Tuesday, December 20, 2011

White Christmas?

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A few questions for 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!

love to all,

Andy, Leigh, Grey

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grey the Astronaut

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.

heres i little clip of grey as an astronaut...

Hope everyone else had a happy halloween!

the gibbs'

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stroll 'N Roll = Success!!

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!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Busy, busy

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!


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! :)

Love to all,
Leigh (and Andy and G)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Splash Park

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!

love to all,

the Gibbs'

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

urology update

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!

Love to all,
Leigh, Andy, and Grey

PS don't forget. :)