Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Brandon is 18 months old

Brandon turned 18 months on June 14th (so long ago!!!).  He had a well child check on that day with his pediatrician Dr. Edralin.

18 month stats:

Wt: 22 lbs, 10 oz  (25-50%ile)
Length: 30.5 inches (2-5%ile)
Wt/Lt: 50%ile
Head circumference: 48 cm (50-75%ile)

So the stats above show that Brandon is short and average weight.  He is proportional for his length and weight.  He's going to be short like his sisters Haley and Kayla.  I have heard that kids with spina bifida tend to be shorter than average, but I'm not 100% sure about that.  I do know that my husband's genetics tend to run on the shorter side so I think Brandon is on the shorter side due to his genetics.

All looked good when his pediatrician saw him at his 18 month appointment.  Brandon was also seen by Dr. Fletcher (his neurosurgeon) on June 14th and he was pleased with Brandon's progress and abilities.  Brandon's shunt has had NO problems since it was put in on December 21, 2015.  We are so happy, thankful and blessed!

At 18 months Brandon started getting speech therapy twice a week to help with his speech.  Brandon is still not talking a lot.  He says mama, dada, baby and bye.  Also speech therapy is going to help address getting him off the bottle and onto some kind of age appropriate cup.  He has slightly weak lip muscle tone and just needs some help to get those lips strengthened.   Brandon also started getting occupational therapy to help him get up to par for his age.  Brandon is behind developmentally.  He is approximately 12-14 months developmentally.

Brandon loves to eat!  He is eating all kinds of regular table foods.  He loves (his favorites) applesauce, yogurt and cheese.  He is pretty willing to try new foods, but will let us know that he doesn't like something.  He will just spit it out and not reach for it on his tray.

Brandon is still army crawling.  He will get up on his hands to crawl but briefly and he doesn't do it often.  He is still working on sitting up independently.  At 15 months, I thought he had mastered it but he has not.  He still sits using his hands to prop himself up.  He is getting physical therapy 2 times per week.

Brandon sleeps well at night and always has since 7 weeks old.  So grateful!!

Brandon has such a great little personality.  He is a little flirt!  He loves to interact with others by way of smiles and cute looks he gives.  Brandon is such a sweet boy, but of course he can be a little stinker.  He loves to get into stuff and gets so upset if I take away something that he's not suppose to have.

Brandon also loves babies!  I read books to him before bed and he particularly likes the ones with pictures of babies.  He will say baby when he sees a baby.  Brandon loves his books as well.  He really enjoys when I read to him.

Brandon's 18 month photo shoot didn't go so well.  I had plans to take pictures of him in a little red wagon, but he didn't like it and cried.  So I went with plan B and he still wouldn't cooperate much.  These are the only five pictures I got out of the many I took.  The little stinker!







Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rachel and Haley's last day of 2nd grade!!!

Rachel and Haley's last day of second grade was on June 2nd.  They both had a good school year in their 2nd grade life skills class.



Here is a little update on both Haley & Rachel:

Haley - Haley is now talking!!!  She is saying dog, outside, eat, more, ball and NO.  I know she is saying a couple of other words, but I can't remember which ones as I am typing this.  We are so proud of her.  Haley gets speech therapy 2 times a week as well as occupational therapy.  Haley is still working on potty training, which will continue to be a long road but I have faith that she will learn/understand how to use the potty correctly.  It just takes a lot of time for my girls.  Haley loves her hearing aids and wears them well.  Haley loves dogs, but we don't plan to get one anytime soon.  Haley has been recently diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.  She get anxious if her schedule gets changed or we go somewhere she is not familiar.  Also noises (vacuum, mower, etc) make her anxious.  She is blind and hard of hearing so that makes things worse for her.  She is typically a happy loving sweet girl.  She loves to be held, give hugs and gets concerned when her baby brother cries.  She is almost 8 years old and still wears 5T clothing. She is our petite sweetie. 

Haley 1st day and last day of school comparison

Rachel - Rachel continues to be our challenging girl!!!  She is a sweet girl, but oh so stubborn and persistent.  Rachel is still not talking despite having the cochlear implant.  We think that Rachel does in fact have autism.  Though she loves to be around people and loves to get into peoples stuff.  Rachel doesn't have any boundaries which is a challenge when we are around others.  Rachel is working on potty training as well, but she is fighting against it.  So not sure when she will get it, but we continue to work on it with her.  Rachel gets occupational therapy and physical therapy 2 times a week.  Rachel wears AFO braces to help her walk better.  She can walk without them, but she does tend to fall easily.  She has right sided weakness.  Rachel still relies on her g-tube for all her nutrition as she still won't swallow food.  She loves to taste and chew food, but she continues to spit it out.  I have NOT been able to find a therapist to help her learn to swallow food.  I am loosing hope that she will ever eat normally.  The therapist we have had just have not been able to help her.  She has had the g-tube for so long now.  Rachel has a hard time sleeping.  She gets up at least once in the night.  We have to give her medicine to help her sleep.  Rachel is also on a behavior medicine to help control her behaviors.  She tends to have outbursts and fits easily.  Rachel is very challenging but she can be sweet and loving.  She likes to play with her baby doll.  She likes to play with my hair and put it into ponytails.  She is a daddy's girl and she loves to snuggle with him.  Rachel is an average sized almost 8 year old.  She is skinny though.

Rachel 1st and last day of school comparison
 
Both Rachel and Haley are going to summer school this summer.  They love school and the routine of school helps them in so many ways.  The first day of 3rd grade will be on August 28th!

Rachel and Haley will turn 8 years old on August 4th!!!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Kayla's last day of preschool!!!

Kayla's last day of preschool was on May 25th.  I can't believe my little girl is growing up and moving up to Kindergarten in August.  She really enjoyed her 3 years of preschool at SPARK (free preschool program in our school district - Humble ISD).  Kayla also had the opportunity to go to a private preschool the last 5 months of preschool.  She loved it and was sad it was over.  I have a preschool graduate!!!

***Rachel and Haley's update coming up in the next post***

   
Her first day and last day picture

SPARK teachers.  Love them!!
Private preschool class graduation
Kayla with her preschool teacher Brittany

Below are some graduation pictures I took:





Thursday, June 29, 2017

Brandon is 17 months old

I am sooo behind on this post, but Brandon turned 17 months on May 14th (Mother's day)!  I'm so beyond grateful for all my 10 children who made me a mother.

At 17 months, Brandon weighed 22 pounds.

At 17 months he continued to crawl around everywhere as well as get into everything!  He progressed even more with getting up on those knees.  Back in April Brandon got little SMO/AFO (ankle/leg) braces.  He had been working with his PT with those and and did well at putting pressure on his feet and ankles to stand (with assistance).  He isn't standing all by his self just yet, but the braces help him keep those legs sturdy to stand with assistance.

Up on those knees

Brandon did have his sleep study on May 15.  The results of that sleep study showed he did have obstructive sleep apnea and will have to have his tonsils and adenoids removed on July 18.  He will also be getting tubes put in his ears since he is getting more ear infections.  He got another ear infection on May 6th.

Since I am so behind on getting this update up, I can't remember every little thing he did during his 17th month, but Brandon continued to be a good sleeper despite the sleep apnea.  As for his eating, well he loves to eat and eating all kinds of regular table foods. He is still using the bottle to drink, but we have been working on a straw cup for water.

He is our lovable sweet little boy!

Here are his 17 month pictures:



 


Friday, May 26, 2017

Kayla's Ballet Recital 2017

Kayla had her second ever ballet recital on May 6th.  Her class danced to the song from Cinderella - Bibbity bobbity boo.  Her costume was so sparkly and so glittery.  Glitter got everywhere!  The costume was beautiful as well as my little ballerina.  She and her classmates did a great job on their dance.  So proud of Kayla!


Kayla's ballet class picture



These pictures below are of Kayla for the dress rehearsal.  I was so proud that I was able to do a bun in her hair (for the first time)!




Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Parents 50th Wedding Anniversary and party

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on April 22nd.  My brother and I threw them a celebration party on that day (so thankful April 22 was on a Saturday).  We had the celebration in Austin at the UT golf club.  Lots of family and friends attended.  I was able to see my 3 Aunts at one time.  I hadn't gotten to see them in a very long time.  It was so nice to get together to celebrate my wonderful parents.  They deserved it!!!  I am so grateful for my parents.  I couldn't have asked for better parents and am so proud they have made it 50 years together.  Love them so much!

Here are some pictures of the celebration:






My parents

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Brandon is 16 months old

So Brandon turned 16 months on April 14.  I am so behind on getting these monthly updates posted.  He is currently 17 months and I will do that update very soon.

At 16 months he weighed 21 lbs, 7 oz.

During his 16 month he did more crawling around (still army crawling, but faster) and found how to get into stuff.  He loves to get into my lower bathroom cabinet and pull stuff out from under there.  He started pulling up using the window sill (we have low window sills) to sit up and eventually he started to pull up onto his knees. At his 15 month update he was doing better at sitting up well, but he hasn't progressed more with that.  He only sits with using his hands to prop on.  He has a weak core (due to his spina bifida) and its going to take much longer than anticipated to for him to sit up all the way.

Brandon saw his urologist early April.  His doctor checked his kidneys with a nuclear scan and he had a renal ultrasound.  His kidney's look great and there doesn't appear to be any problems with not cathing Brandon.  Brandon will be seeing his urologist again in July to do a bladder function test.  We shall see if he will continue to not need cathing.  I am always nervous for these tests.  I have to admit it has been so nice not having to do any cathing, but with spina bifida that can change.

He has made progress with eating.  He decided he didn't want anymore baby food/baby cereal.  He tried and tasted lots of new regular foods during his 16 month.  He is still on the bottle, but he isn't drinking as much milk as he used to.  We started trying him on the honey bear cup with a straw.  He does ok but has some spillage as he drinks.

We finally saw the ENT in April.  Dr. Albright said his tonsils were big (size 3) and thought it was best to get a sleep study first before taking the tonsils out.  He wanted to rule out central sleep apnea.  Sleep study was scheduled for mid May.

Our little boy sure is growing up.  He is making progress and we are thankful.  Love this boy!!!