Monday, April 25, 2016

Hand Camp

Katelyn is now old enough to go to Scottish Rite's Hand Camp. We've been looking forward to this for several years! This is an annual family camp for kids with an upper limb difference(s), and it is awesome! There were break out session for parents and activities to do together as a family. Ryan was too young to go with us, but Dave, Katelyn, and I had a great time. 

Katelyn's little arm certainly doesn't define her or us as a family-- and honestly, most of the time I forget about it because she adapts so well and doesn't have complications-- but this weekend was a fun chance to connect with other families and exchange stories and tips and tricks. Lots of advice for riding a bike and going to kindergarten from parents who have been there. And it was fun to watch Katelyn make friends and just enjoy being a kid at camp.

Many of the camp counselors have limb differences and attended camp as a child. They held little "how to" sessions for things like painting your own nails, putting hair into a ponytail, tying your shoes, playing guitar, etc. Of course Katelyn went straight for painting nails! 

It was the most adorable thing to see an adult with a limb difference teach a group of girls with limb differences how to paint their own nails! One rule: the child had to paint her own nails. No help from moms! Katelyn was so excited and proud and can't wait to practice doing her own nails more.

Arts and crafts

Making mini lasagnas in cooking

Hula hoop!

Making a (salt dough) fossil

One thing I've noticed about Scottish Rite is that it really is a community. Patients, parents, nurses, volunteers-- you get to know each other and it really does seem like a sort of family. We have some extra connections through Dave volunteering weekly at Scottish Rite, but there's just a bond that I suspect will deepen year after year of attending camp. It's such a wonderful organization!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Welcome, Ryan!

Well, we made it through the crazy month of March. We closed on our first home, moved, and had a baby in a span of 10 days. For anyone who is looking to add some crazy to their life, I don't recommend this BUT it can be done--with help, of course!! We couldn't have pulled any of this off without the help of our wonderful family and friends. We are so grateful to everyone (especially Mom, Christy, Nana, and Joey's crew of movers) who packed, cleaned, painted, moved, unpacked, helped with Katelyn and Ryan, brought us meals, and helped with all the new house details. Whew. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Two days after moving into the new house, baby Ryan joined our family! Thankfully he cooperated and stayed on schedule for induction on March 7. After a hectic few weeks and being on my feet way more than I should have been (even though I tried not to be!!), my body was ready to have this baby! Things progressed much faster than expected... I had plans to watch Netflix and color in my adult coloring books during labor, but that didn't happen. Start to finish in just four hours. Labor was much more painful than it was with Katelyn and the pain meds made me extremely nauseous afterwards, but things went so fast and for that I am grateful.

Seriously, that hair! I did not expect my baby to be born with sideburns.

When my family and Dave's mom came in to meet Ryan, Dad said a prayer and for some reason I just lost it. Everything was just so perfect. Katelyn saw me crying and said she felt like crying, too.

One proud daddy and all three of my loves

Katelyn was very particular (shocking) about holding Ryan. She was not ready to hold him in the hospital, which made me think she had some sort of scenario already planned out in her mind. Sure enough, after we got home from the hospital, she asked if she and Ryan could go upstairs and watch The Sound of Music. I agreed and as soon as we sat on her bed, she held out her arms and announced she was ready to hold him. Funny girl.

Meeting cousins Annabelle and Zoe. These girls have been so excited about Ryan's arrival!

Meeting cousin Bentley, born 8 weeks before Ryan

with Grandmom

with Grandad

with Nana

and with Papa

Our first time to go to church as a family was Easter Sunday. Perfect! Ryan stayed with us and was content during the service but I had to take him out when the preaching began because he woke up and I could tell things were about to go south. Even while I was pregnant, Ryan would kick like crazy every time he heard Pastor Brent's voice. Maybe they will be buddies someday!