Happy 11th Birthday Mikayla and Hope

Mikayla & Hope hospital picture

11 years ago these little gals came into the world. They’ve taught me to slow down and see things that I can’t see when I’m hurrying. They’ve taught me to giggle at things that most people don’t even notice. They’ve taught me that life is about the journey and not just the destination. Seeing the world through their eyes is one of the greatest blessings that God has ever given me.   

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Hope told me she wanted a bird feeder for her birthday.  A bird feeder?  That’s perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  And Grandma is the perfect person to give Hope a bird feeder.  Hope loves to watch the hummingbirds when she’s at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and now she wants to see hummingbirds at our house.  So Grandma bought a bird feeder for Hope and one for Mikayla too.  They were so excited.  Now we have to wait for it to get warm enough for the hummingbirds to come.  The girls want them to come right now.  Pray for me.    

We took the girls to Chuck E. Cheese last Saturday to celebrate their birthday.  They would see a game that they once loved and would say “That one’s boring.” or “I’m too big for that one.”  What a difference a year can make.  They gravitated towards anything that vibrated and would make them bounce.  Their favorite game was one where they had to hold onto these silver levers that vibrated.  They called it the “shocking” game.  They loved that thing and would grin from ear to ear every time they did it.  

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The girls love dinosaurs and they’re crazy about flying a kite.  So we gave them each a dinosaur kite.  Now we just have to sit and wait for the wind to blow.  They also got a couple of games, some dinosaurs, and The Peanuts Movie.  

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I just can’t believe my babies are 11 years old.  I’m thankful for the progress they’ve made in the last year and I look forward to the progress they will make in the next year.  I look forward to hummingbirds and the wind blowing so we can make memories together.  Happy Birthday Hope and Mikayla!      

      

 

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A Voice In The Night

I’ve felt completely frazzled lately.  Our girls have been talking incessantly.   They talk from the time their feet hit the floor in the morning until they put their heads on their pillows at night.  They ask the same questions over and over again and I answer them over and over again.  They give me the current Zoe report.  Zoe’s our cat.  Zoe’s asleep on the car.  Zoe’s eating her food.  Zoe’s walking down the driveway.  Zoe’s coming up the driveway and she’s got a mouse in her mouth.  Zoe’s sitting on the front porch.  They talk about how Daddy has to go to work later and that they want to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  They talk about what kind of cupcakes and presents they want for their birthday. They ask where Taylor’s going and then after she leaves they ask “Where’s Taylor?” until she gets back home.  They ask what that noise is that I can’t seem to hear.  They ask “What’cha doin?” all day long.  Especially if I’m in the bathroom.  They talk about their beloved animals and their favorite cartoon characters. Garfield likes lasagna and Chance ate a button.  They tell me it’s raining and that there’s a squirrel in the yard or a bird in the tree.  They tell me they have to go to the bathroom.  Every single time.

I’m a gal who enjoys quiet.  I’m not sure I even remember what quiet sounds like.  I’ve found myself hiding in my bedroom eating Hershey’s Kisses more times than I care to admit.  Chocolate is my friend. It helps me find my happy place.  I’m almost always in my pajamas by 6 p.m. just waiting for bedtime.  It’s amazing how many questions a couple of little girls can ask between the hours of 6 and 8:30 p.m.  And unfortunately my brain turns into goo during those hours and I can’t even process what they’re saying.  I say “uh-huh” to whatever they say even though I have absolutely no idea what they’re saying.

Once their pajamas are on and their teeth are brushed I say the two words that don’t seem to mean much to our girls.  Stop talking.  Some nights they stop talking and fall asleep quickly.  Some nights they don’t.  But once they fall asleep something totally amazing happens.  The house is quiet. I like quiet.

After an extremely difficult day I heard a voice in the night.  She whispered in my right ear the words “I love you, Mommy!”  I don’t normally enjoy being awakened at 3:30 in the morning.  But I smiled and said “I love you too, Hopey”.   And then my heart melted a little and I began to cry.  I cried because our girls voices are a gift that I had been seeing as a burden.  I began to think about parents of nonverbal children.  They would love to hear their child ask a million questions.  They go to bed at night wishing they could hear the words “I love you, Mommy” or “I love you, Daddy”.   My heart broke as I prayed for parents who can’t hear their child’s voice. And I thanked God for changing my perspective and showing me that our girls voices are a gift.

I still have days when the constant chatter can be difficult to endure.  I got 4 hours of sleep last night and I’m not handling the chatter very well today.   I will probably be hiding in the bedroom this afternoon devouring a handful of Hershey’s kisses and desperately trying to find my happy place.  God will remind me that tonight the house will be dark and quiet.  And I will receive the greatest gift that a mommy can ever receive.  I’ll hear those four words “I love you Mommy”.  Not once but twice.

Saying Goodbye To Easter Seals

I woke up with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes.  Today was the day we would walk into Easter Seals for the last time.  I was struggling with having to say goodbye to the therapists who’ve been in our lives for the last 2 years.  They aren’t just the girls therapists.  They have become our friends.  Am I going to be able to hold it together? or am I going to be a blubbering mess?

As I was signing in the receptionist asked me when our last day would be.  I told her today was our last day.  She said “Oh…..that makes me want to cry!”.   She talked about how sweet our girls are and how much she would miss seeing us.  Tears started forming in the corners of my eyes.   I haven’t made it out of the reception area and I’m already crying.  This is not going to be easy.

The girls OT’s came and got them.  I tried to sit and read a book but I just couldn’t concentrate.  Mikayla and Hope have always loved the therapy gym.  I went a few minutes early to pick them up so I could get some pictures.   They had a wonderful last day of OT and they were grinning from ear to ear.  It was time for them to get their prize and say goodbye.  The girls did what they do every week.  They hugged Lisa and Jill and told them that they love them.  And I watched with tears in my eyes.

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We went to the parent’s lounge to wait for their speech therapists to come and get them.  Susan came and got Mikayla.  A few minutes later Kayla came for Hope.  I asked Kayla if I could take a picture of her and Hope.  She loved the idea and she asked me to email the pictures to her.  Hope was acting a little goofy which made for some really cute pictures.  I snapped the pictures and quickly left so they could start their session.

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I could tell that a flood of tears was coming so I went straight to the restroom.  I knew the hardest goodbyes were still coming.  I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get through it.  I’ve spent a lot of time talking to Susan and Kayla about the girls over the last 2 years.  They’ve always been positive and encouraging.   Even on the days when the girls had an off day they’ve been encouraging and loving.

I was standing out in the hallway waiting for Susan to bring Mikayla back to me.  Brett got back from running some errands.  I was crying and I told him “I don’t think I can do this”.  Then Susan opened the door and out popped Mikayla.  She was as happy as could be.  They’d played Ned’s Head which is one of her favorite games.  I got a quick picture of Susan and Mikayla.

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Kayla and Hope joined us.  We started talking and I thanked Susan and Kayla for all they’ve done for Mikayla and Hope.   I told them that 2 years ago I prayed that each of our girls would get the speech therapist who was perfect for her.  God certainly answered my prayer.  Kayla was perfect for Hope and Susan was perfect for Mikayla.   Susan hugged me and I started crying. Mikayla walked up to me with a worried look on her face.  And she leaned up against me because she knew I was having a hard time saying goodbye.  The girls said goodbye to Susan and Kayla, told them they love them, and then Brett took them to the van.

I spent a few more moments talking to Kayla.  She said some things that are going to help me get through this chapter of our life.  We hugged, said goodbye, and I walked down the hallway one final time.  As I walked out the front door for the last time I left a piece of my heart inside of Easter Seals.  I will always be thankful for Kayla, Susan, Jill, and Lisa and every moment that they spent with our girls.12736462_10153370649442405_715711581_n

I thought about this picture several times throughout the day.  I feel like the little girl in this picture. I don’t want to give up Easter Seals and the amazing therapists our girls have had for the last 2 years. But God has asked us to let go of what’s familiar and comfortable and He wants us to trust Him. We trust that He has something amazing waiting for our girls that we just can’t see yet.

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.