Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Destructo Baby

Chunk-Chunk managed to pull the seat cushion out from under her....in an attempt to find the Cheerios she dropped in her seat. That's called - determination!

:)

Miss December

I bought Addie this shirt last year so that she could show it off the whole month of December. Today, is the very first day she wore the shirt. I completely forgot about it. So, here is my December Baby - Miss December!

Addie-pa-tattie

After a long morning of therapy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Raise your hand

If you think we should buy Addie a sand box!

Last week Chunk-Chunk finally figured out how to climb into and out of the sand box at school (her teachers were so proud!). I guess she figured the sand/water table would have to suffice at home!







There will be no




raining on my parade!
I have a goal for Addie. I don't want to tell you when the deadline is, but rest assured, it is years from now.
A few times over the last two months, one of Addie's teachers has taken the time to help Addie sit on the potty at school. She (of course) cannot do this without someone being right there helping her. Each time Addie had the opportunity to sit on the big-girl potty, she went tee-tee.

The other night at home, I decided to let her try before her bath. I sat her on the potty and told her to go tee-tee and she did. The very first time I sat her on the new potty (just a few minutes ago), she went.

Notice I am not using any exclamation points at the end of my sentences?

I'm pretty sure that each time, it has merely been the change in temperature that has been the culprit of her success.

Regardless, she has been so proud of herself!

I decided that I would go ahead and buy her a little potty....with absolutely no expectations. Anything that I can do for Addie to help her feel more like everyone else, I'll do it.

So, I now have a green little frog occupying my potty room.

It fits right in with the rest of the decor in the bathroom...wouldn't you agree?

Well,

at least I know that Addie's left tube is open. Uh-huh, we've got an ear infection! Groovy. Every time Addie has spells of insomnia, it is always followed by some major germ infestation. :(

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy 15th Birthday Kayla!

My family met tonight to celebrate my niece's 15th birthday!

Good grief, I'm getting old. I remember the day of her birth just like it was yesterday.

We had a great time at dinner. My brother was more than happy to allow Addie to take as many peanuts as her little heart desired and throw them on the floor. I didn't even bother to lecture on how that may give her the impression that she could do that with any food, any time. Didn't matter, they were having a grand time!

My niece spent the rest of the night at the mall and then the movies with a friend.

Man...being 15 is tough. I wouldn't want to go back and do it over again for nothing!

Happy Birthday Kayla! I hope this is the best year yet!

Yuck

Addie-pa-tattie just can't catch a break! I swear she sounds like Darth Vader. Bless her, I feel so bad for her!

A very blessed day

I can't tell you how many times I teared up today.

I had so many people that took time out of their day today to either email me or stop me just to tell me how Addie has touched their lives.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your amazing, kind comments mean the world to me!

Number seven

Yep, you guessed it. Addie is now on antibiotic number seven. She woke up this morning with the green goop (hmmm, that could be a villain in a comic book) and all the lovely symptoms that go with.

I called Dr. Davis and they were happy to call in something for Addie. Everyone in the office was fantastic as always and so very willing to help!

This should get her through until surgery.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I was informed

That SpongeBob is stupid.

How did SpongeBob go from side-splitting funny to stupid?

Time is passing way too quickly! I'm not ready to give up SpongeBob humor, that means I have to admit that my little boy is growing up.

(Yes, we did discuss that although SpongeBob is not a real "person", we still shouldn't use the word "stupid".)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

There is not enough praise

for the miracle that I witnessed tonight.

How great is our God?

My little Monkey did something tonight that made me happy beyond words! I got Monkey out of the bath, got her dressed and walked over to her dresser to get her hairbrush. She reached out for the brush and proceeded...to brush her own hair! I sat her down on her dresser and turned her so that she could see herself in the mirror. My little precious baby girl continued to brush her hair over and over.

What a beautiful gift! What a sweet, self-help skill that I had the honor of witnessing tonight!

All glory goes to our God!

It's called...

payback. Julien left his backpack on the floor and this is what happened. Little Monkey was getting him back for torturing her the last few nights!

Can you believe it?


We haven't cooked in a while. A long, long while to be exact. We turned the stove on tonight to make dinner and it actually still works! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's a go!

We saw Dr. Davis today for Addie's pre-surgical check-up.

Surgery is still scheduled for April 7th. The plan is to remove Addie's tonsils and adenoids. Dr. Davis will check her tubes as well and replace if needed.

Chunky Monkey will have to stay one night in the hospital. If she cooperates, we can go home the next day.

The surgery is a little more worrisome for me than when Julien had it done. Dr. Davis said that due to her diagnosis alone, it makes the procedures riskier.

We have a phenomenal doctor and a patient that is such a trooper. I really think all will go well.

T - 14 days and counting!

Torturing the baby...

yet again!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Little beggar

The little beggar is blessed to have a big brother who is willing to share!

(The little beggar is stretched way high up on her tippy-toes! I missed getting a shot of her little piggies!)

What a party!

Addie and I had a four hour party in the middle of the night last night. I really didn't want to, besides I had no make up on and was in my pajamas.

The child shall not host any parties tonight. So much for the little Monkey sleeping through the night. I need sleep!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pictures of the day!







It was over too quickly

I could have watched them play together all day long!








Let me retract

What I was saying to friends last night at dinner.

We were talking about our children's sleeping habits. She was gratefully telling me how her children sleep through the night and I was telling her how Addie sleeps for an hour...or two at a time.

Last night Addie slept through the night - in her very own bed.

Chris and I on the other hand woke up every hour or two. We would wake up, stare sleepy eyed at the monitor, making sure we heard a sound or saw a movement before drifting back off to sleep. Chris even woke me at one point because he was leaning over my shoulder trying to get a better look at the monitor.

We are in complete amazement. The night that our children sleep all night, we're restless.

We were awake and in full disbelief by 5:30 a.m.

I guess we just can't win!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A "Thank you" from the heart

Someone recently told me that I was "on a mission" and so I guess I am.

I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity for Addie to be featured in Birmingham Parent. It was a stepping stone for my "mission".

I am not out to gain anything or get anything from anyone per se. All I want is respect for my daughter. I want people to understand her diagnosis and not to be afraid of the fact that she is different.

Over the last two weeks we have been inundated with compliments. Strangers everywhere we go stop just to say "hello" and to tell us that they read "the article". Believe it or not, I am an incredibly shy person and I have had to force myself to leave my comfort zone and talk to anyone and everyone who wanted to take a moment out of their day to talk with me. I am honored, each and every time. I truly mean it from the bottom of my heart.

I never again want to be on the playground with Addie and have a parent come over and lead their child away by the hand just because they stooped down to talk to Addie. I don't ever want people to turn away and refuse to make eye contact because of Addie. I am willing to take the baby steps needed to make this happen.

For all of you who have been touched by "the article", I thank God. I know just how blessed that I am and I will continue to tell everyone who will listen just how God continues to work through Addie, how HE allows Addie to touch lives and bring joy to others.

Thank you...to each and every one of you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blessed am I

I took the day off of work today to spend a little time with Julien.

He is an amazing child.

We started the morning by taking Addie to school. When we got to school, Julien started to get Addie out of the car until I asked him if he could help carry everything inside. He got her diaper bag and walker out of the back and was more than happy to help. He helped me get Addie's things situated in her class and even took baby and settled her into Addie's cubby. On the way out of the building, Julien held the door for me and the lady coming out after us.

Next, Chris and I had an important appointment all the way out in Columbiana. Julien didn't complain about the drive. When we arrived, he found a chair in the office and sat quietly while we talked. At one point, someones name escaped my memory and he offered up the answer, then he was silent for the rest of the meeting.

Next came a stop at the post office. Julien offered to carry the envelopes inside for me and proceeded to open both doors for me. He waited patiently for our turn and even joked with the mail man behind the counter.

After a few errands, we went to see a movie. Julien once again opened the door for me. He asked me what I wanted to eat and drink during the movie and was more than happy to share with me. After the movie was over, he asked me three times if I really enjoyed the movie.

Julien helped me gather all of Addie's belongings at daycare this afternoon and was her constant encouragement as she used her walker on the way to the car. He took Addie and buckled her into her car seat and made sure that she had her snack.

Julien gave me the biggest hug and told me that he loved me as he was leaving to go away for the next two nights.

I miss him so much.

Days like today remind me just how blessed I am. My son is amazing!

Monday, March 16, 2009

First born rights

I suppose the first born child does have rights to torture the younger siblings. Julien decided tonight was the night to invoke those rights.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Awesome!

Julien and friends made the Helena City News (and the Birmingham News - we were out of town and missed getting a copy)!


Chris and I are still in disagreement over who took this photo. He says it was him, I'm still saying it was me. I'm right until he has proof that I'm not.
:)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I love it!

We received a print of our choosing from Addie's photo session for Birmingham Parent.
It took two weeks to finish the framing, but I think it looks so pretty!
A big thanks to Kent's Gallery in Helena for putting up with my 50 minutes of nit-picky frame choosing. I had such a difficult time choosing the frame I wanted. At one point I ended up going behind the counter myself to choose samples off the wall. Hey, I am keeping my business in Helena though and poor Kent earned every cent by putting up with me!

Rainy day blues

I tend to go a bit crazy when I'm trapped indoors due to the weather.

Addie apparently got that trait as well.

I decided to allow her to explore her senses a bit. We made pudding, grabbed the box of Nilla Wafers and the container of leftover Christmas sprinkles and had "art time".

Addie kept asking for "more" until there just wasn't any art supplies left! Chris even cleaned up the mess for us in between putting recess lights in the upstairs hallway. How lucky am I?

Friday, March 13, 2009

It must run in the family

My poor cousin, Apryl, has been hunting down creatures all over her house. Finding things in the refrigerator, kitchen drawers and blinds.

Tonight while I was busy straightening the kitchen, a little Monkey was busy putting everything she could get her little hands on into the refrigerator!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

According

to the anesthesia department at Children's Hospital, Addie's surgery is scheduled for April 7th.

This day is actually perfect for our schedules and I am very grateful to Dr. Davis' office for grabbing that day for us!

Anything can change, but right now we are scheduled as his first case of the day.

I will find out more details at our visit on the 24th.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So they say...

that the camera adds ten pounds. Seriously, how does anyone know that it is just ten? What if it's really eleven or twenty or thirty for that matter?

Since I have no scientific backing, I'm going with a solid twenty-five. The camera adds twenty-five pounds. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I think my interview went well despite Monkey almost having a meltdown.

I was asked last week to be on Wake Up Alabama on Channel 42 News. Chris and Julien went with us for the interview. Monkey did well considering I woke her up almost two hours earlier than usual. I did fairly well considering I am better at writing than public speaking - on live television!

I am beyond grateful for this opportunity! Every little opportunity provides me with the means to educate people on Microcephaly. This interview was very brief. Maybe another opportunity will come along where I can provide more details and even if it doesn't, I hope that Monkey continues to touch peoples lives. Even if it is just one person. That's all that matters...just one and we have made a difference.

Although I do hope this small window leads to many doors...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am receiving amazing feedback from the magazine article, despite our blog address being printed incorrectly, people are still managing to find us.

I had someone call me today just to tell me how touching the article was to them. I had to fight back the tears, I am so proud of Monkey. She is so beautiful, with a heart of gold and the spirit of an angel! She is serving God's purpose!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our little window

of opportunity will be wide open tomorrow morning.

Please pray for me. I have an interview in the morning that is very important to me. Our gracious God is leading the way and I am willingly following!

I told only a few people about this, so for my dear friends (and family) that I didn't tell, please don't let this hurt your feelings. This is not something that I feel comfortable sharing until it is over.

I will give more updates tomorrow evening!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Pictures of the day!



Wow and totally cracking me up!

Addie really never ceases to amaze me!

Chris, Addie and I went out for lunch today. Addie was so good during lunch and (as always) was a little social butterfly. She had to say "hi" to everyone (about a hundred times) and wave at them in between bites of food. After lunch, much to my surprise, as soon as I buckled her in her car seat she got sick. Ugh...I felt pretty proud of myself for "containing" the situation and in the midst of Chris gathering wipes and a plastic bag for me, Addie got sick again. This time, not as contained. I had to strip her down in the parking lot. After we cleaned everything up, I decided that instead of risking ruining the only extra change of clothes in the car (we had more stops to make), I would put her in her car seat with just a diaper on. It was definitely warm enough.

My little creature of routine, was a bit confused on why she was sitting in her car seat almost nude. As we pulled out of the parking lot, Addie called my name and pointed to her leg. I told her that it was O.K., I would put her pants on in just a few minutes. No sooner had I gotten that out of my mouth, she called my name again and this time pointed to her tummy and then immediately to her arm! I reassured her that it was just fine, that we would be stopping soon, but she was not "just fine" with the situation. She was unnerved.

Isn't that awesome?!?! LOVE the level of comprehension! Thank God for this gift today! Oh, yes...this was a gift! Had it not been for lunch disagreeing with Monkey, I never would have gotten to experience that level of interaction with my sweet, baby girl!

I'll take every little bit that I can get, even if it involves regurgitation!

Pure relaxation!

The warm temperature and the awesome cool breeze made today almost perfect!
Had Julien been with us, the day would have been complete.

Monkey was a bit on the fussy side, but it seems the time change throws everybody out of whack the first few days! Monkey found two really sweet kids to play with in the car and enjoyed their company! I'm so thankful for the nice people we encountered today!






"Home"

"Home" is being added to the list of one of the most beautiful words that my sweet, miracle baby has learned to say!

As I have said many times before, I talk to Monkey just as I would any other child. I talk to her about everything, still never knowing what she understands and what she doesn't. I always tell her when we are on the way home that we are "going home" or if we are out for a walk and she gets fussy, I ask her if she wants to "go home".

I think Monkey has been able to comprehend the word for a while, but she is now able to say the word..."home". Isn't that beautiful? I think it is just amazing!

Chris, Addie and I went to visit a friend last night and then made a few stops. Addie was being so good and when we got closer to home, I turned and looked at her and told her that we were "almost home" and out of her little mouth, came the perfect sound of "home".

It is quite comical because she says the word in the same way that a guy would call a girl "hot". A long pronunciation of "h", followed by a quick "ot", as in - "Man, she's hhhhot". In Addie's case, "hhhhhome".

:)

Perfectly, beautiful music to my ears!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

As promised

We finally found the time to get a short video of our little Miracle Monkey climbing the stairs! This has been months in the making! I am so proud of her, she did a great job! Our God has been so gracious to us!

I would like to thank Julien for filling in as videographer tonight!

(Don't forget to pause the music - lower, right on the blog and the video is blocked at certain, unnamed companies!)

Oh, for those of you who were not around last year...it is March, yes I know. Monkey is wearing a pair of her Christmas jammies. I believe that if they still fit, then by golly she is going to wear them until they don't fit anymore! :) Also, Monkey is wearing her shiny, black dress shoes. She is, after all, a girl and black shoes do go with anything!

video

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Already

our wonderful "Addie article" has opened a window for us! Details to follow...

Aftermath

We stopped for a visit to see my brother and his friends on the way home from the hospital. We have promised for so long to go see them, but our schedules kept conflicting. Today, I made no excuses!

Addie was so happy to visit with everyone and she loves her uncle! Thank you for letting us stop by!

Absolutely miserable!

The good news is...it's over.

Addie was such a trooper during the whole process of getting her ready for the sleep study. She sat on the bed by herself while they put the leads on her legs, chest and chin. She was a brave, sweet, baby while they put the belts around her chest and tummy, but when they started putting the leads on her head, she got a little nervous. I crawled up on the bed and held her while we bribed her with puffs. When the tech started wrapping her head, Addie got upset...as she should have. This is scary stuff! The tech wrapped E.R. Baby's head too, to make Addie feel better. I was very proud of her during the whole process.


Addie fell asleep quickly after the techs were done and then nightmare on 7th Avenue began!

Addie spent the entire night tossing and turning. She got wrapped up in the wires, she panicked and pulled at the leads and she cried...pretty much all night long! It was a very tough experience for her and not too much fun for us either.


The study ended at 6:30 a.m. and they didn't waste a moment before pulling all the leads off. The doctor came in a little while later to give us the results. Thankfully, Addie does not have any airway obstructions that would add any extra concern during surgery.
Now...we just have to get the surgery scheduled and move on to a healthier baby girl!

The article

Has been posted on The Birmingham Parent website! Chris is gone now to pick up the hard copies!

If you are having trouble viewing the article, please try clicking here.

I thought the article was fantastic! The only glitch is that our blog address is wrong!

Please read the article at your convenience. I hope it touches your heart, as it did mine.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

My beautiful baby girl!

This is what we have all been waiting so long for!

Here is the cover of the March edition of The Birmingham Parent Magazine.

If just her picture gets me this emotional, I'm not sure how much of a mess I will be when I read the article!

As of right now, the article has not been uploaded to their site.

The hard copies should be available this week, please pick up a copy if you like!

Thank you to all of you who voted for Addie! This opportunity was placed in our laps by an email from my sister and by the grace of God! This is HIS work and I cannot thank our God enough for the amazing blessings in my life!

Answers

For my out-of-towners who do not have access to pick up one of the magazines, please just email me. I would be more than happy to mail you a copy!

I'm not exactly sure when the magazine will be available to pick up. I'm hoping early this week, but it may even be mid to late week.

Thanks again Kim!

We have our next photo shoot scheduled with Kim this month! We have to pay her a visit at the very least, every three months!

Thanks for all you do for us Kim!

If anyone is in need of a great photographer, please check out Kim's website:

http://sharitphotos.com/

No way!

Of course, the day that it decides to snow, Julien is away and Addie is so miserable that she wants to stay inside!

I bundled Addie up, found Julien's old rain coat for an extra layer of protection in hopes that she would just love the snow. Uh-huh! Nope. We stayed out long enough to get a few pictures and right back in we went! On top of that, Addie gets really upset over people wearing hats - not baseball caps, but ski caps. She was looking out the window when she first woke up and just got so upset and held out her arms for me to pick her up!
She's so sleepy and this sinus infection is making her miserable 24/7!
Instead of freezing outside, we are enjoying the view from our living room next to a cozy fire. I am just glad that we actually got snow this year! Woo-hoo!