The Things Toddlers do….

The festive season is upon us once again!!!!!! Yes time sure does fly when one is having fun. Speaking of fun we have been having tons of fun. Leah is now a full-blown toddler, and doing all the “naughty” things that toddlers do. ( I’m sure she does some more naughty things that the average toddler) I feel quite silly sometimes because after all, I am a mom of three kids…. I should know what to expect when dealing with a toddler, but im not going to lie about it, I feel like a first time mum with Leah, in fact I felt this way with Nicole as well, Simone on the other hand was my first 🙂

I believe a mother’s brain has an automatic “memory clear” button which erases all the memories of the terrible toddler stages we have lived through. This memory loss is important because it enables us to have more kids, it is only when we are back in the toddler phase that able to recall some of the lost data… but sometimes it is slightly different than before… I think the more kids you have the more they evolve…. They become more active and daring in their toddler activities.

Leah is definitely my biggest challenge so far (thank goodness the memory clear did not have time to activate after Leah’s birth and I had the factory permanently shut down) Leah has no fear, she is an amazing climber an im sure she could put some monkeys to shame with her skills.Be it a table or chair, even the outside gate is no challenge for Leah, if she gets the right grip its up she goes…. We have not yet mastered the how “to get down” part but she knows I am nothing more that a scream away and we have successfully completed many rescue missions where we safely returned Leah to mother earth after an attempted  “Leah climb to the moon” moment. (That is what Leah would say while she is climbing the safety gate at grandma’s house)

Running is another loved activity, I’m sure most LP moms will agree, speed will never be a issue for our children and Leah can do zero to a hundred in about a split second!!!! 🙂   Only thing is the faster she goes the more she leans forward and it always ends up with a fall involving a tummy splat or a forehead boo-boo. I do hope that as she gains more understanding of her body proportions she will learn to take things slowly, but for know I run as well… and there are times (im not ashamed to admit) I just cant catch her. We are amazed at how she handles the corners at top speed. Daddy says she must have a built in stabilizer and she must be fitted with power steering and ABS breaks to allow for fast action stopping when Mommy yells “NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE”

Last but not least…. The toddler vocabulary, Leah has jumped ahead and is tipping in at adult conversation category. We really enjoy chatting, she is so expressive during a conversation and every word is were it should be in a sentence. She can be very demanding and often feels the need to say “Why you so slow… I’m hungry” while I prepare her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We do have our giggles when she calls her sisters “silly girls” because  they sometimes put her out their bedroom as she tends to disrupt their “Big girl” talks. Every night before bed Leah will give each family member a hug and a  kiss followed by a  “Leah loves you soooooo much” whisper in the ear. My good night ritual usually gets followed with a “Mommy find my dummy”(pacifier) because as grown up as Leah may seem she dose not see the necessity to part ways with her pacifier just yet and I don’t mind at all, …  after all when it come to my girls they will always be my babies…..

Strength in numbers

It’s November!!!!!!! I’m a little shocked as to how fast this year has flown by. I often find myself asking, “so what have you accomplished” because it seems as if time just wasn’t enough to do all the things I had planned!!!!!

At the moment I am fully focused on getting little people of South Africa off the ground. We would love to have more LP Families join our group but in South Africa it’s hard to break the stigma of embracement and self blame. People tend to get stuck in a phase of isolation. They shy away and they feel content living in the “ignorance is bliss” world, I know why they do this it boils down to one thing “FEAR” and I understand how they feel because like them I was griped with fear. It’s hard dealing with things that you can’t control or change. It’s even harder when it’s your child. I guess isolation is like nature’s way of creating a sense of protection.

My breakthrough came when Leah was about 3 months old, I realized that I have been consuming my life with my own grief and no mater how much I wanted to protect her, I wasn’t doing her any good by not knowing what Achondroplasia was all about. In order for me to make informed decisions about her health and well-being I needed to educate myself because knowledge is power. I had to accept that Leah is a Dwarf and it’s something I can’t change.

Today we don’t see the condition we see LEAH KAY (who has become quite a handful over the past few weeks LOL). One day she is going to go out there and take on the world just like everybody else, and I know she is going to be just fine.

Because there were no support groups for Dwarfism in South Africa at that time the Internet became my recourse center. I fortunately met the right people who helped me by sharing the right information, because as you know there is some scary information floating out in cyber space. I feel that support is of vital importance as we can learn so much from each other. I would love to see families rise above their situation and instill a sense of confidence and independence in their children. I don’t want them to feel alone because you are most certainly not alone. It’s important for your child knows that they are not alone and that there are other kids just like them. I believe your child can achieve anything they set their mind to with your support, motivation and willpower.

So I’m gonna lay it out for you. Is this your own fears that you are struggling with? And if it is your fear… can you truly encourage your LP child to believe he or she has the ability to make his dreams become a reality. Our kids are what is important right now so let’s make this group work. Let’s grow “Dwarfism Awareness” in South Africa. There is strength in numbers.

I am Leah Kay

I am Leah Kay

Happy 3rd Birthday Leah

I am very late with this post, but better late than never!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tend to get a wee bit emotional when I think back to the day Leah was born, so I decided to to a blast from the past with one of my older post….. Leah my baby we have hit a huge milestone in your life, you are 3 years old , we have been through so much this past 3 years, but if there is one thing we know for sure we love more and more with each passing day.

The “Special needs mom”

2008 March 4 by Charmaine

This question “What is it like being a special needs mom” was asked over at “What is Normal” at the time I could not find the words to answer that particular question to the best of my ability, but God must have really wanted me to answer that question because today, I was asked the very same question again!! So that is the inspiration for todays post.

Were do I begin, lets start with the truth, Its not easy, If I think back to some of the many emotions I felt from the time Leah was born they start at FEAR, JOY, ANGER, DENIAL, ACCEPTANCE and finally realizing that this little life is totally dependent on you, and its up to you to gear yourself with as much information and support to carry you through each day. So I had to realize that I had to take things one day at a time.

If there is one thing I know for sure God makes no mistakes, I know Leah was given to us for a reason, before I found out I was pregnant my husband and I were living life past each other, he would be doing his thing and I would be doing mine, my girls were at a age were they were also doing their thing and our idea of quality time was taking the kids to restaurants for Sunday lunch, or visiting friend while all the kids played in the back yard, we thought our lives were complete and we had everything we needed. When we found out at my 20 week scan that there was a problem with Leah, my first thought was why was this happen to me? Is it because I never spent enough time concentration on my spiritual life, did I do something wrong? Why was I being punished?!!!!! I cried for days, I was inconsolable and I mentally tried to detach myself from the baby that was growing inside me.

The turning point for me was my Fetal Abnormality Scan, instead of a little black figure squirming around on the screen, I saw Leah in 3D, I will never forget her face and seeing the blood pumping through her veins, seeing her heart beating so hard its as if she was running a race, I then realized the magnitude of this little human being growing inside me, I felt guilty for not wanting to feel anything for her, I realized all she had in order to survive was me. As I left the hospital I remember putting my hand on my tummy and sobbing as I asked God to forgive me for those thoughts of not wanting my child, I was a new mommy after that appointment, I realized that we were all in this together, we needed to unite as a family and I accepted my child and loved my child no matter what was to come our way.

It hasn’t been easy, it’s challenging because you faced with so many obstacles, in Leah’s case we were not informed of all the health issues that surround Achondroplasia, but we will face those challenges, and we will work through them.

I would not change a thing about my life today and neither would the rest of my family, I am constantly amazed at how this little person has brought our family together, we know see life through different eyes and sometimes my husband reminds me of how we THOUGHT we were complete, little did we know that Leah was the missing piece of our puzzle. We have lost some of our old friends, but we have gained a new family, we have met the most amazing people and we have shared in their pain, we shed tears for baby Theo and Little Avery, we felt as if they were part of us, and we prayed together when Knoah was ill and we speak of these people as if we have known them for a lifetime, we make a point of trying to visit all our little friends blogs just to keep up-to-date with the progress everyone is making, and its a good feeling to see how all these families have embraced life and deal with all sorts of issues and still remain positive and happy while doing so.

There will be fears, and there will be tears but I would not have it any other way, for me being a “special needs mom” has made me more tolerant, taught me the meaning of patients, grown my relationship with God, and made me appreciate life, love and family and I thank God for my Little Leah, and the friends we have made along the way.