We have already been hit hard this winter with snow, snow, and more snow. (Snowiest December on record for over 100 years and still coming.) I love it. I don't mind the freezing cold mornings, bundling kids in layers upon layers, navigating our badly-plowed road (it may be a different story come March, though!!). Jamie loves the snow. He treks out every chance he can get. Unfortunately, it is not as often as he would like since neither Clare nor Simon want to be out in the snow. But we have gotten a few good days of snow play. I even got the chance to snow blow all by myself during one huge storm while Shawn was gone for a couple days! (I am not usually allowed to touch the toys... I mean tools.)
We are settling into our winter, post-Christmas life. Clare has (and had) a round of doctor's appointments and evaluations coming up - orthopedic, neurology, feeding team, Early Intervention evaluation, preschool evaluation, lung scan, and, of course, the ever-present cardiology and echo (but we're still a few weeks away from that one). More updates as we check the list off one by one!
Clare had her "annual" eye doctor appointment before Christmas. It it is supposed to be annual, but the trauma of experiencing her first appointment when she was just a few months old was enough for me to keep pushing it back and pushing it back. (Trauma for both mommy and Clare - as in inserting a speculum to keep Clare's eyes open.) Finally, after being questioned by almost every doctor and her therapists whether Clare had her eyes checked recently, I realized that I could not hide any longer. I am pleased to say that 1) no speculum required this time and 2) no problems with Clare's visual acuity, no drift, no strabismus, nothing requiring glasses. (Although many of Clare's WS-buddies wear glasses and are adorable, I have to think it is also a pain in the butt. I have enough pains in that area.) However, both Clare's OT and PT noted that Clare has problems with visual perception. We are discussing the option of having her evaluated by an opthamologist who specializes in this and looking into vision therapy. Also, since Clare does have some vestibular issues and trouble having her eyes follow and focus on objects without moving her head, we may try an astronaut spinning program with her as well. There is a whole bunch of technical mumbo jumbo to go along with this, but I am running on empty today, so I am not going into it all. Let's just say that the fun never ends around here!
While we may be adding doctors and specialists to our busy life, we are also trying to knock them off one-by-one. Clare was officially discharged from her neurologist last month. He does not see any neurological issues coming into play with Clare at this time. So now he has seen her, knows her, tracked her baseline, and if anything comes up in the future, we can take it from there. We had Clare's orthopedic appointment as well. It is also official that there will be no more AFO's (which is good since they have been sitting in the living room closet untouched for about four months now!). Clare does roll in on her ankles when walking; other than that, she is very steady on her own and does not need any special shoes, supports, or braces. Clare is doing great walking indoors. Outside is still very iffy. I have not really pushed her on the outside portion with winter. Ice, snow, slush, puddles - just not fun learning conditions! Come spring and summer, we're going to concentrate on Clare becoming more comfortable walking outside. The orthopedist did take a look at Clare's left foot because of her toes and stated she does indeed have a clawed toe. (Her toe right next to the big toe curls down and the big toe and third toe lap right over it.) Her first joint is very stiff there and her toe muscle seems weak. Right now, it is not impeding her walking and is not causing any pain or discomfort (or at least Clare does not complain about it). It will have to be surgically-fixed in the future if it becomes a problem, but for now, the doctor is going to keep an eye on it. Clare does not need to return to orthopedics for a year.
As much as I love the Christmas season, I do look forward to getting back into our routine. Back to preschool drop-offs and pick-ups, swim classes (of which Simon has joined the ranks), and all the appointments. Plus we're gearing up for the Ninja Turtle birthday party some nameless-almost five-year old is having in a few weeks!