Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Physical Therapy Update

I wanted to make sure to write an update on how physical therapy is going for Beckett so I can remember later. We have been going to therapy since the beginning of July, once or twice a week. We only get to spend 45 minutes with the therapist so it is more about teaching me the strategies she uses and working on them with him all week.  It is pretty hard to find a lot of time to work on these things with our busy schedule and watching 6 kiddos during the day so I have been putting Beckett to nap late so that we can have some time to work. The progress Beckett has been showing is amazing!!

When we first started Beckett in therapy he was so stiff and showed a lot of muscle weakness.  We made several goals for him and we were hoping he would meet them in 3 months.  After just 6 weeks our therapist decided to reexamine our goals, see which ones he has met and make a few new ones. (because he was meeting so many of them early!) 
 
Goal- For Beckett to learn to crawl.  When we started therapy we just worked on him spending time on all fours, strengthening those muscles. He would play over my knee or I would just sit behind him forcing him to do so. We also would help him crawl using several different techniques. But our hard work has paid off, we can officially say we have a walker now! At 13 and a half months (last week) Beckett started crawling as his main mode of transportation. 
video
 
Goal- For Beckett to be able to play on his knees.  When we started Beckett couldn't get onto his knees and play on his own. My first assignment was to make him play on his knees as much as possible. He hated it. But then he gradually started doing it on his own and now pulls onto his knees to dance even.

Goal- For Beckett to be able to stand on his own and play.  The first few weeks he wouldn't even put his arms down when we forced him to stand, he just stiffened up and cried.  The therapist was worried at this point it may be painful for him to stand, which is way more concerning then just that his muscles are weak.  Every chance we got we stood him up to a table or couch.  Now he can stand and play on his own for 5-10 minutes and he even has the flexibility in his legs to dance while standing when music comes on! 
  
Goal- For Beckett to pull himself up to standing. I would start with him sitting on my knees and pull his hips up to standing, over and over again.  He finally learned to do this on his own and then our next step was for him to pull up completely on his own.  He would pull him to his knees then we worked on pulling one foot up, then the other until he was standing. (again over and over again for muscle memory)  He started on our fire place (which is pretty low) and this week he started pulling himself up to standing on almost anything.  He is mostly using his arm strength right now to do this.

 
Last night at therapy we crossed off most of our old goals and set some new ones. He has 3 months to complete these. When our therapist mentioned that I realized that we may have a long road ahead of us. She also has been noticing his left ankle is weak and he tends to stand and carry his weight on it crooked. She walked me through some ways to work on this and mentioned a brace may be needed if there wasn't improvement soon.  But he is making such great progress so we will focus on that!  

New Goal- For Beckett to be able to pull himself up to standing using correct form.  As I mentioned earlier, he can pull himself up usng his arms mostly.  They want him to be able to put one foot up first then the other.  We will continue to physically make him do this to help him create muscle memory and strength.
 
New goal- For Beckett to be able to get himself down from standing. I'm looking forward to the day we can check this goal off.  Now when Beckett is done standing he just cried until we get him down.  He is very resistant to this and stiffened up big time when we try to help. 
 
New Goal- Our next step is teaching him how to walk along things while holding on, or "Cruising."  He has been so stiff that this has been a challenge. The strategy that they taught me is hard to explain.  But basically while he is standing I hold him around his hips and put pressure on one leg/side.  This should then force him to pick up his other leg and you help him move it over and put it down to teach him that stepping movement.  Then you switch and put pressure on the other hip, etc.  

Beckett is really resisting these three goals and really stiffens himself up.  But I'm trying to remember he did the same thing just 6 weeks ago when we worked on the above goals.  Sorry for the boring post, I just wanted to document how far Beckett has come. I can truly say, I have never been a more proud momma of him.  He is pretty happy with his new mobility too. :) 


 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

South Dakota- Brady's 10 Year Reunion

To be honest I started a post as I was packing for South Dakota a week ago.  I thought I had this travelling thing all figured out and I thought I should share all these great trips.  I think I got ahead of myself.  After our horrible drive to South Dakota just two months ago, I vowed I would never leave after work and drive through the night with our kids. (they don't sleep in the car well)  But some how...we found ourselves in the same position on Thursday. I got off work a little early which allowed us to make it almost to Omaha before we had to stop.  Beckett did better during this time, everybody ate a ton at Fazolis and I was feeling pretty good about things. Beckett is normally in bed at 7 and Kennedy at 730. Beckett cried and whined but finally fell asleep at 8:45 (Kennedy didn't fall asleep until 1120! 10 minutes before we got into town...) 30 minutes later Beckett woke up screaming.  We tried everything but he wouldn't go back to sleep. Around 10 we heard the most dreaded sound you can hear on a car ride...he had thrown up. :( we pulled over and got him cleaned up and calmed down. I decided to ride back with them to try to keep him calm.  I have a pretty good fear of throw up and I wanted to avoid it happening again at all cost. I finally got him back to sleep around 11. We had hopes he would sleep 5 of the 7 hrs in the car...and he slept one. Again, I will vow...we will not drive at night with the intent of our kids sleeping, it is clearly not going to happen!

Thankfully, we did not have a lot going on Friday so it didn't matter as much if the kids were cranky. We worried Beckett had the flu but he was so happy and nobody else got sick, so we thought we were in the clear.  We played around the farm for a while, saw the Purvis Grandparents and then Brady went to play in the gold Tournement.  Linda and I took the kids to the coffee shop in town.  Then we went to see one of Brady's childhood friends who had just had a baby, Valerie.  Kennedy was so excited to hold the "tiny baby."  Good thing I have a lot of friends who are pregnant right now so Kennedy can hold lots of babies in the future.

That evening we took the kids into town for "cruise night."   I really do love Brady's home town.  It is so different from how I grew up, but I love it.  The main reason we went back this weekend was for Brady's 10 year high school reunion.  Every year in August the town has what is called Dog Days.  It has all sorts of town events and all the reunions are the same weekend.  We got to see all of Grandpa's fire trucks and we got to cruise around town in a real fire truck!



We got up and around the next day to head to Brady's other grandparent's farm.  They live about 20 minutes away and it is a pretty hilly drive.  While we were there I was trying to entertain Beckett by feeding him a bunch of snacks, he chocked and then threw up again all over us both.  (I think this was one of my most gross moments of motherhood!)  At least while we were there Kennedy got to ride on the tractor.


That day at lunch was when we lost our sweet Kirby. (Ready precious post) rough day. =(
 
I got myself together because we needed to leave right away if we were going to make it to the parade.  Kennedy enjoyed the parade but it was so hot! After the parade they always have root beer floats at the fire station so we went to visit Denny and cool off with some ice cream. It was already past two so I took the kids home for nap. These kids are getting so much more flexible about their nap time, yay! 


Brady's class on their float

Next I had to head into town to meet up with Brady at his 10 year reunion.


Here are a few other random pictures of the kids with Grandma and Grandpa.  Getting to hang out with "Papa Denny" and "Grandma" makes the whole crazy, stressful trip worth every minute! The kids had a blast hanging out with them and going on adventures around the farm.







 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Kirby

I debated all week if I should post this blog or not.  But I always find it almost therapeutic to write about things and to spend time searching through pictures.  This past weekend, I lost my little buddy. 

When I was a Junior in college, I rescued Kirby from the local shelter.  He was just the cutest, sweetest and most loyal puppy. 


 
He was kind of a goofy dog who needed to wear a sweater because he didn't like the cold. =)
 
 
Kirby has been with me through a lot of big life changes.  He moved with me to Missouri for my fresh start.

 
He wished me luck before my interview for a teaching position once we moved to Missouri.

 
When Brady and I started dating Kirby got kicked out of my apartment so he went to live with Brady for awhile.  This is one of the ways I knew that Brady was a really good guy- if he was willing to take Kirby outside in the freezing cold several times a day, I knew he would do anything for me. =)

We got Kirby a baby brother in the Winter of 2009, Ruger.  They quickly become best friends, even though they were quit the odd couple.  They were always together, liked to kennel up together and ran away together countless times.

Kirby graciously welcomed both of our new babies into the home and let them both play with his name tag while he stood completely still.  He was so patient with both of them and couldn't help but give them kisses by constantly licking their little faces. 
 






This past weekend we took the dogs with us to South Dakota.  We love to be able to take them when the weather is warm enough for Kirby.  They do pretty good staying close to the house and just running around the farm, so we have gotten to where we don't always chain them up and we let them run free.  Saturday, while we were eating lunch I noticed Brady get up and walk outside, I figured he must be checking on the dogs.  A few minutes later he walked in and I just knew by the look on his face, something was wrong.  He asked his dad to go outside with him.  He came back inside in a few minutes and he just hugged me.  I just knew that Kirby had been hit on the highway. Thankfully I snapped these two cute pictures of Kirby just the day before.

We miss him terribly and we are still adjusting to life without our lanky little guy.  We tried to explain what happened to Kennedy, I don't think she really understands.  But when we bring up Kirby she says, "he in Heaven, with Jesus." We will miss my little buddy...