Archive for April, 2012

Laurel has a family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Oh my goodness! Did you hear? Do you know?! I got the news and just started crying! A family has stepped forward and decided to adopt precious, deserving Laurel! If you remember I blogged about Laurel here  (and here  and here) and my heart was breaking for her. Laurel is 15 and turns the dreaded 16 in August. The crime of turning 16 would mean she would be permanently hidden from society in a mental institution with no hope of a family or love (because she would be no longer  eligible  for adoption) or she would be thrown to the street to maybe live a very shortened and miserable life. But now she will go to a mom and dad who love her! Oh I’m so happy I could burst!

Every night we pray for a few specific orphans. Laurel is at the top of the list. The day Laurel got a committed family I didn’t tell Laelia right away. During prayer time that night when Laelia was praying for the orphans that’s when I broke the news. (There’s nothing orthodox about our prayers so  interruptions  like this are common.) Laelia grinned so big!  “She gets a mommy and daddy just like my brother? Even though she’s big? Yay!!!” Laelia was so happy and we thanked God so much for setting this in motion for this precious girl.

Two other orphans on our short list are Victoria and Igor.



They are in the same country as Laurel and are living in an institution, although they are several years younger than Laurel. Right now (April 24th-April 30th, 2012) there is a giveaway going on for these two that I’m a part of. I would really like it to be a huge success so that families will know that we support these children and will be encouraged to adopt them. And then Victoria and Igor will get adopted and the whole community will rally behind them. Then they’ll grow and bloom in their new homes and become doctors or professors and one day when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize they’ll mention that it wouldn’t have been possible without a silly fundraiser/giveaway. ;) Would you help me? The prizes are pretty awesome. If nothing else look at the cool prizes and share this on your blogs or Facebook. The first prize (for Tea Collection clothes) shows a model who has arthrogryposis! I’m pretty excited about this. But the last prize really has my heart.  Go see!

Check out the giveaway here! Thank you so much!

Abilities showcase

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Just a few new abilities two months after surgery. (Videos embedded or you can go here, here and here.)

Laelia can now stand on one foot without KAFOs while brushing her teeth (which she also does all by herself).

Laelia can now sit down from a standing position when a wall is handy (even when we’re ignoring her). I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to not have to drop everything and go sit her down myself.

And lastly Laelia can stand up all by herself using our one and only stair! This one was hard to re-learn from before because she’s taller post surgery.


Easter Pictures (presented without commentary)

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Happy Easter!

Laelia’s morning routine

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

For the first time ever on the morning of March 31st I heard a knock on my bedroom door. I opened the door to the biggest grinning face. Laelia was super proud of herself. The night before instead of switching Laelia into her AFOs (the foot braces she wears at night), I forgot and left her in KAFOs (her leg braces for walking). She woke up, took off her own blanket, got out of bed by going off the edge on her tummy, side-stepped over to her crutches, put them on herself, walked to the door, turned on the light herself, opened the door herself then walked down the hall herself and knocked on my door.

Seeing Laelia upright when I wasn’t the one who put her in that position was a slight shock. Seeing she took initiative and did all that walking herself was priceless. I’ve never been a prouder mama.

A couple days later we did a video of this. It’s a little long because she wanted to show everything and wasn’t in any hurry as she was trying to avoid nap time. :) Enjoy! (If it doesn’t show up just click here.)

Also as of April 1st (this should be a joke but isn’t)  Laelia has been completely potty trained. It took a long time for her to decide that she was too old for pull ups. This has been a long road for us. I asked a bunch of other AMC moms about this delay of an important milestone, but they all (with one exception for medical reasons) did not have the same problem. Great, it’s just my stubborn daughter who just wont do it. (It doesn’t help that she has MORE independence in Pull Ups than relying on grown ups to take her on and off the potty.) We actually thought there might be a nerve/bladder issue, but the doctor didn’t want to do the test for that until Laelia was five. But I think once she gained a bit more independence with walking then she wanted to do more independent things. I still have to put her on the toilet myself and she can’t wipe yet, but now at least she goes 100% in the potty. To celebrate we got her some Dora underwear from Costco. Now I have to convince her school to put her on the potty when she’s there. (That has been part of the problem.) But still we couldn’t be happier!

Yay for independence!

Laelia is super smart!

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Laelia has always seemed to have above-average intelligence. Of course I think that because I’m her mom, but more and more teachers and professionals are agreeing with me. Laelia started out with a speech delay if you can believe it. It turns out this was caused by a lack of sensory input when her little body could not interact with her environment. Kinesthetic learning is very important in those  formative  years to develop speech. The body works together in mysterious ways (which I’ll get to more later)! Once we started bringing her toys up to her mouth (where all those sensory nerves are) and doing exercises with her to encourage movement, her speech caught up! And not too long afterwards she surpassed her peers!

She’s been going to preschool since she was two years old. It started at two hours, twice a week and now it’s up to four hours a day, five days a week. Laelia loves to learn. She loves to spell letters and learn songs. She loves school. And her teachers love her. I always get glowing reports. Even Laelia’s doctor says she should be a very smart lawyer or professor when she grows up. I believe it.

Lately Laelia has shown us even more abilities than before. It started out when her teacher started doing flashcards with her. The flashcards are suppose to help her be able to sight read. But without being told what the words were, she was getting them the very first time! She went from sight reading less than five words to sight reading over 30 words!

So we’ve been really impressed with Laelia obviously. She’s the smartest kid alive in our opinion. But one of her teachers told me that it probably wasn’t sight reading so much as memorizing. To test it out they didn’t show her the cards and just asked her what the next word was and she told them correctly every time. The teacher then concluded that Laelia just memorized the list of words. Still memorizing is pretty impressive so I was still thrilled. Then the teacher mixed up the cards and without showing Laelia what they were asked her what the next card was. But to everyone’s surprise, she told her correctly! Not just once, but ten times in a row!

Next her teacher started to get out flash cards with pictures on them: stars, hearts, circles, squares. Without showing Laelia the card they asked her what was on the other side. She got every one of them right except she called the picture of a club (like on a deck of cards) a “flower.” One of the teachers laughed and said it was a joke, but the other one gave us a number to call and told us that Laelia was very special.

The number we called was for a class on neural cognitive processes. It cost money. And it was complicated. To quote them from their website here in San Diego: “Empathy processes can be explored within a three-level model distinguishing neuronal, cognitive and intra-psychic operating levels. Cognitive and intra-psychic processes need not to be collapsed. Neural systems involved in empathy are described through neuroimaging and event-related potential (ERP) studies. On the cognitive level, empathy is threefold: procedural, semantic and biographical. Automatically activated since birth, procedural empathy processes are deeply enrooted in visuo-motor response capacities and responsible for automatic mimicry. These processes might rely on a prior sensori-motor contagion system.” Bla bla bla. This class was for extreme parents in my opinion, and worst of all, there was no childcare offered!

But these guys redirected me (after waiting on hold FOREVER) to the people who dealt with preschool children, and finally we spoke with Dr. Prevorkien. She said that Laelia qualified to have a free brain scan! I told her we were really busy with Charley’s recovery from surgery and everything, so she offered to do it for free (yay!) and out of her office. I made sure my husband was comfortable at home and then loaded Laelia into her car seat and headed over to her office. The brain scan machine was really cool!

Sorry I’m taking this with my camera and you can see a glare on the screen.

Apparently all the orange areas of Laelia’s brain are working a lot better than they should be. Dr. Prevorkien said this exact thing was linked to psychic ability and can be exercised for maximum effectiveness.

So for the last week we’ve been enrolled in Dr. Prevorkien’s preschool and Laelia is doing really well. Laelia has been practicing hard and is now a Level 2 Laser  Lotus. Besides reading cards Laelia can now also talk to animals.

“Hello Mr. Lizard!”

“Hello! …We are your overlords!!!”

Next we’re signing her up to do a hotline and make us some money. Not going to let my little psychic genius go to waste!

Happy April Fools Day everyone!