We are only a few days from another birthday. I have a few posts that I’ll put up over the next few days. I’m trying to work up the confidence and serenity to post one of them. I know it needs to be said. It will come. Last night was a rough night. I wish I could say birthdays were a time of rejoice in my heart. Each year a bit more of it is exciting. Each year I am grateful that we get to celebrate another year. I cannot imagine a life without this shining star in it. Each day with her is a blessing. It’s easy to lose sight of how much of a blessing it truly is when you get caught up in the appointments and day-to-day. The reality is that is what makes birthdays a bit of a challenge. Knowing that all the evaluation will come.
I woke up this morning with peace in my heart. Not my whole heart but the better part of it. When I woke up to the sound of my little family crawling in bed with me to awaken me from a good night sleep (Sundays my wonderful husband lets me sleep in a bit… it’s a great way to start the day). The sound of her giggling with her daddy is healing to any struggling soul. She loves that man in a way no one else ever will. I love him and I could have never imagined anyone else could love him more than I do… I was wrong. The three of us snuggled and giggled in bed for a bit this morning. It was a bit of that ‘typical’ I somehow still try to search out.
We headed downstairs to get her meds, a bit of breakfast, and plot out the rest of the day. Neil is off until Thursday so that we can get through all the scheduling for school, final appointments with early intervention, and all the other “stuff” together. Plus, what little girl doesn’t want her daddy home for her birthday? I’ve wanted to cut her hair for a few weeks but doing it alone is akin to trimming the mane on a wild pony. So, today seemed like a good day. Daddy entertained her whilst I styled her hair. It may sound funny but somehow giving her a “big girl” style helps me feel a bit more at ease. I am so grateful for so many of the people in her life. They treat her like a kid and not a baby. Alyssa is very much a nearly three-year old mentally in many ways, but due to her size and motor skills sometimes it is hard for strangers to see. I think keeping her overall appearance true to age helps remind even me that she’s no baby 😉 .
At any rate, last time I cut her hair I regretted not giving her bangs. Today? Oh I love them. Somehow they are so *her* and so… a fresh new look. It almost made me want to chop off my hair. Almost. I cut layers too! It’s amazing the level of volume it gave her seemingly fine hair. Blah blah… pictures are worth a thousand words. Right?
This one is a good front shot. Plus, a shot of the wheelchair I have yet to post a blog about and her new leg braces (thank you Shriner’s). How cool is her chair? Purple. Yes. Tiny. Yes. Awesome. Yes!
It’s hard to believe just a few days past 3 years ago my sweet baby had a mohawk from having a central line placed… and now? I think I’ve probably cut a total of 6 inches off her hair over the course of a few cuts. IP can affect hair and make it wirey and hard to manage. Alyssa has the softest honey brown hair. I don’t think I have ever taken her to the pediatrician without her making a comment on how much she loves the color of Alyssa’s hair. I can’t say I blame her.
Well, we decided that we’d get a few tasks handled today. Alyssa needed shoes that fit comfortably over her new braces. Her shoe size without them is a 5 and with her hand-me-down braces she was wearing an 8. These one’s put her squarely in a 6.5. The great part is that means the shoes should fit until her feet catch up to the braces. The better part? Payless had the most perfect toy ever. I want to build something this same height. We’ve been putting her legs in full length braces for about 30 minutes a day to stretch her legs and then after those minutes we’ve had her stand up in them and play by the couch. She’s gained so much confidence in assisted standing over the last couple weeks. Again… pictures are worth a thousand words…
She’s pretty amazing if you ask me. We got her the shoes she’s wearing in this pic. They are the most adorable little brown mary janes. Not overly dressy but enough to look fancy if they need to. I was not completely sold on them until she took solid steps in them (with me holding her hands of course) to get to that toy. It amazes me how adaptive human beings are. This sweet little girl without the ankle strength to take steps… and yet… give her braces and a sturdy pair of shoes? She’ll figure it out. Of course fancy brown shoes don’t work for every occasion so we got her a pair of sneakers…that her mother wishes they made in her size… LOL!
With that our afternoon drew to a close, she took a nap, we watched a movie (and I *might* have taken a nap too), and then we all spent the evening together. It was nice. A relaxing day that I think all of us needed. I’ll call it “calm before the storm.” Ha! It was nice though. That bit of “typical” that calms each of us a bit… even her!
This week is going to be a whirlwind… but I know that she is going to love school and love being three. Yes, I am almost to the point of being able to smile about the fact her birthday is coming. She’s going to rock three… just like she has rocked every other year she has come through. I can’t wait to watch her blossom into a pre-schooler. My mind is ready and my heart gets a bit closer each day. Thanks to everyone who has held my hand, listened to my banter, told me what I needed to hear, reminded me that the good always outweighs the bad, reminded me that God put her with us for a bigger reason than we realize and well… just been there. You may never understand how much knowing that there are people thinking fondly of our daughter every day truly helps to make it to the end of the more difficult days. So, really… thank you 🙂