Sunday, December 25, 2011


"Somebody should have caught him"...are the words that echo in my mind as I end my Christmas day. They are the words spoken by my sweet, humble innocent 5 year old nephew to his mom tonight as he so curiously and lovingly stared at Dakota as I got him ready for bed tonight asking very inquisitive questions. He is the second child to speak those words to me since Dakota's accident. They don't offend me or hurt my feelings in any way because I know they are spoken with only the sincerity, humility, honesty, and love that a child has.
But as I ponder on those words they are what my heart longs for. Why couldn't that fence have fallen on him when an adult was nearby? Why couldn't one of his older cousins have been there to help him or get help instead of his innocent 1 year old cousin who was playing so innocently by him when  I found him?Why couldn't I have checked on him sooner? SOMEBODY SHOULD HAVE CAUGHT HIM!" I feel that same way and I don't understand why it had to happen.
This Christmas day and every day for that matter could have been so much different. Tears tonight and sitting in church wouldn't have filled my eyes today if somebody would have caught him. Instead of tears of sadness I could have felt feelings of excitement, anticipation, and pure joy today if somebody just would have caught him. Don't get me wrong it wasn't all a sad day...we had some great fun with my wonderful family but I'm not gonna was so hard to see all of my nieces and nephews SO excited and talking about everything they got and love. When you have your first baby those first couple Christmas' are not too exciting until they really start to understand. This would have been that year for us...his first Christmas that we got to experience the pure joy and excitement that a child brings into your life but it wasn't, because nobody was there to catch him.
I know everything happens for a reason and that we were given this trial to learn and grow but I still haven't gained that full insight and understanding of it all yet so it is still really hard to bear. Especially going through Zach's vision loss and then this. We were still trying to learn and grow from that trial when this happened so it is all just a huge mess of confusion that we are still trying to wrap our minds around. After Zach's vision loss Dakota was his light in the darkness. He could make Zach laugh and smile on some of his "darkest" days. So as you can imagine this has been so hard to handle for him. When he couldn't see the sweet details of Dakota's face anymore he at least had the sound of his cute voice and laughs so it was as if he could still see his sweet face. To have that taken from him too, is hard to bear.
We are still so grateful for each new day with Dakota but I just wish SOMEBODY COULD HAVE CAUGHT HIM!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Days!!! :)

There has been a huge change over Dakota these last few days that have done both Zach and I's hearts so good. The best way to describe it is to first describe some of the characteristics of Dakota. Unless you are around Dakota a lot you probably wouldn't know or notice these things but first his eye contact with people is very short lived. If we talk to him he will look at us for a second and then look away. It has always really bothered me but it wasn't until recently that Zach and I talked about it. Of course like any child or baby, it is so fun to interact with them and play but it is hard to do if your child won't look at you for longer then a second. The doctor at NACD where we just had a recent evaluation described to me that it is hard for his brain to take it all in and process it at the same time...this is why he looks away. He gave me an example by telling me to look at him and add 60+38+15. I couldn't do it without looking was weird but then it all made sense to me. Even so...I'm his mom so I have been praying lately that he will begin to look at me more and interact and communicate more with me. I NEED it!

Also, you have seen lots of pictures of Dakota smiling but most of them are smiles at his favorite movies and shows. It is REALLY hard to get him to smile at you (something you do or say). Unless it is laying him in his bed, maybe going to school, or one of his really good days...getting him to smile at me or anyone for that matter is rare. As his mom...that is HARD. That is one thing I miss the most. Before the accident I loved just being silly with him and making him smile and laugh. That is what we as parents live for. Those precious moments between you and your kid.

Anyways, all of the sudden over these last few days there has been a VERY noticeable change in Dakota and these behaviors. He has started smiling a lot and not just at shows but at Zach and I. Even today in physical therapy he started smiling and giggling. He has started looking and focusing on us more. And for the first time since Dakota's accident, Zach and I FINALLY had a very happy moment "as a family" together. Dakota was super happy one night and Zach and I were just laying on the ground next to him. We were giving him a little help to roll back and forth to us and he was doing awesome. He started smiling as if he was proud of his accomplishments (which is also a first. He normally doesn't care if he does something good and we cheer and clap for him like most kids do.) He would giggle with us and it felt like we were finally getting to actually play together again. Obviously it isn't the same kind of play that we used to be able to do together...but it was play and it felt SO good. I felt like a real mom again and not just a therapist or a nurse. It felt so good to see us ALL laughing and smiling together again like we used to.

So all of you parents out there...PLEASE don't take those moments to laugh and play together with your kids and as a family together for granted. What I would give to go back in time and just PLAY. I long to have Dakota take the lead in play again and just be his partner in crime...doing whatever, wherever, however messy he wanted. Live in the moment and don't worry about the LONG list of to-do's that we all have. They will still be there tomorrow or the next or the next...but you never know how many moments left you have to just play with your kids. You don't know what tomorrow brings and they grow up so darn fast!

Along with these changes I have noticed his head control getting a lot stronger. Even the physical and swallow therapists both mentioned that today. He is beginning to push on his crawls across the floor and not just on the inclined slide (which is easier). He is standing so much stronger with his sit and stand exercise. And most importantly he just seems to have a little more try and desire behind everything he does. Today at physical therapy I couldn't believe how much he was looking at the toys and REALLY trying to get his arm up and do the pushing. Normally he is more passive and just helps the last little bit and sometimes doesn't even look at what they are wanting him to do. It was so cool.

I just hope and pray that these changes are here to stay and not just a phase. Our lives are a constant roller coaster with highs and lows and everything in between. Things come and go but I pray that this is not only here to stay but to get even better!!!

And I am MOST grateful to a LOVING Heavenly Father who I KNOW has heard my prayers, who knows how much we needed this...even if it doesn't last. I know he heard me.

KEEP SMILING DAKOTA!!! YOU HAVE THE MOST HANDSOME SMILE I HAVE EVER SEEN! (and I'm not just saying that cuz I'm your mom)
Let's make more messes together!!