Helloooooo Mississippi! Since the last post, we have moved from Charleston, SC back home to MS. While we had the best of friends in Charleston, there is nothing quite like being surrounded by family. It actually took a bit for it to sink in that we were here to stay. Our previous visits have been quick and busy, with us trying to fit every single person we care about into the small amount of time we were here. This move was no different. We made plans for almost every day of the first week we were here, leaving no time to just unpack and get familiar with our home. “This person needs to see Ava,” “We haven’t hung out with this family in a while,” “Let’s go have dinner with these friends.” When you’ve been shoving so many people into short visits for so long, it’s hard to sit back and realize that there is no more need to rush. We now have time to take for ourselves – to relax and shift our focus to the most important family member: Avalynn.
She turned eight months old yesterday. Eight. Months. Old. In only four short months, she will be turning a year old. I’ve already flooded my Pinterest boards with ideas for that first birthday party. Thoughts keep churning through my mind about where would be the best place to have the party? Will she be crawling by then? Walking maybe? What other milestones should she have reached at one year old? But I was reminded of something by a friend yesterday. After telling him of my early birthday planning, he said, “Make it last.” Make it last. Take a breath. Enjoy the little things. Live in the moment. I need to work on making these my new mantras. I tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, and it is easy to forget that she will only be little once. She may be extra tiny right now, but she won’t be forever. When we’re running late and all I can think about is our need to hurry, these thoughts are the ones that need to cross my mind. Carpe Diem.
We had an evaluation with the early intervention agency here, and they graded Avalynn on certain areas to see what, if any, delays she has. Overall, she did really well, and they were very impressed with her, but she does have a couple of small delays. Speech is one of them. At this age, she should be making babbling sounds (such as “mamama” or “bababa”), and she is still making only vowel sounds (“ahhh” and a few “guhhh’s”). She was also a little delayed in social skills since she doesn’t really get upset when toys are taken from her and things like that. We have been set up with a specialist to come work with Avalynn in our home, and these should be easy things to work on. Sidenote: one negative of moving back here is the fact that there is only one therapy center for early intervention in the area, and they have a waiting list. So we won’t be able to get specific therapists for Ava until we are off of said waiting list. *disgruntled sigh*
Saying goodbye to Charleston was hard. In the time that we were there, I had grown to love the “little” Southern beach town (people there called Charleston a small town, but to us MS folks, it was huge). After Avalynn was born, I loved it even more. I am forever thankful that it was in God’s plan for us to have Ava there. I fought tooth and nail when John said he wanted to move out there, but now I see that it was the best choice for us. With all of the support groups, doctor choices, and resources from MUSC, we were able to ease into this new life chapter with minimal headache. To Charleston and all of the people we met there: thank you. Thank you for making our time there memorable. Thank you for the beauty (in both scenery and friendships). Thank you for helping us grow. Thank you for loving my daughter. Thank you for the impact you have made on our lives. I hope to see you soon.