Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Country Mice

When you live in Northwest Arkansas and you have a child or children, Branson, MO becomes a vacation destination by virtue of convenience.  Long car rides with kids are not fun and flying with kids is not cheap.

We like to visit Silver Dollar City in the fall when the summer heat has faded and leaves are gorgeous throughout the Ozark mountains.  We return year after  year to enjoy the hike through the park-it's uphill both ways to everywhere.  So we pack up Eva in our handy dandy osprey poco pack.  If you have a little one and plan to do some hiking, I highly recommend this pack.  It's adjustable in 100 different ways and fits both Daniel and me comfortably.  AND it's built in such a way as to provide an air gap between the adult and child.  That air gap is priceless.

Don't you hate it when kids won't make nice faces for the camera?
And BAM that's all of our pictures from the park.  I don't know how this happens. Summary: we ate a lot; it was pretty; we watched a western show; we walked a lot; and Eva loved soaking it all in.  

After our day at the park, we met up with my parents for breakfast.  These pictures are very telling.  Eva loves her Dedu and loves her coffee.

During our travels, we used priceline to find a good deal on a hotel.  We stayed at a schwanky hotel downtown KC area for super cheap.  We circled the hotel and pulled up to the entrance only to learn that they don't have a parking lot.  They only have valet. We're not valet people.  We were dressed like hobos.  Our car was packed enough to make a hoarder proud and was an aromatic medley of baby food, peed on pants, and garlic hummus.  

We grabbed our stuff and scrambled inside as a line had formed behind us.  Daniel carried all our weekend luggage.  I carried Eva, her diaper bag, and a torn open bag of diapers but managed to forget Eva's baby food in the car.

So Daniel went back down to retrieve it from the car in our crunchy paper bag from our local food coop.  In the lobby, a woman spied Daniel and said loudly to her husband, "I didn't realize this place was that casual."  We represented rural Arkansas well.  

The hotel had a lovely European style breakfast buffet with smoked salmon and complimentary cappuccinos.  Eva loved it.  She's definitely a high society girl.

It's amazing that after just two nights away, we were so thankful to go back home. We're even thankful for our weekly commute into town.  Mornings are so lovely when the fog rolls through the valleys.

Living in the country is the way to go. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Turmeric for your feet?

Eva's stint with casting is over.  For now.

Her little feet just couldn't tolerate the pressure from the casts, even on an adapted schedule.  To prevent pressure sores, we had to cut her casts off early and decided to discontinue.  Eva also had swelling on top of her feet, just below her toes.

New plan:  After her next Botox treatment (January-ish), Eva will be fitted for hinged Tami splints. Something like the picture below, that will allow Eva's therapists to adjust angles to improve her feet alignment.

And Theratogs to address lordosis in the meantime.

And 1/4 tsp turmeric daily for inflammation.

With vitamins and fish oil supplements.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A picnic of books

Eva is learning, learning, learning.  All the time.  She's really just quite amazing.

I'm pretty sure learning can be made more fun with fun books.

Today we had a picnic of books for school.  Eva was excited though I'm not sure that a good deal of her excitement wasn't from books being inside a Grocery bag...

Onto those books. 

We already got Eva another bible.  She had The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments which is very well written, follows Christ throughout the New to the Old Testament, and has extraordinary illustrations.  But, it's a little above her developmental level and pretty heavy on the Reformed side.  I think I must have found my book list from a reformed site.  That's not a problem, but we're not exactly a Reformed family.  We're Armeniformed.  Or something.  

The good news is that we found a nice alternative for now: Sally Lloyd-Jones' The Jesus Storybook Bible.  It's good.  Eva seems to follow it well.  The illustrations aren't as cool as The Gospel Story Bible, but that's alright.  This book too follows The Scarlet Thread throughout the Old Testament into the New Testament, basically shouting out "Jesus Christ is Lord!"

Since we're on the topic of biblical stuff, I also got another parenting with grace book, Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.  I'm about half way done and absolutely love it.  It says, "set your family free."  What's not to love?  (side note: also reading The Untold Story of the New Testament Church: An Extraordinary Guide to Understanding the New Testament  by Frank Viola, which is really interesting and Philip Yancey's Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? which is also interesting-like em both.)

 Onto kid stuff!

Numbers by Xavier Deneux.  I was looking for tabs or something tactile for Eva to touch while she counts and this is a wonderful option.  It's a gem.

But when 10 isn't enough, you need CountaBlock.  This book goes to 100.  The colors and images are delightful.  You "count" from 1-10, and then from 10-100, you go by tens.  The images between one page and the next build conceptually.  Love it.

Alphabet flash cards.  These are My Favorite Things Flash Cards.  Love them.  They're big. They're bold.  They're visually simplistic. Wonderful.  Eva now recognizes and labels EVA, and A-G. Lower-case and pictures are on the flip side.

Happy reading!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tea, Swearing, and Fun

Today was a run 50 errands all over northwest Arkansas on a tight schedule kind of day.  One errand led us to Savoy Tea Co.  I needed to get some dried elderberry & echinacea stuff (flowers or berries or something) to make a tea to treat a stalwart cold.

I warned Eva that we weren't getting any treats, just the dried stuff, and then we had to hurry off for her doctor appointment.  But once we got there, Eva really wanted to stay and have a tea party.  She looked around wistfully and chirped "tea?" like a little bird.  

I ignored her pleas, grabbed my goods, paid, and on our way out, Eva distinctly and loudly said, "I want $h*t!  I want $h*t, please."

It took me a second to realize she was saying that she wanted to SIT, not the other thing.  As in, sit down, rest a bit and have a cuppa.  To make sure the tea ladies didn't think we condone infantile swearing at our house, I said, "Oh, you want to SIT down?  Sorry, not today, we have to be adults and take care of errands."  We were on a tight schedule, you see. 

I made it about 10 feet out of that store when I turned right back around and we made our second entrance into Savoy only this time we had ourselves a little tea date.  

Walking out of that store triggered a sweet childhood memory when my mom, my Aunt Darla (my other mother), and I were driving home from somewhere.  There might have been a cousin with us.  I can't remember.  Anyway, on this particular road near the Ouachita Mountains, there happened to be Tickle Belly Hill.  Maybe other people called it that too, I don't know.  It was Tickle Belly Hill though.  If you speed when you drive over it, you lose your tummy, like when you're on a little roller coaster. My mom duly sped up and we lost our tummies on Tickle Belly Hill.  But seeing as children are never satisfied with just a little fun, I asked my mom if we could go over it again.

Ya'll, my practical, no-nonsense momma pulled a U-ie, and we went over that dang hill again and again and again.  Each time she broke a traffic law, my heart sang.  That practical momma burned time and gas just for fun.  Hallelujah.

Anyway.  That's why we had a tea party.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

About those casts...

If anyone is interested in the medical side of this cast business, here's the rundown:

Eva is requiring a slightly different schedule where she is casted for 5-7 days, her skin rests for 5-7 days, and then she is re-casted.  Her little feet are so short that she doesn't have a lot of leverage at the bottom of her cast, causing her feet to "ride up" in her cast and be in a not-so-great position.

During her rest periods, she wears some anti-deformity foot splints to maintain the range she just gained with her casts.  I got to help one of Eva's PTs make her foot splints which was cool:)

What's not-so-cool is that Eva has to keep her knees extended in standing or a long sit all the time, even when I'm carrying her.  Knee flexion was helping her to get more leverage to wiggle her little feet out from where they needed to be.  But you know what?  That's alright.  Part of the gig right now.

After a week off, here's our girl in all her orange glory.

Like those 70s tube sock casts?  This girl can rock just about anything.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Purple feet and chickens

Eva's feet gratefully received the first of her serial casts today!

Just look at those happy feet!

Eva's feet (not her heel cord necessarily) were stretched and maintained in an almost neutral position while they were casted.  This plaster cast will stay on for a week, will be removed, her legs will be washed, and then the process will be repeated until Eva's range has reached the desired mark or she has plateaued.  We're praying for smooth sailing and good skin integrity!

In other news, we made a new friend, Theresa, while visiting our friends' farm.  Theresa is lucky enough to have a Kubota, and we were lucky enough that she took us on a ride:)

While visiting our friends, we unexpectedly inherited some chickens.  We are now the proud owners of some laying hens, which is a good thing considering how many eggs we eat weekly.

I love having hens!  I think it's because it gives me something else to look forward to every day.  When I open up the our door latch to see inside their nests and find eggs, it's a surprise every time.  A good surprise.  It's like hunting for Easter eggs and getting a package in the mail all at the same time.

I recommend getting yourself some hens.