Thursday, December 16, 2010

Zoe's great grandfather

This is a kind of sad post. Zoe's great grandfather (Gavin's grandfather) died this last week at the age of 98. We were lucky enough to be able to visit him in Scotland when Zoe was about six months old, and we got a lot of footage of Zoe with her great grandfather. His funeral was today, and as a sort of memorial to him I put together this video.

My grandfather was quite a character. He had a fondness for poetry- the good, the traditional and the very bad. There are examples of all three in this video. The first is a poem, as my granddad says, about Scottish emigrants- I don't know the title and, in truth, only understand about half the words. The second poem about a three legged dog and is by William McGonagal, widely recognized as Scotland's worst poet. The third one is a rather bawdy poem about a lady named Teresa my Granddads girlfriend Win declares is "not for young ears". The final poem is "The Shooting of Dan Mcgrew" by Robert Service- it was one of my Granddad's favorites. The music at the end is Amazing Grace- I'm sure you will recognize it. It was my grandfathers request that it be sung at his funeral, so it seemed the obvious choice for this video. This version is by a mixed Canadian Military and a U.S. Marine Corps band.

The lady in some of the pictures is my granddad's girlfriend Win Moore, who for many years has been my grandfather's friend and companion and a second grandmother to me (and a second great grandmother to Zoe). She is a wonderful person, and I thank her for bringing so much joy to my granddad's life.

Zoe's middle name is Alexander, named in part after my grandfather, and I can only wish she has as long and full a life as he did.

He will be missed.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Little Walk-aholic

Walk, Walk, Walk

"Walk" is one of Zoe's favourite signs right now. She signs it constantly and gets frustrated when it is not time for walking (like bedtime). We love how much she loves to walk. We learned at our last developmental paediatrician visit that Zoe has subluxation in one of her hips. This basically means that the top of her thigh bone is loose in the hip socket because the socket is too shallow. This is not surprising since Zoe had hip dysplasia which caused bilateral displaced hips at birth. To treat this, we double diapered Zoe for the first year or so until the condition improved. Even now, we continue to do leg and hip stretches. We noticed that one of Zoe's legs appears longer than the other so we were not surprised when the xray said one of the hips has subluxation. The doctor recommended making sure Zoe gets lots of calcium and Vitamin D for healthy bone growth and that she do weight bearing exercises every day. We make sure Zoe gets two half hour sessions in her stander every day (she is sometimes in her stander longer at school when doing art activities- it is actually amazing how well she tolerates her stander) and we give her lots of walking time. It is a relief that Zoe enjoys walking when we know how much work it is for her. The other night she was falling asleep in her walker before bed and got angry when I took her out. She kept signing "walk, walk, walk" even with her eyes half shut! Now if we could only get her to enjoy those sitting exercises....

Little Negotiator

This conversation with Zoe took place a few weeks ago but I haven't had a chance to post it. Zoe has caught on to the skill of negotiating with us. First it was the typical, mom said no so I am going to ask dad. Now she attempts to make other suggestions and negotiate what she would like. Sometimes this is ok and what she asks for is reasonable- she wants to push the button on her toy one last time before walking to the dinner table. Other times, she tries to negotiate something she can't get out of. For example, I was putting Zoe to bed a few weeks ago and she signed that she either wasn't tired (I knew she was) or it wasn't time for bed (which it was). Our conversation/negotiations went something like this:

Zoe: "no sleep (or tired)"
Me: "Zoe it is time for bed."
"Eat" smile
Oh I see, you want to negotiate. Well, you had a really big dinner so no, it is not time for eating now.
"Milk" smile
You just had milk with your meds.
"Walk" big smile
Zoe, it is not time for walking. It is time for bed.
Sad face "Walk"
Zoe, I just said, it is not time for walking.
Frustrated grunt, hand slap, "Walk"
Zoe, are you trying to say that you have to walk to show me what it is you have to do right now instead of sleeping?
Big smile meaning yes
Hmmm, let me guess- do you need to play with puppy? (Puppy is a singing dog that Gavin rigged a big button switch to so Zoe can activate the dog herself)
Big smile "walk puppy"
No Zoe, as I said it is time for sleeping, not time for walking, and definitely not time for playing with puppy.
"no sleep" pause "swim" big smile
Are you trying to tell me that you can't go to bed because you have to swim?
Big smile "swim"
Ok, negotiations are over, you are just being silly now.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Zoe in the News

Zoe is in an article about adaptive equipment at her daycare. This is actually a really cool program because they use compressed cardboard to make the equipment. So far they made Zoe a floor sitting chair (shown in the picture in the article), an easel that she can use her stander at to paint and draw, and a computer keyboard station. As always she looks cute in the picture but they have better ones they could have used. We also wanted to edit the way they described her syndrome since it is not very accurate. I guess we should just hire an agent for Zoe so we can have more say in what they post :)

As for using compressed cardboard, we were a little nervous when they first told us about it because we didn't think it would be sturdy enough for Zoe who moves so much. However, we have been impressed with how sturdy and adaptable the equipment is. Plus, it is much lighter (and cheaper) than wooden or special needs equipment. They have made equipment that Zoe doesn't have already, is not covered by our insurance, and helps her participate more in school activities.

Here is the link for the article: