Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

Her latest thing

Ali's latest thing is trying to find a way to prop her right arm so she can put her hand in her mouth. She's yet to regain full range of motion in her shoulders, so she compensates when in different positions by resting her elbow on the floor or a borrowed arm so she can sneak her fingers into her mouth.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ali's Day Out


In the above picture, Ali is playing with her hair. This is the first time I've seen her do something like this. As she lay there on the floor, she reached up several times and pulled on her hair.

While she was playing with her hair, another new thing she started doing while I was down in Santa Rosa for the night, is clicking or grinding her front teeth. She was doing this, too, this morning while she played on the floor.

I got the camera out in a hurry to try and capture a picture of her hand in her hair, but of course, she was done by the time I got the camera ready. Events like these are kind of like taking the car to the mechanic. You tell your mechanic that car pulls this way or makes that noise, but the car never malfunctions for the mechanic. I can't always get Ali to function for the camera.

Later this morning (left-coast time), Ali and I will go to physical therapy. I hope to remember to take the camera with me. She's doing well there and I want to get you all some pictures of that, too.

See you then.

Monday, August 13, 2007

2 friggin' cute

i don't have much fashion sense, but this is one cute outfit...

Ali Update

I've been in trouble lately for neglecting to post the ever popular pictures of Princess Ali. To be honest, life is becoming routine for us; everyone is adjusting to a new place, therapy, doctor's visits, and working out of the house. These things keep us busy, and, honestly, things don't feel as newsworthy as they did when all of this first began.

The downside of settling into a routine is feeling sort of like we're in a rut.
We face many new challenges that seem both insurmountable and unimaginable. It's weird that we're getting used to this. Even overwhelming; we're getting used to being overwhelmed. We have more time to think about how much we miss our home, our kids, and our church family in Jupiter, FL. It's hard to think about a future that will have less of these things in it and more unknowns.

The upside is that the Lord has always, always, always sent friends into our lives no matter where we were. Everyplace we've been, the Lord uses us and sends friends into our lives. So there is no reason to think the future will be any different from the past. We're thankful that so many of our friends back home are interested and supportive about what lies ahead, as unknown as it is.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Auditory Perfection

Today Ali had her ears tested. This was our second attempt to have her checked. Our first attempt was aborted after Ali would not settle down enough to be checked. After spending six weeks in the hospital, anyone entering the room wearing one of those white doctor coats sets Ali off. She can spot one a mile away. Our ear doc didn't know that, of course. But she does now.

Stethoscopes also freak her out. Our nurses have to smuggle theirs into the house in something harmless looking - like a hollowed out teddy bear.

So today we showed up at the office and it was obvious that hey choreographed Ali's entire visit. The doctor was very low-key as she welcomed us and was incognito in her civilian clothes. The doc put a comfortable chair in the sound proof room for me to get Ali comfortable and as close to falling asleep as possible.

Ali has to be absolutely quiet - the whole room has to be absolutely quiet for at least thirty seconds before the test is given.

The room was dead quiet. Ali was on the verge of nodding off when the doc sneaked little earphones into her ears. She - the doc - was just about to start the test when we heard "put-put-put" as Ali broke wind.

"That wasn't me," I said.

We all started shaking trying to choke down laughter. And then the room filled with her smell.

It took us another few minutes to get Ali back into the test zone. She was being good - it was the grown-ups that were uncooperative. Including the doctor.

Ali's hearing is perfect.

Her plumbing seems to be working good, too.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Ali has found the joy of putting her fingers in her mouth. She moves her hand across her teeth and pushes and pinches her little lips and her eyes roll back in her head. Bliss. While all of you are telling your kids to "get your fingers out of your mouth," we love seeing Ali find her mouth with her hand all by herself.

One of our homework assignments before Ali began to take the bottle was to help her get her hand to and in her mouth. We helped her discover the inside of her mouth with her finger tips. This was the beginning of the brain re-discovering and connecting different parts of the body. This activity gave Ali so much pleasure. I'm convinced that this motivated her to take the next steps and start drinking her bottle.

During the past week, we've reported all this progress to her doctors, nurses, and therapists and new life has been breathed into the team. We've reduced the dose frequency of Ali's medicines so that she no longer gets any in the middle of the night through her g-tube. All medicines are taken orally.

Medicine is not her favorite. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Medicine time is not a happy time. But as much as she hates it, she goes along with the program and swallows it down. She never spits her medicine out.

Ali grabs her bottle when she's being fed as was her habit before she got hurt. She rests her little hand on top of the bottle as the charming and beautiful Susan or I feed her. The only thing is that toward the end of the day, she gets a little wound up and has a harder time making her hand do what she wants. Which frustrates her and gets her even more worked up. That makes it hard for us to get her to bed.

But we're ecstatic with every improvement we see. While Ali was laying on my lap sleeping this afternoon, I was able to read a couple of chapters in a Philip Yancey book I've been trying to get through. In Where is God When it Hurts, Yancey dedicates a chapter each to the stories of two people who when at the top of their games, experienced tragic accidents that left them paralyzed. Joni Eareckson Tada and Brian Sternberg were living full, active lives when, in the blink of an eye, each lost all use of his and her limbs. They watched all of their hopes and dreams traded for broken bodies. But the faith they've displayed through trial is legendary.

We think, sometimes, that if this happens or that, then we can serve God and live a full life. But that's backwards. All we have to do is cling to Him at all times and give what we have to Him, and He'll do things we never thought possible.

Actually, without Him, they're not possible.