Sunday, July 31, 2011

My next Half Marathon

Today I registered for my next Half Marathon. I am running the Life Without Limits Half this October in Florence, AL. This race is very similar to the Race Without Limits that takes place in the spring and benefits Nathan's and Owen's UCP group. This race benefits UCP of North Alabama. I am excited to be running for such a great cause. And now the training begins!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Bell Center Tailgate Challenge

Nathan and Owen started at the Bell Center 4 weeks ago. They absolutely love it. They are just so excited to be in circle time with their friends. During circle time they sing songs, read books and get to pull a picture with their face on it off the board. After circle time the boys are seen by a therapist that works individually with them. Right now they are only going once a week but will be up to twice a week when they start fall session in September.

On Saturday, August 27th the Bell Center will be holding their annual Tailgate Challenge Fundraiser at Sloss Furnace. (Only 10% of their operating cost is through tuition, leaving 90% to fundraising.) This event is a fun way to celebrate and anticipate the upcoming college football season. Everyone will enjoy tastes of tailgating food at various team tents as well as BBQ provided by Jim N’ Nicks. It will be an afternoon of music, kid friendly events and team rivalry.

We would love for you to join us for the fun, exciting day. You can get your tickets to the event directly from us. They are $15 per person and $5 for children under 10.

Fire Pole Park

Logan has always loved playing at Overton Park, or has he calls it Fire Pole Park. This morning we met Jonathan and his son Andrew for a play date. Jonathan is a professor at Samford with Preston. Logan and Andrew had a fun time together. While they were playing Nathan and Owen took time to swing. They loved it. Later Logan joined with them. Nathan especially loved it when his big brother was pushing him. Logan spent a lot of time in the creek and came home soaking yet.
It was a great morning with the family.

Welcome SmeeSmoff and Swish Swish

On Friday Logan, Nathan, Owen and I headed to the pet store to find some fish. Owen loves watching the fish so much on the Baby Einstein video that I thought it would be good to have some real fish at our house. Logan was also very excited about the idea of getting his own pet. Finding fish turned out to be quite an adventure. The first pet store we went to only had a ferret, snakes, chinchilla, and hamsters. The second one we went to...well there were no pets because it is now closed. At the third pet store we found a plethora of fish to choose. The boys looked over all the fish and we ended up with two beta. Since these fish seem to be pretty hardy I thought they might work well in our home. (Let's just say we don't always have the best luck with fish. While in China neither Dorothy 1 nor Dorothy 2 lasted more than 8 hours). Logan picked out the tanks for he and his brothers too. On our drive home Logan decided he would name his fish SmeeSmoff and I decided we would name Nathan's and Owen's Swish Swish because that is the sound the fish makes in speech therapy. SmeeSmoff is living in Logan's room and Swish Swish is living in our play room. Last night Nathan was very excited to see Swish Swish and almost pulled his tank right off the fire place mantle. So far, we have had our fish 29 hours and they seem to be doing really well.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

cochlear implants: MRI and CT Scan

On Wednesday morning Preston, Nathan and I were up at Children's Hospital at 6:00 am for Nathan to have his MRI and CT Scan. Since Nathan is still young he had to do his testing with the use of general anesthesia and IV. Our journey started at Same Day Surgery but this time it was only for a couple of minutes. Once they had everything ready we moved down to the CT Scan room where we met the anesthesiologist and the rest of the nursing team. After they took him in they showed us to the MRI waiting room, told us it would be about 1 1/2 hours, and suggested we head to the cafeteria for some breakfast. It was nice to be able to eat breakfast in the cafeteria because every other time we are there in Same Day Surgery we have a hospital room and at least one of us have to be in there at all times. We have eaten lots of breakfast at Children's and were looking forward to our favorites: yogurt, fruit and granola parfait for me and biscuits and gravy for Preston. About 1 1/2 hours after we said goodbye to Nathan for his testing the anesthesiologist came and told us everything went well. About 10 minutes later we were able to go to MRI recovery to see him. He was not in the best mood but did like it when I was able to hold him. Just a few minutes later we were able to take him home. All in all this was a short trip to Children's, only lasting about 3 1/2 hours. The MRI and CT Scans will be read in the next few days. When we hear what was found during the reading, I will post it.

Special thanks to my parents for keeping Owen for us and Preston's Mom and Mr. B for keeping Logan.

Nathan preparing for testing.Nathan on his ride home.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Look, I can do it myself!

Nathan and Owen work very hard in therapy every day and are making great progress. One of Nathan's newest accomplishments is to be able to kneel and play with this toy all by himself. He is very proud of himself and we are very proud of him. This weekend I was looking at toys specifically for kids with CP. Every time we play we are actually doing therapy, they just don't know it. I like to take advantage of every moment I can in helping to improve their progress. I was very excited when I came across the website I was like a kid in a candy store looking at all the wonderful things I could buy for them. But, I am going to have to pace myself...not only for my wallet but also so they don't become overwhelmed.

cochlear implants: beginning the journey

After a year of audiology testing and speech therapy, we have been advised and agree that Nathan will need cochlear implants. We are now starting our cochlear candidacy process, a process that will take several months. Our desire is that Nathan would be implanted in mid to late November but there are so many things to be done, that may not be likely. Please pray that he would be able to go through the process quickly so we could meet our desired time. The sooner Nathan can have his procedure, the better for him. He is classified as having severe loss, which FDA requires a child to be two before they can be implanted with severe loss. His high pitches and low pitches are in the profound loss area of hearing but it just happens the area the FDA looks at are Nathan's best areas. A very positive thing for Nathan is that his auditory nerve is being stimulated right now with the sounds he can hear. This is not always the case with children with such a great hearing loss. On Wednesday, Nathan will go to Children's Hospital for an MRI and CT Scan of his inner ear. His doctors will need to determine if his anatomy is correct in his inner ear for the implant. Since Nathan is so young, he will be put under general anesthesia and have an iv, just like with a normal surgery. Please pray for him on Wednesday. I will continue to keep an update as we go through the steps of the process. We are also beginning to look at our options for which brand implant we would like for Nathan. One of our concerns early on is that he would not be able to appreciate music, something that is so important to Preston and I. With the advancements in technology we discovered through our reading that the implant companies are working hard to make music enjoyment a priority for their implants. One of the ones we looked at even has a music setting and provide lots of activities to do with your child for music listening therapy. These implants are also designed to be upgraded, so Nathan will be able to gain the benefit of all the new technologies that become available.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Space and Rocket Center

Friday morning we headed to Huntsville to the Space and Rocket Center. My nephew Evan was able to join us and then come back to Birmingham and spend the weekend with us. Logan has loved being with Evan. The Cooks also joined us for the trip, as well as my brother. Logan was so excited to go he woke up at 5:45 and asked if it was time to go.Owen and Nathan loved seeing everything while playing with their trays full of toys.Nathan held his own sippy cup!The kids loved this ride and went on it over and over and over.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


As we headed home from Cooper's birthday party we decided to get some fresh fruit. At first we thought of going to a road side stand, but then I remembered there are tons of U-picks in Chilton County. We went to a farm about 15 miles off the interstate that had peaches, figs, nectarines, and blackberries (though sadly the blackberries were all gone by this time). We spent some time picking figs and peaches. All three of the boys loved it. They also really enjoyed seeing some of the animals on the farm (chickens, horses, pigs, alpaca and quails).

Cooper's 1st birthday party

Today we were in Enterprise for Cooper's first birthday party. His party was barnyard animal themed. Because of the rain the party was moved from the park to Ranae and Philip's house. Everyone had a wonderful time. Cooper enjoyed eating his birthday cake.Logan enjoyed pretending his was a duck. He also loved eating a cow off the main birthday cake.Nathan the horse is playing in his exersaucer.
Owen enjoyed spending some time on Oma's lap.
Owen the duck had fun riding around on Daddy's shoulders for a while.

Swimming Lessons

Logan really enjoyed swimming lessons this past week with Miss Em. This was his second year to take from her. He is not swimming on his own yet, but he has made a lot of improvements.

Playing together

On Friday morning the boys played together so nicely. It was a little glimpse of the future. They pretended Logan was the train conductor and he drove the three of them in Thomas. They went through a bumpy area and Nathan and Owen thought it was great. It was so fun to see them enjoying their pretend time together.

After they were done playing in Thomas they sat up their chairs to pretend they were riding in the Little Einsteins rocket.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


We had the best time swimming this morning. All four of us loved it and felt like we were having a normal summer. I have not gone to the Homewood pool because I don't think I can safely watch three non-swimming children. This morning Sarah invited us over to Bill and Suzanne's to go swimming. Sarah helped me get everyone in the pool. Since it was a small group in a backyard pool I did not have to worry about not being able to reach all of my children at one time. Logan had a good time playing, jumping in and doing a little swimming with my assistance. Nathan and Owen absolutely loved the water and stayed in the pool for about an hour and a half.

I have been wanting to get Nathan and Owen in the pool to see how they liked the water. I figured if they liked the water it would be a good to get them into Lakeshore to do some water therapy/ swimming. After swimming and before swimming lessons for Logan we went to Panera, or France as Logan calls it for lunch. Logan got a special treat!!