Friday, May 30, 2008

Ear Tube Surgery for Monday

For the past couple of months Jordan has been pulling on her ears, crying, and now that she's understanding and "talking" a bit more she is telling us her ears hurt. I've taken her in four times to see if she has an infection but each time the doctors say there isn't one, she's fine. They've been correct in that there is not an ear infection but what they couldn't know is that her ear tubes have come out and now she has fluid and pressure in her ears. Our pediatrician got us a quick authorization to see an Ear Nose Throat doctor (ENT) yesterday who examined her ears and did a tympanogram (a test that blows a puff of air into the ear canal then measures the amount of movement in the ear drum. That tells whether or not ear tubes are in place or working properly or if there might be fluid in the ear. The tympanogram showed that she does, indeed, need new tubes and the ENT says she's uncomfortable due to fluid build up. Poor thing. Thankfully he squeezed her in so that he could do her surgery Monday morning - yes, this Monday. It's more of a procedure than a "real" surgery as we've known surgeries to be. It's outpatient and only takes about 15 minutes. We'll get there at 5:45 a.m., the surgery will start at 6:45 and we'll be on our merry way home by 7:45 or 8:00. Our ENT (Dr. Avrum Kaufman) has a five week old at home so let's all hope that baby sleeps well the night before so that he's got a steady hand. :)

Incase any of you faithful bloggers are interested I found a great site that has an actual video of an ear tube surgery. I watched it before Jordan's first set were put in at four months. If you want to, check it out.

Here's another site that describes what the surgery does and is like.

Tympanostomy Tube Surgery

If your child is old enough to understand what surgery is, you may want to prepare him or her for the visit by talking about what to expect. The following steps will be taken during ear tube surgery:

  • Your child will receive general anesthesia. This means the surgery will be performed in a hospital so that an anesthesiologist can monitor your child. Typically the procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • The surgeon will make a small hole in the eardrum and remove fluid from the middle ear using suction. Because the surgeon can reach the eardrum through the ear canal, there is no visible incision or stitches.
  • The surgeon will finish by inserting a small metal or plastic tube into the hole in the eardrum.

After the procedure, your child will wake up in the recovery area. In most cases, the total time spent in the hospital is a few hours. Extremely young children or those with significant medical problems may stay for a longer period.

After Surgery

A tympanostomy tube helps prevent recurring ear infections by allowing air into the middle ear. Other substances, including water, may sometimes enter the middle ear through the tube, but this is generally not a problem. Your surgeon may or may not feel that earplugs are necessary for regular bathing or swimming.

In most cases, surgery to remove a tympanostomy tube is not necessary. The tube usually falls out on its own, pushed out as the eardrum heals. A tube generally stays in the ear anywhere from 6 months to 18 months, depending on the type of tube used. If the tube remains in the eardrum beyond 2 to 3 years, however, it will likely be removed surgically to prevent a perforation in the eardrum or accumulation of debris around the tube.

Although effective in reducing chronic ear infections, ear tubes are not always a permanent cure for otitis media. Up to 25% of children who need ear tubes before the age of 2 may need them again.

I'll update on Monday. :)


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Two Weeks With the Walker

Here she is just two weeks into this walker. She walks up and down the street like she owns the place! We've been having her go up and down the driveways to help with her speed and also to build her strength. She does great. She's even really starting to get the steering down. She's so funny though when it gets stuck and she can't straighten it out she gets so mad, grunts, yanks at it and persists forever. She's really a crack up - as usual. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Finally a short clip of the walker...

Here's a very short, lame video clip from the mall tonight. Ugg. This is challenging. You'll see in the video how unmotivated she is to walk, even at the mall. However, she is doing the most walking there so I'm going to keep it up.

After just six days with the walker she stood by herself for two seconds today at therapy. We're heading back to the mall tomorrow morning with my friend Tobi and her boys so she can help me. Hopefully that'll go better.

Friday, May 16, 2008

She rolls!

Okay so a quick post because it's so exciting. I've been faithfully praying that Jordan would like her walker and that she'd start wanting to use it. She used it some at our park yesterday which was great but she was still resistant to walking more than a few steps and it was really tough because the wheels didn't turn and if she went anywhere I'd have to be crouched next to her moving the direction then turning her around when we ran out of room etc. Today her therapist was over and suggested something another mom had done who was facing the same situation. That mom let her daughter decorate her walker and then she made it a big deal and took her to the mall to walk. There are plenty of distractions and it's wide open and really flat. Jordan's therapist also helped me unlock the front wheels so Jordan could turn it herself. Wow, what a difference. We put bows all over it (pink and brown of course) and even put a basket on it with bows for her to put "lamby" in. It was fantastic! We started at the entrance by Nordstrom (of course) and the ladies getting their hair done in the salon there were cracking up so Jordan was hamming it up for them. She was sticking her tongue out, playing coy then laughing so hard. She didn't even notice she was working. She walked about on third of the mall then when Shan and Noah went ahead she threw a fit. I was standing firm though and let her scream like crazy while everyone stared. Finally (she almost outlasted me) she stopped and I got her to finish walking to the playground. By the end she probably walked half the length of the mall or a bit more. She was stopping to rest during the last part. She would just stop, stand there and then lift one leg like it was getting tired then she'd charge ahead. Her steering isn't so great yet though. A few times when she was really distracted smiling at someone she went in a complete circle. It was hilarious. My highlight for the night was in Baby Gap. She was doing so well. She "walked" right up to the bathing suits and grabbed one. She looked at me and was yanking at the bathing suit. It was so fun to see her able to walk right up and tell me what she wanted. Normally I would say don't touch but tonight I was so thankful. It was great to see her up on her feet finally.

So if any of you are at the mall over the next few weeks look for us because it will be our second home. If she does this well at the mall I'm happy to take her every day (such a sacrifice huh?).

One other thought...I was glad Shan went with me tonight because it's still a little uncomfortable sometimes the way everyone stares. I know they can't help it and they are probably just looking because she's so cute and small with the decorated walker but it's something to get used to - being a show for everyone. I was recently talking to someone about this and was remembering when I'd take Jordan out before her lip surgery. Oh man would people stare. I totally understand that she had a hole in her face but honestly people would run their grocery carts into displays and into other shoppers because they'd be turned completely around staring. It was funny after a while but mostly it wasn't much fun. There really isn't an answer though. What are people supposed to say? I've often thought about this. We are all afraid to say "What happened to your baby?" or "What's wrong with your baby?" because it sounds negative so we just don't say anything. Most of us are intrigued or curious so we look (myself included). It's nothing judgemental or critical it's just human nature but we forget that no one likes being a show. Kids are the best - they usually just ask and then move on.

I feel like I can speak for many parents who have children with birth "defects" (this may or may not be the current PC term but I'm okay with using it) or "differences" when I say that we, as parents, are fine talking about it. Just ask if you're curious and take a peek if your interested but please don't gawk and stare because it gets uncomfortable...and correct your kids if they do it. Model respect for them and teach them that it's okay to ask and that God makes us all different with different needs, talents, gifts, etc. Also, if your children say something rude please correct them in front of the child and family they said it to. It's nice to know that you as parents find rude comments unacceptable.

One more thing then I'll stop rambling...
I was cracking up tonight at Noah. Jordan's walker is his new favorite toy. He kept trying to take it from her so he could use it at the mall. He walked back to the car in it with his head held high SO proud of "his" decorated walker. We were walking behind him laughing because he had no idea people were staring at him and we were loving that he is so used to seeing kids in walkers and wheelchairs now that it doesn't even phase him. I love that! What a gift God has given our family enabling us to be exposed to and to have a better understanding of an entire population of people. I'm excited to see how Noah does as he and Jordan grow up together.

Okay that's it for now but I'm posting pictures tomorrow of her wheels.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Prayer Requests

Okay so we have a few prayer requests. I'll make it short and sweet.

1. Praise that Jordan's sensory dysfunction/integration issues seem to be getting steadily better.
2. Praise that we got her new leg brace/splint/stretcher thing adjusted and although it's not great it's better than it was.
3. Pray that something would change in our insurance or that somehow we'd be able to get her old brace back (her Dynasplint). It's $3,000 to purchase and we're out of orthopedic money as far as our insurance is concerned. There is another avenue we can check out in the next week or so.
4. Pray that she would walk soon. They say that she'll eventually walk but it's getting harder and harder to carry her everywhere as she's getting heavier and wanting to crawl around to get to what she wants. When she crawls, especially outside, she quickly wears holes and stains all of her pants. It just really feels like it's time for her to walk.
5. Pray for her summer surgery. I called her hand surgeon at UCLA last week to schedule our next appt to prepare for her next surgery and they said he is no longer w/ UCLA. I jumped through the HMO hoops to get the new guy approved for a consult and when I called him to schedule it they said he doesn't see kids. Ugg. Now I'm praying for wisdom as to another doctor to get an opinion from. Her old doc from UCLA (Jones - the one who left recently) is now at UC Irvine (closer to us) but isn't approved with insurance companies yet. Pray that he'll take our insurance.

Okay that's all for now. Thank you so much for checking in and for faithfully praying! :)


She's Got Wheels

At 19 1/2 months Jordan is already behind the wheel. :) I guess to be totally truthful I have to say she's behind wheels (plural). :)

We (her physical therapist, Shan and myself) are feeling like we are running out of ideas to get Jordan moving on those legs. Her foot is down enough that she is stable "enough" and when she has her tennis shoes on with her inserts in her shoes she should be very stable. We've dealt with a lot of her sensory issues (feeling unstable when not secure physically). We've worked on strengthening her legs and are working on her core muscles. We've started with some cool strappy things to support her while she's upright, then we moved to parallel bars on to a small bar in front while she walks but the desire and the security just doesn't really seem to be there.

Today her physical therapist gave us (loaned us) a walker (praise God because we are out of orthopedic money with our insurance).

The Woodwards stopped in for a surprise visit today and Hudson Man tried showing Jordan that it's no big deal to walk in this thing. Isn't he so cute????!!!

She liked it okay at therapy but as you can tell from the picture she hated it once we got home. We tried having Noah walk in it and even Jordan's little friend, Hudson used it but she couldn't care less. She can totally walk in it without problem and it can be a wonderful tool for all of us. I would have to carry her less, she could potentially walk in this thing everywhere possible and it seems that would make her walk alone that much quicker. The problem is that she doesn't seem to like it.

I'll keep you posted as to her progress.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother Is a Chalice

Happy Mother's Day to all who are reading this. Shannon woke me up early this morning with my favorite - Starbuck's, of course. :) The kids were still sleeping so we sipped our coffee and read before getting up. I intentionally chose The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot. I don't have much time for reading (outside my Bible study time) so when I have a few minutes I really cherish it and look forward to it, carefully deciding what I'll read. I love books and love reading so to have a few minutes here and there to read a chapter out of a great book is SUCH a treat.

In this book I read the chapter titled A Mother Is a Chalice. Here are a couple paragraphs that struck me.

"A mother is a chalice, the vessel without which no human being has ever been born. She is created to be a life-bearer, cooperating with her husband and with God in the making of a child. What solemn responsibility. What an unspeakable privilege - a vessel divinely prepared for the Master's use."

Another paragraph that had much meaning is this one:

"There has been no preparation that seems nearly adequate for this cataclysmic upheaval of their lives. A boy and a girl became a husband and a wife, and suddenly they are a father and a mother, overnight as it were, without anything to ready them for the awesome task of fashioning the destiny of a soul. The awareness of inadequacy frightens the life out of many."

This paragraph reminds me of something that you may chuckle at. Hours and days (really weeks and months) after having Noah I was struck by the fact that the hospital was going to let us take him home. I just couldn't believe that they would let me, of all people, leave that hospital with such a dependent, delicate little thing. I couldn't even keep track of my car keys on a regular basis, how was I supposed to care for this baby. It really just blew me away. In fact, I can remember clear as if it were yesterday, the day we where scheduled to leave the hospital I was out of the room and upon my return a nurse said that the social worker had stopped by to see me. A little bit later I was out again, for some reason, and missed the social worker once again. I remember thinking that they had found me out. Someone had realized it would be catastrophic to allow me to take home an infant so they had contacted the social worker to come by and check on me. :) Praise God that, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, these children are really His, under His care and He will provide the wisdom and the training we need if only we ask.

I also remember, during those early days, being more tired than I can explain in words. It was the first time I physically felt I was at the end of myself with so little sleep and such physical exhaustion. There have been many more times similar since then and also times with such heaps of stress poured on top of that same exhaustion but each time God has pulled me through. This makes me think of a sermon I listened to yesterday by John MacArthur (you can download or listen online to sermons by him at Grace to You and our own pastor Mike Fabarez has the same set up through Focal Point Radio Ministries online). It was on the Proverbs woman in honor of Mother's Day. He said in one part that being a mother is a sacrifice but also a gift. That we should never look at our motherly duties as our cross to bear, or have the attitude of bearing up under the pressure, or just gritting our teeth and doing our job. We are to have TRUE joy in this service. We are have this be the joy of our heart (after our relationship with Christ of course). It is SUCH a gift and we should look at it this way. What a perspective shift from our society today.

So in all of this I had to post how thankful I am and how I am still in awe of the fact that God chose me to mother these children. Me! I can't help but think he must have dozed off when it happened, allowing this to slip past. Obviously nothing slips past our mighty Creator so I trust that He will continue to provide women older and wiser than I to guide me, scripture to teach me, a heart for prayer in this, and the grace to overlook my failures and shortcomings.

Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Life Without Limbs

Here's a video of Nick Vujicic. It's amazing. He so clearly lays out the reason for us to have joy in the midst of suffering and trials. I think this is the video clip where he's on Robert Schuller's show - I'm in no way endorsing Schuller but this clip is really a good one.
Please comment if you can.

The Wise Woman

I found this today through a link on our pastor's Facebook page. I loved it and thought it was such a good explanation of this verse and a great reminder.

Proverbs 14:1 - The wise woman builds her house
NIV: The wise woman builds her house,but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
KJV: Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
NASB: The wise woman builds her house,But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
Proverbs 14:1

A wise woman builds. The fact that this woman is called "wise" indicates that she fears and reverences the Lord. She conscientiously builds her house, making her entire household thrive, because she has learned that wisdom brings the happiness and prosperity she desires for her family. The wise woman cares for her home, causing it to flourish and become a haven to those who live there. She builds her home by making wise choices in her relationships with her husband and children. She works on her marriage, knowing that intimacy does not happen naturally but must be developed. All building takes time, picturing brick set on brick until a sturdy safe home is constructed. In contrast, the foolish woman does not build. She tears down both her possessions and her relationships. She destroys by her own efforts-with her hands, her tongue, her idleness, and her lack of interest.

Thomas Nelson, I. (1997, c1995). Woman's study Bible . (Pr 14:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


dis·ci·pline [dis-uh-plin] –noun
1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control
6. a set or system of rules and regulations.
7. Ecclesiastical. the system of government regulating the practice of a church as distinguished from its doctrine.
8. an instrument of punishment, esp. a whip or scourge, used in the practice of self-mortification or as an instrument of chastisement in certain religious communities.
9. a branch of instruction or learning: the disciplines of history and economics. –verb (used with object)
10. to train by instruction and exercise; drill.
11. to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.
12. to punish or penalize in order to train and control; correct; chastise.
(taken from

Hebrews 12:11-13
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed."

I've been thinking a bit lately about the term discipline. I think of it often through the day as I am working dligently to train the hearts of my children. Often this is the form of the word which means to "punish, penalize in order to train and control; correct; castise" as stated in #12 above from However, during my talks with Noah I explain Hebrews 12 and the fact that discipline, both the #12 meaning AND #2 above as in "activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training," are typically not enjoyable or pleasant but they produce a harvest of righteousness and peace. The two sides of this come up so often in life it's so great that God's word addresses it so clearly. In Hebrews 12 the topic of enduring chastening is one sign of being a child of God. God chastens those He loves but in the same chapter the race metaphor is also used, as in disciplining ourselves for the purpose of training. This one (training)is more of the meaning I'm talking about in this post.

My John MacArthur commentary discusses vs 12,13 in this way:
"The author returnes to the race metaphor begun in vv. 1-3 (cf. Prov 4:25-27) and incorporates language taken from Isaiah 35:3 to describe the disiplined individual's condition like a weary runner whose arms drop and knees wobble. When experiencing trials in his life, the believer must not allow the circumstances to get the best of him. Instead, he must endure and get his second wind so as to be renewed to continue the race." (Commentary Bible p. 1920)

When I was studying my Bible the morning of a big bike ride (another insane fundraising activity I did) I came across these verses in Hebrews and I wrote them on a note card to tape to my bike handles. Those verses became so engrained in my mind by the end of those 5 days peddling my way from Big Bear to Mamoth (yes from the parking lot at Big Bear, down the mountain, along the dreaded 395 to the top of Mammoth at the main lodge) that I had a better understanding of disciplining myself as in the #2 and #4 meanings above.
As I was training for my marathon (another fundraising event I've mentioned on here before) I again focused on Hebrews 12. I wrote it on the back of my jersey the day of the event as a reminder to those behind me (not many people were back there mind you - ha ha).

During trials in my life (too many to list) including times of chastening by the Lord I've often referred again to Hebrews 12. I've been reminded of the fact that God's word is living and active (1 Peter 2) and that although it is constant and always the same its meaning can apply to SO many different areas of our lives at so many different times.
Don't confuse what I'm saying here - there is only one true meaning of scripture which can be found through careful study of historical and cultural context, along with a few other specific methods of exegeting scripture. Another post for another time - after reading up on it so I don't lead any astray in my ignorance.

I am posting this because Hebrews 12 is once again popping up in my life. I've been dying to get a double jogger I can use to run (my favorite form of exercise) but we're cutting back on extras until the mortgage business picks up again. I began to pray for a very cheap jogger that I could afford using leftover Christmas money and money from the sale of my current jogger. A fellow mom at Jordan's therapy unit came in one day saying she wanted to sell her $700 jogger for $175 to me. That is the exact price I could afford. Of course I took her up on it and I've felt like a free woman ever since. I can now get out of the house to exercise while working around Jordan's therapy schedule. I've once again disciplined myself to run almost daily and am now already up to 4.6 miles. In addition, this physical discipline has affected every other area of my life. My Bible study time is more consistent, my prayer time is getting much better, my training of my children, my denying of myself in my eating habits (as well as sinful habits), the list goes on. All this to say how great it is that if we can just take one area of our lives and work at becoming disciplined the same process of training ourselves will apply to all others. Definition #12 "to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control" will naturally spill over into our lives as a whole.

We can all do what I've done for a long time in regard to many areas of my life...sit around and talk about it. However, I've found it to be much more effective when we actually get up and do something. We can talk about all the things we want to do or should be doing and never, ever do them. If I can impart anything in this post it's for all of us to simply get up and do something...commit to reading God's word daily, praying throughout your day, begin working on memory verses with your children or yourself, add one small healthy habit to your life (walk with your family three times a week) -whatever it is stop talking and do it (I, of course, recommend starting the habit of reading your Bible daily and praying before beginning any of the other ones listed). :)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Jordan's First Haircut and More

Jordan has had a mullet for a while now. Another way I've heard her hair described (lovingly by a friend as we were laughing) was business in the front and party in the back. Her hair has been getting so long in the back but not growing in the front so we decided to trim the back. I did it myself so it's probably not great but it works and is so cute. We just keep staring at her realizing how big she looks and how old she's getting. Sadly, we're seeing the baby grow up.

I also posted a few pictures from today after church. We were playing outside and laughing because Noah wanted to ride in Jordan's baby walker and Jordan was content riding on his tricycle. Typical of both of them. Again we were struck by how big she looks on his bike. The last picture is of Jordan mesmerized by a ladybug. So cute!
More posts to come!