Sep 20, 2011

Ainsley's First Day of "School"

Ainsley was finally well enough to start school. I went with her to train the new nurse that will go with her the other two days that our nurse doesn't. It was a really great day!

Every single day Evie and Adrian give Ainsley hugs and kisses before they leave for school. There is no shortage of love in this house and Ainsley gets the "lion's share".

Ainsley got a new chair over the summer, it was delayed by months due to red tape. I'm really pissed bummed that the manufacturer came up with upgrades (recline and a flip-up foot rest) during that time. If only our supplier had known we could have sent it back unused and got the new model. Grrrr! The improved design would have been much better for Ainsley's needs allowing us a sanitary place to change her diaper in public and make it easier to transfer in and out of the chair. Anyway....Ainsley didn't seem scared like she was when she rode in a wheelchair during her second spica cast. But she did tell me at least 5 times with gestures that she wanted to sit in the seat with us instead of the chair. If they had a better pushchair at school I might just continue "walking her" onto the bus.

She was so excited to be there and waved at her teacher and her special friend "J". There was no question she remembered everyone which was really cool to see.

  The buzzing bee says hi to all the kids.

An aide helped Ainsley stand for circle time during which she clapped her hands to the music.

During the shaker song she really paid attention to what other were doing and shook her shaker slowly or fast when she was supposed to. She even switched from right to left hand. I could see the wheels turning. It took her a little longer to execute, but she did it and all by herself. She's come a long way! I have an adorable video but it's too big to upload to YouTube.

Don't you LOVE that the shirt is her blog title? Happy To Be Me. That she is.

When it was time for recess she wasn't too excited about using their walker. It doesn't have a sling and she is used to that security so she has to be careful and she was scared. It's a bit on the small side too, but I was pretty impressed with how well she did navigating. But she is a little tall for it so they are going to locate a bigger one with a sling. I'm all for challenge but I worry that she'll fall and they won't catch her in time.

She made her way over the the rock pit (a safer version of a sandbox) where she was able to sit on the edge and dig in the rocks. She was happy about that. 

She got her new AAC device (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). She REALLY REALLY likes it! I think she is much more motivated to use it than the Vantage. It's an IPad with a text to speech software on it. The one they purchased is called TouchChat HD. There is mention on the page of Saltillo which is a company that makes dedicated AAC's.  So far we are pretty impressed but there are some bugs to work out, which is probably the difference between this route and the machines that are many thousands of dollars. I'll post more in depth info on this another time. The GREAT thing about the IPad route is that people are drawn to them because they are so cool. It really normalizes the use of a speaking device. Ainsley's brother and sister are jealous.

It was a full day and wore the little ones out. The schools here have short days on Wednesday and that means no preschool. It's kind of nice, that way we have 2 mini-weeks. It was a great start to what I think is going to be a great year!

On that note I was happy to complete our pages commemorating the kids' school years. 

It was pretty cool to see how the kids have grown over the years. These display frames are from Creative Memories. Evie and I are having fun making seasonal displays for our entryway. And yes, to all 4 sets of grandparents, this is why you finally, after all these years, received copies of the kids' school photos. 

My nurse had to call out for a death in the family so I am going to be training someone new for Friday and because I found out the new nurse has a vacation planned for the first 2 weeks of October. I was SO excited to get all the kids back to school and finally get into a routine and get some things done, but it looks like that will take a little longer. Just a little heads up to our local family and friends we have decided to have a party on Sunday October 16th so SAVE THE DATE. We'll be celebrating Ainsley's 5th birthday and Steve and I's 15 year wedding anniversary (In January that's 20 years together. It's a miracle, Amen!) and the recent purchase of our "disabled friendly" home.  Looks like it's going to be another busy month.


  1. The picture of the kids crashed out on the school bus totally made me laugh! I hope Ainsley has a great school year - looks like she's got all the tools in place for an exciting and productive school year. I'm sure she will do amazing things this year.

    Love the school year pictures/frames. What a really neat idea.

    Congrats on 15 years - that's quite the accomplishment - especially given the challenges your marriage has faced. Bravo to you and Steve! I'm looking forward to the pictures from Ainsley's upcoming birthday party. :)

  2. Yes, the photo of the kids on the bus is hysterical! That's great that they are getting a good work out - physically and mentally - at school! All your pictures are great. All the time. I really wish I was better at that.

    And an early Happy Anniversary! Wow - 15 years! Great job!!!