Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Roar and a Boo

Last night the LaGorga's celebrated Halloween as much as we ever will and went out for Gabe's 1st trip to Boo at the Zoo. It was a little chilly and Gabe was a little too young for any of the activities but we had a good time nonetheless. Our good time was punctuated by attending Boo at the Zoo with Megan and Steve and by the fact that I brought with me the cutest little lion ever to be seen.

Mama and Gabe

Gabe, Daddy and a Storm Trooper

Looking at Gabe's lion friends

And for the final event of the night..... Gabe and Matt being put in a bubble

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Letting Go

Lately, I've been a little stuck in a funk full of worries, sort of like how Gabriel gets stuck under the dining room table:

And just like Gabe, I get a little frustrated and start looking around for some help to get out (and yes I do take pictures of my baby when he obviously needs me to help him, but he's just so cute I can't help myself)

My funk started because I became lost in my worries; worries that in most cases I can't do anything to change. My darling husband doesn't understand why I worry so much and neither do I, I really think that it may just be part of my genetic make-up; fair-skinned, blonde, worrier.

Sure I attempt to leave it all my worries at God's feet but they always creep back in: what's going to happen if insurance denies Gabe's eye surgery again, how can we get Gabe to use his left arm, will I ever get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time, what if we can't figure out all the adoption money issues, how am I going to leave Gabe to travel to Ethiopia.

Worries, worries, worries. Lots of worries and nothing I can do to change them; except give them to God and stop taking them back. And then I read this:

Broken Dreams

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How could you be so slow"
"My child," He said, "What could I do?
You never did let go."
-Robert J. Burdette

And I realized that until I stop giving God my worries and taking them back, I'm never going to get rid of them. So today I'm going to start over and lay my troubles at the feet of the one who can handle them all. And while I won't know all the solutions to my worries, I'll try to remember that He does and be content with that.
Easier said then done... but we'll see.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where We Went

Did you guess an Elk farm?

You didn't!! Well, that's probably because there aren't too many elk farms around. But we were fortunate enough that are good friends the Grimmett's visit one every year and this year they invited us! And boy did we have fun!!!

The Grimmett's: Jason, Jessie, Cody, Clara and baby Chase

Family Photo

Lots of beautiful scenery

Helen has the type of camera that I want next!

Getting close to the elk

The Bull (It was mating season for the Elk and he kept buggling at one of the girls in the wagon)

One last family photo

The Elk farm will definately be a new family tradition for our family!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Neurology 101 (and 102) and an update

Thursday Gabe and I made the 40 minute drive downtown to the Cleveland Clinic to their pediatric neurology department. Let me first say that the new little table and chairs and the new HUGE flat screen tv (courtesy of Sony the plaque read) kept Gabe mesmorized as we waited.

Secondly, I'd like to note, that walking around the clinic with Gabe in my arms and not in his stroller was a very bad decision. The elevator stopped at every floor on the way up and by then I was sure my arms were either going to 1.) fall off or 2.) never let go of Gabe!

Now before we get to the actual neurology appointment update I figured we'd have a little neurology lesson. I've learned that when I talk about Gabriel and his schizencephaly, I just assume everyone knows what I'm talking about. And you know what they say about when you assume [SMILE]. Nevertheless I figured a little time spent defining the medical terms we use all the time may alleviate some of the questions, quizzical looks and google searches. A word to the wise though, googling Gabe's condition(s) gives way too much information and not an accurate description of our little guy.
  • schizencephaly - rare brain abnormality where some of the grey matter of the brain is missing. Gabe's missing part (called a cleft) is on the ride side of his brain, thus effecting his left side of his body.
  • Corpus callosum - tissue that divides the right and left side of the brain
  • agenesis of the corpus callosum- corpus callosum is missing. Gabriel's agensis of the corpus callosum is minimal and the cause the cause (the doctor believes) of his torticollis
  • torticollis - stiffening of muscles, having too much tone. Gabe has torticollis on the whole left side of his body and a tiny bit in his right leg.
  • dysplasia of the septum pellucidum - the septum pellucidum seperates the left and right ventricles of the brain and dysplaisa simply means malformation. Gabriel's septum pellucidum consists of immature cells and looks abnormal on a scan. Dysplasia of the septum pellucidum has one great risk; septo-optic dysplasia
  • septo-optic dysplasia - underdevelopment of the optic nerve and/or absence of the septum pellucidum. Gabe's opthamologist checks his optic nerve regularly and right now Gabe is showing no signs of septo-optic dysplasia

Along with the above 'problems,' Gabriel also has a small area of dysplasia (malformation) on the left side of his brain as well.

So, Thursday we went to see Dr. F and after a seemingly exhaustive exam Dr. F once again discussed his findings with me. He is 'very pleased' with Gabriel's verbal and cognitive skills and is overall happy with his development. Dr. F is still concerned with Gabe's lack of using his left hand but feels the continued occupational therapy along with getting bigger and exploring things that will require the use of two hands will continue to alleviate the problem.

Dr. F also noted some increased tone in Gabe's right leg that we hadn't noticed before. He's attributing it to the minor dysplasia of his cortex on the left side of Gabe's brain and just mentioned the importance of working with all of Gabriel's extremities and not just the left ones (which we knew and had just talked about with his occupational therapist that morning).

The last thing Dr. F talked about with me was referring Gabe to a medical geneticist. Besides all of Gabriel's problems listed above he is missing his 3rd cranial nerve. And while this diagnosis puts us in the wait-and-see catagory with his other diagnosises, Dr. F is concerned that a missing 3rd cranial nerve is not usually found with a patient that has schizencephaly or dysplasia of the septum pellucidum. So, we scheduled an appointment with a geneticist to make sure we're not missing anything else that could be going on with Gabe.

Overall though, Gabriel is doing great! And we couldn't be more pleased with how well he is doing. Now if he'd just start sleeping better... but that's a story for a whole different post!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall is in the air

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower ~ Albert Camus

And nothing says autumn better than the sights, smells and tastes of Mapleside Farm in Brunswick. So that is precisely what we did one fabulous fall Saturday at the start of October.

It was such a fabulous day that even 95.5 the Fish was there!

At any apple farm you are sure to find apples:

But you may not always find a fabulous swing set with a swing that causes your child to giggle and shriek in delight...

Or a slide that may be just a bit too big for a little ones fancy.

You will certainly find more yummy apples....

but you may not find the most delightfully tasty Apple Fritters which Gabe enjoyed immensely (no picture of said apple fritter, just of Gabe shoving, I mean placing some in his mouth)...

....or Pony rides

You will usually find pumpkins for sale too!

Lots and lots of pumpkins for sale!!

But do you work hard to find the perfect pumpkin?

I'm fairly certain I walked away with the cutest pumpkin in the patch!