"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do.
God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know,
and holds us responsible to act." Prov 24:12

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shriners, Helper Arm & Helper Legs

We headed back up to Shriner's this past week to pick up Sasha's new helper legs and helper arm. He had been fitted for them about a month ago during our last visit. We had a such a great time as a family... it was a little mini vacation for us. We had to stay two days this time so they could put on the new equipment and adjust it, fix some things as needed and so that he would have time to work with the OT and PT. He did great. I honestly did not think that he would want anything to do with any of it but I couldn't have been more wrong. He blew everyone away with how much he accomplished in those two short days. He stood on his own, with no one holding him or helping him, the very first time they put the helper legs on! That was unbelievable! I wish I had a picture of it but he actually stood without holding onto anything or anybody for about five minutes. We were blown away. This is all so hard for him. He has never been in that position before in his life, and it takes so much strength and stamina to stay in those helper legs in an upright position and he did better than we could have ever hoped for. We were all so proud of him!

I can't say that he really likes his helper legs too much but the fact that he not only let us put them on but then worked on standing in them says a lot. Who knows, maybe they will work for him and he will want them to be a part of his life... maybe not. It's his decision but right now we just have to get him used to it so he can make an informed decision as he gets older. His helper arm on the other hand...

Wow, this totally shocked me. I thought he would HATE his helper arm and not want anything to do with it. I couldn't have been more wrong. He LOVES it, absolutely LOVES it! He loves the cane attachment because it allows him to play in an upright position in a way he hasn't been able to before. He can roll balls back and forth, smash playdough, etc. It has opened up a whole new world for him! He doesn't mind having it on at all which is so great. The funny thing about the cane is that I never intended it to be something that could help him play when I had originally asked for it but he came up with some great ways to use it. I had originally asked them if they could make him a crutch/cane type attachment to help him scoot faster around the house. They kind of gave me a funny look when I asked since it really hadn't been done before but they did it... and it turned out great! Not only will he be able to use it for scooting but now, playing as well! We are so excited about this.

His helper arm is pretty neat. You can screw different attachments in and out, depending on his needs. Right now we have a cane attachment and an elbow type attachment that has a clip that can hold spoons, crayons, etc. It is really neat, really lightweight (which is great) and such a blessing. I couldn't be more grateful for all the wonderful people at Shriners who have provided all this equipment for our son. Here are some pics from our trip up there...

Standing in his new helper legs for the first time. Look at that stance... looking so cool Sasha!

Happy boy!

Sitting for the first time with his new helper legs. He is so cute! Do you notice how his feet are backwards? His prosthetist asked if we would be okay with him doing this as it would help him with his balance. He said some parents refuse because they don't like the way it looks. We assured him that we did not care about how it looked... if it helps him to stand better, then go for it! It's not like we don't get stared at every single moment of every single day already, LOL! Now we will just have people shaking their heads thinking, "That poor child, his parents don't even know how to put on his legs properly". Too funny!

I love this pic. He's just so cute!

Rolling the ball to mama. He has never been able to roll the ball back and forth in an upright position. This was a big moment for him and he LOVED it!

Trying out the spoon attachment for the first time. He can't wait to get those M&M's in his mouth! He did it over and over and over again. He worked so hard!

Day 2 at Shriners... working with the PT.

Still working hard...

Rolling the ball with his favorite attachment, the cane.

Working hard for some M&M's...

Practicing with some yogurt. SO proud of him!

Using and loving his arm in his home environment...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Scooting Sasha

Here is the long awaited video of Sasha scooting! He is still slow & steady but this little clip will give you an idea of how he moves upright. He works very hard while practicing his scoot & LOVES to be rewarded with chocolate! Pretty soon, before we know it, he'll be scooting all over the place! What a blessing that will be for him as it opens up so many more opportunities.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Brooks Turns 3!

A couple of weeks ago, Brooks Woodrow celebrated his 3rd Birthday! He had a wonderful day and a small party... just the way he likes it. Brooks is more like me in that he is very shy and reserved and really doesn't like to be the center of attention. So, unlike his brother Heath who would invite anybody and everybody to his party, Brooksy prefers very small parties. So we had one of his friends come over, his Gram flew in for the occasion, we made a menu full of his requests and created a cake that he had requested months ago. It was a sweet party for one of the most wonderfully sweet, kind, caring, appreciative little boys I know. Brooks is our love bug. He loves getting kisses and cuddles and loves giving them back. He loves his family fiercely and tells me throughout each and every day things such as this... "I love you Mama," "You're my best friend Mama," "I will take care of you," "I will never leave you," "Thank you for this delicious food,"... the list could go on and on. Brooks is filled with love and shares that love with his family and we all feel very blessed that he is a part of our family.

Brooks had been asking for months (basically since Heath's birthday) for a "T-Rex volcano cake". Here is what I came up with. He was quite excited!

That T-Rex better stay away from the cake... I spent a lot of time creating that for Brooks!

Brooksy's Spread

Seeing his cake for the first time after waking up from his nap. He was SO excited! He loved that is was "exploding fire!".

Posing in his new birthday shirt in front of his cake. Unfortunately, the woman who made it put the wrong number on it. No worries though, he didn't even notice and the correct one arrived a few days later.

Blowing out the volcano...

Playing in the sandbox with his friend Taylor (they were born only a few days apart). They love that sandbox!

A last minute purchase. The boys loved it!

Heath trying his best but eventually... daddy had to finally break it open!

Present Time!

We love you Brooks Woodrow!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sasha's Coloring!

Yesterday was a big day in our house... huge! Sasha learned how to color! I had asked his OT & PT a couple of weeks ago if they could make him a cuff that would hold a crayon the would point straight out. Well, it arrived yesterday and it was a hit! We never know with Sasha if he is going to like an adaptive device... normally he prefers not to use any sort of adaptive device and gets pretty mad if you try to get him to try something. He loved his new crayon/marker holder though, once he knew what it was for. He has been seeing his brothers color for the past year and all the kids at church as well. He has never been able to participate though. But now he can and he loves it! He was SO excited and so was I. In fact, I am not quite sure who was more excited! So, of course, like any excited parent, I took a bunch of pictures and videos of this exciting moment in our lives...

The best picture I have ever seen for so many reasons!

I love this video for two reasons... 1) that Brooks calls his drawing "A Brownie T-Rex Night Fury". How cute is that? 2)Brooks comes in like a typical 2 year old... barreling in and scribbling all over. Sasha on the other hand is being very precise and taking his time. He is really thinking about what he wants to create and that is how he was the entire day. Love it!

If you watch closely in this video, you will see Sasha making circles. Right when he started coloring, he was attempting to make circles (which are actually really good) and color them in. Pretty impressive Sashi Bashi!

Finishing up his masterpiece later in the day...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jackson Hole Trip

We were blessed again this year to go to the Jackson Hole, WY area for vacation. We have some very generous and wonderfully sweet friends who let us stay at their family cabin at no cost. What a blessing that is for our family right now! I cannot even begin to tell you how much that means to us. We had a wonderful vacation together as a family and created a lot of beautiful memories! Jeremy's parents, Ami and Papi, were able to join us again this year which was wonderful. They live far away from us so it is nice when we can get together. We were also blessed to have our very good friends, the Edwards, come out this year! We had not seen them for almost two years so it was very nice that we were able to get together and have all our kids hang out together! Here are some pics of our time together...

Jeremy doing his best Vanna White impression of the cabin which is right outside of Jackson Hole in a town called Thayne.

Brooks having a grand ol' time while we were at the park in downtown Jackson Hole! We were entertaining ourselves while we were waiting for our friend's plane to arrive.

Heath was the uber tourist. He loves anything to do with the outdoors and was having a blast in Jackson Hole. He bought the ultimate tourist shirt (I wish we had put it on for this pic) and a coonskin hat to round out his look. He looked so cute in fact that a little later in the day, a tourist from Japan asked to take her picture with him!

The family... minus me who was taking the pic.

The first couple of days were rainy so we stayed around the cabin and hung out. The boys are thoroughly enjoying the game room in this pic!

Heath and Max fully enjoying the mountain rain!

Ami celebrated her birthday at the cabin. We had a lovely family dinner together and then some cake and ice cream. Ami sure looks excited! Someone has a sweet tooth!

Brooks, Sasha and I enjoying Ami's birthday dinner.

On one of the days, we headed down to Logan and Odgen Utah to check them out. We are looking for places to move after Jeremy is done with his residency and Ogden has been on our radar for awhile. So we headed down to look at the area and ended up loving it. Here is a pic of Ami, Heath and I in downtown Odgen.

Vern, Graham and I downtown. I was so excited to visit the downtown area because one of my favorite TV shows is Everwood which was filmed right in the heart of downtown Ogden. A little cheesy I know but what can I say... I was excited!

Ogden has an amazing dinosaur museum and park so we headed there after checking out downtown. Here is Heath doing his best dino impression! After visiting the dinosaur park, he declared that he wanted to move to Ogden... kids are very easy to please sometimes!

Brooks was just in awe of these dinosaurs...

Rest break before heading to the outdoor part of the park. Heath is still being a dinosaur... in fact, now that I think about it, he spends a lot of his time being a dinosaur on a daily basis, LOL!

Brooks and Max about to be eaten by a dinosaur!

Heath hamming it up!

Broosky heading down a slide at the park that was inside a tree trunk. They spent a lot of time on this slide!

Sasha heading down the slide. He loved this slide! Can you tell?

Heath heading out for the hike at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. We love this area. It is so unbelievably beautiful! We can't wait until we can move somewhere closer to the mountains so the kids can go hiking more often and really explore the outdoors.

Brooks and I heading out on the hike.

The Edwards Clan

Heath and Max exploring the Jenny Lake shoreline.

"Wow, this hiking thing can sure be tiring" little Sashi Boo.

We always have a blast on the ATV's there. Here is Brooks pretending to ride one. Too cute!

Brooks pretending to give Sasha a ride...

I love this pic!

Can't forget us... we had fun on the ATV's too!

Right before our friends had to catch a flight, we headed out to the alpine slide in Jackson Hole. Here is Sasha and his daddy heading up the chairlift to the slide.

Heath and I getting ready to hop off the chairlift.

All of us getting ready to head down the alpine slide. I love this pic because our friend Bill's face says it all. He was determined to go on the slide but that decision, that ill fated decision, made them miss their plane. He knew they were running late here and you can just see it in his face!

All the boys together. I love this pic because when we all became friends just 7 short years ago, we didn't have any kids. Now look at us. We have 5 boys between us! Very cool!

This is what it is really like trying to get five boys to all smile for a picture! They like to go a little crazy so most pics look like this!

The Group Shot...
What a great trip!