A Little Something Extra

Monday, November 21, 2011

And the winners are...

Thank you to everyone who has donated to Ashlyn's adoption account so far.  Her grant is up to $875 (with $830 of that coming in since Nov. 1 when the Angel Tree program started).

The winners of the Shutterfly giveaway are:
Nichole M
Catherine H
Kirsten S

Look for your code in your mailbox, ladies.  And I'd love to see your Christmas cards!

Quick update on Micah:
He's two weeks post-op for his T/A surgery.  He's had some decent days.  He's eating basically what he was eating before surgery (not much... about 4oz baby food at each meal).  He was drinking a few sips of water last week, but he has no interest in doing so anymore.  He doesn't seem to be in pain, but he also won't swallow his saliva and that seems to be getting worse (ew!).  He's also very gaggy when he's lying down.  He might be sick.  Is it possible that he's aspirating saliva at night?  I'm still waiting for the sleep to improve...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Will you help rescue Ashlyn? - Giveaway!

(Please read the whole post, but just as a teaser, there's a giveaway at the bottom!)
It's that time of year.  The time when you consider Christmas gifts for others.  The time when you decide how much to give to all of the non-profits who send you requests for donations at the end of the year.

So, here's an opportunity to do both!  Maybe you have teachers and therapists who work with your kids and you want to honor them with a gift.  Maybe you have a relative who "has everything," thereby making gift-buying difficult.  Maybe you've done what our family has done and made a conscious choice not to load up cousins with more toys than they could possibly use and instead make a donation to a non-profit in that family's name.

Most of my readers have heard of Reece's Rainbow.  They advocate for children with disabilities in orphanages and institutions around the world and help raise money for their adoptions.  This year I am Ashlyn's Christmas Warrior.

Isn't she beautiful?  She turns two years old this month.  At her last evaluation, she was walking (meaning, she was walking before age two).  She has Down syndrome and a few health issues (see here for more information).  Do you see that bow on top of her head?  Rumor has it that orphanage workers put the biggest bows on the girls who are the orphanage favorites.  I'm not sure how they got that on her head... she doesn't have much hair. :-)  The one paragraph written about her talks about her loving to sing.  How sweet is that?!  This little girl doesn't have a mommy to sing her a bedtime song.  But she still sings.  Can you imagine how much more she'll sing when she has a family?

Now for the giveaway!  I have three codes for Shutterfly, all good for 25 FREE CARDS.  You will get an entry into the drawing for every $5 you donate to Ashlyn's ChipIn here on my blog.  If you donate $35, you will get 10 entries AND... a Christmas ornament with Ashlyn's photo on a mirror on one side and the Reece's Rainbow Christmas Tree logo on the other side (for the $35 donation, $30 goes to Ashlyn's account and the other $5 goes to the Reece's Rainbow general fund).
I realize that $35 is more than most people spend on a gift for a therapist or teacher.  Last year, I made one big donation and created my own cards for teachers and therapists using the RR logo and Ashlyn's photo.
  Here's the chip-in:
You must use the ChipIn to be entered into the giveaway (if you donate directly through the RR website, I won't know about your entry).
(if you are reading this blog post in your email, you'll need to go to my blog to see the ChipIn, I think)

Deadline for entry into the giveaway is one week from today (so that the winners have time to use their 25 free cards as Christmas cards, if they choose).
So, enter by 10:00pm CENTRAL time on Monday, November 21st, if you wish to be entered in the giveaway.

More important than my giveaway is that Ashlyn's family finds her soon.  Are you her mommy? or daddy? or sister? or brother? (if the latter two, let me know if you need me to work on convincing your parents that having a child with Down syndrome is one of the BEST things that could ever happen to your family) :-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Our Christmas card

Here it is!  The Christmas card is finished! (yes, this must be some sort of miracle)
Faith Hope Family Religious Christmas Card
Custom Christmas cards are always available at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Micah's T/A surgery

Micah had his tonsils and adenoids removed on Tuesday.  Here's a video of him before surgery:
(if you're reading this blog post from your email, you'll need to click on the first line of this email to actually go to the blog)

He thought "purple pants" sounded funny, so he kept saying it over and over while we were in pre-op.  Nurses were stopping by his room just to hear his laughter.  This kid has quite the following, even when people don't know him!

His surgery went well.  His ENT doc came out to talk with us afterwards: "His tonsils were quite inflamed.  He's probably been dealing with chronic sore throats for a while now."  How encouraging.  His tonsils have been 80% obstructing for almost 2 years now and it's taken way too long for ENT to agree that they needed to come out.
I stayed with Micah in the hospital for monitoring overnight.  That was not fun.  We were in "short stay," so it wasn't on a floor and the rooms do not have comfortable sleeping arrangements.  We checked out at about 10:00am.  He had a decent day yesterday and slept like a champ last night (with much credit going to the codeine, I think).  He's doing great, though.  He's eating basically what he was eating before (stage 1 and 2 baby foods... not quite as much, but still doing well), except we're avoiding yogurt and smoothies for a few days.  We're praying that having those ENORMOUS tonsils out will give him a better ability to swallow and give him more confidence to try new foods and drink consistently.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tonsils and adenoids this morning

Little man LOVES the iPad.

Please pardon my lack of updates lately.  Micah has not slept well in weeks.  Okay, he's NEVER slept well, but this has been an exceptionally bad month.  First, a virus that caused an ear infection.  The day after the end of a 10-day course of augmentin, he got goopy eyes again, so he went on another 10 days of augmentin.  On day 8 of that, we were at the pediatrician for a Nathan issue.  She recommended we take Micah to ENT because she thought that sinus infection had probably migrated to his adenoids, and that infection wouldn't be fixed with an antibiotic.

So, five days later, we had an ENT appt.  He took one look at Micah's tonsils and told us it was time to take them out.  He didn't even scope his adenoids.  It has been almost two years that we have been trying to convince ENT that he needed his tonsils removed (they've been 80% obstructing for 2 years, but now they meet in the middle).

We are hoping for two major improvements after he recovers from this surgery: 1) Better sleep and 2) Better ability to eat.

I videotaped Micah laughing tonight.  I'm convinced that his adorable little hoarse giggle will change without the monster tonsils being in there.  When I have a bit of time, maybe I'll be able to edit that video and put it on YouTube.  I'll keep you posted.  Please be praying for our little man.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shutterfly Christmas cards

Hi, folks.  I know I owe you an update.  But as behind as I am with everything else in my life, I'd like to get my Christmas cards ordered.  And I have a deal from Shutterfly if I blog about their cards (which I have ordered for the past few years and I have really enjoyed my experiences with them).

So, without further ado... my analysis of Shutterfly's 2011 Christmas cards.

There are WAYYY too many choices this year.  I've decided to go with a card that has one large photo and three small photos on the front.  Even with that as the criteria, I have only narrowed it down to 14 choices of flat (not folded) 5x7's (though I'm still not convinced that I'm going flat... folded is still an option).  A less expensive option would be to go with the photo cards, rather than the stationery cards (though there's no printing on the back).

I haven't actually created a card yet.  One of the things I haven't like about Shutterfly cards in the past is that the space for text on the back side is too small and inflexible.  But... the back side this year is VERY customizable.  You can choose whether you want to include lots of extra photos or add a lot of text.  I really like the choices.  Keep in mind, you don't have to do ANYTHING on the back, but it doesn't cost extra.  So if you've pondered a Christmas letter this year, but you don't feel like writing an entire 8.5x11 page of updates, this is a great option to include some highlights.

(I was given some free cards from Shutterfly for writing about their cards, but the opinions expressed here are my own, without influence)

I'd like to add that there's no way I can top last year's card, so I'm not even going to try.

Stay tuned for a giveaway of three Shutterfly codes, each worth 25 free Shutterfly cards. :-)