Sunday, January 31, 2010

Me and My Shadow





We have been out in the desert this weekend. Josie was walking outside she realized that she could see her shadow while she was walking. She has never been ever able to move her own shadow. She was so excited. It is fun to see the stuff that we all take for granted.

We had a fun weekend. Josie got to swim with Natalie Walklett on Saturday. We really just took it easy by swimming, playing, go on golf cart rides. It was nice to be out in the warm sun. Josie did have to work a little hard with walking. She lost some of her strength after being sick last week. It is amazing how quickly it disappears. We go back to Liz tomorrow so hopefully with her help she will regain the bit she lost.

We are getting ready to start our week. I am hoping that we will get closer to finding an aid for school. I love being there but it isn't the right thing for either of us. Keep your fingers crossed. Our best, Jenny and Josie

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2nd Grade Singing Concert


Josie's 2nd Grade Singing Concert

Josie and Dr. Kay showing him how she walks

Josie and Teresa in the recovery room. Poor Teresa had to have her head shaved again just when the hair was growing back from the last time. She is such a sweet angel.


What an adorable concert the 2nd graders put on today. Mrs. Roberts, their singing teacher, does such an amazing job with them. The kids love it and the songs are fun. Josie was very proud to stand up there with her canes. She didn't want me to be up there with her, but I don't trust her standing on her own yet. She sang her heart out and stood the whole time.

She is doing better in school and picking it up at a rapid pace. Her writing is getting to be more proficient and she is able to write quicker. Not up to the rest of the class but she is working very hard. She sure loves her friends and they her. Very cute.

After school, we went to Childrens Hospital for her orthopedic check up. She was delighted to walk into see them with her canes. The nurses were so excited to see her first. Of course Josie acted like it was not big deal. She expects herself to walk so she can't understand what all the fuss is about. They took hip, spine and neck xrays. Everything seems to be great. I have had some concern about why the feet are going numb when she sits on the carpet at school. Thankfully Dr. Kay isn't seeing anything unusual. She just might have a bony bottom that is causing her feet to fall asleep. We might try sitting her on a little pillow. Dr. Kay was happy to see that she is truly out of braces and that there was so much success in strengthening her feet and ankles in order to walk. He was impressed by the results from Michigan. He wrote a new prescription for us to continue with Liz here and completely supports our decision to continue with Michigan. He feels strongly that it does have to happen now. Now or never is the motto.

Just as we were finished with orthopedics Teresa was in the recovery room after having her shunts externalized. We begged them to let Josie come up to see her. They aren't allowing anyone under 16 to visit and they hardly ever let people visit in the recovery room. They were kind enough to allow Josie up there for a few minutes. As soon as Josie started talking to Teresa she opened her eyes. Josie was so sweet talking to her telling her how brave she was and how sweet she is. Teresa would keep opening her eyes to see her even though she was so tired from the anesthesia. Josie was telling Teresa that she was leaving and Teresa opened her eyes and just watched her kind of like no don't leave me here. I hope she gets out of ICU sooon and onto the floor so Josie can go visit again soon. They need each other especially when Teresa is trying to recover. It makes me want to cry they are so sweet to each other. What a bond that none of us will ever be able to understand. God is good to them.

After a long, but great day, I am even off to bed. Jenny and Josie

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandpa!!





OK, I know you are all sick of seeing the "jump roping pictures, but look how well she is doing by herself. I am not even holding her. She is balancing while turning the rope. You have got to see it and fell it to believe me. I will stop with the jump rope pics...for at least today!

Today is my dad's birthday. We had a fun birthday dinner for him. Josie and Luke were busy this afternoon making cards and wrapping gifts. We had to re wrap a few because Luke really enjoyed opening them!

Josie went back to school today. She didn't have all her energy back but boy does that kid have tenacity. She played jump rope as you can see from the picture above. Just before the bell rang to go in she actually asked to sit on her bike. She got a bit tired.

A sad moment happened for her today. At PE the kids run 2 laps around the field. Today when the teacher told them to run, Josie burst into tears. She just kept saying, "I want to run with them. I want to run." I tried to reinforce what great progress she is making and that one day soon she will be able to run with them. She has never had a moment like this where the reality really hit that she just couldn't do it. I try to let her do everything to the best of our capability that the rest of the kids are doing. We even ran relay races together last week. It just broke my heart to her the words I just want to run. Someday soon my love. Keep working hard and you too will run. (Przemek - I hope you are listening..hehe..she wants to run, not just walk. We need you, Sylwia and Liz to work your magic!)

After school we had our Brownie meeting. I am so lucky to have the nicest group of girls. They were all in kindergarten together and we have stayed together as a troop since then. We are selling cookies if anyone is just dying for some Girl Scout cookies. It is such a treat to be the leader. It is so laid back, but we all have a good time. Thank you Katie Budde for letting us use your room!!

Please keep our friends, The Breedens, in your prayers. Their new baby boy, Makoa, is having a hard time. They aren't receiving great medical news but he was born into the most wonderful family that will give him the best of what he needs and fight for him. This is actually Tracy's (Josie's aid from last year) sister.

We get to go see Teresa in the hospital tomorrow. Will update tomorrow night.
Our best, Jenny and Josie

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Half Birthday Josie and Teresa


Modeling her new pajamas that she wouldn't get out of all day!!

Walking to do her homework in her PJs

Got there!!! Such a Champ in her new PJs.

Josie and Teresa are officially 8 and a HALF today. Josie has been trying to say she was 8 1/2 since she turned 8. Now she finally can. She is also much better on her half birthday. I kept her home from school and therapy and she seems to be full recovered now. She can go back to school tomorrow and to her Brownie meeting after that. She did a good job writing her book report today. Writing isn't her favorite past time, but she is getting more proficient in it. That fine motor task of writing seems to be challenging. She also did a fair amount of walking today. She has begun to really pick up her knees more when she steps and doesn't drag her toes quite as much.

We get to go see her orthopedic surgeons on Wednesday. No one in the clinic has seen her walk yet not to mention to see her without her braces on her feet. I can't wait to show them the progress. They are going to be truly shocked. I hope now we can do a motion gait study on her and see what we find compared to what she was doing before we left. Before we left, they just need her to be a bit more proficient in her walker. She graduated out of that walker where she was strapped in, graduated out of the push walker with nothing holding her to just canes. That is huge for 5 months. That would be huge for a 3 year span. I love looking back on what she has accomplished. Better yet, she is with canes and doesn't even have to be cued. She wasn't even doing that when we left Michigan. I never tell her what foot or cane to move next. OK, enough of the reminiscing...

As for Teresa, I just got off the phone with Werner. They have found a very rare fungus infection in one of the shunts. No one has any idea how this has happened. They are confident that it is treatable. Unfortunately, they are going to have to externalize the shunt again, run a course of anti fungal treatment and then put the shunt back in the head. This is always risky because a shunt that is coming out of a head is a direct path for infection to go straight into the brain. They will monitor her very closely. Over all she is in good spirits being her feisty old self. Josie will get to visit her after her doctors appointment there on Wednesday. Will keep you posted as we get more information.

Off to organize the Brownie meeting for tomorrow. Our troop is so adorable and they have so much fun together. I am lucky to be their leader. Ciao, Jenny and Josie

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Fever is Back

Bummer, the fever returned tonight. Not high thank goodness. She seemed to be fairly good today. We went to church and then to Whole Foods. I guess I pushed it too much. She just seemed to be well. Tonight after walking from the family room back to her room she complained of a headache. I check her temp and it was 100. I guess school and therapy are out tomorrow. I can't stand missing either. She needs to be at both so badly. On the other hand, I don't want her to get sicker.

As for Teresa, she is still in the hospital. Her head is now swollen. They are trying to see if her shunt stopped working again or if she has an infection in it. Poor baby, she needs to get well and go home. She never really recovered from the last round in the hospital in October. Please keep praying for her.

Sorry for the boring blog tonight. I hope we will be in better spirits with happier things to report tomorrow. Thanks to all of you who have emailed, texted and called. We appreciate the support. Night, Jenny and Josie

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Feeling Better

Josie woke up today feeling much better. She her temp this morning was only 99. She laid low all day. I think she had a good old headache most of the day. She did do a little walking which I was happy about. It was good to see that she had the strength to do it. Hopefully by tomorrow she will be completely well. Thanks for your concern. Always scary when something comes up and very glad when it is ok. Thanks again yesterday to Dr. Mark Urata and Dr. Rodarte for your help. Good night, Jenny and Josie

PS. Happy 2nd Birthday to sweet Moriah Nelson. She has had to fight so hard to make it here but is now able to enjoy her birthday. Keep smiling little one!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Day at Childrens Hospital's Emergency Room





We made it home from a long day at Childrens Hospital's emergency room. Josie woke up at 11:30 last night with a high fever, tingling extremities and a very hard, swollen head (her head is suppose to be squishy and low). She had such severe pain in her head that she was crying most of the night. This morning we started at the pediatrician. He checked her for Strep throat and the flu which both were negative. He quickly rushed us over to the ER to check her shunt and meningitis. Thanks to a phone call to the ER from her Doctor, Mark Urata, we bypassed the 2 to 3 hour wait just to get in. They sent her for a CatScan which was deemed "pristine" by her neurosurgeon, Mark Krieger. Meningitis was also ruled negative. Bottom line, very scary day, but we're completely relieved to find out that it is probably just a virus. It is pathetic that we "hope" for just a fever. Always alarming when she gets anything mainly because she hardly ever gets sick.

Tonight, her temp was down to 100. She ate some cooked carrots and mashed potatoes and has perked up a bit. All day she was so lethargic and she couldn't lift her head up because of pain. The triage nurse asked if she was acting normal. Heck no it wasn't normal. We are thankful for all the people at CHLA that always take the best care of Josie and Teresa. Also for Dr. Rodarte who saw her first.

As we drove home we were able to see the snow that was incredibly low on our hills. Fun sight to see. Off to get Josie situated for bed. We are hoping for a peaceful and healing night. Teresa is doing better too. She might get out of the hospital tomorrow. We were almost roommates today. Night to all and thanks to all for their concern. Not a fun event but thankful for a good outcome. Jenny and Josie

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mudslides



I officially have a new found sympathy for Seattle and Portland. The rain is great when you know that it is temporary. It has been exciting watching it all. We aren't in any danger and neither is Josie's school. My parents live on a canyon and we have been watching the mud rush down it. Pictures above. At least or trees are still green, the flowers are blooming and we aren't under 10 feet of snow.

Rainy day schedule at school has been interesting the past few days. The kids have enjoyed the unusual weather. Bless the teachers during this time. I went to an IEP for Josie this morning. I am so encouraged with the teachers she is working with this year. I love the commitment they have made to Josie and to all the kids. Josie has increased her writing ability in just these few short weeks. She even read to me tonight with some decent fluency.

Teresa is still in the hospital. Even though they fixed the shunt in her brain, she has still been in a lot of pain. They did a spinal MRI today and found that she has Srynix(sp?). This is cysts on the spinal cord that can happen because of pooling of fluid after bouts of meningitis. Dr. Kreiger is reviewing the case to determine the best course of action. Hopefully she will qualify for the oral medication route and not the surgery route. We will know tomorrow. Josie and I will try to sneak into her room this weekend to see her.

Josie just woke up with a low fever, complaints of hand and foot pain and a swollen head (one advantage of not having a skull is you can keep track of the swelling). Wish us luck...off to figure out what the heck is going on. She had such a great and happy day. I hope it isn't anything, especially her shunt. Bye, Jenny

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chasing Rainbows


Makena's Bowling Party







At lunch with Katie, Allison, Lilly and Audrey

At P.E. with Lilly and Rita

Josie using just one cane. Her friend Audrey and I wanted to see if she could do it. She took 5 steps without any assistance. Don't worry Przemek, I won't encourage this without your teaching!! Just a trail. However, seeing this I am very encouraged and positive you can get her to do this.


Josie and I got to witness the most amazing site on our drive home from therapy. There was a full rainbow that was following us for about 5 minutes. We got to see where it started and where it ended the whole time. Unfortunately, we aren't any richer because there wasn't a pot of gold on either side...bummer. It was an awesome site none the less.

After a big day of wet and rainy school we made our way to therapy. We were in torrential down pour the whole way out. We just slowed way down and meandered on over to Liz's. On the way home it was clearer. I still can't complain because at least it isn't snow.

After therapy, we got to go to Makena Walkett's bowling birthday party. Josie had a ball bowling. She, Audrey Raulli and Makena had quite a game going. Cute Natalie, who is only 3 years old, would throw the ball down the lane and sit and watch it slowly roll down. After it would hit the pins she would do a little dance. Wish I had it on video. To cute. I will post some pictures above. Thanks Walkletts for having us!!

I just received an email from my friend in Michigan, Janie Livingston who runs Healing the Children there and has also adopted an adorable little boy, Reggie from Haiti. She and her family do a lot of work in Haiti and thanks be to God the main orphanages that she is involved in the children and staff all survived. Anyway, her dad will be on Good Morning America tomorrow around 8 am reporting from Haiti. Look for the piece if you are around a TV at that time. She also has an organization that is doing direct relief efforts. If anyone can donate let me know and I will send you the website. Our prayers continue to be with them and my God help them get through this.

Josie's sister, Teresa, went into shunt failure again. The Cajas's tool her to Childrens Hospital LA's emergency room last night. Through tests they realized that the reservoir in her shunt was failing. She was taken into surgery around noon with Dr. Mark Krieger. I just spoke with the recovery room nurse and she said the surgery went well and she has been in recovery since 2:00 waiting for a bed to open up on the floor. It is so hard to watch sweet Teresa go through so much. She is such a fighter. Hopefully, this will be a quick stay and she will go home feeling better. Please keep her in your prayers. We love her so much.

Off to bed so I can get ready for another day at 2nd grade. So much fun and so cute. Night, Jenny and Josie.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another weekend in the Desert

We snuck away for another weekend in the desert with my parents and grandparents. It is such a treat to get to come down here. It is so good for Josie physically, too. She does a lot of walking here. We are able to slow down and just focus on getting around. She also swims everyday which helps the most on keeping up her endurance. I am thankful that my parents have this place and are so generous with letting us come here so much.

Josie had such a fun day today. We got to take her two friends, Caroline Dick and Sophia Dragna to see The Princess and the Frog. Josie was so excited that she asked to wait in the car an hour before we were leaving. The movie was cute but the girls together were cuter. They were so giggly and happy. Fun to see Josie in a normal 8 year old setting. She sure does love her friends and people for that matter.

Cute thing that made me smile today was when she was doing her "all about me" homework paper. One question asked what makes feel special. Josie's answer, was "Because my friends treat me like a queen." It is amazing at such a young age they can all have such self respect for each other. It has been a treat to witness this during my past 2 weeks in second grade. Josie has taken a disability and turned it into an ability. I admire her for it. Good night, Jenny and Josie

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday


If you look closely you can see that Josie is actually standing and holding onto Lilly cane while turning the rope. I have my hand on her shirt, but she is really steady. I love the strength that she has to do this for 20 minutes.

The Jump Rope Crew



Catching a butterfly on her finger

Hello all, So, above are the pictures I was going to post last night but have to admit that I fell asleep before they were uploaded. School continues to move along nicely. I have to say that I am actually learning a few more things in 2nd grade...embarrassing!! Mrs. Watts has such a nice flow to her class. I have thoroughly enjoyed being with Josie and the other kids. This is such a cute age.

Josie's walking in definitely progressing. She is really proficient when there aren't many distractions. I have to say that in the class she is still trying to figure it out. We will continue to work on it and she will get it. She walked a quarter of the way around the track at PE yesterday. She was incredibly stable even when part of the grade went running past her to their next activity. I thought she would for sure loss her balance but she didn't. The kids are a great motivating factor. They are so happy to see her upright and can truly appreciate how hard she is working. They are always giving her positive reinforcement.

Tonight we got to go to dinner with the Drummond's to Dona Maria's. Josie has been asking all week to go so we decided Thursday would be the best day. Josie was overjoyed to go out with Cole and his family. We always have a good laugh with those guys. It is so nice to have Ann on the board with me at Mending Kids. She is a much need asset to our organization. Thanks Ann!!

Off to bed so I can making through another day of 2nd grade!! I love it. Jenny and Josie

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Getting Caught Up

My apologies for the long delay in posting. I have let this get away from me a bit and will try to do better. Life has been rolling along quite well. Josie is loving school, at least the important parts in her mind. She is having a wonderful time with all her friends. It shocks me how much more she is able to be with them and do more of the same activites. Today at lunch, about seven of the girls formed a little club. They decided that they were all going to dress like twins and were comparing notes to see if they all could mustard up the same color outfit. It is refreshing to watch Josie engage in normal 2nd grade stuff. On the play ground, they had a little club meeting and were in a different location on the actual playground than usual. Josie noticed that there were balls on the field and took charge of protecting herself. From her bike she summond three boys she knows over to direct them on how they were to protect her. Of course they were delighted to be put on the task. She told me not to worry that she was being taken care of. I love that she is looking out for herself and independent enough to organize how to make it happen. Bless these darling and supportive kids we are so lucky to be with.

I am also learning during 2nd grade. It has been a treat to be able to see the class and watch them learn. Josie is handling it pretty well. She definitely is behind where they are, but she is continuing to learn. We can't gauge her ability and how far she will be able to go. I just want to see her striving to do her best not what everyone else is capable of. This is hard when you are in a very advanced school district. I have to continually remind myself that I am lucky that she even has the capability of going to regular school and be grateful of what she can do.

I will post a few pictures of our desert trip with the family last weekend as well as more school pictures. Thanks for reading this and supporting us. It really means so much to Josie and I. Our best, Josie and Jenny

Friday, January 8, 2010

First week back at school and therapy


Reading to Grandma

In the sandbox with Brooke. Brooke's mom and I were good friends from 1st grade on. Fun to have our daughters in the same grade and friends, too.


"The Gang" or at least some of them!!



Mrs. Watts 2nd grade class

Wow, I am writing this with sheer exhaustion, but also with great satisfaction. Josie started school this week while still keeping up her intense therapy routine. I was apprehensive at first because the schedule that we laid out was very rigorous. She handled this week with so much enthusiasm, energy and happiness. I couldn't be more pleased with her ability to withstand all that she encountered this week.

She is actually enjoying school and especially her friends. The kids have been so incredibly welcoming and inclusive. She is lucky to have such great friends that support her and motivate her. During the first recess they all play jump rope. Josie is in charge of turning the rope. She turns, they jump and everyone sings the cute little songs together. I wish I could video this...adorable. I will post a picture at least. She is loving PE. She was able to participate in all the activities with my assistance. We did Frisbees, shuffle board, relay races (I need to get in better shape for those!), basketball passing drills and she rides her bike around the field while the other kids run it. She really feels apart of it and Mr. Chase is amazing at including her and making adaptions where needed. After lunch they are off to lunch and recess. Josie sits right at the table with all of her friends. When they are finished eating they can help Javier clean up and receive Cougar Coupon for their help. Josie and Audrey have been helping an have earned enough coupons to pick a prize next week. After lunch she is usually off to the sand box if not back to jump roping. When the bell rings they all hug each other and off they go to their classes. Such a sweet age.

She is enjoying Mrs. Watt's class. Mrs. Watts has a great rhythm to the day. She moves them a lot which helps they stay focused and enthused. As hard as it is to always move her or have her walk with her canes around the room it really is the best for her. If she sits to long her muscles get tight and soar so it is great how active they are. Highlights, or course, are library, computer, music and art days. She will hardly let me help her with her work. She wants to do it all by herself, yet she isn't able to do a lot of it yet. It is nice to see her want her independence and she doesn't want to be different. I hope they find her an aide soon so that she doesn't have to have mom there everyday. It really isn't health for her to have me always there. It has been beneficial for the start because I am able to decipher what the best plan is and the best way to keep her safe outside of the actual room. Also, the resource teacher has been wonderful and very accommodating.

Josie is in for a great 2nd grade year. As for the aide, they don't even have a possibility of a person. There is absolutely no one in the district that would be suitable so they may have to hire someone from outside. At that point I can recommend people to go for the interview. Unfortunately at this time I don't have anyone in mind. If anyone knows someone who is strong, has an education background and whose personality is happy, positive and outgoing, let me know. I know this is a tall order, but we have had this kind of person for the past 2 years with Tracy Neumeier so I know it is possible. I will post some pictures so that you can get a small glimpse of school this week.

On a therapy note, she did really well with the added schedule. Liz got her back on track after having 2 weeks off. I will post walking video for Przemek and Slywia's review. This video was taken on Thursday after a full day at school, 2 hours of therapy and it was 5 o'clock at night - not to mention it was the end of a big week. She did fairly well. I will put the first video on just because she talks to Przemek and Slywia in it bit the walking isn't the best in it. I hope all of you have had a great week. I feel self consumed to just talk about what we are doing. Love to hear from all of you about your lives. Love, Jenny and Josie

Vidoes for Przemek and Slywia's review. The first one is just cute because she talks to you. The walking on it isn't that impressive. The next one gives you a glimps of what she can do when completely worn out. Thanks you guys!!
video
video

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to school

Josie had her first day back to school. She was so excited to finally return and to be with her friends. The kids were so warm and welcoming and happy that she was back. She must feel really happy to have so many wonderful and supportive friends. Mrs. Watts is so encouraging and supportive. I am thrilled Josie has her this year. I was worried about leaving her first grade teacher, Mrs. Eggert, because she was so amazing. I am glad Mrs. Watts is the same. Josie had a good time playing jump rope at recess. She turns the rope while her friends jump. She feels really apart of it because she is one of the people in charge and she can sing all the jump rope songs with everyone. She had a good time and productive time with her resource teacher, Mrs. Eng. She is new this year and boy are we lucky she is there. I see her being able to really advance Josie's education. PE was a ball as usual with Mr. Chase. Josie should have adaptive PE but there isn't time in her schedule to fit it in so she does what the other kids do with some modification. Today it was Frisbee day. There were special Frisbees that have a spot that you can put your finger in to learn how to spin it on your finger. Josie loved it and with my help could spin it and keep it going. Then she and four of her friends all played catch in a circle. No one was very good at throwing or catching it so she fit right in. Only Lilly Dunbar could actually do it. From there she went straight to lunch and sat amongst her friends like always. Off to the sandbox for recess. We left after recess to go to therapy. We will be leaving Mondays and Tuesdays early to get to therapy. Just as we were leaving we ran into the music teacher, Mrs. Roberts who Josie adores. She informed us that music was right then for her class. We didn't know this and had to get to Liz. Well the day of emotion came to a head. She wanted to stay in the worst way. I tried to explain that we would talk to Liz and just go to therapy 15 minutes later starting next week. Let's put it this way...way to tired to even cope and the rest is history. Therapy was a disaster even though her sister was even there. We finished early because she refused to even stand. I should have been smarter then trying to jam all that into the first day of school. I was enough just to get her feet on the ground at school. Live and learn. I am so worried about losing any of the walking ground that I wasn't thinking clear enough. We will try to get it together tomorrow.

After baths, she pulled it together and did the best homework ever. I don't know where the concentration came from but I'll take it. We both needed it to be positive and successful tonight. I know I am asking more of this 8 year old than most kids her age have to endure right now. It is hard when our window is closing on the walking yet we can't let her get so behind in school. It is all important and hard to juggle. I see why God has babies learn to walk before really getting into instructional education. It is really difficult to do both. I am thankful that we even have the chance for both. Off to bed so I have the energy to do it all again tomorrow. Jenny and Josie

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hello

Hi all- We just returned home from a great week in the desert. It was hard to leave the 79 degree weather, but was elated to see that it was that warm at home. What a nice way to start out the new year. We had fun this evening celebrating my sister, Stephanie's birthday. Her birthday is really tomorrow, but it worked out better to celebrate tonight. Josie is so excited to start school tomorrow. I have been trying to scramble around here tonight to get us organized for the big day we are going to have tomorrow. I came to realize as I was just about to jump in bed that I packed away her back pack somewhere in our garage. Yikes, that is like putting it in the black hole. Oh well, we can always find a new one. Josie leaves after lunch on Mondays and Tuesdays so we can get out to therapy. I need to be packed for a whole day of fun and a whole day of food for her. School is challenging enough. Can't wait to get her back to her routine. I will be with her until we find yet another new aid. Off to bed. Jenny and Josie
videoFor Przemek and Sylwia's review
video

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy 2010






Happy New Year's. Wow, where does the time go?? How exciting to be entering into a new year and a new decade. Josie and I were talking before bed about what we hope for the new year. Josie's comment was to keep walking. I love that we have gotten to the "keep" walking instead of always the "learn" to walk mode. As I look forward to all the adventures planned so far, I hope that the walking keeps evolving in her life. We will take each day at a time and be thankful for that day and what brings to us.

As for right now, we are still in the desert. We had an incredibly relaxing and fun day. Josie slept in and then spent the morning swimming. We went fishing at the lake on the golf course by the house. Josie and Grandpa had their fishing poles and Jim was sailing his boat. It was so warm Josie went in her bathing suit. After that we had an arousing game of crochet with some of the neighbors. Back for moon sand play and an early dinner. Jim and Joellen had to leave after dinner. We watched a movie and then off to bed. It is going to be challenging to get her to school on Monday. We have had the luxury of sleeping in and not waking to an alarm clock for so long that it will be a shock to both our systems Monday morning. Josie is so excited though to return to school and be with her friends.

As for school, I will be accompanying her for awhile until they can figure out another aid. The one that was chosen and that I spent all the time training decided on Thursday afternoon(the day before Christmas break) that she didn't think she could lift Josie. Seeing that that is 80% of the job it appears to be a problem. It would have been really nice if she could have informed us the first day or two instead of wasting all of our time to train her and putting Josie through the bonding process. At least she told us and we can move forward. Josie's safety is my biggest concern and I will find someone that can do this job and well. Enough of that.

My best to you all as be start out this year. I hope it is wonderful for everyone. Cheers, Jenny and Josie