Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Turning the corner...

...And there is a big wide open field. No wall. Sophie's behavioral issues are getting better and we have seen a spurt in her development. Especially this weekend.

So as the weekend unfolded and the blogworthy news kept building, I knew I just had to take the time to sit down and type it out...as quickly as possible because the clock just ticks way too fast during the day.

It all started Saturday morning. I was watching Sophie from the sidelines in her second swim lesson. The instructor, Sara, put a floating device around Sophie's waist and got her into the water. As Sara was holding Sophie, she told her to hold on to the edge of the pool and then she let go of her. And she held on!!! Just like that. She understood. In that moment, she looked so old. So...dare I say...typical. Just a 3 year old, holding on to the edge of the pool, chilling out. By the way, I will definitely remember my camera next week.

But it didn't stop there. She told Sophie to close her eyes. She did. Squeezed them so tightly together...too cute. She told Sophie to put her nose in the water. She did. She told Sophie to kick her legs. She did.

I was so proud of her that I had to fight back the tears!!!

Then came dinner time. Brandon went to the baseball game so it was just me, Sophie, Elsa, Charlie and Grandma Debbie (aka NaNaw). We decided to be brave and go out to dinner. Taking Elsa and Charlie...easy. But when you add Sophie to the mix...well nothing short of EXHAUSTING. But we were up for the challenge.

And Sophie did great. The I'm so proud, I could cry moment was when she dipped a piece of fish in tartar sauce. First of all, she requested dip by saying "dip, dip, dip". She learned that from Elsa. Elsa LOVES dip and will eat almost anything if you dip it in something. But it wasn't the requesting as much as the action. It was such a controlled and purposeful movement. She delicately dipped the edge of a piece of fish and then popped it into her mouth. In that moment, she looked so...typical (I don't like using that word but I don't know how else to describe it). Not that she looks so typical to the outside world...sitting in a highchair that looks way too small for her while obsessively blowing raspberries in the air and of course her very cute do*.

*Once, a waitress took one look at Sophie and made the comment...it looks like someone got a hold of the scissors.

There is more...

Late Sunday morning, Sophie said "dough dough" out of the blue. So I said, if you want to get a doughnut, you have to put your shoes on**. Getting a doughnut is a treat in our house. Occasionally, we will take the kids to the doughnut shop and go to the park. So she walked out of the family room, through the kitchen and grabbed a shoe out of the back closet and brought it to me. Usually, Sophie gets distracted in these situations and never quite makes it to where she initially plans on going. So for her to make it somewhere AND come back is huge. Most of the time, I continuously verbally redirect her or hold her hand in order to get her to follow through. And half the time, this doesn't even work because she will have a meltdown in the midst of it all. This time, there was no redirecting her since I really did not feel like taking her...it was raining outside and she just finished eating a big breakfast. But I was too proud of her to not follow through. Well...actually...Brandon took both her and Elsa.

**She hates wearing her shoes. You can't blame her. Who wants to wear hard plastic orthotics all day long. Just not comfy. But necessary.

There were more of these moments. I just can't think right now. All in all, it was a refreshing weekend. Something I have been longing for. And it could not have come at a better time. With all that was going on with Julia this weekend. I hope this good news gives this family hope. That Julia's surgery will be a success. That her parents will soon be blogging about their I'm so proud, I could cry moments. Please keep this family in your thoughts as Julia is in her last few moments of surgery.

Nothing but love, hugs and warm thoughts sent to you...sweet Julia.


Lisa said...

This would give me a great big smile at any time, but at a time like this? You know what that means to me. I am so happy for Sophie, and for you. I cannot imagine Julia following all of those directions in the pool, that is terrific.


blogzilly said...

It is a great post. You didn't just give Lisa a spoonful of hope, you just gave me some too, and I've been needing it as well.

Even though surgery feels like it was ten years ago, it hasn't been, and we've seen little in the way of progress, but I keep trying, and hoping, and fighting, and reading your stories like this one give me just the stuff I need to keep going forward.

Awesome post!

Jackson's Blog said...

What great news Elaine! I am so happy Sophie is doing so well! I think I mentioned to you, that we would see Jackson have what we call, big "organizational" changes. It happens all the sudden and you just notice things start happening even more clearly, as though their brain's are starting to reorganize. It sounds like she is doing fantastic. I know Sophie will have many more moments like these ahead!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you are finding so many things to celebrate!! Keep it up Sophie!

Ed said...

Wow, what a great post. Its wonderful to hear all the new things Sophie is doing!

Anonymous said...

That is so awesome!! She will continue these moments and will continue to make you a proud mommy. It's those times that make the difficult ones a tiny bit easier to deal with.
Boy do I wish blogging was around 10 years ago:) Or maybe it was and I had no idea:)
Hugs from Sheila and Trevor!!

Adesta said...

How terrific! Go Sophie! It's odd, I am so proud of her for being able to accomplish the tasks that you talked about, and yet, I don't even know you guys. But, it's always wonderful and easy to be proud of children who have had some difficulty in learning, whatever the reason, actually being able to accomplish these things like they've been doing it all along.

I can't wait to see pictures of her in the pool!

Anonymous said...

Love, love, LOVE reading these posts!!! Oh, I can feel the 'I'm so proud, I could cry' moments coming right through the computer! Because I'm having those 'I'm so proud, I could cry' moments while reading your blogs! I am so happy for your whole family. I can't wait to come home and celebrate her 4th birthday :-) Love, Erin

Anonymous said...

All kids, even those without any developmental or neurological issues, act the worst when their brain is trying to learn and organize things. That is why the toddler years are so difficult for so many parents. When they settle down you suddenly see great gains in cognitive development. Just when you get used to it they'll go nuts again, but don't worry they're just trying to assimilate all of the new info.

JSmith5780 said...

What a fabulous update on Sophie!

I try and tell people that you can't guess at age 2, 3 or even 4 where their kids will go because I never guessed at those ages that Austin would be in a mainstream classroom and he is! OK, so he's not "typical" in many learning aspects, but he's there and leaping past all my (lowered) expectations!

Keep up the good work Sophie!

MJStump said...

Such a great post that has me smiling! I know this has meant so very much to you, and you can tell by how you wrote everything. It is exactly what you guys needed.

These kiddos will always amaze us and tire us, but I guess that is all part of it. By the comments, it is obvious that your blog is inpsiring to so many, and a way to remind all of us that we can get through just about anything and good will come...with many smiles :)

Way to go Sophie!

Sinead said...

Music to my ears. We had started to see tiny breakthroughs recently with Emma but nothing like this. Made me cry. Its so nice after all she has been through to be emrging at the other side. There will be ups and downs (you've met other children her age, right... Lots of ups and downs) but the signs are good.

Jonathan said...

Oh good grief Elaine...that is blubber-licious!

I'm SO glad you found the time to blog this...(((((((((hugs)))))))))))


Colby said...


I am celebrating along with you!

Sophie is reawakening and moving forward so beautifully!

Try and focus on all of these positives...And keep writing...It gives the other surgery patients and surgical candidates so much hope!

I am THRILLED for y'all...


Holli said...

What amazing news Elaine! I did read this a while back, but got sidetracked with Austin before making a comment. :)

I'm so glad she is coming around. There are so many parents celebrating this news as their kids just had or are about to have the surgery. And the others (like me) who just adore you guys are jumping for joy as well!

It's obvious that your child having a major brain surgery isn't all rainbows and lollipops, but this has given so many people in this situation hope and confirmation that it's all worth it.

How magical it must have been to witness such a dramatic change!

Love you guys!!