Friday, December 31, 2010

Legs...aka Horse Hooves!

After MANY adjustments to Izzy's prosthetic legs over the past 7 months...I think we are finally getting somewhere! I am learning so much as we go along. Learning that there is no set way to "do" this whole "leg" thing :-) Every child is different in their specific needs based on SO many different things. And those needs change just as quickly as the child grows! Our most recent change is adding some "horse hooves" as we have decided to call them...lol! (We have to find humor where we can, otherwise we spend way to much time crying!) As you might remember in an earlier post we found the best thing for Izzy's prosthetic legs were for him to have no feet. Although, now that he is standing a lot more and trying to take side steps and things, he is needing some sort of "feet" for added stability that his "stumps" just can't offer. But we (me, his physical therapist and his prosthetist) decided he just isn't quite ready for feet yet. So his wonderful prosthetist (the person who makes his prosthetic legs) designed these for him!




(Izzy is zooming cars down the race track and cracking up as they "crash" into his big brother and Daddy)

The moment we put them on him he stood up much straighter and with much more confidence! In these pictures he is standing completely unassisted...and he did this for about 10-15 minutes without a sit break! Jon and I are trying VERY hard to be more diligent with working with him at home with his legs on...as he is VERY ready, all he needs is opportunity! I can't wait for the day when I can post about him pulling to stand and walking!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another inspiration

On this journey with Israel we have had the opportunity to hear about, meet, get advise and become inspired by many different people who share our journey in their own way in some way or another. You might remember we got to meet Nick Vujic who has often been a source of strength for me. He has an amazing website called Life Without Limbs if you need a little inspiration. But most recently I found a YouTube video of someone I have heard about since the beginning of our journey at Shriner's. She is very similar to Israel in terms of her arms and legs. She is 16 years old and is a dancer and really lives a fairly normal life. Watching this video...I was inspired! Her name is Kiera she lives not to far from me. I have never had the chance to meet her, but I hope to someday. Click Here to check out the YouTube video and get inspired :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FAST!

Yup...That's Izzy! He is FAST! He crawls without hesitation and rarely rolls anymore. He can get anywhere he wants in almost no time at all! He crawls on his knees and the ends of his arms (even though they are different lengths) no matter the surface. He follows me everywhere saying "Mama" and is often getting into trouble! His latest thing to do is dump out the garbage cans and also turn off the computers while the kids are going school. But I don't complain! I got MANY extra months without a busy kid...so it doesn't bother me. Plus is it just a constant reminder of how quickly he is growing and changing. Before I know it he will be walking and running. Here is a cute little video for you to enjoy (Don't mind the messy house...it was the day after Christmas!)
video

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Update: Shriner's Christmas Cards

I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who purchased Izzy's Shriner's Christmas cards this year...no doubt they were the cutest ones your family and friends received! It was such a last minute thing...but still...I was amazed at the turnout. I got 300 cards in my original order and ended up having to get 100 more! I received a $1 per card donation from everyone who ordered, and a few who gave extra too. We were so blessed by your generosity and loving hearts toward our sweet boy and an amazing place who has changed our lives. Izzy and I plan to take in all the donations on our next visit, which is in three weeks. Do doubt, Shriner's will be so grateful for this unexpected financial gift, especially since they are a FREE hospital! Thank you all again!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Even though we are a few days late...we wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas! Praying your day was filled with love and laughter.

Here is our annual Christmas newsletter...written this year by Jaxon, our 6 year old son. These are honestly and truly his words! I didn't plant any of this...it is straight from his mouth. Enjoy...and Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas ~ from Jaxon
(And the rest of the bunch!)
~2010~

Mom thought since I am reading and writing so well that it was my turn to write the Christmas letter. My name is Jaxon and I am 6 years. I do homeschool and I am in first grade. We are doing video school this year and I like it a lot. I am good at soccer because I practice at home. I like to play on the swing and bounce on the trampoline with my sister because I like her. I also like to play Wii.

Izzy is my brother and he is 1 ½ years old. He is cool because he has no hands and he can pick stuff up. He can also roll and crawl and he always wants Mommy. He is learning how to say Mom and Dad and Rachel and Jaxon. He is lucky because he doesn’t have to do school.

Rachel is my sister and she is 8 years old and she is in third grade. She likes to play girl stuff like dolls and dress-up. Rachel is good at helping out with Izzy. She likes to sing and dance a lot. We go to a homeschool group called FIGS and it is fun. We like to play WebKinz together too.

Mom is my Mom and she is 27 years old. She helps with school and it’s good because she always helps us if we don’t know what to do with our papers. She likes to go on dates with me. Mom always takes me somewhere special. Sometimes my Mom takes me to Sweet Papaya. She always makes lunch and dinner and it is yummy. My Mom is my favorite Mom in the whole entire world.

My Dad is 28 and sometimes he kind of helps us with school too. He likes to go on dates with Rachel. Sometimes he goes to Sweet Papaya with Rachel too. He helps with Izzy so he isn’t cranky. He does Beautiful Blinds and Beyond for work and he fixes blinds for other people. He likes to hunt daddy dears and elk. He likes to shoot anything he can.

The End.

From, Jaxon (Dad, Mom, Rachel & Israel too)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yup...still here...somewhere

I have been meaning to blog...honest...somehow life seems to just get away from me and blogging takes a backseat to the hustle and bustle of our everyday life, not to mention it's been the holiday season, which always adds more busy-ness! But we are all still here and doing well. I am going to be more diligent though about making myself take the time to sit down and write, because I really do LOVE blogging! And I know I have lots of faithful followers that are probably wondering what in the world has happened to me. So keep your eyes peeled...more posts are on the way! OH...and Happy Thanksgiving...Merry Christmas...and Happy New Year too!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Giving Back - A Fundraiser for Shriner's

In my earlier post about Izzy's being on the Shriner's Christmas Card, I got a big response from people asking if they could buy them to send out this season. I contacted Shriner's about this and here's what I found out. They don't sell the cards, they are used as the hospitals card to send out to people who have made donations and such things. However, I asked if I could have permission to "sell" them and donate all the proceeds to Shriner's. They said YES! :-) I am SO excited!

A little "behind the scenes" story about Shriner's...from my heart. Without this place, I truly don't know where we would be! They had been such a gift since the beginning. The are a 100% FREE hospital for children who are as special as Izzy :-) The people who work here are precious. They LOVE these children and they LOVE what they do. They become family. Jon and I often joke about how we would live at Shriner's if we could :-) They are SO giving and generous. Shriner's is the ONE place we can go, other then home, and feel totally normal, loved and accepted. And they never ask for anything in return! I have never paid a dime for anything from them! Amazing! They are such a blessing

So if you are interested in sending out these precious cards this season and in return making a donation to Shriner's, just let me know! (Comment to this post or email me at beccaturkington@comcast.net )

Here is what the card will look like.

(Front)

(Inside top)
On the cover
Israel “Izzy” packs the essentials for his visit to the recently expanded and remodeled Shriners Hospitals for Children® in Portland, Oregon. There he will find beautiful new patient rooms, a fantastic orthotics and prosthetics shop, day lounges, new waiting and activity areas and so much more. Izzy and his family have been part of the Shriners Hospitals for Children® family since he was just a few months old. Born without hands and feet, Izzy has shown everyone just what a miracle he is by taking his first steps and holding small objects, along with many other milestones this past year. Izzy is an amazing example of the nearly 9,000 children who received care at Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Portland this year. For Izzy, and 50,000 other children over nearly 90 years, the sky is no limit!

Special thanks and photo credit to Angela Watts, TekoaRose Photography in Salem, Oregon.

(Inside Bottom)Celebrate the miracles in your life this Holiday Season. From our family to yours, may the joy, wonder and hope be with you throughout the year.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Famous?!?!

Well as it turns out, I'm not the only one who thinks Israel is PERFECT! :-) Shriner's fell in love with him so much he gets to be the face on their Christmas card this year!!! I was beyond excited to hear this news! I actually cried...and cried again. I mean, I know he is wonderful and amazing and beautiful and perfect, but to have someone else acknowledge it in such a public just blessed my socks off! I got the card proof sent to me today and sat at my desk with tears running down my face trying to read it. I am going to make you guys wait though...until it's actually here! They are using this picture that we had taken for his 18 month pictures, courtesy of Angela Watts @ TekoaRose Photography. She does amazing work as you can clearly see!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

State Fair Fun

As usual...we attended the State Fair...and stayed for the entire day (13 hours!)...and loved every minute of it! Here are a few pictures from our fun filled day.

Israel seemed to enjoy the petting zoo...although he never smiled...the lama kept trying to suck on his arm!



The HUGE mammoth ear!


Rachel and Jaxon were both big enough to go on EVERY ride at the fair! Wow...when did they get so big?!


My sweet niece Callie always gives Auntie Becca lots of loves!


Even Uncle Kevin enjoyed the carousel!


Cousins...Israel and Hailey...pretty sure they will be best friends!


Rachel, Jaxon & Callie enjoying rides together.


Jaxon on the canoe ride.


LOVE this action shot of the kids on the swings!

***Eye Candy***

For Israel's 18 month old pictures I stepped out of the box a bit, and instead of doing the normal JC Penny's route I always do...I decided to let Angela with Tekoa Rose Photography do an outdoor shoot for us. IT WAS AMAZING! She did a fantastic job and I haven't even seen all of the pictures yet! She did however send me these teasers that I just had to share with you all!





Friday, October 1, 2010

18 Months Old

Hey Israel...You are 18 months old!
What have you been up to lately?


How can you already be 1 1/2? It really feels like just yesterday you were a tiny baby! In fact...I still call you my baby, and maybe I should start saying my toddler...but it's just to hard!
*You have changed a lot lately, with the biggest change being movement! You roll around everywhere with full intention of where you are going and what you are doing!
*You are busy and FULL of energy!
*You eat everything...finally! You are always willing to try something once, but not always twice.


*You are wearing size 12 & 18 month clothes.
*You now weight 18 pounds (You have lost a pound in the past 10 months...the doctors are worried...but that's a whole other blog post!)
*You are VERY smart! You love figuring things out and doing "task oriented" things.
*You LOVE my iPhone and have figured out how to do a lot on it already!


*You love attention and know how to get it!
*You are a very big flirt and know how to give the perfect look.
*Speaking of looks, you also know how to give a pretty nasty look too!


*You can say some words and phrases and knows a few signs too. But you gabber a lot!
*You have a mouth FULL of teeth! 12 to be exact!
*You are an amazing baby, with such a great personality. You shine! You delight us everyday! You make our hearts smile.

Monday, August 2, 2010

So much to say...so little time!

As I was hoping on here to blog this morning I realized that my last post was over a month ago! Crazy! This summer has been super fun...and super busy! Unfortunately blogging has taken a backseat to all the summer activities and projects I have going on. I figured I should probably write something today...and since Israel is 16 months old now...its probably time for an update.

Hey Israel...YOU'RE 16 MONTHS OLD...What are you up to these days?


*You weight 19 pounds, again, finally!
*You wear size 12-18 month clothes...you seem to be growing a lot lately!
*You have four top teeth and four molars...and those pesky eye teeth are attempting to come in now too, so sorry...I know they bother you a lot!
*You're hair is SO curly and blond...we get compliments on it EVERYWHERE we go!
*You have started moving around by rolling (More details about this in a later post)
*We are trying to switch you from formula to soy milk in hopes that maybe it will help you to want to eat more, you still don't eat much of anything!
*You're most favorite things to eat are Gerber Yogurt Bites, Anything Banana!, Peter Rabbit Organic Fruit Snack Baby Food.
*You LOVE babies...even if they are bigger than you.
*You are the happiest baby ever!
*You SMILE all the time!!!
*Being outside is still one of your favorite places to be.
*You LOVE Books!!! Reading is one of your favorite things to do.
*Now that you are slightly mobile you won't tolerate your exersaucer or jumparoo at all!
*You are wonderful, amazing, brilliant, cute, happy...you are YOU and I wouldn't want it any other way!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Baby Fingers & Baby Toes

I miss them...I want to kiss them...and hold them...and I won't ever get to do that with Israel. Makes me sad I took Rachel & Jaxon's for granted, just always assuming they would be there on any baby I had. If I would have known I would have kissed theirs a lot more. I would have held them longer. I would have taken more pictures of them. I would have bought more shoes. I would have cherished every time I had to clip their nails. I would have played this little piggy every night. I would have held their hand every time they asked...and even when they didn't ask. I would have painted Rachel's nails more. I would have cherished all the hand prints on my windows and walls and not been so quick to wash them off....and never taken them for granted.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

OUR BABY WALK IS HERE!!!

You can only imagine the excitement we all felt as we saw the Baby Walk box arrive! We put it together right away and started using it immediately! Once we got it all figured out...setting and such...it has been great! We have been getting creative in doing fun things while he is in it, such as bubbles, fridge magnets and new toys! He has been doing well in it and tolerating it for about 45 minutes at a time...and even taking a step here and there! I just know now that we have this in our home and get to use it so often that Izzy is going to just take off in no time! We still feel SO blessed by all of the financial gifts that we were blessed with and we think of you all every time we use it. We thank God for you all the time! It's because of the hearts of amazing people that little Izzy will have the ability to become mobile and gain some Independence. We are forever grateful. Here are a few pictures, and even a little video for you you all to see Izzy and the Baby Walk in action :-)
video

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In Transit

Friday was a very exciting day for me...however I have been super busy and am just now getting a chance to post about it! I ORDERED THE BABY WALK!!! HOORAY!!! I was originally going to purchase it through a vendor, of whom was amazing. Simply amazing, sweet, kind, loving people work there and I was blessed to be able to talk on the phone with one of them and share Izzy's story with her. I was blessed to be able to "meet" her. She had all the paperwork going from the beginning to send it off the insurance company and such. But on Thursday someone suggested that I call the manufacturer myself and tell them I am wanting to purchase this with cash and see if they would be willing to give me a discount. So I did. On Friday I called Mulholland and asked them that very question. The receptionist said they really prefer we go through a vendor, however the owner of the company was available and she said I could ask him. (Wow...what are the chances of that?) So I spoke with him and briefly told him what I was wanting to do and without hesitation he said "SURE! You can purchase it from me, and in fact, I will give you my vendor discount!" Holy Moly!!! AMAZING! So as of Monday, the Baby Walk is in transit on it's way to my house!!! Thanks to all of you wonderful people who blessed us with financial gifts and prayers. We are so grateful for each of you!

In addition to that...we have had some more money continue to come in, and with that and the money we saved on the Baby Walk, I am happy to announce that we have raised enough to ALSO PAY OFF ALL OF IZZY'S MEDICAL BILLS!!! Wow...a double blessing! These past few weeks have been amazing and I am blessed beyond measure. I never cease to be amazed at the kindness of people (Some friends...while others are complete strangers) and what God can do.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Still want to help?

I have received some emails asking if there was anything else I might need donations for because they hadn't had a chance to donate yet but wanted to and our goal had already been reached! (You people are AMAZING!) So I got to thinking about how it might be a good idea to have a "Back-Up Plan"...for those unexpected expenses that so easily come up. I called and left a message about the Baby Walk and the exact cost. I haven't heard back yet. The average cost it $2000, however depending on the "extras" it could be more. I haven't heard back yet. Additionally, we are still paying on medical bills from when I was pregnant with him and ALL of the many doctors appointments, ultrasounds, tests, birth, hospital stay etc. What a blessing it would be to pay this off! And thinking about "down the road" when Izzy will need a wheelchair or powerchair or whatever else he needs. So I have set up a new PayPal donation link for "Izzy's Back-Up Plan" If you feel led to donate, we would be so blessed. The money will stay in his account until there is a medical need that comes up. (Don't worry...I won't use it for Starbucks...although the thought of a Starbucks Fund sure sounds nice...lol!)

Thank You again, to everyone who has already donated!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

100%

Did you see it already? The THERMOMETER IS FULL!!! In just 5 days...you amazing people came together and raised $2000 for our precious little boy to receive his Baby Walk! The words Thank You just don't seem to be enough right now! We are blessed...and overwhelmed at the selfless act of giving that you have shown. We pray many returned blessings on each and everyone of you!

(I am going to pick up the phone right now and order the Baby Walk!!! Can you tell I am excited?!?!)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

HALF WAY THERE!

Amazing...yup, that's what it is! In just 4 short days we have raised over 1/2 of our goal for Israel's walker! We are currently at $1152 and counting!!! WOW! You guys are amazing! :-) We truly feel so blessed by each and every one of you who has been able to donate to this wonderful little person we call Izzy :-) I have felt overwhelming emotion as I continue to see the gifts come in...everywhere from $5 to $100...they are all so precious. And to see them come from so many different people...those I know well...those I don't know too well...and those I don't know at all! I have been pondering over this post and what to say. Honestly I don't think I can even put into words all of what we are feeling and I feel slightly embarrassed by this lame post...I really just don't know how to say it! It has just been so amazing to see what is happening. We feel SO BLESSED! Thank you to all of you also who have shared our story with friends and family! I would have never imagined...a year and a half ago when I started this blog...that it would ever touch so many lives. We are blessed by each and every one of you. Thank you for joining us on this journey in our life. I will keep up posted on how the donations are coming. (There is also a donation thermometer on my blog for any of you who want sooner updates.)

And just because of all this goodness...I thought I would share a precious picture of our little Izzy.

Friday, May 28, 2010

DONATION FYI

To anyone who has clicked on my blog through someone's FaceBook page and are trying to donate...let me update you. When you click on it though FaceBook it directs you to my blog through a weird way and doesn't direct you to the paypal donation account correctly. The ip address looks weird. You need to actually go to www.thejourneyofisrael.blogspot.com and then click on donate. Sorry for any confusion!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS DONATED ALREADY! WE ARE SO BLESSED!!!

"Baby Walk"

Today Israel has PT at Shriner's...which isn't anything new. For the past 4 or 5 times they have been putting him in a walker that is called a "Baby Walk" (Also known as a gait trainer).

(I realize he looks less than excited in this picture...funny thing is he was actually VERY happy...I just couldn't catch the smile)

The first time they put him in it he hated it and cried through the whole thing! Each time has gotten a bit better as he gets used to it. And today he was in it for 45 minutes and didn't mind at all! This devise is different than the stander that we have at our house. It still offers him support, but allows his legs to be free and lets him move around. Where as the stander that we have at home only allows him to stand in one position and not move his legs at all, making him be passive in movement. Usually Israel just stands when we put him in the baby walk and plays with toys on a table. But today we were working with him on walking in it. Taking his legs in our hands and moving them along. We would stop and see if he would make any effort to move on his own. And he did...he took his first steps today! It was SO exciting! He initiated and moved his leg on his own to go forward....he has NEVER done anything like this before! He did it about three different times :-) You can imagine how proud I was! In addition to that, he was using his arms to push himself away from the table while he was in the baby walk. It was amazing! He is really starting to understand moving and that it serves a benefit to him! Can you imagine how fast he would improve if he had one of these at home and could use it every day...instead of just twice a month?!?! We filled out paperwork and will submit it to insurance to see if they will approve and pay for it. However, we have been told this can take a very long time and most likely will get denied :-( After our terrible experience with the insurance company when we were trying to get Israel's VERY necessary tongue surgery done, I have very little hope that they will approve a $2000 walker! I can only imagine the excuses they will come up with as to why they won't approve it! Well, God knows our hearts doesn't he? A friend of mine posted this on my FaceBook page today after a status I wrote about asking for prayer for the insurance company to approve the walker "Why fight with the insurance company! Why not let the people of God strap on their sword & get Israel his needed walker. If 200 people give $10 that's 2000 bucks! I'm in! May I be so bold (I've NEVER done anything like this before!) to ask friends to step up & provide for Israel. 10 bucks! That's 2 Vente drinks at Starbucks! C'mon let's overwhelm the Turkington's & bless our little boy with a walker so he doesn't have to wait!" I was blown away that someone was so thoughtful as to even think of and offer this to Israel. This has literally NEVER entered my mind, but after thinking about it more, I think it is an amazing idea. I have since had two other friends write and say they would also donate too! I feel so blessed already! So I am stepping out of my comfort zone and asking, can you help? If you feel led to donate, there is a "button" on the top right side of my blog that you can click on to make a safe secure donation through PayPal. If you would rather send a check, just comment me and I will send you my address. Thank you in advance for your gifts, your love and your prayers!

A bit more about the Baby Walk...for anyone who is interested :-)
(From the website)
Mulholland Positioning Systems
We Offer a Full Line of Gait Trainers, Standers, Seating Systems, and Adaptive Components
Mulholland Positioning Systems provides postural support seating, standing, and walking systems for children and adults with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and other types of motor development disorders.
Our products are designed by an engineer and are continuously being improved upon as a result of information from families, therapists, physicians, and clinicians. Hand-made with high quality materials, Mulhollands have a reputation for lasting years past their intended use. They truly are durable medical equipment.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Izzy Update ~ 14 months

Israel is 14 months now and we are really starting to see his little personality shine though. He has learned how to glare at people...and he does it ALL the time to anyone he doesn't know, or if he is upset! I think it's hysterical! But I tell him he is being rude and needs to be a happy boy :-)

We have movement! It's slow and small...but we have learned to celebrate even the smallest of victories. Israel can now turn himself around in a circle while sitting on the floor. He can also scootch himself backwards while sitting...very slowly but it's something. I think he is finally starting to see the value in movement. In all the times past he hasn't cared at all about moving. Even if he is sitting on the floor with no toys, he never seemed to mind much. He would just hang out. He reminds me SO much of Jaxon. Very laid back and easy going and does things only when necessary :-) Jaxon didn't crawl until he was a year old and didn't walk until he was 17 months old...and he was fully capable if he wanted to! He just simply didn't care. Israel is making small "steps" (no pun intended) toward becoming mobile. He will get there...but not until he is good and ready.

Another bit of news, Israel decided he is a big boy now and has no need for a bottle! This was TOTALLY his own doing. We have never tried to get him off the bottle, and about a week ago he just up and decided that he didn't want a bottle anymore, but a sippy cup instead. Wow...talk about an angel baby! With Rachel and Jaxon we had to take the bottle away and suffer a few cranky days for it! But not Izzy :-) He likes sippy cups with no valves (stoppers) or straws. It's pretty cute to see him growing and changing so much lately. Seems like it's happening all to fast though!

And...more teeth! He now has 3 teeth really in, 1 that just broke through, and 2 more that are super swollen! I remember this happened with the other two kids too...it seemed like all of the sudden they went from being toothless to getting them in all at once! Poor guy though has been a bit crabby from it though. Although I can't blame him...it has to hurt!

Well, there's just a little update on Izzy. I decided not to do the monthly updates anymore since he is one now...but it just seemed like he has been changing so much that I had to make another post to share it all.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mother's Day

May seems to be a very busy time of year for us, filled with birthday parties (Lots of them!), baby showers, end of the year parties, wraping up school etc. So once again, I am behind on posting some new blogs. I realize Mother's Day was a few weeks ago, but I couldn't not post about it.

My husband has always done an amazing job at making me feel so special on Mother's Day, and this year was no different. The day started out with me sleeping in, which is always the best way to start my day! Followed by a homemade gormet breakfast. The table was set with my mother's day gifts and two boquests of flowers from my children. We went to church, then off the the beach. The weather was decent, for the Oregon coast. Loved watching the kids play in the water and the sand. Went to MO's for dinner...so yummy! I had an amazing day, and was reminded of just what a blessing it is to be able to celebrate Mother's Day.

The reason I get to celebrate Mother's Day

Blessing #1

Blessing #2

Blessing #3

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

*Motivated Moms*

Let me tell you a few things about myself.

I’m a person who loves lists.
And I love how-to books.
And bullets.
And boxes to check off.
And things to strike through.
I’m the type of person who will add something I've already done to my to-do list, just to be able to cross it off.
I like the idea of FlyLady, but…It’s just too cumbersome.

So I want to share something with you, in case you’re the same way.
Motivated Moms has a printable chore list… it details a few chores to do every day of the year, and cycles through things like changing towels, cleaning the lights in your bathroom, cleaning the crumb tray of your toaster, and all sorts of things that are easy to let slide if you’re not thinking about them. Just what I need! Because each day you check your list...do your few designated chores...then RELAX! No need to feel the continual pull to do more! I love it!!! I feel like when I can keep up with everything on the list, I’ll feel like the house is “together” and in maintenance mode.

I found this site because a dear fellow homeschooling Mommy friend told me about it and knew I would love it! I’ll tell you that I immediately spent the $8 to buy the PDF download and it's one of the best things I have done for myself in a while. And I’m VERY excited about using it this year and seeing the change it makes in me and in my house. I bought the full-sized planner with Bible reading for each day. The site has several sample PDFs so you can see what you’re getting into before you pay, which I totally love because I am a very visual person! Anyway, just thought I would pass this gem along to anyone who loves this idea as much as I do :-)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Easter

So maybe I'm a few weeks behind on this post...but who's counting?!?!

Easter was hard for Israel this year because he was still really trying to recover. He wasn't interested in much when it came to festivities. He watched Rachel and Jaxon color eggs for all of two minutes. He didn't hunt for eggs, but Rachel helped him find his basket. He had bubbles in it, which are his new favorite thing! We went to church...of which he slept through the whole thing. Then headed over to Jon's parents house...of which he slept most of this time too. Rachel and Jaxon, LOVED Easter! They enjoyed coloring eggs, hunting for eggs, opening their baskets, going to church and doing the big egg hunt there, and of course they loved going to Nana and Papa's house! I couldn't get much in terms of pictures, but here are a few of the best ones I got.






Monday, April 26, 2010

Recovery

Ok, so this post is coming a bit late...and for that I apologize. It feels like life has been going 100 mph!!! I think of great blog topics and compose them in my head...but actually getting/taking the time to sit down and write has been hard lately. But tonight, my husband is gone, the kids are in bed, all of my chores have been done...so I think its time for a bit of blogging :-)

Israel is doing AMAZING! Praise God! The first week was hell! The second week was ok. The third week was getting back to normal. And the fourth week was awesome! YEAH! We have our baby boy back! His tongue is completely healed and he is eating and drinking wonderfully! It has been so much fun to introduce him to new foods. So far there isn't anything he doesn't like. This week he tried bananas, strawberries, corn, green beans and pasta. I love to watch his face as he tried something new. It's usually quite a perplexed look as he decided what he thinks of it. Too cute! In addition to that, he is making all sorts of new sounds and noises as he discovers all that his tongue can do. We are so very grateful for wonderful doctors and modern technology! It has changed this little boys life forever!

(Eating a Gerber Fruit Twist...he loves these and can feed them to himself!)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nubbins

In addition to having Israel's tongue surgery we had something else done as well, very last minute. On the end of each limb he has what we refer to as "nubbins". Basically they would have eventually turned into fingers and toes, had he developed properly in the womb. However because something stopped his growth they stopped too. They are pointless and useless. They have no bones in them and serve no purpose or function.

(Here is an example of his left arm)

I have always worried about them getting caught on something and ripping. I have also worried that they would eventually get in his way and could possibly cause pain with his prosthesis. So, we asked our plastic surgeon if she would mind just removing all of them while she was at it and he was under aways. She was wonderful and agreed. We had them removed off of all four limbs. His right side ones were smaller and the left side ones were quite a bit bigger. He had to get stitches in them, and even a soft cast on his right arm, because he sucks on it and the stitches would have dissolved to quickly. Israel is recovering well from them and doesn't seem to mind the change. He is using his arms and legs just the same. I am so glad we decided to get this done...just one less thing to think about along this journey :-)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Frenulum...Mandible...What?

I have been getting many questions about Israel's tongue surgery and what exactly was wrong with it, and/or what the big deal was with it. Many people say "Oh I know so and so and they are tongue tied and it's no big deal, or I know so and so who had the surgery and it's pretty easy. Now I know that these people say things like this out of a way of trying to connect and show sympathy, not to try and sound rude, as it often comes across. So here's the long and short of Izzy's tongue stuff. He was born tongue tied. Meaning that his frenulum (that thing under your tongue that hold it to the bottom of your mouth) was connected to the end of his tongue, instead of about half way back like the rest of us. This in and of itself really isn't a huge deal. Many people can live like this with no problems and other opt for a short out patient surgery to quickly clip it. But Izzy's was a bit different. So different in fact that many people at Doernbecher's looked at it and all said they had never seen anything like it, even a pediatric ENT who has been in his field for 34 years! So Israel was quite a different case. Israel's tongue wasn't only connected to the bottom of his mouth, it was connected up through the tip of his tongue and to the back of his lip causing his mandible (gums, where your teeth grow in) to split into two. Here's a pictures so you can get an idea of what I am talking about.


This is a major problem because it doesn't allow Israel to eat anything solid, unless it is mashed, like baby food. His tongue had no mobility so as soon as something entered his mouth he could not control it and he would eventually choke and most of the time throw up! In addition, this would cause other major problems in the future with speech and teeth growth. So it wasn't something that could just be left alone, like many of the other cases of people who are tongue tied. We have been seeing our surgeon since Israel was two months old, and she is amazing! She felt that this needed to be done at around age one for the best recovery and retraining process of the tongue and eating and such. As mentioned in my earlier post, we had the surgery on Friday and it was a huge success. She said it was quite difficult because of the way in which it was attached to the gums, but she feels good about it. Most likely he will have another surgery similar to this when he is two years old to completely free his tongue. She could only go about half way as far as it needs to be because she only had so much tissue to reconstruct the tongue with. But she feels like this is a very good start for him and will allow him to begin eating solids. Our other hope is that as his mouth continues to grow that his mandible will grow back together and teeth will be able to grow in properly. Prayers for this would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Surgery Details

*The detailed blog post about Izzy's surgery for all of you who enjoy all the fine print as much as I do*

Thursday afternoon (3/25) we went to Shriner's for our pre-surgery appointment. We filled out all of the necessary paperwork, got all of his stats (weight, height, etc.) and talked with the nurse about basic surgery info. We were then supposed to meet with our surgeon and the anesthesiologist to discuss the details of Israel's surgery. Well, we then found out that our surgeon wasn't going to be in that day to meet with us, but would meet with us in the morning before his surgery. However we needed to wait and talk with the anesthesiologist still. He was currently in a surgery so they said it would be a little while...well after 2 more hours of waiting (We had already been there an hour) I went and checked in on things, they called up to the anesthesiologist and he said he would be at least another hour! We had all three kiddos with us and it was nearing dinner time and Izzy was WAY over due for a nap...so we left. They said we could just talk with him in the morning. Sure wish we could have had this option earlier! Oh well!

We drove to my sisters house (about 30 minutes from Shriner's) and stayed the night. We left Rachel and Jaxon there for a few days (My sister and her husband are amazing! And my kids just love them!). Israel was only allowed to have food until midnight, but could have clear liquids until 5:00am. He drank a bottle at 8:00pm, just before bed. I tried waking him up in the night to get him to drink another one and he wanted NOTHING to do with it. To bad he didn't understand why I would want him to do this. He slept the rest of the night, peacefully.

We woke up early on Friday (3/26)and got Izzy up too. My thought was, just stick him in the car in his PJ's as soon as it's time to go and he can sleep on the way over. And did he sleep? NOPE! He was wide awake talking and as happy as can be...at 6:00am! Well we arrived at Shriner's at 6:30am. We got checked into Israel's room, did the basic stuff and then we waited. Amazingly since Shriner's is a children's hospital they were very accommodating. When we got into Izzy's room his bed was covered with a soft fleece handmade blanket (You know, instead of the boring white blankets). They also had a handmade pillow case for him draped over the edge of the bed. In addition, they had a mobile attached to his crib, which he really liked. And lastly, they had a brand new toy in the box for Israel that he LOVED! You know...it's the little things like this that make the difference in your experience.

Israel's surgery was scheduled for 8:00am. However they were running behind. At 8:15 they came in our room and gave Israel some "Goofy Juice" as they call it. It basically gives him temporary amnesia and totally relaxes him so he isn't afraid and doesn't fight them. He drank it up and right away it started taking effect. It was quite funny actually :-) Around 8:45 they took us down to the "holding room" where we waited to send him back to surgery. The people down there we so nice and sweet. They pulled out 4 stuffed bears and let Israel pick one out to take to surgery with him. He picked the brown one, and preceded to chew on it's ear...cute! At 9:00 they took him from our arms and back into the operating room. I was sad to see him go, but I tell you what, the power of God is so amazing and I could literally feel all of the prayers being said for Israel and us and I was surprisingly calm and relaxed.


We left our cell phone number with the surgery desk gal and she called us along the way with any details so we didn't have to just sit and wait. Jon and I walked over to OHSU and got some breakfast. During breakfast we got a call that surgery had just started at 9:30 and everything was going well. After that we walked over to Doernbecher's and got ourselves a Starbucks coffee. We got another call at 10:30 that Israel was done in surgery and was heading to the recovery room! At 10:45 we got our last call that he was ready for us! We got in and held him right away. He had a very hard time coming off the anesthesia and other drugs. He was very upset and confused. Although we found he enjoyed being help closely and being sang to. We had planned to stay the night, but Israel was doing SO well our doctor sent us home at 2:30 the afternoon!!! God is SO good!



We are home now and enjoying being here instead of the hospital. Israel is doing as good as can be expected. He is still cranky and obviously in pain, but we are keeping his meds going on a regular basis and that really seems to help. More updates to come later on as time allows :-) This post took me a whole day to finish as I only seem to have a few moments at a time. Thank you again for all of your continued prayers. We cherish them!