2. AJ turned 5 last week. I'm not sure how or when that happened. How is he getting so old, so fast? Luckily, he was able to finally participate in hippotherapy riding on the day of his birthday. He rode a horse named Dell and fell asleep while riding. His body was so relaxed. Watching him ride brought on some tears from this Mama. He looked so grown up in his helmet, riding a horse. Why no pictures? Because I forgot my phone aka camera. The therapy certain paid off, as his gait has been much slower and more controlled. Yesterday he rode again, riding Chubs, a smaller horse, who seemed to keep him awake! He rode backwards a few times and even got to experience a trot a few times. Being on a smaller horse gave him the opportunity to sit at face level with the OT and other facilitators working with him and Chubs. I saw great eye contact, turning to his name, and turning to either of the girls when they talked to him. He also let out some hilarious giggles during the trot. Again today his gait is slower and he seems to be more controlled. Except for his left foot.
3. Oh the left foot. In the words of AJ's PT, "His left foot looks horrible". Yes, it does. It is turning in so much it is hindering his walking. So even though his gait is improved with the riding, his foot is messing things all up. Meet AJ's newest piece of equipment:
Behold the night splint, in all it's glory. We have an appointment to have him casted/fitted for it in the next few weeks. He'll wear it at night while he's sleeping. At least I hope he will. The DAFO (thats what its called) is designed to gently stretch while resting. I'm not going to get into what the next steps are if this doesn't work. We're just going to be positive and hope this splint, along with the massaging, e-stim unit, and keeping him mobile will do the trick.
4. A few weeks after the regular school year ended, I spoke with the school district vision specialist. AJ is very hit or miss with his vision. During his IEP I stated I would contact the vision specialist to see what suggestions she might have for exercises/things for us to practice using his vision here at home over the summer. She had some great suggestions and we've been incorporating them into our daily routine rather easily. He's able to follow point prompts, but not long-distance point prompts. For example, if I point to the front door from the couch, he follows. If Rocky comes running with the frisbee across the front yard, he tracks Rocky running. Now, get him to stop and listen (with success) and then point prompt with the verbal use of "look!" and he's lost. He hears the sound, but for some reason he's not connecting to look at the object. He hears planes, trains, the huge tractors and fast trucks that barrel down our road, and even the squeaky stop-and-go of the garbage truck yesterday. But despite standing in the middle of our driveway with me saying look and pointing, he was lost. So, we'll keep working on it. It is more difficult for him to figure these things our considering he was pretty much without two of his senses for a very long time.
5. I cannot get enough of this song:
6. We were graciously given a telephone interview instead of a court date regarding our appeal to the State regarding their denial of both physical and speech therapy for AJ. After reading a 9-page letter written by the reviewer who denied the case, writing paragraphs upon paragraphs as to why my son, who should really just be called Case #XYZ should not have speech therapy, I needed a few days to cool off. Wow. I am hoping the judge hears the truth from myself and his therapists as to why AJ needs therapy. I'm so baffled as to who would think that we want our kids to have these therapies just for fun. Weeeee! Get real. I am super thankful that we do not have to travel to the not-so-nice area of Milwaukee for a court date.
7. Our house looks like a cross between a newlywed pad and a frat house. There is stuff everywhere, as I've begun sorting and purging as we are packing. Our bedroom lamps are sitting on plastic totes. Maybe we should have Ramen noodles tonight as a tribute to our early days as a couple! I am not feeling overwhelmed though, which you would totally think I would be. I'm going about things rather orderly and we actually have a lot already packed, so there isn't too much more to do.
8. It is hard to believe I have finished three courses toward my Bachelor's already. I'm enjoying my new class, Children's Literature. I took the class years ago at a different university and it was my favorite class. I love learning about Caldecott & Newbery award winners, researching authors, and learning the history behind children's literature. It certainly is a whole lot more fun than polynomials.
9. AJ's ear canal infection last summer was awful. Awful. It took us months to get him to wear both of his cochlear implants again. When our summer heat showed up, I found myself terrified to take him outside in the humidity. We cannot have this happen again. On a whim, thinking I was a complete schmuck for considering this, I called our ped's office and asked if there was a way to prevent this from happening. Absolutely, she said. We are using swimmer's ear drops. Hopefully this will deter the humidity from creating another beastly infection for our little guy. But I'm still nervous about it. Just so you know.
10. Kate Middleton is stunningly beautiful. Isn't she? I'm not one for fashion, but I find myself clicking on online bits about her wardrobe wherever she is at that exact moment. She could make a burlap sack look good.