Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Even in the short week that we've had this ball, Avery's balance has improved A LOT! When we first got it we couldn't let go of her without her falling off, and this morning she sat on it for about 15 minutes and I didn't touch her at all. Perfectly at ease. And look how flat on the floor her feet are. This ball is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Avery's peanut ball (aka "horse substitute") arrived in the mail last week. It took me a little while to finally buy one, because when I started shopping around I discovered that they come in all sorts of sizes, from about 12" diametre to something like 56", so I wasn't sure what size would be best. I thought that the larger sizes would obviously be closer to the size of a horse and would give her a great stretch, but the smaller sizes would offer her more independent balancing opportunity. So I asked Lisa, her PT, what she thought, and she said that it would be best if Avery was able to touch the ground, so we decided on a 16" ball. SO here it is!
Avery loves it because she loves bouncing and jumping. And it's interesting because you can see it working: when she first sits on it she can touch the ground only with her toes, but the longer she sits and moves on it the more relaxed and pliable her muscles get and pretty soon she's able to comfortably put both feet on the ground. So we've moved the table out of the TV room so that there is more floor space, the idea being that every time she watches TV she can sit on her peanut and get a good amount of stretching and exercise in. It's definitely a good investment in my book, and Avery loves her new toy.


Well, Brogan rolled from his tummy to his back today! Six times, so it definitely wasn't a fluke! I'm amazed!! I mean, obviously I knew that Brogan would start reaching his physical milestones earlier than Avery was able to, but still, I wasn't ready!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Fest (LOTS of pictures!)

Our friend's Travis and Renee had a Fall Fest out in Floyd county yesterday. We had such a fun time! It was a bit of a drive to get there (about an hour), but this is a lovely time of year to be driving up in the mountains. We do live in a very pretty part of the world, and it's nice to get out and appreciate it sometimes :)

Avery with her sunglasses and blanket and book, all ready for the drive.

I didn't think about the fact that it would be colder at the higher elevation, so didn't go back into the house to get a coat even though Gabe suggested it...but luckily somebody had a spare fleece and let me borrow it!

This was Avery's favourite thing - the swing hanging from the tree!


She love being able to swing so much higher than normal swings! And spinning around, or going in circles was also fun. Gabe's thinking about whether we could hang a swing like it from the tree behind the house...

I fed Brogan shortly after we arrived, and then he quite happily settled down in his car seat with about a billion blankets and went to sleep.
After almost everyone else went off on a hayride to pick apples for the cider, Avery still stuck to the swing. Not even a chance to ride behind the tractor was enough to tempt her!
I like this picture...even the the faceless hooded Gabe sort of looks like the grim reaper.....

And Brogan slept on....

Gabe and Avery frollicking up on the hill :D

"Look at the clouds Mummy!!"

"Look at the flowers Mummy!!!"

A flower!!

And still he slept....

Avery showing off her flower.

Yep, it was quite the flower....

Avery "cooking" her flower, just like the hotdogs and marshmallows from earlier :)
Smelling the flower!

And here are some pictures which Victoria emailed me from her camera...

The cider press.

Friday, October 17, 2008

This bed is too small...

Tonight Avery decided that she wanted to sleep in Brogan's tiny bassinet.... made her angry...

But, determined to find a way to fit in it, she persevered, until finally.....

Doesn't it look comfortable? Hmmmmmm.....well, she liked it.

She even insisted that she could sleep in it quite comfortably when I suggested that it was time to get into her own bed. I wasn't convinced, so after Cookie Monster left her to go sleep in the big bed, she was finally persuaded to leave the confines of the bassinet.

Meanwhile, Brogan lay on the floor talking to the ceiling excitedly.

Here are a couple of pictures of his beautiful smile from earlier in the day. He's such a sweet boy.

I love my babies.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Avery and her Ali

Paul and Ricky sent this giraffe for Avery, and she fell in love with her instantly! It's the first toy she's given an original name to all by herself! It's name is Ali, and Avery is just crazy about her! She kisses her and hugs her and plays all sorts of games with her - it's very cute to watch.

Avery's AFOs

I've been meaning to get some pictures of Avery's braces on here for a while, so here they are finally! She's had this particular pair for about 6 months now, and as you can see, she's starting to grow out of them. Last time we went to see Dr Brown he wrote a prescription to have them adjusted or replaced, but she's been complaining about them quite a bit recently, so I have a feeling we'll need to get a new pair and not just have these adjusted. We'll see, we have an appointment at the orthotics place on Friday morning.
Avery can now get up into this chair all by herself!!!! She's a pro! She just started doing it about 3 weeks ago - before that she needed a lot of help getting into these little chairs. For a few weeks before she finaly figured it out, she was doing a lot of playing around on the stairs - climbing up one step, turning around, sitting down, climbing up to the next step, sitting down - so I think that helped her figure out how to do it and then she was ready to try it with the much smaller space of a child's chair. They also sit in little chairs every day at school, so that probably was part of it too. So proud of her! Of course, the one time she tried to get out of it properly by turning around and getting down, the chair fell over and she banged her head on the wall, so she doesn't do that anymore - she prefers instead to lean forward with her arms outstretched until the chair tips forward and she lands on her hands and knees :)

You can also see she's wearing her eye patch in this photo. It used to be a battle of wills every time we put her eye patch on, but for the past couple of months she has been an absolute angel and doesn't even complain about it! I think it's because she gets to pick out a sticker to put on the patch every day, and she thinks that is pretty cool. Also, recently when she's been choosing her sticker, she's been looking forward to showing it to Miss Leslie when she gets to school! For the past week she's picked a football (soccer ball), which she calls a baseball, almost every day, and has just been so excited to show it to Miss Leslie! It's quite cute! She wears it for two hours every day, and then she gets to take it off herself, and she likes to peel off the sticker and stick it on her shirt. I'm amazed at how compliant she is - I would hate to wear one of those things every day. She's such a sweet girl.

Avery loves her little brother! She's so gentle with him and sweet. It's funny too, because everytime she sees me changing his dirty diaper, she comes over and says "He pooped!! Oh! Well done Brogan! Good job!! Yay!!" and she claps her hands and cheers! I think that because she's always struggled with constipation, she thinks it must be just as exciting for everyone else when they poop :) Speaking of constipation though, Avery has been doing marvelously recently!! For the past two weeks I haven't even had to give her any miralax, and she's been going without any fuss at all almost every day! Maybe we've finally overcome the contipation hurdle? I don't know, but I certainly hope so! I think that because she's on her feet and walking around so much every day at school, it's finally got her bowels active and moving the way they should. Exciting times!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chocolate Strawberries

We made chocolate covered strawberries the other day. Delicious! Avery's favourite part was "cleaning" the melted chocolate out of the pot! :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Playing on the blanket

When Hans came out to visit he brought this beautiful blanket which Melodee made for Brogan, and the cute little outfit is from them too. So sweet!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hippotherapy photos

This is Avery riding her horse Promise with the wonderful people at Many Blessings Farm. These pictures were taken the last Monday of September. You see she's sitting "normally" on the horse, with her "sidewalkers" holding her legs as instructed by the physical therapist, Kathy. During a typical 1/2 hour session she also spends time sitting sideways, and also backwards on the horse. Also, you see she is holding rings in all of these photos. They have her playing with various toys as they ride around, and the purpose of the acticities they do with the toys is to strengthen core strength and balance, etc. Some of the things they will have her do are:
  • One of the sidewalkers will hold up their hand and Avery has to reach over and put the ring on their arm. This makes her work those trunk muscles, as well as test her hand-eye coordination.
  • They have various toys which Avery needs both hands to manipulate, which means that she's not holding onto the horse with her hands and is therefore using her trunk muscles to keep her balance as the horse moves.
  • For the same purpose they'll sing songs such as If you're happy and you know it which again gets her hands off the horse and testing her core strength
  • Sitting backwards on the horse is an even bigger stretch for her adductors