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Created by bridgesc on Jun 7, 2008
Last updated: 11/14/13 at 10:41 AM
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I just read this wonderful Thanksgiving message from Governor Palin and couldn't resist sharing.Hope you enjoy!www.conservatives4palin.com/2011/11/governor-palins-thanksgiving-message.html
Carsten is well into his first semester at Kings Park Elementary school in the preschool special needs program. We LOVE Mrs. Melissa his teacher and his class is full of boys, Carsten loves older boys. Carsten rides the bus to and from and goes Tuesday through Friday from 12-4. The teachers realized early on how much Carsten could understand and demonstrated a large sign vocabulary when prompted but his classmates struggled to communicate since sign language isn't universal. So they wanted to try something else with him and suggested an application on the iPad called proloquo2go. Within the first day of using this application at school Carsten was using 4 word sentences to express his needs and wants. He was able to tell the teachers what he wanted to play with, what he wanted to eat, (yes eat, that is another post!) and talk to his friends through proloquo. Well word kind of got around how he was thriving with it and other teachers began asking about Carsten and how they could get iPads for their classrooms. Mrs. Melissa's husband happens to work in Congress as a graphic designer. So she began taking videos of Carsten using the proloquo2go and put together a small paper on him and research articles to support proloquo2go. Her husband then created a finished video of Carsten using it in different settings and the whole thing has been submitted to Congressman Connelly of Virginia. They are using Carsten's success to petition for iPad distribution in the Virginia school systems. It is pretty neat how the whole thing happened and Chad and I are excited to see if it will be presented in Congress. Mrs. Melissa is keeping us updated so we can go to the open session if they play Carstens video. I will try to put a copy of the video here on the blog, and I will keep you updated on what happens. Either way, we are so proud of him and are blown away by the school systems and Mrs Melissa his wonderful teacher, they really not only see his potential but try to help him reach it as well. Go Carsten!!
IMG_0446.JPG, originally uploaded by chad.bridges.
IMG_1910.JPG, originally uploaded by chad.bridges.Starting to warm up to the costume people.
Wow, surprised to find this article on Easter on FoxNews website.
Date: Feb 11, 2010Number of Photos in Album: 97View Album
Date: Jan 1, 2010Number of Photos in Album: 60View Album
Date: Jan 1, 2010Number of Photos in Album: 25View Album
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,HE LIVED ALL ALONE,IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OFPLASTER AND STONE.I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEYWITH PRESENTS TO GIVE, AND TO SEE JUST WHOIN THIS HOME DID LIVE.I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,NOT EVEN A TREE.NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURESOF FAR DISTANT LANDS.WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,A SOBER THOUGHTCAME THROUGH MY MIND.FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,SILENT, ALONE,CURLED UP ON THE FLOORIN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,NOT HOW I PICTUREDA UNITED STATES SOLDIER.WAS THIS THE HEROOF WHOM I'D JUST READ?CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,THE FLOOR FOR A BED?I REALIZED THE FAMILIESTHAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERSWHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.SOON ROUND THE WORLD,THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATEA BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOMEACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.I COULDN'T HELP WONDERHOW MANY LAY ALONE,ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVEIN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.THE VERY THOUGHTBROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,I DROPPED TO MY KNEESAND STARTED TO CRY.THE SOLDIER AWAKENEDAND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,'SANTA DON'T CRY,THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,MY LIFE IS MY GOD,MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.'THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVERAND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,I CONTINUED TO WEEP.I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,SO SILENT AND STILLAND WE BOTH SHIVEREDFROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVEON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,THIS GUARDIAN OF HONORSO WILLING TO FIGHT.THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,WHISPERED, 'CARRY ON SANTA,IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.'ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.'MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,!AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.'This poem was written by a Marine.The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.....PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sendingthis to as many people as you can? Christmas will be comingsoon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men,women, and Canadian Forces for our being able to celebrate these festivities.Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what weowe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living anddead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do yoursmall part to plant this small seed.
I'm so proud of our C-man and amazed daily at the new things he is doing I had to blog about it. I can remember just before we moved to Atlanta I thought sadly, he's never going to communicate with me. Well fast forward just a few months and he is finally taking off! I just know someday the signs will turn into words but for now I'm so thankful for what he is doing. Just this morning he's already signed eat, car, play, all done, dog, cat, bird, hat, (he loves hat or maybe he just likes hitting me on the head:) shoes, water, fish. The most recent one we've learned is "car". I say Carsten, do you want to go in the car and he signs "car"! I am noticing how he'll initiate the sign when I say the word, I no longer have to sign it for him for some of them. Just before his nap we read a few books and I can say Carsten where is the "dog" and he'll point to the dog and so on and so on! I think our next sign is going to be "potty"!!!! I guess I'll get the potty out for him to get used to and we'll learn the sign and so forth. I've been teaching him diaper in the last couple of days and I think he'll get that pretty soon then maybe move to potty:)Oh and the other sign we've been doing lately is "baby". I'm going to teach him the sign and then go out here in a couple of weeks and buy "Carsten's baby" so he can get used to being gentle with it and the goal is hopefully that will transfer over to the real baby:) (thanks Emily for the suggestion!) But I'm actually running out of signs that I know so I need to get out the printouts I have of my sign language and start studying them I guess, I think he's going to continue to use sign for a few years at least before the words come. Hopefully one day I can use the sign that I've learned as an OT.Carsten is now going to a mother's day out at this place called The Kids Spot. It's a little gym with lots of equipment and fun stuff for him to climb on and develop his gross motor while being around other kids. He LOVES it! Right now it's just Thursday from 9-12 but I'm thinking about adding Tuesday. The owners are Christian and they play christian music and always do a craft and he gets two gymnastics classes while he's there. I dropped him off this morning and he just ran in and jumped into the ball pit, turned around and waved bye bye, I went to the car to get my kleenex! He's growing up TOO fast!!!He loves to pull up my shirt and feel on my big belly too, so cute, if he only knew what was really coming:) Well that's about all the news I have. His eating and drinking is steady, I will be so glad the day he can eat independently but I think that is still a ways off though he did drink 4 ounces of water today from a straw!! Baby steps, baby steps is what I was thinking this morning, the hard work will pay off and one day I believe I will send him off to school with a lunchbox, God is faithful and He will do it (1 Thes 5:24)As for me, I'm feeling like this seriously can't go on for another 10 weeks! I've already moved over to Chad's side of the closet for most of my clothes:( I've gained too much this time I'm afraid (hence why you never see ANY pictures of me on the blog or facebook:) but at least I didn't drink caffeine right, I just chose to reach for the big glass of whole milk instead, yikes! The sleeping is getting pretty miserable as well and if you know me you know that's not good. I woke up this morning feeling like I had run a marathon overnight I was so sore everywhere, mainly my hips (thank the good Lord I'm not still on that chair at KKI). I welcome February 14th for two reasons, finding out the sex and Grande white chocolate mochas from Starbucks! (I'll be needing that when I've been up all night long then have a toddler to take care of during the day) God definitely has a sense of humor though because I've had two dreams now where once it was a girl and the other a boy, guess He wants to keep me hanging right until the end.Oh and I did finish Palin's book Going Rouge! Anyone else out there read it? I really enjoyed it, especially her testimony and the part about findout out about Trig and everything. Politics aside, I believe she is a woman after God's heart and He will still use her in the future. And I just know we're going to have a playdate someday with the two kiddos, maybe when we move to DC next year:)
Carsten's Nana and Aunt Nae came for Thanksgiving this year. It was the first time we had a holiday at OUR house! I think everything went pretty well considering. I made my first dressing (southern cornbread of course) and we had Ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean bundles, rolls, cranberry dressing, deviled eggs, and my homemade apple pie! I'm starting to really love cooking and at least they "say" I'm good at it:) Carsten also had his second trip to Chucky Cheese which he LOVED this time, last time he was still a little young and was scared of everything. This time he had a blast, well except for Chucky the mouse, he was still a little scared of him:)
We're still here in lovely Baltimore (lovely minus the third world country road conditions) and we're approaching the middle of our 6th week. Things are going well. We said goodbye yesterday to our good friends and roomies (I'm not supposed to mention names because of privacy but I'm sure they wouldn't mind) Megan and Mason. Carsten was sad to see his buddy go. He did everything Mason did, if Mason jumped, Carsten jumped, if Mason wanted to play with the trucks, Carsten played with the trucks. It was so cute to watch him mimic and learn from Mason, I even started thinking a brother for Carsten wouldn't be so bad afterall:)Carsten's eating is steady and they are still progressing with the drinks. He is starting to accept liquids from an open cup more than before and they have switched from apple juice to milk with carnation instant breakfast to boost the calories some more. He's at about 600 calories a day by mouth so he has about 400 to go which could be made up with liquids and/or an evening snack which I think they might introduce once I get trained this week or next. The feeding therapist seems to think he still has potential to be off the tube except for water so I'm going to go with that but still guard my heart to see where we actually end up. Either way he still won't be getting any formula through the tube during the day and just a little at night so I'm still happy but of course I would love to see him go all the way. Two sweet little girls just checked in today with sweet moms I'm looking forward to getting to know a little. Carsten has already squished his way in between the two to make sure they are BOTH his girlfriends:) His favorite sign right now is "my turn" in which he politely uses when he wants a toy another child is playing with:) They think he will do great in preschool and has developed some really good play skills.Chad will be here Friday and Saturday so that will be a nice little break before we enter our last two week lap. The only thing that's hard for me right now is seeing all the cute little Pumpkin Patch pics of my friends and their kids:( I want a pic of Carsten and a pumpkin too! Maybe when we get back we can find one still open somewhere, if not I'll just buy a pumpkin and snap a shot:) That's about it for now, pumpkin-less but still cute pics to come I promise! Love,Kari
We just got word from our case manager that the inpatient feeding clinic in Baltimore has been APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you can imagine me with the biggest happy face and many happy tears that is how I look right now! We had almost given up but we decided to try once again here in the Tricare south region and it looks like it might work out. Waiting on a call from the KKI people for a date and they still have to negotiate prices but it is looking VERY positive! Please continue to PRAY for this, it has been a long road and much battling and the relief Chad and I feel is indescribable. I just pray that so many others will be able to go with Tricare insurance as well. I will post more details as they come but we're hoping to be there this fall! Love,A VERY HAPPY Momma Bridges
Date: Aug 21, 2009Number of Photos in Album: 77View Album
Date: Aug 21, 2009Number of Photos in Album: 77View Album
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Date: Aug 15, 2009Number of Photos in Album: 86View Album
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Date: Jul 16, 2009Number of Photos in Album: 12View Album
YEAH KRIS ALLEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finally here are some pics of him outside. This one was from this morning, we went across the street to a big grassy area and he was walking around everywhere. He even tried to walk up a hill that I even have a hard time going up! He would walk then fall, get up, walk then fall. He's a very determined little boy.
Seriously, we're going on about day 7 of rain and thunderstorms. Carsten and I are about to explode from boredom and being tied up in this house. So, I figure blogging while Carsten looks at his new Clang Clang, Bang Bang book will take up about ummmm 15 minutes this morning then I can figure something else out. I'm thinking museum maybe, but WHERE in Leavenworth, Kansas, I guess we could always go look at the prisoners for a fieldtrip! Now it's really pouring, great! No, I should be thankful in all things so I'm going to be thankful for the rain, bored, but thankful.
We finally got Carsten's EGD scheduled for next Friday, whoop whoop!! Friday afternoon sometime, they call Thursday to let us know. So after that we'll get the results faxed asap to Baltimore and then hopefully start the insurance approval process! We're still not sure where we're living in Atlanta yet, nope, life is never dull being an army wife:) I'm praying something happens today, I've really been trying to pray that the Lord would put us in the "right" neighborhood with the "right" people as opposed to the "right" house.
Well Carsten is starting to pull dangerous objects off of all my shelves so I better go supervise like I should be. He slept 14 hours straight last night! I figure I should take that as a blessing from God, or a sign that I'm not being a good mother and making sure he gets the sleep he needs on a daily basis:) Either way, it sure was nice.
I was so sad to hear of the toddler yesterday that died from the swine flu. I've been reading from Psalm 91 a bunch lately, hope it's encouraging to you.
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the Lord, who is my refuge--
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
Yeah I know, I've been such a blabber mouth on the blog lately I haven't even given you any recent pics of our angel. Shame on me. Here he is at his new favorite place, the park! He LOVES the swing and the slide. We try to go more now that it's warming up. He's definitely all boy and wants to be in the dirt and on the ground, I'm learning to let go and let him get good and dirty, cause that's what a boy wants to do right? Nothing makes me more happy than when he is happy, I love being his mom! Enjoy:)
So I decided to face my fears today and go ahead with Carsten's immunizations. I've been putting the dreaded MMR off since he was 12 months and I realized yesterday that he probably won't be able to go to the feeding clinic without them. I felt a little stupid breaking down in front of the immunization nurse but she was so reassuring and even prayed for Carsten before she gave him the shot. I feel a peace about it today and know I did the right thing. Let's face it, everyone has to be immunized and Carsten can't start school without it so I had no choice. We've just been through so much and you hear about the immunizations and it was a fear I had let build and build inside of me and it was taking over. I feel better today and Carsten seems to be doing fine, we had a nice long pillow fight on the bed after his bath and now he's sleeping peacefully.
It looks like the next thing we have to face is an EGD or a "scope" from GI. KKI called and said the team wants him to have it before we go to Baltimore. They basically put you under and put a scope down through your throat to see what's going on. I think they want to see how his reflux has affected him and whether or not the medicine is working. So I'm working on scheduling one right now, yuck! Not looking forward to Carsten being under again, enough already!! But it will put us one step closer to Baltimore. Please pray that all this gets worked out soon, especially the insurance approval, since once we move to Atlanta we will be on another region and will have to start ALL over again. I told the lady just call me and we'll have our bags packed and on a plane. I'm feeling pretty crashed today from all the adrenaline yesterday so I think I'll go rest. Ready for the weekend and a date with Chad. Happy Thursday everyone.
Psalm 56:3 "When I am afraid, I will trust in you."
It's 8:30 and I've already cleaned up one episode of banana throw up. We ran out of night bags for his night feeding so for two days he hasn't gotten his night feeds. We thought we would try to go ahead and see how he does without it. Apparently, he still needs it. Something happens when his stomach gets completely empty and then add drainage to that equals vomit in the morning. I still can't figure it out and the doctors can't either but I've heard that reflux is worse on an empty stomach. So, thank goodness we got our supply yesterday afternoon and we will be resuming the night feeds tonight, period. I think until Carsten is able to drink by himself, the reflux will continue without the night feeds. He has really done well lately though and I think we only had one or two vomits on our trip to Atlanta. It's painful for me to even think about the days when he would vomit 6-8 times a day, we've come so far but still have a ways to go but I'm thankful for the progress and I'm thankful for the GJ tube.
I'm still waiting on a call from KKI to find out if he will get to go to the inpatient portion of the feeding program. If they don't call soon and get something worked in, I have a feeling we will be going to the Atlanta program. The only thing with the Atlanta program is it's northeast of the city and we will be living southeast, so that's a major drive for Carsten and I everyday for 8 weeks. We may end up staying in the Ronald McDonald house if they let us. But, I'm still hopeful for KKI in Baltimore to work out, it's probably the better program of the two.
Carsten's walking is coming along great, he can pretty much walk across a room now. His communication is not so great. We do a lot of sign language with him and he hasn't caught on to much of it yet. He still babbles a lot of different sounds but no words yet. I'm a little sad about it but all his therapists say that his comprehension is really good, he just needs to work on expression. You can tell him to go get your ball, stack the blocks, stand up, or raise your arms up and he knows how to do all of it on command. I think his talking is going to coincide with his eating, so only time will tell.
I better get this week going and get caught up on house stuff, Chad keeps asking where his "fly lady" went from Little Rock. I told him she flew away when we moved:) Hopefully she'll show up by the time we get to Atlanta.
II Corinthians 4:17 "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal."
We're finally home and boy are we glad!! This was a long week for the Bridges Bunch. We felt like we were living out of our car and poor Carsten was such a trooper. All I can say is I gave birth to an angel. He was so good the whole week and never complained once! We just kept saying all week how blessed we feel to have Carsten, we really couldn't have asked for a sweeter little boy. As far as the house hunt, that's another story all together. We did finally find a house on the last day to rent. We looked all week for a house to buy but couldn't find anything we were just crazy about and couldn't resist, so, we think renting is going to be the best choice this move. Here is the cute little house we found in the same subdivision as my friend. We are still praying about one house that we might make an offer on. It's a really good deal but has a lot of stairs so we're a little hesitant with Carsten knowing he won't be able to go down stairs for a while. We are excited about either house though and know it will all work out. We can't believe it's only 2 more months until we move. We loved the Atlanta area though, I was surprised at how big the city was and our visit to the aquarium was tons of fun, Carsten LOVED watching the fish. Hope everyone has a Happy Easter tomorrow! We're going to go enjoy our sunny day here in Leavenworth! Love to all,Momma Bridges
Chad was kind enough to correct me that we're supposed to get 3 "inches" of snow and not 3 "feet"! Whoa, that would be a blizzard! Ha! I am a little sad though as this might be Carsten's last snow he'll see for a while since we're moving down south. Ummm, okay I'm over it now, I'll take the warm weather over snow anyday:) Happy Friday!
Well I'm debating on whether or not to take Carsten to the doctor this morning. He was coughing all night long and has had a runny nose/cold for about a week now. I guess I'm just worried it's moving into his chest but I feel like what are they really going to do for him. Besides, I haven't seen the pediatrician since the "gymnastics" episode and I'm a little chicken to go in and face her:) So, I made a tentative appt for tomorrow morning and we'll see how he feels, but I have a feeling with 3 feet of snow we're not going to want to go in:) Carsten is walking all around the house right now on his push walker. He can go anywhere now and when he gets stuck he just picks it up and moves it! I have a feeling we're going to start having some boo boo's as we transition to walking instead of crawling. He still doesn't bend his knees very good and has a wide gait, he kind of looks like frankenstein:) KKI called yesterday and the lady submitted the review for Carsten to do inpatient instead of the day program. The team is going to review it and we'll have an answer by next week. If this all works out, we could possibly be going in a few weeks. I know there is a shorter wait list for inpatient and I would be thrilled to do this before we move to Atlanta, it's all going to have to fit just perfectly though to work. If not, we'll just wait and pursue the Atlanta program. The problem with the Atlanta program is that it's in another Tricare region so we'll have to start all over with insurance and everything so I'm really hoping Baltimore still works out. Please be praying for my friend Naomi. She is a fellow Army wife that lives in Atlanta and she has what sounds like some serious health problems. We are looking forward to being close to them and having friends, she also has a three year old son. So please pray that the doctors can figure out what's wrong with her and get her better. Well I'm dragging this out because it's a really gloomy day here in Leavenworth and we're expecting snow tomorrow. Chad doesn't want tacos tonight so I guess I need to figure out another dinner plan:) Maybe Croissant pizza? Other than that I'm going to stay out of this crazy wind and wait for a phone call from the real estate agent!! Yeah, less than 10 days and we'll be in Atlanta looking for our home! Everyone have a great weekend! Blessings!Momma Bridges
Well I just got a very sad call from the feeding program in Baltimore. Our tricare insurance does not cover the day program anymore. She is going to look into more options for us like the inpatient program but not sure whether or not that will be covered or even indicated in Carsten's case. I'm sad but I know God is working it all out for us. Apparently Atlanta has a KKI sister program that is very similar to Baltimore. I am looking into this right now and we'll see where that leads. It would be much more convenient obviously to go to Atlanta and be able to stay at home at night. But, we will have to start over most likely as far as referrals, evaluations, and wait lists. I know God has a plan just right for us and it will all work out one way or the other and Carsten WILL eat! He is doing very good lately, still drinking from his straw (the most 8 ounces in a day) and eating his purees. He can eat oatmeal packets now too which has a little more texture to it:)
I feel like I'm back on the roller coaster ride from the hospital. Earlier today I was happy crying because Carsten was walking really good and now sad crying when I got the call about this:( But I'm hopeful for a better solution and trusting it will all work out.
Here's our little Midnight Cowboy in his birthday suit:) We had fun this weekend with his Nana even though the trip was too quick! Thanks Nana, love you!! Happy Monday!
I thought I could get a quick blog in this morning before my bible study to help me organize the week. This is a crazy week! I have bible study this morning and then Carsten has OT at 10:15, then OT feeding in Kansas City this afternoon at 4:00. Chad is off today, yeah, so that will help some. Then tomorrow we're hopefully going to start physical therapy about 20 miles from here since the early intervention services won't send us a PT! Then I have a doctor's appt, Carsten has one right after me, then he has music therapy at 11:30 and then I need to clean the house for Chad's mom who's coming on Friday, yeah!! Then Thursday I have to make a meal for Friday, clean some more, and then go for a health assessment free of charge here on post. I got blood taken this morning for it, they do a whole workup on you from glucose levels, cholesterol, heart, fat, etc.. I'm a little nervous but I've been working out consistently (for the first time in a LONG time) since October so maybe the results won't be too painful! Then I have my swim class and the respite worker (who is AWESOME by the way) is coming to watch Carsten. That just about does it until Friday morning when I pick Nana up from the airport:) And who ever thought a stay at home mom didn't do anything! Now that I've got everything written out I know what I need to do. Hope everyone has a Happy Tuesday!
Oh by the way, Carsten drank about 2-3 ounces of water last night from an open cup!!! He's doing so awesome with eating, I'm so proud of him. Yesterday he had a banana for breakfast, apples for lunch, and then peas for dinner and he ate ALL of it! He's getting bigger and bigger so fast. I don't think we're going to need this night tube for long.
We had a great feeding therapy appointment yesterday in Kansas City. The dietician came in to talk about Carsten's diet and it was very productive. At first she acted a little concerned about him going to an intensive feeding clinic, finally I was getting upset and said, "why do you have a problem with that?" She explained that since he is on the GJ tube and Elecare (a VERY elemental broken down formula for your gut) she didn't know if his body could break down real food basically. I told her that he's eating all kinds of pureed food and sometimes I even give him sips of whole milk and he seems to do fine. I think that convinced her to try to switch him to a different formula. One that is broken down a little less than Elecare. Basically, in Elecare the amino acids are broken down for Carsten so his body doesn't have to do it. Now we are going to try Peptamin Jr. in which the amino acids are not broken down, but the next protein Peptides are broken down for him. I'm going to slowly transition over to the peptamin jr and see how it goes. I'm hopeful that he will tolerate it okay because 1) it will show us that his body can break it down and that he will have a better chance of breaking down real foods, and 2) it is a higher calorie so we can give him less ounces in a day and get off this night tube nightmare:)
She said we could do four feeds of 6 ounces a day with the peptamin. She also recommended giving him about 8 ounces of water a day through the tube when I told her his mouth was CHRONICALLY dry. One of my concerns about going back to day feedings into his stomach is that he ALWAYS threw up horribly the first feed in the day because of drainage. She said to try giving him some lukewarm water through the tube about 30 minutes before I feed him in the morning to get some of that gunk moving. Well I gave him some water this morning and so far, no gagging or puking! Also the peptamin is supposed to taste better than the Elecare so maybe he will try it more by mouth, we'll see.
So please pray a little prayer for Peptamin Jr that it would agree with Carsten's body:) I guess if he starts puking in the next week we'll know why and back to the good ole' night tuby:)
I just finished the book "In the Presence of My Enemies", wow! What a neat book. It's about this couple that were missionaries to the Philippines back before 9/11. You might remember them. They were abducted from a resort place on their anniversary by Philippino terrorists and the story is all about their capture and ransom. The wife makes it out but not the husband. They are actually from KC and the lady came to speak at our women's bible study a couple of weeks ago and I'm so sad I missed it but thankful my friend Coralee got the book for me. I read it in two nights, SO good! I love reading about missionaries! Anyway, I guess my point was that in the story the wife prayed about the tiniest little things, even that God would provide her a cheeseburger out there in the jungle, amazingly, he did! So, if she could pray for those things I know that I can pray for little things like Carsten tolerating this formula and He will hear my prayer. I think the most recent lessons the Lord is trying to teach me is persistence in prayer, it keeps coming up in my life as of late.
Matthew 21:22 "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Mark 11:24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Carsten, my mother, and I are headed out for Baltimore in the morning. We would appreciate your prayers as we are going through a wide arrange of emotions, primarily anxiety on my part. Please pray that we would have safe travels, that Carsten would do well on the plane with NO vomiting while we're gone which always makes things more stressful, for peace throughout the trip, and finally and most importantly, that the feeding evaluation would go well and he is accepted into the intensive inpatient portion of the program. Thank you all so much for walking this journey with us so far and all of your encouragement and support. We covet your prayers.
Also, Chad and I went to IHOP (international house of prayer) on Saturday in Kansas City. We went to a healing room and had Carsten prayed for. It was a neat experience that I will tell more in detail later. We are BELIEVING through faith that God will heal Carsten and that he WILL eat whether that is now or later.
Thank you, lots of love,
Chad, Kari, and Carsten
So this is our move update thus far. Over Christmas we found out that we would be going to San Antonio in June. Got all excited, broke the news to the fam, happy joy, fun in the sun, riverwalk, San Antonio. Okay great, got used to the and getting more and more excited. Then, phone call from one of Chad's peeps, uh actually that is the right position but the WRONG PLACE! Ahhhh, what?!!! Okay, so where is the place, well, the right place is Atlanta! Oh, okay, we can do Atlanta, good weather, nice city, lots to do, good southern people:) So now, here I am getting my heart set on Atlanta. Such is the life of a military spouse. One day it's Fairbanks Alaska and the next it's California, then no, really you're husband will be deployed to Afghanistan. So, I'm learning to keep our plans held at a generous distance from my heart just in case we get the phone call that completely changes things. You can't get too used to the of one place, even then, you will have to move from there in 2-3 years anyway. So, I'm letting go of the "idea" of home as one of my friend's next door has a plaque on their wall that says, "Home is where the Army takes you." To me, it's exciting, I like the drama, I like the not knowing and the possibility in it all and the adventure! I know as we get older, however, it will get harder with Carsten. It's going to be hard enough for him to make new friends at one place, much less 5 or more places! But for now I will rest in the fact that it's Atlanta. I've even already made a friend there that's a military spouse, I now just have to convince Chad to live next door to them:)
If I could only be as content in Chad's new position as I am with the location! Currently, he will be working to train weapons of mass destruction civil support teams all over the country. The teams are first responders to chemical and biological attacks. Excuse me! Will you have to go, will you have to wear all that space garb, will you be exposed to RADIATION??!!! You can just imagine my 21 questions each night as he gets more excited about it:) I just hope he enjoys it and possibly discovers a specialty he really likes. Cause I mean, come on, like when do you think we would ACTUALLY be attacked on US soil with that sort of weapon, uh, well, actually Chad read where its projected to happen in the next three to five years, GREAT!! See, this is my life!
We had our OT feeding therapy appointment today in Kansas City. I just had to blog about it because it was a great session today! Carsten ate a few small pieces of carrots with only 1 gag!!! She doused them in ketchup and he like it! Then we got in the car to leave and I usually tube him before we go and I thought I'm just going to try and feed him in the car. Well, he ate a whole banana creme pudding right there in his car seat! Today was a good eating day and I'm thankful. Also this morning he ate a whole banana pureed while we watched Einstein Baby's First Signs:)
I'm encouraged and even more excited about going to Kennedy Krieger. Now, up I go to start his night tube hopeful that someday we won't have to use it anymore!
Well we had our ENT follow up appointment today from the surgery. Everything looks great! Carsten's ENT doctor is really nice and I told him that Carsten has improved with his breathing, snoring, and drainage! I don't know if I ever put this on the blog but when we went in for the T&A surgery the doc said "okay so we're going to do the adenoids today right?" I was like, "uh no, I thought you said BOTH adenoids and tonsils!" He had written down to do only the adenoids. Well, long story short, he did them both for us and removed the cyst in his throat. He really didn't have to do them both but I think he did it just to be nice:) So, for us that means the tonsils are out of the way and no more battling them and their complications for the next 5 or 6 years!
The appointment went great other than the nurse who called us into the room and asked me a bunch of questions including, "He's Downs right?" I mean, come on! I am SO tired of that ignorant question. ESPECIALLY in the medical community!! Usually I'm not a huge "politically correct" person but I guess having Carsten has really changed me. I was proud of myself though, today, for the first time I corrected her. I said, "No, he's not "Downs", he HAS Down Syndrome!" Oh, I did it yesterday too in Wal-Mart with the photo lady though I'm not quite sure she heard me because I said it under my breath:) I think the question catches me off guard anyway because most of the time I'm not going around thinking about my son having Down Syndrome. To me, he's just Carsten. Why do people have to point it out all the time, do they want a prize for guessing that he has Down Syndrome? It's really pretty obvious. Seriously, sometimes I completely forget he has Down Syndrome then that word will come to my mind and I'm like wow, he really does have Down Syndrome but my gosh it just doesn't seem like it, he's just my son, my Carsten, my baby! I am just as happy, proud, totally in love with my son as any other mom.
Back to the question, I try to remind myself that people just don't know any better. Most of them did not take Introduction to Mental Retardation in college like I was blessed to and most of them have not been around people with disabilities or gone to OT school. But even Chad is sensitive to it and he's not an OT! So, I have decided to become a little more assertive, yet gentle, to remind people that it is a person WITH Down syndrome, they are not the syndrome themselves! It would be like asking someone with Cerebral Palsy, are they Cerebral Palsy? No! They have Cerebral Palsy, it is just a part of them like having brown hair or green eyes. Okay, my rant is over, I'm not mad I just want to educate people so that when they have these encounters with other families, they will say it in the most respectful way. I'd like to hear what other people think about this, especially you moms with children with disabilities. Do you correct them or just let it go? This has been a quandary for me for quite some time now. I guess I'm really amazed at how MANY people say "that Downs person", "is he Downs", or yes, even "downsy" before! Am I being too picky?
Oh and by the way, Carsten's photo shoot (you could call it) was absolutely FANTASTIC! You will have to wait and see the pictures though, I don't want to ruin Christmas cards, if I ever get them out!:)
Date: Dec 10, 2008Number of Photos in Album: 22View Album
Date: Dec 10, 2008Number of Photos in Album: 22View Album
The madness all started last Wednesday night around 1200AM. Chad sat up in bed and said "I don't feel very good!" Then I heard Carsten crying and throwing up in his room almost the exact same time! They were both sick all weekend with vomiting, chills, fever. I took Carsten to the doctor on Thursday to some guy that wasn't his usual doctor, my first mistake! This crazy guy gave him a shot of antibiotic and then sent us to the hospital to get a urinalysis (since Carsten has a history of urinary tract infections and he had a high fever, 104!) Well, the people at the lab said why in the heck did they give him that shot before the UA, now we're not going to know what or if he had an infection. I was flaming at this point and mind you Chad is still at home on the couch vomiting. I got fed up finally and left the hospital with the bag still on Carsten's you know what waiting for him to pee! I took the sample back later and never even found out if he had anything, the doctor never called us back!
Chad was feeling better by Friday but then he pulled his back out picking up a pumpkin outside our house! He went back to school that morning and I was still exhausted from two days of no sleep with sick boys. I'm running up and down the stairs trying to get ready for Carsten's music therapist (which wasn't even coming by the way) and I slipped and fell down the stairs! Yep, landed flat on my back and hit my head really hard and blacked out for a couple of minutes. I finally could see enough to go outside thinking that if I passed out for good maybe someone would see me. I stumbled down to my neighbors house who is a nurse leaving Carsten in the house alone. She got another friend to get Carsten then we called Chad out of and had our second trip to the ER for the week! I'm sure the doctor thinks we're a bunch of crazy loony hypocondriacs! He didn't even do any xrays, said I might have cracked a rib and had a mild concussion.
This was probably the hardest week we've had since we moved here and I'm SO glad its coming to a close. Carsten is still sick with diarrhea and not sleeping at night because of vomiting but he's definitely better than he was. We're still all really tired and SO ready for Thanksgiving and a break! I feel like its one thing after another with our little family and keep asking what's going to be next? Please pray that we would be free from illnesses and setbacks for a while. Carsten hasn't eaten anything since he got sick last Wednesday so naturally I'm pretty discouraged. On a more positive note, he did drink some water from a sippy cup a few times this weekend so that was exciting.
Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!
It's Carsten's 16 month birthday today! I forgot to take a picture and he's already asleep, oops:) I'll try to take one tomorrow. Don't worry, he's still just as cute as the last one:)
Today Carsten stood up at the couch and cruised all the way to the other side!! He's eating much better in the last couple of days, has eaten a blended pear, mashed potatoes, blended pasta, banana, and more! We've decided he is done with baby foods and ready for big people food. Tomorrow we have a speech evaluation in Kansas City and then feeding therapy. He is still babbling but no words yet. I think the best day of my life will be when he says momma!! I can't wait. We're so proud of him and everything he's doing. Happy 16 month birthday C-man, we love you!
We're back from his surgery! Everything went great and it seemed like a breeze compared to our last hospital stay:) The surgeon said that the cyst in Carsten's throat was about 3mm wide, which is pretty wide when you're talking about a person that already has a small airway due to Down Syndrome. He also took out both adenoids/tonsils and put tubes in both ears. When they brought him out to us he was sitting up in a hospital bed so out of it, it was so sad but cute!
Carsten was pretty fussy last night and we were reminded of how hard it is being in the hospital, we're very thankful to be home. Thanks for all your prayers, please continue to pray that he heals fast and we see significant improvement in his breathing/eating. We have already noticed that Carsten didn't gag up all his usual mucous/drainage today (sorry gross I know). I will try to feed him tomorrow and see how it goes, he needs to keep swallowing to get over the soreness.
Love to all,
Carsten's tonsil and adenoid surgery is tomorrow between 3 and 4pm. We will probably stay one night at the hospital depending on how he does. I think we're going to take him to the hospital in his Lion costume since it's Halloween! We're a little sad because I'm sure Halloween is fun here living in a neighborhood where all the families have at least 5 kids!! I'm just going to set some candy out on the porch. Thank goodness its tomorrow, I've had 5 or 6 bags in my kitchen for a week now and I think I've gained 5 pounds stealing candy out of them! If you think to say a little prayer for Carsten tomorrow we would appreciate it! Love you all, we'll let you know how it went on Saturday. Love,The Bridges
We had an eventful weekend full of pumpkins and The Wizard of Oz:) We went to a pumpkin patch Saturday morning and then a Halloween party Saturday night. Since Carsten already had a Lion outfit, we decided to finish it off with Dorothy and the Scarecrow! Have fun looking at the pics of our cutie pie!
I can't believe it, Carsten is going to get his tonsils out next Friday on Halloween! We waited 6 weeks after our ENT appointment to get it scheduled and then we thought it was going to be December 19th. They called this morning and said they could do it next Friday!!! They are going to take his tonsils/adenoids out, take out a cyst they found in his throat, and put tubes in his ears. I'm so excited and I guess a little nervous now that it is so close. Please pray for our little guy that this surgery goes smoothly and helps improve his overall breathing and eating. Thank you Lord for answering our prayers and so soon!!
As for today, I've got to get out and buy some overnight diapers. Now that Carsten is getting fed through his tube overnight his diapers are about 20 pounds in the morning and I'm having to change his sheets every day! Two nights ago, I went in to turn his alarm off at 5:00 and the poor thing was sitting up in his crib with his little head on the bumper. The tube had been leaking ALL night and he was sleeping in a pool of formula, him and the bed were soaking wet! He was so cute just sitting there sleeping sitting up with his head on the bumper. I couldn't believe he didn't wake up and cry or anything! Poor C-man!
We also lost his all time favorite brown blanky last weekend during the Buddy Walk, it has been a hard last few days without it but thanks to Neiman Marcus online I found one for just under 50 dollars that is army colors (green and brown) and have ordered it. Too bad Carsten isn't spoiled enough:)
Election is 13 days away! Remember to pray!!
The Buddy Walk is over!! What a day! It started off pretty cold but got warmer during the walk. There was a sea of people there all wearing red for the Kansas City Chiefs. Carsten even got a medal at the end from one of the players! He was pretty shy for some reason at first (probably the cold) but he perked up during the walk when dad put him on his shoulders to show him off!:) We realized that this would probably be the biggest Buddy Walk we ever go to if we aren't here next year. It was fun to be there and with so many people all for the same cause. Thanks to Nana and Aunt Nae for coming, we had a great time and it wouldn't have been as fun without you two! Love you both.