Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Packed and ready to go

We are packed and ready to go. The weather definitely turned here to fall. We are looking forward to a few days of California sun. Josie worked hard today and walked with only one break with her canes all the way across the room. We will have to really keep up the cane walking at home. I have to get to bed since we are going so early to therapy tomorrow and then off to the airport. I will post tomorrow when we get home...oh after my cards night with the girls -Can't wait to see you all!! Thanks for every ones support. We love it, Jenny and Josie

PS. Przemek and Sylvia- I promise to keep her strong and walking when we are home!! I know you are worried. Then I will turn her back over to you for 8 more weeks of miracle working. We will miss you guys.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dinner with the Michigan Dream Team


Przemek, Sylvia, Holly, Max, Josie and I

After a great day of therapy, we got to go out and enjoy dinner with the team. We so rarely get to socialize because we are always "working". Josie enjoyed going with them so she could laugh and joke with them instead of just concentrating with them. Sylvia and Przemek son, Max, is one year older then Josie so she enjoyed the company of someone her own age. She is doing a good job in her adult world here but nice to have someone her age to play DS with and tell jokes. Holly was great to organize the evening. Next time we get to go to Przemek and Sylvia's for a home cooked authentic Polish dinner.

We officially accepted Pibb, Josie's dog, today. It looks like he will return to us November 19th. We will be trained for a few days and then fly home. This will delay our return home by a few days but will be worth it. Josie is overjoyed now that we have made the official decision. Bless Sarah and all at Cares Inc for making this such a wonderful thing for Josie. I look forward watching her make even bigger strides with the dog. The dog remains in Kansas until his arrival learning some "Josie" specific commands. We already miss you Mr. Pibb.

I just got word today that Teresa, Josie's twin sister, has been in the hospital the past week and a half. Apparently they thought she had meningitis again but the bacteria didn't grow out of the culture. From my understanding she is on IV antibiotics for her fever. We pray that she gets well soon. We love you Miss Teresa.

Two more days and then we return home for a week break. Josie needs to keep up the hard work for the next 2 days. Our best to all, Jenny and Josie

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday, Week 5

Where has this time gone??? I can't believe we are in week 5 of this fall session. Josie had a good day walking with canes with Sylvia. It took a little encouraging to get her going but then she did well. It is hard to come back after a fun weekend and work hard. We only have 4 days this week so we need everything out of her we can get. This also means a lot more "walking homework"...not her favorite past time. We waited to do this until right before bed so it really took some encouraging. So much that we ended up doing it in the garage so we wouldn't wake up Aunt Harriet. I'll tell you what, when she makes up her mind to concentrate she is so good at the canes. My wish is for the next 8 weeks with Przemek the canes become 2nd nature and she can do them without so much concentration like she now does with her walker. If she can get really proficient on the canes then come April when we return for the month she can start learning independent steps and then become proficient with this all next summer. It is a good and obtainable goal.

It also turned into a cloudy, rainy, windy fall weather day here today. It is harder to motivate with this weather so I will give her a little break today!! We are having fun seeing the leaves just begin to change. I am looking forward to seeing the color here. What a treat. Love to all, Jenny and Josie

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Great Weekend in Grosse Pointe

It is the end of a wonderful weekend filled with the meeting of Josie's new service dog, Pibb, my parents visit, dinner at Jeanie and Roger's then to the Club with them, Harriet, Barry and Marla on Saturday night, church and visiting on Sunday, and dropping my parents back off at the airport tonight. It was a great time summed up in a nut shell.

We are here 4 more days and then home to LA for a break and Julia Yundt and Matt Hannah's wedding. We are so excited. I can't believe it is already here. There is a lot to accomplish still, but we will take it one day at a time. There is no fast way to fix Josie's walking just patience and hard work. She is amazing. Happy and blessed Sunday to you all. Jenny and Josie

Friday, September 25, 2009

Good Bye Pibb...for now

We had a wonderful day with Pibb. He and Sarah are now on a plane (or 2) back to Kansas. He will undergo some intense Josie specific training. We miss him already. It sounds like we will have him back in a month or 2. Thank you a million Sarah Holbert for making the huge effort to come to us with Mr. Pibb. CARES has truly been an incredible organization to work with. You can see their website at www.caresks.com. They also adopt out puppies at 8 weeks and at 10 months. The 10 month olds are already fairly trained. If you are looking for an incredible dog, not just a service dog, check them out.

Mom and dad are here and we are so excited to be with them. We had a wonderful dinner at Jeanie and Roger's with Aunt Harriet and their friend, John Donnelly. What a treat to all be together.

Josie really hung in there this week especially with all the distraction. I am so proud of her. I will do my best at getting her rested before we we launch into week 5next week. Boy, it is going too fast. If it didn't snow here we wouldn't leave this year. There is so much to accomplish. Phew. Happy Friday to all, Jenny and Josie

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mr. Pibb






Dustin and his dog, Osaka, Sarah Holbert, Josie, Pibb and Sylvia


Sarah Holbert, CEO of Cares Inc.

What an exciting day for Josie. She has had a ball with the new adventure with a dog. We were going to name him Wyatt, but his given name is Pibb after the soda. His whole liter was named after soda...Fresca, Sprite, Mugs, Shasta, etc. Pibb really does fit him. We are still weighing all the options. I am just excited to know that this will work, if not now soon. Sarah Holbert from Cares Inc has been so incredible with us and actually a couple other families at the center. It is remarkable that a dog can give so much assistance to someone.

My parents landed tonight and we are overjoyed that they are here. Josie and I met them at the airport with Pibb. It was our first independent outing. He was great...I still have everything to learn. Mr. Pibb and Sarah will return to Kansas after therapy tomorrow. If we keep him, he will undergo concentrated training to meet Josie's current needs.

Please keep the MacLeod family in your prayers and thoughts. Our very sweet Rachel's dad is having a really difficult fight with cancer. We are thinking of you dear Raych and your family.

My best to all, Jenny, Josie and Mr. Pibb

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our fine furry friend has arrived!


First moments with Pibb (Wyatt)






He is here and I have to say he is beautiful. Josie was so excited when she saw him at the airport she literally leaped out of her stroller. I had to catch her. His real name is Pibb as in Mr. Pibb. The whole liter was named after sodas. If we end up keeping him they can change his name to Wyatt when he is home for the next month for the rest of his training. Pibb does fit him really well. Sarah Holbert is just a doll to bring him to us and spend the next few days with us while we really assess the situation. We got he and Sarah situated at the Country Club (no other hotels in the area). Hysterical to see him at the club. I am so tired tonight and it is so late I will post more tomorrow and let you know how we are all getting along.

Therapy went really well today too. Cute Josie told Sylvia after almost an hour of walking and shaking legs that she wants to listen to her because she knows that she can make her walk. Good night all, Jenny and Josie

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The dog count down has begun...

Oh yikes, the dog comes tomorrow. I pray (literally) that this is a good and helpful thing because once Josie sees it it may be impossible to avoid. She has put her all into therapy the past 2 days and told me tonight it is because she has to be "good enough" to keep Wyatt. The pressure this 8 year old has to endure and does it with grace and love.

I find these days that the thing holding her back the most right now is her own fear. She hasn't come to grips with the fact that she is capable of walking. She knows the consequences of falling so she is timid. Sylvia is doing an excellent job at teaching her how to fall and not get hurt. Hopefully this will ease the fear and give her confidence. She was walking across the kitchen tonight and I swear I could have completely let go and she would have been fine. As soon as she felt me pull away she crumbled. She is so close. My new prayer focus is to relieve her of this fear. (please join me in that one).

I will post pictures tomorrow night after we return from the airport meeting Wyatt. It is incredibly kind of Sarah Holbert from Cares Inc. to come to us. We are so excited to meet her and of course Wyatt. Keep your fingers crossed that we can make an objective decision. Love, Jenny and Josie

Monday, September 21, 2009

Good cane walking day

Today at therapy was incredible. Josie practiced with her canes for one hour. Sylvia was surprised and overjoyed especially since Friday was a difficult cane day. One day at a time around here. It is important for Josie to concentrate on the present and what she is to achieve at that moment. Much like life. We had a very quiet but happy night. We needed some rest and quiet play. My best to all of you, Jenny and Josie.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Apple pie ala mode







We were so fortunate to have another glorious Michigan day. More fun with the family. Church in the morning with a great sermon on if you have been given even one child you have been given Jesus. This couldn't be more true for me. I feel like I look into the eyes of someone very blessed when I look at Josie. I think every parent feels that way about their children.

After church, Josie and I decided to dive into a baking project...individual heart shaped apple pies. We made the dough and then had to put it in the refrigerator for a while. During that time we went to visit the Egers and we got to meet Janie who heads up Healing the Children in Michigan(we were that before we became Mending Kids International). What a treat to finally meet her and her sweet little boy, Reggie, from Haiti. Healing the Children has only a handful of their kids that ever have been adopted and here are 3 of us sitting together.

After dinner we got to try our creations and they weren't half bad. I did cheat on the filling and bought it at Williams Sonoma. With Jeanie and Boyd's help we added some real apples. Fun day had by all. Now to begin a very exciting therapy week, dog meeting and parents coming week. There will be a lot to update on so stay tuned!! We love you all for your support, Jenny and Josie

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Hot Chili Steppers are back


Hot Chili Steppers


Katelynn and Josie

Josie and I ran in the Grosse Pointe Rotary Run this morning. We run about four 5Ks a year together. Right before the our first race ever, Josie decided that we were a team and that we should have a name. She named us the Hot Chili Steppers and we even have a little cheer that we do before each race. We both have a roll in our team. She is the captain and tells me where to go and if we are turning, etc. I am just the horse with working running legs(if you can call them that). We do have a great time doing these races. She sits in the jogger the whole race and then runs down the finish line at the end. She is my inspiration. The run today was all along Lake St. Clair. What a perfect morning.

After the run, we got to spend the whole day with the Harriet Hull family. It is so great to see all the cousins again. We are blessed to be around these wonderful people. Josie enjoyed the kids. Our love to all, Jenny and Josie

Friday, September 18, 2009

TGIF

Ok, so we did not have an award winning day at therapy. Neither Sylvia or I could put our finger on why but Josie was just out of sorts. I guess she is entitled to a day like this after the intense schedule she has kept up the past few months. It just is not like her. There were tears (she wasn't even being yelled at) and not wanting to walk with the canes. She did do all her strength training at least. She just might need a break for the weekend. We will make it fun even though she has to practice with the canes.

Harriet's family is in town for the wedding tonight. Josie was overjoyed to meet my cousin, Christy's kids, Katelynn 7, Liam 4 and Molly 1 1/2. They all can't wait to play together in the morning.

We are going to run in the Rotary 5K Fun run tomorrow morning. The route will be along the lake so it should be beautiful. Good night. Jenny and Josie

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday

Hi All, Great day at therapy today. As I was leaving Josie and Sylvia at the gym I said that this was it she had 2 weeks to be walking with canes. Bossy I know but it light the fire under Sylvia and Josie or at least it was fun to see them accept the challenge. I am half joking because it is impossible to work any harder then they are right now. However, Josie had her best cane day ever today. She even did 2 more rounds at home tonight. There was a lot of protest to the second round but that was mostly because it was 10:00 PM. No rest for the weary.

We are rounding the corner towards our first break. It is coming too fast. I am so excited to have my parents come next Thursday to see her progress. My dad has never been here so I can't wait for him to meet everyone and see what actually takes place here. You truly can't believe it unless you see it.

We had a fun time today getting to know Dustin's service dog. He is 15 years old and is working with Przemek right now. It was remarkable to see the dog in action. His mom was giving us a demonstration. They have only had her since May. Josie was so intrigued by Osaka. We look forward to meeting Wyatt next Wednesday.

Tomorrow every one of Harriet's kids arrive for a wedding. I can't wait to see the cousins and catch up. It has been a while since I have seen them and most of them haven't met Josie. Christie is coming with her 3 kids and the oldest is an 8 year old girl, Katelynn. Josie is thrilled.

Weather permitting, Saturday we might have a lemonade stand with the Egers and friends. We'll keep you posted.

Please keep our dear friend, Baby Moriah, in your prayers. She is having such a tough time again. She was only a week away from being discharged after almost 11 months in the hospital and she has had a major set back. Check out her blog and support her incredibly amazing family...www.momentswithmoriah@blogspot.com

Sweet Dreams to all, Jenny and Josie

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

There may be a new sheriff in town...

We are definitely on a wild adventure called life over here. We are looking at the possibility of bring a new sheriff into our lives. I was hoping he was tall, dark and handsome between 35 - 40 yr old male, but he happens to be short, stocky, and strong 1year 5 month old male Golden Retriever dog named Wyatt. Ok now that I have you all confused here is the situation. Ever since Josie was about 5 years old, we (family, therapist, her "team") have been trying to find ways for Josie to have mobility and independence through ways other then a wheelchair. (I refuse to do the chair unless it is our last resort for many reasons). When she was 5 I was ready to get a pony and strap her to it and after much realistic consideration, realized that was not the best solution. I kept exploring options for mobility for distance like at the mall, parks, Disneyland, etc. where more endurance would be needed. At that time I came across an article on mobility "service" dogs that assisted people with mobility and balance issues. I understand that these dogs act as a "treadmill" and can keep the people going where on there own might not have enough endurance. At 5 yrs old she was absolutely not ready for a dog. I thought we would be between 10 to 15 before she was capable enough with her walking to be able to use a dog. You do have to walk first. In talking to there therapist here about 3 weeks ago we all decided since it is a 12 - 18 month wait for a dog we should apply now. I am thrilled that at 8 they think she is ready to apply. I had a lengthy conversation with the company in Kansas 2 weeks ago Thursday. Anyhow, 6 days later I got a call that they may have a dog NOW for her...yikes. My first response was you told me I had 12 months minimum and what is wrong with the dog?? After I pulled myself together I have enjoyed looking at the situation rationally (or best of my rational ability). Here is the bottom line...Susan from Cares is coming with the dog, Wyatt (as in Earp), to Detroit next Wednesday night. On Thursday we will get to know the dog and have a care conference with the therapists. My parents are coming for a visit Friday so I will get there take and opinion on how we all think we should proceed. We will either take this dog and pick it up in about a month after it receives some more specific training or we will decide if it is better to wait 6 months or a year before we proceed. There are so many factors playing into this but most importantly that it won't undo what we have done here. I will expand on this later. Josie is being so mature about the situation. She knows that the actual dog will come but we may not take this one now but for sure one day she will have a walking dog.

I will update you on the happens with our sheriff, Wyatt, as they unfold. Good night Y'all. Jenny and Josie

Monday, September 14, 2009

Let the games begin!!

Przemek and Sylvia are back and rearing to go. They are rested and reenergized and Josie felt it today. Yeah! When we were driving up the street almost to therapy today she says to me, "hey mom, are you going to run in and hug Sylvia and Przemek?" I said, "I don't know are you." She said, "No I am not going to run but I am going to walk in and hug then really tight." I asked, "You know what this means to have them back?" and she said, "yeah I have to work real hard." I love how much she missed them and trusts them. She actually feeds off of what they are instructing her to do. She knows this is her chance. She is very wise in certain areas for an 8 year old.

She did indeed work very hard for Sylvia today. Sylvia said she had a great attitude, tried really hard and was full of joy all workout and Sylvia didn't go light on her. Josie did corner standing where she stands in the corner and pulls herself off the wall into standing and tries to hold it. She has been unsuccessful to this point, but today she held it for 25 seconds. It is amazing to see her free standing. Parallel bars and walker went really well, but canes were a struggle. She was trying but wasn't mastering the task today. She also didn't use them much with Richard last week so she may need to brush up on them. However, when we got home she wanted something out of the refrigerator so I had her use her canes instead of the walker and she did pretty well.

Today was a good day for both of us. I think I was too tired yesterday with a migraine and wasn't the most fun mom. We got through the reading and homework tonight with smiles on both our faces. Task accomplished. Thanks for those who are reading this. You give us support to keep on the path. Love, Jenny and Josie

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last day the pool is open





Today was the last day that the pool is open. Josie is so sad it is closing. It has been an incredible source of entertainment as well as a good workout. We are going to have to find another pool. It is too hard for her after these big workouts not to loosen her muscles up. Today the pool was freezing. I don't think they have had the heater on all week. She was brave enough to get in...not me. I watched her from the side. I had a take one more video of her swimming because I think it is so remarkable the strides she has taken in the pool this summer. One thing she learned was how to walk across the bottom. Most parents are trying to get their kids off their feet and swim. I, however, am begging her to walk aross the pool. What ever works! We went to the Park's park to listen to my cousin Barry play in his band. Beautiful weather to be sitting overlooking the lake. Jeanie, Roger and dog, THeo came over to Harriet's for dinner with us. We are exhausted and off to bed so this week will be another very productive one. Maybe it is just that I am tired tonight (which is not often) but we need a few really productive weeks. She has got to be more independent for her and for me. She is trying the sweet little girl. More prayers that this all starts to click more. Love, Jenny and Josie

video

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Summer is here!!

The weather here has been confused for a few months. It was such a cool and mild summer and now that it is fall it has decided to warm up. Perfect for us cold weather light weights. We walked to the Little Club today to swim with the Egers. It was so amazing to be at the pool for hours. The girls had fun, of course. It is remarkable to see 2 little girls that have very limited leg ability, swim. Josie finally was able to make herself crawl around the baby pool. When it is only 18 inches and she is on her belly it is hard for her to use both arms to move. She had fun doing that today. Melissa can't use her legs too much but she has incredible arm strength and can swim with just using her arms. Always humbles me. Lory and I realized that we were 2 of very few people that have adopted our host children through Healing the Children (or name before we became Mending Kids). Just a tidbit of unnecessary information for you all. We had a nice day. Again, always a treat to be with the Eger family. Thanks Egers for entertaining us once again!! Looking forward to another beautiful Michigan day tomorrow. Lots of love, Jenny and Josie

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Day to Remeber and be Thankful



Taking a step with Richard





Lily the service dog being trained to help Richard and Bella's daughter Caya. Josie loves having Lily watch her at therapy this week. Lily loves her baby dog!


It is with humble thoughts and words that we remember those who perished 8 years ago today and those who are still here morning their loss. Thank you to all the service men and women here and overseas that put their lives in danger everyday to protect ours and our freedom. Best wishes to my cousin, Josh Meador, who is in Afghanistan training their doctors to take care of their own. It is truly a day of remembrance and to be thankful for the blessings we have been given. There is a great quote that I read once that says, "Be nicer than usual to everyone you meet because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

There is my patriotic words of the day and onto what you really came on here to read...Josie. I have attached a few pictures of Josie and Richard from workout today. Also, there is video of Josie walking with Richard without canes or a walker. Before you get to excited, I am not saying she is independently stepping. He is trying to get her to realize every single thing that works in a step and not rely onany kind of support. He wants her to feel her heels on the ground to the shoulders pulling slightly back to begin to initiate the next stepand everything in between. It is remarkable how she is actually able to understand in great detail and manipulate what he is talking about. If I had to think about all of that I would be flat on my face! We are so grateful that we had a week with Richard. It brought her attention to detail and increased her strength. It is always good to get another instructor for a bit to get what they are experts in. He and Bella might be in Los Angeles in December and if they are he agreed to come train Liz on specifically what Josie needs. I would be so grateful if that could happen. Liz will be able to so do it regardless but it would help to be face to face and talk it through. Also, for Richard and Susan to meet because Susan is a lot like Richard in how technically sound they are with the mechanics of it all. Boy we have a great team!!

Aunt Harriet came back today from her trip up north. We are delighted she is back and grateful that we are staying with her. Our love to all, Jenny and Josie

You may have to watch this sideways...Sorry!!
video

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday

Good evening to all, I feel like a broken record when I keep saying "another great day at therapy" but I actually mean it. It is like when people ask how you are and you immediately answer with a polite "great" except I mean it. If you have ever met my dad and ask how his is it is always "terrific". He might quite possibly be the only one I know that means it. So after that unnecessary bit of family information Josie did have a good day. Richard trains her differently then Silvia and Przemek with a different method but incredibly effective. They have worked a lot on strength training. He also focuses on the very tiny but important details that coincide with walking. He is making her keenly aware of exactly what muscles, tendons, etc that need to work during each moment of a step. It is shocking to watch this process and then wonder how anyone ever learns to walk. Richard is also excited to have someone that can actually converse with and have understand at the level of a functioning human. He has so many damaged kids that can't communicate Josie is refreshing for him. Careful what you wish for because she could also talk you into the ground!!

After therapy we got to go watch Josie's Friend, May Eger, at her horseback riding lesson. We got to give some of the horses treats. May did such a good job riding. She looks so little out there but has such control of her horse. Josie and Melissa spent most of time picking flowers. The 3 girls have such a great time together. They just giggle away.

To bed we go since therapy is earlier this week and we wake up earlier. It will be great to get back to our other schedule next week. Thanks so much for reading this blog and supporting Josie. She asks everyday if she got a comment on her blog. It really does motivate her. Love, Jenny and Josie

PS. To my Dealing Divas -I wish I was being dealt in right now. I can't believe I am missing another cards night but most importantly my good friends. Miss you all and can't wait to see you in October. PS. Is anyone going to be able to stop Camilla??

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jumping


Josie hooked up in the "spider" jumping and doing step ups

Josie had an exciting time jumping in the cage today. She was hooked up in the bungees and learned to bend her knees and the jump up and pull her feet off the ground. She was very proud. She is working really well with Richard this week. Sylvia and Przemek are on vacation. He is really hitting her with a lot of strength training. Sylvia will be pleased when she gets back at how much more strength she will have to work with. Josie is getting quite proficient walking through the house with her walker. She loves to tell me, "Mom I will meet you at the table." I pretend to still need to get something out of the cupboard while she walkers herself to the table. Great to see the independence increase. She is so proud. She wanted to help Jeanie cook dinner tonight so she got to toss the salad. Simple pleasures. We are off to bed since therapy is a little earlier this week and we are having a terrible time having to set an alarm!! Best to all, Jenny and Josie

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sweet little girls with walkers and canes



Melissa, Mayra and Josie



Melissa, Mayra and Josie being silly



Josie walking in Farms Market

Josie had a great time today having the Eger sisters over to have lunch and watch the Hannah Montana movie. You may remember from my earlier posts that we met the Eger family at the Little Club in Michigan this summer by coincidence. The Eger's have a heart grown(adopted) little girl from Guatemala, Mayra and a heart grown from Haiti, Melissa. They also have three older home grown kids. Melissa and Josie are in very similar situations seeing that they both have conditions that prevent them from walking independently but have sharp, normal functioning minds. Anyway, it was fun for all three girls to get together. Lory Eger, the girls mom, and I wanted to see if Melissa could handle canes. She already has great balance and so much strength in her arms. We handed her the canes and she walked right across the kitchen floor!! If we do that by November I will be a very happy mom...Go Melissa. Needless to say Lory will be ordering those tomorrow. It is always a treat to be with the Egers. It is selfishly nice for me to have a mom in the same boat I am in. It is nice to bounce off different scenarios with one another. Thanks Egers for spending the day with us.

Tonight we went to our favorite store in town, Farms Market. I decided that Josie should try doing her new walker in public. Up to this point I don't think she was ready because it took so much concentration that it would be too distracting in public. She didn't even baulk when I put it in the car so I knew right there she would be ready. She was. She did so well maneuvering the isles and people. Matt, the nice store owner, helped us a lot of the way and Larry the other owner came to see her walking. They have only seen her in a stroller and were so pleased to see what she was here to do. I find great support where ever we are even in places like the local grocery store.

What a nice end to a good weekend and an amazing summer. As we turn to the Fall season, I look forward to what is on our horizon. My grandpa bet on a horse at the races the other day named Jenny's New Chapter. It's record is 2 wins and 1 second place. I hope I am as lucky as this horse in the race I feel we are in right now. If we fall a few lengths back it won't be from lack of trying and training. Now we are off to the races!! Love to all, Jenny and Josie....PS. let the new chapter begin.

video

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What Time is it...


Singing to the folks in Grosse Pointe

The title of this blog has to do with the song from High School Musical 2 and the rest of it is it's summer vacation. Now why, you are probably asking, am I titling
it that (nothing to do with losing my mind). Tonight when I parked the car at the store and was on the phone with my sister Josie had rolled down the car window and was standing up singing this song at the top of her lungs to everyone walking by!! Didn't dawn on me that she was actually standing when I first heard her singing. My little entertainer. I posted the picture up above. Never dull with her. We were actually at the store after a fun day at the beach and in the pool. Church was this morning where she spent most of the time going from sit to stand in the pews. I know it is probably distracting to those behind us but it is incredible to watch her do it not to mention great getting in 200 squats during mass. Go glut muscles go. I will just keep apologizing to those behind us who we are disrupting.

Hope everyone is enjoying Labor Day Weekend. It feels like the real world starts up again Tuesday. Best to all, Jenny and Josie

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Movie Night

Good Evening- We had a fun Saturday. The weather was just perfect, around 80 degrees. We went to the village in the morning. It was a slow day. Nap in the afternoon, swimming, dinner and a movie on the lake under the full moon. We brought our chairs and blanket and enjoyed Kung Fu Panda. Josie laughed so hard it made the people around us laugh. She is contagious. We are off to bed with prayers of no more seizures. They are unfortunately increasing in amount, duration and strength...go away!! Love to all, Jenny and Josie

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yeah it is Friday


The Moving Sidewalk at the Mall


On her Canes by herself

Wow did that week fly. It is bitter sweet. We need every moment we can get here and yet we would love to be home. It can't fly to quickly...unless we are walking of course!! Josie finished up the week strong. I have posted a short clip of cane walking. Sylvia and Przemek are off to Florida for a much needed and deserved week vacation. They work so hard physically and emotionally it is amazing.

After therapy we went to the mall. The one thing Josie has always wanted to do that we take for granted is to stand on the moving sidewalk. Tonight she did it. She was acually able to balance and stand on all 3 portions. She was so proud of herself. Of course we had to ride it twice!! I got a cute picture of a simple pleasure in her life. Life lesson, never take even the moving sidewalk for granted because there will always be someone out there that wants to go on it and can't. It was funny to watch us lose control of the stroller in front of us and it went crashing into the trash can at the end of the way.

We now get a 3 day break that needs to be filled with a lot of swimming, cane and walker walking. I hope everyone has a very fun and safe Labor Day Weekend. Love to all, Jenny and Josie

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It has taken Josie a few days to get back up to speed from where she left off...not a great mommy here thinking I was doing enough at home. Good learning lesson on how quickly it falls off. Anyway she showed great improvement with her canes today. She even ventured outside with the walker to try to navigate the rough and different terrain. She is doing a very good job with this.

Last week I begun to notice what I thought were small focal seizures. Sure enough they are. I can't figure out where and why they are creeping back. She is having about 4 a day and they are very short. I had to increase her meds to try to stop them completely. Cross your fingers they don't escalate. The worst part about them coming now is that they wanted to make her more responsible for herself by leaving her (in safe situations) so she can learn that someone isn't always going to be there to catch her. With these seizures that is impossible. Always a mystery and challenge.

On a very happy note, we got to swim under a full moon tonight. The weather was warm enough to day to go swim and she had a ball. It helps her so much to swim after such an intense workout. One more happy thing. I was able to contact the people in Kansas who train walking dogs for balance and mobility (defines Josie). We actually get to fill out her application now, she qualifies. I thought she would have to be around 10years old but she is ready!! The dog will be like a treadmill and pull her along for places like the grocery store, malls, even the halls at school. That is the simplest way to explain what we would use it for. They can also train their dogs for seizures...jackpot. I will update more about this when I have all the info. I am just excited that we are starting this new journey.

One more day with Sylvia before her week vacation. She will have Richard next week. I hope she works just as hard for him while Sylvia and Przemek are gone.

I am glad to hear the La Canada was finally able to go back to school. Josie is missing her friends but was glad to hear that a few of her friends will be in her class when she returns. She starts home schooling here next week. Happy Thursday night to all. Jenny and Josie

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Good Evening- It is difficult being in Michigan and watching the suffering that is taking place at home because of the fires. The trainers at my gym today were asking where I was from and at that moment Al Roker on TV reporting on the fires in the Crest. I pray that the firefighters, who are doing an incredible job, will get some cooperation with the weather and the homes in dangere will be spared. I pray the air quality will get back to a healthy level and the kids can actually start school.

As for us in Michigan we are happy and well. Josie had her second day of therapy today. When I came in, Sylvia said she wasn't doing well with the canes. I know we didn't work as intensely as we should have (there is always guilt on my part about this..there is always more to be done) but I also know she was doing the canes fairly well at home. I quickly got the canes and made Sylvia and Przemek watch how we were doing them at home. Sylvia was actually impressed and thought it was impossible for her to lose that much. I think Josie was not trying her hardest today because she is still fearful of them.

We actually got assigned "walking homework". They think she is strong enough to be able to do more at home. Remember last session she wasn't even allowed to stand at home because she wouldn't have enough energy for therapy. After dinner and a walk to the pharmacy we started our homework. She stood balanced on the canes for so long. After that we were going to bed so she walked out of the kitchen with her canes. I only had to catch her twice which is good for how far she had to go. She is definitely getting better with them but there is a long way to go. We'll check in tomorrow. Jenny and Josie