Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bouncing at Bright Minds

Here is more video from our therapy sessions at Bright Minds. This is Soren bouncing. You can see the Cage or Universal Exercise Unit. Soren is wearing a belt and attached to the cage with bungees. This makes it so he can be in three-dimentional space supporting his body upright, which he is doing very well here! Just a warning, the bouncing may make you a little dizzy (don't watch if you are prone to seizures--ha!).


Friday, September 15, 2006

Sitting at Bright Minds

In this video Soren is Ring Sitting--sitting with his legs in a circle and his feet touching. The trick here is to see how long he can do this without outside support. Also to see if he can correct himself with minimal assistance. What's great at the end is that he actually catches himself with his arms and pushes back up. As a side note, since Soren's intensive therapy, he's gotten MUCH better at Ring Sitting!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Belly to Back!

About 10 minutes ago, Soren went from his belly to his back for the first time all on his own!

He's been rolling to his belly more and more. But then he gets stuck. Unlike most kids, he would reach his arms out instead of tucking them under his body to use as leverage. He also doesn't tuck his legs under but lays them out flat.

Then since his Bright Minds therapy, he's been lifting his head and moving his face from side to side. He's also added tilting his pelvis back and forth, clearly wanting to scoot, but unable to. This has led him to getting very angry when he's on his belly. He wants to do more, but can't figure out how.

Then yesterday he was REALLY mad, lifting his head and upper body. I tucked his arms under, trying to show him what he SHOULD be doing. This made him even more mad. It's hard to watch because he is so angry. But it's anger at being frustrated at not being able to do something. And through that anger, I knew Soren would be driven to progress.

And he did just that today. Again he made it to his belly. But he kept his arms tucked under his torso. Then he started lifting his head and upper body up, moving his head from side to side again. Then he suddenly lifted force and turned his body back to his side. Once he was there, he rolled himself to his back. It was REMARKABLE!!!!!

Good work, Soren!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Kindest Words

Yesterday I had to take Soren to Speech Therapy. Because of this, I wasn't able to pick Moira up from school. So my friend Pina picked Mo up when she was picking her own children up. She has three wonderful kids. A twin boy and girl who are in Mo's grade. The boy is in Mo's class. He is a sweetheart. The girl and Mo get along famously. Two girls who have brothers and need another girl around.

And then there's Pina's oldest son, Dominic, who is about 8 years old. I went to pick up Moira and chose to carry Soren in. Sometimes pullling out his stroller and hefting it up stairs is just too much. So I had Soren on my shoulder and Dominic came up to me and asked, "Do you have enough money to help him?"

I was stunned. I didn't expect this from a little boy. I thanked him for asking and told him, yes, we had enough to help Soren this December and again in June. And, thanks to everyone's generosity, it looks like we'll be able to go again December of 2007. That's 3 more injections!

And after what we saw this weekend we couldn't be more excited. Saturday morning we went to our Epilepsy Support Group. There we saw Clayton, the boy we first met who had had such success with the stem cell treatments. Well, he has now had 5 injections. When I saw him Saturday, I was stunned. He was sitting independently on the floor, perfectly balanced and in control of his body. When Aaron went to say hi to Clayton, Clayton got up, walked up to Aaron without assistance, and hugged him! This charged Aaron and I up SO much, giving us more hope for Soren's future.

But back to Dominic, after I told Dominic that we would have enough money to help Soren, Pina told me that Dominic liked Soren and worried about him. I told Dominic that Soren liked him too. Soren likes anyone who likes him.

But I was so touched by this boy's earnest question. Could we help Soren? And I could honestly tell him that we're doing everything we can to help Soren. And it's good to know there are people, young and old, checking in to see that we do.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sock-Throwing Success!!!!!

We had a wonderful fundraiser last night at Occidental College's Keck Theater. The Burglars of Hamm did an amazing, extended performance of "Easy Targets." And we had a fantastic turnout.

I was a little nervous going in with only 37 reservations. And I was not sure which of those might just be donations and not actually ticket sales. I joined the Burglars in rehearsal and we bagged up 60 bags of socks, figuring that would be plenty.

But then MANY people showed up at the door, which was fantastic. I saw friends I never excepted to see. An old high school friend, friends from Singular Productions, a theater company I was a member of, CalArts friends, Oxy friends, work friends, even Soren's teacher from UCLA! A large number of students came, which I was really happy about. And as our sock-sellers were handing out the socks, we looked in the bins and saw that we were running out of our 60 bags. We ran backstage to find the extra duffel and bin of unbagged socks. Then we scrambled to find bags. It was the best problem to have!

Soon we were just handing people handfuls of socks. I think we sat over 100 people. The sock-sellers were working frantically between monologues to restock people's sock supplies.

And, MAN, can those audience members hit hard! When I sang my Vagina Song, there were moments my microphone protected me from a sock to the face. Though I got plenty of those as well. And I must say, in my return to the stage after 9 years, I had a blast. I sported an "I Heart Vaginas" T-shirt. I got swamped by socks on certain lines of the song. I heard groans of displeasure. It was great.

The rest of the Burglars--Albert, Carol, Matt, Jon, and special guest Pat--all gave FANTASTIC performances and were properly pummelled.

I thank the Burglars for their time, Occidental College for the beautiful theater of Keck, the Theater Department for the services of Brian Fitzmorris and the AMAZING crew--all of whom gave up their time free of charge for this event. These people know how to run a smooth show!

And to all of you!

On the money front, our presale tickets were $780. Then with the tickets at the door, sock selling, and a few on-sight donations, we made a little over $1,760 (I haven’t counted the loose change yet. Students were shelling out nickels and dimes to buy socks!). And donations from folks who couldn't make it to the show but wanted to contribute came to $4,090. That’s a total of $6,630! Not too shabby!

And with that, we met our $5,000 matching funds from The Talbert Family Foundation. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for being so generous, for coming out, and for helping us with our beautiful son Soren!


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Singing for my Soren

In less than a week we'll be having Soren's 2nd Stem Cell Fundraiser at Occidental College's Keck Theater.  The show is at 8 pm and is NOT for kids!


Well, for the first time in 9 years, I will be performing on stage!!!!!!

Yes, you've seen me perform karaoke. Yes, I've sung at Christmas parties and gatherings. But after retiring from acting to focus on writing, I will, on an official stage, be singing my now-infamous "Vagina Song."

Why am I stepping foot back on the stage? For my sweet son Soren, of course.

And, as a bonus, you get to throw socks at me while I do it! For those of you who love The Vagina Song, what better way to enjoy it than with a live musical accompaniment? For those of you who hate it, what better way to take revenge than to hurl socks at me while I sing?

So, this post is a less than subtle reminder to come to the fundraiser THIS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH!

The Burglars of Hamm will be performing Easy Targets, their "solo shows that lets you throw." Within the line-up for that evening you get to throw socks at an actor impersonating Abe Lincoln (it's fun trying to knock off that freakin' hat), another doing very pompous Shakespearean piece, and yet another coming out--and stripping down--of the closet. Not to mention me singing about The Va-J-J. C'mon!

Tickets are $20. Bring extra ammo for more socks! (You will SO want them!) We've got 380 seats we can fill! Bring a friend (or 20!)


  • here
  • to pre-buy tickets. Or, if you want to buy tickets at the door, I'll see you there!

    Thank you all for your wonderful and neverending support!