Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Race to Amazing

I, Linda, will be getting up tomorrow morning at 5AM. Why the (l)insanity? Because I am participating in the 2012 Nike Amazing Women Race. The (direct translation of the) slogan of the race is "Together Amazing" or in more colloquial terms, "Let's be amazing together". This is my first race. Ever. Actually this is the first time I am paying to run. Well, to be even more candid, tomorrow will be the first time I'll be "running" more than a mile since jr. high. I was in band in high school; that took care of the P.E. requirement. Yay! Go band!

When Emily, one of my closest girlfriends who is also an amazing athlete herself, asked me to run with her, I thought she lost her marbles. I don't run. I don't like running. I definitely don't feel God's pleasure when I run. Running in a race is not my idea of a great morning spent. In fact my reasons for running would be: I have less than 5 seconds to make it across the street before the light turns red. Or oh! The phone is ringing; I better run across the room. Or ah! The water is boiling. Turn off the stove! I run to turn off the stove. You see. Those are legitimate reasons.

So why did I decide to pay someone else to run? (Seriously, I think someone needs to be PAY ME to run.) Here are the reasons I'll decided to join the race.

1. I should do something "fun" and challenging with my sisters. There are so many women I know who are running in this race. Good way to bond with other sisters. (Although there are so many other ways to treatments, hair washes, afternoon tea, a nap...)

2. After I delivered Alicia, it would be a good goal for me to start exercising and training for the race. (I have to confess and you can ask Emily, my coach, that I have not trained or prepared for this race at all. I think I'll be walking in tomorrow's race.)

3. My real reason is actually for Alicia and our journey for her. Tomorrow, Alicia will turn 11 months. She will be one month away from turning one year old.

... Wow. Let me just ponder that for another minute.

I feel like this past year can be described as one wild race. We started the year with my pregnancy. There were a few scares along the road but God remained so steady. And what an arrival with Alicia being born at 25 weeks. Then Campbell and I started running a different kind of race. A race that challenged our stamina in faith and trust.

And though the race between home and the hospital is over, (thank GOD!) now we are jogging through the day caring for Alicia at home. So because of Alicia's almost one year old birthday, this mama decides to do the impossible to celebrate life and the journeys in life.

When I told one of my dear sisters, Andrea (also a runner herself), that I'll be running this race, she was overjoyed. She then shared with me that she also ran this race last year on May 29th, Alicia's birthday. She said that the night before she stayed up all night to pray and interced for our family. Then the morning, she got up and ran the race for us. She felt and received complete victory for us. When I heard this, I was completely overwhelmed in love and thanksgiving. I am a blessed woman to have such dear dear friends that love us. It made me even more sure that Daddy God wants me to participate in this race.

And so, I'll be running this Amazing Race tomorrow. I'll be sure to let you guys know how I do!

Let's be amazing together. Let's run this race to Amazing. The true author of our faith and the one who is amazing. The one who holds us as the apple of His eye. The one who is our coach and whispering in our spirits, don't give up. Keep running the race because as we run this race of life, we are all in process of becoming even more amazing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

We Have A Roller

Milestone alert! Milestone alert!

Alicia has officially become a roller. =)

Those of you who are closer to us may remember us posting several months ago that Alicia had rolled-over. Well, for some reason back then, she only did a few times and then never again. And back then she went from front to back. But now, she's doing the back to front roll on quite a regular basis.

For awhile there was a twinge of concern because she hadn't been really that mobile and when we went to see a therapist a few weeks ago, that was one of the concerns they had because at Alicia's current adjusted age, she should be rolling.

So Linda and I got to work. We would help her roll, and encourage her by putting toys just out of her reach. For a few months, she would get half way and then kind of get stuck. She couldn't quite figure out how to get her arm out from underneath her.

Eventually, she progressed to a 3/4 roll, where she'd get her head and the bottom half of her body over, but the torso would still stay in the original position. Just this past week, I got a call at work from Linda telling us that our princess finally was able to get herself all the way over.

We were more than thrilled.

It's also been fun to see how she's gotten better and better at her new skill. In the beginning, she'd have to do this wind up thing where she'd summon up all her strength and then throw herself into the turn. Eventually, she got smoother and smoother, and just now as I started this blog, she flipped over quite effortlessly with barely a grunt.

Of course, now that she's more mobile, we've got to watch her. No more leaving her unattended on a bed or other surface. Man, I had a couple of moments of "fails" as a father this week.

The first happened earlier in the week. Right now, along with the rolling, we're also helping her to practice sitting up. So I had her sitting in front of me on the hardwood floor in our living room. All was going well, until she suddenly jerked and slipped out of my grasp. She lurched backwards, and BAM, her head hit the floor.  Of course, she promptly started to cry. And I just felt awful as I scooped her up to comfort her.

Amazingly, Alicia cried for not more than a minute and calmed down. Then a few minutes later, and actually ever since then, any time I lay her down on her back, even gently, she will hold her head up to brace herself and keep from hitting her head. How smart is she?

A few days later, Alicia and I had just gotten up in the morning. I brought her upstairs so I could feed her breakfast. I sat her down in her highchair and went to the kitchen to prepare her food. As I was walking away, I had a fleeting thought that I should buckle her into her chair. But I just brushed the thought aside thinking, where was she going to go? Yeah. I need to listen to those little promptings more often. I was in the kitchen prepping her food, when I hear a cry of desperation emanate from the living room. I rushed over, praying that everything was OK to find Alicia had somehow slipped out of her seat and was facedown in her seat with her head and body stuck between the chair and the chair's tray. My best guess is that she decided to practice her new skill in her chair and ended up slipping down. Thankfully, her chair has a little ledge where her little feet landed, otherwise, I have no doubt she would have ended up on the floor.

Lesson learned. Please don't call child services on me.

We're so thankful that she is progressing and growing. Thus far, things look good. Linda took Alicia to the physical therapist last week who said that Alicia is doing well so far. Of course, he said, it's still too early to say for certain whether she is 100% normal despite her brain damage. But you know what, we're good. We proclaim in faith that she is 100% normal, and that she is developing just fine. =)

She is a sweet girl. Linda tells me somehow she knows when I come home. Every time I open the door, Alicia's face just lights up with a huge smile. That just truly warms this Daddy's heart.

I love our little bean. =)