Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's the little things

Watching Hannah move through different stages of development, these little things pop up now and again that remind me of just how much of an impact her CP has on every aspect of her (and our) life. And a lot of the time, it's these little things that can really get me down much more so than the big picture.

The big one lately is shoes. Shoes are a MAJOR issue in our house. First of all, finding shoes that can fit over orthotics is no small feat. And then there's the fact that sometimes very independent four year olds don't WANT to wear their orthotics. So it's nice to have a pair or two around that can work without them, for those hanging around the house days when we just want to take a break from strapping her feet into the hard plastic forms. But that's another feat of the feet because Hannah's are so narrow and small, and because when she walks, she doesn't plant her feet firmly on the ground and they just kind of float in space sometimes. So if a shoe is not totally snug on her foot it falls off. And if it doesn't have a good tread on the bottom she slides all over the place. So most slippers are out.

When you look around at the average preschooler (at least in our neck of the woods, anyway) one of the most popular shoes are those really cute kiddie mud boots with fun prints of animals or other cool things on them. So what does Hannah want to wear? Without her orthotics, they are a total no-go because they fall off. And with orthotics, she can't fit into mud boots at all. So in the land of "mud season" we are very ill-equipped.

Then there's dress-up shoes. All kids love to play dress up and tromp around in their parents' shoes. Hannah just can't do it. She tries, oh she tries. She has tried on almost every pair of my shoes in an effort to find one that will stay on so she can walk around in them like Isabelle does. But she can't keep them on her feet long enough to give it a try. We also have a box of plastic dress shoes B got at a yard sale. Silly, fun high heeled shoes that are made for kids to play with. Again, Hannah can't keep a single pair on her feet. Thankfully in this box of shoes is also a pair of red sparkly buckle shoes just like Dorothy's in the Wizard of Oz. Without orthotics they fall off, but with orthotics they fit well enough that she can stomp around the house.

She is NOT happy at all at having to wear her orthotics with these sparkly dress up shoes. I don't blame her. It sort of defeats the purpose. Dress up is all about becoming someone else and leaving your regular orthotic wearing self behind. But today I convinced her that the best way to experience the magic of these shoes and keep them on her feet was to wear her orthotics, and how wonderful that the shoes fit with them on. She begrudgingly agreed and now wants to have them on 24/7.

Today it's shoes, tomorrow it will be something else. These little things are hard in a big way.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

new year's resolutions

The holidays have come and gone and I'm ready to start the new year off with a few resolutions:

-be more patient with the girls: since Sam's arrival, I find myself more in baby mode than in preschooler mode and I often get snappy with the girls when they are just being typical 4 year olds. I'm going to try harder to remember this and enjoy them more at this amazing phase of intellectual growth and development.

-try to get my body back: being pregnant took a big toll on me this time around. Not just gaining weight, but various aches and pains that are still lingering. I also got incredibly out of shape. I'm not going to set myself up for failure by setting the bar TOO high, but I would like to feel stronger, especially in my back and legs. I'd also like to try to encourage my stomach muscles to reunite if possible, as they separated in a BIG way and thus, I am saggy and baggy and very weak in my core.

-get back on the train of making our home more accessible for Hannah: the ramp was a great step, but there's more to do. We still haven't gotten the grab bars for the bathroom and are in need of more stools of various heights. She deserves this added bit of independence, so we'll try hard to make it happen soon.

-re-energize our exercise and strengthening routine for Hannah: another thing that fell by the wayside a bit while I was pregnant and then with Sam's arrival. Now that it's winter and it's harder to get our therapy in naturally as we're out and about, we need to get more creative about ensuring Hannah stays on top of her game. Especially since we're contemplating SDR in the next year, we want to build up her strength as much as we can and also keep her tone in check as she goes through growth spurts. There is an endless amount we could do so again, I want to be sure I don't set myself (or her) up for failure, but I do see some areas where we can make realistic changes and improvements. For instance, I got lazy in not having her do things for herself. B is much better and more patient about this, but I've been taking the shortcuts and not taking time to let Hannah try to dress herself, get herself into and out of her chair, etc. Of course, sometimes we need to move super quickly and I'll need to step in and do it myself, but I'm going to make more of an effort when possible to let her do as much as she can.

-hand off Sam more to B so I can play more with the girls. It's so easy for me, a nursing mom, to take care of 99% of Sam's needs. But B is a great and capable father and I need to remember this and let him do more, especially now while Sam doesn't really care much who is holding or changing him and while the girls DO care and want as much of me as they can get

-and my most important resolution: accepting that no matter how hard I try, there will always be more that needs to be done: more therapy for Hannah, more attention to give the girls and Sam, more projects around the house, more time for myself and my husband. I'm going to work hard at being "good enough" instead of super mom. This one will be the hardest....

Happy 2010.