"Adventures, I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull...But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have just landed in them, usually...I expect they had a lot of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten."

-Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I'm watching this girl. Watching her as she changes every day. Watching her as she easily does something that was so difficult before..... watching her expressions as she accomplishes a task with ease. And I'm amazed.

This is Alina HEEL TO TOE walking three months after selective dorsal rhizotomy. (blogger wont' upload the video I want to use, so this one is not as good. :/)

Here is a post that shows her walking progression a little over a year ago.
Walking progression

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


If you are arriving from 'No Great Joy Mom' blog, welcome!

Our girls both have Cerebral Palsy, but each is affected very differently!

Alina came home from Ukraine in 2010 at age 3.5. She has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. This means it affects her legs. She was very weak and had a hard time even sitting up properly. She had zero trunk strength and hadn't been encouraged to get up and about. We started physical therapy with her right away and they were also very proactive. Lots of stretching and activities later, she was much stronger, could move her body more easily and was even getting up and walking! We found out in 2012 that she also had hydrocephalus, and she has had two brain surgeries to help correct that. In April 2013, Alina underwent a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy at Gillette Childrens in St Paul. She is really progressing fast and we are so proud of her hard work! Important dates to look up for Alina's adoption and story (if you want to read her story)- September and October 2010, Summer 2012, April 2013 through present.

Anna came home from Ukraine in 2012 at age 15 months. She has left hemispheric cerebral palsy. This means it affects her left side. Mostly her left shoulder and arm, but also her left leg. When we met Anna, she was the size of a 5 month old. She was tiny and weak and needed to be held up to sit. Fast forward a few months home and she was walking and all over the place! Anna also started therapy soon after coming home and progressed very fast in large motor. She will 'graduate' from PT soon, but will continue OT for her arm.  Important dates to look up for Alina's adoption and story (if you want to read her story!) October and November 2012 through present.


We complained about the rain and cool temps, and Mother nature heard us. It has been hot and humid for the last few weeks and the kids are either indoors or in the pool! We took a day trip up to Duluth and just hung around, walked and looked and threw rocks, had some lunch and dinner. It was a very fun relaxing day.

Posing on an anchor in front of the lighthouse

Throwing rocks into Lake Superior

We are easily pleased. :)

Another anchor

Anth touching the top of the lighthouse.

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She was in heaven! She loved throwing rocks!

We got to see this huge ship leave the harbor. It was almost as long as the canal! 

Oh the drama!! All she wanted to do was throw rocks!

Alina is really working hard on her standing and walking. She's so steady now! Before surgery she would tense up her legs and be grasping for something to hold onto at all times. Now she moves her arms and looks and dances with ease! The difference is astounding, every single day!
I have to get a new walking video!