Monday, September 26, 2011

Seeing "Dolphin Tale"

Kaitlyn (my niece) and Ashlyn waiting to get in to the movie.

We finally got to see this FANTASTIC movie. Wow. It is amazing. It started out a little slow, not for lack of a story line, but because I wanted to jump right in and watch this amazing animal begin the prosthetic process. It probably would have been better had I not known what the movie was about and if I didn't have a personal reason for wanting to see how this beautiful dolphin worked with her prosthetic.

It was an incredible journey though. Ashlyn was just excited to see Winter in the movie and to already know the story. She did, however, ask me if Winter died. She was a little confused by the story line about Sawyer's (the main to Winter) cousin. I said, "No silly, remember we get to meet her."

I, of course, laughed and cried. There were moments that struck me so deeply and profoundly that I didn't just didn't expect it. I would explain them to you, but most of you probably haven't had the opportunity to see it since it just opened this weekend. So hurry up...get out there and see this incredible movie so I can tell you all about the parts that really struck a chord with me...or else I'm going to ruin it for you. *smiles*

It also made it nice that our group included Ashlyn and I (of course), my dad and step-mother, my sister, my brother-in-law as well as my niece and nephew and one of the main lines in the movie is..."Family is forever." Now that's what memories are made of. *warm fuzzies*

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The New Arms are fantastic!!

We finally made it to the end of the process...well almost. We picked up Ashlyn's new helper arms yesterday.

She has a new PINK swim arm which is lightweight and, of course, waterproof. Now we just have to find a good indoor pool to give a try. She really likes this one since it will help her swim and she has and incredible interest in Winter the Dolphin right now, so she totally sees the benefit of this one. Though, I must say, she is quite and incredible swimmer without it. I think she maybe a candidate for a swim team already. She's amazing!

Dr. Keith told her about the pink dolphins and we are excited to learn more about them too. Hmmm...maybe she will be a dolphin trainer some day. That would be okay with this momma!

We also got her new myoelectric arm. Wow. It's fantastic!

It will take quite a bit of adjusting and practic to operate it, but I think she'll get the hang of it in no time. It's a little heavier than the swim arm but once she learns to use it as a tool, I have a feeling she will become a super user.

She learns things so fast (like how to work my phone, how to navigate the internet and computer games) that I think this new helper arm will be a breeze to learn.

We are going to start Occupational Therapy as well, so that might give her an added incentive and insight on how to use it and how it can benefit her in some activities.

Hanger Prosthetics has been absolutely fabulous to work with. I would ABSOLUTELY recommend them to anyone that needs prosthetics or orthotics. Our appointments were easy and fun. We really liked the prothetist (Dr. Keith) we worked with also. In fact, the entire office team was great. So fortunate to be able to do this, and close to home. Very thankful to everyone that had a part in making this happen for Ashlyn. She's going to do amazing things!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday!!

I cannot believe that it has been 4 years since I first met my little princess. She has grown up so much in those 4 years that I can't even imagine what the next 4 will be like, and I hope I have the patience/wisdom/strength to handle the next 4. *smile*
We celebrated the big day at Lake Jacomo (Shelter #6). It started out rather warm (97 degrees) with a pretty strong wind. We got the celebration underway around 1:30 with most of my family and friends, her dad and grandma and Ashlyn's favorite cousin and her two best friends on the planet. She was in 7th Heaven!! She got to play for quite a while and then enjoyed cake, ice-cream and snacks as well as punch and water.

As we started the "present opening" portion of the festivities it got darker and darker with thunder and lightning looming just to the north. I rushed her through her present opening to make sure we got through all of them, but I don't think either of us got a real chance to actually SEE what she got. By the end of the presents it was storming like crazy. We covered things up and everyone pitched in to get things put up in my car so they wouldn't get ruined.

We got to say goodbye to family and friends as they made their way out in the storm and headed home. We stuck around for a little while with the few family members that stuck it out as the rain turned to a sprinkle. Ashlyn was soaked (as was I) from head to toe, as she caught a few extra raindrops on her tongue.
It was a very happy birthday for her and great to see so many people come out and enjoy her special day. She's an amazing girl. I still just can't believe she's already 4.

Happy birthday baby girl! (Yeah, she'll ALWAYS be my baby girl...even when she's 80.)