There are so many things I want to include in this blog - some of them a bit on the emotional side - so bare with me!
First things first. Yes, Kinley's hair is finally long enough for pig tails! It was about the cutest thing ever and I am not just being biased! I will admit that I felt a bit like a pageant mom as Kinley was screaming and hitting my hand away, but as soon as I was done messing with her she forgot all about the ancient form of little girl torture i just performed and rebounded back to happy Kinley. I won't make her endure this "pain" every day, but it is nice to be able to get her crazy hair off her neck every now and then.
In perhaps more important developmental news, Kinley has started to move her left arm more! It's like something has just clicked...or perhaps in her case, connected! Last night Grammy was playing with her and her ball popper and was helping Kinley use lefty to start the popper. And then Kinley would pick up her left hand, try to get a ball and then gently put it back down. What you say??? You want to see proof??? Well, too bad! I can't get the video to upload - will consult Aunt Kelli and post it in the next blog. I know it might not seem like much to you guys, but trust me, its a HUGE step for Kinley! Then when I was getting her ready for bed last night another miracle happened!! No, she didn't use her left arm to knock over and shatter her adorable red vase with white flowers that has been on her changing table since before she was born...her darn right arm took care of that Sunday night (insert Mom's sobs!!!). Each night I put her jammies on the same way. Feet first, then arms, then we lay down and zip zip zip right up. I always open up the left arm whole to try to get her to put her own arm in and last night SHE FINALLY DID IT!!! I screamed Oh MY GOD and poor dad and Grammy came running in with total panic on their face. Ok, in hind sight maybe I should think about what I yell out, but OH MY GOD she finally did it!!! I really couldn't believe my eyes!
Kinley's communication is improving as well! She is now very consistently signing thank you, please, wagon, hi, bye, all done, duck and her favorite...eat!!! She will also mooooo when you asked her what a cow says, thanks to the fridge farm! We still get lots of da das and ga gas and mom mas and ba bas (bottle) and pa pas. She surprises us every now and then and says a real word perfectly clearly - like diaper or bottle or night night, which is her new thing for telling me she is tired. And she is clicking that she needs to vocalize more for what she wants. Which is great. Her favorite talking place is definitely the car. She will just babble and babble to herself - which is a far "cry" from little baby Kinley that would scream us to where ever we were headed.
Kinley's "walking" is also progressing. Although, just like her mom, she seems to prefer dancing over actually walking. So we take a few steps and then have a dance break :) She still likes her Britney Spears song, but we try to use the Hot Dog song from Mickey Mouse Club House instead. I have video of this too...but unfortunately, I am a dumb dumb. Give me a little time!
My friend at work always tells me that she doesn't have favorite kids, just favorite stages. Now, I only have one kid so it's ok for me to play favorites, but I have to say, Kinley is in a great stage right now. She's really starting to enjoy more "kid" things! We took her to the river house this weekend and she sat in an inner tube playing with the water and splashing! K also still adores our evening walks in the wagon where her favorite thing is to see how many times she can throw her dog out. But mom got smart and tied the dog to the wagon! One point for mom! But then she likes to put the dog that has just been drug halfway around the block into her mouth...Minus one point for mom! She is still being a little toddler when it comes to throwing her food on the ground too, but we are working on that as well. I was going to try the "ignore the behavior and it will go away" theory, but dad didn't think that was helping! So on to plan B....actually start disciplining my angel :( WAHHHHHHHH I think my favorite thing about this stage is that Kinley has started hugging. When dad gets home from work its waving and "hi da da". I never, and I mean never get a "hi ma ma" which is fine. But as soon as I pick her up she goes right to hugging my neck and gives me a sweet little pat pat. She does this at bed time too now when I put her down. I give her a nice long hug, tell her I love her and then....MY GIRL PUTS HERSELF TO SLEEP!! I never thought I would live to see the day! She actually prefers to sleep in her bed, rather than on me :) YAY!!! Its nice to actually have a little time to ourselves in the evening and not spend from 8-10 battling with her to get to sleep. One point for mom!
We have Kinley's first music class at Gymboree this weekend! I am quite excited and hope she likes it! Its for 6-16 months, so I think that Kinley will fit in well. She won't have to feel left out because she doesn't walk yet!
**WARNING: emotional blah blah to follow**
This weekend at the river, Kinley was taking a nap and I picked up "Heaven is For Real". If you haven't read it, read it! Its the story of a 4 year old boy who was having surgery and, even though the machines never recorded it, he went to Heaven for a few minutes. A few months after surgery, he began to tell his father, who happens to be a preacher and therefore knows a scripture for EVERYTHING, about his trip to Heaven. This is a true story. It is just the sweetest thing and really gave me such a sense of total inner peace. Until the chapter on the little boy meeting his sister. Turned out his mom had lost a baby in her tummy and the little boy talked about meeting her. This was, as you can imagine, quite emotional for the parents who had no clue that it was a girl and no real reassurance that she was in Heaven. As someone that lost a little one before Kinley, this had me in a fit. But my emotional downward spiral is not the point...the point is that I hope this can bring a little joy to all of you that have suffered a loss and can find some reassurance that our little ones are waiting for us above! I still find myself, days later, thinking that I need to name our baby because he or she is up there without a name. I am wondering how much begging I would need to do to Jay to pick out a name :) anyway, seriously...read the book!
We also have a new addition this week to our hemi family. The little girl was around 10 months - so close to how old Kinley was. And it just brought back so many emotions. Us "experienced" hemi parents were trying to help the mom prepare for what was to come and it just brought back so many memories for me. She was posting updates throughout the day and it made me go back into the caring bridge blog and read some of the posts I made while Kinley was in the hospital. It was very emotional for me, but just made me realize how amazing these kids really are. In the days following Kinley's surgery, she couldn't even hold her head up - and many of these kids are so drug down by their seizures, that they can't even hold their head up before surgery! And now look at her! She talks, signs, stands, dances, names body parts...even gives us a gig 'em aggies!! Just incredible!
As we get closer and closer to Kinley's EEG at the end of August, I find myself praying more and more. So many of these kiddos have to have repeat surgeries. The thought of that for Kinley just breaks my heart in a million tiny pieces. I am hoping and praying that her EEG is perfectly normal and we can start coming off the meds. Another big milestone in the recovery. But I just can't seem to shake the little thought in the back of my mind - what if something is still going on in there. So Team Kinley - please don't give up on praying for our girl! We still have a long way to go and need your help!