Dearest Victoria Pearl,
You are upstairs asleep in your tiara and purple tutu. You reluctantly took off your dress-up shoes and handed me your fairy wand before going down for your nap. You couldn't be more girly and precious. Babies continue to be your central focus, and if there isn't a real baby or doll around, you still manage to find a "baby": pebble=baby rock, postcard=baby letter, etc...you watched a Barbie video for the first time and were completely enamored with her. You have started protesting bath time, which has us puzzled since you have always loved that time. Your eating habits haven't improved (it's 3:30 and all you have had is one cup of milk - that's ALL!). We continue to put good food on your plate and model eating fruits and vegetables and hope that you will gain healthy eating habits one day (soon, please???). You are growing and the doctor is not concerned, so I just have to (try to) let go of the worry over that... We just wrapped up what was your third Aggie football season. You loved going to the games and would squeal with delight when we drove up to Kyle Field. It's been wonderful to share something we enjoy so much and to have you enjoy it, too. You still think everything is yours and can't be convinced otherwise. You have been waking up in the middle of the night, which is unusual. I bring you to bed with us because that's what I have done in the past, and it's never been more than a couple of nights here and there. However, we are going on several nights in a row, so a habit may be forming...uh-oh! We know that we all sleep better when you are in your own bed, but there's nothing sweeter than rolling over to your smiling face in the morning.
On to the serious stuff...as I have mentioned in previous letters, talking has been a challenge for you. You have been diagnosed with something called Apraxia. It's a motor planning issue. You understand everything being said to you (although sometimes you act like you don't...like when it's time to clean up!) and you know what you want to say, but your mouth has problems forming all the combinations to make the words come out intelligibly. It will likely mean lots of speech therapy, which we have started will full gusto. You are working soooo very hard and although progress has been slow, it's definitely there! I know that we will continue to see you make strides. We will be by your side every step of this journey advocating for you, helping you and, most importantly, loving you. While this Apraxia has become a big deal in our lives, you won't be reading much about it in the blog. I think it's easy for a diagnosis to become the definition of who a person is, and you are so much more than an apraxic child. You are Victoria Pearl Veselka, and this blog is a place to focus on all the other aspects of who you are.
I love you,