Saturday, May 30, 2009

Up!

Esme saw her very first movie-in-a-movie-theatre today... Up! We decided to not go to the 3d version, as wearing 3d glasses and having things popping out at her may have spelled disaster for our first movie. We played it safe with boring ol' 2d.




She really enjoyed it, and sat nicely for 1.5 hrs (counting the 30 minutes of previews!) before getting off her seat and rolling around on the floor (yuck.). In honor of this momentous occasion, we got Esme her very own cup (read: bucket) of fries and some juice to enjoy during the movie. She polished off the fries a short time after the previews finished, and the juice box was done soon after.

We heard a lot of "Wow"s and "Look!"s. She laughed out loud a few times and delighted in looking at her daddy every time something funny happened so they could laugh together.

All in all, Esme gives the movie two thumbs up... or should I say two fist pumps with a great big "Yyyyyyes!"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Springtime

Spring sun brings dandelions

Abandoned shoes


And a girl

Monday, May 25, 2009

How-To-Zoo (by Esme)

Hello loyal Esme readers. It's me, Esme! Here are some pictures of my latest outing... the Toronto Zoo!


Here I am with my traveling companion, Pink Bunny Jr.




First things first, let's get rid of the dead weight in favour of a more lively travel companion. Sorry Pink Bunny.





Ah, a little boy makes for a much livelier zoo excursion. This one walks a little slow sometimes - always wanting to stop to look at the animals and such. But no bother, I can hurry him along.




Tips for a great date #1 - check out the local music scene.




#2 - Find interesting things to talk about. Rabbits, for instance.





#3 - A walk on a sandy beach is always romantic. Shovel and pail are optional.




#4 - If your taste in music, titillating conversation and romantic gestures don't get 'em, you can always show off your physical prowess.




Peuf, all this excitement. I need a break. Now that we've got dating covered, I will share with you some of my knowledge about the animal kingdom.


As far as I can tell, this is a squirrel eating celery. My mom tried to tell me otherwise, said something about a Prairie Dog and grass... but if I'm not mistaken (and I very rarely am), that there is a squirrel. Eating celery.



These are fish. Giving them any other name is redundant. Fish will do it. Anything else is just showing off.


What we've got here, friends, is a bird. It's best to hide behind a friend when coming across one of these. One can never be too sure with birds.



When observing animals it is best to get up as high as you can. The more dangerous your perch, the better.


As you can see, the alternative perch leaves a little to be desired.


Well, that about does it for me. I'm off on another adventure.



Come on buddy, let's get moving.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bridge


Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thank You

To everyone who is helping us reach our fundraising goal,
To everyone who is sending messages of support,
To everyone who has given us ideas, information or help,
To everyone who has been keeping Esme in your thoughts and prayers,

Thank you.

I don't think we ever could have imagined the outpouring of support we have received these past few weeks. When I started fundraising for Esme's therapy, I was told not to get my hopes up. That people would not help. That raising that kind of money in a short time was impossible.

But I refused to even let it enter my mind. We would raise the money. Esme would have the therapy she needs. We would do it. I forced myself to trust 100% that the money would be there when we needed it.

At first there were drops. Little raindrops of help. 10 dollars here, 30 there, an idea here, a plan there...

Then a trickle. Then a downpour.

People we haven't spoken to in years, good friends and acquaintances, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends, all doing what they can. Someone is having a garage sale, someone is organizing a dinner party, a concert, someone throws a luncheon at work, someone is asking for donations in lieu of birthday gifts, someone is thinking of Esme on the other side of the country, on the other side of the world, on the other side of the street. And drop by drop we are reaching our goal.

It is far from impossible. It is possible. Because of people. Not because of government, or some big business, but because people have said 'I care, here's what I can do.' Because Esme and our family has been surrounded by love and support.

We are getting there.

Today we met with the therapist who will be leading the therapy team working with Esme. She will be starting therapy in the next two weeks or so.

The impossible is happening.

Because of You

And all we have is words, which are so inadequate,

For doing what you do not have to do, for remembering Esme, for believing in her, who she is and who she will become,

Thank you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friends


Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.

Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.

Walk beside me and be my friend

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Best Buddies

Tomorrow we have one of Esme's best friends coming for the day. He used to be one of my "daycare kids", and we try to have him come for a visit now and then. Esme loves him and they play very well together - not every kid knows what to do with Esme, as she sometimes acts like other children aren't in the room and can get upset if they come too close to her. She has a few friends who know the way to her heart... chasing. The girl loves to be chased.

I am sure the day will be full of screaming, running, chasing, and crying (you know, when they fall down because of the aforementioned chasing and running.)

Sometimes I miss the hustle and bustle of a bunch of kids in my house. I miss the screaming and laughing and playing and madness that is a home daycare.

And then I, you know, come to my senses.

But I am looking forward to tomorrow. Watching Esme and her buddy hug and kiss is the sweetest thing you can imagine!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Top 10 Great Things About Ezzer

10. The way she smells every flower and plant she can get her hands on (including grass) with an exuberant inhale and a satisfied "Ahhhhh" every time.

9. The way she quietly sings to herself, hitting only the important words, like "Yes... name... Piggle..." or "Now...C... next... me" or "Bus.... round.... town".

8. The way she knows the words to all of her favourite books, and the way she grabs your head and turns it back towards the book if you dare stop reading for a moment.

7. The fact that all her phone conversations go something like "Hi.... Love... Bye". With some prompting.

6. Her new favourite game - Bouncing up and down (or having a toy bounce up and down) while saying "Bum... Bum... Bum!". And giving anyone who doesn't know what that means a condescending look.

5. The way she always mixes up Mommy ("My") and Daddy ("Da-ee"), and the way she laughs and shakes her head when she corrects herself.

4. The way she says "Oh dears!" when something goes wrong.

3. Her new phrases "Tickle me", "Chase me" and "Kiss me" and the way she tries to use "me" in every context now (eg. "Book me", "Bubble me" and the all-encompasing "Me!")

2. The quick kisses she gives out as she goes about her day.

1. The way she makes us thankful for so many moments that we might have otherwise taken for granted.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Every now and then...

Every now and then I am just filled with an overwhelming sadness. Most of the time I hold it together, and I enjoy my daughter, and my time is filled with advocacy, playing, appointments, friends, day-to-day stuff... just the usual mom things, plus the extra special-needs stuff thrown in for good measure. But now and then I get really, really sad.

Sometimes I imagine Esme saying things like "What's that, Mama?" or "I play with my friends?" or "I don't like that." or all the cute things I hear other 2.5 year olds saying. I wonder what it would be like to be called "Mama" or "Mommy". I wonder what her voice would sound like, stringing those words together, without Autism slowing her down, making each word she does have painfully slow and mispronounced. I imagine what it would be like if Esme looked at me like other children look at thier moms - showing them things, always wanting attention. I imagine her playing dress up and house, saying "You be the baby, I be the Mama". I imagine eye contact, two words together, three words, more, I imagine planning her future without "If she can talk by then..." or "If she is able to sit at a desk..." or "If we have the money" or all the other "ifs" that bounce around my head.

And I know this post is supposed to end with "But then I look at Esme and realize how lucky I am to have her just the way she is". And I am lucky. She hugs and kisses me. She smiles and looks into my eyes. She tries to talk and communicate. Most of the time I am 100% grateful to have Esme in my life.

But tonight I just want to scream "This isnt fair! This wasnt supposed to be like this!"

Sometimes I just want the Esme I let myself imagine, now and then.

Update and thanks

So, what's Ezzy up to these days?
How about....

Saying her first 2 word sentence.... Chase me!
Telling us "Love!" all the time. (OK, it sounds more like "Lop", but we know what she means)
Going down slides at the park! (she's been afraid of this all year)
Saying her friends names. Or trying to.

And all sorts of other things. I am so hopeful about all the things she will learn to do once we get the therapy underway. She is learning so much these days.

And if you were wondering...
So far we have raised enough money to pay for.....

2 and a half weeks of therapy! Yahoo!

Pretty good for one week of fundraising, if I do say so myself. We've got fundraising ideas we are banging around, so we are hoping that total will skyrocket once we get those underway.

And if you were wondering... a week of therapy will cost around 150 dollars. A day - 30 dollars. You can only donate 10 dollars? That's 30 minutes of therapy. Who knows what Esme could learn in those 30 minutes.

Thank you all - those who have donated, those who are reading this blog, those who keep Esme in their thoughts and prayers, and everyone who is helping us out as we plod along.

Thanks.