family pic

family pic

Thursday, September 16, 2010

saylor wants a pig {still}

Saylor .. where do I begin? As i have reflected on what to share about little miss and her summer adventures i am overwhelmed and cant help but think about how our lives revolve around her brightness in so many ways. There is so much to share when it comes to her, and truth be told i know thats what most of my readers want, they want a piece of her. Everyone does, she is so easy to be taken with. She consistently brings blessings that can not even be contained. inspiring in her very existence. So i am pushing myself to not feel guilty that the other kiddos posts were not as long as this one, and hoping you wont be too bored of it either!

I am gonna keep this post happy but insert here just a quick medical type update. She is doing well for the most part. She has struggled with back and head pain pretty consistently through the summer. This is indicative of several things, some of which we were anticipating. But for the time being she is stable and happy and for the most part pain free, at least for the last few weeks. There are no surgeries scheduled or planned for the immediate future. On a happy medical note we are super excited about a new wheelchair & crutches on the way! We went sporty for agility reasons and she can hardly wait!

As in previous posts, i am gonna work a little backwards. This is Saylor on her first day of 2ND grade! I feel like she is changing so rapidly, getting taller and bigger and just looks older through her face. That being said she really isnt big. Today while i was in her class volunteering i realized the gap has become wider. The kids her age are drastically taller then her, rather then just taller then her. Top of her head height is about their pits!

She got a hand tattoo also! but she was proud to wear it on her little hand!

School thus far has been good this year. Great teacher, good friends. She could be the most popular kid in the whole skool! The last few weeks every time i drop them off or pick them up or walk through the skool kids of all ages say Hi to her. it sounds like this ... hi saylor, hi saylor, hi saylor, hi saylor and her mom, hi saylor, hi saylor. pretty non stop. I am kind of interested in the idea behind how many older kids know and adore her.

During SEP with stocks new teacher i was explaining to her his involvement in her daily care at school and to please accommodate these needs. She asked me which class saylor was in, and i explained she is that little girl walking around with the blue crutches, and stocks teachers blurts out "are you talking about saylor?!!" i hadnt yet mentioned her name obviously, this is a 4th grade teacher mind you, that we have really have had no family interaction with. She then gushed about how much she adores her and how she brightens up the halls and her life. Even though they really have never talked. Ok then ... she is the most popular thing in the entire skool ... staff included! So skool is great. and i think this will be a welcome blessing in those hard moments when she realizes that she is indeed different.

Those moments are starting to grace our lives, like this one ....

We went bowling this summer with some friends. This is saylor bowling backwards. Pretty comical. This was a hard day for her, that turned into a hard week, hard month and more self awareness. Started a little tail spin i hadnt anticipated, but i do realize these moments, they are bound to happen. Its how we handle them that will make the difference. She was devastated that her body would not bowl like stories, that she couldnt skip to the lane and then gracefully throw the ball. and she knew inside that no matter what it would never be this way for her. Hard times .... Holy places too! (thanks Kris, for tagging these moments for me)

that being said there has been no shortage of adaptive sports in her life. In fact her life has suddenly been packed with opportunities! like ..

special needs rodeo!

my friend jamie saw this on the news and passed the info along, otherwise our lives wouldnt have been blessed with this summer highlight for the whole fam. so thanks jamie, we are glad your in our lives to bless us also! I really came to realize this summer, or rather i already knew but just had a moment of more intense reflection, that there are so many good people out there, doing good selfless things for other people! This rodeo was so well organized and soooo much fun! All the local law enforcement came and each participant got a little buddy! I felt so bad for saylors UHP officer, hobbling around on his fractured foot! But just like everyone he was smitten with her and insisted on being fully responsible for her throughout the day. She got to ride a mechanical bull, love this shot though its not too clear, i was a ways away, she is even putting up her arm! she got to ride horses, a familiar activity, pet all sorts of animals, learn to rope a steer, and many other things! we had a blast. That evening we also attended the real rodeo where saylor came in with the royalty in the back of a truck. It was a great time had by all and the best rodeo i have ever been too! We all were just giddy with happiness. Storie and stock participated in the calf chase and stock nearly scored himself a $50 butt tag.

and then there is tennis

through saylors PT at pcmc we recently became involved in a wheelchair tennis program at liberty park in slc. I was hesitant, worried that it would be too difficult. really think about it, much more complex then able bodied tennis. so such to move all at the same time! But in true O'Brien spirit she took to it! She was attentive and focused with far more endurance then the other kids her age. Full effort forward and she got better and better as the weeks went by. It didnt take long for her coach (ammmmmazing man!) to see the natural athletic fire burning from inside her genes!

so we then naturally started ...

wheelchair basketball. Same coach, different facility. More fun! Its a little brutal, even with these little kids. Lots of chair tipping, and crashing and ball smacking into faces. Several kids couldnt hack it. But not my saylor. She played for 2 hours! Storie, stock, & nate all got in a chair too. It was a hoot to watch and so much fun for the entire family. I think it was really moving to have us be like her for a change.

and YET ANOTHER SUMMER HIGHLIGHT! {bear with me here}

Thursday Hero reunion. Saylor Loves the cougs! She was beaming ear to ear! it was fun to be with and see the other hero's to and get to know there story a little. Food was great, company was great and saylor felt part of the team! Really emotional for me as a mother to see once again a couple hundred grown men dote on my baby. We spent a lot of time with coach weber, love that teddy bear. And our new home teacher who is also on the team, landon. Nate had a good long chat with Brian Logan. In fact i was kind of embarrassed, there were all these kids who wanted to get his autograph and talk to him but brian nate just ignored them and bantered on like they were bro's or something. they really connected and i must admit i was really impressed with the head this kid had on his shoulder. Which by the way is a tad shorter then nate .. here is the proof!

and then there were the PIGS!

She STILL has a pretty healthy obsession with pigs. While at a family reunion she fell in love with this cute little black baby pot belly pig. It belongs to the boyfriend of one of nate's second cousins. She didnt leave its presence much the entire evening. Good thing the boyfriend was as smitten with saylor as she was with the pig!

I thought it might be fun to take her to a friend of ours pig farm. These are BIG pigs though. But babies are born often. So she got to hold one ... they squeal really loud so this is her following suit and holding the pigs mouth shut. This one was so darling, it was a gorgeous tangerine color. and they were just so cute!

Unfortunately i just dont see how we could ever have a pig. unless of course they could function like a disability dog .... hmmmmm.

and as if this werent enough she also spent the day at snowbird with W.A.S.

It was kind of a last minute deal, but we were invited up for a day of fun in the summer sun at snowbird. We panned for gold, rode a disability trike, spent some time going up peruvian and through the tunnel and back. Went fishing in brighams pond and had lunch. Only one other WAS participant was up there and he was more or less training for a cycle race, rather then playing with us. This was a highly emotional day for me. I felt it in the morning. I felt it all day. And it made sense when one of the summers biggest blessings for me came to fruition. There was Brighams family. A little boy who used to participate with WAS, a little boy held hostage by his body, a little boy free now. His parents and siblings were up at snowbird, enjoying Brighams favorite place and his memory. I was so touched by this family, even their quiet being and spirit was humble yet powerful. I felt instantly connected with Julie, brighams mom. And yearned to know them better. the coming weeks blossomed a friendship i will always be so grateful for.

Without saylor these experiences just wouldnt be. I still dont always understand why i received these blessings, such a continuous flow. I feel so undeserving post of the time. But i am astounded by what it gives me. She is my reminder of who i am, who i want to be, and whats important in life. She is the light of our Savior shining brightly in my home, in my heart, in my life. Saylor is in us.


Yvette said...

Sweet Saylor story! I really enjoyed reading about your children's adventures and how your family is in the midst of such heightened delight with Saylor and Stock and Storie. Thanks for your example of living in the flow of life, whether the waves roll into the sand or splash against the rocks. And BTW: I still haven't recovered from viewing Grey Gardens a while back! I can't help but think how differently those two women's lives would of been had they had visiting teachers and a family like yours next door.

bro. brian said...

Thank you once again for bringing light and life to my soul....I love you all.

Kara said...

Audrey, I loved this post. I love that you have been sharing things about your family. What an amazing little girl you've got! What an amazing mom she's got! :)

This brought back to my mind that night you talked to me when my baby was at PCMC. I still appreciate that so much. It was so nice to know that someone understood. :)

Jessica said...

Ohh! What A girl! I think about you often. How have I let so much time go bye. We seriously need a lunch date to get caught up. Know that you and your kind family will forever and always hold a special place in my heart. Let's try to get together soon.

Darla said...

Just got caught up on your family. I am shocked at how big your kids look. They are SOOO cute!

Anonymous said...

Wow that is so cool that she played wheelchair basketball and tennis! I hope that her pain goes away.