Monday, September 29, 2008

Prayers

Please be in prayer for the Salvaggio family. They are friends of ours who tragically lost their wife/mom to cancer yesterday. She fought a hard and brave battle.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just Monkeying Around

I pulled out last year's Halloween costumes to see if they could still fit since they were really big last year and they were a perfect fit! I thought I would have to fight them to put them on but they were so excited and had the best time. They were laughing at each other and saying "Ooh Ooh Ooh" which is "what the monkey says" around here. They played in these costumes for nearly an hour before I made them take them off.





Andrew & I go for a ride in Lauren's Dora Jeep, he thought it was pretty scary because of the noise it makes and wouldn't get in it alone.

Adam figured out how to make it go and it was pretty funny to watch. He couldn't quite get the steering down so I kept it in a constant right turn.





The boys love to give hugs and kisses. Adam says "Oooh-Weee" for a kiss and Andrew says "Mmmmm-Mah"



This is the first picture ever of Adam where I think I might kinda sorta see a little of me somewhere in there. Maybe he really is related to me a tiny bit ;-)
Andrew working on feeding therapy, quite a mess but he enjoyed getting to use the spoon all by himself!

Reflux or Virus?

Well Andrew just completed his one month "on" of Erythromycin for his reflux/vomiting issues and we had an entire month of vomit free glory ;-). Since it's an antibiotic and will lose its effectiveness he has to go off for a few weeks. Well he's been off since Friday and Friday night he threw up in his bed, then Saturday he threw up three times. He seems to be feeling decent and he didn't do it last night so maybe it was just a short stomach bug because I can't imagine the drug getting out of his system that fast? So we are hiding out today to make sure it's not a stomach bug that can be passed around. But he did do his gutteral reflux cough all night but never did throw up, so I'm just not sure. I guess if he throws up for the next two weeks then we'll have our answer and will be counting the days to starting the drug back up. Poor little man! (And poor granny who got erupted on while holding him in her favorite chair) I hope none of the rest of us get it if it was a virus!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quality of Life

Define Quality of Life?
How do you put this into words?


I looked on the internet for a definition that was concise but Quality of Life is very subjective.
It boils down to: Is life worth living?

You are probably wondering where I'm going with this. Well when Andrew got home from school yesterday I removed his shoes and they were full of rocks. Rocks in your shoes doesn't usually spring forth praises for most people but I was overwhelmed with the image of my son on the playground with the other children, playing happily, engaged with his peers, and enjoying life. Just like I begged God that he would. Now I'm not saying that things haven't been and won't be challenging in the future nor that God would be any less awesome or wonderous if none of my prayers were answered, but in this moment I praise him for Andrew's Quality of Life.

The life that the doctors' predicted that he'd never have when we learned of his severe Grade IV IVH:
"A national random survey of 289 pediatricians and 283 neonatologists found that both groups expected infants with grade-I IVH to have slight impairments to future development, whereas infants with grade-IV IVH were expected to have severe impairments. Physicians prognosticated that infants with grade-IV IVH would function at a moderate to severe level of mental retardation, incapable of any employment, and residing in an institution. Furthermore, physicians would encourage parents to seek medical treatment of respiratory distress for the infant with grade-I IVH but were neutral or would discourage parents from seeking treatment for the infant with grade-IV IVH."

In the NICU we were advised to consider discontinuing treatment should Andrew take a turn for the worse as his Quality of Life would be extremely minimal. Do I want my son to know these things? Do I want you to know these things? It's a testimony to the greatness of God's work in his life but it sure does sting. By God's grace Andrew progressed and we were never called upon to make such a decision, and even now it's a place that is too painful to even allow myself to ponder.

I don't know why God has poured out this miracle upon us. My son is walking, he's talking, he's giving and recieving affection. He hears, he sees. He has a sense of humor, he LOVES to read, he's bright and sweet and joyful. There are so many children that have not been so fortunate and that doesn't mean God is any less good or loving to those families or that it's because they didn't have enough faith or prayers. While I'm grateful beyond anything that I can put into words for Andrew's amazing progress, I will always be haunted by the "why's"? When I first learned of the assault on his fragile brain I thought, "Why my son God, WHY?" And now the "Why" is still there but it's different now, it's full of both immense joy and guilt, overwhelmingly grateful but completely unworthy. And if I'm being totally honest, inspite of how far he's come and seeing God's faithfullness staring me in the face, there are still moments when I wonder "Why?" did we have to go through all this.

I know the "why's" in my heart are not mine to ask but they are there no less.

But I have peace knowing the answers lie in heaven and I trust and believe that "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Rom 8:28

Even if the doctors had been right.

My dear sweet Andrew, even on the days when you find that you have rocks in your shoes, remember God's faithfulness to us. YES, This life was indeed worth living And I praise God for every day that you are in it! God is good, he is good indeed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Fun Weekend

Waiting for Horseback Riding to start

Peek A Boo

Grandma & Grandpa came to visit!

Adam 's face is terribly beat up right now as he's started trying to run everywhere and his body moves faster than his feet and his face always hits the ground first, poor baby!





Grandpa & Grandma bought the boys a basketball goal and it's a big hit!



Have they changed much since last year?

They won't be able to share the swing for much longer!



OOOPS!

Look there's Grandma!




The boys enjoyed their visit from some of our friends who came down from the game. We had a full house with 5 guests staying, it was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Running out of Gas!

Hurricane Ike continues to reak havoc on Texas. Even though we didn't suffer storm damage, our area is running out of gasoline and I was getting nervous trying to fill up my car this morning after I passed station after station with plastic bags covering the pumps. Of course we are still much better off than so many that are suffering in the coastal areas. I hope things improve for everyone soon. So many people are still without power and the casualty count is continuing to rise. Lord please deliver your people from suffering.

Some photos from the park:

Andrew prefers to slide face first!

All the kids were fascinated with Baby Hoyt

I don't know if it's the horseback riding, the change in therapy regimen, attending school with more developed children, or what but Andrew's walking had exploded this past week! Look how far he walked to go see the "ball"

I'm SO proud of Andrew's progress. Other than his little braces, his "differences" from the other children seem to be getting less and less every day



I swore I'd never be one of those moms who posted gross food pictures of her kids but I just couldn't help myself since this blog is a record for the boys, and I thought these were pretty funny
This is an expression I'm getting to see all too often these days.
Anyone have tips on stopping whining??


Thanks to Mom, Dana, Shawn, & Kenny we finally moved over the last of our furniture from the old house and the boys are sleeping in their beds in their new room!

I LOVE craigslist, check out our new play cube with a slide we got for next to nothing! Andrew has really gotten into books lately and brings you them one after the other to read to him so we put their rocker out here by the book shelf to make a comfy reading area
In addition to the new slide, I've also used craigslist to locally sell my old dining room furniture, an old tv with a table, my old washer & dryer, and a double stroller we never used. And then I bought a barely used front loading washer/dryer for less than a third of the retail price. I've only had one problem when someone sent me a $3200 check for a $150 set of bedside tables in an attempt to scam us, people are NUTS so you have to be careful!! But other than that, it's been really handy and it's free unlike ebay and others.