Monday, January 22, 2007

Some more pictures from our N.C. trip

Visiting Grandpa & Grandma in N.C.

We had a great (albeit quick!) weekend in N.C. with Bruce's parents. It was nice to see the place they rented this month and we all enjoyed the time together. When we were leaving, David told us, "I feel very sad [about leaving his grandparents]. It's terrible!"

But we won't hold still for long -- we have three doctor's appts today and tomorrow and then the kids and I leave early Wednesday morning for Florida to spend a week with my grandparents!

Friday, January 19, 2007

A surprising turn of events

Here is some interesting news for you…we have decided to postpone David’s CI surgery! Again, I make the observation that we do nothing simply around here!!! I won’t bother going into all of the information behind the decision…the short version is that, on the recommendation of David’s doctor, we have decided to postpone the surgery. We had made the decision to implant based on the way his hearing was deteriorating; however, more recently the hearing in his right ear has stabilized and the hearing in his left ear has declined a bit. So we will watch him closely over the next weeks (maybe months) and see what happens. We still fully expect him to need the implant this year, and probably not too far into this year, but of course there is no way to predict for certain. All of the prep for his CI is complete, so as soon as one of his ears starts to decline, we will go ahead and implant whichever ear warrants it first. On a side note, both kids’ hearing was stable at today’s check. Abigail’s CT scan went very well – she was a trooper. The sedation wore off between the first and second series, but she held still for the second series without any trouble. Granted, she was still a bit groggy from the meds, but she was alert enough to look around and ask me questions. I was very grateful for her sign language skills, as I was able to tell her things like, "No hurt", "Sleep", "Be quiet", etc. (No hearing aids allowed during the scan, and lots of noise besides.) The doctor is out of the office until Tuesday, so we don't expect results before then. Well, another exciting day behind us! We will be spending this weekend with my in-laws, who are snowbirding in N.C. this month -- so I probably won't post anything else until Monday. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Storytime at the library...again?!

On Tuesday morning of this week, I got the kids all ready for storytime at our library (which they love) and finally remembered to grab my camera on the way out. Problem being that when we arrived at the library, we discovered that storytime was on Thursday, not Tuesday! Try explaining to a disappointed four year old that the reason we aren't going to get storytime after all is because his mother's brain is shot. :-) After all that, we did go to storytime today -- David has been asking all week if we could please go on the right day -- but of course, this time I completely forgot to take my camera. So here is today's post, a humorous little anecdote with no picture to accompany it...but at least I have two kids who attended storytime and thoroughly enjoyed it!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Happy birthday, Grandpa McKee!

Happy birthday to a man who is a wonderful example of living a life focused on serving and obeying God...and who is a fun grandpa besides! Happy birthday, Dad/Grandpa -- we love you!

Grandpa McKee finishing the kids' playset for us...

Grandpa & Grandma McKee with the kids on Easter...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Abigail's amazing accomplishment

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Those of you who have not seen Abigail's daily struggle to gain use of her left side may think I'm daft, but just trust me when I say that the little things we all enjoy -- or maybe just take for granted -- in our 'normal' kids are absolute miracles to watch this little girl accomplish.

Abigail figured out how to do this all by herself -- I was working in the garage and garden until I heard "Look, Mama!"... note the left side involvement -- you'd hardly know that she has trouble -- wow!!!

Transcript: David yells, "On your mark, get set, go!" (but he is yelling through a tube, so it's pretty garbled!), and then Abigail (who has brownie all over her face from our picnic) calls, "Look, Mama!"

Family moments

Wheelbarrow ride; David rocking Abigail for bedtime

Friday, January 12, 2007

Moments with Baker

David the Hawkman Bird

David spent a while this morning digging in the dress-up box and then came downstairs to tell me that he was a "hawkman bird" -- he has a very vivid imagination and sometimes it's very amusing. In case I'm worried, every little bit he takes the outfit off and tells me "It's me, David!" Enjoy the video of him demonstrating what a 'hawkman bird' does!
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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Abigail's CT scan date

Abigail's CT scan is scheduled for Friday, January 19th. She will be sedated, so she can't eat anything that morning. It's our tradition to have a treat of a PopTart on the way to any morning appointments at the I expect her to be extremely displeased with me next Friday! Anyway, we will have an exciting (read: tiring!) morning that day, as we have to arrive at the hospital at 8:30 for the CT scan, then we have appointments for hearing checks with RaDora at 11:30. At least it will be nice to combine the trips (both appts are on the same campus), and the kids are always happy to see Miss RaDora! I am really hoping that Abigail's T/A surgery can be scheduled for the week of Jan. 29-Feb.2...but we shall see! I have my ideas of how I want things to happen, but sometimes I don't get to choose. :-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

David's CI surgery date

We had the kids’ consult (with their ENT/CI surgeon) today – David’s CI surgery will be Friday, February 16th. Everything looks good as far as healing from his tonsillectomy, etc. We are officially starting the CI evaluation/preparation process with Abigail, and it looks like she will probably be starting out by having her tonsils/adenoids out as well. We are waiting to get a date for her CT scan and then, when we have those results, the final decision will be made regarding the t/a surgery. It is going to be a very crazy few months ahead…we will do our best to keep you all posted and not become too self-centric, but we appreciate your understanding as, by necessity, the lion’s share of our attention, time, and energy will be focused on our kids’ needs. As things ramp up, I probably won't be able to manage much one-on-one communication, but I will at least try to keep the blog up-to-date so that you know how we're doing. Again, we are thankful that our heavenly Father goes before us into these uncharted waters!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Say cheese!

Abigail's first intentionally cheesy smile for the camera...
aren't her 'Laura Ingalls' braids cute?! David is fascinated by them and keeps touching them all day can imagine how much Abigail likes that...!

Our first day of 'practice school'

We held our first day of 'practice school' this morning -- the kids are both ready to start a little more intense work on their letters and numbers, and they each need some formal speech therapy time every day besides...and I also want to start 'breaking them in' in preparation for the official start of K5 for David this fall. Anyway, we spent half an hour working this morning and it went better than I expected...and the kids LOVED it. The only problem was when Abigail would yell out the letters and numbers when it was supposed to be David's turn...she knows them all and doesn't see why she shouldn't 'help' him.
We are embarking on a journey (their education) that definitely won't be boring! Figuring out the best way to manage their different learning styles and keep them challenged will surely keep me hopping!

Abigail is successful...

I won't go into all of the history involved, but Abigail had a very successful moment yesterday -- you can guess what it was if you look at her 'throne' in the picture -- and the rest of the day was successful as well! We shall see how today goes, whether she's used up all of her cooperation or whether we are on the trail of success. :-) Yay, Abigail!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

My first video attempt

Here is a video of Abigail announcing, "I'm cute!" She is, indeed, very cute, even if she's not very humble! Note: You often have to click the "play" button twice to get it going. Those of you operating on dial-up, let me know how easily (or not) it plays for you. To those of you who blog, I can't believe how simple the process was -- if you haven't tried it before, you should! Now I'll probably bombard all of you with videos in the near future!
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Great ASL link

I added a new link to the "Links" section on the left-hand side of my blog page -- see "ASL index" -- it is a great resource for lots of signs. I just found it on another CI mom's blog page. It will come in handy around here because Abigail demands to know the sign for almost everything...including words that I have never had occasion to learn before! Thought some of you might like it for occasional reference.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Hearing loss adventures

A quick summary of the kids’ appointments today – David’s hearing was pretty stable, just a few minor fluctuations. We completed his audiological evaluations for the CI, so we are good to go. We have an appt with the surgeon this coming Wednesday (Jan. 10th) and should get a surgery date (for the CI) then (unless we hear back sooner!). At this point, the surgery date is still tentatively the second week of February. Abigail had a huge drop in one ear and that ear is now at almost the same exact levels as David’s ready-to-implant ear, but for some frequencies being slightly better than his current levels (though a couple of her frequencies are worse than his!). So she appears to be hurtling toward a CI as well. After Wednesday’s appt we will have a better idea of timing for her CI. We do nothing simply around here – we always aim to make things as exciting as possible…! (How are we doing?!) As for David's recovery, this is the first day that he is really on the mend. His voice sounds better and he is pretty comfortable as long as we are on time with his pain if we could just get a good night's sleep with no waking up from the pain...!


Today was the due date of the little one we lost in our first miscarriage...although, considering my history, we likely would have had the baby around Thanksgiving (!), for us this is still a day to remember. For some reason, in our society, there is a reluctance to publicly acknowledge a miscarriage, but I have never, even prior to our own experiences, understood that reluctance. This is a loss like any other loss, and results in a grief like any other grief, and it is a heavy burden to try to carry in secret. It is -- and always will be -- a part of who I am and who we are. So anyway, I've marked the day...and now on to all of the busyness a normal day holds. I will try to do a quick post later, after the kids' audio. appointments, to let you all know results.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Abigail signs

Grandma -- Baby --

Boy --

Eat --

Play --

Surprise! --

Abigail signs "I love you!"

Thought you would all enjoy seeing Abigail signing "I love you." She has probably 60-75 signs now and uses them constantly. It has been amazing to watch her learn -- we call her our 'sponge'. Her favorite time of day is when I announce that it's time to watch a Signing Time video. She gets sooo excited! (...and this is GREAT therapy for her left hand, too!) I will post more clips of her signing on our photo gallery page. Please keep in mind that the signs are in motion and the pictures are you only get one part of the sign! One of these days I will figure out how to put videos on the blog and then you can see some in real time. David is doing a little bit better today, after a pretty rough night. I am keeping him hopped up on pain meds again today and that helps. His disposition is a little more pleasant today, so I am taking that to mean he's on the mend. Here is a picture of him signing "sick" -- he is learning lots of signs, too, though he is not as wildly enthusiastic about it as his sister is!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

David's update for today

For those of you checking regularly to see how David is doing -- he is having a rough day -- pain is supposed to peak between days 5-8 and he is following the norm. We found out just how much the pain meds have been doing for him...I forgot to give him a dose when he woke up this morning and by 9 o'clock, he was chalky-white, the drool was pouring out of his mouth (hurt too much to swallow), and he was crying and holding his throat. Thankfully, the pain medicine kicks in about 20-30 minutes after taking it... Even with the meds today, he is in almost constant pain, but it is tolerable enough to function, though he still prefers to spit in the sink rather than swallow! When he talks, it sounds like someone is squeezing his throat. least he is drinking and eating enough to stay out of trouble. Poor little guy!

EOY pictures are posted

FYI -- I finally posted pictures from Christmas, David's surgery, etc. Just visit our photo gallery.

Our Christmas company leaves...

David's surgery, post-op

David's tonsils come out!


Christmas 2006

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

...and ringing in the new

David is doing great after his surgery. His nights are still a bit rough, but during the day he is eating and drinking almost normally, and is mostly pain-free and happy. It looks like his CI surgery will take place the second week of February (tentative schedule). Abigail is doing great, still working on pushing her eye teeth through -- those teeth have been on the verge of breaking through for over a month now! Hopefully they will appear before her third birthday. :-) We go today for Abigail to be fitted for her new AFO (leg brace). We are excited about the 'graduation' to a more sleek model. Friday the kids both have hearing checks, and David has his audiological testing. Neither of them appear to have lost any significant amount of hearing recently, which is a blessing. We enjoyed having my family here over the holidays, even if everything didn't go according to plan. We did a lot of lying around (except, maybe, for my mother, who had to keep everything running without much help from me...!). The kids thoroughly enjoyed having everybody nearby and David is already busy trying to make plans for them to come back soon (which, to him, means in a couple of days!). It was nice for my parents to have an eight hour drive instead of thirteen (Chicago-NY) or nineteen (Atlanta-NY)! They finally got it right and moved closer to us! :-) Sorry I haven't posted any pictures of the kids over the holidays -- I will try to get to it sometime in the next day or so. Hope you all enjoyed your holidays and are looking forward to this new year ahead!

Ringing out the old year...

Well, the holidays didn't go according to my plans, but isn't that life?! Three weeks ago we found out we we were pregnant, and everything looked good. We were planning to make the news public after we told the kids (ultrasound was scheduled for the end of this week). But I started some spotting that put me off my feet over Christmas, and we miscarried this past Friday. I don't know what else to say, really -- we are still grieving the loss of this little one and it will just take time for the pain to lessen. This past year was a rough one for our family -- two little ones lost through miscarriage, the kids' LVAS diagnoses, etc etc -- yet at the same time full of the grace of God and an extra measure of His peace, comfort, and joy. As Old Testament Job said, although right now we are in "sackcloth and ashes" (i.e. mourning), still we say "...yet will I trust Him." Trusting the Lord does not mean an absence of grief, but rather a purpose and strength (HIS purpose and strength) in spite of the pain. We are clinging to Him during these hard days...