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.


I will always love you, Abigail!


Our Amazing Wonder

I forget how tall Abigail is. I know that is weird, but I just always forget that she would already come up to my waist if she could stand next to me. She is pushing three feet tall now, but I forget that. When I help her stand using the couch it hits me every time that she is tall. It is such a simple thing, but it always amazes me because I never get to see her stand up. That is how Abigail is though – just little things she does catches you off guard and amazes you.

Abigail never stops to amaze me in what she can do and what she tries to do. Just this week she has been wanting to hold her own cup and drink herself. She has learned to take sips from a glass. She pushes herself up completely with her arms so she’s almost in a sitting position. She is wanting to sit up and stand all the time. She is trying to tuck her legs underneath her to get on all fours. Her signing abilities have improved. She now signs without being prompted, or if she overhears a word she knows while people are talking she will sign it. It is like one thing after another. We missed therapy this week, so when we see our therapists Monday they will be so proud!


Our big girl enjoying her juice at Chick-fil-a!

It is usually simple things that amaze us, but sometimes it is the simple things that matter most in life. Because Abigail is so far behind developmentally, it is easy to presume she does not understand a lot of things. I am even impressed what all Abigail understands. But just because she cannot communicate does not mean she does not understand. She knows exactly when people are talking to her and when they are not, and she does not liked to be ignored. It is not rare at the dinner table for Jordan to be telling me about his day and Abigail will start screaming at the top of her lungs. Not a scary ‘I’m hurt’ scream, but a ‘look at me I’m cute and you’re not talking to me’ scream. We have tried to ignore her, but usually if you ask her if she has anything else to say she is happy you paid her attention and will allow you to continue your conversation again. And it is not just in person. Abigail loves talking on the phone. I will put the phone on speaker and lock it and hand it to her and she knows to put the phone to her ear and talk. Her and Daddy often talk on the phone and she does the screaming war then too until he talks to her and not Mommie. She is a mess!

Abigail only knows the word yes because we have not taught her no yet. She can sign yes (it’s one of her favorites) and sometimes she will vocally say a little, ‘yay.’ But we realized we had to start teaching her no because she says yes to everything. She knows when you ask a question and she will respond yes. So since she cannot do the real sign for no in sign language her therapist told me to just have her point her finger and turn her wrist back and forth. But Abigail cannot point and wave at the same time yet. So right now if you ask her to say no she simply points at you. It is still cute! But she catches on so quickly! I try to introduce new signs every week, and she always picks them up and uses them. I love being able to communicate better with her, and I think she loves her signs too. When she signs something and you respond to her, Abigail gets the biggest grin on her face – it’s like she is saying, ‘hey you heard what I said!’

And then we come to those legs. When Abigail was about 15 months I got her to stand and my mom snapped a picture. IMG_3679After that I could never get her to do it again. Plus, she was not ready or willing to do it. Now she is! Oh she wants to stand and pull up so bad. Her legs want to work, but they have no idea how to work. Abigail often stands on the side of her feet and her toes remain curled under. But I cannot even change her now without her turning to squirm away or trying to sit up. It amazes me how much she wants this. She is such a little fighter. Her body is literally incapable of sitting or standing, but that does not stop her. She groans and grunts and struggles to do it. Her arms have to be the most toned arms of any two-year-old. But she never gives up. She never stops wanting to try. She never quits. Everyday she learns something new. Everyday she amazes me. Everyday she fights. And that is amazing to me!


My Hope Restored – Part 2

A year ago a blogged a beautiful story about how God renews us; how He gives us grace and restores our hope. You can read it here. A lot of times Abigail’s situation seems hopeless. Even as I write this we have given up on our doctors. The geneticist just said they could no longer help us, and our neurologist has come to a dead end we believe. We are seeking other doctors to go to, but for now no one seems to know how to help Abigail. It is frustrating, confusion and, as a parent, it makes you feel helpless because you cannot do anything for your child. But a year ago I wrote this, “But these last few months I have come to realize that if I do not think positively about Abigail’s situation, and give her the encouragement she needs than who will? God has shown me that being my daughter’s biggest cheerleader is my calling for now.”

What an encouragement for my soul today! That is why I have come to love blogging because it is like keeping journals. You can always look back to see God’s hand working in your life. So many other special needs parents who are much wiser than me have told me that I am my child’s best (and sometimes only) advocate. I have to fight for her because so often the medical field and even the school systems do not care for your child.

These last few nights that I have been putting Abigail to bed I have been whispering her worth to her. It makes me cry every time. But even if she does not get it I want my daughter to know she is smart. She is worthy. She is beautiful. I want her to know we are proud of her. I want her to keep fighting and stay determined. I want her to know she can do great things. I want her to know as much as mommy and daddy love her there is Someone who loves her even more. I want her to know that God has a plan for her, and she is capable of bringing Him glory even now.

These moments with her mean so much to me. I love being able to stay home with Abigail and have fun with her and take care of her. I am often way too protective and stuck in my ways, but I would not trade these precious days with anything. My little girl has such potential to do great things. My dreams for her may have changed, but my hope in her is higher than ever! Everyday I see her improve and grow stronger. She is understanding so much now and she has the potential to do incredible things in her future.

So even in the face of all we have against us, my hope is being renewed. I am cheering for my daughter and I want her to know she has so many other cheerleaders too! So many of you reading this blog have encouraged me in ways you won’t even know. I just wanted to say thank you for following along with us in our journey. Thank you for all your encouraging comments. Thank you for loving my little girl from near and far. Thank you for being there! And watch out because I truly believe there are some exciting new things about to happen in this little girl’s life!

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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.


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.


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.

Our Tummy Time Adventures

Oh tummy time! I am not here today to write about the benefits of tummy time, or put my two sense into the debate. I know doctors and therapists will say some things and moms will say others. Today is just our story with tummy time, and the progress Abigail has made in her two and a half years of life. I personally have a love/hate relationship with tummy time. It was a lot more hate in the beginning, but that was because Abigail hated it. But today she rocks tummy time like a champ. Actually, I don’t know if you can consider it tummy time anymore for her. It is more like her way of life now. So funny how time changes things!

Abigail has never been a cuddly baby. Even as a newborn we would put her on her little play mat on her back and leave her in the living room while we went to fix lunch or dinner for ourselves. She was just content to lie there and stare at her toys, so that’s what we did. But around a month old she flipped over from her back to her stomach on her own. She only did it a handful of times for that week, but we were so excited for her! Thankfully we have a video of it because no one would believe that knowing  Abigail’s journey now. But she did not start rolling and flipping over again until she was about 9 months old and even then it was sporadic at best. This past summer is when the rolling and flipping became a permanent part of our lives (Abigail had just turned two in May), and bedtime became a thing of the past.


Abigail, 8 months – tummy time was quite a struggle even with our fancy equipment.

We began therapy with Abigail at five months. Of course, her therapists loved and encouraged tummy time. But at this point of Abigail’s life she had zero head control, so tummy time was a struggle. Abigail’s head would just bob uncontrollably until she just could not take it anymore and start crying. Tummy time might have lasted 2 minutes at a time. It was a rough time for poor Abigail. She hated it! She would much rather prefer being on her back or sitting on the couch. We tried everything from boppy pillows, tummy time pillows, toys to try to encourage her on her tummy, but she just was not having it. At this point Abigail was not interested in any toys or her environment really. She has always loved people, so we could make her laugh and giggle and that’s about all she liked to play with was other people.


Abigail, 15 months – tummy time was not as much of a struggle but she still couldn’t lift her head up fully.

Finally, around a year old she had pretty stable head control so tummy time became a little better, but it still was not great. But she could more easily play with toys and tummy time became a little better. It was not until she learned she could have some mobility this past year thought that tummy time became Abigail’s favorite position! It all started with learning she could push on her scooter board.


Do you think she liked her scooter??

Then she learned to push herself backwards, and it was only a matter of time that the army crawl was founded. Today, she practically lives on her tummy. After she eats breakfast until the time she goes to bed, she is on her tummy all day playing, moving, and exploring. It is the best way for her to play for now since she cannot sit up, and the only way she can get around. She loves being on her tummy. You would have no idea that two years ago tummy time was a taboo word in our house – that this little girl you see could not even keep her big ole’ noggin off the ground for more than two minutes.

I know that crawling around on the ground is not the end goal. I know that constantly being on her tummy is not good for Abigail’s digestive system. I know that it would be so much better if Abigail could sit and play. But to see her progress these last two years is amazing. If you had told me that Abigail would one day love being on her tummy I would have laughed at you two years ago. Yes, we have a long ways to go, and we will keep pushing Abigail. We struggled with tummy time for so long, but the therapists kept saying it would help her strengthen her neck and core, and would you know that it took months and months of tears and struggles but her neck and core are so much stronger now. Hard work is hard, but goodness that little girl is a fighter and I am so proud of her. I am proud of her struggles and her triumphs. I am proud that she does not give up. I am proud of her stubbornness and determination. I know we have a lot more to achieve, but it is nice to be able to say that Abigail now rocks tummy time! If she can conquer this than what else is she capable of???


Today, you can barely get Abigail off the floor while on her tummy. She loves tummy time, playing, and having mobility!!

Abigail’s Favorite Things

Abigail likes lots of things, and she is always happy and giggling. I could write pages and pages about her personality and things she likes, but I thought I would share 10 things she really loves. Of course she loves her family and being tickled and eating. All things toddlers love too. But here are 10 of Abigail’s favorite things.

1.) Abigail loves to be tossed and turned and flipped and dropped. She is a little thrill seeker. Abigail was born with zero reflexes so she has no fear of falling or being dropped. Plus, she has never fallen over or tripped so I don’t know if she is scared of things like that. I always tell people if Abigail could walk she would be that child who has already broken a leg jumping or climbing on something. She has a very adventurous soul!

2.) Music! This girl loves all kinds of music. We can be watching tv and she does not pay any attention to the show until music comes on. We have listened to a little bit of everything and she loves it all! That’s why I am so glad we found The Music Class. Once a week we get to go and enjoy music with other children. I hope she has some musical talent, because that is one thing I lack!

3.) Chick-fil-a. Well who doesn’t enjoy them some Chick-fil-a? But thanks to G-mama (my husband’s mom) she has discovered a true love of their chicken, fries, and ice cream! That girl can put her away some chicken!!


Enjoying some CFA!

4.) Watching people. Abigail is a people watcher if there ever was one. It’s hard to get her to eat at restaurants because she simply likes to stare at all the people around us. Today in Walmart the lines were ridiculously long and the older couple behind us were so sweet. Abigail loved them! She does not often meet a stranger (well as long as they are an adult).

5.) Chapstick. This girl loves playing with chapstick tubes. We played with one for about 20 minutes the other day. And she likes putting it on, and I am glad in this cold weather!


A girl with a tube of chapstick. She could not be happier!

6.) Emptying containers. Anything she can empty she does. A basket. A bag. A purse. A toy bus full of people. If the objects can come out then Abigail will take them out. She usually helps me clean up too so I am thankful for that.

7.) Wind. I know that’s an odd thing, but when the wind blows in her face she giggles. I know she is loving this cold wind these last few days! The cold does not bother her because she is a little heater, but this wind is perfect for her.

8.) Talking on the Phone. When family calls me I often put it on speaker phone so Abigail can hear and talk too. And we FaceTime my mom almost every day. Abigail does not just ‘talk’ to everyone she screams. You know how older people who talk on the phone like to talk louder like that will help you hear them better? Well Abigail does the same thing on the phone. It is an obvious scream talk. She has also learned to pretend to talk on the phone. She will pick up a toy or a shoe and hold it to her ear and scream into it. It’s so cute! I am glad to loves to talk to people and to herself.

9.) Other people’s pain. This makes her seem cruel, but hear me out. Whenever you stub your toe or knick yourself a little she laughs. I guess it’s that reaction you make that she thinks is funny. Abigail does not know what hurt or pain is so you probably do look funny hopping around or making silly sounds when you get hurt. She loves the word “ouch” too. Like if you’re playing with her and you hit yourself in the head with a toy and say ‘ouch’ she laughs so hard! She is a mess.

10.) I saved the best for last…DOORS!!! She is obsessed with them! All doors. Closet doors. Sliding doors. Bedroom doors. Cabinet doors. Doors on her doll houses. Put this girl in front of a door and she is instantly entertained. She just sits there and opens and closes them. I am not sure what the fun is, but she loves doors. I think she could play with doors all day. A funny story about this for you all. While I am getting ready in the mornings I sit her in front of my bedroom door so she can open and close it and be entertained. Well one morning I was running in and out of the bedroom straitening things up and putting a load of laundry on. While I was out of them room Abigail happened to close the door. This would not be a big deal except that she then proceeded to crawl right next to the door so she could open it. That is when there was a problem. The door opens into the bedroom. Abigail was laying behind the door blocking it and I was on the outside in the hallway. Have you ever had to give instructions to a toddler who cannot really move or communicate? It is fun! I could only get my hand through the door and I didn’t want to hurt her. So I am telling her to scoot back and trying to push her back at the same time. We finally worked it out together and she got away from the door enough that I could make it in. Yes, the adventures we have around here!

Well there you go – a very random list of 10 things Abigail loves. She is an odd child, but we love her so much! I am so glad she is interested in things and has likes and dislikes now. It is so fun to watch her grow up. It hit me today that she is going to be three in about 4 months. Three years old! My little girl is growing up and I don’t want to forget that she loves playing with doors all day long and how she laughed at the silliest things. I don’t want to miss out on her learning to pretend play and figuring out how her hands work. I love these days with Abigail, and I can’t wait to see what else she learns to love in the days to come!


A Trip to Chili’s

How do you explain to a two-year-old about special needs? How do you explain to her that a little girl her own age cannot do the things you can do because her legs don’t work quite right? We came face to face with this situation this weekend, and I have been pondering these things myself.

My mother-in-law and her husband took Abigail and me out to dinner Saturday night just so we could get out of the house for a bit. We had been home for over two days and I was going a little stir crazy, so we all packed up and went to Chili’s down the road from our house. Well apparently everyone in town was stir crazy or didn’t want to cook (or couldn’t because they didn’t have power) because everyone was at Chili’s. So we sat with another family that came in before us in the waiting area for about 15 minutes. What a 15-minute wait that was!

The family consisted of a young mother, her two children (a little girl we soon discovered was only two months older than Abigail and her little brother who was about 6 months I am guessing), and the mother’s parents. They were a sweet family and we instantly started talking about the snow and road conditions and power outages. My mother-in-law was holding Abigail, and I was across from them in the other seat. They were sitting right beside the little girl and her mother.

The little girl and Abigail were having a staring contest. You see Abigail loves watching children. I think they fascinate her. The little girl finally got brave enough to ask Susan (my mother-in-law) what Abigail’s name was, so Susan told her and asked her name. She was the cutest little girl with light up rain galoshes on. Susan asked her how old she was and she said three, so the mother had to chime in and say she was only two. We couldn’t believe that she was Abigail’s age. Her mother said she was in the 97th percentile. Abigail is in the 10th, so you can only imagine what the size difference between them was. I explained to the adults that Abigail had special needs, so that might be one reason she seemed so tiny. Well the little girl couldn’t comprehend Abigail was two just like her. She kept saying she was only one, and Susan kept telling her, ‘no she’s two just like you.’

Well everything was going peachy until the little girl asked if Abigail could get down and play with her. Susan told the little girl that Abigail couldn’t leave her lap. Her mother tried to tell her that Abigail’s legs don’t work like hers and of course the why question kept coming. You could tell everyone was getting a little tense with not knowing what to say. Then the little girl asked if Abigail could sit beside her. Of course another round of ‘no’s’ and ‘why not’s’ commenced. So Susan finally told her she could play with her but Abigail would have to sit in her lap. I knew this was going to go poorly the moment that little girl stepped towards Abigail. Abigail loves looking at kids, but she does not like kids in her bubble much less touching her. Well that sweet little girl so lovingly held Abigail’s hands. It truly was the cutest thing, and I wished I could have taken a picture. But all the touching was way too much for Abigail.

I calmly got up from my seat anticipating Abigail’s freak out, and it came quickly. Her bottom lip quivered (a sure sign tears were coming). I scooped Abigail up, and the mother was like did my daughter do anything? “No, not a thing. She was the sweetest to Abigail, but Abigail cannot tolerate children. I am so sorry.” The little girl’s face crumbled. I told her she did nothing wrong and that Abigail was going to be okay. I had to walk away to calm Abigail down and when I got back the family had been seated. I told my mother-in-law everything was good. Abigail was back to laughing and dancing to the holiday music in no time. And when we left we stopped by the family’s table and wished them a goodnight. The little girl waved good-bye, so I knew she was okay too.

But goodness, what a situation! It really was not a big deal probably to anyone else, but those 10 minutes rocked my world. This is my life. No one knows how to react when you say special needs. I felt so awful for that little girl and her family. I know they had no idea what to say or do to explain Abigail. I was no help either. Looking back I should have taken Abigail and showed the girl how Abigail’s legs don’t work right. I should have held her and had a ‘dance’ party in my lap while the little girl stood beside us. There are 15 different things I could have done now looking back. But I sat there and watched this family meet a special needs little girl for the first time with no explanation.

I know it’s not a big deal. They probably won’t even remember us tomorrow, but I will never forget this. I know situations like this will come again. Children will ask questions, and I will have to answer to them and their families. I will have to explain why at two a little girl cannot walk or talk or even sit. I don’t know if I will have all the answers, but I hope to help and encourage as we go. Explaining special needs to a two-year-old is tough, but I hope that little girl stays as loving and sweet as she was that night. And I pray that one day Abigail will accept a sweet handhold from a fellow pier. That little girl’s hand in my child’s hand tonight meant the world to me. I know it was brief, but it shows bridges can be gapped and my daughter can be accepted. Such a simple thing, but such a huge Christmas blessing – a simple hand hold from a sweet little two-year-old girl at a Chili’s restaurant.