So its days before Christmas and here in Michigan we haven't had any significant snowfall. A part of me loves this, because i dont have to deal with the horrible roads and such, but the inner 10 year old version of me really wants it to snow for Christmas! Turns out Grey really wants it to snow too. Any time the mention of snow is heard, he immediately brings up the fact that he wants to make a snowman. We both repeatedly explain that there isn't enough snow outside to make a snowman, it needs to snow more...he's not buying it. So this past weekend we got the smallest amount of snow and Grey convinced us it was time to venture out and make a snowman.
And so it began, the clothes, the braces, the snowpants, the long sleeve shirt, the jacket, the hat, the gloves, the boots...i recall Leigh saying something like, "you better stay out there for at least 2 hours!"
Heres Leigh, getting him ready.
Ready to Go!
As you can see there wasn't much snow...at all. :) But we scrounged up as much snow as we could and made a snowman! Here we are just adding some final touches (arms) to the snowman. So we didn't stay out the full 2 hours as Leigh had hoped, however the 2 of us sure had a great time!
Oh and someones getting excited about Christmas!
Love to all, and a Merry Christmas from Andy, Leigh and Grey
Well Leigh and I had this great idea that we'd set up the camera this past holiday weekend and ask greyson what he was thankful for. Naturally, he wasn't interested in accommodating us for our video...However we did get some footage of him answering some random questions, drumming, and singing his favorite song, which happens to be called "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 song"
heres the video.
Heres a few images from our Thanksgiving Day.
Just relaxing after a big meal...and some how Grey ended up with 3 "ories" (eeyores)
Another incredible year with so much to be thankful for!
So far this Halloween has been Grey's (and our) favorite! It all starts with the costume and this year we scored big when we found an amazing (and really reflective) spaceman suit. From there the ideas just kept flowing. Rocket booster's on his walker, a space shuttle, spray paint, stickers, paint. we were pumped... until we actually had to make the stuff. We both procrastinated until the last week before and with some help from grandma the basic shape of the space shuttle was formed...with cardboard and A LOT of duct tape. Soon it was primed, painted, detailed and fitted for his chair. Here it is right off the showroom floor. So the next big thing was to cross our fingers and hope grey liked wearing his costume and having his rocket ship attached to his ride. Turns out he loved it!
Here he is getting ready to make his rounds. Here he is showing off his rocket boosters.
Here he is with his cousins. Boy they sure helped him out and made sure he got all the candy he deserved. Thanks girls for going up to the house with all those steps! Preparing for take off... A proud astronaut mommy. Lets do this daddy! It took Grey approximately 1 house to figure out what trick or treatin was all about, and after that you couldn't stop the kid. "should we go to that house daddy?" "that house has candy daddy." "I want M&M's candy!" he loved it, and so did we.
That is right...the first ever Stroll 'N Roll for the West Michigan Spina Bifida Association was a HUGE success!! Emily and I spent the week leading up to the event making signs, finalizing the menu, getting things ready for the raffle, and most importantly...checking the weather! October in Michigan is VERY unpredictable! On Monday, weather.com said that Saturday was going to be sunny and 60...yay! By Wednesday it was cloudy and like 55...on Saturday it was HIGH WIND and mid 40s. Yikes. Not what we were hoping for. Emily and I, along with our awesome volunteers got to the park early on Saturday and were a bit discouraged by the weather conditions. Our signs wouldn't stick, our raffle kept blowing away, and pretty much every thing else that we had planned was just not working out...we had to move on to Plan B. :) With the help of our great volunteers things ended up working great! By 10:00 the teams starting rolling in. We had over 20 teams and 230 register to join in the walk with us!! A-Mazing! Having all of these amazing families show up was really incredible to see. Emily and I were still a little discouraged by the weather, but then we thought to ourselves...if anyone in life knows how to roll with it when things don't go exactly as planned...it was this amazing group of people. Everyone was happy, enjoying themselves and we heard such nice things from everyone. We only wish that we were able to sit and talk with every single person who made it out. I am so happy to announce that this event raised over $20,000 for the WMSBA!!
To say that I am blown away by this SB community is such an understatement. Emily and I had such high hopes when we first got this crazy little idea of holding our own stroll n roll...will people show up? will people want to support the WMSBA and this event? We shouldn't have doubted. To everyone who came, everyone who supported us and was thinking of us on the 15th, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have all made it possible for this organization to continue helping and supporting those living with spina bifida. We are already looking forward to next year!
And a special little love note to Emily...I honestly feel so incredibly blessed to have you as my friend. I would never even consider doing something like this without you. Love you!
Hi friends!! I feel like it has been so long since I've posted on this 'ol blog...and I have so many things that I want to catch up on!! Like...
Grey's first (and second, and third) day of preschool! and...
How awesome he is doing with his standing/walking!
His new haircut! and most importantly...
October is Spina Bifida awareness month!! Because of this, (or maybe it's just a really awesome coincidence) we are planning our first Stroll 'N Roll and that has pretty much taken over every spare minute that I have...so no blogging tonight. :) Just wanted to give you a quick update and let you know that you still have one week to help us reach our goal!! Thank you so much to all who have donated already!
Once October 15 has come and gone you will get a nice LONG update! :)
So it's officially Fall...and we're not really ready to say goodbye to summer. However, here in Michigan, we've had some really pleasant weather as of late and we took advantage of it last weekend. Not to far from our house is a great riverside park that has a "fountain thingy" that kids play in often throughout the summer. Well, for whatever reason, we thought we'd check it out in mid september, and to our surprise the fountain/sprinkler was still working. Leigh and I were somewhat leary of "submerging" Greys braces, but ultimately we were like "come on, lets just give thanks that he can participate in an activity like everyone else. who cares if his braces get wet." so we let him play in the "splash Park" as grey called it, and he loved it!
If you look closely you'll see grey's braces were "wrapped" in Meijer bags (our local grocery store's plastic bags) It was the best solution we could think of and, yeah it worked pretty well. :)
Here's a little video of Grey enjoying the Splash Park!
Today was Grey's annual urodynamics/VCUG/renal ultrasound day. Not really something that we look forward to around here. (My SB friends will surely agree). Basically, this is a big 'ol test to check on Grey's bladder and kidneys. Last year, the results of this test were awful. His bladder was thick, super bumpy, and and the weirdest shape ever. (your bladder should look like a balloon...smooth, round, and thin) He had grade 4, out of 5, reflux (reflux=bad and should be at 0). This is the test that proved that we needed to start Grey on a cathing schedule, and the test that left me with one of my biggest worries. Since we started cathing Grey, he has been UTI free and doing pretty great in this department...or so we thought. 4 months ago Grey had another renal ultrasound that showed that his bladder wall was still crazy thick and his bladder looked like a piece of popcorn. Not good. So...we started on ditropan. Ditropan is a medication used to relax the bladder. To me, this was terrible news. I have heard terrible things about ditropan and this is the last thing that I wanted to be giving my little guy. But, I knew that it was what was best for his kidneys so we started it. The only side effect that he seems to be having is the overhearting (but it has also been a pretty hot summer) and we can totally deal with this.
Back to today...today, Grey's bladder was SMOOTH, THIN, and kinda ROUND (still looks more like an oval) AND HIS REFLUX IS TOTALLY GONE! Yes, you heard me right...he no longer has reflux...AT ALL!! Last year I cried because I was so sad about the news we had heard and this year I cried because I was so so grateful.
I know that Grey's bladder and kidneys may not always look this way, but for now they do. :) As the parent of a child with spina bifida, I tend to always expect something. If it's an orthopedic appointment, I know that she is going to tell me what areas need to be stretched more, what muscles are lacking, and what more we need to be doing to help strengthen what he does have. If it's a neurosurgery appointment I know that he is going to give me the run down of what symptoms to keep an eye on for tethered cord. And, if it's urology, I know that I am going to hear all about reflux, and how thick his bladder wall is. and that it may be time to up his dose of ditropan. But today, today was so so different. We left with not just "ok" news...we left with amazing news. News that I can't stop smiling about and news that I can't stop giving thanks for. I couldn't wait to come and give you all, Grey's prayer warriors and biggest cheerleaders, this amazing news too! God is so good!
So this summer was our first attempt at gardening, and all three of us have really gotten into it.
Sure, we planted WAY too many tomato plants, but what did we know.
Here's Grey helping pick some grape tomatoes.
He quickly asked if he could eat one...We looked at each other and were like "yes, of course." And sure enough, not even half way through the bite , he spit it out. hahaha.
He loves picking em, but we have to watch out or we'll find tomato guts all over the place, as he likes to squeeze them in his hands.
Here's Leigh with the harvest.
We've had about 20 bowls of tomatoes like this so far...and they are still growing like crazy! I guess the Gibbs' have a green thumb.
This past weekend grey and i did some yard work in the front yard, ok Leigh helped to, but she took a break to take a few pictures of grey and i cutting down some branches. It was great to have grey feel confident enough to get around (with lots of help and patience) with his walker on the grass. He's made some big strides with his walker recently so we are trying to get him to use it more and more everyday.
Grey helping me cut down a branch.
He had a great time and especially liked being under the tree in his "little house" as he called it.
Here he is playing and bouncing.
After the hard work we had time to do a little fishing. The fish weren't bitin' so Grey spent some time with his cousin Mallory.
Finally it was time to cool off and hit the pool with mommy.
So speaking of outside fun the stroll n' roll is coming up! Support Grey, by supporting Grey's Gibblets. More news to come about the Stroll n' Roll as we Leigh and Emily plan it.
Yep, you read that right...the West Michigan Spina Bifida Association is holding it's first ever Stroll N Roll event! And Emily and I are in charge!! EEK! :) Some of you may be wondering..."what is a stroll n roll?" Well, check out our website to find out! Emily and I have been working so hard at trying to get things organized and things are finally starting to come together! Big thanks to Andy for helping with the website! Emily and I, basically had no idea what we were doing and Andy swooped in and saved the day! :)
So, if you want to support Grey's Gibblet's (that's our team name, is it dumb?) clickhere to go to our donation page. There is also a donation button on the top right of our blog.
Who knew that three years ago, when we were meeting Nate and Emily for the first time, and I was praying "please let them be normal, please let us get along, please let us like each other" that we would be here today! Greyson and Carson have changed us...and in doing that, we are hoping to help change others. To spread awareness about spina bifida and to CELEBRATE those living with it.
Here is Grey practicing for the event...he looks ready. :)
A couple weeks ago we headed up north to Elk Rapids, MI to spend a few days with my side of the family. To sum up, it was Great! Naturally we took a ton of pictures so i thought I'd post several to highlight the trip. From the top.
This is where we spent a lot of time...the East arm of the Grand Traverse Bay, some of the nicest water in the State. (in my opinion)
Grey hit the beach with his bucket and shovel and was happy all afternoon! Here he is concentrating on his sand sculpture...Apparently i used to (still do) stick my toungue out like that when im in focus. weird. sorry grey, you go that from me.
Gibbs men relaxing.
Grey given us sas at dinner. those eyes!
Later that night Grandpa gave Grey a boat ride. Grey was into it! Then he took the wheel...and naturally turned the wheel all the way to one side. My dad was a good sport and let him drive us in circles for a while, Grey loved it. The seas were calm that day.
later that evening...these 2 little rugrats became best buds, (not that they weren't already) We'll mainly Grey was obsessed with his cousin Evan, but it sure was entertaining seeing the 2 of them "play" Love em both so much! Grey and Evan playing on the beach.
Here's my Dad giving Grey a ride on the "little yellow boat" Looks like a fun time... ...Oh wait, maybe not...
This was a horrible idea and a short lived trip. Maybe another time Greyson.
The boys taking naps after a long afternoon of playing.
This one's just silly.
There was great park right down the road, Grey hit the swing and turtle.
But the weekend was not all play, here's Grey walking on the sidewalk!
The last day the whole family rented a pontoon and hit Torch Lake. Now this is the most beautiful lake i've ever seen.
Yes, thats the color of the water, no photoshop, its that blue.
So yes, we had a wonderful time and can't wait to go back next summer.