Friday, October 29, 2010

Catching up, part 3

When we went to England a few months ago we left our fish with a neighbour, and unfortunately it died a couple of days after Gabe left. Of course, it wasn't the neighbour's fault, but he felt so bad about it that the day after we got back he went out and bought us a new fish. The new fish is called Bubbles, and Bubbles is crazy. Very entertaining to watch, but definitely crazy :) Here he is swimming upside down.
October 14th
Three beautiful children! Aren't they adorable?!

October 15th
Avery was lucky enough to be able to go see Disney Princesses on Ice with her friend Paisley and her mommy, Michelle. She loved it, and was talking about it for days afterwards! Apparently both girls were entranced, and Michelle said that it was so good that even she wanted to go see it again! :)
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Catching up, part 2

October 10th
Oliver's blessing day. This is the same outfit that Brogan wore for his blessing, and I was so sad that I didn't get any good pictures of Brogan wearing it, so I was determined to get pictures of Oliver wearing it!

...apparently Brogan had other plans!! I only managed to take a couple of photos before Brogan insisted on playing with Oliver :) Can't complain about that really, can I? Sweet boy.

October 12th
Avery has a pair of pink boots which she can both take off and put on all by herself!! She finds this so exciting that she had to put them on as soon as she got out of the bath, even though she was completely naked :)

Avery and Brogan have been getting along swimmingly! (Mostly!!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Catching up, part 1

October 4th
Oliver having a bath in the bathroom sink :) So little and sweet!

October 4th
This was taken in the family room at almost 9pm... bedtime is 7pm but Brogan kept on getting out of bed. I was out, and Grandma kept on taking him back to bed, but how could she resist the sweetness of a little boy who wants to snuggle with his baby brother?!

October 7th
Grandma went home to England this day, but before she left she made some super cute matching pajamas for Avery and Brogan! Aren't they the cutest?! This was the only picture I managed to get before Brogan ran away...
Avery was very sad when Grandma left. We all went to the airport to say goodbye, and Grandma had been talking to Avery for days about her leaving, but when it came time for Grandma to actually walk through the gate Avery was very upset, and kept on trying to follow her. She cried and cried. She loves her Grandma very much. Both she and Brogan had such a lovely time with her here! As we were driving out of the airport parking lot, Avery suddenly remembered that she had forgotten to say what she had planned to say when Grandma left, so we opened the window so that Grandma could hear as Avery shouted "It's time for you to go, good fellow!!" (Apparently Owl says this in one of the Winnie the Pooh movies....)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ABM therapy

After all sorts of strife with our health insurance company, we were finally able to take Avery back to northern Virginia for some more Anat Baniel method therapy at the beginning of October. We're seeing someone new because insurance wouldn't pay for therapy with Carla, and so far things are going well! Her name is Catherine, and Avery seemed to enjoy "playing" with her as much as she did with Carla.
I drove up on Thursday night with Avery and Oliver, and Brogan stayed at home with Grandma. We almost weren't going to be able to go, because Avery had a bit of a cold on Wednesday, so I kept her home from school. It wasn't a particularly bad cold - she just needed to rest, so she lay on a pad in the family room pretty much all day. She didn't have an appetite either, which is normal for her when she's sick, but in the late afternoon she decided she was hungry so I gave her a cheese sandwich. She finished it and had another half a sandwich after that. At 5pm she was lying in bed talking to Gabe on the phone when I noticed that she had red patches on one of her eyelids that sort of looked like blisters. Then I saw another one on her other eyelid, and they started spreading. By the time Gabe got home from work at about 6:15, all the little fluid-filled pockets had joined together to make her eyes just look really puffy, but she also had little red dots developing on her chest, neck and stomach. I had called the nurseline and she told me that if it got worse that night that I should take her to urgent care, but otherwise I should take her to the doctor first thing in the morning. It was odd, because it looked like some sort of allergic reaction, but I knew for a fact that the only thing she'd eaten that day was that cheese sandwich, and that was nothing new. So I was thinking that it must be somehow related to the cold symptoms. So she went to bed, and I checked on her during the night every time I went in to feed Oliver, and the rash and swelling got worse. By morning it was looking a little better, and I took her to see the doctor at 8:20. She couldn't figure out what it was either. The only suggestion she had was that it might be mumps, but she didn't really think so. Of course she asked if she'd been exposed to anything new that she could be allergic to, but she hadn't. She suggested I give her antihistimines just in case. So after I got home I reluctantly called Catherine and left a message explaining that I thought we should cancel since I didn't really know what was wrong or if it was contagious. Avery seemed to be feeling almost completely better, but her eyes were still swollen. She wanted toast for lunch, so I went to the kitchen to make it, and for some reason decided to look at the ingredients, which is when I discovered that the seemingly innocent cheese sandwich she had eaten the day before was actually the culprit!! The bread had hazelnuts in it!! I never would have imagined that I would have to check bread for hazelnuts!! It was a type of bread that we'd never bought before, but still, it was bread! Who'd have thought! So I called Catherine back to cancel the cancellation (!), and got ready to drive up to my brother- and sister-in-law's house, since they happen to very conveniently live only 30 minutes from Herndon, which is where Catherine's practice is. :)

So, on Friday morning we set out for Herndon! Of course, this visit was our first visit, so it felt very much like the first time we saw Carla, because Catherine spent a lot of time getting to know Avery and her body and capabilities. One particular thing she noticed was Avery's strong preference for side-sitting, and how she only ever sits to one side - with her legs to the left. This means that her left leg is always in the same position it would be in if she always 'W'-sat, and that is not a good position. Avery's default has always been w-sitting. When she was little, she was able to maintain a sitting position if we placed her in it, but it wasn't until she was crawling (about 14 months) that she was able to get into a sitting position by herself, and the way that she did it was by getting up onto her hands and knees and then pushing back into a w-sitting position. She was never "allowed" to w-sit, but I also felt that it wasn't fair to be constantly telling her "Stop w-sitting" when that was the position which allowed her the most independence, but it's something we've always worked on. Now that she's older, she is really quite comfortable in a side-sitting position, and these days she does choose it over w-sitting on a fairly regular basis, but, as I said, it's always the same side. Her left leg is tighter than her right, and I'm not sure whether this is the cause or effect of her always sitting with her legs to her left side. She can sit cross-legged, but rarely chooses this position since it's not very comfortable for her, and doesn't give her as much stability. But she never side-sits with her legs to the right. This was one thing which Catherine very gently worked on, and as you can see in the second picture, she did manage to get Avery sitting with her legs to the right. I don't think I've seen her sit that way since we've been home, but she has been taking some pretty steady steps at home. And there have been more and more days when she goes to the bathroom and uses the toilet all by herself without even telling me until she was done! A week or so ago there was a morning when I was still sleeping but was vaguely aware that I could hear Avery crawling around. Then she came into our room and whispered "Mom, I just used the potty all by myself and I didn't wake you up!" Cute girl :)
Last month Avery started seeing Tiffany the OT again. She saw her 2 or 3 times in February. Gabe took her because I'd managed to double book and had to meet with Avery's teacher at school, but he said that Tiffany was amazed by how much Avery had progressed in 6 months! She's not even sure that she would suggest we continue with OT at all :) I'm taking her to see her again tomorrow and we'll talk about it some more then and decide what to do, but she has progressed a lot in her hand-eye coordination and such recently. Her drawing and writing skills have improved dramatically, even in the past few weeks. Of course it's impossible to know exactly how much credit can be given to any particular activity or therapy, but I am looking forward to going back to ABM therapy next month. It was after our second visit to Carla that we saw all those huge strides in Avery's development, so I'm wondering what we might see her doing this time next month...

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I have a few things I need to write about, but haven't found a moment to sit down and actually write! I can't think why....! ;) Actually, it's mostly that I just haven't really felt like blogging recently. But I will start back up again soon, I promise :) I have to blog about Avery starting back up with Anat Baniel Method therapy (with a new therapist), her appointment with the endocrinologist, Oliver's blessing day, and of course all the everyday cuteness that is my children! For now I will just leave you with these cute pictures and a promise that I will write a proper post soon!! :)

Avery is still loving little baby Oliver! She likes to hold him sometimes, and she talks to him so sweetly all the time.

Brogan being a fairy :) Apparently the hat is part of the costume, and he likes to wear this at some point almost every time he and Avery play dress-up :) To "fly" he leans forward, sticks his arms up behind him and runs. It's hilariously cute!

As of earlier this week, Oliver has been giving us lots of these :) He is such a happy boy! And so sweet and easy-going.
I love all my sweet children so much.
Life is very, very good :)