Saturday, September 5, 2009

My thoughts

Warning: Read at your own risk. LOL

Behold, Children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5

As I am adapting to life with three children, I am reminded that God only gives us what we can handle. These past two weeks have been precious. Even though we have been plagued with many hospital trips and phone calls, I have really become attached to my growing family. When I had Madison, I was advised by many people that "a boy and a girl is good enough." But, in my heart, I knew there were more chidren to come. Now that I have said to many people, "I'm DONE being pregnant. Never again let me do this," I am feeling as though I may again go back on my word. Children are a blessing.

When I was growing up, I never wanted to be a wife. Truth! I never wanted or longed for a perfect wedding or perfect dress. I never had those dreams of this big fancy wedding and all that goes with it. I longed to be a mother! I wanted children and had no intentions of waiting to have them until I was older. I had planned on adopting a child with a hearing disability. I had already started to research it. Then, I met Hal. We have the same feelings on parenting. We do not believe anyone else has the right to parent our children as we feel we do an adequate job on our own. God holds us responsible for our children! It just fit perfect. I love my husband and we have had our ups and downs as anyone else. But, I really wouldn't change our lives (okay, I lied I would change a few things but it usually doesn't have to do with our marriage as much as outside factors. LOL)

So now that I look at my crazy kids, I wonder what life has in store for us!?!! What will they become when they get older? Will we have more children? Will our children have to roll the dice with genetics in the future? None the less, I can not dwell on these thoughts. Life is too short to wonder "what if" all the time. I will do as I always do, enjoy my children and make the best out of a situation that only God can control.

What is a NAM?

People have asked what exactly does Paige's NAM's a short answer.

Basically the NAM (nasoalveolar molding) is a retainer like you would have when you have braces. Fortantly for Hal and I, neither of us have had to have one so we do not have first hand experience with this. But, the NAM works to bring Paige's gum line together to make it easier during surgery to reconnect. It also allows the palate to close up easier as the tissue is still very soft. It helps to expand the tissue to make it easier on the surgeon during the surgery. If it does it's job, Paige MAY NOT need a bone graph when she is 8 years old to close up the small hole in her gum line on the top. This is why she has it so young. When she has her lip surgery, BYE BYE to the NAM!!

Here is a great website if you would like to read more about the NAM!

Here's a picture of Paige's NAM!

Owen started Kindergarten!

Finally got the pictures out of the car! Had the camera in there since Kindergarten day on Wednesday, Sept 2nd 2009! He's such a big guy now!

Paige without her NAM!

This is Paige this morning without her NAM. Check out her poor little baby acne! Gotta love when Mamma's hormones come back out in the form of little icky pimples! All of my kids have had it at this stage! Should go away in a few days!

Crawford County Fair with Mommy and Daddy!

We love taking the kids to the fair every year. Maddie loves the horses! We let the kids play a few games and ride the Merry-Go-Round. It was fun until it started to rain! :-) Here are a few pictures from the day...

Paige's first fair!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cleft Palate and Lip Awareness Month

As I'm learning more and more about this #1 Birth Defect in children, I will share with you. Just thought I would let you all know that this month is Awareness for Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip. Here are a few facts for you to learn to be more knowledgeable on this topic.

Cleft lip/ Palate is the #1 Birth Defect in Children. 1 in 600 children are born with it!

CLP (cleft lip/palate) is both hereditary and caused by environmental factors. You do NOT Have to have someone in your family who has it and just because you do, doesn't mean you are going to have a child with it. Case in fact...I have 2 beautiful children prior to Paige who are not cleft affected (nca). There is a 4-5% chance that ANYONE be born with it.

A "HARE LIP" is an offensive term for CLP. DO NOT USE THIS TERM as it really offends MANY People. If you are using it after reading this, shame on you!

There are many types of CLP. Paige has an unilateral cleft lip and palate. There is also a bilateral cleft lip and palate. This affects both sides of the nose. Paige's is only on the one side.

More boys are affected with cleft palate than girls.

Most children with CLP have their lip surgery from 3-6 months of age. Their palate surgery can take place anytime between 9 and 18 months.

Not all babies who have CLP have speech problems. 99.9% do not have any hearing loss.

CLP develops when the baby is around 6 weeks gestation. This is about the time when most moms find out they are actually pregnant. I knew I was pregnant with Paige at about 3 1/2 weeks gestation because I chart my cycles and can tell easily that I'm pregnant.

70% of babies with cleft lip also have cleft palate!

There's just a few of the facts that I have learned. There are so many more as I learn more and more about this birth defect! Please feel free to share this knowledge!

Just remember...

that this is a blog. If you are easily offended, maybe you should skip some of my posts. LOL I'm just in one of these moods where the words that come out of my mouth might not be to everyone's liking. :-) If you know anything about me, you know I'm very opinionated. However, just know that I usually make sure I know what I'm talking about prior to saying anything. If I don't know, I won't say anything. But, this blog is to help me get through all of Paige's surgeries and to be kind of therapeautic to me. So if I say something offensive, I generally don't mean it. I'm just going to speak my mind. Most people (I should say my friends, generally NOT family) think that my way of thought is refreshing. I generally don't sugar coat things and I definitly don't speak of anything that I am ignorant of. But, as of now, I'm going to speaking a little more of my mind concerning issues that bother me. Read, or don't read. That's completely up to you.

Well, now that my 3 year old is reminding me that I really need a shower, I had better do that!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Owen's first day of Kindergarten!

Pics to come soon!!

Owen had his first day of Kindergarten. We got up early, Hal made pancakes and off we went. Stopped at the store to get him a drink for his snack time and then walked with Owen and the girls to the front door. I handed him off to his teacher and said our goodbyes. When we got home, I realized I forgot to give him his back I went. Good start, already forgetting stuff on the first day. Silly mom!

Owen said he had a great day and was excited to see all of his friends from Pre-K. He shares a class with 2 of them so he was pretty happy about that. He said they went outside twice, watched a movie, ate pizza for lunch with chocolate milk, drew pictures, took a five minute rest time, and had fun. He enjoyed the short bus ride home too. Good times. He was pretty talkative when he got home and begged for a snack. All in all, he enjoyed his first day and wants to go back tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Second Appt at Children's Hospital

Paige had her first adjustment to her NAM today. It took them about 15 minutes to complete the entire visit. We drive 2 hours down and 2 hours back for a 15 min appt. But, she is now weighing 8 pounds and 15 ounces (her birth weight). The dr at Meadville Peds said she was 9, 2 last week but I am just going to go with Children's as they will weigh her every week. I also asked about the scope that they want to use on her. They want to put a scope down my poor baby's throat in a month to check on the strider that she has. Regina (nurse practioner) said that if she is not having any difficulty breathing, than we can probably go ahead and cancel it but that we will wait a little longer to make sure. To me, I say cancel! The risks outweight the benefits here. Strider is something they can outgrown (Madison did). She's NOT turning blue or anything. I'm still worried about it but I also have to trust that they know what they are doing. I do NOT want the scope if all possible!!!

Paige does have thrush but it's not on the back of her throat like her Ped thought. That was actually because the NAM was too big for her mouth and was causing a sore in her mouth. Poor baby! So we are going to continue the meds and they made her NAM shorter so it won't bother her anymore. Thank goodness for that!

All in all, it was a decent appointment. We took Owen and Madison with us so they could see where Paige has to see the doctor to "fix her lip." They have no idea of the palate as I think that might freak them out at this point. We are trying to keep it simple for them and let them know that Paige is in good hands. We will explain all of it when the time comes and they are able to understand it a little better. There are no secrets about it but just taking it one step at a time.

Paige's next appt is next Wednesday at Children's Hospital and also in Meadville at Audiology on Friday.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Madison has finally achieved...

a DRY BED AT NIGHT! Yeah! She has been potty trained for about 9 months or so but she has had to wear a diaper to bed just in case. Most nights and she's dry so we decided it was time to go without the diaper. So far, so good! 3 nights and only one accident. Let's hope this keeps up! They grow up so fast!!

Paige's first Ped appt!

She is growing! Paige is now up to 9 pounds and 2 ounces. She is over her birth weight in one week! She is doing great. She was diagnosed with strider however. It's basically "floppy airway." She is louder than most babies in that she squeeks and grunts and sounds like she has a cold. Maddie had this too and hopefully she just outgrows it. And she also has a case of thrush ALREADY. They said she is more prone to it seeing how her nose cavity is connected to her mouth. Yuck! Poor baby has to take this horrible medicine that she doesn't really like. She does awesome with it but really hates it!

She is doing great with her NAM now. She doesn't care that it's there and it's getting much easier to take in and out to clean. We have changed the tape a few times and she just lays there and lets us do it. She's a great baby!