Monday, January 9, 2012

It's Not Just a Chair

There are times when, for cuteness,  I can't help but include 24 pictures of Aviana when just a few would have done, and then, there are times when I include a tremendous amount for the sake of showing a progression/regression of what she's really like. This post is the latter, with some of the other sprinkled in, too :o)

It's not really reflected above (and please don't tell Aviana I post these types of pictures on here), but this is where it all started. Aviana has been doing an amazing job with potty training. She sits, unassisted now, and we just wait.  And sometimes...wait, and wait, and wait, and wait some more, but what we've noticed in all that waiting is she really does an amazing job while sitting there. She will sit up straight, and hold her head up. In those moments, she sometimes wobbles and we have to brace her just in case she falls over.

She does so well though, that Dave thought we should get her some sort of chair where she can do the same thing. He suggested a chair we were going to get her a while ago, but instead ended up getting her a bean bag. At that time, we didn't think she had enough muscle strength to do well in the chair. I was still a little skeptical of that particular chair, as I thought it might be too squishy. We decided to go try it out.

This is her bean bag. She had just rolled down it. This picture always makes me laugh. "Uhh Mom? I think I've fallen, and I can't get up. Can you help a Beezee out?"

Here's a better picture. As you can see, she just lays there and doesn't have to do much in the way of work.

You might be wondering why it is that we don't keep her in full positioning type apparatuses. If so, the reason is, if we are constantly supporting her, then she is not learning to do anything on her own and with her own body weight, muscles and balance. 

I do however believe there is a much needed balance with this line of thinking. We, of course, don't want to always promote poor positioning. I have to say, it is so difficult to know what is best for this type of  kiddo. For me, it is especially hard to see the physical ramifications of this kind of injury. We learn and implement as much as we can, and do the best we can.  That's all we can do, right? Sadly though, and at least for me, because of the uphill nature of this injury, our best sometimes doesn't always feel good enough. 

Anyway, I went off on a tangent. Sorry. 

About the chair ~

We went into the store and first tried her in the larger of the two sizes. 

Her head was down at first.

But, she quickly began to lift it up. It was very exciting!

She pulled it all the way up and started looking around the store.

She was looking at the stuff on the shelves...

And on the floor...

And then on the upper shelves.

And then way high.

Then, she shot me this look, "What are you doing? You are embarrassing me Mom. We are in public. Can you put the camera away?"

But I couldn't! She was working so hard and I was one proud Mama.

One small move like lifting her head, truly wears her out. She began losing ground and her head was finally coming down.


She was still intrigued by all the stuff though!

It made me want to take the store home. To create a new world for our Miki, a more exciting one.

We decided to try the smaller chair to see if it would better suit our needs. 

Notice her feet can touch the ground. This was the main reason we decided on this chair. if we put her feet straight and flat on the floor (like when she is on the potty) she will push through her legs to lift her upper body and head up.



She was exhausted from the work she did in the first chair.

I said, hey Miki ~ can you lift your head up one more time?

And she did.

Made us proud!

This is the one we bought. They were bonding over the Kings game!

All of them ;o)

Avi took a snooze.

And then woke up and was wondering what she had missed.

Fading again...


Here is another day in the chair. She was tired!

But, eventually began to pick herself up.

"Oh Mama, too many pictures!"

The end result is always so great!

One of her favorite things to look at is our hearth area. Especially at Christmas.

And another. She really wanted the camera out of her face this time.

I've always thought she looked so cute when she's mad.

These are proof. She was truly always such a happy girl, but these were the times when she was pissed! This was when we went to pick her up in Guatemala. We had just met her mere hours before this picture. Do you think she liked us?

"Who are you and what did you do with my Mommy?"

Aviana: Seriously lady, who are you and why are you dressing me up in these funny clothes and calling me Aviana?

Me: I'm your mommy!

This is one of my all time favorites.

So sad, yet so cute.

Hmmm....they're not going anywhere?

Even when we got home, I couldn't help but document these adorable little melt downs.

Okay, I inadvertently made my happy self ~ sad.

Must go now.


  1. I'm beaming with pride at how awesome she looks in that chair. Great job!

  2. Way to go Avi-girl! She is amazing :^)

    Love you all ♥

  3. Awesome job! She looks great in the chair...great job to you all! Love all the pictures.

  4. Wow what an inspirational little girl Avi is!

  5. Makes me want to rush right out to PB Kids! Avi, you're looking great.

  6. wow that chair looks like it is awesome and perfect for her. I love to see all the steps she takes. It was a very sad post at the end so hard to look back and see what you are missing and her too.

  7. Love the new chair! In one of those pics it looks like she is smiling big time! I think she likes her chair.

  8. Beautiful!! I LOVE the chair and she obviously does too. I'm with Ellen... I want to race to PB Kids and get a chair now! You are all such an inspiration. Love and miss you all so much!
    Fi's mama

  9. i am checking in after a LOOOONG DAY AT WORK....anda walking into La Maison to a MAJOR LUKEY MELTDOWN (thankfully Georgie was happy go-lucky...well....until he talked about Woody (cat) peeing on the floor and he got in trouble - ok this is getting me off topic....swinging back to the left) i was saying AFTER dealing with a major meltdown and OTHER PEOPLES messes....came in here to check on you guys and i was SOOOO HAPPY TO SEE YOUR PICTURES & LISTEN TO YOUR NARRATION!

    i liken avi's muscle control progress to that of a baby - in that she is having to learn how to control all these muscles all over again much like a baby does - BUT the added feature(?!) being that she is not the size of a baby so those 'new muscles' are having to learn to work with a much larger body mass....and i can only imagine how tired it must make her after a 'workout'!!! :)

    She (and you) is doing an AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME job with the chair and i LOVE the polka dot design she picked out!!!

    <3 <3 <3 <3

  10. Oh, I think she is doing amazingly well holding her head up so strong! I LOVE to see these pictures and to hear how the day went shopping. She really seems to love it and I am sure it is going to make a great difference in her muscle strength and control. What a terrific idea! So Happy!!! :)

  11. Hi Jen and Dave... This is Barkley. Although I check here often...I never post on your site. However, after reading this post I had to commend you guys and Avi! You guys and Avi are my heroes!! The progress Avi is making is TRULY F'n AMAZING!! The hard work that she and you put in is paying off!! It's so incredible to see her sit up and do things on her own!! I'm just blown away!! Speaking for The Barkley Clan...words cannot describe how proud we are of you Hodders!! Keep it are truly defying the odds!! We love you guys!!

  12. I found myself clapping as the pictures at the store progressed! Wow, she was really looking around. What a cute chair - it suits her perfectly!

  13. Wow, we are so proud of Aviana! She looks amazing in that chair, and was sitting up so straight and holding her head up so well! I know these things are HUGE! We are actually working on the same things right now with John. Maybe we should get him one of those chairs for his 3rd birthday on the 21st! Much love to you guys!

  14. I love Aviana's new chair and the way she sits up so nicely in it. -Kate Ousley

  15. I came over from Safe Haven to be a prayer warrior for your sweet Aviana. I love the pictures in the chair. God knew what he was doing when he placed her in your arms. What a blessing she is. I glad to be on your journey with you.

    Blessings & Hugs
    Janet Cowan

  16. What perfect and darling PB chairs! Being a fan of all things soft and pink, I loved the first one, but the one you got suits her so much better. The last pictures of her are so sad and so sweet.


  17. LOVELOVELOVELOVE the chair!!!! So cute! Great job Aviana!!!! You go girl! Jen, you are so smart and once again show just how CAPABLE and amazing and just wonderful you are and what a great job you're doing. You never cease to amaze me.