Monday, May 30, 2011

Dance Recital Saturday

Friday & Saturday- Dance Weekend - it is a bit of an endurance sport... Friday night was Summer's dance dress rehearsal at the capitol centre. Her group was scheduled for 6:15, and by the time all was said and done, we were out of there and home by 8:30. Summer was a very tired little dancer.

Saturday's performance started at 1pm so we planned to arrive at noon to get organized. She was very excited to dance on the 'big stage' under the spotlights. Her first jazz dance was in Act 1 and the second tap dance in Act 2, so we ended up staying for the duration of the show. Barb & Vera came to watch. Summer was so glad to have them in the audience. We finished up at 4pm. Thankfully I had a sack full of snacks.

We then headed to the hospital to visit Marie who is mending her broken hip. She was happy to see Summer in her dance outfit.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Catching Up

Last week was busy, just given that Don is still in Kingston and we were preparing for our Road Trip to visit him on the long weekend. Summer also had her follow up AHA - Assistive Hand Assessment at OKP on Tuesday. She (and I) were home sick on the Monday. It was not a great start to the week as she was tired and not very cooperative by the end of the day for her assessment. Ann and Andree video the session so they will review the tape and hopefully they got what they needed. I predict the casting period was most impactful for the extension of her right arm, and some fine motor skills... but we'll wait to hear from the experts.

Friday at noon we departed for Kingston. We were happy to reunite our family. We stayed with Clayton and Tania Fifield and their dog Reuger. It was nice to have Tania cook, she made us a couple nice dinners and we also went out on Saturday night to celebrate thier anniversary. On Saturday afternoon we boated from Kingston to Gananoque for icecream. It was a perfect day, little wind and lots of sunshine.

Sunday we were able to visit with Ray and Nan Wlasichuk, and their daughter Sarah with her newborn son, Jack.

Monday morning, seemed to come all to fast, and we had a quick visit with Brian and Maggie, our old friends who we golfed with and spent a lot of time with when we lived in Kingston, over a coffee at Starbucks, then off to Brooklin.

Summer and I said goodbye to Don - two weeks left to go, and hit the 401. We had lunch with the Miller's and great play date, then set off North Bound for home. It was a good day to head north - we had a good view of bumper to bumper sounth bound traffic...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Conversations with Summer

-Mommy, where is my Justin Beaver T-Shirt?
Really???? you are 4... How do you even know who he is...

-Mommy, I want to be a big sister.
That was a tough conversation.

-Daddy, if you don't make good decisions, you go to the devil.
Not sure I could have kept a straight face on that one.

-Are we taking the calendar on our vacation?
Meaning - Do I have to behave? Uhhh Yes!

-Sorry mom, I can't clean up, I have my hands full.

Black Flies and Blue Skies

May is always a little bitter sweet. The grass is growing, the gardens sprouting and the trees leafing out. It also means that the black flies have returned for yet another year of bloodsucking annoyance. You can usually set your clock to them... just as spring begins to get really nice, they get really mean.

Last year we had a reprieve. Once in a blue moon... or really... a six inch mother's day snow fall, after the hatch. The 'kill off' gave us another 6 weeks of spring/summer. It actually made me start wishing for a May snowfall.

Irregardless, they are here, and so are we. It makes taking off for a long weekend, or sitting inside even when it is sunny, not seem so sinful.

Tonight I will put on a bugshirt and get a few things done outside. Who ever invented the bugshirt must be sipping a cold one, somewhere without bugs.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Summer had a visit from her OT and PT at school. I didn't think she would work too hard as she was tired and missing Don quite a bit.

Ann had this to report:

Summer was great this morning! She worked so hard and had so much fun it was great!!! She was tired when we left but she was happy. (Gee, did she really see my kid???)

Summer was using her right arm and hand more spontaneously during every day activities without needing reminders and the speed of movement in her shoulder and elbow seems to have improved.

We have been using Velcro food to cut up, when casted with her right hand – of course but today she cut with her left. Once all the food is cut I push it all off to her right and she uses her right hand (usually still holding the plastic knife) to push it across the table to her left for me to catch in our “soup pot” as it slides off the edge of the table. She really swings her arm out away from her body with a nice position of her shoulder and elbow and then swings back connecting with the food and bringing her arm across midline to push the food. She gets to do it again when I am unsuccessful in catching the food. She has no complaints that she has to do it again and again. She has nice speed in the shoulder movements and great elbow extension when reaching for the foods and when swinging her arm. She has developed better control as well: initially if she swung her arm to the side and lifted it off the table she frequently banged her hand against the table when she would swing her arm back across but today she lifted her hand completely off the table every time and she only banged her hand once when she came back down. We tried a variation to get supination and although it was tricky for her she was actively moving from pronation (palm down parallel to table) toward neutral. At one point she put both hands on the tool and was swinging it well much like a base ball bat or a golf club.

---Always great to have a good report to reassure us that 3 weeks in a cast is worth the extra effort---

Monday we will have the post casting AHA - Assitive Hand Assessment.

Sum worked on gross motor as well:

We did a lot of pushing up to sitting, rolling toward her right side and pushing up using her right hand/arm during a little tug of war game during which she was giggling! She is so much fun to work with. Andree and I were also trying to figure out a way to support the arches of her right hand during weight-bearing during various activities but were not really successful – we will have to try some other things out. However, the exciting part of this is that after we were done the game Summer lay back down and twice out of 3 time spontaneously and independently rolled toward her right side and pushed herself up into sitting without any verbal reminders or anything!

That's my girl!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day Tea

Today Summer's class celebrated Mother's Day and invited moms to a Tea Party. Since it was also my birthday, Summer had a purple crown for me.

Summer printed her name on the board, all by herself

Summer is behind the sun. We were serenaded with a rendition of You are My Sunshine, Summer got to wave the Sun Prop, she was very excited!

The kids gave each of the moms a plant that they grew over the last couple of months.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Summer, this is for you!"

I received these photos from the event. Enjoy!

"Summer, this is for you," Mrs. & Mr. Smith

Summer & Dr. Church

Amazing Moment

Monday, May 2, 2011

One Amazing Evening

On Friday we attended the Ultimate Jet Set Experience event benefiting Sunnybrook’s Women & Babies Program Neonatal Follow Up Clinic. It was at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and a beautiful venue. One hundred and fifty guests attended the $1,000 per plate event; a gourmet evening of music which included an amazing auction. Top of the auction was a trip to the US Open, on a private jet, box seats and all the champagne and caviar you could eat… amazing. There was also a Master’s trip on the auction block and many other awesome items to raise significant funds.

Dr. Paige Church (head of the follow-up clinic) asked us in February if we would be willing to speak at this event. Of course, we accepted the opportunity – not really knowing at the time what the event was all about, the format, etc. Our ‘job’ for the evening was to give a testimony of our experience with Summer; birth to present. We had such a great time catching up over dinner with Dr. Church, Maureen (Summer’s lead Physiotherapist) and Patricia Maddalena, Nurse Practitioner in NICU Follow Up Clinic. It was really special to share the event with these three amazing ladies.

After the main course it was time for our speech. Don and Summer accompanied me to the podium and I gave our first hand account of the amazing care we have and continue to receive at Sunnybrook. It was an emotional experience but I managed to hold it together.

Following our speech was the live auction. It was quite exciting as the US Open bids went over $20,000.

Summer’s last job of the evening was to draw the winning ticket for the ‘door prize’, an 18K gold, diamond & ruby ring valued at $8,000. Here’s how it transpired.

Summer and Don made their way to the front. Dr. Church leans over and says to me “I hope she pulls number 119!” Summer dipped her hand in the bucket and handed the winning ticket to Leslie Roberts from Global National who was emcee for the evening. He squinted and read the winning number: 119!!! We were shocked, amazed! As if?

Paige made a classy move and asked that the ring be auctioned, on the spot, to raise a few more funds for the program. And the bidding began… it stalled at $5,500, so Leslie raised the stakes and added a ‘photo opt’ with Summer for the winning bidder. The bidding went to $7,500 and was won by a lovely couple at the next table.

The winning couple & photographer came over for the photo and we let Summer have her moment with them, standing off to the side. She obliged with hugs and smiles all around. Then we overheard the lady say, “this is for you Summer!” I thought, how cute, she’s letting Summer hold the box for the photo. Don said to me, “I think she is giving the ring to Summer!” I said, Of course she isn’t…I’m sure she is just letting her play with the box.” Well, a moment later when the ‘photo shoot’ was over, the lady and her husband said, “We want Summer to have the ring.” Don and I protested; we could not accept such a gift. But in the end, we did. The Gentleman assured us they were very happy to contribute to a great cause and it would please them to know that Summer has the ring.

It is still giving me goose bumps to recollect the moment.

Family heirlooms need to start somewhere and now we have one that starts with Summer and a story of spontaneous generosity and kindness. We are truly touched and still can’t quite believe it.

Summer is very aware that the ring is hers. I even asked if I could borrow it sometime and so far she has said no. One day she may say yes…I will keep trying.

Summer enjoying her dessert trio!

Maureen & Patricia

Patricia, Dr. Church, Maureen, Summer & me

THE Ring