The Daughter Chronicles

Monday, December 31, 2012

Holiday photos!

Yes, it's time to end the year with some pictographs from the holiday season. First: Christmas! Second: Our brief visit to Sedona! Join me, won't you?

Those are the Christmas photos. Pretty standard stuff. Mia likes to tear off the wrapping paper, and Norah digs her presents.

Then on Thursday, 27 December, we went to Sedona for a few days. My mom really wanted to go, and who are we to say no to my mom? The afternoon we arrived, it snowed/rained/hailed a bit, and we took the kids to an outdoor shopping mall:

Friday, however, was gorgeous, if cold. Here's the view from right outside our hotel room:

Then we went on a Pink Jeep tour. We weren't sure if Norah would like it (because of all the turbulence), but she loved it. Here we are (my mom stayed at the hotel with Mia, who NOT have enjoyed it at all):

And here's Norah and the jeep:

We drove up Oak Creek Canyon (like you do) and stopped at the scenic viewpoint at the top. This is the third time we've done it, but the first with the kids. Norah got out and played in the snow. She likes snow, but rarely sees it:

So that's just a little of what our holiday has looked like. Soon Krys will be back to work (she took last week off), my parents will be driving back to Pennsylvania, and the kids will be back in school. I know, what will I do without everyone here all the time????

Monday, December 24, 2012

To EEG or not to EEG!

On Friday the 14th Mia went to Phoenix Children's Hospital to get an EEG, or electroencephalogram, which measures brain activity. This was because of all the seizures she was having back in October, which caused up some concern. Her neurologist said it wouldn't be a bad idea to get her an EEG, because it had been some time since they have done one (2007, I think). So we loaded up the family and went! I needed to go because I need to lift her. Krys needed to go because she has the best chance to get Mia to sleep during the EEG, as sleep is the best time to measure the brain activity. Norah had to go because the appointment was at 2 in the afternoon, and we wouldn't be done by the time she got down with school. So away we went!

The EEG was not terribly successful, unfortunately. We got Mia hooked up to the electrodes and such, and then Norah and I left the room so Krys and Mia could snuggle and Mia could fall asleep. The lights were off, Mia was tired (they recommend keeping the kids up late the night before, which we didn't do, but Mia is often tired at 2 in the afternoon), and all seemed well. The test lasted 43 minutes ... and Mia didn't fall asleep. Krys was surprised - her eyes were closed, her breathing was even, but the technician said her brain never went to "sleep," and then Mia opened her eyes and asked to watch TV, which means she wasn't going to go to sleep anytime soon. So we were done.

The technician told us they would look at the test, and last week we got a phone call from the nurse of the neurologist. The neurologist is on vacation, but an epileptologist (a doctor who specializes in seizures) looked at the scan and recommended that we increase her medication slightly. As this dude has never met Mia, I'm still going to call her neurologist back and see what he says, and I was thinking that taking her to an epileptologist might be a good idea anyway, so we'll see where we go from there. Her seizures are better than they were in October, so it's not as pressing a problem as it was then, but we'd still like to see if we can figure them out a bit more. It's frustrating that they can never get a good reading on her. A day or two in the hospital might help that. I'm not sure if they'll recommend that, but it's certainly something to consider.

So, another inconclusive test. That's not too surprising with Mia. It's always fun!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Norah rides a bike!

Yes, it's true. A few years ago, you might recall, I started teaching Norah how to ride a bicycle. She got her training wheels off and figured out to ride and stay upright pretty well, but she could not stop very well, or, more importantly, start. She had figured out that if she just stopped pedaling, she'd eventually stop, which isn't the best way, but it works for her. Starting, however, is pretty important, and Norah couldn't figure it out. Her problem is that she does not like feeling out of control, even for a second, so the fact that she needed to push off and move for an instant without pedaling or even having her feet on the pedal didn't sit well with her. It's for less than a second, true, but she couldn't convince herself that it would be okay. I told her last year that I had really explained it as well as I could, and it would be up to her to overcome that nervousness. (This is the reason she can swim quite well but can't dive. She doesn't want to leave the ground for long enough to get a good dive, because for those few moments, she's not in control. We hope she'll figure it out one day.)

So this year, she had outgrown her first bike, and I bought her a new one. I told her that this one would probably be her size for this year and at least two more, and if she couldn't learn to ride the bike by then, I wasn't buying her another one. I really didn't think it would take that long, but with Norah - who wants to do everything perfectly the first time she does something and gets in a bit of a snit if she doesn't succeed immediately - that was a possibility. She couldn't get it for a few weeks, but she kept trying. When she can get over being in a snit, she can often will herself to do something, and that's what happened here. Once she realized that being in a snit didn't do her any good, I heard her talking to herself when she was trying to get on the bike and telling herself what to do and not to be afraid. After that, it was pretty easy for her. So, of course, I had to film her ... well, get Krys to film her:

Here she is getting started:

Here she is stopping. She still kind of drifts to a stop, but she's getting better at it.

So there you have it. She was 7 years and a little bit over 5 months when she mastered the bike riding. I don't know if that's a typical age to get bike riding. I know some kids at her school were much younger, but I also know that some kids she knows haven't learned yet, but of course it's very possible their parents haven't taught them. She's really enjoying it, too - we go out almost every day. Soon she'll be able to cross the big streets, and then ... look out!