Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We're Back! (said in a sing-song voice)

Yes, we are alive and well! And I do apologize for taking so long to post again. I have been keeping up with everyone on THEIR blogs, but have been selfishly not keeping up with my own. At first, there was not much going on.... then there was too much going on. Trying to decide what to put down first... it was easier just to put it off. And here we are, four weeks later.

First off, we ended up raising $2,000 dollars from Brady's Walk -- how exciting!! I am just about done writing the article to put with the picture to send to the WSA. I will be sure to post a copy of that article when it comes out in the newsletter. I was so amazed at all the people who donated and/or walked... people who didn't know Brady but just wanted to help. I am excited to make next year's event even more fun.

Secondly, we're in baseball mode here with our eight-year-old -- two games a week and two practices a week make for a very busy week! He's having a great time and the nerves of steel we parents have in the stands is incredible... it's just a game, right??? LOL We're working on a baseball scholarship for this kid...

And last but certainly not least, Mr. Brady. Brady has been doing AMAZINGLY well - his gross motor skills have improved greatly, his cognitive skills have improved, his facial features have gone CRAZY - he smiles now purposely, a twinkled-eye one and a scrunched up face one that makes you just sigh and smile back. Although he doesn't smile on command, I no longer have the fear that he is uncommunicative. It did take longer than anyone I have read about, but I am going to make sure that I post how long it took in the bios on WSA and WF so some other mother out there doesn't freak out when her child is 9 months old and not smiling. Brady always had other ways to show he was excited - he flapped his arms and wiggled his body - and I see it all coming together now.

Although he has gotten taller, he has not gained the weight his pedi would like to see. His nutritionist is on maternity leave and I have emailed her privately to see what she says. The thing is, Brady has been the most responsive and happier than ever, so I am very hesitant to change his diet. His sleeping is great. His playtime to great. He's rolling all the way over around the room now. He is eating more baby food than before, which is ironically part of the problem - he gains more weight on formula. Go figure.

Another new thing is a class he is taking - a five-week Signs class. He and his friend James (who gets an A++ in the class - at 11 months old he probably could talk to Helen Keller) are taking a class run by the same instructor who taught them yoga. It's a good class, plus we got all the materials with it, a DVD, CD and some books. On the first day the other mothers were gushing how well Brady was doing the sign for milk (picture milking a cow with your right hand), when my friend Angela and I just knowingly smiled at each other - Brady has always constantly flexxed his little fingers in and out since Day 1. I don't think milk has anything to do with it! At the last class, they were excited he was doing the sign for stars (wiggling the fingers). ;) Maybe Brady has been talking to us since birth and we haven't figured out what he's been saying!

Some of the basics are good for them to know to help communicate - all Brady's therapists thought it was a good idea for him to take the class. Here's a site to aid anyone - http://aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/aslpro.cgi. Some of the ones they start out with are please, more, milk, play, eat and dog or cat if you have one.

We're all very excited over here also because we just learned the WSA conference next year will be in Anaheim, California, a mile from Disneyland. We were planning to go to the WSA conference no matter where it was, so this is just a little bonus to be near something so fun. I hope all the WS buddies will be able to go!

Okay... that's probably it on the update. I promise I will not go this long again! Brady also got his first haircut, which I will post the pictures next time. To my surprise he looks so much older. I know that's natural, but since he is still so baby-like I didn't think he would. Oh... one more pic of the famous lip - he is very good at giving it. I think he tries to smile when he sometimes does this. It makes me smile, anyway! :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Brady's Walk 2007

A few months ago, another WS mom and fellow blogger Nancy posted she was getting ready to participate in Sophie's Run, an event to help the future needs of a WS child and to raise awareness about the syndrome.

A friend of mine, who also reads Nancy's blog, suggested we take our two little rugrats for a walk on the same day that Sophie's Run was scheduled, to participate "in spirit" since we couldn't make it to Oregon for the real thing. Well, that conversation lead to another about a few friends walking with us, to another which was "my husband will pay me to leave the house to walk", to another... well, long story short, we had 28 people and four babies in strollers walk 5K at a nearby park. So far, we have raised over $1,400 and the donations keep coming in! The money this year will go to the Williams Syndrome Association.

We had a glorious day -worries of rain disappeared as the sun came out and walkers began shedding their sweatshirts and jackets. We had kids on foot, bicycle and scooter, and many with big blue balloons attached to their handlebars and strollers. The path we took hugged a pond with glorious scenery. After the trek we headed to Angela's house for our "after party" and feasted. It was a beautiful day.

I can't begin to explain how touched I am that friends and family -- and friends of friends of friends! -- took the time out to help us with their support. There were nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, grandparents, friends and co-workers who walked and/or donated. Everyone has been extremely generous and kind and helped out in some way. Thanks to Denise for designing the shirt logo and to Angela's family for allowing us to have our "after party" at their beautiful home. And to Angela, a special thank you since this event would not have happened without her prodding, help and commitment. No wonder Brady is named after you! ;) LOL

During the Walk, I marvelled in the support that Brady had in just our little section of the world... the lives he has touched. (Our youngest walker not in a stroller was six, our oldest was 70.) I also had with me the thoughts of our other WS friends. In the video, you'll see Erik's red bracelet on my wrist as well. I realized I would never be in this WS challenge alone - I had people walking with me to show their support, people donating to help out, and people I turn to across this planet for help as well; hopefully they realize I am there for them as well.

I am so thankful for everyone.. and as I sit here and write this Brady is next to me and smiling, as if he knows what everyone has done for him. Rascal Flatts has said it best, "More then anything, My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it."

P.S. This is my debut as a movie maker... so I know I will make a better one next time! Thanks, Nance, for your help!