Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Emily's new ride

Back in the very beginning of June we went to the adaptive seating clinic at CHOP to see about getting some gear for Emily that would be supportive and helpful for getting her around. Her inability to hold her head or support any of her own weight makes moving her very difficult. We were able to buy a reclining forward facing carseat for her to keep her as upright as possible while still being comfortable at Babies R Us. But, other adaptive seating devices are harder to come by.

At the clinic, the physical therapist recommended the KidKart, a wheelchair/stroller with a full head support system, side supports, etc., to keep her in a nicely supported upright position. She can only ride in the strollers we have now if she is almost completely reclined. Since she is already on her back so much, it's important to get her sitting when we can.

They also recommended a bath chair which is like a reclining lounge chair with a mesh lining to use in the bathtub. It is extremely difficult bathing her, so much so that I can only sponge bathe her because I can't support her in the tub and wash her at the same time. I've tried a few different ways, but none that really worked well.

Now the KidKart and bath chair had to be ordered and accepted by our insurance company so the process took almost 3 months. But, they were approved and we went to the clinic last week to get fitted and pick them up!

The KidKart is awesome and she can sit almost upright without the head strap for quite a while, 1-2 hours. We went to the circus last weekend and she sat in it the whole time and never fussed once. Plus, she was awake the whole time too!! She did her OT session sitting in it as well. Brenna, Carter, and Drew can play with her while she is in it too, and we don't have to worry about them climbing on her like when she's on the floor.

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to have the bath chair! I gave her a shower in it for the first time and she liked it and I could wash her thoroughly without any trouble. It sits up high on a base, so I was able to use the shower head for rinsing. I was so relieved I cried.

Here is Emily in her new ride

Playing with Drew and the spinner from her light box (for vision therapy)
At the circus

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sweet Ride

So we bought this super cute Radio Flyer car. Carter thought it was awesome, Brenna loves to sit in it. No problems, right? No, there weren't any problems at all until Carter carjacked his sister. Our little dude, who is often pushed aside by his strong-willed sister, was having none of it, when he saw her having so much fun in the shiny convertible. He dragged her right out and tried to climb in. We determined that the 60% off price tag warranted one toy that didn't need to be shared. Now we have TWO super cute Radio Flyer cars. More to come on Emily's new ride.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Campers

A Guest Post:

One of the things Aimee and I want to do as the children get older is go camping. It was the vacation of choice for both of us as we grew up and we hope to continue that tradition with our little ones. We've been seriously looking since early June trying to find the right camper for our family. After we found it, Grandpop joined us to make sure there were no problems we might overlook. We knew we made the right decision when the seller told us it was garage kept and he would include many accessories. Although we'll likely need to wait until next season to camp in it, we know it will be a source of great memories for years to come.

The most important memory will be that this essentially was a gift from my Mom, and I know how happy she'd be to see this dream fulfilled.

"Hey Dad, Can we eat our cereal at this table?"

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's that time of year again . . .

The weather starts getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors, the kids are back in school, it's that wonderful time of year we call . . .


Nooooo, not yet . . .

It's FOOTBALL season!

Here we are during the first official Eagles game, in which, the Eagles pummeled their opposition and went on to victory. Don't ask me details, I can't even remember who they played or what the score was. Ha!

Thanks Uncle Evan for taking the picture and Michelle for the Eagles cheerleading outfits! (Carter doesn't fit in his outfit yet!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Other Side

As a Kindergarten teacher for seven years, I always knew it was hard for parents to watch their kids go off for their first day of school. I sympathized, assured them their child would be fine and would have so much fun. When I became a parent it helped me become a better teacher, to understand both sides of the story.

On Wednesday, it was my turn to be on the other side; a Mom sending her first born son off to school for the first day. Oh my, only those of you who have had to do this yet, will truly understand how it feels - almost too difficult to put into words. Now Drew has been in daycare and home daycare full time while I was still working for 2 years. He's been going to camp for the past 3 summers. He even went to a half day pre school last year for a few months while I was pregnant with the babies. So, it should've been easier. And Drew is very independent and excited about school and the bus, not scared at all. So that really helped. But I still couldn't help but feel like he's all grown up, he's going to be in real school now until he's 18 years old. It's so huge!! I'm proud of him, I'm excited for him, I know he's going to learn wonderful things, his teacher seems fabulous, and he'll make lots of friends, maybe even some that will last a lifetime.
I still had a lump in my throat, and butterflies in my stomach on Wednesday morning. Amazingly I didn't cry, and I cry at everything, but deep down I knew he'd be just fine. (Of course I cried later when I checked his backpack and found a poem about the book, The Kissing Hand, and had to make him a cut out of my hand for his cubby. If you've never read this book, check it out!)

He came home (after a ridiculously long bus ride - a story for another time . . .), so happy, telling stories of his day and the lump and butterflies subsided, a little. I guess they'll never really go away completely as he goes through each new phase of his life, huh?

We love you Drewie Caboodles!!!!
Here is Drew at his table on Orientation Day.

His teacher played the accordian (cool!) and they were singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

A trial ride on the bus (he wanted to ride by himself!)

The REAL First Day

(the bus came so early - 20 minutes early- we had to rush and I didn't get any other pictures! Wahhh!)

Bye buddy, love you!

Big Winners!

A while back I posted about us winning an unbelievably awesome double stroller from a contest on .

I promised I would post some pictures, so FINALLY, here they are:
Carter and Brenna in the new Chicco double stroller

We still have not gotten Emily's Kid Kart (adaptive stroller/wheelchair), so for now she uses this Chicco single stroller that was Drew's. Her Kart was approved so we should be hearing from them soon. She could ride in the double too, because each seat reclines independently.

Carter really enjoyed the photo shoot!

Again, thank you so much to Stefanie who hosted the contest! The stroller is a dream, it folds easily, opens nicely, and rides beautifully! We love it!!!

Down by the bay . . .

Well, there were no watermelons, but is was like going home! :) (I hope you know that song). When Meme, Pepe, Nicole, Joe, and Sierra were visiting we made a day trip to the "Bay Beach". It's a small strip of beach right on the Bay on Long Beach Island, and it's perfect for families with little ones. We used to go all the time as kids, so it was really nice to go now with our own kids!

Carter chillin'
Brenna sun-bathing
Daddy and EmilyDrew and Uncle Joe buliding a sand castle
Carter and Brenna actually EATING sand. Brenna only got a little but Carter kept going back for more!!!!!!
Emily had to stay in the shade
Smiley Sierra
We've had this pop up sun shade tent since Drew was a baby and it was handy at the Bay Beach. Carter loves peek-a-boo and got a kick out of this mesh window!
Meme, Pepe, and Drew under the pavillion

The Spiderman popsicle from the Ice Cream Man (and my favorite picture of the day)!!!!

I'm so glad my family was here so we had lots of extra hands. We did take the babies in the water and they liked it. Brenna crawled down to the edge and started right into the water herself as soon as we put her down!

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Most Excited Four-Year-Old

Ok, so Drew is already so hyped about Pre-K, but today presented an opportunity that couldn't be ignored. Daddy found a brand new bunkbed on clearance for less than $150 and set it up in Drew's room this afternoon. We'd been looking to buy a used one to be prepared for Carter and Drew bunking up (in like a year or so!) but this was less expensive than most of the used ones.
So for now he can touch the ceiling or spread out on the bottom bunk whenever he wants as Carter won't be ready for a big boy bed for some time.