Friday, November 11, 2016

Reduced sensation

Allie with one of her kindergarten friends




Allie and I were shopping yesterday for this year's holiday drive sponsored family, and trying to decide which fuzzy blankets were the coziest.  Allie was riding in the cart as I pushed her from blanket to blanket so she could test which was the softest.  I parked her by one and she said something along the lines of "I need to be closer because just Righty can feel it from here."  I asked why it wasn't good enough for just Righty to touch it, and she gave a really interesting reply.  She said that her right hand can feel that the blanket is squishy but not that it is soft. 

Way back when Allie was first diagnosed, we were told that reduced sensation in her affected side is common. We were instructed to get brushes and vibrating toys to rub on her right side to increase sensation and awareness. (Side note, just because Amazon is selling a vibrating brush in the toy section, do not assume it is actually meant for kids. We got some, ummm, rather adult items that way.)  As Allie got more control and awareness with her right side, the notion that it doesn't really feel the same to her escaped me.

In that moment at the store, I said that was really interesting and we joked that it was a good thing she had her nose to rub on things, and we kept shopping. Later that night, we decided to run an "experiment" to see what felt different between her right and left sides.  We concluded that her right arm down to her elbow felt the same, but it was different from her elbow to her fingers. Her right foot from the ankle down couldn't decipher the softness either.  We then got some warm water to see if those parts could feel heat the same, which she said they did.

I think it's great that she is able to express these things, and that she does it in such a matter of fact way.  There was never a hint of disappointment but rather openness and curiosity.  She rather liked being the subject of our experiment.  We got lucky that she has such a good attitude about everything.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween this year was a mixed bag.  Allie loved it and Andrew hated most of it. 

Andrew's school had a parade, "Trunk or Treating," and a classroom party on the Friday before Halloween.  Andrew wouldn't wear his costume so he did the parade in his street clothes.  As soon as he saw me, he started saying "let's go home."  He screamed and cried the whole parade because he thought I was going to take him home but for some reason we kept walking around the perimeter of the grass. 

Here's one of his happier moments. 


We then got to "Trunk or Treating," which he enjoyed.



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But when it came time to go inside for the party, all hell broke loose.  He was not OK with this.


Allison and I then went to New York and were away for the weekend. Not the best note to leave on. Luckily Bonnie came  to keep the boys company.

Halloween itself was pretty fun.  Bonnie and I watched Allie's school parade and went to her class for a party.



Bonnie, Andrew, and I hung out at the house while Jonathan and Allie went trick or treating.  Andrew did try to go to one house but got upset when he couldn't go inside to play. Maybe next year.


We tried to get a family picture but Andrew objected and collapsed on the ground behind us crying. Oh, the terrible twos.  They don't last forever... right???

New York Girls Trip

Allie has been studying the Statute of Liberty at school so she and I took the train up last weekend for a quick visit.  We haven't gotten to spend much one-on-one time with each other lately; it was really nice.

She was great on the trains.  We even accidentally sat in the quiet car on the way there and we didn't get kicked out!


We made it to out hotel and Allie had her first Statue of Liberty sighting.  Except this was a little gold one that happened to be by a bald eagle.


Allie found a little girl in the lobby and immediately started playing with her.  She's really good with little kids.


We woke up to a cool view, then we were off to find bagels.



We took a cab to the 9/11 memorial... 


 Then started our walk to the Statue of Liberty.  It was very exciting.






Pretty soon, we ran into some statues.  Allie wanted to take a picture next to every one of them.


This was titled "eyes"... OK?









We got to the ferry to go to Liberty Island.
 

It was cold but very exciting. 

Once we got on the island, Allie was impressed by how big the statue was in person, liked being able to go inside of it, and she particularly liked the gift shop. We got some souvenir pencils for her classmates then headed back to the hotel for some rest.


Pita chips in bed means we slept in crumbs that night.


 After a little break, we went for a walk to Central Park.  She got a balloon flower at the zoo.


 Climbed a huge rock.


Rode the carousel a couple times.

Played in an awesome sand playground.

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Walked through Times Square and got a caricature drawn...

Then had a gigantic dessert for dinner.

And then called it a night.

The next morning was a little rough.  We were worn out. 

After a quick breakfast we walked to the American Girl store to get a doll.  

Allie named it All (pronounced "Al") because it is a mini-Allison.


Then we went home.  It was a fantastic trip with my little girl.