Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brooklyn Update!

First of all, thanks so much for the calls, emails, etc about Brooklyn's doctor appointments yesterday. It was a LONG day, but we expected it, so it was alright. Thanks to my cousin Melissa and her family for taking Reagan after school! Lifesaver!
At SB clinic, which we will go to every 3 months for a couple of years, we sit in a room while a bunch of specialists rotate to us. It is nice, but man, that chair was not comfy. Anyways, we went in first thing to get an ultrasound done of her kidneys and bladder. I think sometimes we'll get her shunt checked out too with ultrasound, but we just did that 2 weeks ago, so no need this time around. I'll just give a little update about all the folks we saw yesterday to give an idea of how she is doing..... all around, GREAT!
1. Neurosurgery - like I said, we just saw them 2 weeks ago. Her shunt seems to be operating perfectly, and her ventricles in her brain looked perfect. We PRAY this continues and we can avoid shunt revisions. We would be great with no more surgeries! They have checked her out every month since we brought her home, and now we have graduated to just seeing them at Clinic. All in all, great news.
2. Urology - we didn't see the actual urologist, but the SB director there went over that stuff with us. Her ultrasound looked perfect. Kidneys functioning perfectly and no swelling of any kind. Her bladder is emptying well still, but we will keep with the 3 catheders a day for now.... probably for a long time. They will check her kidney reflux in about 9 months, but as of today it was a great report with no changes to what we are currently doing. Yay!
3. Social Work - nothing. Not sure why she came. We shot the breeze about the weather. I guess it is just so we can ask for help if needed or something.
4. Dietician - again, nothing. Once she starts solids, the dietician comes into play in case potty issues occur (mainly constipation I guess). But for now, she just asked about her nursing, went over her weight, etc. Funny.... Brooklyn now weighs right at 15 lbs, which is about 75th percentile for her age. The dietician tells us "she is a little overweight, but that doesn't really matter right now." Um, really!? Overweight!? What, is that due to her sedentary lifestyle or something? Should she be outside playing more? David and I just laughed when she left. Um, lady, statistically, a fourth of the babies in the world are 75th %tile and over, regardless of how much they weigh. That is just how it works. Doesn't mean that a fourth are overweight. Too funny.
5. SB director - she rocks. We love her. She follows about 400 kids with SB, so this is her gig. She just kinda went over all the latest tests and stuff, made sure we didn't have any needs or questions, talked to us about research being done about SB, etc. She did do some specific checks on B's range of motion in her hips.... said she was doing great and didn't show any signs of hip dislocations.
6. Ambulatory services man - I forget what he was called. Anyways, he is the guy that works with braces, crutches, wheelchairs, etc. He rotated a bunch of her joints and checked out her feet.... said he didn't need to be doing anything for her for now. :)
7. Physical Medicine Doctors - we saw two, a resident and an attending. (I always feel like I know a lot about these terms thanks to ER and Grey's!) They spent the most time with her... kinda checking her out like her therapist does and watching her roll over, etc. The attending decided she does want us to come back and get fitted for a splint for her left ankle. Her left foot turns in quite a bit, and we want to help it straighten out before she is starting to stand and take steps. So, we will go back for more appointments for this. Go figure. :) I'm actually kinda glad.... our therapist didn't think they would do anything at this point, but it seems like the earlier we help it get straight, the better. So, soon you'll see her cute little boot on her foot. I plan to give it some bling if possible. :) This was really our only change from the appointments, and it was an expected one from our end. We couldn't be more thankful! All the doctors, even the physical medicine doctors, kept saying "she is doing SO great!" And, "She is just so beautiful!" One even said they were all talking about how cute she was in the hallway. Music to any mommy's ears. :)
Just a few pictures of her latest "skills":
We are working with her on "propping", both lying on her tummy and propping to sit herself up. This pillow on the mat helps her not scream the whole time!
Pushing up like a big girl!

This is her "throne" as we call it. Cheryl, her therapist, calls it my Baby In A Box. She has this new special pillow that helps support her "sitting", and the box holds it up. We aren't supposed to use her bouncy much anymore, nor her Bumbo ever. Those don't help her build strength, and we know that she has to be super strong to make up for any muscles that don't work so great in her legs. Sitting in her box helps her learn to sit on the floor with her legs out. She really likes it!

She is really getting into her toys and grabbing, pulling to her mouth. This is big time for her! She does favor her right hand over her left, and she shouldn't at this age. So, I have to make her use her left a lot. If she doesn't get better at it soon, we'll constrict her right hand. But, it won't come to that!
Mr. Elephant is her favorite right now!
Watching a little Baby Einstein from her throne.
Look at this li'l Chunk O Luv!! Her box pillow fits in her high chair, so she sits and plays here as well. Works on using the muscles it takes to sit in a chair with legs down, which is different than floor sitting. This is where we work most on reaching and grabbing for toys. She is SUPER happy in her high chair. Makes me super happy! But, she looks WAY TOO BIG! Seriously, growing up too fast! Where did my newborn go?
Smiley girl.
Ok, so that is the latest on B. Thanks again for your continued prayers for her and for us. I am so thankful especially for our therapist Cheryl who comes to our house. She is AMAZING and so helpful, and loves B. I am going to humbly ask for prayers for myself.... being at Clinic this week was a reminder that our baby is special needs. For now, she is so precious and so easy that I just forget. And it has kinda been hard on me emotionally go to back to that place where I remember things aren't perfect and "normal". It's all good though. We've gotten great reports, and we are thankful to a Great God!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prayer Request

B has her first official Spina Bifida Clinic appointments today. Please pray that we get nothing but GREAT news from all her specialists! I'll update soon....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Easter Pics... a Week Late

Making Easter egg cookies. Gotta love Nestle. :)
As always, much concentration.
Hers looked like this. :) I forgot to take pics of her coloring her eggs this year! Bummer.

First thing that morning, looking at their Easter prizes. It was purely by accident that she wore Christmas pj's on Easter. Hey, we can celebrate Jesus's birthday that day too, right?!
This girl LOVES her some Pez! She ate Brooklyn's too, but I don't think B minded.
We rarely take family shots, and since I hardly look at all 4 of us at once, it still looks weird to me in this picture. I was sad we waited until after church for pictures... beforehand everyone's (mine and Reagan's) was all fresh and pretty. Oh well. :) We would have been late to church had we stopped to try and use the timer on the camera.
Of course, our always-smiling Brooklyn decided something was WAY too worthy of her focus. No smile.
I found I liked all the sister shots for different reasons, so I just had to put them all. Sorry. :)

I especially love their expressions in this one:
These cousins look pretty cute and innocent, don't they?!
Then Austin kept trying to escape....
.... which Reagan found to be HILARIOUS.
(insert sinister laugh) "HA HA HA."

When the papparazzi is in full effect, it never fails that flashes go off at the same time. I was sad that happened on this one in particular since Austin and Reagan's looks were so cute!

Brooklyn thought Uncle Turbo was pretty funny!

Aunt Mary snuggling with sweet Brooklyn.

This one is a tad out of focus, but man, doesn't she just look so pretty?!?!

James and James Austin. (thanks for sharing your pics with me, Mary!)

James found this method to be beneficial to Austin's egg finding.

Austin, trying to eat the plastic since his Mom wouldn't let him eat any candy.

Brooklyn slept through the egg hunt, which was fine by me because I love when she sleeps in the sling! So sweet!

My beautiful girl.... well, one of them, anyway. ;)

God really gave us a gorgeous day!

I look forward to next year when I can get both the girls in matching dresses. Who knew it was so hard to find them in 3-6mo and 3T?! And, more than that, I look forward to being able to talk about the real reason we celebrate Easter more. R got it as much as one can when they are 2..... she talked all the way home from church about the girls who went to see Jesus, but He wasn't behind the big rock. For now, it was just a special Sunday for us to be extra thankful for Jesus and tell Him we love Him. I'm cool with that! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Precious Big Sister

"Baby Reagan"

Reagan just comes in the kitchen from the potty. No panties (this is a common occurence at our house).
I ask her "did you forget your panties?"
She ever so sweetly replies, "No, I just got this instead."
I see, literally, nothing. I ask, "What instead?"
"THIS." Pointing at her rear end.
"Turn around, show me."
She turns around, I still see nothing. Go over there and 'spread em', and she has one of my pink ear plugs that I sleep in stuck between her cheeks, over her little hiney hole. Seriously.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

4 Months!

My sweet Brooklyn Bear is already 4 months. Blows my mind!!! She is still the happiest, easiest baby ever. For those of you who were with us through Reagan's infancy.... let's just say that Reagan was equally as precious, but they were NIGHT AND DAY. Brooklyn is so laid back and so easy; she eats and sleeps and poops and smiles. That is pretty much her. :) There are COUNTLESS answered prayers about her, but God just threw in an extra for me and made her an easy baby. I am so thankful. Medically, we have big appointments in the next couple of weeks, but hopefully I will have nothing to report. She is doing GREAT with her Physical Therapy, which you'll see in a minute. She loves to eat her hands and anything she can drag to her mouth. Loves her paci. Loves her Purple. Loves her Big Sister. Life is good.
At her appt yesterday, she weighed 14 lbs 12 oz (73%)
24 1/4 inches long (51%)
16.8 inches for her head (88%)
We got big heads in our family. She hasn't caught up to Reagan's 99% that R's had her whole life, but that is good considering her shunt. She's growing like crazy. Crazy!
Here are her 4 month pics in her chair with Mr. Beaver...

This post of Brooklyn's friend Kirkley, combined with this video, prove that they will be great friends. :) This went on for nearly an hour and a half the other night while I cooked then we ate dinner. She's not that quiet. :) Fits right in around here!

This next one will probably only be interesting to grandparents.... I mean, all babies roll over. But this particular Momma was SO STINKIN' PROUD of this roll! She has been working in PT really hard on building her upper body strength.... meaning that she does lots of tummy time and hates it. I hate it too. She usually just lays there and cries. Her therapist has shown me ways to try and get her to work and push up, and she just wouldn't do it. Until day before yesterday! She just pushed on up, looked at me, and rolled over. BOTH directions, rolling to her left and to her right! That is a big deal for her, since she already favors one side. So, there was much rejoicing around here. And the pictures show how proud she was of herself! She just grinned and grinned! It was great. She is a pro now!

Cutie girl. So, that is the low down on B for now. We keep praying for nothing but great news on the little squirt... she's a champ! :)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Spring Break Trip

Here are some pictures of our Spring Break whirlwind trip. I guess now that I have both girls, I am a Picture Slacker because I don't have nearly as many as I would like! But, we had a great time!!
Here is Reagan doing one of her favorite things in the world... playing with Poppy outside by the pond. If you look carefully you can see sticks and leaves dangling from her diaper. But hey, no more diapers anymore, so this is no longer a problem!
This went sour a few minutes after this was taken when she slipped....
Again, Poppy to the rescue! I got this one right as she lost her balance! (every time I say that, she'll look at me and go "where did my balance go, Mommy?")
While Poppy and R were on their 4 hour adventure walking around the house (no joke), Brooklyn got some bonding time with Grammy. :)
This is Brooklyn meeting her friends Drew and Kim. And despite this particular look, she loves them. :) Drew has spina bifida too, and he instantly took a "lovin' " to B. He is a DOLL. And Kim is my lifesaver. We graduated from ACU together, and reconnected through all of Brooklyn's stuff. She was my ROCK during pregnancy, and since. It was soooo great to see them, even if just for a few minutes!
Here is big sister Avery making Brooklyn crack up! We had a great visit.
Rach was there for a couple of days, so we of course had to get our girls together. Now we have 6 children between Kendra, Rachel, and me, so life is not NEARLY as easy as it used to be! But fun anyways! We took the 6 to the train!
I was too lazy to get up and take their picture, so I sat and took K's pic taking their picture.
And here's Rach with our blonde, brunette, and red-head girls. Enlarge this one for sure... it's a keeper. :) :) :)
Funny face. She was SO excited!
I love this profile.
Here was Brooklyn the first half of the ride. Just needed to document that she was there.
I looooooove this picture of Rach and Nolan!
He's such a cutie! And so laid back.... love it.
I just loved the light on Roselyn's red curls. :)
Can you tell whose child had a hard time staying seated and facing the front?!
Sweet friends.

Waving at people going by.
As always, turned around backwards. But she looks so pretty!
Three best friends with their popcorn treat!
Aaaaaannnnnnndddddd.... Brooklyn wakes up. Happy as always!
We got to go with Cass, Kendra, and Jeremy to Disney on Ice. Let me tell you, she has NOT stopped talking about it since. Literally 10 times a day. On the way to Dallas, the girls got to watch a movie in Kendra's cool car with the wireless headphones. This was a first for R. How cute are they?!
Again, HOW CUTE ARE THEY?! Very excited girls in their Disney shirts.
One of my favorite pics of all time. "Ready, set, let's go!"Cutie girls, still holding hands, climbing up the steps.
Our seats were great!
Again, I don't think Reagan sat down hardly at all. Cass was a little more mellow than her crazy friend, but they sure had fun!

We both had a blast!!!
The girls each got to pick a prize.... Cass got Tinkerbell twirly thing, and Reagan got an Ariel light up wand. Greatness.
And, on to Cassidee's party. It was a shock to Reagan that Cass has other friends that were there.... she thought the two bounce houses were just for her and Cass! But it was fun anyways, even if she did have to share Cass!
I think she thought Cass might need help with her candles.

Reagan was ALL up on Cassidee's business the whole party! Maybe she needs help opening presents too?! She just loves her so much!

I think this is her "when is it gonna be MY birthday?" face.
Very-excited Cassidee!!
Gotta love some Capri Sun. It was a great day!
Always a highlight of my trips home is getting to see my Grandmommy. We got to hang out several times, and Reagan just especially loves her. Makes my heart happy. Here she is, showing off her computer skills.
Good lovin' time with Brooklyn. It was their first time to meet!
Brooklyn having a talk with Granddaddy... dressed like a boy. She got poop on her outfit while we were at Kendra's, so she got to wear Cason's Texas Rangers clothes. Hey, we're baseball fans too even with two girls, so it works.
Speaking of sports fans, this is "ball-ah" Brooklyn watching March Madness. Reagan put this ball in her swing for her to hold (R always is leaving toys for B... too sweet), and she had her hand up on it the whole time while watching basketball on tv.
It was a jam-packed fun week, and we didn't get to see NEAR as many people as I would have liked. Just not enough time! And I didn't get near enough pictures of those we did get to see at both churches, family dinners, etc. Oh well. It was fun though! Can't wait to go back home again!
PS. Reagan just a minute ago starts yelling.....
R:"Oh no, Oh NO, OH NO OH NO OH NO!!!!"
Me: "What's wrong, Reagan?!"
R: "My hiney has a hole in it!!!!!!!!!"
Me: "How do you know that?"
R: "Because I just touched it! Oh no oh NO!! My hiney has a hole in it!"
Me: "Let's go wash your hands"