Monday, September 24, 2012

Help Portrait Detroit

I need you help. I am helping to coordinate an event called Help Portrait to benefit families of DMC Children's Hospital during the Spina Bifida Conference this December.  Help Portrait is non-profit organizations with communities both national and internationally, consisting photographers and make-up artist who donate with a simple mission-
  1. Find someone in need.
  2. Take their portrait.
  3. Print their portrait.
  4. Deliver it to them.
 It is a simple mission that can bring a smile to anyone's face.  Here's how you can help Help Portrait Detroit.

The Help-Portrait Community has a Groupon Grassroots campaign running until Wed. to raise money for our local events. The deal is $10 for a $20 donation, which provides 2 families the opportunity for a portrait session, three professional prints and a frame.

I’ve seen firsthand how Help-Portrait changes lives. I love volunteering and being part of our local event, and I’m excited to see how many more people we can reach this year.

Help us by donating today:

You can also make a tax deductable on Help Portrait Detroit's behalf online at or by mail to
PO Box 680656
Franklin, TN , 37068
United States
If you are interested in volunteering you time or making an in-kind donation you can contact me directly by email at najeemat@gmail. 
Thank you in advance for you support,
Help Portrait Detroit Team Lead 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

So I decided to start reading "Children with Spina Bifida: A parents guide," which I initially received after I found out that Elly had Spina Bifida, while I was still pregnant.  Part of me wanted to read it so that I can find out more of what could possibly be in store, the other part of me, that took over, didn't want to read it because I did not want to be in panic mode my entire pregnancy. 

Overall it is a good read so far, I definitely understand the perspective of the author, as I am still working through a plethora of different emotions.  Some times I'm mad, sometimes I'm sad, some days confused, other days I'm confident, from day to day like the author says we have "peaks and valleys." There are days when I sit back and look at my little warrior in awe of all the things that she has overcome and is accomplishing daily; Then there are those days where I feel like pulling my hair out.  Sometimes I spend hours scheduling appointments and trying to figure out what the next step is that we need to take.  Don't get me wrong, our life with SB is not all bad, I have meet very intriguing people, but there is always alot of things on my to-do list.

I haven't decided if I am going to keep reading the book.  While it is a helpful tool, I do not want to fall into the trap of worrying about things that Elly is not dealing with right now. 

We have a ton of  appointments this upcoming month so I am not sure when I will have time to update.

Thank you for stopping by.

Najeema Iman

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'm up late tonight because I can't sleep.  I try not to wear my emotions on my shoulder, but it is really hard.

I have been so consumed with Elly walking, that I have not been paying attention to any of her other milestones. My life is crazy. I'm a stay-at-home mom most days are filled with alphabets, numbers, shapes, dishes, diapers, and a shower every now and then. I'm so busy that it is easy to let things slip through the cracks without noticing.  Lately I have been deligently teaching  my oldest how to count, ride a bike, and discover the world in general, that I wonder if I have neglected to notice that Elly's vocabulary isn't expanding rapidly.  In general I am not the type of mom that keeps a log of milestone moments, even though I probably should. I try to make sure that both of my children are properly stimulated throughout the day incorporating both structured and free play, but maybe I'm just not doing enough.

I am a concerned parent, but sometimes I can become a little paranoid.  I guess it comes with the territory.  I wonder....

Should I have read the book they gave me at the genetics lab while I was still pregnant?
Should I have reached out to the Spina Bifida Association sooner?
Should I ask more questions? Should I have asked more questions in the past?
Should I seek a second opinion?
Am I stimulating her enough? Have I bought the right toys?
Should I plug myself into the Spina Bifida community more?

I don't know what I could have done to prepare me for the journey that my family is on right now. I know we don't have worst of it and  I try not think about the should've, could've, would've, but it is so hard.  I want to be hands on with my daughter development but I don't want to coddle her to much.  Distinguishing when to be call the doctor and when to become the doctor is hard.

The whole reason that I am up tonight is because my husband brought to my attention that Elly really isn't talking much.  She says 'Da-da' and a version of the word Up, but that's pretty much it. She definitely isn't quiet by nature, especially when it comes to fighting with hersister, but the words aren't just flowing like I would like to see them.  I know she understands when I say 'No' or 'Stop,' and she is obedient most of the time, but something just doesn't seem right. 

Is it my fault, am I not reading to her enough?
Am I not encouraging her to communicate to me what she needs, rather than assuming and doing?

So many questions once again, will they ever stop or will I always be questioning.   When should I be worried?  I mean she is only 15 months, but it seems like she should be doing much more than she is doing right now.

Najeema, Confused Mom