Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Five Months

Last Friday, Cal turned FIVE months.  This little guy is growing insanely fast.  Every day is new and special.  I'm trying my best to savor each moment because time just moves faster and faster.

This past month our little guy has changed SO MUCH!  He's really packing on the lbs lately.  He's totally filling out six months clothes.  We'll be in nine months here pretty quickly.  He's definitely rolling all over the place, desperately trying to get his knees up under him to get in four point.  A little bit to go before he masters this, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling a little unprepared to have a mobile child!  We've slowly been introducing foods and so far, he hates the first 1-3 bites, then can't eat the rest of it fast enough.  He's a wild man!  It's quite refreshing to have a kid who loves to eat!  I love watching him explore visually and with his hands.  He studies everything very intently and you can practically see his wheels spinning.  He's enjoying his exersaucer and Johnny Jump-Up.  In just the past week, he's learned how to "jump", basically just bouncing up and down but he seems pretty impressed by it.  Our Cal is all smiles and really hams it up for Mom.  He'll stare at you until you look at him, then give you a flirty toothless grin.  I find it totally irresistible!  What a sweet pea this one is!  

I realized this month just how much we missed in Elena's first year.  It's all so blurry.  I think that we were trying so hard to survive and come to terms with what happened that it's safe to say her first year was anything but enjoyable, for her and for us.  It was painful, confusing and almost unbearable at times.  Cal's first five months have been so refreshing to us.  He continues to show us what miracles these tiny little people are.  We relish in every smile, every roll, every bite (of food!) and all the exploring his tiny little hands are doing.  I'm so grateful for this perspective and appreciation of his development.  It makes life seem so much sweeter.

Just because Cal still amazes us simply with his ability to take a bottle, doesn't mean Elena is getting any less love or attention!  This sweet girl continues to make us all laugh every day.  She is doing so well right now, making us proud every day at school and at the Jackson Center.  I've been finding myself tearing up watching her, because I'm just so darn proud of her perseverance and ability to adapt herself into new situations.  Cal may impress us with his new skills but Elena steals our hearts with how hard she continues to work.

These two together though....

Chad said something the other day, that before Cal was here, we were so excited at the thought that Cal would be so good for Elena, pushing her to keep up with him.  But, I think we're more looking forward to how Elena will impact Cal, how she will shape the person he becomes.  THAT is what warms our hearts.  And THAT is what being a parent is all about.  It's about helping these little people become loving, compassionate, world-changing adults.  I pray for these little loves every day, that Elena would continue to be the spark and Cal would carry the torch to light up this world.  What a happy, happy five months it has been!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Picasso Part Two

You may remember Elena's priceless piece of art we were given at last years Jackson Center gala.  This past weekend, we helped the Jackson Center celebrate 10 years!  Of course, we were once again given Elena's latest artistic masterpiece.

The crew minus my Dad

Our sweet friends Rick & Jenny, who joined us again this year (with Elena photobombing from above!)

It was so wonderful to celebrate such a special organization.  We don't know what we would do without the love, support and care the JC provides our family.  It was great to have my parents, brother, cousins, aunt and uncle there to help support us.  We loved being able to share this special place with them!

A special thanks to Grandpa & Mimi for watching the kiddos this weekend! :)

Monday, September 15, 2014


Are you all still there?  I am!

It feels like forever since I've been able to blog and I'm sorry!  Honestly, I've been short on time lately (as if I'm ever NOT short on time) and the blog has taken a back seat to everything else.  Rest assured, we are doing really well.  Elena, Cal and I are settling into a great weekly groove.  We are on the go practically every day, but we're all handling things pretty well at the moment.  Now, I know that since I've said that, it's all subject to change at a moments notice :)

Elena continues to thrive at school.  Every day she starts laughing as soon as she gets off the bus, anxious to "tell" me all about her day at school.  It's the same with the Jackson Center.  The whole time she's there, I can hear her "talking" to her friends.

We've started her on a new medication this past week.  It is an oral medication that helps with her muscle tone.  We're trying it out in place of the Botox.  So far, she's had great results.  Though, it has a much more global effect that can make it difficult for her to hold up her head and trunk.  It's really quite difficult to explain how her muscle tone operates, but basically even though she seems really strong (I can't tell you how often people tell me how strong she is), her muscle strength is incredibly weak.  This medication is something similar to a muscle relaxer so when her muscles aren't in that neurologically "stiff" mode, they're like jelly.  The result is a floppy Elena (great for her hip!).  We have to play around with the dosage quite a bit to get the desired effects, but we're hopeful this can be a nice change to to the painful Botox injections every 3-4 months.

Speaking of her hip, cue the "wah wah wah".  We're facing another hip surgery, but we are so, so hopeful that this surgery may curb her problem awhile.  Nothing has been scheduled yet, but we will go ahead and ask you to start praying.  To remind you, Elena had surgery last October to help with her left hip dislocation, which is a result of her muscle tone (see above) and some weird brain stuff that doctors have yet to figure out.  Something like more than 50% of kids with cerebral palsy have hip dislocation...we're in that lucky 50%.  Anyway, I'll share more details with you when we actually have them, but go ahead and add Elena and that naggin' ole' left hip to your prayer list!

Cal is doing great....growing like a weed.  He's rolling all over the place.  We put him square in the middle of his blanket and the next thing we know, he's half way across the room, on his belly facing the opposite direction.  Movement is quite foreign to us around the Hinton house!  It's amazing to see him in action..I can only imagine what's to come!  He's as happy as can be, though he still loves to rock his famous "scowl".  It's a relief that we are now getting more toothless grins and giggles these days than his stare down!  We got his three month pictures done back in early August, and I'm just now getting around to showing you all, but they're pretty darn cute.  They capture his personality pretty well at that age.

Well, that's all of an update that I can muster right now!  I'm trying to wrangle both kids down for a nap, fingers crossed.  Thanks for hanging with us, continuing to follow and pray for our family.  It really means so much to us.  We still have our days and our struggles.  Knowing that we're still on prayer lists and that our Elena is still inspiring others, fill us up when we need filling.  We love you all!

Cal the "Scowl"

He smiles!!

 My favorite look ever!