It's time for me to note some of Hannah's progress as of late, something I do periodically to make myself feel better as well as also chart where she has been and where she is headed, information that's useful to all of the people who provide her with care.
This seems to be a good time to do it, as recently we just finished up hippotherapy for the winter and her therapist asked us to outline some of the things Hannah has accomplished in the past year and any other changes. So progress has been on my mind. It's also a good time to do it because we just recently celebrated the girls' 4th anniversary of their homecoming from the NICU, on November 16th. Hard to believe that just 4 years ago, we were bringing them home after 54 endless days in the hospital. Equally amazing to think about all that we have gone through since that time, and how far we have come. Finally, I'm in need of a progress report as we go into the holiday season, a time of year that can make me a little melancholy. All the time we spend with the girls' cousins, while really wonderful and special, also remind me of how different Hannah is. Watching her try to keep up with everyone, fielding all of the questions and comments from the kids about Hannah's walker, orthotics, glasses, etc...it all just magnifies what we can sometimes minimize at home in our safe little bubble. So it's important for me to see just how far this little wonder kid has come, because it reminds me that if she has come THIS far in such a short time, just THINK of how far she will continue to go and how much more she will develop and achieve.
So, here it is. A brag list of Hannah's latest and greatest tricks. I probably forgot a few things, but these are the highlights. Go Hannah go!
- Hannah is just about totally independent in her walker. She uses it at home and in the community. She can get into and out of it on her own. She has pretty good endurance in it as well.
- She can get into and out of a sitting position on her own, into both a W sit and a straight-leg sit.
- She can pull up onto furniture and cruise.
- She can get off the couch or a chair by herself and she can also lower herself from her walker onto a bench or chair if it’s the right height. She can get out of her bed.
- She can four-point crawl.
- She can get up the stairs holding one of our hands and holding the railing with the other. We're working on getting her to walk up sideways, holding the railing with both hands, so she can do it independently.
- She is getting introduced to forearm crutches. We have a way to go with these, but she just figured out-tonight, actually-that she can stand independently in them so hopefully that is a big motivator for her to get more proficient with them.
- She is potty trained.
- Her fine motor skills are also really coming along: she can twist a cap on/off, she is pretty close to doing large buttons on her own, she can string small beads, she can write a few letters, she can feed herself using a fork and a spoon, she is getting more precise with her drawing/coloring.