Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa came!

It was a fun, relaxing, and white Christmas for us this year. Snow started falling on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and it continued off and on until this evening. I think all together we got about another foot of snow to add to the foot from a couple of weeks ago. We figured that it would be easier to shovel it off of the driveway as it fell then try and get out there when it's a foot deep. So, Braydon had to shovel the driveway twice today (which he wasn't happy about, but did anyways). It's worked out nicely. I think one final shovel in the morning will do the trick. So, needless to say, we've been inside for the past couple of days. We're both starting to get a little bit of cabin fever. We're hoping the plows will come through in the morning to clear our street so we can get out of the house.

Christmas was great!! Landon enjoyed opening presents this year and we were pretty much got done by lunch! That's amazing compared to last year where we spent all day opening presents and then had to open some for him at the end of the evening. So we are making progress. I took some pictures of when we were doing Santa gifts. He loved his new kitchen and wanted to play with it all morning.

Here are a couple more of Landon playing with his new AquaDoodle:

I also got one of Landon clapping. He was reading his new Dora book, and for some reason is happy cause she is sleeping...I don't know.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. I hope you aren't snowed in like we are. Cross your fingers that we can get out of the house tomorrow. :) We're back to our normal week next week of therapy, so I'll be updating if anything exciting happens. Braydon's sister, Rhea, is coming to visit on New Year's day. So if I don't get back here by then, everyone have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope 2010 is going to be a lot better than 2009!! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Claus is coming to town!

We had some fun times today! The rehab department at Children's Hospital did a Christmas party at a local hotel and we went to join in the festivities. They also had Santa there, which was an extra bonus. :) We haven't ever taken Landon to see Santa, and have heard some bad experiences from parents that take their kids too early. So we decided to wait till Landon was a little older so he wouldn't freak out about some weird guy in a red suit.

All week we've been telling him about Santa and how he brings toys. He's been watching cartoons that have Santa in them, and I really think he's starting to understand. Today we kept telling him that he was going to see Santa, and Braydon even mentioned that if Landon gave him a big hug that Santa would give him a present. :) Landon was excited and shook his head yes whenever we would ask if he was going to see Santa and take a picture with him. I was really curious to see how he would actually do.

They had lots of little games at the party for the kids to play and things to do. We did a couple of the little games so that Landon could get some stickers (which we all know he loves). I stood in line for Santa, and was watching as some families had to back out at the last minute cause their kids were crying. I was hoping that wouldn't be Landon....and it wasn't! He was such a big kid taking a picture with Santa!! He sat in his lap, Santa gave him a new toy car, Landon said thank you, and he sat on the floor and played with it until we left. He did sooo good! Here's Landon's first picture with Santa:

Here's a couple more of Landon getting to play some of the games. Their theme was the game Candy Land, so all of the games were related to the game in some way. This one was supposed to represent the character Plumpy that has plums and a plum tree. Ashley was there, and helped Landon with throwing beanbags onto the plum tree. The beanbags were supposed to represent the plums. Landon just walked up there, stuck them on, and seemed content with that. :)

The next one was Gloppy the Chocolate Monster. They had the littler kids ride in a tub to go pick up a sticker at the other side. It was really cute and Landon had fun riding in the tub. He looks so cute with just his head popping out of the top. :)

Other than that, Landon has been doing really well. He's been such a lovebug lately and wants someones attention 24/7. We've gone to therapy this week and have been really working Landon's right hand with Chelli, and working on crawling up onto chairs or into someones lap with Penny. Landon's doing really well learning both. He still prefers his left hand to his right, but we've noticed him using it more for play and also for function. It's been a nice progress. The chair we are still getting the hang of, but we are making progress.

Ashley has been working on Landon's speech book, which I'm not sure that I've mentioned before. It's basically a notebook that has a bunch of different pictures that represent toys, actions (like brushing your teeth), TV shows, or foods with velcro on the back. Landon uses it by giving you the picture of something to communicate what he wants. He does so well with it and has moved up to pages of things instead of just a couple of choices. Ashley is also spending some time testing Landon on his communication skills. She started on Tuesday doing the receptive part of the test to see what Landon understands. He did awesome on it and we only had to stop a couple of times in one hour. We were very impressed! Next week we're going to be working on the expressive part, which will probably be where Landon is going to struggle. It will, in the end, give us an estimation as to where Landon is developmentally with his speech (which we know he's not up to par), but will also give us an idea on what we need to be working on with him. We're also going to start introducing letters to practice saying with him. I'm hoping that he will catch onto this cause I would really like to hear him express himself better. Cross your fingers for us!!

Well, other than that, and the Christmas season here, we've been a busy family. :) I'll try to do another update before Christmas if we have stuff going on. We're supposed to get more snow this week, but we're hoping it isn't going to be a lot.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!!

So the holidays are here and we hope everyone has a happy one. Braydon and I have been busily getting our shopping done. All the Christmas cards are sent out and presents are in the process of being wrapped. We think Landon will have a fun Christmas this year.

As I'm sure everyone has heard, we've had a bit of snow over the past week or so. We're expecting to get more tomorrow...goody! Braydon had a few days off of work and schools were closed for 3 days straight. We weren't necessarily snowed in, but no one wanted to go anywhere because it was so bitterly cold outside. Needless to say, we ended up skipping therapy this week. I figured if the schools were closed, we didn't need to be out there either. I took a picture from our front door down our street to give you an idea of how much snow we got. We not only had snow, but the wind was gusting up to 50 mph one night. The brown house in the picture on the right-hand side of the street got a pretty big snow drift along side of their house. One our nurses tried to come in on Wednesday, but couldn't find her car in the snow!! All-in-all it's gotten much better. The roads aren't as slick as they were. We've been spending a lot of time inside being silly. We took pictures of Landon's hair this morning after Braydon gave him a spikey look. :)

I also got some pictures today of a glimpse into the future...Braydon taught Landon how to play a video game today...super, huh? Now I won't have to deal with just my husband, but my son too. :)

Here's a couple pictures of me and Braydon getting all dressed up like ninjas to go try to build a snowman. (The snow was too powdery.) If you are wondering...we didn't leave our 2 year old in the house alone. Our nurse took these pictures. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hello all!

The Walshes have been pretty boring over the past week or so. We've started the dreaded Christmas shopping and are almost done. I'll be happy when it's all over!

We had an uneventful Thanksgiving. Braydon and I had another couple, Megan and Brad, over for a small Thanksgiving. It was actually really nice cause Megan helped to make the sides and I made the turkey. It was my first turkey by myself and it was pretty good. I was proud of myself. :) We had a nice meal enjoying each other's company. Megan, being about 35 weeks pregnant, had a hard time eating a lot, but enjoyed our company instead. We spent the night hanging out with a couple more friends that came over. Landon fell in love with Megan and wouldn't leave her sight the whole night! He was trying to climb up on the couch to sit next to or on her. It was super sweet although I'm sure Megan got tired of it. :)

The next morning we got news that Megan went into early labor, and delivered her son the day after Thanksgiving! Nevin Oren Roberts was born at 6lbs 4oz and is doing great for being early! He was in the NICU for a few days, but is now at home doing well. Congratulations to Megan and Brad!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A bad way to learn a good thing

This past weekend my mom and step-dad came to visit. We were excited to have them come over to see our new house and to spend some time together. We planned on having a mini-Thanksgiving while they were here since they couldn't come over the holiday. Landon quickly warmed up to them and played with them like they were here everyday. It was good to see that he remembered my mom and he really took to Paul. I've posted some pictures of Landon and my mom that I took while they were playing in his room. They came out pretty cute!

We also had a "Walsh adventure" while they were here. On Sunday we were hanging out at the house spending time together. We put Landon down for his normal naptime after reading him a story. He spent some time in his crib, throwing his toys out and talking to himself. That's normal for him. He eventually makes himself tired and falls asleep. He spent some time doing this and ended up not going to sleep. Over the last week and a half he has had a few days where he hasn't taken a nap, but I leave him in his crib for a couple of hours to at least rest. No big deal. So after he didn't take a nap, we continued on with our day like normal, hanging out some more and having dinner. Landon ate really well at dinner, as he has been doing recently. He spent some time playing after that and then it was time to go to bed. Braydon and I got him ready for bed like we always do and I read him a story. When I put him in his crib to lay down, I noticed that he sounded a little wheezy. I thought maybe his lungs were a little dry like they get sometimes. I decided to check (just in case) to make sure his trach was in place where it should be. Come to find out...Landon had pulled it out!!! We didn't have a clue! I immediately called to Braydon, telling him as I was getting Landon out of the crib, that his trach was out and I wasn't sure when it had came out. Now...we have been trained for situations like this, where all we need to do is try and put it back in. If that doesn't work, then we try a smaller sized trach and if that doesn't work, then we have to put one of the suction catheters in place of the trach. A suction catheter is a long plastic tubing that we use in Landon's trach to suck out any mucus that could be in his lungs with a machine. It is about the diameter of a coffee stirrer...maybe slightly bigger.

Well, needless to say, all that training went out the window the second I saw his trach was out. We did try and put it back in, but the hole where it would normally go was closed up!! So I was a little panicked and was trying the only thing I could think to do. I tried putting it back in several times, but it wasn't working. Meanwhile, Braydon had called 911 and was on the phone with the operator. Braydon came in while I was freaking out crying and told me to calm down because Landon was fine and he was breathing normally. I think up until that point the only thing that I was thinking was that Landon couldn't breathe. After he said that, I started to calm down. I realized that he had been breathing like that for quite some time. (I learned later that the hole where his trach goes can close up completely within a couple of hours, so who knows how long it was out!) The ambulance came and Braydon and I took Landon up to Children's Hospital. Landon slept the whole way there. :) Once we got there, we talked to the doctors and nurses about what the game plan was. They had him hooked up to a oxygen monitor to measure the level of oxygen that was in his blood. He maxed it out at 100%...without a trach!!! Everyone was floored. We were surprised to learn that he was doing so well without it and still doing all the things he always does. It was crazy! Braydon and I were beside ourselves.

Dr. Quinlan wasn't on call that night, so we dealt with one of his partners who was in communication with Dr. Quinlan all night. They were contimplating not putting the trach back in since he was doing so well, but Dr. Quinlan eventually decided that we would need to have it in for a safety precaution next spring when we do Landon's tonsilectomy. At that same time, he wants to resect part of the blood filled sacs that are on Landon's tongue. So, with a heavy sigh, we still have a trach. They had to take him to the OR that night and put it back in. We spent the night in a hospital room on a very uncomfortable little sofa. Dr. Quinlan came in the next morning to see Landon and to make sure we understood why he wanted it back in. After that, we were sent home. Landon has done well ever since then. What a stinker, right??? He almost made me have a heart attack!!!

All in all, we had an eventful weekend and week, but all is well again in the Walsh household. We have now learned that if it happens again, we can just put Landon in the car and take him to the hospital need for panic. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MRI results!

I got a phone call from Dr. LaCroix a couple days ago. She was calling to give me the results from Landon's MRI. Braydon and I have been anxiously awaiting the results to hopefully find out what Landon's prognosis is. We were wanting to get some insight as to what might have happened in Denver and to know where we could go from here.

Dr. LaCroix told me that the MRI looked good. There wasn't anything there that we needed to be concerned about. She said that there were some signs still there from the arrest (which we see in how Landon walks and stands). She said that those things might always be there, but it was something that could be worked with. No one would ever really know just by looking at him that he had an arrest. He talks and behaves right around where a two-year-old should. It's just some of the things that we notice because we focus on them in therapy, like Landon's right hand. We also see him standing different due to his muscles in his right leg flexing even if he doesn't mean them to. It's just some of those glitches that we need to still work on in therapy. Dr. LaCroix was just making us aware that they might always be there. We're ok with that. We can't ignore all the work that he's done and the progress he's made. It's completely amazing!! Even Dr. LaCroix said he had an amazing recovery.

So, in the end, Dr. LaCroix advised us to go see a neurologist just to keep tabs on Landon and to hopefully be able to answer some of our questions more thoroughly. I will be making an appointment with her to see her sometime in the future. Dr. LaCroix wasn't sure about how busy she might be. I'm ready to have her answer my questions and I can't wait to see what she says.

We were excited that the MRI was good news instead of bad. We'll take it! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009


Hi everyone!

We had an eventful weekend. Braydon's dad, Joe, came to visit this weekend on his way back from a business trip in Salt Lake. It was good to see him and spend time with him. Landon warmed up to him and liked to sit and play or watch cartoons with him. They had fun together. :)

We had plans for Halloween to put Landon in his costume and go down our street and let him trick-or-treat. He ended up coming down with a cold the day before and wasn't very agreeable when it came to going trick-or-treating. Needless to say, we didn't make it passed the front steps. He was crying and grouchy so we gave up...maybe next year. What a weekend to get sick, huh? Poor guy.

So instead of going to neighbor's houses we spent time upstairs playing trick-or-treat. Braydon and Joe went into the bedrooms and Landon and I went "trick-or-treating". Landon had fun knocking on the doors and having dad and Grandpa Joe give him stuff. He did a couple of rounds before dad gave him something so interesting he just had to sit down and play with it. I was glad he had fun doing that and hopefully he'll be able to participate next year. We got a picture of him in his costume before he had a meltdown.

We have some therapy appointments this week although we cancelled today's appointment because Landon shared his cold with the family and now Braydon and I are suffering. :) We're taking today to get better and hopefully the rest will help get us back to normal routine by tomorrow.

I can't believe that it's already November!! Where did this year go? Not much longer and it will be Christmas...scary, huh?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tears at the petting zoo....

Hi everyone! I hope your weekend was a good one. Braydon and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary last Friday. I can't believe it's only been 4 years! Some days it feels like more. ;)

On Saturday we planned on taking Landon to a local petting zoo that was having a Halloween celebration for the kids. It was only $5 to get in, so we thought...why not? Although it was during Landon's naptime we decided to see how he would do and took him anyways. As soon as we got there we realized why we don't do anything during his naptime. If we didn't do exactly what he wanted to do he got upset...hysterical fun. So that meant that we spent about an hour trying to keep him entertained without getting upset. Even if it meant that we walked up and down a hallway for 10 minutes....whatever will make him happy right? Ugh! We finally made an executive decision to leave. Before we did we found a little area where they had some ducks. Landon loves ducks and can actually say "duck" and "quack". I figured he would like them and we went over and said hello. He was confused at first because he had never seen a duck in real life. After they quacked at him and a little coaxing from me and Braydon, he finally got it and had fun watching them in their little ponds of water. As soon as we made it back to the car, it started raining and Landon fell asleep before we left the parking lot. I've never seen him so tired. :) Here are some pictures we took...Landon got to wear the top of his Halloween costume (he's a dragon).

Other than that, our weekend was uneventful. Monday was a slow day. Chelli had to cancel therapy with us cause her kids were sick. We just stayed home and enjoyed the day off. Today we went to see Ashley. She worked on more button pushing with Landon. He's really catching on to what he's supposed to do. He's choosing from about 10 different objects that don't even relate to each other, which is awesome for his age. Eventually we will have one for him to use at home with us to help with his communication.

Tomorrow is more Speech therapy combined with Occupational therapy. I've been keeping a food diary for Landon over the past week and a half to see how well he's eating. We noticed him eating more so I started measuring and writing it down. We can give this information to Dr. Zapata's office and the dietician can tell us whether or not we can back off on giving Landon so much Pediasure. He may not need the extra calories he gets from it since he's eating so well. We'll have to see... I'll turn that in to Chelli tomorrow so she can pass it on to Dr. Zapata. It will be good to see what they say. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Something new!

So, I've noticed while I'm writing these blogs that I've been spending a lot of time talking about the people that Landon sees for doctors appointments and therapies and reminding you of who does what. So I decided to add a list of the doctors on the right side of the blog. That way when I'm talking about someone and you aren't sure who they are, the name is there with what they do. Hopefully, this will save me some time from repeating myself and from you having to read it over and over. :)

Mondays are awful...this one got better... was actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was super nervous going to sleep last night, but the lack of sleep from worrying helped me to get to sleep. Otherwise, I was going to be awake all night making myself a nervous wreck.

When we got to the hospital this morning, the nurses were so nice and comforting to us and didn't mind giving us an update on Landon every 30 minutes. I spent some time with one of the nurses going over some tricks of the trade when dealing with Landon. I told her how he loves to find exit signs, his Mickey Mouse (which we didn't leave home without), and the movie "Cars". She took the info I gave her and ran with it. She then informed the other people taking care of Landon about what I had told her. One of the ladies that was going to be in the recovery room with him (since they monitor him for 30 minutes before we even get to see him), came in to introduce herself and told me that they were going to have "Cars" ready so when he woke up he could watch it in the recovery room. Children's doesn't allow you to go into the operating room with them when they are being put to sleep. Not sure why, maybe it's a liability?? Anyways, so when the lady came to take him she didn't even give us time to make a big fuss. She came in and told Landon that they were going to look for the exit signs in the hallway. After giving Landon hugs and kisses, I plopped him on the bed and told him he was going for a ride on the bed and to show Mickey all the exit signs. He nodded yes and off they went. When Braydon and I peeked down the hall, the lady was trying to make the exit signs sound as exciting as she possibly could and all you could see was the back of Landon's head just looking around for the exit signs. He was so cute! I'm glad he didn't have time to cry and make a big fuss. It definately made it easier on me and Braydon and DEFINATELY on Landon! Thank goodness for wonderful nurses! They are soooooo underappreciated!!

So the plan for Landon today was to have Dr. Quinlan do his broncoscopy first, the hearing test second, and the MRI third. The whole thing was supposed to last about three to four hours. After the first hour or so, Dr. Quinlan came in to talk to us about what he had seen. He brought in pictures that I didn't completely understand even with him pointing things out on them. He showed us a picture he had taken of Landon's tonsils and told us that they were very large and would need to be taken out at some point. He also talked to us about the little blood filled polyps on the front side and top of Landon's tongue. He said that the best option for those (since they bleed a lot) were to just try to remove them. He said it wouldn't take them away completely since he wasn't sure about what was going on on the inside of his tongue, but could possibly help. Other than that, he said that everything in his airway looked very nice and that after the tonsilectomy, we could talk about when we can get the trach taken out!!!!!! I think Braydon and I had to chew on that one for a little while because we had to reiterate to each other what we thought he said after Dr. Quinlan left the room. It was so nice to hear. We had made a plan to try for the tonsilectomy for the spring.

The hearing test went well. The audiologist (the lady that tested Landon's hearing) said that he had small ear canals which we already knew. Even with the small ear canals she said that she felt his hearing was fine. She tested him with high pitches and low pitches which were both normal. When she tested the mid-ranged pitches she said there was a very mild hearing loss, but didn't feel that it would interfere with learning how to talk or his progress from here on out. She actually shared with us that she has the same problem in her ears and she seemed pretty normal to me. :) She also informed us that the responce from the sounds made in his ear when traveling up his brain stem were slowed. This is a side effect from what happened in Denver. Overall, the hearing test told us what we already knew. She said we didn't need to get it repeated, but would love to stick him in the sound booth when he gets a little older just to keep tabs on him.

The MRI we don't have any information on. They normally take a day or so to read anyways, so we weren't expecting to get results today. We aren't even sure when we will get results or who will call us about them...but hopefully no news is good news. :) We have to go see Dr. LaCroix in a couple of weeks anyways for a follow-up so maybe she will know something by the time we see her again.

Today was definately stressful, but in the end went really well. I'm getting to move past my phobia of putting Landon under anesthesia again, and we won't have to worry about doing anything else until the spring! Landon woke up a little aggitated with a little pain. After we got him a dose of Tylenol, he was content just sitting watching "Cars". When we got to take off the blood pressure cuff, the oxygen monitor, and get the IV out, he was so happy walking the halls with us. He was the same kid we came in with. :) We'll have to start calling him the "Comeback Kid" cause he bounces back from all of these procedures so easily (with the exception of May...that one took a little longer). :)

Braydon and I are so thankful that today went so smoothly. Thank you to all of you that sent me text messages to let me know you were thinking of us. I'm so glad that I have such awesome family and friends that support us with so much love. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

We love you all and hope you have an awesome week!!!!! I'll put up more pictures soon! XOXO

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The doctor said....

We took Landon in to see Dr. LaCroix on Friday. She was excited to see all the progress that Landon has made since the last time she saw him. We talked about the procedure on Monday, and she reiterated to me how important it is to get this done. She is very eager to get the results from the MRI to make sure there isn't anything serious going on. She didn't think there was, but she wants hard proof (as do I). She comforted me in telling me that Landon is perfectly healthy. I guess we've been doing well keeping him away from the nasty swine flu bugs. :)

We aren't doing much this weekend...just hanging out as a family and spending time together. Hope everyone has a nice weekend. I'll let everyone know how Monday goes and what the doctors say.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I know...I's been too long!

So, I know it's been a while since I've written anything on here. I'm sorry for that. I've been a bad blogger. :) We had so much going on in the month of September that it was hard to keep track of everything! As some of you know, we moved into our new house at the end of September, so most of the month I was spending my extra time packing. I hate packing and I hope we don't have to do it again for a very long time. And if we do, hopefully the air force will be packing it for us! :)

We are all loving the new found room we have in the new place and have enjoyed painting walls for the first time since I was in high school. I guess that's part of renting... Anyways, Braydon was a super unpacker and got most of our stuff out of boxes before the first week was over. I was very impressed because I pride myself on doing well unpacking, but Braydon was so much better than me!! :) I've included a picture of the front of the house before we moved in and before they put our sod down. I'll post another one after I take a picture...hopefully tomorrow. :)

Ok...going back a little bit, the end of August my mom came to visit Landon for the first time since "the May incident". She was very surprised to see how well Landon was doing walking around with little assistance. We had fun hanging out together and I'm excited for her and Paul to come out to visit again next month. Here are some pictures we took while she was here:

Landon has been doing really well recently. He's been walking around only falling every once in a while. He's been starting to catch himself when he falls which he wasn't doing before. He normally just falls over cause his muscles lock up. He has been getting a lot more control of his muscles in his legs as well as in his arms and fingers. His left hand is back to normal, doing the majority of the work. We're trying to remind him that he has a right hand and to use "righty" just as much as "lefty". He has started to use "righty" spontaneously in play and his occupational therapist has been impressed with the progress he has made with using it. We are trying to work on the use of his fingers on his right hand with pointing exercises and reaching. He's made progress, but still has some way to go. Right now, Chelli has been trying to get him to play with shaving cream and pudding to get over any sensory issues he may have. When we first brought the shaving cream out, he wasn't sure what it was, but has slowly warmed up to it with a little encouragement.

Physical therapy has been going remarkably well. We've slowed PT down to once a week to make room for Ashley (the speech therapist) to fill in that spot. Penny didn't feel like she needed to see him twice a week and felt that he needed more help in other areas. So we've been doing that for the past couple of weeks now. When we see Penny, the sessions have become more of a play time of going down slides and crawling through tunnels. I can tell that Landon enjoys that time a little more than he used to because he doesn't realize he's "working". He just looks at it as play time.

I had mentioned in previous posts that our insurance covered Landon to get one of the "Kid Walk" walkers to help him learn to walk again. We got it mid-September, but found ourselves not really using it because Landon didn't seem to need it. We told Penny how little we were using it, and told her that if there was another family that needed it to let us know and we would be happy to let them use it. Low and behold, the next week she said she had found someone!! She works with another little boy who has downs syndrome and is also trached like Landon with a G-button. She said that he is about the same age as Landon and is just getting the hang of walking. Penny had put him in the Kid Walk that Children's has in the therapy room, and he loved it. I brought in ours for him to use that following week. I figured that if we can't use it anymore I would much rather someone else, that doesn't have the amazing insurance we have, to use it. There's no sense in it just sitting around our house collecting dust! Penny told me today that the family was so appreciative and that the little boy is loving playing in the Kid Walk. I was so happy to hear that. :)

Anyways, Landon's been working with Ashley for speech over the last few months, but since we have switched to twice a week, we wanted to start working on some ways to give Landon some communication skills besides the sign language. Ashley and Landon's teachers have all expressed to me that since he isn't picking up as many words as an average 2-year-old, that we need to find a way for him to communicate so when he goes into preschool a teacher will be able to understand him without having to know sign language. Their idea was to start with showing him pictures of things he is used to and giving him choices to pick from. We put these pictures on buttons that say the word when he presses them. He's picked up on it really well, and Ashley has moved him up to 6 different choices. Eventually, Ashley would like to get him to make sentences with these buttons, if need be. Landon's teacher also suggested that we keep broadening his sign language vocabulary because it gives him another way to communicate. I guess some things we may have better luck with than others, so why not try them all?!

Last month, we went to see Landon's eye doctor to get his eyes checked. I was anxious to see what he said since Landon was doing so well with keeping his glasses on. When he looked at Landon's eyes he told me that Landon developed Accommodative Esotropia. It's a fancy word for when his eye focuses, it turns inward. So he gave us a stronger prescription in his left eye and told us to come back in a couple months. It should resolve itself with the stronger prescription. Keep your fingers crossed for that.

We are going to see Landon's pediatrician tomorrow for a pre-op appointment. We've been putting it off, but the time has come to have Landon's MRI done to check the progress of his brain. Dr. LaCroix wanted to do one as soon as we got back from Denver, but we told her we weren't ready so she was fine with waiting. So now the day is growing nearer. Monday we will be putting Landon under anesthesia for the first time since May. I'm speaking for myself when I say that I'm very nervous about it!! Dr. LaCroix tried to assure us that it wasn't the anesthesia that caused all those problems in Denver, it was the treatment, but it still doesn't make it any easier!!!! Especially since he's doing so well. So please keep us in your thoughts and prayers on Monday. His procedure is at 11 and shouldn't take more than a couple of hours. I'll keep everyone posted. Dr. Quinlan (the ENT doctor) will also be taking another look into Landon's airway, and we will also be conducting a hearing test while Landon's under, to omit any problems with his ears. Just as a precaution. Trying to get it all done at the same time so we don't have to put him under too much.

On a more fun note, we took Landon to the Omaha Children's Museum on Monday. They have something called "Carefree Kids" that they conduct 3-4 times a year. It's for kids that have compromised immune systems (like Landon and children that are in similar situations). They throughly clean the place from top to bottom so that these children can come in without the threat of getting sick. So we had a lot of fun exploring the museum. He had a lot of fun in the fire truck with dad and in the sticker car with me. He was doing a nice job of turning the steering wheel with both hands (I know...the little things). He found the farm very funny. They have statues of different animals and have buttons that say the sound of the animal. Landon found the cow and sheep one to be hilarious and stood there pushing it for a good five minutes over and over again. Hopefully the workers can tune it out. :) They also have a play house that is just Landon's size to play in. We explored that and found the refrigerator which was another repetitive open and close, open and close. We got him away from that long enough to take a picture on the little sofa in the play house...

Landon playing in the "bedroom" of the play house.

The infamous refrigerator...

Those cow and sheep sounds are just so funny...

Landon trying to spray the house but ending up playing with the water instead. :)

Well, we love you all and I'll keep everyone updated about Monday! Have an awesome weekend!! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Socks, a movie, and awesome neighbors!!!

I hope everyone had an awesome weekend! We did a little bit of everything this weekend...Braydon had a couple of his friends come over to help change the brakes on my car and I am happy to report that they did a very good job!! I made them lunch for a thank you which they were thankful for. :)

That afternoon we went for a walk with Landon in the stroller. I've been housesitting for a neighbor and I needed to go check her mail. Since our mailboxes are at the front of our neighborhood, we thought it would be a nice walk there and back. Braydon brought his keys to check our mail at the same time...kill two birds with one stone, right? Anyways, we got down to the mailbox and checked the mail. Landon wanted to take the keys out of the large mailboxes that packages come in, so Braydon gave him his keys instead so we could head back. Landon was satisfied with that and he was shaking the keys and playing with them as we made our way back up the street. As we passed one of the sewers that drains the street, we hear the keys fall, followed by another clinking sound. Braydon and I both looked down, looked at each other, and said "did that just happen?". Braydon tried to lift the drain but to no avail. One of the neighbors happened to be walking by with his dog and inquired as to what happened. After he found out about the keys falling down the sewer, he told us that he could help cause he's always chasing after his dogs toys that go down there. First off, why you would care if your dog toy went down the sewer?? Second, the fact that this guy wants to go down into a nasty sewer to retreive his dogs nasty sewer toy is just gross!! Anyways, I'm only realizing that as I'm writing this cause at the moment we were just happy that someone knew how to open the lid. He went to his house, got a screwdriver, and in that amount of time we had a couple of other people around us that were wondering what we were doing. When the sewer-dog-toy-man got back, he snapped the end of his screwdriver off but still ended up getting the lid open. When the lid came off another guy that had just pulled up claimed that he was the smallest out of all the guys (which he wasn't) and went down there to retrieve our keys. We got our keys back and we didn't even have to go down there and get them!! However, we learned a very valuable lesson....never give a two year old your keys...ever!!! With all joking aside, we were thankful for their help and we're so happy that we have such awesome neighbors!!!

That night, one of Braydon's bosses at work was having a movie night in his backyard for his son's birthday, so we went over there and watched Veggie Tales on the side of his house. It was actually a nice set up with movie popcorn and candies. We brought a blanket, laid it out on the grass and tried to entertain Landon with some toys since he wasn't interested in the singing vegetables. :)

We had a lazy day full of chores and hanging out today.

Last week we had fun with Landon at PT. He worked really hard on crawling for us, but was quickly over that. Penny asked him if he wanted to go for a walk and he quickly replied with his little "uh-huh!". So he walked to the elevator, got on, and then walked up a ramp (all by himself with only a few catches from Penny) and onto another elevator to go back down to the therapy rooms to get a sticker for himself!!! We were so happy with how far he walked and Penny was overjoyed with how far he walk by himself. She said she feels like he will walk again, but could possibly have some trouble with running. I told her that was fine with me, we could find him a sport to play that didn't involve running. :) Of course now that Penny has said that, watch Landon prove her wrong! ...Which I'm sure Penny would love!!!!!

I've included some pictures of Landon that I took a couple of days ago. He woke up from his nap and wanted to bring his Mickey Mouse downstairs with him. I was trying to get him to show me Mickey and take his picture...but he didn't really understand why I was asking him that. :) The picture came out kind of cute though. I want everyone to take note of the yellow socks he's wearing. Those socks were from when we were still in Denver at the Swedish Medical Center. One of our nurses gave us an extra pair of them because they have the skid-proof sticky stuff on the bottom. She told us (with a smile) that we could take them for when Landon was walking again....Well, Wanda, if you are reading this, your socks have come in handy! ;)

Well, we have a busy week ahead. My mom is coming to visit on Wednesday to see Landon...Braydon and I are just an extra bonus! :) She'll be here until next Tuesday so I'll include some pictures from her visit the next time. :)

We found out the closing date for our house will be September 29th!!! We're excited, nervous, stressed and overwhelmed all at the same time. I just keep telling myself that this will be the last time we have to deal with moving out of military housing for a long time...if ever again! :) The house has drywall up and the siding has been completed. Braydon and I are going to go there tomorrow and take some pictures so everyone can see. We're super stoked!!!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A little bit of exciting news

Today we had an adventerous day full of things to do. Landon cooperated well while we took him to his PT appointment and then back to the house for a bite to eat, and then back across town to his appointment with Dr. Quinlan (his ear, nose, and throat doctor).

We started with Penny at PT, working on crawling up stairs. Like most other times Landon protested, but finally did the stairs a few times. Once we got to the top he toppled over which sent him into a crying fit. He cried for a good five minutes or so to let us know how mad he was. The whole time Penny and I are trying to get him interested in something else while he just stood there sobbing. Finally, a good long hug helped him get over the spill and we moved on to walking.

Today, instead of using the Kid Walk chair (that's in the video below), we had him try walking by himself. He did really well with his balance, standing by himself for a few minutes at a time. We had him walk down the hallway to where there is an elevator. He has this new facination with watching elevators open and close and watching the people get off and on. He likes to push the button and finds it interesting when he gets off and the scenery looks different than when he got on. Anyways, so we used the elevator as motivation to get him to walk on his own. He did really good, walking 20-30 steps at a time all by himself!!! We were so excited!! We just have to continue to encourage him to walk on his own while still working on getting him to crawl. We also have to still work with him on transitioning from his belly, to sitting, to standing and walking...but not always all at once. :) He is also still doing really well with sitting, which gives us hope about him walking.

When we went to visit with Dr. Quinlan today we had to give him an overview of what Landon was doing now because he hadn't seen him since before the last Denver trip. We had ran into him a few times during therapy session while Landon was walking around the hospital, but never got a chance to fill him in. He had compared notes with Dr. LaCroix (Landon's pediatrician), and got the medical explanation of what happened, but didn't know where he was now. As we spoke to him about what our plan might be, we all decided that we thought giving Landon a break from procedures and letting him grow was probably our best bet. After what happened, me and Braydon want to enjoy Landon and aren't in any rush to get him "better". Right now we think he is beautiful and wonderful the way he is. If he is destined to get better then that would be great, but we want to let him be him for a while. I think he deserves that with all that he has been through in his life.

Also, Dr. Quinlan decided that he wanted to try and see how Landon would do if he put his finger over his trach. Landon did really good at first, breathing just fine and then he started to get fidgity and was trying to take Dr. Quinlan's hand off his trach. Dr. Quinlan was impressed with how he did, but said that it didn't mean that Landon was ready for his trach to be taken out. He would need to monitor him while he slept too which is different than just sitting and breathing to make sure that Landon's blood oxygen level didn't drop. He didn't talk to us about doing any of that right now cause he wants Landon to keep growing and see how the anatomy of his mouth changes in the next few months. He told us he wanted to do a brochoscopy on Landon by October or November which can be paired with getting another MRI done and a hearing test done (since he hasn't had one since the incident). Also, if need be, we can get the dentist to do work on him while he's sedated. But we aren't even sure about the dentist yet cause Landon hasn't seen one yet! ;) haha

So I was pretty excited that Dr. Quinlan had been so optimistic about Landon's trach and his mouth. He had said that he was able to see more of the back of Landon's mouth than he ever had before. It was so nice to go to the doctor and have some good news! The light at the end of our very long tunnel got a little brighter today! :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Georgia Visitors

We have had an eventful week. Braydon's parents came to visit and brought a few of his siblings along with them. Rhea and Bridget (Braydon's sisters) had never met Landon before and got to spend some time getting to know him. He was scared of all the commotion over him, but quickly warmed up to them and enjoyed their company. It was nice having helping hands around here to help with Landon or help make dinner (Rhea is a marvelous cook). They came fully prepared to take over and let me and Braydon relax. It was a nice change of pace. Before we knew it the weekend was over and they had to get back to Georgia. Bridget had to go back to school for her senior year of high school and Bonnie had to get back to renovating the store she just bought....yes, she bought a gift shop, which she is naming Bumbleberry, in Clarkesville that she is really excited about. She wants to get everything done so she can reopen. If any of the Georgia people are reading this and you happen to be in Clarkesville, stop by, see her and give her a big hug from me. :) Below is a picture we took together (minus Braydon).

Anyways, Landon has been doing really well the past couple of weeks. He has made progress all around and is starting to sit up by himself where Braydon and I feel comfortable leaving him to go make breakfast or, for heaven's sake, use the bathroom without having to get someone else to watch him. It's been nice to be able to let him sit and play, and it gives us a break. Without cursing ourselves, it's starting to be like it used to be before all of this happened and he was able to play and do the things on his own that he wanted to do. I know it's only sitting up, but it's a step closer to more independence for Landon.

He's also been working on walking unassisted with Penny and takes 5-10 steps on his own before he falls. Penny advised us to go backwards and work on him sitting and crawling, so he might be able to gain more strength in his arms, shoulders, and trunk to help him when he does fall. She made the observation when we were there Thursday, that Landon is getting into the pattern he did before he started crawling. He wanted to stand and walk with you before he learned how to crawl and we had to back him up and work on crawling first. Now we are doing it with a few more challenges than we had before. He's still having trouble with his right hand and arm, but we spend a lot of time making him do things with it to help remind him that it's there. Occasionally he will use it on his own, which is promising. :)

On Wednesday Landon worked with Ashley (his speech therapist) and was being ornery with her not wanting to use the pasy muir. He cried when we put it on him so she just worked on combining signs asking him to say "more please". He did really well with it and caught on by the end of the session. We have, however, taught Landon how to say "up" and "on". It's not clear as a bell, but we know what he's saying and that's all that matters right now. :)

For an update on our house, we are waiting to hear from the builders this week about our exact closing date. We should know by Wednesday! I'm super excited, but also sooooo overwhelmed by the packing that needs to be done. I'm trying to take everything a day at a time and a room at a least that's what I'm telling myself. I think that even that is overwhelming me! :) My mom is coming at the end of the month so hopefully she can light a fire under my butt to get me going...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Walkin' and Talkin'

Well, things have been changing around the Walsh household. Landon has been showing improvements over the past few weeks with walking, talking, and his fine motor skills. We have days where he will wake up and be doing something new...and he hasn't necessarily been doing as much of that as when he first started to get better.

We have been pushing him to walk again at physical therapy and to learn how to cruise along the table or couch. He started out pretty wobbly with cruising (almost like he was trying to dance and walk at the same time), but has progressively gotten better. We have been making him stand independently and he can stand in one place for almost 30 seconds at a time! Penny was very impressed with how much he was wanting to walk and so she had him start taking steps last Thursday at PT. The most steps he took unassisted was 5 but we are hoping with lots of unassisted practice he will get better and better. He still needs someone with him to catch him when he falls (which is a lot). Even when he is just standing shifting his weight from foot to foot he will cross his legs and fall over. We think that he might forget about what he is doing, so we have to constantly remind him of where he is in space. He also does this with his right hand. We'll give him something to hold and he'll look at it for a second or two and then put his hand down and forget he's got something. We constantly prompt him to look at what's in his hand and sometimes he will and sometimes he'll look at us like we are crazy. I think that will all come back with more practice.

We started really working with our speech therapist, Ashley, last week. She asked me to bring Landon's pasy muir so that she can hear him talk. A pasy muir is a piece that connects to the end of Landon's trach to help us hear his voice. It is a one-way valve that will allow air into his trach but won't allow it to come out of his trach. That way the air is forced passed his trach and up through his vocal cords. It's fun to listen to him cause he likes having it on and to have his voice heard. He can get quite loud! :) Anyways, so we worked with Ashley on making different noises and also on doing signs. He has been doing more sign language including the sign for "bird", "thank you", "please", "help", "all done", and we are working on getting him to do "more" again. That one is a little harder for him cause you have to use both hands, and he forgets he has a right you can see our dilema. :) Ashley was very impressed with how well he tolorated his pasy muir and told me to bring it with us every Wednesday when we work with her. She also said that she would like to start seeing him another day a week (which made me tired just thinking about that) but said that if we wanted to we could team up with the OT and get two sessions done in one. That made me relax a little more. :) I couldn't imagine shoving more therapy into our week. We barely have enough time to fit in other doctors appointments as it is. Can I get an AMEN!?

Anyways, we have been having fun watching Landon progress and seeing his changes. We even got back into the bean box the other day to have some fun. He really liked slapping the beans and making them all fly out of the box...which was not-as-much-fun for mom and dad to clean up. I guess that's the sacrifice for a little fun. :)

I don't think that I've mentioned on here but Braydon and I decided to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit for new home buyers and buy a house. We're super excited to get out of this itty-bitty house and into something we can grow with. We will be moving sometime between mid-September and mid-October. Since we are building it we won't have an exact closing date until next month. We're just moving to the next town so it won't be that far away and it will actually be closer to some of the stuff we need to be the hospital. :) If you want to look at the floor plan of our new house, or are just curious you can go to the builders website: Go to "find your home" at the top and click on "by collection". On the next page, go to the Gallery collection and click on view floorplans. Our floorplan is called "Chase"'s a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath. I will be taking pictures as it is being built and posting them so you all may see. We went by there the other day and the framing had been completed with walls up, so they are moving right along. :)

Well, I'll keep everyone posted about more changes with Landon. We are having Braydon's family come to visit this week, so that will be fun. His two sisters haven't met Landon yet, and Bonnie hasn't seen, or heard, about Landon since she left last month. So we're excited to see if she will cry when she sees him (which I'm sure she will). :) I know I would. :)

P.S. Thank you to all the people that sent Landon birthday presents. We got a few more after I posted the last blog so I made sure to take some pictures...
OH! Thanks to Heather Pleak for getting Landon the book "Snuggle Puppy" which involves me singing to my son....I'm sure he loves that! ha ha ha!!!

---That Superman shirt is so fitting!!!