Life with Ella and Emerson

This is a blog dedicated to my beautiful daughters, Ella and Emerson. Emerson was diagnosed with a rare, genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome when she was 5 months old.

My Photo
Location: Wisconsin, United States

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Reverse Progress

Why as moms do we torment ourselves with guilt? I have read many posts about what more we could be doing and I am constantly reminding myself that I am doing as much as I can. Emerson's Speech Pathologist just left our house and I am feeling immensely guilty. Why??? Because he reminded me of the things that I should be working on with Emerson to facilitate communication. Of course I know all this being a Speech Pathologist myself, but for some reason I have been focusing on her crawling goals. I also have an incredibly demanding 2 1/2 year old who really wants my undivided attention 24/7. There is simply not enough time in the day to complete all that I want to with Emerson. I remind myself that she is not going to start crawling and talking tomorrow if I work with her for 15 more minutes today. Okay, big deep breath and let it out. Guilt all gone!!!

You may be curious about the title of this blog, "Reverse Progress". Well, Miss Emerson has decided that crawling or attempting to crawl or even lifting herself up onto all fours is waaaaaay too difficult. She tries for a little bit and then puts her head down and cries her eyes out, when I pick her up she sighs loudly as if to say, "Why did you make me do that!!!" She is quite a character. Her PT this past week also laughed how after every manuever she had her do, Emerson needed a tight hug. I think it is less emotional and more sensory related. She always feels better after a tight squeeze. So I will be very surprised if she suddenly starts crawling, she really just kind of prefers to be held. :)

While I was still feeling guilty about Emerson and what more we could be doing for her, Ella handed me this book to read to her...

Is There Really a Human Race? by, Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell

Is there really a human race?

Is it going on now all over the place? When did it start? Who said, "Ready, Set, Go"?

Did it start on my birthday? I really must know.

Do I warm up and stretch? Do I practice and train? Do I get my own coach? Do I get my own lane?

Do I race in the snow? Do I race in a twister? Am I racing my friends? Am I racing my sister?

If the race is a relay, is Dad on my team? And his dad and his dad? You know what I mean.

Is the race like a loop or an obstacle course? Am I a jockey, or am I a horse?

Is there pushing and shoving to get to the lead? If the race is unfair, will I succeed?

Do some of us win? Do some of us lose? Is winning or losing something I choose?

Why am I racing? What am I winning? Does all of my racing keep the world spinning?

If I get off track when I take the wrong turn, do I make my way back from mistakes? Do I learn?

Is it a sprint? A dash to the end? Am I aware of the time that I spend? And why do I do it, this zillion-yard dash? If we don't help each other, we're all going to CRASH.

Sometimes it's better not to go fast. There are beautiful sights to be seen when you're last.

Shouldn't it be that you just try your best? And that's more important than beating the rest?

Shouldn't it be looking back at the end that you judge your own race by the help that you lend?

So, take what's inside you and make big, bold choices. And for those who can't speak for themselves, use bold voices.

And make friends and love well, bring art to this place. And make the world better for the whole human race.

Gotta love it. I sometimes feel like God is whispering to me and in this case I was definitely being hit over the head.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Where is the time going?

I have been very neglectful of my blog lately. I don't know exactly what I have been doing, but keeping busy is one of them. We finally have warmed up a touch here in Wisconsin. In fact, Ella's Auntie took her to the zoo today because it was a balmy 40 degrees outside!! Sometimes I definitely think, "Why do we live here???" Don't worry mom I'm not moving anywhere.

Very exciting sleep update: Well, about 12 days ago I decided to give this whole "Cry it out" thing a go. The first four nights were absolute torture. Emerson cried each of those nights for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It was the type of panicked, awful, sobbing, hyperventilating cry that made every fiber of my being ache. I couldn't believe what I was doing. How could I be such an awful, terrible, uncaring mother. I just layed in bed and shook with self-doubt. I did not, however, go in her room. After 4 nights, I told Brian that this technique was clearly not working and we needed to come up with a new game plan. We decided to go in after about 20 minutes of crying and rub her back and calm her down. Well, the child decided that wasn't necessary and slept through the night for the next 7 nights in a row!!! Incredible! I can't tell you how thrilled I am to finally be able to get a full night sleep (well, in theory but now I have to learn to sleep through the night and turn off the brain, but that's a whole different subject!). The last two nights Emerson has woken up each night and only cried for 10 minutes and then put herself back to sleep. So that is awesome. The other huge thing I am doing is trying to always put her in her crib awake which is also working. So needless to say, I am still a huge proponant of "crying it out". It was pure torture and absolutely maddening, but it worked. I'm not saying we are completely out of the woods, but I do think she know gets that I am not coming to get her at night. YAH!!!!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Look Who's One!!

Emerson Grace turned 1 year old on Saturday. We had a big birthday party for her complete with family, friends, pooh themed party ware, lasagna, and of course, the cake. Emerson was in her element that day. I think she knew it was HER special day. She was just so smiley and happy the entire time.

I think I've mentioned in previous posts that I am so happy to get this first year under my belt. This passing of her 1st birthday was more symbolic of a new start then the actual new year. I think when I look back I've really blocked out quite a bit of it. For those of you who also had the extreme colick as part of the WS picture you know what I mean. It is absolutely necessary to forget all of that. I feel like the past 5-6 months I have really bonded with Emerson and every day fall more in love with her. She definitely has a sweet, endearing personality that comes shining through more each day. She has a very intense look of love when she is really feeling you. She looks at you with complete adoration and then comes in for the kiss which is usually with mouth wide open, tongue out.

Emerson loves her johnny jumper and is in complete heaven while jumping. She has a perma-grin and is crazily trying to jump across the room. If jumping were a possible mode of transportation we would be very mobile right now.

Emerson also has turned into a snuggler!! For the first 7 months, she never put her head down on my shoulder. I think she must have been so uncomfortable she just couldn't relax against us. She was so rigid and always pushing away. Now one of her favorite things is to get her back rubbed. She loves laying against us and us rubbing her back and head. She is complete jelly and makes the cutest sounds of complete contentment.

She is so cute when her daddy tries to give her kisses. She watches him very intently with a little grin and then at the last minute turns her head, playing hard to get. She then lifts her head up with her eyes still squeezed shut and face all squinched up and lets him get her.

Emerson has also turned into quite a little babbler. Her repetoire of sounds grows each day. She is really going to give her sister a run for her money when it comes to talking.
Emerson is a complete doll and gets so much attention everywhere we go. Random people stop and tell us what a beautiful baby we have. We know. We love her. And we are so happy to have her. We love you Emerson! Happy 1st Birthday!