Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jan. 2009 Pictures

Can't ever get enough of his baby bumPlaying legos with brotherSomeone needs a nap but not willing to part with his toy.I may fall asleep but I am NOT letting go of this thing.Drool city. YUCK!This boy lives for his one Sierra Mist a day.Love ya too hunny.Never put on your sister's pink slippers if Mom has her camera. You know that picture is going to make it on the blog. Oh, and thanks for feeding Aiden.Love the outfit: Costco - $10

Friday, January 30, 2009

Please, DO NOT Pinch Me!

I felt like I was dreaming yesterday. All day Alexis was super helpful and just all around a pleasant person to be around. She would run and get me a diaper when she knew I needed one. She waited patiently while I fed Aiden and then asked for a refill on her apple juice. She brought me not only her hamper, but ran and gathered up the other hampers in the house so I could sort through all the laundry. She kept her room picked up without me asking. Stayed out of Aiden's face since he hasn't been feeling good at all (pink eye, teething, and 102 fever). She even took a nap yesterday!!! I didn't have to raise my voice at her all day, didn't have to put her on time-out, and didn't feel like I was having to bargain with her to do the simple things. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if this is a dream, DO NOT pinch me!!! So far we are off to another great start today. Hoping this isn't just a fluke, but a new trend for her and I.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fish are Friends, Not Food

I'm REALLY hungry!! I think there might be something yummy in here. If only I could get the door open.Got all my spoons and forks and I am ready to go. Bring on the grub!Guess I'll just eat Nemo even though they say fish are friends and not food. Still tastes yummy.

Baby Dedication

This past Sunday we had Aiden's baby dedication at church. We would have liked to have had it when he was first born, but Dale RARELY gets a Sunday off from work. This is only his second Sunday off in the past 10 1/2 months. We didn't even know he was going to get this past Sunday off till the Wed. before, so it was a mad dash to get it put in place with the pastor and plan everything else. Unfortunatly this last minute dedication meant that I couldn't send out invitations to those that I wish could have been there if they had more notice. Instead we were able to have my mom, Dale's parents and our niece, Candace there. It was nice to have them there to stand up with us.Dale's dad, who was a former pastor at this church, prayed over Aiden and our entire family.Nana also prayed over us and asked for God to continue to bless us as He already has in these past short 10 months. Aiden has taught us so much and I continue to see God's greatness through him on a daily basis.
Our pastor, Pastor Dennis then prayed over us. All the while Aiden was soaking in the attention and enjoying his baby cookie. One of those cookies can keep him busy for up to 10 minutes. :)Once we sat back down he was ready for some real nutrition. It is hard work to be on show and it worked up an appetite. Grandma got to feed him his bottle for the first time. Since he is now doing it all on his own it is nice to be able to share this experience with others instead of being the one to feed him all the time. I hope Donna enjoyed the feeding time as much as I enjoyed the hands free time.After church we all went out to eat. Aiden slept through the entire experience but woke up in time for a picture at the end of the meal. (If you click on the picture you can make it larger. He has THE cutest little smug smile on his face).Thank you cousin Candace for coming to the dedication and joining us for dinner afterwards. The kids love her to death and look forward to having her around as often as possible. Candace and her older sister were actually dedicated at the same church many years ago.Thank you Nana, Grandma, Grandpa, and cousin Candace for coming to my dedication. I really wish that others could have been there but I thank you all for lifting me up in prayer daily.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Green Pink Eyed Monster

Well, it is official, the pink eyed monster has come for an unexpected visit. Aiden had been having discharge from his right eye for the past few days. He wasn't really messing with his eye more then usual and just looked like he was crying all the time. Yesterday it started getting really goopy and gross looking so I made a call to his pediatrician to get an appointment to be seen. By the time we arrived for his 8:40 appointment this morning his eye was nasty looking and had spread to his other eye - great! Within seconds she confirmed what I had suspected, he has pink eye! This picture doesn't do it justice, but he is still happy as a clam, and enjoying a baby cookie. Where did he get it? Who knows. He is at home with me all the time except on Sundays for church, where he usually stays with me anyways instead of in the nursery. Dale's boss did have pink eye a few weeks ago but we were never in contact with him and Dale, being the hands off kind of guy that he is (hates hugs), doubts he is the one that brought it home. So for now we have to put drops in his eyes four times a day which he can't stand since they sting a little and we have to use a clean, warm wash cloth to keep it clean. We have told Alexis she can't touch on her brother or she will get pink eye too. We exaggerated and told her that if she got pink eye she would have to get medicine and a shot. No she wouldn't need a shot but that is about the only thing that will keep her from touching all over him since she loaths shots more then anything in the world. If that makes me a bad mommy for embellishing the consequences, then so be it. It works for me. She loves to rub all over him and often gets in his face, a recipe for instant exposure to the pink monster. I am praying we can get through this with only Aiden having it, but the doctor wasn't very optimistic and gave us 2 refills on the medicine just in case someone else gets it so we don't have to go back for a doctor's visit, which results in another copay. Makes my eyes itch just talking about it. Hand sanitizer anyone?

Monday, January 26, 2009

NAM Progression in Pictures

I realized that I never did a post about his NAM, considering I had started blogging when he was close to the end of that journey. It was a hard but beneficial path. The constant taping and arm restraints was difficult, the weekly appointments were exhausting at times, the constant questions in public were tiring, but for now I believe that it was the right choice since we were able to have his lip, palate and gum surgery done in one procedure. We pray that this means we have eliminated the need for the bone graft surgery when he is 8-9 years old.

Aiden's birthday, March 3, 2008. He was born at home and then transferred to Loma Linda University Medical Center for evaluation. His cleft was unknown to us before his birth and it was a whirlwind of events from that day forward.3 days old in the NICU. He was receiving half of his feedings by g-tube since he wasn't taking to the nipples very well.At 10 weeks old he started the whole NAM process. He should have started by the time he was 10 days old, but because of an outbreak of thrush that would not go away, and major miscommunication between his plastic surgeon and the orthodontist, we got off to a late start.This was on the way home from his first appointment when they placed the NAM. The nasal stints would be added the following week. We had to learn quickly how to tape the NAM in and across the lip. (Tape is too loose on his lip here but we slowly became experts).Little guy had a hard time in the first days since he had gotten used to following asleep with a binkie. He eventually learned to use his NAM as a binkie.He has been wearing the NAM now for a month. The progress already is amazing.Being able to get enough tummy time was hard because he would loose his head control and bang his face down in the ground, which hurt with the NAM in.Daddy munched the NAM with his knee when he had had it for about 6 weeks. This gave him a week long vacation while they fabricated a new one. He loved his NAM freedom but it was very short lived, although Daddy's guilt trip will never end.We eventually had to get 'no nos' for Aiden because he like to pull out his NAM. I think the no nos were worse for him then the NAM and all of it's taping. He missed his freedom.Wearing the NAM now for 3 months. Notice how close together the lip is now. Even though we had a hard time keeping the lip tape on since he drooled SO much, the lips really did come together.He learned a new trick, he could flip his NAM out with his tongue. His orthodontist had never seen such a thing before. Then again he was the oldest baby she had ever had that still had the NAM in.He was (and still is) one of the happiest little guys. No matter what life throws at him he responds with laughter.Close up of how great the lips are coming together.Here he is with the lip tape on but the NAM not put in yet.Might be hard for some to see, but his gumline is almost touching if you look close enough. By this point he had the NAM in for almost 4 months.This picture was taken at his last adjustment. He had fallen in love with his orthodontist and she referred to herself as his 'girlfriend.' We shared many laughs and many tears along the way and were both pleased by the results.We had his pictures taken professionally the day before his surgery. Who wouldn't miss this adorable wide smile? I had taken his picture professionally every month and I am glad that I had taken a lot of pictures so I can remember this part of his journey in life.On the morning of surgery he was oblivious to the events of the day and as happy as ever. At this point we were still not sure how much they were going to be able to do with his surgery but we were scheduled to do the nose, lip, palate, and hopefully the gumline. (Ear tubes were also put in).First picture out of surgery. It was hard to see his new face and I instantly missed his old smile and started falling in love with his new face. 24 hours after surgery he was already trying out his new smile.1 week post-op, stitches came out of his lip but the nose stints stayed in.2 weeks post op, everything has been removed and we finally see Aiden without a bunch of tape, stitches or anything on his face.1 month post op. The scar is looking great, but we are warned that it could start pulling or knotting up as it heals.2 months post op. We noticed a little bit of a knot, but the scar still looks awesome and people can not believe how great he looks. Some even argue with me that there is no way he ever had a cleft to begin with. :)3 months post op. There is still some swelling in his nose, but the scar looks like it has healed wonderfully.

10 months old.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Still Shook Up!!

After the crazy prisoner morning I had (read the post below), I was hoping for a calm and peaceful afternoon. Shortly before 2 I was heading out the door to walk and pick up Andrew from school. I grabbed the dog (another much needed potty break and social time for her), the kids, the keys and hustled down the stairs to get Aiden in his stroller. Once buckled in his stroller and bundled up due to the few sprinkles that were starting to hit, we headed toward the school. The next thing I know this pit bull is charging towards us. I have never screamed so loud in my life as I did in that moment. It immediately went for Suzy Q, who I pulled back on the leash, saving her from a huge bite to the neck. The dog was relentless. Chasing Suzy, and subsequently me and Alexis, in circles around the stroller while I kept yelling, "NO, NO!!!"

Alexis was freaked out as one could only imagine and was clinging to my side. Had she been able to climb back in the womb she would have in a heart beat, that is how close she was to me. I guess that didn't feel safe after some time of going round and round, so she did what she thought was the next best thing and started running back toward the stairs. This was the worst thing she could have done. The dog started charging after her with a serious intent to do harm in her eyes. The next few screams were 10 times louder then the ones before! This time it was not my beloved dog that was being threatened, but my own flesh and blood. I knew I couldn't do much but tried to get between the dog and Alexis. This aggravated the dog more since I still had a hold of Suzy.

FINALLY a guy from down the street, the direction the dog came from, ran over and stood between the dog and Alexis as it still proceeded to lunge at her. The owner walked, WALKED!!, over and stepped on the dangling leash, picked the leash up and then walked away without so much as saying anything. Alexis returned to my side, obviously shaken by the whole thing and crying uncontrollably. Aiden wasn't phased at all by what was going on. It was a major blessing that I had bundled him because the dog didn't even recognize that there was a moving object in the stroller that she could have attacked. Suzy was shaking as well, and though I was a solid rock on the outside, my entire insides were shaking in fear and still are. This whole incident felt like forever, but in reality probably last about a minute.

My dilemma! Andrew takes the dog down for her potty breaks by himself when he is home. There is no way he would have the muscle or mind about him to protect Suzy or, more importantly, himself if this dog was to attack again. I can't exactly tell him to take her a different way to go potty, this happened RIGHT near the bottom of our steps. Do I let him still take her, knowing there is this risk? I don't even know where this dog came from, one moment she wasn't there and the next she was attacking us. Do I have him stay at home and watch his brother and sister while I take the dog down, leaving him responsible for what could go wrong while I am gone? It is a logistical nightmare to bundle up all the kids every time the dog needs to go out. I don't even know what to think right now. I have NEVER liked pit bulls (and sorry to those this may offend), but now I know for sure they are on my most hated list!!! That dog had death in it's eyes and my dog, my limbs, MY CHILD was it's target!!!!

Prisoner In My Own Home

Yesterday we got a little notice taped to our door explaining that the grounds crew would be power washing our building today. I was excited because it REALLY needs it. I was hoping it would have gotten done before we moved in, but that wasn't the case. There are many wasp nests under the eaves and cobwebs like crazy, not to mention the general grime and leaves that get kicked around with every wind storm.

So, I took the necessary precautions yesterday evening and brought in my welcome mate, took the items off the balcony, like the dogs dishes and such and prepared for the outside of my building to sparkle. Being given no specific time I didn't want to wait till morning to do these things because knowing my luck he would be in the midst of washing while I would be scrambling around to bring things in the house.

So, about 8:40 the guy pulled up to our building. This was right as Dale was walking out the door for work and had to ask the guy to move his truck since he was blocking Dale's car in the garage. I thought to myself what perfect timing it was since I didn't have to leave the house till 10:15. It couldn't possible take an hour and half to wash off a building, or could it? Fortunately Aiden slept right through all the noise and even the TV being turned up to compensate for the extra washing noises. I started to get a little worried when he was STILL washing my entrance/exit from the house at 10:00. How was I going to get out of my house in 15 mins. to pick up my Little Miss if he was still blasting the grime off the walls? Images of me scale off my back balcony were flashing through my mind. At 10:10 I was getting paniced and started running through different scenerios. Call a Dad from the class and see if he could take her to his house for a play date till I could come get her? Call my babysitter and ask her to go get her and then have to find a way to pay her? Call the school and tell them I was a prisoner in my house and couldn't come get her? Send out a white flag request for peace from Mr. Powerwash Guy? or just wait it out until 10:15 and then have a panic attack?

At exactly 10:15 the waterfall suddenly stopped and the guy moved on to trap his next unsuspecting victim. I quickly grabbed the baby, the dog (who DESPERATELY needed a potty break at this point), my keys and cell phone and ran out the door only to realize that my carpet all around the front door was soaked now!!! No where in the little taped note did it mention that they would attempt to clean my carpets while power washing the exterior. Hmmm. With no time to deal with that crisis, I closed the door, carefully hurried down the wet stairs with everything in hand, and off to the school just in the nick of time.

Now that we are nestled back in our sparkling clean house, with the puddle on the carpet taken care of, we can rest peacefully, knowing that we are no longer prisoners in our own house. That is until next time Mr. Power Wash Guy strikes again.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday

Wanna play ball Suzy Q?I'm gonna get that camera!Does this diaper make my butt look big?Crazy helicopter hair.
I'm gonna get'cha Mom!Reading time.A boy and his blanket, what more do we need in life?The latest and greatest new toy, an empty hamper.Fishy kisses for Mommy.I'm a big boy now.Your #1 Mom!!Serious thinker.Crazy gymnast. (and yes, I was right there ready to catch him if he rolled right off the couch.)