Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

The boys had a Halloween night full of excitement this year. Carson dressed up as Optimus Prime the leader of the Autobots in the Transformers (can you tell I'm the mom of a 5 year old boy?) and Eli as Mickey Mouse the Witch/Skeleton. Carson knew he wanted to be a Transformer for months but Eli was a bit shy about Halloween in general this year. He watched a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD where Minnie Mouse dressed up as a witch and fell in love with the character. We tried and tried to convince him that it was not okay to be Minnie Mouse the witch for Halloween but he had decided. Finally about two weeks before trick-or-treat, Eli decided it would be okay if he was Mickey Mouse the witch instead of Minnie.

Thank God.

So, we glued Mickey ears on to a witch hat and Eli said he wanted to wear this skeleton outfit for the body. Too bad it was my mother's dog's costume!! LOL....we let him wear it anyway and he had a blast.

Carson absolutely embraced his character and truly was Optimus Prime the entire day. He certainly is five and all boy! Although I wouldn't pick red and blue spandex as an everyday attire choice. His skinny little butt and long legs made him look more like a patriotic Popsicle than a lean, mean Transformer. It was a size 8 costume though :)

My parents took them around the neighborhood to gather up all the goodies they could fit inside their pumpkins before heading home to bounce off the walls a few hours past bedtime. I had to work until 8 and Al had clinical until 11pm so we both missed our little candy goblins. Thank goodness both Eli and Carson never stop talking and told us over and over again about their "totally awesome" night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Three whole days off!

The past three days have been busy, relaxing, rewarding, and exhausting all at the same time. I finally had a few days off in a row to spend with my family and it was amazing. We baked cookies for Halloween together tonight and then had a hot chocolate and sugar cookie party in bed. Carson and Elias thought it was the best thing since Christmas morning. We were able to enjoy time together with extended family including aunts, grandparents, and great-grandparents. We've had fires in the brisk fall evenings and early morning dates to Starbucks for coffee and carmel apple spice.
Fall is my favorite season and this week the weather finally decided to change just in time for me to celebrate with Al, Carson, and Elias. Cool mornings below 30 and brisk blue skies in the afternoons against the leaves can't be beat. Tomorrow it's time to head back to work for another four day stretch but I've missed the babies and families there too. 5:00am is going to certainly come e-a-r-l-y though!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Family Pictures

We had extended family pictures taken at a local park this evening by one of my sister's co-workers. She did an excellent job for an amateur photographer getting her start. There were three dogs, two kids, and three sets of adults. Talk about a bunch to handle in a park after 6pm! We were bad and forgot to bring Macy for the pictures so Petey, Ralph, and Baby (my parents and sisters dogs) are all in the shots but our beloved woof is not. Don't worry, my mother let me have it for forgetting too! Here are a couple of shots from our modeling shoot (click to see an enlarged view). Enjoy the footage. I think they turned out pretty cute myself.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Adaptive Physical Medicine

Elias had his appt for adaptive phys med the last week of September. Dr. Batley was wonderful and the 2 hours we were there being assessed and evaluated were very well spent. Elias was weighed and measured in almost every since angle imaginable. His growth is awesome although he is still quite skinny for his height (about 3rd percentile in the weight-for-length category). He is 40.5" tall and 32 lbs. Such a long, long way from the micropreemie of years past. They tested his reflexes, walking, running, sitting, standing, etc. Elias thought most of the appt was playtime and couldn't believe that he was actually able to take his shoes off and RUN in a doctor's office WITHOUT shoes on!! The only portion of his assessment that involved a few moans and groans was the stretching and tone checking.

Overall things look fairly good. Dr. Batley found many soft signs of cerebral palsy. Elias has clonus more in his left leg than his right. His left leg is also tighter than his right and tends to drag when he gets really tired. His tone is hypertonic throughout with hypotonia in his trunk. Although his ankles are loose, Elias tends to toe walk about 80% of the time and that is a large red flag for them. Dr. Batley finally was able to tell us why Eli fall randomly and unexpected throughout the day as well. His IT Bands in his legs are tight. These are extremely hard to stretch but we have been trained to do it properly and need to stretch him 3 times a day for the next 4 months. When the IT band is tight is causes the leg to give out suddenly when it is tired (which Eli's legs get tired as the day goes on). This explains why our little splats so much and then bounces right back up again.

We are not going to get AFOs or DFOs (ankle or leg braces) at this time. Dr. Batley said that for braces to be beneficial for Elias we would have to brace all the way up to his hips. Bracing to that extent would do more harm than good to his mobility so we will hold off for now. She said that if his falling gets worse and he is injuring himself or needing stitches for falls, we will reconsider bracing at that time.

Dr. Bately held off on giving Elias an "official" diagnosis of spastic hemiplegia cerebral palsy at this visit. She said he has so many soft signs including the ones mentioned above and his aspiration of liquids, low mouth tone, and fine motor delay. We will see her again in January to reassess his progress but his treatment and therapy will not change regardless of diagnosis. He is still our amazing Elias who is a spunky, rambuncious, crazy three year old that runs us WILD every day.