Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

not sure what to think about that witch?!

Fletch, Coco, Stryker, & Grandmomma

hey, I can ride a bull!!

my friends: Tripp & Chaney King!

first time on a horse & loved it!

Trunk or Treat at Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church (Saturday, October 30th):

Stryker's first Halloween was a success. Coco, Fletch, & grandmomma met us at our home. Everyone got to see our little boy dressed up as a puppy dog. We all piled in the car with the little puppy still sleeping & headed to the church. "He's going to miss out on his first Halloween" was the thought running through my mind. But, he quickly awakened when he felt the cool air on his face & heard all the other playful children. We had a blast! The night was filled with games, candy, horse riding, laughter, & family together-ness.

Grandmomma's birthday lunch & church: (Sunday, October 31st):

Grandmomma, Brian, Uncle Cody, & Aunt Loren came to church with us this morning. We enjoyed a wonderful sermon at Gardendale First Baptist Church. Afterwards, all filled their tummies with a lunch at Outback. Stryker munched on bread & sweet potato. Happy Birthday Grandmomma.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hand in Hand

Stryker had his early intervention evaluation at Hand in Hand. Grandmomma came to the initial visit with Stryker & me since Logan had to work. We met with our service coordinator & physical therapist. We already knew the service coordinator because her niece was in Logan's youth group at Riverchase a few years ago. What a small world. The physical therapist was great & reminded me so much of our previous physical therapist. After the initial evaluation, I was informed the results of his developmental tests. Not bad at all. I learned what interventions we would implement at home until our next visit. The physical therapist was surprised how well Stryker was developing & especially how active. She seemed to think that something delayed Stryker a little (either in the womb or after birth) & now his body was quickly trying to play "catch up".

Where's my helmet?

"Where's my helmet?" was the question behind Stryker's look. Today, we had an answered prayer, which came as a complete shock. Stryker had another follow-up visit with Hanger regarding his helmet. From last appointment's results, the helmet was to remain in place for at least another 2 months. Stryker & I sat there while Todd took measurements. Did I just hear Todd say we're finished? No, it couldn't be. I quickly asked for clarification to which Todd answered, "Stryker's head shape has improved > 50%. Getting a result > 50% is excellent & what we strive for. Stryker's skull is now harder than when the helmet was prescribed. Y'all can buy another helmet but more improvement is not guaranteed." I was in complete shock but also ecstatic! Praise the Lord! I asked Todd for a few minutes so I could call Logan. I wanted us to discuss this & make sure we were in agreement. After telling Logan, he too was speechless for a few moments then expressed the same excitement. Oh how we longed for this day. We could actually kiss & rub our little boy's head anytime! Stryker felt differently as Todd set his helmet over to the side. Stryker kept reaching for it. Guess, we'll take it home & let him play with it. At least, he's not wearing it!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Coco!

Happy Birthday to a beautiful best friend, compassionate mom, & amazing grandmother. Coco enjoyed keeping Stryker while Logan & I were at work. She let him play in the dirt, swing, & play with all his many toys. Coco treated Fletch, Logan, Stryker, & I to Boo at the Zoo! She said that seeing Stryker's smiling face meant more on her birthday than receiving a gift. There were so many people that thought Stryker's helmet was a costume making him a football player. If they only knew. Not quite sure why they thought that b/c he had on khaki pants & red hooded shirt - didn't look like a football costume to me! ha ha. Boo at the Zoo allowed Stryker to experience lots of new things: riding a carousel backwards, riding a choo-choo train, spinning a wheel for a toy, picking up ducks out of water, seeing animals, & riding on a hay ride. We all got pleasure out of seeing Stryker react to it all. Afterwards, we took Coco to dinner at Five Guys. Stryker actually hate some french fries! Coco did receive a gift from us...a book of Stryker pictures. The pictures were from 4 months old to 8 months old. She loved it & said it was the best gift ever! She couldn't wait to show it to everyone. So proud to have a grandson. Love you mom.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thank you Mrs. Jane Keith

Jane Keith has been Stryker's physical therapist for several months now. She has been a great therapist, wonderful educator, good listener, & strong advocate for Stryker's care. There are not enough words to express our sincere appreciation for what you have done & will continue to do for our son. We will truly miss having you as our primary therapist but trust your confidence in Hand & Hand.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Patch (Hayden, AL) - 2010

Playing in the hay, seeing farm animals, riding on a hay ride, picking out a pumpkin, & wearing my overalls is what this Saturday entailed! We enjoyed a day at Hayden's Pumpkin Patch. Stryker's eyes remained wide open experiencing all the new things. On the hay ride, he immediately reached for daddy as soon as he was sat on the hay. It may have been due to all the other people on the hay ride. A big smile emerged as the tractor started up & drove us to the field of pumpkins. Logan held Stryker as we walked across the vastness looking for the perfect pumpkin. Stryker picked out one that he could sit on! Logan joked that Stryker would pick out the furthest one away making daddy carry it all the way back. Stryker loved the farm animals which included a donkey, llama, piglets, calf, turkey, geese, & pony. Jack, the donkey, was his favorite. Before leaving, we thought Stryker might enjoy playing in the hay bails. He didn't mind it when sitting but would pick his hand up to look at the hay when on his tummy. Something new always inspires Stryker's curiosity. After the pumpkin patch, we stopped by for a visit at Vestavia Country Club. Stryker got to see Coco in the pro shop & meet lots of new people. He craves attention! Fletch, Coco, Logan, Stryker, & I ate supper together at Chuy's mexican restaurant located at the Summit. Next time, we would like to sit outside to eat. Stryker was exhausted & fell asleep quickly in the car.

Friday, October 15, 2010

8 months old

just chillin'

watching my daddy coach

riding my car

smiling at first high school football game (Homewood vs. Hoover)

What's new:

  • reaching for momma & daddy (separation anxiety starting up)

  • transitioning from sitting to tummy independently

  • transitioning from tummy to sitting independently

  • feeding himself puffs (picking the food off his tray & getting into his mouth quicker/easier)

  • getting on hands & knees independently

  • makes attempts at crawling/creeping but falls on face a lot!

  • hates being on the changing table

  • sleeps on his tummy

  • grabs spoon & puts in mouth (guess he thinks mom & dad can't feed him right anymore)

  • cutting 5 top teeth all within this week! (ouch, but he's only been a little fussy at night - I know we're spoiled)

  • getting first semi-haircut (just a trim around the ears; can't have hair growing over the ears!)

  • so ticklish

  • has fell off the couch & the bed (first of many falls for this rough boy)

  • loves baths & fusses when he has to get out

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finally an update

love my little boy (snuggling after a difficult week)


first time in a hospital gown

ready for some baseball

Sunday, October 3rd: The day began with a trip all the way to UNA for some baseball. Grandmomma joined us for the trip. It turned out to be a cold, windy day but Stryker didn't mind. He loves baseball so much.

Monday, October 4th: Stryker's neurologist appointment was today. Coco rode with Stryker & me to Children's Hospital. Logan met us there from work. Stryker saw his first clown while in the waiting room! He was unsure at first but then started smiling & laughing at her hot pink curly hair. Dr. Pierre Fequiere was the neurologist. He was absolutely wonderful. Stryker thought his examination was a game which made us feel good seeing him smiling & laughing the entire time. Dr. Fequiere had a great bedside manner. Wish the end result was better than the appointment. Unfortunately, Dr. Fequiere thought Stryker had "probable CP". My heart sunk & immediately looked at Logan with tearful eyes. Logan was in shock along with my mom. We were all coming to an appointment with the intention of nothing being wrong with our child. Instead, we were hearing news that we couldn't dream of hearing. Dr. Fequiere immediately stopped talking to ask why the tears. I explained the fears of what that diagnosis brought from my past respiratory & physical therapy past experiences. He informed us that this was a probable diagnosis due to decreased strength on Stryker's left side, Stryker quickly transferring objects from left hand to right hand, thumbs staying adducted, etc. We're scheduled for an MRI in January 2011. Until then, Dr. Fequiere suggested getting early intervention. This will be intense physical & occupational therapy. Blood was also drawn to rule out muscle inflammation which were negative. Dr. Fequiere stressed the point that Stryker may not have CP but if he does it would be very mild. After the appointment, I called to give an update to our current physical therapist & occupational therapist. Our PT began the pathway for getting services through Hand & Hand. Plan is to continue working with Stryker at home on the things our PT has given us to do & wait to hear from Hand & Hand. Since this appointment, I have been researching everything regarding CP. Part of me blames myself for this diagnosis. CP can be a result of premature labor as well as a small birth canal. I have been praying for peace of mind. My focus of research has been about finding things that would help Stryker, but the thought of causing my child to possibly have CP creeps in everyday. All a parent hopes & dreams for is a healthy child. When something is wrong then you immediately blame yourself.

Wednesday, October 6th: On a more positive note, Stryker's head shape is very much improved! He had an updated head scan at Hanger today which showed improvement with all measurements. What fantastic news!! Thank you Lord for this uplifting news! The helmet will definitely be off before Christmas. The orthotist said the helmet would be worn probably no longer than 2 1/2 more months. If Stryker goes through another big growth spurt soon, then it will be off in less time.