Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crazy Texas Weather

The temperature has been hovering right around 105 lately. That didn't stop Ashlyn from picking this outfit to wear yesterday afternoon. There is no telling a three year old that it is too hot to wear a fluffy winter coat and rubber boots. Shelly and I just sat there trying not to crack up laughing at her. She was so serious about picking these clothes out. She tried on several pairs of pants and a couple pairs of shoes before deciding on this combination. She wore it for about five minutes before becoming convinced herself that it actually was a little too hot to keep this on. The weather in Texas is crazy...but not that crazy!

Kenley is doing great. In the last week she has learned how to get to her hands and knees from her tummy. She can also get to a sitting position from her tummy as well. I would guess that she is a month or so from crawling. She can scoot backwards pretty well, but cannot master the forward motion. I am looking forward to the crawling days. We are working on learning to pull up to a standing position. She loves to stand up. That seems to be when she is happiest (other than when her mommy is holding her). She has become quite the chatterbox too, always saying mamama, dadada or bababa. She is so cute talking to herself in the car or in her bed. Ashlyn is still the one that makes her laugh the most. I love watching them play together.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Princess Obsession

To say that Ashlyn likes Disney princesses is the understatement of the year. She breathes Disney princesses. Everything is princess. She has to eat with a princess spoon in the morning out of a pink bowl. She has a hand-me-down nightgown robe that she wears around the is her wedding dress. She wears pink plastic high heels everywhere. She tells me that I have to be the Grand Duke (from Cinderella) and come find her after she loses one and put it on her foot to see if it fits. She believes in her heart that she is Cinderella. EVERYTHING is princess. Consequently, several people that know Ashlyn bring her little princess things. She is always more than excited to receive these little gifts. Today our neighbor brought her several sheets of Disney princess stickers. She was ecstatic. The above picture is what she did with them. She just can't help herself. How cute is that? There are also stickers randomly stuck to other objects throughout the house. I bought her a princess nightgown today that came with a free wand. She walked around the house singing Bippidy Boppidy Boo and saying that she was changing Kenley into a sheep.
Ken watched both girls tonight so that I could go out to dinner with Shelly and have some "me" time. Thank you so much, Ken. I needed it badly. He took both girls to run some errands. He said that Ashlyn yawned in the back seat and said, "Now that's the sound of someone who is tired!" She is so funny.
Kenley is continuing to make progress. Today she got to a sitting position from her hands and knees for the first time. Woo hoo! The exercises that the PT showed me are paying off. She is getting more mobile by the day.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Eight is Great!

Kenley was eight months old yesterday. I cannot believe the time is going by so fast. It seems like just yesterday she was so tiny. This month for Kenley has brought things like rolling over, feeding herself rice puffs, separation anxiety, eating big girl food and just in the last few days she has started to try to get on her hands and knees from a sitting position although we are not there yet. I have thought recently about putting her in a Mother's Day Out program this fall to give her some practice at being away from me. I always said that I wanted a little Mommy's girl and I got exactly what I wished for. She cannot stand to be out of my sight. Very sweet, but very tiring. We changed the position that we place her in the crib, car and tub in an attempt to encourage her to look to the left (to help with the Torticollis). She has been getting better about looking that way. She was so cute sleeping last night.

We had a big day today with Ashlyn's friends. We walked out to get the mail and it turned into a little party including:





We followed all of this up with some swimming. Whew...there is never a lack of things to do around here. Tonight starts vacation Bible school for Ashlyn. She is very excited about going to the same one she went to last year. Naps are over and so is my break. I will leave you with a picture of our sweet girls. There is nothing that melts my heart quite like these two playing together.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Busy July

Wow. It feels like forever since I have posted. Things have been pretty crazy around here. We had a great July 4th weekend. My whole family came to visit and we just hung out here at the house and then headed to the Kacsmaryks to watch the fireworks. It was nice to not have an agenda and have to go anywhere. We got to swim and Ken and Joe went to ride bikes. Ken doesn't get to do that very often anymore so the weekend was a nice treat for all of us. Ashlyn decided over that weekend that she wanted to drink coffee. I let her have some (about six parts milk, 1 part coffee, 1 part creamer). I thought she would love it, but she only took a couple of sips of it. She did inform me after I gave it to her that the proper place to drink the coffee was at the coffee table. Here is a picture of her with her first cup of "coffee".

The girls and I loaded up and headed to Nana's house last week to help out after her surgery. It was a busy week, but lots of fun. Ashlyn always has a blast at Nana and Paw Paw's house. Due in no small part to the fact that Paw Paw just happens to come home everyday with a surprise for Ashlyn. Something small, but always something.
As soon as we got back Kenley had her first physical therapy appointment with ECI. It went well although Kenley cried the whole time. She was not overly excited about the stretches. The physical therapist recommended that we get an x-ray done of her left shoulder blade and neck to make sure that the problem is only muscular. She said that she could feel some popping in her back during the exercises. Adding that to the fact that Kenley cried more than most babies, she just suggested to be on the safe side. So we will be getting an x-ray soon. Her next PT appointment is in one month. Hopefully we will be able to show them some progress in her development by then. She is still sweet and cute. Here is a picture of her just being cute. (Shelly, please note the bow.)

I started to feel terrible all of a sudden a couple of days ago and I had no idea why. My symptoms were getting worse by the hour. I felt like I had a terrible case of the flu, but didn't have any other symptoms besides terrible joint pain and stiffness and fever with chills. Long story short, I went to the doctor yesterday morning to find out that I have mastitis. Didn't know that you could get mastitis after nursing for eight months, but FYI, you can. And I don't recommend it. It is absolutely miserable. Today is my first day of feeling better, not quite up to par, but I at least I feel like I can function again.
Shelly was a lifesaver yesterday when I couldn't do much but just lay around and be miserable. She brought Avery over and watched all the girls while I went to the doctor and got my medicine. Then she watched them again while I slept yesterday afternoon. I have to tell you, the playdates with Avery and Kenley are getting better and better. They just had a great time yesterday.

Okay, so they didn't have a great time at all. They have both hit the separation anxiety phase. Well, Kenley has been in that phase since birth, but it has gotten worse. If I am around and Kenley is not with me she is heartbroken and if Shelly is around and Avery is not nearby, she is heartbroken. They screamed we laughed. But I was done laughing last night. I wanted to pull my hair out. But today is another day.
Kenley got her first big girl food last night. Rice-A-Roni with chicken and diced carrots. She liked it all, but the struggled with the carrots. We will probably still keep working on it though. She got a huge smile on her face when I gave her the chicken as if to say, "Wow, something with flavor! Keep it coming!" Here is a picture of her first real meal. Typical Kenley she has to look very serious for the camera.
Ashlyn wanted me to take her picture too. I asked her to take her plate to the sink after dinner yesterday and she looked at me with a very serious look on her face and said, "But Mommy, I am sixteen years old!" This is just a quote from The Little Mermaid, but it is still funny coming from the mouth of a three year old. She has watched way to much tv the past few days. But that is what happens when a stay at home mommy gets sick. Thanks for being such a trooper, Bug. We love you so!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kenley's Visit With ECI

As some of you may know, Kenley was diagnosed with Torticollis at her 1 month checkup. All it means is that the muscles in her neck are tight and her head is tilted from being in that position in utero. Kenley has always held her head tilted to the left and although it has gotten a lot better, she still prefers to hold it slightly tilted and rotate (or look) to the right. At the 1 month checkup, her pediatrician just said to keep and eye on it.
At the 6 month checkup a new pediatrician noticed her head tilt and also commented that she has some facial asymmetry. He mentioned that the right side of her face is fuller than the left. Her right cheek is fuller, her right eye is bigger, and her right ear sticks out more than her left. I had noticed it, but thought that was just how God made her. He said that she would probably be fine, but suggested that I call Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) if I was concerned. Well, after that checkup I began to worry that her inability to roll over was somehow linked to the Torticollis. I also started looking at all of the pictures that I had taken of her since birth and began to notice just how tilted her head was and also noticed the growing asymmetry in her face in later pictures. I decided to call ECI several weeks ago to ease my mind. We set up an appointment for them to come evaluate her this morning.
I have been looking quite forward to the visit from ECI. Until Kenley rolled over last Thursday, I was becoming more worried that the Torticollis was affecting her development. So I was ecstatic to see her not just roll over once, but continue to do it several times last week. It still just makes my heart smile to see her roll over.
ECI sent three people out to evaluate Kenley this morning...the ECI coordinator, an RN, and a physical therapist. The RN evaluated vision, hearing and other developmental skills for Kenley. Then the physical therapist took some time to play with her and take a look at her neck. After 1 1/2 hours of constant stimulation and exercises we finally had the results. The short version is that Kenley is mostly average or above average in most areas of development. If you want the details they are below:
Adaptive (or ablility to use to tools to get something or "plan"): functional age 8 months
Cognitive (or ability to understand cause and effect): functional age 9 months
Fine motor skills: functional age 7 months
Gross motor skills: functional age 7 months
Expressive language (actual "talking"): functional age 7 months
Receptive language (body language): functional age 7 months
Personal/Social: functional age 9 months
All this means is that for the most part Kenley is developing at or ahead of schedule. The only area that she is lacking in is the rolling over department. She is tracking as a 6 month old there. Because of this and the muscles in her neck being tight, the pediatrician qualified her for physical therapy from ECI. So Kenley will have physical therapy for her Torticollis twice a month until the PT feels that she can cut down to once a month and then do away with it completely.
I asked them if the facial asymmetry would be able to be corrected. They explained that the muscle and tissue development in the face was probably permanent, but that the physical therapy would prevent it from getting worse. I was a little sad at first, but as the day has gone on here are my thoughts: Kenley's right cheek is bigger than her left one, but her cheeks are so soft and kissable, thank you God. Her right eye is bigger than her left one, but she can see this beautiful world out of both eyes, thank you God. Kenley's right ear sticks out further than her left one, but she can hear her daddy sing to her, me tell her I love her, and her sister laugh out of both ears, thank you God. God has given us this beautiful healthy little girl and we are so thankful that she is here with us. She is absolutely beautiful with a tender and sweet personality. She is perfect to us.