Friday, December 18, 2009

WOW It's been a really long time

I am a slacker. No, I'm just a mom with 2 little ones who keep me very busy. A lot has been going on since the last time I updated you guys. So here goes....

Robert had his palate closed and tubes put in his ears on November 10th. Again we got up really early and went to Fairfax Hospital for surgery. Everything went well. Surgery was successful and his palate is closed. YEAH!!! This was by far the most difficult surgery on everyone. Robert didn't sleep well afterwards and he didn't eat very well. We really had to force him to eat so he didn't lose too much weight. He was apparently in a lot of pain. It took him a long time to get back to his old self.

The ENT said the tubes are working great and we go back for another hearing test in March. His hearing does seem to be improved. Not that he had a hearing problem before but he reacts to noises a little differently now.

The plastic surgeon said the palate was looking good, but there is a part of his lip that is raised and if it doesn't drop by March then he would like to go ahead and fix it. We are really hoping that it drops on it's own.

Robert has decided that he wants to walk to be able to keep up with Ronnie so he is actually trying to walk already. We are going to have our hands full with him. He's growing like a weed.

Ronnie is growing like a weed as well. His vocabulary is growing every day and he is in constant motion. I don't think there is much to share about him which seems odd. He's been sleeping in a big boy bed for a while now and we are trying to potty train him. He really likes riding Daddy's four wheeler and driving the tractor around.

I guess that's it for now. I'll try to be a better blogger and update this more frequently. =)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Robert's Hearing Test

Well....apparently in the state of Virginia children born with clefts and other abnormalities have to get their hearing checked every 6 months until they are 3. So we went and had Robert's first hearing test and he failed. He passed his newborn hearing test but he failed this one. Not such a big deal. They think he just has fluid in his ears and will have tubes inserted when he has his palette repaired on November 10. I guess it could be worse.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Ronnie is sleeping in his big boy bed for the second night in a row. Paul had to lay down with him both nights. But tonight he left before Ronnie fell asleep and there was no problem. He was asleep in about 10 minutes. Hopefully we are going to be able to take the crib apart soon. Bittersweet. I have no idea when he grew up. It seems like just yesterday he was my little baby. Now he's my "big" boy. He helps set up the camper when we go camping and he loves to drive Paul's truck. Where has the time gone.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Most recent picture

This is the most recent picture of Robert. (Thanks Pork!)

Monday, July 27, 2009

OK. Now that things have settled down a bit.

Things are slowing down around here since Robert's surgery. So, where to start for an update. The picture is of Robert right after his surgery. He was still very sleepy.

Robert had his stitches out last Wednesday. The doc said he looks good. We have tentatively scheduled his cleft palette repair for November 10th. I have been told this surgery is worse then the lip. I'm not looking forward to that. It's going to require a 2 day stay at Fairfax Hospital. YUCK! I hate hospitals! But oh well.

We are had to "relearn" what Robert's cries mean. They sound so different since his surgery. I don't think we were prepared for that part. But I guess we should have been. It wasn't easy but it didn't take long. We just went back to the basics with each cry....diaper, no...hungry, get the idea.

When we got home from the hospital Ronnie couldn't wait to see his brother's "new" look. He just kept smiling at him and looking at him and saying Hi. I am pretty sure it was going on for about 3 hours. It's way too cute.

I guess that's it for Robert's surgery.

We went camping this past weekend at Natural Bridge. Went to the Virginia Safari Park and loved every minute of it. Ronnie got to feed a giraffe, a llama, camel, and a bunch of other animals. It was great to see his big smile and hear his belly laugh the entire time we were driving thru the park. He didn't like the big birds...emu, ostrich and others like them. When they came to the truck he tried to roll the window up and kept saying "Dad, go." It was great. Robert slept thru most of the park. I am sure we will do it again in the future.

I will say that the last 2 weeks have been very busy but I wouldn't change it for anything.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Surgery is done!

YEAH! A big sigh of relief. Robert's surgery to correct his cleft lip was done on Tuesday. He went in at 12:00 and was out around 2:30. I think that was the longest 2 and a half hours of my life. I was not as much of a baby as I thought I would be. When they came and took him from Paul I didn't cry. I did get a little teary eyed.

So, about an hour after he woke up he was flashing his new smile. (I'll post pictures soon.) He looks so much like his big brother now. We are all recovering together. I will do a better update with pictures soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tomorrow is the big day.

Robert's big day is tomorrow. He has his lip surgery at 12 PM. We have to be there at 10:30 and he can't eat after 6 AM. So we are getting up at 5 AM to feed him. YEAH. Then it's off to the hospital. Tomorrow night I'll stay in the hospital with Robert and Paul will be heading home to stay with Ronnie. I have tried to explain to Ronnie that Robert is having surgery tomorrow but the only thing he wants to talk about is the firetruck being broken. (The local fire department's truck was getting worked on when we drove by today. It apparently is weighing heavy on his mind.) So I'll try again tomorrow morning before we leave for the hospital. I'll post pictures of Robert's new smile soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just thought I would share some pictures of Robert

The first is a picture of him before any repair. The second is Robert at his last orthodontist appointment.

Surgery is coming

Well, we went today for our pre-op appointment for Robert's surgery. All went well. The boy is growing like a weed. He is now 11 pounds 12 ounces and 24 3/4 inches long. He's HUGE! He was cleared for surgery assuming all of his lab work comes back ok.

So now I have to prepare him for surgery. I guess there isn't really anything that I have to do to get him ready. I think it's more I have to get myself ready. I don't know that I really want to get rid of my "smooshy" face. I want him to have his cleft fixed and I know it's time but it seems like it got here too fast. It seems like just yesterday I made his appointment and we had over a month to wait. Now here it is and it's less then a week away.

I think the part that I am dreading the most is giving someone my child and getting back a child that doesn't look the way my child did. I'm not sure that makes sense. When I give them Robert I will be giving them a child with a cleft, my baby with his wide smile. When he gets done with his surgery and we get him back, he's not going to look the same. His smile isn't going to be the same, his face is going to look so different.

Maybe dreading is not the right word to use. Maybe this is all just bittersweet. Maybe I'm crazy. I hope you will keep my little one in your thoughts as we get closer to Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our 4th of July Weekend

This is way to good of a story not to share it with everyone!

This past weekend we went to Pennsylvania to visit some of Paul's family that he hasn't seen in years. The town they live in was having a parade and we decided it was a great time to get together. And since it was going to be a 4 day weekend we should camp in Pennsylvania. (For those that don't know we love to camp and have a 5th wheel camper.....a house on wheels if you will.)

So we load the family up and leave Virginia at 9:00 for our 200 mile drive up and down the mountains. Traveling with a 2 year old and a 3 month old, we figure we should be there by 1:00 2:00 at the latest. An hour and a half into the trip we stop because the check engine light comes on in the truck. This has happened many times before so Paul thinks it's no big deal. We decide to buy Ronnie, the 2 year old, some toys and books for the car ride because if I have to hear "MOM!....HI" one more time I'm going to go nuts. (He said it 8 million times between leaving home and stopping.) 25 minutes later we have to stop for food because he's hungry and Robert, the 3 month old, is hungry and needs a diaper change. OK. No big deal.

So, with food in everyone's belly and diapers changed we head back out on the road. As we are driving we are having a great conversation on how much Paul loves his truck and how good it pulls the camper..blah blah blah. Not 3 minutes later we hear a loud Boom and smoke starts pouring out of the truck. On route 68 in Maryland on the way up a mountain none the less. Tractor trailers and cars are flying by as we are going up the mountain at 10 miles an hour. Did I mention that at one point in time Paul got out of the truck to make sure it wasn't on fire while the boys and I were still in the truck? It's now 1:30 PM and we should have been at the campground already!

So we limp into Rocky Gap State Park and realize we are now officially screwed. We have no truck to pull our camper the last 60 miles to the campground, no way to move the trailer at all really, and no way to get home. OK. Call someone to get the phone number to a local Ford dealer (thanks Mom). Call 3 Ford dealers and the only one that can look at the Super Duty F 250 can't look at it until the middle of July. We get the number to one more dealership and they say tow it in, DO NOT drive it, and we will look at it on Monday. We call AAA and they say they can tow the truck but they only cover the first 3 miles of towing. It's a 36 mile tow to the dealer. With the truck gone we now only have to worry about getting the trailer and the family home.

We called in the cavalry, AKA Mom. She and Tom, my step dad, go to our house in VA and pick up my SUV and start driving to Rocky Gap State Park. We at least need to get the boys out of there. About an hour into this ordeal I look out the window and see a truck pulling a bigger 5th wheel then we have and run out to tell Paul. He already saw it and was on his way to the street to ask for help. The driver saw that we were in need of help and was in the process of stopping. He and his friend were staying at Rocky Gap and agreed to pull the 5th wheel to our campground 60 miles away. We decided that Paul would go with him and the trailer while the boys and I waited for my SUV.

A few hours later my SUV arrived and we eventually were all reunited at 8 PM on Friday night. We now had to find a way to move the 5th wheel from the spot at the campground to the storage lot at the campground. We decided to do that on Saturday after visiting family.

So on Saturday we found someone to move the 5th wheel for us and life continued as normal. On Monday we packed up my SUV and loaded the boys up to leave. We go to start the car and the battery is dead. Ronnie decided to play in the car and turn on the headlights and everything else he can reach and drained the battery. So we had to get a jump.

I have decided that someone was watching our for us this weekend. And there are still nice people left in the world. I only hope our next camping trip is not this eventful.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

21 days left....

Another dentist appointment for Robert on Monday. Everything looks good and we are still on schedule for July 14th being the BIG day. Still not sure I am ready for it. But the show must go on. Between now and then it seems like we have a million appointments and a million things to do. We have to go to the ENT, to the peditrician to get him cleared for surgery, go get blood drawn, etc. I'm sure you get the idea. We will be busy busy busy until his surgery.

We went camping last weekend with some friends and had a good time. It was nice to get away. Robert slept thru most of the trip and Ronnie is still afraid of the pool. Not only is he afraid of the pool but apparently Mommy isn't allowed to go in either. Everytime I went in he freaked out. It's ok for Daddy but not Mommy. It's going to be a very hot summer.

I think that sums it all up. I'll post a new picture of the boys soon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Only 28 days left

28 days until Robert has his first surgery. It seems like time is flying. I don't know that I am ready for this. I'm going to steal a part of a song from My Fair Lady. Henry Higgins says:

I've grown accustomed to her face. She almost makes the day begin. I've grown accustomed to the tune that She whistles night and noon. Her smiles, her frowns, Her ups, her downs Are second nature to me now; Like breathing out and breathing in. I was serenely independent and content before we met; Surely I could always be that way again- And yet I've grown accustomed to her look; Accustomed to her voice; Accustomed to her face.

Of course it should be I've grown accustomed to his face but you get the idea. When his first surgery is done we will have a new face. When is palette is closed he will have a new voice. I don't know that I want to have a "new" face. Don't get me wrong I want to have Robert's lip repaired but a part of me is going to miss his beautiful wide smile and his smooshy nose. It's going to take some getting used to. For all of us.

I wonder sometimes how Ronnie will react. He is two and is set in his ways. He likes things to stay the same...not big on change. When we get home from taking Robert to the orthodontist Ronnie comes running up to him to make sure he is OK. When we change the tape Ronnie wants us to put it back on. This could be very, very interesting.

We went to the orthodontist and for the first time since we have been using the NAM we got a good job. They actually said we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing. The NAM and tape are doing their job. Robert's nose is becoming more centered and his cleft is now closed to 3 mm. His nostril is taking shape as well. He looks more and more like Ronnie as each day passes. Which really means he looks like Paul. I have decided that Paul is definitely their father, however I am not sure who their mother is. hahaha.

This past weekend we had our first family pictures taken by a great photographer, who happens to be a friend as well. Thanks a bunch Angee! I'll let you know when they are available so you can take a look at them. I can't wait to see them and I can't thank Angee enough for taking time out of her weekend to shoot us. So if you are looking for a photographer let me know and I'll pass on her info.

Ronnie is still 2 and is all boy, still. He is still learning to talk and his new favorites are: Pork (you know who you are), oh man, ready set go, and whoa. Two of his new favorite games are trying to run the dog over with his Power Wheels, and shooting daddy with his squirt gun. Paul has been working and getting sprayed with Ronnie's squirt gun. And I'm just enjoying all of it. I think that again sums up what is happening in our world. Hope all is well in yours!

Monday, June 8, 2009

An update on the entire family

We went to the orthodontist again today. Nothing really changed. We have to pull the tape tighter which makes Robert ever so happy....not so much really. Other then that we only have another 5 weeks of taping left. 70 tapings total. Again not that we are counting. We can't wait to be done with this part of our journey.
The good news is that when I go to McLean I get to use HOV, because Robert rides with me. The bad news is the state trooper that sits on the exit ramp to enforce HOV seems to know my car now and waves. lol. Not really. He looks real hard in my car as I come up to him. I just smile and wave. We have our next appointment next Monday at 9:15. YUCK! That sums up Robert's update for now.
Ronnie is still 2. Every bit of 2. His favorite word of the day is No. No matter what you ask the answer is no. He has decided that he can do whatever he wants and get away with me. Paul and I have a different opinion and things are getting to be fun around here. He loves to drive his Power Wheels truck and to jump on the neighbors trampoline. He's getting much better at jumping. And he has decided that this is the time to start talking. The only problem now is finding a way to make him stop. You can only hear "Elmo" so many times before you want to puncture your ear drums.
We had a hail storm here so Paul is getting ready to be very busy. Good for us but bad for us as well. It means we won't be seeing much of him for a while. He'll be up early and home late. We are going camping for Father's Day weekend with a bunch of friends. Should be a nice break for him. Really it should be a nice break for all of us.
There is nothing new with me so I guess that sums it all up. Til next time.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A few new pictures of the boys

The first one is Ronnie enjoying his first camping trip of the season. The second one is Robert with out his NAM on May 30th.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A visit to the peditrician

Well, yesterday Robert had to go to his 2 month well baby appointment. The doctor is very happy that he is now weighing in at 10 pounds 3 ounces. For those of you who don't know he went into the hospital when he was 10 days old because he stopped eating and became unresponsive. During that time he was weighing in at 6 pounds 8 ounces, which was almost a pound less then what he was at birth. Not a good thing.
He met all of his age milestones such as knowing he has hands (haha), cooing, and vocalizing. He also pulls himself up and holds his head up unassisted for periods of time. We have tried to tell him that he doesn't need to do it all at once but he disagrees. Next week he will be getting a masters degree....thanks to Aunt
We are very happy with his progress. we still do not like taping the poor little guy. And he now fights us like he means it. Only 40 more days not that I'm counting. We go back to the orthodontist on Monday. I wonder how much more tape they can add to his face. I think that eventually he will be just a big ball of tape. =)
Ronnie is having a good time being 2 and giving his parents a hard time. And the dog, and his toys, and well you get the picture. He is trying to figure out where the line is and how many times he can cross it. He's learning quickly. I hope he gets out of this stage soon. I guess that's it for now. I'll keep you all updated of anything that changes.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another appointment....

Another piece of tape.

We went to the orthodontist again today. They added another piece of tape to Robert's face. I am not sure his face will fit any more tape on it. Now we are trying to reshape the nostril and make sure it doesn't flair out anymore.

The appointment went well I guess. They seem to like the progress. We are still on target for a July 14th surgery date. However I think this taping is getting to be torture to all of us. Ronnie leaves the room covering his ears because Robert screams at the top of his lungs. Robert looks at Paul while he is taping him up and it breaks his heart. I have the easiest job so far...all I have to do is hold him still and then love on him when we are done. I am really glad that this part is almost done. I'll post some pictures of Robert's progress in the next few days.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another trip to the orthodontist

Well, we took Robert to another orthodontist appointment today for a NAM adjustment. This has become a weekly occurrence since he was fitted for it. Everything is going just fine. We have to make the tape that pulls his lip over needs to be tighter but that's the only change. We have yet another appointment on Monday.

As soon as Robert and I got home Ronnie came over and wanted to make sure his little brother was ok. It's way too cute. Everytime we get home from one of our appointments he needs to make sure Robert's ok. It's nice to see him becoming a wonderful big brother.

That's really the only update for today. Sorry it's not very exciting. Looking at it now it wasn't even worth posting. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Here goes nothing.....

Well, I have decided that since there are so many people to keep updated with the latest happenings of the Grant family I would try blogging. The truth is that I thought it would be easier to keep everyone updated about Robert's cleft progress among other things.

For those that don't know Robert was born with a cleft lip and palette. We found out at our 20 week ultrasound and it's been a little busy around here ever since. There has been the fighting with the insurance company (they didn't want to cover a craniofacial team) to meeting with doctors.

Robert has already started treatment. The first step for him was a NAM, nasal alveolar molding. It's a little hard to explain what the NAM looks like but I'll try. It's kind of like a retainer or a denture. It covers the roof of his mouth and is pulling everything together. It has a piece that is pushing his nostril up so both side of his nose will look the same. Then there's the tape.....OH how we hate the tape. There are multiple pieces of tape. There is the "arms" to hold the NAM in place. Then there are the pieces to pull his lip closer together and to flatten it out. The tape has to be changed twice a day and it is by far the worst part of it for us. I was not a believer in the NAM. I thought is was going to be something the insurance wouldn't cover and something that wasn't going to make that much of a difference. The bad news is the insurance didn't cover it. The good news is I was so WRONG. It has made such a big difference. His cleft started at 12 mm and in 3 weeks it was down to 4 mm. I am officially a believer.

The NAM has worked so well we have a date for his first surgery. On July 14th he will be going to Fairfax to have his first surgery. They are going to repair his lip first. There will be many more to go but the first is his lip. I think that about sums up the news on Robert. Can't wait to keep you guys updated.