Friday, August 19, 2011

Dress-up Jobs

In our home preschool, we are learning about all sorts of jobs this month.  The girls are loving dressing-up.  So far we have learned about doctors, dentists and mail carriers.  We took some creative license, since we didn't have a post office costume, but we did have a play horse, chaps, bandanas and such.  So, we learned about the Pony Express.  Hey, the curriculum didn't say we had to stay in this century!
Letting Esra play doctor has been such a treat.  She loves to listen to heartbeats and take temperatures.  But the dramatic play has also provided some much-needed therapy to help her overcome her fear of the blood pressure cuff.  She is deathly afraid of the "squeezer," as we call it, since she has been "squeezed" incessantly since her birth to monitor her heart defect.  All is well with her heart now, and check-ups are now once a year.  However, having the opportunity to process this fear through play has lessened her anxiety.  I think being able to play the role of doctor and patient has calmed her uneasiness.
Ah, the blessings and power of play!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fire Station Fieldtrip

Dear Firefighters at Avila Beach Station,

Thank you for showing us around your fire station.  We have been learning about firefighters at school.  We especially loved seeing the big red trucks and the surfboards on top.
We did not think you would mind us stopping by for a quick 15 minute tour.  But we felt so special after you spent over an hour with us talking about fire safety, dressing in your gear and letting us use the radios on your trucks.

When we come to visit our grandparents again, we will wave when we drive by the fire house.

Esra and Estelle Edwards

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Esra's New Backpack

Right before we left for our Fall trip to California, I read this blog post from Rachel Coleman, of Signing Time fame. The post was all about babywearing. In fact, long-term babywearing that becomes toddler-wearing that becomes eleven-year-old-wearing.  Rachel and her husband, Aaron, are raising a daughter with Spina Bifida just like we are.  Her name is Lucy.  I understand completely why Rachel does not post very often.  But every time she does, I am inspired and educated.  Her insights are always timely and seem to help me through a specific challenge. 

As I read this time, she talk about her family's goal to include their daughter in their love of the outdoors, namely hiking.  So, their Lucy, like our Esra uses a wheelchair and they don't jive too well with anything but the paved paths of Zion's Emerald Falls or the Grand Canyon's main vistas.  The Coleman family hikes far and wide: Arches, Yellowstone, Moab.  How inspiring!

Rachel highlighted three different backpacks that they use to ensure that Lucy can enjoy hiking as much as her parents and sister as she has grown.  I was please to read that they used a Baby Hawk wrap like us.  We enjoy using that one.  But we needed something to provide more support for longer hikes.  I was so glad that Rachel made the recommendations she did.  I saw the Deuter Kids Comfort III Carrier and knew we had to get it. So we did.  And we tested it out on a stop while driving near Big Sur.

Sam did not have any complaints with comfort.  And Esra enjoyed the soft padding in front of her so she could lean her head forward, as well as to the side, to rest.

We had a great time on our first little hike, thanks to the Deuter.  We were exploring San Luis Obispo a few days later with the girls.  We decided to bring the pack, too.  Esra loved the new vantage point as we strolled to get some milk shakes.  Plus, Sam and I got do to something we don't usually get to do when Esra is in a wheelchair.  We got to hold hands!!