Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Harding is wound up and ready for Halloween. Every morning this week, the first words out of his mouth have been, "Is it Halloween yet"? This morning, he was overjoyed when the answer was yes.

The kids and I paid a surprise visit to Burney yesterday morning. Here is Harding and Shelby with their great-grandmother.
Pumpkin carving with daddy:

Harding dressed as a skeleton for his Halloween party at school on Friday. He is fascinated with all things "scary" and wanted to be either a spider or a skeleton or a ghost. At 1:00 today, he is still undecided about what he will wear this evening.

Sweet little butterfly Shelby (who is not thrilled with her costume):
Our afternoon will include the trunk-or-treat at church and then trick-or-treating in West Asheville later tonight. Stay tuned for more pictures.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stephen and Cambridge's Wedding

My little brother got married last weekend on our Aunt Dearing's farm in Ashland, VA. It was a gorgeous fall day. The temperature was perfect--crisp and cool, but not cold. The leaves were at their peak of color. The wedding was casual and intimate. I loved being there and seeing Stephen so happy and I couldn't be more thrilled with my newest sister-in-law, Cambridge.

Here are Stephen and Cambridge saying their vows in front of the river birch arbor that Stephen made and Cambridge decorated:

My dad was the best man.

The groom's precious niece and nephew before the service:

Proud sisters with their little bro:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shelby's Vision

Wow, two posts in two days and three in one week!  I guess a lot has been happening lately.

The latest news is about Shelby's Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI).  For those of you who don't know about CVI, it means that, while Shelby's eyes are fine, her brain damage makes it difficult for the brain to process what the eyes "see".  CVI can range from near total blindness to a very minor condition.  The other interesting thing is that it almost always improves over time.  What is unknown is just how much it will improve.

Shelby's vision teacher has given Shelby CVI tests that shows how severe her CVI is.  It is based on a scale of 1-10 (1 being very visually impaired, and 10 meaning that she sees almost normally).  I say almost because I don't think CVI every really goes away completely.  It is one of those things that can be really good one day, and bad the next.  Or it can get bad just because she's tired or sick.

Anyway, the first time Shelby took the test (less than a year ago) she scored a 2 out of ten.  Even this was fairly good news to us at the time, because when she was only a few months old, she really could not see much of anything.  Well, she took the test again yesterday, and her CVI score has improved to a 7.9!!!  Even her vision teacher is surprised at how much she has improved.  She said she typically sees that kind of improvement over several years!  And of course, it can still keep improving.

Once again, we are absolutely amazed by our little girl.  Keep it up Shelb.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shelby Updates

It has been a while since we've written about Shelby.  So much has changed with her in the past few months so this post is past-due.

She has been sitting up from a lying position without assistance for a few weeks now.  I had been thinking she would start doing this for a while now, but she seems hesitant to do anything until she really knows she has mastered it.  Now it seems effortless.

Her PT has been going really well, and she has been spending a lot of time on her hands and knees, and can even pull up to that position from lying as well.  I really feel like she will be crawling soon.  She's also getting better at standing (while supported) and can pull up to standing pretty much on her own.

One of our biggest concerns of late has been her feeding.  She has never been one to eat much, and she has always thrown up at the slightest hint of texture or because of new flavors.  Well, I don't want to jinx ourselves, but we have seen some good improvement in this area as well.  We have been doing these mouth exercises with her twice a day for a couple months now.  Also, we have been steadily increasing the thickness of her baby food over the last two weeks.  I think all this has helped tremendously - she is now eating a pretty thick mix of food (one which even a month ago would have been unthinkable) and she hasn't thrown up in weeks.  Her appetite seems to have increased in the last few week too.

Shelby is also becoming a bit of a chatter box lately.  While she still does a lot of the baby sounds, she has a quite a few words as well - mom (ma), dady (da da), baby (ba), milk (mi), bop, papa, and a few others I am forgetting.  She also knows a lot of words that she can't verbalize yet such as body parts, her brothers name, her grandparent, etc.

So, in short, Shelby keeps amazing us and we are very proud of her.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumn Outing and New Camera

At long last we have settled our insurance claim from when my car was broken into in August, so I was finally able to buy a new camera. I have really missed following Harding and Shelby around snapping photos like the mommy paparazzi. We got our new camera just in time for a trip to the corn maze and pumpkin patch today.

Some of the Kinnaird family's long-time friends, Rose, her daughter Sally, and Sally's two boys Ian and Anderson came up from Georgia for a couple days. As always it was really good to see them. Sally is one of my parenting role models. Her boys are probably the most well-behaved, polite and fun kids I have ever met.

Here is Harding with Ian and Anderson:

Harding enjoys his picnic lunch:

This is the whole crew of kids (and Matt and Trip) who came along:

Harding and his daddy are looking more alike these days:

Shelby models Aunt Ashlee's shades.

It was entirely too hot for hot cider, but these apple cider popsicles were a huge hit with the kids.