Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One of Our Favorite Places ....










Today the boys,Zoey and I headed up to Santa Barbara.Santa Barbara is one of my favorite places to escape to.Not too far away,about 45 minutes,but feels like your away from it all and I really needed to be away.Tons of stuff going on around here.Some real and some in my head but none worth dumping on the masses so I'll leave it at that.The day started with me needing to cancel Zoey's much needed feeding therapy because I also needed to keep her appointment to be fitted for orthotics.Orthotics are uncharted territory for us.Probably if Zoey hadn't been hit with her diagnosis in October we would have long had them by now but there is no need for shoes in the hospital,especially when one doesn't walk yet.We hope to change that.Not in the near future but we remain hopeful that walking is in Zoey's future.Thanks to a heads up from my go to gal,I was ready for a long visit.Tera said that an appointment could be as long as 2 hours depending on casting and cooperation from the little love.I was dreading a long drawn out visit for Zoey as well as the potential man handling seeing she has seen more than her fair share of manhandling,especially over the last 8 months.Well,as luck would have it,we were in and out in a little more then half hour.Zoey's pediatrician recommended SMO's opposed to AFO's for her.SMO's are just smaller and shorter and are meant for ankle support and the intense foot rolling she does.This orthotist was so knowledgeable.On his recommendation, instead of casting, he said he has had really great success with a product called Sure Step.They are not ready made or requiring casting,but rather only need ing measurements and voila ... 2 weeks from now, Zoey will be good to go or not actually go but rather good to start having her upright a bit more.We headed up north after lunch and spent the afternoon at the zoo.We have had a family membership for the better part of 20 years,since the big girls were little.It is just the perfect size zoo and from the hilltop you have a clear view of the ocean.One thing that I realized as we tooled around the zoo was that Zoey is in definite need of an adaptive stroller of some kind.She just can't fit,sit and enjoy her surroundings properly in a traditional stroller.She slides and she leans and she just is not comfortable.Hopefully in the next few weeks we will be getting her fit and sized for a new ride.I think it will make such a difference for her as we venture out in the world.The day was perfect.The boys had a blast.Zoey was a dream.She loved all the people and wanted anyone in arms reach to hold her.She waved like crazy.When got off the train, the conductor said thank you and goodbye and there was Zoey,waving goodbye like a crazy girl!Speaking of train.She loved it.It was her maiden ride and I actually cried as I held her in my lap and realized that my 2 1/2 year old had never ridden the train at a zoo we have been to more times then I could ever count.In fact,I only think she has been to the zoo once.Once last summer.Our only summer,where she hasn't been in crisis.As we finished off the day,we picked a nice grassy spot and rested a bit and took a few pictures.It was there that I cried for a second time.As I place Zoey on the grass,I realized that she has never really ever felt grass on any part of her tiny body.Birth to 6 months:Staying alive,flat on back,20 hr g-tube feeds,till surgery.Then there was healing and fall and winter came.The honeymoon period I call it, as it was a brief time of some normalcy.February came and from there until June we battled IS and I,or someone else held her 24/7.This was followed by a brief 2nd honeymoon which had us at the beach mostly and then there we were again,another fall and then leukemia came knocking.The thing that some forget or don't remember,even myself, is that Zoey, through all that time mentioned,didn't sit and only sometimes rolled, so again she was mostly held.No reason to be on grass ... until now and this was simply beautiful and she loved it.Along with this little boy that we met.Such a cutie and once again showed me what a people person Zoey is.Especially children.I just know,that when the time comes and Zoey is able to be out and around other kids that she is just going to blossom and thrive.What amazing days those will be.

The one close up picture of Zoey was taken by Jake on the train.It captured perfectly her awe in the experience of the ride.I think the grass pictures also tell a story of their own:Zoey,despite it all,is extremely happy and so filled with joy in all that she does.

Once again a huge thank you to you bracelet buyers.I am mailing out another batch tomorrow.I tend to wait until I have few orders before I head to the post office but I promise they will all get there.

21 comments:

ABandCsMom said...

So happy you enjoyed your day at the zoo. Zoey is cute as ever in these pictures.

stephanie said...

Sounds like a beautiful and emotional day of firsts! Enjoy them all.

Guess I don't have to tell you that!

libby @ ninesandquines said...

love that close up picture of her - looks like she's just taking in everything in the world around her :-) what a precious child!

Cammie Heflin said...

So sweet, I'm so glad Zoey is out and about and enjoying her world! We do take so many things for granted when we have special little ones. I have felt the same way!

Lacey said...

It was so nice to talk to you yesterday, made my day. Ray wants a Zoey bracelet, I told him why don't you wait until were there. So save us some.

datri said...

She just looks so adorable in these pics! Glad you are getting out and about and enjoying the rest of summer.

Jeana said...

What a fun day! Zoey continues to do her thing and amaze us all. Such a cutie!

Kelly said...

So stinkin' cute!

scrappy quilter said...

Glad you were able to get away and take a day for some fun. The pictures are great.

Anonymous said...

I remember the trip we made to the zoo with the "girls" so many years ago and also the train. So happy Zoey has been on for a ride. Never gave grass a thought - she surely looks like she loved it and her "new friend" too cute photos

So happy the orthotics are moving along smoothly. Sounds like a 10+ day the "younger Needham kids" had!

Oh yes - received my bracelets.

Take care

Aunt Bluebelle/Loraine

Anonymous said...

Heather - Bluebelle here again

Just went into sure step website - they are AWESOME! So many patterns to choose from!!

JUST A MOM said...

Gosh, I wish we could have timed that one a little bit better. We just got home from the zoo...wish we had gone with you guys. NEXT TIME!

Tish Hearne said...

Zoey is one lucky girl to have you as her Mommy! I love the Santa Barbara Zoo, too, and enjoyed reading all about Miss Zoey's adventure with her two big brothers.

Love to you all,
Tish

P.S. I'm briefly in the Mammoth library right now, as there's no connection in our cabin. :)

Stephanie said...

Oh my goodness she looking more and more like a big girl, so beautiful.
I hope the sure steps work out. My V is om his second pair for the same reasons. Foot rolling and weak ankles. They have helped him immensely. It took him just over three years to get up and walking but now he's like an old pro.
God Bless sweet girl.

Cheri said...

What a fun day! ...and what a fabulous place to be at for all of you...to experience so many new things with Zoey...all with "crisis mode" behind you. She is going to be on her feet with her cute little orthotics in no time. Zoey...she just makes my heart smile, I love the pictures!!

sturpin said...

My Joy is being fitted for Sure Steps next week. We are excited about that.

ah...but, the train and the grass.very important firsts. Thrilled for you and Zoey! :)

Michelle said...

Let's say that one day, you and I my friend, head to that zoo and to that grassy spot...what do ya say?? Let's head there and stare out at the ocean in silence! Then take a moment to giggle at all that was thrown at us that didn't bring us down, that didn't tear us apart...then lets dig into something yummy!? Can't wait to one day, have great adventures with you my friend, and hopefully a couple more of our new Cali friends (and soon to be one's too - Lacy, that's you my dear) :) Love you sweetheart!

Jeanette said...

What a great day! I was so touched by the firsts for Zoey at her day at the zoo. Syd is also getting Orthotics as well, AFOs. Prayers for success! BTW, my friend's daughter is doing great! Thanks so much for your support!

Googsmom said...

Sure Steps were the best thing for Brook. I luv them.

I also love Brooks stroller the DD Center bought her. It's from Adaptive Mall. Special Tomato Jogger. It will hold her till 150 lbs. It goes everywhere too. On sand, through the forest, everywhere. You should look into it :)

I'm glad you had a great time at the Zoo. Love the pic's

{{{HUGS ZOEY}}}}

Shipley Family said...

Zoey is just precious! What an amazing story. She's such a fighter! Our Brookie bear used SureSteps too. They made her feel more confident. I can't help but notice the pics of Zoey sleeping sitting up. Brooke has sleep apnea, which is extremely common in kids with DS. Sitting while sleeping is a classic trait of sleep apnea.

Kele said...

You need more days like the one in this post my friend.
You know, when we talk it makes me miss you more. Thinking of you a lot since yesterday's conversation and feeling kind of sad. Not because of anything we discussed specifically, just cause we're so far away from one another and I am so wishing that we weren't :-(

Give the perfect Z a kiss from me and P.