Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow Day!

It was probably the best thing ever in a long time. Last weekend was scheduled to be a very busy weekend : children's christmas party and rehearsal, shopping, a wedding and reception, church, children's christmas program, Messiah sing, visiting with family in the area, two different couples staying over throughout the course of the weekend, etc.

And, because of eight inches of snow, that all went away. The world came to a halt. What a joy it was to know that we, as a family, had nothing to do except hang out at home together, play in the snow, and enjoy each other's company!

And that is exactly what we did. It snowed all day Saturday and into Sunday morning and by the time we woke up on Sunday, there was 8 inches of snow on the ground to enjoy. Below are some photos of the occasion.

This was taken on Saturday night while the snow was still falling...

"I can't put my arms down!"

According to Jaron, snow tastes like donuts.

I told Jaron he has to shovel his own car out if he wants to drive it....

The snow on the top of our roof reminded me of an ocean wave; I've never quite seen snow do that before.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Abigail's Eye (Pseudostrasbismus)

We had mentioned in a previous post that little Abigail had to visit the eye doctor due to fear that her eyes were not tracking together. We took her to the doctor earlier this week and we have good news to report: Abbie's eye is fine!!

Basically, the doc says that we're seeing an optical illusion. The way her eye is shaped make it seem like they are not lined up. It's called Pseudostrabismus: "Although the eyes appear misaligned…, the light reflection is symmetrical in both eyes." It is the reflection of light in her eyes that helps determine whether they are alinged or not. Over time pseudostrabismus gets better and should correct itself as her features grow and develop. The bone between her two eyes (which the surgeon put in new from another part of her skull) is wide so it seems that the eye goes slightly inward under the bone/skin, which makes it look to us like we're seeing more white on the one eye than on the other eye. In actuality, they are both the same. We feel 90% confident that the Doc is right. The other 10% is uncertain, but hopeful. Afterall, we've had Doctors wrong with Abbie in the past.

So it's great news that her eyes are NOT messed up and therefore will not need any special treatment. It's nice to have good news after a year's worth of bad...

But hey! What is one more medical term thrown on the pile? Mytopic craniosynostosis, infant botulism, hypotonia and now pseudostrasbismus.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Comparison Pictures

For awhile now I have wanted to post some comparison pictures of my two children... so here they are.

High Chair Pictures
JARON, 6 months

ABIGAIL, 9 months

Naked Baby Pictures
JARON, 6 months

ABIGAIL, 5 months

Bath Time Pictures
JARON, 10 months

ABIGAIL, 11 months

Mommy & Me Pictures
ABIGAIL, 5 months

JARON, 6 months

First Smile Pictures
JARON, 6 weeks

ABIGAIL, 7 weeks

Halloween Pictures
JARON, 1 1/2 (19 months) (Abbie is in that big belly right next to him)

ABIGAIL, 11 months

Here I wanted to show how much JARON has grown in one year. What a big boy he's gotten to be!

JARON playing in the leaves last Fall 2008 at 19 months

JARON playing in the leaves this Fall 2009 at 2 years old

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Tree

Our little town was having a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony last night with free food and an appearance of Santa Clause - classic family event. So we decided to go and join the fun but couldn't seem to get ourselves out of the house very quickly and therefore missed the tree lighting and the free food. But at least Jaron got to see Santa and run around the plaza with the other kids, touching the large Christmas tree and other blow up decorations that they had on the plaza. Below are some photos of the event.

We had out own little Christmas Tree lighting this past week - photos of the process and the finished outcome below.

The outside of our house got a few decorations as well. Here's a few shots (in the snow, no less).


Although beyond a week past, we wanted to share a few photos of our Thanksgiving this year.

We ended up having Thanksgiving twice, which seems to becoming the normal as we split up our time between two families. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house for half of Mary's side of the family (the other half of the family was unable to attend). It was a very pleasant and relaxed Thanksgiving; the Simrak's hosted a brunch in the morning where most of the family was able to get together and then over to our house for the afternoon and evening.

Jeremy had to work on Friday this year, but after work we all piled into the car and headed up to Jeremy's parents house. We spent the night there and had Thanksgiving again the next day with Jeremy's side of the family (short a few people who were too far away to travel).

The kids caught colds, Abbie had fevers during that time and everyone sacrificed a little bit of sleep, but we all immensely enjoyed being together with our extended families. Below are a few photos to prove it...

Mmmm ... coffee

Mmmm ... coffee

Waiting for pancakes

Playing with the blocks Jeremy used to play with

Emma helps Abbie...

Jaron and Grandpa

Friday, December 4, 2009

Abbie's Update

Abigail went in for her six month check up with the surgeon this week. It was a rather significant appointment since the surgeon would be able to tell how well the re-structuring of the bones took to their new shape. Overall, the report was good. The bones were smooth and she looks great. The shape of her head has rounded out a little bit from where it was placed, but the surgeon believes that it won't be significant enough to necesitate further surgeries. However, only time will tell.

Also, the surgeon recommend that we take her to an eye doctor to have them check her out again. He noticed, as Mary has over the past few months, that one of her eyes is not tracking along with the other. It's hard to say whether it is a significant issue until we talk with the doctor. The concern is that if she isn't seeing well out of that eye, her body will adjust to not using it and the muscle will shut down and not develop.

Also, Abigail had her evaluation with Early Intervention today. She is approved for physical therapy, which we hope to start within the next week or so. They say she is rated at 6 to 9 months for rolling over and crawling despite being a year old. They've given us some tips to help her. Her fine motor skills, however, are ahead of her age group. She knows how to stack blocks and fit round balls into round holes and square pegs in square holes.

We'll continue to post as new developments occur. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Abbie Turns One!

Our little baby girl has finally turned one! Where has the time gone?! Here are a few photos of her little party. At the bottom of the post we'll fill you in on what she's been up to and what we learned at her 12 month doctor visit...

She was more fascinated by the candle than with the cupcake.

Chomping down on her first piece of cake.

Gotta love a birthday cupcake!

She wasn't terribly agressive about opening her gifts. She would rather sit back and have someone do it for her.

The balloons were a hit with the kids. Jeremy and I would get them all in one corner of the living room and bounce them off their heads. Jaron and Abbie went crazy over that!

Abbie went in for her 12 month doctors appointment this morning; we were anxious to see what the doctor would say since Abbie has not yet started to crawl. It turns out that the doctor has diagnosed Abigail with Hypotonia. Hypotonia is a medical condition that causes low muscle tone and low strength; it is typically brought on by other disorders and diseases and cannot be considered a medical disorder by itself. It is basically a by-product of a list of other medical issues; on that list is Infant Botulism. Now, we don't know too much more then that except that the doctor urged us to start physical therapy for her as soon as possible. That will be done here in the home or we will go to a therapist for it - that has yet to be determined. We don't know the long term effects hypotonia will have on Abigail, if any. And we may not know for awhile.

Please pray that the Lord would find it pleasing to give Abigail the strength that she needs.

Her fine motor skills, however, are doing well! She grasps food well. She scoots around on her bottom. She waves bye-bye, gives kisses, gives high-five, claps her hands, sounds like she says "Dadda & Mamma", she's a great sleeper (two naps a day), a great eater with table food, she still nurses twice a day, and today she discovered her belly button. She seems to learn something new every day. She still has no teeth, does not like tummy time, does not roll over, does not stand on her feet well, but she's coming along and we pray that she will have increased strength in a short time. She is a tiny little thing. Her weight is only 18 lbs., which is in the 10th percentile for her age. She's only gained 2 lbs. since her last check-up, 3 months ago, but she's gaining consistently enough where there's no cause for concern. She's certainly eating well! Her height is also only in the 10th percentile.

We're so incredibly thankful for our little girl and can't imagine life without her. We love her so much. Yes, it's been a rough first year for her, but the Lord loves her even more than her parents do. That is quite evident, so we chose to put her life in His hands. God's will be done for Abigail Kathryn. Happy Birthday princess!