Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Ultimate Roadie

If there is one thing Charlie loves it is music. One of his first words was guitar (he says "tar-tar"). He also loves the drums ("bum-bums"). Here is a picture and a short video of Charlie enjoying some music with his daddy.

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Our Trip to see Grandparents

Raymond went to the National Vineyard worship leaders retreat last week. While he was away Charlie and I had the chance to visit with Great Grandpa and Grandma, Nana and Papa, and Great Grandma C. Charlie really came out of his shell pretty easy on this trip. It usually takes him a few days to warm up to relatives that he hasn't seen in a while. This time he just put on the charm. It was really great to visit with my family.

Charlie with his Papa
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Great Grandpa & Grandma
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Our Big Boy
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Charlie with his Nana
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Charlie and Great Grandma
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Case Closed

When Charlie was diagnosed with a moderate bilateral sensorineural hearing loss (fancy way of saying a moderate hearing loss in both ears that is permanent) when he was six weeks old, we were signed up for a program called California Children's Services. It is a wonderful program that pays for the medical expenses for children with certain medical conditions, deafness being one of them. We never had to pay a penny of any of Charlie's treatment for his hearing loss, including his fancy digital hearing aids that cost $1000 a piece. It is wonderful program--I highly recommend raising children in California for middle class folks. California really takes care of it's children.

Well, as I've written before, when Charlie was 15 months old his hearing loss appeared to have diminished. A second opinion revealed that he had totally normal hearing. We had a follow up appointment in October that again confirmed that Charlie's hearing is completely normal. It is very rare for the type of hearing loss Charlie had to get better. It has been suggested that in some children the auditory part of the brain needs a little time and experience to mature, and this may have been the case with Charlie. It may have been a true miracle. Either way, Charlie is incredible blessed to not have to deal with a hearing loss anymore (especially when he faces other challenges with language delay).

Anyway, today I received a letter in the mail from California Children's Services. The letter states the following (emphasis is my own):

Dear Kimberly,

The California Children's Services program is required to provide you with written notice when eligibility or services are DENIED. After reviewing all available information, the following determination was made.

Effective 1/16/2008

According to our records, the previous hearing loss is no longer present and THIS CASE IS NOW CLOSED. ...


That's it! CASE CLOSED! It was so fun to get this letter today. I never thought I'd ever be glad to be denied coverage for anything! I am once again reminded to be thankful to God for giving Charlie the gift of full hearing!

Now we are just left with one problem... What in heck should we do with the super fancy, super expensive hearing aids we have just laying around in a drawer???
--K

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Eeeek!!

We decided the bed bugs must have got Charlie during nap time. What do you think?
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Happy Birthday, Charlie!!!

Our baby is TWO today! I cannot believe how the time has gone by. It really does not feel like two years.

Charlie is so amazing. Anyone who knows him will agree. These two years with our sweet boy have been such a gift. Did you know that we start every day with huge smiles on our faces? You know why? That is literally what we see when we first open our eyes. We see Charlie grinning at us from ear to ear every morning when we wake up. It is wonderful!

Charlie has accomplished so much. He has grown so much in the last year. Lets see...
He has gained 1 pound--not a lot, but most his growing this year has been up. He really looks like a little boy now instead of that cute, chubby baby he still was at this time last year.
He has grown several inches. Not sure just how many. We will find out at his 2 year old check-up next week.
Charlie got 10 new teeth since he turned one, including 4 molars!
He learned to crawl last March.
He has learned to sign many words (we've lost count!)
He has learned how to say many words (vocabulary is growing every day! The newest words are "help," "open," "up," and "in")
He made many friends.
Charlie stopped nursing at night time last Spring.
He started eating solids and drinking from a straw in the Summer after months and months of struggling to catch on.
He can cruise furniture and walk with a walking toy.
Charlie can stack blocks, he can help clean up, he can paint and color, he can dance, and SO MUCH MORE!

What a year! I am so excited to see what is in store for Charlie this year!

Here are a few 'then and now' pictures of our big boy:

Here is Charlie when he was one day old
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Here's our boy at 9 weeks old on the day he first started to smile. This is one of my favorite pictures because it was during the time we were waiting to learn if Charlie had Down Syndrome or not. It was such a hard time for Ray and I, and Charlie totally blessed us with his precious smile. It was just what we needed to know that everything was going to be okay.
First Smile

Here is a picture of our big Two year old we took this morning
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I think this is a pretty ferocious face, don't you? Grrr!!!
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Thursday, January 3, 2008

What's in store for our family in 2008

1. Charlie will be tuning 2 next week!
2. Ray will be traveling to Colorado for a Worship Leaders Conference this January.
3. We will either move to a new apartment or get a new roommate in February.
4. We will be having a baby boy in March.
5 Ray will turn 29 in July.
6. Kim will turn 28 in September.
7. We will be opening savings accounts to work toward having a Special Needs Trust for Charlie and a retirement account for us (does this mean we are "grown ups" now?).
8. Ray's employer plans on adding health insurance for employees and their families!
9. Ray and I will celebrate our 5th anniversary! I can't believe were coming up on 5 years! It has been wonderful!
10. This one is for all the plans God has for us that he has kept a special secret so far.
--K

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Third Trimester

Well, we are officially into the third trimester with this pregnancy. We are getting very excited about meeting our new baby boy! We are starting to gather our little baby stuff together and make space in Charlie's room for his new brother. Everything is going great with this pregnancy. I feel pretty good, and the baby is quite an active little guy. March is just around the corner!!!

Happy New Year!

Well, it seems I am getting a little behind in my blogging. Our Christmas this year was wonderful. We were so glad to have a visit from Nana and Papa and Auntie Kelly. Charlie had a bad cold and a cough, and was sort of a lump of a guy attached to mommy for the first few days.

After Nana, Papa, and Auntie left, we enjoyed having Christmas eve dinner and church service with Ray's family here. We met up with the whole gang again at our house Christmas morning. We had a delicious Christmas breakfast, everyone pitched in to make their specialty. Raymond made his wonderful buttermilk biscuits cut out with Christmas cookie cutters. Charlie was feeling much better by Christmas day, and was happy to open some presents and watch the model trains go around the tree and living room.

Charlie received a few gifts that he is REALLY excited about. He received three new Signing Time DVD's that he is CRAZY about! Several times a day he crawls over to the entertainment center and signs that he wants to watch signing time. He received a toddler size table from Nana and Papa, and art supplies from Uncle Russell and Renee. He is loving finger paining and coloring with his new fancy markers and note pad.

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Last, but certainly not least, Auntie Kelly gave Charlie "Hokey Pokey Elmo." First, Charlie has fallen in love with Elmo in the last few months. When I was going to school last semester I found it helpful to turn the TV on for a few minutes after breakfast to occupy Charlie while I made his lunch and got stuff together. It happened that we always finished breakfast right about the time Elmo's segment came on Sesame Street. So now he is head over heals for Elmo. He dances and laughs when the segment comes on. He can even say "Elmo."
As you can imagine, he is a little excited about being the proud new owner of his very own Elmo doll! He LOVES his Elmo. Elmo sings and dances the Hokey Pokey, but rarely gets to finish his dance before Charlie grabs him for a hug. Thanks you Auntie Kelly!

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