Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Today was such a busy day for Jenna, in which she chose to start at 6:50AM.....even after having gone to bed late lastnight. We went back to DC yesterday evening in order to see some of the sites at night. Again, she did an amazing amount of walking. We figured she would sleep until at least 8:30 or 9. Nope. She very joyfully ran into our room and jumped on the bed at 6:50 ready to start the day. Therapy did not start until 11 so we had quite a bit of time to fill before heading to the center. Jenna and I hung out together on the couch for a bit but then she requested going out to her pool. She has been even more verbal since our trip and is using language/verbalization as a primary way of communicating now. Whereas before, she would rely more heavily on nonverbal communication and body language. When we got out to the pool, she quickly realized that the water was a bit chilly for her liking. She tried getting me to hop in so she could stay warmer on my lap. Anyone who knows me well though, knows that I am not a fan of anything cold unless it is served in a glass. So I tried to appease her by suggesting she jump in the bathtub but she was not interested. She settled for a nice mommy and Jenna walk around the neighborhood. We played at the park for a bit and took a long stroll until it was time to get back and start getting ready for therapy. Today, Jenna had OT with Lindsay and Vision Therapy with John. Every day, Jason and I are learning so much about how to incorporate the floortime model into our day to day lives. I am on board 100% with the model as a system in which will help Jenna develop who she is. I love the fact that it allows us to address where she is at and not what any diagnosis, statistic, opinion or book suggests. It builds on her abilities and challenges her to move further. The approach is a very warm and relationship-based approach that will strengthen our connection with her, allow her to become spontaneous, foster her curiosity and expand those interactions that she already seeks out. They say hindsight is 50/50 and that is definitely an understatement for me in regards to my back and forth interactions with Jenna (and others). I refuse (do you hear me trying to convince myself here?) dwell on and to beat myself up over the "I should have", I should not have" and all of the mistakes that I have made up to this point in Jenna's communication attempts. I have learned that I have done some things "right on", many of them stemming from listening to my gut and knowing Jenna the way I do. I have realized that I have made some mistakes due to lack of knowledge, at times lack of patience or lack of just simply slowing down. Jenna has always been so very capable of tasks, even the ones that she has to work harder that the "average" child does. Unfortunately, and like all moms from time to time, making the decision to do something for my child because it is either 1-just easier to do it myself, 2-time consuming on those rush here-do-that-rush-there days, or 3-giving in too quickly to some protest on her part. Not only is Jenna very capable of doing lots of things I have not held her accountable for, she is also wise in knowing that mommy does this. She has well-played a many a situation. It is true and VERY real, that that premie momma's quilt and over-protection tenancy is sometimes justified. Since I have seen my newborn premature baby experience pain, discomfort and life-altering medical incidents and the after effects, I have every right to be over-protective. I will not deny myself that from time to time. The guilt comes into play in that I watched her experience so much in her first months of life and saw how hard life was for her during days in which she should have been developing, warm, growing strong while in-utero and since I was not able to physically protect her and provide her fully with what she needed, I will do what I can to make her life continue as smoothly as possible. Of course though, the momma guilt tends to get carried away when giving grace for things. This is where I have made numerous mistakes. This is ok though, because these things are mend-able. The things I feel worse about though is not recognizing sooner, some of the subtleties of communication attempts she had when she was younger. I did not miss them all of course, but there were times when I could have extended that non-verbal communication in a way that would allow her the opportunity to grow. Simply put, I missed some great opportunities. No, it of course was not intentional. No, it was not a knowing choice I made. It was the not-knowing. No matter how rational and realistic I am about this, it still hurts.....missing that important moment where I could have provided her a better platform for gaining more foothold on language development. Especially since this is a huge area of challenge. I know I have to forgive myself or at the very least, allow myself some grace. You learn from your mistakes and from your experiences and use that knowledge to grow. I know that I strive to do the best for both Blake and Jenna, and know that I have since before they were born. That will certainly not change. There are so many things to journal about and every thing can branch out into so many OTHER things to journal about. That tends to happen when you gain a lot of knowledge in a little amount of time. I am so excited to learn this system because by using it, we are learning more and more abut our gal....not only from the therapists but best of all by our very own star herself. She is sharing so much of who she is. My mind has now gone into what I call my "ADHD" mode. The emotions that come with all of those topics and the exhaustion that I am feeling, is causing a bit of a traffic jam. Time to shut it down for tonight. So much more to say.....

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