The House of Doo

The House of Doo

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Colt is TWO!!

We made it through the birthday weekend all in one piece!  I was stressing over it big time though I know I shouldn't have.  The party was a success in the fact that we had great family, friends, and food, but all Colt wanted to do was swing on the playground.  He was pretty much missing from his entire party.  He didn't want to eat, he didn't want a cupcake (he's not really a sweet eater anyway), he didn't want to open presents, he didn't want to talk to anyone.  The boy just wanted to swing.  So he did.  We partied without him.  He didn't blow out a candle and we didn't even sing.  Sigh.  Oh well, he seemed to have fun swinging and everyone else seemed to have fun talking to each other.  It was so nice to have so much of our family there.  Ryan's brothers and sister got to come from Statesboro and Carrollton, and my family/families got to come from Rome, Villa Rica, and Jasper and everywhere in between.  :)  Colt got tons of fall/winter clothes and he desperately needed them.  He got a whole bunch of books and toys too.  He is such a blessed little boy, to have so many who love and adore him.  I'll post some pictures from his party below. 
The birthday banner.
Birthday boy!
Checking out his cupcake.   
Tanner is helping.  This is the best shot of the shirt that I could get. 

Mickey Cupcakes!
My grandfathers. :)  I love them so.
My grandmother, cousin LeAnn, and Aunt Annette.
My grandfather, dad, and Aunt Diane.
Happy birthday, Colt!
Sweet boys.
Birthday Morning!
Aunt Amie took this picture at church!
See?  We had fun even though he wasn't all that excited about his party.  He opened his presents at home and loved them all, once he was in his environment and more comfortable.  We then got to watch the Bulldawgs eat some Gator meat and all was right with the world.  :)  Sunday evening was the Trunk or Treat at our church.  I got Colt a really cute Elmo costume (He loves Elmo!) and he was terrified of it.  :(  Go figure, right?  So a friend from church suggested making him a farmer.  Even if I had to buy some overalls to make a costume, he could always wear them again so it wouldn't be wasted money on a one time costume.  Great idea, Jennifer!  So, I got him some John Deere overalls at Tractor Supply and some super cute John Deere boots.  We paired them with a plaid shirt and a John Deere hat and he looked adorable.  Actually, he looked just like his Granddad. ;) 
See?  (Sorry for the crappy picture, it was a cell phone pic!)
Yesterday, we had Colt's speech evaluation.  Like we knew, he will begin speech therapy as soon as they get the paperwork finished.  That could take 2 to 3 weeks.  I am hoping less, because I am super anxious to get started.  They were surprised that he doesn't speak any words at all, so they will start by teaching him sign language and then attempt words.  As he begins to use words, they'll back off on the sign language.  With the next baby (no worries, none yet!), I will start sign language as soon as possible.  I hate not being able to communicate with my child.  That is so hard for me.  I feel like I am pretty good at understanding his needs and wants, but it would be easier if he could voice his feelings.  So, here's hoping they can perform some magic! 
Wednesday we have our two year check-up.  I am anxious to see where Colt is on the growth charts and all of that.  You know I'll update more then.  :) 
A couple more pictures I stole from my friend David Waltermyer.  Thanks, Dave!
I love this one.   
Swinging with Makayla.  Buddies for life.

Spinning with Aunt Chelsea. 
Makayla and Ma'Khia!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birthday Time!!

There isn't a whole lot going on around the "House of Doo."  The biggest thing is preparing for Colt's second birthday!  I can't believe it has been two years!  I know it is so cliche, but time really does fly.  The past two years have been hard, but the most delightful, magical, and just plain FULL years I have ever experienced.  I can't remember what life was even like before Colt.  I am okay with that.  I swore I would never be the kind of mother who lets my children define me or who I am, and I don't think I have, but he sure has taught me what life is all about and what I am about.  He has shown me to enjoy the simple things, like lying in the grass staring at clouds, picking flowers which are probably really weeds, and how to giggle uncontrollably over goofy faces.  I am forever grateful for that. He is such a happy, silly, loving, and smart boy.  I could not be more proud. :) 

His daily cloud-watching spot in our yard.

Anyway, sorry, I had to get the sappy stuff out.  We are having a Mickey Mouse theme for Colt's party.  We're having it at a pavillion at a local park.  The weather this week has been around 80 (and it's almost Halloween!) but go figure, Saturday (the day of the party) it is supposed to be 63 and possibly rainy.  Boo.  Oh well, Colt won't care if it rains.  We're having hot dogs and chili, apple cider and hot chocolate (thanks, Julie!), and Mickey cupcakes.  We've got some Mickey decorations and I made a banner that I saw on Pinterest.  It turned out great and Colt loves it!  He knows it has his name on it and there are Mickey "heads" on it, which he loves. He isn't much of a sweet eater, but maybe he'll try a Mickey cupcake.  I am so thankful for family and friends who have helped me with this!  Our friend, Jessica, made him the cutest Mickey shirt, you can find her blog here.  She is very talented.  I can't get the picture to upload of the shirt, but I'll post it in the birthday blog.  I always get anxious when Ryan and I mix our families together.  Why, I am not sure, but I just can't help it.  Sigh.  Colt will be in Heaven surrounded by all of those people though! 

Sorry for the crappy picture quality, but here's the banner.  Pinterest WIN!
Colt's playground thing is almost finished!  It looks great and is huge.  I had no idea it was going to be so big, but he's going to love it.  The only thing left to do is finish the steps to the upper level, put up one last railing on the top, and fill in the box at the end of the slide with mulch or sand or whatever.  Ryan is so proud of it and Colt is going to love it!  He already loves the swing, I can't wait until we can set him loose on the rest.

Happy to be alive.
Sweet face (and beautiful eyes!)
Ryan and my dad hard at work on the playground.

Saturday night, our dear friends Julie and Ricky had a house-warming/fall party at their house.  It was wonderful.  Julie is the ultimate at setting a fun environment and making people feel comfortable.  We had hot dogs and chili (we're fans, can you tell?), apple cider, smores, and a fire in their firepit!  It was awesome!  A perfect fall night.  This past Sunday, my dad, Ryan, Colt, and I went up on Dayton Mountain to our cousins' farm.  It is beautiful up there and the leaves were even more vibrant than they are down in the valley.  It was a gorgeous day for pumpkin picking and playing with animals.  They have cows, goats, a donkey, chickens, turkeys, dogs, etc.  It was great to visit with our family that we don't see often and let Colt run around on the farm.  We also went to Oren Wooden's Apple House and got some cider, apples, and homemade apple dumplins.  It was a perfect fall day.  I took some pictures, then realized a few minutes ago that my memory card was not in my camera.  :(  I do have a couple phone pictures, so I'll share those. 

Reading before church.

Snuggling with Granddad at the farm.
Picking Cousin Anthony's banjo.
Colt's actual birthday is Sunday and the day after, we have his evaluation for speech therapy. They already told us he'll need it. I could tell you that. I keep reading blogs of mothers who have kids Colt's age and all the things their children are saying. I am starting to feel that urgency to pressure him to talk. Are we doing something wrong? Do we baby him too much? Do we do too much for him? Probably. Don't all first time parents? I keep hearing about how he should be putting two or three words together by now. He doesn't say anything. Not even "no," which most kids have been saying for a year by now. I have the dream where he suddenly speaks at least once or twice a week. I don't worry about his intelligence, because he obviously understands anything you say to him. He follows two-step directions and all that, so I know he gets it. I'm sure it's just that he is stubborn, but I want him to talk so desperately. I want him to talk WAY more than I wanted him to walk and I thought I wanted that pretty badly. One day. Maybe the speech therapy will be the trick.

I hope this blog finds you all well.  I'm sure I'll post some birthday pictures next week!  Enjoy your weekend!  :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blue Ridge, Doctor News, and a Recipe!

I feel like a lot has happened since I last updated. We spent this last weekend in Blue Ridge, GA with my step-family. We had a great time and our cabin was GORGEOUS. It had a wonderful view of the Toccoa River from our 3(!) backporches. We spent a little time in downtown Blue Ridge and visited Merciers Apple Orchards. That was my favorite part. We ate a lot, talked a lot, and Colt was in Heaven surrounded by so many who love him. On Sunday, we went fishing in the Toccoa and Colt even got in a little "swim." He's not much of a car sleeper, but he slept all the way from McCaysville to our neighborhood! That was a good sign that he was exhausted. :) Here are some of my favorite pictures:


Gran, Judy, and Amie making gravy

Our family.


Learning about leaves.

Teaching his Granddad about the iPad.

Throwing rocks with Daddy.

Tanner caught a trout!

Playing Dominoes with Tucker.

Yesterday, we had our Post-Op visit with Dr. Peterson, Colt's eye doctor.  He agrees that now Colt's eyes are back to "going out" just a bit.  Before surgery, they were out at a 35 degree angle and now they are at a 10 degree angle.  The good news is that they are intermittently out and in, and they are also alternating.  This means they are not always out, a lot of the time they are straight, and both eyes do it.  That's good because it means he doesn't prefer one eye over the other.  If he preferred one over the other, we would have to go back to patching.  You know how I feel about that.  Anyway, we will go back on November 30 to check for sure, but if they don't change or get worse, he won't have another surgery until he is 4!!!  I want to be excited so badly, but the doctor warned us that Colt has not fit the mold yet, so we can't be sure that it won't change again.  Honestly, I am hopeful this time.  I just kind of feel like this is it (until 4, at least). 

I have another cute picture to share, just because I love it. 
Two Bowls of Spaghetti Later...

Okay, I am finally going to post a recipe.  Funny, I thought we had NOTHING in the house to eat, but discovered a pork loin in the freezer, so I looked up recipes on  I found one that sounded good, had excellent reviews, and I actually had the ingredients!  It was called "Herb-Roasted Pork Loin."  I should have taken pictures for this to be a legit food blog entry, but hey, I was busy chasing the boy around.  Okay.  This dinner was TO. DIE. FOR.  I seriously might make it two or three times a month.  I served it with homemade mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.  It makes an unbelievable gravy that was excellent with the mashed potatoes and over the pork loin.  After reading the reviews, I decided to follow some of the tips mentioned and tripled the gravy recipe, switched brown sugar for white, used balsamic vinegar, and added some rosemary to the herb rub.  We have some leftovers and I cannot wait to eat them again tonight.  Even Colt liked the pork and he is not a meat-eater!

Herb Roasted Pork Loin   Adapted from



Thursday, October 11, 2012

A bunch of blah.

Well there is only a little bit to update since my last post.  A little about me, a little more about Colt, Ryan hasn't changed much. ;)

Last Saturday was my 10 year high school class reunion.  I helped a little with the planning, but the band I had hoped on having (they played our wedding! Shout out, Bud Lightning!) didn't work out because our class was being lame and not enough of our classmates signed up, so we couldn't pay enough for them.  My job was to book the entertainment and we didn't get to do that, so really I didn't help much at all.  Moral support, maybe?  Hehe.  Either way, Lacey and Larry totally pulled it off and we had a blast.  I had a last minute moment of insecurity and almost backed out, but I am so glad I went.  Being in the same room with all of those people made it really hard to believe it had been 10 years since we were all together.  We ate, we danced, we talked, we laughed.  It was fun.  So good to see you all!

Monday, Ryan, Colt, and I toured a "Kidz Day Out" (their version of Mommy's Day Out?) at a local church.  They meet Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 to 12, so Colt could have a little more interaction with kids his age.  I was hoping to have another place to tour so I could compare, but so far, they are the only place that takes kids his age.  The others are 3 and up, which is old enough for preschool, so that defeats the purpose, in my opinion.  Anyway, I was happy with it, so I guess I really don't need to compare it.  I am hoping he can start soon, but we haven't solidified anything yet.

Yesterday, we had a meeting with one of the ladies with our local early intervention group called "Babies Can't Wait."  They offer speech therapy, which is what has been suggested that Colt needs.  This is our second encounter with them, as Colt had an evaluation 6 months ago which he passed.  At that point, he was 18 months and saying 4 words.  He passed then, due to his understanding and eyes/late walking.  Now he is 2 weeks shy of 2 years and only says 1 word.  "Mama."  He has stopped saying the other 3.  Stubborn much?  The lady that came to our house yesterday, says he will definitely need the speech therapy this time.  We will still have the evaluation, but he's at a definite need for the therapy.  I am hopeful that being around other children a little more, combined with the speech therapy will get that boy talking. 

As for Colt's eyes, we are still not sure what to think.  They are definitely better and working together.  Ryan and I have both seen both eyes try to turn in a little, and last night, both eyes went out just a tad.  :(  BUT he was really tired and seemed to not feel well, so maybe that was it.  We see Dr. Peterson next week and I am really anxious to hear what he thinks.  Like I have said before, maybe we are overly paranoid.  Or maybe we see things others don't because we are his parents.  I don't know.  I will definitely share the doctor's opinion. 

This weekend we are going to Blue Ridge with some of our family.  I am excited to get out of town for a bit, without it being for a doctor visit.  I'm sure I'll come back armed with a million pictures to share.  You know how I am. 

One more thing, last night, Ryan finally got Colt's swing up on his new playset!  The rest is still coming along, but at least Colt and I can swing while Ryan works on it. 

Hurry up, Dad!  I want in!


Modeling sunglasses at the mall.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Doctor's Opinion...

We saw Dr. McCarty this morning to have Colt's first post-op check-up.  It was a royal disaster.  First of all, they needed to dilate his eyes to make sure his retinas and nerves had not been damaged during surgery.  As I said in my last blog, we've been putting this horrible ointment in Colt's eyes at night and I am guessing he thought that is what was going to happen because as soon as we tried to hold him down he fight came out in him.  It took about 15 minutes of wrestling to get drops in one eye, and we couldn't get it in the other.  We finally laid him on the floor and I straddled him to hold his arms by his sides with my knees and helped the nurse pull his eye open.  I felt so mean. :(  As soon as she was done, and left the room, he was fine.  Amazing how that happens.  Anyway, long story short...  Dr. McCarty isn't sure his eye is crossing in.  He says he thinks Colt has a "wide bridge" (of his nose) which causes you to see less white of his eye when he turns his eyes a certain way, but Colt was so uncooperative he couldn't really say for sure.  I did get a great picture of him looking straight at me (that's almost impossible!) and his eyes look perfect, but I took one last night where they look crossed.  I'll post them both below.  So.  Maybe we're wrong.  I hope we're wrong.  We see Dr. Peterson on the 17th, so maybe he can share some more insight. 

Last night.  Not so good eye.

Today.  Perfect eyes!

See?  What do you think????

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Heartbroken but Hopeful

"But plant your hope with good seeds
Don't cover yourself with thistle and weeds
Rain down, rain down on me
Look over your hills and be still
The sky above us shoots to kill
Rain down, rain down on me
But I will hold on
I will hold on hope

-Mumford and Sons "Thistle and Weeds"

Well, I feel like I have cursed us with my last blog post.  I have been so excited and bragging about how great Colt's eyes looked for almost a week.  I definitely spoke too soon.  On Tuesday, Ryan and I both noticed that Colt's left eye is starting to turn in a bit.  That evening, our friend Lauren was over and without us saying something about it, she mentioned that it looked like his eye was turning in.  I was hoping that Ryan and I were just a little paranoid and almost looking for something to go wrong, but when she said that, I knew it wasn't just us being paranoid.  I am sick over it, my heart is broken.  I just knew this was it.  I knew we were nearing the end of this journey.  My poor boy is not finished yet.  We see Dr. Peterson's partner, Dr. McCarty, in the morning at 8:15.  I am assuming he'll confirm what we feared and then we see Dr. Peterson again on the 17th of this month.  I am going to try to talk him into doing the next inevitable surgery before the end of the year, because we have met our deductible and our out-of-pocket max.  It will start over again at the beginning of next year.  Sigh.  Anyway, I am happy that his eyes are better.  I am downright thankful.  I am also terrified because when a child's eyes turn in, it really hinders their development.  That is exactly what we DON'T need.  So.  There's that.

We also got the info from the Pediatric Neurologist yesterday.  We have an appointment with Dr. Miller at T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital on February 4th.  Then, the Pediatric Neurological Development Specialist in March.  I just want some answers and I want to know why Colt is so different.  Special.  He's special, not different. 

Last night's sunset.  This gives me hope.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Surgery Day Recap.

Well as you all know, Colt had his third eye surgery on Friday morning.  This time, Dr. Peterson was trying something new and we were more nervous than ever.  We have all of the hospital procedures down pat, but the actual surgery and outcome still make us very anxious.  We got to the hospital at 6:30 and they took us upstairs to our floor almost immediately.  They checked us in and checked all of Colt's vitals and weight and asked us the same 42 questions they do every time.  They put us in an actual room, which I love.  We can have some quiet time together while we wait and that is nice.  There is a t.v. so Colt can watch cartoons if he gets rowdy.  About 8:00, they came in and gave him something that I can't remember the name of, but it is to help him relax and not be upset when they take him away.  I think Mommy and Daddy need some too, but they never offer. ;)  Around 8:10, they came to get us and lead us upstairs to the surgery floor.  We waited in the pre-op room for about 45 minutes, usually it is about 10.  I'm not sure what was taking so long, but it gave us plenty of time to see Colt get "drunk" off the meds.  He was so silly for a while, and INSISTED on standing up in the bed.  The bed on wheels, might I add.  Whew.  Ryan and I got a workout trying to get him INSIDE the railings, rather than falling over.  Ha.  Like I said, usually they take him sooner, so this time we got to see the full effect of the medicine.  He got super mean.  I mean hitting and shoving us.  It was kind of scary to see him that way.  That was very uncharacteristic of him and it breaks my heart to think we have to submit him to that kind of feeling. 
The nurse gave Drunk Colt a doctor's hat.  Dr. Doolittle!

Anyway, around 9:00, they came to take him away to surgery.  Dr. Peterson came in after surgery to talk to us around 10:00.  He was very pleased with the way everything looked and was much more optimistic than the last time.  I'll explain what he did the way he explained it.  First, he said that when you put people to sleep (anyone, not just people with strabismus), their eyes "float" around because their brain no longer controls their eyes when they are asleep.  Colt's eyes didn't float, they immediately pulled to the outsides and stayed there.  This proves that part of the problem is that his outside eye muscles are too tight.  So, Dr. Peterson cuts them off the eye and moves them closer to the back of Colt's eyes, to loosen them up.  He realigned Colt's eyes again and stitched the muscles back on the eyes.  Now, Colt's eyes were perfectly lined up and still didn't float because of the tight muscles.  That's okay though, the floating is not really important.  Once he had them where he wanted them and sewed up, he took both of Colt's eyes, pulled them so that the eyes "looked out" and they pulled themselves back straight!  Then he pulled them in, so they were both looking at the bridge of his nose (crossed) and they popped back straight again!  That was what he wanted.  This basically makes it harder for his brain to try to pull them the wrong way.  Even if Colt's brain doesn't control them like it should, they should stay straight.  SHOULD. 

Waking up from this surgery was the hardest time we have had yet.  He was ill and rightfully so.  They put braces on his arms after the surgeries to keep him from being able to bend his arms at the elbows, which makes it impossible to rub his eyes.  He HATES that.  I imagine it is hard to get comfortable with those on your arms.  He usually cries a second, then when he realizes Ryan and I are in recovery, he is easily comforted.  Not this time.  He cried the whole time we were in there, then cried all the way back up to our room.  Once we got in the quiet of our room (and we took the arm braces off!), he finally calmed down and fell asleep on my chest for 2 hours!  When he woke up, he was in a much better mood. 
Sleepy baby

Now.  After the first surgery, Colt's eyes were straight for 2 weeks.  After the second surgery, it was 2 days.  :/  This time, we are on Day 4 and they are still pretty straight.  I am hopeful, but also want to be prepared, just in case it doesn't stick.  The hardest part now is the recovery.  The stitches bother him and he tries to rub his eyes, so that is almost a constant fight, holding his arms down.  We are alternating Tylenol and Motrin to try to keep the discomfort down.  Also, once a day, we have to squeeze a little tube of antibiotic ointment into his eyes.  That is a NIGHTMARE.  It takes both of us to hold him down and really, we could use more help.  We do it before bed, so he can just keep his eyes closed, but he cries hysterically afterward.  I imagine it burns a bit, and it makes it impossible to see.  I do the squeezing, Ryan does the holding and we are all three on the verge of tears by the time it's over.  We only have 4 more nights to do it, thank goodness.  Other than that, Colt is his normal self and plays like always. 

We were supposed to see the other doctor in Dr. Peterson's office for his follow-up.  That is who we usually see, just to make sure the retinas and nerves were not damaged in surgery, but this time Dr. Peterson wants to see him.  We had an appointment for Friday with Dr. McCarty, but now I am not sure when we'll see our doctor.  I imagine next week sometime. 

I just wanted to update and say thanks for all the prayers and well wishes.  We are so blessed!  Also, below I am posting a picture of Colt's eyes, where his eyes are not lined up well, then an after surgery pic!

Before surgery #3
After surgery #3.  Still a little swollen and pink, but straight. :)