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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Development Report Card for Norah

Last week, we survived Norah's neonatal development follow-up appointment. This is always the most exhausting appointment that Norah has every six months. This appointment lasted just shy of three hours, ugh. Three hours of questions and testing for one little girl, who is sitting on her mother's shrinking lap, whose 3 year old brother is also in tow, wanting his share of attention. Whew! We survived.

Norah's adjusted age for this appointment was just over 18 months. She weighed in at 19 pounds, just making the 5% for weight. Her head circumference is 47.5cm, making the 75% percentile.

That was the easy part of the appointment. After that I spoke with Dr. Bear, a wonderful neonatalogist that we met with each time, who listens to our concerns and gives us good direction to correct them. I shared my frustration regardingg a follow-up appointment that we were to have with the geneticist in December. After many attempts to contact the office to set up the appointment that have gone unanswered I have given up. My thoughts are: Norah is doing great, the test in the past that we have done have all be normal, so why keep looking for something that may not be there, if concerns come up in the future they'll still be there so we can check with them then. Dr. Bear agreed with me, which pleased me. Norah's physical exam showed low muscle tone, with increased flexibility.

Next part - in comes the physical, occupational, and speech therapist - let the games begin. They use what's called the Bayley Scales of Infant Toddler Development 3rd Edition. Basically, we all sit at a table and test are done one after another quite quickly. If Norah passes part one of a test, the next step of the test is done, if she doesn't pass onto a new test. The further into a test, the higher rating/develomental age is given. I was impressed with Norah's ability to follow all these test. Although, at one point all she wanted to do is keep playing with a doll. So the doll ended up being involved with most of the test after that to keep her attention. She also showed off her amazing walking skills using her reverse walker. The sheer delight that beams from Norah when she is using her walker is magical. She loves the independence she is gaining with its use.

The results:
    Fine Motor: 20 months
    Gross Motor: 11 months
    Cognitive Skills: 19 months
    Receptive Language: 19 months
    Expressive Language: 21 months
**not to bad for a kid whose adjusted age is 18.5 months the day of the appointment

Recommendations that we left with were to get a feeding evaluation done for Norah, which is already scheduled. We are also in the process of getting 'sure steps' which braces for her ankles to see if they will help to improve her balance. We were also given many ideas of different therapies to try improving Norah's muscle tone.

At the end of the day, I can't tell you how blessed I feel to be Norah's mom. I didn't necessarily need to go to a doctor's appointment to know that she is an amazing kid, who is delayed with walking and standing. Everyday I can look at Norah and see how full of life she is and know that she is happy, and that's what's important. But I suppose it would be nice to brag a little bit, especially to all those people who wrote her off before she was even born.

God has special plans for Norah, and I am grateful he choose me to be her mom.

Monday, March 14, 2011

When did Grant get big enough to do this?

This morning, while I was still slumbering away, enjoying the end of daylights savings, thinking my little ones where still fouled by the change on time. One smart little boy woke up. Instead of waking to the bottom of the stairs and calling out for "Daddy" and Mommy having to come explain Daddy is already at work, he took care of himself. Uggh. My little boy didn't need me :(

As I stirred, I thought I heard the Television. Hmm, that's unusual. So I slowly flipped myself over, removing the five pillows I'm currently sleeping with to find some sort of night time comfort as I'm entering the 3rd trimester of this pregnancy, and ventured downstairs. This is what I discovered.

Grant had poured himself a glass of milk (with chocolate syrup added) and a bowl of cereal. He also turned on our TV, which is actually a computer. That means he navigated the mouse to the different icons, turning on the media center and starting up "my movie" he told me, Toy Story. He was proud of himself. Now I'm torn - so sad that he didn't want his parents when he woke up this morning and proud that he did take care of himself.

Don't grow up too quickly Mr. Grant, your Mommy still wants to be needed.

Move over coffee table...

Check out the latest addition to our living room.

Grant and Norah received this picnic table for a Christmas gift. It has been sitting in the basement since December, waiting for the warm weather to return. Grant and Norah love sitting at for all sorts of activities, so we decided to bring it to the place they spend most of their time at home. So until the warm weather returns, it has found a place in our living room.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Grant!

Happy Birthday to my little boy, Grant William! I can't believe that three years have past since those 28 hours of labor that ended in an emergency c-section. I am amazed at the little boy he has become this last year, especially this last few months.

Grant - 1 day old
A year ago Grant said less than 10 words, making us nervous about his delayed speech. Now, I come home from a day at work and he tells me everything he did that day. He is quick to figure out how things work and if he gets the chance he'll take it apart. He can work the mouse on the computer and get into Netflix to start his favorite movie. Currently that's Bob the Builder and the Search for the Golden Hammer. A visit to Target is never complete without visiting the vacuum cleaners. Grant inspects them, asking to play with his favorite, usually the purple Dyson. He still is quick to pick out the color purple whenever he sees it.

He loves his daddy, always looking for him first thing in the morning, sneaking in some snuggle before daddy has to go to work. He's a helper, working on the house with his daddy and cooking in the kitchen with mommy.

Baking chocolate cookies

He loves to eat fruit, any fruit. We usually hide keep Grant's fruit as incentive to eat whatever else he is being served. Lately he asks if we can eat at the "chicken restaurant" a lot, usually daily.  It took a few days to figure out what restaurant Grant was requesting, but we figured it out - Arby's. I know they are know for their fine chicken ;). The  best part is, Grant loves getting a roast beef sandwich at his great "chicken restaurant."

Grant helping install the new back door

In the last couple of weeks, Grant has learned his ABC's. I love listening to him sing his ABC's while he's playing and encourages his little sister to sing with him. He can also count to fourteen now. If I has him to do something before I count to three, Grant just takes off counting while he's off to do what I asked. He knows he's going to have a baby brother soon and gives my tummy a kiss for the baby, so sweet. Last night as we cuddled before bed, we talked about his birthday. Then I told him about birthday spankings, he looked at me and asked for timeouts instead of spankings. It was a priceless moment we shared.

Happy Birthday Mr. Grant!