Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Kinsley Girl!

Kinsley Abigail, Born December 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

How can it have been two years since this precious girl came into this world? In some ways time flies and it feels like just yesterday that I first held her in my arms. In other ways this journey through understanding her diagnosis and getting TONS of therapy and watching each milestone and inchstone (as many special needs parents call the tiny steps of progress in between each milestone) slowly come has felt like a lifetime. My life is TOTALLY changed because of this sweet girl, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Kinsley is the brightest little light shining for us when we go through the hard times. It's wonderful to think that through all the hardship that comes with Kinsley having MEB, that Kinsley herself is that one that makes it all worth it and all ok. She is the hardest working, strongest willed, little miss independent, beautiful girl who we are SO proud of. So on this second anniversary of her birth I want to just take a moment to celebrate all that she has accomplished in her little, beautiful life this past year.

December 20, 2012

At 1 year old Kinsley could:

  • Hold her head up in any position
  • Sit unassissted
  • Roll from belly to back
  • Roll from back to belly
  • Bear weight through her legs
  • Grasp objects
  • Bring objects to her mouth
  • Bang two objects together
  • Track objects with her eyes
  • Smile socially
  • Laugh at funny sounds
  • Recognize familiar songs
  • Understand cause and effect toys
  • Respond to her name (inconsistently)
  • Make vowel sounds and blow raspberries

December 20, 2013

At 2 years old Kinsley can:
  • Do all of the above
  • Achieve sitting from laying down on her belly or on her side
  • Crawl
  • Stand with support from a wall, at a table, couch or standing toy
  • Stand without support for over a minute (inconsistently)
  • Stand up from a bench unassisted and remain standing for 30 seconds (she did this for the very first time TODAY at therapy and she did it TWICE!)
  • Walk 3-5 feet with support
  • Hold and drink from a sippy cup
  • Drink from a straw
  • Self-feed with hands
  • Self-feed with a spoon (inconsistently)
  • Clap her hands
  • Remove rings from a ring stacker
  • Put rings back on a ring stacker (inconsistently)
  • Put objects into a container
  • Remove objects from a container
  • Understand more complex cause and effect toys
  • Babble many sounds including any combination of mamama, dadada, bababa, papapa, or lalala
  • Reach for me when I hold my arms out
  • Understand words or phrases like, "Give kisses," "Look at Mama," "Up," "No," or "Where's Daddy?" and (inconsistently) follow the command if one is given
  • Sign the word "Eat" (a new skill she mastered over Thanksgiving break and one that she uses VERY consistently!)
  • Use a switch (communication device) to ask for an object
  • Maintain eye contact (when she wants to)
  • Play Peek-a-boo
  • Recognize (very) familiar people and smile at them

I am sure there are more accomplishments I am forgetting. I also realize for a typical 2 year old this is not the list of accomplishments you would be looking for. However, this list is not to elicit any pity or saddness from any of you wonderful readers. This list is something we are SO proud of. This little girl works SO hard. Not many 1 or 2 year olds are constantly asked to work out and do tasks they don't want to do. Kinsley is and although she's not afraid to complain about it (she definitely isn't delayed in being able to throw a fit like any 2 year old might), she does the work anyway and has made SO MUCH progress. And most of that list was accomplished in the last six months. She has made such steady progress since she began to get herself into sitting and we couldn't feel more blessed. We are well aware that things could be so much worse for our sweet Kinsley and we just want to PRAISE GOD that she can do all that she can and that the progress is just continuing.

Looking back on how much Kinsley has learned in the last year I am reminded of the verse I mentioned in my first blog post about Kinsley written a year ago:
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11
One year ago when I first told you all about Kinsley and what her life may be like we did not know what the future held and for many things we still don't. But this year of progress and accomplishment has shown us that God is with us! Kinsley's future is blessed because of Him. He has given her SO many abilities already that we were never sure she would accomplish and I fully believe that He will continue to bless her in the years to come. However, I feel the need to add that I know that even if or when the accomplishments stop, God STILL has a plan for her and I know it will be a plan to prosper her. My prayer is that the coming year and years will be filled with continued blessings for our Kinsley girl, but even when the hard times come that we will continue to lean fully on God and trust His guidance in everything.

So, happy birthday, Sweet Kinsley Girl. You are truly an inspiration to your mama. I love you, sweet girl!


  1. We speed through out busy lives and take so much for granted as all the little things slip by us unnoticed. But with a special needs child, you learn to slow down and treasure the riches held in the little things. Your child's accomplishments and advancements come slowly, after much time and work, and are met with heart-felt appreciation and celebration. When I see your precious girl smile at you and Luke, I understand why she is such a happy girl. It is my sincere prayer that the medical field will continue to increase in their understanding of her condition and in development of treatments for Sweet Kinsley to continue to develop and progress as she grows.

    1. Darlene,
      Thank you so much! Through prayers and support from our friends and family we've felt so much love and comfort throughout this whole process. God has blessed us richly.
      It's so true that it sometimes takes having a child with special needs to slow us down and truly celebrate the small stuff. We're so thankful for Kinsley teaching us to do just that. Thank you!

  2. She is so sweet, Caroline. She looks so much like you both!

    I think that list is awesome. I can't imagine how hard it is to ask such a little bitty girl to do all those things... she's awesome. And I know it's hard doing so many therapy sessions for you, too. You both deserve to celebrate with a list like that! :)

    1. Thank you, Lauren. We've had a wonderful day celebrating. She loved her cake tonight and it was the cutest.
      I love seeing pictures of your adorable Viola. You all look so happy! I'm so happy for you. :)

  3. She is gorgeous!!! And what a light you are for God. You are doing much better in that sweet area than I. Keep on, mama!

  4. Happy Belated Birthday sweet Kinsley! x