Friday, December 31, 2010

Crafty Friday- Simple DIY Elephant Artwork

I have been looking for decorative pieces to hang up in our house since we have moved. I've looked at Target, Wal Mart, Big Lots, Hobby Lobby... you name it, if I've been, I've looked! Of course the things that catch my eye are expensive and since we're on a budget, I found a better way to decorate- Make It!

I did this project for Auggie's nursery and figured I could do it for around the house, too! As most of you know, I fell in love with Carter's Green Elephant Nursery Decor... What I didn't fall in love with was the price of most of the decorations! Below is my inspiration for Auggie's wall art:
Carter's Green Elephant Canvas- $33 at Babies R' Us
Tissue Paper
1 Patterned Paper
2 Solid Card Stock
1 Brown Felt
Carter's Green Elephant Quilt
Square Canvas
Green Paint
Paint Brush

You can choose any type of design to work with but I like how simple the elephants were so I could stick to 1-3 different papers.

Step 1:
Paint the edges of your canvas with the green paint. This added some space between our white(ish) walls and the canvas.
Painted edges

Step 2:
Lay the tissue paper over the elephant on the quilt and trace it with the marker. Since the design is simple, there's the body, ear and eye.

The traced elephant
Step 3:
Lay the tissue paper over your patterned paper and use tape to adhere the tissue paper and patterned paper together. Using a small amount of tape outside the design will prevent the tape from tearing the paper on the design.

Step 4:
Cut the outline of the outer most shape of the elephant- the body. To keep from tracing the elephant multiple times, cut the shapes from the outside to the inside.

Step 5:
Now lay your body cut out over the solid card stock, adhere the tissue to the card stock and cut out the ear. When I did the first elephant, I wanted to do the ears in felt but I thought it didn't look right so I changed to the card stock.

Didn't think the felt looked right so the ears were eventually cut out of card stock
Step 6:
Assemble your cut out pieces to make sure they coordinate and are spaced properly. Then start taping/gluing them together.

Step 7:
Cut the brown felt into a square.I cut my felt into 8x8 inch squares.

Step 8:
Once the canvas is dry, adhere 12x12 inch solid card stock onto the canvas. The original canvas color did not match the whites on our walls or the whites in the patterned paper so it was covered with a coordinating white(ish) card stock.

Step 9:
Adhere the square felt piece in the center of the canvas

Step 10:
Adhere your assembled elephant onto the canvas. And you're done!
Elephants in a Row

After the first elephant (center) was done, I wanted to make 2 more for above Auggie's crib. I used the same steps above to complete the other 2.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Auggie's First....

... Visit with Great Grandma Rigby! She flew in from Sarasota, FL on the 22nd to spend Christmas with my family. She was able to make the trip to College Station with my parents and Kristopher on Christmas Eve.

Grandma Rigby with her great grandson

... Bath in his baby bath tub! For some reason, I am really nervous about baths and little babies. I have no idea why. I'm sure it has something to do with being worried about the water temperature and the first picture shows why- I make it too cold. Auggie did not like that! Tim filled the tub up with warmer water and Auggie was content shortly after that.
Auggie did not like the temperature Mommy picked for the water!
He was happy once he was dry (before we washed his face)

... Rugby related item! Miss Holley sent Auggie an official New Zealand All Blacks shirt. It's a little big, but he'll be able to wear it when he's older! It'll be perfect for all our trips up to Nacogdoches for the SFA Rugby Alumni games.

Other than some of Auggie's "Firsts," we set the date for Auggie's next hearing test. It'll be done back at Dell Children's (DCMC) in March. We had 2 options- 1. To keep him awake until the test started (its called a 'sleep deprived' test); or 2. Put him under anesthesia. Since he was anesthetized while he was at DCMC and didn't have any problems before, his pediatric ENT doctor recommended him go under again. She also said it was a good idea since we live 2 hours away and if he didn't stay asleep for the 'sleep deprived' test, we'd have to redo it another day. They only do this hearing test 2 times a week and they were full until there was a cancellation in March. The first time Auggie was put under, he had to fast for 6 hours before the procedure so I have a feeling we'll have a long and stressful two hour drive that morning!
Tim keeping Auggie content... Auggie has really been wanting to sleep in someone's arms lately

Auggie also got his RSV vaccine Tuesday afternoon. He'll have another shot in 30 days and then he'll be covered until the end of the RSV "season." Then hopefully we'll be able to go outside! :)

Auggie wouldn't fall asleep unless someone was holding him so I was able to get him to fall asleep on the couch

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What a GREAT weekend!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! We had a nice and quiet one!

My Mom, Dad, Grandma and Kristopher came to College Station Christmas Eve. It was Kristopher and Grandma's 1st time seeing Auggie. Mom brought all the fixins for dinner- ham, turkey, mashed potatoes and much more! While they were here we opened Auggie's presents from them. My grandparents sent along their gifts with my mom. I ended up having a strange gift from Grandpa- we always got one present from both of them, not separate ones! Mom said it was killing Jamie that she didn't know what it was... and lucky me, I got to open it before her! :) As soon as I opened it, I knew what it was- my rose bush name plate! I was so happy! At my grandparents lake house, they had a rose bush garden and each rose bush was named after each of their grandkids. Hmmm... reminds me of all those fun summers at the lake when we were younger. As it turns out, we all got our name plates for Christmas from Grandpa! I'll have to find a picture of all of us in front of the rose garden.

Christmas Eve with my rose bush name plate
Our friend, Kent, drove down from Nacogdoches and spent the day with us. Tim was going to cook a small chicken for our dinner but didn't get out until Christmas morning. What do you know?? Nothing is open Christmas morning!! You'd think something would be open but Tim went to a Wal Mart, Kroger's and 2 HEB's and none of them were open! Good thing Mom left plenty of food with us the night before! It was pretty laid back Saturday. At one point, Kent, Tim and Auggie were all taking a nap!

We saved Auggie's presents from Santa Claus for Christmas night when the Siegmunds got together and opened theirs. Jane & Sherwin bought the family an XBox 360 with a Kinect so we were able to video chat with them while we all opened presents. The kiddos were excited to see Auggie (finally) and even more excited to see themselves on TV! It was nice "being with" everyone. We even got to sing Silent Night together.

Auggie had a great 1st Christmas. Santa (and everyone else) was very good to him this year. I'm looking forward to next year though... He'll be able to participate instead of sleeping!

Auggie sleeping on his changing table in his outfit from Mommo
Sunday afternoon, Mom & Lindsay stopped by. It was Lindsay's 1st time seeing Auggie, too. While they were here, Jane, Sherwin, Jessica and Ben stopped by also. Sherwin and Tim took Ben to the park while  us girls visited with Auggie.

Auggie is doing great- as you can see! He's up to 9 lbs. 4 oz. and 21.5 inches as of last Monday. Thursday, we went to the pediatric ENT and audiologist in Austin since we hadn't heard anything back from the ones in College Station. We're waiting to hear from Dell Children's Hospital to schedule an ABR test. He'll have to be put under anesthesia so we'll be back at the hospital again. The ABR test will determine the functionality of the nerves and then we'll know if he'll the BAHAs or another option. The audiologist was able to let us "hear" what Auggie will "hear" from his hearing aids once he gets the BAHA. It was pretty neat and Tim & I were both impressed. We had to plug our ears while the audiologist pressed the BAHA against the bone right behind our ear.

Later today, Auggie will get his second RSV vaccination. Luckily, the Austin Chest Associates has an office in College Station that they visit twice a month so we don't have to drive to Austin. He'll get one more RSV vaccination after this month then he should be good until next RSV season.

So that was our Christmas. It was disappointing not being able to go see everyone (and missing the Kalbas and Siegmund Christmases last weekend) but we definitely did not feel left out! We hope everyone had just as much love during their holiday as we did ours.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Who Knew Toys Would Save Your Sanity?

As I type at 6:50 am, Auggie is being lulled to sleep by a 2-slide projector and 10 minutes of music. THANK YOU, Fisher Price! Auggie really enjoys his crib toy- as seen HERE. The projector comes off so we've been laying it down on the bed so the slides are projected closer to Auggie's face. He usually falls asleep watching and listening to it, or so I think! ;) Auggie also loves his vibrating rocking chair. He can be so fussy in our arms and we can try consoling him by patting his butt or rocking him from side to side and then the moment we put him in his chair and turn it on, the little boy is silent! Thank you, Aunt Karen, Uncle Myron, Uncle James and Aunt Kathy! We received two of them so y'all all get credit for the awesome gift!

Sorry for not posting Friday or Tuesday. My mom came in Thursday afternoon and we had planned on going shopping all day Friday since Tim went down to south Texas to go hunting. I woke up around Auggie's 3 am feed and I had a fever- I felt terrible! I was all achy and cold or super hot. Around 9 am, I took my temperature and it was 100.4... later on it got to 100.7 so I laid around or slept for most of the day. Thank goodness my mom was here! And, well, the weekend, Monday and Tuesday just flew right on by- our blog wasn't on my mind much!

I tried getting a good picture of Auggie holding his head up but he was just too close
As I said before, my mom came in Thursday and spent most of Friday with us.It was nice having her back in town! Sunday, Tim, Auggie and I went out to Tim's deer lease near Madisonville. It was our first trip out as a family- well, besides doctor visits! It was nice. Auggie doesn't mind being in his carseat so we didn't have too much of a problem there. He didn't even mind going over the ruts in the ground! You should feel how huge they seem when you're in the truck.

Our trip to Austin on Monday brought some good news- We don't have to go back to that specific doctor until March! We saw the craniofacial surgeon who thought Auggie was doing great. He was happy for us that things were going so well. We met Auggie's dentist who is in the same office as the craniofacial surgeon. She'll be with the team of doctors Auggie sees so she can oversee the health of his teeth and make sure he doesn't have unnecessary procedures done. We won't see her for another 6 months to a year. We also met with the speech therapist that works on the team. She'll help Auggie develop speech correctly. Apparently, we'll have to see her once a week when he's older- never thought I'd see Austin that much! We won't see her again until he's 18 months old... unless he's not babbling like he should when he hits the right age.

Our friend, Liz, stopped by on Monday. It was so nice seeing her! We wish she could have stayed longer! Auggie liked her pretty quickly. He only fussed a bit but I'm sure that was normal. :)

Liz holding Auggie
Well, I'm off to bed again. I'll post a few more pictures on this update this afternoon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Genetic Test Results

The geneticist's office called Wednesday to say Auggie's test results came in and they confirmed Auggie's original diagnosis- He has Treacher-Collins Syndrome. The morning after he was born (hardly 10 hours later), the neonatal nurse spoke with us about what she thought he had. She had worked at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston for 20 years and only saw 3 cases of Treacher-Collins- and all of them were worst case scenarios. From her experience and from his looks, Auggie had a mild case. We have her to thank because she referred us to Dell Children's Hospital in Austin. She contacted them and set up the transfer. We learned so much because of her.

Treacher-Collins Syndrome (TCS) affects the ears, nose and throat areas. In most cases, people with TCS have underdeveloped (or missing) cheekbones, an underdeveloped jaw that could lead to airway constriction, malformed ears, eye problems and cleft palates. In Auggie's case, his ears and jaw were the tale tell sign something was wrong. The 3 cases the neonatal nurse saw at Texas Children's needed to have a tracheotomy at birth because the underdeveloped jaw prevented them from breathing. From what we have heard, about 70% of TCS cases need to have a tracheotomy.

The neonatal nurse in College Station along with the craniofacial surgeon and pediatric ENT doctor in Austin were surprised to see Auggie didn't need a tracheotomy. Not having a tracheotomy now doesn't mean Auggie won't ever need one, though; we're just blessed to not need one now.

There is a lot more detail in what TCS is and how it happens but I know most of our "audience" isn't into the scientific terms so I've tried to explain it how I have understood it. For those of you who would like to read more about TCS, Tim & I recommend these sites:

CCA Kids Fact Sheet
GeneReview- TCS

The news of Auggie having TCS hit us hard, at least I can speak for myself on that note. I still have a hard time talking about it but I'm getting better. Tim has been great with asking all the right questions.. I don't know what I would have done without his great support. I think the reason why it has been so hard is that for ~39 weeks, we were told everything looks great, or your little boy sounds and looks healthy... and even seeing 5 ultrasounds. I remember my OB kind of laughing after one of my visits, saying I wouldn't have a memorable pregnancy because I didn't have anything particular to complain about... Auggie sure did have a memorable first few weeks of life!

I love Auggie with all my heart and I wouldn't ask for anything to be different because I know if it was different, I wouldn't have my perfect little boy.

We'll be scheduling a follow up with the geneticist soon to discuss the test results further. After looking into TCS more, there are several variations of the Syndrome. After we discuss Auggie's test results, Tim & I will be tested to see if it runs in either of our families. We have both discussed TCS with our families and there are no relatives with signs of it- not even any other type of syndrome or birth defects. If one of us is a carrier then we'll have some tough decisions our future regarding more children- the TCS gene is dominant and carriers of it have a 50% chance of passing it onto their children and their children are more likely to clinically have a more severe case than their parents. There are a few options but I guess we'll go through those when we need to.

Auggie in his 1st Christmas outfit

One month old

One month old

All that being said, let us know if you have any questions.

We'd like to thank everyone for all the prayers, good thoughts and well wishes sent our way while we were in the hospital and thank you for continuing to send them. It has been very comforting knowing we have so many people supporting us.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Crafty Friday- Simple Handmade Gift Tags

To satisfy my need to be crafty, I'm going to start posting crafty things on Fridays! I'll come up with a more clever title for Fridays soon. :)
So here's my first Crafty Friday!

Most of you know I enjoy making giving gifts- especially when I can get creative with the wrapping. Since August has arrived, all my crafting supplies have been packed away neatly in his closet.

This year, instead of focusing on the whole package, I just made gift tags. They're really easy to make.

Card stock, Paper Cutter (or scissors if you can cut in a straight line), Adhesive, Hole Punch, a Simple Stamp, Acrylic Block (if you have an acrylic stamp), Ink Pad and a Marker

 Step 1: Cut card stock down to size. I started out with an 8"x8" piece and cut it into thirds. The pieces were approximately 2.67" by 8".
 Step 2: Fold card stock in half and place your adhesive just below the fold line. Make sure there is a sharp crease in the fold and press the two sides together.
 Step 3: Use your hole punch and punch 2 holes at the top of the card near the fold line. The adhesive will keep the 4 individual holes together and make it easier to attach with ribbon.
 Step 4: Create a crisp fold just below the 2 punches. Keep in mind where you placed your adhesive to make sure it isn't exposed by the fold.
 Step 5: Ink your simple stamp and stamp it onto the front of your card. Stamps are usually expensive but the simple stamp I bought was only a $1at Wal Mart a few years ago. I have noticed lately Michaels has had some cute stamps for only $1. I'm sure you can look at a dollar store, too!
Step 6: Use your marker to add a little note on the front if you'd like. Add who the gift is to on the inside of the gift tag.

And that's it! Six simple steps! Of course, you can dress it by adding embellishments, glitter and even patterned paper but if you can't spend much, like me, these are perfect!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Officially 2 weeks at home!

Auggie is a 1 month old! I can hardly believe it! He has been doing well.

Last Wednesday we went to Austin to see the Craniofacial Surgeon... Well, we didn't see him but we did see a nurse that worked with us while we were in the NICU. The 2 hour drive and visit seemed like a waste of time- it was just like his pediatrician visit a few days before. They weighed him, measured him and asked how he was eating and sleeping. They're concerned with how much he is eating versus the amount of calories he burns while trying to eat. He has a sub-mucous palate (Here's a little information about it) which can make it hard for him to suck efficiently on a nipple. Tim & I can tell that he has gained weight because he has developed a double chin (poor baby gets it from my side of the family). We left Austin with the same information we went in with, so there's no big news there. We go back after Christmas and we'll definitely be seeing the doctor.
Jamie & Zach came for a visit Sunday. They couldn't stay long since they had Nathan, but at least Jamie finally got to see him!

A week ago today, Auggie had another doctor's appointment back at the pediatrician's office. This time it was a regularly schedule appointment for little boys (a circumcision for those that don't know)... Poor thing, we felt SO bad when we brought him home. We could tell he was worn out from his procedure- he slept the whole evening only to wake up (sort of) to eat.
Auggie in his vibrating rocking chair- he loves it!
My mom came in from Houston Wednesday night to spend a few days with us. It was nice having someone around. Tim & I kept up with Auggie for the most part. We did let my mom have him for the most part Friday night. It was nice sleeping for more than 3 hours at a time and actually together!
One morning

Monday morning, Auggie had an appointment with an audiologist in College Station. Too bad the hospital didn't inform them of his hearing tests that he failed while admitted. The audiologist had the wrong procedure scheduled so we basically went in to chat for about 10 minutes, scheduled an appointment for Tuesday with a pediatric ENT and then left. Good thing we only live like a mile from the office.

Mommo feeding Auggie, her 19th great grandchild!

Tuesday's appointment with the ENT went okay. We did find out Auggie will be able to get his headband hearing aid in a couple months (Here's a picture of a boy with a headband). The audiologist we talked to told us a bunch of moms have made their own headbands to match outfits and have rockets or something along those lines. I could imagine doing all sorts of cutesy headbands for a little girl... Auggie? Not so much. Tim said we could get really creative and have bunny ears for Easter. Funny, huh?

Sleeping well for Gramma

On Wednesday, Auggie turned a month old! I can hardly believe it (oh, did I say that already??) I was planning on taking pictures of him but he hasn't been very happy lately. Tim said he did well while I slept (figures, huh?) but I didn't want to upset him 
Mommy playing with Auggie

Having visitors is always something to look forward to! Sunday, our friend from SFA, Kansas, came by. It was so good to see him! Tuesday, Tim's cousin, Kayla, stopped by on her way home from class. I keep getting texts and FB messages from people asking about visiting.. and we're all about having people over! Like I said on Tuesday on Facebook, our house may not be spotless and I could still be in my PJs but having people over is always nice! Same goes with calls- no, we're not that busy. If we are, we won't answer, trust me. We've been trying to get as much sleep as possible so that we're not biting each other's heads off. ;) If we're sleeping we won't answer... but really, if you want to call or text, please do! We'd love to chat!