Thursday, July 30, 2009

An OI Gathering and Other Adventures

It has been a very long month. Molly is doing well, but keeping me very busy.

We went to Gatlinburg, TN at the beginning of the month with 9 other OI families (12 OI kids in all) and had a wonderful 4 days together. The kids had a blast and Molly really seemed to love being around other kids with Brittle Bones. She has started asking Jim and I if we have brittle bones and if Howie (our dog) does etc. I know that this process will continue for many more years as she finds her place and figures out how things work.

We drove to Gatlinburg on a Thursday and spent the first night with the Suris (5 children - 2 with OI), the Novaks (3 grown kids of their own and now have adopted 2 siblings with OI), Beth Jacks (and her daughter, Halle), the Graves (2 children - 18 month old boy with OI) and us. We cooked pizza and visited and enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL place that we rented. The cabin was named "Amazing View Lodge" and it was very fitting. We got up on Friday and packed a picnic and made our way to a paved walking path along a river. With the help/corruption of the other families we all went down to the river and the kids have fun walking on the slippery river rocks and exploring. This is something that Jim and I would never have taken Molly to do on our own, but the other families all have older children than their kids with OI and were therefore a lot more comfortable testing the limits. Molly had a ball! The water was very cold, but your legs quickly got numb to it :). There were areas that had smaller pebbles and were safer for Molly to walk around and explore on her own. Everyone had a blast and I think it was wonderful for Molly (and Jim and me) to feel like we could do what everyone else was doing.

We headed back to the cabin and met several more families that arrived for the weekend. We had a BBQ night and spent time meeting the new families.

We got up on Saturday and packed a picnic and headed off to Pigeon Forge to go tubing down a river. It was so much fun. There were some rapids along the way, but they were relatively mild - especially in an inflatable tube). The ride took over 2 hours and it was a wonderful way to visit with some of the other parents while floating down the river. Once we got to the "bottom" we got to take a small school bus back to where we started, which Molly absolutely LOVED!! She sat with two other girls that were 6 and 7 and got them to hold their arms up in the air like you would on a roller-coaster.

We went back to the cabin and had Mexican night (everyone brought something to contribute to the meals each night). That night we headed in to downtown Gatlinburg to explore. We lasted until almost 10, at which point I was exhausted from a long day and so we headed back to the cabin.

On Sunday we went to Ober Gatlinburg, a local amusement park, and had a blast with the other families. The families with babies stayed on the sidelines (which is what we did when we went 2 years ago) and we got to take Molly with the "big kids". Molly and I went down a water slide (a tunnel that you ride down in a small inflatable raft). Molly loved it, but I was terrified because there was a lot of side to side "sloshing" as we went down. She got off and had such an adrenaline rush she almost could talk to Jim as she excitedly explained what the ride was like. We also went up a chair lift and then Jim took her down an alpine slide, a cement track that you ride down on a little "sled on wheels" that you can control the speed of. We had a great time and were definitely ready for some quiet time after that. That night was italian night. We all headed out on Monday morning and headed back home.

Jim's Mom, Gram, arrived on the Thursday we got back and stayed with us until Monday. She and Molly had a blast and Molly is already excited for her next visit.

It has been a long few weeks since we returned from our trip. Molly has been complaining off and on about her legs, teeth and just starting today her right arm. She has not been one to complain in the past, so I'm not sure what is going on. My guess is that one of these things is bothering her quite a bit and then other things that aren't as bad are just too much to take with the other pain. We went to her dentist today at UNC to have her teeth checked and from what he could see things looked OK. He said that the only solution would be to pull the tooth.

Some new Molly Quotes:

"I just can't bear it, this flower is so beautiful"

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The "Perfect" Sink

Molly has been doing really well with potty training. She is wearing underwear and is able to get on and off the potty by herself :). We have a set up that allows her to wash her own hands, which has been a huge step towards improving her independence. This has increased her desire to do more by herself and like everyone else. She is now flushing the big toilet when she has finished (even though she is going on the little potty). I was fine with this step and happy with her continued drive to be independent. I walked in this morning to check on her and she said "look, all clean" (her hands were all wet)... it only took me a second to realize what she had done... yes, she washed her hands in the toilet - ick!! We have since discussed how dirty the toilet is and to please not do that again. On a humorous side I realized that a toilet would be the perfect accessible sink for a little person (assuming it was NEVER used for anything but a sink).

One new quote:

"I didn't hear a please" (when I asked her to go wash her hands)

We are getting ready to head to Gatlinburg next week for a gathering with 7-8 other families with children with OI. We are really excited to meet/see all of these families and for Molly to have some time with other kids with OI.