Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 14, 2013

Yesterday Isaiah and I went on our monthly date-without-Evan-to-the-temple night to the Oakland temple. I'm used to bigger temples but this one was really, really big. There were at least 3 sections in just the dressing room and I had to ask for directions to get out of there. As big as the temple is, it was pretty empty inside and allowed for a quiet, intimate time inside. The temple is wonderful.

I love how when you turn off the freeway the temple is just right there in front of you. With all the lights it was even more spectacular. I love the view of the city from the temple and how you can see the Bay Bridge and over to San Francisco. I love how you can walk around the top of the temple. I love the carvings on the temple walls. This is the temple Isaiah grew up attending (since the Sacramento temple is pretty new) and he said he'll probably always think of it as his "home temple." The Timpanogos temple will always be "my" temple, but for California I think I'd prefer claiming Oakland as well--though don't get me wrong--the Sacramento temple is awesome in its own way too.

This morning we went to the Woodland Christmas Parade. I love parades. I love small town parades. We bundled Evan up in fleece pajamas with a blanket and had great seats right next to the announcers. Evan even scored us some candy...and crashed on the way home.

This evening was our ward Christmas party--a ham dinner with funeral potatoes, rolls, salad, and desserts. Oh, and SANTA of course! I'll let the video tell the story.

We're feeling pretty holly jolly, finishing up Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, delivering Christmas goodies, watching Christmas movies, drinking hot chocolate...there's just 10 days til' Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cast Update

The first night Evan had his casts he slept very well and even slept in the next morning. Clinic days are exhausting for the little guy so he was probably trying to recover from all the excitement. The following 4 nights? Terrible. Horrible. No good. Very bad. We tried Motrin, massage, keeping him up, singing, holding him, rocking him, feeding him... For two nights I even slept on the floor in his room--with him on top of me for part of the night--just to avoid the constant walks back and forth when he woke up crying every half hour.

I was surprised he slept so poorly because he was so good during the daytime. He learned how to crawl well and even get up on his knees without bending one of his knees. Kids are so resilient and tough!

I took his right cast off early yesterday because I noticed his foot had shifted position and I instantly became concerned. Sure enough he has pressure sores on his heel and ankle that are probably the explanation for his poor sleeping. I feel terrible and a little bit like these 5 days were a waste of time. If his foot wasn't in the right position then the casts weren't even doing their job. I wish I had noticed that sooner.

I'm sure there's some lessons we can learn from this painful experience--patience, sacrifice, etc. But I feel a bit upset at the doctors for suggesting casting so aggressively and for wrapping the cast so poorly. I feel badly for not getting a second opinion or doing more research before jumping into this. I don't think these 5 days helped straighten Evan's feet. Right now he's tighter than ever on his right foot and keeps his leg tucked up to protect it from pain. At least I know more now and at least we're done and moving on. It could've been worse. The biggest bummer is that he'll have to wait for his foot to heal before he can wear his new Nike high tops that are the cutest things I've ever seen in my life.

By the way, we had to go to several outlet stores before finding a pair of ankle-supportive shoes in a small enough size for Evan's very short but very chubby feet (size 3). Most stores don't carry shoes smaller than size 5, and those that do, like Stride Rite or Carter's, only have little booties or cute little flats. We were about ready to get some cute little girl boots so Evan should be thankful Nike carries his size. I was also just introduced to this site that has some more options for us in the future.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Thanksgiving this year was the smallest one I've ever had. There were 6 people including Evan. No, not 6 families. Not 6 couples. Just 6 people. Isaiah's parents, brother, and then us three. It was also the warmest Thanksgiving ever. The leaves have finally changed color and occasionally I'm cold in the morning so I can finally tell it's fall, but it certainly doesn't feel like Thanksgiving or Christmas to me. I'm not holding my breath for snow. It's probably just not gonna happen. I'm having to do lots of Christmas-y things to help me feel a part of the holidays this year.

This weekend was the city creche festival. We went by the church last night to look at all of the nativity scenes that were set out. They have one room with a large manger scene for children (or adults, I guess) to dress up and be part of the nativity. Evan loves Baby Jesus. We've taught him a new trick where we ask, "Where's Jesus?" and he looks up at the picture on the wall in our family room. I think it was a little confusing to him to see so many Jesus' all around the church but I think he liked it.

On the day after Thanksgiving I invited over two of Dave's sisters and their families for a dessert party (leftover pie, of course). His cousins loved Evan. Can't blame 'em. I mean, just look at that face!

Here's a few more random pics of my little stud muffin.
For some reason Evan loves this picture of his Great-grandpa Mel. He always crawls over to it and points to Great-grandpa's face.

Following Dada's footsteps


Snowboarding sure is tough on babies...

But Evan is tough. He can handle it.

So actually we went to spina bifida clinic at UCSF yesterday. Evan's renal ultrasound showed beautiful, "normal" kidneys and his head ultrasound showed small ventricles. Both of those bits of news are excellent for kiddos with spina bifida. They made his visits with urology and neurosurgery basically uneventful--which, in Evan's world--is good. We also passed the visits with the social worker and dietitian without much ado. After a 2 hour drive and 3 hours of doctor visits, Evan was understandably fatigued. Nearing 5:00, in walks the physical therapist. (Cue boo's) I was initially pretty excited to meet with her and the orthopedist. I planned on telling them Evan's pt's recommendation for starting bracing so he can have more support in his ankles for standing. It was supposed to be exciting. Then the clinic's pt starts looking at his feet and saying they won't work in braces. They turn in too much (Remember Evan was born with clubbed feet and we've never done anything about it?). His feet need to be casted. I argued that they can go into "normal" positioning so he doesn't need to be casted. We discussed it back and forth. She left to find the physiatrist and came back saying, "They can do it right now. Are you ready?" I was still unsure and in denial and had a million questions running through my mind--

Can he go home in a normal car seat?
Do we have to come back every week and get them re-casted?
Can I call my husband?
Are you sure he needs casting?
Can I get a second opinion?

I decided I could at least talk to the orthopedic team and see what they have to say. I took Evan into their room and they had me lay him on a table. They started stretching his legs and opening the gauze packages. I tried to stall them but it all happened so quickly after that. 

Yes, he needs casting, but these are soft casts. 
You can take them off in 5 days. 
It's just a jump-start on re-positioning his feet and to hopefully avoid hard serial casting. 
Let us know if you have any questions. 

Blah blah blah...all the while Evan is SCREAMING on the table under my restraint and I'm thinking, "What just happened?" 

The only comfort through the whole ordeal was afterward when they told me, "He's going to be a walker. That's why we're so aggressive with straightening his feet right away. He's going to be a walker"

Anyway, the poor boy knocked out for the car ride home and didn't really discover his casts until the next morning. He can bend one knee which helps with crawling; he just drags the other leg behind. He gets frustrated that he can't get up on his knees on the couch or the table because his knees won't bend. I think he also gets more easily tired while crawling. But he's really been a trooper and I keep telling myself, "It's only 5 days." We've been practicing standing a lot. He tolerates it for a minute or so and then gets a little cranky. 

We spoil him with treats and lounge chairs and lots of snuggles. He also likes to go into his little cardboard house with his blankie and pillow and puppy and lots of books. I'm sure hoping that 5 days does the trick and we'll have some better standing in no time!