Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Spring Here

It's starting to feel like spring around here...The air is crisp, the cars are covered in pollen, and the Mardi Gras parades are rolling. I love this time of year. It always inspires me to clean out all the closets, dig in the garden, and start things fresh and new. I love that the kids are out playing in the driveways again, and the neighbors drop in to say hello. People around here really do hibernate when it gets below 50 degrees, so it's always nice when that first weekend of warm weather rolls around.

Spring always inspires me to be productive...and though it's not actually spring yet, it's we've been busy. We got so much done last weekend, but the project I was most excited about was Maddie's new parallel bars. Awhile back I saw a video of a little girl walking while using parallel bars made of pvc pipe. We have been working on Maddie's cruising with one hand on the sofa and the other on the coffee table, and trying to maintain her balance better. So, I thought of those bars again, and we made a quick trip to home depot. It was a simple project, maybe took about an hour, and I am really happy we did is she.

(If you're reading this in facebook click HERE for video)

Her derotation straps came in this week, and let me tell you, THIS is a work in progress. I was so frustrated with them the first night that I was ready to go back to the velcro get-up I had rigged for her. The thing is they are super long...waaayy longer than the velcro straps, and they are much half the width. SO, straps that are 5 feet long, and 1 1/2 inches wide need to wrap around lots of times to work on a 20 month old...creating Michelin Man legs.

My poor baby...It takes me a good 15 minutes to get them on her, and she's so patient. I'm getting better at it, and I'm trying to figure out the best way for them to hold the position. The trick is to get them tight enough, without it being too tight on her legs. It's not easy, but they seem to work really well once they are on. The fasteners make it tough for it to get loose as she moves around, which was the problem with the velcro. Anyways, it won't look pretty with an Easter dress, but if it helps keep her legs straight, I'm in.

So we've been spending alot of time outside washing, bike riding, picnics, sidewalk chalk, gardening...all in the first weekend! Mason was hilarious...He wanted to do it all. He even tried to fly a kite. You would have thought he'd been snowed in for months! But that's just my guy....He wants to get every ounce of fun out of his weekends, and I love it. He starts planning it around Thursday...what we'll do each day that Chris is home, and even what we'll make for breakfast. It's awesome. He just loves being with his people, and we love being with him.

His new thing is to watch videos on our little portable player. It's funny to watch him. Friday night he watched Toy Story 3 in his tent with Maddie...She's always trying to get in on whatever he's doing...copying his every move.

He introduced her to Grahm crackers. Here is she, one in each hand, chowing down...I think she likes them.

They love to play together, and most of the time they can, but lately, when Mason rides his bike outside, Maddie gets upset when she tries to follow him in her walker. She points to the bike and says "Ride!" I can tell it bums her out a little, but she's a great sport about it. Still, I've been looking forward to the day when she will be able to ride a bike with her big brother, and all the other kids in the neighborhood. So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that the day may come sooner than I thought. This is an Amtryke.

These trykes are specially designed for kids that have trouble with mobility. Our PT got Maddie added to the wish list at Ambucs in Novemeber, but we were told there was no funding for kids in our area, so we should try to raise the money ourselves. So I've been brainstorming about different ways I could raise the money...but, when thinking about the cost of her bracing, her medical equipment, and her overall therapy needs, I realized I don't NEED a bike for Maddie...I just WANT a bike for Maddie, and if I'm going to try to raise money, it has to first cover the things she really needs. So I hoped and prayed that somehow Maddie would get her tryke. Michele called me Friday to tell me that Ambucs had just called her to let her know that Maddie had gotten a donor, and would be recieving her bike. God. is. good.

Have a great week...and a Happy Mardi Gras!


  1. haha! Taxi! lol. This was such a cute post!
    I LOVE LOVE her pigtails!
    I LOVE LOVE how she's copying her big bro with the hands and all!
    I LOVE LOVE her walking holding those bars!
    I LOVE LOVE that flowers picture! I hope spring gets to us SOON!
    I LOVE LOVE your easter dress comment - way to go you - keeping perspective! :)

  2. So glad that Spring is somewhere! That must mean that it will be here soon, right? :) Looks like you guys are having a great time! Maddie is doing SO SO Well!! I can't wait to see a video of her riding her new bike!! Wish we lived closer and Grey and Maddie could start some type of AmTryke gang. :) Love from Michigan!!

  3. Aww look at her she is doing AWESOME! Love the picture of Maddi coping Mason so cute!

  4. Oh, I'm so jealous of SPRING!!
    How fantastic that she's getting a bike! That's amazing! Nice job on the parallel bars. Absolutely adorable.

  5. That is such awesome news about the tryke. Can't wait to see videos of her riding!! Someday Austin and I will have to come down to experience Mardi Gras!

  6. Spring? What's that? ;) March is also known as the Longest Month Ever here in Chicagoland. I'll just have to live vicariously through you and this post for awhile yet. Maddie is doing so well!!! We were thinking about making parallel bars too, and I think you just convinced us that we could actually do it. And yay for Amtrykes...Nate has been riding his in the house all winter so he"ll be ready for spring. Whenever it comes. :o)


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