The weather has been just starting to match the season. I decided to take the girls out a month (?) ago (this is a catchall update) before the leaves fell off the trees--it was beautiful out, but freezing!!
When Elena was learning to walk, she fell "like a tree" all the time. We decided we needed a "crash room"--so we emptied our dining room, bought the thickest carpet we could find (and put the thickest pad under it), removed any furniture, padded any and all "corners", and gated the sides. That was our arena before Elena could move about the house safely (roughly, two years). Now, our entire main floor is littered with kid stuff--Elena has trouble carrying lots of things, so we never stressed cleaning up after herself--and we didn't really stress it with Vivian either. Now that Elena can navigate the entire house on her own, I decided to move the playroom to the basement and reclaim our dining room (eventually).
Rainy Indoor Day (first days as a stay-at-home Mom!)
Elena and Vivian do obstacle courses (insert videos)
More Riding at Fairhunt, with Bonus Vivian!
Elena's riding is improving. Some of the best cues Susan has given Elena have been referring to her pelvis as "a bowl" and how she doesn't want to "tip the bowl" (less lordotic posture). Elena is starting to understand what a pelvic tilt means, and this is one (out of two) exercises that maintain that awareness. She is also posting better. Starlight a.k.a. "Teacup" is a good pony, but she is very old and will retire soon.
The local recreation center in town offers free roller skating every Friday night and Sunday evening. It's wonderful--the staff are so friendly, encouraging, and nice; the other kids (honestly, all of them) have been super nice. It's full of people falling, not just Elena, which is a refreshing change.
Granted, Elena has a harder time on skates than anyone else I see there. Still, she enjoys it, and it's a new and different balance challenge--and that's always good, in my opinion. Elena skates best with two adults (one on each side, normally Jason and I) or one adult if she's doing really well. She also wears a harness I bought a long time ago (thinking it might help with skiing or bike riding) that has a handle near her back.
We have three goals when E is skating: 1) for her to keep her head up (mainly to keep her butt in line as much as possible), 2) to try to put all four wheels on her right foot on the floor (this is rarely successful) and 3) to keep her feet moving (otherwise she stays on her left foot too long). I think she is doing beautifully, and she improves every time. Elena is discouraged when she sees Vivian, now skating by herself; we try to be happy for everyone, and just have fun out there.
We had a really great experience when a little gem of a girl Elena's age skated right up to her as I was lacing up her skates, and she introduced herself and asked about Elena's braces. Then she said she doesn't like wearing her brace either. I didn't see one; she said she wears hers all the time when she is not exercising. I think she was talking about a back brace for scoliosis (I didn't get that far in the conversation, as she and Elena were talking). It was nice for E to realize other people wear braces, even if it isn't obvious.