Sunday, December 18, 2011


Today Kooka was the "angel candle reader" in the church Christmas program. She was so beautiful, and the way she smiled and waved to Yoda when she heard her calling for big sister, was my favorite moment of the whole thing.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

spin doctors

It sounded like a snake oil sales pitch -

"Ten spins on our amazing spin board and your baby will be walking the line better than Johnny Cash . . ."

Whatever.  I didn't think it would work.

I am surprised (and a little weirded out) to say - it did.

Yoda's gross motor skills have always been a little slow. It wasn't concerning me much, because she has a decent vocabulary, can identify half of the alphabet, and understands almost everything we say to her, but still the not walking was getting old.

At her 15 month check up, Dr. M, suggested we see a physical therapist for an assessment.  

I had been, and knew that it had value for me, but I couldn't help wondering, how they intended to get Yoda on a treadmill, or working resistance bands, or doing anything at all for that matter.  So it was with some reluctance that I packed our toddler up for her "not covered by our insurance" meeting with the therapist.

Walking into the pediatric clinic was not reassuring - it was nearly an exact replica of our basement: fold-out gym mats, a giant exercise ball, scooters, stuffed animals.  What did this place have that we didn't?


Yoda's therapist massaged her little toes to loosen the muscles, spun her this way and that, goaded her through tunnels, and helped her push a shopping cart so she could get food for her baby doll. That night she called with an assessment.

She was up to 4 months behind in her physical development.  Not off the charts - she was still in the "normal range" - but barely. We were given a high powered sit and spin, instructions for daily massages, and permission to wrestle until she turned green.

So we did.

Every day I spin her. She loves it.  We massage baby toes - and her baby feet are starting to loosen up.  She walks now - all over the place.  She rights herself, and gets up on her own. She lets go of our hands and explores the store aisles, and the windows at the zoo. 

She is so happy and much less frustrated.

I still don't know exactly why this worked - but it did. She still has flat arches, which will not benefit her ballet career, but I figure we'll just focus on honing her tap dance skills instead.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

quick update

It feels like eons since I posted - and it probably has been.

Here are some quick updates:

* pro: after only 6 months Kooka got her braces off, and her teeth look amazing. con: she needs to have baby teeth pulled to make room for the new ones, or we may have to start all over.

* While Punk and Kooka spent Thanksgiving weekend with their dad, Rico Yoda and I flew to New York for our first holiday with Rico's family. They were welcoming, and sweet. Yoda was most thankful for the bling bestowed upon her by her aunt - she's been wearing it for nearly a week straight.
 *The next day was spent in Connecticut, where we hung out with Yoda's biggest sister Leah. Rico also took me to Cheshire, which is where he lived when we first met.  We checked out his house, met a few friends, took a walk on his favorite path, and ate some amazing bagels.
* We had one more stop, before we headed back to MN  - a stop at Rico's boyhood home.  We met up with two of our favorite people - Eric and Stef, for a tour of Flushing, NY. Rico had a chance to sit on his old stoop with one of his best friends, we tried two NY pizzas (tastes like Sabbarro to me), and three Italian ices (which were absolutely, hands down, the best thing I have eaten in years).

*The ride home was uneventful, except for the fact that the pilot kept pointing out the fact that the radar was predicting bumpy weather.  he was right - but being a nervous flier, I don't want to think about radar, or instrument panels, or anything like that.  I want to imagine that somebody is below my plane shouting "wingardium levi-o-sa" at teh top of their lungs, until we are safely back in MN - home of Pizza Hut - which is (don't tell Rico) the way pizza is SUPPOSED to taste.