Monday, September 29, 2008

more mobility, and more snot

Mobility: Laurie is a genius. She brought us a creeper dolly wrapped in baby-friendly material. We put Athan on his tummy on the cart, and he uses his ARMS to move all over the kitchen. He loves it - giggled for most of the PT session. So the two big things here are that he is using his ARMS and he is HAPPY about it. Yeah! :)

Snot: Yuk. Runny nose. Little cough. Not sleeping well. But no fever, so maybe it'll be over soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

more appointments

Ryan took Athan to Lex yesterday to see Dr. K (cardio) and Dr. Irene (endo) for checkups. According to both, everything looks good. His heart looks a little better than last time, and we'll see cardio again in March. We see endo again in February to check his labs, but she was very pleased with his progress.

The biggest news from the appointments: His weight is finally ON the growth chart! :) He is only in the 3rd percentile, but that's great compared to being off the chart low until now. I've never been too concerned about his weight gain after surgery, and now I can relax even more. Morgan, who as you know was otherwise healthy, was in the same range of the weight chart. Soo.... I just make skinny kids.

I think that does it for doctor appointments until December.

birthday date

Ryan and I had an impromptu date on Tuesday for his birthday. MANY thanks to Laurie, Jordan, Shannon, and Kelly, who combined efforts to babysit our kids and give us some grown-up time. It seemed like Morgan and Athan entertained everyone quite well in our absence. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I always manage to pout in my blog posts about things that are tough, then I forget to tell you when they get better. Oops.

Athan is sleeping. Alot. He has a consistent daily nap schedule, and sleeps through the night probably five nights a week or so. Once in a while Ryan has to get him a drink and rock him, but we are edging closer to sleeping from bedtime (9:45 or 10) to breakfast time (6 or 6:30).

And I'm edging closer to sanity because of regular sleep. Yeah!

Also - Ryan is 29 today. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008


Athan is finally moving, and of course our boy had to find a unique method. I give you "Scoot":

doctors and company

We saw a couple of new doctors last week, and I'm finally getting to an update:

On Wednesday, we say and orthopedic doctor at the Lexington Shriner's hospital. Laurie and Dr. Coburn wanted to make sure we were not going to hurt his feet or back by letting him learn to stand and walk without any kind of brace or other help. We got the go-ahead to let him move however he's motivated to move and to keep working on his low muscle tone. They think any of the issues we might have are primarily due to the low tone. We'll see them again this time next year just to check up.

On Thursday, we saw an ENT. We know Athan can hear, but Dr. Bay (geneticist) recommended we just make sure he can hear well. We were not able to do an actual ABR, but the preliminary tests showed his hearing to be well within normal ranges. Also, he saw no signs of fluid in Athan's ears that might suggest the need for tubes (as had been suggested by another ENT once). So two days in a row we got an "all clear." :) We'll also see then in one year, just to make sure everything's still fine.

Changing subjects, we have company! :) Jeremy and Amy Patman are here to visit for a few days, along with their precious kiddos - Cap and Ella. They arrived Saturday afternoon, and we have had a good visit so far. Morgan and Cap are hilarious together, and I think watching Ella might just get Athan motivated to be more mobile. I think the Patmans will leave tomorrow to spend mid-week down in Nashville, then back to see us briefly before they head back to Texas. So good to have our friends (also family - Amy is Ryan's cousin) here to see us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

future PT?

With no prompting at all, Morgan brought Larry the Cucumber in one day for some physical therapy:


I didn't take the time to do much editing, so with almost no ado at all, here are a couple of recent Athan clips. First, the Yes/No Game (with hiccups), followed by Knock Knock and More (which you can hear better than see, but oh well)...

Monday, September 15, 2008

the budding artist

Last time I posted about Morgan's art, we were in the strictly green phase. Now she has branched out. You may call them meaningless scribbles of a preschooler, but I (with my well-trained, unbiased eye) call them poetic experiments with color and motion.

When she is slightly less ad lib and slightly more supervised, we are working on learning some letters and other recognizable shapes. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

from yesterday...

This boy loves his bath time! Finally caught a picture of his shoulder tape:
Morgan and her dad camped out in the back yard Friday night. This is Morgan watching Dad deftly toast marshmallows:
The cook at work:
And Morgan enjoying the result!
Then they got to sleep in a tent all night long. So fun!
(Grammy - I haven't forgotten your request. I have to do video stuff on Ryan's computer, so when he's not typing a paper, I'll grab it and get some of the latest stuff up)

Monday, September 8, 2008

thanks for the picture, Kelly

This just needed to be shared. That's Morgan's friend Ellie H. in there with her. Ah, friendship.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


It is interesting to aim for a day of rest when you have young kids, but I think we came close today. Morgan gets to do special things like stay in the bathtub for an hour - twice, and eat dinner in the living room with the adults. Athan gets rest from all therapy (and as an added bonus, he filled his diaper - twice - always good news given his recent struggles with constipation). I got to worship with fellow believers this morning - twice. Once over coffee with Rob, Kat, and Ryan in our kitchen, then later at Wilmore FUMC. Ryan got to watch football today - (you guessed it) twice: Cowboys game, then Colts/Bears. He and Rob also made big batches of yummy salsa with ingredients grown in Rob and Kat's back yard (plus a few from the Wilmore Farmers' Market).

A good restful day for the Strebecks today.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Athan has been...

learning to self-feed with a spoon (also known as Lessons in Body Paint):teething,
and hanging out with friends,

Morgan has been...


hanging out with friends,
and, of course, being a princess (or ballerina or lion or Mama or fish or baby or...)

I was reprimanded

By my mother. She said I was starving them for updates. So here goes...

Ryan - He started classes again, and the same word has already emerged that shows up at the start of each new semester: overwhelmed. It just seems like too much to do/learn/read/write in one semester. Still, I think he will enjoy his classes, and Athan being healthier should give him more time to focus on school. He's also working on the house and yard and things, getting ready for fall. He shaved his beard (but promised me he'll grow it back when the cooler weather comes to stay).

Amberly - I'm still working on the house. With vacation time in the mix, we've only actually lived in this house a few weeks. Today, for instance, I sifted through all our boxes of decoration-type stuff and tried to rebox the stuff we'll save for the next house, hang some pictures, etc... I've been riding my bike again, which has been great! I'm also keeping Claire, daughter of my friend Eve, on Wednesday and Friday mornings. I'm (finally) trying to learn to really cook, so I've been to the grocery store and in the kitchen quite a bit.

As to how we're really doing as the parents on Athan's Journey... Most days I'm doing really well. I adore my son, and I'm so impressed with all he has grown to be already. I've also recently been encouraged by some GREAT information on this website about panhypopituitarism (which, if you're a new reader, is the biggest part of Athan's diagnosis). So many of the times I feel sad or afraid or overwhelmed, I've felt also very alone. Reading about even just one other family's experience with this diagnosis has helped so much.

I think I'll update on the kids in separate posts.