Tuesday, November 30, 2010


As we were driving back home Thursday night, Walter and I both agreed that this year we had the best Thanksgiving dinners (yes, two dinners because we visit both sets of parents) we've ever had. Gisela made some delicious pumpkin pie and yummy sweet potatoes and my mom made the most amazing mashed potatoes and stuffing I've ever had, and they both made the best turkey I've ever tasted! Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from Thanksgiving--I know, kind of a shocker right? Well, some days I'm just not in the mood to take pictures. Sorry.

I don't think there's been a year that I've been more thankful than this year. How could I not. My baby survived a twelve hour surgery and is doing amazingly well. His incision is healing so well and so quickly that you can hardly see it. Walter and I made it through the most trying week of our lives and came out stronger on the other side. Not only stronger as individuals, but stronger as a couple. And more than anything else, we believe in a God who performs miracles. Walter and I went into the day of surgery knowing that God could choose to take Isaac and I'm so thankful that He gave him back to us. Isabella is healthy, and happy, and perfectly three (which isn't always a good thing--I'm finding that three years old is the hardest age yet). Though Walter's job is stressful, it's a good job, his dream job in fact (which I have no problem reminding him of when he has a bad day). As for me, well, I'm thankful I can stay home with my kids. Even though some days are really hard and I wish I had a job to escape to, I wouldn't want to miss these moments we share together day in and day out. And last but not least, I'm thankful to all of the people who were thinking about us and praying for us during and after Isaac's surgery. I've received so many encouraging emails and phone calls and we've also been given some wondefully helpful meals which allowed us to focus wholeheartedly on Isaac and his recovery.

Isabella had a blast playing with her cousin Gabe over the weekend. We often heard Gabe crying and after going to see what was wrong found out that the culprit was Isabella's knack for bossiness. And since Saturday she's been a fairy. Yesterday it took some serious convincing to get her to wear something other than her dress with wings to playgroup. Like I've said before, it's very hard to get wings in the car seat and even harder to get wings into a coat. After much screaming and her saying she didn't want to go to playgroup I said too bad, because I want to see Linda's new baby. Ian will be two weeks old today. So if you need a baby fix, check out the pictures below.

 Playing together...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the helmet journey begins...

Yesterday afternoon I took Isaac to his first appointment with the orthotist. Thankfully my mom went along because what I thought was just going to be a consultation turned into a casting of his head for the helmet. It's a good thing though that everything was done in one appointment because we drive almost an hour to get to the office. I have to tell you, I was extremely nervous and anxious about the whole helmet thing. I was kind of thinking the worst and was just plain bummed that Isaac wasn't going to get a break from people poking his head for a while. I felt like I needed a break too from all of this and for much of this week it felt like the helmet was going to push me over the edge. It's not even that I care about the helmet, or the look of it, I'm just tired of this and Isaac must be tired of it too in some seven month old way.

Anyway, we decided to go with the helmet guy that Dr. Gosain recommended which means more driving and also meant having the actual casting of his head done instead of the digital scan that I'd heard of. So I went into this seriously disappointed that he was going to have the casting done. I didn't want to put him through one more procedure. BUT, the good new is, it went surprisingly well and I think the helmet's fit will be much better with the method and precision that this guy uses.

As with any other helmet therapy, he will wear the helmet twenty-three hours a day with one hour for washing his head and the helmet. Hopefully by his first birthday we'll be done using the helmet.

The really great thing about yesterday, was that the orthotist said, "I'm not trying to flatter you or anything, but this is one of the best surgical results I've ever seen." WOW!!!! We know Dr. Gosain did an amazing job, but it's always good to hear that from someone else--especially when you've had such a hard time getting used to the new apprearance of your baby.

Here are pictures of the casting process...

Ready to get messy!

Taping and marking ears and forehead.

Mom and I switched places so that Isaac could see me.

My knight in shining nylon stocking!

I don't really like this part but I'm doing great!

All done!

I still have some blue marks on my head but they'll come out in a couple days.


I thought I would copy Sarah's annual Christmas picture of her girls in matching pajamas. So we went to the store and I found coordinating pjs (with Isabella's approval of course). The intent was to save the pajamas and take the picture a little closer to Christmas but Isabella insisted that both she and Isaac needed to wear them right after we got home. And because I'm all about picking my battles and we didn't have anything else to do, here are some attempted pictures of Isabella and Isaac...

What's going on here...?

Walter asked if I made Isabella pose in these next pictures...the answer is No, I just keep taking pictures while she acting silly...

Excuse me, I have a question, when will this be over?


Hanging out with Isaac while Isabella took a nap...

Check out these super cute boots from Gymboree...


Where's Waldo with Papa...

Leave it to Isabella to wear a tank top in November.

Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sleep Experiment...

Last night, as I was nursing Isaac to sleep, I whispered excitedly to Walter that I had a brilliant idea to try to get Isaac to sleep longer at night. If you are a parent, you know that when you come up with an idea for getting your child to sleep, that's pretty exciting. I mean really, there isn't anything more exciting than sleep when you have a baby and/or toddler. My brilliant idea: nestle Isaac in the Boppy pillow, on the couch (obviously making certain that he won't fall off the couch) and leave the TV on all night as background noise...I know, brilliant right?! Okay, so you're totally disappointed right now, but guess what...IT WORKED!!!! Now, as Walter and I discussed this morning, we won't really know if this experiment worked until we try it for a few more nights. For his first stretch of sleep he slept for THREE HOURS. THREE HOURS PEOPLE! Then he did two more two hour stretches. He fell asleep to football but then at 1:00 a.m. Criminal Minds was on and I figured whatever subliminal messages he was getting from that wasn't a good idea, so I switched it to HGTV--much more reasonable right?

On Friday Isaac had his first post-op appointment with the plastic surgeon. It went really well and Dr. Gosain is very happy with the results. We will still have follow-up appointments with the neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon for at least a few years and now we will embark on helmet therapy...ugh, I was really hoping this would all just be over. So this week will be devoted to making phone calls with the insurance company and the orthotist and the plastic surgeon to confirm when we will begin using the helmet and the orthotist we will work with. I am just praying that wherever we go they will have the technology to do a digital scan of his head instead of having to do a casting of his head.

I think with all that has been going on Thanksgiving could have totally passed us by unnoticed. This morning I was explaining Thanksgiving to Isabella and I asked her what she was thankful for and she said, "turkey (we'd just finished talking about how we will eat turkey) and love!

Yesterday we watched videos of Isabella when she was six months old. It was actually comforting to know that Isaac is developing at exactly the same pace as Isabella. I think because of the whole head thing, it's made me more concerned that developmentally something may be off. It was also interesting to see that Isabella's mannerisms remain the same and she is just a larger, older version of her six month self.

Sarah and I took the girls (and one boy) for a walk, which actually ended up being an absolutely horrible idea considering Maya and Isabella were falling apart for most of it. Here's Maya talking on the phone to Michael. She said, "Hi Daddy!" and Isabella said she wanted to talk to daddy too...she was just a bit confused when Maya handed her the phone and she realized Michael was the phone instead of Walter. Sarah has a really good picture of this on her blog: www.footedjammies.blogspot.com.

 A little munchkin in the most hilarious snow suit I've ever seen (the effect is much better when she's walking around)...

And if I don't post again this week...Happy Thanksgiving!