Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Brandon is 7 months old

Brandon is already 7 months old.  Each month goes so quickly!  On the 14th of July he weighed 17 lbs, 1 oz.  Also he is finally rolling over!  He took his sweet time, but he is doing it!  His physical therapist has been coming 2 times a week and that is helping him a lot.  He is behind physically due to the spina bifida, but he will get there.  He is such a champ in regard to teething!  He has gotten in 8 teeth within the past 4 months!  He doesn't even complain or seem bothered by those teeth at all!  He does chew on his toys a lot due to those teeth coming in!  He has been enjoying exploring and playing with his toys.

He is eating some baby food, but he is not a big fan of it and also he is still trying to maneuver that tongue correctly.  He tends to push the food out most of the time.

He continues to be a very smiley little boy.  He loves to be talked to and will coo back.  He loves to watch his sisters and he adores Kayla.  He is observant and likes to watch and see what is constantly going on.  Our house is busy so he fits right in.

He is such a fun loving little boy!  He melts my heart each time he smiles or laughs!  He is a mommy's boy for sure.  We are so grateful for this sweet boy!

Look at all those teeth!

First 4th of July
Eating baby cereal

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Brandon is 6 months old

Brandon turned 6 months old on the 14th.  He had his 6 month check up the same day.  Here are his stats:

Wt: 16 lbs, 5 oz (25th %ile)
Length: 25.75 inches (10-25th %ile)
Wt/Lt: 50%ile
Head circumference: 44.5 cm (75-90th %ile)

He is growing well.  His head circumference is coming down on the growth chart.  It appears he will be on the shorter side for a boy.  Thomas is short so it appears Brandon got a lot of daddy's genetics.
Brandon sure has been working on getting his teeth in.  He got two teeth last month, but now he has has 6 more coming in!  He now has all 4 in on the bottom and all 4 are coming in on the top.  He doesn't seem to mind all those teeth coming in.  He's not fussy.  He has been chewing on anything he can a lot lately and that is why.

We started Brandon on baby foods on the 17th.  I started him on baby food squash first, but he didn't really seem to like it much.  I have tried carrots and rice cereal and he seems to like those better.

Brandon had a follow up bladder function test on June 6th.  At that appointment it was discovered that he had a bladder infection.  The test was not done due to the infection.  Brandon was put on an antibiotic and on June 9th the test was done.  Unfortunately the bladder function test did not show a good result.  It was found that Brandon was not emptying his bladder completely and that is what most likely caused his bladder infection.  We didn't get to talk to the doctor due to he was in surgery.  We were sent home having to cath him every 4 hours (4 times a day).  We were devastated with this news as we thought his bladder was working normally and that there would not be any issues with that later.  Well we were wrong.  Things changed and we are not sure why.  I was so upset and still am.  It breaks my heart that my son now has to go through cathing everyday.  I'm also upset that we didn't get to talk to the doctor.  I felt we were just thrown into cathing with no explanation.  We did as we were told and started cathing him 4 times a day, but due to the cathing,  Brandon ended up getting a second bladder infection two weeks later.  We are trying to determine if he can be cathed 3 times a day or if we have to continue with 4 times a day.  The least amount of cathing we can do the better since Brandon is prone to bladder infections.

Despite all he has been going through the past month, he is such a happy guy!  He is making progress, but he has yet to roll over.  He is getting physical therapy once a week and she is working on getting him to roll over.  He will roll over and he will continue to make progress, but it will be a bit slower and on his own time. We love our handsome little guy!  He is a special little boy!

June 14th happened to be flag day so that is why I took pictures of Brandon with the American flag.

These pictures are in honor of Father's day.

Looking up at daddy

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Last Day of school and preschool pictures

Rachel and Haley's last day of 1st grade was on June 2.  They had a great school year in 1st grade!  Haley's teacher is leaving so Haley will have a new teacher for 2nd grade.  Rachel will have the same teacher.  Both Rachel and Haley will be going to Summer school this Summer to help them with continued progress in life skills.  They have grown since their first day of 1st grade!

Rachel's 1st and last day picture

Haley's 1st and last day picture

Kayla finished another year of preschool as well.  She has one more year of preschool since she doesn't turn 5 until December.  She is looking forward to going to Kindergarten, but she's going to have to wait one more year.  My baby girl sure has grown as well!

Kayla's 1st and last day picture

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Kayla's Ballet Recital

Kayla was in her first ever ballet recital on May 21st!  She and her class danced to the song from Mary Poppins "Spoonful of sugar".  She did such a good job!  So proud of my Kayla!  Also the costumes were so cute!

Grandma and Grandpa Benedict came from Austin to see Kayla dance.  As well as our good friend Cindy and Kayla's good friend Vivian.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Brandon is 5 months old

Brandon turned 5 months old on May 14th.  He has definitely grown since last month.  On May 14th he weighed 15 lbs, 14 oz.  He is working on rolling over.  He's getting close, but can't seem to get over just yet.  He's also working on those teeth and already has two bottom teeth!  He drools a lot because of the teething and he likes to chew on his hands.  He's such a happy boy and smiles a lot so I see those cute little teeth every time he smiles.  Brandon loves attention and loves when someone talks to him.  He gets the biggest grin!
He is eating 5 oz every 3-4 hours.   He usually sleeps well at night though for the past couple of nights he has been waking up at 3 or 4 am hungry and wanting to eat.  This is not like him.  I think the formula is just not enough for him anymore.  He is just needing more and I may with his doctor's approval add rice cereal to his bottle.  We moved him out of our bedroom into his crib in his room on May 16th.  He did just fine with the transition.  He is such a good baby!  Love this boy so much!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Rachel and Haley

So it has been a while since I have written an update on Rachel and Haley.  Not much is different as they stay busy with the same daily routine.  They both go to school from 7:30am to 3:15pm.  They are both in special education/life skills class and get therapy at school.  They also have therapy (PT, OT and speech) at home 4 days out of the week.  They have been healthy which is such a blessing.  They definitely don't go to the doctor much anymore.  They just have yearly appointments for vision checks and neurology.  Both Rachel and Haley also have appointments a couple times a year in regards to their hearing (cochlear implant and hearing aids).  Life with them continues to sail along.  Yes there are challenges that we face each day with these girls, but they are miracles and blessings.

Rachel continues to be our high energy kid.  She can be a challenge.  We were told almost 3 years ago that she has autism, but I was not convinced.  She was tested at school a year ago and the results said she didn't have Autism.  Back in March Rachel saw the developmental doctor and they are saying she does indeed have autism.  So we are not 100% sure, but Rachel does have some autistic behaviors.  She has other disabilities that make it look like autism as well.  She is deaf and her vision is not perfect.  Rachel does wear her cochlear implant and she is able to hear with it, but she still doesn't talk and lacks the ability to communicate efficiently.  Rachel does know a little sign language and she is able to communicate some of her wants.  People who don't know her may not be able to figure out what she wants, but obviously as her parents we know what she is asking or wanting.  Rachel is also developmentally delayed.  With that being said, Rachel likes being around people and always goes up to people although her interaction with people is not always appropriate (could be due to her other disabilities).  So the question of autism or not continues.  But in the big scheme of things, it really doesn't matter because Rachel is who she is - a daughter of GOD!  She's a beautiful girl!

Haley is our go with the flow kid though she is apprehensive when she goes to new or unfamiliar places.  This is due to her low vision.  She just can't see well enough to know where she is in unfamiliar places.  Haley is making good progress with saying some words.  She can say "ball"and is working on saying "eat".  Haley also knows about 6 signs.  Haley is a loving, sweet little girl.  She insists on giving Kayla and I a hug when she gets home from school and she loves her brother.  She gets concerned and walks over to him when he cries.  Haley loves to make noise!  Since she can't see well, she uses her hearing.  She does wear her hearing aids and loves them!  She also loves music especially soft love type songs.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Brandon is 4 months old

Again this post is late, but this time its due to my camera unexpectedly breaking the day before Brandon turned 4 months on the 14th.  I was getting ready to do a photo shoot with him when I switched lenses on my camera.  Well something was wrong with the lens and it jammed up my camera and when I went to take the lens off it broke some very important sensors on the camera.  To this date, my camera is still getting repaired and I hope to get it back the first week of May.  Life continues on so I borrowed my sister in laws camera recently to take Brandon's 4 month pictures.  I took his pictures fairly quickly so I didn't get to be as creative as I usually am since I was so late taking them, but I got them taken none the less.  Its so very important to me to capture milestones and wonderful moments of my children.  I rely heavily on my camera for this.  I miss my camera.

Brandon went to the doctor on the 15th of April.  Here are his stats:

Weight: 14 lbs, 10 oz (25-50% ile)
Length: 24 inches (10% ile)
Wt/Lt: 75% ile
Head circumference: 43.75 cm (95-98% ile)

He's a chunky boy!  Also so happy that his head circumference is finally on the chart!  His body is catching up to his head.  All looked good with Brandon except via a lab test he is a little anemic so we are giving him Poly-vi-sol with iron everyday.  Brandon also saw his neurosurgeon on April 20th.  The neurosurgeon is pleased with how things are going with Brandon, but we and the neurosurgeon have observed that his left ankle doesn't move well.  His foot tends to drop.  He doesn't move that foot up well at all.  But his neurosurgeon says this won't keep him from walking.  He will walk.  He will just need to strengthen that foot/ankle over time and possibly need a brace on that left foot.  He also has a lack of sensation from his knees down to his feet due to the spina bifida.  Again this won't keep him from walking.  Brandon's bowels and bladder are still working good.  He will get another bladder test in June or July.

Brandon is making great progress developmentally.  He smiles a lot.  He has even begun to laugh some.  Baby giggles are the best!  He is alert and loves to look around just like Kayla did at this age.  He has started blowing bubbles with his mouth.  He coos and makes sounds.  He is going to be a talker as well.  He loves to be talked to and smiles back..  His smile just melts my heart.  He's a pretty good baby most of the time.  He does get so angry when he's hungry.  He sleeps well.  Its just so great to have a good sleeper.  We put him down to bed at about 10 pm.  He doesn't usually fuss when we put him down either.  He will sleep till about 7 am.  He's still likes to "snack" on his formula.  He usually eats 4 - 41/2 oz every 2-4 hours.  It varies so much.  We just feed on demand.  Brandon does suck his thumb at times which is so cute, but hoping it won't become an issue later in life.  Also I can't believe this, but Brandon already has his two bottom teeth coming in!  Because of the teething Brandon has been chewing on his hands/fingers a lot.

He wears 3-6 to 6 month clothing.  He has small feet and is still wearing a size 1 infant shoe.  He is currently wearing a size 2 diaper.

Brandon has a physical therapist that comes once a week to help him stay on track as much as possible.  She is helping him to learn to lift his head while on his tummy.  He hates tummy time, but is doing better with lifting his head while doing tummy time.  He is also slowly making progress towards rolling over.  Brandon finally has gotten better head control.  Its not 100%, but much better.  Brandon also has ECI and an Occupational therapist that see him regularly.

We are so very grateful for this boy!  He is such a miracle and doing so well despite the spina bifida.  I know Brandon will be able to do all things when he grows up and I know that spina bifida won't stop him at all!