Saturday, December 29, 2012

So many things to post but so little time these days. Finishing major home renovations, gone back to work, Elizabeth and Harrison's birthday and Christmas no wonder it has been busy. One of Elizabeth's Christmas wishes came true, we finally have snow. The past couple of years there has been very little of it to enjoy which is a bit odd seeing we live in Canada but now there is enough to enjoy tobogganing, fort building and even shovelling. Harrison has decided that the baby toboggan is for babies and that the GT snow racer is the way to go, he brumbrum's all the way down the hill and Elizabeth has all the snow to munch her way through.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Clarification is good and needed

Elizabeth is now reading everything she can get her eyes on and this is leading to a new type of censorship which I think is even harder to monitor. While in a public washroom Elizabeth feasted her eyes on a similar sign to the one above, I heard her read it out loud and thought nothing of it. A little while later during lunch Elizabeth asked me if I drank alcohol during my pregnancy with her. Elizabeth went on to question if that is why she has brain damage, did I drink with her? After almost choking on my french fry and recovering all the air that was sucked out of me I reminded her why she has brain damage. Times like this I wonder what goes on in her sweet little brain and I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. I should not have to have this conversation with my daughter, I should not have to be explaining brain injury to my daughter we should be talking about girl things not her brain damage.
I am thankful that she asked me for clarification as I would have been horrified if she asked about this at school. Of course she has not forgotten this new found knowledge and I have heard her mutter to herself more than once if she sees someone with a disability that 'their mother was drinking with them'. I am continuing to clarify this knowledge for her but she is a kid that may bring this up again and at a very inopportune moment.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The little man is now 10 mths (and a bit) and is a car driving, stair climbing, slithering little man. These past few days he is a terror getting into everything and trying new acrobatic feats by the minute. Elizabeth's quick thinking saved him from a huge tumble as I heard her yell and found her hanging onto Harrison's feet as he was ready to take a head first dive down our stairs.
He is signing more and finished and tries to use finished to get out of mealtimes which still are not his favorite time of the day. He is quite particular with his meals and has a pretty limited variety of foods that he likes and is not too open to trying new foods. That of course leads to his dislike for the bottle, I am back to work in 5 weeks and have not got too far with getting his nursing sessions reduced, I do offer a bottle/cup goats milk daily which he will have a sip or two. Dairy is still an issue with him so I continue to live dairy free and we have now added eggs to his list of allergies and are waiting to see the allergist.
It still amazes me to see how effortlessly he accomplishes gross motor skills; his car driving is amazing to see as Elizabeth was not able to propel herself until she was around 3 years. Those small progressive skills that Elizabeth completed with physiotherapy and repetition over months to years Harrison completes overnight. It is bittersweet to see Harrison do so much on his own and know how hard it is and still is for Elizabeth and that in no time he will surpass her and I hope that is something she will be okay with.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Another new Feat

I really did not think this day would ever come. I thought Elizabeth would need her tall AFO's forever, once her tall AFO's came off she had sea legs; she was unsteady and someone had to be by her at all times. Two years ago a colleague had thought of Elizabeth when she had a chance to order a new pair of short off the shelf AFO's for free. Originally these AFO's were only for short periods of time in the house or classroom but not for when she was walking distances because they did not provide enough support.
Fast forward to now and Elizabeth is wearing her short AFO's almost all the time. We are so excited to now see that she is developing calf muscles, her skinny lower legs are now getting some definition. Who knows one day she may be able to wear shoes without AFO's as we know the possibilities for Elizabeth are endless it just takes some time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

1st Big Feat

Two remarkable things happened over the summer that we are so excited about. Elizabeth can now put on her own AFO's (big pair and short pair) and her sandals. Until you have a child who wears orthotics (or if you spend a day with Elizabeth) you can never fully appreciate how easy it is for your child to slip on their shoes and walk out the door. AFO's are big and cumbersome and jamming them into shoes is difficult for an adult to do. Rain boots for Elizabeth can only be worn if Daddy is home because there is no way I can get them on or off her AFO's, as it requires brute force. Add a wiggling baby to the mix now and getting out the door is a fine art, by the time I have helped Elizabeth get her AFO's and shoes on Harrison is screaming or has slithered away into trouble. Elizabeth is so proud now that she can put on her own AFO's and she is 'independant' and for her that means all the world to her. Way to go Elizabeth. Stay tuned for her second huge feat.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grade 2 Look Out

Elizabeth is officially in grade 2 now. She was pretty excited to go back to school and see her friends. I was really happy to see our favourite assistant back this year to help her.  Her first day of school outfit coordinated well with her leopard print AFO's and her new animal print backpack. Animal prints are the new fashion trend for Elizabeth, she told me I was not fashionable as I have not yet conformed to her new trend myself.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Goodbye Summer

Our summer has officially ended which is bittersweet, we have had tons of fun but I am happy to get some things done when Elizabeth gets back to school. Considering a baby brother has been added to the mix we still got a lot accomplished. The 'tacky pool' has hung in there and we have had lots of pool days. Of course we spent as much time as we could at Grammy and Grampy's trailer as a family and with friends; we will never tire of s'mores by the campfire, fishing, frog catching and hanging out at the beach. To keep peace with Harrison we have gone for lots of walks with Harrison behind the wheel of his little car. Elizabeth had visiting Marineland on the top of her summer to do list so we spent a day there where Elizabeth saw dolphins, beluga's, killer whales and sea lions. Over the summer we have noticed Elizabeth physical abilities and endurance have improved, being able to walk through Marineland on her own is an amazing feat as it is a huge park. This was the first summer where we were not running back and forth to phsyiotherapy and yet she still made amazing gains.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Enjoying the summer

As you can see from the pictures we are busy enjoying the summer despite some very crazy hot humid days. From swimming in our 'tacky pool', Harrison enjoying his mini hot tub (Elizabeth's old water table), horseback riding, soccer, playdates and enjoying all the fruits that summer has to offer we have been busy. Harrison is enjoying having his sister home and loves swimming in our pool too. Soccer was a new endeavor this year and Elizabeth is doing better each week; she can now get to the other side of the field without tiring and is getting better with her kicking. She thought it was really cool that her soccer socks hid her AFO's so no one would notice. She is really hoping to score a goal and I hope that with some extra help she will be able to do it as well. After drinking a large portion of the pool she has now also mastered snorkeling.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Enjoying the 'norm'

Watching Harrison grow and thrive is quite an eye opener for me on how different things were for us with Elizabeth. All ready I see Harrison learning skills that Elizabeth was not able to master and I think how did I or others not notice these deficits earlier? The most notable is Harrison playing with his feet, at 6mths he could play for prolonged periods with his feet above his head and he chews on his toes all day. I love watching him do this but it saddens me as Elizabeth still cannot hold her feet up without falling over as her trunk is still so weak. Something as simple as picking up Harrison is a delight as with Elizabeth every part of our day was regimented; how to pick her up, how to play with her, how to talk to her, eliminating background noise to ensure she could hear and the endless lists of homework from her therapists. I would ensure every waking minute she had was planned to meet all her goals. The germaphobia that was instilled in the NICU is a distant memory, I don't methodically and routinely clean/disinfect his toys/stroller ect. and if someone happens to touch his chubby hand I will seldom wipe him down unlike Elizabeth who I would scrub if a stranger happened to get past the mommy block. The fear of my premature infant succumbing to RSV is gone a cold is now a cold and not a dreaded trip to the ER or worse. Thank goodness traveling is easier I can plop Harrison's car seat in the car(mind you I am close to dragging him as he is so heavy) and we are off, no extra person needed to sit with him and watch his color and no flammable oxygen tank or heart monitor to accompany him. Finally no barf. We cleaned buckets of barf up with Elizabeth for a multitude of reasons, we had aiming and clean up down to an art. When Harrison gags at a meal he just gags no upchucking of a days worth of feeds. I still have to remind myself I don't need to grab a bowl if he starts to gag. We are really enjoying this new norm and how much weight has been lifted off our shoulders. We can take a walk, run errands, sit in the stroller/car seat too long, visit friends, have the radio on or watch tv with ease; the constant mommy guilt no longer plays in my head we are enjoying our chubby little man with ease.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


The little fella is now 6mths old and is 17lbs of squishyness. He is rolling, sitting up, pulling his sisters hair and even is starting to get to a 4 point crawling position. He loves his bath and going for a walk in the baby carrier as soon as he sees me wearing it he giggles with glee. This past week he has been so sweet, he has not yelled at me once and has been a pretty happy little man. I still am following a strict no dairy diet and that seems to keep him happy.
Eating solids is a bit of a struggle and is bringing back glimpses of those dark days of feeding Elizabeth. I was so excited to feed him solids as I just wanted a baby who will happily eat and by the size of him I thought for sure he would love to eat. I am sure with Harrison it is just a maturity thing and over time he will find eating not so repulsive. He still adamantly refuses a bottle and his soother. I have given up even trying them now in hopes that him eating solids can give me more than 2hrs away from him. For now he continues to be his mama's boy the 'boob man'.