Thursday, February 26, 2015

Deep South Snow!!

This winter has been very enjoyable so far.  We have had lots of rain but the temperatures have not been terrible.  The month of February has been pretty cold and we have  had several times they predicted ice or snow but we didn't get much from it. 

Yesterday, they had predicted that we were going to get snow by the afternoon and that we were going to get as much as eight inches.  Very rare for here.  This time they got it right.  It did indeed start to snow in the afternoon and it came down fast and hard.  It was breathtaking. 
By bed time we had a good four inches and by this morning we had at least six or so. 
Williams car and truck are covered with snow.
The ponies all had snow all over them.
Carolyn and her pony Millie!
Buck-a-roo the pony we have for the toddlers and baby K.
Yellow in the new dog house my dad built for him this past summer.  He loves it.  It is very warm in there and large enough for him to stand and sprawl out.  It is pack full of straw.

I let the children go out to play in it before breakfast, as the temperatures were already rising and going above freezing and I know by this evening most of it, if not all of it, will be gone. 
Carolyn is very good with the toddlers.  She helped "B"  have a good time out in it.
William helped "B" make this little snow man.  The snow was not packy enough to roll.  Carolyn is by it.
Zeke and Carolyn out doing barn chores in the snow.

Snow ball fight.
"B" with his little snowman!
Of course, hot cocoa for everyone afterwards.
Of course my goats decided to deliver during all of this.  If you have not read it yet or wish to read about all the farming type details,  you can go here to our farm blog.  But for this blog, I will just share a few pictures of them.
At least I don't have any more goats that will deliver so I can relax.

Psalm 51:6-7

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


May the Lord God in heaven be with you in all you do.  May He lead and guide you all the days of your life.

Blessings,

susan

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Its Not Always Easy

Our life is a mix of sorts.  I think if you ask any family, that has a special needs child or is doing foster care,  they will tell you that there are good days and harder days.  Days of struggling and days that are easier.  Days of sadness and days of joy.  Days of wondering what in the world was I thinking, of doubting.... and days that you are so over come with joy, that you are bursting at the seams and could not imagine life without these children in it. 

We not only have many special needs children but are doing foster care again as well.  On days when I am feeling physically well, we stay in our routine and all the children are being what is normal for them, I feel very content and happy.  Praise the Lord that is a better portion of our days.  But there are days, weeks even, when I am not feeling my best, a child or several children are acting badly, or I am dealing with the other hard things that come along in life...and I feel very defeated and exhausted.

I am not going to lie.  I have had a hard past few weeks.  The doctors are having troubles balancing my thyroid.    Several of the children are acting up.  My uncle passed away and I was processing a lot from that and this is the day my daughter passed away on many years ago.  Sometimes the days coming up to this day are very hard but the day is always hard.  Everyone is celebrating a day of love and lovers and me thinking on one of the worst days in my entire life.  Very few people, that knew us back then, acknowledge or remember what happened on this day for us and that is ok...

Needless to say, I am sad today and down.  So I am staying close to God and His Word.  I am praying a lot and I am taking extra good care to eat right, rest more, spend close time with Tim and do special fun things with the children.  I know from the past, tomorrow I will feel much better.  So, because I really have no words to say and am not feeling my best...I will leave you with a poem (a song really) that I wrote on a day when I was feeling particularly down and needed to put my feeling down and get them out in a constructive way.  I have never shared it with anyone in all these years but I hope it blesses someone.




No more tears to Cry

I have no more tears to cry, no more tears to cry
We were never made to feel such hurt,  with pain we can’t describe
When I’m numb inside my heart and mind, a desert deep inside
I just reach toward heaven crying out, There’s just no more tears to cry

I have no more tears to cry, no more tears to cry
When I reach deep down inside myself, asking why oh why?
When we run and search our whole life thru, asking where does peace reside
I just reach toward heaven crying out, there’s just no more tears to cry

I have no more tears to cry, no more tears to cry
 I’ve been crushed by life and those I love,  Only God is by my side
He just reaches down and lifts me up, in His peace I abide
I just reach toward heaven crying out, There’s just no more tears to cry

Life just strolls along, peace seems always there
Out of nowhere life comes crashing down, full of deep despair

Reading through Gods Word, His promise to never leave
I start to take some tiny steps and finally start to breathe

His hand is always true, my life He does renew
I’ve grown closer to my God and King, with all I have been thru


 I have no more tears to cry, no more tears to cry
Walking daily with my Lord and King,  I know I’ll always be fine
I have learned this world is not my home,  To heaven I will strive
I just reach toward heaven crying out with no more tears to cry.

There be no more tears to cry, No more tears to cry
When in heaven up with God above, there’ll be joy we can’t describe!
With the saints of old, on streets of gold, in a mansions we’ll reside!
I’ll just reach toward Jesus, hold His hand, with no more tears to cry

With loved ones by our side, with Jesus we’ll abide! No more tears to cry!
 


I pray if anyone out there is going thru a hard time in their life, a season of pain, hurt or sorrow, that you know God loves you and is there.  It is so much easier to go thru things with Him carrying you.  Joy does come in the  morning.  With God in our life, life is good.

May the Lord God in heaven heal the hurts in your life.  May He be your high tower and rock that never will be moved.

Revelation 21:4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.


Blessings,
susan

Sunday, February 1, 2015

2014 Was A Very Busy Year!

Every year, at this time of year, my husband and I sit down with the previous years calendar and add up the mileage to doctors appointments, therapy appointments and such.  Most years we can deduct this on our taxes.  So it pays to sit down and do it.  As we sat adding them up, I kept a separate sheet just for fun, to see how many single appointments we had last year at various places.  I am not surprised at the numbers, as before going back into foster care, we had a lot of weekly appointments already.  I felt the strain last year of adding three children suddenly to our home and meeting their needs.  Getting them the evaluations, therapy and doctors appointments that they needed to have done was exhausting.  When a child comes into care, there is always a lot of appointments revolving around them for the first many months, till all their needs are met.  This, is where we are at, with our three foster children right now.  The bulk of the running and work has been done in that area and now it is just maintenance of therapy and an occasional specialist appointment.  I must say, I can smile for now, as our calendar is  much lighter so far this year.

I can not even think what it would be like, to have any of our children in sports that eat up calendar days, like soccer, football or baseball.  The things we have chosen to have our children involved in, are things that will help them some how, like ballet for Carolyn and Elizabeth to help with their balance and strength issues.  Or something that we feel strongly they should be in because it is important to them.  I did not even add up things like trips to take William to drivers ed classes or his archery meetings with 4-H.  Carolyn's occasional riding lessons, free gymnastics she participated in for a while or ballet tutoring she receives in our home.

So here are the approximate numbers, to the best of my figuring, for 2014:

Appointments with CASA, Case workers, and Panel for foster care: 22
Visitations for foster care : 9
Foster Meetings:  10
Dental Appointments: 16
Antonio's meetings with his school teacher: 35
Therapeutic Massage Therapy for Antonio: 44
Orthodontist: 11
Doctors, Specialist and Hospital Appointments: 51
Physical, Occupational, Speech and Feeding Therapy Appointments: 145

Kind of amazing really.  I will explain the way I try to stream line my schedule with such a big family and so many appointments. 

Years ago, when we started doing foster care and the number of children and appointments started to climb, I became over whelmed.  I had to pray fervently about it all, as stress was taking a toll.  I was trying to get to all of these various appointments, keep a home up and running, home school and still have time to have meaningful family time together.  Also, every time we left the house for an appointment, it chopped up the day, so when we got home, we had no time to home school or the children were to unfocused to do it.  Something had to change. 

What I learned is that I don't have to go to every appointment.  The appointments that would come to the house, had to.  And I stacked all those type appointments on one day. We have Antonio's home bound teacher come to the  house in the morning to work with him.  Then his Therapeutic massage therapist.  Any CASA or case worker that needs to come to the house, I try to get them scheduled on that day too.  That way, the children not involved in that days appointments, can work at their schooling with out interruption.

Then we attacked the PT. OT and various therapy appointments.   About 10 years ago, I called the therapy place and had them start working all of the therapy appointments, for all of my children, onto one morning or day a week.  I would rather give up one morning than many.  So it took a while but as people dropped off or were willing to change days, we got all of the kids on the same day.  For many years we got to the therapy place at 8:00 a.m. and didn't leave till 3:00 p.m.  As the children have grown and been discharged from a few therapies here or there, we now get to our therapy place at 8:00 am and leave by 12:00 noon.  Not to bad really, considering we get in 8 therapy sessions.

I always keep one other day of the week totally for doctors and specialist appointments.  

So on my schedule, three full days at the beginning of the week are fully scheduled days and we home school those days as well.  Sometimes creatively by bringing stuff with us or schooling late but it gets done.  Thursdays and Fridays I try to keep open for home schooling and so I can get the house cleaned up before the weekend.  Also, if an out of the blue appointment does need to be made in a pinch, I know I never have anything on Thursdays and Fridays and don't need to check my schedule to make the appointment.  This also leaves me Thursday-Sunday as more relaxed type days so we can gear up for the three harder ones that are back to back.  This is what works well for us and our family.

William is now driving so if he is feeling well he drives himself to GED classes and many of his doctors appointments!  Yippee!

Most years are not as bad as 2014 was but I  have had much worse with many more appointments, surgeries and hospital stays than we had last year.   So, I will take it in stride and as a blessing.  God is so good.  I am praying for a slower more relaxed type year.  A year for us all to spend more time in the Lord and His Word.  A year for making happy family memories, helping to guide a few of the children out of bad behaviors and time for teaching them skills they will need and can help with, in our home and out on the farm.

I pray the Lords blessings on your 2015.  That it will be the best of years for us all.

Isaiah 43:19  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.



Blessings,

susan 

    

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Deep Thoughts Today

My Uncle passed away a few nights ago...It has of course made me sad.  He had been sick for a long while and we knew this time was coming.  I was close to my uncle when I was a child, when I lived in Up State New York.  When I moved to Georgia,  I only saw him when I would travel back up there.  I wrote him letters regularly and called him occasionally on holidays but looking back wish I had done more. 

I have thought a lot about life since his passing.  This happens to many of us when we suffer loss of a loved one.  It makes you put into perspective all things.  When our daughter passed away many years ago, I was deep in grief and could not wrap my mind around how fragile life is...how could she be just gone?  After that day, It was branded in my heart, we never know how long people will be with us.  When someone dies, it reminds us that things are not what is important in life. 

When my mom passed away at 58 years old...as they wheeled her empty body out of the hospital room...I thought to myself...she is gone and could take nothing with her.  She came into this world with nothing and left the hospital not even wearing her own clothing.  She had on a hospital gown. 

As I have gotten older, I have a hard time grasping how fast time is going by.  I have watched my grandparents generation slowly leave this world.  Over the past many years, I have seen many from my father and mothers generation go.  I have experienced childhood, teen years, young adult hood and are in the more mature years now.   Standing on top of the hill, you might say.  I have raised children from infants to adult hood.  We have suffered many happy, joyous, days but also many losses.

Pondering these losses has once again driven home in my heart, that the most important things in our lives are relationships.  I know it is nice to have nice things.  I know it is nice to enjoy having hobbies, going on trips and being entertained but these things are so fleeting and don't last for eternity.  People do.  Souls do.  Relationships do. 

I know this is an "out of the norm" post, that it might even make you feel down a bit.  I know we all know these things but right now this is all raw and real again in my mind.   So I just wanted to share my heart and thoughts.  Nothing, is more important than having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Nothing, is more important that serving God.  Nothing in this life, is more important than the people in it.  Nothing more precious, fragile, long lasting or worth nurturing, than a human soul.  To let them know you care, you love them, think of them and are praying for them.  Nothing is more important than reaching out to hurting people who need to be encouraged.  They are all around us every day.

If God puts someone on your heart as you read this today...  make that phone call, write that email, give that hug, tell someone how much you care.  It can never be done or said enough.

My friend is praying very hard for two special little boys in Bulgaria to find their forever homes.  God led her and her husband to adopt many times from this country, so Bulgaria and its people hold a special place in their heart.  She and her husband have an amazing calling from God.  A gift to love and raise special children for Him.  If you could please hop over to her blog and pray for these two boys to find their forever family.  Every child deserves a mom and dad.   It would make a difference forever in their lives.  Please feel free to share on any social media to bring attention to them.

May the God in heaven help us daily to reach out to others and hold nothing back.  May we be full of Gods love and compassion as we view others around us.  May He help us to have servants hearts and be Christ's hands and feet in all we do.

Mark 10:45  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

Blessings,

susan




Saturday, January 17, 2015

A New Friend

As many of you know, William lost his dog and good friend Will a few months ago.  They were very bonded together and inseparable when at home.  She was a good therapy dog for William.  He needed her in his life as much as she needed and loved to be with him.
William wears a back brace most of the time because his back bothers him from helping me lift Antonio so much.  Bless his heart.
William has many health issues.  Autism and the learning disabilities that come with autism, are the hardest to cope with daily.  Part of him having autism, is that he has very high anxiety.  Anxiety that most of us would not understand having to live with.  Often, when someone has autism, they have certain things that bother them tremendously all day long.  Irritation they have to learn to live with.  For example...nails on a chalk board irritate and hit a nerve in certain people?  It would be like living with that sound, going on all day long around you.  Certain sounds, clothing textures, change in his routine and also trying new things are some things that bother William.  Plus, he is a worrier.  He worries about everything.  Things like, how he will pay for a repair on his truck if it were to happen and such.
 
We try to keep Williams (and Zekes, who also has autism) life as low key as possible.  We try to stick to routine as much as we can.  But yet gently encourage them to get involved and do new things.

This anxiety and worrying plays into the health issues he has been struggling with for several years.  When he works to hard, goes out into the heat, gets stressed or does anything that gives him a heavy anxiety load, it causes his cortisol levels to plummet and his blood sugar to fall.  It plays into his chronic hypoglycemia.  When this happens, he has trouble thinking, talking, walking, he gets exhausted and can not drive or function.  He calls these episodes crashes.  We have not found out all that is wrong with him but the anxiety plays heavily into it all.

Tim and I have seen a lot more anxiety and health crisis, while his dog was sick and since she passed away.  We have been waiting for him to go thru the process of grieving but he has not seemed to be able to get through it.  He has been very low all the time, has had daily "crashes" and I have had to drive William every where he has needed to go for the last several months.  I think he has taken the trash to the dump for me four times and that is all the driving he has done.  

I decided that it was time to try him with another dog (friend) and see if that helped him.  I have been searching for a month for the perfect match for him.  I have been searching for a small, young, indoor dog that is calm and would make a good therapy/lap dog.  I checked our local animal shelter daily as well as  many other rescue sites.

Last week, I heard of a situation where a couple had rescued two young dogs from a bad situation.   They had heard whining coming from a small outdoor kennel in their neighbors yard a few months ago.  They went to see what was happening and two, small, puppies had been put out there. A female miniature long hair dash hound and a small male chihuahua.  They had no food or water so the couple fed and watered them.  They regularly heard whining out there and went out to check on the dogs.  They regularly had no water and food that was often covered with ants or wet from the weather.  There were two small pieces of ply board put up like a t-pee for shelter for them by the owners.  The couple started to daily feed and water the dogs.  When the temperatures started to fall for winter, they asked the owners if they could have the dogs.  The owners said yes.  The couple took them to the vet and found out that the young female was pregnant.  So they worked on house breaking and socializing the two dogs until the female had her puppies.  I learned of the situation when they were trying to find homes for them all when the puppies were weaned.  The dogs are both only about eight months old now.  The dashound had five puppies.  The couple told me what a wonderful personality the dashound has.  Very laid back, gentle and sweet.  They said we could bring her home with us for a visit and see if she was a good match for William.  William and I went to pick her up at the beginning of the week.
 
William and Dixie have hit it off wonderfully. 
I can tell he is much more relaxed and Dixie is so bonded to him that when he is not home, she finds his shoes and sleeps on them till he gets back. 
She is very sweet and loving and has the softest red fur. (Very snugly and lovely to pet.)  Her eyes are a deep chocolate brown and soulful. 

Tim and I saw a difference in William right away.  He has been focusing on her and her comfort and happiness. 
Friday night, movie night.
He seems happier and less stressed.  William was able to drive to town, to the GED program he is enrolled in, alone and do some errands all by himself with no issues by the end of the week.  God is so good!

We are going to give Dixie a month to settle in and then take her in to have her fixed.  She is a very sweet girl and I am grateful to God that William has made a new friend in her.  William is such an obedient, kind and helpful young man.  He loves the Lord and serves Him in all he does.  He still misses his old dog Will but it is good to see him happy again.

Jeremiah 29:11-13  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.



blessings,

susan


    

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Two Week Repose

Happy New Year to everyone!  May 2015 be a blessed and great year for all.
 
William and baby "K" playing.
I can honestly say for the first time in 11 months I feel rested.  I thought I was tired before we started back into foster care!  Every since the toddlers came and then baby "K", I have been running on E and often at borderline exhaustion.  Tim always asks me if I slept well and I don't even remember.  I am just "out" as soon as my head hits the pillow and then morning or a bottle feeding seems to come so quickly.
Antonio wanted me to take a picture of a new shirt he got.
Whenever I usually give the children a day off from home schooling, we do some sort of work that day.  Like raking leaves, stacking wood, cleaning in the barn or deep cleaning in the house.  There is always so much to do around here.  I rarely have ever just given them a day off to do as they wish, except for Sabbath each weekend. 
"B" improving his hand strength with the good old light bright.
We had a very hard respiratory virus go thru starting the beginning of December.  It lasted for a few weeks with each person and slowly went thru us all.  I was beat from not feeling well, trying to keep the house disinfected and the children were struggling to recover.  Also, my schedule cleared for the last two weeks of the month of December.  Ballet was closed.  For the first time ever, our therapy place closed for the holidays.  I had only three appointments in two weeks and two of those were for Antonio's therapeutic massage therapist, who comes to our home once a week.  So we called a... stay at home, watch movies, work as little as possible, vacation, recovery, get some rest, time.  Two weeks of... do what you want even if that meant sleep all day.  Which some of the children did snooze on the couch some. 
William and "T" taking an afternoon snooze.
I truly got some rest as well.  I still had to tend to the sick ones and the well ones.  I still had to do meals and keep the house running.  I still had to make sure the barn chores were done.  But I left the house to go to town very little and spent a good deal of time planted on the couch with small children either climbing all over me or nestled up beside me resting.

Don't think it was easy peazy though.  To keep it all real...Of course there is always Elizabeth...sadly she spent most of her two week rest and vacation doing school work, as it is the only punishment that means anything to her.   Zeke also spent one day of his two weeks doing school work as a punishment.
I always feel so badly for Elizabeth.  She always has to ruin a good time by her own bad behavior, mean spiritedness or tantrums.  She even lost the privileged of staying up and celebrating New Years Eve with the other children.  I often just give her grace and let her participate...and always give her a chance to earn things taken away back.  She absolutely refused this time.  :(   I keep praying one day she will mature enough to be able to control herself and do what is expected of her with out lashing out at others.  On the good side, God has been working on her every day and every year that passes she improves a small amount.  I believe with all my heart, some day she will be saved and have natural love and self control.  She can go long spells now behaving and then has a week or so of just regressing terribly.  The past  month was one of those times. 

I am so grateful these three get along so well together.  They are good friends.
I feel good.  I feel rested and am resolved to keep my schedule lighter in 2015 and try to keep life as simple as I can for a season.  God is so good.

Lamentations 3:22-23  It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.



Blessings,
susan

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

Today I am going to do a little update on our baby "K", for those who have been following her stay here, are praying for her and know her.  This post is going to have quite a bit of medical talk in it, so please bare with me, as it may help or encourage someone else going thru anything similar with their child.

When we were contacted to take in baby "K" as a foster placement, we were told that she was a four week old preemie, that was heavily drug exposed thru the whole pregnancy and had some feeding difficulties.  We prayed about it and took her on a one week trail placement.  By her second day here, we knew she was meant stay, as she fit into our family so well.  She has been the best baby we have ever cared for.  She is good natured, pleasant all the time, sleeps well and is very laid back.  We all love her dearly and have commented, how just spending time with her relaxes us and brightens our day.  We have all said at one point or another that we need some baby "K" time.  She is beautiful to boot and an amazing blessing to us for as long as God chooses to have her with us.

But...she has had many medical issues make themselves known the longer she stays.  This often happens when doing foster care of an infant that was as drug exposed as she was.  It is like unraveling a mystery when trying to get to the bottom of all the health issues.  We see something that is not right...we go to the pediatrician about it...get sent to a specialist...and they send us to two or three more.  We have been to so many appointments this year with our foster placements, I am ready for next year to begin.  I am going to try to keep my schedule lighter in 2015.

The very first day baby "K" came to live with us, I noticed her very low muscle tone.  It was worse than Elizabeth's or Zeke's when they were infants and they both have Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy.  Her joints pop, creek and her bones slide in and out of place when I bathe and dress her.  I am very gentle and it never seems to bother her.  When she came, she had strabismus and nystagmus as well.  After she had been here for a few months, I also noticed that she never made eye contact, didn't track objects and only reacted to light and dark.  I was very concerned, as usually by two to three months old, all of the infants I have ever had in our care, could do these things.  Praise God the strabismus has improved and nystagmus stopped when she was four month old.  An MRI was scheduled and a trip to the Pediatric ophthalmologist.  The MRI showed she had Hypoplasia of the Corpus Collosum.  (Very thin bridge that connects the two halves of the brain)  This explained a lot, as she was very behind in meeting any milestones and never used both halves of her body together to do anything.  She actually just started to use her left arm a little in the last eight weeks.   She was also diagnosed with Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy when we were at the neurologist.

In September, when we went to her ophthalmologist appointment, the doctor said it looked like her optic nerves were ok.  At that appointment he said she might have Cortical Visual Impairment or Delayed Visual Maturation.  But we went back in November and he said he could definitely see the optic nerves were smaller than they should be and diagnosed her with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia.  We were not surprised at this diagnosis, as were told this condition often goes hand in hand with the Hypoplasia of the Corpus Collosum. (when she was diagnosed with that)  He said that her right eye optic nerves were much smaller than her left and that the left was slightly small than they should be.  So now we at least have a diagnosis for her eyes.  I must say that over the last many months she has begun to use what vision she has.  It still does not seem normal.  But she will smile at me if I smile at her first, if I am with in five feet of her.  She looks around at things, does slowly track things now and loves to look at TV, kindle and I-phone screens.  She seems to see things better if they are back lighted.  The ophthalmologist said we will not know the extent of her vision, till she can speak or be tested better when she is around four years old.  He did decide to hold off on surgery for her strabismus because her eyes are lining up more and more as she uses what vision she has.  Those muscles are getting stronger.  Praise God!  Remember how I said sometimes we go to one appointment to walk away with another appointment?   Well, Optic Nerve Hypoplasia is one diagnosis we were praying she did not have, as it usually has a whole slew of other health issues that go hand and hand with it.  These health issues that are all hormonal, are tied to the pituitary gland and can appear at any point in her life.  She will need to be tested for Hypothyroidism, Hypopituitarism, Estrogen, progesterone, cortisol levels for Addison's disease, Hypoglycemia as a side effect of many of these diagnosis, antidiuretic hormone and growth hormone regularly the rest of her whole life.  Whew.  Any of these thing plus seizures could happen at any age her whole life and need to be watched for.  She will also need to be followed by the ophthalmologist, as most people with this are blind or legally blind and are at a higher risk of cancer on the optic nerves. I am very grateful that she can see, as when she came we knew she could not.  So any vision is better than none at all.  It has improved so much, we are praying it will continue to do so.  God is so good.

So over all...  Baby "K" is just turning 8 months old.  She is missing some of her brain bridge that connects the two halves, so that is making it very hard for her to learn to use the two halves of her body together to do things like play and move.  She has very low tone cerebral palsy and that is also hindering her from having the strength to do what she wants to do and progress.  She has qualified for Physical therapy and Occupational therapy.  She still aspirates on her saliva, so does not cry or try to coo much, as it throws her into a coughing fit, from the saliva being aspirated and she does not like that.  I still have to thicken her formula or she aspirates.  She is however, doing well with eating thick baby food from a spoon.  Things like Avocado, Sweet potato, vegetables and fruits. She actually likes to eat better than nursing.  As she does not choke at all when eating.  She is in feeding therapy as well.  She has always been extremely constipated, with her over all low tone, making it very hard for her to potty.  Since starting foods, this has helped her so much in that area.  Her optic nerves are to small and underdeveloped, so her vision is impaired but we don't know to what extent yet.  We are in the process of getting an appointment with an endocrinologist, to check out all of the things that can be effected by having optic nerve hypoplasia. 

Now for the progress report!   Baby "K" started out very small but is now in the 95th percentile for height and weight.  Yes, a very big girl.  She takes a 12 or 18 months size clothing and is just turning 8 months old next week!  She can now roll over front to back and back to front!  She can hold her head up and pivot around in a circle, on her tummy on the floor, to play with toys.  She can sit in the highchair if I have a towel around her middle to help her.  She can hold a toy, reach for a toy and is now finally using both hands to play and can transfer a toy from one hand to the other.  She also just started to put in her own passifier if I hand it to her.   She also can now jump a little when in the bouncer/play gym. 

Baby "K" is really a joy.  She has been a gift from God, to our life and home. We have seen God already do such a huge work in her life and body.  Even though she has been a lot of work in so many ways, she is well worth it, as all children are.  She is so sweet, that the work to care for her is a joy.  We all love her so much!

1 Peter 1:8-9  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.



Blessings,

susan