Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sad Places

Coming up on three years since Fay has been home with us, and it's rare these days that I find myself in a sad place. I'm often to busy with therapy, dance, baseball, homework, driving, etc. to be in a sad place. The last couple of days I have caught myself falling off the wagon (as my sister says). What, when and how will become of Fay. Her diagnosis is unknown and will forever be. Although I truly believe that malnutrition is the culprit of it all.

Every Tuesday and Thursday I make my 45 min drive to L.A. where Fay spends a few hours doing auditory and physical therapy. It's a place of miracles. It's also a place with severely, medically fragile children. 500 seizures a day for one child is not uncommon. Feeding tubes, orthotics, wheelchairs, doctors and medical equipment are a hot topic of conversation. It's also a place of HOPE, FAITH, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING. To often parents put on a happy face to mask the pain of their daily lives. Some parents are content and accepting of their situations. While some parents are struggling to grasp the reality that has become their lives. It is at this place that my spirits are lifted and more often than not for the wrong reasons. You see, my child is not like the others. She doesn't have seizures or a feeding tube. She progresses very nice, every day. She is a miracle and blessing, like all the children there.

Today, one of the mothers asked me, "What is wrong with your daughter, she looks fine." After I explained her situation, she continued on saying "She is going to be fine". My sister has always said that to me about Fay, and you know what, I truly believe it. So, I was able to get back on the wagon and avoid the sad place....Thank you to all my Napa Center moms and my sister.

With that being said, Fay is continuing to learn to walk. She is up to six steps on her own. She is also trying to talk, she tries to say more and go.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fay like Pirate Booty

It is often challenging to know what a non verbal child likes and dislikes. Raising Fay is all trial and error. I know that she likes the sound and feel of potato chip bags. How do i know this? Well she often goes into the pantry and pulls down the basket with the children's snacks. She reaches in and pulls out every bag of chips she finds. She then proceeds to crinkle the bags up either with her hands or her mouth. If she is lucky enough she will bust open a bag and eat it's contents.

Last night, while her siblings where enjoying there before bedtime snack, Fay crawls over to me in the kitchen and starts hitting me with a bag of pirate booty. Hmmmm does she wanna eat this? I mean she just started eating food a few weeks ago and everything is so new to her. So I sit down on the floor of the kitchen right next to her and ask: Do you want some pirate booty? Fay knows sign language, well actually she only knows one sign, that is the sign for MORE, which she will use for YES as well. So I ask her if she wants some pirate booty and faster than I can blink she gives me the sign. Pirate booty it is. So we sat on the couch and my daughter ate half a bag, I ate the other half.

So watch out for your booty, I mean Pirate booty, my daughter might beat you up for some.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hello blog land. It's been awhile since I have visited. As usual life in the Riggio household has been busy.

All the kids have started back at school, even Faith. It can be challenging to have all 4 kids home 24/7 for 3 months, so school is a nice break for ME. Paris has started 4th grade. She will be 10 this month and has a lot of changes going on physically, emotionally, socially and educationally. She is becoming a preteen and it totally freaks me out. Roc, well Roc is Roc. Baseball keeps him busy, which he loves. His passion for the sport blows my mind. He is now in 2nd grade and loves it. Rex, well Rex is trouble, always has been. He is in preschool and depending on the day, he isn't always happy about going and thinks he has a say so. Rex is my helper. He loves to cook. He says when he gets big like Mommy and Daddy he will cook for us. With that being said we signed him up for cooking class, which he calls kitchen class. He loves everything about it, especially his recipe book and apron. Faith started preschool at our districts special needs classroom. The first few weeks were rough. She goes 3 days a week and I had to join her the first few weeks until she felt comfortable with the environment and teachers. She is doing well now and her personality is beginning to shine.

Me, well I get a little me time, which I thought I'd spend going to the gym, but all I wanna do is stay home and eat junk..Decisions, decisions...

Everyday I am reminded of the miracles GOD as aloud me to witness and I feel sooooo blessed. I have 4 children that all love and hate (lol) each other so much. God has aloud me to witness my 3 bio children fall madly in love with our adopted child. They love and protect her like they do one another. It is so unconditional. It's funny when they say to me "Mommy are we going to tell Fay she is adopted". They don't see her as any different from them and they don't realize that her ethnicity will tell the story. It is a blessing. Faith is a miracle in her self. We often take so much for granite. Fay's needs have prevented her from doing things in a manner in which typical kids do. Watching her everyday is watching a MIRACLE. She has come so far in her 3 yrs of life. Over the last 2 months she has been progressing nicely. She can now pull her self to a standing position, and does it all day long. She also has started to eat none pureed foods, such as cereal bars and a PB and J sandwich. She doesn't like touching it so feeding does take sometime. Her progress is nothing short of a miracle. I cant imagine my life without all my amazing children. Motherhood has been my greatest gift ever.

Fay eating an oreo and Rex in his halloween mask

Rex in Hawaii

Roc enjoying some tubing in Hawaii

Paris in Hawaii
Fay on a field trip for school. Riding the train at a carnival
Fay standing up..okay so the pics upside down

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

post stealing, yet again

Blue Rose
So every once in awhile as I am reading through my friends blogs I read something truly inspirational. Sometimes what I read are things my friends have wrote or are things they got from other people. Either way they are amazing and touch my heart.

Here is one of those stories.

Blue Rose

Having four visiting family members, the wife was very busy, so I
offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included
light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent, and Clorox. So off I

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies, and headed for
the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man
who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I
patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he
waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy,
I'm over here."

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged, and also startled as
he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His
eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's
your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded
proudly. "Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but
my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over
from the next aisle.. "You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy
and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more
minutes about summer, bicycles, and school. I watched his brown eyes dance
with excitement because he was the center of someone's attention. He then
abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking
the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even
look at him, much less talk to him. I told her that it was my pleasure and
then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the
prompting of the Holy Spirit.

I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in
God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated
for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if
someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that
rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked,
"Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion but I sure
love living in God's garden."

She reached out, squeezed my hand, and said, "God bless you!" and then
I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest that the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your
head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because, by
the grace of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your
child, grandchild, niece, or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to
that person or their family.

From an old dandelion!

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the
rest to God.

"People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel."lue Rose

Monday, June 21, 2010


Life at our house has been crazy. I've been meaning to post for quit sometime, but the summer days are getting the best of me.

So let me back track. On May 23 my baby turned 3yrs old. WOW, where has the time gone. 3 was a big number for Fay, it meant lots of changes for her. We had her IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting with the school district. This meeting was to go over our goals for Fay as well as what the school district would be providing for her in terms of therapy. For the most part the meeting went well. After 2 1/2 hours of discussing your child's care and arguing over the amount of therapy provided I was broken. I know Fay will benefit greatly from school, but I am torn up about it. I will have to give up her care for 3 hrs a day 3 days a week to people I don't know. She is sooo tiny I worry about her safety. I also struggle with the fact that my baby is going to school. My last child. I can't imagine not having a child to care for. I am so saddened by this. Maybe it's time to have another child! Hmmmm.

Fay has been progressing nicely. She is crawling all over, started to pull herself up on furniture, and is very social. She has become quit vocal, although no words yet. Her lack of words are making her frustrated. I bought her an ipad in which she will eventually use it as a communication device. So far it is an unfamiliar toy so she isn't very interested. She has decided to forgo naps and it has become a challenge to get her to bed at night. She is experiencing separation anxiety. I can't leave the room without her freaking out. Emotionally she has become a 3 yr old, trapped in the body of a 1 yr old.

During our visit to the pediatrician for Fays 3 yr check up, we noticed she only gain 1lb in a year and nothing in length. We proceeded to do some testing on her thyroids and growth hormone. It ends up her growth hormone level is low so we will see an endocrinologist at the end of the month.

The rest of the crew has been really busy. Roc made the allstar team. Baseball is all consuming. He has a tournament every weekend and Jayme is the coach, so he is consumed as well. Paris has been busy with dance. She just had her Hip Hop dance recital. WOW, that girl has the moves. She will also be joining the HIP HOP dance competition team. Rex has been up to his usual antics. He is also becoming quit the swimmer. The kids are so exhausted by the end of each day that they pass out at night and sleep till 9 or 10 in the morning.

Meanwhile the month of June is birthday month in our family. We celebrated Jayme and Roc's birthday, as well as my moms, step dad, and a hand full of friends birthdays.

Our family has also grown in the last month. My brother-in-law's fiance officially moved to the U.S with her son. They have now become a family of 5. We are all so pleased to have them here.

Summer wouldn't be summer without a few vacations. Jayme and I are taking Paris, Roc and Rex to Hawaii in July. Then Jayme has planned a golf weekend with his buddies and I have a Vegas weekend with the girls. At some point I will be taking all the kids up to Santa Cruz to visit my sister-in-law and our ex-nanny. We end the summer with a family trip to bass lake, where we rent a house with 5 other families. fun fun fun fun.

We'll that's all for now folks. Have a wonderful summer.

Jayme's Birthday
watching tv

winning their 1st baseball tourney

playing dress-up, hee hee, blackmail

pool fun

Fay's Birthday

Monday, May 17, 2010

stolen post

A SPECIAL MOTHER - By Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.

Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth; son. Patron saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

"Forrest, Marjorie; daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia."

"Rutledge, Carrie; twins. Patron saint, Matthew."

Finally He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped child."

The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God, "Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But has she patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has her own world. She has to make her live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles, "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect -she has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps - "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a 'spoken word'". She will consider a 'step' ordinary. When her child says 'Momma' for the first time, she will be present at a miracle, and will know it! I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice....and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side".

"And what about her Patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."

I am so blessed!

Believe... Prayer Works!