Friday, July 27, 2007

Emily's MRI Update

We took Em to Children's Hospital this morning for her brain MRI and it went better than expected. The staff there are incredible and helped us to all understand what was going to happen. The lady that worked with us was very sweet and really made over Em and kept her smiling.

Em had to be sedated for the procedure but they didn't need to poke her with any needles. Instead, they used a suppository-like method which worked like a charm. She fell asleep within just a couple of minutes and I carried her to the MRI room. They strapped her in and we were allowed to stay in the room with her the entire time.

With only a few more minutes of scanning to do, they came in to clip a meter to her toe when she started moving around a little and decided it was time for her to wake up. They pulled her out of the machine and she was bright-eyed and smiling big. I don't think they were expecting her to be so happy about waking up in there. ;-) We carried her back to her bed in the prep room and you would have never known she had been sedated. She was smiling, cooing, blowing raspberries and acting excited about seeing people. The lady told us to expect her to be a little drunken and loopy acting like how she was at the moment and we just had to laugh and tell her that was normal Emily! Heheh. They talked with the doctor who said they didn't need to sedate her again to finish the other test on the MRI... that he had enough to show what he needed.

We should get information on the results by the middle of next week. Thanks for praying for us! Your prayers were felt!

Take care and be blessed!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Of Potpies and Picnics...

We had a few more pictures to share with you... and I'm still waiting to get the videos off of Tom's laptop. Also, if you haven't seen it already, there's another new blog entry below about our family vacation that I just posted tonight but it's post-dated. Just scroll down a bit.

I'm having a hard time feeding Emily messy foods but I've been told that it might help her develop a better pincer grasp (using her thumb and first finger to pick small things up). The PT has said that things like applesauce (messy!), fruit (sticky!), mashed potatoes (again, messy!) would be great for her to try eating with her fingers instead of me feeding them to her on a spoon or fork. All I can think of is how much of that stuff will ooze into our carpets and walls when she gets excited and starts flailing her arms. I might as well just load up our ceiling fan blades with the stuff and turn it on high. I'm not so sure I can handle the stress of that no matter how good it might be for her. If someone insists that I do that, I just might have to permanently move her highchair to the back yard and turn the hose on her when she's done eating.

That being said, I did at least attempt giving her a little more free reign at eating lunch this week. She enjoys eating pot pies and they have most of the major food groups in one dish. She loved it and ate the whole pot pie in one sitting! Here is my attempt at letting her eat it with her hands... (Grandpa G. might have to scroll quickly past this picture!)

Since my summer vacation is starting to come to a close, I decided we needed to have at least one more picnic outside. This kid still LOVES to swing so I put her in our swing in the backyard while I set up the blanket with her high chair and food.

I bought some really yummy corn on the cob from a local farm market and decided to see what Emily would think of it. The corn wasn't exactly hot or even very warm by the time we got everything and everyone outside and frankly, Emily seemed to think a big yellow thing on her tray was kinda weird. I showed her how to take a bite of the corn off the cob and held it up to her mouth. It touched her lips and she pulled away with a bashful yet ornery grin. After that, it was hard to keep the corn on her tray. I guess she thought it was better to use it for her continual tests on the gravitational pull. I haven't seen her logbook yet, but she's got to have a lot of entries from those tests!

Although this picture looks like she's screaming for me to take the scary corn away she was actually in the middle of a silly squeal that was followed by a goofy, toothy grin.

Emily pays very close attention to everything around her and frequently looks at the leaves on the trees blowing in the breeze while we're in the house. Yesterday, she had the breeze in her face and still paused quite a few times during lunch to watch the leaves dance on the branches. She looked so pensive!

And, of course, a picnic isn't complete without an ant or two stopping by to share in the plunder. This once came around at the beginning of the picnic and stuck around for a while as he tried to figure out how to carry big bread crumb off of our blanket.

PS - Say a few prayers for us if you think about it on Friday morning (7/27). Emily is getting an MRI at Children's Hospital tomorrow on her head just so we can get any complications from her premature birth mapped out. She had a cerebral hemorrhage at birth which seems to be fairly common among kids born around 2 1/2 months early. With so little known about her birth history and what medical treatment she might have received, our pediatrician wanted to get an inside look to get an idea of how major or minor the bleed might have been and what problems it could potentially cause for us. She is to be prepped for the procedure around 8am and will need to be sedated for this.

Take care and be blessed!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Praying for Adoption Families

I just received word today that our adoption agency is having to raise fees for the Kazakhstan adoption program by another $500. Even though we've completed our process, we went through all sorts of fundraising efforts for over 2 years to raise enough money to bring Emily into our family. I remember how devastating this kind of news is for families that don't have money growing on the trees in the back yard. Keep your chins up and remember that God hasn't brought you this far to let your dreams of a family come crashing down! Press on, my friends. In the long run, $500 is sooo worth the extra sweat to bring that child into your homes.

Take care and be blessed! You continue to remain in my prayers!

We're baaack!

The Hypes' family has just returned from a week of family vacation in Townsend, Tennessee. Ryan and Emily hung out in the backseat for the 7 1/2 hour road trip. To help pass the time, Ryan watched a few movies and Emily watched Ryan. ;-) They both handled the long time in the car very well. We stopped pretty much our normal amount of times on the way there and it seemed to work out great for diaper changes, stretching the legs and kept us from going nuts. Fortunately, Emily has always liked riding in her carseat and is still very good at keeping herself entertained.

Ryan and Emily have been bonding a little more each weekend that he comes up to visit since we've come home from Kazakhstan, but seeing the bonding process over a solid week has been amazing! There were several times in the car or in the cabin that Ryan had Emily cracking up. She's a very smiley baby but doesn't do the gut-busting laughs very often. Ryan has become very proficient at producing those almost any time he wants now. It's obvious that she loves him very much and was thrilled when he played with her or made faces at her across the table or the backseat. I think watching the 2 of them playing together was the highlight of my trip and I certainly had sore cheeks several times from smiling and laughing at them so much.

And, yes, a few weeks later, she's still enjoying playing with socks (and chewing on them)!

While we were in Townsend we visited our favorite places and added in couple new places that might become favorites in the years to come. Tom's must see's include a stop at "Deadbeat Pete's", a local restaurant that serves mostly burgers and Mexican food and "The Back Porch", which is another local restaurant that features breakfasts, soups, sandwiches, etc. He also likes to stop at the Townsend Visitors center to look at the gifts, artwork and souvenirs as it helps him switch into vacation mode a little easier. Our family also takes several trips through Cades Cove every year. This year, we took 2 trips as a family and I got up at sunrise another morning and took a solo trip through the cove. There is quite a bit of wildlife to be seen each trip... mostly deer, a few turkeys and this year we saw our first bear family in the the cove. There are also some old log cabins that you can walk through and about 3 or 4 one-room churches.

Our vacation overlapped for a few days with our friends Scott and Carrie, who were in Townsend celebrating their 1st anniversary. We met up on Tuesday for lunch at a BBQ place and then toured each others' cabins. We hung out at ours for a while so Emily could catch a nap and then drove to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for some supper at Huck Finn's and a go-cart ride. It was nice to spend a few days with friends in such a relaxed environment!

We drove back to Gatlinburg a few days later for lunch at the new Bubba Gump's restaurant and a trip to the "Aquarium in the Smokies" and really enjoyed it. This will probably become something we do each year or at least every other. I took Emily in the backpack carrier and she was able to see everything and it made walking the streets and the aquarium really easy. I would not have wanted to try walking around all those people with a stroller, it would have been very frustrating and we wouldn't have had as much fun.

Later in the week, we picked a nice rainy day to visit the local Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend. We loaded Emily up in the backpack carrier again and hiked down in the caves for a tour. Aside from Ryan smacking his noggin on the rocks on his way
down into the cavern we had a great time. The guide said there were 87 steps down... which meant 87 steps back up... and 4 days later my knees are still angry with me.

On Sunday, we visit Church of the Cove which is also a family standard for any time we happen to be in the area. We enjoy their worship service and this Sunday, the youth group did the service as they had just gotten back from a mission trip the night before and were excited to share their trip with the congregation.

Oh, and our cabin had a hot tub with it and Ryan and I were in it nearly every day. Tom and Emily joined in a couple of days (after we turned the temperature WAY down!)

And, to our fans reading the blog... the after we got home, Emily and I had some errands to run to return some movies to the library and get some groceries and such. We ran across a lot of family and friends... some new friends at our store (The Shepherd's Nook) that have been following our blog, Joyce (Laura's mom) at Hobby Lobby, our friends, Jeanie, Susie, Betsy and Lizzie at the library, and Karen and Aunt Kris at the grocery store. It was so good to meet/see everyone after our trip and just as I'm winding down my summer vacation before going back to work.

I will try to post some cute videos soon of the kids playing together in the backseat but at the moment all the videos are on Tom's laptop which is with him at work!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Peek-a-Boo Teeth!

Last Thursday Emily decided it would be nice to add 2 more teeth to her collection. She added one more to the top and another to the bottom and was a wee bit cranky about the whole ordeal. I'll just say I made more than a couple sippy cups laced with baby Tylenol over about 4 days.

Emily has really learned to enjoy a good game (or is it a match ?) of peek-a-boo. The object involved doesn't really seem to matter either. She will play with my hat over her head as in the video below. She will play with an airy afghan at Grandma & Grandpa's house (even though she can see perfectly well through the holes/gaps in the afghan). And, she will play peek-a-boo around Daddy's laptop screen while Daddy is working... especially if he isn't paying direct attention to her. If you listen really closely in the video you will hear my favorite part of the game... Emily cracking herself up when she's "hiding".

In the physical therapy realm, Em's physical therapist continues to be amazed at her progress. We continue to take her to PT once a week and she's doing great. We've been told we will probably continue to have setbacks each time Emily has a growth spurt but with continued stretching and hard work she can keep moving foward. I'm not sure how many PT sessions we have to go yet but I know they're planning on using/needing at least as many as our insurance will cover. And, I'm happy to say that along the way I'm learning a lot of things that we can do to keep Emily moving forward when those visits run out.

In other news, we're also beginning to help Emily learn boundaries. Now that she is crawling all over the place and pulling herself up along the furniture we're trying to teach her NOT to touch the TV or the buttons on the entertainment system. Occasionally she gets it and occasionally she thinks we're playing games with her. She's already beginning to get the rebellious teenager look on her face as she dares us to come pull her away before she races to pull herself up and push the buttons... sheesh, this is going to be "fun" over the next 16 years. I'm afraid we might be in for an experience!
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