Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stroller love...oooohh, pink!

So, I have a little thing for gadgets. You know, computers, phones, ipods, cameras - whatever. I come by this honestly, as I inherited it directly from my father. (Yes, Dad, don't try to deny it, Mr. "I NEED an iphone!:) For me that also translates into strollers. I love them. In my mind, the more the merrier! And they keep making newer, cooler, better ones every year. It's almost worth wait. Momentary insanity there!

Shawn is continually perplexed as to why there could possibly be a fleet of strollers in his garage. He keeps trying to reason out how you could need more strollers than there are children. I calmly and kindly informed him that his question is as silly as asking why you would need more shoes than you have feet. YOU JUST DO. Jeeze. He's such a man sometimes.

Anyhow, I thought I had found the last stroller I'd ever purchase when we got our Phil & Ted's double. The thing is really a dream, and we've loved it hard for three years. We have barely glanced at the big, bulky single jogger or the old, semi-umbrella number in those years. But...

I wanted something girly, something know. So, yesterday I ordered the Quinny Zapp.

I'm already in love with it and it wont be here for 3-6 more business days! It's soooo pink and cute, and our carseat clicks into it, and check out how small it folds!

It also comes with it's own carry case that...wait for it...FITS IN THE OVERHEAD BIN ON THE PLANE. Seriosly. Shawn was sold when he saw that.

So we said goodbye to everthing but the phil & ted's (which is still the BEST double on the market in my opinion) and now we have exactly as many seats as we do children. Just don't expect the same to happen with the shoes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chloe's dedication

I mentioned in a previous post that we got to dedicate Chloe at church on Father's Day. Of course, as we had to get all of us dressed, fed, and ready for church EARLY (which never happens!) we forgot our camera. Luckily, the church realized that these are all parents of new babies - so they provided a photographer! It was really a blessing to have my dad dedicate her - even if he did cry like a baby!:)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Chloe at 4 weeks

Here are a few of Chloe today. She actually let me put her down for a nanosecond (between her 2 o'clock and 2:30 feedings:) to snap a few!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Adventures of Mimi & Pa

So anyone who knows my parents knows that they are a bucket o'fun - no joking! They are off on a great adventure tomorrow - a week working in inner-city Philadelphia, then a week in Ireland, a week in Scotland, and a week in London! Then home (FINALLY) where they will get to enjoy my dad's 6-week sabbatical. Seriously - we hope the kids still remember them when they get home. :) If any of you would like to keep track of them, they'll be entering the blogosphere (that is one of my favorite words) at Aren't they tech savvy for old people? (just kidding, mom & dad!) You can click on the title of this post for a link to their site. Enjoy! And mom, dad - bon voyage, and bring us presents!

Thanks to all...

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who has made comments, sent emails, called, or generally offered their support when we sent out the news about Chloe. We are so thankful to have such an amazing community of support surrounding us! Lots of you have asked a few of the same questions, so I figured I'd post a general answer here. To those of you who've asked what you can do in the meantime, the simple answer is nothing. Chloe doesn't really have any other health issues, so the great thing is that until she's ready for surgery, we just get to enjoy her! She is a happy, healthy little girl and we are experiencing all the joys and trials (NO SLEEP!) of having a newborn. Please just continue to cover her with prayer until (and after) her surgery. As far as any long reaching heath complications, the doctor has assured us there will be none, as long as the surgery goes well and everything is as planned. Thanks again for all the questions, all the prayers, and all the support!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fabulous Fathers

Just a few reasons why WE think he's a great dad...

What a great thing to be able to say thanks to the fabulous fathers in my life! I'm lucky enough to have a few - mine, my father-in-law, and of course the father of my three beautiful babies, and my best friend and husband. I am truly lucky to have them all! We got to spend Father's Day in a couple of special ways - first we were able to dedicate Chloe at church, and then we were able to spend the day with my mom and dad at the beach. Of course, being the Oregon coast, it looked like a beautiful sunny day, but was actually blowing at about 70 knots. The kids tried to fly the kite, and it just bent the wings on their dragon. But, we had fun anyway. We built a fire, Shawn surfed, we had a good game of whiffle balls, and a good wrestle in the sand, followed up by a yummy dinner at our favorite, the Pelican Pub. All around, a great day! Thanks, Shawn, for being an amazing Dad. You're always there, playing baseball, teaching them to surf, just putting time in. The kids are SO lucky they have a dad like you!

And of course, happy Father's Day to my dad. Not only was he an amazing dad to me, but he taught me how to pick out a great one for me own kids! I love you pops! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Aidan, saver of the universe...

One thing I love about Aidan is his ability to pick an identity or a character and totally inhabit it. Like, for a few days at a time. Case in point - a few weeks ago Shawn bought the boys new Chronicles of Narnia swords from Target. (Like we need MORE weapons around this place!) For two days Aidan would only respond to the name "Prince Caspian." If one accidentally forgot that he was Prince Caspian and called him by some other name (i.e. "Aidan") he would lovingly remind you like this "Uh, mom? It's Prince Caspian. Try and remember, okay?"

Well, this week we have a new identity. He's a total superhero, complete with cape AND sunglasses at all times. Seriously, he hasn't taken the cape off for a few days. (Except, of course, for one minor little potty training incident. Newbies to the potty scene don't really understand that things can, you know, get in the way, or maybe drag in the toilet. We now have a NO CAPE policy in the bathroom.) I had to convince him that even superheroes take their capes off and hang them on a hook RIGHT NEXT TO THEIR BED at night. That way they stay within easy reach. You know, for emergencies and stuff.

This has led to some great little scenes in our life the last few days. One was as follows: We're at the park with the fabulous Brewer boys (who love superheroes also) and they're all pretending that they've been captured. Aidan is standing against a chain link fence, and when I tell him it's time to go he says "I can't! I'm tied up!" When I tell him to get untied, he looks at Wes who is "tied up" next to him. Wes leans over and pretends to untie him with his teeth. Where did they learn that! Another cute one was a t-ball, when one of the other little girls was pretty bummed that she didn't have a cape. Her mom nicely made one out of their blanket, and her and Aidan spent the rest of the game rescuing people from various states of endangerment. He is definitely a keeper....

Update on Chloe

Hi everyone. I know it's been a while since our last post, but it's been a LITTLE crazy around here. You know, three kids and all! The other day I was literally trying to nurse the baby, clean up a potty training "accident", and make lunch at the same time. Seriously. Not a very appetizing combination! So please forgive my lapse in blogging - hopefully it'll quiet down a teeny bit and I'll be able to post some more pics eventually!

On a little more serious note, I wanted to give a quick update on Chloe. I sent this info out in an email to lots of you, but in case we missed anyone, I thought I'd post it here as well. Bear with - it's kind of long.

As some of you know, when she was born we noticed that one of her eyes was swollen and seemed pushed off to one side. As is expected, all the doctors agreed that it is super normal for babies to be a bit smooshed after the trauma of delivery, and that it would probably resolve itself within the first week.

Well, Chloe is now 3 weeks old, and because her eyes still look a little off kilter, our pediatrician recommended that we see a specialist - a pediatric neurosurgeon who could take a look and see if it was something that required attention.

you can see in the photo that her left eye is shifted up and back

We had our appointment with Dr. Wehby yesterday afternoon, and the news was both good and bad. The good news is that there is nothing wrong with Chloe that cannot be fixed. She has a condition called "coronal craniosynostosis", and the short explanation for that is as follows:

“Craniosynostosis” is a term used to describe the premature fusion of one or more of the skull's sutures before the brain is fully grown. The infant skull consists of five plates of bone held together by clear, fibrous areas called sutures. The sutures should remain open as long as the brain continues to grow, enabling the skull to expand and properly accommodate the brain's growth.

When a suture closes prematurely, a predictable abnormality of head shape occurs. In certain children, changes around the eyes and face may occur because of fusion of the sutures. The coronal suture is the one affecting the plate the includes the occular (eye) bone, which is why her eyes look funny.

you can see over the left eye in the photo where the two plates have fused. (this is not chloe - just a picture from online.)

The really good news is that there is no threat to Chloe's brain with this condition, as long as it is fixed in a timely manner. The doctor was confident that there is no pressure on her brain - both of her soft spots felt just right, her vision is good, her reflexes were perfect. She is a very healthy little girl!

The scary part of this story is that this condition is only fixable through surgery - without surgery, her brain would continue to grow in an abnormal shape and she would become more and more lopsided over the years.

So, all that to say that we could definitely use your prayers over the next few months. We have a follow up appointment when Chloe is 3 months old (august) which will include a cat scan, and they will determine at that point whether they want to do surgery at 4, 5, or 6 months. It will depend on how big she is and how strong they feel she is. The surgery will involve the doctors making an incision across her scalp, breaking free the fused plate, and reconstructing anything that is out of shape once they get in there, including her eye socket and her brow bone. This will straighten our her eyes, her nose, and when her hair grows in it will completely cover the scar. This obviously sounds terrifying to Shawn and I, but there are some really great rays of hope surrounding this.

We were referred to Dr. Wehby (the pediatric neurosurgeon) by our regular pediatrician - never thought to really look her up or anything before the appointment. Well, of course we googled her when we got home - turns out she's sort of a big deal. She is the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Emmanuel Children's Hospital in Portland, as well as the President of the Oregon Medical Association. She's got degrees from about 5 very prominent medical schools including UCLA and Baylor, has done tons of pro-bono work for kids who can't afford surgery, is being given an award at the white house in a few months, and has people flying in from all over the country to have her do surgery on their kids. Apparently the fact that we got an appointment at all is pretty amazing. Who knew?

The other reassuring factor about this doctor is that while some surgeons go in and fix the problem with the plate, they don't necessarily fix the face along with it. Dr. Wehby works with a facial plastic surgeon in EVERY surgery to make sure that each child comes out with a perfect little face. She did a great job of helping us to understand that while it is very scary for us to hear that our baby girl needs surgery on her head, this is something she does all the time - she was 100 percent confident that Chloe will come out looking like the perfect, beautiful little peanut that she is.

So, Shawn and I are just trusting right now that God has us in the right place, with the best doctor, and that Chloe will get everything she needs when the time is right. We are so thankful for the fact that she is healthy - many of the kids who end up with this doctor are there for tumors, spinal problems, or things that will affect them for their entire lives, or even threaten their lives. We have a healthy baby girl who will never remember this ordeal, and will most likely never have to worry about it again once it's fixed. Please continue to pray for us - for peace, for wisdom, and for the patience to wait this out and know that God is in control!

Thanks for reading all the way through this long post - we are thankful to have great friends and amazing family to help us through this next few months!

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