Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Picture Smattering

To make up for the last two pictureless posts, a smattering of pictures.

Life in the Browning home has been a bit rough for Mom lately. With the new pregnancy has come that terrible bout of morning ... ahem ... all day sickness. It has been hard to manage this time around for various reasons. I am praying for relief and to be able to once again have the energy to keep up. My sweet husband and children have been wonderful and so kind through this. I love them to pieces.

We have treated once again for H. Pylori and we are probably going to call it good. I have now spoken to a couple of doctors, one who specializes in this sort of thing, and they have both said that H.Pylori is so common, yet most probably do not realize they have it and blame ulcers on stress, etc. He said that he would not continue to chase after it if it were him.

Ivanna and Max and a couple of other kiddos have ENT appointments next week, for possible tubes. Justus needs glasses, and I am going to hunt some "Miraflex" frames down for him - no luck so far. I do have the Specs4Us for Max and Ivanna, and they are ok ... but I think the Miraflex will serve better for Justus' age.

Both children (Max and Ivanna) look as if they have AAI ... the instability in their necks. So ... we are now careful with play.

Ivanna's eyes have started to drift inward again, and we are anxious for her next eye appointment. Surgery will more than likely be discussed.

Ok ... I did it!!! I updated this blog. Now it's time for bed! Good night all, and thank you for your sweet words. They uplift when the uplifting is much needed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Think on These Things

Sorry, no pics again. I know ... blogger fail.

Well, I sit here and have pondered all morning. Events. Events of the past year, the past few months and weeks. Swirling thoughts and emotions (ooohhh the emotions of a pregnant lady!!) within me.

I have often been accused of being a sort of super woman. Many times someone will declare upon learning of our family's dynamic that they have no clue as to how I do it. Well, the truth is ... I don't.

There is nothing in me that is good. I struggle with the same sorts of struggles that everyone else does. That means that I have the same selfish desires, the same short fuses, the same grouchy moments and the same disorganized messes. In short - there is nothing special in me ... except Christ. He is the difference between me and giving in to those desires, fuses and grouchy moments. I don't always follow His prompting, and when that happens - well, it winds up being failure.

Why do I blog this?

For this reason:

Do I always feel like getting up in the morning and going through the day with the many snotty noses, eating regiments, and many many needs? Do I always feel like trusting God with my day, my choices, my children and the many other things I know I should? Do I always have the best of attitudes? Am I always the picture of positive thinking and optimistic approaches?

The resounding answer is ... NO. Period. Exclamation point. NO.

Today. Today has been rough. And it isn't even 11:30 am. My mind is swirling with thoughts, emotions run rampant in my heart. Babies are fussy from travelling this weekend. Little girls are testing the boundaries, and the boys are also worn out from travels, and I am feeling that "new pregnant" sick. Really, today isn't any different than many other days I have had recently-or have experienced prior. I really think that it is my outlook that is different. My reaction to those thoughts and emotions swirling. I'm letting them grip me. Not good.

The truth is - I have a choice. I can choose to allow myself to be gripped and pulled down - or I can choose to find the sweetness in my day, to push past those things I could dwell on - and grab ahold of those things that Christ would have me meditate upon.

phillipians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

1. whatsoever things are true: my family is healthy, my coffeepot is full, and my Lord reigns

2. whatsoever things are just: God's word in my life is always true, and always right - I can lean on that and know it will direct my path

3.whatsoever things are pure: I know the promises God has laid before me regarding the choices in my life - and I know those are pure and hold promises for me and my family.

4. whatsoever things are lovely: my children. My husband. My Saviour. All are lovely to me.

5. whatsoever things are of good report: Missionary friends seeing souls come to Christ, Ivanna's heart being well, Churches starting, and the gospel being preached.

6. If there be any virtue, if there be any praise ... think on these things.

Thank you Lord. I will.

Those thoughts that don't fall into the realm of this verse, do me no good. It's time to put those aside and "think on these things".

So. Do you see? I am no super woman. I am not some sort of marvel in motherhood. I struggle. I fail.

But ... Christ does not. Since He reigns within my heart - He is the difference in days like this. In my best moments - it's Him you see. Not me.

Sometimes blogging isn't just for those reading - sometimes it's selfish. Typing this out, I can feel my perspective changing already...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Medical Stuff Galore

No pics this time ... sorry. I just wanted to update and also get some feedback if possible. The last two weeks have been a flurry of medical appointments, dental exams, and lab procedures. No small task when finding babysitters and rearranging schedules. In the midst of all that we have also kept steady with piano lessons and swimming lessons at the YMCA. Busy, busy, busy ...

We had another hearing evaluation for Max and Ivanna to recheck their hearing and see if there has been anymore improvement from them both having had fluid and lower hearing levels earlier this year. Well ... no improvement. In fact, there was so much fluid this time that the exam yielded no results on hearing level. So - to the ENT we go. Our suspicion is that both kids will benefit from tubes. If this helps their hearing - it could also eventually help with their speech. If you can't hear - you can't properly hear sounds enough to imitate.

We also went to the dentist. We LOVE our dentist - and if you are local and need a suggestion for pediatric dentistry, or special needs dentistry - let me know. She is fantastic! As far as Max and Ivanna are concerned: they did great. Max got a bit flustered - but considering he had never experienced that kind of exam, I was quite happy with the results. Both kiddos had NO cavities. I was especially concerned with Ivanna's grinding her teeth (she has done it so LONG and so FERVENTLY - that her little teeth look like stumps to me). The dentist took a peek and was able to explain a few technical things to me regarding grinding, and the conclusion: not to worry about it right now. Ivanna seems to be doing better with it since being home. Perhaps it is the other stimulation she has - she may not feel the need to constantly grind. Now she primarily does it when she drinks water, brushes teeth, or is extremely tired.

The last little thing we have done these past two weeks was to follow through with neck x-rays to check with AAI. This is a fairly common health check for little ones with Ds. It is recommended that it be done by the time the child is three. It is a condition that is quite common and involves the neck muscles being weak, therefore instable around the vertebrae. This is a concern because any hard jarring, or fall on the head could compress the spinal cord - resulting in an injury that could impact their ability to move at all. I was surprised to learn that both children's xrays came back with possible positive results of being instable. (It was hard to read xrays, and so hence: possible) We will perform xrays again for better reading and to see just how instable the area seems.
From my understanding treatment isn't typically done (surgery) unless the child is sympotmatic. Symptoms would include neurological ones from having strain or slight compression on the spinal cord. I'm curious if this is why Ivanna seems a little clumsy, holds her head tilted alot, etc. OR ... could this all be behaviors that are just normal for little Ivanna???? This is where I welcome feedback from those who may have experienced having a little one with AAI.

The next few weeks we will be visiting the eye doctor, and a few more specialists.

Never a dull moment in the Browning home ....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Big Brother & Sister ... to be

We are "buzzing" with excitement around the Browning house. Max and Ivanna will experience having a brand new little sister or brother in April 2012!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pray for Tripp

My heart is heavy this morning with a burden. A burden that I feel is important to share in hopes that all of you will feel the absolute need for prayer.

I won't keep this long. I think the image below will speak for itself.

I ran across a blog yesterday, and ever since my heart hurts for a young family and little boy that nearly shares the same birthday as my Justus.

Literally ... my mother's heart hurts.

Meet Tripp.

Tripp is two years old. He was born with a disease known as Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa. His skin is so sensitive that it develops blisters and scabs over. He was not expected to live past a year, yet this little fighter has more to offer in teaching others.

Tripp's little eyes are no longer working properly. Tripp's ability to play has come to a halt. Tripp is in much pain.

Tripp and his precious family are in need of PRAYER.

Please go here to learn more about this family and Tripp's fight to endure.

Please consider how you may feel if you were facing some of the decisions and choices this family must face every day. Please leave them encouraging words, but most of all PRAY for them.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Peek Into Sunday Morning

Yesterday, as we all scrambled to get ready for church I was able to grab my camera and "catch" Max being super uber cute. Our refrigerator didn't get the memo to transition from the 90's into our current decade - and so it still has that ultra swank black shiny veneer type covering on it. Perfect for little boys who like to catch their reflection. I got several images of Max looking at his reflection and loving every minute of it. Here are just a couple.

And of course, what's a Sunday morning peek into the Browning family life without a little (or a lot) of Ivanna's crazy bedhead.

Gotta love that little peanut and her crazy morning hair, who by the way - is doing fantastic and enjoying life to the fullest. She continually astounds me with her love of life and giggles and laughs more and more. (but NOT when mama brushes out her bedhead)

Every morning the littles eat pretty much the same menu - oatmeal. I know, many may think that boring. It is a healthy breakfast, inexpensive and easy for them to feed to themselves. I also incorporate fruit here and there.

What's this?

Could it be Max in a big boy chair? No more highchair for Max!!! This came about strictly out of my becoming tired of lugging a foldable highchair back and forth to my Dad's house (we go there often to care for the lawn, etc) So - I left it there and thought Max could certainly adapt - and he has!!

Max has also been sleeping now for nearly two months in his own big boy bed! No more playpen for him! We just have a baby gate up in the door so he doesn't "wander".

This happens to be the toy that is currently fought over in the house, and yes - even on a hectic Sunday morning the littles have time to grab their favorite toy and play. It's a Baby Einstein toy that lights up and plays classical music. They LOVE it. Every single one of the littles, yes - even our Ivanna pants!

Through all the craziness up a Sunday morning - we somehow manage to get the bedheads brushed out, the oatmeal cleaned up, the toy coveting to a halt and the end result is a pretty sharp looking crew. Here are the sweet sisters posing for a quick snapshot.

See? No more bedheads.

** To those who may be wondering - yest we did shut down our Facebook profile for a bit. We may come back in a few months. We are seeking to simplify our life in areas that we can. Facebook is one area. You can always check here or our family blog for updates. Have a bright and beautiful day today!! **


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