Saturday, January 31, 2009

Active Grasp

I'm so pleased with Leah's progress lately. I truly believe she is doing great things. She has surpassed my expectations for her large motor skills and is really perfecting her walking.

She has consistently had issues with her awareness and overall use of her left hand. She just didn't really care that much and got away with doing things one-handed. Recently, she has really become much more aware, it's almost at if the light-bulb turned on and she was like, hey look at this another hand! She holds things, such as a ball, with two hands now. She is always touching her left hand with her right and the other night during dinner she was putting spaghetti onto her hand and eating it off of it. It's nice to finally see her incorporating "lefty"! I've waited a long time to see even a hint of awareness!

Now, my concern is an active grasp. Leah tries so hard to put things in her left hand and she still can't figure out the opening and closing part. It's heartbreaking to watch because I know she gets it and she'll look at me when her hand doesn't open. It's almost like she is questioning why she can't do it. We work all the time on trying to get her to open her hand and grasp something, but she still hasn't mastered it. I can honestly say that once I see her do it, I will breathe a big sigh of relief. I know I shouldn't compare but I see so many hemi-kids grabbing things with their effected hand and I can't help but wondering when and if Leah will get to that point?

We do plan to cast Leah again in about 2 months. I'm hoping that will help her with her active grasp.

So, I'm curious if anyone has any great tricks to help us help Leah, we'd love to hear them! Also, any recommendations for amazing two-handed toys that help with grasp, would be great!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gym Class!

Leah started taking gym class about 2 weeks ago, at a place called My Gym. At first I wasn't in love with the class, but seeing all the great things they allow Leah to do, I'm sold! That and the fact that Leah LOVES it and cries every time we leave!

The class starts off with stretches (love the arm and leg stretches), then they set up different activities for the kids--bars, swings, balance beam, tumbling and so on. After the set activities, they have separation time, where the parents step back and let the kids interact with each other and the teachers. It's so cute! I love watching Leah play! To end the class they usually bring out a puppet and tell a story, then we sing our good-bye song!

I love that it's therapy without it having to be "therapy". Leah's OT and PT love that she is getting into it and really enjoying it! And Leah especially loves it, because it's fun!

Here are a couple videos of her walking into gym class last week!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Flashback Friday!

Leah--2.5 months old

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Potty Time!

We've decided to start getting Leah used to the potty. We do NOT expect her to be potty trained yet, but we like the idea of her getting used to the potty. Our goal would be to have her fully trained by the start of the school year. The school she will be going too, will 100% take her, but that would be our goal. So, we'll see how she does with it! Right now, she loves to sit on the potty! Our basement bathroom is monkey themed (when we moved, I made it monkey themed especially for potty training!) and Leah loves to see the little monkey that holds the toilet bowl brush! She sits on the potty, which faces the monkey, and just talks to him the whole time! She would sit there forever telling the monkey a story! No pressure for Leah, but she seems to enjoy it and I think she looks too cute sitting there! :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Look Mom, TWO hands!"

Last week, Leah had the best OT session in a long time! Her OT kept saying that once she walking more her OT sessions would get better and sure enough they did! Let's hope it continues to progress! I've been seeing "lefty" do some pretty awesome things lately, so that is great!

As for walking--I'm still hesitant to call it that--Leah is doing great though! She has amazing control of her balance! She will go about 10-15 steps before loosing control! I love watching her walk! It's just too cute!

Monday, January 12, 2009


This video is of Leah from PT on Friday...

Here is the video of her "crying", she was done with therapy!

Here she is this morning, standing back up! If you listen closely, you can here her say "ah, ah, ah, ah-boo", she is pretending to sneeze! :)

Another one from today...I think the pj's make it hard for her, she keeps slipping in them!!

I know these aren't the best videos and they don't show the distance she can go, but I'll keep trying to get better ones!

In other news, Leah had her second speech evaluation and the ST said she is right on track! Yay!!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tears of Joy!

I've cried many tears this past year, many many tears! Sad tears, tears of fear, happy tears, tears of relief, you name it, I've felt it and probably cried about it.

Tonight, I can't stop crying the absolute best tears I've ever felt. This morning I watched my sweet Leah stand up her in ball pit--holding nothing, then I watched her do it in the middle of the floor, and then again in the ball pit. Then this evening I watched her stand up in the middle of the floor and walk across the room, she fell, put her hands down and got herself right back up!! My heart is filled with pride and sheer joy!!!!

I think she's there! On Friday, our PT said she thinks in a month she'll be fully walking--while I can't believe I'm admitting this...I think it will be MUCH, MUCH sooner!!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Ok, here is the last and final update on the brace situation. I appreciate all of your feedback--It's been really helpful!

After a ton of stress and a few tears we have decided not to buy the brace ourselves. We will in fact be going through the state.

We have discussed this thoroughly with Leah's PT and OT and we all have decided that it will not make much of a difference right now. Leah is not walking yet, so that would mean that she would only be in the brace for an hour a day. The brace will only really "work" when Leah is more upright anyway. We are pretty convinced that Leah will be fully walking in the next month or so (she took 10 independent steps today!!!!), and we will get the brace from the state within 2 months. Our PT has pushed for us to get it within 2 months, rather then 4! We feel confident that our choice is the right one for us and for Leah. This was one of the hardest decisions we've had to make! It was a lot of money--but we would have found a way to make it work. We have decided that if in a month she is fully walking, then we can revisit buying the brace if we have not received it yet.

Leah's a superstar and is rocking out this taking steps thing! It's such a pleasure to see her take steps across the room! I took a video at PT today, but I waited until the end and she was not happy! She was crying while walking towards me! I'll try to get it up later!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Brace Yourselves...It's another post about "The Brace".

If I didn't like the idea of the brace months ago, you better believe that after dealing with this for so long and continuing to deal with it--I still don't like the idea of it!

This brace will be the end of me...

I know, I know--once we have it,everything will be good! It's the getting it part that is driving me batty!

You see, my state apparently is dysfunctional (Blago anyone?!). Our PT was telling me that the Illinois State programs are notoriously S-L-O-W when it comes to certain things. Lucky (note the sarcasm) for us, one of those things is braces and orthodics. So, like I mentioned in my previous post we will be waiting for 3-4 months from NOW, if we go through the state. Well, we can't do that. We can not sit and wait for something, knowing that time will pass and we will have done nothing to correct the issues Leah is having. Since our insurance won't cover any of it--we've decided to foot the bill. Oh yeah, remember how I said it was going to be around $350--yeah, double that--that's what we will be paying. Happy freaking New Year!

Turns out that when the PT who does the casting gave me the price, she failed to discuss with me what Leah would need on her right foot. So, on top of a rather large brace on her left (effected) leg, she needs a smaller yet, still up to the ankle, brace on her right leg. :( I prepared for months for the left brace, I was finally ready--let's do it--and now I have to think about another brace. I thought we would just be able to get away with an insert--but nope, she is overcompensating too much and turning in her right foot. That's our story. I've made our PT promise me that the next brace Leah needs that we will start the state process well in advance.

Ugh. The Brace.