Monday, July 30, 2012

Yoga with Avery

A little something to start your week off right:

Downward Facing Dog

Friday, July 27, 2012

Motor Skills Update

Here is Avery’s latest motor skills video. She was actually quite excited to make the video this time, which tells you a little bit of how much progress she’s made since the last video!

July 25th 2012

Biggest things to notice about the video:

  • She’s forgotten how to side-sit!! This used to be her most comfortable allowable position! Now she doesn’t look comfortable in that position at all, and mostly chooses to sit with her legs straight out in front of her when she’s sitting on the floor. Thank you, selective percutaneous myofascial lengthening.
  • She jumps! Did you see that?? She can JUMP!! She started doing that about 2 months ago, completely self-initiated.
  • She is stronger in the half-kneel position, especially with the left knee up.
  • She is handling stairs amazingly well!

Take a look back at the video from March here, and see for yourself the progress she has made. Click here is the pre-SPML video from last summer.

Hopefully you enjoyed watching the video as much as Avery did:

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Swimming Lessons

Brogan took a break after his first lessons last summer because he refused to get his face wet. I was a little concerned that he would still have the same problem this summer, but thought it was worth a shot! He was still freaking out when he gets water in his eyes or ears when I’m washing his hair or something, so we got him some ear plugs and goggles, and I think that has really helped him feel more confortable.

Here he is with his swimming instructor, kicking, and then showing off his face-in-the-water skills:

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This particular time he got water in his nose though, which made him pretty unhappy. But his instructor was able to cheer him right back up quite quickly, and he even put his face in the water again before he got out of the pool:

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Progress that has crossed over is that he will now occasionally get his whole face and head wet in the shower!! Good stuff!

Avery is still really enjoying the water. We got her a shorty wetsuit, because even though the pool is fairly warm, she was getting cold during her lessons. When she gets cold, her muscles freeze up and she can barely move properly, let alone learn new things, so she wasn’t getting anything out of her lessons. The wetsuit seems to be helping! She also started wearing ear plugs because she was getting swimmer’s ear almost every time she swam. She spends a lot of time underwater, so I suppose it’s not really surprising. She hasn’t had any problems since she started wearing earplugs, so that’s great!

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She had a new teacher this time, and I think he was a little unsure of what he should expect of her or how he should treat her. There were 3 kids in her class – two boys and her, and I know a few times when I peeked in, the boys would be attempting to swim with a paddle board or something, and Avery was getting a ride on the instructor’s back. I understand that it could be hard to know how to handle the situation when you see a little girl in a wheelchair or walker – if she’s less physically able outside of the pool, what should you expect of her in the water? But Avery is so much more capable in the water – I really think that she is capable of keeping up with her peers. But it’s just a matter of her new instructor getting to know her, and getting a clearer picture of her potential as a swimmer. Her previous instructor was awesome, and really pushed Avery to improve herself. She really made an effort to get to know her, and asked me questions about Avery’s physical abilities so that she could really understand what she was working with and what she should focus on. Buuuutt… she got married and moved away *sigh* Good for her, not so good for us…! It takes time, but hopefully this new instructor will figure out how best to help Avery progress.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Picnic and Paddle at the Park

(Playing catch-up - this is from June)
One sunny afternoon we met up with some friends at a park near our house for a picnic and some fun.
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Swings and slides and trees are always fun, but then we decided to let the kiddos kayak a little bit. This park has a little stream running through it - none of it any deeper than knee-depth, but it's deep enough and wide enough for the kids to paddle around a bit.

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Oliver makes some funny faces...!

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Gabe showed Sam how to use the paddle, and he was doing pretty well, but then he looked up and saw he was heading towards some overhanging greenery.... Hahaha!

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Alexa had a good time!

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Pheobe enjoyed being pulled along, but then she insisted on using the paddle, and actually did amazingly well with it!

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Oliver wasn't into the paddle so much as the towing...

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Brogan liked being towed too!

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They finished up with some rolling down the hill, and then we all headed home. A very pleasant afternoon!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nashville Friends :)

Back in 2004 when I was childless and working at a kitchen store here in Roanoke, I met Bridget. One day we were talking about our husbands’ video gaming habits, and once we realised that they were both practically addicted to the same game (Halo), we both admitted that we liked playing too! Haha! We used to have awesome Halo parties, with 3 or 4 TVs hooked up and lots of noise, laughter, and getting mad at Gabe for beating everyone!!! AH, those were the days!! 
Getting ready for some serious gaming!

Then I got pregnant, and we planned on taking the baby to our Halo parties from the very beginning so that it (we didn’t find out Avery’s gender) would get used to sleeping with the noise! But Alas! Halo was launched on Xbox Live which meant that we didn’t have to be in the same house to play anymore, and then the group dissipated! It was tragic! Bridget and Tony moved out of Roanoke, and ended up in Nashville! We have always planned to visit, but it just never happened. So when I found out that the Hydrocephalus Family Gathering was going to be in Nashville, I immediately got in touch with Bridget! So before we left Nashville on Sunday, we went to their house and enjoyed an amazing brunch followed by playing and chatting and catching up. But no Halo, strangely enough….!
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Avery made Gabe and Tony be safari animals, and Brogan approved of all of Darcy’s toys!
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How many toys can you fit into a princess tent…?
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How many kids can you fit into a princess tent…???
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Yup, that’s pretty funny!!
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Please! No more pictures! Avery and Oliver (and I!!) thought these books were super cool!
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Thanks Tony and Bridget (and Darcy!) for being such wonderful hosts!! It was so fun to see you, and the food was delicious, and the company was the best!