Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Adam has something he'd like to tell you . . . .

At nearly 14 months old, Adam has finally gotten his very First TOOTH!!!!
I was beginning to wonder if we needed to get an xray to see if he really had any in there or order him some baby dentures! YAY Adam!! And what did he do to try out his new tooth? He crawled over to the dog bowl and had a taste of the doggie chow, GROSS! We've got to get this place baby proofed for these busy boys!!

This is Andrew with my cousin Katie. She's a college student and has been helping me out with the boys lately and we all LOVE her very much!!

And Finally, Gig'em Aggies!!


I'm having a very exhausting week. I've been participating in some leadership training and meetings that are keeping me out of the house all day every day this week. I'm not used to having to be somewhere bright and early and then not getting to see the babies until it's almost their bedtime. I'm enjoying the training but will be ready to get back to our normal routine. I hate that I'm missing three therapy sessions tomorrow but my sitter will give me a full report.

Hope you are having a great week!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Simple Moments





Today after church we enjoyed "doing nothing", sometimes my most favorite memories come from the simple moments like a walk through the neighborhood with my hubby, my babies, and my doggies. God is good!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Little Friends

The dynamics of playgroup have really changed a lot recently now that everyone is mobile and interacting more and more. It's really neat to watch the kids and I'm so happy that the boys have been well enough during this year's sick season to get to experience this important social interaction with kids their age.



Ladies Man!

This picture is older but I had forgotten to post it: Duo Duo-gliders


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Andrew Update

I spoke with Andrew's neurologist and he went over the results of the MRI with me. Nothing really surprising or out of the ordinary considering the circumstances. There is a moderate amount of white matter damage in the right side of his brain where the bleed occurred, basically you could call it scar tissue and looks like what the brain of a stroke victim would look like. The good news is that this area should not greatly impact his cognitive abilities and although he could have some learning disabilities he should have normal intelligence. This part of the brain controls the body's motor functions affecting the left side of his body.

The positives of this is the damage is "done" meaning that what ever deficits he has now are static and aren't going to get progressively worse over time. When you look at Andrew he is presenting SO much better than expected when readng about him "on paper". The doctor said he ought to have paralysis on the left side and in his face but there isn't any and that's wonderful. Typically children with this injury will be spastic, have tight muscle tone but Andrew has always been slightly low tone. He has some weakness on his left side but it isn't keeping him from doing things he needs to do such as using the left hand to feed himself and handle toys and such, and even steal his brother's pacifier =-).

Basically this just means that Andrew will have to work harder to achieve and accomplish things physically but that in time he will stand, walk, etc. He might at some point spend time in some leg braces, possibly have an unusual gait and could struggle with his fine motor skills but we know that with his awesome attitude that nothing will stand in his way.

We will see the neurologist again in April and at some point then or down the road he might be given the diagnosis of hemiplegia (cerebral palsy), go here for FAQ's. His recomendation for now is that we bump up the frequency of his therapies so now 3x's a week he will start getting physical and/or occupational therapy, he is one busy boy!

Of course no parent wants to hear that their child's brain is different or that their child might have to struggle with some things but we are so very aware of how truly fortunate we are that Andrew's issues seem to be on the very mild end of what they very well could have been. He may not end up being the most coordinated or athletic child around but really neither was I =-).

To Andrew,
Daddy and I are SO very proud of you and all that you have overcome. We know that God makes no mistakes and he created you in his image. You are a beautiful child inside and out and we know that nothing will hold you back from achieving your dreams. Aim high and never give up. You have been a warrior from the beginning and every obstacle only makes you a stronger person and builds your character to model Christ. Never forget "I (Andrew) can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
We love you always and forever!
~Mama~

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Captured!!

Ironically the manhunt began at my parents house and ended near our house, a 40 minute drive away. We teased my cousin that he must've been following her.

kbtx.com

After eluding authorities for more than 24-hours, a Grimes County fugitive is in custody.

Daniel O'Quinn, 43, was captured around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on F&B Road in Brazos County. He's been charged with felony evading arrest in Brazos County along with a variety of minor charges in Grimes and Victoria counties.


Authorities twice came close to catching O'Quinn earlier in the day. A deputy spotted him walking along Highway 30, but O'Quinn disappeared before the officer could turn his cruiser around. Later, tracking dogs were closing in on him, but he managed to get a ride into town just before the dogs arrived.

The search for O'Quinn started Tuesday in Grimes County when he refused to pull over for a traffic stop after allegedly stealing gas in Shiro. He ditched his car and fled on foot sparking a massive manhunt between Carlos and Iola.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Manhunt!! Updated


from kbtx.com

New information tonight on the fugitive responsible for an ongoing manhunt near Iola. Authorities are looking for Daniel O'Quinn, 43, a white male who stands 6'-5" and weighs 215 pounds.

He has shoulder length brown hair and was last seen wearing brown pants and a beige shirt. O'Quinn is wanted out of Victoria.

Late Tuesday night, the Grimes County Sheriff's Office was using TDCJ tracking dogs to search the woods in the S____ Ranch area off County Road ___. That's where O'Quinn is believed to have abandoned a white Chevrolet pickup and fled on foot.

The incident began with a Shiro convenience store reported a drive-off gas theft around 3:15 p.m. A deputy spotted the suspect vehicle and tried to pull it over. The driver refused to stop and led the deputy to the spot where the search is taking place.

Last time my mom spoke with my dad he was still out there helping them search for this guy. I hope they find him soon, yikes!

Manhunt!!

Never a dull moment around here:

kbtx.com
Manhunt Underway Near Iola

A manhunt is underway near Iola for a suspect who fled a traffic stop.

Authorities say around 3:15 p.m., a Grimes County deputy was attempting to pull over a motorist on FM 244 between Carlos and Iola. When the driver refused to stop, a chase ensued. The suspect eventually ditched the vehicle and took off on foot.

Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell says a check of the license plates revealed the driver is wanted in Victoria. The Iola School District has suspended bus service to the area where authorities are tracking the suspect.


When my mom left her house this afternoon she noticed a pickup on the property and a police car but she didn't think too much about it. Later my dad called to tell her their was a manhunt going on at the ranch and for her not to return. My cousin is staying at the ranch this semester so my mom called her to tell her not to go out there after class only to find out that she was actually there at the ranch. She had just gotten out of the shower after taking a 3 mile run on the property! YIKES! She was terrified that the guy might be in the house so she snuck out and took off in her car. The police stopped her on her way down the drive and searched her car and made sure the suspect wasn't kidnapping her. Fortunately the guy seemed to have gone into the woods and not toward their house.

I called Kenny who happened to be on the way to the ranch to wander around in the woods with our dog. He couldn't have gotten through the police barricade anyway but I certainly didn't want him out in the woods with a fugitive on the run in there!

So all afternoon my dad has been helping police and there are searchers on horses and with scent dogs from the TDC are combing the property and my cousin is spending the night with us and my mom is staying with Dana.

I hope they catch the guy and I'm so glad he didn't go in their house and take my cousin hostage or something crazy like that!

What a strange day!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sweet Boys

One of the neat things about the boys newfound mobility is how the dynamics of their relationship are evolving. One minute they are doing their own thing:

Next they are sharing a moment together! How sweet is that??

I love grins from behind a pacifier

Time Out!!

That's right. I wasn't quite sure what to do about Adam's recent bottle snatching ways (he seriously throws his own bottle one direction then crawls to his brother and plucks the bottle right out of Andrew's mouth) so after telling him no repeatedly and returning Andrew's bottle to him I sat Adam in his chair. Anyone have advice on how to discipline babies this age? Not only is it wrong to steal Andrew's bottle from him but the contents of Andrew's bottle are not healthy for Adam to eat. I don't want to put them in separate rooms during feedings because I want to keep my eyes on both of them. I guess I just need to be consistent and maybe eventually he'll get what "no" means??? As the boys are growing up the dynamics of motherhood for me are beginning to enter a new phase!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Just Hanging Out

Today we hung out after church at Lauren & Luke's and watched the football games. The boys had fun trying out their cousins toys (as did I =-). That's right, I couldn't help myself and took the boys for a ride on Lauren's cool plasma car which is completely self propelled by gravity and motion. It turns on a dime and the boys loved it, but not nearly as much as I did!








One more reason why I have the coolest parents ever:


Happy Birthday Pa!

We had a birthday party for Pa yesterday. He gets younger every year! I'm still not quite sure how he ended up with a pink birthday cake and candles but it was sure yummy. We got him his own frozen beverage machine that was really fun to watch it spin and shave the ice perfectly smooth before spraying it into the blender part. Don't worry we are not heavy drinkers but we had to get all the proper accessories to go along with it.


Lauren and Adam are special buddies
He loves being her favorite twin and thinks she's hilarious


Luke & Lauren help Pa blow out his candles

Happy Birthday Pa, we love you!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Long Day Part II



Yesterday was nothing compared to today in terms of long days. We got on the road nice and early this morning in the cold yucky rain. Have I mentioned that neither myself nor Andrew is a morning person? But never the less we were up and on our way, Kenny took off today to join us. Despite the weather we were making great time until we got into the north side of Houston and entered the HOV lane. About 3 minutes into it the HOV lane came to a stand still. Apparently there was either a wreck or a stalled car blocking it and 2 wreckers were involved. The HOV lane in Houston is an elevated road with cement barriers so once you are on, that's it you are stuck. So after 30 minutes of stand still we were finally on our way once again.

Finally we made it to Texas Children's, but were unfortunately a bit late for the arrival time they requested but were still more than an hour before his procedure slot. First they told us that since we were late we couldn't have the MRI done at all! I explained that we live a few hours away and that we were stranded in the HOV lane, that Kenny had taken off work and we had to arrange for someone to keep our other infant son. They called the anesthesiologist and then told us they didn't have another MRI scheduled until 1pm so they would be able to take us.

So we went back to a waiting stall where they put Andrew in a gown and inserted an IV but didn't attach anything. They told us we would be next. It was now about 10am and his time slot had been 10:45 so I'm not sure how we got so sidestepped after this and I really couldn't see what the big deal was. I could tell Andrew was getting hungry, poor thing because he couldn't eat anything after one last bedtime bottle due to the anesthesia. Well we waited, and waited, and waited and we waited. And just about every time we'd get to the point where we thought we should just give up and leave so we could feed Andrew they would come in and tell us we were next and that someone would come for us at any moment.

It was 2pm when they finally took Andrew in for the MRI!! I was SO upset because he was starving but he's such a good baby that he wasn't screaming like most any other baby would, he would just wimper every so often and try to eat his IV, medical bracelet, or anything else he could get his hands on. He sat there all day in my lap with a needle in his arm (that he almost yanked out) and they didn't run any fluids or anything for him. It was so sad because he wanted to get down and play but we were in a hospital and all I could do was hold him all day, he was SO bored and starving. We were not happy at all. So we were a bit late arriving than they wanted, we're sorry it was an unfortunate circumstance but please don't take it out on our baby. UGH!

Sorry to vent. Andrew was much better behaved than either Kenny or I ;-). We kept our composure but we were not thrilled with the situation. We had to be ready to leave at 6:45am this morning and it should have been an easy in and out procedure yet we did not get home until 8:30pm tonight!

Andrew deserves a gold medal because other than a few sips of juice after he came out at 3:30pm, he wasn't allowed to eat milk or food until 4pm! That's over 17 hours without any nourishment. He's such a good baby but I'm sure if he'd been screaming (like Adam surely would have been by 10am without food) then they probably would have made more of an effort to get him in. At one point Kenny jokingly told me to pinch his foot so he'd start crying and maybe then they'd take care of us. Sweet Andrew, always teaching me about contentment in every circumstance. In spite of everything he offered every nurse and every doctor a sweet smile, he even came out of the anesthesia with a big grin!

We likely won't get any results until at least Tuesday of next week. I'm so glad to be home and no longer driving in the cold rainy Houston traffic. Phew, sorry to be so grouchy, I'm just one exhausted mama.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Long Day

Today has been a very long day, not a bad day, just a long day. We had to leave here a little after 7am to make it to our Dr appt in Houston. I was unable to recruit anyone to come with me so I was all by myself but the boys were pretty good. Our appointment with the craniofacial plastic surgeon went well and he feels that the helmeting was a success. We've had some concerns that Adam has a metopic ridge which is from the suture closing on his forehead. At this point in time the surgeon says it might self correct without surgery (yay!) and so he wants to wait and see what it looks like in 12 months unless it gets a lot worse before then. Notice the vertical line running down his forehead.


Later after we got back in town from that appt we went to our rehab session which went very well. Adam is getting better at transitioning from sitting to crawl and then back so this is really good. This probably doesn't even register as a milestone for most kids as its usually automatic once crawling but for some reason it's been incredibly difficult for them, especially Andrew. He's having a really hard time with this, relating back to his weaker abdominal muscle tone. Hopefully he'll pick it up soon as I know it will make him a lot more confident in his mobility.

After rehab we had our dietician appt. Andrew has been slow to gain weight the last 6 weeks probably because of his increased movement burning a lot of calories. So we are switching him to an even higher calorie formula. Regular formula is 20 cal/oz and he's gone from 27 to 30 and now to 45! He has an unbelievable metabolism and he probably takes in twice the daily calories as Adam and he is still so thin. Adam's proportion has remained constant and so he is doing well on his lower calorie diet and he's also transitioning from formula to whole milk.

Phew! Tomorrow we have to leave around 6:45am and I've heard the roads are going to be bad so we're praying for safe travel! I'm praying especially for a good MRI of Andrew's brain and that he handles the sedation well. Granny will be keeping Adam while we are away.

Thanks for your continued encouragement and prayers!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Kenny Story

Being married to Kenny always brings with it some entertaining moments. I learned early on in our marriage that sharing a bed with him is particularly interesting as he has very lively and interactive dreams. Kenny usually goes to bed a few hours before me and so last night was like any other night and when I came to bed he'd already been asleep for quite a while. I was channel surfing when he suddenly rolled over and grabbed me and said in an urgent and serious tone "I need to check your tail-end!!" "Excuse me?" Was this some sort of strange come one line? "Your tail end right now, I don't want you to crash!!" I assured him that I was not going to crash and pushed him back over to his side of the bed and told him he must be dreaming.

I was a little perplexed but having witnessed some strange sleeping episodes of his I didn't think too much about it. Then I turned on the DVR to watch some recorded shows when I read the description of what he had been watching before he fell asleep. A National Geographic Air Disaster episode about a jumbo jet with a mechanical problem in its "tail end". I died laughing! I'm not sure if I should be glad that Kenny didn't want me to crash or if I should worry that my "tail end" is beginning to resemble that of a jumbo jet ;-)!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Random Photos

This week will be busy! On top of rehab and OT we will be going to Houston for our post helmet check up with the cranio-facial surgeon Thursday. Then Friday Andrew has his MRI at Texas Children's. We'd appreciate prayers for that as he will be sedated because he has to be perfectly still so praying for no complications and also that the MRI looks encouraging and for peace in our hearts knowing that Andrew's potential is in God's hands and not determined by a medical test. It goes without saying that our love for Andrew is unconditional.

Oh how I love these beautiful boys!!






My Little Superheroes

Those hip helpers are too funny but they do seem to be helping!