All About Matt

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It has been so amazing to watch and see how much Matt has changed since the summer and especially in the last 2 months. Matt is now 17 months, but still small for his age. I think the last time he was at the doctor he was a little over 17 lbs and 27 1/2 inches long. He finally moved up to 12 month clothes. We are definitely making good use of Zach’s hand me downs with Matt.

On the medical front Matt is seeing his specialists less often. Most of them say they don’t have to see him for another year or two. YAY!
He saw his cardiologist in September who stated he still has a VSD (small hole in the heart), but it is so small there is no concern and it will not need to be surgically corrected. They still can’t figure out if he has a bicuspid aortic valve or not. The cardiologist seems very confused by it. She stated either he has it and it works just fine or some how we keep missing seeing the 3rd flap in the EKG. Anyways, again nothing to do but monitor. So he will go back again to her next September.
Matt also saw his neurologist who is very encouraged by his interactions with her and the reports from Early Intervention. She still wants to monitor him, but she is not concerned about autism or him developing seizures. She stated the way he played and interacted with her would not have been possible for a child with autism. She wants to see him in a year or two.
He is due to see his neurosurgeon for his 1 year follow up to the tether cord release in April and I have to make appointments for him to see his endocrinologist, nephrologist, optometrist, and possibly speech/feeding. I plan to speak to his pediatrician at his 18 month appt in April regarding the speech/feeding side of things. He had a swallow study in the fall that showed he was no longer aspirating thin liquids, which was great. We were able to get him off of the thickened formula. What it did show was very confusing though, especially since they had never seen it before in his previous swallow studies. They found that thin baby food was going up into his nasal passage. They asked us to follow up with ENT and have them check his pressures. I was not happy with the appointment nor the result. I’m not sure the ENT did what speech/feeding wanted him to check. They wanted his pressures checked (still not sure what that means), but the only thing ENT did was upset by putting a scope down his nose to make sure everything was still open. Matt go very upset and spit while they were putting the scope down his nose. The ENT asked if this was normal, my initial thought (which I did not say) was yeah normal for a kid that just got held down and a scope put down his nose and into his throat. I told him no he didn’t often spit up and definitely not like that. The ENT then decided Matt had reflux and wanted him back on reflux meds and to get another swallow test in 2 months. After talking with Dave about it we are ignoring what ENT said and not giving him reflux meds. I’m still not sure what reflux has to do with the food going into Matt’s nose when he tries to swallow instead of down his throat.

Matt had his Early Intervention 1 year review in January. He is doing really great with his physical therapy and we are much happier with his new develop-mentalist. She has a background in speech and feeding so she has been working with him on those issues as well as other developmental milestones. It seems like so many things have happened in the past couple months regarding his motor skills. For the longest time we were working on rolling over and sitting up and now it seems like everything is at warp speed.
He went from just starting to crawl in January to pulling himself up to stand, to cruising along things to walking with a walking toy in just 2 months. Today he took 11 steps on his own with the walking toy. He will be getting orthopedic braces for his legs (appt April 3) to help with positioning and ankle strength. He was using some generic ones for a couple weeks to see if they helped and they seemed to have giving him the push in the right direction. Since he did so well with them his PT wants him to get ones made just for him with a movable ankle so he can crawl and walk with correct foot positioning. He tends to try and point his feet out like a ballerina in 1st position.

Some other fun stuff about Matt:

Even though Matt doesn’t eat non-baby food yet he loves to watch us eat and tries to steal snacks if they are in his reach. We have found he likes the small round crackers we get from Trader Joes. He takes bites of them and just lets the cracker dissolve in his mouth. Not sure how much he has actually swallowed or if it just all comes out with his drool onto his bib. I’m just happy he is starting to try.

Matt loves music. All of our kids have seemed to enjoy music, but Matt most of all. He favorite songs are anything to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”. He especially loves when I sing and looks around at everyone else with an expression of okay now your turn to start signing. He smiles and laughs when I sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. I definitely have to try and get a video of that. He also has a toy he got from our friends Earl and Candra in February that plays music and has all different instruments with it. I would say that is one of his favorite toys. Lastly, he loves to play the toy piano. Unlike our other kids he tries to play each note with just a finger. He doesn’t just pound on the notes. Dave also said it looked like he was dancing the other night to the tune he was playing. I can’t wait to see what kind of musical talent this kid will have.

Other favorite toys are the ABC foam blocks (especially the blue ones), rings, cups, and books.20130315_172036_DSC_002620130305_205604_DSC_0014100_6293100_629220130111_175119_DSC_031520130111_115705_DSC_0307

Lastly, and to me the most important, Matt has finally started to sleep through the night most nights. He typically goes to sleep between 9:30 and 10:30 at night and stays asleep until a little after 8 am. Some nights he still gets up, but it is more like 4:30 in the morning instead of 2. I have been getting more than 3 hours of sleep a night. I feel like a new person. I just hope it continues.

Here are just some others of Matt that are too cute to not post:

Photo Fun

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In January Dave and I went to a local casino for some fun on my birthday. I had some free play there since it was my birthday month. We only ever play the penny slots and never win very much, but this time it was different. We were playing the penny slots and every so often we would hit the max bet button, which bet $2.00. Luck was with us, one time Dave did it and he got free spins. Then it just started racking up the points. Overall Dave ended up winning $400.00. We finally decided what to do with the money. We got some new lenses for our SLR camera. We had been desiring something other than the kit lens for a while. Here are some pics we took last night and today with our new lenses. All I have to say is loving them so much!


All About Zach

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Zach is now 3 1/2 years old and just like his sister he is growing like a weed. My mom and I recently went to the thrift shop (best place for kids clothes since they grow so fast) and got Zach all new pants and shirts. I can’t believe he needs 4T clothes and could probably fit into 5T shirts very comfortably. He is now 3 feet 5 1/2 inches, which just seems crazy to me because he is only a 6 inches shorter than Abby and she is 3 years older than him.

Zach is a very active boy. Sometimes it is hard to contain all his energy. I wish I could bottle it up and sell it as an energy drink. I would make millions. We are definitely thinking about starting him in gymnastics this summer. He loves to be upside down and bouncing all around with his sister. He also got to join Abby for one session of her gymnastics and he had a blast.

Zach is definitely into the more boy oriented things like blocks and trucks. When we go to the library all he wants to get out are books about construction sites and trucks. He is also my future engineer. He loves making mazes out of his cardboard bricks and building towers with his other blocks. He also loves to work with his tools. He wants to be like Daddy fixing things around the house.

I have really enjoyed being able to stay home with Zach and seeing all his creative side while playing. He definitely loves to play with Matt and I, but he does well playing on his own too. His favorite things to do on his own are play the computer, play dough, and play with his trucks. He received several large trucks for Christmas this past year and he is itching to get them outside where he can play with real dirt and sand.

Zach really enjoyed seeing real trains at my uncle’s house, my mom’s house, and at a local garden store near my mom.

Zach is starting to learn all his letter and numbers and loves to point out wherever he goes the letter and numbers he sees. He is also proficient at typing his own name on a keyboard. It is funny how technology has changed some things. He can spell his name on a keyboard before he can write it himself. I am just proud that he knows how to spell his name and where to find them on a keyboard.

Zach loves to play dress up. He was superman for Halloween this year and loves to fly around the house playing “flying Zach.” That game is good for mommy too as it makes her carry Zach around and around the house and of course he prefers if I run. Zach’s favorite tv show is Jake and the Neverland Pirate (on Disney Junior) and for Christmas this year he got a little dress up kit for Jake. He loves to make maps and go on treasure hunts as Jake. He changes each time who he wants me to be.

Lastly, Zach is a boy of many faces when there is a camera around and sometimes a boy of no face for the camera.

Here are some other highlights of Zach since the summer.

All About Abby

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So much has changed since the summer with all three kids so I would like to highlight each one in their own post.

Abby is now 6 1/2 years old and growing like a weed both physically and mentally. She is 3ft 11 1/2 in and very muscular. She has way more core and upper body strength than I do. I completely attribute that to gymnastics. She started gymnastics last spring and has progressed well. She moved up in the fall from their pre-school program (which is 3-6 yr old) to level 1. Gymnastics goes from level 1 to 10 with 10 being like Olympic level for those of you with no gymnastics background. I would say she is the strongest at the uneven bars and needs the most work on the balance beam. Even though they work hard and focus on specific skills she still smiles through the Thursday night hour long practice and looks forward to it each week. She even just chose gymnastics over an ice cream social at her school. She told me she would rather go to gymnastics and she gets a snack afterward anyways.
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Abby is in 1st grade and loving it. She is learning so much. Unlike kindergarten she has homework and takes tests just about each week that go along with the story they are reading in class. She has 10 spelling words she has to learn each week along with 6 vocabulary words and what they call high frequency words. I can’t believe how much she is learning and how fast. She can read just about any book she picks up now. During our story time before bed she will often help me read at least one of the books she chooses. She also loves to read to her brothers, especially Matt.
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Abby is also very creative. She loves to make up songs and sing along with the ones she knows. We often will have a dance party night and just put on some of her favorites to jump around to. Right now her favorites are Taylor Swift We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Goyte Somebody That I Used to Know, Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe, and PSY Gangnam Style. She also likes to put on her own performances. Abby and Zach did a “Rock On” concert for Dave and I. Abby played the electric guitar (from band hero) and sang and Zach played the drums. She also took the acoustic guitar my mom brought from home (I used to play it as a kid) to her room and played with it for about 20 minutes making up songs. Wish I could have recorded it, but I didn’t want to disturb her creative process. I definitely see music in her future. Yay!

Abby also loves art. She will often come home from school and immediately ask for paper to make a project. We go through a lot of paper and glue in this house.
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Here are just some other highlights of Abby since the summer.