Sunday, April 15, 2012

Some pics and some smiles

This past week, Emily had her half birthday. When did my baby grow into a little girl? Since half birthdays are pretty important at this age, I didn't want the milestone to pass without doing something a little special. So, in honor of this momentous occasion, I am going to share a few things that Emily is doing lately. I want to remember what she was like at 4 1/2 and unless I write things down, I won't remember.

So here are some random things that make me smile lately (along with a few pictures from Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday):

Emily has been vocalizing a LOT lately. She mostly says "Aaah", but her tone changes depending on the need of the moment. She uses a high-pitched "Aaah" when she is singing along with her Gloworm or a favorite video. She uses a plain "Aaah" to let us know when her video has ended or she wants to get our attention for any reason. She has also been saying a few other things like: "Gagagaga", "Lalalala" and "Uhh" (she usually says this when we are driving up the hill to our house - I always say "we are going up, up, up the hill" so maybe she is trying to repeat after me??). She also makes a "Wouh" sound when she is getting frustrated (when she is in her stander and doesn't want to be, or if she is having a hard time making one of her toys work).

She recognizes places that we go a lot. She lets out an "Aaah" when she sees something familiar (the bridge that we take to get to Children's, the water tower we pass on the way to church, just about anything on our street, the front gate when we arrive at the ranch). She knows when we take a different route too. You can see her looking around as if she knows something is odd. On a side note, she loves it when we drive fast. She has a huge smile on her face and puts her legs straight out as if she is saying "Weeeeee". Her Dad and I tend to drive a bit fast, so I guess she has grown accustomed to that. :)
She is absolutely obsessed with mylar balloons. It doesn't matter what shape it is, she gets very excited. We get them at the dollar store and they last for quite a long time. If they are in the car when I pick her up from the bus, she gets a HUGE smile on her face. She has no need for fancy gifts - I could give her a balloon for every birthday or holiday and she would be thrilled.
She really likes to watch the Wiggles. I think she likes the bright costumes and the singing. She really does love music! The show drives me crazy a little bit, but there are other kid shows that really get under my skin more. She also likes to watch Lazy Town, Cat in the Hat, Curious George, and Chloe's Closet. We watch the Sprout Channel quite a bit, especially when she is eating breakfast before school. Veggie Tales DVD's are still a favorite. That song makes her smile EVERY single time. When she spends time in her stander, we HAVE to have Praise Baby or Baby Worship in the DVD player. She will not watch anything else during her stander time!
What seems to be her all time favorite show lately is How It's Made (on the Science Channel). Every night, Mike and Emily have their time together. He likes to watch this show while he is feeding her dinner and she talks to the TV the entire time. At first, I thought she was just "chatting" with Mike, but one night he put her in her chair and left the room to do something and she continued to talk to the TV the entire time the show was on. She mostly says "Aaah", but the volume is louder than anything we ever hear from her. She sounds like she is screaming on the top of her lungs, but with a happy tone. It is pretty funny. She does not react this way to anything else. I think she likes the tone of the voice of the narrator of the show. It is somewhat monotone and she must find it very soothing.
She likes it when we sing to her (and doesn't seem to care that neither of us sing very well). She really likes "Twinkle Twinkle" and "You are my Sunshine" lately. She also likes the "Emily song" , the "Bathtime song", Mike's "Good night" song and just about any other silly song we happen to make up. She seems to enjoy watching her parents make complete fools of themselves.
She likes the really loud, exaggerated kissing sound (think Muwwaaah). Whenever I do this to her she gets a huge smile on her face. Her version of giving kisses is to open her mouth as you come near her. I have tried to put my cheek to her mouth when she does it, but she turns away - she doesn't quite get the concept yet. Her version of kisses is pretty adorable, though. Whenever I put the wheelchair in the van (or take it out), I have to climb in the back of the van to unlock the wheels. Every time I do this, I always lean over her seat and give her a kiss. I have done it so much, that now she is ready for me. When I lean over, she is usually looking up with her mouth open ready to give kisses. It makes me smile every single time!
I know I have mentioned this before, but she LOVES riding the school bus to school. She usually has a big smile on her face when she is going up on the lift. She gets so excited about school every morning, that I can barely get her in her carseat or wheelchair (when she gets excited, she extends her whole body so it is stiff as a board). So while she is super happy, I am sweating up a storm from wrestling with her! We have run into some issues when I have picked her up from school (usually for an appointment). First, she gives me this look that says "what are you doing here" and then she usually cries when I try to get her out of her wheelchair and into her carseat. The last time I picked her up, she cried and screamed on the top of her lungs. I could not talk to her or touch her - that made her even more mad. Normally, she will quiet down as soon as the car starts moving, but this last time, she cried for quite a bit of the drive home. It was pretty ugly.
She is showing us more and more of her personality every day. She has a pretty strong will and is not afraid to use it!


T said...

Awh - Emily you are too cute, I love your dresses!

Big brother, Little sister. said...

Happy half birthday Miss Emily! Wow you have grown and such a delight! Glad you like some Aussie Wiggles! We saw them in concert last month and Murray came to give Pepper a high 5! it was amazing. Glad to hear you are finding your voice to match that strong will of yours xxxx

Anonymous said...

She has grown longer. Looks like she is outgrowing that seat again. So neat to hear how she is communicating and showing her personality. The pics are beautiful as always-can never have too many! (hint-hint)

Happy half-b-day Little Em.


Moe said...

Hi, I am a mom of an 18 year old daughter with CP. You blog brings me back to a crazy time of my life. Being a mom of a child with CP is very rewarding, challenging and tiring. I just want to give you a bit of encouragement to let you know that you are not alone. I saw a post about feeling guilty about leaving your child with a nurse while you had a "date" night. Please find time for your husband and yourself!!! That is my best advise. Who you are and the relationship with your husband is so very important. Believe me you will be a better mom after giving "you" a little time. It is not being selfish...As my daughter turned 18 and I relived her first 18 years on her birthday, I remembered how hard those first couple years were....the therapy, the doctors appointments, the crying, and all the other tough times....then I remembered the joys of how each progress she made was like a party for us....the special times we had together, her smiles, and all the other joys..
I would love to share some of my ideas, memories or anything else you need. I feel like I have a lot of knowledge that I could share with you.