Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm Sorry

Dear Blog ~

I know I haven't been coming around as much, and I'm sorry. I know you think I have found another, but it's just not true, well sort of. I promise it was just a temporary thing. My expiration date with the other is tonight at midnight, and then, I will be back!

I just figured I had been beating on you too much, and you needed a break from my sad, sad, happy, sad, hopeful story. In being with me, your mind must be chaotic. I just wonder how you do it? How you have kept it together? Through everything? The other avenue briefly took your place, and I am sorry for that! But please trust me when I say, I was constantly coming back to you, in reference! I swear to you! You have such a unique way of remembering the many important, or not so important, things I forget.

With this other, I had to really focus my attention, and put all of the pieces together at once. Do you know how hard that was, to put all these 616+ parts together? Believe me when I say, I prefer to just have you as my constant source of love, and support. I always know you are there, just sitting, and waiting for me. Please know, I appreciate it!

With you, there are no rules. No regulations. You don't judge me by the way I write, and you don't even care what style I choose to put you in. To you, it makes no difference if I am making sense, or not. You don't even mind when I veer off into a never-ending just go with it, you go with me! When I make a mistake, you realize what I am going through, and turn the other way. I admire you for that. You love me for me, and nothing else. Oh Blogger, you complete me!

I just felt I had to, and wanted to, explore my other options. It was fun, and thoroughly exhausting, all at the same time, but I'm done, well as of midnight tonight...

It will again, truly be, just you, me and Avi, okay?

I {heart} you!

P.S. You just had to bring up the Oprah letter, didn't you?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Day You Will

So beautiful.

So true.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Time Machine

Does anyone have one?

If you do, can I borrow it?

This life is too difficult.

Much too difficult.


It appears I have misrepresented someone in my family. I have only shown pictures of the destruction she has caused. I am only writing this because it has been brought to my attention so many times, and then I am back peddling, and explaining how wonderful she is, and how perfect she is, and how everything she is...

Rainey Days is the best dog we could have asked for. I thought it was funny, so I posted some of her chaos and disorder photos, but those two (remote control, twig things, and patterning table) were her only work. She has never torn anything else up in this house, and has been a perfect angel, even being left for up to 7 hours unattended.

I feel someone was really looking out for us when they selected her for us. She is the best dog, and puppy I have ever before laid eyes on. Yes, Kama was much more of a terror than her. Any day of the week.

I'm sorry Rainey...I hope you forgive me :o)

That's the thing about dogs, she doesn't care, and she probably thinks it's funny, and she still loves me!

"Avi, is it true? Did Mommy really write that about me?"

"Mommy did you really post all those pictures?"

"Come on Avi, just talk to me, just this once?"

"Wow Mom! I don't think you should put any pictures of me on your blog, nobody wants to see me, they only want to see Aviana."

** She's just kidding. She doesn't even mind, and wants every picture of her posted! **

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

More About You Monday

Not too many hidden talents, huh? 

I told Dave I don't have a hidden talent to post, and was going to have to put his, which is holding a Sierra Nevada beer bottle with his abnormally strange, freakish moving, shoulder blades.

He told me I do have a hidden talent. I was confused, and asked him what it was. He said I am a pool shark. Yes, I used to can shoot a good game of pool. 


In what ways do you work through sadness?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Surprise

My friend's mom still lives in Tahoe, too. This morning she looked over the deck railing and saw this cute guy in the lake looking back at her...

I just had to share! Just another reason why I miss Tahoe so much!


I had spent the last few weekdays writing my chapter on Aviana.  My deadline is July 31st. I am not usually a procrastinator, but once I started writing, all of the various reasons revealed themselves to me.

As I was writing last week, this is what I wrote below...

I tell you, it is really hard to see the screen through tears, and a wet keyboard doesn't really help either. Going back to my early blog posts, and reflecting on all that has happened to us, is wrecking havoc on my soul. As I read what I wrote, I am torn to pieces with sadness, and can't stop the tears. I have never once gone back to the early days of the accident, and much of what I am reading, I have forgotten. I am currently re-living it all, and the word 'sad' just can't even touch what I am feeling.

There is one other feeling mixed in with the sadness though, and that is amazed. I am so very amazed by Aviana. As I go back, I have a really hard time believing she survived. In so many words, and so many times, they told us it was "over." We used to always call her a spitfire, and now looking back, I feel it was a premonition of things to come!

She fought her way back into this world, and we are going to fight, just as hard, for her!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sweet Gabby

A few days ago, one of our readers sent me a message about a family in Tennessee. She suggested I maybe get in contact with them. They had adopted two children from Guatemala. Two days ago, there had been a horrible accident. There were some similar lines between us, and them. The grandparents were driving with the two children when the accident occurred.

I didn't know many details, but what I did know is their sweet Gabby suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. She was unresponsive, and on a ventilator. I also heard her brain was continuing to swell. In just one short second, I was brought all the way back to June 17, 2009. I felt so much sadness for this family. They were experiencing something no family should ever have to experience.

My first thought, was of my friend Trina. She discovered my blog early on, and reached out in a way only a mother of a brain injured child could. I was lost, and lonely, in the vast world of severe trauma to the head. I was doing my best to make my way, but she quickly became my compass. She showed me which way to go, and what to expect, every step of the way. I appreciate her for everything she has, and continues to do for us.

In the exact moment I received my friend's message, I wanted to be for this mother, what Trina was to me. What I wanted most, was for her to not feel alone. I knew the shock, and sadness, and terror would already be, but what I didn't want, was for her to feel isolated on this difficult journey.

I sent this mother a message. I kept it short, because I knew the kind of hell she was in. I just wanted her to briefly know what had happened to us, and that I was here for her. I would help her in any way possible, and know matter what.

Gabby passed away yesterday afternoon. She was just 8 years old. I can't even begin to imagine what this family is going through. I know from experience, early facts are not always accurate, but from what I understand, not only did Gabby pass, but their youngest, just 5 years old, is in surgery. The grandmother has a broken wrist, clavicle, and arm. From what I read, the grandfather, who was driving, was uninjured. My whole heart goes out to the Lewis Family.

I have so many prayers for this family. Prayers for their hearts. Prayers for their son, and his grandmother, to be okay. Prayers for the grandfather, who sadly, will forever carry the weight of this accident. Prayers for everyone to rally around this family, and show only love and support. Prayers that the ones who bring only hate, and judgement, stay the hell away, as that is the last thing they need right now. Prayers for the family to be good, and forgiving of each other.

A tragedy of this magnitude can destroy an entire family, and leave total wreckage in its wake. It is hard work for each person to bring with them, a kind heart. It is a daily challenge for each individual to do their very best to carry on. Grief, and loss are moving targets. Everybody experiences it, and acts differently. For this reason, it makes it hard to always see eye to eye. When it comes to a trauma of this sort, respect, and kindness take on a whole new meaning. These things serve though, as the only qualities that make it remotely possible to live out the remainder of our lives.

Please join me in keeping The Lewis Family close in thought and prayer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Birthday Blues

Before I had a child, I always envisioned the birthday parties. After Aviana arrived, I carefully planned every last detail of each of her parties. I loved seeing her in her cute little birthday dresses. She was the most adorable little birthday girl ever.

Coincidentally, I was out shopping for her 3rd birthday party decorations when the accident occurred. Little did we know, we would be celebrating her big day in the U.C. Davis PICU.

Each year since the accident, the birthday blues start inching their way in. As the day gets closer, I feel an overwhelming amount of sadness. Her birthday is August 16th and I have been feeling it for about a month now. The sad feelings are getting stronger and stronger.

I know it seems I would want to celebrate the fact that she was born on this day, and that she is here, but it's just not that simple. It is a sad, depressing, emotional day. I feel awful when I say this, but I don't look forward to it, in any way. I love her so very much, and wish it could be different, but I can't make myself feel any other way. It is a day that I can't help but reflect on her past birthday's. I can't help but wonder what she would have been like this year. I can't help but think of what she would be saying, what she would be doing, what her favorite things would be, etc.

Sadly, it is also a reminder that another year has passed, and not much progress has been made.

For too many reasons to explain, I don't foresee ever having another birthday party either. It is just too painful. Too painful for myself, and my family members.

We will celebrate, in our own, private, small way, because I love her so much, but it will not be in any way I ever envisioned for my family.

~ First Birthday ~ 

~ Second Birthday ~

~ Third Birthday

~ Fourth Birthday ~

More About You Monday

Hi! Sorry I haven't been around lately. I went to Tahoe to celebrate my friend's  birthday. We stayed for two nights, and each night there were 6 of us.

We went to the pool by day, and to the clubs at night. We had a great trip! Once back, we've been pretty a good way!

I love how passionate we all are about ice cream! I still haven't put the spoon down, and have one person to blame (besides myself) ~ ~ ~ my friend Ellen :o)  She had us over for a nice dinner while we were in Philadelphia. She later busted out the Ben & Jerry's and the rest is history. I haven't stopped since we got home....from PA, not Tahoe ;o/ Yes, that would be a full month...

Here are my favorite ice creams....


Do you have any hidden talents?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

For Your Entertainment

I went to the movies last week with one of my friends. For a few unimportant reasons, we went to see a movie we both didn't really care to see.

The movie was so bad, I didn't mind getting up to go to the bathroom. I actually welcomed the break ;o) I walked out of the movie, and straight into the bathroom. At first, I was the only one in there, but then in the next stall over, I heard this sweet little girl say, "Daddy, you go first." and he said, "No honey, you go ahead and go." And then she followed with, "No Daddy, I want you to go first." I don't know about you, but on numerous occasions, I have been witness to some really rude parent/child public bathroom breaks.

I was honestly quite taken by the sweet interaction that was taking place in the next stall over. So much so, that I was blinded by the fact that this little girl's dad chose the women's restroom, instead of assisting her in the men's.  It didn't bother me that much, but I did think it was kind of strange.

As I was washing my hands, the father/daughter duo emerged from the stall. Our eyes caught each others, and I quickly looked away. Actually seeing the man made it that much more peculiar. I tried to tell myself, "to each his own, and there's no harm done, so whatever." I turned around to dry my hands, and out of the corner of my right eye, I saw an entire row of urinals. I can't quite explain the horror I felt in that moment. I was the idiot. I was the one who was in the wrong place. I didn't look back. I just got out of there as fast as I could.

As if seeing the urinals was not proof enough that it was indeed, the men's bathroom, I just had to look on my way out to make sure.  And yes, the man was there on the wall, staring back at me!!

I was laughing so hard I was crying, and couldn't go back into the movie. I couldn't stop thinking of what he must have been thinking of me. Once I contained myself, I rejoined my friend. One look at her, and I burst back into laughter, and had to leave again. I got myself together for the third time, went back in, and she said, "What's so funny?" Staring straight ahead at the I can't believe I paid $10.25 for this terrible movie, I said, "I can't look at you!"

We ended up leaving mid movie, and had a good laugh about it after. It's no big deal, but I am one week out, and I still can't stop laughing about it ;o)

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Wish

I left a very important 'to be continued' out there. It wasn't that I had forgotten about it, I just hadn't gotten around to articulating exactly what I wanted to say. I am going to try to pick up where I left off.

By the time of the accident, Aviana and I had come far in our relationship together, but not as far as I felt we needed to be, in order to weather the storm ahead. Once they told us she would be much like a baby, and that we would have to start all over again, I had some extreme freak out moments.

Because our foundation was so incredibly unstable to begin with, doubt was finding its way in. I was terrified that I had just simply come to love her personality, her smile, her voice, her mannerisms, and her independence. If indeed, all of that was stripped away, would I still be able to successfully care for her every need? If all of what makes a person....was gone, would I still be able to love her? 

There was one single prayer that I threw onward and upward, over and over again.  It was not that she would walk, talk, etc, but that I would love her dearly and deeply.  I knew if that single prayer was answered, everything would be alright. I knew I would be able to love, and care for her for a lifetime.

I was granted that one very important wish, and for that I am eternally grateful. As long as I had a profound love for her, I knew nothing else truly mattered.  Everything else is gravy. 

Sure, I want her to do all things possible, and that is why we have given our lives over to her rehabilitation, but I know, if nothing comes of it, I will be okay. She will be okay. We will be okay.

More Than Meets the Eye

I always knew there must be more to my love of hummingbirds. I have always sent Papyrus cards, and sadly, have never stopped long enough to read the little card within each. Had I been more patient, I would have learned more about my little bird friends.


Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life's sweetest creation.

More About You Monday

You guys left me the best way possible. Thank you for your love, protection, thought provoking words, and above all, your kindness. It is no wonder I keep coming back for more. With you, is right where I need to be ;o) No words can appropriately express the way you all made me feel.
Thank you!

❤ ❤ ❤

I loved every moment of reading more about you. Thank you for answering!

I wasn't planning on answering my question from last week. I figured you all know enough about me, but once again, I feel there needs to be light, to counteract the dark, so here goes, light, not dark ; )

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

I always seem to accidentally wear white to mexican food, or sushi. For a person who spills, that's a problem.

When Dave and I get separated in a store, I like to watch him look around for me for a few minutes before I chase him down. I think it's funny.

 Dave's brother is one of my very favorite people on earth, and while we were celebrating Aviana's 3rd birthday in the hospital, he handed us a Chinese Fighting Fish, and said, "a fighter, for a fighter." I am crying now, just thinking about it. I know you never knew about this family member, but I make a point of spending time with him everyday. He is very sweet, when I come up to his bowl, he is excited to see me, or maybe he wants to kill me, and I am not reading the signs very well. I don't know.

I stop for cows. I love them, especially their eye's. If they are on the side of the road, I feel I need to be, too. You can find lots of pictures like these in my library...

"Hey man, what's that crazy girl doing over their with the grass in her hand? Can I go eat it?"

This is one of my all time favorites. He wanted to be friends, but was kind of scared. I kept telling him, "I won't hurt you, I love you."

Salt is my life, my life is salt. I stopped eating added salt for the past 7 months due to my headaches. It hasn't worked, so I am slowly going back to my old ways. McDonald's has the best salt because it sticks, and doesn't bounce.

I am proud of my parallel parking skills.

I am a sucker for homeless people. I like talking to them, and giving them food, money, whatever. While I hope the money goes to something productive, I don't care if they are making more money than I am, or if the money I am giving them is going to support their crack habit. It's what they feel they need, so I do it anyway. It makes me happy to help. Homeless people with dogs send me over the edge. I am so happy they have each other, but am so sad when the dog is skinny, and hungry. For this reason, I carry a secret stash of dog treats under the driver's seat of my car.

Every time I clean a knife, I have vivid visions of myself at the ER.

The sound of a new text message makes me smile, and I love to hear the clicks of the keyboard as I send one back.

No matter where I am, or what I am doing, this song makes me drop everything, and break out in dance. Not breakdance. Break out in dance. By myself. With Dave. With Rainey. You know who loves to dance the most? Aviana. She is thrilled when I scoop her up, and dance her all over the house.

There ~ enough light to counteract the dark! Well, with the exception of the vivid ER visions!


We've been on an ice cream kick lately. It's getting out of control, and we both agree, it needs to stop. Last night was our first night without, in about a month. Today, I feel shaky.

What is your favorite ice cream, including brand?

I just realized this is not the best question when trying to kick a habit, oh well...

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Feel The Need

The sole reason this blog was created was to provide a mass update on Aviana while she was fighting for her life. Providing this information, multiple times, over multiple days, was just too painful.  As time pressed on, and Aviana was going to make it, the coarse of the blog changed, and so did the title. 

I carefully selected the new title of this blog. I decided on, "The Long and Winding Road" for a number of reasons, but most importantly, because this story is about us as a family. Yes, Aviana is the star of the show, but we are her supporting cast, and we have a story to tell, too.  I have chosen for our story to include every dynamic. Whether it be about Dave, and me. Rainey, and Aviana. Dave, and Aviana. Or Kama, and me. This is our family. We have all suffered a great loss. We are all grieving. We are all trying to make the best of a horrible situation. We try hard to keep our sense of humor. We also try to have as much fun as possible, as we go through this. This is what our life is like...all of it. 

I try to be as real as I possibly can. I share a great deal, but of course, there are some things I keep to myself. As far as the things I choose to share, I do my absolute best to stay as true, and honest as I possibly can.

Some people are bothered by this. I want to be crystal clear here, I have never once gotten a hurtful comment on this blog, and for that I am thankful, but with some family members, it can be a completely different story.

Some of my family is very uncomfortable with what I share, as they come from the, "sweep it under the rug, and act like everything is okay," "don't air your dirty laundry," or the "holier than thou," mentality. I couldn't be further from that way of thinking if I tried.

I feel that belief doesn't help anyone. Putting on a false front is just that....false. It is not true, unrealistic, and doesn't help.

I have to say, I think it would make for a boring story if I just stopped by here, and said, "Aviana is doing good. She is eating well, and we are going to Philadelphia again soon." When I stumble upon a story of that sort, I quickly move on. I know there are many blogs out there, and they all serve a different purpose, but I am left wanting to know, "What is this really like for you? How does this make you feel? How are you able to overcome this?" I am constantly wanting to be better, gain insight, and think in ways I may have never before. That's just me though. I latch on to those sort of stories.

My blog is just is mine! I am not selfish about many things, but this is one area where I am very selfish. I feel I have had to defend my writing to many attacks. Please know, never by anyone that comments, but by many others.

In the beginning, I heard this...

"You shouldn't be so excited, and hopeful. Look at her. I have no idea what you are talking about on your blog." 

Really?? Really?? Don't be excited, and hopeful? Well guess what, that's all we've got...hope!! Without it, we are dead in the water! 

I have also heard all of this....

"You shouldn't swear on your blog."

I have told you all, I swear, and trust me, I don't like it. I think it sounds trashy, and I have been working on it. But guess what, that is a part of me, and while I don't think this is the forum for cuss words. I can't help it sometimes. I think I have used a total of three cuss words in 604 posts, and I have to hear about it. These words were warranted. When I used these words, there was no better word for my complete and utter frustration. As you can see from my minimal use, I choose my words carefully, and if you are to get offended by three words in 604 posts, then maybe my blog is not for you.

"You need to learn to put Aviana first in your life."

Seriously? Are you being real when you say this? Last time I checked, we have devoted every last ounce of ourselves to Aviana. Last time I checked, everything we do, has her at the forefront of our minds. Last time I checked, I think we had traveled back and forth FOUR times across the country. We only have implemented and are pulling off one of the hugest recovery feats in the world. I do feel that Dave, and my health, and well being suffers due to our constant focus on  everything Aviana. We surely don't do exactly what is right for ourselves. I know this is an area we need to work on more, actually putting ourselves first, and moving Aviana down the totem pole a little.

"Maybe you shouldn't write when you are having a really bad day." 

Doesn't that defeat the entire purpose of this blog? Doesn't that have a way of telling a slanted story. If I wrote on only good days, will anyone really have an understanding of what this is like? And most importantly, if someone is reading who has experienced some sort of grief, and loss, doesn't that half story make them feel more isolated and alone?  I choose to tell my story as a whole. I choose to tell you about the ups and downs, because there are many. How can there not be? 

"You sound like a crazy person on your blog. You are all over the place." 

Yes, you are right, but can you blame me? For 34 years, I lead a pretty normal, happy, steady life. I was pretty even keel, with maybe a few blips, here and there, on the radar. Throw in the magnitude of what has happened in the past 2 years, and I have to say, I truly am on the rollarcoaster of my life. I am up, down, and all around. I am laughing one minute, and just might be crying the next. SO sue me for showing emotion. Sue me for being open and honest about what this is like! Sue me for thinking that by telling my story, I just might help someone to feel, that what they are experiencing in their own life, is okay. 

I have been asked many times before, if I am on anti-depressents? If you too, are wondering, the answer is no, and it is not because I think there is anything wrong with them. For me, I haven't felt the need to ever take them, but believe me, if the time comes, and I feel I need them, I will be first in line.

"You say you pray to God on your blog all the time. We were wondering why you pray to God, and not Jesus? How are you going to feel when Dave and Aviana are in heaven, and you are in hell. Do you know you have many people praying for your family? Do you even appreciate it?"

WOW! This one really blew my socks off. This conversation went further into personal attacks of me as a child growing up. I can handle all of that just fine, but once my mom was attacked for the way she raised me, all hell broke loose. You don't EVER attack my mom, to my face. EVER!!!

There is so much to say on this front, but I will leave it at this....I truly appreciate every single prayer, from everyone of you! I think you know it, but just wanted to make sure :o)

"You talk about Kama and Rainey too much."

I fully understand if you are not a dog person, and have no interest in seeing pictures, or hearing stories of our dogs. Like every story, you can always skip the parts you don't like, and move on to the ones that pertain to you, or that just might help you in some way. 

Everyone has their thing. The thing they love most in the world. The thing that has a way of taking all of their problems away. The thing that makes you feel most alive. The thing that you can do, and the world has a way of falling aside. The thing that makes it all better. It is different for everyone. For some it is their kids, or painting, or a place, etc. For me, it is my dogs. My relationship with my dogs is without end. I love them with every single fiber of my being. I treat them as my most prized possession. I guard them, and protect them like no other. And, I share them. How could I not? They are a blessing, and have helped me through this journey in a way nothing else has. 

"It was inappropriate to include your "List" on here."

Maybe so, but I started 'More About You Monday' to mainly get to know you better, and of course, to have some fun sometimes. The subject matter of this blog is, for the most part, pretty heavy. Dave and I deal with the hardest, and heaviest of situations every second, of every day. In order to keep our sanity, we laugh, joke, and try to have as much fun as we can. We do our best to make our situation as light as possible. If we didn't, we would surely be divorced, unhappy, fighting, or dead on the floor. We choose the alternative. 

Dave, and I have laughed about our list so many times over the past years, and we had fun compiling all of the pictures, and details for those posts. Moments like that, give us the opportunity to escape, and be entertained for a little while.

"Boy Jen - I thought you have no time because you are so busy with Aviana. Have fun in Tahoe today."

My counselor has actually given me homework of overnight trips, of which I rarely have ever done. This was one of the very rare times, I was able to pull myself away for less than 24 hours, and this is the text I received on my way to Tahoe. Speechless...I was rendered speechless, while at the very same time, my head was about to blow.  Who does that? What kind of creep says things like that?? Just to let you know, that was just the tip of the iceberg with that individual ;o(

I have a terrible memory, so these are the only ones that have really hurt, or just kind of made me tilt my head sideways, and think maybe some further explanation of my actions might be nice. As I have told you before, it takes a great deal for me to be offended, so I am sure many other things have been said, and just slid right off.

Geez! From all of the things people have said to me, you would think I am a horrible person! To all of the people who have said the above things to my face, I have plainly and simply said, time and again, "If you don't like what I have to say, don't read it!" 

I thought this would all go without say, but over the coarse of time, I have felt the need to explain myself. My intent is to respect others, be kind, share fully, and through our experience try my best to help in any way possible. I am well aware of the fact that you can't please all the people, all the time, but I just feel compelled to explain myself. I am not asking everyone to agree with everything I write, that is not possible. I am just asking that you look at my overall intent, and know that my heart is good, and I am not ever trying to upset, or hurt anyone. 

I am making the best of, and doing the best I possibly can in our situation, and definitely don't deserve some of the things that have been said to me. I feel like my plate is already overflowing, so adding all these crappy comments on top, makes me seriously question how I am still standing? ;o(

Over time, I have finally been pushed to the feeling of needing to defend, and explain myself though. Again, please know I have never once received a rude, or hurtful comment on here. I have heard of so many people getting awful comments, and luckily, you have all been loving, supportive, helpful, and compassionate. I thank you for that. 

Outside Looking In

I sometimes visualize myself from an outsiders point of view,

Especially when I am shopping.

I am surrounded in people who have never before set eyes upon me.

I have a ponytail in my hair,

Glitter on my face,

A coffee in one hand,

A few shopping bags in the other,

And I am genuinely happy.

I smile and making small talk with the cashiers at various stores.

I look carefree,


As though I haven't a worry in the world.

I feel free.

In this place where no one knows me,

Or my story.

I stare at myself,  and in that single moment, I can't help but think, when we look at others, we often times have an entirely skewed perspective of what their lives are really like!

It is amazing to me. And it's not that I just discovered this for the first time, it's just that, because of our circumstance, more light is able to shine down on this very important fact.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


So true. I'm doing my best :o)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


My mom was hoping and praying Aviana would work on the FC Board while she was here. I had my doubts. Aviana says, "I am not a circus animal, and I do not perform in front of people!" That is unless she wants to show off, or prove someone wrong. That someone is often times me, and is usually done at The Institute's. I think she actually takes pride in letting the staff know that I don't always know what I am talking about :o)

Over a week ago, my mom came over, and we decided to give the FC Board a try. I wasn't counting on anything, for the above reasons, but also because the few attempts I had made in recent days, ended with her putting her hand on NO, and STOP.

We had just given her a bath, so we decided to let her pick out her outfit. We give her choices only to keep ourselves on track. She can type whatever she wants. These are the questions we asked her....

Question: What do you want to wear?

Choices: Skirt, Dress, Shorts, Pants, Other

Answer: She typed P A N T S right away. 

I simply included pants, because I couldn't think of anything else. It was in the upper 90's that day, and I could never have guessed she would choose that! We put her pants on right away.

Question: What color shirt do you want to wear?

Choices: Yellow, Pink, Blue, Green, Other

Answer: She typed M I N T right away. I stopped, and was thoroughly confused. I said, "Mint?" My mom whispered, "I think I know what she is trying to say...Minnie." My impatience had allowed me to break a rule of the FC Board. I thought she was done, but really, she wasn't.  I then apologized, and asked Aviana to finish her word. She typed, N I E.

My mom was right. She typed M I N N I E. The T was right below the N, and she even corrected herself when I asked her to keep going. Again, I never expected that in a million years. We put one of her Minnie Mouse shirts on right away.

Question: What is your favorite thing in your room?

Choices: Lamby, Butterflies, Bed, Turtle, Other

Answer: She typed T Y R T L E. The Y was close to the U. 

I actually knew the answer to this one. She has a turtle that lights stars all over her ceiling. We turn it on for her each night after we tuck her in. She loves it!

Question: Who is your favorite person who comes to the house?

Choices: Nana, Papa, Roger, Daddy, Other

Answer: She typed D A D D Y right away. 

I love when she has to type an A because she has to stretch to reach it. The way she does this is by reaching her finger, and lifting her knee at the same time. By doing these two things simultaneously, she can make contact with the A. Feeling her reach for the A is one of the most amazing feelings ever!

Question: What do you want to do now?

Choices: Nana hold you, Lunch, Nails, Read books, Other

Answer: I kept holding her hand, but she would not answer. From the Kama experience, I knew what to say to her. I told her to just type whatever she wanted to. If she wanted to go somewhere, she could type that, too. Right after I said that, she typed C O S T C O.

I was in shock, and in love! A girl after my very own heart. I happily obliged. I called Dave, and he was so happy to hear. He came home early, and we left to Costco, at our girl's request! 

She is very picky about when she wants to do the board, and when she doesn't. It makes perfect sense though, I am sure it takes a great amount of energy to do it. We have tried many other times since then, and have either gotten, NO, STOP, or nothing at all. 

I am just really thankful for what we have gotten thus far ;o)

Many have asked how she knows how to spell. For over 18 months, we have been working with her on her reading program. In that time, we have shown her thousands of single words, and couplets. We have also shown her hundreds of books, sentences, and bits of information.

All that, and because she's a smarty pants ;o)

Monday, July 4, 2011

More About You Monday

This one is simply because I haven't quite posted enough today. Ha! I'm just kidding, it's because I forgot it was Monday!

Since I think you've heard enough from me today, I'm going to hold off on my answer from last week's question until tomorrow  ;o)


Can you tell me any 5 to 10 things about yourself, including what you did over the holiday weekend?


I know it's the fourth of July, but when it's over a hundred degrees out, I secretly wish a could teleport myself here....

Sweetie Pie

I have saved up way too many pictures lately. Brace yourself, I am going to purge them...


The Stare Down

Do you see something wrong with this picture?

She rests her head on the window sill ;o)

I was crying my eyes out to my brother about Kama the other day, and in the midst of boo hooing, I caught a glance of this, outside! It was kind of weird, she was just staring back through the window at me. She brightens my day, in every way. 

What a goof!