yup, it's winter.

Well, we finally have snow to talk about. Nothing like the crazy snowfalls in London, Ontario or MN, but enough for sledding and fort-building. There was an afternoon this week when we were able to take Janneke and Rachel out to explore; they took turns coming outside to play with their sisters.

Janneke was immediately aware of the change from indoors to outdoors. She was quite curious and explored with her eyes and her hands. This was interesting to see because she is displaying a different reaction from Rachel -and from her earlier experiences with winter

It took Rachel a good ten minutes before she made any recognition or reaction to being outside. But when Emily ran while pulling her on the sled, she started to smile and giggle.

I love the big sister love that is in abundance here. The girls asked to take Rachel around the block while I took care of Janneke inside. Love that.

On Wednesday, the kids had a snow day - time off school! How handy to have great neighbours with an ice rink! Dennis and Kim's kids are about the same age, perfect for some hockey and skating tag.

Janneke is not into skating - but tubing instead. This swing setup is at the children's centre, part of the therapy program. The photo is from today's session with her occupational therapist and speech/language pathologist. Both professionals work with Janneke to help determine ideas for communication as well as for any developmental progress. As much as Janneke enjoyed the swinging motion, whenever she had a moment, she would use her pointer finger to find the shadow of her hand.

We continue to work with Rachel on moving her feet. In a few weeks, we hope to get a walker that will encourage weight-bearing movement for her. This is not necessarily to help her walk, but at least, she will have opportunity to strengthen her bones and muscles. This will help us when we transfer from her bed to the chair to the floor - or other equipment.

This past week was busy with two different trips to Mac. Rachel had her kidneys checked on Monday, and the doctor scheduled another type of test later this month to continue monitoring a condition with one of her kidneys referred to as hydronephrosis. Not a major concern at this point.

Janneke visited the neurologist today, and after our consultation, we were assured that all seemed well with her. We were initially scheduled for a series of tests on account of Janneke's seizures last spring, but she seems to be well enough to avoid those tests. Perhaps the seizures were a reaction to a virus she was healing from at the time - or the fact that her pituitary gland is smaller than normal (can trigger seizures with infants). We are not concerned - and that is one less specialist to see! (We also had a chance to visit our little friend Ella who we hope gets well soon!)

Looking ahead to next week, it seems a little nutty - but we have three trips! One to Mac in Hamilton (ENT), another to the eye specialist in Kitchener, and then a trip to Sick Kids in TO, as well as the morning school therapy for Rachel here in town. This is not a normal week, so we'll make the best of it! I am hoping for no van trouble, good driving weather, and a clear mind to keep track of the stuff.