Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011 so far...Living the Dream

The last year has been a whirlwind of activity and excitement. We are now living in Scott AFB, IL. Ava is almost walking. I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Eliza is going to a full day of kindergarten. And Terah is managing the whole show! Oh and we added and lost one pet. (Thunder cat added, Rainbow fish subtracted).

So how did we get here?

Ava has enjoyed wonderfully good health. Besides an occasional ear infection (She got tubes) and eating/pooing difficulties, she has done wonderfully. The prophylactic antibiotics she receives each day have held off any UTIs. Additionally, she is seeing very well. We switched opthamologists and the new one took her glasses away and corrected her Exotropia in both eyes. The procedure went smoothly but she had horribly bloodshot eyes for a few weeks. But she was so blessed...her eyes are nearly perfectly straight and she can control them much better. Almost immediately, her attention span and interaction with her environment greatly increased. Her development has hugely benefited from the surgery.

Her development is about 1 year behind the norm but we knew that was likely from the get-go so it's not a surprise. She uses little ankle braces to stabilize her walk. She can almost balance without help and loves to cruise around next to the furniture. She can say a few semi-words: "Da", "Ma", "Ba" are her favorites. She also can sign all done. But still the best thing about her is her loving, cuddly spirit. What she is missing in her DNA is not missing in her spirit. For example, if you kiss her cheek she will grab your ears and pull you closer and switch cheeks until you have been kissing her cheeks for 5 min!
She is a joy.

Eliza's joy is school. She loves to learn and to socialize. Although separating from some good friends in San Antonio was difficult, she has already made several new friends here on base that keep her busy. In school, she is learning to read, basic math, and lots of safety. She is constantly stopping, dropping and rolling as she well learned during fire safety. What a spark of energy.

Terah has been very busy as well. She also left behind several good friends in the Alamo city but has made some good friends here through the church, MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers), and the spouses clubs. Terah has also enjoyed having extra time with Ava now that Eliza is at school all day. She is our strength.

This last year for me has been fruitful in our family as well as professionally. After a year long internship at Texas Physical Therapy Specialists, I graduated from the Army-Baylor Doctor of Physical Therapy program. To my great surprise, at the graduation, I received an award for a group research project that I lead. A month later, I took and passed the national exam and received my license to practice.

With all that done, we received orders to move to Scott AFB on the Illinois side of St Louis. We live on base in a nice 1 story home in a good neighborhood, very close to the bus stop. We decided to rent our house out in San Antonio since selling it would have lost us $20K. We waited a month before our first tenent moved in. We have had a few maintenance issues but nothing horrible difficult.

I also want to give a shout out to Debbie and Melvin (Terah's parents) for flying out and helping us drive up from Texas. Melvin loves driving and listening to country songs. We saw some beautiful country.

So, we are settled in and collecting nuts for the winter. We will see some snow this year. I want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. Heavenly Father has definitely shown His love and mercy to us. We will plant our new seeds here and grow another home. Living the Dream.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We are still here!

First, let me apologize for the lack of posting the last year. Our family has been super busy and this blog was 1 notch too low on the priority list to make the cut. However, we are happy and healthy here in San Antonio.

Ava has made great strides in her developement. She is a little slow on reaching her developmental milestones, but she is crawling along, literally. This last month, she has started crawling. She is so smart...she only crawls when she really wants to. For instance, it has to be her favorite toy she is aiming for in order to crawl a long distance (across the room). We are very greatful to the Lord for watching over her. She has had so many challenges already and she is only 16 months old!

Eliza has been very active this year as well. She knows her letters, numbers (up to 14-ish) and can write her name. This is mainly due to the efforts of Mrs Reber, her teacher. Terah does a wonderful job of keeping books and crayons in Eliza's hands. Eliza recently discovered Veggie Tale books and loves them. She also attended Pre-Pre-School and had a great time learning with other children.

Terah has been our MVP this year as voted by the family. As with most moms, she is the event coordinator, chief financial officer, housekeeper, entertainer, doctor, etc. of the home. Ava has had many, many medical appointments-2-3 average per week with a max of 4-5. Eliza went to school 2 times per week. I was gone usually from 6:30AM to 5 or 6 PM, so she had the kids almost all day. Meanwhile, she maintained her incomparable beauty, poise and grand sense of humor through it all.

I have been in class all year long, learning from the best physical therapists in the world. Having just finished 3 non-stop semesters of instruction, two weeks ago, I passed my oral defense examination. Basically, the leaders in the realm of physical therapy sat across the table from and questioned my knowledge of all subjects ranging from neuroscience and anatomy to physiology and radiology. It was the most difficult test of my life, but it was also the most rewarding. Next week, I will start a 1 year internship covering orthopedics, acute care, and amputee care. It should be an exciting year.

It is my hope to follow up this entry with more posts focusing on more specific events from the past year and present to include some great pictures.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

June Joys

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Friday, July 17, 2009

June Recap- Hospitals, Heat, and Happiness

June was a very eventful month for the Texas Reber family.

The last week of May we went to Sea World which was a blast. Eliza loved swimming, seeing the dolphins and whales and running us ragged.

The next day Ava started running a temperature and acting very sluggish, so Terah took her to the hospital and they didn't see anything significant on the preliminary tests. They gave her a shot of antibiotics and sent her home. The next day, they called us and said she had a urinary tract infection that had caused a blood infection. Obviously, this was very serious and she was admitted to the hospital for a week of IV antibiotic treatment and care.

This happened to be my first week of second semester, so I had to miss quite a bit of class. That made for a stressful period after trying to make up for lost time.

Our hatred of staying in hospitals was reinforced by the wonderful doctors and nurses coming into our room every half hour or so to check vitals, ask questions, ask the same questions again, etc. Needless to say, we got very little sleep and wanted to leave as soon as possible.

We were discharged and had a home health service administer the remaining week's dose of antibiotics. Ava is the toughest baby ever. She has had to endure more doctor's visits, injections, blood draws, and medication than me and Terah in our lives combined.

That was just the beginning of June.

The 3rd week of June was exciting. Ava got her glasses and totally changed. It turns out that she is very far sighted and needed some help. Terah almost cried to see Ava looking around and focusing on faces and smiling. She has exploded developmentally since. She improved 100% in smiling, reaching for objects, kicking, and so on.

I remember the first time I put on my glasses. I could see the leaves on trees! It was amazing and I can only imagine what Ava discovered. It is such a blessing to have these little spectacles.

We were then blessed the last week of June and 4th of July weekend to have Grandma and Grandpa Reber, Papa Cowboy and Nana, and Great Grandma Kate visit us. I blessed her Sunday morning with the help of Grandpa Reber, Papa Knudsen and the Bishop. It went beautifully and was a very special moment for us.

Then, after church, Terah noticed that Ava was in a lot of pain. When she changed her diaper she found what we would later find out was a "prolapsed ureterocele". This was very alarming and was obviously the cause of her distress. We rushed her to the hospital and ended up being transferred to the hospital where her pediatric urologist works so he could care for her. The rest of that night we would like to forget. She was in exquisite pain.

After two procedures, the ureterocele reduced and her condition improved greatly. She again received antibiotics to ward off infection and was discharged 2 days later. She was followed up a week later and they found nothing significant. The ureterocele is a birth defect in her bladder and may cause problems in the future for her urinary system. We hope and pray that it causes no further complications.

This harsh trial came at a very fortunate time. We had the help of the grandparents. Grant, Kathe, Melvin, Debbie and Kate- thank you so much for helping in so many ways. We hope you had good time with us! We hope to not tour the local hospitals every time you visit.

Through these trials, we have been blessed to have wonderful family and friends to help. God has blessed us with strength and energy to carry on. We are blessed to be in a time and place where we can access medical care we desperately need. Our family has grown close and our love for eachother and the Lord has grown strong. We thank the Lord for our family and everyone who has helped us or prayed for us. It has been lifting us up.

We hope July is cooler and calmer here in Texas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May Pictures

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Pictures

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

On Tuesday, Ava came home!  We had been hoping it would be this week, and it happened.  She loves her new home and being with her family.

So far, she has adapted well.  She sleeps well during the day and not quite as well at night.  It may be too quite and dark at night.  In the NICU, it was bright a lot and there was constant noise.  We are going to try a few things and see if she sleeps better.

Eliza is taking well to the change.  She says she loves Ava and is worried about her.  However, she is a little jealous of the time and attention we give her lil sis.  But overall, she has been really good and will be a great big sister and help to us, especially Terah.

side note: PT school is going well.

Grandma Reber left today.  She helped so much, mostly playing with and tending to Eliza when Terah and I were at the hospital.  She also kept the house stocked with yummy chocolates.

Thanks MOM!

Here are some pictures,  enjoy and Thanks for the prayers!  We are truly being blessed.