Thursday, December 30, 2010

How it happened...

First, I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who called, emailed, commented, etc. on our last post about Grey walking. It means so much knowing that there are so many people cheering Grey on just as loud as we are. :) I said in that last post that I would have more info on how his new-found walking came about, and then I realized that I really have no idea! But...here are some things that I think helped...

Since Grey was about 11-12 months, we started using this little push toy. At this point he couldn't bear weight at all and I was doing ALL of the work. He wasn't shifting his weight, wasn't swinging his legs, and wasn't supporting himself. This was the beginning. Lots of work for mama, and lots of learning for Grey. Each time that we did this, I would say "shift your weight, swing your leg" he never did, but that little mind of his was starting to get it. :)


Next, his PT, Liz, brought over a gait trainer. Not Grey's finest moment. :) He wasn't a fan of this gait trainer and all of the "extras" that came along with it. Liz decided that it wasn't the right time. Good decision. :)


THEN...Liz suggested that we get a pair of knee immobilizers. Grey was still having trouble bearing weight for longer then a few seconds, his knees would just buckle and we weren't making much progress. His ortho didn't want to go with KAFOs (knee, ankle, foot orthotics) just yet (which I understood) but I felt like that left Grey hanging. Unable to do the things that I knew with a little more support, he would be able to do. The knee immobilizers were the next best thing! (Although, I was so excited when I ordered them, that I forgot to check the "male" box and they came with fairies on them...oops! Sorry Grey!

Once his immobilizers were here, we started working more on standing on his own, taking side steps, and being upright way more often. Then, during one PT session, Liz brought that gait trainer back...without all of the "extras" just to see what would happen. Much to our surprise...Grey started getting it! He still needed help with shifting his weight, but he was bringing his left leg forward all on his own! So exciting!!

Then, in December, we made a huge decision and decided to try out a new therapy place. 1 plus 1 Therapy
A decision that I was so nervous to make (sorry, Amy!) has turned out to be so good for Grey. Grey gets to do things there that he has never been able to do before...like jumping,

standing without leaning on something,

moving forward on all fours,

and more jumping!

After that first week of going to 1 plus 1, his Early On PT, Liz was back over and we were trying out the walker again. This time he was shifting his own weight and swinging both legs forward all on his own! He still needed a bit of support at the waist but he was doing it! Now, after a month at 1 plus 1, he is starting to 4 point crawl, and no longer needs any support when using his walker, although we do still need to push it forward for him. Army crawling is still his perfered method of getting around, but more and more I see him on all fours taking a few "steps" that way.

So, that is some of what we have done leading up to this point. So many people have helped Grey, but above all...it's Grey's strong will and determination that have gotten him to where he is. He is the best!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Grey's gift to us...

Grey has been working very hard on a special gift to give to all of us. There really aren't words to describe how proud we are of him...to say that we are bursting with pride just doesn't even seem to come close. Take a look...

grey walking!! from Leigh Gibbs on Vimeo.



More to come on how this came about. I just couldn't wait to share with all of you! :)

Merry Christmas to you all!!

Much Love,
Leigh, Andy, and Grey

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

hittin the hill

So it's getting cold here in Michigan these days, and with that comes snow. This past weekend we got a "dusting" on snow that left our yard with just enough snow to pull out the snow suits and dust off the sled! I was pretty sure Grey would love sledding, he was obsessed with going down the hill in our yard on his truck all summer, so i assumed he'd feel the same way on snow.

Right when i put him on the sled he got his "Lady Face" (by Lady Face I mean the little grin he gets when he hear's that Lady Antebelum song...) by the way he still loves that song, haha.
Anyway here he is going down for the first time.






He loved it every time down!



I'm pretty sure where going to be doing a lot of sledding this winter...and I can't wait!

love,

The Gibbs'

Friday, December 3, 2010

Heavy Heart...

My heart has been heavy since reading this post from my dear friend Joanna. She is out to save a little boy named Shea. A little boy, so much like my own that I can barely breathe at the thought of what his life may become. You see, this little boy has spina bifida and all that comes with it. Just like Grey, Shea has a shunt, has bladder and bowel issues, and isn't able to stand or walk. And just like Grey, Shea is "a very good, and smart boy." The only difference is Grey has a family to love him, a family to help him, and a family who will never give up on him. Shea on the other hand, because of his age, is close to an institution where he will become bedridden for the rest of his life. A life that is worth so much. Please visit Shea's blog and do what you can to help us save Shea. Every little bit helps.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Burning off that thanksgiving feast

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (yep a little late) Just wanted to say how blessed our family is feeling this time of year. It's really remarkable looking back on the year and realizing that this year there's even more things to be thankful for than the last. I remember last year listing a few key things that were so important in my life and that i'm so incredibly thankful for, and guess what, they haven't changed!

*Greyson: yup no surprise here, he's still my best little bud and amazes me all the time. The highlight of my day is when i come home and the minute i open the door he says, "daddy home, daddy make house." He loves making forts out of blankets, and guess what so do I! Everything up to that moment in the day is pretty insignificant in my book, it's all about the time i get to spend with him! I am thankful that i can.

*Family: Some Really exciting times for my family this year, a new baby cousin evan, some big milestones for Grey. Combined with some really hard ones as well. Losing a grandma and a grandpa in the same year was tough, my moms fight with cancer was grueling (we got it this time, right mom!) but all these people, all these experiences i am thankful for. They mold us, make us who we are.

*Church: Our small group remains strong and the relationships more meaningful, they continue to love and encourage us in the good and hard times.

*SB support Groups: We have had several opportunities to meet other SB family that we've met online and it's been incredible to interact with them in person. A truly amazing community of families out there that will do anything for their kiddos and willing to help anyone that has a question.

*micro brew: i've got one brewing right now, should be ready in time for the holidays :)

*Leigh: yeah she's still amazes me how wonderful a mother she is and am so thankful that she is Greys mommy. That really doesn't even describe it at all, it goes way beyond that...you get it :)

*A job: I still like what i do and am thankful that my job can help provide what my family needs. and some of those fun things too :)

Anyway, this years thanksgiving was incredibly relaxing and just such a nice time spent with family.

Heres a few pics:






and heres a little video of Grey working off some of those extra Thanksgiving calories!



video

love to all,
Andy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rough Riders

A few days ago I got a text from Emily asking if Grey and I were up for an adventure at the park...my reply? OF COURSE!! Any day that Grey gets a chance to see Carson is the best day of his life. Seriously, he loves him. They started off on their bikes. They weren't really racing (that would be a pretty slow race) :) it just looks like it.



Then, they spotted a dog. Who knew that a dog could be so entertaining. They couldn't take their eyes off of that dog. So cute.



Not sure what they were chatting about here...
Grey taking a break from peddling.
He might be the cutest thing that I have ever seen. Seriously. I can't get enough of him.
Not sure what this contraption is, but they seemed to like it...for a minute anyway. :)
This is what Grey is constantly doing when Carson is around. He either has to be taking his glasses off of him or petting his hair. He is obsessed with Carson. Poor Carson.
Here is the petting. I'm not making this up.
Impossible to get them both looking up and smiling at the same time, this was as good as I could get. :) Maybe next time. :)
I feel so unbelievably blessed to have Carson and his parents in our lives. God is so good, he knew just what we needed. :)

Hope this finds you all enjoying your fall!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The shark that ate Grey...

The title explains it all! For Halloween this year Grey was a SHARK!! He pretty much loved every second in his costume. I hear these horror stories of kids hating their costumes and wanting to rip them off the second that you put it on them...well, Grey is pretty much the opposite! We put him in it and put him in front of the mirror and he got this goofy grin on his face. :) He LOVED it!

Our day started off with a brief photo shoot...

Checking out the big pumpkin
Such a big boy...getting stronger and stronger everyday.
Then the real fun began...we put on the costume for another brief photo opp

Gotta have that family picture
making his scariest shark face
using the pumpkin as a ball
such a cutie
we then went to great-grandma Kuiper's to trick-or-treat
Grey telling cousin Leah "Don't worry, they'll take it off soon"
We then came back to our house for the real trick-or-treating! Grey went to a few houses before he became too exhausted to go on
seriously, he was exhausted!
Now for the Grand Finale!! Grey was showing off to his Grandma Gibbs!! What a smartie pants!
video

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lady Who?

This could be the most embarrassing post that I have ever written. But I am going to write it anyway...becuase it's that funny. Ok...here goes...

Every Thursday, I, Leigh have to work. My mom watches Grey and they have a great time. Well, apparently she has been listening to Lady Antabellum (or however you spell it) in the car and Grey has become OBSESSED with the song 'Need you Now' (or something like that). When I say obsessed, I mean CRAZY obsessed. Like, the minute he gets into my mom's car he starts crying for "sick" as in music. And my mom, being the doting grandma that she is, plays it. Every. Single. Time. Well, the other day Grey and I were outside playing and it was getting really cold, so I told him that we would go inside and listen to music and dance. He got really excited and I thought "oh, cool he loves music...just like his dad." ahahahahaha!! Not exactly like his dad. :) I put pandora on and we hear music. Grey freaks out. I think to myself "what in the world is this kid crying about?" Then it hits me. He is expecting HIS song. Once I figured out what his issue was, I had to get it on video. Notice that he knows within seconds that the first song is not what he is after. Then, when his song finally plays the look of blissfulness that falls over his face. What a goof!! Oh, and he is staring off in the distance because the computer is there and his song is on YouTube...enjoy!! :)
video

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spina Bifida Kids Worldwide Day of Prayer




Time



Wednesday, October 20 · 12:00pm - 1:00pm




October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month, and we SB moms have on our minds, more than anything, the precious unborn babies who are so often terminated before they even have a chance to prove their lives have meaning and value to the world. To say that 50% of all Spina Bifida affected pregnancies are terminated is a conservative estimate. But we SB moms know there is no reason to terminate a baby because of SB. Our children are beautiful and intelligent gifts from God who have every opportunity to live full, productive, and totally normal yet extraordinary lives.

So we proclaim Wednesday, October 20 as the Spina Bifida Kids Worldwide Day of Prayer. We believe in the power of prayer, and we are excited at the prospect of many people praying at the same time for these unborn babies. We moms can make a difference individually and collectively, but that is nothing compared to the change that can come if we have God on our side.

We will begin at noon EST. Pray for as long as you feel led. Pray individually or with another person or group. On your knees, at your desk, while driving your car … the logistics do not matter.

Here are a few things you can pray about specifically:
1. There is one woman in particular who is on our hearts. God knows who she is. She is expecting a child with Spina Bifida, and she is afraid and considering termination. Today (Wednesday) is her appointment with a pediatric neurosurgeon to find out the severity of her baby’s case and to learn more about the diagnosis. Please pray that she will go to this appointment with an open heart and mind, that the doctor will give her a prognosis that is realistic and hopeful (we believe these adjectives are not mutually exclusive when talking about SB), and that most of all, God will give this woman a peace beyond understanding and a clear indication that she should keep her baby or give it up for adoption. There are many mothers willing to adopt this baby.

2. Obstetricians are usually the doctors who first diagnose Spina Bifida based on a prenatal ultrasound. Unfortunately, most know very little about SB except for what to look for on the ultrasound. Many of us were told by our OBs very scary and inaccurate information, such as “Your baby will likely not survive,” “She will be a vegetable,” “Terminating is the most loving thing you can do for this baby.” If this is the first time you’ve really even heard of SB, and a doctor you trust tells you this, you’re probably going to believe it. Please pray that these doctors will be educated about the SB prognosis so that they can give the diagnosis accurately and compassionately.

3. We SB moms will always remember the day we received the diagnosis as one of the most terrifying days of our lives. An initial grief response is denial, which often presents as “Please make this problem go away.” Termination is offered quickly. Please pray for these mothers and fathers, that they will first and foremost trust God to get them through this scary and uncertain time instead of letting fear guide their decisions. That God will draw near to them and make His presence known, as He did for so many of us. That these parents will be so filled with His peace about the future and love for their child that they will consider carrying the baby to term the easiest choice.

4. These precious babies are absolutely innocent and helpless. They are being thrown away because they are not “perfect.” Not one of us is perfect. Please pray for the lives of these babies to be spared. That each movement and kick will remind the mother that God knit that baby in her womb exactly as he or she should be. That their lives will bring glory to our Father.

5. Many of us SB parents cite the support of our family members and friends as the biggest comfort during the time right after receiving the diagnosis. But there are also families and friends who are unsupportive and even encouraging of termination. Please pray for these family members and friends, that God will use them to minister healing to the parents’ breaking hearts. That they will be wholly supportive, not hurtful, and they will lift up and help these parents as their raise their child.

Feel free to add other suggestions for what we should pray. And please pass this on to friends, family, church prayer groups, prayer warriors, pastors, and strangers.

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20 (NIV)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Need a new shirt?

A fellow SB mom, Kari, had the great idea that we should come up with some sort of shirt for our online SB family! I totally agreed and thought that this was a great idea!! Since Andy is a graphic designer I enlisted his help! :) (he loves it when I do that!) So, the other night the two of us put our heads together and came up with what I think is a pretty sweet shirt that represents SB and what it means to us!! Here are a few pics of Andy and Grey working on the shirt...


And here is the final shirt...

The front...

And the back...
To us...the line on the back of the shirt is the spine, and the words make up spina bifida.

So...if you are interested in ordering one, you can go HERE and find all of the info!! I'm so glad that we could do this and I hope that you all enjoy your new shirts!!! :) You will only be able to order the shirts for ONE WEEK...so get your orders in NOW!!!

Love to all!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Bike for Grey...

A few months ago, Kelly, an OT that we know, emailed about an organization that was donating some Amtrykes to local kids who could use them. She thought of Grey and I am so glad that she did!! Yesterday, Grey received his bike and after a rough few minutes...decided that he loved it!

Here he is checking out his bike before it "officially" became his.


Mommy, Grey, and the new bike!
Quite a few people gathered around Grey once he was on it to check the sizing and he wasn't really a fan of all of the people.


Why are you all watching me?


I had a feeling that a cookie might help. :)

Once we were home, he became a real pro at it!

This morning, he loved it even more!



I have to add a pic of his new trick...I think that my fellow SB moms will enjoy this one. :)

Here he is loving his new bike!! Ambucs, Amtryke, and KELLY...thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!


video

PS...the OT, Kelly, that I mentioned...is now the mama to a beautiful new baby Grayden...who just happens to have spina bifida. He is almost ready to come home and we can't wait to meet him! Lots of love and prayers to Austin, Kelly, big brother Zander, and of course...baby Grayden! You can read their story here.