Friday, December 31, 2010

Tis the Season

The past few weeks have been fast and furious with the Christmas Season.

December started with Aidan and Noah finishing up multiple performances of 'The Wizard of Oz' at the McKinney Performing Arts Center. The same week Aidan and Noah were also working at the church on setup for Christmas Journey. I know for some it seems very odd that we would drop a 12 and 13 yr old off at the church and let the staff direct them most of the day without any parental supervision. But, I trust my boys are hard-workers and I know they are diligent in the tasks they are given. Plus, I trust the staff knows just how to keep them busy (and they did). They had a blast up there working with the men on the final details of setup. And then Aidan worked 'behind-the-scenes' each night assisting the staff wherever they needed help. He learned a ton of what it takes to put on such a big production. And along the way even learned that sheep are flammable. I have to say thanks to the Music Staff at FBC McKinney for investing in my boys.

At the same time that was going on, we went "live" with North America HR Advisory Services at work. My team now provides centralized HR support for all of North America. We have been working on the HR Transformation for the past year and the first two weeks of December covered many major deliverables at work. Although we have had a few technological hiccups, I'm please to say things are going well and I have an incredible team of professionals who are plugging away at making sure we deliver outstanding customer service.

Tucker and Cade have marveled at all that the Christmas season brings. They loved taking the hayride through Christmas Journey. They even wrote their own bedtime story and told me the story of Mary and Joseph one night (with just a few biblical inaccuracies). But the sweetest moment was Tucker and Cade narrating the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve for the family. They practiced and rehearsed and then delivered a flawless reading of the story.


Titus has loved the lights of Christmas. We put his playmate in front of the Christmas Tree in the Foyer and before we know it, he has generally rolled himself under the tree and is reaching for the lights. As with most 3 year olds, he loved tearing open the paper more than the present inside. It has been a blessing to have him so healthy this month. I couldn't help but think of this time last year when he was in the PICU in Cinncinnati Children's and we thought we would never get home for Christmas. And three years ago, I still remember spending his first Christmas in the NICU. We are thankful and blessed for his health. We never take it for granted. And, how fun it's been for Titus to come home from school with small projects that he has done. It's the little things like a child's handprint or finger painted that every kid has done at that age. But it seems that with special need kids, those are the little things we miss. On his last day at school, he came home with a Christmas ornament that was made at school (I'm sure with lots of teacher's help). I have to say, it was the most beautiful ornament on our tree this year.



This week we are hanging out at the house and "trying" to relax. Aidan, Noah, and I had a Lord of the Rings Movie Marathon on one of rainy days. We started at 2pm and at 10:30pm we stopped (with two more hours to go). I had forgotten that the Special Editions are about 3 1/2 to 4 hours long. Becky kept us fed with Sonic burgers and brownies while we were holed up. Plus, such a great movie with such a great recurring theme and Christian analogy- "there is always hope".

Along the way, we have had great fun at several caroling parties. Our dear friends have always had a family caroling party at their beautiful home in historic McKinney. It is so much fun to walk down the tree-lined street, stopping at each house and singing. Tucker  & Cade's speech therapists lives at one of the houses we stopped at - and she had several of her girlfriends over since she knew we were coming by. We love these family parties where we get to celebrate the season together with good friends. And our other friends take us on a hayride through their neighborhood where we sing our little hearts out and then go back for incredible food.

Last night we had a family party for my two nephews and their fiances and their parents. We are thankful for the beautiful young women that God has brought into Nathan and Jer's life and what a joy it was to meet their parents and enjoy a relaxed time (away from all the wedding planning). We look forward to Bailey and Lauren joining the family.

And tonight we celebrate New Year's Eve with good friends. For the last 10 years we have gotten together for dinner and a movie. Of course, 10 years ago, we just put the kids to bed and stayed up late. Now, the kids want to stay up late and watch their own movie (and we are falling asleep on the couch). And tomorrow will continue our New  Years Day tradition and go to the movies with another couple (going on 16 years now) - Can you say we love traditions!

As I look back over 2010, it's been quite a year. I'm thankful for my family. It's a joy and privilege to be Becky's husband and the father to Aidan, Noah, Tucker, Cade, & Titus. It's a blessing to watch them grow (physically and spiritually). Titus has had a great year healthwise and is making great strides in therapy and school. It's been a year of incredible blessing and grace - from being told my job was being moved to India to now leading an incredible team at the same company with more responsiblity.

And as always we are humbled and blessed for friends who continue to pray for us and Titus, who bless us with cards and notes on a weekly basis, who share our good times and our hardships. We are blessed.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Card - 2nd Attempt

My attempt of having Shutterfly update Facebook and Blogger didn't work out as well as planned - and no one was able to open the card.

So, this should be something similar to what you should have seen.

 Here's the Daily boys wishing you Joy and Magic through the Holidays!


Aidan - 13 yrs - Learning to Serve the World, Meeting Needs where he can.


Noah - 12 yrs - Mischief and Tenderness wrapped up in 160lbs of boy.


Tucker - 6yrs - All Boy, All Energy, All the Time.


Cade - 6 yrs - Faithfully devoted, Fiery Foot-stomper.


Titus - Ever Growing, Ever Learning, Ever Content.


Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Joy Sage Story Christmas 5x7 folded card
Create unique Christmas cards with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Look at Me!


I love this photo of Titus - just hanging out in his bed.

Titus spends so much more time these days sitting up. His trunk muscles are strengthening and it's amazing to see how he can support himself when put in a sitting position. He is not to the point where he can get to a sitting position without help, but he is working on it. Last night, he was basically doing stomach crunches - his whole upper body was arching up - and his feet were also coming up. The best way to imagine it is to imagine lying flat on your back and then raising your self up to a "V" position - that is what he's doing!

And, when playing on the floor, he is working to get his knees under his body and his arms out in front of him. He is trying to hard to push himself along. It still may take awhile, but my little boy is going to crawl one of these days!

Titus is exploring more and more of his world. His little personality shines through in a new situation and after a few minutes, you can see him relax, the hands open up and he starts to wave his hands in front of him, locating things to grasp and play with. He is exploring his world with his hands more and more. I love to watch him play. Like any toddler, he has his favorite toys and activities. And like any toddler, can throw a fit when he has to stop playing with them and he's not ready to. I know this is a training issue, but it makes me laugh to hear him throw a little hissy-fit when it's time to stop playing and move to the next activity. He IS communicating with us and letting us know exactly how he feels.

Titus is loving Christmas - especially all the lights. He will reach out and try to grab the tree or anything that is shiny - and there's plenty of shiny around the house right now! The tree in the foyer is his favorite. You can see his blue mat on the floor next to the tree. If we let him, he would play there all day long!


Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Play Time with Brothers

Titus is feeling better although Tucker still has an on-again/off-again fever. But last night, the boys were in a rare mood playing with each other. It is so sweet to see the special love and bond each boy has with Titus.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Running Fever

Titus started running a fever last night. The good thing is, his breathing is ok. He sounds a bit congested, but not a whole lot to suction out. But the fever has been high and poor guy has been just miserable. Titus is not one to cry a lot, but today, he just cried and moaned. We have got the fever down and he's been his happy self for a few hours - stayed awake and laughed through Beauty and the Beast (and so did Tucker and Cade - so glad they re-issue these DVD's every few years). But we are getting him ready for bed and his fever has gone up a bit and he is cranky. It could be a very long night.

Thanksgiving was fun for the family - a very relaxing day spent with family. Our friends, the "K's" from Lake Jackson came up to spend 2 days and we all had fun together - everyone should experience the joy of 10 kids in the house. Between all of them, we only had one busted lip (from baseball), and one bruised toe (from falling off the scooter while walking the dog).

Thanks for the prayers and notes. We are so thankful during this holiday season.


MONDAY UPDATE:  Titus' fever is gone, but Tuck's remains.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hey Buddy

Last night, the 4 oldest went camping. Becky called me to ask I wanted to meet her at Tin Star for $2/taco night. Of course, I said yes - I'm not going to pass up date night (or tacos).

While sitting in the restaurant with Titus in his new stroller, a man carrying a 9-month old, came up and said to Titus "Hey, Buddy".

He then got down on one knee and talked to Titus and introduced his little boy to him.

Can I tell you how much that meant to Becky and I?

We are learning that most people don't look a child in a wheelchair - or if they look at a child with obvious significant needs they may stare or turn away. But very rarely will they ever get on the child's level and speak to him. It warmed our heart that this complete stranger would take the time to do this - and not only speak to Titus, but show his young child how to acknowledge him.

As the man and his family left the restaurant that evening, they stopped by and talked to Titus again. And it made our evening complete.

BTW, Titus had pictures taken at the cranio-facial doctor's office several weeks ago. It's slightly ironic that some of the best pictures taken of him are at the doctor's office, but I had to show off his sweet smile.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Article on Titus on Baylor Our Children's House

Upon learning about two-and-a-half-year old Titus Daily’s many medical conditions, it was tempting even for his parents, Becky and Paul, to think that the situation might be hopeless – that their fifth son would never be able to function in any meaningful capacity.


However, the care Titus’ has received at Our Children’s House at Baylor in Allen (OCH Allen) has ensured that his case is anything but hopeless.
A Rocky Start

Many special needs children are diagnosed in utero, giving families time to prepare themselves for the hardships to come. But Titus Daily’s medical complications didn’t begin to manifest until moments after birth.

“When he was born, he wasn’t breathing, and they were having trouble intubating him,” explains Becky Daily. “That’s when we first discovered something was wrong.”

It didn’t take long for the medical team to diagnose Titus with micronagthia – his jaw was pushed back, blocking his airway.

Over the course of the following months, Titus also was diagnosed with: cleft palate; ASD/VSD (a heart condition); a single, horseshoe-shaped kidney; profound deafness; glaucoma; malformed optic nerve; hemi-vertebrae (extra spinal bone causing scoliosis); low muscle tone; feeding problems; Dandy-Walker variant (a brain malformation); and the list goes on.


Finding a Good Fit

Titus was only weeks old, but it was already clear that he’d need a lifetime of intense therapy. The Daily’s didn’t know where to turn.

“Some of the nurses in the NICU were the first ones to mention OCH to us. They just kept saying it was a great place,” says Becky.

The recommendation was high praise from nurses who worked for a Baylor competitor.

“When we went to Baylor Our Children’s House, it was like someone threw us a lifeline. I finally felt like we were somewhere where the people weren’t so surprised to see him,” Becky continues. “The staff wasn’t astonished by him. They’ve seen it all before. It’s really a place where families and kids like Titus go and can feel normal there.”

Cause for Hope

Titus was eight months old when he began receiving therapy at OCH Allen. Becky still fondly remembers the initial evaluation process.

“There was so much he couldn’t do, but they were able to begin to do things with him, and he didn’t scream or cry. I was just touched by the way they cared and treated him like a normal child and not just someone who couldn’t hear or see.”

Titus has been at OCH Allen for two years, where he receives occupational therapy, feeding therapy and his favorite, physical therapy. He loves working with his PT specialist and looking up and giving her a big grin whenever he accomplishes something that probably wouldn’t have been possible without the OCH team.

And he has accomplished a lot. He can roll over, prop himself up on his elbows, lift his head and eat pudding.

However, his biggest achievement may be yet to come. Titus is now working with a gait trainer during physical therapy, which could lead to a giant step – literally.

“There is the possibility that he’ll walk,” says Becky, “and I never dreamed that he’d be able to walk.”

Beyond the onsite therapy Titus receives, OCH Allen has educated the Daily’s on how to work with him at home, and even took care of ordering the special equipment he needs. Parental and family involvement is a cornerstone of every OCH child’s care plan.

“OCH has given us hope. They’ve given us a direction and a plan and things we can work towards.”

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My First Day of School

My First Day of School
by Titus Daily

Today, I went to school for the first time. I have been to lots of therapy sessions, but this was different.

My mom and dad kept squeezing me and kissing me all morning and telling me it would be great. Mom drove me to school and dropped me off with my stroller with the teacher. The teacher took me to my new classroom. There are 2 other kids in my classroom. There are also 2 teacher's aides. They were all very nice to me. They sang us a song about coming to school, then read us a story. The put the books very close to my face so I could see and feel the book.

Mom showed up by then with some of my supplies and showed the teachers and nurses how to change my oxygen tank.

I then got to go to the outdoor playground. That was FUN! The teacher took me up into the little fort and let me spin the spindles, and then the teacher and I slid down the slide. I have never been on a slide before. I liked it.

We also went to the indoor play room, and I go to swing on the pommel horse. That is one of my favorite activities. And Miss Melinda, my vision therapist who has come to the house, was also there to see me. It made me feel good having a familiar person there.

Before I knew it, mom, Aidan, and Noah were there to pick me up and take me home. And, I was pretty tired. In fact, I fell asleep at the table.



I think I am really going to like my teacher and my school. I go back on Wednesday and Friday! But, I need to work on my endurance. I don't want to fall asleep in class when there is so much to do.

That's all for now. I gotta get ready to go to On The Border to celebrate my birthday and PeePaw's birthday!
Titus B

A note from Titus' Mom and Dad,
Thank you for all the prayers and notes of encouragement. We are thrilled and know that Titus will be in a place that will challenge him, teach him, and provide him new experiences. Our next big hurdle will be the day he starts riding the bus to school, but for now, we are content taking him and picking him up.

Here's a pic last night of Titus with Meemaw celebrating birthdays! He took a VERY long nap after coming home from school, but then was a 'live wire' at dinner and after we came home. At 10pm, he finally settled down and went to sleep.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Titus

It's hard to believe, but today is Titus' 3rd birthday. My baby boy is growing up.



Titus has had quite a week. On Thursday, he was the 'model' for a meeting of Physical Therapists on how to fit a child to a wheelchair. Titus charmed them all with his pleasant personality and smile. And Becky got to speak/share her heart with approx 150 PT's from around the area.

But, in another group meeting last week, Becky met a lady in Frisco whose child had outgrown their stroller - and she brought if over this week for Titus to use. What a blessing to have a stroller for Titus to ride in - There's an attachment for the house that allows us to raise/lower him at the table or surroundings and another attachment for a stroller out in public. This chair allows him to sit up better and holds him in place better which also works those trunk muscles.

And tomorrow, Titus starts Early Childhood School. Now that he is three, the at-home services we have received from Early Childhood Intervention stop and he will receive those services at school. It was an emotional time since some of therapists that have seen Titus for the last several years will no longer be seeing him in our home. All of us have grown to appreciate these sweet ladies who have worked with Titus so diligently while also seeing the craziness that makes up our household. They have been a blessing to all our boys and to Becky.

Titus will start school for 3 hours a day, 3 times a week. He can work up to 5 days a week as he gets older, but right now, we feel the private therapy he is getting on Tuesday and Thursdays is great for him and our therapists at Baylor Our Children's House know him so well (and he has made SO much progress). Titus will be in a classroom with 2 other children, 1 teacher, and 2 aides. The classroom is full of wonderful developmental toys and stations. I know Titus is going to have a lot of fun, I know he will be taken care of, and I know that this is the best thing for him. It's just . . . he's my precious little boy. Becky and I can't imagine him away from the house 3 hours a day.

So on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays', you can say a prayer for Titus (and us) as he starts school.

My precious little one, you have been so blessed this year. It's been your healthiest year yet and you've grown by leaps and bounds. You are making strides and showing me what true endurance is all about. Your laugh makes my day, your smile melts my heart, and your slobbery kisses are your way of letting me know you love me. I love you dearly.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Orphan Sunday

This past Sunday, our church emphasized Orphan Sunday. Becky and I were asked, along with the boys, to share in KidzWorship about our story of adoption.

Saturday night at dinner, we were talking with the family about what we were going to say. I looked at Cade and told him, 'We are going to talk about adopting you'.

To which Cade thought a moment, then looked up at me and stated, "I thought I already was adopted?"


That boy - he takes everything SO literally.
So I corrected myself and told him -"We are going to talk about WHEN we adopted you!"

Now, I can talk about adoption and how it's changed our life all day. But to talk to 1st thru 5th graders about adoption, I realized I had to use language and tell the story in a way that they would understand. And, I really wanted to include Aidan and Noah and let them share their view.

And, we had a great time. It was fun to share as a family and heartwarming to hear Aidan and Noah talk about the affect it has had on their lives. And, my prayer is that out of the several hundred kids who heard us talk, the seed was planted in their hearts that some day they will expand their own families through adoption. And they will realize that being part of family doesn't mean that they all have to look alike or have the same DNA, but that God puts families together in all sorts of ways and with all sorts of colors.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Little Cowboy

Texas Born! Texas Proud!

Can you believe he's 3 in less than 2 weeks!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Why Not!

I will get this out of the way upfront. This is one of my "soapbox" blogs. But it's been eating at me for several months now and I need write it down.

We have often heard it asked "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" Books have been written about it, pastors have preached about it, and the world generally uses it as a poor philosphy to state that God is not loving.

Let's get it straight - life is not fair. We tell it to our kids all the time. Generally it's in a whining moment when we look at them at say "Get over it . . . life's not fair." But somewhere from the transition of childhood to adulthood we tend to forget that fact when more tragic events happen around us. We may not say it outloud, but down deep, if we truly think about it, our responses and statements to others when bad things happen come down to the base premise that says "you poor thing, you've been treated so unfairly, God is just not being fair with you since you are having to go through this burden".

Statements like "I'm so sorry for your loss, your child was taken so young", "It's not right you have cancer, you're such a good person", or "You didn't deserve this, what a horrible thing to happen to you."

Seriously! . . . SERIOUSLY ?. . . what are you really saying? (and let me tell you that being on the receiving end of such comments provides absolutely no comfort.) Are you saying that God is not in control of the situation? Are you saying that people are too good for anything bad to happen?

This past summer, in the middle of a worship service, the worship leader suddenly launched into a series of statements about tragic events that had happened in the life of people in the room. And he stated, 'Why would God allow a child like Titus who was born with so many physical defects be given to the Daily's?" 

I almost puked.

So, I'm going to pull no punches and cut to the point.

The question is not WHY did God allow, but WHY NOT? Doesn't the Bible state in James 1 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

And what is a trial? It's something that is difficult to go through. It hurts, it's tiring, it's long, it's tedious, it's painful, it has an affect on not just you but your relationships. But it has a purpose. It's a test of faith so that you may grow, mature, complete, and have joy. So WHY NOT? Why would God rob me of the opportunity to learn those things. The question is - do you see a the bad things that happen in your life as trials to go through to perfect the work of God in your life? Or do you see them as a inconvenience that God has cursed you with that you have to endure (but are certainly not happy about). It's all about perspective.

And let me address Titus specifically.

Psalms 139 13:16 states
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,


I know that full well.


My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.


All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."


See, no where does it state that I (or Titus) was made perfect or wonderful in the eyes of man, but in the eyes of God. God created Titus exactly the way HE wanted him to be and then developed a complete plan for his life.

Did God design Titus the way I would have? No - but nowhere in the Bible do I read that my selfish will prevails in tweaking God's design.

Has God planned a life for Titus that I would have planned? The answer would be YES if I truly believe what I have always prayed. And that is that I have always prayed that each of my boys would be obedient to God's voice, be a blessing to others, and have an impact for God in the world they live in. And without a doubt, I can say that Titus has had more of a far-reaching impact than I ever would have dreamed. His life and story has gone around the world. We have had a chance to minister to people because of Titus. And if you have ever met him, you know how pleasantly content he is.

Why did God place Titus in our family? So I will learn to love life and cherish every moment; so that I will look at all children, but especially those with special needs, with compassion; so that I will know that parents of children with special needs are unsung heroes who tirelessly serve the needs of their children above the needs of themselves; so that I will see beautiful design of God in the body of my child; so that I will appreciate the incredible servant that I am married to; so that my other children will learn that life is about serving others and not serving themselves.

And I live with the truth in 2 Corinthians that states 'our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.'

 Ok - it's now off my chest. I'll put the soapbox back in the closet.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Strollers, Wheelchairs, and Carseats - OH MY!

Yesterday, Becky, Titus and I went down to begin the process of ordering Titus a new stroller. The Bugaboo Frog stroller that we have used has been fantastic (and it should be for the price). It has served us well with Tucker and Titus, but Titus is now getting so big that his feet are hanging off the edge - and he needs more trunk support. Plus, with school looming, he needed a better tool for transport.

Becky has spent hours researching different strollers and the sales rep had several there for us to look at. But since we are looking for a something that will be usable for the next 5 years, it became more apparent that Titus needed a wheelchair more than a stroller. We will go back for another appointment to review wheelchairs - I never knew there were SO many options. And at the same time, he's getting to the point that the car seat will be too small soon, and we needed to look at specialty car seats.

So, we are in the process over the next few months of getting a stroller, wheelchair, and car seat ordered.

And, of course, this opens up a new world of looking at access for Titus. Do we have room to transport a wheelchair or do we find a different vehicle that can be modified since the wheelchair will have tie-downs. And, how do we continue to keep the entire family in one car instead of having to take two cars. And, is the house wheelchair accessible - are the doors/hallways wide enough, how/when will modify his bathroom when the time comes, how can we modify the house to provide a better therapy room.

It's easy to get overwhelmed when looking at the next five years, but I know that the only thing truly important is today. I remind myself to not worry about tomorrow since tomorrow will take care of itself. And if I believe that God is in control, then I also have to believe that all things will work out (to him who loves God and is called according to his purpose).

Our main prayer request is timing at this point. All of these items have to be approved/denied by insurance before Medicaid will cover the cost. And getting approval or denial from insurance can take months. And we are praying that all decisions can occur timely and that we can be polite but firm with our phone calls to insurance.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finally 6!

Today is Cade's 6th birthday. He has been looking forward to this day since Tucker turned 6 in July.

Time has flown since he joined our family 4 1/2 years ago. He has grown from a timid, scared, tired little boy to a confident, smart, (and sometimes outspoken) big boy. Cade has found his voice this year which is hard to do when you have 3 older brothers. If you get him one-on-one, he will talk your ear off and tell you ever family secret. He is full of ideas, full of creativity,  and loves order (he is my clean freak - just like his dad). In this past year, he has learned to ride his bike, is a whizz on his scooter, learned to read, and lost his two bottom teeth. And, the sweetest sound I hear ever week is when he stands on the pew in church with his arm around mine and I hear his voice singing praises (melts my heart every time).

Cader-tot - I love you dearly. Your big brown eyes still melt my heart. Your laugh is contagious and makes me smile. And your voice is music to my ears (except when you whine - but we are working on that). I love watching you grow up and learn. And always remember, God chose you to be our son. You were destined to be a Daily boy from the moment you were born.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Appointments

Yesterday, Becky and I met with the staff at the Frisco Early Childhood School to review the activities and evaluation for Titus. When Titus turns 3, he is eligible to be evaluated and attend the Early Childhood School. Titus has been receiving therapy through Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services for the last couple of years, and this is now the next step.

Our emotions are all over the place on sending Titus to school. The thought of sending our medically-fragile, tender child to school for 3 hours a day is overwhelming. The thought of not having in him the house being cared for by us in the mornings is unthinkable. The thought that we can put him on the bus to go to school puts me in tears.

But, the thought of him being in a learning environment with one-on-one instruction for 3 hours is wonderful. Meeting his teacher and seeing how she handled him with tender loving care touched my heart. Seeing the classroom and all the fun toys provides me with a sense of knowing he will have fun while learning.

But he's just my little boy - he's just turning 3 years old. And none of my boys have ever ridden a bus to school (of course, we can take him and pick him up - and it's just a few miles from the house).

Our intake meeting yesterday was long. Becky was prepared for her questions and what to ask for. But basically, the first 45 days of school, Titus will evaluated. After the evaluation, they will develop and Individaul Education Plan (IEP) for him with the goals for his school year. We (parents and teachers/therapists) all have to agree on the plan, goals, and objectives for the IEP. But yesterday's meeting was to agree on the plan during the evaluation period. And since Titus will be in school, his at home therapy through ECI will stop - so therefore we wanted to make sure he would still be receiving the same services at school during that time.

We did develop a plan and agreed to Titus going to school 3 days a week instead of 5. Which will also keep him attending his private therapy on Tuesday and Thursday. And we did agree that we will take him to school at the begining.  There is some paperwork to get through, but November 15 is just a few weeks away.

Titus also had a recent visit with his ENT to review that status on his cochlear implant. The audiologist is pleased at how Titus responds when his cochlear is on (and we are too).

Titus also had his annual visit with the cranofacial surgeon. The good news is that his jaw is stable. But it appears that Titus skull is not growing. The skull grows as the brain grows. Without any other testing but measuring his head, it "appears" that his brain is not growing since his skull is not growing. But when Becky asked what that meant, the answer came back "I'm not sure". Again, it's another area that we could really worrry about, but then we also look at how much Titus is learning, how cognizant he is, and we have again have to trust that all of this is part of God's plan for Titus' life.

Titus has been growing though - in fact, he's pretty much outgrown the Bugaboo stroller that we have used for the last 3 years. We never dreamed when we bought that stroller for Tucker 6 years ago that is would have been a perfect tool for Titus these last 3 years. The next logical step is to find a transitional stroller/wheelchair. Tomorrow we have an appointment with a sales rep in Dallas to look at several different ones. Again, this is another leap of faith and learning since we know very little about wheelchairs. Beck has developed a list of items we would like to have on it - but one of the key items is that it's easy to transport and fold down. And, once we decide, it could take up to a year before insurance approves it (or insurance denies it and Medicaid pays for it). Your prayers in that area would be appreciated.

We do have a fun week planned ahead - Cade turns 6 on Wednesday (he can hardly contain himself), Noah has a football playoff game, Tucker has baseball, and we are attending the Korean Festival on Saturday. And then Sunday evening we will be busy collecting food for Scare Away Hunger (and I"m sure the kids may get some candy along the way).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Life is a SItcom

Let's face it - our life is a sitcom. Many people have commented that we would make a great reality show, but I don't think TV land is really ready for "The Daily Life" - most people wouldn't believe the things that go on.

It's been a jam-packed weekend - too busy for our own good. For years, we have tried to not overbook the boys into too many activities so that our own family time would not be impacted. But this Fall, something happened, and we catch ourselves running between football practice/games for Noah, baseball practice/games for Tucker, and drama rehearsals/shows for Aidan. Someone was literally somewhere everynight this week - and often two or three of them needed to be somewhere at the same time. This is in addition to all of Titus therapy's and doctor's appts, and the homeschooling (and homeschooling activities) that go on during the week.

It has been so busy, that we haven't had one family dinner in 2 weeks. So, Saturday, we were determined after football practice and the Frisco Arts Festival, that we would have dinner prior to taking Aidan back for the inaugural performance in the new Black Box Theater at the Frisco Discovery Center.

I asked Tucker and Cade to clear the table as Becky was cooking dinner. I noticed Tucker pick up the phone, but did not pay much attention. A few seconds letter, the phone rang. Aidan looked at the caller id and handed me the phone saying "It's the City of Frisco".

As I answer the phone, I am immediately asked "Is everything ok?"

"Yes", I answered.

"This is the City of Frisco Emergency Services. Someone from this phone number has called 911. Can you verify your name and address?"

I looked at Tucker and asked gently "Tucker, did you dial some numbers on the phone"

"Yes"

I told the lady on the phone that it was a childish accident and apologized. But then she stated, "It's our policy to send the police to verify that everything is ok. They will be there shortly."

I hung up the phone and let Becky and the boys know that the police would be stopping by to verify that we were all safe.

Tucker suddenly lost his appetite. All the assurances in the world would not stop the feeling of dread that came over Tucker.

So, our quiet family dinner turned into a larger circus with two very nice policeman from our local police force. As soon as they walked in the door, Tucker began to whimper. I silently prayed that this would not be a time for Tucker to have a nosebleed since I knew the presence of blood would probably not convince the police that "everything is ok". (Tucker has been having horrific, gushers of a nosebleed lately that would convince you he is hemoraghing) .

One of the officers came to the table to talk to the family and kept assuring Tucker everything was ok, but I did notice that the other policeman hung back in the living room and his eyes were scanning EVERYTHING. I somehow got the impression he wasn't admiring the beautiful fall decorations we recently put around the house, but was looking for the out-of-place body part sticking out from under the sofa.

Tucker gathered up his courage and shook the officer's hand and walked them to the door. And we sat down to salvage the rest of our meal before Aidan had to be at the theater.


By the way, Noah's football team one their first game this past Saturday. (Now, this wasn't their FIRST game, just the first game they won). But the smile says it all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Titus Update

Titus has had a great week. Whatever virus he had last week that caused the increase in secretions has now worked it's way out of his system and he has been doing good.

On Wednesday, Titus had a scheduled appt with his pulmonologist. Dr G. was very impressed with Titus. He stated his breathing was the best he's ever seen it. We do believe it is because of the consistent breathing treatments and use of the Vest (vibrating/pulsating vest) twice a day.

Titus continues to make small improvement in therapy. He is taking more "steps" in the gait trainer and is repeating actions from games he has been taught. He occasionally also shows a little "attitude" in therapy when he doesn't want to do something. One of the items they are beginning to work with him on is picking up items with his fingers. Much like a young baby, he grasps everything with his entire hand - whereas, they are now working on training him to pick up an item with his fingers. We would appreciate your prayers in that area.

Titus also has a scooter now - although all the boys are enjoying rolling around on it. We are working on Titus using his arms to roll himself around.



Another area of prayer is for school. When Titus turns 3 in Novembe, he will be eligible to start attending school in Frisco. Becky and I have an upcoming meeting where they will evaluate Titus (although the teacher did come to the house with one of the therapists a few weeks ago to meet him). Part of Titus going to school means that the bus will pick him up and bring him home - which also means we need his new wheelchair ordered and delivered. None of our kids have ever ridden the bus to school. When Aidan and Noah were in private school, we dropped them up and picked them up each day. And even though the school is just a few miles from the house, my emotions about putting my precious little boy on the bus (even though it's specifically designed for kids with special needs) puts a lump in my throat. But the school is wonderful and will be very beneficial for Titus.

Last of all, Becky and I will be attending a special conference this weekend for parents of visually impaired children. It starts this evening, and runs through Sunday afternoon. And then there will be 3 more weekends over the next 6 months to attend. As difficult as it is to give up an entire weekend, my prayer is that Becky and I will meet other parents and be a source of encouragement to others.

And, on Sunday, our church will be nominating the first 4 members of our Pastor Search Committee. Your prayers on this process will be much appreciated.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Occupational Therapy

Here's a new picture of Titus at occupational therapy - loving his swing!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why Titus had Breathing Problems

Titus is doing much better - still a bit of congestion and very low-grade fever off and on, but his breathing has improved.

And we think we know why. In the house, we have a large liquid oxygen canister. It is refilled every week, but can usually last 2-3 weeks if we needed it to. We have a 50 ft. cord attached to the container which allows us to take titus all over the first-floor of the house without moving the canister (very heavy - even on wheels).

Wednesday night, after Becky and Jody had left for the ER, I coiled up the oxygen tubing so that it wasn't on the floor to be trampled on by dogs/kids. As I was coiling it up, I noticed a few places that were rough, possible indicating a puncture/tear, but as tired as I was, didn't think much about it till yesterday.

Yesterday, I was caring for Titus and his SATs were low again, and even after turning up the oxygen, they were not improving. And that's when I remembered about the rough places on the cord. As soon as we replaced the cord, it was amazing how his SATs jumped up. Titus had a great night - going to bed at 7:30pm and sleeping till 8pm and his alarm only went off twice last night (we consider that a GREAT night). Which also meant that Becky and I had a great night of sleep.

Thanks again for the prayers!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

80's on 8

My "man-van" has satellite radio. When the free subscription to satellite radio ran out, I let the subscription expire. This past summer, I received a great, discounted offer to turn it back on, and since the van is paid off and I will be driving it for awhile, I decided to treat myself and renew my subscription.

I will state that one of the nice things about the van is that the stereo is pretty good - and with all the extra empty space in the back, the bass can really boom and echo. There's many a day I miss a cell phone call in the car because I have the radio turned up pretty high.

A few weeks ago, I had to pick up Aidan at church after a youth activity. As I drove across town, I had the radio turned up high on the "80's on 8" channel. Yes, that dates me - but it brings back a LOT of college and early single day memories from the 1980's.

As I pull in the church parking lot, many of the youth are in the parking lot milling around or waiting to be picked up. I drove right up to where Aidan was, music cranked high, and windows down - thinking I was a rather cool dad with my thumping radio.

Aidan quickly got in the car, turned down the radio, and gave me a look, and with that disapproving voice said "DAD!"

At that point, I looked down and saw the song that was playing ever so loudly as I pulled into the parking lot. Let's just say it was a certain Madonna song about her comparison to a young innocent, unmarried girl - enough said.

I sheepishly stated, "I'm sorry".

And Aidan sighed, "That was SO embarrassing!"

Oh, What a Night!

Let me see if I can accurately recap the last 24 hours.

Titus has been doing great, but the last few days, he has been congested. We haven't had to suction much during the summer, but over the last few days, he's just been gunky (and so have I). He's been running a small fever off and on all week.

Titus has been doing great at Therapy - taking more steps at Physical Therapy, and loving chocolate pudding at feeding therapy.


Yesterday, he was a "live wire". He was chattering and interacting with people at church - basically just a happy camper.

As we got home from church, our friends, the "K's" drove up. They are driving from Minnesota back home to Houston and were staying the night. And as soon as we got in the house, Tucker and Cade had to show Ashley the baby rabbit.

Now, we have rabbits (and baby rabbits) in the backyard all the time. The last time we found baby rabbits, Jude thought they were dog toys and threw them around the yard and then ate them (lovely dog - btw, Jude has a new home). This week, we found another batch of baby rabbits - and these were larger than the ones we had found before.

And, that's when Becky told me that they had brought one inside the house, put in a bin, and were feeding it all day yesterday. (and yes, Karen D. - they named him Stu).

Tucker and Cade ran to the bin on the counter to show Ashley the rabbit, and that's when the squeals start.

"HE'S GONE! HE'S ESCAPED!"
And the mayhem started.

For the next hour, 9 kids searched the house, high and low, with flashlights looking for this tiny rabbit. I was convinced that Quita had found it first and enjoyed it as an appetizer. After an hour of searching, no rabbit could be found and the kids were distracted with toy guns and running around the house. It's was now 10pm and I had used up all my words for the day about 6 hours prior, so I gave the kids a 15 minute warning and advised them to prepare for bed (which they did).

As soon as all the children were in bed, Ashley walked in holding a tiny bundle of fur. She found the Stu on the kitchen counter behind a potato chip bag (I'm sure cowering in fear from the noise and children). He was returned to his bin with a lid, and placed outside for the remainder of the evening. We didn't want to tempt Quita for a midnight snack.

While the rabbit hunt was going on, Becky and Jody had gone to Titus' room to feed. And that's when Becky noticed Titus breathing was erratic and he just seemed to be breathing shallow. Over the course of the next few hours, his breathing worsened, we turned his oxygen up, and we did a couple of breathing treatments. At 1:30am, Becky stated, "I'm concerned", to which I replied, "Go pack".

Becky and Jody rushed Titus to the ER and I tried to go back to sleep - but that's not an easy task to do. As I laid in bed, I prayed. I prayed for his breathing, I prayed for the doctors and nurses in the ER, I prayed for peace and awareness for Becky and Jody since I knew they were tired.

I eventually drifted off to sleep, but 4:30am, I heard a familiar beep. After few minutes, I heard it again. I looked up and saw a faint light under the door. My first thought was "did I not turn off all the lights and Titus' equipment?". I then heard the door open, and Becky walked in (by the light of her iPhone.)

By the time Becky had driven Titus to the ER, he was awake and alert and breathing better. The chest x-ray showed his lungs as clear, and since he was not running a fever at the time, they sent them back home. He slept peacefully the rest of the morning and then was off to therapy at 7:30am.

Titus still has some congestion and after a trip to the pediatrician this morning, they believe he has a virus, so our prayers are that it begins to clear up and his breathing remains strong.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Football Season

Noah is playing football this fall. It's his first time to play, while all the others have been playing on the team for several years. Although not the biggest player on the team, he is the tallest (actually, he towers over a few of the other kids). Sixth Grade is funny like that - you have some kids that hitting that growth spurt and others that haven't. I do believe Noah has grown 3 inches over the summer. Everytime we turn around, he seems to have outgrown something.

Last week, the team received their jerseys and the parents were asked to present them to their sons and say a few words.

And this is what I told him.

Noah - You have persevered through the heat of practice to learn the game. And not once have you ever complained. You have done everything the coaches ask, exactly the way they ask. You listen to their instruction and have worked and practiced to improve. But more than anything else, you have been an encourager to your team. I hear your voice over all the others encouraging your teammates on. I have seen you stay late to encourage a player who was running sprints. I hear you encouraging the one guy who is lagging behind to not give up. And that's why I am proud of you - you persevere and you encourage.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Taking Steps

Here's what Titus is working on in Therapy.


For those of you who recieve the updates through email, the video does not always come through, but you can look on the blog to watch. http://www.thelifeoftitus.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 20, 2010

Therapy

I had mentioned a few weeks back that my position was being outsourced to India (but we weren't moving to India). Over the last few weeks, I interviewed internally and landed a new position in the HR department. Last week, I was in the UK for a series of process meetings as I moved into my new role.

The trip to the UK was interesting since I am still in therapy for my foot - and my stamina for walking / standing long periods of time is not exactly built up (especially around airports). So, as I returned this week, my foot has been swollen and in a bit of pain and I have continued going to therapy twice a week to work on flexibilty.

On Tuesday, one of our technical resources in the office came to my desk to complain about an event. He was quite animated and frustrated with the lack of communication in his area. After talking for a bit and coming to a resolution, I stood up and stated "Thanks - but I need to leave for therapy now."  To which he replied, "Maybe I should go with you - this place is crazy and I need someone to talk to".

I politely stated "I'm going to PHYSICAL therapy - not the other kind".

I then asked him "do you THINK I need to be in the other therapy?"

He didn't reply!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Overdue Update

Life has been incredibly busy this summer - so much so that I haven't updated the blog in a month.

Titus has been having a great summer. Except for the appearance of styes in his eyes over the past month, he has been healthy and happy. Last week, we took him to the natatorium for a party and floated him around the pool. We sat in the shallow end where the water would wash over his legs - and his little hands were open and searching. I sat him next to one of the bubbling jets and he would find the jet with his hands and smile/laugh as he felt the water flowing through his hands. We put a life jacket on him and took him to the lazy river to float around the pool - and he LOVED it.


He continues to do well in his feeding therapy - he's been eating small amounts of baby food, but just like his dad, he prefers ice cream much more than bland baby food.

Aidan just completed 3 weeks of day camp in preparation for Word of Mouth Productions - the theater troupe he has joined that performs in the area. He has learned his parts in Wizard of Oz (Tin Man and other parts), Robin Hood (Robin Hood), America Before Columbus, and a few other shows. They will perform in elementary schools and other venues during the school year. He's been quite excited - but we remind him to leave the drama at drama camp when he comes home.

Noah had music camp at the end of July where he had the role of Mordecai in the musical "Ester-ordinary Faith'. He did a great job and you could tell he was having fun with his friends on the stage. He also started football practice a few weeks ago. As a reminder, it's still over 100 degrees in the evening when they start their 2-hour practice. But Noah is one never to complain and he is a coaches dream since he does everything they ask him to do exactly they way they ask him to. Not to mention, as a 12 yr old, 6-grader, he's also 5'8" with a 10.5 size shoe and he's still growing. For now, they are training him to play Center - which means he is always looking for someone to practice with him in the back yard.


Tucker and Cade have been busy keeping us busy. They are ready to start Kindergarten and so eager to learn.

Last of all, there's Jude, the marmaduke of puppies. He seems to have stopped growing although we do believe he can still eat his weight in dog food every day. We have found his weakness - and it's quite odd - but this puppy has a thing for tassles. He doesn't chew shoes, has not chewed on the furniture, hasn't had an accident in the house in months, and in most cases is a great dog - except for tassles. If he sees a tassle on a pillow, then it must be chewed and destroyed. And our bedroom bedspread HAD tassles on the corners and pillows at the beginning of the summer. He has now chewed them all off. He does leave fringe alone, but for some reason, tassles drive him crazy.

I'll post more later this week - thanks for all the continued support and prayers.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Boy


Here's a short video of Titus. It's one thing to talk about how happy and content he is, but this really shows it.

And, yesterday, he ate 2 ounces of vanilla pudding. It's great to see how the feeding therapy is working - but I will say, my boy has a definite sweet tooth.

Comment from the Back Seat

As I am driving Noah to church last night, Tucker was sitting in the back seat and we were all talking. And then Tucker said "Dad, I don't mean to hurt your feelings for what I'm going to say but . . . . when you die, I'm going to work in your office.

Um . . . ok!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GFI National Conference

We head out tomorrow for Tulsa, OK for the Growing Families National conference. Becky and I will be speaking in 4 sessions and would really appreciate your prayers.

I'll be leading a session on 'Raising Daniels in a Technological Babylon: trainng your child on today's technology". I co-facilitated the session last year with Hank O last year, but unfortunately, he can't make it this year, so I'm doing it solo. It amazes me how much I have had to update the notes from last year's talk - so much has changed on the technological landscape. And my focus this year is more and more on the character training that needs to go on. Our children need to know how to 'resolve not to defile themselves (Daniel 1:8) in this ever-changing techno-world we live in.

Becky and I will also be speaking with our good friends, Mike and Jody K on 'Raising Kids with Character'. All 4 of us practiced last night and all I can say is, who knows what's going to come out of our mouths. Between the 4 of us (who ALL enjoy presenting) and our warped sense of humor, it promises to be a fun session. It's kind of like trying to fit a size 10 foot into a size 6 shoe. There's just so much info to share that we will squeeze it all in, but there's bound to be some spillage.

But most of all, we are looking forward to seeing good friends in Tulsa. This conference is one of the highlights for the year for us. And this year, all the boys (except for Noah) are going with us. Noah has rehearsal for the Kids Summer Musical this weekend (He is Mordecai in Ester-Ordinary Faith), so he will be staying in town.

We would appreciate your prayers as we travel and present at the conference. Our hearts are always to lead parents into knowledge on biblical parenting. And we so want to be encouragers since parenting is a tough task. 

And this Sunday, when we return, we will also begin our Growing Kids God's Way class in our home. God always amazes us on how he brings together the couples for this class and we are excited to lead this group of couples.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blessed


Well, today is my birthday. And I'm not ashamed to say I'm 49 (because if I don't tell you, Tucker probably will).

But I am blessed. Blessed beyond measure.

My God has blessed me with another day of life to learn of his incredible treasures.
My God has blessed me with an incredible wife who is beyond measure.
My God has blessed me with 5 boys who keep me young (and feeling old at the same time).

I could go on and on, but it's just easier to say I'm blessed and I'm thankful.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Cut


Everyone got haircuts yesterday or today. And that includes Titus. If you've met Titus, you know that this child can grow hair. And, it sticks straight up on top. No amount of water, gel, or combing can get it to lay down. We absolutely love it, but we did feel for summer, he should have his summer cut. Now that he has it, he and Noah look so much alike.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Tucker


July is our celebration month - between Noah, Tucker, and my birthdays, and our wedding anniversary, it's a busy month for us.

So today, Tucker is 6! He's been so excited for the few months. And he has a fun day planned out with a behind-the-scenes tour at the movie theater and then going to see Toy Story 3. And, then he gets to go to his well checkup visit with the doctor. And I'm sure tonight, there will be plenty of cake to still eat (although he seems much more interested in opening presents that eating cake.)

Last week, Tucker and Cade were talking in the room and the conversation went like this.

Tucker: Cade
Tucker: CADE
Tucker: CAAAAADEEEEEEE!!!!!

Cade: What?

Tucker: What time is it?

Cade: Time for you to get a watch!

So, as you can see in the pic above, Tuck received a watch for his birthday from his Meemaw and Peepaw. He is very proud of it and loves to press all the buttons (although he is still not sure what all the buttons mean, but I know his mother will be teaching him how to set the timer very soon).

To my precious "Tucka", you have added much spice to our lives. Your energy astounds me (but that's cause I'm old), your athleticism amazes me, and your smile dazzles me. As my sanguine child, you make friends whereever you go. But at the end of the day, you are still my cuddle-bunny who still smothers me with kisses.

I say this every year, but I still pray for your birth mom and her peace. May she always know she gave you the most precious gift when she chose life for you, and she gave us the most selfless gift when she made an adoption plan for you.

I love you dearly Tucker Paul Jin.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Noah

Noah is 12 today. We are out on Cedar Creek lake staying with friends at their lake house (as we have done for the last few years on the 4th of July weekend). Noah got up this morning ready for his early morning celebratory jet-ski ride with Mr. David. And, he's now out on the banana tube skidding all over the lake with Aidan, Madison, Bailey, and Tucker. Cade decided to stay on land.

And, I'm in the house with Titus. We decided I could probably get in the boat hopping on one foot, but getting me out could take an army, so I'm sitting in the house working on our presentations for the Growing Families conference in 2 weeks (and blogging).

But back to Noah.

My precious son - You have always been and still remain our firecracker. From the moment you decided to make your early (and very fast) arrival after the 4th of July parade, you have led your life at full speed. I have tried for years to find your speed and volume switch, but them seem to be permamently set to fast and loud.

Oh how you have changed this past year. You are now as tall as your mother and you can wear your father's shoes. Your voice has deepened (but is still very loud). I love how you play with your little brothers. You can be so sweet (and firm) putting them to bed or reading them a book or playing legos. You are incredibly tender with Titus. Titus face always lights up when you take his hand and have him touch your head. You and Aidan together still make me laugh. You can work beautifully together one minute, then holler at each other the next. You know exactly how to tease Aidan, and although he will never admit it, he loves it.

I love how you serve others. Watching you on Wednesday night helping serve / cleanup dinner at church blesses my heart. I see how you joke and love on the senior adults and I love how you know all their names. I love to see you run up to the younger boys and give them high-5's (and to see how those little boys light up because you know their name). It blesses your mother and I, when someone we don't even know comes up and tells how you helped out or served others. I love your diligence - when you set your mind to a task you carry it out to completion - much like you did with Bible Drill this year and ended up with a perfect score at state. My prayer is that you always keep that servants heart and maintain that diligence on your goals.

Oh, and my other prayer is that you learn that burping really loud will never attract a decent girl. I know that's not important when your 12, but trust me, when your 24 it will matter. (And it's something you need to work on now).

Happy Birthday son. I love you dearly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Working Hard


This is the gate trainer that Titus has been working in lately. The upper portion supports his torso and holds him at the right height where he can put some pressure on his legs and push himself along. One of these days we will get a video and show you how hard he works at therapy, but I wanted to show you some of the things he works on at therapy each week. And why we work so hard at home at putting him in the stander, having him roll around the floor, and playing with toys. All of this continues to stimulate him and his muscles. It's hard work for him, but he has come so far and I'm so proud of my little man.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

National Coverage

We received a FaceBook message from a lady in Illinois this past week who had read the article on Titus and Special Needs Financial Planning. The article had appeared in the Dallas Morning News last month, but was released by one of the news services and has been picked up by newspapers all across the US. What a pleasant surprise to hear that the story has been reprinted by newspapers from Bend, Oregan, to Biloxi, Ms, to Saulk Valley, IL.

God is good and our prayer continues to be that people will be inspired and educated by the life of Titus.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rock Star


Titus going for his rock star hairstyle - love it!

It has been a busier-than-usual week around the household. Tucker and Cade have had swimming lessons in the morning. Noah has had football camp in the evening, and Aidan is finishing up his lifeguard preparation class in the evening. Since the pool and the football field are not close to each other, it's been divide and conquer in the evenings - with most boys not getting to bed till after 10pm.

I made it down to the football field on Monday night (crutched down a hill and through about 200 yards of grass and back) to watch Noah. He's loving it, but I was paranoid a fire ant was going to crawl under my foot that was still wrapped up. Fortunately, no ant even came near me.

Tuesday, I stayed home with Cade while Becky shuttled boys around to both practices. At the end of the evening, as I was taking Jude outside to do his business, I fell in the house. And yes, it was one of those "I've fallen and can't get up" moments. I wasn't hurt and didn't fall on my leg, but once was I flat on the ground, I didn't have enough leverage to get back up. Cade was very calm, brought me the phone, and then stayed there and talked to me. Since I was flat on my back, I decided this would be a good teaching opportunity.

I asked Cade "what if Daddy was really hurt - who would you call?" And we talked about calling 911.
I then asked Cade "Now, they are going to ask you for our address - what's our address?" and Cade said "972-633-xxxx".

"Cade - that's our phone number - remember the little song we sing about our address?"

silence

"OK Cade, let's talk about something else you could do - you could run across the street and get the neighbor". And we talked about which neighbor to go to that he knows very well. And about that time, the doorbell rings, and there is talked-about neighbor. Becky called them to have them go over and check on me. John helped me get to my feet and then Becky was home in a few minutes.

But Cade was very brave during the entire episode. He remained calm and right by my side looking for ways to help.

Becky and I would appreciate your prayers for our health. We both have some health issues that we are working through and combined with the normal activities of life and the summer heat, these days have left us exhausted.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

iPhone


Caught - red-handed! Now we know who's been sending out all the texts.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday, Monday

Life is somewhat back to normal this Monday. I am working from home, but actually doing quite well with relatively little pain.

Titus is one happy camper. He is loving his new play mats on the floor. He rolls all over them (and off of them). They provide a comfortable and cushy place for him to play. And the dogs are learning to stay off of them.

By the way, Jude is becoming quite the good dog. While still a puppy, he has really matured in the last weeks on learning his boundaries (although he is still on a leash a majority of the time). And Quita has accepted him as a playmate and they are quite funny rolling around playing on the floor. Of course, two 70 lbs dogs playing on the floor with tails wagging can cause a lot of things to be displaced.

Becky and the boys went waterskiing with Uncle George on Saturday. And Ashley K has been staying with us helping out with little ones while I've been out of commission. So, it was a fun day for them on the lake. Noah is learning to water-ski and is getting up on the water!  I believe he'll be skiing before end of summer.

Thanks for all the prayers over the last week on my surgery. I would say, it's been relatively easier than I expected, but then Becky would say - "yes dear - you were on pain medication the entire time". But I would appreciate prayers for quick healing. I really feel that Becky and I are a team when it comes to our marriage, our family, and our care for Titus. And with me being "benched", she has really had to carry the load - and I'm ready to getting back to playing the game with her. She is an incredible woman and a saint.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Surgery is DONE

First of all, thanks for all the prayers the last few days. I truly appreciate them.

I showed up at 11am yesterday for my 2pm surgery. They immediately took me back and test my blood for  my potassium level. And it was back to the normal range.

The last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist told me he was going to give me something to relax me as they wheeled back to the operating room. He stated it was fast-acting, and I remember saying "ROCK ON" and then I was out.

The last 24 hours have been an adjustment of getting all the anesthesia out of my system and adjusting to the pain pills. I slept most of the day today - and I can't even remember when I slept that much.
There is still a lot of pain , but it's bearable. I have moved from taking pain pills back to every 5 hours instead of every 4 and that's working good for me.

But honestly, I'm not too coherent - so I'm going to sign-off before I write something unintelligable. Thanks again for the prayers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Surgery Update

I am scheduled for surgery at 2:00 today. I will show up at 11am for them to do a blood test and see if my potassium has come back up. I did find out that 3 weeks ago when I had my physical, my potassium level was in the normal range. So - who knows, but we'll find out this morning. The anesthesiologist did not seem to concerned last night when I talked with him. If we do cancel surgery, the next available surgey date is July 14 - which is not feasible since Becky and I will be attending/speaking at the Growing Families Conference in Tulsa that weekend. (And the last thing anyone wants is me on hydrocodone speaking at a conference - no telling what I would say, but it would probably be pretty funny since those pills knock me for a loop.)

Whatever happens, I am at peace. If it's postponed, I'll live. Just knowing there is a solution provides some comfort.

I'll update later today - but will state now - I am not responsible for anything I may say or post if I'm on pain pills.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Potassium

I received a call yesterday that my potassium level is low (3.3 when the range is 3.5 to 5.1). I am trying to contact my GP today to take the labs over so he can prescribe potassium. If it's still low on Wednesday morning, they may postpone my surgery.

Whilst this is one more thing to do today that I was not planning on, I do know that God has everything in control and will just go with the flow. But your prayers would be appreciated. It may be more pyschological than physical, but it does seem the pain in my feet has increased over the past month and I really just want to get this taken care of.

I also have a jam-packed, intensive day at work so I would appreciate prayers for clarity and concentration.

Titus is doing good. He just makes us smile. He had his annual cardiology exam yesterday and everything is fine there. He still has a very small ASD in his heart that has not closed, but it is not causing any concern. Last night, he was playing, laughing, reaching and smiling at us. What a blessing to have such a content boy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Busy Week

Titus has had a good week at home. He has settled back into his routine, finished his meds, and his breathing is back to normal (well - normal for Titus). While he was in the hospital, his new play mat was delivered - and it's a wonderful thing to have a nice, thick mat on the floor for him to play on. But, the little man can roll himself off the mat if we aren't looking.



My surgery on my left foot is Wednesday morning. For some reason, I was convinced that a few days in bed is all that I would need for recovery, but after I looked at the list of heavy-duty pain pills that have been prescribed, I have the feeling this may be a little bit more intensive. The main concern I have is that I will be on crutches for a a few weeks - and this is going to make nighttime difficult since it will not be easy for me to get up and get to Titus' room - which means the burden is on Becky. A couple of nights of this is one thing, several weeks of this is another. Becky has suggested I just sleep in Titus' room as a quick remedy. She's already gotten the air mattress out.

Becky is also attending a Deaf-Blind conference at the end of the week. (And yes, I was suppose to go with her, but surgery kind of made a change in plans for us).

And last of all, I will be actively looking for a job over the next seven months. My company has been going through an HR Transformation project, and my job is being moved to India (but I'm not). Fortunately, they do not expect any changes till January 2011 which gives me plenty of time to locate a new position within my company or locate something elsewhere. (And based on how they are currently preparing for things, I could be around a lot longer). There are some new positions I can apply for, but will need to got through the entire interview process along with everyone else.

This Transformation project has been going on for the last several months, and the announcement did not catch me by surprise - frankly, I'm actually glad that the "mystery" is all over. The difficult part is that I work with some incredible people. We are one happy, dysfunctional family (but as we say, we put the "fun" in dysfunctional.) And that's what has bothered all of us knowing that we will all be going to new places - only a few are retaining their jobs in the USA.

So, if anyone is looking for an incredible, talented, (and humble) HR Director (or a whole HR Team), let me know! We do need to stay in the Dallas area, but any contacts or leads you can pass along will be greatly appreciated.