the Liou-True Family Blog

pictures, videos, and updates

A somewhat dramatic development June 27, 2010

Filed under: Family pics and updates — lioutrue @ 6:03 AM

Yesterday, SR and I were sitting together, both trying to catnap. My parents were close by reading. RJ and Barb and Emma had just visited and had gone back to Barb’s for the afternoon. I looked over at SR and she was lifting her left leg about 6 inches and flexing her foot upward. We both sort of realized what she was doing at the same time. She vocalized an exclamation. I looked over and asked if that was new and she nodded. She started touching her leg with her right arm, whose movement and strength have been steadily improving all along. Then I asked her if she could feel me touching her left leg. She said she could. We tried from the thigh down and she said she had feeling. All of this stuff with the left leg was new. She was excited. We told my parents and I asked if she wanted to go to her room (we were planning to go there to watch the soccer game, which was just starting). I wanted to have the nurse check her vital signs; I was a bit worried about the sudden change. We did that and she was totally OK, so nothing to worry about. We told the nurse and a couple of the aids about SR’s new movement. They were very happy. The PT therapist will also be very happy Monday when he sees this. SR said she had been trying to do this for a while. She also reached over and worked with her left arm for a while after this. This will need more work but hopefully will come along also, especially in light of the new improvement in the left leg. The feeling in her left leg appears to be intermittent; it went away after that but hopefully will return, maybe like after a limb is ‘asleep’. But the movement is definite and repeatable (although SR said it was much more tiring than moving her right leg). It was an exciting series of moments. The doctors told us not to expect improvement in this sudden fashion, but they also implied that improvement would not be linear. I guess this is what they meant by that.

Today we’ll relax together with family time again and Monday starts another new week of therapy work. Both legs doing things will really be a big difference for getting everything working for SR.


Fred the Flatbed Truck gives Tina a Ride June 26, 2010

Filed under: Stories for Ru-Jun — lioutrue @ 2:27 PM

[This story, like the Tom the Tractor story, takes place in our neighborhood with our neighbors as characters.]

There was once a flatbed truck named Fred. Fred’s job was to transport all of the other trucks, vehicles, guai shous, and equipment from site to site. One day all of the trucks and guai shous were on a construction site. Fred was asking whether any of them needed a ride anywhere. He asked Luke and Leak the Loaders, Barnie the Backhoe, Gary the Guai Shou, Eddie the Excavator, Grady the Grader, Tom the Tractor, and Danny the Dozer and none of them needed a ride. They all needed to work right there at the site.

Then Fred saw Tina the Little Pink Guai Shou over in the corner of the site. She didn’t seem to be busy. He asked, “Tina, do you need a ride anywhere?”

Tina said, “Yes, Fred I do. Sergio asked me to dig a hole in his yard. Could you give me a ride to Sergio’s house?”

“Yes, I can,” said Fred. “Climb aboard!”

So Tina climbed on Fred’s back and they drove over to Sergio’s house. When they got there, Tina and Fred said, “Hi Sergio, hi Sue, hi Alex!”

And Sergio, Sue, and Alex said, “Hi Tina. Hi Fred!”

Tina said, “Sergio, where would you like me to dig the hole?”

Sergio showed Tina where he wanted the hole dug and she dug and dug and dug and she finished the hole. And it was a very nice hole.

Sergio said, “Thank you, Tina. That is a very nice hole. You did a very good job!”

Tina said, “Thank you very much.”

Then Tim came over from across the street. He saw the hole that Tina dug and he was very impressed. He said, “Tina, that is a very nice hole that you dug. Could you dig one like that in my yard?”

Tina said, “Sure, I would love to.”

So Tim and Tina went over to Tim’s yard and he showed her where he wanted her to dig the hole. And Tina dug and dug and dug and finished the hole.

When she was done, Tim said, “That’s also a very nice hole. You did a great job, Tina!”

Tina said, “Thanks, Tim.”

By then, Tina was very tired. She climbed back on Fred’s back and Tina and Fred said, “Well, goodbye everyone. It was nice to see you!”

And Sergio, Sue, Alex, and Tim all said. “Bye Tina, bye Fred! Thanks so much!”

And Fred and Tina drove back to the construction site. Tina said, “Thanks very much, Fred, for giving me a ride!”

Fred said, “You’re welcome! Any time!”

Tina was very happy and satisfied that she did a good day’s work and she went back over to the corner of the construction site and took a very nice nap.

The end.


Leak the Loader Gets a Bath June 25, 2010

Filed under: Stories for Ru-Jun — lioutrue @ 9:16 PM

Grady the Grader was having a birthday party. Luke and Leak, the Loader brothers, were getting ready to attend. Luke got cleaned up before the party and went over to Leak’s place in Dump Truck Town to pick him up to go to the party. But when he got there he discovered that Leak was still dirty from the work that week. He needed a bath.

“You can’t go to a party looking like that!” said Luke.

“I can’t?” asked Leak?

“No, you need a bath,” replied Luke. “Do you know anyone with a garden hose?”

“Ru-Jun and Grandpa have a garden hose. Maybe they can give me a bath.” said Leak.

So they went over to Ru-Jun’s house and knocked on the door. Ru-Jun answered the door.

“Hi Luke. Hi Leak.” said Ru-Jun. “What’s up?”

“Hi Ru-Jun,” said Luke. “Well, we are going to go to Grady’s birthday party but Leak is all dirty. He needs a bath. Can you and Grandpa give Leak a bath with the garden hose?”

“Yes we can,” replied Ru-Jun. “Let me go wake Grandpa up.”

It was still early in the morning and Grandpa had not yet awakened. So Ru-Jun woke up Grandpa and he got up, took a shower, ate breakfast, went to the bathroom, and brushed his teeth. And then they were all ready to go out back to give Leak a bath.

Grandpa turned on the water and Ru-Jun opened her umbrella so that she wouldn’t get wet. And Ru-Jun and Grandpa worked together to give Leak a bath with the garden hose.

Now everyone was all clean and ready to go to the party. Grandpa drove Luke to the party and Ru-Jun drove Leak to the party. They wished Grady a Happy Birthday and everyone had a really fun party.

The end.


Myrtle the Snapping Turtle Explores the Forest June 24, 2010

Filed under: Stories for Ru-Jun — lioutrue @ 10:55 AM

Myrtle the Snapping Turtle lived at the bottom of a pond. He loved to take naps in the mud there and dream of what lay beyond the pond, especially in the forest next to the pond. So one day he decided to explore the forest.

The first thing he saw in the forest was a plant that had a large, bright red berry on it. He wondered if the berry might be good to eat. He thought he had better ask someone, since some berries are good to eat but other berries are poisonous and could make him sick. So he looked around for someone to ask.

The first animal he saw was a snake. “Hi, who are you?” Myrtle asked.

“I’m Baxter the Snake.” said the snake, “Who are you?”

“I’m Myrtle the Snapping Turtle,” said Myrtle. :What are you up to?”

“Just looking for some mice,”said Baxter. “What about you?”

“Well,” said Myrtle, “I live in the pond and this is my first time exploring the forest. I am wondering if this red berry is good to eat.”

“It might be,” said Baxter. “But I don’t really know because I don’t eat those things. You should probably ask a bird or a mammal.”

“OK,” said Myrtle. “I’ll do that. Thanks. It was nice to meet you.”

“Yes, it was nice to meet you too.” said Baxter. And then he went off to look for some mice.

Myrtle looked around some more and soon saw a bird up in a nearby tree. “Hi,” he said. “Who are you?”

“I’m Henry the Bird,” said the bird. “Who are you?”

“I’m Myrtle the Snapping Turtle,” said Myrtle. :What are you up to?”

“I’m just flying around the forest,” said Henry. “How about you?”

“Well,” said Myrtle, “I live in the pond and this is my first time exploring the forest. I am wondering if this red berry is good to eat.”

“Those berries are very good to eat,” said Henry. “I have several friends who really like those. You should try them.”

“OK, I will.” said Myrtle. “Thanks for the information.”

“No problem,” said Henry. “It was nice to meet you.”

“Yes,” said Myrtle. “It was nice to meet you too.”

Then Henry said goodbye and flew off into the forest to look for some seeds.

Myrtle was very excited to know that the berry was good to eat. He tried to reach his head up to grab the berry in his mouth. He stretched and stretched his neck but he couldn’t quite reach the berry. He needed to find something to climb on so he could reach it. He looked around and noticed a rock nearby. If he could move the rock over close to the berry plant he thought he would be able to climb on the rock and reach the berry. He tried to move the rock but it was too heavy for him to move by himself. He needed to find someone to help him.

He looked around and saw a deer stepping out of the trees. “Hi,” said Myrtle. “Who are you?”

“I’m Cho Cho the Deer,” said the deer. “Who are you?”

“I’m Myrtle the Snapping Turtle,” said Myrtle. “What are you up to?”

“I’m just hanging out in the forest,” said Cho Cho. “How about you?”

“Well,” said Myrtle, “I live in the pond and this is my first time exploring the forest. Henry said that this berry is really good to eat and I would like to try it. But I can’t reach it with my head. I need to move that rock over so I can climb on the rock and eat the berry, but it is too heavy to move by myself. Can you help me move the rock?”

“Sure,” said Cho Cho. “I’ll be glad to help.”

So they both put their heads down gently to the rock and they worked together to move the rock close to where the berry was. And then Myrtle climbed up on the rock and was able to reach the berry with his head. He picked the berry with his mouth and ate it and it was delicious!

“Thanks so much for helping me, Cho Cho,” said Myrtle. “The berry was delicious!”

“You’re very welcome,” said Cho Cho.

From up on the rock, Myrtle could see another berry within reach. He wanted to thank Cho Cho by giving him the second berry as a gift. So he stretched his neck and he reached the berry. Then he said “Cho Cho, would you like this berry? I want to give it to you to thank you for helping me.”

Cho Cho said “Yes, I would love to have that berry. I love berries!” And he ate the berry and it was delicious!

“It was very nice to meet you, Cho Cho,” said Myrtle.

Cho Cho said, “Yes, it was nice to meet you too. I hope to see you again soon!”

They said goodbye and Myrtle returned to the pond, very happy that he had such a nice visit to the forest. He had met some new friends and found a new food that he liked. He went down to the bottom of the pond and took a very nice nap.

The end.


First Meal June 23, 2010

Filed under: Family pics and updates — lioutrue @ 12:25 PM

As I type, SR is having her first real meal, a lunch of pureed veggies and gravy on either potatoes or rice. This is still on a therapy basis, which is why I am not in the room with her. She didn’t want me there anyway. She wants to get some practice in. But we’ll be eating actual meals together again soon!


Tom the Tractor helps the Chickens June 20, 2010

Filed under: Stories for Ru-Jun — lioutrue @ 3:24 PM

[This story takes place in the yard of our neighbor Tim. Tom is his lawn tractor, which RJ named. Unfortunately for Tim, Tom is currently not working very well and spends most of the time underneath a tarp.]

Tom the Tractor was having a very dull day. The grass did not need to be mowed, and the garden work was already done. So he decided to talk to the chickens. There was one rooster, Roy, and two hens, Guell and Gretchen.

“Hi, chickens.” said Tom. “What’s up?”

“Hi, Tom.” said the chickens. “We are looking for seeds.”

“Interesting,” said Tom, “anything I can help with?”

“Well,” they said, “there is one thing we were wondering: Why are there no seeds in that part of the yard?” and they pointed over to the other part of the yard.

“Hmm, I hadn’t noticed that,” replied Tom. “I’ll go over there and see what I can find out.”

So Tom went over to the other part of the yard and indeed he discovered that the chickens were right. There were no seeds there.

Then he saw Baxter the Snake. “Hi, Baxter.” he said. “What are you up to?”

“Hi, Tom.” said Baxter. “I’m looking for some mice. How about you?”

“I was trying to find out for the chickens why there are no seeds in this part of the yard.”

“Yeah I noticed that,” said Baxter. “I don’t eat seeds, so I hadn’t really worried about it. Maybe you should ask another animal.

“OK, thanks, I will.” said Tom. “See you later.”

“See you.” said Baxter, who then went off to look for some mice.

Then Tom saw Steve the Squirrel. “Hi, Steve.” he said, “What are you up to?”

“Not much,” said Steve, “just looking for some nuts. Yourself?”

Tom said, “I was trying to find out for the chickens why there are no seeds in this part of the yard.”

“Hmm,” said Steve, “that’s interesting. Well, I eat nuts, so I can’t really say. Maybe you should ask whomever lives in that hole.” and he pointed to a hole in the ground that Tom had never seen before.

“OK, thanks Steve, I’ll do that.” said Tom. “See you later.”

“See you later.” said Steve. And then he went off looking for some nuts.

So then Tom went over to the hole to wait for someone to come out of it or go into it. Before too long, someone came out. It was a chipmunk. He was chewing some food.

“Hi.” said Tom, “Who are you?”

“I’m Lootie the Chipmunk.” said the chipmunk, “Who are you?”

“I’m Tom the Tractor.” said Tom, “what are you up to?”

“I’m eating my lunch.” said Lootie.

“Really?” said Tom, “What are you eating?”

“Seeds.” said Lootie.

“Oh wow.” said Tom, “are they from this part of the yard?”

“Yes.” said Lootie. “I gather them every day. They are my food.”

Then Tom realized that he had found the answer to the chickens’ question. “Hmm.” he said, “the chickens were wondering what was happening to the seeds in this part of the yard. They eat seeds too. They are gathering them from the other part of the yard. How about if we make a deal where you have the seeds from over here and they have the seeds from over there? Does that sound like a good arrangement?”

“Why yes.” said Lootie. “I think that would be fine.”

“OK.” said Tom. “I’ll propose that to the chickens. Thanks very much. It was nice to meet you.”

“It was nice to meet you, too.” said Lootie. Then he went back down into his hole to finish his lunch.

Then Tom went back over to the other part of the yard, where the chickens were eating seeds and told the chickens what he had discovered. Then he proposed the arrangement to share the seeds in the yard with Lootie the Chipmunk. The chickens talked among themselves or a few moments and then said that the deal sounded very good. So from that day on, they shared the seeds in the yard.

And they all lived happily every after.
The end.

Next story: Myrtle the Snapping Turtle Explores the Forest


May June 2010 Family Pictures June 19, 2010

Filed under: Family pics and updates,Slide shows and videos — lioutrue @ 4:45 AM

Charlie the Triceratops and the Missing Cauliflower June 18, 2010

Filed under: Stories for Ru-Jun — lioutrue @ 2:01 AM

[This is the first story that JT made up for RJ. Right after SR went into the hospital, RJ was refusing to eat vegetables, even ones she really liked. This helped to get beyond that, at least for cauliflower. RJ’s favorite dinosaur is triceratops. It’s one of her few ‘favorites’ that has remained stable.]
There was once a baby triceratops named Charlie. His favorite food was cauliflower. Every day he would go out into the meadow of the grassy plain and find cauliflower and eat it. But one day he couldn’t find any cauliflower. It was all gone! He was sad but he didn’t starve; he could eat plenty of other plants. When he got home that night, he asked his Mommy and Daddy if they knew what had happened to all the cauliflower. They said “No we don’t! It sounds like a mystery! Why don’t you investigate?” So Charlie went to bed and thought about how he could investigate the mystery.

The next day he decided to explore everywhere. He looked all around for the cauliflower, and even went up into the mountains. This was dangerous because tyrannosauruses lived there. When he was in the mountains, he thought he smelled some cauliflower. The smell seemed to be coming from a cave. But he couldn’t get close to look in the cave because a tyrannosaur came and he had to hide and run away home. That night he thought about what to do next. He decided that he needed to look into the cave.

So the next day he sneaked up into the mountains again and hid from the tyrannosauruses and was able to glimpse into the cave. Inside, he saw cauliflower! It was sitting next to some eggs that looked like dinosaur eggs! But before he could make any other observations, he heard tyrannosaurs coming, so he had to run away home. That night he thought some more about what to do next. He decided he needed to go back up to the cave and make some more observations.

So the next day he sneaked up into the mountains again and got a chance to look inside the cave. He saw that someone was eating the cauliflower. It was a baby tyrannosaurus! Then he realized that he had found the answer to the mystery! The mommy and daddy tyrannosaurus had gathered the cauliflower and placed it next to their eggs so that the baby tyrannosauruses could eat it after they hatched! Because baby tyrannosauruses loved cauliflower just like Charlie did! When he got home that night he told his mommy and daddy that he had solved the mystery and was very happy when he went to bed. He thought about things, and decided that he was OK with sharing the cauliflower in the meadow with the tyrannosaurus family. And the next day when he went out into the meadow of the grassy plain, he found enough cauliflower for himself and there was also enough for the baby tyrannosauruses.

And they all lived happily ever after. The end.
Next story: Tom the Tractor helps the Chickens


Stories for Ru-Jun June 16, 2010

Filed under: Family pics and updates,Stories for Ru-Jun — lioutrue @ 8:54 AM

Shian-Ren continues to make improvements every day in all aspects of her rehab. Yesterday she ate chocolate pudding; the first food she has eaten in two months. She is in good spirits and is determined to improve as quickly as she can. We hope that she can be home with us this fall.

I have been making up stories and songs for Ru-Jun (with Ru-Jun’s help) quite a bit over the last couple of months. I thought it would be nice to write them here. First the cast of characters (names in boldface were provided by Ru-Jun:

Charlie the Triceratops
Tom the Tractor
Baxter the Snake
Steve the Squirrel
Lootie the Chipmunk
Roy the Rooster
Gwell the Hen
Gretchen the Hen
Myrtle the Snapping Turtle
Henry the Bird
Cho Cho the Deer

and now all the vehicles (some of these originate from a book that she has)

Danny the Dozer
Luke the Loader
Leak the Loader
Grady the Grader
Eddie the Excavator
Barnie the Backhoe
Gary the Guai Shou (Chinese for “Monster Hand”; which is used for excavator)
Bert the Dump Truck
Fred the Flatbed Truck
Tina the Little Pink Guai Shou
Juice the Workman Truck
O the Guai Shou Truck (truck with a picker arm, e.g. Verizon trucks)
Leela the Bicycle (girl)
Peela the Motorcycle (boy)
Peter the Ambulance
Tika the Pickup Truck (boy)
Kuh Kuh the Garbage Truck
Pocky the Eel (Daddy: Is Pocky a girl or a boy? RJ: Not anything) (i.e. hermaphrodite)
Paoli the Boat
Titi the Giraffe (boy)
Will the School Bus
Bibi the Roller (i.e. one of these)

I probably missed a few.
Next Post: Charlie the Triceratops and the Missing Cauliflower


Steady Progress June 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lioutrue @ 9:14 PM

SR’s trach tube was taken out today! She is making good progress every day in all therapies. Doing very well. RJ has had a stomach virus that moved into her intestines. She was out of commission Sunday, went to school yesterday, and stayed home due to diarrhea today. Not clear whether it is overwith yet. She is sleeping comfortably but we may have to keep her home another day today. Mom and Dad are helping enormously with everything at home, including tag teaming with me taking care of RJ on Sunday and today so I could get out to Kings Park to see SR.