Laelia is a walking, kindergartening super girl!

I have to brag on my daughter for a bit. My big girl just started kindergarten and became a big sister all within the last few weeks. There have been a lot of transitions and changes going on around her, and she has been so mature about it all (most of the time). She’s been doing lots of big girl things, like helping her brother through his issues. And thankfully our friends have been there to make her feel loved. Here she is all dressed up for a party at Lauren and Ryan’s house. Chelsea came to pick her up and take her. She was so excited to go all by herself (as we couldn’t go out with Rolly yet) and  had me do her hair and dress her up. Then she made Roland pretend to be a prince and hold her hand. So cute!

She also is doing well in kindergarten despite the rough start. The school bus took her to the wrong school on her first day. She ended up in the nurse’s office for falling asleep in class so deeply that they thought she had passed out. She dealt with a little boy who hit her. She finished her first homework assignment. (Homework in kindergarten?! Boo.) She even convinced her aide that she was on the school lunch program and that she was a  vegetarian who had to eat cheese sticks. All this in the first few days of school!

Somewhere in there she’s learning letters and stuff. :) Except for Friday. Friday went like this:

Me: “Laelia what did you do at school today?
Laelia: “Watched Lion King and ate cupcakes. Oh I didn’t eat my sandwich because of the cupcakes.”
Me: “Did you learn anything today?”
Laelia: “Meh.”

Haha. Fortunately I’m *that* mom who calls school everyday to figure out how things really are. (Wonderful team, wonderful teacher, wonderful aide, wonderful school. And rest assured that they made her eat some of her sandwich. :))

She wrote, “I <3 Dad”

First day of kindergarten picture!

And here’s Laelia ten minutes before her school’s Open House. :-/

As far as the hard work Laelia has been doing in physical therapy, she has exciting new accomplishments to share! It all started in Ukraine when Laelia learned to walk without her crutches. She then brought that skill home to San Diego and was walking around the house for the first time ever. (Video here.) While I was back in Ukraine getting her brother Laelia learned to walk down a large step by herself. (Video by Linda  here.) And recently she mastered walking up and down the wheelchair ramp without her crutches! (Video here.)

Laelia’s boyfriend, Ryan, started to walk without his KAFOs (leg braces) and Laelia was super impressed. So we started standing every day for a few seconds in the mornings. She was up to 30 seconds, then a minute, then two! Finally she got up to three minutes! (Video here.) After that I had her start lifting one foot up slightly at a time, back and forth, like walking in place.

Then on Sunday, September 16th, she was “walking” in place so well that I handed her her crutches and dared her to take a few steps. She didn’t hesitate. She walked for the first time in her life in nothing but socks and shoes! No KAFOs (knee braces), no AFOs (feet braces) and no… pants. Well sue me. These things happen when they happen, and sometimes you’re not wearing pants. ;) (Video here.)

The next day she was walking quite a bit further, maybe five yards. And she asked me if someday she could walk without any braces or crutches or anything. (Video here.) In this video she specifically mentions wanting to walk up the ramp.

Off camera I said I’d give her some chocolate if she ever made it up the ramp and then she started to head towards the ramp! I  cautioned  her that she had only been walking for two days and the ramp was hard. She got a few steps up and started feeling the pain on those atrophied legs. I asked if she wanted to sit down. She said, “No, I’m going up the ramp. Take a video.” So I turned the video back on and watched as she bravely took one painful step after another. She cried the whole time, but wouldn’t give up even though she knew she could at any time. (Video here. And it’s hard to watch.)

I gave her a long leg massage after that and she felt better. Then she went to AWANA a couple hours later and even participated in game time!

I’m just so proud of my little daughter. (Although if she heard me call her “little” she’d correct me and say, “I’m a kindergartener,” with all the pomp of someone who just got their doctorate.)

And I love how independent and mobile she is. If I tell her to go to her room, she can walk there no matter where she is. If she’s sitting in the living room, she can scoot over to the step near the wheelchair ramp and use it to stand up and then walk without crutches to her room. That’s simply amazing. She puts on her KAFOs (full leg braces) and tennis shoes over them herself and then walks around the house opening doors and getting into things. I love this! And these abilities are new; just in time for her brother’s arrival and me needing more help from her.

Okay I have to wrap this up since I’m out of time and it’s late. Someday I’ll have more time and sleep and just happily blog away about my amazing children. :) In the meantime I’ll just be in awe of my little baby who is all grow’d up. Boohoo. Love her.

5 Responses to “Laelia is a walking, kindergartening super girl!”

  1. Linda Wesley says:

    “What made you keep going?”
    Alexis, thank you for sharing your wonderful kiddos with us.

    Go Laelia! I am blown away by the progress you are making lately. My little kindergarten niece, walking around without any AFOs or KAFOs and walking up and down ramps and bribing her mom to give her chocolate… I am so proud of you. I love you, sweet girl.
    Aunt Linda

  2. Jennifer says:

    You just gave me SO much hope. As the Momma of a little boy who has spent the weekend taking his first struggling steps with a walker. . . Laelia just gave me some inspiration of what might be possible.

  3. Patricia says:

    Thank you for the update! Laelia is pure grit, and I’m so glad she uses her forces for good and not evil. She blows me away.

  4. admin says:

    She got her chocolate. ;)

  5. Kristin says:

    beautiful all of the videos but watching her walk through that pain to get to her goal… absolutely breath taking.. way to go Laelia :)

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