About Me

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Hi I’m Jen- I'm one lucky lady to be married to the most wonderful man, Jason. I am a mother to three beautiful children, Grant, Norah, who was born with hydrocephalus, and Mason. I love spending my time with my family. I also like to challenge myself with new things. I'm on a constant quest to become more organized, it may never happen but it's a dream. I currently work part-time as a RN in an emergency department. I love this journey of life that I am on with God by my side, knowing that all things are possible when you Believe.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Norah's Wheels

The last month Norah has been going to the site that provides her physical therapy instead of coming to our home. There Norah has been using a Kaye reverse walker and loving the independence she has with it. Every time she has a beaming smile that you can see from across the room, so proud of herself using a walker. Our therapist, Emily, who does such wonderful work with Norah, said it would be a good time to get Norah her own walker.

I checked with our insurance company, and they will cover a walker but at this point it would go to our deductible.  I had a prescription to get it, unfortunately I had a hard time finding a business that was able to order the walker with the specs we needed. The insurance company had given me a list of businesses, none of which was able to help us. After an Internet search I found a great price for the walker and was going to chance buying it, then submit a claim.

Before I actually bought the walker from the Internet, I found out about Katy's Kloset. This place is truly remarkable, it is a library of medical equipment. They take donated medical equipment, and loan it to those who need it. Keep it as long as you'd like or need, just please return it when you are done and let others know about it. I was nearly overcome with emotion (it could be the pregnancy hormones, but still) seeing the rows of walkers, standers, strollers, wheelchairs, commodes and bath chairs. There were also lots of other miscellaneous medical supplies.

Norah loved picking out her walker. We had a hard time finding all the pieces to make the Kaye walker she needed. Most did not have wheels, or were missing legs, but I kept looking at this purple walker thinking it might work. As Jason and one of the volunteers were working on putting pieces together, I started playing with the purple walker. I adjusted it to it's lowest height and tightened all the adjustable parts, then brought Norah over to check it out. It was meant to be, she took off down the aisle at full speed. I think she was about to start running. It's slightly higher then what is ideal, but she'll grow into it. We cannot figure what brand it is, we just know it was made in Germany, that's it's only identifier. Jason is off to ACE Hardware to see if he can find a caps to put on the ends where some are missing, then to the drugstore/medical supply store to see if he can find new hand grips for it.

Check out Norah using her new wheels.

It's a simple idea that has been put into action. I'm sure there are lots of people out there that don't know what to do with their old/outgrown equipment. I think every community needs a place like this one.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Amazing Little Girl

Norah has been a busy girl. Two weeks ago, she went to her 18 month checkup with Dr. Swietlik, her pediatrician. She proudly displayed her language skills. This sweet little girl is talking our ear off. She has no problem letting us know what she's after.  She also was reading her picture books, flipping through the page and naming off pictures. Norah continue to struggle with weight gain, even more now that she's more active crawling, cruising and climbing to wherever she thinks she should (even if she shouldn't). We gone back to giving Norah pedisure everyday. We had stopped because bedtime was becoming early and early, there was enough time between supper and bedtime to get it in. We have been giving it to her when she gets up at 6 am (everyday, like clockwork). She drinks it down and still is ready for breakfast an hour later. Norah finished her appointment getting to vaccines and a blood draw to check her hemaglobin and lead levels, she hates those pokes. Grant brought his teddy bear, Curly to the appointment along with his doctor kit and mirror Norah's examination on Curly. He listened to his heart, checked his eyes and ears, and gave him shots - definately cute!

Last week, we all went to Norah's appointment with Dr. Lew, Norah's neurosurgeon. Norah's head circumference has began to grow along a growth curve, instead of plumeting off the growth charts. He is happy to see how well she is doing. The only concern is her development of a Chiari malformation. She isn't showing any signs that it is causing any problems currently. The plan is to have another MRI in August of Norah's head and spine to see how the shunt is functioning, check on the Chiari and make sure there isn't any CSF accumulating along Norah's spine.

The continued concern is Norah's gross motor skill development, primarily balance and walking. Norah continues with physical therapy once a week. She has stalled with making progress at home, so we are now going to Curative's site to see if we can get Norah moving. So far she seems to be happy going there so I hope we see some more positive changes.

These fantastic appointment leave Jason and I snuggling on the sofa talking about how blessed we feel. We were given such a bleek outlook for Norah's development, we mavel at God's work, knowing He does amazing things and being blessed with one of his miracles.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Playing Together

Jason and I have really enjoyed watching Grant and Norah's relationship blossom the last few months. Most of the time, they enjoy having each other around and have began to play together. The concept of sharing is one that we are still working on, but we have made progress. Grant helps pick out Norah's clothes, helps get her toothbrush ready for brushing and will put food on her fork. Norah makes sure to take interest in whatever activity Grant has started, reading books, playing trains or knocking over his blocks. Lately, Grant has been helping Norah walk. He takes Norah's hands and they walk(stumble) across the family room together, while Mommy nervously watches. It melts my heart that he wants to help teach her to walk.

Sweet Kiss

Taking Norah's pic with Mommy's phone

Grant being silly with Norah

Making a mess together in Grant's room
 The things that we could do without...they both obsess over an old cell phone that has conveniently disappeared. Grant likes to make sure Norah stays out of trouble so he puts her on her back and pulls her to a safe spot by her feet. They like to have screaming contests, honestly I don't know who's louder.

 I love that they are growing up together and can't wait to watch their relationship bloom.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day!

This is what I was greeted with this morning as I went to put Charlie outside. Last night we received 18.5 inches on snow, on top of the 8 inches that have fallen since Monday. That's right 26 inches since Monday. I braved the shoveling on Monday, Jason and Grant have taken care of it since then while Norah and I stayed warm.

My guys shoveling!

Grant loves to help. He says, "Me do it all myself." Let me tell you, do not touch the area he is working on or you'll hear it.

Norah was trying out the hat I made Grant, while watching the boys work hard. Then it struck me, I should make her a new hat today. I went through my basket and came up with yellow yarn that would look great with her red peacoat. 

Grant, Norah and I snuggled in on the sofa with our warm blankets and watched movies, stopping occasionally to check out someone trying to drive down the street or see how the neighbors were doing with their digging out. Jason headed into his basement office and worked. We were bummed that he had to still work but loved that it was from home. This afternoon after naps, we headed into the kitchen to make some fudge I had been trying to make since Sunday. It turned out super-uper yummy. Tonight, I put the finishing touch on Norah's hat. How do you think it turned out?

I loved our snow day!

**Sorry for the two wonky pictures, blogger won't upload them correctly, grr.**