Sunday, August 30, 2009

Talented Emma

Friday night our church had a talent show for the Primary kids (ages 4-11). I was in charge of getting it all together and was intensely pleased at how it all turned out. I had lots of kids signed up to participate and each of them did a fantastic job.

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

Good to Hear

The Pediactricians were a little concerned when Emma failed her hearing test in her left ear twice. I wasn't there for the tests but apparently they use some sort of device that shoots sound waves or something in the ear and it then measures what goes thru and what doesn't. After the first time they told us to use mineral oil to clean the excess wax out of her ear but she still failed when they tested her again. They then suggested we use Debrox to clean out her ear. They referred us to an ENT to see if there was something more than just wax build-up causing her to fail the tests. I guess those last drops must have worked or our Pediatrician really messed up the test because the ENT said that not only could Emma hear but she was off the charts. She has exceptionally good hearing and passed all the tests in both ears!!

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

Good News

I have two beautiful children and to look at them and interact with them you would think they were like every other happy healthy child their age. Unfortunately they both have very special medical problems. Emma was diagnosed as an infant with a Combined Hamartoma of the Retina and Retinal Pigment Epithelium on her left eye. This rare diagnosis basically means that she has a mole-like tumor on her retina. It blurs her vision, affects her depth perception and causes her eye to wander. They can't tell me what caused it and there is currently no way to correct it. She had surgery when she was about a year old to help tighten the eye muscle and straighten out the eye. She can now keep her eye straight most of the time. It seems to still wander when she looks far away or when she is tired, but usually most people don't even notice it. The doctors think that if they try to remove the tumor it would damage the vision that she does seem to have in that eye. She had a check up last week at the Ophthalmologist and he had nothing new to report. At this point NO NEWS is GOOD NEWS! The tumor has not grown and does not seem to be affecting her vision any more than before. They think that she may actually have some good peripheral vision but cannot tell for sure. We will just keep having her monitored by her pediatrician and her Ophthalmologist, who is supposed to be one of the best in the area. Having this diagnosis has not slowed Emma down one bit. She has the strongest personality of any 4 year old I know. She is confident, intelligent and absolutely beautiful.

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

Surprise Surprise!

My wonderful sweet husband gave me a surprise this past Friday. As I walked in the front door from work I set my eyes upon a freshly cleaned and vacuumed home and a vase filled with breathtaking roses. But the main surprise was that my two little children were gone to grandma Jett's house for what Emma calls a "sleepover party". We did not know how to handle a night without kids! We decided to go to the movies, something we haven't done in over a year. I got to pick and I chose well - Transformers 2 was extremely entertaining! I highly recommend it if you enjoyed the first one. The entire night was quiet and relaxing and I love my husband (and mother-in-law) for setting it up.

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!

Emma took this picture of us at Steve and Jeneca's reception.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Emma started Pre-K last Monday. It is the state funded Georgia PreK that is all day every day, so I was a little nervous about how she would do. But of course she is just fine and so far she likes it! Her teacher is Ms. Jen who has taught Preschool for about 15 years. She is going to the Discovery Point in Towne Lake which is literally 2 miles from our house. The first week they graphed their favorite color, lined up from smallest to tallest, looked at their fingerprints thru magnifying glasses, and did many other fun things. One afternoon when Ben came to pick her up she asked him if he could pick her up more slowly next time so she could play longer on the playground. I'm excited to see how the year goes.

I think the change has been the hardest on Matthew who has lost his playmate during the day. Every morning when we walk her into class Matthew cries when its time to leave her there. The first day he asked me a few times during the day "where Emma go?". It was very sweet. But now he has time to do more guy things with Daddy during the day. I think it will be good for everyone.