Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Titus Gets a Haircut

Titus has been in dire need of a haircut. He's had a few trims over the last few months, but this week, he got a full haircut. He is just as curly-headed as his dad and brothers. Here's the before and after.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Paul and Becky + 8

You may have heard of the reality show - Jon and Kate +8. It's about the lives of family with 8 kids (most under the age of 6). Well, this week, it's Paul and Becky + 8.

We have 3 incredible kids staying with us this week as they all go to music camp at our church. Ashley, Morgan, and Leighton are dear friends of ours from Lake Jackson, TX and we picked them up on Saturday afternoon.

Now, we are use to the looks that we get when we go out to eat (mainly because of our matching outfits), but you should see the looks you get when you show up with 8 kids. People stare at you like the Von Trapp family has come to town. But, we don't care - we are having a blast.

I'll post more about it this week - and our camera is back from the repair shop so new pics are coming soon.

Paul & Becky
Aidan, Noah, Tucker, Cade, Titus, Ashley, Morgan, & Leighton

Monday, July 21, 2008

Titus: Untethered

Titus is oxygen free!

Last week, I went to check him before heading to bed and his oxygen sats (SATS) were at 100%. I then checked his face and noticed his canula was totally out of his nose - so we decided - let's see how long he can go. And, he went 5 hours.

So the next day, we tested again - and he went all day long.

He's gone a few night without oxygen but over the weekend, we noticed his SATS were sinking a bit at night and taking awhile to recover, so we've putting him back on oxygen at night. But during the day, he is untethered and oxygen free!!!

After 5 months of being on oxygen, having a cord trail behind you all over the house, switching over to the smaller portable tank when leaving the house, constantly checking to make sure his canula is in his nose, it's an incredible feeling to be able to pick up my child without having that hose around him. He even looks so different with out it.

I'll post pics this week (camera is in the shop but should be coming back soon).

Thank you so much for the prayers in this area - and please keep praying. He's making marked improvement in so many areas.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Conversation Between Tucker & Cade

Tucker: Dodo-bird

Cade: Am not

Tucker: Dodo-bird, dodo-bird


Mom: Cade, stop tattling on Tucker. Tell him to stop and ignore him.

Tucker: Dodo-bird

Cade: Please stop calling me that.

Tucker: Dodo-bird

Cade: PLEASE, stop calling me that.

Tucker: Dodo-bird, dodo-bird, DODO-BIRD!!

Cade: I ignorin you.

Tucker: MOM, CADE's IGNORING ME!! dodobird, dodobird, dodobird

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Dearest Beck,
Happy Anniversary sweetheart. After 14 years, I'm still amazed you chose to marry me (even if I was SO much older). There is no one else on earth I would want to share this incredible life with. Who knew 14 years ago that life would take us where it has - and who would have dreamed that we would have 5 boys (and homeschool!)

From Windflower Way to Lake Crest to Old Orchard to Seaside Lane, you've always made our house a home.

From New York to San Francisco to Chicago to Charleston to Seagrove to Seoul to Sydney, you've always made travel an adventure.

From Aidan to Noah to Tucker to Cade to Titus, you've made parenting a joy.

From EDS to Novient to Primedia to Radiant to Alliance, you've always supported me in my career (the good and the bad).

From Hamburger Helper to New York Strips, you've kept me well-fed (a few years more so than others as the pics will attest).

Thank you for a wonderful-exciting-fun-filled-never-dull-always-changing life. I still love coming home to you!

All of me,

Monday, July 14, 2008

8 Months Old Today

Titus Beck is 8 months old today. Any my little buddy celebrated by sleeping 5 hours last night without oxygen! Titus has gotten quite good about pulling his canula out of his nose. On Friday, he not only pulled it out of his nose, but also ripped off the band-aid-like adhesives that help hold it on his face. Last night, we went to check on him before heading to bed and his oxygen sats were at 100%. I then checked his face and sure enough, his canula was below his chin. We decided to wait awhile and test how long he would go since he was in a deep sleep. And, he went 5 hours. I checked him on through-out the night and his sats were still 100% - so this is great progress.

He continues to do better about sleeping through the night - no longer waking at 4-5am for playtime. And that means, we are all getting more sleep. What a blessing!

In the last few weeks, we've had several important things occur. Titus has been fitted for hearing aids and should be getting those in the next few weeks. This is just part of the therapy needed as we progress toward the cochlear implants. It may/may not make much of a difference in what he can actually hear, but it's part of the process.

We have been approved for Medically Dependent Children's Program (MDCP) in the state of Texas. But there are still several steps that have to be completed. Titus does have Medicaid coverage as of June 4, but to be finally approved for MDCP, he will need to spend the night at a state-approved nursing home. (Actually, he has to check in by 5pm and can check out at midnight). But for those things to happen, there is a whole lot more of paperwork to complete and fill out. We are working through that this week. MDCP will allocate funds toward at-home nursing care for Titus along with other benefits. And Medicaid will pay for therapy whereas my insurance only paid for 20 therapy visits (already exhausted).

As we look back over the last 8 months, we see how God has graciously provided for us and Titus. For example, we have 2 incredible women who have been donating breast milk for Titus. We are able to mix that with formula for our feeds. We believe that has helped him tremendously. In the last 8 months, we've only purchased formula twice since others have donated boxes/cans of the special formula he needs.

But moreover, we've been given the opportunity to be a witness. Numerous times, Becky has been at the doctor's office or out with Titus and people come up and ask "how do you do it". Everyone seems to be amazed that we can function with Titus needs, and keep up with 4 other boys, homeschool, teach parenting classes, and still have fun. The question comes from other parents, from medical professionals, from friends - and the answer is always the same. If we trust that God is sufficient and we trust in His plan, then who am I to challenge/question that? If God has stated he will supply all my needs, who am I to be demanding? If God has stated that Titus is "wonderfully and fearfully made", then who am I to say that he's not? If God has stated "fear not", then who am I to stand here afraid of the unknown?

That doesn't mean we haven't been sad, it doesn't mean we haven't shed numerous tears, it doesn't mean we haven't cried out to God, it doesn't mean that there are days we've been depressed. But it does mean that we have learned (and are still learning) to trust in God's plan and to continue to let our light shine in a dark world.

2 Corinthians 4 has always been one of my favorite chapters. And verse 16-18 states "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Please pray for these things:
  • Paperwork for MDCP will be completed and accurate
  • Nursing Home visit can be scheduled and completed soon
  • Therapy appointments can be scheduled and re-started soon
  • Titus breathing will continue to improve so we can get off oxygen
  • Aidan and Noah have Fine Arts camp next week - both have speaking parts and are incredibly excited.
  • Family vacation on August 28 - Sept 3 to Family Camp in Indianna

Praise for these items

  • July is our month of birthdays - Tucker turned 4, Noah turned 10, and Paul turned "old". (Ok - Paul turned 47)
  • Becky and Paul celebrate 14 years of marriage on the 16th
  • Aidan and Noah (along with their cousin Nathan as sponsor) had a great time at Journey Camp last week.

We've stated before, but we want to repeat how incredibly blest and thankful we are for friends who continue to lift us up in prayer on a daily basis. We are so humbled.


Paul & Becky

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's Quiet - Very, Very Quiet

Aidan and Noah are at Journey Camp with the church this week and Tucker and Cade went camping with Meemaw and Peepaw. Let's just say - it's very, very quiet around here!!!! And to top it off, Titus slept all night last night - so Becky and I feel . . . well, we don't know how we feel. We're rested, but it's just plain weird without all our boys here and eerily quiet.

Our nephew, Nathan, is at camp as a sponsor with Aidan and Noah. He called yesterday to say everyone was having a great time. Their cabin won the clean award the first day and Aidan swept the entire cabin. We will definitely remember that he has that skill when he comes home. And Noah's team one the spirit award the first day. For some reason, I don't think it's nearly as quiet at camp as it is at home.

But, it's a good reminder that we all need to be quiet sometime. As Psalms says "Be still and know that I am God". It's odd how I can so easily get use to the noise of everyday. Between the hours of 7am and 8pm, it's rarely quiet in the house. Someone is talking, laughing, crying, teasing, whining, singing, etc. I find it easy to either tune in or tune out with the noise. But noise can fill such a void in our life that we block out other things that we need to do. And, you would think that I would appreciate a quiet drive into work, but those that know me, know that the radio is on full blast and I'm probably singing at the top of my lungs on the drive. But, it's good to be still, and it's good to be quiet. So for this week, I'm turning down the radio, turning off the tv, and enjoying the quiet. Because I know it's in the quiet that I can hear God's voice.

We pray you can find some quiet in your life this week to be still.

BTW, Titus was fitted for hearing aids today - he should have them in a few weeks. Just one more step that needs to be done as we prepare for cochlear implants.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tucker is 4

Happy Birthday Tucker!

For the last 2 months, you have been telling everyone that you will be 4 on July 8. Well, today is the day. It's hard to believe the tiny precious bundle we fell in love with half a world away 4 years ago is getting so big. Of all the boys, you put the "spice" into our family. Your antics, fearlessness, athletic ability, and mischievousness always keep us on our toes.

Our prayer today is that you continue to grow in God's plan, continue to learn obedience and self-control, and continue loving life as you do today.

You are our first adopted son - and you have opened our eyes to so many aspects of God's love. When I look in those deep brown eyes of yours, I see my son. When I hear you call my name, I know you know the safety, comfort, and love of your father. When I see you snuggled with your mom, I see the deep love a mother has for her son and a son has for his mom.

But along with the fun of the day, our hearts also go out to your birth mother. Her grief was our joy, her sorrow was our happiness, her loss was our gain. But most of all, her courage in giving you life and choosing a life plan that was best for you shows her selfless heart. We pray for her today that she will have comfort and peace in knowing you have a wonderful life.

Have a wonderful day Tucker Toes!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Noah

Noah George is 10 today.

Noah - You are an awesome son, a loving brother, and a caring friend. You never meet a stranger. It has always amazed us how we can walk into church and everyone seems to know your name. Your smile lights up a room, your laugh cracks us up, your attention for detail can amaze us. In the last year, your creativity has blossomed with your drawing and building.

I'm so glad today was a fun day. You were out jet skiing before I even had my coffee, then caught a 14-inch catfish before breakfast. You spent the entire day playing with friends in the water and shooting off fireworks at night. Everyone should celebrate their birthdays with this much fun.

BTW, sorry for tumping you in the lake on the jet-ski!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pulmonologist Visit

Just a quick update about Titus' appointment with the pulmonologist yesterday. Dr. Gelfand was pleased with his progress and has subscribed a different medication for us to try this week to see if it will help his lungs and get him off oxygen. The medicine is also a diuretic, so we are concerned that it will not affect his weight too much - Titus weighed 13lb 9oz yesterday. And, he decreased the number of times per day we can give Xopenex (with the nebulizer) and CPT. We've been doing it 4 times a day, and he suggested we back it down to twice a day. We were thrilled about that since that gives us 1 hour a day back in our schedule and allows us to work on other things with Titus during that time.

And, we found out this morning that we OFFICIALLY APPROVED for Medicaid as of June 4, 2008. Since our insurance only covered a limited amount of therapy and we had already used it up, we've been waiting for approval so we can start therapy again. It also will help with all the treatments and progress toward cochlear implants. We have a fitting for Titus for hearing aids coming up.

Titus had a rough night last night - we think he needed to poo and so he was kicking his feet and arching his back a lot during the night. It was the first night in weeks that his monitors were going off every 15-30 minutes.

We are off to Cedar Creek Lake for the holiday and to celebrate Noah's birthday. He's our firecracker born on the 4th of July. He's turning 10 and could not be more excited!