Archive for November, 2004

Physical Therapy Session 2

November 29, 2004

I know I already posted about Ty today but as he had his PT session this afternoon, I thought it would be easier just to type a quick posting before I forget what his therapist said.

She observed the following:

*Feet seem very tight.  He curls his toes continually and it is tough to get him to straighten them. 

He has done this for a long time.  Could it be a cerebral palsy warning sign?  Possibly but it could also be (a) a preemie hyper tension issue or (b) learned behavior.  Something to watch.  Apparently the calf muscles affect the toes so if the calves were tight he could curl his toes.

* When on his tummy, he seems to support his weight with his left side.  He doesn’t reach for toys with his left hand while on his tummy because he is using that arm to support his weight.  Hmmmm….didn’t notice that until today.

*When holding his bottle, he grasps it with his left hand but curls his right hand in a fist and supports it.  I can work with him to grasp with both hands but in a few minutes he goes right back to curling the right hand.  What is odd about this is that he uses both hands and he does not do this with toys…only the bottle.  Learned behavior or an early sign of something else?  I know other preemies that are in hand splints for CP but why would he only be exhibiting this curling behavior with his bottle? 

*Therapist was noticing his head shaking.  This one is certainely a dilemma.  For a long time now Ty has been shaking his head back and forth as if he is saying "No".  I have posted about this before.  I can narrow it down to about two things.  One being social behavoir and/or response to stimulation.  He rarely does it when he is playing alone.  99% of the time, he shakes his head when he is trying to interact and play.  Sometimes he will do it when you are playing with him and he is involved with a toy though and that suggests to me that it could be a stimulation issue.  It caught the therapist’s attention and she noticed that he can be distracted away from the head shaking (I have noticed this as well).  Neither of us know if this is learned behavior, immature social response, or ????????

*Ty is very active:)!  She thinks this will be to his benefit because he is in perpetual motion.

*His motions are rigid and not fluid.  He still has swiping motions with his arms when he is grasping or reaching for things. 

*He hyper extends a lot still.  (Stretching out and stiffening as opposed to curling up).  He doesn’t arch his back unnaturally like some babies do but he does tend to stiffen as oppossed to curl up.  This goes back to being a preemie and skipping all the education he would have received on muscle control had he had the uterus as a play gym for the 3rd trimester:).

*Eyes still crossing.  You will see this in some of his pictures this week.  The Dr. told me it would take about 6 weeks for this to stop as he has to build up these muscles.  Hopefully that is the case.  His eyes have seemed to cross more in the last few days though so I am hoping that this is not a bad sign of another eye surgery in our future.

*If you stand him on his feet, majority of the time he wants to jump.  Is this because he is just always moving or because he doesn’t want to stand and support his weight?

While this list may seem a bit concerning, all these issues may be simply micro preemie complications that he will out grow and not a sign of long term issues.  I do know one thing.  Ty and his daddy and mommy are all 3 pretty determined people and irregardless of what our obstacles are, I think we will find a way:)

Experiencing the Miracle

November 29, 2004

Sitting here with tears streaming this morning after watching Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Experience the Miracle”.  See here.  In the background, “When Love Takes You In” is softly playing and I have been looking at the sweetest little children who have found their forever families.   At one part during this clip, SCC said “The moments I get the most overwhelmed with adoption is when I think that I could have missed it!” 

I know EXACTLY what he means!  During this Thanksgiving week we have had so much to be thankful for.  It was barely one year ago (Dec 9th) when I told the Lord that I was feeling desperate for another baby and asked Him if we could please hear news of a baby before Christmas.  He answered 2 hours later.  Little did we know we would have Ty by January. 

Ty is content as could be sitting in his bouncer and Tanner is playing with him and watching Jo Jo’s Circus.  The Christmas decorations are all put up (I wanted the boys to get to enjoy them all month) and I have this feeling of blessed contentedness as I sit here typing and watching them.  Have I mentioned lately that they are my treasures?  The thought that I could have missed them…overwhelming is an understatement.  How often in our lives do we set our mind on our goals and plans and we get so stubborn in our own assurance over how the plan plays out?  This was not the plan.  We were going to have a houseful of children by now and we weren’t going to have any problems getting pregnant and we most especially were not going to have multiple miscarriages…that was definitely not going to happen.  The plan “seemed” to go awry.  If I would have been able to see with “future eyes” though, I would have seen that my plan was very second rate compared to what God wanted. 

I believe adoption brought joy and peace to us in a way that nothing else could have.  The things we have learned about life and love and each other…immeasurable beauty.  Infertility and the loss of babies was painful to say the least, but look at the gifts we have now!  I never could have imagined that I would say infertility was one of the greatest gifts of my life and at the top of my “I am thankful for” list…yet it is.  Over and over I have thanked God for His plan.  Adoption is a miracle.  A miracle for the children?  Maybe…but that is not what I am talking about.  I am talking about the miracle for Jim and I and for our family as a whole.  When I listened to “When Love Takes You In”, I couldn’t help but think love took ME in.  I feel that adoption has done more for me than my children.  It has taught me new heights and depths of love, it has taught me about what really matters, it has helped me understand spiritual adoption…why God’s plan of salvation includes adoption – He has adopted me as his own.

When I looked at a picture of SCC’s 3 genetic children, holding his 3 daughters from China, I couldn’t stop the tears.  They understand the miracle.  I am already anxious to adopt more babies.  I want more time with Ty first but unless God tells us different, Jim and I do not see Ty as a lastbornJ.

Thanksgiving

November 29, 2004

Sweetie came home last Tuesday and overall she is doing well.  Her incision is enormous.  It starts under her bottom rib on her right side and slants across to her left hip.  I had no idea it would be that large!  Looks like they were sawing her in half!!  Please pray that her gall bladder will stay under control.  She has been getting some attacks already and she is barely eating. 

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving though with so much to be thankful for.  While decorating for Christmas I was listening to SCC’s Christmas album (is it obvious that he is one of my favorite artists?).  There is a song on that album that talks about a woman that knows she is dying and she is telling her family that she is going home for Christmas (heaven).  I sat and cried my eyes out.  That could have been our family this holiday season.  It could have been…but it wasn’t. 

We weren’t sure if we would take the boys out since we are in “lock down” but we decided to take a risk for one day since I had been the one that had been the sickest all week anyhow and the boys were already exposed.  Ty burned the midnight oil all day.  You would think that a baby who has spent so much time under “lock down” would tend to be intimidated of people.  Not a bit.  He had a great day and enjoyed everybody.  Such a people person.  Tanner was thrilled to death to be with his cousins too.

P.S.  Anyone have any ideas on where we can get a cheap laptop for mom?  Mom does the bookwork for missionaries in Brazil and for Immanuel Missions.  Her computer is upstairs and she is very particular about how these things get done so a laptop seems to be the best solution for her right now.

P.S.S. – Cute Noah StoryJ 

As the cousins haven’t been able to spend much time together due to the lockdown, they get very excited to see one another.  When Tanner first saw Noah he said “Wook Noah!  It’s ME!!!”  LOL.  Having fun also means a lot of rough house.  The boys have not figured out quite yet that Zandi has to be treated tenderly.  Tanner was getting too rough playing with Zandi and caught her square in the face.  I was having a talk with Tanner about this and while I was getting after him I could feel this little presence peeking over my shoulder.  Kids are always fascinated when someone ELSE is getting in trouble.  Anyhow, I told Tanner “You may not ever hit your cousin Tanner!”  Instantly, the little voice over my shoulder (Noah) said “I am your cousin!”  LOL!  He thought he had better take the opportunity to let Tanner know that my statement warranted protection for him too.  He is such a cutey!

Lil Gentleman

November 29, 2004

Tanner has such a tender heart.  This week before going to Sweetie’s I talked to him about being good and quiet and I explained about Sweetie’s surgery and incision.  The Everett gals (my mom’s maiden name), have certain colloquialisms that I have been exposed to all my life.  As a result, we all talk alike.  I knew Tanner had been “listening” when he responded to Sweetie’s surgery update by saying “Mommy!  That makes me want to cry!  That makes me sheel sick!  Is she better?”  All the women in my family say what Tanner said in just that way and in just that order.  Needless to say, Sweetie loved that story.

Papa got a kick out of Tanner this week too.  While trying to spike Tanner’s hair with gel (which he usually wants), he kept flattening the top out wrecking my work!  I asked him why he didn’t want spikes and he said “Look like Papa!”. LOL!  I didn’t tell him he would have to shave the top of his head bald to accomplish that.  Didn’t want to give him any ideas! LOL

This week I heard Tanner saying to Ty “That not good toy for you baby.  That no is.”  All said in a very sing songy voiceJ.  Like his daddy, he is a great caregiver.  Well…mostly…Jim and I did watch him scare Ty this week.  He was pretending to be a raptor (dinosaur) and was very slowly and methodically hunting his prey (his brother).  Ty watched with wide eyes and when Tanner started his raptor screeches that about did Ty in.  Jim and I were hiding our faces behind couch pillows laughing hysterically. 

He does so many things in a week to make me laugh it is hard to remember them all.  Yesterday I had to go the store and he wanted to go with me.  He had been watching “Point Break” with Daddy.  Side Note:  How many times can men watch Point Break without becoming a cult follower?  Is it Keanu Reeves possibly?  Jim will watch Matrix over and over and over too.  Hmmmm…I’ll have to think about that. 

Anyhow, when I put Tanner in the car I saw him pretending to get something off the bottom of his feet.  I asked him what he was doing and he said “Taking my skate board off”.  Oohhhh!  That is very practical.  One doesn’t wear skateboards in their careseats.  LOL!  BTW, in Tannerese, skateboard means surfboard. In Arizona he will have plenty of opportunities to surf LOL!  Good thing he is a good pretender!

Tanner is getting really good at learning polite behavior.  He say’s “please”, “key-q” and “scooze me” and uses all three often and appropriately.  What a little gentlemen he is turning intoJ.

On a sad note, Tanner has been sick since Thanksgiving.  On Thanksgiving day Tanner started coming down with my cold symptoms and has been pretty miserable ever since.  The strange thing is that Ty has my cold also but his symptoms are not nearly as bad as Tanner’s (praise the Lord!).  This is the second time this has happened.  Remember the whole mystery rash deal where Ty barely got it and Tanner had it for over 3 weeks plus very high fevers?  God has so gracefully covered Ty and I am so thankful but I also feel bad that Tanner keeps getting knocked flat with illness.  I wonder if Ty is actually getting more vitamins than Tanner?  Hmmmmmm……

Rollie Pollie Ollie

November 29, 2004

We now have a rollie pollie ollie on our hands!  He is a little Houdini and can get out of anything (swaddle blankets, bouncer chairs, bumbo chair…).  I had to buy a bigger rug since he is rolling everywhere now.  I had flashbacks of a couple of Christmas’s ago yesterday when Ty managed to roll under the tree and was trying to pull ornaments off.  Tanner did the same thing at this age.  As Tanner was born in May and Ty was supposed to be born in May, it makes it a little easier for me to judge Ty’s development.   There are some developmental delays but they are not all that significant.  Ty still won’t eat off a spoon and he can’t sit up.  Ty is actually more advanced in his communicative skills though than Tanner was at this age.  (Of course, Tanner still has some speech delays so that is not surprising).  Maybe I shouldn’t say speech “delay” with Tanner.  That may not be accurate.  He doesn’t converse using as many words as many 3 year olds do but he isn’t suffering from it eitherJ.  All in their own time I guess.

Ty is continually moving in a forward motion though.  Once he figured out how to roll both directions, he just took off.  He loves this new found freedom.  I think the Bumbo chair (I mentioned that in a previous posting) has done him good too.  It has a low center of gravity so he has to work at it a little harder to sit up which strengthens his tummy.  He can hold his weight sitting up if he puts his hands in front on the ground.  This only lasts a few seconds but still it is progress!

He has also learned to “pat” and it is so precious.  He is continually patting my hand when I hold him.  Mommy is a patter so he must have learned the behavior from me.  He is such a little copy cat and loves to mimic.  He wants to talk so badly!  He really watched our mouth and tries to imitate shape and sound.  Lately he pretends to cough all the time just so I will cough back.  He loves responsive communication.  I bet he will be chatty chatty chatty once he figures out some words.

Can you believe we are only about 6 weeks from his first birthday????? Wow!!!!  This first year we may wait until May to celebrate it.  In the future we will celebrate his birthday on the real date (January 17th) but this first year we may not.  During this winter season, we may not want to do a big party (virus reasons) and he won’t be old enough to enjoy it anyhow.  As a point of fact, most one year old children are not old enough to enjoy their birthdays either but at least they can eat their birthday cake and I don’t see Ty being quite ready for that in Jan.  Haven’t made a final decision on this one yet.  Jury is still out.

Why is it that as soon as you think you have a kid figured out they change?  I had just determined that Ty liked vegetables and not fruits and then this week he switched teams.  Now he is refusing vegetables but will eat fruits.  Aaaaghhhh!!!  The cereal bottle is still working though so I am at least grateful for that.

He learned to hold his own bottle though this week!  Tanner learned that at 6 months and Ty is 6 months adjusted so he seems on target with his fine motor skills.

Speaking of a change in behavior, last night Jim and I giggled when we saw Ty on his tummy in his crib eating the bumper pad ribbons.  What is the big deal you say?  All babies do that!  Not if they have always been swaddled they don’t!  Ty has learned that if he rolls from side to side he can work the swaddling loose and get his arms free.  He was happy as could be free of his straight jacket and munching away on his bedding.  Why do we bother swaddling still?  Because Ty is still on an apnea monitor and a sat monitor at night.  If he gets loose from the swaddling he starts eating his chords.  Worse, he starts rolling over and gets chords wrapped around his body and sometimes his neck!  Not good!  He loves to be swaddled for sleep and if he wakes up during the night and unswaddles himself, he has trouble going back to sleep unless we reswaddle him.  We will have to break this habit soon but swaddling is our best course of action while he is still on monitors.  For right now, we just have to wait him out.  Let him escape until we know he is sleepy and then redo it.  I thought of a new thing to worry about yesterday though.  We have just laid wood laminate down in Ty’s room.  Eventually the crib will be moved in there.  Tanner never attempted to crawl out of his crib but I feel pretty certain that Ty will.  Imagining him crawling out of the crib and landing on his head on the wood laminate sends shivers down my spine.  The trials and tribulations of motherhood…always something to occupy our imaginations.

Amanda, and her mom and grandparents came to visit Ty this week.  They live about an hour away so between that and our lockdown, we haven’t seen them since September.  I posted pictures in the Nov album if you want to check them out.