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Monday, November 6, 2017

Deena's New Adaptive Bike

Deena was granted her very own adaptive, hand-pedaled bike through Athletes Helping Athletes and Roadunner Sports.  She was SO excited to be able to ride with her sisters and have independence.  Anyone who knows Deena also knows she's a bit of a daredevil and she LOVES to go fast.  After talking in length to her physical therapist and her orthopedic surgeon, we decided to go with a hand-pedaled bike.  Though her rods have made her legs beautifully straight and so much stronger, we know that more breaks are in her future.  Since most of her breaks are in her legs, a hand-pedale bike will give her the freedom to ride even if she's in a cast.  We also liked the tricycle type wheel style for added stability and safety, so we ended up with an Invacare bike, just like her sisters have.

Deena's bike came the day before her last rodding surgery, and she couldn't wait to heal enough for a ride.  Between the heat and vacation it took a bit to get her out and on the road, but we've been out for a few rides now and she really is loving it.  It's such an enormous blessing to be able to have ALL of our children out, riding together, and just being kids!

We just want to say a HUGE "thank you" to Roadrunner Sports, their Athletes Helping Athletes foundation, and everyone who donates to their fundraisers.  You have impacted our children's lives immensely and we are SO thankful!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

And Now for the Fun

We came home from vacation to a big flurry of appointments, laundry, and therapy while we played catch-up from being gone.  Life has pretty much settled back down (as much as it ever settles), so I wanted to make sure to check in and post photos from our vacation.

Right before we left, Deena had an appointment with Dr. Vincent, her orthopedic surgeon, for a final surgery follow-up.  He said her leg was healing beautifully, she was cleared for all regular activity, and (barring any emergencies) we don't need to follow up for 6 months!  It's so exciting!  It was nice to be able to head out for vacation with a clean bill of health.

First up on vacation was Disneyland and California Adventure, of course.  We contemplate not going every year, because of the cost, but the kids love it so much and we always seem to end up there.  The parks were packed and a bit difficult to navigate, but it didn't stop us from having a blast.  There were multiple times I had to make a human blockade around Deena to keep people from bumping her, but we managed and it was totally worth it.  The girls favorite part was getting the princesses autographs and riding Dumbo, It's a Small World, Radiator Springs Racers, and the Haunted Mansion.  Conner loved all the fast stuff, with Guardians of the Galaxy being a favorite this year.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the parks this year:

After spending a few days at the parks, we headed over to Carlsbad and spent a week on the beach.  It was exactly what we needed; time to relax and recuperate, with no agenda.  We found a really nice, clean beach that had two beach wheelchairs, and the girls had a blast being out in the water.  Conner spent most of his time boogie boarding and couldn't have been happier.  We also spent time with my birth mom and her husband, as well as my birth dad and his wife.  It was really nice to get to see everyone, and the kids really loved visiting.  They have so many people who love them; we are so blessed!  We also spent part of a day at SeaWorld because they had their kids-go-free in October deal going on, and Ramya's been asking to go.  It was nice and slow, so it was pretty relaxing even though it was another park.  The kiddos all had a blast, and their favorite part, hands-down, was putting their hands in the tank with the fish that clean you.  They crack me up!!  We probably could have used another week on the beach, but we are so thankful for the time that we had.   

(This is Deena's face when she is "not cold")

Though there were a few bumps in the road with hotel issues and the crowds, we found most places to be really accommodating.  We are so glad we got some time away to re-connect and relax.  I have a lot more  "life stuff" to share, but the rest will have to wait.  Thank you for checking it!