Friday, June 10, 2011

Machine Pitch - Cam 2011



This is Cam's 4th year of baseball with Georgetown Little League. This year he played as a Royal. He enjoys the machine pitch division and so do we. It is more competitive and an actual score is kept unlike with tee-ball. Next year, the real fun begins with kid-pitch. I can't believe how fast Cam is growing up.


Cam has had the same coach for the past couple years, our neighbor, Mark Kopczynski. His son and Cam's best friend, Nate, have been teammates each year. Cam says his favorite part of this year is batting and being the pitcher. He is pretty good at both, probably why he loves them so much! We are so proud of him. He made a huge committment and aside from one church obligation, made every single game. We are looking forward to fall Little League with Hudsonville!


First war wound of the season, on the first night. Cam took a ball to the mouth. We are thankful only a bruised ego and no lost teeth!
























Our Littlest Slugger - Case 2011


I am terribly behind in my blogging. As you can see, it took nearly two months to get my last post finally up with pictures. Time is flying by way too fast! Can't I just put our kids in a bubble and stop time? I wish.

Case finally got his turn at sports this spring when we signed him up for Tee ball with GLL. We found out that he is a natural. He loves to play any position and excels at first base. In one game, he got three out of five players out on their first hit. It was a lot of fun to watch all season long.
He had two coaches this year, Coach Derek (you may know him from the WZZM 13 Morning News) and Coach Holly. They were great. Actually, I will be honest. I was more than annoyed with the stringent practices (like 5 more than I would have expected for a first year tee-ball team) and the need to be 30 minutes early for games (really?). However, they did have one of the best tee-ball teams in the league so I guess their hard work and effort paid off, even if it is only little league!
All in all, Case had such a great season. He listened well, played well and showed good sportsmanship. Jeff and I couldn't be more proud.







Case and Coach Derek



I was adament to take a picture in front of our blossoming tree that lasts like 3 days. This picture just cracks me up! Cute!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Easter 2011



This Easter, as we do every Easter, we went to my mom's for a great meal and her traditional Easter egg hunt after church. Every year we say she goes above and beyond in regards to candy, treats and Easter eggs. This year was no exception. Each child had their own color and 25 eggs to find. Not the little eggs, the BIG ones. Yes, we will be eating Easter egg candy for months!


Pictured (L-R): My niece Olivia, My mom, Caedyn, Cam, My nephew Eli, My niece Addy, Case, My nephew Zach and Dale



Aside from all the Easter bunnies and eggs, we still remember the true meaning of the Easter season. I was so happy that the kids got up Easter morning and first thing they said was, "Mom, Jesus rose to Heaven today after dying on the cross!". It is so great knowing that our children have and know a Savior that lives and died for them. It makes a parent feel good knowing that so far, we have done a good job and their lives are in His hands.

Finally, with Easter comes new Easter outfits. I am so blessed to have a mother that is so talented. This Easter, she made Caedyn her Easter dress. It was beautiful.The pictures do it no justice. It will forever be my favorite piece of clothing. It is so detailed and the layers on the dress are adorable. The boys, well, I always enjoyed dressing them in pink button down shirts and khakis with spikey hair...now that I have a little girl to dress, Easter is much more FUN!





Cae loved the new Zhu-Zhu pet in her Easter basket. Can't tell, can you?















Saturday, April 30, 2011

Leg Braces for what?

It has been FOREVER since my last post. I started working on Case's birthday post the first week of April but have been so busy, haven't had time to keep it up! I wanted to give you an update on where we are with Caedyn and all her therapies and milestones. We are so happy with how far our little miracle has come! However, forgive the rant I may start on.....

Caedyn started PT at Mary Free Bed back in January. It was recommended by her therapist, Lura, that she get braces to help with walking. We had her fitted the second week in February. While we waited for them to be custom made, we continued on with therapy every Wednesday religiously. We have seen a vast improvement in her locomotion skills! She has learned how to crawl up and down stairs (the down part is still a little scary for me as she prefers to go head first using her hands rather than turning around), can crawl as fast as any runner and learned to walk, though unstable, on her own the first part of March.

We went to pick up her AFO's (Ankle/Foot Orthotics) April 6 from MFB. They are adorable. I guess they better be for $1600 a pair. We are thankful that our insurance pays for 50% so we have an out of pocket cost of $800. Yes, I said $800. Sigh. Lance, our "fitter" if you will, showed me how they worked and answered any questions I had. He said she would need a size bigger shoe for them to fit and as luck would have it, I just got her size six Nikes for the summer. Excellent, right? No. I got them home, excited to put them on Caedyn so she would be a stable walker by summer. Not so much. I couldn't even get them on Caedyn halfway. I was so discouraged. When Jeff got home, we dropped the boys off at AWANA and headed to the store for shoes. We visited shoe stores all over for two hours finally ending at Stride Rite. Stride Rite has extra wide shoes and is used to fitting for orthotics. A size seven extra wide wasn't going on my child. Talk about frustrated, anger and discouragement! I was more furious that we would likely have to shell out ANOTHER $100 for custom made shoes she would outgrow in three months to go with the $800 orthotics I was told she had to have to walk. While, in our two month wait, she was walking on her own anyway.

I called MFB, explained my frustration and very politely asked that they figure this mess out. Not only did she really not "need" the braces for walking, but they didn't fit and I wasn't about to go to their custom shoe department to spend more money. We met with Lance and he was very nice and empathetic. He told us he couldn't get the shoes on her either, which is rare, and that he would talk to Lura and his boss to see if the orthotics were still warranted and what are next step wer and get back to me within a week. That was over two weeks ago. When I called, apparently, they are waiting on the therapist for a decision. Pretty sure someone forgot about us. Maybe they forgot about our $800 as well? Doubt it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Baby Boy is F.I.V.E.!

Oh my goodness. Where has the time gone? It is the age old question every mother asks as her children get another year older. Not only do we grow older (and get more wrinkles) but this just means our precious babies that we once wondered would ever grow out of "that stage", finally are. Boo.
Case has always been difficult, er, strong willed. We knew he was trouble from his frequent, multiple hour screaming fits at only a few weeks of age. While the temper tantrums and frequent events that would make any parent lose their mind were a daily occurance, I wouldn't change a single thing about my Case. He is a sports fanatic, independent, extraordinary loving (he is such a momma's boy, I love it)sassy and knows what he wants but doesn't always get it. Oh, wait the dimples. TO DIE FOR. I love them. Thank you Hennip genes, thank you.
For some reason the 1st and 5th birthdays are important ones in the Hennip family. We always do extra fun things for these birthdays like have a party with more than just family. For Case's special day, he wanted to have some buddies over for pizza and cake and then spend a couple hours at For The Kidz Gym in Wyoming, MI. Case invited his cousin Zach, Torin, Luke, Alec and Anderson. They had so much fun jumping on the trampolines, in the foam pit and balancing on the balance beams. It is a really cool place.
It's hard to believe my little bugaboo is 5 and going to full time Kindergarten in the fall. Here is to a wonderful 5th year, Case!



From Left: Torin, Zach, Alec, Luke, Anderson, Cam and Case


We are having a GREAT time!


Dimples. Need I say more?




WALKING!!!

I am so incredibly behind in my blogging. It is quite sad really. I am really going to try to get back on the bandwagon, although, with two boys in Little League and daddy gone most nights, I may just be too exhausted to even turn the computer on. That being said, what better way to re-start my blogging than with a huge HALLELUJAH! Caedyn has taken her first "real" steps and is finally meaning business. Ha! I wasn't so optimistic this day would ever come. She started taking her first steps the first week of March, just one week after we had her orthotics fitted (which are purple with green polka dots, by the way). She definitely still needs the braces as she is not real stable and hesitant with each step. We are excited to get them after 6 weeks of waiting, on April 13. I posted a video most of you have already seen on Facebook. I cannot get enough of my diva in training. Seriously. God is so good!
video

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Small Milestones = Huge Victories

We waited in angst for nearly four months for this appointment. It was early Novemeber when our Early On RN suspected that Caedyn may have cerebral palsy. It was dreadful news. I couldn't wait till February to share this information with Caedyn's neurologist so I called in a favor to our pediatrician, Dr. Schipper. They made this appointment as quick as they could get her in and we have waited up until this day for an answer. It was both a nervous and anxious feeling for us as we waited the past few months. Nervous because you don't want anyone to tell you your child has CP and anxious because we wanted a reason for her not hitting her milestones like "normal" children her age, but didn't want her to have CP. Make sense? Not really. Nonetheless, it was a long wait.

We met this morning with Dr. Nancy Dodge. She specializes in pediatric neurodevelopment and can diagnose just about any physical and cognitive condition there may be. She asked a slew of questions regarding my prenatal history, what milestones Caedyn has reached, family history, reviewed all her PT/OT and feeding therapy notes and did a physical exam. She asked us at one point, "is she always this good natured?" We smiled and had to agree. We are so blessed she is usually one happy little girl. After a thorough evaluation, she left the room and told us she would be back in a few minutes to talk with us. That was the LONGEST few minutes of my life. Literally.

When she came back in she sat down and hesitated. My heart was probably beating out of my chest! Dr. Dodge said she couldn't say that Caedyn had cerebral palsy. Not even an inkling pointed to her having the disorder. I was fighting back tears. Praise God! Her reflexes are very normal unlike a child with CP. She has some mild developmental delays and functions at about a 13 month old level. She cannot explain why. She offered up genetic testing to find out exactly what syndrome is causing her delays. When we asked if it would change her current treatment, the answer was no. We are doing exactly what we should be doing in regards to physical therapy. At this point for us, the testing isn't an option. It is likely she will have a long road of therapies and hopefully in time catch up to her peers. Dr. Dodge was uncertain about her long term development but did mention she could have a learning disability in the future. All I kept thinking was, "I can totally work with this". I know in time she will catch up. We left the office elated to say the least.
So for now, we continue therapy and work on strengthening her motor skills. And all those milestones parents take for granted, we celebrate as a huge victory.

Monday, February 14, 2011

An Outward Expression of an Inward Change

On February 13, 2011, Jeff, my mom and I were baptized again, as adults. Jeff and I were both originally baptized as infants in the Christian Reformed Church. We also carried on the tradition with our children when they were babies. While we fully believe in dedicating our children to the Lord as infants, we also believe that there comes a time in ones life where, as an adult, it is important to let the world know you love Jesus Christ. Jeff and I have been through a lot as a couple. I am willing to bet that we have been through more than what most couples have or will ever go through. Things came to a head in our lives when Caedyn had her first seizure. It wasn't until the last year that we fully entrusted our marriage and our children to the Lord. Up until that point, we carried on in our lives as most people do, with a nice house, beautiful children, good jobs and very minimal struggles. We had everything but the white picket fence and took A LOT of things for granted. :) It is amazing what God will do to bring you to your knees. Job loss, a marriage heading in the wrong direction and a child with an unexpected long-term medical condition doesn't usually make for a very positive outcome without a massive change. We both agreed it was time to let go and let God. We are excited to work on this journey together. While it can be hard to put God first in our busy lives, we know it is imperative for both of us personally, as a couple and a family. We are excited for what the future holds for all of us and know that we all are part of His perfect plan!


Jeff giving his testimony


It was FREEZING! My beautiful mom giving her testimony

Thursday, February 10, 2011

EEG Round 3

Our third EEG and not our last. The third time must be the charm. Aside from our not so pleasant experience with HDVCH, Caedyn's 24 hour EEG went well. She tolerated being hooked up to multiple wires and her EEG backpack with ease. I am thankful for that. This EEG was to rule out nighttime "silent" seizures that occur while sleeping. As if we don't have enough anxiety during wakeful hours with Cae, for the past few months, we have added seizures while sleeping to the list.
Caedyn was her wonderful happy self as usual. She took each poke and interuption with stride (except at 4am, that was no fun). The results came back positive with no sleep seizures and it was overall normal. Normal doesn't mean she doesn't have epilepsy, normal means well controlled. This was good news to hear! We have our initial consult with the neurodevelopmental specialist, Dr. Nancy Dodge next Wednesday. We are anxiously awaiting the news on the possibility of CP. Please pray that we get the answers we need to understand and cope with Caedyn's developmental delay. Please pray that in the next six months all of this will be a blur and she will be developmentally right on target. We are all patients of the one true physician and we know He heals!

Seriously, this child is a trooper. Who else would be this happy all caged up with a head full of wires?



Even post EEG (in my opinion, the worst part) she smiles!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Boo on the stomach flu!

I am waiting for Caedyn's big break. Waiting and waiting.....
I hear the neurologist saying, "the better seizure control we have now, the more likely she will outgrow her epilepsy". So I wait. I wait for the day I can say Caedyn has been seizure free for a year. Two years. Ten years. I am having a hard time believing that day will ever come. I am having a hard time believing that she can outgrow this disease. I do have faith that God has a plan, I just hate it when my faith is tested.

We got to visit the new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital on January 15. Not how we wanted to check out the posh, new digs everyone in GR is talking about. After a round with the flu three months ago, we felt like we knew exactly what to expect this time around. I am getting better with this whole seizure thing. Unfortunately. No one should have to "get better" at dealing with seizures. I didn't freak out and call the neurologist after her first episode Saturday morning, we waited till the second. Though we were hoping there would be no second, we knew it was pretty inevitable because of her history. So, after a trial of oral Valium at home, we went in. We are so thankful to be able to drop the boys off at the drop of a hat with our family. I personally was very thankful that Jeff was home again for this round. I dread the day he is in Texas and I have to deal with this myself. I pray the good Lord doesn't EVER allow that to happen. I may just crack.

After nine seizures in less than 18 hours, we finally got them under control. I cannot imagine having to deal with this disease without having a medical background. I am thankful for my education! We stayed for three days and finally went home on Monday, January 17. She is such a good sport. I don't know what I would do if she weren't so complacent and tolerant. Lord knows, I am not. So we plug on. This won't be the last visit to HDVCH unfortunately. We have a scheduled EEG and numerous specialist follow-ups in the next couple weeks. I am looking forward to getting more answers for my beautiful "Fiona". Thanks for your continued prayers!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Miss Caedyn at 16 months - Where did the time go?


So, I am a little behind on my blogging these days. I must admit I enjoy it once I get writing but it takes a lot to get me started. I often find myself at a loss for words and get frustrated because my blog is not near as pretty and well written as a lot of the ones I follow. Oh well.
I start this post with amazement and sadness that my baby is already 16 months old. Where did the time go? I am sure having a whirl wind year of health issues, job changes and extracurricular activites doesn't help. I wanted to share some stats of my growing girl. She is already 33 3/4 inches long and 26.2 pounds. She is still not walking or talking much but knows how to get what she wants. It is my theory that girls learn this technique at a very young age and she is proving this everyday. We must recently have started the art of temper tantrums. She cries so hard she often hyperventilates and has BIG crocodile tears. It is quite ridiculous and if I didn't fear she would have a seizure, I would toss her little hiney in her crib and let her scream it out. This, she knows it is to her advantage. Stinker. I have attached a very mild form of what we see daily. How can you get upset with that face???

She says words like "momma", "dadda", "hi" and the occasional "kitty". I am not convinced she knows how to use all these words in context yet because she doesn't actually call for me of Jeff. I am praying for that real soon. We are scheduled to be done with feeding therapy in a couple weeks. The other night she actually ate an adult size portion of spaghetti which she wouldn't do just a couple months ago. She is still eating smaller portions and very small bites but we have graduated to sausage, hotdogs and french fries without choking. I am so excited about this! We start another 12 week stint of PT at MFB to work strengthening her low muscle tone. It is likely she will need to wear ankle braces for some time but we will be evaluated for that too. I am hoping she starts walking unassisted real soon. While she has taken a couple steps alone, the whole process has been a tease. My arms are growing real tired of carrying around a 26 pound child so anytime she wants to start walking would be excellent with me! :)
All in all, we are happy with her progress. As she grows it is obvious her delays in gross motor, speech and a small amount of fine motor skills. Thankfully we have an excellent source of therapy right at our fingertips. By 18 months, I am hoping for strength in all three. For now, we count our blessings at how far she has come. We praise God she is happy and healthy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Leaving a Legacy

We said goodbye to a very special man on January 5, 2011. Grandpa "Case" Potts passed away on his 93rd birthday. I cannot speak more highly about the man I have called Grandpa over the last 10 years and our Case's namesake. He loved his wife of 68 years, his five children, 18 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren oh so much. He loved our Lord Jesus Christ and it showed in everything he did. We certainly will miss you Grandpa. Our Wednesday lunch gatherings will never be the same. Thank you so much for leaving us a legacy of love, faith and memories to last a lifetime.


Christmas 2010

Christmas is always such a busy but welcome time for our family. We visit 7 different families each year with the kids, presents and food to pass in tow. While I enjoy the hustle and bustle, we are always so thankful when the two weeks of family gatherings come to a close. No offense anyone, it just can be exhausting! Nonetheless, we are blessed to have such supportive family in town. Here are a few pictures of our 2010 Christmas Holiday.

Case asked for Stinky the Garbage Truck this year.

I think Cae plays with it more than he does!

Sheer excitement to have received a Beyblade set!

Would have been a cute picture if someone wanted to cooperate!

Addy, Cam, Eli, Olivia, Zach and Case at grandma and grandpa Kreuze's Christmas Eve.

Alexa is such a great cousin! We can't wait till she can start babysitting!

Great Aunt Jodi made Caedyn a couple new "babies"

Just wanted to show the Potts Christmas gathering. This is about 3/4 of the family.
I think we counted off till 62. Awesome!


Caedyn and her new shopping cart.

My mom made these FABULOUS purses for Jonelle and I
for Christmas. Along with the wool mittens, a new outfit for Caedyn and a hat.
She is amazingly talented!