Right. Jumping in. There's this trend around here lately, and maybe elsewhere, I'm not sure, where all the birthday invitations Gianna has received say "in lieu of gifts, please bring a canned food item/blanket/book/etc to be donated" and it.is.GENIUS.
I plan to copy cat that for the rest of ever. Not only do I think this is great for cultivating charity, it's also nice to prevent the exchange of random stuff without feeling like a jerk for not bringing a gift. Spread the word.
Gianna's school held a benefit concert where I heard a new song by a group called the Pawn Shop Kings and I canNOT stop playing it.
More videos! PiaBaby is finally bipedal, praise the Lord. Although she is reluctant to use walking as her primary mode of travel when on the first floor of our house. I can't blame her, lots of tile and hardwood and the vintage nature of the construction of things render the floors pretty uneven in spots. But. I feel like she has turned a corner, and her protective reflexes are really solid...she actually puts her hands out to catch herself, and often manages to fall on her knees and not her face. We might dodge a call to CPS after all. She is coming up on 21 months...definitely within the typical time frame for kids with Usher 1, and just a few weeks behind when Gianna started walking.
Gianna is taking guitar lessons which means that I, also, am taking guitar lessons. Mr Gillum, the teacher, asked if I played and I laughed out loud. I used to get kicked out orchestra class for talking too much, and all I have to show for my time there is a busted viola. Gianna is really enjoying it and it's fun to see her take an interest in something and work at it. I can't help watching her in class and musing about how her cochlear implants and her ability to use them to hear and speak are what allow her to be sitting there, learning to play a G chord and laughing at the antics of a fellow student. I'm really, really, grateful she's been given this opportunity.
Which leads me to....my sister. She has been training to run in the Flying Pig half-marathon here in Cincinnati to raise funds for Gianna's old school, Ohio Valley Voices. Pia will begin attending there in January. I can state pretty confidently that without OVV, it is unlikely that Gianna would be in guitar class or attending a private Catholic school without an interpreter. If I can get some organizacion up in here, I hope to write a longer post detailing our decision to switch to Ohio Valley Voices and why we are so thankful that we did. In the mean time, if you would like to show support for Ohio Valley Voices in a monetary fashion you can do so here. I think. I hope that is the right link. Thanks!
Lastly, Gianna had a check up with the retinal specialist who had officially diagnosed her with the early stages of retinitis pigmentosa back in October. This specialist was in agreement with the one we saw in Boston that for Gianna's age and disease type everything looks more mild than they would expect at this point. Praise God. Thank you for your prayers for us!!