Monday, August 8, 2011

Crazy Busy!!

We are here, when you can catch us that is!!  This summer has flown by and it has been SUPER busy.  I haven't captured much of it on camera but I do have a few things to post about. 
Cohen's school doesnt start until August 15, so we have one more week of goofing off and cramming as many appointments as we can in so we won't miss school.  Hopefully, I can post this week!
Off to take the 2 to the dentist.........Kinson is promising that as long as Dr. Tiffany doesn't give him a shot that he will behave!!  That is yet to be determined!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Geaux Tigers!

It was sports day at Magnolia and what other team would we support!  I have no idea what she was telling us this morning but after looking at it, it seems like she was cheering to us :)

Maybe she has a future cheerleading career...........

Magnolia Sock Hop

Magnolia always has fun things for the kids to participate in.  Last week, they dressed up to a specific theme each day and ended the week with a Sock Hop! 

The best picture she would pose for!

The boys in her class were sick that day, so the girls were in charge :)  Her 2 best girl friends, Selasie and Hailey.

Mrs. Betty, Selasie, and Mrs. Hillary

Cohen dancing with her teacher, Mrs. Mary!

Cohen and Hailey "dancing"

Taking a break!

Mrs. Mary's daughter, Julie has been helping since her school got out.  Cohen LOVES her! 

This is Cohen's beloved Speech Therapist, Mrs Hillary.  We have LOVED working with her this past year!  We are so sad to be saying good bye to her as she is moving to Laurel for her husband's job.  She has been such a tremendous part of Cohen's progress and we are going to miss her so much :(

Magnolia Sprint-- June 4

A few weeks ago, we got up EARLY to get ready for the Magnolia 5K.  We had a great team that made up "Cohen's Crew", we had 27 people sign-up to run for our team!!  We actually had 5 team mates that placed overall and in age groups.  Even though it was hot and I had hurt my achilles a few weeks before, it was lots of fun.

I have the BEST. FRIENDS. EVER!!  I am surrounded by people that not only love me, but love my children also.  Just in this picture are my best friends from high school, college, and work. 

In the blue is my niece Mackenzie starting the "fun run."

Kinson taking off....

Good form!!

Kellen running, he won 1st place for his age group!!

Mackenzie won 1st place for her age group!!

Poor Kinson had been "warming up" for his race since 7:00am for a race that didn't start until 9:00am.  He was exhausted before it started!!  He ran his first lap fantastic and things slowly went down hill from there!

We are going to have to work on pacing ourselves before the next race :)

Cooling off with sno cones!!

Kimberly got 3rd place in Women's Overall-- YAY!!

These are a few of the winners that were able to stay til the end to get their pictures made.

Thank you to all of our friends and family that supported Magnolia!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hypothyroidism, Hearing Impaired and Apraxia

I saw this link up on Kelly's Korner Blog and I just felt compelled to give a brief synopsis of Cohen's story just to help connect with another mother/parent who might can relate or use any of Cohen's interventions in their own situations.

Cohen was born October 2008 after 7 weeks of on and off again bedrest due to preterm labor.  She aspirated after delivery and was in NICU less than 24 hours but other than that was deemed to be a very healthy baby.  We brought her home 2 days later and felt like we were the luckiest parents alive.......Cohen slept 7 hours straight from night 2 on.  She very rarely woke up, and if she did it was because she was wet, not really hungry but we fed her because we knew we should.  We were also lucky in the diapering area also, she never went!!  At 2 weeks old, her big brother brought home a present from school, RSV!!  It landed both of them in the hospital for almost 3 weeks.  She bounced back well. 
Like any parents, we took hundreds of pictures of our baby girl and after showing them to many friends and family, they always commented how cute it was that her tongue was sticking out in every picture.  Hmmmm, should we be worried?  At 4 months old, we also noticed that Cohen tilted her head a certain way.  The dx:  Torticollis, treated and resolved by a few months of Physical Therapy.  Also at that time we noticed she still wasn't smiling.  But baby #2 I tried not to worry and wish her to "grow up" any faster than she did.  Finally, a few smiles came around after she was 5 months old.  At her 6 month check up, it was noted that she was very small for her age, especially in length.  The dr also inquired about her tongue, "Did it always stick out?"
 After having a few tests ran, it was determined that Cohen had Hypothyroidism.  No biggie, I have hypoT, right?  Well, in kids it is completely different.  It pretty much controls the whole cognitive development of the brain (this is why it became mandatory in the 1980's to test all babies at birth due to undiagnosed children often were labeled "mentally retarded").  Cohen was tested at birth........right?  After months of trying to find out the answer, we think she was but the test results only state "Normal" with no actual numeric value.  Anyway, we start her on Synthroid to regulate her thyroid and began seeing our beloved Endocrinologist.  We read every article or journal we could to help explain our diagnosis and our prognosis.  I will not lie, we were really devastated that she might not be "normal", not for our sake, but for hers.  I did not want her to go through any turmoils from her delays. From what we read and were explained by many drs, it would take at least 6 months for her to regulate and then at that time we could determine how far behind she really was. 

A few more months passed and I really began to get concerned about her eating and oral motor skills.  Her tongue got in the way of everything!  The drs said it might take 2 years for her tongue size to regulate.  Still, she never babbled or laughed.........No sounds.  We already saw an ENT for tubes but he said she was fine.  After she was 16 months old our ped decided she needed to be tested by another dr.  At 18months old, after ABR (hearing test done by brain activity under sedation) it was determined that Cohen was hearing impaired and would need hearing aids.  That same month, we also found out that Cohen was Growth Hormone Deficient (she was 27" tall and weighed 17lbs).  To say we were overwhelmed would be an understatement.  Luckily, we were referred to a great school in Jackson, Magnolia Speech School.  The staff explained everything to us and educated us and our family to a new situation.  Cohen also began daily injections to help her grow.  We felt we were given a new diagnosis every time we saw a dr.  Things began to fall into a good routine when we began her new school and were given daily notes on her progress.  After 4 months,(December 2010), Cohen was still struggling verbally.  After meeting with her speech therapist and her neurologist, it was determined that Cohen also had Oral Motor Apraxia.  Basically, when she voluntarily wanted to do things with her mouth she became very uncoordinated.  The signal from her brain got jumbled up.  Luckily, Magnolia specializes in this communication disorder and we were already in the best place.  This semester she has had a few new strategies put in place to optimize her speech. 

Cohen is a very energetic, unstoppable 2 year old!  When you see her, besides her small size and cute "little ears", you would not know a thing was wrong with her.  She is catching up quickly with her peers in cognitive levels and physical capabilities.  Her only category that is behind is verbal communication and we are hoping with her curriculum and determination that will also be a goall that can be surpassed.  We feel very blessed to be chosen to be parents to Cohen.  We have been given so many opportunities to meet others and she has taught us so much.  Like I said earlier, this is a very BRIEF synopsis of the last 2 1/2 years.  You can read back to older posts that give great detail, symptoms and diagnosis as they unraveled.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where, oh where is the Smith family?!!!

We are alive and BUSY BUSY this time of the year.  We have been playing baseball, field tripping, field daying, and enjoying every moment of good weather that we can.  I will let you enjoy the pictures of the last month (not in any particular order;))

Easter egg hunt at church!  We hunted ALOT of eggs this year...

Baseball ready :)

On the Mother's Day train ride...

He LOVED seeing Thomas and Friends

Yes, there was a real man in that suit and it was H-O-T there!!

As Kinson said, "We are in Sodor!!"  We spent a day in Springhill, AL (don't recommend the city) to go to A Day with Thomas.  We rode Thomas and they had multiple activities set up for the kids to do.  Great kids activity just not the best city, plus it was HOT!!

BeBe's recital.  Cohen was mesmerized by all the dancing.  She will get her shot at it next year!

Magnolia's Field Day- Cohen's class was the "Busy Bugs"

Cohen was supposed to be doing the motion to a cheer, however she thought it was more fun to wave at everybody!!

Sweet Court!

Ring Toss

They made up their own rules ;)

Pool time at school.  She definitely LOVES the water

Not really sure what to do with the pop ice

Her classmates do!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Soccer season Recap

We finished up soccer last weekend and I think Bear is most upset :(  He loves watching Kinson play and this season we could see a big improvement in his concept and abilities with the game.  He definitely still needs work on his attitude........

This was after his first goal and he was telling his teammates how the other team did not take the ball from him!

This is his friend who he tends to scuffle with quite often during soccer (but are good friends off the field), shaking hands after one of their spats!

Getting ready to kick off......

He still has his moments (yes, he is the one sitting on the ground when he should be listening to the coach!!)

Definitely better with "blocking" as he calls it

He gets so excited when he kicks the ball

Still working on the idea that we don't take it away from our own team ;)

Concentrating hard

Sweet, rambunctious little boys!  He loves his Rockets!!

30 months........

Can you believe she is 2 1/2?!?  Some days it feels like an eternity ago that we were bringing her home from the hospital only to return 2 weeks later and stay for what seemed like an eternity withj RSV!  And to think at that time, I thought it was the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to me as a parent-- having both my kids in the hospital...pitiful.  Little did I know what the next few years had in store for us.  This little girl has brought so much joy into our lives and has made us cherish the small milestones that tend to get over looked in the second child.  We have learned not to take her or her capabilities for granted.  Because of that, we are beyond thrilled at the progress she has made recently.
Stats according to the Endo visit:  32.5" tall (since October she has grown 1"), 25 lbs (the girl can eat anything in front of her!!), still in size 3 diapers, and she went clothes shopping this weekend and bought 18month shorts :).  Her height still isn't on the growth chart but her weight was 3-5%.  This is a first for her ;)

Recent vocabulary:  yewow(yellow), pupa (purple), ruh (truck), eeee(ear)--imagine a very funny face exagerating a long E sound!, baball (baseball), and tuh(Chuck) he is the maintenance man at her school and the only name that she will say there!!
She is starting to put 2 words combinations together.  Yellow hat, papa's truck, etc.  But she floored me Saturday when she came in my bedroom with her pant leg soaking wet.  I asked her how it got wet and she looked at me and said "Pan, dog, eeee, wawa."  this translates into pants, dog, eat, water and meant she got her pants wet stepping in the dog's water bowl!!  And sure enough, she had spilled Addy's water bowl all over the kitchen floor and we sure couldn't be mad at her after that!

Speaking of her discipline, I met with her teachers this week who expressed a little concern about Cohen starting to test the boundaries with different people.  I told them that we were definitely lacking in the discipline department mainly because we felt guilty that she has been through so much and we tend to just let her be.  So we are starting to have to add a few timeouts here and there to give her some boundaries!

We love our little Coco soo much and even Kinson is starting to like her a tiny bit :)