Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Vacation Day 36

Today I turned 33. I think Logan was more excited than me. It's not that I am not excited, he is just really excited. He loves when anyone has a birthday. Preston spoiled me this morning with a pancake breakfast and two wonderful gifts (2 massages gift certificate and session 3 of Everwood). I had a fun relaxing day with the family followed by some yummy Korean food for dinner.

Nathan had CI mapping today. Mapping takes quite a while because they work on each electrode. It is all based on his reaction. We spent a little over an hour on all of them. They were turning Nathan up significantly higher, which I was very pleased with because he has not been responding to voices much lately. As we were packing up to leave Nathan just flipped out. He started crying really hard and got so angry he was shaking. We took off the implant. It took several minutes to calm him down. We put the implant back on and he was fine for a few minutes then he started crying really hard again. We took it off and went to the waiting room to see if a new environment would help or if the noise of the waiting room would be too much (better to test everything before we leave). Well, the waiting room did not go well. We went back and they set his new map in the middle of where he was and where they had set him during the appointment. This is still a louder map than the one we came in on. They also set his other 3 presets to gradually get louder and louder- getting close to the optimal map. If the transition goes smoothly we will go back in 3 months for updated mapping. They also turned off the 12th electrode because they think it is outside the cochlea and causes too much facial twitching making all the other electrodes be set too low in order for that one to not be too high. It is amazing how so many things are all interlinked. Please pray for Nathan that he does well on his new map and we can work through the others so we can go louder and louder. He has not had tons of loud sound stimulation in his life so it may be that he just does not like sound. Obviously we need to work through this. Please pray for this process to go smoothly and quickly.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Vacation Day 35

This morning we headed to the Rave and saw Happy Feet 2. Logan and Owen loved it. Nathan was not as find of it as the loud noises really scared him and made him cry. Not the entire time, but a little. It was a cute movie and free, so time well spent!

This afternoon we took Russ and met the Cooks at the pool for a few hours. We had tons of fun. Logan is really starting to take to the water! It has been a long time coming but he is really enjoying it now!

Nathan has cochlear implant mapping tomorrow. Please pray that they are able to improve on his map tomorrow to give him the best audibility possible and that he would start making even greater strides in his listening and speech.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Vacation Day 34

We have been waiting for weeks to go and see Mr Eric, author of Pete the Cat. Logan loves this book and Nathan and Owen enjoy it too. We were only introduced to the books about a month ago when one of our speech therapist, Kelli, sent it home for us to read. She really loved the bright colors, songs, etc. This morning Mr Eric read two of his books, sang lots of songs and just have a spectacular overall show. Nathan danced in my lap during all the guitar and harmonica songs. Owen happily sat in my lap and then sat between Logan and I for part of the program too. After the show we bought a copy of our favorite book, "I love my white shoes" and a small stuffed Pete the Cat.

This afternoon we went to Homewood Pool with our friends Raegan and Liky Kate. The kids all had a great time! We can't wait to swim with them again!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Vacation Day 32

Today we attended our 3rd annual Brookwood NICU reunion. It was great to see lots of our nurses and respiratory therapists. Of course we loved seeing our good friend Mason. The place was packed, most kids younger than Nathan and Owen. Logan had a great time too. He played games and had his face painted. He also got a bag full of goldfish before we left.

This evening we went to my parents house for dinner. Logan, Cooper, Nathan and Owen had a great time running around and around their house in a chasing game. It was so fun to see the four of them playing so nicely together. My Mom was able to get a picture with her grandchildren. I am glad Ranae and Cooper were able to come up for the weekend.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Vacation Day 31

This morning we walked to the pool. It was so nice and refreshing. All of us really enjoyed playing together. Logan especially like going in the really deep end with Preston.

This evening we went to my parent's house to celebrate lots of birthday. Russ birthday is today, mine Thursday and my sister the following Monday. We had tons of fun together. Logan especially enjoyed playing with Cooper.


Are you counting your blessings?

I googled blessings and this is what it came up with:
1) you are literate
2) you can manage your money and bills
3) you have working faculties
4) you are not disabled
5) you are not incarcerated
6) you are not poor or broke
7) you live in a safe community
8) you have good credit
9) you earn decent wages
10) you have your dream job
...and the list continues on.

Now what does the Bible say about blessings:
1) blessed are the poor in spirit
2) blessed are those who mourn
3) blessed are the meek
4) blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
5) blessed are the merciful
6) blessed are the poor in heart
7) blessed are the peacemakers
8) blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness
9) blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

It's amazing to me the difference in the two different thoughts on blessings. Preston and I have noticed lately just how shallow the word blessings is used. In commenting on my experience with the world's definition on blessings I find them very far away from God's true blessings. I have met some people in the jungle of Ecuador who have nothing and are not able to read, but they know God with a joy like no other. They are blessed. I know people in Honduras that have no money to pay their bills. They are blessed. I know two incredible little boys who are so filled with joy and love, yet are 2 1/2 yrs old and can't sit up. They are blessed. Paul was in prison for his teachings on Jesus. He was blessed. There are so many people all over the world with nothing. A poverty we can't comprehend. They are blessed. Blessings from God have nothing to do with money. I know missionaries living in dangerous parts of the world. They are blessed. So many people around the world don't have a dream job or much money. They are blessed. Blessings are not defined as the world defines them. The world is pretty much counter in every area of the Bible. The greatest blessing is to honor and glorify God in our lives.

One of my favorite songs is Laura Story's "blessings". If you have not heard it I encourage you to look it up. Some of the lines that speak so powerfully to me are: "we pray for blessings, we pray for peace. Comfort for family, protection while we sleep. We pray for healing, for prosperity. We pray for your mighty hand to ease our suffering. All the while You hear each spoken need. Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things." (just a great reminder of how God has such great things prepared for us and what we ask for and think we want is no comparison to what He wants for us). Later on it goes to say, "What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise". This phrase always reminds me of Nathan, Owen and Mia. The trials of Nathan and Owen are great. They have and will continue to have a great demand of needs for quite a while but all the therapy, surgeries, doctor appointments "the trials" are more than worth the it to experience the blessing of life with them. We have experienced God on a much deeper level. The trial of Mia's death was very painful but I feel it was God's mercy to her to let her be home with Him. We will get to see her for all eternity and she never had to suffer here. Further on in the song she writes, "...we know that pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our home. It's not our home". Just a great phrase to remind me that eternity with Him is what matters and all this is temporary.

I am blessed to have an ever deepening walk with God. I am blessed he chose to use me in the lives of Logan, Nathan, Mia and Owen. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband to grow closer to God with each day. I am blessed by the trials He has given me for they have brought me closer to Him. How are you counting your blessings?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Vacation Day 30

Since we had a day completely free of appointments we went to the zoo this morning. All three boys loved the splash area. It was fun to see all three of them running through the fountains with the other kids. After about one hour of water play we headed to the big barn to look at some animals. Both Nathan and Owen petted goats. Logan loved playing on the tractor. Logan also enjoyed learning about the Corn Snake.

After lunch Logan and I met his friend Caroline and her mom, Erin, at Pump It Up. They had so much fun jumping, playing air hockey and the cyclone tunnel together. After we went to Snow Biz and enjoyed some shaved ice. I think it may become a frequent stop as we travel down 31.

Before bed time Preston read "Big Red Barn" to the boys using all there animal figures. They loved it! I also found an iPad app for interactive Mickey Mouse episodes. Owen LOVES it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Vacation Day 29

I was not able to post yesterday because my iPhone was not working well.

Logan completed Art Camp today. He did a great job on all his art work and I am so proud of him. I don't think we will do Sips N Strokes art camp again because the owner of the Vestavia location was quite rude. I am looking forward to Logan being old enough to do art camp at Dawson.

Nathan is making great progress in his walker. We spend time each morning and he takes two complete laps around the house before getting really tired. Today he stood and smiled for me to get his picture after his laps.