Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fun and Crazy Weekend

It's been quite the busy weekend around here. Friday, Hannah had a friend come home with her from school who is also named Hannah, so I spent the afternoon saying things like "Hannah come here - no, the other Hannah" and "Hannah, give this to Hannah" and the one that really confused them both "no, it's Hannah's turn now' (to ride the bike, play with the toy, whatever!)
But, actually the girls were both good and had a good time playing together.

After Hannah's grandmother picked her up (the one who doesn't live with me), we had more company. Two friends from college come over and brought dinner. One of them also has two children, Joy and Luke, that joined us. Hannah has played with them before and always has a good time with them.

Saturday morning, we headed to Inverness Office Park for the Juvenile Diabetes Walk for a Cure. It was a very fun event for a good cause. Hannah had a ball and loved seeing all the balloons. She also made friends with a dog for the first time. Hannah has never been one to warm up to my friends' dogs, but she liked Champs (who belongs to a friend who was also walking) and even fed him a dog biscuit from her hand.

After the walk and lunch, we headed home for a nap before heading back out again Saturday afternoon. We went to the zoo. Birmingham Zoo has a great Halloween tradition called "Boo at the Zoo". It was a last minute decision to go, but I'm so glad we did. They had "haunted" train rides (not really scary - it was appropriate for little kids, particulary before dark when we went), inflatable jumping things, lots of cool "weird science" type magic tricks, and more. Hannah's favorite by far was the trick-or-treating. Local non-profit groups set up booths all around the zoo for the kids to trick or treat. It took one time for me to demonstrate to Hannah how to trick-or-treat, and she was off! This kid is a natural!! She also loved looking at all the other costumes and wasn't scared by any of it. There were even a group of adults dressed like Darth Vador and other Star Wars characters. I thought Hannah might be a little scared of them since you couldn't see their real faces at all. But, she just laughed at them. She even let a grown-up in a dog costume hug her and toussle her hair! She has come a long way!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fun at Old Baker's Farm!

Jumping off the hay is fun!!

This pumpkin is a little heavy!!

I think this one is just the right size for me!

I know it's green - but I like it that way. This is the one I want.

A fun day with friends Bethany and Jordan.

My first S'more - kind of! I put the roasted marshmallow on the graham cracker, but did not want my graham cracker broken in half. Oh, and the chocolate? Well, I ate that first.

We spent a fun afternoon at Old Baker's farm yesterday with some good friends. I love fall...and having Hannah here this year to share in all the activities makes it that much sweeter!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

We Made It!

We have officially made it to the one month post-surgery date! (as of yesterday!) That means, Hannah can now officially eat pretty much whatever she wants. No more soft food diet! So, we celebrated after school by heading to McDonald's for chicken nuggets and french fries. Her palate looks really good. There's still a few stitches, but they should be dissolving any day now.
Her surgeon said it would be several months before we knew for sure if her palate was working properly, but there are already good signs. She can blow bubbles, she can blow whistles, and she can make some 'p' and 'b' sounds now that she couldn't before the surgery. So, while she has a long ways to go still, she has also come a long ways. I'm so proud of her, and grateful to God, for all the progress she has made.

In other news, our school had their annual health fair last week. We rotate all the classes through stations all day to check hearing, vision, blood pressure, heart, and dental screening. They also participate in educational programs on safety and nutrition. My class and Hannah's class were paired together for the entire day and she did great with that. Here's a photo of her having her blood pressure checked in the gym.

We took a trip this past weekend to visit my parents. Hannah did great on the 3 hour drive and had a great time visiting. She was properly spoiled and doted on by her grandma and grandpa!

That's it for now. Check back soon for Halloween pictures of the prettiest princess ever!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Post-Op Appointment

Hannah and I are becoming pros at entertaining ourselves for hours (AND HOURS!) in dr. offices and hospital waiting rooms. Here's our latest venture to the cleft clinic this week. Yep - we're doing a Thomas the Train puzzle. We also read numerous books, worked on a sticker collection, sang songs, excercised (really - jumping jacks and toe-touches), played file folder games, and colored. Oh yeah - and Hannah received a manicure and pedicure during the wait too. Actually, that's what we were doing when our surgeon, Dr. Grant, came in to see us. Nothing like having to tell your child's doctor "okay, you can examine her now, but don't mess up the wet fingernail polish". :-) The good news is that he was a good sport. The REALLY REALLY GOOD NEWS is that he said we need to continue her soft diet for the next two weeks but that her mouth was looking perfect and he'd see us back in 6 months. Oh - and he said I could start brushing her teeth again. YEAH!! We haven't been allowed to since her surgery due to the risk of messing up the repair site. I won't give details, but let's just say this is very very good news that we can now resume toothbrushing (with something minty fresh!) :-)

This is what Hannah did to her hair driving home from the park this afternoon. I had to stop the car and snap a picture.

Blowing Bubbles! Yes, this looks like your everyday picture of a little girl blowing bubbles. But for us, it's a celebration. Hannah couldn't blow bubbles a month ago. Well, she'd try and try, and occassionally get one out...but she just couldn't build up enough air pressure in her mouth to blow fast enough to get bubbles. That's something the palate repair my sweet girl can blow bubbles to her heart's extent! (and she did too!) Of course, speech is our greater concern. But for tonight, we just enjoyed blowing bubbles.

Thanks for checking in on us. If you haven't yet read the previous post about Ben and the Walk to Cure Diabetes - please scroll down and check that out. Thanks!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

2006 Walk To Cure Diabetes - Help Ben's Buddies!

Hi friends,
I appreciate how many of you check this site for news of Hannah regularly. She is doing well, but I want to take this opportunity to tell you about another child. Ben White is an 8 year old boy from my church who has juvenile diabetes. That's him in the photos above, and the 2nd one includes his younger sister Mary and his older brother Jake. Ben was diagnosed when he was 2 years old and in the last six years has had over 13,000 fingerpricks to check his blood sugar and thousands of insulin injections. He now wears an insulin pump that helps control his diabetes, but still must check his sugar 7-10 times a day and endure painful site changes to keep the pump working properly. In addition, his parents must carefully monitor everything he eats and all his activities.

On October 28, Hannah and I plan to join Ben's family and friends in the 2006 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes at Inverness Office Park. If you're not familiar with it, JDRF is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and they are doing some amazing research with juvenile diabetes as they search for a cure. Ben deserves that cure - as do all the many other children across the world affected by juvenile diabetes. I'm posting this in hopes that someone might be moved to make a donation to JDRF in honor of Ben. Asking for money has never been something I was good at or felt comfortable with. But this is important. Ben is not just "some kid at my church". He and his family are a part of my family - my faith family. In fact, I've taught both Ben and his younger sister Mary in the children's programs at different times over the years and their mother is a good friend. But, besides all that, God has blessed me tremendously with support from those around me when I needed it most. Now, it's my turn to be on the giving end. But I can't do it alone. If you'd like to help with any donation amount, I would very much appreciate it and I know Ben's family would appreciate it greatly as well. You can give in one of two ways. Follow this link: to donate online OR e-mail me directly at and I will send you my mailing address for you to send a check (made out to JDRF). All donations are tax-deductible and every donation helps. Thank you!!