August 16, 2013

Prosthetics, Potty training, and Pictures

We haven't been swimming much this summer, but knowing the best way to handle the pool with a prosthesis has been a struggle for me. I know different people who do different things. Some use an old leg. Some use a special liner to go over their leg and protect it. Some don't use a leg at all. The downside to keeping the leg on is that it gets water in it and weighs down the body. The downside to not using a prosthesis is not being able to walk around the pool or balance on two feet in the pool. Right now we don't have any special liners to go over the leg so I have no experience with that option.

We used to take Anna's leg off but found it wasn't working well because at this age she wants to get in, get out, get in, etc. Crawling around on the concrete was not comfortable, so we started keeping her leg on and found that it worked well for us. Since she's not swimming at this time, it hasn't been much of an issue with it weighing her down. She does have to be extra careful because the leg is a lot harder to control underwater. Imagine something long and heavy attached to your leg in a pool that you have to pull along as you swim; it doesn't move as easily as it would normally. It can also be slippery on the bottom of a pool. Water can eventually wear down a prosthesis. There is metal in the bottom of the foot that can rust. However, since Anna needs a new leg on average every 7 months, we decided that was not an issue for us. For adults who keep their prosthesis until it wears out, keeping it on in the water might not be the best option.

It has been really nice to see Anna able to walk around the pool and be able to go in and out! I'm not sure what we will do once she gets to swimming age. I think swimming with a prosthesis would be hard, but there are people who do it. Then again, I'm not sure how easy it would be to swim with only one foot to propel yourself. I guess we will see what works best for her when the time comes. I suspect she will do better without the prosthesis.

This is one my favorite pictures. I think it captures how amazing and beautiful she is!

I recently took Anna to her regular check-up to at the prosthetic clinic. She is getting such good care now that we are taking her somewhere close to us where she can get regular check-ups! Just two months ago her leg was fitting great. This time he noticed right away that her fit was off. I hadn't noticed anything unusual whatsoever. Clearly I'm clueless. He adjusted the leg by the screw at the bottom of the foot which allows it to be lengthened. He covered up the metal rod with some foam so it looks kind of strange but since it's only a temporary fix, it's no big deal.

He said in a few more months she will need a new leg! It's crazy how one minute they are fitting great and the next they need a new one. Her current leg will probably last her a total of 8-9 months, a few months longer than her first leg.

I'm been considering getting her a patterned leg for her third leg. I think she would enjoy having a special design on her leg like butterflies or flowers. I posted this question in our Facebook group because I'm not sure if I should get a patterned leg at this age or wait until she's older. I don't think she understands exactly what it means. Different people have different things to say about it. The majority of parents seemed to get patterned legs for their children when they were young; they said it was fun for them.  I'm only hesitant because I don't know if Anna will like the extra attention she might get with a patterned leg. My inclination is that she will be proud of it, but there are a few kids who  choose to stick with flesh colored legs throughout their late childhood and teens, so I'm not sure whether I should go ahead or wait until she can verbalize her thoughts on it.

On another note, we started potty training! It has been going SO well! Anna only showed some of the recommended signs of readiness but I had a feeling she could still do it. She wasn't interested but I helped to develop at least a neutral attitude towards it: I read her lots of books and occasionally had her sit on the potty to sing songs or watch a short video clip. The first day of actual potty training we went straight from diapers to underwear and she was about 50/50 with accidents. The second day was more like 70/30, and the third day she had no accidents! It's been a week now and we've gone out multiple times with no accidents. I'm so proud of her! She can do the whole process by herself. Usually I go behind her but if I'm feeding Kimmie she can still do it alone!

Here are a few recent pictures. I love these girls!


Anna takes this stool around the house and uses it for everything- including getting into a little mischief.

This is Kimberly's eight month shot. For both girls I took monthly pictures of them in the rocking chair. I love to see the changes.

August 7, 2013

Tea Time

I haven't posted in forever. I've been mulling over a few things that I will hopefully write about at some point. Until then, why not share a rare, crafty moment.  Let me preface this by saying that I do NOT do this kind of thing on a regular basis. It is pretty out of character for me. In our household, Anna usually fends for herself in terms of entertainment ideas. I'm working on that. However, I got the crafting itch today.

Ben's aunt came over on Monday and gave Anna a few gifts. She also gave me a big floppy hat, stating that it was for tea parties. That got me thinking how Anna would most likely be all about tea parties. So I hunted online and ordered a simple little tea set (also uncommon for me. Ordering a new toy? Gasp! Good thing it was less than $20 yet still quality. Thanks, Melissa and Doug). I went with something unbreakable for obvious reasons.

I loved the tea set but wished it came with a few more things like plates for food, napkins, and a tablecloth. Then I had the epiphany that she already had plates from her kitchen and wooden cookies she received as a birthday gift (duh Lisa). All that was left were the linens. I decided it would be super easy to make my own. So while Anna was busy playing tea, I hunted up some old receiving blankets (while I'm always getting rid of as much as possible, I do save things that I suspect could have future crafty use left in them). I decided which blanket I wanted to use as the tablecloth- I liked the one with the pink edge- and which patterns complimented it. Then I pulled out my pinking shears. 

Pinking shears are great for fabric if you don't feel like sewing. They protect the edges from unraveling much better than scissors. They won't last forever like hemmed fabric, but they get the job done. I cut four squares for napkins. 

Then I used another patterned blanket, some ribbon, and super glue to make two-sided tea bags. 

Kimmie was more interested in the fabric than playing tea party.

It was all done before Anna had even finished playing, so super easy. Happy tea time!