Sunday, June 26, 2011

Take me out to the ball game :)

Saturday night, some good friends of ours watched Oliver for a few hours so that we could take Avery and Brogan to a Salem Red Sox game :) It was Avery's 3rd time, and Brogan's first :)

Avery chose to take her shiny new walker :)

Enjoying the view. Gabe tried to sit down and discuss some of the rules of the game with Avery, but she lost interest pretty quick. Weird... :)

I think that the little one's favourite parts were these in between parts :) Avery particularly liked the dance competition, and was very disappointed that she didn't get to join in :)

Avery loves taking pictures these days. I should post some of her self portraits, we have hundreds, and they're quite stunning ;) These are 3 of the pictures she took at the baseball game! Her hand, her brand new walker (her old one was stolen out of our carport about a week before the new one arrived. Can you believe that?? Who steals a child's walker??????), and ME!!

 My little cuties. On the train track. Yup, that's right! There are train tracks everywhere, you just have to know where to look :) At the baseball field, the train tracks are the grates by the fence, and the trains that ride on it are small enough to jump over :)

Brogan made some new friends. They were very nice, and let him use one of their foam things. He was very happy :) Brogan has never met anyone who wasn't his friend :) We'll pull up to the grocery store, and he'll see random strangers walking through the parking lot and exclaim, "Wook!! My friends!!!"

 She's a cutie :)

Of course we had to get a picture with the mascot before we left :)

 And we also stopped in at the poorly run and ill-prepared bouncy play area, and they had a blast :)

And one more picture of Avery on the way home, just because she's cute!


On Friday Avery had her routine appointment with her ophthalmologist, Dr Facciani. In the van on the way there, she made him some cards, including one which said "Avery loves Dr Facciani" Cute girl :)
As usual, she wore funny glasses...

...and funny patches

She was pretty cooperative during her exam.

As soon as she was done, Brogan hopped up into the chair and said, "My turn!"
Then we waited for the doctor.

Brogan watching Cars in Oliver's carseat :)

Oliver is very talented when it comes to making mess with his food. Here he is snacking on chocolate teddy grahams and goldfish, but this is pretty much standard for every meal and snack. We have to wash his hands, arms, face, neck, ears, hair and thighs after every meal!!

Brogan was still hoping to have a turn, so he sat in the chair while Avery continued her exam in her wheelchair :)

It was time for a dilated exam again, and Avery was super brave as she had the eyedrops put in! She wasn't happy about it, as you can tell by her tense posture and her hands up on her face, but she didn't cry or fight. I was very proud of her :)

Playing as we waited for the eye drops to do their job.

Being a good girl during her in-depth examination.
2.5 hours after arriving, we were done. Phew! 
Everything was pretty much the same. Mostly. He still doesn't think she has any depth perception. Her vision is stable, but he referred us to a low vision specialist. We'll be seeing him (Dr Scothorn) in August. We still need to be patching every day. I find it harder and harder to patch her. Not because she fights or resists it, just because I don't like doing it. But it has to be done.
The biggest news of the appointment is that we get to cross one diagnosis off Avery's list! He says that he is 99.9% sure that she actually doesn't have optic nerve hypoplasia afterall! He says that her optic nerves are pale, but that it actually doesn't look like hypoplasia. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Girls got Mad Skills

May I present our little speedster, Avery:
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Avery has not only developed the strength and coordination necessary to ride a tricycle, she has mastered it!
A current favourite activity for Avery and Brogan is to go out on the tracks Smile They request train tracks and streets to be drawn on our driveway so that they can drive and chuff away and be really useful engines Smile
But Avery will not be tied to the flat driveway alone, she has conquered the path to the front door….
…the slope up into the carport, and even transitioning from the driveway to the grass and back again! (Can you believe I haven’t got a picture of that yet?? Neither can I!)
She is an old pro!
Uh oh, someone’s blocking the track!
I cannot even tell you what a joy it is to watch Avery riding around and easily keeping pace with her peers!!!
She is an absolute super star!!
And she loves it!!
Check out Avery’s mad skills:
It is time to take these skills to the trails! In the next week or so, we'll be taking the family for a ride on the greenway so that Avery can really enjoy her newfound freedom :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Why my husband is the best Daddy

I was going to try to make this organised and pretty, but my time is up, and I want to get this posted in time for Father’s Day tomorrow. So here are some pictures, and some of the reasons why Gabe is the best father I could ever have dreamed of for my children.
As a special birthday treat (his!), he took Avery to the circus last year :) Brogan enjoying some Daddy time :)
He makes the time to spend special one-on-one time with the children. (At the circus with Avery for his birthday last year, and making Brogan smile by a pond!)

He comes up with creative ways to make therapy fun! He is the Dinosaur stretch! (her leg is the tail) 3-7-2009 6-54-43 PM
He is constantly coming up with creative ways to make therapy fun for Avery. Here are two of the stretches he came up with and named (the one on the left is the Dinosaur stretch – her leg is the tail!) to help her not mind doing them so much.

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Last year we got a Wii for Christmas, and I got Wii fit. Gabe helped Avery play to, and within a couple of weeks he had installed hardware into the ceiling to hang ropes and rings from so that Avery could stand up and play games by herself. They also make excellent rope swings, and Avery’s arms are so strong Smile Next on the cards, our front room is basically being turned into a therapy room.

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He makes them laugh. A lot!
Making Oliver laugh :D

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He will stay up with them all night if that’s what it takes to help them feel better when they’re sick.

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Because he doesn’t want Avery to miss out on the opportunity to experience and enjoy the outdoors, he plans hiking excursions with her, strapping her to his back if that’s what it takes. He wants to take her on as many hikes as possible before she gets too big for him to carry.

Exploring a cave with Avery Up at the Cascades.
On their recent outing to hike up to the Cascades. In preparation for this hike, he modified the jogging stroller so that he could take off the two back wheels if the trail got too rocky.

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He is silly, and encourages our children to have fun and be silly Smile (Don’t worry, the trash can was clean, and had nothing but freshly raked leaves in it!)

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He builds igloos and blanket forts…
One day Avery wanted to play with playdoh, but we didn't have any, so Gabe looked up a recipe and made some :)
…and homemade playdoh! Smile

The little ones were sandy, so of course the onlyl logical thing to do was to pull out the leaf blower... :)
He makes tasks seem like fun! The children were sandy, so instead of just rubbing them down with a towel or something, Gabe pulled out the leaf blower and blasted the sand off them Smile
Letting Brogan "help" him. Daddy's little helper... ;)
He tolerates Brogan’s helpfulness!!

A lot of times when Avery is hurt, or sad, or wakes up from a bad dream, the thing which will help her feel better is going for "a little walk".
He knows how to make them feel better when they get hurt or feel sad.
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He’s an excellent climbing frame Smile
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He does fun stuff with them on a regular basis! (Building a snow creature (?) with Avery, and playing in the river with Avery and Brogan on a recent camping trip)
Looking at a dragonfly :)
He helps them enjoy learning about things (here he is just showing them a dragonfly which sat on his sleeve for several minutes)
With all three of his babies :)
He works hard to provide everything for them. (We visited him at work this week and they sat in the ambulance for a while)
We love you Daddy.
You are the BEST.
Happy Father's Day!