Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Well, our first Christmas as a family has come and gone. It was much more than I could have asked for. Flor is the joy of my life. I thank God for her everyday. To be able to live through her eyes, full of wonder and learning and love. She is a precious gift and I couldn't have asked for anything more, yet God still gave me the gift of eternal life.

Monday, December 21, 2009

So, first of all, this week marked our one year anniversary of being released from PGN. Basically, Flor's been officially mine for a year!! Can you believe it?!? I remember the day last year, which was the 17th, receiving a call from my dear friend Melissa letting me know that we were OUT!! I, of course, bawled my eyes out! It was a huge weight off my shoulders. There was still a long wait ahead of us, but to know I had a daughter was an amazing feeling!

So, here we are a year later. Today we went to the children's hospital in Birmingham to meet her "cleft team", which consists of a speech therapist, an audiologist, an ENT, a genetics doctor, and a plastic surgeon. We saw the speech therapist first. She did several tests which showed her which sounds Flor was missing or replacing with other sounds. Like saying "nog" instead of "dog". Flor did so well, and loved it! Then she checked her "nasality", which proved to us how sound and air was coming out through her nose. She basically failed that test with flying colors. But that's alright, that's why we were there. The audiologist said her hearing was great, which is a blessing... no more excuses when she "can't hear me" now. :)

The genetics doctor said that a lot of cleft pallets are part of a bigger problem, like a syndrome or deformaty. He said Flor's looked isolated, which is good. With no family history, he was limited to what he could tell us. But the less the better, because if he had to tell us more that would mean there was a problem somewhere. :)

The only traumatic part of the day was when the ENT stuck bubble gum scented numbing liquid on a cotton ball up her nose. He looked at her throat through a tiny light camera that he stuck up her nose. Not fun for Flor, but she was very brave. And by brave, I mean she screamed her head off, but who wouldn't? That basically confirmed what we thought, that her pallet is too short. There's normally a muscle that runs across the back of the pallet in front of the "hangy ball thing". With cleft pallets that muscle usually grows up each side of the cleft. When they repaired her pallet, they didn't repair that muscle, so he basically saw no movement in her pallet when she spoke certain sounds. He did say the tonsils were almost compensating and closing the back of her throat somewhat. But we have scheduled surgery for them to repair that muscle on January 29th. He said that could improve her speech by 80-85%, which is amazing. She'll continue speech therapy and over the next year we'll evaluate her improvement. After that, if we didn't see significant improvement that we could further discuss other options, which are typically more invasive and risky surgeries, involving bone grafts and air passages.

So, please remember Flor in your prayers as we approach this surgery the end of January. She'll stay one night at the hospital and be on a 4 week soft food diet. Pray that she that her pain is minimal after surgery and during recovery.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Be in prayer for Flor Thursday. We are going to see the pediatric plastic surgeon in Birmingham. I'm praying for wisdom for Dr. Grant and peace over Flor and I.

I'm planning for Flor's birthday party this weekend. She will be 5 years old and is so excited!! I, on the other hand, am a little sad because I can't believe she is so BIG!! But I'm so happy for her. I am trying to keep it small, but with my family that's a little impossible. I've got it down to 50 people... is that too many? Of course, no one has RSVP'd yet, except my grandma who said she may or may not come. :) Oh wait... I just thought of two more I had forgotten to add to the invite... make that 52. :-/ It is going to be F. U. N.

Then with Christmas the next week... oh my goodness... she is not going to know what to do with herself. Can you imagine being able to remember your first Christmas?!? Well, you know, its not her first, but it'll definitely be different than what she remembers. She's asked for a gee-you-eye-tee-aye-are... SHHHHHHH, don't tell her, but she's getting it!! :) I can't wait!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Photo contest!!!

Go vote for Flor!!!