Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Well, hello everyone and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Finally, it's Christmas Day.  The best day of the year!
Aaron and I are just relaxing right now on the couch after a super busy, super stressful month.  The beautiful babe is napping like an angel, and I told him I wanted to work on my blog.  I honestly don't know if anyone reads it, but hey... I like to post on it in hopes of one family out there that is facing a hip surgery reading it... I hope they read it and say, 'WOW, I think we will make it through this!'  That's my hope!  So, it's kinda like my therapy in a way, knowing that someday, somewhere, I will be helping someone who was as freaked out as I was almost one year ago.
This year has been pretty rough.  We have faced some of lowest points in our lives, but also the some of the most rewarding.  It makes me sad to look at pictures from last year, when we had no idea and were in the dark about her hip being dislocated.  I look at our photos and see the gleam in our eyes, and I think 'gosh, if we would have only known then what we know now...'  It was early January that Lucy was diagnosed with DDH, so it's been almost a full year.  Hard to believe.
This month has been rough for us also. Facing another Christmas without my niece, the horrific shootings in Connecticut, and me being sick and having pre-term contractions and going in the hospital.  It's been a crazy month.  I lay down at night and think of those families who lost their little kids in the CT shootings, and it just kills me.  We have been praying for them every single night... The horror they must feel, the nightmares... I pray that God gives some strength and continues to give them the will to go on with life. I found myself complaining the other day about Lucy taking a one hour nap- and then I quickly stopped myself and thought, 'I can think of 20 families who would give their lives to be complaining about this right now, so stop it!'
I love Christmas SO much, and actually start preparing for it in October!  This year I never thought I would get the honor of seeing Lucy dance or walk at Christmas time... I read so many horror stories of DDH kids not being able to weight bear for months and months... This Christmas has been SO incredibly special since she can shake her little booty to Jingle Bells like no one's business.  Seriously, I don't take ONE single step for granted EVER.  Nothing can put a smile on my face like seeing Lucy run around and be a 'normal' kid...
I wanted to share some pictures of our Christmas season with you... I also have a video of my munchkin a few weeks ago dancing.  For those of you who have 'normal' kids without hip issues, you will still smile and appreciate this- but for those who are 'hip' parents, this may make you cry. :-)
Lucy's Christmas Dance

I hope you have had a VERY Merry Christmas!
I have said it before and I will say it again... Thank you God for all of my blessings... But my favorite one you have given me is 30 lbs, 3 ft tall and loves to dance to Jingle Bells.  AND says HO HO HO!  AND says 'BRRRR" when I ask her what a snowman says.  God has truly given us everything in Lucy.
Merry Christmas friends... From 65 degree sunny Arizona...

One of our SIX blow ups in the yard! She would kiss the bear every day!

San Tan Mall Carriage Ride

Waiting in line for the carriage ride and dancing with mommy

Santa came to Lucy's pre-school for a visit!

Here is Lily in 3D!  She is the luckiest kid ever. Not only because she has parents who love her so much, but she has Lucy as a big sister...

My Santa Babe

Yah, excuse the no make up. I was actually in pain and Aaron was saying SMILE!!!!  I really wasn't in the mood after being in the hospital a few hours...Contractions every 4 mins apart...

Lucy and her buddy Hannah playing after a craft night!

We wrote a letter to Santa and sent it to the North Pole

All the stuff (well, one of the three carts of stuff) we bought for our adopted family. A  mom, dad and 3 kids.

Silly Goose

Baby Lily is ready to come out!

Lucy and her boy cousins Christmas Day morning at our house

Seriously cute

Getting ready to twirl!

This kid got SO many presents!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hope and honor!

Happy November friends!
I wanted to do a special post today about a new, special friend that Lucy has.
Her name is Hope.  Hope the Hip Hippo!
I am truly honored to say that I happen to know the authors of this book... they are 2 beautiful, amazing and strong moms of little girls that are battling DDH.  Both of their beautiful daughters, Mia and Abby, have bilateral DDH, meaning both sides.  They were both picked up on late, therefore treatment has been very difficult and extensive.  (When I say 'late' I mean anytime after a few weeks old is 'late!  I believe their kiddos DDH wasn't found until after they were both 2 years old.) These 2 moms have seen a lot.  They have been through a lot.  They know the tough realities of DDH.  These are 2 women who had a calling to make a difference!

There is such little information available to parents regarding DDH.  I can't tell you how many times someone joins our Facebook group and is totally freaking out, with an older child, wondering how this was never picked up on.  I can't tell you how many times they aren't even aware that the treatments for DDH vary SO much from state to state, country to country.  There is no set 'yes or no' treatment plans.  I truly believe OUR children who are facing DDH now, are the 'research' for the DDH kids of tomorrow. 

I remember when I first found out about my sweet Lucy having DDH. I couldn't even get the words DDH out of my mouth.  It sounded too much like a 'defect' or a 'syndrome' and my daughter appeared 'normal.'  She laughed, she played with toys, she was starting to say words... It was the HARDEST time in my life, and I scrambled to find a resource to help me cope with what was ahead.  When you google DDH and see the pictures of a spica cast, it will seriously scare the pants off any parent.  Especially if your child is mobile.  Not to mention, how are you supposed to explain this to your child??  With Lucy, we couldn't explain anything to her since she was only 13 months old, so we had to have her jump in feet first and face the hard reality of waking up 'stuck' in a body cast.  (Makes me SICK thinking about it.)  There are just some events in your life that you can think about, and you FEEL the exact same way you did that day.  Those feelings and memories never will leave you.  This last year with DDH has been that way.  Even though we are 9 months post surgery, I still think about her in a cast and it brings me right back to that time.  No child should have to face DDH, let alone without any resources helping them to cope.

Parents of DDH babes, look no further.  

Gina and Julie are the authors of 'Hope the Hip Hippo.'  Hope loves to dance... she loves to play... she is a normal toddler.  She is diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia and requires surgery and a cast.  The book is for children, and it takes them on a journey with Hope through the hospital, cast and post surgery... It is so darn adorable... The book was recently released, so we ordered 2 copies.  One is for Lucy, of course.  I am going to write her a very special letter inside of it.  I am tearing up thinking about that, but I want her to know when she is able to read this book herself, that her mommy LOVES her, in a cast, out of a cast, and ANY road we have to take in life.  ANY road.  As long as I am in it with my husband and babes, NOTHING will stop us.  When the books came in the mail, I envisioned Lucy reading it to her kids someday, showing them what she went through as a baby.  The book represents how far we have come personally, but it also is upsetting to know that so many little kids are reading this while they face yet another surgery.  Bittersweet.

The other copy I purchased was for Lucy's surgeon, Dr. Lee Segal.  He has been our 'knight in shining armor.'  I owe my life to that man for being so wonderful to my daughter.  God brought us to him for a reason.  I am going to have Lucy put her handprint in it, and we will write him a short thank you note.  I also want to put in there, 'please Dr. Segal, pass this book on to the next little girl around Lucy's age that you diagnose with DDH.  I know her parents will be as scared as we were, so please, give them some HOPE.'  
What I really think he will like about the book is that his patient, MY Lucy, is mentioned in the dedication.  Yep, you heard it!  She is mentioned in the beginning of the book along with a few other children we know battling DDH.  Are we honored or what?!  One of the authors pointed out how much she appreciates my help to new parents that need it.  I am always here to help someone, since I know how awful it feels... I have a feeling someday- little Lucy will be quite the spokesperson and fundraiser for DDH. :) 
What I am saying is this book is a must have. Period.  If your child is facing surgery, it's a no brainer.  You have to have this book.  
Lucy has requested that we do a fun 'giveaway.'  Leave a comment in the comment section of this post, and tell us why you think HOPE will give your child HOPE.  I am going to 'pay it forward' and give 2 books away, shipped directly from the publisher to you!

If you already have a book, you can't enter the giveaway. (SORRY!)

If you would like to order a book, here is the link:

It costs a bit more to order from the first link, but MORE $ goes to the IHDI.


Daddy reading HOPE to his favorite girl...

Lucy's review after reading the book!

SO CUTE, huh!?

Um, yes. You have read it right. 
2nd line, it says LUCY.  :)
The 2 pictures are the author's daughters... Aren't they sweet??

And in the words of HOPE herself....

Now if you will excuse me........... 

I have to go dance...............

(with Lucy of course!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

X ray day!

Some of you know, we originally had an x-ray scheduled for October 17th... well, it got moved.  Pushed back more like... to no other day than Halloween!  I was convinced that this is BAD LUCK!  Well, today proved me wrong... (I love being wrong in these situations!)

We show up at Phoenix Children's and we know the wait will be long... So, daddy goes in and gets us all checked in and the girls stay in the car watching none other than YO GABBA GABBA!  35 minutes later dad comes out to get us- we were called back... only to get so lucky and wait some more in the x-ray section... That actually went by pretty quickly- only about 15 more minutes.  They call her name, and Aaron takes her back to the x-ray room since I can't... She was so cute and little walking in there, and then she looks back at me and I say, 'it's ok baby!!!  You can do it!' She starts screaming and pointing and saying MAMA!  Goodness gracious.  I was doing okay until I heard that... 
So while Lucy is in the room crying for me, I am in the waiting room crying for her.  :-)

Finally that is over and we are moved to Dr. Segal's room.  He pops his head in after a few minutes and says 'hi guys!  Can I see Lucy walk please?!'  Ummm, hello- that must mean he saw something bad on the x-ray right?!  I put her down and she walks between Aaron and I, meanwhile I am beginning to panic... He smiles and says, 'she looks great.  I will be right back.'  WAIT!!!!!!!  Where are you going!
I turn to Aaron and say, 'he said the word GREAT so that's good, right!?'  It's funny how you begin to analyze every single word when you are worried... 

So Dr. S comes back in and has us come over to his desk to see x-rays.  He starts from the ones back in March which made my heart sink... He showed us that her AI angles were almost at a 40 back then!  That's NOT good... Then he is scrolling through and shows us in July they were approx 33.  Now today they are between a 29-30.  So I am going with 29!  Basically- we want them to keep going down!  That means the cup is being formed over the femur... 
The sense of happiness that came over me- I can't even explain it!  
He showed us pretty significant growth in her femur as well. Since it was out of the socket for so long, it didn't grow and neither did the 'cup.'  So the simple fact that both have grown in a few months is AWESOME.

Now, he explained to us he doesn't need to see Lucy for another 6 months... We are going to hope and pray for MORE growth and for those AI numbers to go DOWN.  He said if they don't, or if they remain the same for a long period of time, that's when she may need another surgery.  YUCK.  
So, we want SO badly to be a one-surgery success story... 
The femur is in perfect position for growth.  So at this point, I do what I have done my whole life.  FREAK OUT a little- then continue every single night and day to PRAY.  YES, you heard it.  I truly believe that God has a reason for everything, I may not understand or accept what he does some days, but someday I will understand... Lucy's life- and her hip- is all in His hands.  Plain and simple.  God has been SO great to us... Yes, we have had to deal with hip dysplasia, but you know what!?  He has also given us the BEST LITTLE GIRL to ever walk this earth.  I also have a feeling in January that I will have the OTHER best little girl to be born in her sister, Lily. :-)  Hey, what can I say, bias maybe?!
So in the middle of all my happiness today- I continue to thank God for every blessing in my life!

Here are a few photos of our day, and I am going to post links to a few videos from the last month or so of her walk... 
Happy Halloween friends!

Waiting with daddy in Dr. Segal's room

X-ray was awesome!

Yesterday at Gymboree class:  (You can guess who the star of this show is, right!??)

Walking 3.5 months out of her brace:

Walking:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCpflYHcOi0&feature=g-upl

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Physical Therapy and balance beams!

Lucy was a shining star (again) today in therapy!  
Now that Lucy is walking, she is ready to take on the world... and by the world, I mean every single adult, child, toy, book, chair- anything in her way she is climbing on, pulling on, running over... all while using her new found voice and saying 'I SEE!' 
Remember a few posts ago, I told you how our therapist said the 'trunk' and core muscles are related to speech and volume?  Well, Lucy's must be getting stronger because she is LOUD!  The other morning she was up at 2:30 in the morning... why?!  To talk, of course!  She was SO LOUD... I even turned the monitor off and could still hear her babbling away for hours... Heck... can I complain?!  Nope.  There is no one in the world I would rather hear babbling at 2:30 am... :)
Anyways, on to the therapy today...
Once again, Hilary (the Physical Therapist) was so impressed by Lucy's weekly progress.  
Our challenges at the moment are: 
1.  Her gait is still wide.  It's getting better, and will improve, but we are working on bringing her legs in closer together while she walks.
2.  Weight shifting.  Again, this is the BIGGEST thing after hip surgeries of any age!  
Lucy prefers to start off with her left foot.  (the 'bad' side.)  I thought that was a good thing... well, it's not!  Hilary said we need to force her to put weight over the left side, meaning starting with the right!  Confusing, I know.  She said just to force her to do the opposite of what she is doing. :-)  This is why SO many kids have a slight limp after surgeries... When the muscles are not worked properly, stretched properly, and in different directions, it throws off the alignment of the body.  
Even through these last few months of PT, Lucy is STILL tight in some of her muscles.  I mean, come on... a hip cast and being totally immobile for 16 weeks, what can you expect??  Also, in Lucy's surgery, the adductor tendon was 'released' aka 'spliced' to lengthen it, to release the bone to be put back in place.  That has to all be re-worked now that it's in a new place... Won't happen overnight, but man... it's way more in depth than I thought... 
We did a lot of work on the balance beam today... Of course, Lucy loved it.  She got to take balls to the basket via the balance beam.  Then she got to 'jump' off with the therapist and LOVED it!  The balance beam is going to teach her to walk with her legs closer together.  Again, working the muscles.  (Adduction muscles I believe they are called.) 
While on the balance beam, Hilary pointed out what Lucy was doing.  It is another example of weight shifting, or lack thereof.  She will take a huge step with her left foot, then a smaller step with her right.  Then a HUGE step with her left, small with the right.  To be on the balance beam and swing that right leg around requires a huge weight shift over the left part of the pelvis.  Again, so many kids have a limp because of this!  She isn't strong enough yet, but she will be!  I am going to have Aaron make Lucy a balance beam next week, and we will be all over that sucker every morning!  
So all in all, another great week... I feel like we learn so much every time we go to therapy with her.  I also think we got lucky to get such a great therapist.  She has been a God send to us!  Again, I can't recommend PT enough.  If your child has had a hip surgery- DON'T WAIT ANOTHER MINUTE!  Find a pediatric therapy clinic and go.
Have a great rest of the week, and think of us melting here in Phoenix!  High of 104 today!!!!  

Here is the babe getting ready to go up the balance beam

We went to a local high school yesterday and did the stairs!  We practice going up- starting with the right... then starting with the left.  Then going down, lowering with the right- then with the left.  Lateral movement is SO important!

Getting ready to jump off!  WEEEE!  Another great sensory thing for Lucy, feeling the ground on her feet after a soar in the air!  Of course, she can't really jump yet, but Hilary would lift her and fly her through the air and have her land on her feet. :-)

More balance beam work to work her adductor muscles and narrow her gait

Stairs at PT  Why she loves these so much, I have no idea... 

Obstacle course.  She had to step over each beam and hula hoop starting with the right foot... Weight shift!

Her reward after doing the stairs yesterday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Halloween X-Ray and more PT

Hello friends and Team Lucy fans! :-)
Just got back from yet another awesome therapy session.  Would you believe it is STILL close to 100 degrees here?!  It's supposed to drop down in the mid to low 90's soon, but MAN!  It's HOT!  
We did half of therapy today indoors, and half outdoors.  Thank goodness for shade!
Lucy is really turning into a little wild woman!  It was hard in the PT indoor room since there are other kids there doing their therapy, and here is Lucy... stealing their toys, running around and laughing... You can't hold her down now... ha!
We did a lot of work with an exercise ball.  A big one... She would have L lay on her side, back and front, and hold her by the legs and roll her on the ball.  WEEE!  Lucy was flying on that ball!  Natural instinct would have you put your hands down on when you see the floor approaching, and Lucy did!  Hilary said it is really stretching her out, and it's working her core and back, as if she is doing baby sit ups.  Laying on her side on the ball was awesome, since she had to flip herself back over to a sitting position if she wanted to sing the 'bouncy ball' song... I have a ball like that at home... brand new.  Bought it thinking I would exercise.  HA!  YAH RIGHT!  So it's going to perfect for Lucy... see, I knew it would come in handy at some point.
Another thing we were told to keep up at home is her carrying something in front of her while walking.  Lucy, being a new walker, loves to hold her arms out to the sides for balance.  If we give her something to hold, she brings the item and her arms to her chest, which helps balance.  We bought a small fan the other day, and the box is just perfect... Funny how a box can entertain her for hours... 

So, we headed out to the playground and Hilary had her climb up the ladder to go down the slide... over and over and over... The steps on the ladder were really far apart... Like for example, Lucy's knees while climbing were even with her hips.  Lots of stretching and muscle work today.  Hilary noticed that Lucy resisted a little when climbing with her left side. (The surgery side.)  She said, 'let's go in, I want to check her hips.'  UM WHAT!?  I about died on the spot.  What the heck is going on?  So we went inside, and she did a full hip exam and said, 'she's great, she has great range of motion, but she is still cautious to push herself to the next level.'  WHEW.  So, of course I said, 'is her hip in still?!'  She said if it was out, Lucy would be in agony.  She was just checking her motion.  BUT, of course, paranoia sets in and I think the worst.  WHEW.............

Anyways, Hilary said she is blown away at how different Lucy's walk is even from last week!  Her gait isn't as wide.  She used to walk with her legs far apart, and now, they are in closer.  I honestly attribute this to the physical therapy.  I am so happy that we are doing this!  

I told Hilary as we left that I keep reminding myself that this isn't over.  It's a crappy thought to have, but we are still waiting on the pelvic bone to deepen.  What Hilary said is this.  The muscles have JUST as much to do with this as the bones themselves do.  Muscles encourage bone growth.  If the muscles are not strong and stretched around the bone, the bone will not grow as it should. It also can lead to a re-dislocation or partial re-dislocation... I didn't know that.  So stretching and working the muscles is essential for success.  Every day I just hope and pray that we don't have to face another surgery!  I want to be the small percentage of one surgery success stories!

Our next appointment with the surgeon for a follow up has been moved back 2 weeks to October 31.  WHAT!?  I didn't really want a Halloween appointment, let a lone wait another 2 weeks... UGH.  I am just going to keep calling every day to see if there has been a cancellation.  I just want it over with.

Anyways, the babe is sleeping- which is normally a mother's cue to clean and do laundry.  Not this momma.  This is my cue to join Lucy and take a nap!  Laundry can wait... :-)  
Have a good day!

Why sit in the grocery store car when you can stand the whole time?!  Hey, at least she was quiet and I got some shopping done. :)

Even though it's play time, I still like her to 'work' her hips!

The sun was SO bright in her eyes!  Playing at the park like a big kid!

I don't think there is a day that will go by that this picture will not make me smile :)

The newest member of our family- Lucy's little sister, Lily!  Coming January 24th, 2013

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Walk before you run!

Hello blogging world! 
WOW how our lives have changed in the last few weeks!  Not only is Lucy taking steps, she is full on walking... She doesn't even bother with crawling anymore.  Walking is way more fun!

We just got home from yet another awesome physical therapy session.  I swear, every time we go, I learn something new... 
Today Hilary really got to evaluate Lucy's walk.  She was only taking a few steps last session which was 2 weeks ago.  She noticed a few things.  Lucy's ankle is weak and needs some toning up.  That will all happen in time, or with the help of some shoe inserts.  For now, walking on un-even surfaces is the best thing for her right now... Walking over pillows, inclines, grass... anything that makes her work her ankles.  Lucy also walks with her legs out a bit.  Of course, this is to be expected from a new walker, plus after being in the 'spica' position for so long.  So we are doing a few things to 'bring her legs together' as she walks.  
1.  Hilary told us to build a pathway for Lucy using blocks, toys, boxes, whatever we have at home.  Make the path as narrow as a balance beam width and have her walk through it.  That way she isn't able to kick her legs out to the side.  Makes sense, right?!
2.  Compression vest!  Yep... sounds weird, but again- it all goes back to the sensory and proprioception that I talked about in my last post.  It's basically like Spanx for babies! haha!  She is supposed to wear this vest for a few hours each day as she walks and plays.  It helps give her stability, as well as good posture.  Right now, Lucy puts her hands up for balance and literally tries to RUN forward.  She falls a lot because she has zero concept of slowing down to re gain balance.  (Can't blame the kid!)  So this vest offers compression to the hips, shoulders and body to give her the best possible posture for walking.  I was scared to death yesterday watching her walk. She goes so fast and falls forward, then gets up to do it all over again.  She has bruises, scrapes, you name it- all over her knees!  I guess it's all part of being a 'big kid!'
Hilary said we will give the vest a shot for a few weeks, and change out to compression leggings if we need to.  When Lucy first put the vest on, it was amazing!  She almost immediately dropped her arms to the sides.  It was giving her the balance she needed.  She acted drunk for the first few steps, because with good posture, shoulders are back.  Hers are always forward since she is leaning to 'go!'  Once she got the hang of this vest, her gait looked SO much better!
I hate the thought of yet another contraption to strap on this kid, but if it helps her, then great.  We will do it!  Our therapist is letting us borrow this one, but to order them, they are around $300.  
Here is the link to the vest:  SPIO vest

Another cool thing we learned today is that the trunk muscles and core muscles are linked to talking!  Yep, someway, somehow... once those muscles are toned up, the child can speak louder and have a better idea of how to form sentences.  Who knew?!?! 

In exactly one month from today, we have our 6 month post cast removal x-ray.  I am already feeling sick to my stomach about it.  UGH.   Trying not to let it ruin our joy right now, but it's hard!  I just hope and pray for perfect news. :-)

Here are some pics!  Have a great rest of the week...

She thinks that the store is her very own personal playground...

Light Bright at the Museum

This is what the compression vest looks like... Kinda like batgirl!
She looks so cute in it!

Getting ready for her baby sister to arrive in 4 months

Now that I officially have a walking baby, I use this bubble bath every night!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Progress and PT

It's only been our 4th physical therapy session, but WOW!
I officially have a baby who can take steps on her own!  TEN in a row to be exact!  I officially have a baby who can stand up on her own without pulling up on anything!  I officially have a baby who has the confidence in her legs again to go after what she wants... 
Man, I have to admit. This year has been SO crappy for us!  Between casts, surgeries, doctor's appointments, etc...  BUT seeing little  Lucy walking around makes me so proud, so happy, and so amazed at this perfect little girl I am raising. :-)
As some of you know, we took a 2 week vacay to La Jolla, California near San Diego.  We had a blast!  Lucy got to walk on all different textures.  Her therapist, Hilary, says sand is the best thing for her to walk in!  (Remember from my last post, we are working on developing her sensory and proprioception.)  We walked on the beach, walked to the park, walked everywhere!  She still needed to hold my hand, of course, but she has the motivation to GO!  Those little things like walking in the grass barefoot, we take for granted here in AZ 7 months of the year!  Poor thing, if she tried to walk in grass here, her feet would burn...
Today I was so excited to show Hilary how Lucy takes steps... Lucy was totally hamming it up, walking all around the room from toy to toy.  Hilary was SO proud.  She says Lucy has the drive to do anything she wants... (that's half the battle.)  So many kids lose so much proprioception and motivation during a cast for months and months, that it takes time to build that up again.  Hilary says developing her proprioception is key.  That way Lucy won't tippy toe anymore.  
A few things we have been doing at home (recommended by Hilary) are massage, and pressure point therapy.  Now that Lucy is mobile, she doesn't even want to lay still for her massage, so that's getting frustrating!  Also, we have been making her 'work for it.'  For example, when we do a puzzle.  I put the puzzle pieces on the ground, and the puzzle on her table.  I make her bend down to pick out a piece, then she can put it on the puzzle.  Sometimes I have a small pillow or stool near, and I have her walk over the stool or pillow to go get the pieces.  Remember, we are working on her core, legs and hips.  All of that has to get super strong again... She actually enjoys doing her therapy work, so that makes it less like 'work.'
I still go behind her when she crawls, and offer resistance to her ankles and legs.  I just meet her resistance.  One thing with DDH babies, after the cast removal they still crawl with their hips flexed outwards, not under them... picture standing there, then just sticking out your booty. (haha, I know...) that's how hip babies move.  We need to teach Lucy to put her hips back in, in alignment with her core.  Again, we are trying to teach her not to compensate.  She needs to learn it right from the beginning. :-)
She got to walk up stairs today with help, alternating which foot to start with.  She seems to favor starting with her left. (her DDH side.)  Why?!  Hilary said she isn't comfortable with shifting her weight to the other side.  She reminded me that just because her left side is the affected side, her right side was also casted, and we need to nurture and work with that side as well.

All in all, I am SO thrilled with her progress!  We are 7 months post surgery (almost),  3 months post cast removal, and almost 2 months free of her brace. (Only at night)... so for her being totally free for not even 2 months, the progress is unreal!
I also have noticed now that she is mobile, her words are coming together.  She has started to say 'tree', 'go', 'bee', 'gone', and a few other words all in the last 2 weeks.  It's like it's all clicking together...

Here are some pics... The first 2 are L at PT, where the ball pit is the hit of the party.  We are going to build her one. Again, it's the sensory thing... Also, if the balls are hip height, making her walk through the pit is another awesome exercise for her hips... 
Hugs from AZ

The awesome ball pit... It's just PVC pipe and tarp!  The balls are super cheap at Toys R Us and Target.
I am totally going to make one for our back yard!

Work those hips!

So are you melting at how cute she is?!  I know, I know... she's a total babe.
I turn my head for one minute, and she climbs up on the coffee table...

... and walks all around the couch....

The babe of the beach!
Daddy showing her the sea lions at La Jolla Cove


Just another day at the beach..