Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This may be my last monthly update on our Charlie, as he is 11 MONTHS old!! No, really, we can't believe it either. Next update, he will be 1! Where have these last 11 months gone? We have been so blessed by this little man.
This last month he has been busy perfecting some important skills:
** He is an expert at crawling now, at very high rates of speed...like it's a game of chase me sometimes.
** He loves to pull up to kneel at tables, shelves, etc. He has just begun to get interested in pulling up to stand, but hasn't done it on his own yet. He is definately moving in that direction though.
** Clapping...loves it. Knows what it is now. I just got it on video today, so that will have to get posted soon.
** We are awaiting results of allergy tests. Poor kid has been to the doc so much lately for "stuffiness" and coughing the wonderful doc thought it best to test him now. His ezcema is also flaring up so that adds to the allergy thought pattern. So that means, he's now had his first blood draw. As much as he seems to be taking after me in allergies, his "good vein" is in the exact same spot as his Daddy's.
** Eats ALOT! Still drinking at least 24 oz. a day plus eating three meals and starting to eat snacks now too. Loves just about anything you put in front of him. Fruits and veggies seem to be a favorite now.
** Working on sippy cup use in an attempt to loose the bottle habit in the next three weeks or so. Not going well.
** Loves to crawl to you and pull up on your pants/legs.
** Still loves a good story each night. He also enjoys going to his shelf under the coffee table and taking out the books to "read."
** Has 7 teeth! These last 5 one after another have been VERY difficult at times!
** Gives the best hugs lately. Nice, tight bear hug style.
** Is solidly into clothes 12 months and up, mostly 18 months. Tall, big boy.
** Enjoyed a nice couple of tunes from Daddy tonight -- the same ones he sang him in the hospital, when he was just hours old and we needed him to sleep.
** Really, truly is an angel sent here to make his parents lives wonderful. I'm so happy to see him growing up into a wonderful little boy, but so sad that my baby is growing up, all at the same time.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
This one is the most recent of him dancing...
This one isn't very exciting...just him crawling around.
This is the oldest one, maybe from March, but it's the belly button dance.
I just really think it's nice to see events like this still happening given the current economy. Government positions are effected just like private companies and this sort of event is so great for the community. Kenny and I love taking Charlie to events like this. I guess I probably feel even more strongly about it as a third generation public servant to promote the local community and encourage children to learn about their town because one day, they may want to work there!
We started the day with a double haircut -- one for Daddy and one for Charlie. Mommy and Charlie watched Daddy get his haircut to see what it was like. I think that really helped Charlie be comfortable with sitting on Kenny's lap for his haircut.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Kenny’s brilliant doctors take such good care of him and we know are they are the best we could ask for. Kenny has an amazing attitude. He laughs, he smiles, he jokes with the doctors. We continue about our life in a pretty normal way. Sometimes we are reminded that it’s there, when we have to visit another doctor for follow up work, tests, visits. We have HOPE though, that some day our doctor will say there is a cure for this, not just treatments. A way to make sure the tumor never returns. Our doctor has HOPE and gives us a better reason to HOPE. Our doctor has never given us bad news, maybe a setback, but always news that gave us reason to HOPE and BELIEVE.
While Kenny’s type of brain tumor is serious, he is lucky because it’s benign and although it can harm him, it can also be treated pretty successfully. Malignant brain tumors and even some that are benign can be much more serious…not treatable…deadly. Sometimes it depends on when you find them, how involved they are, where they are. Those things can make benign tumors much more serious sometimes than malignant.
As I said, Kenny is lucky. His tumor was caught early and he is being treated. He will live for many, many years to come. Many people with brain tumors aren’t as lucky as Kenny. The stories are sad. They break your heart. One day a person goes from living a normal life and the next they have a brain tumor and are given a very short amount of time to live. Kenny is lucky. Charlie is lucky…he gets to have his Daddy for a long, long time. I am lucky…I get to have my husband for a long, long time.
He can live a long, healthy, normal life given the proper medical treatment and care. When people hear brain tumor, they get scared. It is scary, but educating yourself is important. Sometimes it’s easier to explain things in a simple way, rather than overwhelming people with medical facts. So, a very simple way of thinking of it is as diabetes or heart disease, something that many people are familiar with. If you take care of yourself, listen to your doctor and follow up with them regularly for tests and appointments, take your medicine, there is no reason you can’t live a long, healthy normal life. That’s our belief about Kenny’s condition. We listen closely to the directions we are given and follow up carefully and his treatment will be successful.
Of course, it’s not that simple. There is a lot more to it than that. But we learn and educate ourselves and research and ask lots of questions and we are empowered by the knowledge. I carry this big dorky binder with me to all of Kenny’s medical appointments and it comes in handy. I have almost all of his records in there and quickly can access information for the doctors or nurses. We are forever looking for more information on brain tumors.
As I considered a way to get a message out there for Brain Tumor Awareness Month, I realized I could pay some of the kindness forward to others with Brain Tumors. Finding a cure for these tumors would be an amazing thing that we could see in this lifetime. We BELIEVE that we will.
When Kenny was hospitalized and recovering last year, our family was blessed with a huge, loving support system that took care of us, made offers to help us, sent food, gifts, cards, emails and prayers. There is no way to ever pay those people back for their kindness that often moved us to tears. We pledged to pay it forward, to give back when we hear of those in need.
I think that one way we can give back is to make others aware of some wonderful organizations that do amazing things. Organizations that publish medical information that is necessary for patients to learn more about brain tumors and that support the research to find a cure. Brain tumors don’t get the attention they deserve. They are serious. They affect so many people. If you ever feel lead to give to an organization to benefit a cause or a medical condition that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, check these out.
www.pituitary.org (Pituitary Network Association – Kenny’s specific type of brain tumor is a pituitary tumor)
www.abta.org (American Brain Tumor Association)
These organizations are fantastic tools for patients and their families. Knowledge is power and we feel powerful from information they have provided us with. We HOPE for a cure for brain tumors every day and we BELIEVE that someday, we will see that cure in action.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
As my 12 hour flu ended and I started feeling better and human, Kenny came down with it and a few days later added a bit of Charlie's cold to it. Then poor Charlie, already dealing with a cold and his 5th tooth in 7 weeks, added an ear infection to the mix. As I write this, I think we are all much healthier after a week of illness and we hope for a better week to come. This was one of those weeks I just felt like nothing could go right for us and we just couldn't have a "normal" week, but maybe this IS normal sometimes when you have a VERY active little germ carrying kiddo in the house.
This weekend has been much better as I actually got to clean our house, free it of all of the germs and enjoy some deal finding shopping trips and a great day today with friends. Kristine and Danielle brought their daughters, Camryn and Reese over to play with their favorite boyfriend Charlie. After some time playing inside and lunch, we enjoyed the warm, sunny weather at our neighborhood park.
Checking out the animals on the bench.