Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Equine therapy

Gracie had her first horse therapy PT session today - she did awesome! She worked so hard, didn't complain at all, and generally had fun getting stretched on the horse, using new muscles, supporting herself, etc. Yay! we can tell that it's really going to be great for her - I'll take photos next week!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Video - Josh and Gracie game "Sneaking Around"

Josh and Gracie play the most hilarious games - their latest is "Sneaking Around the House" - Gracie really gets into peaking around corners with Josh... it cracks me up!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Don't forget your spouse!

Having a child with special needs often means that the family is consumed with meeting those needs, letting the "less urgent" needs fall by the wayside. Don't forget your spouse! You work together night and day to keep your children alive and help them thrive, but do you treasure each other?

1) I highly recommend "Feminine Appeal" by Carolyn Mahaney - EXCELLENT book!
2) Kiss each other FIRST before you greet your children when you have been absent from one another - nothing will give your children more security than to know that mommy and daddy love and treasure one another.
3) Train someone over months to take care of your kids so that you can take a night away, just the two of you, peacefully. Check with your area agency to see if there's a respitality program.
4) Check out http://www.frommetees.com/index.htm - "Celebrate Your Spouse in Style" - my sister's friends started this company that produces cool T-shirts that celebrate your spouse!
5) Give each other protected time each day to spend with God. We all know that it won't happen if you're waiting for a quiet moment.
6) Meditate on one tiny little verse each day, while you're changing diapers, bathing kids, etc.
7) Look for ways to serve your spouse - little ways, big ways - may it be your JOY to serve him!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Getting equipped

We ordered a gait trainer, seat for eating at the table with us, and bath chair today - all to be covered by medicaid!! So exciting! We are also likely going to get a donation of a stander for her. In a few months we will also order a car seat for her (she's outgrowing her standard toddler carseat) which will also be covered by medicaid.

This week Gracie saw:
- her gastroenterologist - she's 10th percentile for both height and weight!!

- a new orthopaedic surgeon who recommended that Gracie not wear her AFO orthotics all the time so that she can get sensory input through her feet AND build muscle in her lower legs.

- her neurologist - we are switching seizure meds still in an attempt to eliminate seizures. She's now gone through Trileptal and Keppra (and a brief initial course of dilantin), now we're on to Lamictal - please pray that this works and continue to pray that she outgrows her seizures and does not require long term anti-epileptic drugs.

- a physical therapist for evaluation to start hippotherapy (horse therapy) next week! fun!

In the next few weeks we'll see:
- a pediatric dentist who specializes in special needs kids - first visit to a dentist!

- a new orthotist

- her opthalmologist and will get new glasses as she has outgrown her current ones.

Busy time for us! We have also gotten the ball rolling to finally get diapers and supplies through medicaid... Time away from work is well spent with my daughters!

Ana is 7 weeks and cooing, smiling, and playing like crazy - she's such an expressive little baby! She's a blast - she and Gracie are gradually bonding! ;-)

Friday, January 18, 2008

End of this season

Ana's "drunk on breastmilk" look... she's the funniest most expressive infant I've ever seen!

Well, our stay in Louisville is ending... it's been a very strange season of life hanging out in a hotel with my two girls, driving Josh and his friends to school in the morning and picking them up at night, trying to occupy the girls while trying to get things done (haha!), dealing with Gracie's jealousy, stretching Gracie, working on her different skills (focusing, colors, fine motor, sucking, etc.)... No doctoring!

Gracie has demonstrated that she knows the colors red, yellow, and green! We've been working on colors and she seldom has enough focus to do any more than grab the closest block and hand it to me rather than listening to what I'm asking for. But when she's focused, she gets those three colors right and picks the right pictures each time when we read her books with her special pictures. When she's not focused, you would think she has no clue about anything!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gracie's skills

Gracie has finally bought into "putting-things-INTO-the-container" concept! After months of her entertainment being taking little things out of containers (her absolute favorite playtime activity!) she is now putting things BACK into the container! I used to have to do hand-over-hand for every toy - clean up would take half an hour as we combatted her very strong compulsion to take everything out. Then she started doing it with verbal prompts with every toy. This week she has only needed periodic verbal prompts and quickly puts all the toys away! horray!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Louisville Slugger!

What better to do visiting in Louisville than visit the home of the Louisville Slugger?

Friday, January 11, 2008

My babies!

Ana is now 5 weeks old - and smiling gorgeous smiles at Mama and Daddy (mostly Mama - lucky me!)

I love spending time with my girlies!

Ana is developing new skills every day - so fun to watch!

I'm getting better at multi-tasking with two dependant children!

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