Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ready for school!

We went to school to drop off Hollis's release to go back in September. She visited with her class and she didn't want to leave! She played with all her favorite toys, sat in her chair, and picked up her friend's Debora's picture from the board. She went over and poked her friend Amanda "hello", which made Amanda smile. I tried to get her to leave, and she kept on turning back and going into the classroom. Her teacher, PT and I finally had to almost drag her out. I think she's ready to be back with her friends!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Having fun with family

We had a family get together today with some of our family from Oregon. Hollis had a great time seeing her Aunt, Uncle and her cousins. Grandma and Grampa and her Great Aunt and Great Uncle were here too. She was thrilled to see everyone, but was especially happy to see the guys! Here she is showing off her "bye-bye" to her Uncle and Great Uncle.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gloucester in the rain

On Tuesday, Hollis and I went to Gloucester to walk around a bit. Of course, on our way there it started to rain, as it has been doing quite often these days. It was a still a nice outing, despite being a little soggy. Hollis has been asserting her independence while walking lately. I think she now has the confidence that she isn't having seizures, so she feels she can run freely with no parent supervision. That's fine in many circumstances, but she doesn't really understand the concept of not darting into traffic or jumping off a seawall to get to the ocean. I tried to restrain her, and she kept on pushing me away. She is definitely becoming quite a containment issue. Here she is at the Gloucester Fishermen's Wives' Memorial and walking around the seawall. It is a beautiful area, and a very poignant reminder of how dangerous the fishing industry is.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Consumerism blues

Hollis and I went to the supermarket yesterday to pick up a few things. I took her in her wheelchair stroller, and she was happy enough through one aisle, but she then decided to get out and walk behind and push it herself - very cute. Then things went a bit pear-shaped: she took off full speed, headed toward the toy aisle. I should mention my kid has never been the type to whine and complain about getting toys or goodies in any store, she just kind of relied on us to bring stuff into the house that she seemed to like.

I have counted myself lucky among the poor parents I would see in the stores with their kids throwing tantrums over Barbie, Bratz and Webkins: I thought we would somehow escape this natural part of growing up American. Alas, Hollis has finally realized she has consumer power, and she flexed that muscle at Stop and Shop. She went into the aisle and immediately spotted Dora and Elmo, her two favorite characters. Hollis then frantically waved her arms in a gesture suggesting she wanted everything in the displays while making her "I want" sound. She then picked up about 5 sets of Elmo plates and handed them to me, and went quickly over to a Dora telephone toy and tried to hand that to me too. I told her we weren't going to buy them, because we had plenty of stuff at home, and she took off again. She ran to the refrigerator case, and sat down in it as her protest. I finally was able to stuff her into her stroller again, but ended up leaving with far fewer things than I needed to get, but successfully managed not to cave into the tantrum - this time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Physical Therapy

Hollis had PT again today, and she actually had a pretty good time. The key is to have Mom out of the room: this was an old trick we used to use back when she was seeing her Physical Therapist, Mary, regularly. We had to stop when Medicaid decided that Hollis didn't need private PT anymore since she had it through school. (That's a story for another time...grrrrrrr!)

Mary has been working with Hollis since she was about 2 years old, and she has helped Hollis achieve so much! Back when she was a toddler, we were told by a few different parties that it would be unlikely that Hollis would walk without assistance (assistance = walker, crutches, etc.). So, we just worked with what she was able to do, and tried to increase her strength and her flexibility as much as possible. Well, despite how much she really didn't like to do the hard work of PT, this kid ended up walking on her own at the age of four! (See picture of her first steps below). Her pediatrician has said how much of a miracle it is that she can walk by herself, considering how her stroke damaged so much of the motor strip for her right side. Hollis is such a determined (perhaps stubborn is a better choice) kid, and Mary has been a key player in helping us pull out Hollis's full potential.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Out and about

On Saturday, we went to a beautiful garden in Wellesley kept by the Mass Horticultural Society. They had test gardens, a rhododendron garden, herb and medicinal garden and a garden just for kids to play in. Hollis walked all over the place, showing some of her old stamina. She waved to a bunch of people as they walked by, and she especially loved the guy making the kettle corn. She went into a little tree house and watched as several kids went up and down the ladder. After all that excitement, she came home and crashed for 2 hours.