The past few weeks we have been squeezing in as much swimming as possible. Caleigh enjoys it, but doesn't move much on her own. She's still apprehensive of the water. We went ahead and bought a small pool for the backyard again. We had one last year too. We get out there every afternoon and Caleigh tells us that she likes to go swimming on her iPad. Caleigh's also been known to lay by the pool with her friend Kendall....
We haven't changed anything that we are doing on the iPad. Caleigh continues to use it daily and it's made our lives so much easier. Caleigh is a happier child now. She doesn't have yelling outbursts like she used to. It makes getting out of the house a lot easier. If I can tell that she is getting frustrated, we take out her talker and ask what she needs. Her favorite request for the last few weeks is "I need kisses mommy please." Each of the words are a separate choice in a sequence. I ask her to say please and she usually does. Never to early to start using manors. So we've been giving lots of kisses around here and I'm ok with that!
This past week I went and spoke to 4 new NICU nurses. As I was driving around the parking garage I started breathing heavier. The anxiety of going back was getting to me. I parked, got out and then felt better. We've been back to the NICU on several occasions and every time I pull into the garage I have the same reaction. Just odd.
The nurses had all just graduated nursing school and this was their first nursing job. I told them all about Caleigh's story. I didn't even cry when going through it. Maybe I'm healing a bit. Just maybe. I told them about positive experiences and some of the more negative experiences that we had. Overall, it was giving them a parent's perspective of the process. It was nice to give back like that and I hope to do it again soon.
That same day I went and oriented some volunteers on short bowel syndrome. I'm part of a new short bowel group through our hospital. Actually there are 3 of us trying to get it off of the ground. We have big dreams for the group. The volunteers will be watching our kids while we are having the support group meetings. Their faces were priceless while we were going through the possible outcomes while taking care of our kiddos, but I'm grateful that there are people out there that aren't too afraid to jump in and help. I was also asked to be on 2 other advisory committees through the hospital and I kindly declined. Just a little bit at a time. I'm pretty sure that would have pushed me over the edge.
I've been trying to do more age appropriate things with Caleigh lately. Playing in the cabinets. Playing in the grass. Swimming. Singing and dancing. Playing pretend. Coloring and painting. Having fun, not therapy. So far it's working. I'm happier and Caleigh seems happier.