Monday, April 29, 2013

Children are a gift from the Lord!

        This little boy is amazing (in case I haven't mentioned it enough)!  Two days after having bilateral casting and his heel cord cut, he was crawling like a pro and managed to pull himself into the toy box.  Now almost a week later he successfully got into his (little tikes) car on his own (this was a huge frustration for him all week b/c he typically spends much of the day climbing in and out of the car).  This morning he put some weight on one of his feet, trying to stand.  I really did not believe it was possible for him to stand on them at this point, as his feet are turned out so far and he tends to slide on the hardwoods.  But tonight he managed to pull himself up into a standing position.  He will not be stopped, and he will continue to amaze me.....what a gift!  (Update 5/1.....Today Levi was holding on to a water table at a friends house and was walking on both casts from side to side....unbelievable!)

       


Oh and yesterday we had his dedication during our church service.....


We are so very blessed!

Children are a gift from the Lord......Psalm 127:3




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last of the Casts

              Phew!  I'm glad that's over and praying it's our last visit to the hospital aside from removing the casts once and for all.  Every time we go there, I have to say, I am more and more impressed.  Maybe I'm just out of touch with the medical world, but regardless I'd say we have a pretty wonderful children's hospital here and I feel blessed for that.

              I waited, this morning, until the very last second to wake Levi since all I really had to do was get him dressed.  I shouldn't have been surprised that he still woke up and smiled at me, and never complained about not being fed....he is seriously an angel.  After our typical merry go round of trying to figure out where we're supposed to be (what is wrong with me?!!) we were checked in and ready to go.  Levi quickly became a celebrity, everyone coming in to comment on his eyelashes, his "movie star" name, and how sweet he was.  You would have thought it was the greatest place on earth as he reveled in the attention and then became even more excited by the room of toys!

               Sadly the fun had to end at some point and I carried him back into the operating room, held him until he fell asleep, gently laid him on the table, kissed him goodbye (I love how they tell you to do that before you go!) and went to wait.  For a short time I was the only one in the waiting room, but slowly it began to fill up with dads.  I thought it was interesting that all the dads took their children in, until one by one the tearful mothers started to show up and sit beside them.  Apparently I missed the memo on the recommended two adults and was the only one there by myself (which was completely fine nevertheless).  The doctor had assured me that Levi's procedure was nothing major, not even really quite considered a surgery, so I really was not too worried.

             The plan was to do a heel cord lengthening where they release the tendon and to then cast both legs for the final time.  It's hard to believe he has already had 7 cast changes (this being the 8th) and is almost finished with the clubfoot treatment.  These two casts will remain on for 3-4 weeks and then he will move into braces, or special shoes with a bar connecting them.  The shoes will have to be worn for 23 hours a day for about 3 months (AHHH!).  Levi is an extremely joyful, persistent little guy and he has certainly not been slowed down by his cast so far.  I am praying that two casts for a longer period, followed by the shoes will not break his spirits in any way.  He was extremely frustrated today when he tried to crawl and realized how much more difficult it was....but he also just got home and needs some time to get used to them!

            When you arrive with your child, they give you a card with a number and a code.  In the waiting room is a screen with all the children's numbers, color coated, so you can see what stage he/she is in.  As the  hour mark approached I started to get antsy (they said it would likely be about an hour) so it was nice to be able to check where he was at in the process for some reassurance.  The doctor came in when he was done to talk with me about how it went and what was next.  As throughout the entire casting process, he was impressed with the results and said he was happy with how things had progressed.  Levi is not the oldest child he has treated with clubfoot, however he is the oldest that he has treated from start to finish.  Most children have come in having had some form of treatment, where as Levi's left foot had been completely untreated.  He said that it took less time than he expected considering these factors and his age, so he was pleased (and so are we!).

             Shortly after, they call you on a phone in the waiting room and let you know you can go back to recovery to see your child.  I walked in to see him all cuddled up in a nurse's arms being fed some pedialyte (he couldn't drink fast enough!).  They were so sweet and jokingly said they wanted to keep him, but then allowed me to sit and hold him.  Other than just before bed time, he doesn't like to be held so much anymore, so I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to hold him close and give him a bottle.  He was still pretty groggy, but after some extra fluids and being checked several times, they allowed us to head home.  He perked up a little when we arrived and he saw he was back home.....I think he's always a little relieved when we come back home to all that's now familiar to him.

               I wish I could make things move even faster so that he could be up and running tomorrow, but I'm thankful that the process has been smooth and successful, and that he likely won't remember any of this anyway.  As always, thanks for all those who have been praying, we appreciate it so very much!  Can't wait for the day I'm posting a video of this little guy up and running!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring Consignment Sales

               Many have asked how the kids sale went, so I'm happy to share that we sold all but TWO items....out of 71 total (I initially miscalculated if you're wondering why the number changed).  If we do win the 100% it would bring us to around $250, but I believe we have to wait a few days at least for this to be determined.  Again, thank you SO much to all who donated clothing, baby items, shopped and handed in flyers....you all make this possible!  I really love doing this and the plan is to continue indefinitely.....to me it's a win, win, win situation!  People get rid of their unwanted items anyway so now they know they are helping someone, others buy them and get good deals, and in the end it helps a child come home!

               Now this coming week the Women's Consignment Sale starts.  I have a lot more items for this sale and the total potential amount to be earned is triple that of the kids sale so I'm praying it goes as well!  Once again, the consignor flyers are below and can be handed in at checkout to enter us for 100% of our sales.  I'll be volunteering another shift this week to bring out current percentage up to 65% if we do not win.  Every little bit helps!

              If any of you are interested, all of the profits this time around are going to my brother and sister in law who will be bringing their little baby boy home soon!  We could not be more excited for them!  If you'd like to check out their blog, feel free to visit       http://lovepraysupport.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/motorcycles-donations-wrist-bands/

           


             So I decided to just update here.....as of now we have won the 100% for the women's sale!! Turns out we were the only ones who actually turned in flyers so it was an easy win!! But thanks SO much again to all who helped and handed them in for us!  Things were slow this year for a variety of reasons out of our control, but we'll just use what was leftover for the fall sale! :  )  Not sure about the kids sale results as of yet, but with what we've earned so far we're at about $465 from both sales!  Thanks to everyone who has made this possible, I hope to be sharing great results from these sales for years to come and watching many more children come home to their families...there's just nothing like it!


Friday, April 5, 2013

MRI

          While I'm sure this may seem dramatic to some, I'm just being honest.  The thought of Levi having an MRI made me crazy!  Being blessed with the health of our first child left me oblivious to what some families experience as somewhat commonplace.  For many, trips to the children's hospital are routine and watching their children be poked, prodded, sedated etc. is a necessary part of daily life.  I cannot express how much more grateful I am that I have two healthy children.  Again God is pushing me out of my little bubble and prying my eyes open a little more.....

           The morning of the MRI the plan was for Caleb to go to MOPS as usual and then go home with a friend who so kindly offered to watch him so that Luke could go with me to the hospital.  A few days before Luke found out he had a work training, but a fellow employee so graciously switched with him so we were back on track.  The day prior Caleb wasn't quite himself and sure enough that morning he had a slight fever.  We certainly couldn't send him off to a room full of babies and toddlers etc. so in the end we all went!  After hitting insane traffic at 9:45am due to a bad accident, we finally arrived, filled out several papers and moved into the first room.  Three women worked with us, asking questions, checking Levi and also setting up a large mat with toys for the boys to play with.  They were fabulous!  I was so grateful when they told me I could go in and stay with him throughout the MRI and was able to rub his head (his favorite...his eyes roll back when I do, it is precious!) and give lots of kisses as they prepared him.  He was out in just a couple of seconds and I was given a lot of reassurance that he was doing great. : )

          It really was not that bad, but as I watched six different medical professionals hovering over my boy I couldn't help but choke back tears.  (I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes! Luke would be too! : ) )  It all went pretty quickly and I was able to hold him as soon as he started to wake.  Caleb was so sweet with him....and also thrilled with the little gifts they gave to Levi since he was more interested in the oxygen tank in the room!  All in all despite the crazy start to our day, it went fairly smooth and Levi was back to his normal self after his nap!

          Today we went to our orthopedic visit for Levi's fifth cast and to hear the results of the MRI.  A tethered spinal cord is essentially what he was looking for.  While he said that his spine looked great right now, there is a slight chance this may still be an issue due to some fat beside his spine.  The doctor said that sometimes neurologists believe that it can eventually lead to a tethered spine so he is going to have us follow up with someone in that field to get their opinion.  The great news is that at this point things look good.  He predicted it may be something we just monitor as time goes on to be sure it doesn't develop, however his concerns were diminished further by two additional factors.  Levi's foot is responding so well to the casting and today he said we may even need one less cast than he predicted.  This, combined with the fact that his right foot has maintained it's correction both ease his concern that his spine is causing any complication.  Either way he reassured me that this is minimal in the grand scheme of what could be wrong etc.  I look forward to hearing the neurologists feedback, however I am thankful for this news so far!

     

         

               

                

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Chance for 100%

         Many of you probably recognize these mini flyers from last fall when we participated in the RI Kids and RI Women's consignment sales.  The spring sales are fast approaching so I thought I would share these once again.  They have all of the necessary information if you'd like to print the page and share them with others.  They also include my consignor number and if they are handed in at checkout they will be entered into a contest for us to win 100% of our sales!  As it stands now we will earn 65% at the kids sale and 60% at the women's.  For those who may not know, last fall we won 100% at BOTH sales because so many of you are incredible and supported us beyond what we imagined!  They couldn't get over how many mini flyers were handed in on our behalf and it was no surprise when we won both since the odds were overwhelmingly in our favor.....and God was blessing us once again!  So if you're planning to go and wouldn't mind handing one in if you buy something, we would so appreciate it.  If you'd rather not print them, or can't, I'd be happy to send you some as well.  Thanks so much in advance and thanks again to all who have donated clothes, shoes and baby items so that we can raise money for another precious child to have a forever family!