Archive | June, 2013

MORE videos

26 Jun

Sorry I haven’t written much lately. I have been going all day every day for a while and just not had time to sit down and write. I assume, though, that more Asher videos will suffice for now.

Here is Asher being completely weirded out by a few overly-friendly neighbors. He was a bit scared, but kept asking to go back to see them again. Later when we went back a third time I was holding him and I could feel his entire body tighten up every time one of these guys made a sound. hehehe

 

Doing his best Randy Savage impression:

 

Since Kacy recently posted a video of Eden “running fast,” I thought I would post Asher’s version. I almost cut the video off when he started playing with the fire hydrant, but that cuts out a big portion of Asher’s life experience — looking around. hahaha In his defense he CAN go faster than this, he just typically doesn’t. And when he does it really doesn’t last too long.

 

And finally, Asher was in a very happy and compliant mood at his physical therapy appointment today, so I snuck a quick video of him ‘working’ with a polar bear and miss Sylvia.

 

He is unbelievably precious to us!

Asher videos!

21 Jun

Signing the alphabet! He does some of them correctly, though not typically with the song since it’s too fast. He’s a learning machine!

This one is a little long and the song is kind of odd, but I love this video because I love watching Asher’s sweet little face while he watches it. He is looking like such a big guy these days! 🙂

 

(Somehow it posted the wrong one the first time I published this post. Sorry about that!)

Update again!

12 Jun

Hello, all — 

Long time no Blog post!

 

I have been more productive in the past few days than I had been in the past several weeks, so it’s only fitting that I post today. I felt like a lot of things piled up on me again and I started feeling overwhelmed and shutting down a bit. Then Asher and I got sick for a few days, which somehow seemed to turn our home into a dumpster (you don’t realize how much picking up you do until you don’t do it for a few days!)(Phil was out of town, so it certainly wasn’t his fault). And then we’ve just been busy! 

I have lots of random thoughts that I want to share, but again I’ll have to just settle for a pretty straight-forward update for now. 

Phillip: Still doing his thing. He’s working long hours right now, since he’s got a lot that he needs to finish up in the coming weeks. He typically doesn’t work during the evenings, but he gets up early to get started on working and stays up late either to read or to hang out with me. He and Asher will have their first guys weekend in a few days! I think we are all excited about that! I’m going on our church’s ladies retreat and I will be gone for 2 days (just one night, though). I’m feeling very excited about it, since I really like a lot of the ladies whom I know and I am excited to get to know others. I love my husband and son more than anything in the world, but it will be nice to get out of the house and do my own thing for a few days. I’m also excited about the theme for the weekend: “Exploring Solitude and Silence.” Rather than bring in a speaker, the coordinator thought this year she wanted to try to have a quiet weekend that centers around study, reflection, and prayer. We will be using a book to guide  study/reflection times and then meeting in small discussion groups, but a large portion of the weekend will be spent in solitude. I am really looking forward to it! I get so busy and lost in everyday tasks and appointments, I need some quiet time with God. My German is going okay. After taking several weeks to feel frustrated and overwhelmed after hitting my first big plateau in learning, I’m back in the game and trying to work hard again! I can already see my new-found motivation paying off both in my understanding and in the ways in which I am able to express myself. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m moving forward again and it feels good. (I guess I just put updates about myself in Phillip’s paragraph. Marriage united our update paragraphs for life!) 

Asher: He is such a precious precious precious PRECIOUS little boy! We love him so much that it hurts! He is talking like a little champ now — putting 2 and 3 words together and repeating everything (EVERYTHING) we say! We certainly aren’t the most vulgar people, but there are certain words that just sound terrible when a baby says them. We are watching our language and attitude and all of that cra….ziness.

Asher is in his 5th week of physical therapy to help strengthen his neck. He is doing pretty well. It’s basically just super fun games/play time with lots of great attention for him, but I think he’s felt a little pressured to do well when we’ve gone. Our typically laid-back little boy threw a couple all-out fits the first few times Sylvia, his physical therapist, tried to go near him. He likes his personal space! He’s warming up to her, though. He climbs slides, balances on boats (a giant swing) and gets teeny little massages. It’s been excellent so far! He is already showing improvement and I am learning so much about what exactly his issue has been and how to help him. I read a lot about torticollis. And I watched all the youtube videos I could find and asked the doctor, but it just didn’t make sense to me given what I would see when I looked at/worked with Asher. But I’m FINALLY feeling like I understand the actual issue that has kept him from correcting his torticollis completely. I’m seeing the benefits every time we go and I am SO thankful to finally have the opportunity to get him this help. Come to think of it, I don’t know if they still refer to his physical condition as “torticollis” now that he is a little bit bigger. He has full range of motion, which he’s had for a long time, but he still tilts his head on a regular basis (which is why we asked his pediatrician for help). The reason for this, according to Sylvia, is because his neck muscles developed unequally. The muscles on the right side of his neck are much stronger than the muscles on the left side of his neck. When he does things (crawls, lifts heavy objects, balances, etc.) he does well to maintain symmetry, which is good since it means that he is physically capable of doing what needs to be done, but when he relaxes or uses only his right hand (we’re pretty sure he is right-handed) he tilts his head and all-but stops using the muscles on the left side of his neck/shoulder. Both Sylvia and Asher’s pediatrician think that this is completely muscle-related, so once we are able to strengthen and even out his muscles, the problem should go away. Sylvia said today that the exercises we have him doing are already helping and that he will probably be more and more likely to cooperate as he gets older and begins to understand more. Today he did really well to use his left hand whenever she asked him to, so I’m also going to try to get him to work more with his left hand. His therapist is German and she seems fairly young. She is very nice. Her English is pretty good, though she mixes up random words in funny ways. I don’t have the heart to tell her that it’s confusing for her to tell Asher “Okay! We are ready for today!” at the end of his sessions. haha Anyway, we are all very happy with the progress Asher has made and with all of the things we have and are learning. 

Now to Asher’s eyes: *Sigh* Today was Asher’s big eye checkup and I have literally been counting down the days. Everything I’ve read seems to indicate that some children only need vision therapy for a short couple of months, and of course I was really hoping that Asher would be one of those kids. Certainly I know that many (most) kids with his condition(s) are treated in some way for years. Honestly, though, I was really hoping that his glasses would be enough treatment alone. Anyway, back to the exam. It wasn’t an exam at all! She just wanted to see how his eyes were responding to the Atropine (chemical) drops…?? I don’t understand what she was doing, actually. It is extremely apparent that the Swiss have a different approach to certain physical/medical issues. I don’t think anyone would argue that. Phil and I are really happy with the seemingly-balanced approach where medical professionals seem to prefer natural remedies, but aren’t afraid to use drugs when necessary. We’re good with that. But come on, eye doctor! Just check my son’s eyes and tell me exactly what is happening! All of my sources of information come from the US, so I see people talking about how their kid’s visual acuity is 20/200 or 20/80. I asked the doctor today about Asher’s visual acuity and she seemed confused as to why I would ask her. She showed us what a 1-year-old should see and how he should see at age 11… so? I asked her again how Asher sees and she said there is no way to really know since he can’t tell us. Ugh! I was so frustrated by that. She can tell that he isn’t seeing well at all, since she can see that he has a refractive error with her light/tools, but I guess there’s no clear way to know how he sees until he can tell us. He wears his glasses all the time, and I think he kind of likes them, so I guess he must see pretty poorly without them. I was also frustrated because I wanted to know her thoughts on some other issues that I realize probably should have warned us that Asher had vision problems. She basically said “yeah, that could have happened…” and that’s it. I think her approach is “yeah, these not-very-good-things might have happened, but it’ll be fixed so it’s fine.” I am having a hard time figuring out if I deeply appreciate or loathe entirely her approach. She said that she wasn’t used to having parents come in with so many questions, and because I had so many questions she would do a thorough exam (what I thought she was going to do today) in October, though she would normally wait a year (!!!!!). I think she was trying to be nice. I was a bit flustered after we left. Phil was a little bit frustrated too, but he thinks that the vagueness of her answers might have been associated with her discomfort in speaking English to us today. I guess she wasn’t prepared for us to have questions? She seems very welcoming of questions (she has repeatedly told us to call or email if we have questions), but I guess I caught her off guard. I just want to know what’s happening! I want to know how long Asher has to use the drops (he hates them) — I think she said that it is likely he will use them for a minimum of a year, but probably more like or two years. I was worried about a very serious thing that could be associated with a white pupil in photos, but she checked and said he is fine and it was probably just the position of his eyes/light in the photos. I was glad she checked and said that everything was okay. Um… I think that’s it. So now we wait until October. She said she wanted us to stop giving him the Atropine drops 2 weeks before we return for his examination, so she can see how his eyes behave off of the Atropine. But then she indicated that he would start them again after her examination. 

That’s all, I guess. I had so built up this appointment in my mind that I guess it’s my own fault that I’m left feeling a bit frustrated and unsatisfied. I wanted straight answers regarding progress, but I guess it’s just too early to tell. Look at me, being all impatient and whatnot. It’s only my baby’s vision we’re talking about. 

That’s all for tonight. I committed to being somewhere entirely too early in the morning, so I need to get myself to bed. 

Asher videos! 

I love his happy little face here! By the way, this is a few days ago (in June) and we were wearing sweatshirts! It was warmer this week, though. 

 

Here is another one the same afternoon. He was cracking me up diving around in the rocks.

Sorry that one was a bit long. This next one is longer than I typically post too, and it gets a little slow here and there, but overall it’s cute and a good representation of a very ordinary time for us right now. Asher likes putting things “up” when he’s done with them and this is him putting his cars up. Though it is now common for him to do more “labeling,” notice that he describes some of the cars and trucks and busses and tractor (Bah-tohs!) before putting them “up!”