Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What's new with Eliana?

I’m feeling behind here – and in most areas of my life.  LOL  You’ve heard that before haven’t you?  Just want to make sure that I don’t ever portray a super mom image – I’m not one!  Just trying to do my best each day – often failing and thankful for grace and forgiveness and fresh starts.  I’m also trying to just live life – letting go of things that I can’t get to and trying to get to the things that matter most.  Sometimes I do better at this than other times.  There is always so much more to learn!

I wanted to update a little on Eliana and all that she has been up to.  I’ve already typed this once and lost it – ugh!  Going to try to do it again and get it saved this time.   I am having trouble with photobucket and am not sure what is going on there!

Eliana can crawl up the stairs on her own, though needs a lot of encouragment and enticements (toy or sibling cheering her on).  She doesn’t typically try to go up the stairs on her own, which I can’t say that I’m too sorry about.  It seems a little silly to work on a skill (I know it’s a good one) that once mastered we will do all that we can to keep her from repeating.  We aren’t able to teach her how to go down the stairs safely at this time due to her g-tube.

So many things to teach.  So many things you take for granted with most children.  You just don’t set out to teach them a whole lot of things – they just learn on their own.  Like how to eat, how to stand, how to speak and more.  I’m amazed and thankful that people have figured out ways to teach these children that don’t learn in a traditional manner.  I had someone ask me if working with Daniel’s sensory issues was a lot harder than Eliana’s "stuff".  It doesn’t even come close!  I know that through all of this that God is going to teach me so many things that I need to learn!  I’m thankful to be learning from a cutie pie.

One of the new things we’ve been doing is using pictures on a piece of paper to help her communicate.  Her therapist made a sheet with some of her favorite things – cow, turtle, music, book, ball and bear.  We will point to the picture and then ask her if she would like it.  Or talk about it.  If she points, then we give her the object, in essence rewarded her for asking.  We are using this in addition to speaking the word and sometimes signing the word as well.  Hopefully using a combination of methods will help her to learn and be able to communicate with us.  She is babbling, but not really saying words yet.

I’m thankful that Eliana has numerous teachers – from therapists to her siblings.  She is blessed to be surrounded by so many people that love her.  Rebecca has been trying to teach her "doll".  She says the "d" sounds when Rebecca says doll, which delights Rebecca.  She has also been trying to teach her how to feed the doll a bottle. It’s really cute.

Eliana had physical therapy today and her therapist was very encouraging!  She commented on how much better Eliana was doing at things from just last week!  This with being gone most of the week too!  Yippee!!

She is cruising on the sofa!  It's really cute.  We remove the cushions to make the height a little easier for her.  She is doing a lot better than last week when she did this for the first time.  She also stood on her own - very briefly - twice today.  Once for me and then again while her therapist was here.  She is learning how to squat from a standing position and also how to stand from a squatting position.  All of this is hard work - and she is doing so well. 

Here is a look at the rest of our week:

Tomorrow we have speech therapy and then my sister and her children are coming to visit.  We are very excited to see them as it has been several months.

Friday we have an appointment with Eliana's surgeon to talk about removing the g-tube.  I'm not sure if he might remove it then or just talk about it.  I really don't know what is going on.  We would love your prayers.  I've been told that the removal of this g-tube (Bard) is a painful one.  Later that day, my oldest will be doing a dissection with a friend of a crayfish.  Yuck.  Then that evening we have our sweet friends from VA coming for a visit.  There's more, but that's probably enough for now.

I still want to write and post pictures on Easter (we spent 4 fun days with our friends in VA) and a couple of our field trips this past month.  More later when I figure out how to get to the pics at photobucket.

Thank you to the dear friends that have written me and who are praying for us.  I appreciate both so very much.  I'm trying to write back, but please forgive me for being slow.  We are doing pretty well.  Two of my children still struggle at times with the loss of our little one.  I'm doing OK.  I try not to think about it too much to be honest - though as most of you know, being pregnant can be consuming in regards to your thoughts and it does pop into my thoughts often.  I'm thankful that God is carrying us through this time, like He has through so many others.  I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be learning - though I've gotten better at just leaning on Him and trusting instead of fighting for my own way.  That doesn't mean that the hurt is gone, just that I know He is with me every step of the way.

Here's one last picture of our little angel.