Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Here comes April!

First, I must share this...
This photo was taken nearly one year ago. Look at my sweet chubby little man! This photo brings up so many emotions for me:

First of all, he is just plain beautiful! Those eyes? Be still my heart!

Secondly, my heart aches when I look at this photo. At this point in his life he has already experienced so much pain and such a rough journey. And when I see this photo I also know that it was only the beginning of his traumatic journey.

And lastly, when I see this photo I see the many gifts that the Lord has given Jude and our family. It is truly miraculous that Jude is the busy little boy he is today despite all of the medical challenges he has faced!


 So, what have we been up to over the last few months? Well, we still spent a lot of time inside in isolation as we waited for the cold winter days to pass. Don't get me wrong...these two kiddos have soaked up every moment of time together. I love how their relationship is growing into a playmate stage. Jude's favorite room is Annabelle's bedroom. There are tons of cool toys and Annabelle is always game for entertaining her brother. Right now they both enjoy playing in her kitchen with all of the fake food. Usually she sets up a little picnic and they take "bites" of every item of food. Jude LOVES it!
 I can't tell you how many times I've teared up over the last several months as I watch them play together. I wished, hoped and prayed that one day these sweet kiddos would enjoy the simple joy of being in each other's company. I love watching him study Annabelle's face when she talks in her funny, squeaky baby voice. I love how she insists on giving him a hug and kiss several times during play.
 Jude has also been enjoying his time at the dinner table a little more. Over the last month he has become more and more receptive to tasting new foods. Right now his favorite foods are Ritz and saltine crackers. But he is expanding his menu to Chex cereal and Sun Chips. He is not a fan of slippery textured foods like oranges or strawberries....but he is becoming more and more receptive towards actually chewing them and swallowing them. He is still a fan of all types of beans and today he ate some chicken. We are so excited about the steps Jude is taking towards eating all of his nutrition by mouth. We are still a long ways away from being g-tube free. Right now the amount of food he is taking by mouth is not enough to sustain him so we continue to give a majority of his food via g-tube. He is still receiving part of his meals from a blended diet and we are still giving him pediatric formula as well. Our hope is that we will be formula free soon. And there is NO WAY that we could do this amazing blended diet without our Blendtec blender. This machine works wonders, you guys!! We can put ANYTHING in this blender and it makes all of the food so finely blended that it goes into his g-tube without effort. It is truly the best blender on the planet! Hands down.

This month Jude also encountered his first GI bug. No fun friends.

Mommy had it first....and poor Jude was soon after. Thankfully Annabelle and Daddy avoided it! It left our little man feeling pretty crummy and his digestive system was pretty slowed down for several days. I was totally nervous that this GI bug was going to mess up all of the progress that Jude made from an eating standpoint. But I was wrong. The boy came out of the GI bug hungry as can be! Whew!

Jude did not have any doctor appointments this month...so we've been working hard with his therapists. Jude isn't walking yet but he is a brave little cruising kiddo. He does a lot of independent standing and moving without holding on the furniture....but he's just not quite confident enough to take a few steps completely on his own. We've tried to convince him to take steps towards us but he just drops to his bottom and fusses. And one thing we've learned about Jude is that he wants to do things in his own time in his own way. So, it has to be his choice...but we know he is SO SO close to walking on his own!

We've mentioned before that we are hoping to have a little party/celebration for Jude so that many of the people who have prayed for Jude can come and finally meet our little man. At first, we thought that we'd have a party this Spring. But the more we thought about it and the more I talked with my mom....we decided that the best day to celebrate would be July 27th. Some of you who have been reading our blog for awhile now may know the story of July 27th. But for our new readers, let me give you a quick history.

On July 27, 2004 my (Rose's) baby sister was in a terrible car accident that nearly took her life. After her accident many of our family members and friends began to see rainbows. And we began to see them as ways that the Lord was telling us He was present and carrying our Rachael through the storm. For years we'd celebrated "Rachael is Alive day". Then on July 27, 2011 Brian and I went for our 20 week ultrasound for Jude. On that same day, years later, we received devastating news of Jude's diagnosis. And again...we began to see rainbows and encouragement from the Lord.

So, my mom has decided that we are claiming July 27th as our Rainbow Day! And each year we will celebrate the joys and the gifts that were given to our family on that day. We are reclaiming that painful date as a beautiful date....to share the stories of our faithful God.

So, details will follow in the coming months...stay tuned.

There are a few things coming up for Jude in the coming weeks/months....look for another blog post soon!

Photo catch up!

Hi friends,
I've finally been able to upload the photos from Jude's birthday party (way back in December)!

Here are a few pictures of Jude enjoying his 1st birthday party!

Our hearts were SO FULL on this day! What an amazing year with our little man.
Oh! The Lord has been good to us!