Thursday, May 24, 2018

Today is The Day!

I'll have to do a recap later on things in the "next up" sidebar; today is the day we have been working towards ALL YEAR.

Elena is in the elite women's chorus; they put on an amazing end-of-year concert, one day only. It's called The Rock Show, and they have professional lighting, a warm-up band, one costume change, and a end of year ceremony. We went last year as spectators, to see what prep Elena would have to do if she made it this year.

Besides an intensive rehearsal schedule, Elena has other things she's been working on: how to physically prepare herself for the 45+ minute performance, posture, stability on stage (close call in during the Toronto performance, I'll write about it later), dress, navigation, etc.


Here's a youtube link to the show! (if you follow this, the rest of the songs are in the sidebar.) FYI, sometimes it's hard to see Elena b/c there is a chair near her in case she fatigues and needs to sit. She didn't during this show, but she has in the past.) Enjoy!

First Song of the Rock Show (I think)

Award-winning song, "Fly to Paradise"

One of my favorites! "Can't Help Falling In Love With You"

Thursday, May 3, 2018

End of 2017/Beginning of 2018 recap

It's the Avalanche of a wrap-up recap. I'll do my best.

December 2017

I spent a lot of time trying to "winterize" Elena's trike. I made a clip-in shoe by putting the screw plate in an old sneaker, and attaching a SPD cleat (this typically wouldn't work for kids b/c pedaling with this on a soft shoe, like a sneaker, would bruise the foot; b/c E wears SMOs, it's fine). I also found a trike trainer, which was gifted to us by SportCrafters--it's a roller designed for single drive cycles (like E's trike, which has a single-rear drive). We try to practice 2x/week, but with her schedule it can be tough. Elena likes to try different positions on her trike, which is great--but these don't work as well off the trainer (she can tip). My goal with the clip-ins is to try to work on her endurance (we are at 20+ minutes on the trainer) and try to have her realize where her foot should be on the pedal when she rides (often she puts her heel on the pedal instead of the ball of the foot).

Shoe, cleat with pedal attached (note angle of the cleat position)

The Mule with roller trainer

Shoes on pedals. Note that the toe is angled outward to accommodate E's anteversion.

I added pedal extenders so E's knees won't hit each each other as she pedals. I am holding a smaller size, while the larger extender is mounted on the bike (my finger is touching it).

Our big event was we went to New York for Christmas! We have been to The City several times, and feel pretty comfortable getting around--but this was the first time in cold weather. And it was cold. This means lots of layers, and navigating transportation and layers with crutches/wheelchair.

Jason managed to snag a hotel close to Central Park. This would have been perfect in the summer, as we did a lot of walking; it was so cold, we didn't go far on foot. It was icy and slick in places, and when Elena is bundled up, walking is pretty cumbersome (winter coats with the loftstrand cuffs, especially!). The issue with hailing a ride so close to Central Park, once you get in the car, you literally don't go anywhere for at least 10 minutes--which makes walking, for most folks, a lot quicker than riding. In general, we took the chair with us; there were plenty of times we didn't need it (but still, better to have it just in case!).

Central Park carriage ride

Baroque Christmas tree

We enjoyed seeing lot of decorations, lights, and shows (including The Nutcracker and our favorite, the Brandenburg Concerto). 

Macarons in Bryant Park

Modern Pinball

Overall, the trip was a success, but navigating the city is much easier when the weather is warmer.

January 2018

Normally I put together yearly goals each New Year. The short list: (Amy) visit Antelope Canyon, work on jogging and biking; (Jason) rehab to be able to run his races/marathon; (Elena) complete the neighborhood bike loop (very hilly), visit Paris (?!); (Vivian) see Spanish dancing, go snowboarding, run a business (she wants to make her own shop).

E was inducted into the Astronomy Society here, in the first group of the Future Astronomer's Club. She can find stars using her telescope, use a sun scope, and identify a few constellations. It's a great group!

January was kind of a mess, given that's when we received Vivian's epilepsy diagnosis. We still managed to go skiing (E did a great job on her 4-track skiing, and Vivian learned to snowboard!), but the weather didn't cooperate so we only had one opportunity (short winter).


We also decided late 2017 that Elena would do less physical therapy and more personal training--the idea here is she would be doing more exercise in an age-appropriate setting (our therapy center is more focused on younger kids). We set out to find a personal trainer who would be fine-tuned to Elena's needs, as well as any other appropriate group exercise settings. She was a part of a short-lived group of disabled women, which she loved (unfortunately the group fizzled...we're working on other options).

Pumpin' it up with J at The Gym

February 2018

I went on a Tanzanian Adventure. It was incredible! (That's the short version).

Lion. NBD
At the Serengeti airport waiting on a bush plane. I'm nervous.

We switched Viv's meds from Keppra (it left her practically comatose, and that was below the working dose for her age/weight) to Trileptal. Short story here is, we're still trying to find a med that works.

Viv preparing for her sleep-deprived EEG, watching movies/playing games/doing crafts. Temple (our cat) trying to comfort Viv.

March 2018

Just trying to keep up. Elena is doing relatively well keeping up her schedule: before school 3x/week, Bearettes (elite chorus), DnD club (gaming) 1x/week; after school she has PT (every other week, Mondays), Personal Training (Tuesdays), Psych (most Wednesdays), workout group (Thursdays), and Personal Training (Fridays). Weekend is bike or swim. (sounds like a lot b/c it is; E is done weekdays by 530 at the latest). For Vivian, she has baseball 2x/week (games and/or practice), goes to the climbing gym with me a few times a month, and plays with friends regularly.

Almost caught up!!