Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Apples in my Bed?

So, I thought I would update a bit on what life is like around here right now. Madison is doing good. I'll try and get some new pictures up today. She goes in soon for her 2 month check up, and has an appt later in the month with a urologist. She is smiling and cooing and kicking and being an overall joy. The kids all adore her, even Abigail is kissing on her now. (and sitting on her, pinching, etc.)

But, as is usual with an almost 3yo, 18mo old, and newborn, there are few moments in a day when *something isn't happening. I did find an apple in my bed not too long ago. It had been nibbled by a small child obviously, and left without regard. I have also had a battle with Sharpie markings on the TV, walls, and furniture. This follows on the heels of dry erase markers on the walls and canning equipment upstairs. I have to say, I prefer the Sharpie. It comes off fairly easy with a soak in sunscreen, and a scrub with Mr. Clean's magic eraser. The dry erase is tougher by far to remove. (just a tip for all you parents and grandparents out there) I find it's very hard to be on top of them at every moment right now. They just do have some "free time" so to speak, like it or not. But we are learning together how to keep things running like a household. Seth and Ethan are tremendous helpers (and tattlers) and it does help to stem the chaos. They also help with a lot of the chores that are needed on a daily basis. Wonderful boys....

I have to say Hannah is the main culprit and challenge right now. Abby doesn't open doors yet, so her ventures are limited by what Hannah is willing help her get into. But, they are so fun and sweet, it's hard to get too upset with them. (I still manage though) The back yard is a safe place for them to play right now, just waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer to enjoy that respite. They need a few more outdoor toys so they will quit emptying my flower pots, but it's still great for them to get outside and burn off some energy when possible.

The boys have been staying on task with their schoolwork, thanks to my very wonderful mother. We've had some downtime this week due to coughs and colds, but doing great for the most part. They are still doing piano, and practice is a challenge, but we are working on it.

Tim is still doing most of the cooking (what a dear) and he has stayed fairly busy with work (thank the Lord for that). I can't express what a blessing he is to me. He thoroughly enjoys hanging around with all these little ones, and hates to see them go off to bed at night. (I honestly can't say the same for myself, but I'm ready for bed when they are...)

Kirsten is graduating from college soon, and plans on staying with us for a while. I am looking forward to that. She will be working at Camp Harlow for the summer, so we will only see her on the weekends, but it's still nice to have her around. Linda is coming here on a regular basis to help with the children and do some housework. She plays well with the kids, and seems to be on a fort-building quest with them. They love having her here and miss her when she doesn't come out for the day. I too love having her help and company, and truly appreciate her willingness to spend her time with us.

Well, there are my thoughts for today. I pray you are all well. We still need your prayers on an ongoing basis. So much is unknown, but we are trusting the Lord to lead us through. (and He is....)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I know it's been a bit since I've updated. Sorry! I can't believe how fast the times goes by. Having 5 little ones keeps me busier than I figured. :)

Madison had an MRI (quick scan) of her ventricles on Monday. Everything looks good, and her growth curve is normal. Her head is a bit large (percentile-wise) but the surgeon isn't too concerned as long as she stays within the same percentile. I asked when we could stop worrying about a shunt, and the answer was basically "never." Hard to hear, but he did say that statistically, 50% of kids will still need them at this point. He also said that he "had a feeling" she wouldn't need one. Not sure what that means, but I'll cling to that. Seems the symptoms are more important than the actual ventricle size, since people vary a lot in their individual sizes.

She's growing well. 11lb 14oz and 22 1/2 inches long. She's strong and enjoys looking around and being on the floor to kick and wiggle. This doesn't happen as often as I'd like because of the other monkeys we have running around the house. Hannah has taken a real liking to her "sissy" and has actually picked her up a few times before I can get to her. Good thing she's a strong little bear. Abby kisses at her, but doesn't pay too much attention to her unless she's on the floor. Then she sidles up to her feet and starts pulling and poking.

Her big brothers and sisters are in love with her, and she'd be held 24/7 if they all had their way. Kirsten has been here as much as she can with her full schedule, and Linda is helping me out a few hours most days during the week. Very nice.

So, we go back to the neuro in 2 months. In the meantime we'll see her regular doctor, spina bifida clinic doctors, and the local urologist. We meet him on the 27th.

Still praying her little bottom gets better. The soreness waxes and wanes, but never looks good. I am thankful for how well she is doing overall. She is quite the little miracle.....

Madison Walking 22 1//2 months old! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Madison and Mommy

Madison right before her surgery on August 25th 2009

Madison almost 6 months