Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beautiful You


As I drove you to the bus stop today, a song came on the radio that made me think of you.

"You were made to fill a purpose that only you can do,
So there could never be a more beautiful you. "

We are one week away from your sixth surgery and it has me reflecting on how far we've come in your cleft journey.

You were such a sweet and easy baby. Your eyes had such love and that wide smile was just perfect. Your first surgery wasn't easy in many ways, but it was more difficult because we knew we'd never get back that smile we'd loved for your first six months.


As a toddler, you loved being around people. You were our little social butterfly. Your sweet smile warmed our hearts.

As you've grown older, your outgoing personality has really started to show. Like your daddy, you love to entertain others and make people laugh. We love seeing you smile and laugh and come up with your silly jokes.

Some people were inquisitive about your cleft and it began to make you self conscious. Although we've always loved your beautiful smile, you sometimes felt out of place. I want you to always remember that our Father made you perfectly in His image. I can see Him in you every day in your laugh, your love for your little brother, and your beautiful spirit. You will continue to do wonderful things, my son, and I cannot wait to see you grow into a young man. I know He has big plans for you and that beautiful smile.

I love you, beautiful you. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Happy birthday, little J!

Our sweet baby is two! It's hard to believe how fast this little guy is growing.

He is such a sweetheart, like his big brother, but his interests could not be more different. Jonah is all about cars and trains and trucks. Anything with wheels really.

Jonah is also a big fan of fruit, puzzles, his pets, and books. He loves snuggling with Mama in the mornings with his chocolate milk warm and watching Curious George and Mickey. He would play outside everyday if the weather allowed. Luckily, his Mama loves the outdoors too, so we enjoy walks in the mornings and play time on the play set.

Thank you, Jonah, for making our family feel complete. We love you, birthday boy!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Defying the odds

Ian has been in speech therapy since turning two years old. He has flourished with the right therapists and worked very hard to make great strides. As some of you who follow the blog may know, Ian has had 5 total surgeries, one of which was specifically to improve the hyper nasality in his speech. The procedure, a pharyngeal flap, was probably the most difficult for Ian. He refused to eat while in the hospital, which kept us there a bit longer than we would have liked. However, once home and recovered, he continued to work hard on producing the correct sounds. Once in pre-k, his therapist, who is provided by the school system, constantly told us how impressed she was with his ability to compensate. With his cleft, his upper gum line is not very straight. He is missing two teeth, which have an impact on speech. Ian taught himself different ways to produce the proper sounds. His therapist felt he no longer needed therapy each week, but would do just fine with one session a month. Once in kindergarten, he continued to do well in speech with one session a month. At his evaluation in October, his speech therapist felt Ian no longer needed speech. We were so surprised and excited to hear this good news!

Before he was born, we were told Ian would need speech throughout his childhood. How exciting it was to hear that his hard work had paid off!

Happy birthday, Ian

Our sweet Ian turned 6 in October.

He is such a smart, independent, and sweet little boy who always wants to do what is right. He loves playing sports like soccer and baseball, and can be very competitive when it comes to a good game of Yahtzee or checkers. He takes after his daddy and enjoys playing video games. He enjoys reading all kinds of books and has taken up chapter books this year. His favorite series are Stink and Captain Underpants. He loves to make us laugh with his silly jokes.

We love you to the moon and back, sweet boy! Thank you for being a shining star in our lives.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The K Word

No more evening walks down the street to get blackberries, no more hunting frogs after dinner, no more lazy days at the pool. It's time for school to start for Ian. And not just school, but the K word: kindergarten!

I must say this mama has been dreading this moment. I know he is more than ready, but I cannot say the same for me. Although I am sad to see him start this new chapter in his life, I am so blessed that he is super excited! He doesn't even want me to walk him in. Tear!

Ian, I want you to know that Mama loves you to the moon and back. I will be thinking about you all day tomorrow and cannot wait to hear about how much you love kindergarten!


I know I left everyone hanging to see Jonah's sweet, new smile. Here's our little guy about 13 months after surgery:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Big day

Tomorrow is the big day! 

Jonah has his lip procedure in the morning. Although we have been through this one other time with Ian, we are still a bit anxious. I keep trying to reassure myself, but have been finding ways to worry. I know we have an amazing plastics team, that the nurse and staff at Children's is awesome, and that we have the best support system anyone could ask for. (Jonah's great grandmother will even be with us at the hospital tomorrow to see him off.)

For you cleft mommies and daddies who have also been through this, you understand the anxiety. For those of you who have not yet been through or do not have to go through this, just know that it's very emotional. The little smile we have loved for the past three months is going to be forever changed. I will not say that it's "for the better", as some strangers have told me, because we see nothing wrong with beautiful smiles God gave our boys. I do not say that they are "able to fix it", because again, there was nothing in my eyes that needed fixing. I am, however, excited about seeing the new little smile that we will also love. I am excited about not having to use the tape on his precious face or NAM device anymore.

Please keep little Jonah in your prayers at 5am when we're driving to the hospital and at 8am when they start his procedure. Please pray that his empty little belly feels full and that his nurses can manage his pain after surgery. Please pray that Mama and Daddy stay strong for our brave little baby.

Proud big brother