Archive for October, 2010

Different Kinds of Miracles

Last week I posted a video of Chloe walking across the living room floor when she was just shy of 6 years old, and I called it a miracle.  I also said that the fact that she understands what I say to her is also a miracle.

The truth is, I believe everyday is a miracle with Chloe.  I think every single new thing she does is a miracle.  When I hear her Chloe-giggle, I am reminded that she is a miracle.  When she asks me for something, and I understand — I am reminded that she is a miracle.  When she throws a silent fit, jumping and kicking — I am reminded that she is a miracle.

I not only think it’s a miracle simply because doctors never thought those things would happen.  But I also see those things as miracles because I know the years and years of therapies and effort and practice that have gone into Chloe’s learning to do something new.

Most parents don’t have to teach their infant to track a toy with their eyes or to hold a toy with their hands — babies just do those things when they get to be a certain age.  Usually, anyway.  Most parents don’t have to teach their child to laugh — kids just do that naturally. . .  don’t they?  There are many children, like Chloe, who have had to be taught how to do every single thing they do.  Seriously.  Eating from a spoon — heck, opening their mouth for the spoon!  Holding a toy, clapping their hands, putting a toy in their mouth — some children, Chloe included, have to be taught over and over and over how to do these things.

So when as a parent I see my child do one of those things, Yes!  It’s a miracle!  It’s hard work, and it’s a miracle!

But every time I post an accomplishment that Chloe has reached and call it a miracle, I am reminded of all the friends we have who have children with greater challenges than Chloe.  I think of all the friends we have whose children haven’t achieved those accomplishments.  Many of our friends’ children haven’t learned to roll over or to walk across the living room.  Many of our friends’ children don’t understand many conversations.  They can’t sit up on their own.  They haven’t learned to play with toys.  And some of them may never learn to do those things.

I want it to be known that I believe, of course, that those children are also miracles!  I know when those children smile, it is a miracle.  When those children make an attempt to move their hand toward something that they see, that’s a miracle.  Making it through a night without needing to be suctioned is a miracle.  Communicating a want or need is a miracle.  I could go on and on.  I just want to be clear that I think every life is a miracle!  And every child with special needs is a miracle — every day!

There are certainly more miracles that we as a family are hoping and praying for  — and working hard for.  We would love for Chloe to communicate in a way that everyone can understand her.  Heck, we are hoping that she will be able to talk someday.  We are hoping that Chloe will be able to eat the same foods we eat.  We are hoping that Chloe will be able to walk stronger so she won’t need her wheelchair even for long trips.

I am confident that God has a purpose for Chloe and that He fulfills His purposes for her every day — whether she reaches the goals that I have for her or not.  And I believe that is true for every child with special needs.

Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . .”  Yes, it’s talking about you.  And it’s talking about me.  And it’s talking about Chloe and other children with special needs.  He knows them; and, in fact, He knew them before they were even conceived.  Think they were an accident or a surprise to Him?  No way!

And in Psalm 139 it says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.”  Sounds like He was pretty much in control over what went on in the womb, huh?  Yes, I believe He was.

Psalm 139 continues, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  None of Chloe’s days or experiences or challenges or achievements have surprised Him.  He knew the outcome before she was even born.

And then in Luke 12:7, the Lord says “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  He knows our children so intimately that He actually knows how many hairs are on their heads.  Wow.  He knows Chloe better than I know her!  And you know what?  God knew whether our children’s hair would feel the wind blow through it as they ran through a field at top speed or if they would never experience that feeling.  He knew.  He knows.  And He’s not surprised.

And another favorite:  Jeremiah 29:11 says “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”  Again, He is speaking of Chloe.  He is speaking of your child.  He is not a God who is purposing a hard, difficult life for our children.  He has plans to prosper them and to give them hope and to give them a future.  That’s huge.  Some days there is not much reason to hope.  But God gives us hope.  We have to choose hope or else life is too hard.

Accidents?  There’s no such thing.

Miracles?  Every single one of them!  Everyday!

Holiday Shopping?

A Christmas tree inside a home.

Image via Wikipedia

Guess what?  Are you sitting down?  Christmas is only 8 weeks from today.  8 WEEKS FROM TODAY!  Can you believe it??  I can’t at all believe it.

Have you started Christmas shopping yet?  Yeah, me either.

Do you have your list yet?  Hmmm, me either.

Have you at least started your list?  Yeah, me either.

Have you at least thought about making your list?  No?  Slacker.  I have at least thought about my list.

Well, I want to encourage you — friend to friend — to start thinking about it today!  Go ahead and get started!  Make your list!  Check it twice and twenty times!  And start shopping!

And remember, I can help you take care of every woman on your list!  Your mom, your wife, your girlfriend, your boss, your sister, your daughter, your daughter-in-law, your granddaughter, your BFF.

I told you all about Halle Joy a bit ago.  We are in the full swing of holiday shopping at Halle Joy.  You can visit and see all the selections of handbags and jewelry.  You can even purchase online and choose me as your consultant!  Just ask me how!

Halle Joy seriously has something for every woman you need to buy for this year.  If you need a suggestion, then just leave me a comment and ask me.

And remember that a portion of every purchase goes to support great causes across the globe!  And you could choose the cause you think she would love to help support:  orphans, food, water, disaster relief, or medical needs.

If you need to buy for lots of women and would like to get some Halle Joy products for FREE, then maybe you need to have a Halle Joy Trunk Show and introduce your friends to Halle Joy — Halle Joy has a very generous hostess plan that could help you get lots of stuff for FREE! Again, just leave me a comment.  🙂

I’m having a ball with my Halle Joy — the products, the shows, the parties, the people, the job.  Loving it!

So, the countdown has begun. . . .

8 weeks.  That’s 56 days.

Let’s get going!


Image by Alice Harold via Flickr


Not Me! Monday

Back by popular demand is my Not Me! Monday post where I spill the beans on the embarrassing things I have not been doing all week.  It’s a type of confessional where we folks can freely laugh at ourselves and at each other!

I used to join up with MckMama and lots of other bloggers in Not Me! Monday, where we confessed many things that we absolutely did not do this week!  (Of course we didn’t!)  But I get the feeling that she isn’t do it anymore so today I’m not linking up.

Here are a few things I have not been doing:

First of all, I have not again lost my camera.  No way! Losing a camera once or twice is understandable, but it would be ridiculous for an adult to have lost an expensive piece of equipment yet again.  So, no, I have not lost my camera.  And my husband did not finally have to invest in a new camera just this week since he was saddened by all the events that we now have no picture memories of.  (And I’m not thrilled to have a camera that will allow me to post photos on my blog once again!  Nope.  Not me!)

And I have not been hiding the truth from my bloggy friends about a 4-legged creature that was added to our household about 2 months ago.  <gasp!>  And the reason I’ve withheld that info is not because I’m still not totally convinced that Coco, the crazy disobedient puppy, is going to remain in our household for very much longer.  One of the reasons I’m not sure Coco is staying is surely not simply because I don’t have time, energy, patience, and desire to care for another creature nor train another creature.  Another reason is not because I curse, curse, curse (usually under my breath when the children are home) when I have to clean up potty messes from this added creature — I surely do not feel like I already do enough potty messes without having him add his to the mess mix.  And lastly, I am not incredibly bitter each time I have to ask one of my boys to feed or water the dog or to simply finally get the poor beast out of his crate.  No, surely none of the above are true.  And surely I would have let you know about having a dog when we first got it, knowing that it would be good blog material.  And the whole truth is not that I have found so much unhappiness in having the dog that I couldn’t bear to bring it up.

And please tell me that the above confessed pet did not chew up the shoes of our babysitter last weekend — to the point that she had to go home barefoot!  No Way! That would be too embarrassing to admit.  No, the dog did not eat the babysitter’s shoes.

And the dog did not then chew up two of the boys’ video games — one of which Elliot had saved and saved to buy.  No,  the dog surely did not behave that way, and I am sure not really wishing we did not have a dog.

How about you?  Don’t leave me out here by myself . . .

Watching a Miracle

What you are about to see is a miracle.  It was a miracle on the day I filmed it — September 17, 2007, and it’s still a miracle today.  You see, the nearly 6-year-old Chloe walking all the way across my small living room floor was never supposed to happen.  When Chloe was born, doctors didn’t think she’d ever roll over or ever understand anything I said to her.  Chloe did roll over, and she does understand what I say to her.  And she did learn to walk across my living room floor.  And she continues to progress and to gain skills.  What you are about to see is a miracle in the works — just like everyday with Chloe is a miracle in the works.  🙂

Sickness . . . ugh!

I know I already said that I’ve been sick.  Well, I’ve still been sick.  I’ve spent the better part of 8 days in the bed!!  It is ridiculous.  I had a decent day on Saturday and thought I was getting better, but my yuckiness was back with a vengeance on Sunday.  I finally went to the doctor Monday and learned I have a little pneumonia.  I started antibiotics on Monday and am SURE that I’ll be 100% today!!

Being sick is so frustrating, isn’t it?  I mean besides just feeling yucky.  Staying in the bed wasting time is so very frustrating.  I  mean, don’t get me wrong, there are days when I love to get back in the bed after I send the kids off to school.  But when I’m stuck in the bed for a week — now, that’s a different story all together!

I had a doctor appointment Monday morning at 9.  Then Zachary had a doctor appointment at 11 to see his allergist/asthma doc.  While waiting for his doctor to come in, I got a call from the school.  It was the school nurse.  Chloe had been up in her office and probably needed to come home.

Did I hear cheers about Chloe’s being in the nurses office?  Did you say, “Yay!?”  Well, I did.  The fact that Chloe was in the nurse’s office meant that Chloe’s aide or teacher or someone knew that things weren’t quite right with her.  Yay!  Awesome!

Apparently Chloe was crying and was slapping herself in the face.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever told them what it means when she hits herself or if they surmised what it means, but Chloe hits herself when she’s hurt.  She will usually hit in the spot where she hurts.  She was slapping herself on her face and head — sounds like a headache to me.

The nurse checked her over and didn’t see anything of note, but everyone knew that she didn’t feel well.  When Zippy and I were done with his doctor (an hour and a half later!!), we swung by and picked Chloe up.  We all 3 went home to rest.

I must chuckle and roll my eyes as I tell you that when Elliot came home at 3 o’clock, he complained of not feeling well.  We were pathetic!  And on Tuesday, I was in the bed and Elliot and Chloe were home from school!  Pitiful.

Today?  I already feel a lot better than I have in a while.  Both boys went to school.  And I sent Chloe to school against her wishes — she REALLY didn’t want to go.  I don’t think she feels very well, but I wanted her to try to go to school for a little while.  In between her telling me “NO!!” about going to school, I very gently convinced her to go “for just a little bit.”  I’m on hold now making her a doctor appointment.  I’m sure she just has a virus and that there’s nothing to be done at this point, but it of course helps to have a doc note when your kid is missing so much school.  Ugh.

This too shall pass, eh?

Bullying Again

Well, since none of you answered my questions that I have about bullying, I must assume that you don’t know much about bullying either.

I read a great article today that does a great job defining and describing bullying.  It describes the difference in teasing and bullying — one of the questions I had.  The writer also gives great ideas for teachers and parents to empower their children to stand up against bullying.  I thought it was a great article and well worth a read.

Check it out.

It makes me wonder what anti-bullying program our elementary school has in place.  And what program our middle school has in place.  I just might do some asking around and find out.

If you are inspired to find out about your children’s school’s anti-bullying program, let me know what you find out.

I mentioned the other day that I feel like Elliot is in more danger of becoming the victim of bullying than Zachary is.  But this article points out why children with ADHD are more apt to be victim.  Interesting.

And I, of course, didn’t even mention the risk that a child with special needs carries in becoming the victim of bullying.  Ugh.

Sick Girl?

Well, earlier this week when I wrote about my being sick, I voiced my concern about what happens when Chloe doesn’t feel well.

I didn’t really have noticeable symptoms this week — I had a migraine one day, a bit of a sore throat for a few days, just an overall feeling of yuckiness, but nothing that anyone would have noticed if I hadn’t been constantly complaining about it.

The day that I mentioned my concerns about Chloe not feeling well, she came home and had received a number (discipline mark) in PE for refusing to participate.  She also didn’t have a great day overall; I think the teacher note said she was “not cooperative.”  I knew that I knew that I knew that probably she didn’t feel well.  I figured she probably had whatever random virus I had.  But she seemed happy enough at home so I decided to go ahead and send her to school on Thursday.  Wish I hadn’t.

Apparently she had a pretty terrible day at school.  She didn’t do any work.  The daily communication said that she seemed frustrated.  She screamed in the hallway and angrily shook her walker in the hallway.  And then apparently she spent some time in the office after the screaming and shaking episode.

Now hear me out here.  Don’t hear me bashing the folks up at the school because I am not.  As I’ve said before, this is their first go-round with the likes of Chloe.  And I’ve said here before how even I oftentimes am left guessing what Chloe is thinking and feeling.  But I think what happened at school was that the screaming and shaking episode was perceived as a behavior issue and the decision was made to take her to the office.  (Let me also say that I have no reason to believe that her time in the office was meant for punishment or anything . . . I’m guessing it was sort of a place to calm down and refocus maybe.)

Since everyone had such a rough start to this school year, I think maybe they’re still not sure what is typical Chloe behavior and what is wow-something’s-not-quite-right behavior.

I very much wish that they had called me to let me know that she was having such a rough day.  I’m guessing she felt horrible like I’ve felt all week.  I’ve seriously hardly gotten off the couch because I feel so yucky.  Had they called me, I would have gone up to get her and brought her home to go to bed.  I’m guessing that’s really all she wanted.

Again, in the school’s defense, they did what they know to do.  And in the past, if they had a kid screaming in the hallway, then they probably removed them to the office to calm down.  It’s all part of the procedure, I’m sure.

And for those of you who are getting upset as you read this, please know that I’m not mad at the school, at the teachers, or at anyone for what happened.  It is just another example of something that I need to communicate, something else that Chloe’s new school has to learn.  I think what they will all learn as the year progresses is that Chloe is a sweet, obedient, quiet kid.  I oftentimes refer to her as “my perfect child.”  And they will come to realize that when Chloe has such an “off day” as she had a couple of days this week, that probably something isn’t right and she doesn’t feel well, and they need to send her home.

So I kept Chloe home from school today.  All she did was lay around all day.  She seemed happy enough, but she certainly didn’t have energy to be up and moving around.  So, yes, she probably doesn’t feel well.  And I’m very glad I kept her home.

My plan is to have a conversation with the folks at school and explain to them what I think happened this week.  I feel sure they’ll be understanding and open to my thoughts and suggestions.  I think they are well aware that they need my support and input and help for us all to have a good experience and for Chloe (and them) to be successful.

When Chloe appears to act out, I long for them to see her struggling to tell them something.  When she has a day of being unhappy and uncooperative, I long for them to know that something isn’t right.  When she has a day that is making them all miserable, I want them to consider that maybe she is the one who is miserable.  And I will ask them to call me at those times so we can try to figure it out together.

They will.  They will learn.  They will learn to understand her.  Just like her other teachers in the past learned and learned to understand Chloe, they will, too.  They will.  I know they want to.  I appreciate them and their care for Chloe.  I know they want to help her and to understand her.  I can see it in their notes home to me.  I can see it in their interactions with her.  They are connecting with her.  And the more they connect with her, the more they will learn to understand her and to read her.  And, believe me, I understand how frustrating it is to try to figure out what she’s not communicating.

Just another challenge of having a nonverbal child. . . .

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