Saturday, August 2, 2008

A new trick, not so nice

Hollis came up with a new trick today, and wasn't too cute. She likes to rub her forehead on our cats, Emma (a very furry Persian) and The Boy (grey and white tuxedo cat). She's especially fond of The Boy because he doesn't take off when she's around. Emma is wiser than he is, and hides whenever Hollis is present, because she realizes Hollis will chase her around the house.
So, Hollis was being nice, rubbing her forehead on his fur, and then I hear the most bizarre "meow" out of this cat I've ever heard before: I turned to find my daughter BITING the cat's tail. She quickly acknowledged that this was not pleasant for either party, she with the mouthful of fur, and Mom yelling that it's not nice to bite anyone! The Boy isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, so he hung around for some more abuse, because at that point, Hollis was mad about being told what to do, so she started pushing him around. He finally got the point and ran off in a huff. My poor cats.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So tired...

Hollis still gets very tired after a little bit of activity, though her stamina is getting better. She generally gets about 14 hours of sleep a night now, and takes a 2 hour nap during the day. Poor kid! Here's a video of her tucking in for a nap: she's singing the "Bye-bye" song she does every time she tries to communicate she's ready for bed.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


As I've mentioned in some previous posts, Hollis has been eating extremely well since the week after the surgery. Eating has been a huge problem for her since about this time last year. She suddenly decided to stop eating altogether for about 2 weeks in July 2007, and when we finally were able to get her to resume, she would only eat a few items: pepperoni and sour cream and onion potato chips were her staples. Because she ate so little and because it had almost no nutritional value, she lost about 10 pounds in a month's time, which was equivalent to 20% of her starting weight - and, she was not a chubby kid to start with. She also lost about half her hair.

We always assumed it was related to one of her seizure meds, Topamax, which has a known side effect of decreased appetite. Unfortunately, this happens to be the most effective medicine she uses, as we found out when we took her off the Topamax for the surgery evaluation/seizure monitoring, and she promptly had 55 seizures in one day. So we were kind of stuck.

What I never really considered was the constant seizure activity she was having could have been making her nauseous. There are many different symptoms that people can suffer related to their seizures, (a list is available here), but because Hollis is nonverbal, the only symptoms we were positive she had was the exhaustion and post-seizure behavior of anger and frustration. Perhaps now, without all the excess electrical activity going on, Hollis's tummy is feeling better.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back to her old tricks

Today was much better than yesterday. Phew! Mom and Hollis went to visit work and it was a much welcomed mental health relief for me, but Hollis just wanted to keep moving in her stroller. So, I didn't get to talk with my friends as much as I'd like, but it sure cheered me up to see them all!

When we came home, Hollis took a nap because all that socializing is very tiring. After her rest , she was back to her mischievous ways, jumping on the bed and horsing around with Katie. She was having such a ball! I am definitely not the type of Mom who doesn't allow jumping on the bed: my theory is, Hollis has enough "can'ts" and "don'ts" in her life, and the fact that she's able to jump on the bed is great in itself, so why stop her?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Venting a bit

Today was just not a whole lot of fun. First, we woke up to no electricity (and lasted for about 12 hours), which meant no warm breakfast for Hollis, and let's just say she isn't much of a cereal and milk sort of kid. That just got us off on the wrong foot.

Then, we had our first intensive physical therapy session. I should mention that Hollis hates any sort of physical therapy, and usually tries to wriggle her way out of it by any means necessary. Today, she pulled out the big guns: scratching, slapping, screaming, throwing things, walking out of the room, or just falling in a heap when asked to do something.Granted, she is very, very tight in her right extremities, much more so than before the surgery, and she is probably feeling defensive because it hurts to stretch, but Mom and the PT really didn't need the beatings we got.

Hollis had a pretty nice chip on her shoulder for the afternoon, but brightened up again later in the day. When we put her to bed tonight though, we ticked her off again: we had to put her wrist brace on, which she hates, and she tries to rip it off with her mouth, cries and generally has a really bad night's rest (as do we). The reason for the brace was to help straighten out her wrist which is in a very bad posture because of the tightness in her arm, but also to keep her from putting her fingers in her mouth and nose: she gave herself a bloody nose worthy of a prizefighter. Don't have any idea why she's doing it, but we're not having any luck keeping the fingers out of there.

As my friend Sue says for days like this, "Good times, good times...". Tomorrow will be a better day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Outing to Salem

We decided to take a break from pools/beaches today, and went up to Salem, MA, with the intention of going to the Peabody Essex Museum, one of Hollis's favorite spots to walk. When we got to Salem, we found some sort of festival on the common, so we decided to check it out. It was "Culture Day", and it appeared to be a combination of whatever didn't fit into other categories, plus a little, "there must be something on the common on a weekend - what should we do?". Upon our arrival, there was a dance troupe called "Sisters in Dance", and they were belly-dancing, which Hollis thought she should be doing too.

Hollis loves to dance, and will do so at any opportunity, and doesn't understand the concept of "upstaging" or "stealing thunder". For instance, last summer, when Hollis was a flower girl in my friend Trina's wedding, we had a hard time keeping her off the dance floor, even during the bride's first dance: we had to physically restrain her. When I told Hollis she'd have to wait her turn for her dance today, she responded with her angry Marge Simpson imitation, which she developed herself, by the way, not through seeing it on television. She finally got her opportunity, and walked around rather than dancing, which I would definitely call a sulk. ; )