Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What I Have Learned Since Levi's Birth

Levi turned three this week, and I have been thinking back to the first week of his life. I remember my fears about how his diagnosis would be received by others. I felt like Wes & I would be fine with everything but wondered how others would feel being around him. I worried people would be uncomfortable spending time with our family because of Levi's differences. I am so grateful that my fears have not been the reality.
Trying to get him to eat was quite a struggle. I had to give him breast milk through a syringe after each nursing session to make sure he'd get enough.
Adam holding Levi shortly after he arrived home from the hospital.
Over the past three years, I have learned...
People aren't afraid of him.
People love him.

He doesn't make people uncomfortable.
He makes people happy.
Grams & Levi playing outside.
He hasn't changed our lives in a bad way.
He has changed our lives for the better.
We love you. Levi!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, Levi!!!

Our big boy had a birthday yesterday! Adam wanted to make him a Mr. Potato Head cake. It ended up turning out pretty cute!
Adam helped with the cupcakes, too.
Can I have one? PLEASE?
So thankful he was finally having a good day after his tonsillectomy. Last night is the first night he slept all night.  Happy 3rd birthday, Big Guy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Levi the Miserable- Day 7 after Tonsillectomy

Levi is drinking the minimum required to keep him out of the hospital. It hurts him so bad to swallow that he can't sleep. Besides a thirty minute stretch here and there, he was up all night last night. He finally got a decent sleep, but it only lasted from 4am-6am. Fun times.

I called a nurse at the hospital today, who said that all of this is normal & that we are doing all the right things: keeping his medicines on schedule (Although he has been taking it better at home than in the hospital, I had to resort to Tylenol suppositories, which are much easier for him than having to choke down medicine when he can't swallow well.), using a cool mist humidifier, and finding fun ways to get him to drink.

For some reason he will take a drink in the car more often than at home, so we get in the car a few times a day. He also enjoys a drink buffet. I've been lining up all different things, and he will try them to see which he likes best. I got him some vanilla Pediasure because he loved it when he was smaller and needed it to gain weight. He drinks that more than anything else.
This is the face he has been making since yesterday. Poor guy.

For my Liebster Award winners, here are your 11 questions to answer. Click here for the rules, and here for who I nominated.
  1. What is the ideal comfort food?
  2. If you had one hour to yourself, how would you spend that time?
  3. What story does your family like to tell about you?
  4. What are your talents?
  5. What part of your daily routine could you not live without?
  6. What makes you laugh?
  7. What are you afraid of?
  8. What was your most embarassing moment?
  9. Have you ever had a nickname? If so, what was it & why?
  10. What's your favorite restaraunt?
  11. What is your most prized earthly possession? People do not count.
Levi's orthotics came in the mail this week. It is going to take him a while to get used to them, but they will keep his ankles from turning in. I like that they can go into almost any shoe.
We also had his IEP meeting for preschool yesterday. It went beautifully, and he will be given the therapies we wanted for the times we wanted, without us having to fight for anything. I will admit that I cried listening to his test results and all the problem areas, but I think it was partly from having such a rough week and my lack of sleep. I have been impressed with the school therapists and teachers, and they already adore him.

Adam helped in the yard today. Wes did a lot of tree trimming, and Adam was excited to help out. I remember helping sweep and do other outside chores as a child. It always made me feel important. It was fun watching him today.
Adam goes back to the neurologist next week. His tics are pretty much gone. I am interested to hear what the doctor has to say. We are so thankful for the answered prayers and that he has improved so much!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Levi the Stubborn

Levi has had a rough time recovering from getting his tonsils rough in fact he is still in the hospital. He is refusing to take a drink of anything. Partly because he is in so much pain, and partly because he choked on his medicine once, which terrified him. Leave it to us to figure out how to make a one night hospital stay into a four night adventure, and you know we have to keep it interesting...I had to work in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Wes' mom is someone I'd sure have a hard time living without. She brought Adam up to visit Levi on Friday and drove us to Pittsburgh. I was so grateful to have that special time with her & Adam (and to have a chauffeur since I was so sleep deprived).
On the way to the hospital's toddler playroom
This morning, we took Levi down to the cafeteria for breakfast.
Levi ate quite a bit and actually took 3 sips of milk, which is a big deal since he hasn't taken a drink since immediately after the surgery Thursday morning (before he knew what hit him & the pain set in).

Drinking is his ticket out of here. He is still on an IV. We are praying his progress continues and tonight will be his last night in the hospital.

Of course, Levi still finds time to smile even in a rough time. Pray that we will have a good report to share soon...from home!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Liebster Award- Part 2

11 Facts about Me:
  1. I can still do cartwheels and have been known to do so when a wide open space (like a hotel hallway) presents the opportunity.
  2. Although my name is April, I was born in May. I was the first child, a new beginning to the marriage, so my parents wanted to name me after Spring, the season of new beginnings.
  3. My middle name is Michelle, after the Beatles' song.
  4. I have been to 48 states for work. I still need to get to Montana and Alaska.
  5. Although I love my job & wouldn't trade it for anything, if I could go back and change my career path, I think I'd enjoy being a TV newscaster.
  6. One time I drove away from the gas pump with the handle still in my tank. Yep. True story.
  7. I have been on ESPN twice. (National Dance Team Championships- nope, I wasn't raised in the Church of Christ ;)
  8. I can touch my tongue to my nose.
  9. We were robbed when I was five years old. The burglars came into my room & told me to go back to bed, which I did. I was the first to discover the next morning that our TV was gone.
  10. While traveling for work, I got to meet Richard Simmons and sat on the plane next to the singer, Bruce Hornsby.
  11. Although I love to hear birds singing outside my windows, I don't want one anywhere near me. Their abrupt movements freak me out!
Now to my Liebster Award winners are as follows (in no particular order)...

Some of my favorite blogs are those that share daily life from a Christian mom's perspective. At Eli, Emma, and Abe...our childhood stories you will find stunning photography and inspiration from my friend Leah.

At Why Amy Smiles,  Amy will make you smile, laugh, and see God in the small things right along with her. Check out her blog for wonderful devotional thoughts, touching family moments, and lots of laughs.

Jenny at Our Little Chilli Tribe is a wonderful writer and excellent photographer. She shares the ups and downs of raising six children (one that has Down syndrome). Her heartfelt thoughts often bring me to tears. She shares the thoughts many moms think but aren't willing to put into words, I appreciate her very much, and I'm sure you will, too.

I love keeping up with little Ellie at the Chronicles of Ellie Bellie Bear. There is something about going through the journey of raising a child with Down syndrome with others that gives me strength. Knowing that this sweetie made it though her tonsillectomy (even though it was pretty rough) last month gives me confidence that we will also make it thought this tough time as well.

Tara provides a lot of great teaching ideas on her blog Making the Most of Today. She is homeschooling her preschooler with Down syndrome & shares lots of great resources and great photos of her sweetheart, Vada.

(Those of you that have been given the award, check out my last post for the rules, and please know that I understand that this is something extra for you to do and understand if you choose not to participate.)

Levi goes in at 6am Thursday morning to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. I will be giving updates here.

We are enjoying a special day with my aunt & uncle who are visiting from out of town. And when I say out of town, I mean WAY out of Malaysia! Such a treat! The windows are open. It is in the 70'. The boys are napping after a fun time at the park, and life is good!

 Here are a few pics from this morning.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Liebster Award

Liebster is German for beloved or esteemed and is the name of an award given from one blogger to another, (nominees must have less than 200 followers). It is a great way for writers in the blogging community to support one another. I'd like to give a great big shout out to Treyton's Posse for presenting me with this honor. Click here to read one of my favorite Treyton's Posse posts (about what a four-leaf-clover and people with Down syndrome have in common). It will bring a huge smile to your face.

At Treyton's Posse, you will quickly notice the positive perspective on parenting a child with Down syndrome, which I appreciate so much. It is organized well, has nice photos (Treyton is a cutie), and is sure to quickly become a big hit...and any blog that gives mine an award has got to be pretty awesome- right?

There are some requirements that go along with accepting the Liebster Award.
Rule 1: Post 11 facts about yourself.
Rule 2: Answer the 11 questions posed by the person who nominated you.
Rule 3: Nominate other bloggers with less than 200 followers for the award. (I've seen some rules that say to nominate 5 and others that say to nominate 11. I am nominating 5.)
Rule 4: Go to each blogger's site and let them know you nominated them.
Rule 5: Thank the person that nominated you and link back to that person's blog.
Rule 7: Display a Liebster Blog Award badge on your blog. 

Here are the questions given to me along with my answers. I will do the rest of the tasks in my next post.

1. Why did you start to blog?

I started blogging as a way to keep my family & friends from out-of-state informed about our family. I used to do a lot of scrapbooking. My blog was an even better way to tell our stories and share our photos with a lot of people at once, no matter how far away they were.

2.    When you were a child, what did you dream about being when you grew up?
An astronaut!

3.    What are better cats or dogs? Defend your answer. 
Cats. They are less needy. I like that.

4.    Assuming money was not an issue, where would you travel to and what would you do when you got there?
I just want to go back to Hawaii with Wes. I would want to stay in Honolulu and repeat each day’s itinerary from our first trip. It was great. I know it would make more sense go someplace new, but that’s what I’d choose.  

5.    What do you prefer and why – Apple iOS or Android?
I am an Apple girl for sure. I am an iMac, MacBook Pro, and iPad user, so Apple iOS just makes sense for me. I love Apple products because navigating around them is so simple for me & I like the way they feel in my hands. I love the way my fingers can flutter across the keyboards of my iMac & MacBook Pro so much that using a PC feels archaic to me, and the Cloud is amazing! It thrills me to be able to add something to my iPhone calendar or take a photo on it and have it automatically sent to all my devices. So awesome! (I sound like a commercial! Don't I?)

6.    Baseball is widely known as “America’s Pastime.” Do you agree? If not what do you think should be considered America’s Pastime?
Watching TV is America’s pastime :)

7.    What is your favorite candy bar?
Almond Snickers bars (but I like peanut butter cups better than I like candy bars)

8.    Your kids are in bed and your spouse is off doing something else. You have the television to yourself and the DVR has been recording everything for the last week. What is the first show you watch?
The Voice or Doc Martin

9.    What would you consider to be the greatest invention ever? Why?
The camera! It is amazing that we can capture moments in time to cherish for years (and generations) to come!

10. What is the one thing you cannot stand to be without?
My camera!

11. Who is the greatest superhero of all time? Choose from: Batman, Spider-Man, or Superman.
Superman, because I have fond memories of watching Superman movies with my parents, and there is nothing more super than good memories with family.

Tune in next time as I fulfill the rest of the Liebster Award requirements, and again, thank you to Treyton's Posse for the pat on the back. It inspires me to be better and to get back to some more meaningful posts.