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!