Archive for December, 2009

Christmas and other miscellaneous musings….

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

I took Christmas week off, and before we headed off to Oceanside to see Auntie Rose & family, we went to Tres Rios Wetland south of I-10, just east of 91st Ave. Doesn’t look like much from the road, the sign is tiny and hard to see. The area isn’t very developed (which is one thing I liked about it), but the birds! It was amazing. Right off the bat we saw a male Cardinal in all its glory! The snowy egrets, great egrets, great blue herons, and a cinnamon teal were my favorites (in addition to the cardinal, of course). Like a dingdong, I didn’t bring my binocs; probably good though since I was with Maria and Manolis–they’re not so into birds. Next time Auntie Rose comes, though, that’s where we’re going! There are 2-3 large ponds to walk around, a couple of boardwalks that take you in the middle of a wetland, and several benches to sit on to observe the birds. We had Maria in her stroller, of course, and there was no problem getting around; well, except for a small patch of loose gravel that was tough to push her through, but other than that, it was awesome!! Highly recommend this spot!

Wed we headed to CA, spent a couple days with Maria’s aunt and uncle and cousin Amelia. Amelia’s 4, and finally able to interact with Maria (although she was puzzled as to why Maria doesn’t talk, etc). They held hands a couple times and you could tell Maria liked having Amelia around. Rosanne and Paul did a bunch of work on their back yard. It looks great! Looks like a park or a resort or Mediterranean villa. They did a fantastic job!! (esp considering that a couple short months ago Paul was very, very ill with pneumonia from swine flu). It was a low-key trip–a little shopping, a little walk near the ocean, a lot of eating–the usual! Since we’re getting Maria her very expensive bike, she didn’t get much in the way of gifts to open, but fortunately she doesn’t sweat the small stuff! One of the things I got her was some cute brown cords with fancy designs on the pockets and a glittery belt. Trouble is, they’re low-rise pants, and when you’re still in diapers, it’s not a good look…

Today we had our quarterly review with the state. It was the shortest one ever. And the best news of all–we’re getting a new coordinator!! It’s pretty obvious the current one doesn’t care for me much (she kept asking nanny Sue what Maria is improving at, what she’s been doing, etc.). I just kept my mouth shut and tried not to cause any trouble. She was nice enough this time, and appeared to be trying, but I’m still pretty pissed off about our last visit, so I admit, I didn’t try very hard this time to be anything more than polite. Needless to say, I’m very happy that we’re getting someone new.

Maria’s been out of school for just over a week. 3 more days of freedom and laziness, then it’s back to her schedule. She’s still going to bed around the same time, but we’ve all been getting up kinda late. It’s been nice!

Maria Gets More Publicity

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Because I’m totally shameless, I mentioned the bike thing to my clients. One of them wrote a very nice press release. Thank you, Christine!

Larger Than Life

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

I took Maria to see the Dave Matthews Band movie in 3D. I liked the 3D (hard to keep the glasses on Maria’s face, though), and I liked the parts where Dave Matthews was on, but at least the first 30 min was 2 other bands, who may have been fine some other day in some other venue, but I wanted to see DMB and could care less about the other 2 bands!!! By the time DMB came on, Maria was asleep. I think the other 2 bands tired her out because they were pretty loud and rowdy (esp the 1st one).

The other unfortunate thing was that I think we were the only ones in the theater. We were sitting up front in the accessible seating and the theater was dark the entire time (beginning and endiing also), so can’t be 100% sure, but when I looked back, I didn’t see anyone else. It’s no wonder because I didn’t see any advertisements, except for the email I got. NOTHING in the paper. Shame! And of course, we went to the 9:40am on a Sunday show–DMB fans are surely still in bed by then!

Maria basically slept all day. Concert really must have tired her out! Oh well, I guess Michael Jackson and the Wiggles still rule Maria’s music world!

Talking to Chris

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Today, Saturday, was a busy day!! First we were with Alison, speech therapist in Peoria, then way down to Gilbert for a Jin Shin Jyutsu session with Debbie, and finally back to Peoria for occupational therapy with Chris. Debbie did her usual thing of treating Maria while Maria listens to Therapeutic Listening tapes, which are supposed to help her talk. Manolis and I always leave the room because the treatments go better when Debbie and Maria are alone.

In her OT session, Maria was sitting on Chris’s lap, looking at her. Chris would talk to Maria, then Maria would look right at Chris and move her mouth like she was talking (no sounds came out). Then Chris would talk, then Maria would move her mouth. This went on for more than 20 minutes!! Chris said Maria was breathing like she was talking (not sure if that makes sense, hard to explain in text). Back and forth, and back and forth, just like they were having a long, involved conversation!

It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen Maria do! I wish I’d had my camera to take a video! I almost cried. Sue would have cried if she’d been there. And for some reason 2 tears came out of Maria’s eye at the end of the session when she was laying down.

I have no idea what that was about, but it was absolutely amazing! It reminded me of the time when Helen Keller finally figured out that the W sign meant water and the whole language thing finally made sense.

Next week is another Jin Shin treatment, followed by OT, so we’ll see what else happens!


Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Apparently, Maria did “awesome” today in hippotherapy. She also did terrific 2 weeks ago. I wasn’t there either time. Hmmmmm. When I go, I’m quiet, so I don’t think I distract her. Perhaps it’s the constant snapping of pictures. Oh well, it’s probably better for me not to miss so much work anyway.

Maria loved the Michael Jackson movie, This is It. I just got an email announcing a 3D Dave Matthews Band movie that’s only going to be in theaters for 1 week. I’m going to take her to see it. Hope she likes DMB as much as MJ!

We’re 25% of the way to getting Maria her bike!! Thanks to everyone who’s donated so far!!!

If you want to see some current photos of Maria, I’ve posted a few on my Facebook page. Here’s a link, not sure it’ll work or not??? . Since I’m kind of old, I’m still a bit baffled by FB–you know, what you can and can’t, should and shouldn’t do.

Maria’s doing great these days!! Breathing clear. Eating well. Standing and walking somewhat (with assistance). She got new glasses yesterday. Jury’s still out on them… She wakes up happy every day. We’re so lucky!


Sunday, December 6th, 2009

I forgot to write a post about Thanksgiving! Uncle Andy, Maria, and I went to Albuquerque to spend a few days with Maria’s grandparents and our cousins/aunt on my mom’s side. Manolis went to Vegas. As usual, he lost, which is good because he doesn’t play much $$ and it makes him not so excited about playing more.

The weather in NM was great for ABQ, but I was still cold. We spent time with Dad and Ida. Maria does love her grandpa! We went to my cousin’s for Thanksgiving, as usual (Mom’s sister’s kids). They’re Italian. My cousin DeeDee married a Greek, so you can imagine with Italians and Greeks how delicious and plentiful the food was! We always have a great time there. Unfortunately, Maria was overstimulated or something, Andy thought she possibly had a seizure, so we left abruptly after only a couple hours.

My aunt Louise and cousin Susan bought the house next door to DeeDee’s–isn’t that great?! Maria and I went back on Friday to see their house. It’s really nice! They found some old pictures of my mom–a wedding album she gave her mom, plus some other pictures of when she was pregnant with my older brother. What a wonderful surprise!!

We also saw an old high school friend of mine, who I haven’t seen in 20 years or so. She still looks the same. We went over to meet her therapy dog, who’s very sweet, but not in the mood to work. We did get a nice smile from Maria when she first met the dog. Andy went visiting an old friend of his too.

We left Saturday, just long enough not to get on anyone’s nerves, and we missed the storm!


Friday, December 4th, 2009

I added the widget to the sidebar so we can easily track donations to Maria’s therapeutic tricycle – big thanks to those of you who’ve donated so far. In the process, I destroyed the sidebar. It was a combination of my stupid web host not telling me I was over quota, stupid WordPress destroying the file when it couldn’t be saved, and stupid me for not having a recent backup. I restored the most recent one I had but I had put a bunch of links there that I now can’t remember. Oh well.