A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Friday, November 11, 2016

New Braces!

It was time for some new braces!
This is always an exciting time for us. New braces means the opportunity to stand straighter, taller, steadier as he has outgrown his old braces.
We also get to work with Eric at DP&O who is always excited about the opportunity to try new things to get Nick to challenge himself and get him to the best of his ability.
Because they do all of the work and adjustments onsite, we have a long wait in their gym.

It started with Nick testing out his "please-can-I" face. With the lip out, head tilt and squinty eyes. He has been doing this all week, because he told me "It worked on you last week"

In the gym we tried some baseball (high knees and balancing of course)

He was getting discouraged because he couldn't hit the ball. I told him it was probably the pitcher. We upgraded the ball and he got it no problem

Then Nick found an air pump. He had lots of fun spraying me

Then it was time to test them out and see what the new braces can do!
One of the new things we are trying out (along with a new parts for the hinges) is that the plastic part is at the front of his thighs, instead of behind.

The straps at the ankle are different and more diagonal. And it is set to tilt him more forward and less letting him rest back in them.

While the braces went back, Nick had a little bit more fun in the gym.

He told me "mommy, close your eyes"

He thought it was so hilarious!


Pretty soon the braces were ready and we were out the door!
The design that Nick chose was Star Wars (of course).
His favorite is Star Wars Rebels.

These 2 are on the top braces, and the one below is on the bottom brace.

Nick loves them.
And he likes that it looks like they are fighting while he is walking.
I hope these braces work well. I can see Nick walking straighter. Less toe-walking.
And I hope that we can get some more independence, and hopefully get back on track for standing unassisted and then walking unassisted.

New braces are always exciting!

Monday, November 7, 2016

School Pictures and School Update

Our school pictures are in!
School report cards came home too.
Not really any surprises. This is just the progress report, so there isn't any ABC's

Katheryn is doing well is everything, and excellent in Math (her report card said she is a risk taker in math!... which is a really good thing). But she needs to work on her organization. Math and reading are Katheryn's favorite subjects. She reads everything in front of her, and she loves to ask more and more complex math problems.

Nickolas's report card didn't have any huge surprises. He is good at working with others, is good with science and gym (his favorite subjects). Independent work, taking initiative are areas he needs to work on (which he needs to work on at home as well). Math and language is still his biggest challenge. Math isn't any surprise, it is typical with spina bifida (but I'm still trying to figure out how to help).
I had hoped language (reading) would be better. Nick is doing fantastic at reading and will read independently with minimal help! Which is a huge improvement from last year. But not enough for grade 2 (yet).

Monday, October 31, 2016


Halloween is here!
The pumpkins are done

I had to work the night before, but I brought some Halloween-themed treats in

The kids went to school in costume, Nick with his tie-fighter and Katheryn as Princess Aurora.
When the kids got home from daycare we had to eat quickly and then reapply makeup, and Katheryn had to do a quick wardrobe change.

Then it was time to start trick or treating!

The kids had their giant hands that we've used for the last couple of years
And the kids were ready to go!

Of course we needed to get a group picture first!
X-wing fighter, Darth Nickolas and Elsa

We left our pumpkins and candy on the porch and then headed out!

First stop was Grandma and Papa's house!

We had a routine as we went.
I would go up to the door with Katheryn (until Katheryn ditched us for another family), and Nick would yell "Happy Halloween" or "Trick or Treat" from the bottom of the stairs. I would have his bag, and then Nick would say Thank You.
It worked out well. And Nick had fun
When Katheryn left us, and it was just me going to the door, I got some strange looks, but usually I stepped away from the door so they would see Nick.
Some people came right out, one neighbor stopped and told me about a local accessible farm, and a group of teenagers loved Nicks costume and wanted a picture. We have 2 houses in our neighborhood who have ramps, so we made sure to go to them, so Nick could actually knock on the door.

The weather was beautiful (for the first time in a long time) and we went out to about twice as many houses as we have before. So half way through Kyle ran home to get a pillow case so we could dump the candy in.

When we got home, Katheryn dumped her candy into our (empty) candy bowl.

Nick was so happy with all of the candy he got, it was such a fun night for them! We were out for 2 hours

They are both already talking about what they want to be next year!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Gradview Trick or Treat

Grandview had a trick or treat at a local high school.
The kids had fun, and we got to trial the Death Star

The kids had so much fun!
Running around the school and go to different classrooms.

Alejandra was there too and we all trick or treated together

 They also had some games to play. Like bowling for ghosts
There was also crafts to do (Nick was off racing with Alejandra)

It was a fun party for the kids to go to, and it was fun meeting with the other kids and parents.
The death star tolerated everything well. So we are all ready for Halloween on Monday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ice Queen

When we were talking about Halloween I told Katheryn she could be anything she wanted.
And she wanted to be Elsa again. But this time, instead of Elsa at the cornation, she wanted to be Ice Queen Elsa.
And she wanted to shoot snow

The first step was for her to find a dress she liked.
Ebay is my go-to place for options regarding Halloween. Especially when we started looking in September (because shipping can take up to 6 weeks)

And she wanted to Elsa wig.
When it first came, it was and Katheryn put it on, she said it looked like a mad scientist!
I looked at the picture, and her hair is a little crazy. So I got some clips to try to tame it a bit

Then I had to figure out how to shoot snow.
A co-worker came up with the idea of the webshooter
We painted everything white, and the webshooter is able to shoot water as well. And it worked pretty well. We painted the spiderweb at the side with blue to match her dress.