Sunday, July 27, 2008

Watching Cartoons





Friday, July 25, 2008

An Update

IMG_0143 The charming and beautiful Susan and I want to give an Allie update. As you may know (or may not know), Allie is diagnosed a quadriplegic with infantile cerebral palsy. In addition to this, Allie has been declared legally blind due to optic atrophy and cortical visual impairment. It's taken us some time to process this information in a way that we can share it without falling apart.

None of these declarations about Allie's medical and physical condition leave us hopeless. We are enraptured with overwhelming affection for this little girl. To the degree of tragedy we've walked through with her is our degree of love for her. It's beyond description.

Since she has no trunk control, she's been fit and measured for some special equipment. We have on order a special stroller, an activity chair for around the house, and specialized bath-chair. Although she is not able to sit up by herself, she is developing arm, hand and head control. With her trunk supported by this equipment, she'll be able to focus more on developing and maximizing motor skills.IMG_0142

The new trauma we have been coming to grips with is the idea of trading in our sexy compact car and acquiring a mini-van. We made it through the childhood and teen years of our two kids without establishing ourselves as suburbanites by purchasing a mini-van. Now it looks like we're forced to make that transition because we need something to transport Allie's new equipment. To compound our mini-van trauma, I've put my wonderful red Honda VFR super-bike on Craig's list to help underwrite this sobering mini-van acquisition. Pray our emotions and marriage survive the status change of moving from a glamorous small car to a mid-sized soccer-mom mobile.

On another subject, I've posted a video of Allie and me. I call this video "Bouncehouse."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Learning the Way of Christ

alli-kiss-1 I posted a review of Yancey's book Soul Survivor the other day. Yancey's writing has always ministered to me, and during the past year with what we've gone through with Allie, more than ever.

One of Yancey's mentors he writes about is Henri Nouwen. This is what Yancey writes on p. 295.

While living in Peru, Nouwen received news from Holland that his sister-in-law had given birth to a daughter with Down's syndrome. He wrote the family these words, unaware that in a few years they would seem a prophetic insight:

Laura is going to be important for all of us in the family. We have never had a "weak" person among us. We all are hardworking, ambitious, and successful people who seldom have had to experience powerlessness. Now Laura enters and tells us a totally new dependency. Laura, who always will be a child, will teach us the way of Christ as no one will ever be able to do. (From Gracias!)

The above quote is something the charming and beautiful Susan have come to grips with. In fact, we are grateful for this new perspective; one we never, ever would have had without the entrance of Allie into our lives.

This won't be the last time I write about this subject...


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

New Kicks

"Wait a minute, Mr. Postman!..."

Our helpful neighborhood letter carrier dropped off these little Chuck Taylor Converse All-stars today.

I told Allie that Pop-pop used to style in these exact shoes when he was little - and when he was thirty-five. And maybe he'll get a matching pair on his next birthday when he's 43.

Allie may have rolled her eyes at that idea. "Oh grow up." I'm pretty sure she did. The charming and beautiful Susan definitely did.

"They're timeless," I said.

"As is your immaturity."

Anyway, thanks Ebay.

And most of all, thank you, Grandma Yolanda.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Roll Over!!!

Allie has been learning to roll over, but most of the time it happens at random. She accidentally gets into position and pops over from front to back. But yesterday, I learned that with some coaching, encouragement, and cheer leading, she'll do it.

Below is a video of one of these efforts. It's the third time today she flipped over with me cheering her on. After the first time today, I ran for the video camera and I immediately forgot how to work it while she rolled over a second time. We tried to get her to do it again, but she was too tired from earlier efforts. Then, after a rest and some breakfast, we tried again. The video below is the result:

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Allie Sings

All of Allie's toys make noise. We had a rule at my house when my kids Charity and Aaron were little: if you buy a toy that makes noise, it lives at your house. That was to head off any ideas my dad or parents-in-law might get to make us crazy at Christmas time by smuggling annoying noise makers disguised as "gifts for children" into my house. But the real idea was to pay me or the charming and beautiful Susan back for some decades-old transgression.

But we've come full-circle now that we're raising a baby in our forties. We want Allie to make all the noise she can. And that she does as you'll see when you watch the video below.