Monday, September 27, 2010

Spica Pants

So, here's a little fact that I bet you never thought about.  If your child has a bar that goes from his ankle on one leg to his knee on the other, he can't wear pants.  Here's another little fact: It gets downright chilly in late September in Michigan.  We've been struggling [read, I've been struggling] to find some way to protect Little Bear from the elements and make him presentable for going out in public.  I have had many hits and misses and have FINALLY succeeded in making pants for my boy.

What didn't work:
1.  Cutting pants down the side and sewing ties on .  OK, it works, but the sides gap and it just looks like a hospital gown.

2. Cutting pants down the side and adding snaps.  This might have worked, but the snaps were really hard to add.

3.  Adding Velcro to pants a size up.  There are two problems here, or really there is one problem with two sides.  If you buy pants that fit the waist, the the leg is not wide enough, and conversely if you get pants that accommodate the flexed leg the waist is way to big.

Here is what finally worked:  custom sewn pants.
1.  Measure from the center crotch to the outer leg to make sure that the leg of the pants you will make is wide enough to accommodate the flexed leg.  Little Bear wears a size three and we had to make a boys large (approx. 10-12).
2.  Sew the inner seams and crotch seams together according to the pattern directions.  Leave the outer leg seams unsewn.
3.  Fold the outer leg seams over and baste down to prevent fraying.
4.  Measure around the child's waist.  Cut elastic equalling half the waist measurement in the front and half in the back. (example:Little Bear's waist is 24 inches.  12 inches of elastic goes in the front ans 12 inches goes in the back.)
5.  On a leg that has a bar at the ankle, apply Velcro to the inside of the pant back and the outside of the pant front.
6.  On a leg that has a bar at the knee, apply Velcro from the waist to the top of the bar and the bottom up to the bar.
7.  CRITICAL STEP FOR A GOOD FIT.  At the bar,cut from the outer side to inside where the bar attached to the cast.  This creates a hole in pant leg for the bar.  Turn raw edges under and sew to prevent fraying.

  Now you've got SPICA PANTS.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Still Mouring

Last week past the one year anniversary of when we found out we could not adopt Sweet Pea.  A year has lessened the pain but for me the wound is still deep.  Some times I want to hire a family researcher to find out what happened, but I fear what the results would be.  Is she alive or dead?  Did she develop additional medical conditions?  Did the authorities give up hope that anyone was coming for her?  My greatest fear is that we would find out that she is once again adoptable.  We couldn't do it.  Right now we just couldn't add another child to the family and that would kill me. 

All I can hope is that my prayers get to her and somehow she know that my love travels around the world to her.  Mother Mary, protect my baby girl.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Homeschool Uniforms?

This year I decided that the boys would wear uniforms on school days.  The reasons were many.  First of all every morning they would fuss and complain, " I want to wear this." or "I'm not wearing that.."  I decided to circumvent all that drama by giving them specific clothes to wear.  It also creates a certain unity at our school.  I have observed over the last two weeks that the boys also take school a little bit more seriously. 

Their uniforms are nothing more than navy blue pants or short and polo shirts.  They don't all match.  In fact, we got most of the shirts at resale shops.  I finished off their uniforms with slip on jungle mocs from Land's End.  these are perfect because they function as running shoes, but look a lot nicer.

I was concerned at first about this decision because I'm don't want to recreate school.  I figure if I'm going to homeschool the kids I want the experience to be different from what they would be getting at a school-in-a-building.  I have found that the uniforms have been an asset to our school and our day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Medical Miracle

We spoke to Little Bear's surgeon yesterday.  She reported that she had spoken to several colleagues and nobody had any "hot ideas about what to do about his feet because there is no reason they should be working so well."  Huh.

Man of Steel

or at least plaster!

The First Day of School

Started school on Tuesday.  Was I even a little bit prepared?  Nope.  We are still missing school books but decided to go ahead anyway.  I have spend the better part of the weekend to revamp our Rule of Life and menus.  So this week we have a light week and next week we will really get things moving. 

The boys have done a great job and experienced a few epiphanies.  "Wow, Mom, if I work hard, this gets done really fast."  Yep.  I'm glad it only took you FOUR YEARS to figure that out. 

I am committed to really making this a great year and including more things that really bring learning to life.  I mean if we are going to home school (which is A LOT of work) we might as well take advantage of all its benefits.

The Potty Party

Yep.  I do have other kids beside Little Bear, although it seems really hard to tell lately.  Sorry about that, and I'm even sorrier to them. 

On Monday we decided to get serious about potty training Pookie.  Potty training has got to be one of my least favorite parenting tasks, but it has to be done.  Pookie has been particularly resistant to the idea of going potty and with all of the changes going on in her life (ie a new sibling) we decided not to push it.  Sometimes parents can and have to go head-to-head with their kids, but in my experience potty training is one place where parents will lose every time.  So . .

We decided to make a game of it and have a "POTTY PARTY!"  The older boys made decorations.  We then "potty trained" Tulip her stuffed rabbit complete with pee in the little potty (yellow food coloring in a squirt bottle.  then we read a potty book and watch a video that we have and gave her a big cup of juice.  Then it was Pookie's turn.  She was excited to try and we had success.

Now it is just up to me to remind her to go often.  Ugg.  We moved the little potty to the playroom so that she doesn't have to go far to potty and I don't have to leave Bear for very long.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Little Bear is doing fine

Yesterday was Little Bear's hip surgery.  We arrived at 8:30 at the hospital and he was taken into the operating room at 9:45.  Hewas notobviously scared and that was a relief.  I was able to go with him while they put him under general anesthesia so I think he was less frightened.

The we began to wait.  And wait.  We were very blessed that the hospital is testing a new system for long procedures and they gave us a cell phone that the nurse could use to call us with updates.  About 4:00 our surgeon cam down to talk to us and let us know that everything looked good.  While she was speaking to us they were putting on his spica cast and sending him for a CT scan to make sure the hip stayed in place during the casting.

Bear is handling the pain pretty well, although he says that his hand hurts where the IV is.  I can tell that he is not feeling as well today.  Last night he wanted to eat and drink.  This morning he is not interested at all.   was very surprised that the doctors said that they might release him this afternoon, but I think that if he tolerates the pain and everything looks good Bear will rest much better without the constant parade of people in here and so will I.