You Win Some, You Lose Some, That’s Life

We’re knee deep in playoffs for Sporty. She’s loving the competition, naturally. She’s formed tight bonds with her teammates. Some of the moms have told me their daughters have told them they don’t want Sporty to move and I know Sporty wants to keep playing with them, which makes me glad we chose to stay for June so that she can play on her 8U travel team (half of the summer team is on her current team).

Our first playoff game was last Thursday and it was a serious battle with some serious life lessons. The girls played 8, yes that’s 8 innings. A typical game lasts 4-5 innings so an 8 inning game is crazy long but they rallied. It was tied 4-4 until the bottom of the 8th when they gave up a run. There were some bad calls, there was some questionable coaching from the other team but our girls played their hearts out and so even though they lost and there were tears from Sporty and a few other girls, there was nothing to be ashamed of. Sporty caught 2 fly balls at 3rd base and turned one into a double play and the second into a triple play. I played many years of softball and I don’t think I ever turned a triple play or even saw one of my many teams turn a triple play!

You know a game is long when they call on Sporty to pitch. Despite the pressure of the tied game, she held her composure, even after she allowed a run to score. She of course blames herself for the loss but I tried to explain to her that there were so many other things that added up to that moment.

Her offense was on fire! Her defense was nearly flawless (aside from the toI hard throw from her pitcher position to the catcher that allowed a run to score) and her spirit was there (finally she can put her extra loud voice to use!). Sometimes the cards aren’t aligned and things don’t go as you would like despite your best efforts and you lose some. In life there will always be people who bend the rules to get to the top and you just need to rise above it all.

They went on to win their next two playoff games and tonight we play the same team from Thursday so it’s redemption time! Fingers crossed for a win, I know Sporty wants to extend the season as much as possible and continue playing with these girls.

Here are some game day highlights!

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May the Fourth Be With You

Young Jedi was in heaven yesterday on Star Wars day (while I was in heaven today with margaritas and chips and guacamole, but I digress). I took away most of his Star Wars dress up and light sabers recently because of behavior. He gets in his Star Wars mode and the dark side is too much to handle. But his Kindergarten teacher loves Star Wars as much as he does and she urged me to have him go all out for May the Fourth day. So I took down his Kylo Ren outfit and his light saber and sent him to school hoping the force was with his teacher that day!

Young Jedi pretty much had the best day ever! Like it probably compared to Jedi Training Academy day. Like he was up with teeth brushed (which we usually fight over) by 7:00 am in full Kylo Ren garb. He stayed in his costume all day despite it being 85 degrees, even at recess. His teacher arranged for his old principal to come dressed as Darth Vader. Young Jedi got to have a light saber battle with his old principal and vice principal. I think this is so fantastic. I don’t think we’ll ever, ever have such interactive amazing administrators and teachers (I know I never did growing up!) as we currently do. This is the part of moving that makes me really sad. Despite getting denied his IEP, the administration knows and loves Young Jedi for who he is. I know they want what’s best for him, I really do. They and his teacher embrace his complete love for Star Wars and go with it and have fun. In return he respects them and wants to please them. His vice principal has become his safe zone this year. It is more than I could have ever asked for from a school. It’s been a rough year but know having his teacher and the administrators behind him, has made the really hard days manageable.

It’s 6:55 and he’s dressed with teeth brushed, school starts at 8:35! 🙄

Use the force! Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy (or at least the playground)!

We have been fortunate enough to have this fabulous teacher for both Sporty and Young Jedi! (And she was the one who told me to start this blog!)

An epic battle of the Dark Side!

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Young Jedi battles his vice principal while his former principal looks on dressed as Darth Vader.

It was an epic day indeed! May the Fourth be with you! Until next year!

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Progress

img_0887Young Jedi continues to struggle. He just got denied an IEP for behavioral support. It was really , really disappointing.  He’s in a watch zone but doesn’t qaulify for services.  It makes me really angry that i want to help my child and I can’t even access all of the available resources.  I know Young Jedi can benefit from additional help but for now, it’s just going to have to be out of our pocket. He started occupational therapy about 6 weeks ago and is making some progress but I know if he could have gotten support from school it would benefit him even more.

Sleep continues to be a huge issue. His weighted blanket is only sort of working. BUT over the weekend when Poppa Bear was home, we started turning his light off after he had fallen asleep and he slept through the night with the lights out. The past three nights, he has asked me to turn them off as he falls asleep. This is beyond humongous. He hasn’t slept in a dark room since November when his anxiety flared up. Wednesday he came home and as I was letting Wookie out to go potty, Young Jedi went upstairs. By the time I came in and went up to see what he was doing, he was sound asleep and snoring away under his new dream tent, even the dog jumping on him couldn’t stir him.  I really hope this sticks.  We wet to his Doctor earlier in the week and I told him we really had to fix his sleep, it’s really impacting his relationships with everyone, friends, family, himself.  Friday we adjust some things to see if we can get him to sleep more consistently.  I really believe that his ADHD and Anxiety could be manageable if we got him rested and consistently sleeping through the night.

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Imperfections are the New Perfections

We haven’t been to Dr Fluffy Unicorn since August. This is the longest we’ve ever gone between appointments, we don’t go until June. In fact, I don’t think he knows we’re moving a few weeks after we see him, that’s how long it’s been since we’ve seen him. I must say I’m starting to get ants in my pants to have her feet checked. I haven’t been entirely happy with how they look but she’s rocking softball season (she ran from second to home plate the fastest I’ve ever seen her run last week) and she has no pain, so am I looking for trouble where there isn’t any? Do I need to learn that her feet are never going to look perfect or normal? That maybe, where she’s at right now, that’s her perfect? I was on one of my Facebook Clubfoot groups earlier in the weekend and someone asked for pictures of kids’ corrected feet. Sporty happened to be awake and not running around at the time so I snapped these photos of her feet. I got a couple of comments about how perfect her feet looked and it got me thinking about how maybe I just need to lower my standards and realize that if she’s living the life she loves (ie running around like a crazy person) and she’s pain free, doesn’t that count as perfect? Maybe our perfect is a pain free, active life. I just worry cosmetically as she gets older that people will notice her feet look different. Especially as she starts a new school this year, in a new town, with people who don’t know her fight story.

Sporty is starting to embrace her Clubfoot. She’s starting to realize the distance she’s come. Last year I made a video for her that she loves for world Clubfoot day. Today she asked if she could help pick out the pictures and help me make a video again of her for World Clubfoot Day. She showed last year’s video to her friend on the way to a softball game, telling her that the Drs told us she’d never run or be able to compete with her peers. Earlier that day Sporty and her friend found out that they made the summer travel softball team that they both tried out for. Her friend turned to me and was like “Wait, she wasn’t supposed to be able to run? She’s like the best girl athlete!?!” I’m proud of Sporty for sharing her story voluntarily with her friend. In past years, I’ve had to force it out of her. She wears her scars with pride these days and she’s not ashamed of her feet, despite some bullying over it earlier this year. In fact, I think the bullying made her more proud of her feet and he scars, cause that’s just how Sporty is. She has taken to saying that “clubfeet can’t hold her down.” I think the more she talks about her feet, the more hope she gives to others about their future with clubfeet. After snapping the pictures above, she got to her game and got this hit! It’s by far her best hit ever!

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Desperate Times

With Poppa Bear in Arizona for 2 weeks at a time, I have no one around to share the load of Young Jedi’s frequent wake ups. His Dr seems to think it’s behavioral versus a medical condition so he won’t prescribe a sleeping medication. It’s absolutely brutal these wake ups and disrupted sleep. I didn’t realize how deprived and unhealthy I was from lack of sleep until Poppa Bear took Young Jedi and Sporty to the east coast for spring break and I stayed back to get the house ready to go on the market and I was able to catch up on sleep.

Poppa Bear bought me a sewing machine years ago and I’ve never really used it. I’ve read about weighted blankets and decided I’d give one a try for Young Jedi. I opted for making one a) because I love getting crafty and b) because those things get pricey. Plus I could let Young Jedi pick his fabric. Desperate times call for desperate measures. So I put on my big girl pants and decided to give it a try. I must say, it was very therapeutic to sew at the end of a long day of cleaning and painting. The lines are definitely not straight and I didn’t divide my weights up evenly enough so I can improve on the next one. The jury is still out on whether it works or not, his sleep is still kind of all over the board. Some weeks he sleeps 3 nights in a row. Other weeks he’s up 3 times a night. All I know is it’s absolutely killing me and I look horrible and old from it! I’m not sure if it’s not fully working because my weights are uneven or he’s just destined to be the death of me but we’re sticking with it.

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Rescue

Look at me, two posts in one week! Young Jedi has focus group so he’s at school an extra hour, I already worked out, walked the subject of this post and the cleaning lady is here, so I figured I’d blog, why not!

We added a new member to our family back at the end of January. A cute little rescue pup, we named Wookie. (Was there any doubt we’d name a dog after a Star Wars character!?!) Young Jedi was gunning for Kylo Ren as his name but there is nothing dark side about this dog’s face. He had us all with his eyes and cute little ears. We actually went with the intention of adopting his brother but he was a little cray cray and we have enough cray cray in our family so when we laid eyes on this sweet little guy, there was no doubt he was the puppy for us!

Young Jedi has been begging for a puppy for years now, and in March it was 9 years since we said goodbye to our beloved Homer, so it was time. And with Poppa Bear back and forth between here and Arizona, I was ready to add a four legged alarm to accompany our regular alarm system.

Young Jedi’s developmental pediatrician also blessed us getting a dog in the hopes that it would help Young Jedi manage his anxiety and sensory processing issues.

It’s still unclear who rescued who in this new relationship. But it’s safe to say Wookie needed Young Jedi and Young Jedi needed Wookie and we all didn’t realize how much we all needed this furry four legged ball of love. Wookie and Young Jedi are like Han Solo and Chewbacca, they belong together. They bonded instantly. When Young Jedi melts down, he asks for Wookie as comfort and he pets him until he calms down. Wookie sleeps most nights with Young Jedi and we’ve seen Young Jedi’s sleep improve slightly, as in he wakes up twice a night versus four times a night 🙄. And I think Young Jedi takes comfort in knowing Wookie is here as his protector, even if he’s not in his room with him. In the short time we’ve had him, Wookie has become fiercely protective of our family and our house.

Wookie has been such a perfect addition to our family and we feel like we hit the rescue jackpot with him!

The most tolerant dog EVER!

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Laser Focus

Omg, I can’t believe my last post was in January. How utterly embarrassing. The good news is, we haven’t had any foot news, which means no need to update the Clubfoot blog but we have had lots going on other than Clubfoot news, like softball, baseball for Young Jedi, a new puppy, Young Jedi’s journey, my 5 glorious days home alone over spring break even if I was getting the house ready to go on the market. I’m not entirely thrilled with the look of Sporty’s feet, especially her left, they look tight again, but she’s pain free and her cheetah speed is fully back so there’s positive in that. She’s been sprouting up like crazy so that probably explains the tight feet.

Life has been complete chaos lately and in that chaos softball season has started! Hooray! And now that our house has been listed and is selling ready (and is actually sale pending, fingers crossed for no glitches), I might, just might, have time to blog again. That is until school gets out in like 6 weeks!

Sporty doesn’t go to Dr Fluffy Unicorn until June, just before our move to Arizona. We’re still lacking a house but we belong to a health club cause this is what happens when Poppa Bear is in charge. We used it last week when we were there house hunting (with zero luck) and the showers are nice so I’m guessing when we move to Arizona with no house, we can at least shower there. Not sure what will happen to our truck full of stuff but maybe it can take the long route to Arizona. Seriously, cross your fingers that we can find a house soon cause I’d really like my eye to stop twitching.

But back to the title of this post, Laser Focus. That’s my Sporty when she hits the softball field. Seriously, I don’t know what happens to this girl but she crosses those freshly chalked infield lines and she matures and focuses in a way that is indescribable. If only she could do this with her homework and reading we’d be golden! Obviously, I’m extremely proud of her talent and skills on the softball field but what I’m most proud of is the leadership in her that I see emerging this year. Sporty is often the loudest, ok always the loudest on the field, but this year I hear her cheering on her teammates. Whether in the dugout leading cheers or in the batters box cheering on the batter before her, she can be heard telling them they’ve got this. She’ll even stand on third base and she’ll cheer on the batter to bring her home and give them an added pop of confidence. To me this is better than any pop fly caught or double hit or game winning run scored. She was even given the opportunity to pitch in the bottom of the 5th inning with her team up by one run and when I suggested she let one of the main pitchers take the mound that inning she didn’t even argue even though I know she really wants to pitch, because I know she knew deep down that it was in the best interest of her team to let someone else pitch. More than she wants to be on the mound throwing that ball over the plate, she wants her team to win!

Her team mom captured Sporty in the act, you can see the intense focus on every picture of her.

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The Journey Began 9 Years Ago Today

Sporty turned 9 on the 12th. Missed a birthday post in the midst of our chaos but I did write her a birthday letter in a journal we keep together. But 9 years ago today, Sporty started her casting process to correct her clubfeet, the process that would turn her into the Girl who was made to run. I always like sharing pictures of her feet pre-treatment to her so she knows how far she’s come. I marvel at the skills of Dr Fluffy Unicorn (look he has his own emoji-🦄!!!)that he was able to manipulate those tiny twisted feet into athletic masters made to run. Obviously Sporty has no recollection of her feet and all of that seems like a bad dream many years ago but I like her to see she overcame all of that to be who she is. And I think in many ways, her struggles have made her the kind, accepting, caring girl that she is today.

So 9 years ago today is when the magic all started.

Sporty’s feet pre-treatmentSporty’s feet in her first set of casts. And she’s crying cause she was hungry. She was so incredibly little!

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Things Are A Changing

It seems like life has shifted off of its axis lately. So much has been going on, I barely have time to sit down or clean let alone type up a blog post but we’re en route from a week at Disneyland (and life is so chaotic that this was written 2 weeks ago and just now published!) and heading home to get back into our routine. Sigh. It’s going to be a whole different routine going forward.

I mentioned a whole lot is changing, well that whole lot is a move to the Phoenix area. Papa Bear accepted a new job in Phoenix which will have him starting in January. Sporty, Young Jedi and I will stay back and finish out the school year and then we’ll move this summer when it’s a nice 120 in Arizona. Let’s hear it for corporate movers!

Young Jedi has been struggling lately. He was diagnosed about a month ago with anxiety and PTSD. We’ve had an unfortunate situation in our neighborhood with a mentally ill neighbor whom has created some severe anxiety in Young Jedi. It also brought about some PTSD from 3 years ago when there was an attempted home invasion on our house. We’ve had lots of sleepless nights. I haven’t had a solid night sleep in months and with Papa Bear heading to Arizona during the week soon, I’m afraid I don’t have much sleep in my future. It’s been a really awful time in our family. Watching your child tormented with severe anxiety is one of the most awful things in the world. There was a point where he was afraid to leave the house.

We decided on a Disney trip as our last hurrah before life as we know it changes. What a trip it was. First, this was our first stroller free trip! Seriously amazing! Both kids rallied and walked the whole day. Not a peep from Sporty on sore feet either, my dogs were seriously barking at the end of each day! Second, both kids are finally tall enough for all rides (except for California Screamin’ which Young Jedi was an inch too short for, that was a slight meltdown but we got over it quickly). We did all of the crazy rides, Guardians of the Galaxy, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, these kids love roller coasters and the faster the better! Young Jedi even rode Big Thunder with his hands in the air! Third, Young Jedi realized his lifelong dream and became a student in Jedi Training Academy. And he was awesome. He battled Kylo Ren and was amazing up there! Finally, we saw his anxiety melt away. He’s a kid that lives in a Star Wars fantasy and at Disneyland it all came to real life for him (except the time that we walked out of meeting Kylo Ren and we saw Kylo Ren out in the park battling some other young Jedis. Can we say Disney fail!?! I had to think quick on that one 😬). But overall it was a fantastic trip full of fun, leaving our anxiety behind us, and he did an amazing job dealing with the crowds and commotion despite his Sensory Processing issues.

Sporty is still killing it. We’re taking a break from sports right now until softball starts up. We’ve hit the batting cages a few times over the past month. She tried out to play 10U recreation softball this year and did really well. She was scored in the top 30 out of over 100 girls but because of their strict guidelines for playing up, I’m not sure she’ll get drafted which is a bummer but we’re so proud of her. She’ll play for her summer coach if she doesn’t make the draft which will be great also. Now I have the job of finding her some softball and soccer teams in Arizona. She’s most upset about the move since she’s older and has a pretty strong friend base but I know she’ll come home with 20 new friends her first week of school.

So much going on, hoping to do a better job in posting as 2018 progresses!

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Thankful

Today I am thankful.

Today I am thankful that a year ago we were about a week out from Sporty’s tendon transfer and here we are with two magical feet. Feet that recovered from major surgery quickly enough to allow her to play competitive softball over the summer and feet that allowed her to participate in this year’s All Star Game for soccer. Every year I marvel at her will to keep on running despite set backs and every year I am thankful for Dr Fluffy Unicorn who has given Sporty the best chance at an active life.

I’m thankful for Young Jedi who has struggled for so long. Who was frustrated and down on himself. I’m thankful for a doctor who has helped bring our boy back. Young Jedi has gone from erratic and explosive to sweet and inquisitive and eager to learn all in the past month. A boy who hated learning so intensely has created a desk from himself out of a Lego table and he wakes up each morning eager to write and color and learn as much as he can. 4 months ago I didn’t think we’d be here. I’m thankful for his amazing teacher and school staff who support him and us and challenge and encourage him to be the best version of himself. I’m thankful to see his smile and hear his big belly laughs again. (I’ll be even more thankful when he sleeps through the night!)

I’m thankful for these two and those rare moments where they love each other and are best friends. I’m thankful they realize the support they can give each other which will become increasingly important as we embark on our new adventure in a new city (more on that at another time!). I am thankful for a hard working husband that allows me to stay home and manage the house, advocate for our children and invest in myself.

I am thankful for these ladies. My village. There aren’t enough words to express how lucky I am to have a bunch of real, down to earth, supportive, strong women in my life. My life is truly better because of them.

I am thankful for the 40 minutes I had while my apple pie baked to sit down and blog! Happy Thanksgiving!

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