Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kiera had the most fun at the zoo today!

I just wanted to chime in quickly. We took Kiera to the zoo today, as we have done many times before, but today she really seemed a bit more engaged. Of course, her favorite thing to look at is the fencing and rocks rather than the animals. She has been watching her zoo signing video, so many things were more noticeable for her. She absolutely LOVED the seals and sea lions; although as my sister said, watching them is really not much different than watching TV. I signed seal and made barking sounds, and she laughed and laughed. The other new activity for her was the fountain park. I don't really know what to call it, but there is a grated platform with random water sprays that cycle. The observant parent of a trached child can direct said child so as not to stand directly over a spout. Kiera LOVED watching the other kids get soaked and play. We let her walk on the grating and get a little sprayed while being vigilant to not let her get water in her trach. She did very well. She clearly saw herself as one of the children and wanted to do what they were doing. It was wonderful! She signed that she had "fun." Definitely a do-again. We have a water park (small splash type) near us, and I may go check it out to see what she thinks.

Kiera's Birthday and New Trach

Kiera had a fabulous backyard sprinkler party with a Little Mermaid theme! She enjoyed getting hit by the sprinkler even. The kiddie was more for the other kids, but she seemed to enjoy the festivities. We have found a bubble spinner that she can actually make work without having to blow, so she loved playing with bubbles. Our entree for children consisted of butterfly shaped PB and J sandwiches. Adult got brats and dogs.

I am happy to add a princess castle cake to my repertoire of amateur cake decorating. I think it turned out very well.

Kiera tolerated the singing of Happy Birthday a little bit better but had to cry when we all clapped. She clearly looks concerned, but I swear, all we were doing was singing. :)

Yesterday, Kiera had her newest trach tube put in. This one is CUFFLESS. The old ones had an inflatable balloon to seal her airway which also made it more difficult to teach her to talk. Now I am HEARING her make noises even without her speech valve in! Hooray! It will still be a while before she talks, but she is definitely starting to vocalize some things like making sound when she wants our attention or a different video. I can't wait to see what she does. She vocalized "hat" the other day while signing "hat" during her signing video. She is also on CPAP (no vent rate) while awake and a low rate of 6 when sleeping. Barring illness, we should get to start trach collar trials September 1st! That is where she is only on oxygen assistance without the pressure support from the CPAP.

Of course, there is a small drawback with the trach collar trials. The nurses tell me that Kiera will be MORE able to get sick because of the "open system" of the trach collar as opposed to the "closed system" of the ventilator. What that means for friends, family, and visitors is even more diligence with hand washing, sanitizing, and flu shots. I hadn't thought about it since, in my mind, she would be more able to fight things off as she got older. Anyway, sorry, but I will have to be a germ-a-phobe once again this fall.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

4th Brithday Swiftly Approaching!

Wow! 5 more days till Kiera is 4 yrs old! What a trip this has been. Kiera is currently on CPAP settings all day while awake, and a rate of 10 while sleeping. We are busily planning a Little Mermaid Party for her. She is signing more signs every day and did the cutest thing the other day when the new nurse asked her how to sign "family." Kiera grabbed the nurse's hands and made her do the sign for "family." It was actually one of the few things I have yet to see her do as a response to a request. She is such a little teacher. She is really enjoying her toddler bed and her ability to get OUT of bed when she should be IN bed. She is busy, busy, busy. Jer and I are both still job hunting. This will hopefully be the week since school starts the 18th. The backyard is looking fantastic! Jerry has made such a change back there. I can't wait to post party pics since we are having it in the backyard. I have been busy making various creations with the humble produce he has grown so far...peach cobblers, pies, crisps, zucchini bread. Jer has a jungle of basil and makes awesome pesto. All in all, life is pleasant at the moment.