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!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Stepping again

We went out to Bloorview this morning and got Nick's orthodics all fixed up!

Very high tech way to figure out where the AFO was rubbing. He put lipstick on Nick's heel, put the AFO on and voila! Nickle sized lipstick mark on the AFO!
So that got adjusted.
Nick also got some cool blue straps (instead of white ones).

These AFO's have given us trouble. First bruising at the top - so he has some blue padding to protect from that, then some red marks on the toes - again some blue padding, finally twice we've had rubbing on his heal.

Leslie (our orthodics guy) said that if it happens again we'll probably have to fit him for a whole new set of AFOs. I don't know if I'll be upset about that!
I actually already have some ideas for a design.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

One Step Back...

Nickolas has been doing so well with is walking. Looking at him walking with those canes still amazes me! I’ve been showing everyone the videos. And when we are at home we can’t keep him off his feet! He stands and climbs over everything!

We had some issues with his AFOs in January, one of his braces was slipping off and he had a dime sized red spot on his heel. We noticed it on a weeked, So we kept them off until we could see his orthodics guy during the week. Luckily we were able to get in and see him quickly.
I can't find my post - so I guess I didn't blog about it.

So Nickolas got a break (in January) from standing and walking until we could get it worked out.
It happened again. Saturday morning he has a nickel sized red spot on his heel – same place. Same issue. This week his AFO has been slipping off. We look at his feet every night while he’s on the potty, but it wasn’t unitl Saturday morning that we noticed it.

Luckily we are able to see orthodics Monday morning (love people who answer emails on Saturdays while they are off on vacation!) So no AFOs, no walking in the walker.
I do not say no standing – because Nickolas is taking that in his own hands – or feet.

He won’t stay off them!

Nickolas has been standing without his braces for a while – usually in the bathtub of all places. His ankles are obviously weak and it really makes me cringe, but he can get up there and wants to get up.
This was taken last fall right before a bath.

He still goes over on his ankles, and it still makes me cringe – but I can’t force him to stay on the floor.

It’s hard when Nickolas is asking for his shoes and I can’t put them on him!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No rest...

Why stay comfortable in one way of walking, when we can keep challenging you!

 At conductive education this week Abigail decided it was time for a challenge.

Not only did Nickolas accept this challenge. He went from his walker, tried these ‘sticks’ and thought it was great!
It helps to challenge him to keep his balance more, and coordinate his movements to walk.
Even at the end of our day he asked to try them again.
 I am amazed at how far Nickolas has come in such a short time.
Nickolas has realized that he has the ability to do what he wants on his own.
He has realized that he has independence!!!
(I have a video, but it won't upload)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pimp that ride!

Nickolas has his very own walker.
No more loaners. This one is totally, completely OURS.
Only 9 months in the making!

We decided to try it out a bit before taking it home.
Nickolas enjoyed adding to his sister's artwork!

We even took it outside in the grass
Don't trust that cute face! Nickolas threw a fit because it didn't move as well as he wanted.

But nothing really says 'it's ours' without some bling.
Come on Mom! We gotta handle this now.

We started with some cars!

This is the bumper - its turns around, so so the cars can race around and around.

Then we added all of Nick's favorite characters on the back.

We got Dora, Diego, and Cat in the Hat!

And the finishing touch...

I have some more ideas to personalize the walker some more. Just have to find a cool licence plate, and some kind of backpack/bag? I'll know it when I see it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The silliness of parenthood!

I love my kids, that really goes without saying. I love them every moment of every day.
But I also love being their mother.

I love the silliness of it

Like dancing in the aisle of super market because a fun song come on

Wearing the kids fun hats

Belting out theme songs, just because

(or in the case of my father - IT'S GROUNDHOG DAY!! At 7am, every.. single.. day - it was an improvement on GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!)

I love the silliness of dancing however my body feels like moving at the moment
You know that saying Dance like no one is watching - my new saying is  dance like your kids are watching
Or even better - dance like you dancing with your kids!

I love the silliness of getting on the floor for some crawling contests

My kids think I am the most talented artist ever!
Be jealous of my stick figures! And I can (mostly) stay inside the lines

 Needless to say I have the best decorated car on the block!
I never wanted a black car - but it makes the best canvas!

So today I am succumbing to the silliness of motherhood!
It's a good day.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We have a spy!

I think that Nickolas comes down in the middle of the night and reads my blog posts and concerns.
And then saves it all up!

After the last post about my feelings having the wheelchair in the house (where I feel it is important to work on walking), and I also realized that it does have benefits in that it gives Nickolas an opportunity to 'play' with his new wheelchair.
But I still put that chair in the van yesterday morning.

Today we went out to Walmart - just the 2 of us, to take it for a test run.
Nick just blew me away with how competent he was to make his chair take him where he wanted to go!
I think that trial period in the house was just what he needed!

I love being proved wrong like this!

And he's talking up a storm as well!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A story of a wheelchair

  Nickolas got his set of wheels this week.

It is orange, and is brand new. It has brakes that work, spolk covers, higher sides so Nick doesn’t’ slouch and stroller handles. It also has cable ties or something for riding in the bus (I'm not quite there yet - but we're still looking at 2 years before we get there).

Nickolas wasn't too sure about what was going on at first.

I personally thought it was so cool to see with without the wheels on!
The orange looks more red in the picture. But the colour is great!

Nickolas and I had a whole conversation about his new wheelchair.
I told him that we were picking up his new orange wheelchair.
"No blue"
"No orange"
Reaching down to touch the blue loaner chair "No blue"
"Well, tough honey, your new chair is orange"
(But your walker can be blue)

A little bit of blackberry distraction while they made some final adjustments.

Nickolas quickly found the joy in bouncing hi wheelchair off of his father.

Mommy, I'm going to get your next!

And we were done.
On our way home with Nick's very own wheelchair!

I was so excited!
Kyle was so exicted that it had a tall stroller handle that was easier on his back!
I never thought I would be this excited with our very own wheelchair.

On the day of Katheryn's party we decided to bring it into the house to show everyone how he is using it.
Nick ha rediscovered his Build a Bear in the wheelchair - he's always moving it in and out and wanted to play with it while he was in his chair.

The weekend was so busy (Easter, birthdays, birthday parties and family dinners) we didn’t get a chance to take the chair out anywhere. So I was OK with it being in the house quickly during the party.
We didn’t go anywhere Sunday (stayed at home with easter eggs and chocolate) and both Nickolas and Katheryn wanted to roll around in the chair.

Kyle and I talked about letting Katheryn use the chair. I didn't want her to see it as a toy, Kyle thought it would be a good idea for Nickolas to see Katheryn in the chair, that it was fun to use and how to use it, that it will move without anyone elses help.

Kyle's reasoning won out - he was right (yes that is now in the permanent blog record).

I’m not sure how I feel about having the chair in the house.
OK I lied. I do know how I feel about having the wheelchair in the house. It is one thing to have Nickolas at 2 years old be in a wheelchair when we are out in public – it’s a stroller replacement, it is his tool for independence, when we are out of the house.

In the house he is looking at independence another way. We are working on his walking, using his walker. I don’t want him using his wheelchair instead of walking with his walker, or even holding our hands.

Even though Nickolas using the wheelchair in the house gives me a heavy heart, I can see how it has provided an opportunity for Nickolas to get to know his chair. In a way that he can’t when we are out and aobut and have tasks to do. When we don’t have the time for him to explore. And when I am right there.

In the house he has freedom, in the house he has time and opportunity to explore his abilities in the chair. It doesn’t hurt when it gives Nickolas a vantage point that he hasn’t had before. The opportunity to get into more trouble.

He enjoys it.
I hope not too much, because that sucker went back into the car this morning.
But I love to see the look on his face as he realzies the full potential of what being in a wheelchair gives to him.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Eggstravaganza

The excitement was overwhelming!
It was another dinner with family!

Everyone was so excited!

What is a family gathering without a bit of matching clothes?

We had Good Friday dinner at the Ridding house.
The family all together, yummy ham, a tea party and some egg painting.
(Notice Kyle is wearing purple too! We ALL matched - no pictures of the 4 of us though).

Sunday morning our Easter started with an Easter Egg hunt.

Katheryn was very interested in egg hunting this year.
She was the master egg hunter!
And then after she found alot of the 60 eggs I had hidden, she wanted to go again.

They settled for eating more chocolate instead.
Nick was very excited that this egg looked like Max!

Each kid had a basket full of eggs (or 'eggth' as per Nick).
Eggs are one of the Nickolas' favorite things in the morning, and to look for them and then find chocolate ("chockla") inside! Wow this holiday is great!

Katheryn thought that the chocolate was OK, but stickers were what she wanted!

The rest of the day we stayed home and enjoyed the chocolate high and the post chocolate low.
But with our super busy weekend, we took what we got and stayed home.

The kids actually got into alot of stuff.
Nickolas had the oppurtunity to get into more trouble than he usually can, but that will come with my next blog post!