Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer Adventures

I've tried to keep the kids busy this summer.  I've scheduled a few playdates (not as many as I'd like), we've made some art projects, and we have our garden going (not much produce, but at least the deer haven't eaten anything...yet).  E and Viv go to the library about once a week, and to our local Whole Foods weekly for a little cooking program.  They've had camps (Elena did two computer camps, which she loved!) and Vivian did one at our favorite play studio (Explorations Play Studio) about night creatures.  We've been lucky to have our Fantastic Nanny Annette and our summer helper SW, so the girls can do separate activities as needed.  And of course, there's therapies for E:  PT, Feldenkrais, hippotherapy, etc.--so, we've been busy.

I decided to schedule a few other things--some events, farther away.  Things I wanted to do with the kids, but realistically couldn't with my work/home life.  As it turned out, everyone had an awesome time.

I sent everyone on a Blackberry Picking Mission at Grelen Farm.  They had a nice special where you pay for 10 pints, get 10 pints free.  I had called the farm beforehand (since I hadn't ever been there) and asked about the terrain.  They were very helpful and confident the girls would be successful.  The weather was absolutely perfect, too!

Viv filling her pints

Viv at the farm

Elena used one crutch for stability, and picked berries with the other.  SW helped hold the basket.

E finding the best berries
Berry action

Viv sampling

Picnic lunch after picking

Later on the next day, we made some blackberry jelly with half of the berry haul.  E and Viv were great berry chefs, and the jelly is DELICIOUS!

Berry Inspectors, take 1
Berry Inspectors, take 2

The ladies went mini golfing in town.  We wanted to do this during our beach vacation, but we were worried about the long lines (in extreme heat), and the fact that those courses tend to be extreme in the terrain (hills, steps, dips, etc.).  Turns out, this little town golf course is perfect for E--challenging, but she could still be successful.

SW is ready to help E if she loses balance

I had SW and Annette figure out what kind of stance would be better for Elena.  Ideally, I want her to use both hands on one club, without crutches.  Mostly because it forces her to use her legs more (standing tall), but also because I thought she would hit the ball more reproducibly if both hands were on the club (not sure about that, though).  She tried putting with one crutch, but preferred to use both hands.

Pretty good form!

Walking on the course

Vivian misses

Elena's greatest difficulty was stopping along the course to putt the ball when walking without her crutches (no surprise there).  But what a great opportunity to practice!  We will definitely be back.

A tired Vivian seeking shade

The ladies also went bowling, but there was no room on the camera once they got there.  Annette knows a lot of people at the bowling alley, so the kids got some VIP treatment!  E and Viv had been bowling only once before (at the Great Wolf Lodge, kid sized alley) and have never used a standard bowling ball of any size.  The smallest ones here are 6-lb balls; too big for the kids to carry and roll, so Annette had the kids use the track (handicap track) to bowl.  Both E and Vivian got a spare!  Maybe next time we'll try a small ball, and have them roll it "granny-style" down the lane.

Bonus picture:  E at her last hippo session, with her doll "Penny" riding too!

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