Friday, October 30, 2009

Spiderman can't do it!

If you have hung out with us within the last year, then you know that Harding has been OBSESSED with Thomas and Friends and trains for a long time. Trip and I are glad that his interests seem to be broadening lately. Don't get me wrong, he still loves Thomas and will play with his train set on the floor for long periods of time. But he also likes playing with cars and kicking the soccer ball too. He'll even watch Wonder Pets instead of Thomas while I get dinner ready in the evening before Trip gets home from work. He's also interested in Superheroes, which is really fun. The other day, Trip overheard Harding singing a hilarious version of the spiderman theme song. It went something like this, "Spiderman, Spiderman, If no one can do it, He can't do it!". Reassuring, huh?

Here are some recent pictures:

Daddy's girl:

Couch Potatoes:

Harding and I at the Knight's Chilly Chili Cookoff:

Harding showing off his muscles:

Shelby in her Sunday finest:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Brains and Books

Campbell Brown is doing a series on the brain this week called, "The Brain That Heals Itself". Her show is on CNN Monday through Friday evenings at 8 p.m. You can also view this series online at This is really interesting to us for obvious reasons. It features interviews with Dr. Norman Doidge, author of the book, The Brain that Changes Itself, which I will be purchasing as soon as possible. Apparently this book has implications for everyone--not just people like Shelby whose brains have had some type of trauma.

Our reference library seems to be growing. I bought a textbook on Cortical Visual Impairment by Christine Roman-Lantzy that has really helped us to understand CVI. Also, my mom found us a parents' guide to children with visual impairments which has been unbelievably helpful. I wish that the neurologist or ophthalmologist had suggested either of these or anything at all for us to read when we were given Shelby's visual impairment diagnosis. We've got a book on making and adapting toys for visually impaired kids (most of the toys you can buy are just too visually complicated). We've also got a book on brain-injured children by Glenn Doman that my friend Shifra lent me. If anyone has other reading suggestions that might help us to learn about or help Shelby, please let us know. Knowledge is power and we plan to use it!


Shelby is starting to track some objects! I noticed before we went on vacation that when placed on her belly and supported by a bolster, Shelby would follow a flashing "light-chaser" toy that her VIT (visually impaired teacher) loaned us back and forth by moving her head as I moved the toy. She also seems like she might be looking at other things when they are very close to her, but it is really tough to tell. For example, she seemed interested in a tennis ball that Barbara found at the Folly Beach park, especially when we helped her touch it with her hand. She absolutely loves to play with an "emergency blanket" that her VIT gave us. It is silver and shiny and makes a great crinkly noise. Yesterday, she definitely followed it with her eyes back and forth when I was showing it to her on our way home from the beach. All of this is so encouraging! The neurologist told us that her vision will continue to improve as her brain learns to use it and re-routes itself, but it is wonderful to actually witness this happening.

Friday, October 9, 2009


We're at the beach right now! As you can see, Shelby is thoroughly enjoying herself. If I could get Harding to sit still long enough to snap a picture, I'd put one up of him too. The beach is absolutely beautiful in the fall.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Various Pictures

Siblings looking alike!
Harding after Allen's Warren Wilson soccer game:
Shelby wasn't especially interested in the soccer game:
Baby scarecrow at the Biltmore House:

Shelby working with her VIT (Visually Impaired Teacher):
A boy and his dog: