See Christian and Lola's ISR video!

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Tools

I would love to take credit for every neat idea and learning tool I put in front of my kids' faces.

But the truth is that other parents before me have paved the way.

I'm a stealer. I mean I happily steal the awesome ideas these parents have passed along . I hope they don't mind because I've come across some really cool things lately.

So I saw this idea on our friend, Suzy's, blog. It's a way of seating Christian that's different from our usual positioning.

This was our version of a seated position in a corner with one leg bent in. It wasn't the best rendition, I'm sure, but we tried. Before Botox, Christian's poor little chicken legs wouldn't have stayed bent like this. They would have straightened right out. The original idea is to have one leg bent in but I thought I'd take advantage of Christian not straightening out his leg, so I bent the other one up so we could get a good heal stretch on his right leg. I think he did pretty well. He didn't tip over and he tolerated the position for some time.

For Christian's birthday, we got him a little red bench. At Napa in California, they did a lot of bench work with him. We've been working on him bearing weight in his elbows so he can prop himself up. This is the closest we've ever gotten to sitting unsupported (meaning not supported by me). He actually really dislikes this position, by the way. So to get him to stay in it for long enough for me to snap a picture is a real accomplishment.

"No, Christian, you do it like this!"

Another really great tool I picked up from Suzy's mom is this website, SENSwitcher. It is a website with applications that strengthen visual acuity and performance for special needs children. It is the neatest tool! Christian has Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), and although his vision has improved and continues to do so, it is important to keep up his vision exercises so we see even more progress. Greater visual abilities can also lead to greater head control, more awareness, more communication, and more cognition. Here he is doing the exercises:

It's the coolest program. You can change to single shapes, lines, movement, and you can even adjust the background and foreground colors. Contrasting colors are really effective with getting Christian's attention. As you can see here, we chose yellow background and black foreground. You can adjust the time of the animation and there are different levels, too.

This is how we positioned Christian at the computer...

We put him in his stander and just wheeled him right up to the desk, to which he was a perfect fit. By the way, the visual on the computer is the program using white background, black foreground and objects (like the arrow shown) moving around slowly from side to side.

And for the rest of the day he seemed more visually stimulated and responsive. This is saying a lot because we've have a few tough days with him.

So thank you to those who let me "steal" their ideas. Feel free to steal from me anytime!

As parents, and not just special needs parents, we are our best resource.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Europeds Blogction!

The Europeds Fall Blogction is coming soon!

The Europeds Blogction will be held Tuesday, September 14th through Friday, September 17th, ending at 8PM, Arizona time.

We are now accepting donations for the blogction. If you are crafty, make things, personalize things, have an etsy store, like to bake, or have a service you'd like to donate, please contact me. We're accepting donations for jewelry, chocolate and sweets, gifts/giftcards, baby/kids stuff, and services.

My email is

This blogction will directly benefit Christian. We have an upcoming intensive therapy trip at Europeds in Pontiac, Michigan. We've saved enough for the overall cost of the trip along with the physical therapy program, however, there is a small portion that is out of pocket and not covered by insurance that includes physical therapy with Suit Therapy. This is what we're fundraising for!

**Click here for an example of our last blogction.**
Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Okay, so I know I said we were taking a break from appointments a couple of posts ago.

Let me explain what that means - we are taking a break from all the extras like HBOT and cranial sacral therapy. We still have our routine appointment every now and then, but they are far from every week.

But I guess that all changed when I actually typed it out on the blog. After putting it out there, the appointment fairies all of the sudden started fluttering their wings. As such, we have our regular pediatrician this week to go along with our orthopedic doctor visit.

There's a reason we're seeing these guys this week - multiple reasons.

We've made the decision to go to four weeks!

Europeds is very similar to Napa in California. It's pretty much the same type of therapy. I had heard about Europeds, I don't remember where exactly, but I started researching while researching for therapy programs.

I do want to say that I still love Napa! I really do. But at this point, Europeds is attainable for us. Napa would have to wait until next year and the logistics of Europeds just fits for our family right now.

Europeds was the first of its kind to bring the intensive model therapy to the United States from Europe. It's affiliated with a doctors' hospital and is a nonprofit. I was really impressed with their customized programs. Christian will be attending a two week program. At the end of the program, there is a customized plan of therapy with pictures and instruction on how to continue the therapy at home.

One thing we do know is that with only just one week of intensive therapy, Christian gained greater head control and is able to hold is head up midline for a longer period of time. He started this after Napa and still has it and his PT has commented about it, too. We saw good, solid changes in Christian so this is the type of therapy we're going to pursue.

This is why we're visiting the pediatrician and orthopedic doctor this week. We need recent hip x-rays to determine the course of therapy for Christian. I'm praying there has been no change and that Christian's hips are still okay but I'm prepared for news that says otherwise. It's just how it is with these kids. We also need to get fitted for new splints for Christian because he is a giant and his splints have worn out their welcome, so to speak.

Wow, maybe it does sound like we have a lot going on, but to us it's just normal, I guess. Some parents travel for their kids' soccer or cheerleading tournaments, we travel for therapy. Same story, different plot. We're all just parents trying to make our kids happy.

The countdown begins! Europeds, here we come!
Monday, August 23, 2010

This and That

I have a little of this and a little of that to talk about tonight. I'm not sure any of it will stream together to make sense, but here goes.

Last week we met with Early Intervention for our IFSP meeting. This is very common for special needs families of all types. It's a written out plan setting goals for Christian to achieve. I already don't like that. I threw goals out the window a long time ago. Honestly, IFSP's are documents that justify to the state why Christian needs the services he needs. So we dedicated about three hours to the whole thing. It was a long three hours.

We also had our pulminology appointment last week. "Pulminology?" You ask. Yes, this pulminology appointment is about six months in the making. Why? Because initially Christian had the appointment back in April to talk about decannulation (taking his trache tube out). Well, we all know what happened - he successfully decannulated himself! And I'm happy and proud to say we haven't looked back. But, I still felt we should do a "case closed" type of appointment so his pulminology doctor could see him, say okay, and we'd be on our way.

Well the initial appointment was rescheduled. The problem is that there is a two month wait to see this doctor. At the time I was like whatever. It isn't absolutely necessary anyway. Well over the last six months the appointment has been changed, missed (by yours truly), rescheduled, and so on and so on. I finally just asked if I could have another doctor just so he could see Christian and we could essentially "close the case."

I was late to the appointment. I was getting so good at being on time, too. I was so late, they asked me to reschedule. I asked if I could just get a nurse to come out and see that he was doing fine and did I really have to come back? Really?

The nurse came out, saw the famous self-decannulating Christian, and determined he was just fine. She said to call if there were any problems.

I know that little story was terribly interesting and you all were on the edge of your seats, but the bottom line is that as far as pulmonology goes...CASE CLOSED!!!!!

Last week we also attended an event at a new store in town called Nurturing Nature. The event was featuring Ben's Bells ornaments and I love, love, love this organization and I blogged about it here. I was so happy to have met the founder of Ben's Bells, Ben's mom, Jeanette, for the second time. The message behind Ben's Bells is to spread kindness because you never know what someone else is going through. As much as I may curse the accident, I am ever so grateful for the gift of clarity. It's a gift because I see things in such a different light.

As for Christian...his legs have responded really, really well to the Botox and I'm so glad we made the decision to do it. We can now bend his legs at the knee with very little effort. And they even stay that way! He doesn't necessarily need to straighten them back out.

We still have no throw ups! Yay! This is like a major deal in this house hold because him throwing up was a major part of our life.

Christian has been irritable and not himself lately but we're going through medication adjustments and changes and when that happens, we can't do anything really. We've been through medication adjustments enough to know the drill. And because adjusting medications is not an overnight process, we're in for a few weeks of...meh. More on that at another time.

We also have a few other things we're working on, one of which might include a trip to an intensive therapy program. More on that at another time, too.

Even though we're still battling seizure crap and medication troubleshooting, at least we've crossed off trache tube, throwing up, we've had ZERO hospitalizations and barely a cold, and we've conquered high tone in his legs for the time being.

Seizures, you're next!!!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Step Toward Something Bigger

So in my last post I was talking about Something Bigger.

Well, I finally made the decision to take a small step toward that something bigger.

When Christian's accident happened, our local media really left a bad taste in our mouths. We weren't interested in talking to anyone and allowed the PR person for the fire department to do all our talking. But there was some misinformation out there about Christian being found at the bottom of the pool, which wasn't true, and a few other things that really aren't that important to the average reader but it's our story so it's important to us.

When Christian was transferred from Northwest Hospital to University there was a news crew that filmed the EMT's taking Christian out of the ambulance on a stretcher and rushing him into the hospital. They also got footage of me going in after him. It all felt kind of slimy and invasive that they'd be waiting there for us almost ambulance chasing.

We were asked to give our story several times and we turned it down just because of our not so positive experience. And things were emotionally very raw for us, so who wants to give an interview in that kind of state? So we declined.

Until recently.

As I've posted, Lola was enrolled in ISR swim instruction. Our awesome instructor also teaches the children of a local anchor. Our instructor shared our story with the anchor, the anchor read this blog, and wanted to do a story. She emailed me about possibly doing the story. I thought - Is this our something bigger?

I was nervous. Really nervous about it. In fact, I had to think about it. AND this was right smack dab in the middle of the Anonymous Poster stuff.

So I thought, Can we really handle this? Why open our lives up to this? We don't need this.

I asked God what to do. And then I got an email from a friend who follows Christian's Journey. It explained how much Christian's story had inspired her and helped her through her own journey with her son. I read the comments, I got facebook messages, about how much of an inspiration Christian's story has been to so many people.

Talk about something bigger.

I really believe in listening and listening very carefully when God starts talking, if you haven't already noticed.

I thought maybe this can make a difference. Maybe Christian's story is bigger than our little family. Maybe it's meant to help others. And we want to help others, we wanted to pay it forward. We got help, we are still getting help. Why not give it back?

So I decided to say yes.

A lot of people were worried for us. I think behind their worried looks they were wondering if I was crazy. They were worried we'd open our families up to...well, you know. I was worried, too. But then I thought about it and our family is tough. Our family has gone through hell. We can handle this if it means we might touch others or inspire others or alert others.

Over the last three weeks Kimberly Romo, the morning anchor at KGUN in Tucson has been working on our story. She did such a great job and really made sure I was okay with everything.

I didn't tell anyone when it would air. I casually mentioned that it might be happening at some point but I didn't tell anyone to set their DVR's. Mostly because I wanted to see it first. Silly, I know. But I certainly didn't want to publicize something I wasn't proud of or couldn't stand behind. I can stand behind this.

So here's a little step in our something bigger...

A few things...

The eating footage isn't the greatest because Christian was about to nap. In fact, he did nap right after everyone left.

At the end of the footage, Kimberly Romo mentions how I am inspired by others who've found joy after tragedy. This is really for all of you special needs mommies who have been my example. You've shown me how to find the rainbow after the rain. Especially, Heather, if you're reading, you and Sam were in my thoughts when I said it.

I was asked if I wanted to start a support group. I said yes, but not just for near drown children. I'd like to start one for brain injured and special needs children in our local area. Just to clarify.
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Something Bigger

Focus is an easy thing to loose.

I'll admit I've lost my focus a time or two...or ten.

There have been times when I've been so focused on the next best treatment, new therapy, or latest medical procedure or prescription that we'll adopt into our ever changing journey.

But lately...lately I've gained some peace. Dare I say it?

Peace is also an easy thing to loose. But I have it right now so I'm enjoying it and finding contentment in it for the duration of it's stay.

See, I'm beginning to discover that maybe this journey - Christian's accident, his recovery, and his future - is not about what he regains. There's something bigger, I think. There's something bigger going on here. Christian has a journey - maybe we can even call it a mission - and I'm going to put it out there that I'm not quite sure what it is yet. But, man, it's gonna be big. I can just feel it.

Maybe it's not about what he can and can't do. Maybe it's not even about us.

We went to church a family...which is no small feat. And our EEG tech was there.

This is the EEG tech that read Christian's EEG on the night he was brought in. It was the night of the accident. My husband caught his attention because it was my husband who discovered he went to the same church and recognized him from the hospital.

The EEG tech told us about that night. He said after he performed Christian's EEG, he went home and cried. He said he prayed for Christian because he honestly didn't think he would make it. The lines on the EEG were flat. That means complete brain death. He explained how he went home that night shaken.

After the encounter with my husband at church a few days later and after learning that Christian had not only made it but was improving he vowed that he would be stronger in his faith and make it a point to go to church every Sunday with his family.

Today we saw Mr. EEG Tech and he came over to say hello to Christian. He told the story again and reiterated how sad he was that night. He said Christian is a true miracle.

I agree.

The whole thing really gave me goosebumps.

It is something bigger. You just wait.

Speaking of bigger...

We're 3 pounds up since no more vomit! I think it looks like it, but that's just me.

No tone in the hamstrings...No problem there!

"Okay, stop with the pictures already."

And what's he so focused on? That would be Baby Einstein. It's serious business.
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Just Being

It's been slow around our house lately.

On purpose.

We're on an HBOT break and I've been making it a point to keep our appointments to a minimum.

This gives us back some normal. It gives us back some breathing time. It's good for the kids and it's good for me because it really allows me to be the stay at home mom I want to be.

An appointment isn't just an appointment. It's an hour of preparation, getting everyone out of the house, maybe finding a sitter, a 20-30 minute drive there and then again back home. It's unloading the car and loading it back up again.

All this in 100 degree weather makes for very red cheeks for Christian and an even more exhausted Mama.

So I put a stop to it.

There was a time when Christian had multiple appointments every single day of the week. I cannot say that Christian was any "better" because of that. In fact, I can say with some certainty that he's a lot better hanging at home. He gets his hour in his stander, he flails his arms while on his back, he practices eating with his little sister, sometimes he watches cartoons and sometimes I roll him back and forth across the carpeted floor. All of this is done uninterrupted and in no hurry because we don't have anywhere to be.

Of course, we have the regular PT and OT and they come to our house. And anything necessary like orthopedic and pediatric appointments are scheduled regularly. But we aren't adding anything right now. We're just...being.

Oh, as we are being, we also got a minivan. With a lot of help from those around us, we were finally ready to make the dive. I finally conceded when I realized that Christian just didn't have enough leg room in our truck and getting that beast of a stroller out of the back of a truck was years of chiropractic visits in the making.

We have a new member of the family - it's a 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan. Welcome to the family.

I make fun of it because I feel solidly like a suburbanite, mom of three, who's soon to turn 30...and now I drive a minivan...I feel like I'm straight out of a first edition Cliche for Dummies.

But there's something deeper. It's also another underlying milestone in the our special needs world. It's the purchase you make for "convenience" but really it's a necessity and will become even more so as time goes on. Minivans, even conversion vans, are part of our life and may be for a very long time.

"We need it for more room." - We say.

Really, we need it for Christian's stroller, and maybe someday we might need it for his wheelchair. Or maybe not. Who knows?

Anyway, the new family member is here to stay. I love it. Really, I do. Anything that makes life a little easier is something to make a big deal about. And this new family member is making life really sweet right now.

So, Yay for the minivan! Yay for less appointments! And, Yay for just being.
Monday, August 9, 2010

Fun That Is Funny!

We had lots of good funny that was funny!

Christian's mini bash was on Sunday and it was all things Dr. Suess. Who knew doing a Dr. Suess would be so much fun...that is funny. Ha ha! Okay, I'll stop.

Here are some pictures of some of the things we did...

Do you like Green Eggs and Ham?
Do you like them, Sam I am?

These are kind of like deviled eggs only they're filled with garlic mashed potatoes and pieces of ham. It's all dyed with green food coloring, courtesy of Daddy.

Instead of gift bags, I did candy jars filled with cherry sours, gummy bears, and gummy worms.

Those trees! Those trees! Those truffula trees! All my life I'd been searching for trees such as these!
-The Lorax
(These are cherry chip cupcake cones with cherry frosting. They're even better than regular cupcakes, seriously.)

Thing 1 and Thing 2 and Cat in the Hat Cupcakes
(Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes are topped with blue cotton candy, which actually makes the cupcakes taste awesome. The Cat in the Hat cupcakes are topped with white lifesavers and red gummy savers kept in line with a toothpick.)

And, of course, the guest of honor had to have his Cat in the Hat birthday cake!
The top of the hat was chocolate with peanut butter frosting. And Christian had a little bit of cake, too. I was wiping red frosting of his cheeks by the end of the night.

(Thanks, Jen D., for Christian's Superman shirt! I was waiting for him to wear it for his birthday.)

My Thing 1 and Thing 2!

I absolutely loved decorating for this party. First, because I love decorating for and planning parties. Second, because last year, for his 1st birthday celebration, I didn't really do much planning or preparation because I was kind of still in a daze and we had just gotten back from Hacienda. I was so grateful to everyone else at the time but I missed doing fun things that make parties special. So this year I wanted to have some fun with it.

And just so you know, I proudly stole some of these ideas from Kara's Party Ideas. Yeah, I'm not that creative.

It was a fun little party, although Christian wasn't in his best mood, unfortunately. That's alright, though. I think I can remember from last year's party that he vomited multiple times that day. I think, if I can remember correctly, we went through about five outfits by the end of the night. There was no vomit at this party so I call it a win.

And how appropriate that I'd talk about vomit in the same post where I'm gleefully showing off pictures of deliciousness. Thought you'd all appreciate that. ;-)

The birthday is over, the party is done, so on to his 3rd year. His 3rd year! I can't wait to see what this 3rd year will bring.

Happy birthday, baby! I'm so glad you're here!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I've been waiting (and waiting and waiting) to post about ISR, or Infant Swim Resource.

First let me explain the sequence of events that led us to ISR.

Prior to Christian's accident I had thought about getting him swim lessons. I had heard about babies being able to swim even before turning one year old.

Then at the end of last year, about five months after the accident right around the time Lola was born I received an email from an ISR instructor who, along with all the other ISR instructors in Tucson, offered to donate ISR services to Lola. The instructor was sensitive in her offering and I could tell she was a little nervous about approaching me, not knowing how I would react to the offer.

I couldn't be more grateful. This is why:

You all know where I'm coming from, right? Especially if you've been following us since the beginning. Along the path of this journey I have met many families that have experienced near drownings under the care of others, under their own care, with fences, without fences, with fences that knocked over, with block walls, with gates that were pushed open by a family pet, the list goes on. So I wasn't about to stand up and give all credence to barrier protection, because although it can prevent a drowning, barrier protection can fail.

But I can say that I truly believe in ISR. It helps an infant use instinctual movements to learn how to float. It is literally a life saving program. I believe in this program because even if supervision fails, even if a physical barrier fails, this is a skill a child has when all else fails. The ISR program actually has a 100% success rate. That's right, 100%. I could go on and on but you can check out ISR by clicking here. I don't like to play the what if game but I can say with confidence that if Christian had these skills before the accident, I can't help but think things would have been different.

The first day we arrived at our instructor, Pam's, pool, I was a little disheveled, a little disorganized, probably late - pretty much how the chips usually fall. I was a little nervous about the whole thing, but I think Pam was more nervous than I was. Lola cried, she screamed, actually. But it really only took one lesson to appreciate the process. Some parents are afraid of crying, but I'm not one of those parents. Ever since we went without Christian crying, or even vocalizing, for months, I have an appreciation for it. And Lola, well she takes the cake when it comes to hysterics so I'm already well broken in.

And, you know, the thing is that a crying child isn't a drowning child. It's plain and simple. When children are drowning they don't cry. So if your child is crying and floating in a situation where they've fallen into water, it's a good thing. I say bring on the crying, I wanna hear more of it.

Others are concerned that it may be traumatizing to the infants to go through such an intense program. To that I would ask - You know what's even more traumatizing? Drowning.

And you know what? Lola did scream. But with each lesson there was more confidence, less crying, more floating, and even some Look Mom! I can do it! smiles.

It was a beautiful gift that ISR instructor offered us from the Tucson ISR team. Pam and Tracy, I consider you great friends of ours and a profound piece of this journey.

Okay, I'll stop gushing.

I'm still waiting on video approval and it will be great because I have video from when she first started until now and it's really amazing.

For now, here are some pictures of Lola - my little floater!

Trying to smile and float at the same time.

Floating on her own.

"I can do it, Mom!"

It's all good.
Doing it for brother and totally worth it.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I'm busy planning a Dr. Seuss - We can have lots of good fun that is funny - birthday bash for Christian this weekend.

And remember when I mentioned that we do parties pretty big here? Well, that is 100% true...most of the time.

That is why I have to fight every cell in my body that is trying to plan a huge birthday bash.

We're not having a big birthday this year. At first, it was a shock to my system when my husband suggested it. No long guest list? No all day cleaning and cooking? No pinata? No jumping castle? What is this? I started to hyperventilate for a half second.

Then I was back and realized that, yes, this birthday will need to be downsized. One of the medications Christian is on suppresses his immune system so it really isn't a good idea to expose him to large crowds right now. Not only may it be easier to get sick, but it will be harder to shake if something is caught. We just don't want to chance it. Christian is a healthy boy, he's had barely a mild cold in the last year and we'd like to keep it that way.

We will still celebrate because I wouldn't give up the chance to celebrate a birthday, let alone Christian's birthday, not for one single second. And it should be celebrated. So we'll throw a mini-bash with just a few guests and gift bags with hand sanitizer and face masks. Not really, but maybe I'm on to something...hmmm.

One thing is certain, though.

There will be cake.
Monday, August 2, 2010

18 Days

Laundry has been slow around these parts.

The need for towels and extra clothing for Christian just hasn't presented itself lately.

Eighteen days, to be exact.

Since leaving the PICU a year ago, Christian has thrown up almost every single day. At first, coming out of the hospital, it was multiple times a day, sometimes everything that was put in his stomach just came right back out. Honestly, I don't know how the boy managed to gain any wait in the first six months.

We messed with formula, every few months I changed feeding schedules, and this continued until it was just accepted that almost all of his calories would come at night. This wasn't practical or very good for him because his system couldn't rest at night. And his system would let me know half the time by telling Christian to throw up in the wee hours of the morning.

There was no rhyme or reason to it, no pattern. There was no "good" time that he would tolerate feedings. We'd change things, he'd do well, then he'd start throwing up again. It was like a kick in the stomach every time. We went through laundry loads of towels and extra clothes cleaning up after this and it got to the point where I just began to accept that this was part of our life. Fine!

But Christian has been vomit free for 18 days. Not even an attempt.

Lets back up a little. It wasn't until we met our new OT (who's not so new anymore, she's now part of our gang) that she suggested visiting a GI doctor. How simple! Where did I miss that memo?

We visited the GI doctor, he made a few simple and really doable suggestions, he prescribed an acid reflux medicine called Reniditine (to which I secretly rolled my eyes while he wasn't looking because we had already tried one in the beginning of this mess and it didn't work), and we were on our way to what was to become a solution.

We finally started it and at first it didn't seem to work. A week later...relief. Guess that good ol' GI doc was on to something.

It's not just that he doesn't throw up. It's bigger. It's that now he has most of his calories during the day and he's up to his complete recommended amount per day. This is the first time he's been there in a year. Before this, I was just trying to get as much into him as possible and loose as little as possible. No more! And he's also only getting about a quarter of his food at night. Baby steps toward something that resembles normal are so sweet.

Now, I hope I'm not jinxing things by celebrating this accomplishment, shouting it from the virtual rooftops of this blog, doing a little victory dance in my mind (and maybe sometimes in real life).

I'm cautiously optimistic.

So here's to eighteen days. May there be more vomit free days in our future!

Here, here!
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Our Birthday

We're just coming off of Gabe's birthday party. Birthday parties are really the best because they bring family and friends and cake. What's better, really?

My boys' birthdays are 3 days apart. But they're 10 years apart. Hardly appropriate to have their birthdays combined. And since we do parties and do them big, there's really no way to have two in the same weekend. That's not practical for the boys, the guests, and it's not practical for our pockets. So we have agreed to have Gabe's birthday party this weekend and Christian's next weekend.

As I'm typing, I am now coming into the first 20 minutes of Christian's 2nd birthday. That's right! August 1st is Christian's birthday.

As Christian is getting older, it becomes more and more obvious how far apart he is from other two years olds, especially when observing other toddlers. I mean it's been about 10 years since I had a toddler so I forget what they're supposed to be doing until I see one. And then I'm like - Oh, he's supposed to be doing that? Yeah, he's supposed to be doing that.

I'm not resentful or angry or even really sad. I guess I suppose if you catch me on a bad day I'd be sad but there haven't been too many of those lately. Those moments of observing other toddlers serve more as a reminder. But it's not a reminder I spend all that much time with.

Yesterday was one of those happy days. And as I held Christian as he was falling asleep I thought - He's going to be two tomorrow! And I thought about his birth and how we were so excited and my chest literally began to swell with pride. I felt at that moment (and still do) how lucky I am to be his mom.

People tell me about how lucky Christian is to have us as parents. We're the lucky ones. I am so lucky to be the mom of this little creature. I'm so lucky I get the privilege of watching Christian grow into the boy God wants him to be. I get to watch him touch the lives of those around him. I am so lucky.

So with that chest swelling, that overwhelming sense of pride and excitement, I have to add a little fuel to that fire.

I've been playing a lot of This Time Last Year and since July 8, 2010 - the one year anniversary - I always win at that game. This time last year was the first weekend at Hacienda in Phoenix. It was his very first birthday and when I think about the sadness I felt on that day that Manny and Gabe came to visit us and how I broke down while reading Christian's birthday cards, I almost have to catch my breath at how thankful I am to be where I am right this moment.

I was thinking about how medically involved Christian was at the time. I think about how many supplies were needed - trache changing, gaws, trache ties, suction machines, humidity tube thingy.

Now there is no trache, there is no suction, there are no light blue trache ties with little ducks on them, no tubes, other than the one that goes to his stomach. And just loosing all of that, all that ties us to that time in our life, there is peace.

Although we aren't having Christian's party until next weekend, we will still celebrate a little bit. I mean it is his real birthday, after all.

In a way, it's our birthday. We celebrate the gift we were given two years ago. We had no idea what was in store but we're so thankful for this boy. And it will be a truly happy birthday for all of us, in deed.

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