Monday, May 31, 2010

Visiting Uncle Jason

Gavin and I recently got to spend a fun-filled day visiting my brother in Hollywood. My two sisters came, too, and while I got my hair done by my brother's fiancé, Gavin spent time with his aunts and uncle. They took him for a walk to the park, but since it started to sprinkle, they quickly went for cover in a little café across the street. They had to sit in the covered outdoor patio area because they had my brother's little French bulldog with them.

After my hair was done, my brother's fiancé and I met the group at the café. As I walked up, I saw my sweet Gav sitting in a high chair, with his "spare" white onsie from his diaper bag wrapped around his foot. I panicked, because I immediately thought that something terrible must have happened to his foot and the onsie was acting as a temporary bandage. Well, my brother explained that my sister had tried to give Gavin a sip of water from a cup and it spilled on his foot and soaked his little sock. Since it was cold outside, my siblings were taking turns holding his bare foot in their hands to keep it warm. They then realized that it would be easier to simply tie his onsie around his foot. So then I asked where his sock was and my brother laughed as he pointed up and said, "It's up there." I looked up at the heat lamp next to me and saw Gavin's tiny white sock hanging from the top. It was quite a funny sight! But I have to give them points for creativity!

Gavin had a great day with his uncle and aunts and we look forward to visiting with them again soon.

Uncle Jason helping Gavin walk around his house

Annual Cranio Team Appointment

Gavin had his annual craniofacial team appointment at Loma Linda on April 19. We started by meeting with Heather, the speech pathologist who worked on helping Gavin learn to use a bottle before I returned to work. She asked about his speech sounds and if he was saying any words yet. We told her that he babbles constantly, but has not said any words with meaning at this point. We have been working on "mama" and "dada" but to no avail. She said that she would like to see him again at about 18 months, just to make sure that he is saying a few words by then. However, she is not overly concerned about his speech, since he is saying so may consonant and vowel sounds.

Next, we met with the pediatric team dentist, who came with two assistants. Gavin didn't like them from the moment they walked in. Not because they weren't nice people, but because Gavin becomes extremely upset whenever anyone wants to touch or look in his mouth. Matt and I think that it probably stems from memories of his lip repair. Poor guy has already been through so much! I had to hold him down while they looked in his mouth. He screamed the whole time and it was traumatizing for both of us. The dentist said that we should move from just using a finger toothbrush to using an actual stage 1 toothbrush with water daily. She also recommended that we bring Gavin to see a pediatric dentist since it is beneficial to get cleft-affected children checked out early.

Our third and final team doctor of the day was the plastic surgeon. This time it wasn't Dr. Martin, who did Gavin's surgery, but another surgeon whom we hadn't met before. He was very nice, but had some unfortunate news for us - Gavin would probably need two additional surgeries! He explained that Gav would need a second aveolar ridge (gum line) surgery when he is about 7 or 8 years old and possibly another surgery on his nose sometime down the road. We were definitely not thrilled to hear the news, but he was able to explain the reasons why and helped it all make sense to us. He said that if Gavin does not have a second gum line surgery, he risks losing some of his adult teeth, which we certainly do not want. And the nose surgery may need to be done to prevent the risk of the nose collapsing over time, which, of course, we definitely do not want to happen. At this point, I am wearing my rose-colored glasses and hoping that he won't need any more surgeries, but I guess only time will tell.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Relay for Life

This Saturday, May 22, I will be participating in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. This is a cause that is dear to my heart. My grandpa died of cancer in 2008 and I have friends, coworkers, and family members who are currently battling it. I would love to see a cure found during my lifetime so that lives can be saved.

The Relay for Life gives people a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. It helps raise funds and awareness to help the American Cancer Society save lives from cancer.

If you are interested in supporting me, please visit my personal web page by clicking here to make an online donation. Although times are tough, every donation really does make a difference, and helps the American Cancer Society save lives every day by helping people stay well and get well, finding cures, and fighting back.

Thank you and I will keep you updated on my progress.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

13 Months Old

My sweet Gav,

As I write this, you are just a week away from turning 14 months. So you can see how very far behind I am because we have just been so busy lately. You are becoming such a little man lately--you can be so incredible funny that you make Daddy and I laugh constantly and you are also developing a stubborn side that you inherited from both of your parents--but overall, you continue to be the most wonderful thing to ever happen to us and we love you more than you could ever know. So here are some new things about you at 13 months:

  • You absolutely love to be outside; whether you're swinging, riding in your Cozy Coupe, sitting on the front porch swing, or just hanging out with Mommy or Daddy, you just adore the outdoors.
  • You point at everything and love to demonstrate this skill.
  • You now have four teeth! Your second tooth to pop through was your lower right and it showed up shortly after you turned a year old. Then, your upper right and lower left popped through a few days before you turned 13 months.
  • You can stand on your own briefly, but if you notice that you're doing it, you fall down.
  • You switched from bottles to sippy cups in a days time. After a trip to a new pediatrician, he told us that whole milk should not be served from a bottle, but rather from a sippy cup. So, the very next day, we didn't offer you any bottles and you took to the sippy like you had been doing it all along. We realized that you catch on so very quickly and transitions seem to go quite smoothly.
  • You are very intelligent and have figured out how to get to things you want. I recently found you in the kitchen with the box of Honey Nut Cheerios tipped over and opened, as you helped yourself to several handfuls.

  • You are a pretty good eater; in fact, as a 13-monther, you ate several Puffs, a cereal bar, some Macaroni and Cheese, and an entire peanut butter and jelly sandwich in one sitting! (That was more than Mommy ate!)
  • You are still not walking on your own, but you have discovered how to use the little push walker that you got from Mamaw and Papaw on your birthday and you love it! You push it all around the house but fuss when you run into a road block because you haven't figured out how to turn it around yet.
  • You continue to be a great sleeper, going to bed about 8:00 p.m. each night and sleeping until about 7:00 a.m. the next morning. You usually take a 1-2 hour nap each day sometime between 11:00 a.m. and noon. However, if we get busy and don't pay attention to the time, you will nod off wherever you are at.
  • At your 1 year check-up, you were 29" tall and 20.14 pounds. That puts you at about the 11th percentile for weight and 19th percentile for height. The doctor said that he was happy with your growth. I guess you're a little on the small side, but then again, so are your parents!
  • Your orneriness continues to develop and boy can you get mad! When you are really angry, you will scream, kick your legs, and make little fists. Sometimes I even have to close the windows because I'm afraid of what the neighbors will think!
My sweet Gav, you continue to be the sunshine in my life. I love you to pieces and adore every moment with you. You are such a good and happy boy and being your Mommy is the best job in the world!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gavin's New 'Do

Easter Sunday marked a particularly special milestone for Gavin as he got his very first haircut! Since Aunt Evie is a hairdresser, she was naturally going to be the one to give him his new coiffure. There were tears, gasps, and gulps - but that was just from me. Gavin, on other hand, did fairly well. As long as he had a shiny hair tool to play with, he was fine, but getting him to sit still took some major persuasion. Unfortunately, my camera was not fully charged that day, but we still managed to get some great shots that sum up the experience.

Universal Studios

Through the month of March, Universal Studios Hollywood was offering a special allowing teachers and school employees free admission and half-off admission for up to three guests. So, while it would regularly cost Matt and I about $140, it was only $35 for both of us! We definitely couldn't pass up that deal.

We took advantage of the savings on the last day of March since I was already on Spring Break and wouldn't have to take any time off. We took my younger sister, Evie, with us as well. Gavin stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Stude since I thought it might be too long of a day for him. The three of us had a great time and I only hope they offer another special like that soon.

For me, the coolest part of the day was being on Wisteria Lane! I am an absolutely huge Desperate Housewives fan and I had no idea that the whole show was filmed right at Universal Studios. We took a tour that actually took us right through the whole Desperate neighborhood--which is surprisingly small. It looks so big on the show, but it's really only a small set in the shape of a cul-de-sac. For those of you that watch the show - do any of these places look familiar?

We concluded the day by visiting my brother and his fiance since they live just 10 minutes from the park. They cooked us a wonderful meal of tuna casserole and brownie/cookie dessert. Then, we headed home to pick up our little man whom we missed terribly!

In the Swing of Things

Some of you may not know that we are currently living in the house that I grew up in. A few years ago, my parents decided to downsize and move into a smaller condo and offered to let Matt and I move into their house. We happily accepted and have been here ever since. The backyard boasts lots of room for Gavin to run around in when he's older and even has a little "Kid's Korner" (as is written on the fenced-entrance). When my siblings and I were younger, my parents had created this little haven for us to play in. My dad and a friend built a swing set complete with three swings. I have many fond memories of that area.

When we moved in the swings had been long gone, but the swing set frame was still standing strong. So, for Gavin's birthday, Grandpa C bought three new swings for our little Kid's Korner. And of course, Grandpa was really thinking was he did this because he made sure to buy two adult swings and one toddler swing so that Gavin could use his new gift right away.

Being the outdoorsy type of guy Gavin is, he took to the swing like a fish to water. He absolutely loves hanging out in his swing and would only get upset when it was time to get out. A few times I had to practically drag him out of it to get him to come in and eat lunch. I think Grandpa definitely made the right choice with that birthday gift!