Thursday, May 30, 2013


We are in Spokane right now. Gabriel had his doctor's appointment with the pediatric neurologist yesterday.

It didn't really go the way I had hoped/imagined.

Our doctor was fabulous. She immediately evaluated the MRI and said everything from the MRI looked great. From there she continued with her own evaluation on Gabriel. She played with him, trying to engage him. She thumped on his knees, his legs, his elbows and his wrists, she tried to get him to grab toys and so many other things. I would say for the two hours we were there, her hands were on him for 45 minutes to an hour.

The whole week leading up to this appointment, I have kept telling myself everything will be fine and that, hopefully, it was a developmental delay related to diet. But, the more questions she asked and the more I listened to our answers, the heavier the pit of my stomach got.

We don't have any definite answers right now but this is what the neurologist told us:

He is very delayed. Gabriel will be one in 3 weeks and right now he is developmentally right around a 6-month-old. In her evaluation and questioning, she said he does exhibit some autistic mannerisms and it would be best for us to get a genetic test very quickly to determine if it is autism. He also needs to begin therapies immediately: occupational, physical, speech etc.

I am so sad. When you hope for children or are pregnant with them, you always have that sneaking fear at the back of your mind that something could go wrong. I cried yesterday for my little Gibby who should be running and talking right now but is instead held back. As a parent, I feel guilty and so scared for his future.

What is to come:
The next step is to get the genetic test. There is a great geneticist in Helena who will do this, so that eliminates more travel. Less than a week from tomorrow, Gabriel will have already seen an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. The sooner we get him working, the better his outcome will be. It was suggested that Jeff and I also get a genetic test done to figure out where the problem is, this would be important if we want to have any more children.

Some good things:
He has hit milestones he wasn't hitting three weeks ago.
1. He started rolling everywhere. This is huge because 3 weeks ago he wasn't.
2. He is sitting up more than he was 3 weeks ago. Still needs support and assistance at time, but this is better than the not sitting up at all.
3. He started holding his bottle on his own. Yeah!

Our doctor told us at this moment, we stop comparing him to all other kids his age. He is progressing, though slowly, and it is important we celebrate the milestones he does hit with lots of praise.
We will continue working with him as we have been since he was born and now we will hopefully be getting him the help we need.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Thanks to everyone for their kind words today, it made us feel very loved.
Gabriel had his MRI today and everything appeared to be normal--which is great!
They drew some blood and sent it to the lab, so we will see the results from those in a few days.
Before the MRI we were dealing with an extremely hungry and tired little guy, so we took some pictures to try and keep him occupied. He sure liked the attention.
He did really good through it all. He did scream A LOT and it was really, really loud. *sigh*
Next up is a meeting with a pediatric physical therapist and the trip to Spokane next week to meet with the pediatric neurologist.
On a positive note, Gabriel has all of the sudden started rolling! He doesn't do it a lot but when he gets going he GOES!
And we had our first extreme facial injury this weekend. He clocked the corner of a coffee table while practicing standing. It looks like it hurts!
All of this bed for meeeeee? 
Helping the nurse check vitals 
Wrestling with Daddy before the MRI 
Snuggles (which I clearly enjoy more than him) before heading down with the nurses

Monday, May 20, 2013


36 weeks pregnant.
Large and in charge.
How quickly a year goes!

Friday, May 17, 2013


A peek into our week:
Ooooooooh lazy dog! Lucy's got a story coming up here in the next week or so. Stay tuned. 
My work held a big ceremony last Friday for an official groundbreaking on a new campus dorm. Exciting! 
Birthday party 
Gibby at Caderyn's soccer game.  
Sprinklers are the best 
My Mother's Day present. 
See it here 
Aloha! And then he puked all over it. 
My lilacs are here and they smell SOOOOOOOO good.  
Tough day 
Lunch date at my favorite Bistro with Jeff who is d-o-n-e with school and has one semester left!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


As a mother, the worst thing is for your child to be struggling or hurting.
I want nothing than for my children to know comfort, success and love throughout their lives.
You think, being that you ARE their parent, that you are enough. You are enough to comfort them, to help them flourish and to grow. To admit that something might be wrong or that you are not enough, is something that could physically and emotionally just run any parent to the ground in distress.
Well, here it is:
Gabriel, who is 11-months-old today, is struggling and we are finally admitting something is wrong.

In March I started noticing some odd changes in him. He was sitting up and starting to roll and scoot around. He stopped those kind of suddenly. It was just out of the blue.
He hasn't really recovered.
He can't sit up unassisted or without having pillows behind him. He doesn't really want to sit up. He doesn't crawl or appear to want to crawl. He doesn't really roll. He hasn't shown interest in standing, moving around on his own, feeding himself, eating more solid foods, playing games like peek-a-boo or clapping. He doesn't show interest in putting anything in his mouth other than his fingers.
He really just doesn't do a lot.
He screams...a lot. It is really loud. It is not a scream like he is trying to explore his voice, this is a scream of anger and frustration. It hurts our ears and our hearts.
He thrashes around. He throws himself backward with immense force, he will headbutt me in the jaw and make my eyes water, he has brought out bruises on my chest from thumping back and forth while I'm holding him.
He lays on the ground and sucks his fingers.

I voiced lots of concern, I'm sure some people heard me talk about how he was acting maybe two or three times in a conversation.
I was worried about him. Should I be worried about him? I took him to the doctor. Should I take him to the doctor again? He seemed really good today. Did I notice that he seemed worse today?
We went multiple times to the doctor in the last three months. We go to a clinic where the doctors all work together and you may not be able to get in to see your doctor on a particular day, but not to worry there is another one who can help.
Each doctor listened to what I was telling them and checked him out. He was diagnosed with and ear infection and a sinus infection until about three weeks ago I really pried and pushed the doctor we were seeing to notice if something was wrong.  I think they really started to agree with me that it wasn't that he was sick, there was some concern.

After watching him, working with him all weekend, and just watching him emotionally all weekend I decided to take him in again on Thursday. I stressed the need to see our regular pediatrician and got in for her last appointment of the day.
As I sat there, holding my squirming, frustrated baby I felt such dread. There is nothing worse than that feeling, when you know something is wrong and you're just waiting for someone to tell you that, yes, something is actually wrong.
So our doctor got there and I had what I like to call "word vomit" where I basically just poured out every fear, frustration, and worry I'd had building up the last three months all over her medically licensed lap.
As soon as I had said all I needed to say she gave me a hug and said, "I'm very worried too. Lets figure this out."
So she evaluated him. She went over a checklist of probably 30 things a 10-11 month old child should be doing. Every time I told her "No" she tested the development herself on Gabriel. My heart sank lower and lower as with each question I realized how much I was saying, "No."
No he wasn't crawling.
No he couldn't or didn't really pick up toys or food with his hands.
No he wasn't sitting up.
No he wasn't standing or walking along furniture.
No he wasn't interested in game playing.
No he wasn't eating solid foods other than baby food.
No he didn't hold his bottle or a cup.
No he didn't mimic what I was doing.
No he didn't say any words other than, "Ma ma" or "Da da."

When the evaluation was completed, I would say about 80% of what was asked Gabriel could not do.
As a parent hearing that, and I mean really hearing that for the first time, I will tell you there is no comparison to the amount of fear that echoed into the depths of my soul.

Gabriel has regressed back to the developmental state of a 5-month old. That's really all we know at the moment.
One important thing I think I've learned in the last three months is the importance of getting in to see JUST the boys regular pediatrician. Yes, the other doctors are great when one of the kids isn't feeling well and they can diagnose an ear infection or an icky tummy bug, but they haven't been with my child since birth and I don't know if they are necessarily looking for the developmental delay so much as they are the sickness or the cause of the child's distress. Does that make sense?

Another important thing and something that is kind of a blessing, is the sense of urgency my doctor and the nurses indicated in getting him places to find out what the problem was so we can start helping/fixing the problem.
This is all we know at the moment: Gabriel will have an MRI, an EKG test and lots of blood work done on Tuesday starting at 1:00 p.m.
Then, I will head to Spokane with either my parents or my in-laws on Tuesday, May 28th so Gabriel can meet with the pediatric neurologist at 1:00 p.m. on the 29th. From there we should hopefully have more answers and we will start both physical and occupational therapy.  
It is a little overwhelming, but I know it is the right thing and I am so glad it is finally being addressed.
I am very hopeful that it is something that can be corrected with a change in diet (PKU? Gluten intolerance?) or physical therapy.
I am also hopeful that he will eventually get back on course because we are catching this so early.
As I lay in bed last night, my mind racing and racing, I found some comfort in the thought that God wouldn't give me more than I could handle. For some reason, although it feels like a lot, he must have known we could handle this moment in Gabriel's life--or else he wouldn't have given him to us.

So yes, I am very sad right now. I think we all are. We are worried. We are fearful. We are anxious.

But, most importantly, we are hopeful.  
I know a lot of family and friends will read this and want to talk to us or contact us and that is so wonderful and we love you and all of the support we have. It is just amazing! I have this blog for you!
But, I would kindly like to ask that you maybe wait until we're back from our appointment in Spokane to get in touch with us. I will try my best to blog in order to keep everyone updated. Keep us in your thoughts, but please understand we may not be ready or able to physically talk to you about it.  Jeff and I are both really emotional about it. Lots of tears have flowed since yesterday. No parent ever wants to admit there's anything wrong with their child, and we really just want to put all our energy and love on our two amazing boys.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Caderyn: Mommy did you know that rain comes from clouds?
Me: Oh! Really!?
Caderyn: Yeah and that raspberries come from a bush that comes from the ground and a seed?
Me: Oh! I didn't! You're so smart!
Caderyn: And did you know that milk comes from cows...and Costco?

Costco, oh Costco. You have captivated my oldest child.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Another week is in the books!
Nothing super amazing about this week (aside from me just being my fantastic self).
Caderyn was pretty great this week, Gibby wasn't.
Ear infection. Boo.
I fought an epic battle with a gigantic spider in my kitchen.
It lost.
I also bravely battled that stupid meth deer that keeps showing up in our yard. I successfully chased him out about six times this week without looking too crazy...
And that's about it.
My happy helper in the office 
Um. Yes. This was DELICIOUS.  
Making Mother's Day crafts for family 
Big toofy (teeth) smile! 
Nutella banana crepe for Caderyn,,,which I ate half of.  
The best breakfast sammie in town, from The Dive. 
Gibby hanging out with Great-Grandma in the tent during soccer
My car washer 
Trying to get this kid to crawl. He flips over and will just set up camp laying on his back, so we're trying to force him onto his tummy more 
My flirty pants 
Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Outside looking at ants.

Caderyn: Mommy are ants nice?
Me: Yes.
Caderyn: Mommy will ants eat me?
Me: Um, no probably not, but you should leave them alone to do their work. They can bite.
Caderyn: But I'm bigger than them and I can stomp them.
Me: Oh no! That is unkind. We should never step on them purposely. They are just minding their own business.
Caderyn: But they are in my play spot.
Me: That's what happens when you play outside, you have to share with other people and animals.
Caderyn: Bye Crackey you're right!

I have no idea where Caderyn learned that phrase. He has been saying, "What the heck?" or "What the heckey?" but I told him it wasn't okay to say that and to come up with something else like "Fiddlesticks!" (my personal fave). This must have been what he came up with. Not gonna lie, I busted out laughing as soon as he said it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Recently I purchased:
1. My first swimsuit in FIVE years. I love it.
2. The middle nude/beige color pair of shoes for work.
3. This shirt.
Yep. I bought that. It is super comfy and nerdy.
Recently I made:
1. Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas
Eh. They were only so so. Not as much flavor as I had expected.
2. Mississippi Roast
Um, hello easy! Jeff loved it.
3. Smothered Chicken
Super, super good!
Recently I have:
1. Been tentatively planning a trip here:
With part of our tax refund money, we are hoping to surprise Caderyn (and celebrate Jeff's graduation) by taking a trip to Legoland. I compared prices with Disneyland and Legoland and was really impressed with what we would get at Legoland for the price. I am hopeful we can go in December and am pinching pennies!
2. Been dreaming of traveling:
Isle of Sky, Scotland
If someone came up to me today and said, "I'm going to pay to send you anywhere in the world, but you have to decide in ONE minute where to go," I wouldn't even hesitate on my decision. I want to go to Scotland SO SO SO SO much it hurts! I want to hike and go to all of the castles and the pubs. I want to have a crazy fun time with some crazy fun locals! Oh I want to go so much!
3. Been impatient for:
Can my huge lilac bush just bloom already? I miss the smell and the color.
4. Been enjoying:
Oh yum!
Normally I am not a Red Velvet fan, but when it is CAKE and when it is mixed with ICE CREAM and also includes little chunks of cream cheese FROSTING. Dude, that's like...that's like my napalm and there is NO GOING BACK. 
And now you are all a little more enlightened on my life.  

Monday, May 6, 2013


Yesterday, the clouds cleared, the rain dried up, and glorious sunshine came out to play.
It felt so wonderful to be warm.

When Gabriel went down for his nap, Caderyn and I nearly flew outside within seconds of Gibby's head touching the pillow.

We had work to do. I was going to pick up the rest of the dog poop (that dog has the life I tell ya) and then I was going to rake until my arms fell off. Caderyn was my assistant.

About 30 minutes into my raking and tree trimming, I noticed Caderyn was no longer shadowing my every move. I reacted like a normal mother and had a small heart attack.
I called his name, no answer.
I put down my rake, took off my gloves and grabbed my phone.
I did a quick loop around my yard, walked around the corner of my house and saw this scene:
Caderyn, my helper, decided that the car looked dirty. So he, all by himself, got a bucket and filled it up with water. He got rags from our rag bag. He pulled out that step ladder and set it up.
The he started washing the car.
I had one of those moments, where I swore I felt my heart swell in pride. My chest hurt with the amount of love and respect I felt for that little boy.
He scrubbed that car until his little neck was slightly sunburned and then he hopped down and pretended to be Spiderman the rest of the afternoon--my yard was so safe!
In this one picture, I can look at that boy and know he will grow up to be a good kid and an even better man. He loves to help and to work and he knows his assistance is appreciated.
My car was shiny clean today!

Friday, May 3, 2013


Good bye April, hello May!
I'm glad it is Friday. This week was kind of a downer because we all got sickie-poo.
Thankfully, SO SO SO THANKFULLY, I called my mother-in-law in a panic on Wednesday morning and talked very fast (which normally happens when I'm nervous about asking for something. I hate asking, I always feel so guilty). I moaned about how the boys were STILL sick and I could not miss work Thursday or Friday of this week. And you know what? My mother-in-law, she is a gem, she rearranged her work schedule and came in to watch the boys yesterday and then ended up staying the night and is watching them today.
California, 2011
I am so lucky to have them in my life.
Poor Gibby is still running a fever. He's had a fever for three days now?! Poor bug. He did give us some smiles today, so I think he is on the mend (fingers crossed).
Caderyn is good. He probably could have gone back to daycare today, but he just adores his Mema and there is simply nothing in the world that would make him want to leave if she is in town.
And me, I took this week off from my healthy eating (kind of). I'm human and sometimes when your kids are sick and crying and you haven't showered in two days and you, yourself feel like poo, you just have to eat that cupcake and then go buy a pint of Ben and Jerry's Red Velvet ice cream (amazing) and eat it while watching Game of Thrones (S2) and then maybe have a second cupcake while watching...Gossip Girl.
To counter the above admission of craptastic television, we did watch a really good documentary about ballet dancers last night. It was called "First Position" and it was amazing! After watching I may have walked around on my toes for 20 minutes and tried a few leaps.
But I'm getting way off topic.
Here is a review of our week:
Last Friday the weather was so gorgeous I brought Lucy with me to work in the afternoon and ran her around the campus twice that day. She was so happy and tired. But then she morphed into a whiny brat when she had to come back inside. She ripped a few really nasty dog toots too. NOT OKAY.  
Blowing bubbles in the tub 
Watching brother's soccer game in the backpack. Gib blew raspberries the entire game and Jeff's neck was soaking. It was pretty funny.  
This is Kevin. Kevin is my second cousin. Kevin went to high school with Jeff. Kevin is married to my friend Kyla. Kyla is my Zumba bud. Kevin and Kyla just bought a house a block away from us. Lucy is pretty much infatuated with Kevin. This is a pretty common scene when he is over. Notice how she plants herself between Kevin and Kyla.  
Touch your toes! 
Jeff doing the dishes. It is so nice to have help around the house.  
We took Caderyn to this Train Expo on Sunday. He got a new train and was pretty dang happy.  
Hi ho, hi ho, back to the doctor we go. 
Oh man, where do I begin? 
Sickie snuggles 
Gibby Skype 
Here is Gib checking on my from his bouncer while I make dinner. He would panic if he couldn't see me, poor little guy.  
This was the morning Gib woke up covered in poop. He was so mad about having to be cut out of his onesie (not the one pictured-gross) and put in the tub.  
Lots of tubs this week to try and soothe this little guy.