Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Where Are We Now: Milestones, Setbacks, & Progression

Holy recap!  Where have we been the last several months?  Life for us has been a whirlwind.  It has been full of celebrations!


  • Mila took her FIRST, independent STEP on July 6th!
  • She turned THREE on July 16th!
  • Mila started Preschool on August 19th.
  • She started spoon feeding herself again in September.
  • Mila WALKED about five feet, independently, on September 18th!
  • Mila got her FIRST haircut on October 20th!

  • Mila was sick for about the last six weeks.  During that time, she has been to the OR (operating room), twice, for new PE (pressure equalizer) tubes.  I'm really hoping we will not have to re-visit the hospital unless it is to get her tubes removed!  She has missed a lot of school, but the sporadic days she is able to attend, she is happy and eager to be with her friends.
  • During illnesses, Mila is typically not very vocal or active.  She is usually happy despite any physical ailments, but tends to kick it into "neutral" during her down times.  I used to be ridden with anxiety any time she was sick.  I was always fearful she would forget the things she had recently learned, or her depressed immune system would make it impossible for progress in her near future.  Now, I deal with whatever illness is at hand and allow Mila to set her own pace.  I let her choose when and what she eats, how much she walks, or what she decides to do independently.

  • Mila is walking like a CHAMP!  She doesn't walk all the time, but when she is feeling it, she will practically run.  Her stride is wider than normal, but her stability is a brick house!  She just got a new walker with bigger tires, more mobility, an easier turn radius, equipped with a seat for rest and a snazzy basket.  She used it at school yesterday and only needed little assistance.  We will mostly use it at school and out in the community.  Our favorite moments have been walking hand in hand with Mila, and without notice or hesitation, she lets go and keeps moving.  Exploring her surroundings has been our sweetest moments.
  • Feeding therapy is going great!  Her therapist, Jeanine, realized Mila's body needs a lot of awareness prior to trying new foods.  Before every session, we "awaken" her body with swinging and "jumping" on the trampoline.  Jeanine actually does the jumping while Mila's body soaks up the input. It has made the most positive difference.  She is learning how to prep the table and clean her hands before eating.  She has stopped throwing food on the floor.  Now, if there is a food she doesn't like or want to try, she simply pushes it to the side.  Recently, Mila's new foods are guacamole (what?!), greek yogurt, bean stalks (crunchy, salty "chip" made with beans-protein!), and ham.  She gagged on it so much, she ended up spitting it out.  Spitting out food she cannot chew and swallow is a "first" for Mila and a big deal for us!  Although Mila's palate will not advance here at home, I am so proud of her  efforts and progress in clinic.
  • Hippo therapy is still our "happy" time.  She has great days of riding in all positions, listening and following directions, crossing midline while tossing rings onto poles, and using sign language for communication.  We also have days where all Mila wants to do is simply, ride. I love how she lights up the second her feet hit the dirt.  I love how she squeals with excitement and impatience while she we wait for her session to start.  I love watching Mila bop her head, flap her hands, and laugh from the sheer joy, the horse's stride gives her.  I hope she will always love riding as much as I love watching her ride.
  • Mila's music obsession is stronger than ever!  Whether it's Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams, Hickory Dickory Dock, or some good ol' praise and worship music, my girl feels every note.  She is also becoming quite the keyboard player these days.

Not only have we been celebrating the heck out of Mila, but we also have been having fun with family and friends, climbing mountains that are 14,000 feet above sea level, and getting ENGAGED! Does an engagement make us official?  I thought we were pretty official the day we met, but Michael wanted to keep a little tradition alive.  It was a sweet moment with just the three of us.