Sunday, December 30, 2007


Life here with Allie has settled into a routine. Mondays and Thursdays is physical and occupational therapy. Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday is speech therapy. Friday an educator comes to train and re-train Allie's brain functions and motor skills. Every other week a nurse comes in and get Allie's weight and evaluates her progress.

Molars have been working their way through Allie's gums. One cut through a couple of weeks ago and one is taking it's sweet time coming through on the other side. The poor kid is miserable. And if Allie ain't happy, nobody's happy. I'm praying that once that tooth cuts through, she'll get a bit of a break.

One positive breakthrough is that Allie is now taking naps everyday, twice a day, in her crib. She used to take short naps in our arms during the day, but as soon as we tried to lay her down in her crib, she'd wake up and naptime was over. But now, we're able to lay her down and walk away. This is huge! Today she took a record long nap for 90 minutes. I was at church when this happened so the charming and beautiful Susan got 90 minutes to herself. She was like a new woman.

On January 18, Allie will be fitted for leg braces. Her doctor thinks there is a strong possibility that Allie will walk before she sits or crawls. This is pretty exciting. When supported, Allie stands up and takes steps. She even puts one foot in front of the other on the tread mill. Last time we tried it, she walked for about three minutes on the treadmill. Cool beans.

We took Allie to the beach today. It was about fifty degrees and super windy. The sun was bright and the sea was rough. There was so much sea foam blowing around it made me think some prankster dumped a boatload of dishsoap in the waves. That would be a colossal prank. Allie loved it. Even though she couldn't see the ocean clearly, she could feel the sun and the brightness, her ears were filled with the sounds of wind and sea, and her little face bore the brunt of a chilly sea gale as it turned her cheeks rosy. Her face froze in an open mouthed smile. She was so beautiful in the poncho and little hat that her Grandma Yolanda made for her with amazing talent and tender loving care. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Allie's First California Christmas

Charity bought Allie this red Santa coat last year and Allie can finally wear it this year. Allie had such a blast having family around her. Charity opened each one of Allie's gifts with her and then they tested each one out.

Of course, everything Allie has either lights up or makes noise or both. When Charity and Aaron were growing up, if you bought one of them a toy that made a bunch of noise, that toy got to live at your house and the child could come visit the toy at your house. That was the rule. I really had no use for noisy toys when my two kids were little because they were noisy enough. That comes from their mother's side. But Allie, it turns out, is the center of the universe.

Not that Charity and Aaron weren't at the center of something. While Allie is the center of the universe, Charity and Aaron were more like the center of their own solar systems. Their mother and I were in orbit around them. Like a moon. But don't tell Susan I said that since this time of year with holiday eating and all, everything I say tends to lead into a discussion about diet.

"I think the car needs a tune up."

"Are you saying I'm fat?"

Pictured at the bottom of this photo is a "jack-in-the-box" sent to Allie by the charming and beautiful Susan's mother, Dorice. As you can see, Charity is already startled by the sudden appearance of "jack" even though he hadn't yet made his startling entrance. Allie, so far, thinks this is just something that makes noise. She doesn't know about the "pop-goes-the-weasel" part.

So far, Allie thinks "weasel" is another name for Grandpa.

"How did you get Pop-pop in there?"

Charity is naturally gifted with musical talent and we expect the same from Allie.

I, on the other hand, can play a "jack-in-the-box".

This is a cool toy. It lights up and plays a little song. We let it live at our house since we want Allie to stay.

This is my sister and me. My sister is the one with the hair.

This is that charming and beautiful Susan I've been telling you so much about. But she wouldn't be happy about me posting this picture of her acting scary so please don't say anything to her about it.

"Mum's" the word.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Aaron's here :)

Aaron got here yesterday. Allie is very happy. Everybody is pretty much stoked.

Allie's nurse came by this morning while Susan and Aaron were at Target. Allie weighed in at 20 pounds even which is three ounces heavier than two weeks ago. She's moving in the right direction.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Missed this booger

I was only gone three days and it seems this little girl changed so much. Have you ever noticed how much kids change when they're little? A few days, a week without seeing the little person growing up in your house feels like eons whiles you're apart, and then when you get back, and everything is different.

Have you ever seen 2001: A Space Odyssey? Leaving Allie for any length of time is like passing through a "Star Gate" coming home to discover an older version of the baby I left. What a trip.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Kiss for Julia

Got this text from Julia today:

"Please give Allie a kiss from me!"

Well, Julia, kiss this.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bath tub Mis-adventure

The charming and beautiful Susan and I just had the fight of our lives with Allie. Allie is kind of freaked out by taking a bath in the tub - it could be that voices sound different in there or that the fan is running or being in water - so we purchased a little blow-up tub so we can give her a bath in her room where she is comfortable. As soon as her feet hit the water, she flipped out. I mean FLIPPED OUT flipped out. She screamed, hollered and yelled so much that she projectile vomitted all over us, in the water, and on herself.

We decided to continue with the sponge baths for a little while longer.

Medically speaking, Allie continues to move forward. She was seen by Dr. H. who oversees the physical therapy unit Allie goes to twice a week. Last time we saw him, I thought I might have to thump him. I've become a little over-protective of this baby these days. At our first appointment with him, he roughly flipped Allie over on her tummy and she freaked so bad I had to take her outside and swing with her to get her to calm down. And he didn't offer us a whole lot of hope, either. And we were a little hope deprived back in those days.

But this time, it was totally different. He talked about the possibility of Allie walking before she crawled, about braces, about goals, and he talked to us in terms even I could understand about the brain and how a child's brain heals. It was and educational, hopeful, and upbeat conversation.

Here are Allie's current challenges and what you can be praying about:

Sitting. She sits with support and she holds her head up better than ever. But she needs to gain balance and the instinct to stop herself with her hands when she leans to far left, right, or forward. She puts some pressure on her right hand and has developed more trunk strength and coordination when leaning right than left.

Tummy-time. Her g-tube is out and she spends more time on her tummy, but doesn't get there on her own or roll off of her tummy without assistance. But she is content there and has greater range of motion with her arms than ever.

Eating. She is eating better than she ever has. We feed her soup, avocados (yep), cereal, bananas, cookies and these baby cheeto things. Her tongue and mouth are working great. She gained a half pound in two weeks. I thought for sure she gained more, but she's doing okay and is definitely more active.

Sleeping. She gets a lot of sleep at night. She only wakes up once or twice. She is an early riser. Therefore, so am I.

She's sleeping right now, as a matter of fact, in the arms of the charming and beautiful Susan.

We appreciate all your prayer. Allie's medical crew is continually amazed by her progress. I have plenty of opportunity to testify about prayer and the power of God.