"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

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tanner's 1st Christmas @ home!

Christmas 2008 was spent in the Phoenix Childrens Hospital NICU, due to having a shunt placed on 12/24/08. So technically that was Tanner's "1st" Christmas. But I don't look @ it that way.
Christmas is fun..... do he look like he is having fun??




He wasn't even able to wear his Christmas outfit, so he used it as a "blanket" instead. :)



It says "Who needs Santa, I've got grandparents!" Ain't that the truth!!


Ray & I gave Tanner a "Sit N Stand Vtech Train...... but as you can see below he wasn't too sure of it!


Tanner received many gifts.... clothes, toys.... but he was interested in other things! Go figure!




Like Maple's bed & toys! This is so much more fun Mom!



Also ... I think this tag tastes better than it looks!


All in all.... Christmas was good to us in 2009. No hospital, no surgeries... just having our little man @ home and enjoying eachother. Wish we could have gone to Utah, hopefully that'll happen in 2010!
Merry Christmas!







Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tanner's 1st Birthday

Well, the day has come!

My little man Tanner turns 1 today! I can't hardley believe that its that time already. Time sure has gone by fast! I'm sure I'm way more excited about it than he is! :)

We had family over and the cousins got to decorate their own cupcake. I made a large muffin size cupcake for Tanner. I stripped him down to his diaper, and put him in his booster seat on the floor. At first he wasn't quite sure what to do with the "huge" cupcake I set in front of him. But he got the idea once I put my finger in the whipped cream and stuck it in his mouth.



















He had fun opening gifts with Mommy too! Tanner really got into tearing up the wrapping paper! It was fun to watch him get excited about it!









Tanner ended up receiving a ton of fun new toys, books, and clothes. Thanks everyone!


Although I do have that bit of sadness inside, remembering all of the things we've been through the past year. But there is more happiness than saddness, because I have so much to be thankfull for. Tanner has already taught me so much, and he is so fun. He has so much courage and strength, and has shown me anything is possible if you want it bad enough. He is awesome!




Sunday, December 13, 2009

Insurance Blues

So my work changed insurance and ever since all of Tanner's stuff has been getting denied due to the insurance stating he has a pre-existing condition. I have mailed, faxed, and scanned & emailed the certificate of coverage showing that Tanner has had insurance coverage since he was born, but his claims are still getting denied. The whole time I'm thinking, "how can he have a pre-existing condition with no lapse in insurance coverage?" And on top of that, he was born with his condition!

I am now getting bills and calls from Tanner's pediatrician and specialists because the claims have not been paid or have been put on hold. It's so much stress and so hard for me to handle!

At this point I'm at my wits end, and don't know what to do. Tanner just got fitted for new braces and the pre-authorization for the insurance payment was denied, so Tanner now has no braces to wear because his current ones are too smail, we can't afford to get new ones without insurance. I'm just ready to scream & cry!

I don't know what to do next to fix this, and Ray is ready to get lawyers involved. I only have so much time in the day to make calls and to appeal things. I did find a complaint form online that can be submitted the the Arizona state department of insurance commisoner, so I may be doing that if I am not able to get this resolved.

Ahhhhhh.... if its not one thing its another it seems.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Spina Bifida Christmas Party




We were able to attend the Christmas party for the spina bifida association here in Arizona. They had lunch, entertainment, and Santa. The lunch was hamburgers, baked beans, potato salad, soda, and a cookie. Tanner liked the cookie the best. :) The entertainment was a local girls dance group. It was so cute! They danced and sang christmas songs from around the world. When it came time for Santa, it was a long wait and I was afraid Tanner would have a meltdown before we got there, cause he was long overdue for a nap! But we did make it, and he wasn't sure what to think. Just stared at Santa with his eyes wide and his mouth open at first.....then looked for me. Once he saw me, he lost it and started crying. It was too cute! I know, I know... mean Mom. :) Each child received a gift bag with 3 gifts inside that had been donated. Tanner got a christmas book, a stuffed bear, and a ball.

It was really nice to meet other families that are dealing with some of the same things as Ray & I. I was also able to meet a few kids that have the same level of spina bifida as Tanner, and see that they are independant walkers. That gives me hope for the future, but I try not to dwell on it too much.

Tanner is so facinated by all the christmas trees. Who can blame him?? All the lights, and sparkling ornaments..... anyone in their right mind would love that!

Later tonight we went to Don & Arcelia's ward Christmas party, so Tanner got another round with Santa, and he cried much quicker this time! It was fun to hang out with family.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tanner loves the Wii

So we decided that we would get a Wii and Wii Fit for Christmas this year. We already have it and have been using it. Tanner is mezmerized by it, and loves the music and the wii remote!



Tanner has begun to "dance" with music. He bounces up and down. In fact, this boy loves to bounce! And as you can see put everything in his mouth!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November

Well - since I didn't really start this blog until the end of November, and I didn't write an update... this post is looking to be pretty short! :) Ray &I hosted Thanksgiving at our new house, and it was my first time making a turkey! I was really nervous about it, but with Arcelia's help it turned out great! We had a lot of the family over and it turned out to be a fun day.



Tanner loved Thanksgiving! He ate a lot! He loved the turkey with gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes!

Tanner went to see Dr Segal (orthopedic surgeon) this month. He has grown out of both his AFO's and his Ponsetti braces, so we have an appointment for Dec 1st to be fitted for new ones of both. Dr Segal said that Tanner's feet look really good, and his hips are better. His right hip still pops out once in awhile, but pops back in on its own, which he said was good. I really like Dr Segal because he has a great bedside manner. He is also willing to listen to what I think, and we work together to come up with the best possible solution for Tanner.

Something super exciting happened over Thanksgiving weekend! Tanner learned how to army crawl! Its so cute, he giggles the whole time while he is trying to reach something. He has this little evil laugh if he is going for something that he knows he is not supposed too. It's almost like he is thinking "Ha Ha, I'll get it before they notice!" :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spina Bifida Walk

The Spina Bifida walk was yesterday, and it was tiring... but fun as well! I ended up raising $525.00 total. Don, Arcelia, Emily and Allen went with me. I was going to take Tanner with me, but he had been sick... so I left him home with Ray. I was only going to do the 3K, but ended up doing the 5K cause Arcelia wanted too. Needless to say I was so sore later!

They had a drawing after the walk, and I won 4 different things! I never win anything! I got 2 CD's, a 2 night hotel stay in Aspen, Colorado (not sure when we'll be able to use this one), and a $50 gift certificate to Dick's sporting goods. Don & Arcelia won a backstage pass to 104.7 radio morning show which they ended up giving me. I haven't used that one yet either, but I will!

It was nice to see that I'm not so alone in my quest to giving Tanner a good life and trying to embrace the challenges that go along with spina bifida.