Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Developmental delay? or all in His timing?

I have only briefly mentioned The Little Apple's abilities as far as crawling. And I suppose that it is time that I add a post about it, just to bring everyone up to date as to what's going on with her.

The Little Apple turned 1 on St. Patrick's Day, and still hasn't been able to crawl. Not that she hasn't been interested in moving around and chasing her sisters, she just hasn't been able to pick her bottom off the floor and get on her knees.

I finally had her screened and the findings were not good. Not terrible, but not great at all. Elise has double hip dysplacia, which causes her legs to pop out of joint sometimes and then snap back into place at other times, causing a popping sound. This has kept her from learning how to crawl, pull up to standing, and walking.

The last few days have been a whirlwind rollercoaster of emotions for me, as I have had to accept the fact that she is officially developmentally delayed, and that we are now on a long journey towards where she should be. As it stands now, The Little Apple has a referral put in to see a pediatric orthopedist who will be looking at her hips and seeing what they look like, how much deterioration has occurred, and to see if it can be corrected. I pray that it can be corrected as painlessly as possible. Regardless to whether or not she will need surgery or casts on her legs and hips, The Little Apple is facing at least a year of PT to strengthen the low muscle tone in her legs cause by disuse.

I am angry at our previous pediatrician who dismissed any concerns that I had about my daughters legs. I had heard some popping sounds while changing her diapers and had brought it to his attention. He couldn't duplicate the pop in his examination, so said that it was nothing. I am even angrier at myself for not listening to that concerned parent voice inside that kept nagging me that something was wrong with my baby girl. I am mad I didn't demand another opinion and kept listening to other people say that she was fine and that she was going to crawl when she was good and ready to.

But I am moving closer and closer to acceptance of our situation. No matter what is going on with my children, it doesn't change how much I love them, nor the fact that I will go to any length to see their happiness and dreams fulfilled. My baby Apple is fearfully and wonderfully made, even if her little legs do work funny. I love her.

I am choosing faith over fear in our that God will remain with us as we journey on this road. And casting aside the fear that the enemy has put in front of me that this chapter in our lives will be too difficult for me. How can we go wrong with that?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the flowers is?

Yes, I know I broke all kinds of grammatical rules in my title, but its something we used to say all the time as kids. It's spring here, and it has come full force. I am desperately going to have to dig into all those boxes in the garage and find my summer stuff that I had packed away while the house was on the market.

My wonderful husband, looking all hot and sexy with his power tools, built the girls and I a raised garden in the backyard, and we had a nice time starting our garden.

Here, The Big Apple is planting her very own cherry tomato plant. She asked if she could have one just for her, because she eats SOOOOO MANY of them. So, she got her own Sweet 100, and she'll probably eat off of that one, and the one right next to her too.

The Middle Apple, who really isn't interested in vegetables at all unless they are covered in cheese, seems to have adopted our little patch of dirt for her very own. She has named some of the plants, Sarah, of course, because Sarah is the name of every baby doll and polly pocket that she owns. Although, she has named one marigold plant Mary Gold. This makes me smile...this is The Middle Apples early attempts at humor. I love it.

I have to wonder if the Middle Apple will actually taste some of the food that she has worked so hard at growing. She is the daughter that has been diligently going out to water the plants every day, to the point that they may drown. She has been taking lawn clippings and mulching them into the garden bed as well. She may have a green thumb before the summer is over!
Did I ever mention how much I love living in the south? It's still snowing in MN, and a friend of mine just had pictures of herself made standing in the middle of frozen Lake Superior! I love the warmth and the sunshine here. Happy Spring everyone!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

For the Record: A Letter to my youngest daughter on her 1st birthday.

My dearest daughter,

Happy Birthday! I love you!

Words cannot express how wonderful the last 365 days have been for me. You have brought me so much joy, so much love, and so much laughter into my life! Having you join our family has been so beautiful for all of us, and we feel that you are the final piece to the puzzle of our party of 5. God saved His best for last.

From the very beginning of your little life, we knew that you were going to be different. You had your own way of doing things right from the start. We were not expecting to become pregnant with you, we were actually waiting for our transfer to Louisiana to be over before we thought about expanding our family, and yet God chose for you to enter our lives and announced to us that you would be born around your older sister's birthday. We were shocked and overjoyed!

I will never forget the moment that I first suspected that I was pregnant with you. I had just made a big bowl of oatmeal with fresh blueberries to eat for breakfast. I sat down to eat it, when suddenly, I couldn't bear to even look at it, let alone eat it. And then I remembered that I had been feeling tired the last couple of weeks...needing naps sometimes 3 times a day. All the puzzle pieces fell into place, and a big smile came across my face. I told your Daddy and he went out for a pregnancy test. Of course, it was positive, and you were well on your way into our lives.

The months of my pregnancy were great. The morning sickness passed quickly, and the fatigue that I had for a couple of weeks went away. You were such an active little baby in my tummy, kicking the table when I sat down, or reacting to your Daddy's voice.

I can't forget the day of your we had scheduled you to be born on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, making you our little lucky charm. The doctor's had said that it would be best to take you out a week earlier from your due date so we scheduled you for that particular day. You announced to us that it was the right time to be born when my water broke on the elevator to the hospital, soaking my favorite shoes and creating a general stir to the people around us.

Just a couple of hours later, you were born and completely captured our hearts. Your Daddy announced that you were a girl, and the doctor announced with a laugh that you bit him. And that you were mad! Your cry was so strong and lovely...I loved you completely from that very second.

And each day after that has become more and more wonderful. The first time you smiled at me when you were 5 weeks old just melted my heart. I was singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" and clapping your tiny hands for you when you burst out in a huge smile. You were very opinionated as a tiny baby as well. You didn't like to sleep in your crib, you preferred sleeping at the foot of our bed in your carseat, or sleeping in my arms. You didn't like to be put on your tummy at all, and plainly told us so. You didn't roll over until you were almost 5 months old, but once you learned, you could not be kept on your tummy at all!

You make me laugh every day with your silliness. You learned to sit up when you were 6 months old, and learned how to throw a ball. Playing ball became one of your favorite games to play with your sisters. They would roll the ball to you, and you would pick it up and throw it as far as your little arms could throw....anywhere from 2 inches to 3 feet across the room. Your very first word was Dada... And I cry when I mention that you usually said it during the only times that you got to see him, during the webcam calls that we made during his time away from us. Your second word spoken was Mama, and when you say it, it makes me so proud to be your mama. And you have surprised us to no end this year, as you have learned the names of your sisters, and call to them when you can't see them, or when you want them to give you their attention.

What else is different about you? You haven't been interested in crawling all this time. You prefer getting around your own way...rolling. Rolling over and over to get to wherever you want to go. You actually find alot of places to get stuck simply by rolling. You have even rolled yourself into a laundry basket that was laying sideways and managed to turn it upright, trapping you inside of it, and you laughed when we looked at you inside. You love playing in the grass, and feeling the wind blow through your hair. You smile up at me every morning in your crib, and eagerly greet each and every day with all of it's adventures in store for you. You love watching Elmo's World, and dancing to music. You always smile when you hear your daddy whistle. You love eating cheese, pasta, pears, and broccoli. You make funny faces at people to try to make them laugh. You hold your feet out to people when you want them to tickle you or play "This little piggy." You like taking naps, and let people know when it's time to have one. You do not like having your diaper changed, but you love splashing in your bathtub.

My darling baby, it has been a joy watching you grow this year. It almost doesn't seem fair that this year has flown buy in a whirlwind...but I am happy that you have blessed us simply by being with us. You are so beautiful and full of joy. I am so blessed to be your Mama, and rejoice that I have all of your days of your life to watch you grow up and discover this wonderful world. I am in awe of you, this beautiful gift of sugar and spice and everything nice, that God has placed in our family.

I love you.

Love forever,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our trip to Avery Island....

I know that I am loooooong overdue for a new post, and I apologize for that. The Apple Dumplin Gang has been keeping very very busy, and we are loving every minute of it.

I wanted to share with you a recent trip that we took a little while ago. I bet that you didn't know that not too far from here is a wonderful little place called Avery Island. You may have never heard of this place, but you might know of the staple food item of our household that makes this island famous. Tabasco Sauce. You know, the stuff that my husband puts on EVERYTHING, even the stuff that I haven't burned. And since my maiden name is Avery, the girls and I had to take a little trip to pay homage to my namesake island. Now, if you ask my girls what they remember most from the trip, The Big Apple will tell you that Tabasco sauce takes over 3 years to make. She will also tell you that our tour guide didn't like children, as she remarked "These kids are driving me nuts!" The reason why she was being driven nuts? They were all being generally well behaved, a bit fidgety, but The Big Apple had many questions about the making of Tabasco sauce, and the lady got tired of her questions. Isn't that what tour guides are paid to do? Here is the Big Apple sniffing a barrel of curing Tabasco peppers.
The Middle Apple remembers this about the trip...that she was allowed to ride in the van at 5 miles an hour with her seatbelt off, head hanging out the window. Go ahead...fling tomatoes, lock me up for bad parenting. But please, nobody tell my mother. Oh wait. She reads this blog. Nevermind.
But the reason why this was allowed is because on Avery Island, there is alot of wildlife and beautiful places to explore. We stopped at the Jungle Gardens, ate our picnic lunch, and enjoyed our day.
This little guy, that the kids named Swimmy, was a little too friendly for my tastes. Just as long as he stayed on his side of the fence, and he stayed on his, we were fine just looking at each other.

Also on the island were many beautiful gardens and a lovely Buddist Temple. I had to take a few pictures.
I bet this place looks positively magical when the azaleas are in full bloom. We will be going back in the next week or so to see.

And then there was this sign.....Well, duh...thanks for the reminder. I really wanted to pet an alligator today. And take one home for a pet, to love always. Not.

Then there was the Egret Sanctuary. It was beautiful to watch so many nesting in one spot. Simply gorgeous. I am almost ashamed to post this picture of them because this picture just doesn't do justice to what we saw that day. They were just so much more beautiful to watch in person than just this picture taken with a shoddy camera.
In case you didn't know, I love having so many things to do locally, and so much beauty right under my nose.

After our trip to Avery Island, we finished off our day at the Zoo in Lafayette. As if we hadn't seen enough for one day. But I will leave those pictures for another post.