Showing posts with label flashbacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flashbacks. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Reminder and a Re-post

A dear friend and fellow SB mom reminded me of this post I made back in January.  It is one of my favorite posts but it had been quite awhile since I had read it myself.  As I read through this post, I found myself getting very emotional.  Even I need to be reminded of how far Caleb has come.  I know this post meant a lot to some of the parents out there and since there have been new followers in recent months, I thought I would re-post.  Enjoy.

I follow a lot of blogs, blogs done by other SB moms (and one dad) from all over the country...and a couple folks in Canada.  A shout out to you gals in Canada!  I love reading about all of these other kids that are living life with Spina Bifida.  I love reading about their many victories.  I pray for them when they are facing surgeries.  I care about all of these kids and their entire families.  Recently I have noticed that many of the moms out there are struggling.  It seems like the moms that have the younger kiddos, under 2 years old, are struggling the most.  It is to you that I am writing.

So many of you are hurting because your baby isn't sitting up yet, isn't crawling, won't roll over, can't stand up, and can't walk.  You are frustrated.  Beat down.  Exhausted.  Sad.  
You feel like you are giving everything you have to help your child reach these milestones, but it's not working.  Or maybe you are beating yourself up because you don't think you are doing enough.  It's your fault.
I remember those days so well.  I cry sometimes when I read your blogs and I hear the pain in your words.  That pain is very familiar to me.

I had several friends that had babies right around the same time Caleb was born.  And I can vividly remember how different he was, even as an infant.  Caleb struggled to keep his head centered, even when he was laying down, he would just look to the right or the left.  He had to work so hard to keep his head straight.
I remember having a play date with some former co-workers and their babies could hold their heads in the center, but Caleb couldn't.  Something so simple.  My son couldn't do it.  I remember leaving that same play date crying.  And honestly I eventually stopped going to play dates altogether.  I didn't want to be reminded of all that was different about Caleb.
So, getting Caleb to hold his head in the center became my priority.  
That was the goal we would work on.

As an infant, Caleb did not move his legs at all.  And I mean no movement.  They just flopped out to the side like a frog.
I saw how other babies would constantly kick their legs and could even stand up a little when held.  Not Caleb.  No movement, no feeling, nothing.  Just sweet little legs that flopped out to the sides.
That became my priority.  I just wanted him to try and use his legs.  That was the new goal.

Next was head control.  I called Caleb "bobble head" because the boy could not hold up his head.  It was just too heavy.
He required so much support.  I just wanted him to be able to hold his head up.  
That became my priority.  
My goal for him.
He was probably 7 months old before he could hold his head steady.
We bought him an excersaucer but he was just too unstable in it so we had to wrap blankets all around him. 
 His PT had to make him a special seat to go in his high chair so that he would have more support when eating.
It felt like we were constantly having to do things, adapt things, to help Caleb.  Things that every other baby could do with such ease, was such a chore for my son.  Everything was a reminder that he was different.

The next priority was rolling over.  I worked and worked with him.  Desperate for him to just roll over.  Begging him too.  Bribing him with toys just out of reach so that he would roll over to get them.  Nothing.  I was convinced that he would never roll over.  While other babies his age were sitting up, crawling, and even standing...my baby couldn't even roll over.  Caleb was 10 months old when he rolled over for the first time.  It was to get a teddy bear that was out of reach.  I cried.  Rolling became his means of getting around for a long time.  He would just roll across the living room to get to what he wanted.  He found a way.

And then came the milestone that I thought would absolutely break me. Sitting.  Caleb could not do it.  I did everything the PT told me to do, I worked with him daily.  I prayed and prayed.  I asked family to pray.  I was desperate for him to sit up.  I remember calling my mom and just sobbing because I didn't understand why my one year old son could not sit up on his own.  Caleb was about 15 months old before he could sit up well on his own.

With every milestone reached, there was another one that needed to be worked on.  For every mountain he climbed, there was another one waiting.
Each goal became my priority.
Each mountain became my focus.
I made myself a calendar that listed all the things that his PT wanted me to work on.  I put the list on the fridge as a reminder of what I was supposed to be doing to help Caleb reach his goals...which were really my goals to begin with.  I would highlight the things I worked on for that day.  And I would beat myself up endlessly on the days that I didn't get to everything.  I felt like a failure when I didn't work with him enough.  I carried a heavy burden.  Every day.  Every time I went to the fridge, I saw that list, the things I was supposed to be doing.  A constant reminder that I wasn't doing enough.  I wasn't enough.

I think us moms are way to hard on ourselves.  I know I am.  This idea that we have to do it all, be it all, every single day.  I think all moms carry that weight but us moms with special needs kiddos have additional weight to carry.  We have to be caregiver, nurse, advocate, physical therapist, chef, maid, chauffeur, teacher, administrative assistant, mom, and wife.  And that's just naming a few.  We wear a lot of hats.
We have to be experts in UTI's, shunt failure signs, tethered cord symptoms, non-verbal learning disorders, and more. We fight for our kids.  We argue with doctors who think they know more about our child than we do.  We push therapists to get our child the braces and equipment they need. We deal with stares from strangers.

I hear how tired so many of you are.  How sad you are.  You love your child so much and your heart is breaking because he/she isn't walking.  Or sitting up.  Or talking.  Or standing.  Or whatever.  It's always something.  There is always something to work on, a goal to achieve, a milestone to reach.  A mountain to climb.  It's exhausting.

Caleb is 5 1/2 years old now.  I've learned over the years that Caleb does things in his own time.  He works hard and he does as much as his body will allow him to do.  And I've seen him climb many mountains.  I've seen him find a way.  I've seen him succeed.
 I've seen him find joy in mobility.
Something that many people would considered a burden, a hindrance, something that he is "bound" to, means freedom and independence to Caleb.

I've seen him do things we were told he wouldn't be able to do.

I've seen him do things I didn't think he would ever do.  Like crawl on his hands and knees.  He crawled on his belly until he was 3 1/2 years old.  I had all but given up on him ever being able to get his knees up under him.  But he did it, he got stronger, he figured it out.  In his own time.

 I've seen him graduate from HKAFO's to just AFO's.

And I have seen him walk.  I have even seen him run.
I've seen him get stronger and stronger.  I have seen him use legs that he can't feel.
And I have seen him redefine.

I don't have it all together, I still worry, I still beat myself up on occasion.  As Caleb has started school, I have found new things to worry about.  New goals to reach.  But I'm learning to just appreciate all that he is and all that he has accomplished.  My burdens aren't his to carry.  He isn't sad, so why should I be?  Caleb's a happy kid. He always has been.
Even when he couldn't hold up his head, he was still smiling.
Even when he couldn't sit up on his own, he was having fun rolling all over the place.
It didn't bother him that he crawled on his belly instead of his hands and knees, he still got to where he needed to go.  Getting a wheelchair didn't make him sad.  He loved it. It changed his life and his personality for the better.

So, to all of you moms out there that are just plain tired.  Beat down.  Sad.  Defeated.  Go look at your the precious child God has given you.  We have beautiful, strong, resilient, determined kids.  Our kids have and will achieve great things.  Our kids may never blend in with the crowd, they may always stand out, but they will change this world and the people around them.  They already have.  There is great joy in that.

Don't let yourself drown in the milestones.  Don't let each goal not yet reached consume you. Your little one will climb that mountain, just maybe not as fast as you would like.  So, take the time to enjoy the scenic route up the mountain, and anticipate the beauty and the joy that awaits at the top.


(so, I'm totally crying all over again!  I'm such a baby)



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Taking the scenic route

 I am warning all of you ahead of time that this is long.  I'm asking you to avoid just "skimming" and glancing at the pictures.  Take a few minutes to read.  I think this will mean something to many of you.

I follow a lot of blogs, blogs done by other SB moms (and one dad) from all over the country...and a couple folks in Canada.  A shout out to you gals in Canada!  I love reading about all of these other kids that are living life with Spina Bifida.  I love reading about their many victories.  I pray for them when they are facing surgeries.  I care about all of these kids and their entire families.  Recently I have noticed that many of the moms out there are struggling.  It seems like the moms that have the younger kiddos, under 2 years old, are struggling the most.  It is to you that I am writing.

So many of you are hurting because your baby isn't sitting up yet, isn't crawling, won't roll over, can't stand up, and can't walk.  You are frustrated.  Beat down.  Exhausted.  Sad. 

You feel like you are giving everything you have to help your child reach these milestones, but it's not working.  Or maybe you are beating yourself up because you don't think you are doing enough.
 
It's your fault.

I remember those days so well.  I cry sometimes when I read your blogs and I hear the pain in your words.  That pain is very familiar to me.

I had several friends that had babies right around the same time Caleb was born.  And I can vividly remember how different he was, even as an infant.  Caleb struggled to keep his head centered, even when he was laying down, he would just look to the right or the left.  He had to work so hard to keep his head straight.
I remember having a play date with some former co-workers and their babies could hold their heads in the center, but Caleb couldn't.  Something so simple.  My son couldn't do it.  I remember leaving that same play date crying.  And honestly I eventually stopped going to play dates altogether.  I didn't want to be reminded of all that was different about Caleb.

So, getting Caleb to hold his head in the center became my priority. 

That was the goal we would work on.

As an infant, Caleb did not move his legs at all.  And I mean no movement.  They just flopped out to the side like a frog.
I saw how other babies would constantly kick their legs and could even stand up a little when held.  Not Caleb.  No movement, no feeling, nothing.  Just sweet little legs that flopped out to the sides.
That became my priority.  I just wanted him to try and use his legs.  That was the new goal.

Next was head control.  I called Caleb "bobble head" because the boy could not hold up his head.  It was just too heavy.
He required so much support.  I just wanted him to be able to hold his head up. 

That became my priority.
 My goal for him.

He was probably 7 months old before he could hold his head steady.
We bought him an excersaucer but he was just too unstable in it so we had to wrap blankets all around him. 
 His PT had to make him a special seat to go in his high chair so that he would have more support when eating.
It felt like we were constantly having to do things, adapt things, to help Caleb.  Things that every other baby could do with such ease, was such a chore for my son.  Everything was a reminder that he was different.

The next priority was rolling over.  I worked and worked with him.  Desperate for him to just roll over.  Begging him too.  Bribing him with toys just out of reach so that he would roll over to get them.  Nothing.  I was convinced that he would never roll over.  While other babies his age were sitting up, crawling, and even standing...my baby couldn't even roll over.  Caleb was 10 months old when he rolled over for the first time.  It was to get a teddy bear that was out of reach.  I cried.  Rolling became his means of getting around for a long time.  He would just roll across the living room to get to what he wanted.  He found a way.

And then came the milestone that I thought would absolutely break me. Sitting.  Caleb could not do it.  I did everything the PT told me to do, I worked with him daily.  I prayed and prayed.  I asked family to pray.  I was desperate for him to sit up.  I remember calling my mom and just sobbing because I didn't understand why my one year old son could not sit up on his own.  Caleb was about 15 months old before he could sit up well on his own.

With every milestone reached, there was another one that needed to be worked on.  For every mountain he climbed, there was another one waiting.

Each goal became my priority.

Each mountain became my focus.

I made myself a calendar that listed all the things that his PT wanted me to work on.  I put the list on the fridge as a reminder of what I was supposed to be doing to help Caleb reach his goals...which were really my goals to begin with.  I would highlight the things I worked on for that day.  And I would beat myself up endlessly on the days that I didn't get to everything.  I felt like a failure when I didn't work with him enough.  I carried a heavy burden.  Every day.  Every time I went to the fridge, I saw that list, the things I was supposed to be doing. 

A constant reminder that I wasn't doing enough. 

I wasn't enough.

I think us moms are way to hard on ourselves.  I know I am.  This idea that we have to do it all, be it all, every single day.  I think all moms carry that weight but us moms with special needs kiddos have additional weight to carry.  We have to be caregiver, nurse, advocate, physical therapist, chef, maid, chauffeur, teacher, administrative assistant, mom, and wife.  And that's just naming a few.  We wear a lot of hats.
We have to be experts in UTI's, shunt failure signs, tethered cord symptoms, non-verbal learning disorders, and more. We fight for our kids.  We argue with doctors who think they know more about our child than we do.  We push therapists to get our child the braces and equipment they need. We deal with stares from strangers.

I hear how tired so many of you are.  How sad you are.  You love your child so much and your heart is breaking because he/she isn't walking.  Or sitting up.  Or talking.  Or standing.  Or whatever.  It's always something.  There is always something to work on, a goal to achieve, a milestone to reach.  A mountain to climb.  It's exhausting.

Caleb is 5 1/2 years old now.  I've learned over the years that Caleb does things in his own time.  He works hard and he does as much as his body will allow him to do.  And I've seen him climb many mountains.  I've seen him find a way.  I've seen him succeed.
 I've seen him find joy in mobility.

Something that many people would considered a burden, a hindrance, something that he is "bound" to, means freedom and independence to Caleb.

I've seen him do things we were told he wouldn't be able to do.

I've seen him do things I didn't think he would ever do.  Like crawl on his hands and knees.  He crawled on his belly until he was 3 1/2 years old.  I had all but given up on him ever being able to get his knees up under him.  But he did it, he got stronger, he figured it out.  In his own time.

 I've seen him graduate from HKAFO's to just AFO's.

And I have seen him walk.  I have even seen him run.
I've seen him get stronger and stronger.  I have seen him use legs that he can't feel.
And I have seen him redefine.

I don't have it all together, I still worry, I still beat myself up on occasion.  As Caleb has started school, I have found new things to worry about.  New goals to reach.  But I'm learning to just appreciate all that he is and all that he has accomplished.  My burdens aren't his to carry.  He isn't sad, so why should I be? 

Caleb's a happy kid. He always has been.

Even when he couldn't hold up his head, he was still smiling.

Even when he couldn't sit up on his own, he was having fun rolling all over the place.

It didn't bother him that he crawled on his belly instead of his hands and knees, he still got to where he needed to go.

Getting a wheelchair didn't make him sad.  He loved it. It changed his life and his personality for the better.

So, to all of you moms out there that are just plain tired.  Beat down.  Sad.  Defeated.  Go look at your the precious child God has given you.  We have beautiful, strong, resilient, determined kids.  Our kids have and will achieve great things.  Our kids may never blend in with the crowd, they may always stand out, but they will change this world and the people around them.  They already have.  There is great joy in that.

Don't let yourself drown in the milestones.  Don't let each goal not yet reached consume you. Your little one will climb that mountain, just maybe not as fast as you would like.  So, take the time to enjoy the scenic route up the mountain, and anticipate the beauty and the joy that awaits at the top.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Celebrating 9 Years of Marital Bliss :)

9 years ago today, Glenn and I became husband and wife.  I can not believe it has been 9 years already. Time flies, right?
So, to celebrate our anniversary I thought I would take all of you on a trip down memory lane.  
I found some photos from our "early years", when we were:
Glenn and Cassie-"Super cute couple" 
or 
Glenn and Cassie-"Super cute newlyweds".  
Before kids.
Before we became "mommy" and "daddy".

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of some photos, I had to scan a few of them in.

Glenn and I met on January 8, 1999.  He was 18 and I was, ahem...21.  I know, I know, robbing the cradle and all that!  He worked with a friend of mine and she invited him to go out with a few of us one night...and truly the rest is history.
This was taken at a Sorority Formal in the Fall of 1999.  We had been dating for about 9 months at this point.  I couldn't find too many pictures of us when we first started dating, which is fine with me, because I was about 45 pounds heavier than I am now.  You've heard of the "Freshmen 15"...well I gained the "Sophomore 45!"  Anyway, that's a story for another time.

This was our engagement picture.  What do you think about those matching sweaters?  Sweet, right?  We still have those sweaters!  Look how cute we are, and so YOUNG!!

A couple of pictures from the big day!

Ah, so sweet.

This picture cracks me up.  This was from our first Christmas as a married couple and we bought each other new tennis shoes!!  And then we took a picture of our feet in the new shoes!  Are we dorks or what?

This was also from our first Christmas, in our teeny tiny apartment.  This pictures was taken right before we went to Glenn's college graduation ceremony.

I call this photo: Rapunzel meets Feria.  Good grief, I don't remember my hair being that long...and that blonde!  That was when Feria Hair Color and I had a very close relationship.
This was taken on our 1st anniversary at this really sweet Bed and Breakfast.

This was taken at the same B and B.  Glenn had set the timer on the camera so we could get a photo together...and you can see that he didn't quite make it to the chair in time.
This was taken on a Newly Married Couples camping trip with our church.
I used to wear that hat all the time, Glenn bought it for me when we were dating.  I still have it.

Christmas 2004
This was the day we told family that we were expected our first baby.  Sweet, sweet memories from that Christmas.

We are almost "mommy" and "daddy" in this picture.  I think I was about 6 months pregnant with Caleb in this picture.

God certainly blessed me with a wonderful husband and 9 wonderful years of marriage.  It hasn't always been easy.  It hasn't always been fun.  We've been thrown some pretty big curve balls in the last few years.  We've had our share of valleys but we've also climbed a few mountains.

I can think of no one else I would rather share this journey with.

Happy 9th Anniversary honey!
I love you bunches.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Spittin' Image of his daddy

So I ran across this old photo of Glenn today.  If it wasn't so clearly an old photo I would have thought it was a picture of Benjamin.
Tell me that you see the resemblance?  Seriously.  Benjamin looks just like his daddy!
Too funny. 
Finding this picture made my day!

Next, I want to run something by all of you, my faithful readers.  I am considering making this blog private.  I have pondered the idea in recent months, mostly since Caleb started Kindergarten.  He is getting older, and while I don't think it would bother him now, there is a day coming when he might not like having his entire life written out on a blog!  I like to be honest about SB: the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I don't want to embarrass him with something that I write about.  I could leave the blog public and just never write about anything that could potentially be viewed as "personal" but I know the vast majority of you come to this blog because Caleb has SB. You have a child with SB so you like to read about another child with SB.  If I go private, those of you that want to can continue to come to the blog, you'll just have to be approved by me first.  The blog would be blocked to anyone not approved.  I'm still not sure what I am going to do.  I'm open to any thoughts or opinions any of you might have.

Also, I wanted to say "thanks" to the few of you that stopped by my new blog.  It was nice to see a couple of familiar faces there.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review

A quick recap of 2010 in the McLelland Family...

January

February


March

We had a vocabulary lesson and I wrote a letter.

April
 Caleb is a hero

 Caleb hits the pool

Benjamin makes a basket

May
 Benjamin's personality shines through


June
18 months and still droolin'
 and we learned that sometimes 

July

Caleb raises $575 for Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida

August
Caleb started KINDERGARTEN!

September
and I'm not perfect

 October
We met the Faces of Spina Bifida all month long
 and

November

December


Well, maybe that wasn't such a quick review after all!  It's hard to sum up an entire year!
Here's to 2011! 
Can't wait to see what the New Year brings.

For me, a new year, means a new blog.  Yep, I started a new blog a couple of days ago.  Not sure what I am thinking!  It is very different from this blog, it's not centered around my kids, or Spina Bifida, or my life as a mom and wife.  It is more about my faith.  For those of you that are interested...feel free to hop on over and check it out.  It's still a work in progress but it is up and running...sorta :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...