Thursday, December 31, 2009
Robert is a kind man with a regular job and family. During the holidays he dyes his beard white and takes extra work as Santa Clause. But even in mid-July when my children see him in the halls on Sunday they say "hi Santa!" and give him a big hug and an even bigger smile.
We are blessed to have the "Real Santa" (that is what Emma calls him) available to us whenever we want him. Not everyone can say that. Someone told me that they overheard Emma tell him "Santa, I got all the presents you left for me on Christmas. Thank you!"
I was so glad I didn't have to wait in line at the mall for a picture of Santa while hoping shy Matthew would cooperate. Our Santa came to our church and Matthew and Emma were not shy at all about sitting on his lap for a photo opportunity. But why would they, they see him every week at church!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
So during her Fall Break, I decided to try and make it special and go somewhere she had been asking about for a while: Chuck E Cheese. I had somehow accumulated a some tokens and thought this was the perfect time to use them. We went the day before Thanksgiving and the place was pretty empty - just perfect! We had fun going on all the rides and playing the games. Matthew, as expected, cried every time we left one thing but would be excited to see something new.
One of Ben's drum students, Matt, recently took a job at Chuck E Cheese and even gets to play the famous Mouse. He was working the day we went and came to talk to us for a bit. Then he left to go wake Chuck E. from his nap and although Matt mysteriously disappeared, the kids got to take a good picture with our favorite local mouse.
We earned a bunch of tickets and used them to buy Emma's favorite treat that we rarely get to have - Cotton Candy. I'm sure Emma was not disappointed with her vacation this time!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Matthew had a rough start. I got him the coolest Superman costume with a cape and everything. He tried it on the first day but refused to wear it on Halloween. So I rummaged thru his closet and threw together a Cowboy costume the best I could. He wasn't thrilled about that either until Uncle Vini gave him a flashlight to use. After that he was ready to go!
Emma was supposed to be Princess Ariel but while I was trying to get Matthew ready to leave she immerged from her room in fairy wings, a crown, and extra jewelry. She ended up being a Mermaid Fairy Gypsy Princess! She looked great.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Day 2: The two little 4-year olds are holding hands on the playground. Emma speaks more of her Wedding plans
Monday, October 19, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Ben and his friends on the SAR team.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
All of a sudden he vomits on my shoulder. I put him down and he gags and does it again. I kneel down and try to talk to him but he is just gagging. Then I realize he is very pale and does not look like he is breathing. I see that his lips are turning blue so I run upstairs and take him inside. In the house, Cheryl confirms my fears that something is terribly wrong and calls 911 immediately. I lay Matthew down on his side in case he throws up again and I start talking to the 911 operator. Cheryl has Emma sent to another room to play with her daughter Macy so that she is not involved in what is going on. By this time Matthew is starting to breathe but they are very light very shallow breaths. His eyes seem to roll back every once in a while as he is trying to catch his breath. Somehow I've managed not to freak out completely and am trying to soothe Matthew who is slowing getting back to his normal self. I've done a great job of staying calm until I continue talking to the 911 operator. I know that they are supposed to ask you the same questions several different times and different ways to make sure they have all the facts straight, but after the 5th time she asks me "Is he breathing?" the tears start rolling down my cheeks. Within minutes there are paramedics, police officers and firemen in Cheryl's living room. Matthew is still lying on the floor. He is breathing normal but he isn't getting up and he keeps blinking long and hard. Finally, after the policeman tries to ask Matthew questions he gets up and clings to me. Then it’s like nothing ever happened. He is responsive and breathing just fine. Just to be sure all is well we take a ride in the ambulance to the ER to get checked out.
Matthew is breathing 100% now and uses his full lung capacity to scream and cry the whole way to the hospital because he doesn't want to be buckled into his seat. He gets his vitals checked and gets yet another catscan to add to his collection. We hang out at the hospital for a few more hours to find his catscan is normal but his neurologist wants him back on his seizure medication. This is news that I am not thrilled about but as I see Matthew running around the ER with a big smile on his face I know that I need to focus on the silver lining. So much worse could have happened that day. What if he had his episode while I was driving or before I had arrived? What if it was more severe and he had gotten hurt? We were blessed that everyone responded so quickly and that in the end he was safe and we were going home.
Today he had an appointment with the neurologist. He met with Kathie Teta at Child Neurology Associates near Scottish Right. We are told that the best thing would be to keep Matthew on medication until he is seizure free for 2 years. I know this is what the initial plan was supposed to be. But his previous doctor felt that since his progress had been so good and his EEGs showed only some spikes and no full blown seizures that we could try him off the meds. It breaks my heart to know he will be on this medicine for the next two years, but once again.....the silver lining. It is only twice a day. It is only for two years. It will help prevent/control any future seizures. It could be so much worse.
So next week he will have another EEG and then after that another MRI to make sure nothing else is going on that the doctors need to know. I have been trying hard to focus on the silver lining of these gloomy clouds. It’s difficult to do but it's a lot easier when I see Matthew's big smile!
Matthew in the Child Neurology waiting room.
Friday, September 11, 2009
As requested by several people, I have posted a video of Emma singing the song she sang at the Talent Show the other weekend. Sorry the picture isn't very good. I am not the best at using our camera. Now imagine her singing this in a cute dress with a piano and a microphone. Isn't she sweet!
Here are the words in case you want to sing along:
"I'm so glad when Daddy comes home, glad as I can be
Clap my hands and shout for joy and climb up on his knee
Put my arms around his neck, squeeze him tight like this
Pat his cheeks and give him what? ...... A great big kiss!"
On Labor Day, Ben took down the crib we've had set up for 4.5 years now. First for Emma, then for Matthew. It was kind of sad seeing it get put away. I plan to re-decorate his room since it seems so empty now without the crib. Maybe some fun sheets and some pictures on the wall.
Ben set up the simple twin bed that he had used when he was a boy and thru his teenage years. It is actually part of a set of bunk beds but we only set up the single bed. Matthew seemed indifferent about the change. He wasn't excited about it, but he wasn't afraid either. The first time he slept in it, he didn't cry but he did wake up sooner than usual. Overall, I have been extremely impressed at how well he has transitioned into the new bed. This entire week he has not once gotten out of his bed in order to escape from his room. He has not woken up in the middle of the night to sneak into our bed. He just lies in his bed with his best bud Blue like he did in his crib. When we tell him its time to go to sleep he shuts his eyes super tight to show that he is ready. He is such a good boy!
Emma seems more excited than Matthew. She helped me to put the sheets on his bed and asked to read to him in his bed the other night. My babies are growing so fast.
Growing up so fast
Sunday, September 6, 2009
My sweet and innocent biter.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Of course Emma wanted to perform and after debating between dancing and singing I convinced her do to one of the songs she sings so well "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home". I don't know where she gets her confidence from. I was deathly shy when I was a little girl and am still not thrilled at having to speak in front of a crowd. Even as I hosted the talent show and was up on stage introducing the children I found myself stuttering and jumbling my words in my nervousness. But Emma is absolutely fearless. When it was her turn she got up on stage, sang her song beautifully, took a bow and sat back down like it was nothing. Maybe it was nothing special too her, but it was a wonderful moment for me. Every day Emma impresses me with her talents, courage and aptitude. And she is only 4! I can only imagine what the future will bring.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Due to Matthew's history and the fact that the test at the Pediatrician was inconclusive for his hearing, we went ahead and had him checked at the ENT too. He was so good to listen to what the doctors asked him to do. Ben asked him if he was having fun and he replied "No......mean", but he seemed to enjoy the little games they used to test what he could hear. They told us that Matthew passed all the tests and that he was one of the best behaved 2-year olds that they've ever seen.
It was another good week with good news from the doctors. One more important visit coming up and then I might be able to breathe a little easier again. I am definitely relieved that their hearing is okay because now I know for sure that they can hear me every time I tell them "I LOVE YOU!". Which is very very very often.
At the ENT
Matthew's "Mean" face.
Monday, August 24, 2009
My sweet baby boy Matthew suffered a Grade IV intracranial brain hemorrhage at 5 weeks of age. He suffered from a Vitamin K deficiency that caused his blood to not be able to clot correctly which then led to blood gathering in the ventricles in his brain. After 6 weeks in the hospital he was able to come back home. The prognosis was vague and unclear. They were not sure what problems he would have or if there would be any developmental delays. He was quickly enrolled in several different therapies in order to help give him the best chances to learn to talk, walk and function as he needed. The first sessions were discouraging as they told us that our 3 month old was showing the characteristics of a newborn. But with lots of prayers and hard work Matthew quickly starting showing progress and began graduating from his therapy sessions. Today he had an evaluation to see if he needed to return to therapy and I am tearfully glad to report that he passed with flying colors! The therapist was impressed that Matthew could recognize all his letters and stated that he also has great cognitive skills. His motor, communication, and social skills are at par with other 2 year olds and in some areas he is even ahead of the curve.
I thank God every day for my children and for every moment I get to spend with them and with my loving husband. I am happy to have this great news that I can write down so that I never forget how I’ve been blessed. In the coming week we have more doctor appointments and more hurdles to cross and I pray that I have more good news to report. But I must remember that even if the doctors and specialists tell me something I don't want to hear, I have no reason to be unhappy. The simple fact that we have each other is the greatest news I could ever imagine.
Emma and Matthew - Christmas 2008
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The following Saturday night was also nice. The entire family attended the wedding reception for Ben's little brother, who I adore, and his beautiful new wife. It was a perfect reception and altogether a lovely weekend that reminded me how happy I am to be married to my best friend!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Having fun running
Emma with her Blue Ribbon