Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Silly Cranky Girl

Just a fun story to share...

Last night I was sitting in the big-butt chair and playing with Emily. She decided to get a little feisty with me and was acting a little cranky. I plainly stated that cranky little girls weren't allowed to sit in my chair with me and if she was going to act that way she needed to get down. I then asked, "Are you done being cranky?" To which she looked up at me with puppy dog eyes, shook her head and said, "nooooo" (in a really cute voice).

What's a mom to do in times like this except hug her cranky little girl, chuckle to herself and post it on her blog. ;-D

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today at Children's Hospital

Emily had an appointment this afternoon with Dr. Batley at Children's Hospital. We've been anxiously awaiting this appointment. Dr. Batley works in the Physical Medicine Clinic at Children's and her job was to diagnose why Emily is still struggling with flexibility and mobility after a year and a half of therapy.

The appointment went really well and once again I am highly impressed with the staff at Children's and how friendly and caring they are. Emily tends to be shy around new people at first but they all interacted with her and at one point when we were scheduling our next appointment, Em sneaked into one of the doctor's offices and grabbed her by the hand to walk her down the hall and show her some toys (and the doctor very kindly obliged to Emily's request)!

Dr. Potts met with us first and we shared what we knew of Em's birth history and what we've learned from PT and Speech Therapy so far. After she gathered some information and watched Emily run up and down the hall with me a few times, she brought in Dr. Batley to join us. Dr. Batley was very sweet with Emily and answered any questions we had.

Long story short... Emily has been officially diagnosed with a mild form of Cerebral Palsy called Spastic Diplegia. If you're interested in learning more, here's a website I found this evening that explains quite a bit of the same information that Dr. Batley explained to me this afternoon.

While some kids with cerebral palsy are given braces to wear to help with walking, Dr. Batley didn't feel this would benefit Emily because her left foot in particular doesn't have a full range of flexibility without quite a bit of discomfort. She is recommending a Botox injection to help with treatment.

Fortunately, Em's PT has mentioned this type of treatment to me in the past so I didn't laugh out loud when they told me about it. The point of Botox for CP treatment is that it should help the tense muscles relax so the weaker muscles can start building back up.

I'm still in the research process at this time to make sure there are no weird side effects or anything to this treatment and if all goes well, we are scheduled to get Em's first Botox injection in mid-November. She gets checked 3 weeks after that to see how things are coming along. If it appears to be working, she'll get a shot every 3 mos. until she seems better or until we notice that it's no longer being effective.

We've been told by Dr. Batley, our physical therapist and our pediatrician that there's every reason to believe that with proper treatment, Emily will lead a normal, productive life and there's a good shot that by about age 6 her symptoms will be barely noticeable (if at all).

While this whole thing may sound like sad news to some, we're happy to hear there's a reason for what's going on. It's nice to know what's going on and what we can do about it. We're praying that we qualify for BCMH funding to help pay for Em's continued physical therapy and speech therapy and any other treatments that aren't covered by our insurance.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Loves of her life...

Emily LOVES exploring...

Lately it's involved looking through her dresser drawers and bringing me shirts, shorts, and pajamas one piece at a time. This week she found the next drawer up... the one with all the "hair pretties" in it. She brought out a couple of sandwich baggies full of barrettes, clips, etc. And better yet, she actually pushed for me to put one after the other in her hair. I think we ended up with over 30 in her hair and she kept them in for at least 30 minutes. A new record!

Emily LOVES her daddy.

After letting me put a thousand barrettes in her hair, Emily decided to try on some of Daddy's shoes. She decided they were very "Biiiiiii(g)" and heavy and didn't even try taking off with them.

Emily LOVES babies!

Our friends, Keith and Jessica, came over on Friday night with their kids Jonas and Kael. Emily was thrilled. She loves pointing our Kael in her picture album that travels with us in her diaper bag and on Friday she got to meet Kael's baby brother for the first time. She was so gentle with him and couldn't seem to plant enough kisses on him.

Emily LOVES her RyRy!

After church today, we all seemed to crash at the house. Emily woke up a bit early from her nap and was happy to find her big brother, Ryan, napping on the couch. She held off as long as she could (about 30 seconds) and then crawled up on the couch and sat on top of him so she could be closer to him. She REALLY loves her RyRy (and I think the feeling's mutual).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Status Report...

I haven't included much of an update on Em's development lately. So, for the record, here ya go!

Em continues to grow and is catching up on the growth charts at the pediatrician's office. She weighs a little over 26 1/2 pounds and is around 31 inches tall. She's still a tiptoe walker and is still receiving physical therapy once a week for tightness in her legs and trunk.

Emily had a speech assessment when she was 26 mos. old and while she was assessed as being at 30 mos. in language comprehension, she was only at 11 mos. in verbal language. Even though she's one smark cookie, she was listed as being "severely delayed" in verbal language and it was recommended that she receive speech therapy once a week for a year in order to help correct this.

She's now 27 mos. old and has had visits to speech therapy. At this point, I'm frustrated with the results... while speech therapy for toddlers is considered play-based, it seems that all we're doing at speech therapy is the play part right now. Emily hasn't quite warmed up to the speech therapist yet and she's not one to talk on command.

As of today, Emily is very fond of saying: Josh, uh-oh, What is that?, What is this?, cheese, whoa, and she's been experimenting quite a bit lately with "bi..." as in the first half of word "big".

She'll also throw in a small dose of: mom-mom, dada, and Are you ready?

She loves to, swing, play on the slide, play with her alphabet puzzles, build tall towers, blow bubbles, wrestle with Daddy, pet and hug our cat, and staying at Grandma and Papa's. She likes to tease her family, look at picture books and play with her new friend, Alexis, at the babysitter's.

She's become a picky eater over the past couple of months. She loves raisins, strawberries, grapes, peaches, plums, mandarin oranges, apples, and bananas and will turn her head away and say "Na" to most melon, and pineapple. In the vegetable category, her favorites at the moment are peas, lima beans, corn, mashed potatoes, and french fries or smiley fries (if those can technically be classified as vegetables). She turns her nose up at carrots, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and other semi-crunchy veggies.

She will gladly eat cheese slices, peanut butter crackers, chipped ham, fish sticks, and the occasional chicken nugget although not a favorite. She loves cereal, pop-tarts, milk and a variety of juices. And, Grandpa has introduced her to the joy of ice cream, cookies, and other treats.

Em likes to help around the house. She likes to help clean the table after she's done eating and helps push a lightweight sweeper around the house. She gladly puts away her toys when asked, loves taking a bath and loves brushing her teeth.

We have a large foam alphabet puzzle on the floor in Emily's bedroom, a wooden alphabet puzzle and a Leap Pad magnetic alphabet toy. We bought these because she tends to like playing with letters. We have played with these toys for quite a while and never tried to drill into her the letter names. If I ask her to bring me a certain letter, she can identify all the letters in the puzzles most of the time. Every now and then she gets them mixed up, but sheesh, she's just barely over 2 years old. ;-) She can also identify quite a few shapes if I ask her for them (rectangle, circle, square, triangle, half-circle, moon and sometimes even the pentagon, and hexagon).

On most days, Emily is still very easy going and well-behaved. She still loves her big brother and her family and her pets. Life is good.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Vacation Pix and Spaghetti

We were on vacation last week in Hessel, Michigan. It's in the Les Cheneaux Islands in the Upper Peninsula. Here are some pictures from the week....

You know how you take a camera with you somewhere and you forget to get it out? Oops... my camera was neglected for a couple of days until I felt like playing with the settings late one evening. There's an awesome nighttime setting that lets me play with shutter speed. We really didn't have astroids falling to earth that night, but it turned out to make a cool picture!

Another fun one on the dock at night.

Emily made friends with the kitty in the window and
checked for it each time she passed the window.

Emily loved playing in the driveway that ran in
front of our cabins. Rocks/stones are her favorites!

A typical day in Hessel, Michigan... doing a whole lot of nothing.

The shirt and the grin say it all!

The ramp to the office was a big
highlight of the week for Miss Em!

Forgive me Ryan, but it looks like you've got one
killer disco move going on here. Seriously though,
great job! Your practicing is really paying off!

Are you supposed to be able to bend that way?

My favorite time of day in Michigan -- dawn.

Couldn't miss posting a picture
of those cute little piggies!

An annual picture for me when I make it up to Hessel... Sunset on the Lake.

And, last but not least... not a vacation picture but a fun shot from supper tonight. Emily enjoys spaghetti and has an interesting technique. Bite the BIIIIG noodle in the middle, then eat little, itty-bitty bites of each side until it's all gone.

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