Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016 has come and gone.  It was a good Christmas for our family.  We stayed home this Christmas.  We did go to my husband's brothers house (which is near by) for Christmas eve dinner and then Christmas day lunch.  Kayla enjoys spending time with her cousins.  We are so thankful this Christmas that Brandon was home.  It was his second Christmas, but his first one at home.  Thinking back a year ago when he was in the NICU, I am so glad we have all that past us and that he was home with us this Christmas.  Rachel and Haley enjoyed opening their gifts and are getting a break from school for 2 1/2 weeks.

We are grateful for our family and that we got to spend Christmas all together this year.  We are also so very grateful for the birth of our Savior.  We wouldn't be where we are today with out him.

Here are some pictures of our Christmas:

Pictures in front of the tree.  Couldn't get one with Rachel smiling
Our Christmas tree with all the gifts
Girls opening gifts

Brandon playing with a new toy
All dressed for church

Rachel not in this picture due to a lack of cooperation
The picture below was taken a couple of weeks before Christmas.  I was planning to take one of Rachel and Haley but just ran out of time.  So here is Kayla modeling for mommy.  I had seen others doing pictures like this and I wanted to try it.  I think it turned out ok.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Brandon turned ONE!!!

This post is so late.  I will post about Christmas soon.

Brandon turned one on December 14th.  The past year went so fast and my last baby is one.  He is just a precious little boy who is so strong and resilient.  He has gone through so much with the spina bifida but he is just so happy and is making good progress.  Yes he is behind physically and somewhat behind developmentally, but he is making progress.  He just melts my heart with his cute looks and smiles.  He's such a loving little boy and gives the best hugs.  He's a precious blessing to our family!

Poor baby at his one year check up (12/15/16) was diagnosed with a sinus infection, double ear infection and a bladder infection.  Brandon didn't even act sick.  He was happy and seemed ok except he still had some congestion and a cough that had started on Thanksgiving.  Thankfully he is all better now.

Stats at one year old (recorded 12/15/16):

Weight: 19 lbs, 8oz (25%ile).  Was 20 lbs, 2 oz one week later!
Length: 28.7 inches (10-25%ile). Yes he's short!
Head circumference: 46.5 cm (50-75%ile)
Weight/Length: 45%ile

Brandon is a little guy despite being born at 9 lbs, 7 oz!  He's on the small side like Haley and Kayla.  He can still wear some 9 month clothes.  Most of his 12 month clothes are big on him.  I bought so many cute clothes in size 12 month or 12-18 months for this winter and they are big on him.  Oh well he's gotta wear them anyway.  He's still in a size 3 diaper.

Physically Brandon is rolling and army crawling all around.  He's still not sitting up on his own unless he is holding on to something.  As he crawls around he loves to get into his sisters toys and explore.  He's a curious boy!  He really likes toys that rattle and toys that make noise and light up.  He especially loves cell phones and anything electronic like the iPad.  I can't be on my phone around him because he will grab it quickly.

As for eating, Brandon is doing better at eating more variety of baby foods. He still loves his cereal and he loves those Gerber puffs.  I will be trying some new foods and textures to see how it goes as he needs to advance with more table foods.  Brandon will be getting a swallow study on Dec 30th to check his swallow.  Since he's still having issues with spitting up the doctor felt it necessary to get a swallow study to look at what might be going on.

Brandon saw a new urologist at the same place we had taken him before. This new doctor wanted us to stop cathing him since he kept getting bladder infections and since he wasn't refluxing up into his kidneys.  Brandon does urinate on his own.  He just may not always empty his bladder completely, but the doctor wasn't concerned about that.  Brandon will get a more intense bladder and kidney function test in about 3 months.  This test will give us more information as to see if Brandon will need cathing again or not.  He will be monitored frequently up to 2 years old to keep an eye on those kidney's and bladder.  Not all kids with Spina Bifida have to be cathed.  We are learning more and more about this birth defect.  We hope Brandon can continue to not need cathing.  Brandon is so prone to bladder infections that it would be best for him to not have to be cathed.  Only time will tell.

Brandon saw his neurosurgeon (Dr. Fletcher) on Dec 1st and got a good report.  Prior to the appointment Brandon had a MRI to check his shunt and ventricles.  All looked great!  Brandon has not had any problems with the shunt and the chances of having any problems are much lower now that it has been a year since it was placed.  Many blessings and prayers answered!

Brandon continues to be our best sleeper ever!  He goes to bed easily and sleeps through the night.  He sleeps about 11 + hours at night.

I can't thank my Heavenly Father enough for this precious addition to our family.  We are so blessed and are eternally grateful for this miracle!

The exact time Brandon turned one!  He was born at 1:05 pm.
Decorated for his Birthday

Not a fan of his cake
He would have rather played with the paper plate
Taking some tastes of the cake
Not interested in more cake.  Just too cute!
All the gifts he got

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Kayla's 5th Birthday and party

Kayla turned 5 on December 9th.  Oh how time flies.  My baby girl is growing up so fast!  She has been excited for her 5th birthday for months and it finally came.  On the 9th her preschool class sang Happy Birthday to her and I brought treats for the class.  She had a great day!  On the 10th was her birthday party.  We had her party at Persona Pizza and it was a My Little Pony themed party.  She had some of her friends, some of her cousins, her sisters and brother of course and both grandparents attend.  She had a great day and the party went well!

Here are Kayla's stats:
Wt: 33 pounds (9%ile)
Ht: 3 ft, 3 inches (2%ile)
BMI: 61%

She's petite and wears a size 3T / 4T.

Kayla at age 5:
- She loves My little pony
- Makes friends easily and loves to talk to her friends
- Has a very imaginative mind.  She pretend plays with her dolls and toys a lot.
- She is a sweet, loving girl.  Gives kisses and hugs to her sisters and brother as well as to daddy and mommy.
- Loves to watch movies
- Loves Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets and lemonade as well as Persona Pizza
- Hard to get to bed and hard to get her up in the morning
- Likes to color and does a very good job staying in the lines.

Pictures below were taken at her preschool on her birthday:

Her preschool class was singing to her
Eating birthday treats

The pictures below were taken at her birthday party at Persona Pizza on Dec 10:

Blowing out the candles

Monday, December 5, 2016

Visit with Santa 2016

The kids visited with Santa on Saturday December 3rd.  We took them earlier this Christmas season since this was the best weekend for us.  The next three Saturday's before Christmas will be busy for us.  We visited with the same Santa as last year at a family owned toy store in Kingwood, TX.  I love this toy store!  We didn't have to wait in line and I was able to use my own camera and take my own pictures.  I prefer it that way so I can edit the photos and have a digital copy of them.  This Santa is so sweet and enjoyed my high energy girls!  Rachel loves Santa and had a big smile when she saw him.  Haley was excited as well.  Kayla was somewhat apprehensive of Santa and Brandon did great for his first time on Santa's lap.  He didn't cry!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Brandon is 11 months old

Brandon turned 11 months old on November 14th.  He weighed 19 pounds, 5 oz.  He is making so much progress.  He is rolling so well now and started doing some army crawling and scooting.  It's so great to see him use those legs to move his body along the floor.  He moves slowly but he is moving!  He is also getting stronger with sitting.  He can prop sit a little.  It's taking him longer than I expected to learn how to sit, but I know he WILL be able to do it.  With spina bifida it takes time for the body to learn how to use those muscles and understand how the body moves.  He continues to get physical therapy 2 times a week.

Brandon is such a good baby.  He is so easy going, but he can be feisty at times.  He makes me laugh and he makes such cute faces.  I love his hugs.  He is such a mommy's boy!  I am going to miss this baby phase when it passes.  I really wish he and his sisters didn't have to grow up so fast.

Brandon is still sleeping well at night.  He sleeps from 8:30 pm to about 7:30 or 8 am.  He is a picky eater for sure.  He really likes his baby cereal.  I do give him baby food but he is just not into it like the cereal.  He loves to eat those Gerber puffs.  He started feeding those to himself back in October.  

Brandon has had another bladder infection, but thankfully it cleared up nicely with antibiotics.  Poor baby gets bladder infections so easily.  He is cathed 1-2 times a day and we are cathing as cleanly as possible.  He is just prone to them.

Brandon has had his last "first" holiday - Thanksgiving.  I can't believe his first birthday is just around the corner.  I am excited to have him home for Christmas this year.  It will be his second Christmas, but his first one at home.

We love this boy so much and are so grateful for him and his sisters.

First Thanksgiving

Prop sitting

He didn't like the grass

Our little football

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pumpkin Patch and Halloween 2016

I took the kids to a pumpkin patch on Oct 28th.  We had fun looking at all the pumpkins and I had fun taking pictures.

Brandon's first visit to a pumpkin patch

We went to our church trunk or treat on Oct. 29th.  Rachel was Minnie mouse, Haley was Tinkerbell, Brandon was a cute little lion and Kayla was Rainbow dash my little pony.

The kids in costume at our church trunk or treat

Brandon in his lion costume.  His first Halloween!