"God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family."
" Faith makes life possible. Hope makes life workable. Love makes life beautiful."

The Winwards

The Winwards

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Almost 6 months old!!




Ok, so I know its been a really long time since I've sent out an update! We've been quite busy tying to settle into our new house. It's coming together slowly, but surely.

Tanner is over 17 pounds now and is such a cute boy! He is almost 6 months old! I can't believe it! Time sure has gone by fast! He is showing his personality more as each day goes by, he loves to laugh and play. He is such a busy baby, always doing something. He can now roll over and holds himself up off his chest while on his tummy. He hasn't quite figured out how to get up on his hands and knees yet, but I'm sure he will get it in his own time. He discovered his feet within the past couple of weeks and loves to suck on his big toes. He definitely knows what he wants, when he is hungry and when he is tired - he is sure to let you know. He is turning out to be a lot like his mom, very stubborn! He is a joy to watch and learn from as he grows. Not one day goes by that he doesn't do something or makes a face that helps me to smile and laugh.

Tanner loves going to the sitter while mommy & daddy are @ work. He goes to the same sitter as his cousins, Emily and Allen. Her name is Kristie, she is LDS and has kids of her own. Her youngest is 6, so she takes care of other kids to keep her busy.... or so she says. She does a great job with Tanner and always lets me know what happened during the day when I pick him up. She doesn't charge much, and I love that he is with other kids but in an in home environment. Tanner loves to watch the other kids play! He has become a lot more verbal and tries to mimick the other kids. His new favorite thing to do is nod his head. Once he figured out that he could do it, he does it a lot!

Tanner eats a lot of different baby foods now, and he even likes rice cereal.... but only if its mixed with juice! Ironically he likes vegetables better than fruit. The tartness of the fruit is not his favorite. He really liked bananas, but he had issues with constipation... so no more bananas for awhile! We are not sure if the constipation is due to the spina bifida or just normal baby stuff. His pediatrician said that a lot of babies have issues with bananas, so we will try again when he is over 1 year. I am hoping that it is just typical baby stuff, but I know that it could be related to the spina bifida as well. He still loves to nurse and he loves milk or juice from a bottle. When we feed him baby food or cereal we have to hide the bottle until he eats, cause once he sees it.... he wants nothing else! :)

He has reached the age that he recognizes someone he doesn't know. He gets the panic look on his face and searches for mom or dad. Once he sees one of us, he knows he is ok. It's really cute. He is very aware of others and loves to watch people. He is very attentive and aware of his surroundings.

The best thing happened this past week. I was holding him as he was falling asleep, and holding one of his feet in my hand. He started pushing down on my hand with his toes! The first time it happened I thought I imagined it, but then he kept doing it! He doesn't move his feet or toes ever, and it was thought that he had no feeling in them. Looks like he is going to prove the doctors wrong yet again! Even if he never does it again, it happened, and I felt it!!! That moment was the best & it gave me hope that he will do it again. But if he doesn't, I love him anyway!


My new favorite quote is "Life is not a matter of Milestones, but of Moments". I got a plaque that has it on it and it's become my new motto. Reading everyday helps me to stay positive and not dwell on the things that Tanner may or may not be able to do.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More fun stuff!

Tanner just keeps getting bigger and bigger! He is now 4 1/2 months old. He weighs 16 pounds now, and is 26 1/2 inches long. He no longer fits into any clothes smaller than size 6 months, and some size 6 months are even too small.


His last surgery was on April 10th for another shunt revision. They moved the shunt from the front of his head to the back. With hopes that this would help the cyst that had formed previously to not come back. It's been a month, and so far things are great! The cyst has not come back, and the shunt is perfoming as it should. We like the shunt better in the back than the front, because it doesn't show up as much.


Tanner still wears his hip brace and foot braces @ night. The feet braces he has to wear for 12 hours in a 24 hour period, and the hip brace 8-10 hours. So we opt to have him wear them as he sleeps at night. His feet haven't responded as well to the braces as they hoped that they would, so it looks like they are leaning towards doing another surgery on his feet in July.


As a result of no braces during the day, his activity has increased, and he is starting to get stronger! He rolled over for the first time this past week, and can now hold his head up by himself. He is also getting good at sitting up assisted. He is getting stronger and stronger each day, and is doing so well! He loves tummy time and is a very playful happy baby! He loves to babble nonstop and is such a giggler!





This past week we also started feeding him baby food. He doesn't really like rice cereal that much, but he loves applesauce! The look on his face after the first bite was hilarious! But now he giggles inbetween every bite cause he is so excited! It's so cute!

Tanner's doctor appointments have slimmed out considerably. He passed his last urodynamics test, and we don't have to go back for 6 months. His shunt seems to be working, go back for a CT scan in 2 months. We don't see his orthopedic doctor until end of June for his feet or hips. So he really just has a couple of developmental appointments and physical therapy which are ongoing. So all in all, things are looking up!

I still get down sometimes that I don't have a "perfect child". But who really has the "perfect child" ? I know that Tanner is who he is for a reason, and its getting easier to be happy with just that. But it's still hard not to get teary eyed when I see other little ones walking and moving their little toes. Tanner has never moved his toes. It's amazing how much we take for granted. Okay, I'm done with my soapbox now.

We went and had professional photos taken on 4-18 as part of a program call The Littlest Heros project. I learned about it at a spina bifida support group that I joined online. If you would like to know more about it, visit their site at www.littlestherosproject.org. Our experience was a good one, fun, and free! Can't beat that! :)
We have received 2 sample pictures which I attached, and am anxiously awaiting a free CD from the photographer with 15-20 more photos on it! I will share once that is received.






We are trying to finish getting ready to move so we can move into our new house this coming Saturday! Moving sure is a lot harder with a baby! It makes it hard to find time to pack boxes! Tanner is a so much fun, but also time consuming! :) Things are coming along slowly but surely. We did get a small setback, as there was an attempt to break into our new house. There was no entry, but we've had to replace 2 broken windows and the back door which got pretty messed up. We in no way believe that this reflects the kind of neighborhood we are moving into. We believe it to be one of the freakish things that just happen.