Monday, December 17, 2012

'Tis the Season....to be sick!

I'm home today with a lil guy who has Fifths Disease!!!  Yep, broke out in the rash last night and it has gotten worse.  Luckily doctor said that he should feel better tomorrow and can go back to daycare.  Not that I'm complaining about having a day off from work, but I had to take a few days last week off myself because I have MONO!  Yeppers, the big 'ol MONO!  Never had it before as a kid...apparently mine is "acute" mono.  So I was tired and achy, but thanks to some rest (well as much as one can possibly get with having a 20 month old and a 5 year old around) and some meds...I'm feeling pretty darn good thankfully.

So what does one do with some unexpected time on her hands??  Well, update my blog of course.  Haha.  Nothing overly crazy going on.  Thanksgiving was nice, spent with family and just relaxing.  Then I did some black friday shopping, which I have to say just isn't the same since every store is basically open thanksgiving night now...kinda takes the fun away from waking up early and going shopping before the rest of the world is awake.  And I didn't get any great deals this year either.  Oh well.

"Buddy" (our Elf on the Shelf) arrived a few days later from the North Pole and both the boys are loving him.  Austin is having fun too looking for Buddy each morning.  Makes me laugh and its just so cute how excited they get.

Santa has an extra special surprise for Jake this year.  I can't even wait and Jake is going to be so surprised!  (And no its not your typical "toy" that a 5 year old would get)  If you know Jake, you know that he is no typical kid....and his favorite thing to do is play "office" or "school".  He has taken over my desk and our computer area downstairs...so Santa has a surprise just for him!

So lets just hope for a low key, illness free, holiday!    Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year!!!!

Trying to do Christmas card photos....
Austin not "having" it



After about a dozen not so good ones, I finally got one with both of them smiling  :)

*My heart goes out to Newtown, CT and all of the families who lost a loved one...I can't even imagine*  They are all in my thoughts and prayers...








Monday, November 12, 2012

Bye Bye Summer, HellllOOO Fall (and almost winter!)

Well here it is, the update post.  I wish I didn't have to keep doing "update" posts, but since I see it has been 3 months since my last post, well....update here we go!!!

Lets see...summer went out with a bang!  No, not really, things were pretty low key as we prepared for Jake's big kindergarten first day!!!  Kevin and I were a nervous wreck, more so because Jake is so super shy, how on earth would he get onto the BIG bus with the BIG kids all by himself?  The day before school started, we set up a meeting to sit down and teach all of his teachers about his "ears".  Well of course, I prepared myself with tons of handouts, pictures, guidelines, and information....prepared to meet with all of his new teachers (kindergarten, teacher of the deaf, speech teacher, physical therapist, classroom aide, gym teacher, music teacher, art teacher....you name it!)  (*Side note, I EVEN prepared info for the bus company and his bus driver and dropped all of that off a few days before!)  So...Jake and I walk into the school and guess what...no one had ANY IDEA about this big meeting.  Yup!  Gotta love it.  So, after waiting almost an hour, we were finally able to scrounge up the kindergarten teacher and speech teacher; sat with them for about 10 minutes; and that was it.  I was not a happy parent.  I mean, seriously...Jake is the first child to go through this district who is mainstream with cochlear implants.  FIRST KID EVER  in this district.  In my eyes, that should be a big deal, right?  I mean, when I'm told as a parent that everyone who is anyone that will even have contact with Jake will be there and then we show up and there is a miscommunication and no one even has any idea who we are??  Ugh....

Well, the next day comes...Jake's first day of school.  We wake up and its raining, and dark.  But Jake still wants to walk down to the bus stop (its at the end of our road).  So, Kevin, Austin and I all get ready...Jake's excited....Kevin and I are a nervous wreck strategizing how we are going to throw him on the bus and run off if he starts crying and refuses to get on.  We get down to the bus stop and there are TONS of kids.  Great.  Strategizing more.  Waiting.  Rain starts to come down harder.  Trying to get Jake excited.  Waiting.  And waiting.  Then it starts to pour.  Yep.  Waiting some more.  Then I see the bus.  Jake hesitates as we start to walk toward the bus.  I'm ready-ready to do what I have to get him on the bus; after all, this day is the start of a whole year of getting on the bus; it has to go well; he has to get on.  Walking closer and closer to the bus and all of a sudden I heard "THERE'S JACOB!"  WHAT????  I look up to see two of Jake's friends from preschool...at his bus stop.....getting out of their van...running up to him.  Jake gets a huge smile on his face, gives us a quick kiss goodbye and runs onto the bus with his friends.  And there he was,  waving goodbye to us with a big smile on his face.  Turns out that these friends live right up the road from us and we had no idea.   And so began every morning at the bus.  Jake LOVES the bus and gets on with no problems every morning.  Phew...

Waiting for the bus






September 19, 2012, Jake turned 5!  We had a small celebration for him this year, just family and he loved it.  Everyday I look at him and am just amazed at what a perfect child he is.  So smart, so kind, so loving and just fun.  Thank you buddy for being so wonderful!!

Austin turned 18 months old on October 12, 2012.  What a personality he has.  He is busy....so active.  And everything his big brother does, he has to do.  He's obsessed with cars.  Loves them.  As long as he has some sort of car, he is happy.  He is quite the gabber now too.  He says "mama, dada, a-bob (for Jacob), uh oh" and lots of other sounds.  Oh and he throws quite the temper tantrums and he has been hitting.  Yup, hitting.  So we are trying to work on that.  Thankfully Jake never hits back.  And Austin he has grown quite obsessed with Barney, much like his big brother.  I was hoping Barney was going to die off in this house, but now I'm feeling we have another few years to go.  And Jake is back to watching it all the time with Austin!!!!  Yep, I can sing every song and know the moves to every dance; don't be jealous!!

Hurricane Sandy hit this area very hard.  And the Jersey shore is "close to home" for me; having a lot of friends down there and having lived down there for my college years.  I'm still speechless when I see the devastation the storm brought.  Praying for all of the people who were affected by the storm.  Life was pretty hectic here for the week (or two) following Sandy...with the gas shortages, power outages, trees down, flooding.  We were thankful to have no damage to our house with fallen trees and only lost power for a day. Many others close to us lost power for a lot longer.

Life continues to move full speed ahead.  I find that I have no time for anything other than the same old grind.  But as long as the boys are doing well, I'm just fine with that.




Here is just a small clip of what life is like in Weyville....these two keep me busy!  Haha....


Sunday, August 19, 2012

He's on the move...



This video was taken on August 6th......love how excited Jake is!  


This past monday I noticed that Austin was starting to let go of things and walk.  Well by tuesday, he was walking like crazy.  Then wednesday night, croupe hit him..pretty hard.  But it didn't stop him....he's getting pretty good at this walking thing now.  He's funny...he takes his time with each step and concentrates on the balance aspect, so he doesn't really fall that much.  




And quiet the little "gabber" we have too.  He's so serious when he talks...



And talk about all the brotherly love he gets....





Gosh how I love these boys....

 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Believe....

I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb.  
Before you were born I set you apart.  
Jeremiah 1:5


That passage seems perfectly fitting for this post.  Apologies (like always) for not updating sooner, but that life of mine keeps getting in the way :)  Austin is 3 days shy of being 16 months old.  And this child of mine is nothing short of a miracle.  During my pregnancy, many of you (as well as many people I have never met) prayed for Austin; prayed for healing of Austin; prayed for a miracle.  I was told "just believe".  And so I did...I believed that he would be healed.  I believed that no matter what disheartening news we got, he would be okay.  

And today....August 9, 2012, we got the news we had been waiting for.....Austin's brain is perfectly normal! WHAT??!!!!  Oh yes, I said it!  Our neurosurgeon said he has a perfect brain!   

Austin had his yearly follow up MRI on July 30, 2012.  We met with the neurosurgeon today to go over the results in person.  She compared pictures of his MRI at birth (with lots of fluid and large ventricles) to last week's MRI which shows "normal" ventricles.  NORMAL!  And to top off things she said "see you in a YEAR"!  A whole year!!!!  (Keep in mind this was our 11th visit in 15 months...so you do the math)  

Austin continues to do great.  He is starting to really babble and form sounds (which the ENT told us to give him at least 6 months to catch up with since the tubes were put in).  He is "stepping"....in true gooser style, he prefers to crawl over walking.  But he does takes steps and can do between 3 and 5 steps pretty consistently when he's not paying attention.  He climbs, he laughs, he pitches absolute fits when he doesn't get his way, and boy does he loves his brother.  He continues to amaze me everyday!!!   

Many, many thanks to all of you who believed with me...who prayed with me and for Austin....who have been with us through the tough times and who have celebrated with us through the good times.  We truly are blessed.  









 Quite the lil ham he is....these were taken in a matter of about 30 secs!
  He's on the move all the time....haha.





Saturday, June 16, 2012

Life in the fast lane....

Life continues in the fast lane for us in Weyville lately.  This, coupled with a SLOW, non functioning laptop does not make for easy updates!!!  So apologies about that.  I feel like I have so much to post, but by the time I actually get to sit down and do it, there are like twenty other things to write about so all the little things don't get on here.  I honestly don't even know where to begin.

Lets see...

Well, in the midst of everything last month, I forgot to mention the second biggest milestone in Austin's life (second to his 1 year birthday of course)...his ONE YEAR SHUNT ANNIVERSARY!  It was on May 10, 2012.  And just like me neglecting to mention it on my blog, we kinda forgot about it ourselves.  You see the shunt is just so much a part of everyday life with Austin that we sometimes forgot thats it there.  (Kinda like Jake's ears..)  I love, love, how I can say that about the shunt.  I remember this time last year being such a nervous wreck with it and everything that came along with it.  Now, its just one of those things thats there.  Kevin still isn't that comfortable touching it (although he may tell you otherwise), but for me, there's no part of it that I'm nervous to touch, feel, scratch, pick at, whatever.

On May 25, 2012, he has his tubes put in.  I can't even begin to tell you what an easy surgery that was!  He was away from us, including recovery time, for a total of 10 minutes.  Don't get me wrong, for any parent who has not been through the surgeries that we have been through (two separate 4 hour surgeries for Jake and brain surgery for Austin!), I'm sure a 10 minute procedure is a big deal.  And any parent worries about any surgery, but for this one...literally I walked back to the lobby to meet up with Kevin after they took Austin in the operating room and I had about 5 minutes to read my book and the receptionist was saying "Austin's parents...they are all done, you can go back now and see him!".  And I don't know if it was my wishful thinking, but I swear he was babbling more within a few hours of surgery.  Still waiting for those words to come, but he is starting to form more consonants and sounds together, so I'm sure they will.  He understands us for sure.  Worst part now is that he has to wear ear plugs around the water (including bath time) for the next six months, which of course he absolutely HATES!

Physically he is doing more things daily.  He now can climb up the stairs, walk holding onto one of our hands, and get into a kids chair by himself.  And man, he fast crawling.  And he loves to play catch, and brrrm brrrm with cars.   So funny.  He is so expressive with his face too.  Cracks me up all the time, but boy is he demanding!  He goes from happy kid to screaming as loud as he can for attention or when he doesn't get something he wants.

And as for Jake....he is a Pre-K graduate as of wednesday!  So proud of him.  He didn't start hearing until he was 14 months old, is one of the youngest in his class and is now going to mainstream Kindergarten in the fall!

Life has been pretty darn good to us and I'm so blessed and thankful.  I'm hoping my "followers" still get a chance to check my blog every once and a while.   And I know that there are still many prayers coming our way, which I'm very thankful for.  We are very blessed by these two boys of ours who are smart, loving, and an absolute joy!

Here are some videos from the past few weeks or so...(don't mind the music, didn't know how to change it!!)


Monday, May 21, 2012

Austin is 1 (Update Part 1)


Gosh, its been so long I don’t even know where to begin.  And, as much
as I’m to blame for not updating sooner, this blog has been causing me

some problems and it seems that every time I do try to update, I’m

unable to save it to a post!  Nuf with the excuses….I’m BACK!



And boy do I have LOTS to update on!  Lets see…..well, first and

foremost, AUSTIN IS 1!  He had a great birthday.  Celebrated at

school, celebrated at home with us, and then had a big blowout Dr.

Seuss birthday bash with family and friends.  I went WAY overboard on

the party.  Partly because of what a miracle this little boy is,
partly because its going to be our last “first birthday” party, and
partly because I can’t help but absolutely adore him!  So, whatever
which way you look at it…I went overboard.  I found some cute ideas on
the internet for the Dr. Seuss theme and it just skyrocketed from
there.  Right down to the family shirts, decorations galore and
“themed” snacks and treats.  It was fun though and everyone seemed to
enjoy themselves, especially Austin.



A few days later we had Austin’s one year check up at the

pediatrician.  He is doing wonderfully and there were no concerns

noted.  Right after that appointment was our one year followup with

the ENT for a hearing test.  That didn’t go so well.  Turned out that

Austin had significant fluid in his ears (he has had a few ear
infections in the past couple of months) so they didn’t do the hearing
test and instead told us to come back in 6 weeks.  ENT said that if he
gets one more ear infection he will need to have tubes put in.  Well,
wouldn’t you know it, within a few days, the fluid turned into a
double ear infection!  So, we went back to the ENT this past week and well, 
lets just say..Austin is getting tubes put in on Friday!!!  They did a hearing test 
on him and he isn't hearing the low tones so its not worth the wait any longer to us.  
We want him to be able to hear everything.  And thankfully his hearing is perfect otherwise. 
 So, this friday it is.  ENT (who is the same doctor that performed both of Jake's implant surgeries)
 said that as soon as we go get a coffee, the surgery will be over.  He said its the 
easiest surgery he does.  We will just have to make sure he has ear plugs in for the
 next six months around water.   I'm just looking foward to him not being sick anymore!!   



Then a few days after the first ENT appointment was Austin’s six month eye

check up with the optomologist.  His eyes stayed exactly the

same…still really far sighted.  Dr. said if they get any worse, he’ll

need glasses.  So we go back in another six months and just hoping

they get a little better as he gets older.

Austin also had his first haircut!  His hair was getting so long it was actually
hanging out from underneath the back of his helmet.  He did great though
and sat like a big boy!!



And finally…on April 23rd, Austin GRADUATED from his helmet!!!  Whoo

hoo!!  It was bitter sweet.  Excited that it came off, but Kevin and I

were both nervous wrecks the first few days afterwards worrying about

him falling and hitting his head.  We got used to the fact that the

helmet would break his fall.  But it was nice to not have to have it
on and I really felt like it was starting to impede his stretching and
torticollis.  George (helmet guy) even commented on how well Austin
did with the helmet considering his hydrocephalus and reported that
most kids with hydro tend not to get as good of results as Austin.
But then again, Austin is not your typical kid!



So I think that catches us up with doctor’s appointments and updates.

And other than that, we have been really really busy.  We took a trip

down to Virginia to see some of my friends and that was nice all

around.  Austin loved being at Kings Dominion amusement park and even

got his first ride on the merry go round.



Physically he is doing better and better everyday.  He walks with

walkers, cruises around the furniture, and I wouldn’t be surprised if

he starts standing on his own very soon.  He’s like a whirlwind, in to

EVERYTHING.  Something Kevin and I are still getting used to.  And he

does not like to sit still.  And boy oh boy does he had a personality.
 Very dramatic he is!  Makes me laugh all the time.  His new thing is
to raise his eyebrows as if to say “hey, guys whats that over there?”
 Usually followed with babbling of some sort.



Pacifier has been an issue.  I’m all about the pacifier for little

ones, but Austin has only liked one kind since he was born…the soothie.

 Anyone who knows what that is, knows that they don’t make those

pacifiers for 1 year olds!  They are newborn up to 3 months old.

But…Austin hates all the other kinds.  Well, when his teeth started
coming in, the top two came in with a big gap in between them.  And it
occurred to me that it was probably because of his pacifier…which is
round and happens to fall right in the middle of where the gap is!
Ugh!  Why didn’t I realize this sooner??  Anyhoo…so now we have banned
him from the pacifier, and he is only allowed to use it to put himself
to sleep and then it comes out the rest of the night.  And I gotta
say, his babbling has really increased since we stopped this.  It has
been harder to calm him though without it, but it’s a change that has
to be done.



All in all, that’s whats going on in Weyville.  Please keep Austin in your prayers on friday for his surgery!!! 
Lots and Lots of pictures to follow......

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Easter 2012!

Happy Easter to all!  He is Risen!!!!

Can't believe its Austin's 2nd Easter.  I feel like I say this in every post, but honestly, WHERE IS THE TIME GOING??   He just so busy lately...just go go go.  And when he is home, I'm lucky if he'll take a 30 minute nap.  Its like he doesn't want to miss anything.  So cute.  And what a lil babble boy he is.  You can talk to him and he just babbles back.  I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it is!! 

Other than that, same old round here.  Just getting ready for the big ONE YEAR party on saturday!! 

Here's a clip from the other night of the little babbler (eating his cheese doodles :))


And some pics from today...(couldn't get Jake to pose for a good shot, but he LOVED, LOVED, LOVED hunting for all his eggs this year that the Easter Bunny left!)




Hard to believe that tomorrow Austin will be 1!  I remember preparing for his arrival one year ago tonight, being so nervous, excited, and anxious.  I remember moving our "Countdown to Austin's Arrival" sign that Jake and I made from 1 day to 0 days.  I remember checking my bag over and over, making sure I had everything I needed.  I remember actually getting a decent night's sleep and then waking up in the morning and being excited.  And of course I remember everything that happened on April 12, 2011.  Hearing Austin's cry at 1:28pm, seeing him briefly all wrapped up so only his puffy lil face was showing.    I remember exactly what I was doing when I got the picture text from Kevin when he was up in the NICU, all cleaned up, and just the overwhelming sense of joy I had.  I could recount every moment of that day....and just remember feeling so blessed by this little angel. 



One year has come and gone in a flash!  Happy, Happy Birthday to my lil man!!! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How life prepares us...

I left the house at 6am to go to a training about 2.5 hours away from my house (with rush hour traffic).  Always fun.  As the training began, the trainer explained that she was hearing impaired and to excuse her if she had to get really close to us as she was teaching because the room we were in was not condusive to a hearing impaired person.  And then, it hit me...

So many things have occurred in my life to prepare me for my children, well before they were even thought of.  You see, I started my job August 2003.  At that time, all new workers had to go through a significant training period over several months.  And of course, all the trainings were no where near where I lived, but all at the same place.  The same place I was at today.  Which just so happens to be the State School for the Deaf.  Coincidence?  I think not.  

Of course in 2003, I didn't know anyone who was deaf.  And I remember being sad for the children who attended the school...because at the time I thought it was a school where the children lived (I have since learned it is just a day school).  I remember looking at the kids as they were playing on the playgrounds and walking from building to building and wondering what their life must be like.  Now of course I see life so much differently and realize that all of those children are the same as any child....they play, they learn and they have friends.

And in the course of my work, I was forced to work with Early Intervention, schools and IEP's, and numerous medical professionals.  In my first few years I became somewhat of an expert on early childhood development, milestones, common and not so common medical conditions....you name it, I probably encountered it.  And I spent many long hours in emergency rooms and doctor's offices, including the two major trauma hospitals in our area....one of which Jake would go on to have his surgery and the other where Austin had his.  It was like life was just preparing me so I knew what to do, where to drive to, what doctors to use...for both of the boys.

In 2005, one of the homes I went to for work, a young child had some serious medical issues.  I wasn't directly involved with him at the time, but remember that he had surgery for something involving his head and had a lot of doctor's appointments for different issues.  I saw that child a few months ago...and wouldn't you know, he has a shunt.  He got it when he was about 6 months old, is still on the same one....AND...it was put in by Austin's surgeon.  WHAT??!!!  It was nice to see how perfect he is!  You wouldn't even know that he had any issues at all when he was younger.  I'm sure back in 2005, I did know he had a shunt.  But I probably had no idea what a shunt was, what it did, and why any child would have one.  But for me to then see this same child years later, now that is something....

Then I get pregnant with Jake.  In 2007, I was a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding when I was 9 months pregnant (37 weeks).  I walked down the aisle with the groom's brother.  When I met him, he mentioned that he was couldn't hear out of the ear (side) I was on and that I had to speak up a little.  He then proceeded to tell me that he had a cochlear implant.  (He lost his hearing in an accident)  Had no clue at the time what a cochlear implant was, how it worked, or anything at all about hearing loss.  I just figured it was like a hearing aid. Never did I realize that the following year, MY son would have a cochlear implant!!  Crazy....

When Jake was 2 months old, had failed two hearing screenings, including an ABR, his pediatrician referred us to an ENT, to check out if Jake had fluid in his ears.  At the time, Jake had just been diagnosed "deaf" a few days earlier and Kevin and I were in denial about it.  I called right away for an appointment with the ENT doctor, knowing the pediatrician had just told me that it would probably take a while to an appointment, and they happened to have an available appointment a few days later.  Kevin and I walked into the office for the first visit, not knowing ANYTHING about this doctor...and there on the wall in a frame was him with a big article about how he is the Director of the Cochlear Implant Foundation at that hospital.  I truly believe that we were given this referral to this particular doctor so that we would research Cochlear Implants and eventually decide to get them for Jake, who is no doubt a completely different kid since he got them!!!  :)

And Jake himself prepared us....prepared us for Austin.  Jake taught us hope, patience, gratitude, and appreciation.  Jake taught us what life is like to have a child who didn't always do things as fast as other kids.  When kids his age were sitting up, Jake was just starting to hold his head up.  When kids his age were walking, Jake was just starting to sit up/prop himself.  When kids were running, Jake was learning to put pressure on his feet.  And when kids were learning how to talk, Jake was learning how to listen.  We learned all about the ENT, the audiologist, the neurologist, the opthamologist, the genestisist, and the podiatrist, among other things.

And then Austin comes along.  We are told that there is a 25% chance he could have a hearing loss.  Ok we think, "we can handle that".  And then he is diagnosed with hydrocephalus.  We are told to see a genetic counselor.  Ok, "been there, done that".  And then we are told he will need to have surgery.  Ok, as much as we didn't like that, it certainly was not the first time one of our kids had to go through surgery to better themselves.  And then we are told to stay away from magnets along with a bunch of procautions.  Ok, we already have to do the same precautions for Jake.  And we are told that Austin may be behind with gross motor skills.   Ok, no big deal, we've been there before and already know all of the good EI therapists.  Then it turns out that Austin has to see an ENT and an opthamologist.  Just so happens we know excellent doctors in both fields.  The list could probably go on and on....

I guess what I'm trying to say is,  all of the times I thought to myself, I'm not prepared for this....I really was prepared for this.  I was molded to be Jake and Austin's mother well before they were even in my belly. 

Pretty awesome to look at life that way...

Pretty awesome (and perfect) boys I have...

Life is just pretty awesome.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

On the move....

I haven't had a chance to sit down it feels like lately...and that is a good thing!!!  Austin is really on the move these days!  Along with the crawling, which has turned into "speed crawling", Austin now is pulling to stand and even cruising a little.  He picked it all up so fast, I'm so excited to see all his new milestones these next few weeks.  And with all of this activity, Kevin and I have had to do some major baby proofing around the house.  He loves Jakes toys....and Jake's playroom is his favorite.  He can get from one end of the house to the other if he sees that playroom door open, in two seconds flat.  So funny to watch him in super speed!  Love it!

Two weeks ago, Physical therapist was a little concerned that Austin's torticollis is still significant after all this time and wanted us to make sure his neck tubing wasn't getting stuck or pulled in his neck.  We went to the surgeon and she said it was fine.  His head circumference is measuring a steady 46 cm (it was 46 cm about six weeks prior), which has now taken him from the 75th percentile to the 50th on the charts.  Pretty awesome.  I also think the helmet shaping has something to do with the HC staying the same...no one has said that, but it makes sense to me...that its rounding his head and would measure less.  I dunno.

He now has a double ear infection and is on medication.  But it sure doesn't stop him.  He cut his second tooth this morning and he is no longer interested in baby food.  He wants to have whatever we are having.  I'm getting better at giving him "big boy" food, but still give really, really small portions because he doesn't have that many teeth yet.  But hes doing awesome with the food. 

This week we go back for a helmet check.  I'm torn...I really like having the helmet for safety reasons, but really think it would be so much better for him with his torticollis if he didn't wear the helmet anymore.  Realistically though, we are only talking a few more weeks if the tech says that its not ready to come off this week.  So, I'm ok either way.

We're getting ready for his birthday!  I have lots of ideas and hoping the whole theme comes together nicely.  Can't believe he's going to be one already.  I remember vividly how I felt last year at this time...so much anxiety, so much uncertainty, so much planning, and worrying, and crying, and praying....this year has been a whirlwind and every day I'm so thankful for the joy that Austin has brought into our lives.  Kevin and I got teary-eyed this morning just watching him, pulling up to look out the window because Jake was looking out the window.  What a blessing this little boy is....and miracle to all eyes....seems fitting that Austin's birthday is right around Easter. 

Here's a two minute clip into Austin's life....Mr. Busy....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

11 months....

Crazy to think that Austin is 11 months old already.  He's gone from a baby to a little man so fast.  Its been 3 weeks since he started crawling and he is ALL over the place.  We love every minute of it.  We've been working on getting him to go from sitting to standing by himself and last night he did it!!!  So, today, we had to lower the crib all the way down to the lowest position because I'm sure in no time he'll be pulling himself up in the crib onto his feet. 

We went for a helmet check up last week. Turns out that Austin only has another 4-6 weeks left!  I can't believe how fast that went as well.  I remember being so worried about the helmet and how it would affect the shunt and us going back and forth about should we get it or not.  And now I can honestly say that it has been such a blessing.  With that helmet on, we don't even worry about Austin falling, which he tends to do a lot of these days.  Our PT even mentioned seeing if the tech would just carve out the foam a little more in the helmet so he can continue to wear it for safety purposes after the molding is completed.  (I don't think we are going to do it, but I do like the sound  of that...especially when it comes to our hardwood floors!)  So we go back on April 4th and should have a better idea of things by then.  When looking at his head, his forehead is completely round now.  The only piece that the helmet is still working on is a slight flat spot in the back of his head, which is really only noticeable to us because we knew what it looked like before the helmet.  And boy is his hair finally growing in.  1st haircut will be here in no time.

The boys are having a blast together.  I love seeing them interact.  Austin just laughs at everything Jake does, so cute.  April is sure to be the busiest month yet.  We have four doctor's appointments (1 year well exam, neurosurgeon follow up, opthomologist follow up and ENT follow up).  Not to mention someone's big birthday bash!!!  I'm super excited about his birthday and just hoping for some nice weather. 

Everyone is sick in the house.  Yuck.  Austin has a cold, I had a stomach bug and now a cold and Kevin has a cold.  Luckily Jake seems to be ok for now, but hoping he doesn't catch what is floating around the house.  Weather is supposed to be nice this week so at least we can open up the windows and get some fresh air in.

Here are some pics of the nuts....so hard to get pictures of Austin sitting still these days, but I finally managed to catch a few....









Austin playing with Jake's hair

Love this one...Brotherly Love.


Austin's favorite place...banging on the window

Crib in the lowest position.  Austin's not too sure about it yet!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Moving and Shaking and Crawling...

Yes he is!  Austin is crawling.  He officially started on President's Day.  So cute.  Now, he seems to be all over the place.  His favorite thing to do is B-LINE straight to the TV stand.  He's obsessed with remotes. 






And I'm loving all his babbling.  We never had that with Jake, so its nice to hear all the sounds.  And yes, you can tell that he's used to the camera as he hams it up.


And this video just cracks me up.  LOVE, LOVE how Austin thinks his big bro is just so funny...haha....(And yes, Jake got a black eye at school on tuesday when one of the kids accidentally hit him with a ball)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

10 months old!

Gooser is now 10 months old.  I can hardly believe it!!!!  Still NO teeth.....every morning I check and there's nothing..can't even see them under the gums.  Austin likes to do things at his own pace though, so I'm sure they'll pop out when he's ready for them too...haha.

He's all over the place now. He is not crawling, but he does not sit still and has managed to figure out different ways to get items he wants without having to crawl.   He gets onto his hands and knees and rocks himself.  Yesterday he began to actually crawl a little back backward....usually he scoots backward on his belly.  

He's had his helmet now for over 4 weeks.  Its going well.  He (and I) are completely adjusted to it.  We have a routine when it comes off, gets cleaned, goes back on, etc.  If anything, it actually has been a blessing since Austin is so active now.  We like the fact that we can just let him do what he wants without having to worry about him falling and hitting his head.

I started putting him in the jumper for short periods (we had been avoiding this because it was adding to his asymetry issues) and he LOVES it.  Jumps so high, puts his hands up and just laughs.  So funny. 

And he is starting to babble now too.  Can't even begin to tell you how much I LOVE that.  We never had any babbling with Jake...not even after he got his cochlears...he just went straight to words....so to hear the "dadadada, gagaga, jajaja"....simply awesome. 

I have a bunch of videos I need to get on here...unfortunately they aren't loading correctly, so I'll try again soon. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

9 months old!!! Already!!!!!

Austin is lovin his puffs now (which is a nice surprise since he's really just not that into food...he loves his bottles but food is like "eh" to him).  And big bro is always there to help out (and eat even more of them than Austin does).  Funny to watch.  (Don't mind the big 'ol trash bag in the backround, it was garbage night)


(Video was actually taken two weeks ago, but couldn't get it to download.  Now, Austin has completely mastered this task, and is really developing that pincher grasp!!)

Austin's other new feat for last week was to wait until just before the flash goes off on the camera and then scream out (flail out) in joy as the picture is taken.  One happy lil goose I have....



And of course, the moment we have been waiting for (not really, haha)....the HELMET arrived on monday.  Went better than I thought it would go.  George (our cranial tech) put the helmet on Austin and he just looked at him...no tears.  It was almost as though he was like "what are you doing to me guy?"  George went over all the basics with me and then had me take it off Austin while he made a few adjustments.  Within 10 minutes, we were done.  Got out into the lobby of the office and the tears started to flow. I was able to head them off with his "passy".  We got out to the car, got in, and headed out.  Got about 1/2 mile down the road and the tears began again.  By the time we were a few minutes down the road, Austin was screaming!  Of course at this point I'm on the highway and there is nowhere to pull over, but after about 10 minutes, I'm able to.  I give Austin a bottle (he was hungry on top of it all, so that didn't help).  After the bottle, we headed home, with just a few more whimpers before he fell asleep.  Got home and he has done great ever since. 

And the biggest worry of mine was the shunt...which I'm happy to report they carved out a section for the shunt in the helmet, so it doesn't rest on it directly.  It is a little big though, so it tends to move slightly when Austin is resting his head on something.  But, so far so good.  Took 5 days to get him up to the full wear of 23 hours a day.  He had it on all day today (closer to about 22 hours, but still....)  And he has turned into quite the dare devil.  Its like he knows the helmet is protecting his lil noggin, so he'll just thrust his head full force forward, fall backwards, sideways, you name it...he's doing it now!!!  And he's laughing.  Keep him in your thoughts throughout these next few months of molding.....he's a GOOSE alright!



And last week, the gooser turned 9 months old.  Gosh, where did the time go?  Seriously.  Just goes so fast.  He is clapping and babbling and we are loving every minute of it.  He's soooo nosy too, just makes me laugh.  And boy oh boy has that separation anxiety kicked in, especially with me.  I get home from work and if I don't go over and pick him up immediately (because I do have to come in and wash my hands :)), he's crying hysterically.  I can't leave the room without him crying.   Its cute, but its been hard getting any mommy time lately.  I'm not complaining though.

Had our second snow storm of the winter today.  First one doesn't really seem like it counted though because it was in October.  Jake had an absolute blast playing in it...Austin, not so much.  I'm not sure if he was too cold or if he just didn't know what to make of it, or if he was tired, or what...but he was very quiet and just kinda hung out.  But the Goose wouldn't be the Goose if he wasn't smiling, even when he's cranky...



And the aftermath of a hard days play in the snow...



 Good day in Weyville.....