Monday, December 18, 2006

"Happy To You"

That is a sweet little phrase my boys say whenever they see a candle of any kind. For the longest time, they couldn't get the "birthday" into the phrase and would instead just say, "Happy to you; happy to you". (They do not know how to say anything just one time either; everything comes out at least twice, usually many more times than that before I acknowledge that they said something.)

Amazingly they began to say the entire phrase this week, "Happy Birthday to You!!" So, yesterday after they brought home their homemade Christmas tree ornament that was a little baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, otherwise known as paper plates, I decided I would begin to raise their anticipation for whose birthday we celebrate during Christmas. After a little instruction, I asked them repeatedly today, "Whose birthday do we celebrate for Christmas, boys?" After stating the question a variety of ways, one and eventually both of them would say, "Happy Birthday Jesus". After putting them to bed tonight, we could hear them "singing" through the monitor, "Happy Birthday Jesus; Happy Birthday Jesus."

Gearing up for Christmas has been thorougly enjoyable with the boys this year. We see that they can grasp so much more of the true meaning of Christmas, a little baby come to earth from Heaven to save mankind from their sins. We give thanks daily that God has placed our boys in a gospel-centered home and a gospel-centered church.

Today we enjoyed a long visit to the park. It was so beautiful outside, I couldn't resist taking the boys outside for some fresh air even with all there is to do at home right now. It was like a spring day, and while many may not like these tricks "Mother Nature" plays on us sometimes, giving us spring when it's winter, I really appreciate it, and the boys loved their time at the park as well.

This Friday, I will be taking Judah to Hopkins to invite yet another specialist into his care. We will be having an initial consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss Judah's jaw bone growth and facial assymetry. It seems that since his dentist said something about the more pronounced assymetry on his face, I think the hypertrophy (swelling) on the one side of his face is worsening. But, this could be my imagination, having my perspective a bit more influenced by the dentist's comment and recommendation to see an oral surgeon. So, we'll see. I don't know much what to expect from this consultation and therefore know little how to ask you to pray.

I would say, pray that:
  • we are seen promptly by the doctor, Dr. Tufaro.
  • I ask good questions and guard my heart from fear regarding the answers or lack of answers we receive from the doctor.
  • Judah cooperates with any potential evaluation the doctor may want to do at the visit.
  • Tucker does well for his sitter.
  • Lawrence and I will continue to receive wisdom on how to best manage Judah's care, i.e. what specialist to see next, what treatments to pursue and what ones to wait on, what potential studies to participate in, etc.

Thanks so much and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Update from last week's appointments

The boys did great with their flu shots. My mother in law went with us, and it is always helpful to have a second pair of comforting arms for shots. Their injection sites got a bit red and swollen, but that was the only noticeable side effect.

My OB appointment was rather uneventful. The doctor who delivered the boys via C-section spoke with me about having a VBAC. He didn't feel strongly one way or the other as to what would be best in my case. Because I feel somewhat ambivalent about the decision (very unlike me to be ambivalent about anything), he recommended I take a poll of friends and family to see what they think regarding whether to schedule another C-section or to try for a VBAC. I am doing that, and we are continuing to pray that God would make it clear. We would appreciate your continued prayers for us in regards to this decision.

As for Judah's laser treatment, it went as well as we can expect at this point. Judah held off crying until he got into the room and I began to take his shirt off. Until then, he was really trying to hold it together to keep himself from crying. I was very proud of my little guy! Dr. Cohen lasered his upper right trunk, back and upper arm. Judah has some red spots, but not any terrible bruising or blisters from it. I am grateful for that.
We have one more laser treatment scheduled before the baby arrives to be done on Judah's face. I may or may not keep this appointment depending on how things are going with the pregnancy. But, we would like to try to get one more in before the baby arrives as we will most likely have to take a little bit of a break in order to adjust to caring for another child in our home as well as enduring the long hours of Lawrence's busy season at work.

Over the weekend, we took the boys to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania to see an amazing display of Christmas lights, floral arrangements and beautifully decorated Christmas trees. They did rather well with the cold and overall seemed to really enjoy the lights. Their favorite part (and mine, too) was the fountain that coordinates its numerous sprays of water to holiday music selections. We stopped at this first and last on our trip through the gardens. If you live in the area, I would highly recommend making a trip to Longwood Gardens as a part of your Christmas celebrations one year. It is worth the money and effort to see such an amazing display of God's creativity manifested through man's ingenuity and hard work.

This week, Lawrence is gearing up for another out of town trip to D.C. I am hoping to attend this one with him, more for a little rest and re-envisioning for myself than a get away with him; although, we will appreciate any amount of one on one time we'll get these two short days away. However, the boys seem to be on the brink of a cold which ironically is always the case when Lawrence and I attempt to go away overnight together. We're always faced with the dilemna of whether to have me stay home or not. Given their history with asthma complications, it makes this decision a laborious one for us. We'd greatly appreciate your prayers in regard to this. We are trying to learn how to sincerely give thanks rather than grumble and become perplexed when we face trials of many kinds as they seek to produce steadfastness and maturity in us (James 1:2-4).

I'd love to read about any ways you or your family are enjoying this Christmas season or to pray for you about anything that is keeping you from fully celebrating the coming of our Immanuel this season. Please comment or email me and let me know.