Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Real Texas Wedding

CAVAN UPDATE:
We went to the neurologist yesterday. He said Cavan has improved ALOT, which we already knew. He said he doesn't think he needs any physical therapy, and he doesn't need to come back to be seen again! HALLELUJAH!!!

He did a lot of the same physical tests he performed four weeks ago, and a few new ones. He (sounding surprised) said, "Oh! You even have some reflexes!" after he knocked Cavan's elbows with his little hammer.

So, THANK YOU ALL FOR PRAYING FOR HIM!!!

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And now, back to your regularly scheduled (albeit quite late) blog post...

The wedding we went to a couple weeks ago was really beautiful. It was outside in the afternoon, and with the clouds and light breeze, was actually quite pleasant. Which surprised me. It's usually too hot to step outside longer than it takes to get the mail!

It was held at a beautiful ranch, and they had so much to see and do. The kids (and adults!) had a blast.

Before:

And after:

If you remember, I made that topper. The cupcake tower was made by a friend of mine. The groom's cake was made by a local bakery. They were OH. SO. YUMMY.

Here's Christian, after the ceremony, posing for me... she didn't realize my zoom isn't the greatest.




There was a little pond with a lighted walkway around it. Hubs took the kids out there for a while to burn off a little energy.

I don't know why this is the best picture I got of the bride and groom... maybe because I need to play with this camera a little more! Or remember to put it back on auto after I try something fancy.


Lots of Cake Pictures

I don't know what's been wrong with Blogger this weekend. I had the hardest time getting these pictures on here. Maybe because there's 2, 407 of them. I had a hard time choosing which ones to put on here, so I put them all.

This was a cake topper for a groom's cake. The bride wanted it to be a surprise for him. She requested that I: 1. have her hair in a pony tail and wearing a camo ball cap, and 2. put her in camo overalls, since the groom gave her a pair of them, and considers it the best gift he's ever given her. I got the pony tail and ball cap, but just couldn't get the overalls. The legs would start to dry out before the body was finished, so I had to put her in a shirt and pants.



This can of diet coke is one of my favorite parts of the cake. I think it turned out really cute!

I'm sure Hubs will tell you if I don't: he made the rifles. I had NO IDEA where to begin with them. He also made the bullets, and then I painted them.



I made a peanut butter jar and peanut butter sandwich because it's the groom's favorite flavor.
To see more talent, go to Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House.

Busy, busy, busy!

This whole weekend flew by!

I honestly don't remember Friday. I know we weren't home, but I don't remember where we were or what we did.

Saturday we went to the coolest wedding I think I've ever been to. I'll post pictures as soon as Blogger cooperates. I made the topper for the groom's cake, and have spent the last three days trying to upload the pictures. With little luck.

Sunday we had two couples and their kids over for dinner. That was a lot of fun, too. One couple doesn't have kids; the other has a seven year old girl (score!) and a three year old boy. The kids played and played. Christian's room was trashed! They got along so well, we thought we'd all end up in the ER with sick children later!

Monday we slept late, since we were all up late Sunday night. I packed up my maternity clothes and took them to my sister-in-law, and picked up the baby outfit that Cullen took his one month pictures in. With both Christian and Cullen, we had their picture taken every month of their first year. We plan to do the same with Cavan, and I'd like for both boys to have their first month picture taken in the same outfit. It's very similar to the outfit Christian wore in her first picture, too, even down to the blanket.

They all look so much alike at this age! Apparently we make one baby, over and over and over. Christian saw the picture I used for her birth announcement last week. She asked, "Mom, are you sure that's really me?" It looks just like Cavan.

Hopefully I'll get the pictures from the wedding posted soon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Update on Cavan

We haven't been back to the doctor, yet, but I wanted to let you all know what's been going on, and thank you again for your prayers. We asked, and He answered, which He is so faithful to do. Even when we may not like the answer we get.

In this case, I'm LOVING it.

Cavan has been flailing BOTH arms! He can lift his left arm over his head, rotate it, move it across his chest, close AND open his fingers, all with NO PAIN!!! In the last two weeks, we have seen dramatic improvement in not only his range of motion, but also in the amount of movement. He no longer lets it hang limp when we pick him up, and has actually been getting in the way during feeding time, because he's moving it so much! When he startles, it's usually with both arms now.

We go back to the neurologist on June 4, and I'm probably still going to get a second opinion, but I believe (and believe that they're going to second my opinion) that he's completely healed! Hallelujah!!!

Christian was so excited the first morning we saw a drastic improvement. She said, and I quote, "MOM! I PRAYED FOR HIM, AND HE'S HEALED!" Which is exactly what we believe.

Thank you all for your faithfulness, and your faith!

Things I never thought about (riding a bike, catching a ball, tying his shoes) would have been so difficult for him.

I praise God for healing Cavan. I know it's a miracle, and we're so thankful for it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

God is So Good!

Last week was Peace Officers' Memorial Week. Friday the local P.D. held a beautiful service in remembrance of fallen officers nationwide, and specifically our county. I got teary-eyed more than once, but I usually do just by hearing the Star Spangled Banner.

I should have posted this a couple weeks ago, but it's been crazy around here... so you get it now.
Some of you may remember when I wrote about our D.A. indicting our Police Chief, Mayor, City Attorney, and a Police Sergeant on fabricated charges, because they were trying to expose corruption in his office. He had selected as his Chief of Staff a man who had (allegedly) sexually assaulted a teenage boy. He and his Chief of Staff were trying to sweep the case under the rug, from what it looks like to me and many others around here.

Well, after many courtroom shenanigans, public attacks of character, and lots of other drama (on the part of the D.A.) the Police Chief got his day in court recently.

The D.A. had delayed the trial a few times, so it's been too long in coming. The right to a speedy trial apparently doesn't count much with him, but I digress.

Anyway, the judge was only supposed to set a trial date. Instead, he DISMISSED ALL CHARGES!!! Not only that, but he informed the D.A. that he is NOT allowed to continue any investigations into the chief. He is NOT allowed to bring this matter before a grand jury again. He's been shopping grand juries for almost two years now, trying to convince one that he had a case against the Chief. The Chief said he felt like he went to the grocery store to buy milk and won the lottery instead. The reason the judge made such a harsh decision against the D.A.?

HE VIOLATED THE CHIEF'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS!!!

Our criminal District Attorney, SUPPOSEDLY knowledgeable of the law, violated his civil rights.

Unbelieveable.

The other men's court date hasn't come up, yet. Hopefully they'll get the same results.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What the Doctor Said...

Basically, not much.


He did some tests (physical stuff to check Cavan's reflexes) and came to the same conclusion that the pediatrician did: brachial plexus palsy.


He doesn't know the extent of the damage. He said there's no way to know without an MRI, which is risky, since Cavan would have to be put to sleep for it. If the nerve is severed (which isn't likely since he has minimal movement) there's no hope that it will recover. If the outside of the nerve was stretched (leaving the fibers inside intact) it will likely recover.


He also doesn't know whether or not he will recover, or to what extent. He is optimistic, since the baby seems to show minimal improvement since he was born. I realized that I had the video camera with me, and that Hubs had taken video of his first bath at the hospital, so the neurologist and I watched it together. It looks like Cavan is moving his arm slightly more now than he was two weeks ago. Slightly. As in, I can't really tell that much difference.


Basically, we have to just be patient, wait, and continue to pray. The doctor said that if Cavan's nerves heal, and he regains use of his muscles, it will happen within the next six months. Beyond that time period, there usually isn't any progress.


He also said he doesn't think Cavan is in pain from this. I think that's bunk. It's only when you move his arm (not every time, and not in every position) that he starts screaming and can't catch his breath. It's a completely different cry from his "I'm hungry," "I'm wet," "I'm bored," "I'm sleepy" cries.

I left the office frustrated. I wanted answers, and there weren't any. We don't know any more today than we did last week.

He either wants to see the baby in a month, or have another neurologist see him, to check his improvement. I think I'm going to try to get an appointment with another doctor, just to see what they think.

Please keep praying for Cavan. It looks like (unless God gives him a miracle) that we won't know for sure for another six months.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Few Pictures, an Update, and a Request

Here are a few pictures from Cavan's first nap in his crib yesterday. He, ummm, slept like a baby.


Once he's out, he's out. Some nights he falls asleep immediately and I have to set the alarm to wake him up to eat, and other nights he's up until three or four. Boy, are those fun. But this makes it worth it:


I couldn't resist taking a picture of his little legs all folded up. I just love how babies do that! Usually they're folded up on his tummy, but he was actually cooperating while I changed his diaper. Doesn't happen that often. The cooperating, that is. I actually change his diaper 8 or 27 times a day.


Hubs took this after Christian's bath the other night. She just loves holding the baby.


I have hesitated writing about this next part, but since I covet your prayers, decided to go ahead.

I mentioned that getting Cavan out wasn't so easy; not that anyone thought delivering a ten pound baby would be. But I didn't mention that when he was born the doctor thought he had shoulder dystocia (which I've since discovered is "one of the most frightening emergencies in the delivery room"). The doctor heard a "click" and thought his left shoulder was broken. My doctor, the pediatrician, and the nurse all felt his shoulder and said they couldn't feel a break, but they x-rayed it anyway. No broken bones. Everybody was happy.

We went home and a few days later realized that he doesn't move that arm as much as his right arm. Jump to last Sunday, when he slept ALL day. I expected to be up all night with him, but I ended up waking him at 8:30 Monday morning, after he had slept 7 hours. I thought he'd be frantic to nurse, but he really could have cared less, and fell asleep immediately after latching on. So I took him to the doctor that afternoon. I know most parents would think I'm nuts to be worried my baby was sleeping too much, but when Christian was born (nine pounds, four ounces) the nurses told me that I had to wake her up to eat or her blood sugar would drop and she would be too weak to nurse. I thought maybe that was the case with Cavan. While we were there I mentioned that he doesn't move his left arm very much. Hardly ever, actually.

The doctor wasn't concerned about the eating/sleeping, but he's very concerned about Cavan's arm. We told him that he barely moves it. He can move it, and he moves his fingers a little, but when you pick him up it just hangs limp. So he told us to gently exercise it and that he wants Cavan to be seen by a neurologist at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi.

We looked up a bunch of stuff, and it sounds to us (from our years of intensive training and education) like brachial plexus palsy. There are four levels of severity, ranging from severed nerves at the spine to stretched nerves. The pediatrician called me yesterday to confirm the appointment with the neurologist, and he said it sounds to him like brachial plexus palsy, too. Hopefully it's just a sprain or strain or minor injury that will heal soon. I've read a few articles, and they're pretty scary. They really freaked me out. It's possible that this could heal completely or that he could never have full use of his arm and hand muscles.

The pediatrician told me he's seen several cases of this. The most severe he's seen is an 8 year old girl who has had surgery and years of physical therapy, and has partial use of her arm.

We've realized that anytime Cavan moves his arm, or when we move it to pick him up or burp him or whatever, it causes him extreme pain. So the pedi told us to stop exercising it and keep it as immobile as possible. He didn't want to start him on pain medication, because it would basically have to be given to him around the clock to help him. Last Saturday night he was in so much pain that he was screaming constantly, even when we weren't moving it. We finally had to give him Tylenol.

Our appointment with the neurologist is Wednesday afternoon. Please pray for Cavan. First, that he is healed completely, with full use of all his muscles and complete feeling in them as well, and second, that his pain be relieved. It's so hard to watch him in pain and not be able to help him. It's hard to pick him up without hurting him, and harder to know you're the one causing him pain.

Cavan would really appreciate it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Baby-Babies...

Or is it four?

I guess it depends on how you're counting.
You all know I just had a little gigantic baby;
that's one... and Hub's brother and wife are expecting their first; that's two... but now, my brother and his wife are expecting their... FOURTH!!! That would be three! Three little babies added to my family this year!!! So three, or FOUR! depending on how you look at it!

I'm sooooooo excited about all the new babies.

So Congratulations! to my brothers and sisters (in-law) on their upcoming blessings!

My brother and his wife were a little blind-sided by this one, to say the least! You see, soon after they found out they were expecting their third (also a surprise!), they had medical intervention to keep their family from growing any larger. It was a horrible, horrible experience that I won't go into here (unless they tell me they don't mind their business posted for all the world to see!) that obviously didn't work.

My SIL had just gotten rid of the last of the baby gear, too. Which is fine, because I have everything she'll need... including much of her old stuff... and I'll just cart it all back to her house. I have her boys' crib, their clothes, her maternity clothes, her baby bottles, burp cloths, baby gym, toys, and Lord only knows what else.
Yay! More babies!

I couldn't be happier for all of them.
And for those of you who want more pics of Gigantor, here are a few:

Here he is while being burped by Daddy. I can't get over how much he looks like Christian at that age! Cavan (and Christian) always gets a look like he's thinking, "Can you PUH-LEASE stop beating on my back? Please???" Just look at those cheekies! I think that's where the majority of his weight ended up. That and his thunder thighs. And his fat little arms. Okay, so the weight is pretty much distributed evenly, but those are still some fat little cheekies!

And possibly the sweetest picture in my possession:

Christian and Cullen just loving all over Cavan the night we brought him home. They LOVE their baby brother. Christian wants to hold him all the time, and Cullen even offered (gasp!) his ganket to the baby!

But then he took it back.

Brotherly love only goes so far.