Friday, April 19, 2013

Syd's first hair trim

I finally broke down and decided to get Syd's hair cut.  Not really cut, just a trim.  I guess I wasn't THAT brave. :)  I wanted her to still look little.  No bangs or anything just yet.  I'll save that for when she's older.

I took her to the same place that I took Landon for his first haircut, Family Fun Cutz.  It's a place here in Omaha that is geared just for kids.  They get to pick from a plethora of different fun cars to sit in and they get to watch any movie they want.  Funny, but when Sydney saw all the different cars to sit in, she originally went for the princess car.  After she looked around, she actually decided to sit in the Lightning McQueen car.  The same one Landon sat in 4 years ago!

Before:  Shaggy little Sydney checking out all the buttons on Lightning.

She watched Cinderella.  She sat still and really didn't move around that much.  The girl cutting her hair was so patient and sweet.  She even gave her a pretty braid and some "fairy dust" when she was done.  Sydney loved it and talked about the fairy dust to anyone that would listen.  It couldn't have gone better. :)

Thank goodness for the movie, right?? 

Here you can see the "fairy dust" aka glitter.  It took a couple of baths, but it finally came out.  Whatever makes them happy, right? ;)

After:  I couldn't have been prouder of her!  She even got her favorite thing for sitting really still...a lollipop!

Our Little Ballerina

As I showed you in my previous post, Sydney LOVES pretending to be a ballerina right now.  Mason gave her a tutu for her second birthday.  After a couple of weeks of not wanting to have anything to do with it, she has finally embraced her inner ballerina and wears it pretty much all the time.  She calls it her "ballerina".  I even had to set rules with her on when she could and couldn't wear it:

1.  You cannot wear your "ballerina" when you are eating.
2.  You cannot wear your "ballerina" when you are going potty...for obvious reasons. :)
3.  The "ballerina" cannot go to bed with you. (Although I've caught her with it on when she's "napping".)

This is the picture that started it all.  I asked her to pose like a ballerina not really knowing if she knew how a ballerina posed, and she came up with this.  Apparently she's paying attention more than I think she is. :)  After that, I decided I was going to look into getting her into classes if I could.  I wasn't sure if dance studios took kids her age.  My good friend, Elissa, has a daughter that takes all kinds of dance classes at a nearby studio.  She told me that there was an introductory class she could get into, so I signed her up!  For $27 a month, she gets to go once a week into a class where they just do the basics.  Tapping your toes on the floor, waving your hands in the air, and maybe a little turn every once in a while.  I get to go in there with her to encourage her to do the movements.  It's actually a pretty fun bonding time.  :)

This was right after we got back from her first class.  She had so much fun!  There is only one other little girl in her class and they became fast friends.  She was glued to me at first, but after she warmed up to what they were doing, she started joining in and giggling and running around with the other little girl.  She (of course) wore her "ballerina" to class.  Couldn't leave home without it!

Last week, when I took her to class, we ran into Elissa's daughter, Natalie.  Sydney loves "Mad-alie" (as she calls her) and Natalie is so good with her.  Here is a sweet picture I took of the two of them together.

 Sweet girls.  Maybe one day Natalie will get to teach Sydney...who knows?  :)

Needless to say, I think dance will probably be Sydney's thing (hopefully for a long time).  She comes up to me after she puts on her tutu and says, "Mom, look at me!  I'm beautiful!" and does her original dance move (the one in the first picture).  She's so cute, I just can't stand it sometimes! :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

G-button woes.

So, I know that being extremely busy is no excuse for not blogging, right? ;)  Well, life has been getting in the way of me keeping up with this writing thing.  I've finally gotten a big sigh of relief where I can sit down and catch everyone up on what has been going on with us.  I think it might be easier for me to start with the most recent and work my way backwards.  Here we go:

In the past week, Landon has come down with this mystery cold that no one else caught.  He had a fever (with the shakes that almost landed us in the ER), runny nose, and a cough.  I took him to the doctor where she seemed to think it could be his ears and gave me some stuff to clean them out with.  His scary fever happened the next night.  He woke up around midnight shivering and shaking in his bed, but the thermometer read around 102.  I'm always weary about wrapping him up in a blanket because I've seen his fever get to super scary levels before, but Braydon trumped my decision and wrapped him up.  Around 3am it finally broke and Braydon and I could finally get some sleep.  He's doing much better now, and hopefully we won't have to do that again anytime soon!

Yesterday we went to see Dr. Zapata for a check-up/follow-up.  As much as I would like to say it was a good visit, it wasn't that great.  There isn't any wonderful news that came from it.  He actually told me that Landon wasn't growing as fast as he should be and was actually staying the same as he had been before.  On a growth chart, this doesn't pan out well.  He's supposed to be moving with the growth curve, and right now he's staying the same as the growth chart is showing that he should be moving up.  No bueno.  So, I got a call today from the dietitian in his office that we needed to up his calories by 300 a day!  So, that's an extra 6 ounces of formula a day.  Right now, he's getting 14 ounces of formula and now he'll be receiving 20.  That's a drastic increase.  I have to say that I was a little worried when Dr. Zapata was showing me the growth charts. I kept it to myself, but I have noticed that Landon still fits into his 4T clothes almost perfectly when he is getting closer to being 6 years old.  Apparently his lack of nutrition has affected his growth.  A lot.

Don't I feel like a jerk.  Once again, I've been so driven to get my kid off of this g-button, that I've been a little blinded by the fact that he is very much dependent on it.  Most of his nutrition comes from it.  He does eat meals, but he doesn't eat enough or as productive as he should for a kid his age.  To give you an idea, he eats about as much as Sydney does right now, sometimes less.  And he doesn't drink hardly anything.  He'll drink an ounce or two from his cup at dinner, but that's after me and Braydon have a war with him about it.  I guess right now he just doesn't understand the importance of it.  So, I guess I've come to the realization that this is going to be a longer road than I expected.  It's not a quick or easy fix.  I've gotta step back.  It's more important to me that my son is healthy and growing the way he should, than getting a g-button out.  I've gotta learn to look at the big picture.  Just because he has to have more formula right now, doesn't mean that in a year from now he will.  Big picture, Dawn, big picture.

So, although I didn't have any really good news in this post, at least I have cute pictures to show.  That really makes up for it, right? ;)

Landon's teacher gave him a dice "game" for him to learn how to add.  He LOVES it!  He really likes dry erase markers right now.  I don't know.  Sometimes the most random things make him happy. :)  Sydney loves her tutu right now.  She doesn't like to take it off.  She calls it her "ballerina".  I don't think these kids could be any cuter!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The official start of the dreaded "terrible 2's"

Time flies, right?  How can our precious little girl already be 2?!  It's unbelievable how fast kids grow up!

So, we had a birthday party to celebrate Sydney.  She was super excited about her party.  She helped me pick out what kind of party she wanted to have and I told her that her friends were going to come over and bring her presents.  Of course she was excited about the presents.  Then I told her that she was going to have cake and we were going to sing Happy Birthday to her, and that just added to her excitement.

Our friend's little girl, Roslyn, had her birthday a week before Sydney's.  We went there for her party and Sydney kept saying "Happy Birthday to me!".  I had to keep telling her that her birthday was next weekend, but she's two and didn't understand, so we just giggled every time she said it. :)

We kept it small this year.  I'm starting to loathe birthday parties and I didn't want a ton of people in my house.  We only invited 5 families and it ended up that only a couple of them could make it.  Everyone was fighting off colds or other illnesses and didn't want to share anything.  Thank goodness!  So, it was us, our friends Pyper and Brad, and the little ones, Nevin and Roslyn.  Just what I wanted...small.  I think the saying "ask and you shall receive" works in this situation. :)  We did a Minnie Mouse theme and here's some of the pictures that I took...

I made cupcakes this year.  I kept it simple.

Cute little Nevin.  I love that kids smile!

Roslyn is the sweetest little girl.  She LOVES playing with Landon and Sydney.  She's such a good friend.

We set the picnic table up in the middle of the kitchen for the kids to eat.  We had Sydney's favorite:  PB&Js, fruit salad, pretzels, and I made ham & cheese pasta salad.  YUM!

This was my meager attempt to getting a picture of everyone together.  Sydney decided she didn't want to sit with everyone and started throwing a fit and crying.  At least Nevin is looking at the camera! :)

Landon thought Sydney's fit was funny, but Roslyn was not okay with it.  She was very concerned and was saying "Sydney fell on the floor" in her sweet little Roslyn voice.

Next, we did presents.  Sydney was really excited about the presents and opened them all herself.  Roslyn got her some hair bows (which she desperately needed) and Nevin got her some princess underwear and a cute towel with her name on it.

Roslyn was trying to give Sydney the scroll that had some money in it for her piggy bank.  Sydney was just interested in the cute bows.

I've never seen a little girl so excited over underwear before!  She was so excited about it and just smiled and smiled over them. :)  It's the little things people!

Sydney likes her junk food.  Her favorites right now are M&Ms, ice cream and of course, cake.  She really liked when everyone sang to her, but hadn't had enough practice with blowing out the candles.  She did pretty good, but she needed some help from dad to get them out completely.

She was too busy being cute that she didn't even notice when Dad helped her blow out the candles.

She was bummed when she looked down and they weren't lit anymore. ;)

I think Nevin just liked the icing. :)

We had fun hanging out with the kids and they had fun playing with all the toys.

On Sydney's actual birthday, we did the candle thing again and she ended up blowing the candle out herself. Over and over.  She wanted me to keep lighting it, so I humored her. :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Trying to see into Landon's mind

Well, jeepers, I'm not the best blogger now-a-days am I?  We've had some things going on this past month, including Sydney turning 2.

We've also had some changes with Landon.  Nothing bad, just changes.  He's been doing really well without the trach and we've actually had a pretty descent winter as far as getting sick goes (KNOCK! KNOCK!).  He's been doing pretty well in school too.  He got a good report card and is actually reading above his grade level already!  His teachers always compliment me on how smart he is, but he's having trouble keeping focused on what he's doing.  I see that happening a lot at home too.  He needs constant reminders to finish what he's doing, whether it be putting toys away or just going to the bathroom.  He just can't tear himself away from what he's doing or what he's thinking to get things done sometimes.  I find it very frustrating when I'm in a hurry and he can't remember where his shoes are kept or how to put on his hat.  It's a struggle I have on a daily basis.

So, I brought it up at Sydney's 2 year check up (I'll get to that on another post) to Dr. LaCroix.  She suggested that we get him evaluated by a neurologist and psychologist to see what may be causing him to be like that.  I don't want you to think we are going to the extreme here.  It's not just the staying focused.   He wants to play the same activity all the time and he's having a hard time with coming up with words to say to finish a sentence.  He'll sit and say "um" for a good solid minute before he can think of what he was talking about.  Kim says that word retrieval is very common to people with brain injuries, so that comforted me a little to hear that it was normal for him to be doing that considering what he had been through.  I just want to make sure that I know if some of the issues he is having are from the lingering effects of the brain injury or just him being a five year old.  I also mentioned to Dr. LaCroix about it possibly being a little bit of autism, which covers his obsessive tendencies (like numbers, doors and doing the same thing over and over).  She told me not to be surprised if it wasn't a little, if not, all of the above.  Which I'm cool with.  I just want to get tools to help me understand him better.  I want to be sympathetic if my child is taking forever to complete a sentence due to the fact that he can't retrieve a word because of his brain injury.  He doesn't deserve me getting frustrated at him if he can't help some of the things he does.  I just need to learn the differences.

I find myself getting frustrated at him a lot because he can't do the things that I would like for him to be able to do.  Like putting on his shoes, or his coat, or climbing into the car.  There are so many things that other parents may take for granted that their child can do, where mine struggles.  He can put on his shoes, his coat, and get into the car on his own, but it takes him double (or sometimes triple) the time that it would take any other kid.  I can never be in a hurry with him.  If I am, it's me doing everything for him just to get it done and get out the door.  It's tiring.

I try my best to be patient.  To teach him and slow down a little.  I walk him through tasks over and over so he can learn what he needs to do.  Please don't think that I am impatient and just yell at my kid all day!  That is definitely NOT the case.  I just want to help him.  Help him to be a more independent, strong, and smart boy.  I want him to know he can do anything he puts his mind to.  As a parent, I need help to help him.  I need to know what I'm doing wrong or what I'm doing right.  It's very true that kids don't come with manuals, but sometimes I really wish I had one for him!

So, we are waiting for insurance to go through with all of that and then we'll be able to start that process.  I'm not even sure what they will be doing exactly, but we'll just go with it and see what knowledge we can gain.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Scared of Santa

I had to share this one.  Landon has always been a fan of Santa and we've never had any issues getting him to sit on Santa's lap.  This year we went to a "Breakfast with Santa" on base and this is the picture we got with Santa.  Sydney wanted nothing to do with him.  She FREAKED OUT as I walked up to them.  The girl wasn't having it.  Oh well...maybe next year.

Christmas with the Walshes

Our Christmases are normally pretty crazy.  Coming from a divorce family, my holidays have always been busy.  Trying to see two families on one day was busy, but it was my normal.  I didn't realize how busy I was on holidays until I married Braydon.  His parents have been married 30+ years and he's never had to be anywhere but with his family during the holidays.  It was always a relaxing day for him.

When we got married, he had a little glimpse into what I had to do during the holidays.  He had two more families to visit, which made things more stressful.  Plus, Braydon wasn't a fan of running around everywhere when he was used to relaxing on a holiday.  I didn't blame him.  Putting myself in his shoes, I probably wouldn't have cared to do it either!  Like I said, it was my normal.  Plus, I liked getting to see all of my family within a few days.  It was my holiday routine. :)

When we had Landon, things had to change drastically.  There wasn't a choice.  We didn't feel comfortable traveling with him being so unstable in his medical needs.  Plus, the amount of stuff (including medical supplies, machines, baby items, and all of our clothes) we would've had to bring along was just enough to stress anyone out!  So, we started our own traditions in Nebraska.  It was then that I got to enjoy what Braydon had been talking about.  It was peaceful to not have to be everywhere.  I missed my family, but was enjoying making traditions with our new little family.

Now, we have a different kind of busy during the holidays.  We've created our own traditions, while trying to incorporate the ones from our childhood.  I think we've been pretty successful.

On Christmas Eve in Braydon's family, they open presents from each other on Christmas Eve.  Having 4 siblings and a set of parents and occasional grandparent(s), I could only imagine how crazy their Christmas morning would've been if they didn't do it that way!  We started doing it with them over the internet (on Skype) the first Christmas we couldn't be there (Landon's first Christmas).  It makes things so fun and everyone gets to see the kids open their gifts.  That's the best part anyways, isn't it?

This year, we met up with them to watch the kids open their gifts first, and then after we put the kids to bed, we all got to open our presents from each other together.  It was a very different experience than last year.  We didn't really have a chance to see anyone open anything last year because the kids were all over and just wanted to open their presents.  Who cares about anyone else, right? ;)

Everyone loved seeing the kids open their gifts.  Landon and Sydney opened their presents on their own this year, so I was able to take a few pictures.

The kids sorting through their presents

Landon and Aunt Rhea "playing" matching together.  It was more of Landon just showing her the matches. :)

Sydney got a cute little lion from Grandma Bonnie that she now sleeps with (along with her normal two pup-pups)

Sydney checking out her baby bed from Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Joe

The fancy jacket that Bonnie made from scratch off of a picture Braydon found off of the internet.  He couldn't take it off.  I've caught him on several occasions modelling in the mirror for himself.  Shhh!!  Don't tell him I told you that!  He's pretty amazed by it, but admitted that he's a little scared to wear it out of the house! ;)

Grandpa Joe made us all coordinating socks this year!  These are Landon's.

After we put the kids to bed, we also got to play around and have a little fun.  Hanging out with everyone was a lot of fun.  Heather got Braydon and his brother, Garrett, some stick-on mustaches.  So, of course, we acted like kids. :)  This picture makes me giggle whenever I see it!

The next morning was pretty crazy.  The kids played with all the things that Santa brought (which was too much).  Santa is getting a note from mommy and daddy telling him to slow down next year.  He went way overboard this year!!  Then came stockings and breakfast squeezed in there somewhere before we started opening all the presents from my family and each other.  Phew, right??  I'm tired just from typing it! :)

This was what the kids saw going down the stairs in the morning...Santa did too much!!

Sydney just stood at the bottom of the stairs with this grin on her face for a few seconds.  She didn't know what to go to first!

Dad showing Landon how to work the piano

The "wild numbers" that Landon kept asking Santa for.

Poor Sydney.  She was so overwhelmed. :)

But Landon was having the time of his life!! :D

Sydney loved the drumset!  She didn't want Landon to play on it and had a hard time sharing just one drumstick with him! 

We made her forfeit the drumsticks so Landon could try.  He did pretty good...with his left hand.  Sigh.  Something to work on I guess. :)

Santa knows how much Landon loves notebooks.  Silly kid!

This was Sydney's face after she pulled out a little tube of mini M&Ms.  The girl loves chocolate.

Haha!!  I love this picture!  I tried getting a good one but when Sydney finally looked up, this is the face I got.

Sydney is pretty good at the shape puzzles, so Santa brought her something a little more difficult.

The rest of the day was just enjoying each other and the kids playing with/fighting over their new toys.  Braydon and I had a huge sigh of relief after the whole things was over!  We don't have to do that for another year!  YAY! :)