Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Daily Surprises

Ruby has been totally amazing me every day.  I don't have a whole lot of time to describe all the great things that have been happening but I would like to share a few of my favorite moments.

First of all, Ruby has taken a strong intrest in riding bikes, both those with pedals and her glide bike (two wheeler that doesn't have any pedals).  Her balance is really quite good considering she only has the use of her left hand.  She works very hard to get her right hand on the handle bars, which is helpful in maintaining her balance on the bikes.  The other day I cought her on the side yard of my mom's house practicing riding a tricycle and working very hard to keep both feet on the pedals and get herself going.  When she noticed my mom and I were watching she told us to "go away".  She was practicing for herself, not just doing it to make us happy.  She was doing it for herself and was working very hard.  I was over the moon watching her little stubborn ways paying off.  Her physical therapist told us when she was really young that although she was protesting therapy, she was strong willed and that when the time came and she decided she wanted something, her will would push her to accomplish things.  This is becoming more and more apparent as I watch her working quietly to pick up something with her right hand or when she is working on keeping her feet on the pedals of a bike.  She has learned that she can do it, and really really wants to.  She is also totally awesome at riding a swing.  I was never sure if she would be able to ride a regular swing because it requires good balance, stability, and the use of two hands to hold on to the chains.  Well, I guess I was again, underestimating what she can do.  She rides that swing as high as it can go, pumping her legs and making it look easy.  She loves the swing.

The next thing Ruby has been doing is during reading time before bed.  She has been memorizing the books we read at night.  I know this is a very normal thing for kids to do, but that is just it.  We have been given the worst case scenarios from doctors so I think I have just tried to keep my hopes a little lower so I wouldn't keep getting my heart broken when we learn of something new that will be challenging for her.  Every time she does something that she should be able to do or what "normal" kids can do I am so excited.  I really enjoy reading.  I love how reading can take you anywhere and all the knowledge that comes from reading about something new.  Seeing Ruby remember the stories and memorize parts of the stories, learning new complicated words, and being shown something new makes me really happy.  I love to see her enjoying a book and also when she recites it back to me.  It is one of the moments I remember watching my little brother do with my parents and I really looked forward to it as a parent.  Maybe it is silly, but it shows me that Ruby really can do more than I give her credit for and that her abilities are quite astounding.

These photos are unrelated to the stories above but I wanted to share with you our Easter picturs.  The kids looked so cute but wouldn't you know it, I turned my back for two minutes and found them shin deep in a mud puddle.  Last year I was so burnt out from all the stress I probably would have lost it or cried.  This year I grabbed my new camera and just let them go for it.  It feels nice to feel sort of normal again, although there are moments I still feel a little left over anxiety and stress.
Please enjoy these great photos.

On March 2nd, Ruby's One Year Post Surgery Anniversay, Jason and I participated in a fun 5K race.  We did this to celebrate surgery success for Ruby as well as honor the memory of Lucas Gruenther, an avid runner, a loving husband, and a friend.  RIP Luc