Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cold Weather Ideas/Projects--Suggestions, Anyone?

Huge thanks to everyone who gave me encouragement/commented about my last days here at work.  I feel better every day about leaving that stress behind.  I figure I might miss the science professional in me later, but I imagine it will take a while (minimum 6 months?)--anyway, I've been thinking about the weather getting colder, activities for the kids, managing spasticity, etc.

Starting NEXT WEEK (!) I will have more time, I am brainstorming of ideas for the cooler weather.  I promise, I am not going crazy/trying to fill up my time--but I would like to prepare for Elena's tightness in cooler/cold weather, if I can.  Here are some ideas I have planned--please, PLEASE leave a comment if you have suggestions!  Now's the time!

In no particular order:

1.  Finish the playroom.  We sacrificed our beautiful dining room as the "crash room"--super thick carpet, padded anything with corners, and baby-gated the whole space while Elena was learning to walk.  It was a GREAT decision.  Once she was more stable on her feet, it became the playroom.  There are toys everywhere, too many to count.  The playroom will be a featured playspace ("less is more" playing concept, lots of sensory input at Elena's suggestion) with storage features for toys not in use.  I'm hoping to get our dining room back in order by the summer at the earliest.  Which  means

2.  Our only table will become a craftspace in the kitchen.  It's a great idea--especially now that my sewing machine is out finishing up Halloween costumes.

3.  I want to make more Crutch Pockets for Elena.  It's wonderful for winter!  I want to change the shape/fastener a bit so Elena can take them off/put them on without assistance.

4.  Elena needs a belt.  I have some ideas for fasteners (not velcro, it will ruin some of her clothes and if she doesn't get it right, will scratch).  Her pants are either to loose, or too short.  I'm thinking a snap-clasp or seat-belt buckle type thing.  I'm not sure yet.

5.  Anyone have rice/seed packs for hand/neck warmers?  Where you heat them up in the microwave and they stay warm for a while?  I think that would be good for some sort of thing to warm up feet.  Slippers don't stay on E's feet all that well.  I'm still thinking this one through.

6.  Stretching/spasticity ideas:  One time I warmed up flat marbles and put them between Elena's toes.  She LOVED it--it was weird, but a good 'wake up toes' stretch.  Maybe I could get some sort of mushy tension ball and she could try to push it around with her feet.  Foot/leg massages, obviously.

7.  I want to find some sort of beverage container that's spill-proof, unbreakable, that has a relatively small volume that's EASY TO CLEAN in the DISHWASHER for warm beverages (tea, hot cocoa) for the kids.  Any suggestions?

8.  I need to find winter boots.  Lightweight, big, open-tongue (we liked the Circo boots from Target, but I haven't seen any lately) to accommodate her braces.  I love the look of some of the boots out there--but they weigh A TON, and in deep snow (or any snow, actually) Elena just won't be able to move.  I'll also get some crutch tips with traction (for snow/ice) that are only for sledding/skiing (b/c they'll tear up indoor surfaces).  If we do a little weight training, E will be ready for movement in the snow (it's amazing how much that makes a difference).

9.  Neckwarmers for the kids.  E loves scarves, but I'm afraid they'll be a choke hazard if she trips.  I sense another sewing project.

10.  The kids love decorating!  We start Christmas decorating right after Thanksgiving.  This year we will do lights!  Vivian is getting the idea of calendars, and she can read, so that gives me some inspiration.

11.  Lots of cooking, of course!  Doodle friends, is there any interest in a little recipe share between our kids?  They all love mail...maybe your child can pick one of their favorite recipes, tell why they love it so much, and send it along with a picture to another blog friend?

And NO I do not plan on doing all of this immediately (or, maybe even ever).  I do plan on having a day or two of rest.  This is just fun brainstorming....


Anonymous said...

Is she still doing the dancing/movement???? That would help with cold weather tension.

Anonymous said...

I saw something on TV today for kids called "Orbeeze Spa" or something like that where you warm up tiny balls in a plastic tub and they relax your feet. It's for kids Elena's age. It might help.

Anonymous said...

I have mild SDCP like Elena. Someone got me the "Sunbeam Renue Wrap" from QVC for Christmas. It is like a heating pad that you put on your shoulders but you can wrap it around pretty much any tight area because it is rather small. I think it would be safe for Elena. Some people sleep with it. It has to be plugged in so you would have to put it on when she is sitting still on the floor playing,watching TV, on the computer etc. It feels heavenly and doesn't overheat. If Elena touches it etc it won't burn. I find that if I move/am active as much as possible in winter that helps with spasticity.

TheCzarsOf45 said...

I have had better luck with New Balance hiking boots with my Allard BlueRockers, I have CP among my challenges and maintain broadcast sites for my living. Stretching is frequent and often done between equipment maintenance, running repairs, and playbacks in the studio.