Wednesday, October 26, 2011


No worries, this time I resisted the temptation to include the infamous David Bowie song - but only because I'm still not able to determine what the song is really all about. I will say that I did dig up my old post where I included music and I liked it. A lot.
Now that you have watched the fantastic Youtube video - let's move on.
Life in the Leschisin household has maybe slowed a bit, but that doesn't mean that things aren't constantly changing every day. For starters, I am able to officially refer to us as the Leschisin household since Joe & I tied the knot on September 17th. We were blessed with amazing weather and couldn't have asked for a better day!

While the wedding is a major event in our lives, the changes that Ella has been going through are what proves to be more surprising and continues to amaze me every day. Where to even begin?

We attended Cleft Clinic on October 14th. Our mindset going into the appointment was that we would be scheduling another surgery to correct the pulling on her lip and work on reshaping her nose. Of course that's not how the appointment really went. For the first time, our surgeon actually had an opinion and shared it and he prefers to not do surgery unless a medical necessity (speech plateaus, nasality, bone grafting, etc.) arises and he can piggyback on that. Since we have struggled with the topic a lot, I am good with not doing surgery anytime soon. However, I also think as her parents it's our job to do what is best for Ella in the long run. If she continues to mention that she doesn't like her lip & nose - we will think about a surgery before she starts school. For now it's back to the waiting game.

In exciting news Ella's Big Girl Check List continues to take no prisoners. We have conquered potty training, which means she not only gets to wear big girl princess undies, but is also the proud new owner of this {super sparkly & girly} bike. ----------------->

And that's not all folks - last night was her first night in a big girl bed. Yes I know you're all thinking "What, she's almost 3?"  For some reason my wild and crazy child has never tried to get out of her crib & I am not ashamed in the fact that I have delayed this day for as long as possible. As much as I thought it was going to be terrible, the transition has gone swell and at almost two nights in, I can't complain.

Perhaps the most exciting and beneficial transition for Ella is in regards to her speech development. When Ella turns 3 in November, we will no longer be able to utilize the services provided by Birth to 3 and our case is turned over to the Madison School District. I have been super nervous about whether or not we could expect continued therapy and if so, at what level of consistency & quality. Today was the meeting to review Ella's evaluation and much to my surprise it went fantastic.

After the therapist spent an hour with Ella they determined that while she is extremely intelligent and definitely doesn't struggle with language and communication, she does struggle with speech development. Therefore, she qualifies to be one of 12 kids to take part in a Phonology Clinic. The clinic focuses on building the intelligibility of speech and emphasizes the accuracy of sound patterns to promote speech clarity. Ella would attend half the day for 4 days/week for 6 weeks. She then would have 6 weeks off where we would practice and continue at home and then 6 more weeks on. The cycles continue until she no longer needs the help or she starts kindergarten.

While this is definitely going to be a major transition for us and Ella - it's something I am very excited for. It does seem a bit intense and I feel guilty for taking her out of daycare where she will most likely miss he friends and fun, but I strongly believe the consistency and focus will help us see some major improvements. Cross your fingers!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kids Will Be Kids

Today I received a text from my sister-in-law. It was a picture of my niece Paige and it looked like it hurt. She had fallen on the playground at school. She was battered, bumped and bruised. Paige was the first baby to enter my life, she made me an aunt (well her parents did but lets not get into that) and will always hold a special place in my heart. It broke my heart to see her in such pain.

At the same time, it also put things into perspective for me. When Ella was born we fretted about the inevitable surgeries she would face to repair her cleft and we worried about the scarring, both emotionally and physically. Taking a step back - those surgeries and scars may have happened even if she wasn't born with a cleft (the scenario is very likely if you know Ella).

Kids will be kids. They run. They fall. They cry. They scar. It's impossible to keep them safe all the time. As we contemplate another surgery I will think of today and remember that if it wasn't this - it would be something else. One thing you can predict about kids, they will always be unpredictable.

I hope Paige doesn't experience any long lasting scars from todays debacle. I hope she will return to school tomorrow and all of her friends will comfort her and she will know it's okay to go back out and run again. Most likely she will fall again, but the important part is to get back up. Every. Single. Time.

If not, she will always be a beautiful little girl to me and I have a ballerina Barbie going out in the mail tomorrow as bribery :D Love you Paige!