Hi Everyone,

We hope you all enjoyed your holiday. We had a great time. The kids decided to open gifts Christmas Eve (a new tradition). Santa brought Corey an Xbox connect. For those of you that have not experienced this amazing new system, it no longer requires the use of a wired controller. The games are played using a motion activated sensor. She can play the games either in bed or in her chair moving the curser with the wave of her arm.

One of the games enclosed in the package was Fruit Ninja. Fruit is tossed up in the air from the bottom of the screen. She then uses an arm motion to slice the fruit and is awarded points for each piece that is successfully cut. Needless to say, we have a host of new nicknames for Corey! She was slicing and dicing everything tossed on the screen. We also gave her a sports game and a Glee Karaoke game. Once Samurai Sue was finished her fruit salad she, JohnPaul and Caitlin sang most of the night. We are having a lot of fun.

I’d like to share my Christmas present. My night nurse was sick this weekend, we didn’t have a day nurse Christmas Day and with the holiday/weekend, we haven’t had any therapy. That means mom is PT/OT/ST and Nurse. It’s very important that Corey continues her therapy on her “off” days. It’s amazing how much progress she loses when she doesn’t workout every day.

Our morning ritual includes 30-40 minutes of stretching; arms, hands, legs, ankles and feet. One of the exercises is called the butterfly. Corey’s legs are bent at the knees with the soles of her feet on the bed. She fans her knees outward and inward like butterfly wings. This opens the muscles in her inner thighs and hips. I will hold her knee so she is forced to push against me to open or close the motion. When we’re finished, I ask her to extend her legs. Usually the right instantly collapses and she pushes it out flat. Saturday morning she did the same with the left leg. I couldn’t believe it; she pushed her left leg down to a full extension. Then I placed the sole of her left foot against my left collar bone. I asked her to push against me. For the first time, I felt the pressure of her pushing.

The best gift was received today.

We were doing our 5:30am calisthenics when I stated we were going to work on the left arm and hand. I told Corey I was going to open her left hand. As I rested her left hand in the palm of my left hand, I began to open her clenched fist releasing her thumb (which was tucked under the other four fingers). As soon as Corey’s thumb was released, she flared the four fingers and fully extended her left arm. I was so surprised; I released her hand and literally jumped back with my own hands raised. Corey was elated! She was smiling and began to laugh. I instantly began to question what I saw. I praised Corey but of course wanted to see the motion a second time to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Not only did Corey pull her arm towards her chest, she closed her fingers to form a fist and then reopened her grasp fully extending her fingers and arm in a fluid motion. I praised her again and told her that she just gave me the best Christmas present EVER! She was all smiles and began to giggle.

Corey I can’t begin to tell you how amazed and excited I am to see the joy and pride in your eyes as you watch your own achievements. Ironically, today’s motivational reading describes you perfectly.

No Guarantees
Even when you can’t be certain of what it is, you can be sure that there’s a way forward. Even when there are no guarantees, there are plenty of reasons to be confident.

When the situation is far from perfect, that’s the perfect time to make progress. For when there is much to be desired, there is much that can be accomplished.

Adversity does not prevent or preclude achievement. On the contrary, it is when things are not right that there is the greatest motivation to make improvements.

Stop wishing or waiting for conditions to be perfect. Accept and embrace the situation for what it is, and get busy making positive use of it.

When things go wrong, that’s not the time to complain. It’s the time to innovate and commit to making valuable improvements.

When there’s much that must be done, that’s the very definition of opportunity. Make the effort to make things better, and you can make things great ~ Ralph Marston

You embody this inspirational note. Thank you for always reminding me to keep my heart, mind, eyes and hand open to receive the unexpected gifts that are right in front of me. I’m so proud of you honey. You know what this means…the right side of your brain has begun to make the connections to help your left side to move again.

You’re comin’ back kiddo. That is a guarantee! xoxo