Friday, February 23, 2018

New Surgeon ... Next Surgery

So, ... We DID It!
We drove ALL the WAY to Oklahoma ... for a doctor appointment.  
I'll be honest ... it felt foolish and odd and the closer we got and the more tired we were, the greater my inclination towards feeling like we had made a silly mistake.

We left in the evening one day last week and shortly after we started driving the high winds and the extremely dense fog set in.  

It was like driving in THIS ... 
... except it was really dark outside!

That "We walk by faith and not by sight" verse went over and over in my mind and took on a whole new meaning for me as I silently pleaded with the LORD to lift the fog and let me actually SEE the road.  I just could not bring myself to drive the speed limit for fear of having no reaction time if something actually DID come into view and, thankfully, after a while, semi-trucks started coming up behind me and passing me.  It was then that I decided to "keep my eyes fixed on Jesus" ... and tail lights ... and after a couple of hours, we were out of the fog.  ALLELUIA!!

We took turns driving and after a teeny-tiny nap at a truck stop in I-Have-No-Idea-Where-We-Were, we arrived in Oklahoma late morning.  

The medical complex is HUGE and we expected that we would have some trouble finding our way ... BUT we had no trouble AT ALL!!  That was pretty encouraging!

We met the doctor and he spent a very decent amount of time with us and we talked about why we were there, who referred us, and what the proposed next steps would be.  

We are all in agreement that the major stuff should be put off for a while to allow for continued healing and growth but there are a few things that can be done in the meantime.  

Sooooo ... next month we are going back to Oklahoma!
Yep, I am just as surprised that it will happen that quickly ... AND ... BOTH BOYS will be having a procedure done.  

Your prayers, of course, are wanted as we would like to go through this without issues and complications, especially since we will be so far from home.  We only plan to be in the area for a few days as the procedures are considered "outpatient" for typical patients.  

So, stay tuned for updates and the before-and-after photos we are hoping to surprise you with. 

Because we weren't sure what to expect from our meeting of the doctor and in the event that we would be returning home disappointed that we had travelled so far to find that we didn't like the doctor, ... we decided to take our time coming back so that we could enjoy some of the sights.  That way, it wouldn't be a total bust!

We basically took I-44 nearly the entire route and did you know that there is A LOT to see and do along I-44??  

We stopped in Diamond, Missouri ... why?
Because apparently that is where George Washington Carver was born and it is also the location of the first location for a monument in regards to Carver (I think there are other locations of significance such as in Kansas and in Alabama where he spent a large part of his life).  

There is really a lot to see at the National Monument in Missouri ...

... a lot to look at ...

... and a lot to learn about George Washington Carver.
Did you know that he discovered over 300 ways to use the peanut?

He REALLY was an amazing man!!

We also went to St. Louis ... Great City ... we will definitely go back there!  There is, of course, the St. Louis Arch (or the Jefferson Expansion National Memorial).  If you're in St. Louis, you need to, at least, go look at it. 

That's what we did ... and then we quickly went indoors because it was cool, windy, and rainy.  

Because of the weather and poor visibility, we decided NOT to go up into the Arch.  But there are several things to look at inside the building below the Arch.

A wonderful place to visit in St. Louis is the City Museum!!!

It is amazing and fun and highly stimulating to the senses.  
(Never mind that it is probably a nightmare for germ-phobic people.)
The kids did not know we were going to City Museum prior to our arrival and they were so excited when we walked in!!!

There are several floors of eye-popping excitement within City Museum.

Many of the items and structures within City Museum were collected/found in the city ... even several of the large trees!!

It sort of appears to be a life-size hamster playground, doesn't it?

Note to self: if we ever decide to go to City Museum again, we should bring knee pads and shin guards for Rees.  By evening when Rees went to change into his pajamas, we were reminded that he has Von Willebrands disease because his poor little legs were covered in some pretty serious bruises ... likely from all the climbing and crawling around through the tunnels and metal-wrung caverns.  

We stayed in St. Charles, Missouri, which is just outside of St. Louis.  It is a lovely town and seems like a very nice place to visit.  We quickly scanned the town but due to weather did not do too much there.  St. Charles is part of the Lewis and Clark trail so there are some sites to see related to that part of history.  

We would like to go back to see more about Lewis and Clark's time there ... when it is a bit warmer.

In a nutshell, that was our brief few days away last week.  
We're moving forward ... and looking forward ... to more progress with the boys and the new doctor.  

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Yesterday was a SNOW day ...

... NO SCHOOL for the kids and no work for Baba (too far to drive in the snowy mess)

It was a SICK day for me!  Yuck!  I came down with a cold HARD and FAST late Tuesday and it put me out on Wednesday.  Then I tried to be strong on Thursday and went to work.  Well, that pretty much wiped me out so now I stayed home another day. 

So, guess what that means ... ??
It means I can work on a POST!

I know it's been a while and now there's a lot that I can share with my readers.  

These two ...
... they either absolutely LOVE each other or despise one another (yep, we have days like that).  

Well, this little buddy has been working hard on his speech, consistently speaking clearly and slowly, while trying to articulate ALL the sounds.  There are quite a few sounds that he still really has trouble with but he's making progress.

One of the things I try to work on with him is getting him to exercise his lip muscles.  He has little concept of getting his upper lip to coordinate movement.  It is quite the challenge for him but he expresses interest in blowing bubbles with chewing gum and being able to whistle, which can only be achieved by him learning to exercise and control his upper lip movements.  

We've started a speech chart for Jonah and he gets stickers for the hard work that he does during his home sessions.  He is pretty excited because when he acquires a certain number of stickers, he will be rewarded ... with his favorite ... FOODS!

After Christmas always starts our string of non-stop birthdays for two months.  And I can't even believe that THIS HAPPENED!!!

My first-born ... oh-so-cute-and-cuddly-guy that he was ...

(I just cannot believe it!)

Then this guy turned 9!

He's our noodle-loving, Batman-crazed, bumble-boy, Jonah!!
He requested noodles (of course) for his birthday and chocolate cake for dessert.  What a guy!

He got a Batman bath robe as one of his gifts and, oh my goodness!!  He L-O-V-E-S it!!!  He wears it all the time.

A week later, we celebrated this girl's birthday!
We can't believe that she is 12 years old already ... seriously the fastest ten years of our lives!!!!  She's so incredibly simple.  She chose grilled cheese and tomato soup for her birthday dinner and a red velvet cake for dessert.  Yum!

In other Brynn news, she's been working really hard on her Learning Rx.  She was awarded with a certificate for accomplishing saying all the US Presidents, in order, in less than 30 seconds.  
Can YOU do that??

She and I work three times a week at home and then she attends at the center and works with her trainer twice a week.  It's A LOT but we have seen some improvements and we are hopeful that she continues to improve and succeed.

And then our little buddy, Rees, FINALLY lost his 1st tooth!!!
That is a huge milestone!
We weren't sure he was even going to lose a tooth.

It's his 8th birthday today!
We are really blessed to have him in our family.  

He's another simple one ... he chose pizza for his dinner ... good choice, buddy!

For his cake, he wanted something strawberry so we chose a strawberry shortcake.  Brynn was happy to be able to light his candles.

He finally got a bathrobe ... thought it was going to be a problem when Jonah got one first.  But our little man was patient and ... yippee ... it paid off!!

Later this week we will be taking our trip to Oklahoma City to meet a new surgeon.  We are excited for the opportunity and we will try to keep our scrutinizing to an acceptable level.  Hopefully, we will have a very exciting post to share after our return.  

Until then ... oh, and somebody will be turning Sweet Sixteen two weeks from today!  Good Grief!!