May 8, 2013

A Fantastic Weekend: Growing Independence & New Bike

I haven't yet decided what I think about the Botox so I'll save that for later this week. We had a great weekend. It was uncharacteristically warm for May in the Pacific Northwest. We love our sun when it makes an appearance, that's for sure. Steve finished up a game deadline Friday night and was home for the weekend which was really nice. Having a supportive husband at home makes such a difference

It started with a nice Friday Night Pizza/Movie Night. We rented Wreck It Ralph. I'm always so grateful when there is a new movie to watch since these days we have a really tough time agreeing. Sometimes it takes 45 minutes to come up with something we are all reasonably happy with. Evie is too old for most kids movies. Ainsley is still only interested in very simple kids' movies. Adrian doesn't like the more adult "family movies" and of course we (the parents) are really BORED of pretty much all of the kids' movies in our collection because we've watched them so many times. 

Then Saturday we had things to do around the house. Since Steve had been gone (mini-crunch) all the lawns needed to be mowed. And we had SO much pollen coating the patio that it looked like it was covered in sawdust. So he pressure washed. I took care of Ainsley and the kids (you know: breakfast, lunch, tube feedings and Ainsley's care) so he could just focus on the yard. Then I washed and vacuumed both cars (the kids' helped) because they really needed it. Those parts weren't so fun but it was great to get it out of the way. At least the weather was nice while we were doing it.

I brought out the pop-up playhouse, a quilt and tunnel to try to make it a little more fun for the kids.

Sunday when I was getting ready to put Ainsley in the car to go to Adrian's baseball game she went "missing". She'd actually gone outside through the back door and was hiding from me in the house. Look how clever she thinks she is. 

Saturday Ainsley's new "bike" arrived via FedEx so Steve assembled it. Ainsley watched with excitement the whole time. Finally around dusk, after completing our chores, we put her in it. The way the steering works it can make pretty tight circles so I think she'll need a seat belt. And she does need the special foot pedals so I'll be shopping for those. I'd hoped maybe some simple toe clips might work but based on the bungie ties we rigged up I think she needs more heal support.

 Still she did AWESOME!!! And the bike, a Mobo Triton, is really COOL even if it is good for kids with special needs. Evie and Adrian both wanted to take turns in it and thought it was a blast to ride (It adjusts easily which also means it will last Ainsley many years.). She really seemed to understand it and I think with practice she will have no problem getting around in it. I really like that it is low to the ground. I think she'll feel safer and with the seat being comfortable I think she'll be happy to sit in it until she is ready to resume pedaling.

My plan was to return it if it seemed like she really needed the special needs trike. Since we were $1,000 short I am really glad this worked out. Honestly even if we had the money I think this might be the better choice for her. So to all of you who gave Ainsley gifts of cash for her birthday, Christmas or Easter, know that your money went toward buying her this awesome bike.


Ainsley is getting stronger. She is now able to get around in her walker quite well. We bought this house 2 years ago for it's special layout. Even among single levels homes (which are a small minority) it is rare to find a yard that has no steps, stairs or large hills. The large driveway is a fantastic space for Ainsley to safely use her walker or new bike.

Check out the driveway covered in "pink snow" from the flowering cherry tree.  
I did a full day of yard work earlier in the week and wanted to show you the beautiful camellias that I picked up off the ground (I'm not sure why so many fall off).
Though I'd rather have been sitting on the lounge chair with an iced tea enjoying the sun instead of working in the yard I'm glad at least that I took a couple extra minutes to put these in a bowl.  We enjoyed them for days.

In addition to the nice driveway the house had a large Rainbow swing set that was accessible from a path on one side. Last year (it's been rainy and cold up until now) she wasn't able to push her walker through the wood chips very easily. And I worried about her tipping on the stone paths. But as I said she's grown stronger. Over the weekend she was able to use her walker to walk across the entire yard, access the swing set, climb the steps and slide down the slide BY HERSELF. It's so awesomely empowering for her to be able to do this!

I was still nervous so I sent Evie up to "catch her" if need be.
Then Ainsley decided to try to climb up the slide. She is learning persistence which she will need if she is ever going to walk independently.

Then yesterday after school she actually climbed up the slide BY HERSELF! And then she proceeded to do it 5 times. Daddy was at work so he missed it but she repeated it for him.

She's been cruising more and here you can see she is cruising her way around the climber, eventually making it up to the slide so she can go down.

This was my hope for this house. I knew that the amount of yard work would be a huge challenge for us but that it would be SO great for our special girl! Our old house in the city did nothing but limit her. April marked two years in the new house and I still think it was a good decision. This house is really perfect for her and we are so lucky we found it. I know the sellers put a lot of money into landscaping that they were unable to recover due to the housing market but I think they would be happy to see what great things it does for Miss Ainsley. I hope it brings them some good karma.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome update! Ainsley really is doing some amazing things. I'm so happy for you.

    We'll have that beer together someday, and the sooner the better! I have an idea for a get together in the Fall. I'll run it by you and Christy in an email.