Abigail received her cousin's old bike this week and was ecstatic to learn to ride a bike. This is something that Olivia has always struggled with learning. She previously became so frustrated with learning to pedal, that she just gave up learning. Well, little sisters are good motivators. So, we went ahead and bought Olivia a new bike. Now, I have two bike riders! We've had a lot of fun riding bikes this week and I'm sure the training wheels will come off in no time!! Who knows. . .I may need a bike before too long. Pretty soon my legs won't be able to keep up!
As a mother, it's so rewarding (albeit a little sad) to watch your child grow. . .mentally, emotionally and physically. As much as you want them to stay little. . .you want them to grow into the person they are to become. It's tough when you don't see much physical growth. Over the past 9 years, we have celebrated every ounce that Olivia has ever gained. I even threw her a 32 lb party years ago because I didn't think we would ever get past 31 lbs. But, I always knew there was a problem. She has never been a good eater, but even when she eats well. . .she still doesn't gain. She's always been below the growth chart or around the 1-3 percentile. Sometimes I would find myself strongly "willing" her to gain weight!! Praying! Please. . .just gain one more pound so that I don't worry when she gets sick and loses 2 lbs. It's like trying to get to the top of a hill and no matter how hard we try. . .we cannot make it to the top.
At her nine year check up, her doctor became concerned. Olivia did a bone age study last week and the results weren't good. It showed her final height to be 4 ft 10 inches tall at most. Most likely she has a growth hormone deficiency. She is being referred to a pediatric endocrinologist. If it is a growth horomone deficiency, she would need daily growth hormone injections. Olivia is someone with multiple sensory issues. Cutting her nails and hair is still very difficult for her. I can't imagine daily injections. Growth hormone deficiencies don't just affect growth. . .they affect lipids (Olivia has high cholesterol) cardiac issues, blood sugar, etc.
So, I ask you, as you have for the past 9 years, to hold Olivia close to your heart. Please pray for her continued growth in all areas of her life.
I'll leave you with my favorite Olivia-ism. She wants to be a preschool teacher when she grows up. She talks all of the time about the wonderful ideas that she has and she would be an AMAZING teacher! I talked with her about having her growth tested and not gaining like she should. She replied:
God must have known I wanted to be a preschool teacher. You don't have to be very big to do that.
She may not be big in size, but she's big in wisdom!
Guess who loves the Powerpuff Girls? Yep, Abigail is going as Blossom and she makes the cutest Blossom in the history of the world. Not only that, but she has convinced the entire family to join in. Olivia is Buttercup, I'm Bubbles and Ryan is the Professor. LOL! Oh, what a sight we will be. Look for more pics coming later this month.
Today Olivia had her 9 year checkup. . .nine years!! Sometimes I just can't believe it! I always post her stats here so that I'll know where to look when I need them (and inevitably lose the piece of paper it's written on.)
Weight: 45.0 lbs = less than 3%
Height: 48 inches = 2%
BMI: 13 = 5%
Her growth is not quite as good as they want it. I don't think it matters how tall she ends up, but for her sake, I hope she's at least over 5 ft. When reminded of her small size, Olivia smiles and says:
God must have known I wanted to be a preschool teacher. You don't have to be very big to do that.
I love her outlook. If only everyone could approach life the Olivia way.
Olivia is having a bone age study done, which is basically an x-ray of her hand. That will determine whether we need to test her growth hormones or not. Here is a bit more information about it.
I haven't written on here about our struggles over the summer. Sometime I will try to write a post about it. I'll just say that Olivia now currently sees a pediatric nephrologist and urologist. It was a stressful summer searching for answers. It's an ongoing health issue that we've been dealing with since about May. So, I ask for prayers in regards to that health issue, prayers for her growth, overall health and happiness. I'm not sure anyone reads this blog anymore since I stopped blogging for quite awhile. But, if you still read it (and have from the beginning or just started) I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or simply email me at email@example.com. In the comment section write something about the blog as I'm known to just click through and delete messages. Thanks!
I worry about my children just like any other parent. . .okay, probably a bit more knowing me. My worries change as my children change and grow. I've recently realized that Olivia has a lot of trouble knowing how to just hang out and socialize. This worries me as a lot of what pre-teens and teenagers do is socialize instead of play together. It is extremely difficult for her to have the reciprocal communication needed on the telephone and any back and forth conversation between peers is tough. She socializes with her family just fine as we know her and understand her. She's such a kind, lovable, extremely funny girl with many talents that the world has yet to see. But, as a mom I worry. Olivia is so blessed with the friends that she has who understand her, help her and love her (how can you not?) I pray that the world is kind to her and that she learns to open up to other people.
Our new family picture at the pumpkin patch
My sweet Olivia Paige
She was brave and tried and zip line for the first time and loved it.
These are two of her very sweet friends.
This is my new favorite picture of the girls with their cousins/best friends. Olivia is extremely close to her cousin, Izzy, who is just a week older than her.
It's been a long time since I updated the blog. Yikes! We are doing well. Olivia is now in 3rd grade and just celebrated her 9th birthday. Abigail started preschool last week and will be 4 years old in November. Time flies! I will try to update again before 6 months passes me by.
I hope all of you are having a wonderful New Year. We have been doing well.
We got our hair cut recently and Abigail was adamant about getting green hair. Ha! What does this say about her teenage years? Yikes!
She is a born leader, however, at this age I cringe when I hear her say," Hey, I have an idea!" You never know what she has come up with. She is the first of my children to cut her hair, put a Lego up her nose, swallow a penny, etc. Her ideas aren't always the best. Ha!
Olivia really likes second grade and got all As and 1 B on her report card. She continues to take piano lessons and does really well with that.
For the first time in Olivia's life (and mine) we did school picture retakes. Her first pictures just didn't quite turn out very well. I'm so glad we did because the second ones turned out so much better.
We also had family pictures taken a few weeks ago and I'll be sharing those shortly. They turned out good as well. I love pictures.
This year we had an old lady and a princess. I thought Olivia's costume was a hoot! She played the part very well too and had a lot of fun with it. Abigail the princess could have gone trick or treating all night. . .well at least until the clock struck midnight. She loved it! Hope everyone's Halloween was great!
Having a child on the autism spectrum sometimes cannot be explained. It must be experienced to truly understand what it is like for the child. You must be willing to feel their difficulties with your heart in order to help them through. Even the simplest things can be the hardest. And those are the things that society understands the least which makes them even harder still!
Change is really hard for Olivia, especially when it comes to her room. I'm unable to change out a picture, remove a big item or rearrange furniture without a huge meltdown. Today I went to Target knowing that Olivia needed new sheets. Her Circo Happy Flower fitted sheet is torn in the corner and needed replaced. Unfortunately, those particular sheets can no longer be purchased. So, I bought the closest thing I could find, which of course is still night and day different to Olivia. And I washed them and I put them on her bed. I debated whether doing that or explaining it to her beforehand, but I knew either way would be hard. She spotted her new pillowcase and came out sobbing. She continued sobbing off and on throughout the entire evening and it increased closer to bedtime. Sleeping with different sheets is a huge thing to her. And as her mother, I feel her anxiety whereas some people would become angry and tell her to get over it. That's how the world often responds to those with autism. . .especially to those who appear "just fine" on the outside. Olivia is old enough now that she can explain how change and surprises are very hard for her. She knows most people don't respond the way she does. She doesn't understand why she feels the way she does, but knows herself pretty well. And I've learned right along with her. Without her as my guide, I would not be the mom I am today. She makes me better, more compassionate, more aware. . . I mean, how many other moms know the location of every manual toilet/non-stall bathroom in their surrounding areas? Olivia has a crippling fear of automatic flushing toilets, so I don't just memorize those by choice. It's a necessity.
Anyway, I left the new sheets on, but switched her pillowcase back and let her take her old sheets to bed with her. It will be a tough transition. We went through this a few weeks back with her beloved pajama pants that had gotten a huge hole in them. Baby steps. Baby steps. And understanding. That's all anyone needs. . .is to be understood and accepted for who they are. For those times when change is hard, I feel it is up to me to guide her, very slowly, but in the direction she needs to go. She doesn't just make me a better mom. She makes me a better person.
I unexpectedly gave birth at 23 weeks to micro-preemie twins on August 27, 2007. Olivia Paige weighed just 1 lb 1.5 oz and was 11.5 inches long. Logan William weighed just 1 lb 1.75 oz and was 11.5 inches long. Our sweet Logan passed away after 1 month and 1 day. After 105 days, we were able to bring Olivia home. She is our miracle, our survivor, our joy. . .
On November 20, 2012 we welcomed little sister, Abigail, into our lives. She was born at 35 weeks, but only spent 8 days in the hospital before coming home. We feel very blessed. To contact Ryan and Jodi you may email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You were the perfect little boy Of whom we always dreamed. Did you know we had your name picked out? All along or so it seemed.
You even had your daddy’s hands So miniature in size. In life we never got to hold you Or even see your opened eyes.
We had so many plans for you. Did you know you are a twin? I wanted you to grow up together. What a pair you would have been!
I wanted to take you to the park And push you on the swing. I wanted to teach you how to walk, And read and write and sing.
I wanted to show you a fire truck And let you ride upon a horse. I wanted to take you to the zoo To see the giraffes, of course.
I wanted you to watch cartoons And play video games with dad. And you and I would take a nap Oh, the times we would have had.
But, your mommy’s plans were not to be. “I have other plans,” God said. “You won't be playing in life’s playground You’ll be playing in heaven instead.”
And although I ache with sadness And in my arms I long to hold. I’ll see you again in heaven When my story on earth’s been told.
A thousand tiny fireflies Parading through the night Illuminate the starless skies With incandescent light They are miracles, here on earth So bold, so strong, so wise And bring to life a sense of worth For those who lack great size.
Some of this life’s smaller treasures Are the ones which matter more Than the larger joys and pleasures That we have grown to adore Volume is not as essential As the gift that lies inside Smaller souls with much potential Who shall never be denied.
A thousand tiny fireflies Parading through the night Illuminate the starless skies With incandescent light These children, while born premature Are testaments of worth Their spirits bold, their futures sure To ever bless the earth.