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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Cutest Little Ballerinas You Will Ever See

Madi has been wanting so badly to start dance class again.  The issue is, though, that she has a big desire to "dance on stage".  Though we LOVED our classes at the community center, there isn't an opportunity for her to dance on a stage.  I called a few local dance studios and they would not take the girls because of their wheelchairs, even though I offered to buy wheel slippers so they do not scuff up the flooring.  One studio told me they couldn't because they don't have special certification.  Well, neither do I!  This momma bear is now researching disability law and letters will be written to those studios... if anyone wants to help me with this, I will gladly take the help.  I wouldn't want to take the girls there after their reasoning anyhow, but I hope that if I kindly but firmly address the issue it will help those that come after us. 

I finally found a lady that was very excited to work with the girls.  The only issue is she used to be very active in Arizona but has moved to California.  She still comes back to Arizona to teach her students, but they have not had a big performance in Arizona in a few years.  I hope to help her fundraise so that Madi (and Ramya, of course, but it really is Madi's dream) can see her dream come to fruition.  I may also keep searching out a dance studio that will take the girls, but for now, they are happy, and that is what matters.

Ramya is also in dance for the first time and I am hoping it will work out well for her laso.  I was fully involved with the dance class and stayed on the floor with them and participated the whole time.  Still, when class was over and it was time for Ramya to transition back to me, it was hard for her and there was a lot of defiance.  I pray this gets better as she gets used to class and what to expect.

I just have to say, I seriously have the CUTEST dancers in the world!  They are still talking about class and asking when it is again.  I love to see how excited they are! 


Lego Kidfest was a BLAST!

Friday we went to Lego Kidfest and the kids had so much fun!  The girls really loved the Lego Friends and Lego Princess activities and the boys loved the Starwars exhibit and Bionicle exhibit.  Everyone loved the HUGE pile of bricks, of course!  They also had 4 different activities where you got a free small Lego set for participating.  We did 3 of the 4 activities and the kiddos were really excited to come home with 3 new sets.  Here are some pictures from our night, and a few video's Madi made after the photos...

Madi also wanted to make a few videos to show everyone what Lego Kidfest was like.  The baboon one is my favorite (listen to the end).....

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Therapeutic Riding Round Two... Conner Gets a Turn

The girls are really loving their therapeutic riding with Stable Influence.  Conner doesn't get to participate weekly, but they promised rides whenever they had an open horse for a bit (especially when he's a great helper and scoops the poop).  Today we got there a little early so he was able to ride and was thrilled!  He has his things too, like football, but it's still nice for him to get to ride sometimes too and feel included.  Here's a little video of his ride today...


Here's a picture of his beaming smile...

Ramya let David and I trade girls so today I helped Madi and he helped Ramya.  The got to work on holding the reins today and guiding the horse, which they loved. They also worked on balancing forward, sideways, and backwards.  Here are a few photos from their ride today as well....

We are so blessed to be able to have the girls in therapeutic riding.  It's so wonderful for them in so many ways!  

Madi's New Wheelchair

After lots of back-and-forth with insurance, I am happy to share that Madi got her new wheelchair today.  She got her first at about 22 months old, her second a few years later, and this is her third chair.  She loves it and is very excited about it, especially because it sparkles.  We stuck with the Zippie Zone, the same type of wheelchair she had last time, but added a scoliosis back and foot strap.  We are saving her old wheelchair for our next little gal, so that she has something to use while we get insurance straightened out.  In the meantime, Conner is enjoying playing around with it (and is pretty bummed he can't use it out and about...).  The chair is a bit wider, but Madi is adjusting to it quite well.  Here are a few pictures of her new chair...

I also forgot I was going to need to bring 3 wheelchairs home... Madi's old chair, new chair, and Ramya's chair.  I discovered that I can fit 3 wheelchairs, with some wheels removed, but only 3 kids.  That sure won't work when our adoption goes through, so please join us in prayer that we can find a big enough vehicle to accommodate 4 kids AND 3 wheelchairs that is also affordable.  We may just have to get a big van for the time being and get something accessible later, which means continued lifting and hoisting of chairs, but thankfully that's something we are still able to do.  My dream car is a Mercedes sprinter or the new big Ford van.

(All 3 kiddos are in the middle row.  One wheelchair is sideways in the very back, then the other two in front).

It's been a busy few days with appointments, but it's so worth it!  We are thankful for such awesome care, insurance, and the ability to get equipment for our gals that give them FREEDOM!  

Ramya's New HKFOs

On Tuesday Ramya got her new HKFOs.  She was SO excited!  She picked a zebra print and really loves them.  Hopefully that will be good incentive to be up and standing in them!  Madi also got her HKFOs adjusted, so both girls have a great fit right now.

Ron adjusts our HKFOs for us while we wait, which is wonderful!  It does take a few hours, though, between our time in the room with him and him adjusting them, so we brought our school work and homeschooled on the road.  I love being able to do that when we need to!

On the way home we stopped at Urban Cookies and got gluten free, vegan donuts.  Well, Conner and Madi did, that is.  Ramya didn't want one and I try and avoid sweets.  That sure made the kids day!

Yeah for standing!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Our Christmas Chairs 2014

I realized I forgot to post pictures of the girl's wheelchair Christmas decorations.  Ooops!  And of course, for some reason, I can only find Madi's decoration photos right now.  I'll update with Ramya's chair when I find them.  Madi wanted angels flying around Santa, so this is what we came up with.  Of course battery-powered lights on the handle bars were also in order.  The girls really loved showing off the lights on their handlebars!

(it's hard to see but there are gold angels among the round colored balls)

We Started Therapeutic Riding, Hurray!

Last week we started the girls in a therapeutic riding program for kiddos with special needs through A Stable Influence.  The girls LOVE it and are so excited to tell everyone that they rode horses. They also ask every day if it's their riding day. 

While the girls are on the horses they have them ride forward, backward, and sideways to strengthen different core muscles.  They also ride with just a pad, not a saddle, so that they can feel the horse's gait better, which will in turn hopefully help them with their walking gait in their leg braces.  It's also great practice for Ramya to work on sitting back on her booty and having good posture.  The program is run by one lady and a bunch of volunteers so there are no therapist costs, like in hippotherapy, which is nice.  

Here are a few pictures of the girl's first day.  I couldn't get any great ones of Ramya because she wanted me to stay by her and hold her leg the whole time, so I did.  Next time maybe David and I will switch girls (if Ramya allows ;)) and then I can take a few better photos of Ramya.  Ramya has a huge fear of falling, and was hesitant to que the horse to walk, but did great once the horse started walking and she realized she would not fall.  She death-gripped the pad and wouldn't let go, but she did it!  I know each week she will get even more confident and I'm excited to watch her build her strength, endurance, and confidence.  Conner isn't in therapeutic riding but enjoys shoveling poop and helping his sisters to earn free rides in between kiddos :).