Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We're On Spring Break!

See ya'll next week!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The first step (pun intended) to Ellie walking independently with her canes is mastering the ability to stand with them.  We have been working on this skill for a few weeks now.  The first week, we gave her a goal of standing by herself with the canes for 10 seconds.  The second week, we upped it to 20 seconds.  Yesterday, Gabby pushed the limit to 50.  However, Ellie was in an especially "show off" mood, so she exceeded that 50 and stood for 80 seconds!  It was so long, in fact, that I couldn't get the entire thing on video.  This all means that her balance and strength are improving, yay!

(And.  Before you get all ugly on me about Ellie's crazy hair, please know that I DO NOT send her to class that way.  They spend 1/2 an hour on the mat, doing stretches, which leaves her hair lookin' pretty ghetto.  That, and I really really miss my mom and daycare provider's hair expertise!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Update Post

It's nice to know we're loved....I think!

I have received a few polite requests to get my tushy in gear and post more frequently and in depth on this blog.  Now, now friends.  You all know that I am TERRIBLY busy down here.  I have many events to attend and people to see.  I am inundated with get-together requests by my hundreds of Florida-friends.  I have chuch commitments and work commitments and social commitments. 

Oh, wait a sec.  That was my Canada life!

My only excuse is that sometimes I don't feel like being in front of a computer screen and I have been hosting my share of houseguests. 

So, here is a literal snapshot of the things we've been up to:

*Physical Therapy
Ellie building strength in her legs by kicking the ball
Standing up only holding onto Jen's hands!
High kneeling is VERY VERY difficult for Ellie, so we practice it a lot!

*Making Easter Eggs (yes, Ellie is learning from the craft master: her mom.  HA!)
Stirring the dye...
Letting the eggs dry (as mommy sighs in relief that neither skin nor clothes nor furniture were stained!)

Putting the stickers on the dried eggs...

Finished product!  SOMEONE looks pretty proud of her craft!

*Getting a Hair Cut
Quite fittingly, Ellie got placed in the Princess Station!

For Ellie's 5th birthday, we drove down to Tampa to pick up her new leg braces at Shriner's Hospital (what a memorable birthday, huh?!).  Ellie was showered with gifts from the hospital staff, bless their hearts!
Playing with some of her stash as we wait for the orthotist

Trying out her new contraption and AFOs.  The elastic band around her legs is supposed to turn her feet outward (they are prone to turning in, which can cause all sorts of problems).  She is also wearing her new leg braces (I'll take a close-up picture later).  Needless to say, Ellie was not thrilled with all the new equipment, so we'll try introducing it in small steps. 

So, there you have it!  We're working that FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl of ours pretty hard! 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Be Still, My Heart

Ellie wanted to walk barefoot on the beach.

So she did.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Canes, Take 2

As I was uploading some videos this morning, I contemplated posting this one.  In fact, I was almost feeling discouraged by it.  To the "untrained" eye, this is just another video of Ellie struggling to walk with her canes, I thought.  I didn't want you, my beloved blog readers, to be bored by content that's seemingly similar to the movie I posted 2 weeks ago.  I didn't want you to secretly say, "I don't see ANY difference between this movie and the last one..."


Then I watched the video from 2 weeks ago (you can find it here) and realized that Ellie's improvements ARE pretty spectacular and obvious!  Only 14 days ago, Gabby was having to put her foot inbetween Ellie's legs every time she took a laboured step with her cane.  Otherwise, Ellie's legs would criss-cross (or, scissor).  Only 2 weeks ago, our goal for Ellie was to have her walk from the middle of the classroom to the door (maybe 15 feet). 


She is walking from the classroom all the way to the snack room (75 feet or so), AND BACK!  Gabby doesn't have to use her feet to keep Ellie's from scissoring.  The only thing that Gabby is doing on this new video is stabilizing the canes.  Ellie is doing all the moving, all the stepping, all the standing. 

Sorry for doubting you, my amazing Jelly B'Ellie!

PS: I know I sound super-excited while taping this video. Of course, every time I see Ellie walk with canes, I'm pumped, but I *was* being overly dramatic (who? me?) here as an incentive to Ellie. She loves nothing more than to impress people, so I was hamming it up a bit :-).

Friday, March 5, 2010

The BIG Little Stuff

I write a lot on this blog about Ellie's walking.  Of course, that's "the biggie" and something that she's working very, very hard on.  But, there are also a bunch of "little things" that we've noticed since the surgery and those are important too!  I know that there are many parents of kids who have CP reading this blog, and they will understand how important these (not so) little things are.  I am still often amazed.

Here are two more examples of how life has changed since having the SDR surgery:

As previously posted, Ellie has been able to use the regular restaurant booster seats since the surgery and it's been great!  We've been leaving our Fisher Price booster in the car, instead of lugging it around with us everywhere.  Well...At Disney we ate supper at a restaurant that didn't have ANY booster seats.  So, we thought we'd see how Ellie did on JUST.A.CHAIR.  Oh my goodness!  She did it!  She sat on the chair all by herself and was able to balance well enough to use her hands and eat! 

Ellie's legs were so tight and stiff (spastic) before the surgery that she wasn't able to bend them enough to sit "criss-cross, applesauce".  I think it's been 2 years since she's been able to cross her legs while sitting.  It's unfortunate, because this is a very good position for posture and play.  Well, here's Ellie yesterday, reading her book:

This position will help her hip tremendously (we're desperately hoping that her right hip will improve so that she won't be subjected to hip surgery next year).  Yay!

We are lovin' all these BIG "little" improvements, that's for sure!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Well, we found something that motivated Ellie to walk longer than ever before.  Unfortunately, it's a bit pricey to do every day!