Friday, October 19, 2012


October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. I have been thinking a lot about what that means. I have never really made a big public announcement about Ryleigh's condition. I am not very active in the SB community. I did see this posted in one of the groups I'm a member of and thought it pretty much sums things up.

The thing is, I don't feel like a "Spina Bifida Mom." I do think I have a different perspective. I stop to appreciate the little things a bit more. I can see how easy it could be to take even the smallest accomplishments for granted. But I understand how something as small as this moment can be so special and amazing.

I guess I should say, this is a really BIG DEAL. With Ryleigh's lesion at an L2 vertebrae level, you wouldn't expect her to have much strength and use her hamstrings like that. This is functionality more like an L4 or L5 level, which is super awesome. We have been using electrical stimulation on her hammies nearly every day, and we just have to think that has helped with muscle strength. We have a lot of good things going for us, including a very motivated (and curious) child and an amazing physical therapist. We cannot even say the difference Gerti has made in our lives this past year. She is always pushing to try new things and and be aggressive with therapy options. The e-stim is something she has never even used on a child as young as Ryleigh. We are so so thankful for her, and for the First Steps program that helps provide services and equipment.

I say it all the time, but our daughter is one amazing kiddo. I can't wait to see what she'll do next!

love this goofy kid

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lawyer Ron

I'm a little behind, but last Friday Ron was sworn in as a member of the Missouri Bar Association. 

"Look what I did, Mom!"
This photo cracks me up!
I took half the day off work so Ryleigh and I could go down to Jeff City for the swearing in ceremony. It was a cold and rainy day, but we were still happy to be there. 

signing in to the log of attorneys 
and getting a pat on the back from his girl

Mommy/Ryeligh self portrait while waiting for the ceremony to begin
I just have to say, keeping an one year old entertained in a packed, quiet courtroom, even for ten or fifteen minutes, is a challenge.

The judge presiding over the ceremony may or may not have had a few screws loose.
Blurry, across the courtroom shot of daddy {and some other guy}
He's official!

Lawyer Daddy and Ryleigh in front of the capitol

So glad we got to be a part of the ceremony. And it was a rare occasion to take Ryleigh into Ron's office to see everyone. 
So proud of hubby! And I am not gonna lie, so happy to have all that law school and bar exam studying behind us. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wild Weekend

I'm just now getting to posting about it, but I had a pretty exciting weekend. On Friday, I flew to Orlando for work.

Tailgate time! {note: I discovered that I was standing on a fire ant hill while taking this photo OUCH!}
It was hot and humid in the sunshine state. We got up super early to set up for the tailgate. The turnout was great and Mizzou won the game. It was a pretty quick trip and by Saturday evening we were on a plane back to St. Louis. Our flights were full of families with kids coming and going from Disney World. They were all so happy and excited. It was great and definitely made me super excited to make that trip with Ryleigh someday.

Saturday night Ron and Ryleigh picked me up at the airport and we spent the night in St. Louis. Ron's cousin, Cary, and her family were in town so we wanted to visit with them. We met them at the Saint Louis Zoo on Sunday morning and had a GREAT day. The zoo is so nice and big and free.
ready for her cousins
waiting for the sea lion show to start. 
Ryleigh got pretty excited seeing these guys during the show.

The zoo was decorated for fall. Ryleigh kept pointing to all the pumpkins saying, "ball."

she finally fell asleep for a little nap
the zookeeper came out to feed the penguins and knew all their names. 

It was great to spend the day with the Cox family. We hadn't really intended to stay all day, but we just had so much fun. The weather was perfect. Can't wait for our next visit!


Lately I have gotten a few looks from my daughter that have reminded me of old photos of myself. So I decided to get some out and compare. I knew she looked like me, but wow. She REALLY looks like me.
The photo on the left was taken in November 1977, shortly after my first birthday.
The photo on the right is Ryleigh about a month after her first birthday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Trick

Ryleigh has been spending more time in her dynamic stander at school. Have I posted a photo of it here?

It kind of looks like some crazy torture device. At least that's what I thought at first, but I've gotten used to it pretty quickly. Standing will help increase Ry's bone density and muscle strength in her legs. Eventually, she'll be able to push the wheels to move around while standing to play and explore. She has been using it at daycare and is doing great.

We have to think that it has helped her get the hang of using her wheels. Because tonight she did this:

And again

Until today she was pushing herself backward. Today, something clicked. We are so, SO proud of this kid! She is amazing. :-)