Friday, May 31, 2013

My Sweet Little's Visit to Cincinnati Children's Medical Center

Yes, that's my sweet Little...with a pink bubble wand in his mouth.  He loves bubbles, and they kept him occupied as he waited for his medical appointments at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center yesterday.  I want to publicly thank all of my friends that have asked about him, called me, and sent texts checking on how he doing.  We learned a great deal yesterday, and I truly feel as if we are on the right track...finally!

The wonderful GI doctor spent one and a half hours yesterday, sitting face to face with me, talking about Little Kian's eating difficulties.  He listened and he HEARD.  I think this may be the first time that a doctor, other than his super-fantastic pediatrician, has actually really listened to my concerns.  As many of you know, Little Kian does not eat solid foods.  He only drinks.  We work hard every day to get 8 oz. of a beefed-up, super high calorie, Pediasure-like drink down him...360 calories to be exact.  Then, when he sleeps at night, I set my alarm to wake up at 11:00 and 2:00 to try to get more Pediasure down him.  Usually, he is so groggy that he takes it, but sometimes he doesn't...leaving him to consume only about 360 calories a day.  I just worry about the little guy all of the time, and I haven't really seen a specialist (until yesterday) that has been able to construct a plan for improvement.  Our last specialist called him a "success story" simply because we have avoided a feeding tube.  Ugh.

Now however, we have a plan.  Kian has been experiencing some oral sensory issues.  After lengthy discussion with the GI doctor yesterday, he believes we should have a thorough Occupational Therapy evaluation to try to discover if Kian's problems are related to his dislike of the way foods feel in his mouth.  If the OT believes the sensory issues are minor, the doctor advised that he preform another scope to detect the increase/decrease of inflammation in his esophagus.   On the other hand, if there are significant sensory concerns, he wants Kian to complete several weeks of OT sessions and then reevaluate our action plan based upon his improvement or lack of improvement.  Our OT evaluation is Monday, and I am excited to get the ball rolling!  Thank you all so much for your prayers this week!!!  It means the world to us!  Please continue to keep Little in your prayers.  I was a bit scared/upset/crazy-frightened to learn that if Kian were to completely stop drinking the beefed-up formula, we would have to play on an entirely different ball field...It would be feeding tube time.  (Insert crying-out-of-control-mommy-face here)  We don't want that!  So we shall continue setting the alarm for 11:00 and 2:00 and praying for the best!

Having a plan now has definitely been the highlight of the week.  However, there are several other highlights worth mentioning!

1.  School is out today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2.  Big Daddy (my dad) has had a few great days lately.  My sister was kind enough to stay with my dad so my mom could go with me and the rowdy kiddos to Cincinnati!  I think she had a good time!

3.  Granny took Cav and Airlie to the zoo while Little Kian and I went to the doctor.  Cavan and Airlie got to pet turtles and snakes at the zoo, and they saw a baby gorilla named Gladys.  They were VERY excited.  Thank goodness Little was asleep when they were telling me all about their exciting day!  He wouldn't have wanted to be left out.

4.   We took a nice walk together on the riverfront.  I love spending time together.  My family is the icing on my cupcake, the sparkle in my diamond, the sunshine in my day...

Cavan LOVED this fancy boat that was floating on the river.

Cavan is going to regret making silly faces in all of my pictures someday.

The sweetest little loves I know!

Thanks again for your prayers!  Love to you all!

Stacy, Stay-At-Home Mom for the Summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Nine Month Anniversary to Us!

It's our nine month (and one day) anniversary as a family of five!  Chris and I were talking last night about how well Airlie walked into our lives, claiming her place in our family, and demanding her equal rights!  She was the perfect fit for a family with two boys!  God knows what He is doing, I must say.  I can't imagine life without her.  Compared to the boys, she has a minimum of 50,000 more words every day than they do.  She keeps me posted on the day's events, when Cavan will simply answer, "It was a good day."  She tells me all about what makes her teacher, Miss Shelia, happy and sad, who was in time out, and who was a good helper.  She talks about painting and playing with water.  She talks about what she wants for supper and how yummy it is.  She talks about what she wants to play in the bathtub, what she wants to read, how she wants us to do things, and who she wants to see.  She talks about her June 20th birthday and how much she loves Strawberry Shortcake.  She has long conversations with herself at night, when the lights go out and everyone else is trying to go to sleep.  When the solo night conversation gets old, she then bursts into her favorite song, "Jesus love-ed Airlie," and sings it over and over.  You get the point...SHE TALKS!  Her little mind is busy all of the time.  It rarely rests, and in the process, we are all entertained by simply watching her work.

She is planning quite a birthday celebration.  She has talked about it so much that I had to order (two months in advance) her supplies.  Who knows if the Strawberry Shortcake plates, cups, napkins, and hats will even be usable by June 20th.  She shows her display of birthday supplies to everyone that comes to visit.  I dare you to stop by and see!  It's funny!  I kind of feel sorry for her because she has been waiting for her big day for so very long.  Cavan's 5th birthday came in January, and he had a superhero party.

 Then in February, Little Kian celebrated his 2nd birthday with a Sesame Street party.

In March and April, Chris and I had our birthdays.  Sweet, lively Airlie is just waiting for her turn.  She will be four, and she can't WAIT!

As we travel on life's road, I am reminded of Hebrews 12:1-2.  It says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."  Fixing our eyes on Jesus.  I LOVE that part.  Keeping our eyes on the ETERNAL, not the here-and-now.  Life is not about the fancy clothes, high priced dinners, parties to impress neighbors, houses in exclusive neighborhoods, elaborate vacations, or expensive cars.  Life is about pursuing HIM, the author and finisher of our faith.  Fixing our eyes on HIM.  When our eyes are fixed on HIM, none of the other things matter.  It's all washed away, and our goal is creating a life that reflects Jesus. 

When I leave this world, my desire is that people will recall NOT how I lived, but how CHRIST lived through me.  When I gaze into the precious eyes of my three beautiful gems, when I hear their laughter and experience their sheer joy, when I feel their breath on my face, I just pray that I am being the parent that God created me to be.  I pray that I can teach them to keep their eyes fixed on HIM, changing the world for His glory.

Yes, Airlie is happy.  Experiencing life with her is a blast.  Knowing the opportunities God has in store for her is incredibly promising.  Once was a hungry child with only a shirt on her back, feet traipsing through urine laden floors every look at her...

I have probably written these thoughts before, but I feel led to write them again.  We go to bed daily with satisfied stomachs, a fluffy mattress, and our families safe under one roof.  As Americans, we typically have all we need.  I can say, with 100% certainty, SHARING our wealth with someone who has nothing...someone who is hungry...someone with no pants...someone with no shoes...someone that wanders aimlessly through a house of nothingness daily...someone with no bedtime kisses...someone with no family...BLESSES US MORE THAN WE CAN EVER IMAGINE!  SHE, my friends, is the blessing to us.  I wish everyone could experience how beautiful life is with Airlie!  We can't imagine life without her.  Fixing our eyes on Jesus moves God's people to help children like Airlie.  Her smile is a blessing worth far more than any fancy house, car, dinner, or vacation.  I would do it all again 1,000 times.  These precious children are GOD'S CHILDREN, and they are worth it! 


The Little Bug, still going strong, living the undercover superhero lifestyle of CRASH!

The Love Bug, who has recently decided it is embarrassing for mom to cheer for him or for his friends at t-ball games!

The happiest, sweetest little China Bug you will ever meet!