Tuesday, August 4, 2009

All About Charlotte

There is so much to say about Charlotte that I had to give her an entire post.

Charlotte. Is. Walking. Now, my idea of walking and yours are probably different. She isn't totally independent, and still falls a lot, but the Wed. after Ryan was gone, she had a confidence about her that we had NEVER seen! She is standing independently more and deciding to walk more instead of us always coaxing her to take a step or two. You can see her brain meticulously working as she thinks about almost every move she makes, much different than a typically developed child whom just goes. It is so sweet though, to see her realize what she has to do, and then try so hard to do it. We are so proud of her and this has happened much sooner than we thought. She hadn't made much progress in this area lately, still walking well with her walker, but just comfortable with that, until last week. We are hoping to build her confidence even more as she takes more steps each day. She deserves independence. She has worked so hard. I hope to have a video to post soon.

Charlotte had a blast at the Zoo on Monday. There were a few things that scared her, like the screaming children in the tunnel on the train, and the clapping and loud noises of the Sea Lion show, but overall, she loved seeing the animals. I think the apes were her favorite. We also saw some fellow L&D friends when we were there. Daddy also got her in trouble in the Penguin exhibit by saying, "look Charlotte, touch the penguins! (*not really going to let her touch them). The staff person in the room began shouting, DON"T TOUCH THE PENGUINS! woops. Chris was transformed into a little kid the moment we set foot inside the gates. He has the whole place memorized, I am not sure why we grabbed a map. It was a good time and we look forward to taking her again.

In the car on the way to the Zoo. We left it a surprise and didn't tell her where we were going. Even though she didn't know, she was still so happy to be spending some time with us.

Two kids at the Zoo

On the train

Enjoying the moment

We stopped for lunch and couldn't help but notice how "grown up" Charlotte was posed.

Oooo Ooooo Ah ah ah

The Penguin House
Charlotte will be starting Early Childhood soon. This is her transition from Missouri First Steps (how she currently receives PT, OT and Speech) to the school district version of the same things. Her routines will be much different, all new people to get to know, possibly riding the SCHOOL BUS! so many new experiences for her. Her evaluation will be Aug. 19th, when they decide what and how much therapy she qualifies for. That will determine how many days of the week, etc. The good thing is all of the services she needs are payed for by the state. We have a lot of questions about this major change and are hoping to make it as smooth as possible. All of this starts after she turns 3, but there are a lot of meetings and prep work that take place ahead of time. September will be here fast.

But, before all of that happens, we have another hurdle to jump. We have scheduled Charlotte's spinal surgery for August 24th. We wanted her evaluation for Early Childhood services to be as accurate as possible and really don't relish the idea of being back in the hospital, but, it needs to be done. We think it is best to get it done before all of the transitions into Early Childhood happen. So, we are doing what we think is best and are pushing forward, even though the timing doesn't seem ideal, we want the best for her. We are told to expect 3-5 days stay in the hospital, and it will be done at Children's Hospital. The surgery itself doesn't seem that complicated, but the risks associated with infection in the spinal space and just letting her body heal the first few days after surgery are crucial. She will have to lay flat on her back for at least the first few days. I am still wondering how we will get a 2 1/2 year old to do that. Something tells me that we will have some stories to tell and will have all of her DVD's memorized. Fun times. But, I mostly just pray for a smooth recovery so Charlotte can get back to the hard working, strong little lady she has become.
So, we are going through a very life changing time in many more ways than we ever imagined. We can only hope that in the months to come, we are able to slow down a bit and just let it all sink in. he pain, uncertainty and relief we feel for both of our children.
The Hawns


Grandma Hawn said...

I am so proud of Charlotte! She has worked so hard to accomplish so many things in her life. She has given strength to many of us that know and love her. Through all of this, she has been the best medicine for some of the lowest of times that we have been through. For that, I am so very thankful that she has been such an important part in our lives. "Charlotte, Whoopie to you for being your sweet, adorable self!"
Love, Grandma Hawn XO

dickinsonfamily said...

WOO-HOO CHARLOTTE!! I love to read about all your accomplishments!

Thanks for sharing the pictures from the zoo, what a fun day to spend together. Her smiles are priceless.

I have marked her surgery date on our calendar. We will be praying for everyone involved. We have so many kids DVD's, books, and toys that would be new to her--if you think they'd help entertain her, they're yours for the week. Please let us know if we can do anything else.


Anonymous said...

GO Charlotte!! Did you go see the carribean Cove (stingrays and stuff)? I've been told it's free from 8-9am (even if you show up @ 8:55) and if you go on a rainy morning no one is there. We have that same stroller.
Karen T

Stefany said...

Way to go Charlotte! What great accomplishments!

Prayers for a successful surgery and a quick recovery.

Rita said...

Charlotte is such a beautiful girl. Looks like a very fun day out for her and the family. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Heather Merseal said...

I got your blog information from Joy. She followed my little girl's story from Feb. 13, 2008 until the day she died on July 28, 2008. So, your Ryan and our Charli Anna share their "Heaven Day"!! Blogging has helped me as well. I write on www.caringbridge.org/visit/babycharli if you want to check it out.
Heather Merseal