Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sick

I've been sick and as a result, the blog has come last. I'm just hoping to be better by Christmas!

Mia had an IEP today and she's now going to qualify for Occupational Therapy at school, twice a month for 30 minutes at a time. This is great because any extra help is awesome for her. They did some testing on her over the last couple of months and she was above average in several different areas (because she's really smart), but she lacked fine motor skills with her hands, like cutting, buttoning, zipping, holding a pencil properly (she's just slightly off with that skill), stringing beads. This is awesome that she'll be getting some extra attention at school. The only slight hiccup, and we are praying it won't be one at all, is that the OT only comes on Tuesday and she can only do MARE on Tuesday. We want her to be able to do both, so the only way it will work is if she is able to switch to an 8am MARE spot and then be at school by 9:30 for speech and OT. So, we are praying that it will work out.

We have a special treat for Christmas week, we are going to be off to San Diego for Christmas with my side of the family (Lisa's). We are looking forward to the time away and just relaxing and recovering, maybe doing a few fun activities...like the zoo! We'll update you when we get back, but don't be surprised if there is nothing on here until the new year.

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Family Photos

We had some family photos taken over Thanksgiving with Lisa's side of the family. They turned out great, here are a few of them...




Sunday, December 04, 2011

And all was CALM!

We've had a busy week at our house, Calvin had his 15 month check up...he's doing great. The doctor said he is long and skinny, no surprise there. His speech is blossoming and he's way ahead of the game there, between signing and talking he can tell us what he wants quite well, "cheese...ball...shoes...socks...mama...", those are some of his favorites. One of the strangest things is that he will sign "milk" but he also does this clicking sound at the same time and I have no clue where he picked that up from.

Last night we got to see a local tradition for the first time, we went to CALM (California Living Museum) to see their holiday lights. They are our local zoo with animals native to California, and over Christmas they decorate throughout the zoo in lights and it is so much fun. The kids had a blast. You get to travel all along the trails and see these amazing light displays. They also have a train that takes you on a ride and a carousal. These pictures really don't do it justice, but here they are.



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family this year. It was nice to just enjoy the quality time with everyone. On Thanksgiving we did an outing to the park with Grampapa. The kids had fun feeding the ducks and playing outside, it was a beautiful day. Calvin was like a kid in a candy store at the park because there were so many fun things to climb.

All this month we've been working on our Thankfulness Tree. I got the branches at MOPS and we decided that each day we'd write something we were thankful for on the tree. It was a fun family activity, and I think something we'll do in the coming years. Since Mia came up with almost all of the items, a large percentage were family related or animal related. Take a look.





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Restoration

For the past few months we've been studying the book of Nehemiah at church. It's a book about restoration. So, every Sunday on the projection screen it says Nehemiah and under it, Restoration. I kept seeing Mia's name in the word Nehemiah and of course, restoration under it. I kept thinking, this is the theme of her life. She has such a neat story of restoration, how God has healed her in amazing ways that even the doctors we see can't explain. Many of you who read this blog know her story, in fact, so many of you have prayed for her and we are forever grateful. Some of you we have never met and you have faithfully prayed for our daughter, that is so humbling and amazing. Sometimes, I start to take for granted what God has done in her life, how far she has come and then something like this happens and it makes me reflect, to remember what God has done and I'm encouraged all over again at the power of our God. The doctors told us that she would "eat, breathe, smile, and laugh"...that she would never crawl, walk, talk, or understand what she sees...that she would have no higher cognitive function at all. We have a thriving 4 year old! She's a miracle. Praise God that He has chosen to heal her and use her as a testimony for Him. She still has some hurdles to overcome, but we've come a long way in these past 3 1/2 years...and we could only have come this far by the grace of God. What a work of restoration. Thank you Lord.

Awana Grand Prix


So, last Saturday (where has the time gone! I meant to blog about this sooner...) was the Awana Grand Prix. It's a fun event where kids get a block of wood that they need to cut, sand, paint and decorate into a car for the race. This is was our first year attempting the Awana Grand Prix and sadly, we waited until the last minute...but we got it done. So, we went with the generic shape they suggested (next year we will be much more creative seeing all the other cars that day.) Brad cut it out and Mia helped sand a bit, I painted the base coat and then Mia painted the top coat and added stickers...of what you ask, can you guess? Yup, Animals and ABC's and Numbers. To be expected. Anyway, she had a lot of fun making her car, but unfortunately, she didn't get to see it race. When she and Daddy went, the first race they did she got really upset with all of the loud cheering. So Daddy tried to explain that it was ok and prepare her for the next round, but again, she had a difficult time so he decided to not torture her and leave. Maybe next year. :)



When we got to Cubbies on Sunday, guess what?! Mia even won a prize. They gave her first in design. I guess those stickers paid off!



And of course Calvin, isn't this the cutest face ever! This kid is a climber. Anything and everything. The neat thing is that his signing has really taken off, along with his speech, but he now clearly communicates that he wants "More" of something and he'll even use "Please" which of course just seals the deal.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Day, Another Doctor

Today we were in Mission Viejo meeting with another ear, nose, throat doctor regarding Mia's blocked nostril. It was super informative, but he is not the doctor to do the surgery on Mia. He won't do it because he is now at a small community hospital and he thinks it should be done at a major university or children's hospital. He did give us a recommendation of another doctor down in San Diego, so we will be looking into that for more info. He also gave us an idea procedurally how he would have done it, so that is helpful in talking to other doctors to ensure the highest rate of success so that it doesn't rescar and we don't need to do this again.

We had another major success tonight with potty training. Mia asked to sit on the potty, her diaper was clean (usually it isn't clean) and she did go a little bit on the potty. We continue to see tiny progress in that area and we remain hopeful that God will give her the ability to control her bowels and eventually be potty trained. But, Praise God for this tiny bit of progress! And Praise God for an answer to prayer of wisdom for our doctor visit, I feel like we got a huge dose of that today!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful for Weight Gain!

Mia got weighed in today and she's back up to 27 1/2 pounds. We still haven't started the new medicine, but she's been eating very well since we took her off the pediasure. However, I noticed her bottom getting really sore again and I'm inclined to believe it is lactose related, pediasure's first ingredient is sugar, where as milk is, well, milk. So, we've switched her to rice milk again and we'll see if that doesn't make a difference. She has been asking for alot of cheese also, so we'll just have to monitor it and see. Milk is definitely not the only dairy she gets, but that was the only major change since a week ago, so my gut tells me to try her on the rice milk again and see if that makes a difference. But, Praise God for great news about her weight!!!!

Tomorrow we have a doctor appointment in LA, a fourth opinion with a surgeon about her nose. Pray for wisdom and discernment on our part with finding the right doctor to do the operation on her.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sick

We've been recovering from illness this week. It seems like everyone in the house has the same cold, but I think we are all almost better now. I sure hope so, it is no fun having a bunch of sickies in the house.

On Wednesday we saw Mia's GI doctor. He's happy with her weight gain, but I shared my concerns that I'd rather have her eating "real" foods, instead of pediasure and cream. So, we are trying her on a new medicine to increase her appetite and we are taking her off the pediasure and cream all together, temporarily, at least. We haven't actually started the medicine, but I did take her off the pediasure and cream and she has started to eat significantly better...better for her, I just don't know if it's enough for her to keep growing...we will see, you can keep us in your prayers as we sort through all of this.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Disneyland!

We went to Disneyland with Mia yesterday. We probably should have stayed home since she wasn't feeling great on Friday, but we thought that she would do ok and be able to rest on the ride down and back. We are a part of a group in town, Mended Little Hearts, and it's for kids who have heart issues...we meet with them regularly and they recently did a fundraiser and decided to use some of the money to take the kids to Disneyland. So, we went down as a group. I knew it was a bad sign when we were waiting to get our tickets and Mia said, "And now I am all done, I'm ready to go home." We kept telling her that we were going to have a lot of fun, but she didn't believe us, so she begrudgingly went into the park with us. Now, this is only her second time at Disneyland and I don't think she even remembers the first time, it was before Brother, so that was awhile ago. (By the way, we left Calvin at home with Grandma and that was a great decision...thank you Grandma!) So, once in the park she wasn't really impressed with anything until we landed in Toon Town...then she didn't want to leave. She loved all the things she could play on and especially the piano. Here are a few photos from the day.





Friday, November 04, 2011

My Little Helper?

I put away all the wipes, nice and organized, under the changing table. This spot was full of wipes. Calvin was helping me and wanted to play with the box, so I left him and went to do some other stuff.



I came back to find my little helper doing this...filling up his box.



So, now here is where all my wipes ended up...my little helper. :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The kids had a lot of fun last night at our church's carnival. Here is our little cowgirl and dragon. Even Cubbie went to the festivities and had a great time.



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkins and Cubbie




Yesterday we decorated our pumpkins. The kids had a blast, of course Mia's pumpkin has ABC's on it...that just makes sense.





Today Mia got a special treat, Cubbie Bear came home with her for the week! Everyone is so excited that Cubbie Bear gets to spend the week with us...here's our first picture, but there's definitely more to come!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Where did October go?

It seems like we just got to October and now it's almost over. We've had a super busy week, it seems like every time I write it's about how busy we are.

Calvin was better, but now he's sick again...this time with a cold of some sort, not totally surprised since it is that time of the year. Praying he will recover quickly and not pass it on to all of us. It hasn't stopped him from being a non-stop climber. Is it above the ground, can I reach it, I must climb it...I think this is his thought process. What can I say, he's all boy.

Mia's toe is almost healed, we've started wearing her orthotics for a bit each day, just to help her get used to them. And aside from school and therapy, she's the same, which is always great news for us.

We were and still are hoping to do some festive things this weekend for the holiday, but will have to see how Calvin is doing. We will try to get some pictures posted of the cuties.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mia got her orthotics for her shoes on Friday. These will help with her foot positioning because she tends to walk on the inside of her feet, they will have some arch support that straightens her feet out. We have to go back in a few weeks for them to build in the arch support, right now they just want to get her used to walking with the orthotics in her shoes. Well, on Saturday she pulled a metal basket of washcloths off the kitchen counter and it landed on her big right toe, which then swelled up and the toenail has some blood under it. Needless to say, she is uncomfortable in her shoes now, so we have her in some water shoes that give her some more room and it will be a bit before we are back in our regular shoes. That's how it goes, doesn't it?

Calvin is finally better! Ends up he had Roseola, which is a common childhood virus...it's a fever for 3-4 days and then a rash for 3-5 days. He can now say Mama very nicely and it warms my heart. :)

Mia continues to thrive at Cubbies, she asks to go there all the time...but I think it's great that she is enjoying it so much. Her table leader is very wonderful, he does a great job with her.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Time Flies...

We had a super busy weekend, we attended a birthday party on Saturday down at the fire station. It was a neat time for the kids, Mia liked all of it except for the ride in the fire truck. She did not like it when they sounded the horns. She did like spraying the water hose though. On our way home from the fire station she kept telling us, "I did not like the fire truck." :)

Calvin came down with a fever on Saturday and he hasn't been feeling well since. He is still on the mend, we took him to urgent care on Sunday just to make sure he didn't have an ear infection, he tends to tug his ears sometimes...anyway, his ears were fine, so they think it's just a virus and it's just going to take time. Yesterday he seemed a little bit better, but last night he could not get comfortable and ended up being up most of the night, which meant that we were up most of the night with the little guy.

Sunday Mia went to Cubbies, she loves it. She will now ask to do her Cubby book and she gets excited about wearing her vest. She got a patch last week and then another one yesterday, so this Mama gets to sew those on...I now know why I'm not a seamstress.

Yesterday was another MARE day for Mia. Usually while she is riding I am pushing Calvin in the stroller or chasing after him as he roams around, so I don't get to pay much attention to what Mia is doing on Sally. But, yesterday, every now and then I would hear Mia getting upset and fussing a bit on Sally and I soon learned it was because they were making Sally trot for about 25 yards and Mia did not like that. She looked pretty cute trotting though.

Today Mia gets some orthotics for her shoes to help with her arch support, hopefully those will fit well and help correct some of her foot placement issues. Is it the weekend yet? I'm sure ready for it to be the weekend.

Friday, October 14, 2011

LA

Today we were in LA for a couple doctor appointments. The first was with a doctor from the NICU clinic who follows kids development. She was super pleased that Mia is receiving so many services. She said that looking at her development, cognitively is where she is doing best. She was very pleased with Mia's progress this past year. The best news was that she doesn't feel like she needs to follow Mia anymore, so it's another doctor off the list! Praise God!

After that we met with a potential ear, nose, throat surgeon for Mia's upcoming surgery (not scheduled yet). Her right nostril is blocked and we need to eventually do the surgery for that. He said that he likes to place a tube in their nose after surgery for 6-10 weeks to help ensure that when healing the nostril doesn't reblock itself, like it did last time. We plan on talking to a few more surgeons before we decide who we want to do the surgery with, you can be praying for wisdom in that area.

It was a long day, but it was nice to hit two appointments in one trip. So glad to be home, though.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch






Tonight we went to our favorite Pumpkin Patch, Banducci's. The kids had a blast. Calvin really liked all the pumpkins. My favorite picture is Calvin trying so hard to pick up this huge pumpkin.

Today Calvin signed "milk" and "cheese" for the first time, he also said, "eeeezzz", for "cheese" and he said, "ia", for Mia (at least that's what I'm guessing he said it for.) He's growing up so quick!

Happy 4th Birthday Mia!





Dearest SweetPea,

We can't believe it's been 4 years already! The day you were born is such a vivid memory, we will never forget the sweet sound of your voice when you first cried. And the moment we first saw you, such a treasured memory.

This has been quite an awesome year for you! You now weigh 28 pounds, which is 4 more pounds than last year...that is a huge feat for you! And you are now 27 1/2 inches, which is 2 1/2 inches taller than last year...you keep on growing!

You've also developed quite the personality this past year and you know what you want when you want it. Just today Brother had just gotten in the bath tub and you told Mama, "He is done, take him out, put me in." We love hearing your voice...last year our major prayer was that your speech would improve and God has clearly answered that. Your speech has grown by leaps and bounds, we are so grateful. There are a few sounds that you still struggle with, but we are convinced that God will give you those in time too.

This past year you started a new therapy program, called hippotherapy. You love it, each week we get to go ride Sally. She's a wonderful horse and she and you get along so well together. It's been helping to give you more strength and now you can climb stairs with help, that's another huge accomplishment, thank you Lord!

One of the sweetest things has been hearing you learn Bible verses this year at Cubbies (Awanas). It is another one of your favorite activities! We love watching you learn about God and what He has done for you.

Last year, our other big prayer was that you would learn to control your bowels and that hasn't happened yet. We still remain hopeful that God will allow you to do this, but in the meantime we are sorting out how to help you be able to potty train. That is our big prayer for this year, that you would learn to potty on the toilet and we still want to pray that God would help you to control your bowels.

We love you so much SweetPea! You are such a blessing to us, we thank God for you!!!

Love,
Always and Forever,
Mama, Daddy, Calvin and CindyCat

Saturday, October 08, 2011

A Birthday Fit For A Fox

Mia's birthday is on the 12th, but we celebrated today. Since she's in love with Fox in Socks, we decided to have a Fox in Socks party...everyone participated and wore red and received socks upon entry. It was great. Here are some pics of the fun time.









Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Annual IEP

I had Mia's annual IEP review meeting today. It went great, she's doing fabulous. She's made so much progress, it's neat to be reminded of that. Her speech has improved by leaps and bounds. She now only struggles with the C, K, L, and R sounds...that is a miracle! Praise God! She still has hurdles to overcome in different areas, but her speech is going to be just fine. Her teacher wants the school OT to evaluate her and hopefully have her receive services at school, so that will happen in the next month or so and of course we set new goals for her...many of which are gross motor skills. Another area Mia struggles with is interaction with her peers, so they'll continue to encourage her to play with others...she tends to sit on the sideline and watch the others play rather than interacting with them herself.

I'm just so encouraged with how well she is doing! Thank you God!!!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Fall

We are loving this cooler weather. We've especially been enjoying taking the kids out for wagon rides in the evening...they love it. This weekend we took them to a park and they couldn't get enough of that either. We also went to a birthday party with a bounce house...they both thought that was great fun also. It's neat to do fun things as a family and for the kids to enjoy being and playing together. Yay for fall!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MRI Results

So we finally got Mia's MRI results today. The only significant thing that was noticed is that she has less muscle tone around the left side of her rectum than the right side, the word that her doctor used was atrophied. That seems reasonable since she has more left sided weakness because of the stroke. He said that he didn't know if that would ultimately affect whether or not she could control her bowels...again, only time will tell. There wasn't anything else significant noted, so that's the positive news. Pray for us as we try to sort out the best way to start potty training.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cubbies

Mia started the Cubbies Awana program at our church this year. She loves it. It's been so neat to listen to her memorize scripture. She has got a very good memory, I'm always so impressed with how quickly she can pick something up. Tonight she got her vest and her book and she was so excited about all of it. I can't wait to see how much more excited she'll be when she gets her first patch for her vest. Who knew that being 3 could be so much fun?!

And of course I'm trying to squeeze in as much cuddling time with Calvin that I can because I know it won't be too long before he doesn't want to cuddle anymore. Just this last week we stopped giving him an evening bottle...he's not a baby anymore.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Fair

Yesterday we took the kids to the fair. They had a blast. Of course we hit up all the animals first and I was slightly disappointed when I realized that alot of the animals weren't actually there yet because the owners were still getting them to the fair, but then realized that it wasn't too hard to walk in there and there was just enough animals to make the kids happy, so I guess it was a good thing. We got to see a calf right after it was born, so sweet...walking around on it's wobbly newborn legs. And they had a petting zoo with so many animals in it, even a deer, several llamas, a wallaby, and a pig. Along with many goats and sheep...Mia was in animal heaven and Calvin too. Brad kept trying to show Mia the other animals, like the pig, but she kept saying, "look at the goat daddy"...she really could have cared less about the exotic animals. :) We had a great time!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Growing Up

My babies are growing up. I look at Mia and can't believe she is almost 4! She is loving school and has adjusted so well to her new class. Today she got her chicken pox immunization...we just kept putting it off and finally decided it was time, she was such a big girl about it. We have a book about Curious George going to the doctor and getting a shot, so we talked about that and she did great, no tears at all.

Calvin is also growing up. For the past couple of days he hasn't wanted to nurse at all. I really thought that I would be happy when this day came, but I can honestly say I am sad. I wasn't ready for it to end so abruptly. I keep thinking that maybe this will pass, but when I offer him a chance to nurse, he completely refuses it....so I guess it's time to wean.

On a different note, yesterday, or the day before, (the days tend to run together ;)), Calvin said Mama for the first time. It doesn't matter that he was crying in his crib and it was more of a "mamamamamamamamama", it was totally endearing still.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back In The Saddle Again...

Today was Mia's first day back at MARE since we took a break for the summer. She loved it. She and Sally were happily riding in no time. Everyone was so pleased at how well she is talking and how much improvement overall she's making. They were also shocked to see Calvin walking. We got to check out a few horses in the barn while she was riding and Calvin was quite in awe of the large creatures. A fun day for us!

Monday, September 12, 2011

LA

Everything went really well today in LA. Mia did really well with the anesthesia and they were able to get an IV in on their second try. Our GI doctor could not find any tiny fistula, which is great news because that means we don't have to correct that. It will be a little while before we get back the results from the MRI, but we are hopeful that it will be positive.

Many of the staff remembered Mia and couldn't believe how big she's gotten. It was nice to reconnect with them and for them to see how well Mia is doing. It's been almost two years since we've been at the main hospital with her, November of 2009 was our last operation and major hospital stay for her. Hopefully everything will look normal on the MRI and we won't have to do anything else until next summer (the proposed time for unblocking her nostril again).

Praise God for a great day! Thank you for praying!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tomorrow

Tomorrow we are going down to UCLA to have her GI surgeon make sure there isn't a tiny fistula where it shouldn't be. She'll need to be put under for this and they are also going to do an MRI of her back and spine to make sure everything is ok there. Please be praying for us, pray that there are no complications with the anesthesia. Pray that they are able to easily get an IV put in. We'll keep you updated on what we find out.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

An Ibex

So, I got the kids these ABC's that cling onto the walls and each of the letters has an animal with it too. They love them, well, Mia definitely loves them. As we were putting them up I realized that I had no clue what the animal with the letter I was...it looked like a goat to me and I was rather frustrated that they would pick such an obscure animal for that letter, not to mention confuse kids. Well, Brad came home and said it was an Impala and then we were discussing it with the grandparents and the name Ibex came up as an option also...well, we googled it and it looks more like an Ibex than an Impala, so that's what we are going with...anyway...this morning Mia and I were looking at the letters and she was asking what the I animal was, of which I responded...it's an "Ibex" and then I spelled it for her, and she looked at me and said "It's an Ibex, his name is Goat." Made my day!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Happy Labor Day Weekend

From our family to yours!

One new thing that has happened this weekend is that Calvin signed "more" for the first time...never mind that it was when I was feeding him birthday cake. He was very motivated to keep signing to get more. :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Busy

It seems like time keeps getting away from me with two little kids. I find myself having to be extremely purposeful with my time, otherwise I look over the day and wonder, where did the time go?

I know where it went today, the doctor's office. :) Calvin had his one year check up and he's doing fabulous. He has a slight cold (along with his Mama and Daddy) and so we waited on the shots this round. Mia also had a physical today because in a week and a half (Monday the 12th), we are planning on having her sedated for an MRI of her back and spine and her GI surgeon is also going to check whether there is still a tiny fistula (connection) between her intestines and vagina. Mia is doing great also.

She's adjusting very well to school and I'm just so thankful that she is in an AM preschool class. Her teacher is fabulous and just has such a heart for teaching. Even though Mia is the brightest in her class (her teacher's comment, not mine), she said that she would individualize Mia's instruction so that she would be challenged too. So grateful! It's so encouraging to know that there are great teachers, love it! Thank you God!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Change

Normally I don't like too much change, but I couldn't be more excited this time. Mia's preschool had an early AM class of 3 year olds that wasn't very full and so they decided to make it a 3/4 combo class and move some of the 4 year olds from the afternoon class. Well, they already knew how concerned I was with Mia, so they offered the AM class to her...needless to say, I was thrilled! I know we would have worked out afternoon preschool and she would have adjusted, but this just fits her needs so much better. Thank you Lord!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day Of School


Today was Mia's first day of school at her new school. It's going to be quite a transition for us because her class goes from 11:45-3:15...right in the middle of naptime. It sounds like she had a really good day at school, but she only got an hour nap after and so she's been real cranky this evening. Anyway, I was talking to her teacher and some administrators and I think we are going to start her off only a couple days a week and as she adjusts we can add more days to her schedule. So, just be praying for wisdom as we sort out what is best for her.

The Birthday Party

Yesterday was Calvin's first birthday and we had a little party for him.

A cake fit for a 1 year old boy!


The presents were under the birthday tree.


This frost is good!


It's not a box!


Is this how you do it?
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