Friday, July 24, 2009

Homemade Ice Cream in the Summer!

I am so excited to post this -
When I was a kid summers were spent at my grandparents house (that they built themselves when my dad was young) in the swimming pool (that they put in themselves), and ocassionally eating ice cream (that my grandpa made himself). I especially remember many a 4th of July with all of my cousins and family swimming, jumping off the diving board, eating in the backyard then lighting fireworks and eating homemade peach ice cream. Shannon, the kids and I were in Bakersfield recently visiting the Woodwards and we had delicious homemade vanilla ice cream (thanks Jen Garcia!!!). It brought back such memories! We went to visit my family in Palmdale on our way home and I mentioned to my dad that I'd love to have Grandma and Grandpa's old ice cream maker. If you read back through the blog you'll see that my grandpa died a year ago last April (on Noah's birthday). Since then my dad has asked me if there is anything special I'd like of my grandpas. I asked him if I could have it and we set out searching for it. If you look at the pictures from about a year ago on the blog you'll see that this wouldn't be easy. We searched the service porch, the garage and finally out to the barn we went and finally found it covered in dust but wrapped in it's original box. My grandpa never threw anything out so we figured it was there somewhere.
I have been so busy since then that today was the only time I had to possibly do it. Shannon's mom was here for dinner so she helped...
(She thinks it is roughly a 1960's model ice cream maker)

Noah was such a helper and the kids were so excited! All through dinner he kept checking on it to make sure it was still okay. When Jordan bumped the door into it he ran in the house and said, "Mommy! Sissy bonked the door into the milkshaker!!" We all laughed so hard.

Jordan seems to like it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Amniotic Band Syndrome as Illustrated by a Cucumber

We are growing tomatoes, strawberries, zuchinni and cucumber in our yard now and lately we've had quite a few that are ripe and ready to be eaten.
It's been great for the kids to pick out and plant them, to water them and to watch them grow then finally to eat them.
This one was really interesting though.
It made us chuckle a bit because it looks an awful lot like it suffers from Amniotic Band Syndrome or Constriction Band Syndrome. A vine was wrapped around this poor cucumber as it was growing so a constriction band formed that was permanent, even after the vine was removed. It's perfectly fine but it is shaped a bit differently than the other cucumbers that were not tangled up in a vine.
Hmmm...does this sound like anyone we know????

Craniofacial Appt Today

Today was such a stressful, hectic day!
My neighbor picked up Noah for Bible camp at our church, I took Jordan to physical therapy where we were meeting with a PT from the school district (and I forgot what time it started so I was late), after that she had occuapational therapy. Then we dashed to speech and I had to step out to make a work phone call (an appt I made last week - I work from home every other week). After this we picked up lunch, went to church to get Noah and his carseat then headed up to Los Angeles for Jordan's craniofacial/plastic surgery appointment. We were an hour early so I headed to UCLA Medical Center to see if I could show our contact there the hospital gowns women have made already and see if they'd let us donate them. By the time we parked (paid $10) and got inside it was too late for me to find the person so we ran in to get a soda (which Noah dropped on the floor and it exploded all over the cafeteria food area). By now we are REALLY going to be late to the surgeon's appt (he was seeing us for free as a favor so I didn't want to be late at all). I was snapping at Noah to hurry up and then L.A. traffic was horrible! By the time we made it to his office in Santa Monica (5 min late) I was so stressed.
He never speaks directly to patients it seems. He usually says a bunch of medical jargon to his fellows or residents or whomever is there and then he gives me a chance to ask my questions. I took some notes and tried to keep up until I heard him say that he wants to wait until she's six to do the surgery. My heart sank. He orginally said three years old (this Fall) and now he is saying six. He is in his early to mid 70s so now I start to jump ahead to the fact that he may very well not be practicing medicine then. He wants to open up the skin near her left eye, pull out more scar tissue from the amniotic bands, put in some kind of artificial tear duct then open up her left nasal area to do work on her nose. He wants to do it all at once and he wants to wait until her orbit (the circular bone the eye sits in) is more than 90% developed (six years old). I was beyond deflated. I asked him if he could just do the nose but he wants to wait. I told him to make detailed notes incase he decides to leave before then. He laughed - but I was serious.
In thinking more about it tonight I am still disappointed BUT I can see more clearly now that God chooses our doctors, He chooses the timing, He has his hand on every detail of our days. My wisdom is SO very limited yet I stomp my feet and demand my way. SO stupid!
I always go back to Proverbs 3:5 (Noah used to recite this when he could barely speak) "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." This is what I will do. And like Paul, I will be content whatever the circumstance.

Updates and Progress

We got to go camping with our marriage group at church and it was so fun! Jordan rode on the Sea Doo and in the boat and she gradually warmed up to being in the water.

Speaking of is the little bug during a swim class. Ms. Connie (Swim Early) in Mission Viejo has taken us under her wing and has been helping us with Jordan's swimming. She has seen us twice in the evening and once during an older kids class. She has been instructing me in how to teach Jordan to swim. Jordan has SUCH a great back float and to think she HATES to be on her back. This was only the third time being in the pool. If anyone is interested in classes she teaches from April to August and is always booked. I can get you more info if you'd like it.

I LOVE this picture! Jordan is totally a Papa's girl and this picture shows it. It's not that she doesn't adore her grandmas and other grandpas but she and Papa were cut from the same mold and it's so funny to see. They both thought it was so funny that she had his hat on.

I met with Jordan's hand surgeon, Dr. Jones, last month. I assumed it was going to be a goodbye since he has said in the past that there isn't much more he can do for her but he told me at our appt that he plans to eventually work more on her hands in the future. He said that he will work a bit on the appearance sometime too and will try again to widen the web space between her shorter fingers (he said that he couldn't do any more at her last surgery because of the nerves in the hand). We love our Dr. Jones and are so thankful for him. He asked for a copy of this picture by the way. :) Very cute. They all just laugh and laugh at Jordan every time we go. This last visit may have been the first time she was at the doctors without screaming. The staff way on the other side of the office (around two hallways) saw us either this visit or the one before and said, "Oh wow, we didn't even know you were here - we didn't hear a thing!" Funny.

We painted our kitchen and family room recently and the kids helped. Jordan wanted to be in the midst of everything, of course.

Here are our tomato and strawberry plants. Jordan LOVES vegetables (even onions, mushrooms and similar things) so she eats these by the dozen.

This picture cracks me up because it really shows what she is always doing. She is either making pretend food for us, cleaning things with baby wipes, caring for her babies or watering plants. She's such a busy little homemaker!

Okay so onto more medical stuff...
Jordan's speech therapy funding ends at the end of the month through Regional Center. She has made fantastic gains and her therapist is trying to get her into a social group for the month of August until sheh turns three. She needs a lot of prompts by me with her peers and seems to find it easier to just play alone. I'm not concerned with her speech anymore and although she struggles with some sounds (motor planning) I am confident that it'll work out.
Physical Therapy:
She is also doing GREAT in this area!
Her strength is way up, her stamina, her balance, her coordination and her range of motion in her foot seem so much better too. She still fatigues easily, falls a lot, can't go up or down stairs/steps by herself yet and she isn't running but overall it's much better. Her therapists are shocked at her progress.
Occupational Therapy (fine motor and eating):
She's doing much better here too. She continues to build strength in her new thumb and she is using it much more now. After the surgery her arm usually just hung by her side and she inefficiently did everything with her left hand. Strength is our focus now for her right thumb.
I'm posting separately on this one.
We meet for a follow-up August 18th with her foot surgeon to find out if she can be done with the leg brace. I'm hoping he says yes but it really doesn't bother her or us for her to wear it and if it gives her better odds of not having the surgery re-done we'll do it.

More Pictures from June/July '09

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Our first gowns!!!

Here is a precious hospital gown made with care and prayer by Jennifer Woodward.

You can see the post below but a week or so ago I posted a request for anyone who could sew to begin thinking and praying about making cute hospital gowns for babies and toddlers who are in the hospital. They would be particularly for high level care kids who have too many wires, tubes, etc to be able to wear their own clothes and who are in the hospital for an extended stay.
Go to Jennifer's blog to see her post on this (worth reading!) and more pictures and details.
This has me beyond excited!
A mom I whose daughter I see when I work told me about her own daughter being blessed by similar dresses while she was in the hospital for an extended stay. Some women got together and donated a few for her daughter in Ohio. I thought that I might as well try to duplicate the process here at a local hospital where Jordan has spent time (CHOC, UC Irvine and UCLA).

The challenge for me is that I'm a beginning seamstress and due to Jordan's care etc. I don't have much time to get this started. Honestly I was a bit discouraged thinking about how many weeks it would be until I could spend time finding and working on a pattern, trying to figure it out so that I could send it out to other women who sew who have offered to help.
Tonight I got a call that Jennifer already dropped a few off at a friend's house for me!
I visted her blog and saw so many comments by other women who also want to help!!

I am so encouraged and so moved by everyone's enthusiasm and care.
I am beginning to pray about the hospital to contact for donations. Originally I assumed it would be CHOC (Children's Hospital Orange County) but I've been really drawn to UCLA Medical Center since first thinking about this.

Some of you don't know that Jordan spent nearly a week in the PICU there on a ventilator, sedated with tubes all over and all I wanted was my baby back - the way I knew her (in her own clothes, in her own bed, awake, etc.). In an effort to share the true Jordan with her caregivers I hung pictures of her, put bows in her hair and laid "Piggy" next to her along with her quilt that was handmade from our church's quilting ministry that had an angel pin given to Jordan by her Great Aunt BJ. I hung pictures of Noah along with his cards for her, all to remind myself and the staff that this patient was not our girl, not the girl we know. There were families there whose children would not be going home or who were facing months of hospitalization who could've benefitted even more.

All this to say that the bows, the blanket, the pictures and Piggy really weren't needed at UCLA because it is a place where the staff truly cares! I drive up to that hospital and I have a feeling of comfort and love for them. We went back to visit after we were released and they were so excited to see Jordan. One year later we were back for another surgery and I ran into some of the PICU staff in the cafeteria and they recognized us! They were so sweet and so kind. In thinking back to our time there I really feel I'd like to donate the gowns to them with a special letter thanking them. I'll keep praying and any of you who sew start sewing! I'll get the pattern from Jennifer (hopefully) and let you all know where you can find it or duplicate it.

Here is Jordan the first night in a gown.

And here she is with nothing on but her bows, her best friend and a diaper. :)
If you want to read back through these posts you can find them on the right hand column of the my main blog page - This was October 2007.

Thank you everyone!

Anyone else interested please post here and stay tuned for a pattern! Forward this to anyone you know who sews!