Sunday, December 23, 2012

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas already! I can't believe it. Well, I can never really believe how fast time flies with Auggie running around. 

Auggie got his big Christmas present last weekend- a train table! He loves it! Now he just needs some trains and track to go with it. I have a feeling Santa might take care of that! Auggie will come up to Tim or me and pull us into his room so he has someone to play in front of. The keywords there are "in front of" since he really doesn't want us to actually interact with him while he's at the table. It's cute but it'll be nice when he'll play by himself with his toys in his room. I say that and I know once he plays by himself, I'm going to say "oh, where did the time go??"

Where has the time gone? Auggie's beginning to sing along with us when we sing to the radio or when Tim busts out with a random song doing dishes. It started with the ABC's and he's now singing along to The Lumineers or some Black Eyed Peas.  He's even started mimicking Tim's whistling! His squeals are pretty high up there so he lets out a short squeal to match Tim's whistle. It's cute! 

We're continuing to work on his signs. Auggie's added "alligator," "silly" and "kangaroo" to his vocabulary and he's using "music," "dance," "mommy" and "daddy" a lot more. (Remember, if you'd like to see what the signs look like, please click the link included on each word.)

Auggie's also using "where" often! I think it's his version of "what's that?" Haha. Every toddler I've known has gone through that phase and I'm sure Auggie will go through it, too. He'll hide his cars or trains and come up to us with his index finger pointed and waving and say "wheerree?" Then one of us will say "where's what?" and he'll giggle and run to go find them. 

Well, I will leave y'all with some photos and a couple videos


Twas the Night Before Christmas

What are these things??

Auggie's Christmas ornaments (2010, 2011 and 2012)

hanging out at the park

Just swinging

(Sorry, I still haven't figure out how to make the videos bigger):

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's the Age of "No Naps"

Auggie's two and I know our napping days are numbered. We spent 2.5 hours at the park this morning and he still fell asleep at 1:30 pm! He's been fighting them for a few weeks now and most days he doesn't nap but I'm still trying. I didn't lay him down today until I could see it in his mannerisms that he was really tired.

We've had a few instances of wet bedsheets because he gets bored and takes off his diaper. I've tried backwards diapers (he pees out the top of them), onesies (he pulls the diaper through his leg hole or unsnaps them), non-footie pajamas (he unbuttons them) and even footie pajamas (he screams because he wants the feet part off). I'm half tempted to go out and buy some Duct Tape! We've even had a few instances of poopy sheets and crib, too! Yuck!! That really hits you hard especially since Auggie sleeps with his door closed! If only we had "Smell-o-vision" video capabilities!

I have a lot to post about to catch our blog up to date. I'm sure I'll get to all of it... eventually. But first of all, Auggie and Zane celebrated their 2nd birthdays together at PowerSports on November 17. The boys are 9 days apart and I'll know they'll be quite a pair when they get older. They're already up to no good when they're together! We've made great friends in College Station and I'm so glad Auggie has someone so close in age to hang out with. I'm sure I've said that before but all the boys (Cinco, Archer, Auggie and Zane) will be so much fun if we're all still around in the next few years!

PowerSports was a great choice for a birthday party. Most of the kids were exhausted by the end and slept well on their way home. We had our family squeeze into our house afterward for hot dogs and snacks and of course, present opening. Auggie's favorite present was from Mrs. Julie- a Thomas the Train set! He loves laying down and rolling his trains along the track. It was one of the first presents he opened and I'm pretty sure it was the last one! He was too involved in that to open any others. I'll have to keep that in mind around Christmas time because I'm sure he'll be getting some more trains.

(Click on photo to enlarge)
First Row: The Siegmunds & Allmons; Auggie blowing out his candles
Second Row: Auggie clapping; MawMaw, PawPaw & Auggie
Third Row: Great Grandma Rigby, Grampa, Gramma & Auggie; Auggie was VERY excited about his Thomas train set
Fourth Row: Daddy & Auggie at PowerSports; A quick run by the camera!

Our Thanksgivings went great! We went down to La Porte the sunday before Thanksgiving to celebrate with my family. It was nice having everyone there. Auggie and Tim managed to avoid all the sickness but sadly, I introduced it to the Siegmund side (sorry, y'all!). It was all short lived (thank goodness) and we were able to celebrate with the Siegmund side on Thanksgiving. I know Auggie always has a great time with his cousins on both sides. He's usually just a few running steps behind them all.

It is finally beginning to feel like December as of Monday! We had 75-80 degree temperatures most of November. It feels so nice to have long sleeves and a jacket on even if I am constantly cold.

Despite the hot weather, we've been trying to get into the holiday spirit! We went to Christmas at the Creek with the Allmons and Adams's the last Friday in November. Auggie got to pet a camel, goat and sheep at the live Nativity scene. He liked seeing all the lights, too. We missed out on seeing Santa because of the line but we did get to see him at the mall a few days later. Auggie wasn't too happy about sitting on Santa's lap so I sat with him. He gave him a fist bump and a high five after the picture though. Auggie even got Daddy to ride the train with him around the mall afterward. (and I thought I was bad about letting Auggie get his way;) We'll be going to Santa's Wonderland just south of town soon. I know Auggie will love seeing all the lights there. According to their website there's over 2.5 million! I'm excited about it.

(Click on photo to enlarge)
First Row: Seeing Santa Claus; Auggie's 24 month pictures
Second Row: Auggie Auggie waving bye to Rudolph; Auggie pointing out Rudolph's nose
Third Row: Auggie's 24 month photos... he would not put those trains down!
Fourth Row: Auggie was intrigued by the flash; The family at Christmas at the Creek
We'll have lots to update about soon.. Auggie's getting a surprise on Saturday that I know he'll absolutely love. I'll leave you with a few videos of our Little Bear! I'll work on the video sizes before I have another post with them. I don't know why they're so small! :(

Auggie has been signing "fire truck" "airplane" "helicopter" "police car" and now learned how to sign "ambulance"!

Walking in Mommy's Shoes

ABC Train with Daddy

A little example of our clothes escape artist

Dancing in the Car

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Very Happy Birthday!

Auggie turned 2 on Saturday! Can you believe it? I can't! We're having his official birthday party this weekend but we got to do a little celebrating on his actual birthday. A friend of ours is a member of the Houston Area Live Steamers (HALS) and they invited us to Hockley for a few train rides. We rode down with Jen and Zane, so Zane, Cinco and Auggie had a great time playing together. 

HALS is a members only organization but members can bring friends when they go. They also have public run days, where anyone can come to ride trains. Their last public run day is this Saturday. The trains are built in 1", 1-1/2", 2-1/2" and 3" scales so they're big enough for adults to sit on. Auggie had a great time riding and just seeing the trains. I think if nap time wasn't looming over our heads, we would've stayed longer. Hopefully we'll be able to go again in the Spring.
Auggie, Kelsey, Erin, Cinco, Zane and Jen after a steam engine train ride

Zane and Auggie taking a quick snack break!

All Aboard!

replica John Deere tractors

It was gorgeous and breezy day!

Checking out the trains from the depot

waving to people

Mommy and the Birthday Boy!
(it was very bright out!)

Union Pacific model train

Assorted Trains

Steam Engine Train Ride

Tomas (Cinco's Dad) chasing around Auggie, Cinco and Zane

Tim was guiding in Uvalde over the weekend so it was all Mommy and Auggie time. We had a great weekend.

Friday night we went to a little street fair at Henderson Elementary in Bryan. They had a few goats and some rabbits that Auggie loved petting. There were also a few games (Angry Bird bowling, Box car racing and Glowstick Bowling) that he enjoyed playing along with a bounce house. He was a little upset he couldn't play in the bounce house with all the big kids, though. Right before we left one of the stations from the Bryan Fire Department stopped by with an ambulance and fire truck. Auggie was pretty excited about them but turned down an opportunity to sit inside the fire truck. I was really surprised he didn't want to sit inside it! 

After the festival, we stopped by Chick-Fil-A (thank you, again, Heather!). Auggie sat patiently watching the cars in the drive-thru while I ate dinner. He played in the play area for a little bit by himself before more kids joined him. It is always nice to see older kids slow down when they see a smaller kid in the playground. When it was time to leave, Auggie didn't put up a fight. I was very thankful for that! I think Auggie's teeth stopped giving him problems so he's been in a better mood and not so quick to anger when things don't go his way. 

We have hit a rough patch, though... with his diaper! He took off his diaper 4 out of the last 5 times he's gone to bed! Luckily his bedding and clothes have just been wet. I don't want to experience a poopy no diaper episode! I'd be so thankful if we didn't ever have to deal with that! Auggie thinks its funny but then so does Tim. I guess Auggie gets his sense of humor from Tim, too! I got several good suggestions on tips to keep the diaper on so today we're trying a onesie. We'll see how that goes! I'll be trying a backwards diaper if that fails.. then I'll look into getting some diaper covers with snaps. I'm really hoping the onesie does the trick.

Auggie's Birthday Stash
We hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Annual Craniofacial Appointment

Auggie's yearly appointment in Austin was on Monday. It went well. Dr. Harshbarger (the craniofacial surgeon) said Auggie looked good. Since we don't have any issues with snoring or trouble sleeping, he said we can push off the jaw distraction. He's pretty confident we won't have to worry about that until Auggie is done growing (past the teenage years!). He pointed out the deficiencies in Auggie's cheeks (his dimples) and said we could opt to do a procedure on them if we'd like. But like the jaw distraction, he'd like to wait until Auggie is done growing so there's a smaller chance of the surgery being rejected. But that's if we opt to do the surgery.

We talked to Dr. Zappata (Auggie's ENT) and Dr. Harshbarger about doing ear reconstruction since it sounds like that will be the first few procedures Auggie has done. We have a few options: 1. Leave his ears alone; 2. The Rib Graft Surgery; or 3. Medpor. Feel free to click the links to find out more information. I have added some here but The Ear Community is a great resource. There are even photos of before and afters if you're interested in looking.

Tim and I are leaning towards Option 3 because it is offered earlier (as early as 3 years old, before school!) and there are less stages performed. Medpor's structure is from a synthetic material and then covered with a skin graft. The rib graft surgery is performed between ages 6 and 10 and requires cartilage to be removed from Auggie's rib for the structure of his ear. Some older patients have said they still have discomfort from the rib graft surgery years later. I would think with the Medpor you'd be more likely to have symmetrical ears since you're using a synthetic material. I haven't done much research into it yet because I still get a bit emotional knowing Auggie will have to go through at least 3 surgeries at a young age. But anyway! We'll most likely start working on getting in touch with doctors next year to do more research on where we should go for ear reconstruction and who should attend to Auggie. We just need to find the right doctor for Auggie. So far, we're very satisfied with the team Auggie sees so we'll see if we stay with them.

After his ear reconstruction, we'll deal with implanting his BAHAs (another informational link). That's a couple procedures in itself! We've heard rumors that Cochlear is testing a magnetic abutment. The Oticon processor offers the option of a magnetic abutment instead of a steel post. Some people prefer the "sound" of the Cochlear processor compared to the Oticon processor so I'd love to keep Auggie with the Cochlear processor. We're really hoping by the time he is old enough for the implants, Cochlear will offer a magnetic option. The "steel post" option just doesn't sit well with me since you have to clean the skin around the post so it doesn't get infected or grow over it. That's even after the incision sites have healed. The FDA mandates children 5 years old and older are approved for the surgery so we have a few years to wait.

Aside from discussing our options, the visit on Monday was good. Auggie was a bit shy and restless with Ashley from Speech Therapy. He didn't want to cooperate with her or her grad student so we'll go back May of 2013 for another evaluation. She said he sounded like he's progressing well but wants us to continue to go to Speech Therapy at least once a week. Now that our insurance has approved the therapy in College Station, we can bite the bullet and start back up. What's another monthly bill, huh? We missed out on seeing the dentist since she was at a conference but Auggie will see her in April. Can you believe that's her next opening?? Wow! We made sure they put us on their wait list in case someone cancels.

We did receive some good news today, though. Auggie's left BAHA should be here on Friday! It's in Tennessee right now! YAY! What's that- you didn't know he lost one? Sorry, I forgot to update about that one. Auggie lost his left BAHA while we were in Giddings a few weekends ago. He was riding on the Gator with PawPaw and his cousins and when he came back, it was gone. I knew as soon as I saw he only had one on, it was a lost cause. That "champagne/blonde" BAHA is the same color as every dead piece of grass and rock out there! The left BAHA was the same one we sent in for repairs a few months ago. Luckily, the replacement plan covers one complete replacement and unlimited repairs for 2 years. We dodged that expensive bullet! I'm ready for Friday! Well, not too ready since he'll be TWO on Saturday! I can't believe our Little Bear will be two!

Well, I didn't think this update was going to be so long! If you have any questions, feel free to ask in a comment or however you like to get in touch with us! I'll leave you with some Halloween pictures! Enjoy!

Waiting in line at the first house

Daddy and Auggie in between houses

Playing with a mini light

The family

Our little train conductor playing with trains

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Very Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! If you're on the East Coast, well, we're praying for y'all!

Auggie had a great Halloween. He filled up his bag quickly and had a lot of fun playing with about a dozen of his friends at a party Wednesday night. He went as a Train Conductor complete with a blue bandana, blue striped hat, overalls and a Thomas the Train trick-or-treat bag.

We made a last minute trip to the Aggieland Habitat for Humanity Pumpkin Patch Tuesday evening for pictures. Auggie did well with the pictures but he's still not a fan of the camera. I wonder when that will change! He'll have to get used to it sooner or later. At least looking off into the distance makes for okay pictures!

same shirt, same location, same Little Bear!
can't believe the difference of a year!
Auggie's been picking up a few new things lately. He's been interacting with the TV shows we watch in the morning. He doesn't talk back to the characters yet, but he'll dance, shake or flap his arms when they do. It's so cute! He's also interacting with books when we read them. So darn cute! I'll edit the video I have of him listening to Dr. Seuss' ABC book (it's over 6 minutes long) but he says "Hooray Hooray" for H and "Alligator" for A.

We're also working on the alphabet. I had no intention of getting him interested in it already but his interest seemed to come naturally. He knows A, I, U, R, N and M. He's also getting better at counting. His 4 and R sound absolutely adorable! I'll have to get it on video soon. Coloring with chalk, pens, pencils, well, anything that writes has been one of his favorite pastimes lately and since I don't draw very well, letters, numbers and shapes are my fallback. Daddy's the one who draws the animals! Auggie will scribble a little and then point at it and say "Cow" or "Moo." Tim's first animal to draw is usually a longhorn.

If you're here from Facebook, you've seen all the photos below. Sorry, you'll have to wait until next week for the few actual Halloween photos I took.

Rolling the large pumpkin

Turning around to say "Cheese"

Look over there!

Auggie signing "Train" when we heard the train whistle

Rolling more pumpkins

and look over there!!

He was so excited when a flock of birds few overhead

Still checking out those birds

Rolling that pumpkin

He thought this one made a nice chair

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin
Keep those pumpkins rolling!

Auggie loved the acorn bells I got from Hobby Lobby last week

Here's a nice "sitting still" picture

1,2,3.... JUMP!!!


He was so happy about the little pumpkins
He could actually carry them!

Making his way to Mommy

Off to run through the patch one more time
October 10.. Auggie scared of the "bug" on Tim's bow

October 20... Taking advantage of a deserted park!

October 22.... working on colors... added "grey"

November 1... Where's Daddy??
Until next week!