Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Magic Switch Has Flipped

Oh, my dear friends! I have so much to tell you!  You know how the negative just piles on, and it becomes harder and harder until you think that your back will break under the weight of it?  You think about given up until you finally stand up and shout, "Bring it on, Universe! I can take ya?"  And then suddenly the clouds part and all of these magical wonders fall from the sky.  It's a direct reward for surviving, I think.  Let me tell you about the rewards that we're enjoying. 

The most important is that Niko's magic switch has flipped.  I attribute a lot of this to his school teacher this year (who, unfortunately, isn't going to be there next year) but I attribute it even more to his summer school teacher.  To recap, Niko has had a terrible time at school, and especially summer school.  Last year we learned that he had cried all day every day, and the teacher had set him aside to focus on the kids who behaved better.  We didn't even know he had a problem until his report card came.  But this year?  A woman from my church walks up to me and says, "Hey, I'm Niko's teacher this summer!"  I couldn't believe it.  Somebody who knew him and his needs was going to be his teacher?!  It was a direct answer to my prayers.  She and the other teachers were so wonderful! Niko was excited to go to school and he came home just beaming.  They reinforced everything that we were teaching him at home, and what's more, they made a big push for potty training with us.  NIKO IS POTTY TRAINED!!  I didn't ever see this day coming, and it's so delightful! Lots of high fives and smiles all around, I have to tell you.  His language is getting better and better.  He can say things like, "Hi Mama," "apple", "water", "I love you", "Daddy", "cheese" (for cheese crackers) and "Nina".  They're not spot on, but they're consistent and we treat them as words.  Can you imagine the relief that all of us feel now that he can ask for a drink of water when he's thirsty?

Also, we took him to the hospital for his sedated heart echo, which was much better than the nightmare that I posted about last year.  Niko's care was wonderful, and his heart looked so fantastic that we don't have to come back for two years!  I am not afraid to admit that my eyes were tearing up as I hugged the cardiologist. 

Next: my writing.  Oh my goodness, it couldn't be going any better! I have finally found a wonderful agent who hit the ground running before the ink on our contract even dried.  I announced my happy agent news a week ago today on A Broken Laptop, and I am so excited!  For those of you who are curious as to the process, I now send  the agent my completed manuscript and he uses his connections to send it to publishing houses.  That means that A) I don't have to spend the time researching and sending it to people who most likely won't look at it without an agent anyway and B) I get to use this new-found time to work on a new manuscript.  This opens doors for me that wouldn't be opened any other way, and I'm simply thrilled.

Also!  I'm going to a writer's conference in Las Vegas called KillerCon, and I am going to be on two panels there!  That means I'll sit on stage with a handful of other writers and answer questions that the audience asks.  I'm quite humbled and excited to be there.  It's a privelage. 

The magazine just reopened to submissions so I'm quite busy with that.  It's my husband's busy season, so I took the kids and fled to my parent's house for two weeks.  Vegas is too hot and Nina's seizures started up again, so we bolted.  We see her neurologist in a few weeks.  It can't come too soon.  Nina is so sweet that I think she's made of sugar, sometimes.  When she isn't made of spice.  She's everything that I always wanted in a daughter.  Today my mother gave her a doll for her birthday, and she immediately named her Bird.  Life is pretty sweet for us. :)


Andrea, Mrs. said...

Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!! I can just FEEL through your words how wonderfully happy you are! I'm so dang happy for you! Hooray for Niko! Hooray for Nina! Hooray for YOU! HOORAY!

Belkycita said...

I can see you jumping of joy for all these wonderful truly joyful moments!
You know I love ya! I can't stop smiling.
You are just AWESOME... and it pays off ;-)

Laura said...


Eva said...

The difference in sleep quality away from home means we don't travel with my epileptic daughter (age 3 1/2). But it's managed well with medication when we stay home and avoid stressors. Hopefully that doesn't become necessary for you. Congrats on all the rest!

Laura Oler said...

What wonderful, wonderful, news! I can really relate to this post. With all my struggles with my kids, I often think of you. But something flipped for Katia, so that she's enjoying reading in spite of her dyslexia and the lack of support at school, and a switch flipped for Alicia, who is speaking so clearly now. And they ruled out cerebral palsy for Becca. Still lots of concerns (Jonathan needs to talk and potty train soon), but so many miracles!!

Noel said...

I am so happy for you my friend :)

Anna said...


Anonymous said...

I am the "little" sister of an amazing man with williams syndrome. As I'm getting older I've been striving to learn more about williams in general (as I certainly know my brother) and came across your blog which has really shined a light on the early years I don’t remember. Thank you. I just felt the need to tell you that from my experience the "magic switch" will flip positive over and over again. Just talked to my brother yesterday who after an appearance singing at the Grand Ole Opry, just finished up a week as a counselor in training at a camp for WS kids and wanted to talk to me about some jobs he's considering at home. He is musically gifted, amazingly caring, and makes friends wherever he goes. I don't think my parents (who are saints for everything they've done to make sure my brother gets what he needs) ever would have imagined what he has accomplished. And by the way his vocabulary is better than my master's degree was ever able to get me so don't worry about the talking :-) Keep up the good work and if you ever worry about your daughter just know she will grow to count herself lucky to be a williams syndrome sibling.

Mercedes said...

Andrea! I REALLY AM THAT HAPPY! Thank you! Hooray, hooray! :D

Belky, you are so sweet! I miss you guys so much sometimes! You were always so tender to Niko.

Thank you, Laura!

Eva: Thankfully we're not at that point. Nina isn't epileptic, but they still don't know what is causing her seizures. Still, I have become much more of a homebody than I used to be, for precisely that reason. There's a lot of fear concerning the seizures.

Laura, you are one of the strongest women that I know! You always have my full love and 100% of my support!

Thank you so much, Noel and Anna! I've been doing a lot of unexpected happy crying lately. :D

Anonymous: You don't know how much I needed to hear those words. I think every mother is concerned about spending equal time and love with/on each child, but when one child has special needs, I think it's even more difficult to keep that balance. I never want my daughter to every be pushed by the wayside or think that she's less important than her more time-intensive brother! I really, really appreciate your comment. :)

savita said...
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