Monday, July 22, 2013

It's a Boy!

Okay, so we're a little disappointed the royal baby is a boy as Evan was hoping for a princess who could become his future Mrs. Hudson. I guess I'll just have to have a baby girl who I can raise up as a princess of my own. I've thought it would be cool (mostly for purposes of awareness) if the royal baby had spina bifida or some other special needs condition. It made me start thinking about famous people with spina bifida, or even celebrities who have children with spina bifida. I really haven't heard of that much. Today I researched it a little bit and found very few examples.

For me, the only interesting famous person I found with spina bifida is Roald Dahl. Frustrated by his long-time struggle with hydrocephalus, Dahl worked with medical experts to develop the Wade-Dahl-Till (WDT) valve to alleviate the condition. With the improvements in shunts this valve has become obsolete, but it's pretty cool to me that he was influential in this.

There are only a small handful of celebrities who have children with disabilities (at least from what I can find). I wonder why this is. Maybe because celebrities have fewer children? Maybe because these children are aborted? I think it'd be great to have a method of bringing widespread awareness of spina bifida--or any special needs condition--to the public such as having a celebrity who can advocate for their child and the condition.

Today I got a tour of a nearby city where there are actually grocery and shopping stores. It's only half an hour to anything you want--but it's also half an hour to anything you want. We better start saving up our pennies for some gas! We'll also have to learn the tricks of making shopping lists so we don't have to "go into town" too frequently each week.

Maya, helpful as ever
Cousins shopping at Costco

Sunday, July 21, 2013

California Day 1

We sold/gave away all our furniture except my piano. We packed up all our possessions except those that needed to be purged. We had several people help us pack up the moving truck Thursday evening. We took off Friday morning. Evan was a rock star road trip companion with a total of about 15 minutes of sadness for the entire car ride. The car worked well except, as all good road trip stories start, there was an interesting grinding sound from Isaiah's car just 20 minutes into the trip. (Fortunately the resulting impromptu brake-repair stop only took an hour and a half and Evan enjoyed the McDonald's play place in the meantime.) We stayed at a hotel suite in Lovelock, Nevada. Evan fell asleep on a camping mat on the floor at 6 and slept until 6 the next morning. (Best. Baby. Ever.) We arrived in Esparto, CA around noon on Saturday morning. The local missionaries helped move the piano in.

We'll keep most of our things in the garage and only unpack the boxes we'll need in the near future. The unpacking still has a long way to go. I found my way to church by myself this morning since Isaiah and Grandma Hudson went early for choir practice. Isaiah starts work tomorrow. I'll be working remotely now with totally flexible hours. We're trying not to be a nuisance here. Maya loves Evan. Evan thinks Maya is pretty cool, too. I love telling Maya what to do like, "Get me Evan's toy," or "Give Evan his bottle." I like to think I'm helping out by entertaining her in this way.

In case you're dying to know, Esparto has a population of about 3,500 people. The roads are named Road 20, Road 23A, etc... Don't be deceived--they're not necessarily in numerical order like the streets in Utah. They're just random and empty and long and surrounded by fields on both sides and the speed is "enforced by aircraft". In other words, it's not enforced. But we're not altogether away from the "real world". I can still check the internet regularly for any word of Princess Kate's baby. Evan hopes it's a girl.

Waiting at McDonald's for the car to get repaired.
So close to independent sitting

Friday, July 5, 2013


I just got a call from an RN with our insurance company (which is not even our insurance company anymore...more on that later). She was calling to let me know about the service they offer to answer any questions I might have. Right away I could tell she knew nothing about my child.
" he doing ok? I see he was born a little premature."
I'm thinking, "Yeah...prematurity was the least of our concerns but thanks for asking."
Well it finally came up that Evan has spina bifida and she seriously asked me...get ready for this...

"Is he taking any medication for that or how are you treating it?"


Is she seriously a registered nurse who thinks spina bifida can be treated?! Let alone treated with medication?!

Now I think I am fairly understanding of ignorant people--let's face it, I was totally ignorant before I found out about Evan--but a registered nurse who thinks she can answer my questions when she thinks spina bifida can treated with medicine? If only nerve damage and extra fluid in the brain was that easy to fix. Thank you Miss Nurse, but I won't be needing your services.

End rant.

Now, why are we switching insurance companies? Because we're switching jobs. Why are we switching jobs? Because Isaiah found one that is a good opportunity for our family. Where? California.

We're moving on July 19th.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Vacation and Updates

Last week we took our first family vacation to visit the Hudsons in Northern California. The airport and plane ride were surprisingly manageable since we didn't have to take a stroller or car seat. (Maya had spare ones that she let Evan borrow.) We enjoyed a little bit of sunshine, a little bit of rain, a little bit of pool time, and a little bit of Target. We even managed to get the ENTIRE family playing a game together. Success. The only tragedy was I didn't use my camera at all so these are all iPhone pictures.

2nd plane ride ever 
After-pool robe and corn on the cob with Daddy 
Maya's tour of one of her favorite places on Earth
Family Game Night (no TV for a change!)
One highlight of the trip was watching Hudson family videos from Isaiah's 9th birthday. It was pretty much the worst birthday ever. I don't suggest asking Isaiah about it.

Another treat was going with Isaiah, Sarah, and Papa Hudson to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom while Grandma Hudson and Maya took care of Evan. It's like a zoo and an amusement park mixed into one venue. It was nice to hit a few rides rides and then watch dolphin, tiger, and elephant shows while waiting for our stomachs to catch up with us. Then we hit some more rides. The roller coasters were bigger than I expected and I loved them. It also helped that it was sprinkling all day so there weren't many people at the park and the lines were excellent! I think I'd vote Superman as my favorite ride since it was so unexpected and unique. Isaiah loved the wooden roller coaster. Evan loved scarfing down an entire jar of sweet potatoes while we were gone. Lest his pictures deceive you, he continues to be an excellent eater.

While driving to the Oakland airport on our way home I stared across the bay towards San Francisco for a long time. I was glad there were two massive bridges distancing me from there. I almost feel scared to go there, like I would get stuck there for a long time again or something. I don't really know how I feel about that place. It was such a terrible time brought on by us having such high hopes for our son's future. It also resulted in such a good thing--our baby. A year ago when we were preparing for fetal surgery, who'd have thought we'd be in such a great place, developmentally, with Evan right now?

At 8 1/2ish months, Evan can get up on his hands and knees. He can sit, unassisted, for a few seconds at a time. He rolls from back to side and apparently also from tummy to back while in his crib (though I've never seen it--I've just found him on his back in the middle of the night). He can hold a spoon to feed himself. He can grab things that are held up in front of him but not quite if they are on the ground in front of him. He is very expressive, with smiles when he's feeling flirty and high-pitched squeals when he doesn't get what he wants quickly enough. He hits the high chair table with his hands in between spoonfuls to let me know he wants more. He kicks his legs behind him while laying on his tummy. He doesn't cry anymore when we sneeze or blow our noses or slide our chairs on the ground. He has 5 teeth that have come in a very random order. He's still missing one of the top middle teeth. I guess it's a hole for his thumb which he's learned to suck. He talks a lot, most saying "Dada."