Saturday, May 30, 2009

Farewell me hearties. Yo ho!

The Christmas after the twins were born, Jon's parents gave us a gift voucher to take a cruise where ever we wanted. Well, basically where ever we wanted!! We've scheduled and rescheduled it twice since that Christmas due to work and the kids being to young. (Okay, the mom not wanting to leave the kids for that long!) I'm glad things worked out that way. After the last few months we've had around here, we need a vacation. A REAL vacation with turquoise blue waters, white sandy beaches, waves to surf, people at our beck and call to clean up after us for a change and all the food that we can possibly stuff our faces with!!!!Jon and I are blessed to have such generous and loving parents. I don't think they will ever know how much we needed this and how thankful we are for it!! AND they are coming here to keep the kids so that's a load off my shoulders, not having to pack everything and the kitchen sink as well as all their stuff! Ha Ha!! After the kids go to bed tonight we are heading out for Miami and driving as far as our eyelids will allow us! Then we'll find some where to go to church (look out all you Primitive Baptist Floridians, u never know where we might show up!!) Sunday morning and then drive the rest of the way. Our ship leaves Monday afternoon.

We are gonna miss all those hugs and kisses and sweet little voices constantly jabbering at us. I'm sure I'll be going thru serious with drawls at first! But and however, everybody needs a break and all parents of young children deserve one! So for all of you hard working, deserving parents out there, we will think of you. At least, we will try!!!
Please say a little prayer for Jon and I that we will have a safe trip and return home safely to our children. And also, sneak one in there for SuSu and PawPaw while you're at it since they will be thrown into the roles of Mama and Daddy to 2 20 month old children that have more energy then you could even want to have and are more mischievous than you can imagine!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My beautiful nephew

Samuel Bryant McDaniel
Born May 21, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.
He weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz and was 19 3/4 in. long
Last Thursday me and the kids headed up to Macon to be at the hospital when our new baby was born. We hung out for about 6 hours, causing complete chaos in the waiting room and hospital halls, stuffing our kids with all the junk food we could find to keep them happy! (It totally back fired on me though, Audrey was up ALL night that night with a tummy ache. She literally would take my hand and put it on her tummy to rub it!)
Like I said we hung out for 6 hours until I had finally had enough because it looked like the baby would NEVER come. So I loaded up my hooligans and hit the road for my sister's house. My mom was a few minutes behind me with Hannah and Matthew. Everyone got baths and just as we were getting their pj's on, Buddy called to tell us the baby had been born. I put the phone on speaker and Buddy told us what the baby was. He told Hannah and Matthew that they had a new baby brother and Hannah started giggling with delight! Matthew on the other hand said "NO!!! I wanted a baby sister"!! He's happy now though, with his little Samuel!

Mama and baby are doing GREAT!!! They got to come home on Saturday and for the most part he's been sleeping well at night. Samuel Bryant is the most alert newborn I have ever seen. The day after he was born he was awake for a long time, just checking everything and everyone out. He can hold his head up extremely well and he hardly cries, even when he's hungry. He has the most precious little features, including the Bryant ears(well they aren't so little!!!). He's just perfect and so beautiful. He never even looked like a new born, no wrinkly or red skin. It's those good genes showing off!!! The few times I got to just sit and hold him I soaked up his wonderful little baby smells and sounds. When he stretches he makes the cutest little squeaks, just like my babies did. Seeing him and holding him brought it all home, my babies aren't babies any more. James and Audrey looked like giants compared to Samuel. Where does it all go???James and Audrey were very shy around the baby. They weren't exactly sure what to think about him. Audrey brought him a baby bottle a couple of times and when he was in his bouncy seat on the floor they would wander over and check him out. James would take his chubby little hand and very gently touch Sam's face (oops, I mean Samuel!) and say "baby, baby" while Audrey would just stare at him with this silly grin on her face. When I'd tell her to kiss the baby she would poke her bottom lip out like this but never would kiss him. But she talked about him a lot and still is this morning. Last night when they were in the tub I asked them to tell daddy what they saw at Aunt Betsy's and she quickly replied "It's a baby". She's too smart I tell ya, to smart!!!

Before we left yesterday we were able to get a picture of all 5 cousins actually sitting calmly and smiling at us. We had to scream "Say cheese" a million times and take 50 pictures but we got a some good ones and this is my favorite because of James' smile!!!
Our time there went way to fast, even if it was crazy loud and hectic most of the time. Bed time took on a much sweeter meaning around there!! We are so blessed to have this new little life to love and watch grow. I can't wait to see what kind of personality he's gonna have and who he will look like when he gets older. I'm just sad that I wont be around to hold him while he's still little and likes to be held!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm an aunt, again!!!

My sister gave birth to their 3rd child tonight at 7:30 p.m., about an hour after I left with two kids strung out on sour wormies/cheetos/suckers/cookies/apple pie from mcdonalds/lemonade and no telling what else! My poor children have never had so much junk food in a day. I really hope they don't have stomach problems tonight.(They live about an hour from the hospital so I couldn't have made it back up there before visiting hours were over.)We hung around for 6 looonnngggg hours waiting for the little bugger to make his/her appearance. What a stinker, he's already playing tricks on his Aunt 'manda! He's his daddy's son for sure!! Yes, it's a BOY!! We were surprised, a lot of us really thought it was a girl but that doesn't matter. What does matter is that we have a new little life to love. Our family is blessed!!!

He doesn't have a name yet.
Don't know how long he is or how much he weighs.
Buddy said he looks like Hannah when she was born.
Betsy is doing well!
We are all tired!
I am dying to see him and get my hands on him. I am going to love him and squeeze him and call him george!!

Morning Update:
He weighed 7 lbs 13 oz
He was 19 in long
Still doesn't have a name

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So much for global warming

Seriously? It's unseasonably cold here this morning, again! I thought that since the earth is getting a few degrees hotter every year (and since this will inevitably melt the ice caps and send us all to a drowning death OR live in a water world with Kevin Costner!)that it will keep getting warmer earlier in the year and stay warm. Maybe I'm confused?! Seriously though, I thought all the cold snaps were over but yesterday and today it has been in the low 40's in the mornings and not supposed to get above 60 in the afternoon. It's strange because last week it was 80 degrees by 10:00 in the morning. I sure wish "it" would make up it's mind.

Okay, I guess I'm just talking about the weather because it's been pretty quiet around here lately, finally! No major catastrophe's, no hidden illnesses rising to the surface, no nasty dirty bombs being let loose in high chairs causing one of the most disgusting messes I've ever had to clean up. Oh wait that DID happen Sunday night. I'll spare y'all the details, just know that it was nasty to the fullest degree and courtesy of my son, James Bryant. Other than that the kids are just doing their usual thing, entertaining us night and day. Our poor children didn't stand a chance, us mixing Mizell and Bryant and then throwing a little Mozingo in there to stir things up even more..........
Some of you will get this: this is his Ray Liota face and he was doing the laugh!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blessings from above

Tuesday April called to say that our insurance has agreed to cover therapy visits in our home! This is an answer to prayer. It is so much easier on all of us to not have to pack up and travel 30 miles for an hour long session once a week. I had two reps from BCW come to the house yesterday and we devised a plan for James in their program. A speech and language pathologist (SLP) will be coming to our home once a week to work with James and check his weekly progress. Not just in speech but in every area that has potential to be a problem one day. Even though he doesn't have any speech delays right now she is going to be working with him to try and prevent any delays in the future. I met the SLP that will be working with James yesterday and fell in love with her too!! I am amazed that we have met 3 state workers and spoken to 6 and have yet to have a bad experience. Another blessing! I put together a little video to show how well James is walking now and all the other things he can do.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Good Times

1st weekend we went out to New Orleans to spend a couple days with Jon's familia and as always we had a great time. We had a crawfish boil Friday night and my dear in-laws remembered I like shrimp better so they got a few shrimps to boil.
I have eaten tons of boild shrimp in my day but I have never seen them this big! They were the best I've had in a long time. This would be Jon's cousin Mickey showing us how big they were! James and Audrey did not partake in the boil, too spicy for little ones, but they didn't seem to mind. Especially when SuSu brought out caaaaake!!
James has always loved to play with keys and at SuSu and PawPaw's he got totally obssessed with them. Their key hole was just low enough for him to reach(barely)so he thought he was putting the key in! He did this the whole time we were there!

It just works better with your tongue out!

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's finally Friday!!!!

This has been a long and trying week and I am glad it's over, well almost over. A lot happened yesterday after I posted, perhaps I should have posted about my frustrations earlier!! We now have an appointment with the Orthopaedist on June 26. The pediatricians office got all the things to the therapist that she needs for insurance purposes. I got another OT evaluation scheduled for June 12th and went ahead and scheduled a PT appointment for June 11th just in case our insurance wont pay for the other. On Tuesday when I was so upset about the OT mishap, I called April(the therapist) to see if she could recommend somewhere else for OT. She said she could but unless I just had to have it now she wouldn't worry. Like my sister and brother-in-law have thought, she doesn't see a need for occupational therapy for James right now. That doesn't mean he wont need it in 6 months or a year so he does need to be evaluated but it's just not as time sensitive as the PT. At the beginning of the week I was so frustrated with all the medical stuff, tired of having to wait on someone else to help my son. I knew OT and cognitive therapy was something I could start on my own and that just makes me so much more thankful for my sister being an. Betsy gave me whole list of things to start teaching them. We've been playing with play dough, lining things up in a row, stacking blocks and he's doing very well with them. He gets frustrated easily but he's doing well. (Oh and Audrey is too!! She should have an IQ of like 1000 by the time she's 5!) Back at Christmas Betsy gave the kids play dough in their stockings and I was like "gee, thanks sis" and she told me it would be a good learning tool one day. Who knew she would be so right!!James had his first therapy session this morning and it went great!! Even though we don't know what's gonna happen with the insurance we know James needs as much PT as he can get right now so we told April to come on any way. If need be we'll pay her outta pocket till he gets in with TMH. She told me this morning that they won't bill us even close to what they would the insurance company so maybe I wont have to sell my kidney after all!!
Wednesday I started thinking that perhaps James wasn't as far up on his toes as he was last week. I thought it could be just wishful thinking but after April worked with him a few minutes this morning she said his muscle was a lot looser. I told her what I had been thinking and she said I was right! That he's definitely come down some and I am the one that's made it happen. I could have got up and danced a little jig when she said that. I'm not crazy and I am a good mother!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What brownies?

Wednesday was much better than Tuesday. No life altering mistakes anyway! My thumb has healed, I remembered to call my sister on her actual birthday, I remembered where I left the battery charger(in B'ham and Nelda's putting it in the mail asap), my daddy made it home safe and sound and I still have some brownies left!! Score one for me!
Since I can't upload any new pictures I guess I'll post some old ones because what good is a blog about children with out any pictures of them?!James is doing very well these days. While we were at my dad's he started taking a lot more steps and would do it with out me having to remind him to stand up. Once we got home he started doing it more and more and by the end of the first week he was able to stand up for at least a minute without holding on to anything! Then by the middle of the second week he was WALKING every where on his own, without falling down!! I was going to put a video up but decided to wait and let him surprise everyone in New Orleans. And surprise them he did! They were so excited and it was so wonderful to see him keep up with the other kids!! As soon as I get my camera going I'll post a video of him walking. It'll make ya cry for sure!!

Everyone was saying how amazing it is that he's doing this with only one therapy session. But I told them that he hasn't even had a therapy session, just an evaluation(even though I have been doing daily exercises with him!)so this is such a blessing from the Lord that he is walking so wonderfully! Just in my humble opinion as his mama, I think that the CP did not play as big of a role as we had feared in him not walking yet. I think it definitely held him back some because he has had to learn how to balance with a limp since he still cannot put his left foot down. Both the physical therapist and BCW evaluator told us he is functioning on the 14-16 month level so technically he doesn't have any delays at this point. That may confuse some of you, I'll explain: He is 19 months old but his adjusted age since he was 2 months premature is 17 months. And he is a boy and boys tend to be 1-2 months behind on development so if you just look at him as being 16 months he's right on time with walking. Even with all this good progress he is making on his own we're still anxious to get his therapy started. The neuro told us even though it's a mild form of CP he wants us to be as aggressive with it as if it were an extreme form of it. In a direct quote from the doctor "He needs therapy NOW, not later." Even though he has no delays right now, we have no idea what it's gonna be like 6 months or a year from now. If any of you out there have had any experience with insurance you'll be able to relate to our frustrations. Unfortunately our state program doesn't have any PT's or OT's on staff so we have had to go to outside resources for these. I found the only pediatric PT in our immediate area who actually makes home visits even though she does not work for a home health agency. She's wonderful, I love her, the kids love her and I want her to be his PT. But and however she is out of network. She filed for a GAP extension(don't ask, can't explain!) since there is no one else in our coverage area and was hopeful that would do the trick but they are having a problem with letting her treat him in our home since technically she is not home health. She works in the school systems and doesn't have an office to treat patients because she's never had enough patients outside the school to be able to rent office space.

I talked to her on Tuesday and she said now they are saying they don't have enough info on James and his diagnosis but they wont tell her exactly what they need. So when I was in Tallahassee Tuesday I decided to stop by the pediatrician's office and ask for any clinical notes they may have on James. I didn't leave with any records in hand but I left with a promise that they would call our therapist the next day and find out exactly what she needs for the insurance and that they will do what ever they can to help. But she told me not to expect immediate results because fighting with insurance is an uphill battle. Gee thanks for the encouragement sista!
Rewinding a few weeks on the frustrations:Our pediatrician made a referral for him to get OT, PT, and S&L at TMH Pediatric Rehab. I called to make appointments a few days before Easter and was told for him to be evaluated for all 3 on the same day it would be the middle of June before they could work him in. Just for OT would be 3 weeks out and PT would 5. I told her that I couldn't wait that long and she told me I was lucky to get those slots for PT and OT because most 1st appointments are at least 2 months out. Ridiculous. I went ahead and made the two appointments anyway. Thankfully right after that the PT I want called and said she could see him in 2 weeks. Well that was better than 5 so I told her to come on and if insurance wouldn't pay we'd pay outta pocket. I just want my baby evaluated. I called TMH back and canceled the PT. What a nerd. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees.

To make a long story longer we are still waiting on referrals for an ear, nose and throat doctor and an orthopedist. I try to be curteous and wait at least a week before I call and start hounding poeple after I've been told refferals will be made and I haven't heard anything. I know how busy and hectic doctor's offices can be and I certainly don't want to get pushed to the back of the pile of papers. So I waited and then I called the pediatricians office to see what was up. I had to talk to the girl who calls everybody "hun" and sounds like she doesn't know which way is up. Of course she didn't know what I was talking about. Arrghh. The next day the good nurse Becky called me back and told me she was sorry for the mix up, they are way backed up on referrals and before the end of the day she'd make them both. Well, that's been a week and a half ago and we still have no ENT or Ortho appointment. Tick, tick, tick..............

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Life is hard sometimes

Rookie mistake numero deuce: Do not just assume that you have a certain appointment on a certain day at a certain time. Please do your self a favor and call ahead to make sure that the appoinment does in fact EXIST!

Rewind: James had his OT evaluation scheduled for this past Friday but they called at 8:00 that morning to cancel it. The therapist was sick. I was a little disappointed but since we were heading out for New Orleans after the appointment, it was kinda a relief since now we could leave 3 hours earlier! I called the number to reschedule the appointment(apparently it is too hard for one office to see patients and schedule appointments but what eva)and the chirpy "rescheduling receptionist" told me May the 5th at 3:30, I would almost stake my life on it. I mean, I had my calendar out in front of me and wrote it down when we spoke(yeah, I thought I was cool for doing this but as you will see in a moment, I am not).

Fast forward: Today I dropped Audrey off at the sitters and drove my smart little self right on over to the rehab center in Tallahassee(again thinking I was cool because I was a few minutes early). Got James out, went inside and gave them his name. The woman looked at the book, looked up at me and said "who"? I told her again, even spelled it out for her(for some reason our last name is hard to pronounce ?) and she looked again. "Nope" she said "No James Mizell down for today, what's his birth date?" I told her and she starts clicking computer keys and says "Oh! Yeah, his appointment is for JUNE 5th." I was literally speechless but had to restrain myself from jumping thru the plate glass window and ringing her neck.

I almost walked out because I was so upset with myself but I remembered what Jon did at the neuro's office that day so I started trying to persuade them to "pleeeeeessseeee fit him in. I drove such a long way." But unfortunately my tongue aint silver.

Today was such a busted day. I burned my finger really bad this morning(I hope my children enjoyed their lunch!)called my sister to wish her a happy birthday a day early. Yup, got my sister's birth date mixed up. Now that's just plain sad. And my camera battery is dead. I have no earthly idea where the charger is and why it's not where it's supposed to be so I cannot upload any of our pictures from the weekend. Ahhhhhh I am so glad I made that pan of brownies last night.................