Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Play'in in the Yard

The weather was so nice on Monday that we all ventured outside to play in the backyard.

Working Out

After playing in the yard, the three of us got down to the business of a serious workout!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Play Time

Matthew loves to play with his "Ole McDonald" play set that Grandma Sue got for him. He loves to drop the hay bales down the shoot!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Anatomy of a Fit

Step 1. Walking along like all is well.
Step 2. It occurs to you that you are two and momentarily displeased with life.
Step 3. As you progress through your pitiful crying, you peer out from your hands to look for sympathetic onlookers.
Step 4. Unsatisfied with the reaction you've thus far received, you roll over for enhanced effect.
Step 5. After a relatively short period of time, you return back to normal.

Friday, January 26, 2007

As with all the ladies in this family, a periodic "Matthew fix" is a mainstay of life. Here, Auntie Gabrielle stops by for hers and takes the occasion to rock Matthew to sleep.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Love...Improved Version

Here are some of my favorite photos set to Tom T. Hall's "I Love". These are the images I often think of each day at work (until I can come home). I reloaded the video in a different format so now it plays the way we intended it!

Diaper Man!

What is it about little kids shedding their clothing? Yesterday I dressed up Matthew in this outfit and, before I knew it, his little pants were hovering below his knees! I hope Terri isn't subjecting him to MTV while I'm at work.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

On Sunday, Matthew was enthralled with his set of toy car keys. He especially liked the sounds & lights on the remote. Uncle Keith & Auntie Gabrielle keep a basket of Matthew toys handy for when he visits.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ride'em Cowboy!

Matthew loves to explore the prairie on his zebra rocking-horse. You can almost hear "Eekie Oakey Ole Cowboy" or "Tumbling Tumble weed" in the background.

Auntie Kim Stopped by to get her "Matthew fix" while Matthew got his haircut. She was a welcome departure from the shears.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Quixa's Collar

We take Quixa's collar off at night so the jingle doesn't wake Matthew. This morning he got to it first and had a great time chasing the doggie around the bedroom.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

It has been rather cold in the mornings here (for us desert people). Among our morning chores, Matthew & I lead Quixa out to the dog run to feed her. To stay warm we decided to share my coat. Terri said Matthew looked like "Mini-Me".

The Crib Atrocity

This is a special news alert! You are looking at pictures of a gruesome scene. A couple entered their toddler's room to find this carnage; stuffed animals who had been thrown over the railing of the baby crib. Police say the suspect is a toe-headed little 20 month old who was showing his displeasure with "nap time".

We love comments!
Seeing "comments" on the blog is as fun as hearing "you've got mail" !!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Splish Splash

Bath time is a regular occurrence in our home (especially since Matthew has become mobile). Here is a montage of videos & photos of Matthew enjoying tub-time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Legislation Update

It's been two months since we received additional health insurance for Matthew thru the police department. I must thank God (and the Board of Trustee's) a hundred times a day for raising the lifetime cap for it's members.

We have not given up on trying to help all the other families in this state that have "run out" of health insurance. We are setting up meetings and staying in close contact with our Senators, Congressman and Assemblywoman ~ and of course, Beth Fisher from KVBC Channel 3.

We were supposed to meet with one of the Chiefs of Staff for Governor Jim Gibbons tomorrow, but Matthew has a GI test scheduled. Joe Bifano from the Fraternal Order of Police is going to set up another day/time sometime next week.

Our plans are to go to Carson City sometime next month and testify ... Senator Heck is the only one who agreed to draft and submit a Medicaid "buy in" bill for non poverty level families that have medically fragile children.

Nevada needs to implement some kind of "safety net" or High Risk Pool for families that "run out" of health coverage or are uninsurable. If there are 36 other states in this country with a High Risk Pool, there is NO reason why a state as rich as ours can't take care if it's own citizens.
(Of course, if you're poor, there's no problem.. you'll get cared for.)
We think it would be a whole lot better than being forced to move out of state to another state that has a HRP or getting a divorce.

If you missed the the KVBC newsclip that ran in November and again on New Years Day ... here it is w/ a video of Mike, Matthew, myself, Beth Fisher and Senator Heck.
Here is a Las Vegas Sun Article about us and two other NV families of cardiac babies that "ran out" of health insurance.

Matthew is quite the little explorer. We try to let him have as much free rein as possible. We are forced to keep him out of certain cabinets as well as the living room (due to possible parrot attacks). Here, he is trying to break free of his bonds. You can almost hear "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" being whistled in the background as he attempts his escape.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This is a CDC Alert!!!

The recent wave of below freezing temperatures here in Las Vegas has led to an outbreak of Cabin Fever. Symptoms include lounging on the couch while watching marathon Disney movies. As temperatures rise, you should observe a decline in new cases. As for Joel & Matthew, we expect them to make a full recovery.

Matthew's GI specialist appointment

Mom and I met with Dr. Baron late this afternoon. He said there are a few things that could be wrong. Some sounded kind of scary, like a herniated something or other (it was a medical term I can't remember) or scar tissue build up OR it could be something as simple as a milk/soy allergy. He wants to take a look and make sure everything in his digestive system is working properly FIRST. I think I had information overload. I didn't bring a little notepad like Mike usually does. All I can say is, I walked out of there HOPING AND PRAYING that it just ends up being only a milk/soy allergy. You never like hearing that something might not be working properly!!

Thursday morning, Matthew will be going in for an upper GI (oral esophagram and via G~tube) ~ yes, that means he's going to have to actually drink something by mouth... good thing he's on steroids again... that might help. I will call Dr. Baron for results ... and he'll know what to look for next if that turns out okay. There is another test that can see how fast or slow his digestive system is "dumping" ... yada yada...

Oh boy, with these medically fragile kiddos ... it can be hard emotionally. If it's not his heart we're concerned about, it's his pulmonary arteries & branches or it's his fragile lungs or his kidney reflux or his GI tract. Never a dull moment and never a time of feeling complacent.

I be sure to thank God for those "uneventful days" and for every single day that is "normal".

This is the maple crib that Mike made for Matthew before he was born. He also put the hardwood floor down and decorated the room.

To Nancy (and those who are wondering): I bought the plans for Matthew's crib from a woodworking catalog and made it completely from scratch. Terri snapped this picture of me at the lumber yard.

Matthew has developed an affinity for pulling off his socks...

Here you can see him pulling off the sock before performing his smug little "two-fingered drop". I can almost hear him saying, "Hey Dad, what do you think of them apples?"

Matthew and his GI issues.

We haven't talked about this on the blog yet ... But ever since Matthew had his g~tube placed & fundoplication (Oct 2005) ~ he has experienced this horrible "wretching" after every feed that is QUITE DISTURBING to watch. We have complained to our GI specialist at every visit, but we are ALWAYS told that "some kids are just wretchers". He has never ever seemed concerned about it. Another point of concern is, Matthew can't tolerate more than 3 to 4 oz at a time. A few weeks ago a friend of ours, Becky (a PICU nurse) was over visiting... She said "THAT IS NOT NORMAL". She said that she'd mention to another GI specialist. Late last week, a therapist was here doing a home visit and was shocked, saying the same thing... She started rattling off all these things that could be wrong. (You can only imagine how terrible I feel!) This past Saturday, Becky called after speaking to the "other" GI specialist... He agrees something is not right and to get Matthew in for a complete work up.

We have an appointment this afternoon w/ this "other" GI specialist. It sounds like there IS definitely something wrong ... And hopefully we'll be getting a complete work up of Matthew's upper GI this week. I fear that he's going to need another surgery.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Day at Grandma's

Mommy brought Matthew over to Grandma & Grandpa Wright's house today for a visit. He had a blast exploring the backyard and playing with the doggies.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

You can have the "slideshow" below go faster by clicking on the "+" sign.
When Mikey finds some time, he's going to place it on the side of the blog.

All is well here! We've enjoyed a week of only one doctor appointment!

Mike's been busy w/ work AND creating a beautiful new bird perch that will attach high up on the wall ~ so Aimie can't climb down, so Matthew can't bang his head on the sharp corners of her old "playpen" and so he can't reach up and get bit. (OOOYEEEE)
Aimie has been spending more time in the living room w/ Sunnie :-( since Matthew has started walking ... she's spoiled and likes to be with us in the family room. This new perch will enable her to still be with us .... while keeping Matthew safe!

Mike and Matthew are heading around the corner to Keith and Gabrielle's for their day of Sunday football and good eats & drinks! ( know Matthew isn't doing any eating or drinking) I'll be doing my usual Sunday grocery shopping and just doing whatever I feel like doing! It's my "day off!!"

Happy Sunday!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I am testing this slide show feature with past pictures from the blog. I thought it would be great for photos that follow a theme but are too similar to be individually posted. I would also like to have a perpetual slide show on the left side of your screen but I have yet to figure out how to do that.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Grandma Sue sent this picture of me when I was Matthew's age. I dressed Matthew in a similar shirt for this side-by-side comparison.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Sunday morning, in what is now a joyful routine, Matthew and I went to Uncle Keith & Auntie Gabrielle's house to watch football. Uncle Keith was pleased that I hadn't placed Matthew's new Ram's jersey near an open flame or brought it to some other dreadful fate.

Cousin Daniel welcomes Matthew. Though not shown, your humble photographer is the only guy representing an opposing team's colors.

Auntie Gabrielle provides the calming influence of a woman in an otherwise testosterone filled "man-zone".

To eat, or not to eat. That was the question. Like a sighting of Big Foot, we were all amazed when Matthew took this cracker and put it in his mouth. Was this the breakthrough we had been waiting for? Judge for yourself...

Auntie Kim gave Matthew a big hug for his gallant attempt.

After a morning of football it was time to head to the Strip to help keep the New Year's revelry peaceful. So Mommy took our annual picture of me in uniform. Quite a difference from last year's picture...

...New Year's 2005.