Ode to Potty Training

Froggy potty and Elmo "underpants"
Line the living room floor and hall.
In success he gets a small treat
Along with praising, dancing, singing and all.

Cookies, fruit snacks and even a brownie,
are useful in getting him to sit
Oh, how about cartoons or a trip to the park!
Is this birbery? Maybe just a bit.

Number two is the issue at hand
He is scared to sit and go
So he quickly paces the room in circles 
eventually with a little tail in tow

A minor little hurdle
that we can work through
Maybe teaching him to do laundry,
that will be his cue!

So, he is peepeeing on his own now
and is not even an issue
For Tyler is a "big boy now" and
Oh no- I think I need a tissue!

Yes, I know. I need to get a life. Ha! I feel like I am always writing about Ava and her updates, so I wanted to decicate this post to my little guy, Tyler. He is actually doing fantastic with potty training seeing that we are only a week into it:) Now, if only he can get over this fear of the whole pooping part! Or at least only go every few days....hehe. He does love is "underpants" though and would choose that over a diaper anyday. They just grow so fast!

Baptism and Faith

So, Ava was baptized on the first Sunday of March. It was chaotic, But I wouldn't have traded the day for the world. We were so blessed to have Brian, Betsy and the boys stay with us for the weekend which Tyler just loved! He still wakes up in the morning asking "Where's Mac?" Gotta love that boy!

The Baptism was nice, but I was a little saddened by the fact that there were 4 other baptisms that morning. Yes, you read that right. 5 baptisms total. It just felt a little impersonal, and if I had known this before, we easily would have waited another month or so. The positive is she is baptized, and our promises were made. That is what counts.

I haven't really shared my feelings and experiences of when I initially found out about Ava. It was hard. The hardest thing I have ever dealt with to date. When someone tells you that your daughter has fluid on her brain and all you see is fluid in the ultrasound room (no brain), it is overwhelming. I am not sure I have cried that hard before. I had no idea what to expect. I had never heard of hydrocephalus and what the outcome for our little girl was going to be. So, I went home that night and Googled her diagnosis. Bad move. I was truly balling my eyes out at this point. I closed the computer and decided no more of that. This was also the night that Tyler fell out of his bed. Weird, huh? He had been in his big boy bed for months now, and he picked that night to roll right out. I crawled in bed with him, and softly cried myself to sleep while oddly feeling secure in the warmth of my two year old son.

I woke up the next morning still in tears and tried to hold myself together. After a day or so of just pure confusion and pain, I received a card from some very special people. After reading that card, I realized that no matter how many tears I cried, no matter how many documents I read on possible scenerios for Ava, no matter what, Ava's fate was in God's hands. I had to now rely on my faith. This is something I had never really done before, but I just knew that this was the way I was going to get through it. So, that day after praying hard, I took a deep breath and said that I have to be strong and take what is given. After that, what few tears came every now and then were not so big and not so painful. And anytime I started to get upset, I went back, read that card, and I took a deep breath. It it His will, and it is out of my hands. I just had to keep remembering that.

I still have this card that was given to me. My goal is to have someone copy the front onto a canvas and hang above Ava's crib. These words, very simple might I add, stopped me in my tracks and brought me to a place that I had not yet experienced.

Toooo Busy!

So sorry I have not been up to date! The family went to Disney World two weeks ago with my parents and my brother's family, and we all had a blast! Tyler even went up and hugged all the characters (if you didn't hear, he ended up on his stomach crying when we went to see Santa...not good). The weather was amazing, and the crowds were very small, so we couldn't ask for a better trip. I hope to have a link to some pictures here soon....once I figure out how to do that:)

Ava is trugging along and doing fantastic. We go for a hearing test on Monday which I believe is just protocol. That is one thing that I am really not worried about as she reacts to people's voices, sounds and her brother's lovely temper tantrums. I am looking to possibly get a 2nd opinion on her vision because I am just not sure I can wait a year to find out what all is going on. The ophthalmologist that we have been seeing here at MUSC says that he doesn't need to see her for a year or so to do a follow up. That may be the case, but I just have a hard time with that. So, I figure someone else can either confirm that and ease my mind or tell me otherwise. It can't hurt, right?

I have met many people online many of them with truly amazing stories. This one gentleman from Canada has lived with hydrocephalus since he was born...48 years now...WOW. His last shunt that he had placed was 24 years ago, and it is still going strong! While that gives me great hope, he also elaborates on the headaches and such that accompany this condition. He sent me a scale that another man made up, and this guy says that he is right on target. It is a scale of 1 to 10, and I think on level 4 or so he is getting sick from the pain. This tugs at my heart that my baby girl may and will likely experience this. I know it could be much, much worse, but no one wants to hear those kind of stories. But he also has very positive and fun facts that he shares like people with hydrocephalus are walking barometers. Yes, the pressure from the atmosphere affects people with hydrocephalus. I have heard that many get headaches when a front is coming. Kinda funny in its own little way. Maybe Ava can grow up and be the first accurate weather person!