Monday, November 18, 2013

Hit the ground running

First day of big kid school for Addy today, and what a full day it was.  She used her walker for part of the day and her canes once, experienced her first ever fire drill (during nap time!), and even has homework.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


I needed to take Addy on a quick shopping trip to Walmart in search of some disappointingly elusive dinosaur stickers for a birthday present.  A bit of a shop-a-holic, Addy was eager to go along this morning.  Before we left I asked her if she wanted to use her wheelchair or ride in the cart when we got there.  "Actually, I would like to use my walker at Walmart." "Are you sure?  We could bring your wheelchair and you could use that at the store."  "Or I could use my walker."

Oh boy.

With few exceptions, Addy doesn't use her walker when we go out.  She just isn't quite fast enough in it to be safe while walking in a parking lot (never mind how long the actual shopping would take).  That's easy enough: just carry her and the walker from the car to the store, then set her up inside and go.  The shopping is still kind of a molasses pace, but that's not the end of the world.  The other issue is that she must wear her KAFOs when walking and the logistics of that is tricky because she can't ride in her carseat in the tall braces so we have to put them on at our destination and then remove them before departing.  

One option is to sit in the back of the van and get the braces on (not always fun if the weather is yucky) and then carry her with her braces on (kind of awkward because the braces don't let you hold her comfortably) plus carry the walker across the parking lot and into the store. Another option is to tote kiddo + braces + shoes + walker separately into the store (possibly using a shopping cart) and then find someplace to put on braces (probably the restroom, but even that doesn't sound super fun).  

We went for option 1 this morning (put on braces in the van).  I carried her, with the walker slung over my shoulder, from our mercifully close handicapped parking spot and into the store.  We got from the front door to the main aisle in front of the registers when Addy looked up at me and said, "Where's my wheelchair?  I'm tired."  Which brings me to the third prong that has to be balanced when using the walker in a store: what to do when she gets tired?  

We could have brought the wheelchair with us (I didn't, but I could have).  Or I could carry her and the walker (or not)  Or we could find a cart (which we did, but I made her walk across to the other entrance to get it.  She made me stop at every impulse bin along the way to check out what all they had.  Tuché, Addy.)  Either way, there are still braces that aren't totally compatible with sitting plus a walker to deal with.  (Addy's short braces sometimes catch on the edge of the buggy seat when we try to pull her out, so tall braces are even more fun to get shimmied back out when you're done.)  I opted for crossing my fingers and leaving the KAFOs on and folding up the walker and putting it in the cart.

Then we could finally start looking for what we came for.

45 minutes after arriving, we found ourselves unsuccessful in our mission to find dinosaur stickers. We purchased Superman and alien stickers instead.

Now to get back to the car.

It was a bit chilly out this morning, so I chose to extract my bionic preschooler from the cart while we were still inside the store, which meant I needed to carry her (braces on) plus the walker plus the disappointingly non-Dino-riffic stickers and still be able to get my keys out to unlock the van.  Perhaps I could have removed the braces in the store (they come off more easily than they go on), then put her back in the buggy seat, and used the cart to tote everything to the van, but I didn't.

And that is why, when my kiddo asked me this morning if she could walk at the store, I tried to talk her out of it.  But it's also why I went ahead and did it.  It won't get easier if we don't keep trying.  Eventually we'll find a rhythm to everything.  It may not ever really be "normal," but it should become a routine.

PS, we ended up finding dinosaur stickers at Dollar Tree.

A real 21st century kid

Nora's top 3 favorite things to play with are:
* Your cell phone
* Whatever toy Big Sister is playing with
* The TiVo remote

We tried giving her a different remote with no batteries in it.  She wasn't fooled.  The TiVo remote lights up and the TV does stuff when she pushes the buttons. She's been having a blast this morning, changing channels, viewing the record history, filtering the guide data, putting the morning news on slow-mo, etc.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Dream home 2013

"Mama, let's draw a picture together."

"Okay.  What did you have in mind?"

"Let's draw a picture of the castle I want to live in."

"Okay.  How about like this.  It could have some towers, and a big wooden door, and windows.  How about a princess in this window?"

"Yeah, that looks good."

"Do we need a dragon in this other window?"

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Maybe he can breathe fire.  Here, you take a turn.  How about if you add some clouds in the sky."


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Baby steps, big and small

Addy had a busy morning of meeting her new classmates at school.  She (and Daddy and I) joined the class for their morning activities.  During their circle time, she got to participate in The Welcome Song.  When Addy's name card came up, her teacher suggested that she could pick one of her new friends to help her out today and put her name card on the attendance board.  So Addy turned to the girl next to her and said, "Excuse me, Sarah.  Would you mind helping me out with putting my name card on the board please?"  I thought the teacher's jaw was going to drop through the floor.

At the end of circle time, we read a book about garbage trucks and then got to make a garbage truck picture out of construction paper (Addy loves crafts and glue and trucks, so she was on Cloud 9 about the whole experience.)  We went to the gym for a few minutes after craft/play time, and then headed home to meet with her PT.  Bear in mind that she walked around--from the school office to the classroom, around in class during play time, from the classroom to the gym, running around in the gym, then from the gym back to the classroom--ALL morning.  When we got to the classroom as we were leaving, she looked up at her daddy and said, "Daddy, could you please carry me?  My legs are tired."  Again, I thought the teacher's jaw might hit the floor.

At home, we met up with her PT for the very last EI therapy session--mixed emotions there.  Early Intervention only covers until age 3, at which point the public school system takes over (if you qualify).  I'm very sad about wrapping up this particular PT format, but very excited by all the progress Addy has made in her almost 3 years and also excited about the transition with school.  Today was definitely an end-on-a-high-note therapy session.  Addy did lots and lots of independent standing (a.k.a., "ready steadies") and even took a single step without holding on to anything three different times.  Three!  And all by herself!  She was completely distracted, playing with a toy or looking at a book each time, but I say it still counts.  And that was all AFTER she spent 2 hours at school, walking, running, chasing, and meeting new friends.  So excited that PT got to see it.

So all of that is Addy's big steps.  Nora is also starting to toddle around now.  Also very exciting and terrifying, and a cause for celebration!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

School daze

Addy gets to start Pre-K right after her birthday.  Yay!  Also: say what??  It's been the longest and shortest 3 years ever.  To get ready for the big day, we had to go shopping for school supplies.  We got most of the things from our list, but still have a couple of outstanding items (like a lunch box, which was not actually on the supply list from the teacher).