Visit the New Blog!

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The Further Adventures of Sam and Ally is getting more and more interesting!  Don't miss a single installment!  Visit http://friddlesisters.blogspot.com today!




New Blog

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Well, the new blog is almost officially ready.  All it lacks is a nice domain name (well, and the history of this one.

You can find it right now at http://friddlesisters.blogspot.com.  I hope to get a nice pretty domain name for it shortly, or to re-point this one. 

I'll keep you posted. 

Anyway, the new format is super-easy to post to, which I hope will minimize procrastination.  Looking forward to frequent, fabulous blogging going forward!

Walking On Air

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I got a call today from Samantha's therapist at school.  After my heart started beating normally and I could focus on what she was saying (because I am always afraid it's bad news when they call), she told me that Samantha walked today.  Not just a few steps, either.

She walked down the back porch of the school, across the classroom to the sink, and from the sink to the table.  She fell down once, cried, and then said "Let's try again."

They counted as she walked a total of 80 steps!!!!!!!

PRAISE GOD!!!!!


I thought it was rhetorical :-)

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I guess without living with Sam day in and day out, it's not obvious that that look of intense focus only comes with GREAT excitement.  A few people have criticized me for "leaving them hanging" with the last post, and I apologize!  Sam had a blast and has been talking about Bailey the Horse ever since.  (Thanks to Keith for the replica, which she hugs on constantly!)

The program is really interesting.  Sam is paired with a girl with mild autism.  They have a number of goals for the girls, including social interaction, basic cognitive skills, and overcoming tactile/sensory hypersensitivity. They don't FOCUS on the horse, the horse enables the overall experience.  On Tuesday, they were hunting for "bugs".  They had placed colorful, plastic ladybugs in prominent positions around the arena.  The girls had to find bugs, ride to them, pick them up, determine the color, count the spots, then ride to their "friend" and show her what they found. 

They felt the different textures of the blanket, the horses' hair, the mane.  They had to make eye contact with each other and the volunteers (3 per rider!).

At the end of the session, Sam took the instructor's hand, the other little girl grabbed Sam's other hand, and they walked hand in hand back to the tent to put up their helmets.  The other mom and I were both amazed and delighted (both girls were having their first session). 

The next day, we took Sam and Ally to watch their babysitter Deanna's riding lesson.  Deanna is very talented.  She aspires to be on the Texas A & M equestrian team and regularly shows horses (hunter/jumper).  Sam was amazingly comfortable in the barn environment and wiggled her hands and feet as she watched Deanna ride while issuing constant commentary:  "She's a COWGIRL!".   "She says "Yee Haw!"  "Giddyup!"  Deanna is so fantastic.  She let Sam "help" her by holding the lead rope while she rinsed down her horse, let her help dry it off, and even helped her take a short "ride" on the stable's donkey.  Sam was so excited when Deanna asked her if she wanted to ride the donkey (named Shiner!!!) that she ran as fast as her little legs could carry her (holding both of my hands, of course).

I think this is going to be a great thing.

FYI, I am going to be moving my blog to WordPress, so I will shortly be issuing a new domain name (I think samandally.com, but I'm not sure),  I'll put a link here when I do - but want to give everyone a heads up that there will be some changes.  The good thing about this change is that it will allow me to do mobile posting with either my iPhone or Android phone, and should also be easier to add to even from my computer, allowing more frequent posting.  But, it may take a couple of days to get it live. 

Hippotherapy: Day 1

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So what do you think - did she like it?

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No News = Good News

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Samantha was an absolute champ at her EEG.  They put 32 electrodes on her head with some sort of sticky goo (NOT her favorite sort of experience), wrapped her head in gauze, and had her lie still for a full hour.  She was just awesome and did a great job of staying still.  The only time she cried or complained was when I stopped reading to her briefly, and once again when the test was done and she didn't like waiting to get all of the electrodes off.  I am just sure 9 of 10 toddlers could not have been so patient.

Her neurologist was supposed to get a report on Thursday, and we'll receive it by mail in about 2 weeks.  I assume we would hear from the neuro if they found anything alarming, so we'll just wait... and wait.

Meanwhile, we are enjoying greatly her increasingly chatty personality.  My favorite word right now is "somewho", as in "Somewho is at the door!".

"Hippotherapy" and EEG

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Hippotherapy?  Is that therapy with hippos?  For hippos?  Noooooo....  It's therapy for Sam!  With horses!  Small horses!  Cute horses!

We had an evaluation today and will have our first session next Tuesday.  She'll ride a pony named Bailey.  She's met Bailey twice and is pretty excited to see her again, although when asked if she'd like to sit on her or ride her, Sam answers brightly "No!" with the same sort of chirpy enthusiasm you'd expect to hear with "Yes!"  We'll see how it goes.

The evaluation today went quite well, especially given that when I picked Sam up at school beforehand she had just gotten covered in dirt by one of the little boys in her class.  Sam definitely doesn't like messes, especially on her.  All the way from school to the barn, she was pointing out each and every speck of mulch I'd failed to remove from her shirt, shoes, socks, seat belt...  Interestingly, she wasn't upset when I got there, and babbled about going down the slide on her tummy.  Nor was she upset while we were around the horses.  Hmmm.  

In other news, Weds am we're taking her in for an EEG as follow up on her seizure last month.  I have to be at Memorial Hermann checking in at 7:30 am, with Sam fed, clothed and with a fresh shampoo.  Ugh.  I'll keep you posted on what we learn... after I have a nap and earn my keep for the day.


Sam's New Scooter

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Sam's had a couple of chances to play with these at therapy, but today we got one of our very own to bring home!  It's revolutionary.  It allows her to get around independently and explore without having to depend 100% on other people.  I can't wait to see the impact on her self-confidence and her curiosity.

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Here I just think she's cute.

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Not to be forgotten, here's little sis'.  Wearing a skirt, as usual.  And running, as usual.  She's the toughest girly girl I know.
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Meanwhile, I can hardly believe it's spring, but the pollen levels tell me it's true.  All of the yellow in this picture is comprised of bright yellow flowers on the vines on this tree.  Hummingbirds love our house!  The other day one buzzed the girls' bright pink bottle of bubbles.
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Samantha's 3 Year Check-Up

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God's blessings have showered down on us all year, but we really saw the "fruit" at Sam's 3 year well-child check.  Her numbers really look great.  Her pediatrician said for the first time EVER that she "wasn't worried about her weight at this time".  Awesome.  At 1 year, we were talking about GI tubes.  At 2 years, we were talking about feeding clinics.  At 3 years:

Weight: 27 lb 6 oz - 16th percentile!!!!  WAAAAY up from zero to 2 percent much of last year!
Height:  36 1/4 inches - 32nd percentile!!!!!  
Head Circumference:  51 cm - 96th percentile!  A slight drop - good stuff.  We want her head to grow... but not "expand" with the hydrocephalus.

Great numbers.  Thank you, God!  Continuing to see glimmers that she will one day be considered the "most studied normal child in history".

Samantha's 3 Yr Checkup

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God's blessings have showered down on us all year, but we really saw the "fruit" at Sam's 3 year well-child check.  Her numbers really look great.  Her pediatrician said for the first time EVER that she "wasn't worried about her weight at this time".  Awesome.  At 1 year, we were talking about GI tubes.  At 2 years, we were talking about feeding clinics.  At 3 years:

Weight: 27 lb 6 oz - 16th percentile!!!!  WAAAAY up from zero to 2 percent much of last year!
Height:  36 1/4 inches - 32nd percentile!!!!!  
Head Circumference:  51 cm - 96th percentile!  A slight drop - good stuff.  We want her head to grow... but not "expand" with the hydrocephalus.

Great numbers.  Thank you, God!  Continuing to see glimmers that she will one day be considered the "most studied normal child in history".