Anya is 4, and more

Filed under: Anya — by Lauren on January 6th, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

Adorable Anya Haley turned 4 years old on October 19, 2010.  We celebrated her birthday with a princess-themed party at our house, with Princess Belle in attendance.  Anya had a wonderful time.  We also celebrated her birthday with family and at school.

At 4 years old, Anya continues to amaze and challenge us every day.  She is so bright, so funny, so passionate about everything both good and bad – I am so lucky to be her mom.  She loves school and learning anything she can, and has gotten quite good at writing her letters since school began in September.  Anya adores princesses, Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious, and anything pretty (according to her), but she still loves Dora, Diego, and of course, books.  Her favorite color changes often, which is amusing to me.  It’s currently yellow.

Anya is an amazing big sister to Sierra.  That’s not to say they don’t have their fair share of arguments, but they play together so nicely the majority of the time, and there is nothing like listening to them make each other crack up and giggle.  I nearly burst into pregnant, hormonal tears when Anya, completely out of the blue, said to me, “Mommy, Sierra isn’t just my sister.  She’s also my friend.”

At Anya’s well-check, she weighed 38 lbs and was 39 3/4 inches.  We voiced our continued concern about some of Anya’s motor skills, specifically her difficulty jumping, to the pediatrician, and this time after having her try to jump for him, he felt that we should take her to be evaluated by a physical therapist.  The only other area of concern during her exam was that she didn’t pass the vision screening, and it was suggested we take her to an eye doctor for a full exam.  Everything else was wonderful (well, other than Anya’s fear of doctors and shots making some of that appointment a screaming struggle).

So, we took Anya for an evaluation with a pediatric physical therapist at the local hospital’s rehabilitation center, and the therapist found that her strength and balance on her right side, particularly when her hip is involved, was notably weak.  Her abdominal strength was also weaker than was to be expected for her age and she was fatiguing quickly, turning out her leg to compensate.  She was leading with her left leg for almost all gross motor tasks involving her legs.  She started going to physical therapy twice a week in the middle of November, and since then we have seen incredible improvement, enough that in the middle of December she was reduced to going once a week instead of twice.  Her therapist, Angela, is fabulous and so creative.  Even though Anya is completely aware of why she goes to physical therapy, she has no idea she’s actually “exercising” while she’s there – to her, it must seem like one big session of fun where she gets to climb, bounce on balls, ride on scooters, and run through obstacle courses.  It’s such a good time that Sierra loves going there, too.  Anya now can jump forwards and backwards with two feet, maintain balance on her right leg for longer periods of time, climb up a step with her right leg without turning out her hip…  It’s really exciting for us to see.  I think she will continue for at least another month, but she may be discharged from physical therapy altogether very soon after that.

The need for a vision exam came as a big surprise to me, though it probably shouldn’t have, given the history of early vision problems in both my and Lex’s families.  It seemed to me that maybe Anya wasn’t being fully cooperative when the nurse wanted her to read the eye chart at the pediatrician, but it was still strongly recommended that we take her to have her eyes checked just in case.  Well, it turned out Anya really needed glasses.

Her prescription is stronger than mine.  The doctor said she’s technically farsighted, but according to the testing she couldn’t see particularly well up close or far away.  We picked up her new purple glasses in the middle of November.  The first week she had a hard time adjusting to wearing them full-time; she needed to be reminded frequently to look through them instead of over or under them.  The second week, we stopped having her wear them full-time and tried introducing them more gradually.  She’s doing much better now, although she had a follow-up appointment with the doctor again yesterday and she wants to change Anya’s prescription slightly.

I love my girl.  LOVE HER!

One Response to “Anya is 4, and more”

  1. Lex Says:

    Surprisingly enough, the pediatrician himself suggested that Lauren and I not even bother taking Anya to the eye doctor. He said specifically that we could wait another year and see how Anya did at next year’s checkup.

    Granted, as Lauren said, no one could tell for certain whether Anya was simply being uncooperative or having vision issues. But we felt that—given how much she rubs her eyes, and given our family histories—it was worth seeing the eye doctor sooner than that.

    Given what we know now, I’m certainly glad we did!