating a little, but I did have a freak bleeding episode and had a 2 night stay in the hospital that included 4 blood transfusions, 5 IVs and a surgery so it was pretty intense. But my boyfriend of only 6 weeks stayed with me through it all. Well that brought us pretty close pretty fast. Only 2 weeks after my hospital stay Jordan told me he loved me. He said, “as I watched you laying on that hospital bed the only thing I could think was, ‘my girlfriend is going to die,’ and that thought actually made me sad.” That’s Jordan for you. He is a very romantic and sympathetic man as you can see. But it all worked out for me because I caught me a man and that man became my husband a little over a year after that.

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I tell that whole story to say that maybe God brings medical cases into our lives to wake us up and help us realize something. He used my hospital stay to bring me and Jordan together, and now He is using Abigail and all her disabilities to build our family. Did I want to bleed to death to get a guy to fall in love with me? No! Do I want my daughter to have special needs so our family can be shaped and molded a certain way? Of course not. But God is using Abigail to teach us so much.

I am thankful to have Jordan walking this road with me. We have been through a lot with Abigail as any parent has been with their child. We have heard multiple doctors assessments of her, we have had multiple strangers praise her beauty, we have seen her progress leaps and bounds. We have seen her with needles and wires all about her and in her. We have held each other when we both have had to cry. Jordan keeps me sane when this world feels out of control. When I get all emotional, he keeps me steady and level-headed. He is my solid rock, my listening ear and my loyal companion. While I stay home with Abigail and work with her and deal with all her doctors and therapists, Jordan makes all that possible and he helps me be a better mom.

Having a child will impact your marriage. Children change you life in so many ways. We only had 6 short months of marriage before we found out we were pregnant. I didn’t think I was cut out to be a mom. Neither of us knew what we were doing, but we survived. Thankfully God gave us the easiest baby in the universe so Abigail made it easy. But no parent wants to hear there’s something wrong with their baby, and that’s all we have heard from doctors from 2 months on. There’s an issue with her eyes, there’s an issue with her muscle tone, there’s an issue with this or that. But no one can tell us why those issues are there. But through it all I have had a partner and a best friend. Jordan has experienced it all with me. Our marriage has been forged deeper because of all this. When we have had no one else we have had each other.

Children impact every part of you. They impact relationships and they impact your marriage. Some parents build their lives around their children and not their marriage which is devastating. Some marriages break up when one spouse or the other finds out their child will never be ‘normal’. There are thousands of reasons marriages don’t make it. But when calamity strikes, when you receive that bad news you never want to hear, when the world just seems too much to handle – I couldn’t imagine doing it alone. I am thankful our marriage has survived this so far, and I pray it continues to stand strong. I love living life with my best friend! I love always having a friend to talk to. I love my husband and our little family of three.

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Growing Up Slowly

When you have a child time seems to speed up somehow. In just a few short months Abigail will be three years old. Where has three years gone? I still remember being pregnant with her. I had horrible night sickness (my morning sickness always hit around 3 and stayed all evening). And around week 12 I remember having multiple thoughts that I was going to die at any point, but the only thing that kept me going was that I was growing another life, and her life mattered too much to give up. But here we are almost three years later and I am glad I kept shoving food down my throat after all because having Abigail was worth all those weeks of sickness.

I have no idea how parents of typical children do it though. I mean an average child is sitting by six months and is walking by a year. They start talking and being independent. They get sassy and push the limits and they know where every button of yours is. Your baby grows up in a blink of an eye! You might get a few cuddles here are there but after they are mobile they don’t sit still for long. Again I just don’t know how you do it!

We have been so blessed in a weird way that Abigail has grown up so slowly. I’ve never thought about that before, but it hit me the other day we are getting a small blessing in disguise. Don’t get me wrong I wish everyday my little girl could walk and run and play like every other 2 year old. I cry that she cannot communicate the way she wants to. But even in the bad things and the things that don’t make sense I truly believe you receive little blessings in disguise. Sometimes you don’t see those blessings while you are in the middle of the storm, but they are there. Abigail herself is my blessing. She is an amazing little lady! But the fact that, as a mother, I get to soak in every stage a little longer is amazing!!!

We had a newborn basically for about 10-12 months. For Abigail’s first year of life she really wasn’t aware of her environment. She just loved watching people’s faces. She had barely any head control and her muscle tone was basically none existent. She was exclusively breast fed, which was not my choice but she wouldn’t eat baby food very well so we did what we had to do. That first year was hard!! Abigail did not show a lot of progress. We had no idea what was going on. We had no clue how to take care of a baby, much less a baby that doctor’s kept telling us ‘wasn’t normal.’ The doctors kept telling us things that we didn’t understand or that we didn’t like. We loved our baby and she was the happiest, easiest newborn ever so it was hard for us to see anything ‘wrong’ with her. Around a year old she was still around 5-6 months developmentally, so I got to savor those newborn moments for longer.

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Abigail around 7 months – she was still the sweetest thing you ever saw! But she had no interest in those toys you see. We always tried new things though.

Then her second year of life came and things started to progress. She became more aware of her environment, she started to like food, and she showed true potential physically. We began to learn we didn’t have to listen to everything the doctors said. We began to learn the system and find things that were helpful for us. We had amazing therapists that encouraged me and worked with Abigail diligently. But I was still able to savor those baby moments longer because she was around a 6-9 month old developmentally.

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This picture means the world to me! Abigail was around 15 months in this picture. I left her on the couch to go get ready (crazy huh? but she never moved so it worked for us), and I returned to a smiley baby and an overturned bucket of toys! I snapped a quick picture because I was so excited! This was the first time Abigail had ‘played’ on her own!!!

Today, we have hope like we have never had before. Abigail is doing the best she has ever done. She is eating (and a lot of times helping herself) normal table food, she is moving, she is learning to play in new ways, and she is trying to communicate like never before. We are in such an exciting time! I feel so much more confident in what I am doing. Medically Abigail is healthy and at this point her doctor is simply trying to find the cause of why she is the way she is. But if they never give us an answer I will be okay because she is progressing forward every day.

Abigail is still only around a year old developmentally maybe 18 months in some areas cognitively. But if course she cannot sit or stand yet. But for almost three years I have gotten to savor what most parents only have 1 year to experience. It is like time has slowed in our house. This means we get to see the tiny little steps of progress and we celebrate the tiny victories. This means that sometimes the days are long! I get tired of having to lug her everywhere, because goodness she is getting heavy!! Sometimes it would be so convenient if she could sit because we could do so many more things. Sometimes I have to be creative while we are out, and about, and going to a bathroom with her in a public restroom when I forget the stroller is a trip. But I am savoring!

We may be in the toddler stage for a long time. Honestly, she may never leave it. We have no idea what Abigail’s future holds. I tell people all the time. Abigail has the potential to be a 100% normal 5th grader who you wouldn’t even know went through all this when she was 2. On the other hand she could be living with us forever because she never leaves childhood mentally. We have no idea what her future holds. But right now I know we are hitting the toddler stage hard, and after 2 years of being in baby stage that is tough on this mama. I’m watching Abigail grow and mature everyday. I see my baby growing into a little girl. She is beautiful in every way!! And while she might not be growing up like every other toddler, I appreciate that she is growing slowly. It gives my mama heart time to soak in every moment, every change, and every day with my little sunshine. While I wouldn’t have chosen this life for us, I am blessed to have a little one who is growing up slowly.

About Me

 

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For those who need to see hope in this world.

For those who want encouragement in parenting.

For those who want honesty about living with a child with special needs.

This blog offers a positive view on children with special needs; written for special needs moms, stay at home moms, and those who are interested in my daughter’s progress. If you love inspirational writings, adorable toddler stories, and a heart felt love for children than this is the blog for you! The posts on this site include stories of my daughter’s progress, things I have learned from being her mother, and life with a special needs toddler because she is the inspiration behind all I write. The journey with our daughter started when she was two months old. It has been an almost two year process of tests, therapy and tears and we still are not sure why causes our daughter’s developmentally delay. This blog tells our story of the day-to-day life as we discover how to love each other through the delay.

Welcome to our family! My name is Heather. My husband, Jordan and I were married February 1, 2014 and we had our beautiful daughter, Abigail in May 2015. My husband works hard providing for us at his retail job while I stay at home with our joyful little girl. She keeps me busy between occupational, physical, and speech therapy. We live in Atlanta, Georgia, and love spending time as a family. We are active in our local church and are Christians who love God and have an intimate relationship with Him. My prayer for this blog is that it would inspire you to love others more and encourage you in ways you could never imagine. Life is hard, and we are often dealt cards we were not expecting, but those hard, unexpected things are sometimes the greatest blessings. That is what Abigail is to my husband and I, a great blessing! Abigail gives us encounters everyday that we treasure with all our hearts.

So please, if this blog sounds like a good read, subscribe to my posts! Send me an e-mail with comments or questions, or find me on social media. You can find all the links on the left side of my home page. I want to tell our story and help others with theirs. Thank-you for stopping by, and hopefully we will talk to each other soon!

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Motivated Progress

I’m putting together a vision board of sorts for Abigail. We go to her first IEP meeting next month as she gets ready to begin preschool in the Fall. I want to begin Abigail’s education right and let the teachers know what she is capable of and my hopes and dreams for this girl. She has such potential and I want to give her a strong foundation. Just because she can’t speak and doesn’t know her colors or her ABC’s yet doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve the best education! She deserves to be fought for and have some goals to reach as she matures and grows.

I want a lot of things for Abigail just like every loving parent has dreams for their child too. Abigail has such a sweet little personality that is blooming every day. I want to build up her strengths and fortify her weaknesses. She is stubborn and she thinks she is very independent. But I love that about her. I love that she has no idea that she is unlike any other (almost) three-year old. I like that she is running her own race and is blowing the socks off the competition! Abigail loves to try new things and to be challenged. It helps her grow.

That’s why I love coming up with new ideas to do with her, or making lists of new things for her to learn or new skills to achieve. Right now a big thing I’m just starting with her is how to operate an iPad. She is beginning to love phones and playing with them so we think she is ready to start learning how to use it. Let’s face it in this world she will have to know how to use technology or she will be even further behind. If she ever receives a communication device it will most likely be an iPad that she uses. So we are going to start teaching her how to play games and how to scroll and point and press the buttons correctly. I know these are such simple things, but with Abigail you have to teach and show her every little step. Before she can play games and learn on the apps she first has to learn how to manipulate a screen.

Every new skill for Abigail is a process. A long, long process. So many of you have seen the pictures lately of Abigail taking steps and standing. But you don’t know the work that goes into getting her to do that. Abigail has very little core muscle strength. She still cannot sit on her own or stand on her own. She has to be supported in all she does. For her to take steps or stand you have to hold her core for her or she leans against something. When you are holding her to take a step you can feel her entire body tensing up to prepare to take one step. It takes all of her to think about what she has to do and after about 20 steps she’s done. These tiny little steps are just part one to a very long process of Abigail ever walking by herself.

It’s so fun teaching Abigail new things! It’s fun to see her catch on. Some things she picks up on after seeing someone do it once or twice. Like a new sign in sign language or snoring. Other things she just cannot get to save her life. Pushing a ball for instance. Her OT has been working on it, and we have been trying to show her for months. She just does not get it. She likes to just pick the ball up and bring it over to you herself. It’s just one thing we keep working.

Abigail is great at letting you know when she is ready for something new. We never rush her into anything. And I try my best not to put too much on her or introduce a new skill she isn’t ready for. Her PT said it best that if Abigail wants to do something it will be so much easier for her to pick it up than us forcing her to do it. Hence why we got the leg braces because she wanted to stand and pull up so bad, and now she has a way to. But I have a list of things in the back of my mind always that I want to work on and her therapists have their goals they want to reach. I am excited that when she starts preschool in the Fall that she will have more new things to work on.  We love progress around here! We love new challenges. We like to see this little girl work so hard and yet smile and have so much fun doing it. She is what keeps us going. She keeps us on our toes because if we stop then so does she. I want her to fight and grow and learn everyday. Abigail has the potential to amaze us and make miracles happen. She just needs help to do it. Because while she could never be walking on her own, with lots of support she is moving forward inch by inch! I love being her support, and we are blessed to have so many hands supporting us as we travel this road all together.

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Thank you for loving us and encouraging this little precious one every step of the way! We could never express what having each of you in our lives means to us!

Sprinkles of Joy

I LOVE sprinkles. Confetti cake, sprinkles in my ice cream, and blondies packed full of colorful confectionaries are just some of my favorite sprinkle desserts. But honestly I’ve been known to simply fill bowls full of just sprinkles and eat it like cereal. All the colorful waxy goodness!! My friends one year at college gave me a jar full of sprinkles as a thank you and that jar has moved multiple times with me and still sits on my kitchen counter untouched. Sprinkles are just fun! They add a little fun and color to a dessert, and make it just a little better. You cannot look at a little kid with an ice cream cone topped with sprinkles and not see the epitome of childhood. Sprinkles bring joy.

Well Abigail is my little sprinkle. She adds color and joy to our life. Abigail has always been a happy baby, stubborn but happy! From the moment she was first born she rarely cried. She let out one little wail as the doctor birthed her and then she just looked around taking us all in. Our first few weeks we had no idea what to expect, but we had the quietest baby ever. She might have gotten a little fussy when she was hungry but she was easily settled. Abigail continued this trend and is still the same way today. If she gets a little fussy she is easily calmed.

One of the first days we brought Abigail home from the hospital she gave her daddy her first ever smile and has been smiling ever since. What makes Abigail happy?? A familiar face, sometimes a stranger’s face if she happens to like him or her (I have yet to figure out Abigail’s reasoning behind liking some people and not others), her favorite foods, getting into trouble (did I mention she is stubborn?), being tickled, seeking thrills, Daddy coming home, people laughing, being cheered and applauded, the list is endless and things that make her laugh today won’t tomorrow. We always say she’s a mess because she is!

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But that smile melts every heart. Abigail is well-loved (some would call it spoiled but in our house she is well-loved). She is an attention hog and will let you know if you aren’t paying her the attention she deserves. It’s because she literally is always the center of attention. No matter where we go people notice Abigail. It’s not uncommon for strangers next to us in restaurants or in stores to stop and talk to Abigail. They always leave with a smile on their face. I don’t know if it’s the hair, the glasses, or the grin. But everyone loves her and tells us how beautiful she is or how happy she seems. Abigail loves the attention and she is good at turning on the charm! Our therapists love her and dote on her too. How they get any work done is beyond me. She has a fan club at several places of business because her family shares all Abigail’s pictures and videos with their fellow workers. I jokingly tell Jordan that Abigail may soon become the most famous baby in Cobb county one day. It makes my mama heart proud that we have such a wonderful, happy baby that people just love. And I’m thankful she is easy baby to love.

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Abigail has a lot of good qualities. She is bright, joyful, smart. She is empathic, forgiving, and loving, but my favorite thing about my baby girl is that she brings joy and a smile to all people. I know when I am stressed and feeling lonely or discouraged a little snuggling with my Abs can make me feel like the world will be okay again. She is truly our little ray of sunshine and she can make you smile when your day is gray. I am glad she is here to sprinkle some sunshine on our life.

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Now I’m going to shamelessly plug the birthday project I’m working on for Abigail. If she has added any joy to your life, or even if you just want to add some joy to hers I’m asking for your help!! She is turning three next month, and I want to make a special video for her. I want the video to be full of faces and people who love Abigail!! That’s you! I want her to know how many people she has impacted in just three years! If you feel led and want to help make this special gift all I’m asking is that you record a short little clip of you talking to Abigail. I’m thinking 30 seconds a person maximum. Just get your phone out and take a video saying “hey” to Abigail and telling her your name, and then add a message of encouragement or something to make her smile. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or mushy – we will be watching this a lot I’m sure. You can either text me or email me your video, and then I will work on compiling them all together in a movie of sorts for Abigail to watch on her third birthday. Anyone can send a clip in, just let me know if you need my phone number or email and I can private message it to you. I know it’s intimidating to take a video of yourself, but I think Abigail will love it and I appreciate anyone who would be willing to help us! Let’s sprinkle Abigail with love!

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Inch by Inch

Most babies achieve milestones from early on – smiles, gaining head control, eating baby food. Then you move onto the gross motor skills from sitting, rolling, standing and walking. These are all huge victories that should be celebrated. Your child is growing up and developing, and it’s exciting to see them catch on to new skills so quickly as their little bodies and minds learn.

Milestones and us do not get along very well in this family. Abigail has not hit very many. By about a year into our journey I quit waiting for milestones. I learned not to be hurt at doctors’ offices when the paperwork asked when my child had first sat up, walked, etc. and I had to leave it all blank for my almost two-year old. Miles are too big a measure for us, but if you could measure Abigail in inches then you could see the huge, massive amounts of progress she has made. Abigail may not be able to walk miles, but goodness knows she has crawled and fought and inched through some achievements of her own.

But today all those inches she has come are paying off big time. All those moments of tiny victory inches are growing into feet and miles of hard work. Abigail began by pulling herself along on a rolling board last summer, today she is taking her first ‘steps.’ Her leg braces allow her to stand and with help she can take steps. She has no idea how to walk or what that motion consists of, so we have a lot more inches to go before she is standing and walking alone. But we have STEPS!! Every single one of those awkward, stiff steps is beautiful.

Abigail has made leaps and bounds in other areas too. Feeding, talking, and cognitively she has improved greatly. Her tiny inches are catching up. I love that she takes tiny inches to get to the end goal. It helps me savor every second and every tiny victory. But these steps are sweet icing on the cake of achievements.

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Just like this tiny inchworm inches his way slowly down my hand, so Abigail will slowly inch wherever she needs to go. Abigail may not be the fastest, but she is a determined little soul who is so eager to learn and try new things. I am so thankful she is willing to be stretched and challenged. My determined little inch worm is going to do some BIG things! So keep watching her and keep cheering for her!

Little Miss Personality

A lot of people have told me that Abigail and I look the same. I always laugh and tell them it’s just because they haven’t met my husband yet. Abigail and her daddy are twins through and through. At a day old she looked just like him and today she still looks just like him. Jordan loves it! He always says she’s cute just like him. But not only does she look like him, I think she acts like him too.

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The mini Jordan I birthed. She was hours old in this picture.

Now Jordan would say I’m wrong and she is just like me, but it’s a tough decision I guess. She has a sense of humor just like Daddy. I’m more of a corny sort of gal myself, but my husband has his own brand of humor and I think Abigail gets it from him. She can make you laugh at the silliest little things and she knows she is funny. When she snores now she is so used to us laughing at her that she can’t get two snores out before laughing at herself. Jordan is also a very black and white, tell you how it is kind of person. Abigail is honest too. She’s starting to respond to yes and no questions, so if you ask her if she’s getting into things she will say yes. At least for now being honest is a good thing! We just put together her little red wagon that is made for two children. We let her sit in it by herself and we asked if she liked it. She signed yes. Then I asked if she wanted a friend to sit with her and she quickly signed no. We cracked up. Little sass wanted that wagon all to herself.

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Her first smile at 6 days old!

Abigail is and has always been a happy little girl. She rarely cried as a newborn and she always wears a smile on her face. Joy radiates about her. If you really want to make her smile just compliment her in any way. She is all girl and loves to be loved. She knows exactly what you mine when you say beautiful or pretty or cute. And she turns on that charm quick. She is a little flirt and has the head tilt to go with it. She has always liked guys more than woman. Daddy will have to watch this one!

Abigail is also smart and she catches on so quickly. I usually only have to show her how to do something once or twice before she can do it herself. Just this week I have introduced some new signs and she already is using them! She learned how to say, “shh!” with one showing. She has no troubles exploring on her own, and she will often find things we had no idea were even lying around. I guess you could say she is becoming a typical little toddler – showing her some sass and putting everything in her mouth. That girl knows what she wants and she is determined to get it or tell you she does not want what you are offering.

She is awful adventurous too! She loves to be tossed and thrown and jiggled. She is not scared of much, and she is willing to try anything once. She wants to sit up so bad, but then when you pull her up she throws herself back and crashes to the floor and laughs and laughs. It quickly becomes a game for her. She will be our little thrill seeker for sure. That may be more me than her daddy on that one. Us girls are more of the rebels of the family.

Abigail’s personality is blooming! We knew she would always have a sweet joyful little side to her, but now we are seeing the stubbornness and sass coming out. We see her learning and developing into the little lady she is becoming. We see how much of a fighter she is. We see her independence and hunger for more. We see how precious sense of humor, and her awareness of those around her. We see that she is empathic and compassionate. We see that she loves people. She is full of so much personality and we love it!

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Even at a year old she was the silliest thing. I was excited about these llama pajamas, and she was too! One of my favorite pictures of her.

When I was pregnant with Abigail I always dreamed about what she would look like and be like. I always imagined her with brown her and brown eyes (because who would believe that my blonde hair, blue-eyed husband would trump my dominant average genes?), but I never could pinpoint a personality on her. I am so glad she got a little bit of mine and Jordan’s good qualities. I pray she continues to love people and see their goodness like me. I pray she has wisdom like her daddy. I pray her joy never fades, and that her little spunk she has only continues. I know she will always be a fighter. She has to be. She has to be strong and brave and she has to want to do things. Her physical therapist says that is one thing she loves about Abigail – her want to is so prominent that it makes it easy to work with her. If she already has this much personality at two how much will she have later on? And she has never uttered one word! I can only imagine how it would be if she could talk. I guess we will continue to get to know this precious treasure God has given us as her little personality only continues to develop.

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Yes, she loves ice cream. Yes, she is a mess. No, I couldn’t get her to smile because she wanted a bite of ice cream the whole time I was taking pictures.

My Wish for You

I love books!! I have always been an avid reader, and I knew I would always read to my child once we had one. I can never resist buying Abigail new books. I found this new one at Barnes and Noble the other day, and it is officially my new favorite book to read to Abigail. It’s called, “I Wish you More” by Amy Rosenthal. Here’s the link for it on Amazon if you are interested.

It’s a little poem so beautifully written about what you wish for your child. Here’s a couple of pages from the book itself to show you.

 

The pictures are my favorite part. But the last page reads, “I wish all of this for you, because you are everything I could wish for…and more.” Makes me cry every time!

The front cover says, “Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. This book is about endless good wishes. What will you wish for?” So I wrote a little poem of what I personally wish for Abigail. It’s not all cutesy like the book is, but it’s still my heart to my child. But if you need a new book to read, or a present for Easter then check this one out!!


Abigail Paige Lidh,

I wish you to know you are beautiful, not just on the outside (even though somehow you are the most beautiful two year old around), but on the inside.

I wish you would stay joyful always.

I wish you would always be determined and fight for good.

I wish you would have wisdom and discernment in all you do.

I wish you would grow strong in the Lord and follow Him.

I wish you would always know Mommie and Daddy are so proud of you.

I wish you knew how many people love you and how many people you inspire daily.

I wish you would find your passion and purpose in life and focus on that.

I wish you to be a humble servant.

I wish you to be a prayer warrior.

I wish you knew you are capable of so much.

I wish you will always smile through life’s greatest obstacles.

I wish you won’t ever let what people say determine how you feel about your self.

I wish you would find your self worth in Jesus.

I wish you would know Jesus loves you simply because He does.

I wish you would rely fully upon Him and trust Him in all you do.

I wish that when this life doesn’t make sense or isn’t fair that you find the peace of God.

I wish that you prove everyone wrong and make your own miracles happen!

I wish that you keep your childhood innocence for as long as possible.

I wish you get your daddy’s sense of humor.

I wish that you never give up.

I wish you always know you will always be my baby girl.

I wish you so many things that I could fill pages, but mainly I wish you know you are the best thing that could ever happen to us and we love you beyond words.

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I will always love you, Abigail!