Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and GIVEAWAY

7 Nov
Hi friends!
So I haven’t posted in a good long while, and it’s because Kyle is doing remarkably well. He had a birthday and it was precious and wonderful. Kyle is really the human equivalent of a yellow balloon. He’s cheerful and friendly and just has something about him that makes you happy. Everyone comments on it.
On the medical front for Kyle, no concerns. Nooooone! He’s right on track and ahead in all areas. He has a neurology appointment in March, I think, to discuss a potential 2 year old MRI/CT just to check on everything.
Oh, we love that little bug. He say yes, no, hot (code: eggs. scrambled. every morning.), dada, mama, jack, woofwoof (code: all animals), choochoo (all vehicles), nonna, granna, Lila (beloved gal pal), go, ball, and DAKDAKDAK. He’s not walking but he’s close. He really likes everything except being scared or surprised. Kyle has just started *really* playing with Jack and toys which means I have now become a referee, a role  which I believe I will be permanent.
Switching gears, I was given the opportunity to review/give away a Melissa & Doug toy on the blog. 10 seconds spent in our house tells you we own just about every M & D toy targeted to small boys. Best toy company ever. A real live person answers the phone and if you have issues or comments, they listen! Amazing! They publish an annual Christmas list and our favorite toy of all time is on the list this year. We love the “dingdong” house! It was passed down from cousins and every kid who has come over has played with this house. In fact this remains the only product I’ve ever left an amazon review for, as it was out of production, I think, and now it’s back! The doorbell house is a lock and key toy for the big kids, a open-and-close-door toy for that phase, a put-things-in-and-out toy, and (just to toss this in) makes a lot of fun sounds and is fantastic for role-playing speech and language.
Want a chance to own a ding-dong house of your very own? Comment with your email to win. Jack will pick a number on Friday November 9, and M & D will mail you a prize. Easy peasy.
Melissa & Doug is also doing a Facebook giveaway all during the holiday season.
Thanks for checking in on us and our sweet baby!
PS- We are moving next weekend, just from one Dallas suburb to another. Check your Christmas cards for our new address.
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Nine Months

29 Jun

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Dear Kyle,

You are 9 months old and we are completely crazy about you. 

 You are, I swear, the nicest baby on the planet. You have a precious disposition and most people are puddles on the floor within 5 minutes of meeting you. You are so snuggly and cuddly. You curl up into a ball when people hold you. This is the way to make friends, kid. It also almost guarantees someone rocks you in the church nursery. The whole time. You also love a good blanket and crawl around with it tucked up under you, like Linus. We put it back in the crib and you fished it out the other day. You’re a simple guy- food, cuddles, blanket. It’s easy to keep you content. 

Your favorite things are Jack, doors, crackers, strawberries, smoothies, popsicles, Daddy, sleeping, and music. You dance, clap and wave. We play a lot of Kyle-initiated “hiding.” You are very proud of yourself when you perform a trick. Your favorite place is Jack’s bottom bunk, which is lucky cause you’re going to inherit that spot one day. You’re a big kid- 20 lbs and 29 inches. You pull up on random things like bathtubs and you’d very much like to walk. You are not staying a baby very long, and it would make me sad, except it is so fun to watch you change every day. I am so thankful for each thing you learn.

 You HATE diaper changes and being still. You hate getting dressed or undressed. You had an ear infection that lasted a month and it was not ideal. You don’t like sitting for books. If Jack’s not in the car you don’t like that either. Sunscreen. No fun. Or avocado. We are working on this. Millers eat a lot of guac so you’re just going to have to reform. You also really get frustrated when we change your schedule. Maybe you are ours.

 Jack was/is a completely opposite kid from you. He was all about being verbal and sitting with his toys. You are mostly about crawling around and being observant. Your first unprompted sign for “more” was for an ice cream popsicle. Nice choice. We let you eat anything you want, almost. This will certainly be to our detriment but it’s so hard not to give you cake. So we do. And blue bell.

You took swim lessons. You loved them so much. Unnaturally loved them, to the point of ridiculousness. Miss Paige just laughed at you. I love fishie kids and I have no doubt you are one of those. You like going under, you like floating, you looooove baths and pools and sprinklers. You do not love mosquitoes or heat. Welcome to Texas summers. 

 You adore Jack and call for him often. When he leaves you are utterly defeated and confused. It makes me SO happy to watch the two of you being brothers. I pray often for the Lord to give you a very special, unique brother relationship. I sort of force the two of you on each other. Please don’t gang up against us and overthrow your parents. But I do hope you always love and admire your big brother. One day he won’t smack you soley for the sake of watching you cry. At least we can all hope.

Little Kyle. You are, without a doubt, a gift from the Lord. He delighted in crafting you… from your strawberry hair (what is that, by the way?!?) to your amazing grin, we pray you will continue to have something unique about you that pulls people toward the Lord. You are a special, precious little guy. We are SO PROUD of you. You bring us joy and delight. Thank you, son, for being who you are. We treasure you and adore parenting you.

PS- I wrote about our NICU experience here for the Dallas Moms Blog. Whew! What a ride.

Six Months

29 Mar

Sweet boys playing with cups out in the yard. We love springtime!

Kyle is one-half year old. And y’all, this kid is a rock star.

He’s off his meds. Tapering him was three weeks of hard work and sadness. Kyle did go through a bit of withdrawal. The neurologist told us there was a 10-20% chance of seizures when going off the phenobarbitol. None seen. K was a bit shaky and cried more than usual. And the day he went off his meds, he slept 11 hours. HOLLA. Go Kyle!

To celebrate his last dose, Jack kindly suggested we throw Kyle a “no more medicine” party complete with decorations and a treat. We did just that. The boys were treated to balloons and homemade butterscotch pudding. We sang “happy brave day.” It was a special day in the Miller household.

Kyle continues to be one of the happiest kids ever. He just laughs all the time. He reserves his best greetings for Daddy and Jack. Kyle can give huge, drool-y, open-mouth kisses on command. He cut two teeth with minimal drama. The lucky person tucking him in is usually the recipient of K-bug snuggles, involving K oohing up to your neck and burying his face into your collarbone. He’s done this since he was born and I hope he always does. Sometimes we, Jack included, fight over who gets to hold him. Kyle imitates sounds and can do /m/, /b/, and /l/ sounds and say something that strongly resembles a “HI!” I am guessing his personality might match a kid who says hi as his first word.

Kyle eats a nice variety of food already and would like a LOT more. He’s had yogurt, cereal, rice crackers, sweet potato, avocado, pumpkin, peaches, applesauce, green beans, and… meatballs. From central market. Why not. He watches us enviously as we eat, makes the patented “sad eye Kyle” face, and is usually offered something from a parent’s plate. Jack has given him grapes, peanuts, and blueberries. Perfect. Always keeps us on our toes.

Kyle favorites: naps. Isaac the lamb lovie. cars, real or toy. baths. edible things, whether or not they should be such. Sophie the giraffe. 6:30p bedtimes. stroller rides next to Jack. people who stop to admire K and talk to him. Blondes.  Non-favorites: snot sucker. medicine. Jack’s 5:15p swim lessons. watching other people eat. doctors. being out during nap time. sitting and being still. Jack’s Peter Pan soundtrack sing-a-longs. mornings.

When we put Kyle down to sleep, he holds his arms out wide until you drape a blanket over them. He then proceeds to flip all around and do laps round his crib. He likes to sleep wrapped in his blanket the way his Speedee wraps up peaches into homemade hand pies. K can ooch side to side, pick up tiny things, and sometimes get his knees up under him. We’ve seen him “crawl” by digging his toes into the carpet. He’s missing skin from his toes thanks to this trick. Oh dear. Looks like the neurologist might be wrong about his motor skills being a weakness.

Speaking of, his dr appt in February was pretty non-eventful. Dr Dowling basically looked at his new scans and noted there was no new events. His bleed is resolved and the “big blood vessel” appears less prominent. His scans did show “evidence of an event” which basically means it looks like something happened but there was not evidence of damage at this time. EEG showed no seizure activity. We are unbelievably grateful. We go back in May for Dr. D to keep a close developmental eye on our boy.

In February both our boys had RSV. Kyle’s turned into a 12-day-fever-fest involving a chest x-ray and breathing treatments. And an ear infection and bronchiolitis. Poor K was sick. Jack’s was croup and subsequent ‘roid rage from his steroids. Fun times. We were grateful for our pediatrician, who worked diligently to keep us out of the hospital.

In summary… Kyle has never, ever ceased to amaze or surprise us. We pray the Lord will glorify Himself through our boys and we have seen that so clearly in our K-bug. I am thankful for our kids in a way I never thought I would be. Kyle, we love the tar out of you. You bring us sunshine and radiate joy. You are teaching us to seek the Lord in a new, fewvernt way. We are much better people because of you. Your brother is a better kid because of you. Our friends see Christ in you already. You, my boy, are a gift.

Four Months!!!

25 Jan

Hooray! We are so excited!!!

Kyle is one precious, loved little man. He continues to be enormous (prob close to 17 lbs, close to 27 inches if we were gamblers). He has done a lot of new exciting things this month! Every new development for Kyle is SO exciting. Best one yet: trunk control so I can carry him around on my hip. The chiropractor and my wrists send their thanks, Kyle.

We pulled out the exersaucer. HUGE win. Jack and Kyle play together beautifully while Kyle is “in his basket.” The other day they made each other laugh for 10 straight minutes. Jack remains Kyle’s favorite. Love it. We have “brother story time” every day before nap and Jack repeatedly asks for Kyle to come live in his room. Might be an ulterior motive for J to graduate to the top bunk, but it’s precious nonetheless. Kyle also has started eating some cereal and/or avocado cause mama needs a bit more sleep at night and I am desperate for anything to help him sleep! 🙂 K rolls from tummy to back, chats (k, g sounds in addition to cooing for my speechie friends out there), and smiles and laughs at anyone. The church nursery workers told me they fight over him because he’s so joyful. It’s totally true. He’s a content, cheery little soul. We are so thankful.

Kyle and Jack had fun Christmases. Our plans were a bit thwarted by the arrival of a new niece (Hi, Addy!) so we spent the day at home. Jack received a bounty of delightful gifts, heavy on the fire department and transportation themes. Kyle got some sweet, cuddly things and is already showing an affinity for his brother’s cars (red, please) instead of baby toys. Oh, and K’s got about 6 teeth almost cutting through. Insane. Jack was 9+ mo before any sort of dentition. We think Kyle just likes to keep us on our toes.

His tests in December were not real fun. EEG was miserable for both of us- lots of wires and rather scary for mama to see her baby back in a hospital bed. MRI needed complete sedation meaning Tonka Kyle got to fast AND he was intubated during the procedure. He was none too pleased about that. We get results at our next neuro appointment 2/7. Kyle’s 4-month appointment was moved to after the neurologist, so we can make sure our dr hears the neuro’s opinions. We will make sure to update! Kyle is still on his original NICU dose of anti-seizure meds, twice a day. It is still a pain to give them to him. We have a super fun game of how quickly K can spit bright red medicine on whatever surface is closest to him. I am almost always the victim. I also am a bit sobered when I have to do his meds, and that is still hard. We remain so very optimistic and hopeful for him. He’s the exact right kid for us, doing exactly what he was intended to do, today. And tomorrow.

My favorite story to carry me through the last couple weeks, as anxiety over dr appointments builds a bit, is this fantastic blog entry.

Also, a bunch of pictures came down from this blog. I am now blogging 2x/month at the Dallas Moms Blog. K’s story is too good not to share but want to make sure we protect our kids’ privacy a little. Please join me over at my new blog! I post first and third Fridays.

Thanks for checking in!!! We will be back soon with (hopefully) some good info.

Two Months Old

30 Nov

Kyle is 2 months old! And still seizure-free!!

This month has been full. Lots of dr appts and traveling. We spent a week in Houston with my parents. Jack and Kyle were well-loved and now are both a bit sad to be home. Kyle got shots for his birthday and he was none too thrilled about that. We left Kyle with a babysitter for the first time. Our playgroup rode the DART train and K got dragged along. Arboretum. Fire station. We have enjoyed this month!

The doctors are all still very satisfied with Kyle’s progress. K coos, holds his head up, flirts, and grins all day. He’s over 14 lbs and 24+ inches. He’s still on his original medication dose. We have an EEG next week to see if there’s seizure activity, and if there is, what kind. We are praying (and ask you to join us) that his EEG will be completely clean. An MRI is scheduled for 12/19 to re-examine his venous malformation. Neurology appt in February.

Kyle is a sweetheart of a baby. He loves other children- from his brother to his cousins to random kids. He also loves being held and chatting with whomever is available. No idea where he gets that from. 🙂 He and Jack are starting to look so much alike that it is alarming. Sometimes we can’t tell the difference in baby pictures except for K’s little foldy-ear. Kyle also has discovered christmas lights and he is truly fascinated. We are so excited to have two little guys around this year to discover the magic and joy of the Christmas season. Jack is pretty excited and wound up already. Kyle also has taken to hating his medicine and medicine times are the entire family’s least favorite part of our days.

Thank you, Lord, for our Kyle.  Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning for us this year. Our community group held our sixth annual “Faux Thanksgiving,” where we joke around, play games, and talk about our year whilst stuffing ourselves full of brisket and other goodies. This year we went around the table discussing our most meaningful moments of 2011. Mine was the day we put Kyle in the ambulance. So little, so fragile, a profile that I knew so well already… hauled in the back of a truck to endure scary things all alone. Vulnerable is the word that best describes the change in my feelings, both as a person and a parent, since Kyle has arrived. It is a scary thing to feel, but not necessarily bad. I am thankful for all the fear, vulnerability, grief, sadness… it gives me a chance to rely on my God. And big, good things come from reliance on God. The vulnerable fear is easily replaced by thankfulness, joy, contentment, wonder, and peace.

It is a blessing for us to do a little James 4:8ing and remember that, as James also says, every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. God is the same as He has always been, I am the one who is changing. Lord, thank you for using Kyle to change us. Help us to rely on you, in thankfulness and joy, always.

We are so touched that so many continue to check in on us and our boy.

Doctor Update

13 Nov

Bright and early Tuesday we went to the neurologist. We spent a good hour with him. We heart Dr. Dowling and his approach to our kid’s head. We also really love the care we receive at Children’s. Going down there made us grateful that we don’t have circumstances which require more frequent visits. There are some sick, sad kiddos in Dallas. A bit of perspective was given to us on Tuesday.

Pretty much “no news is good news” can sum up our visit. Kyle not having seizures is fantastic. K’s developmental progress will continue to dictate our treatment plan and his prognosis. Right now he’s on track so all is well. We will have repeat MRI/EEG sometime in the next 1-3 months and have a follow up visit, maybe look at decreasing K’s meds then. He is still outgrowing the original dose at a pretty good clip.

Today: Kyle loves Jack, music, swaddling, and a quiet house… he usually gets 3 out of the 4 things.

Thanks for checking in on us!

Strangers

2 Nov

Clint works for Igniter Media and they made a great new video that helps us remember what God might be up to with our boy. If you look closely, Clint is in one of the very last scenes at 3:03.

Also, I’ve been reading this blog since I served at Camp Barnabas this summer. We had many campers with Down Syndrome and another cabin mom showed me this sweet story. Read about Nella. It will make you squeeze your kiddos a lot more, plus her photos are lovely. Her post today on thankfulness just made me happy.

Kyle has two big appointments next week- prayers are appreciated for the neurologist on Tuesday morning. We will update after that!

Til then, we know that he is on about a 30% reduced dosage of his seizure meds, as he is up 3 lbs from the weight he began them on. And still no seizures! Go Super K go!!

 

 

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