Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Glorious Day

The weather was nice this past weekend-- perfect for a baptism up in the mountains.  Our beautiful daughter Anastasia expressed the desire to commit her life to the Lord and be baptized.  After talking with her, we knew that she was ready.
But first we all gathered as a church and had some fun!
Julia was blobbed by Adam.
Our friends (Caleb's girlfriend's parents) Danny and Trisha with Dennis, Nolan, and Alex.
Caleb with Oliver on the beach.
Waiting in line to ride the canoes.
Off goes Annalyn with Dennis.  It is wonderful to see how much Annalyn is caring for her younger brothers.  We just had a talk about what an amazing wife and mother she will make someday.
More of Caleb and Oliver.
Off goes Alex with Daddy.
Anastasia loved riding the canoes all by herself.  The whole time before and after the baptism she had a beautiful glow about her.
John asked if he could help baptize Anastasia.
The whole time I thought I was filming the baptism.  After uploading the videos I found out I only have these pictures.  A little disappointed that I can't show her and she can't show her future kids the video, but it was still a wonderful day and we will always have the memory.

When we were eating dinner, a yellow jacket stung Dennis on the thumb.  I'm pretty sure everyone heard.  Thankfully someone had an emergency ice pack in their car.
Here are the boys watching all the baptisms.
Rachel and Julia were Adam's chair.  But not for long.
Alex is doing great on his new medication.  I am told that it is too early to notice a difference but Alex has had 3 great days at school and it seems like reading and spelling have finally clicked with him.

I took Oliver and Caleb to the doctor today.  Caleb had his sports physical.  I was not thrilled to hear that while he was being checked for hernias they asked him privately if he was sexually active and wanted to be vaccinated with Gardasil.  I was very proud of his answer-- "Not until marriage."  I am not about to change doctors over this as I know this is standard procedure if not law now here in California-- but really?

They looked at his ganglion cyst on his wrist and referred him to a hand orthopaedic surgeon.  As I left they told me that the referral was already faxed over.  From prior experience with doctor offices I doubted the office would be able to make the appointment right when we got home.  I was wrong.  He has an appointment on Monday. :)

As for Oliver, he has only gained a half a pound in two months.  His reflux comes and goes.  He is being tested for H. Pylori.  This doctor would not refer us for an EKG either.   Four different doctors now, one being a neonatologist,  have said no to my request repeatedly telling me that Oliver doesn't need one.  So okay-- he doesn't need one.  But I would still like one so I will keep asking.  
Poor little guy got four shots right before we left.  He was a trooper though.
Gosh I could eat him up.


  1. Hey, that looks like the lake at my beloved Forest Home! Was that where the baptism was??

    How cool!

  2. With all due respect Christine, I think that it is very responsible of the doctor to ask Caleb about the vaccine. You, I suspect, have raised your children with a strong emphasis on waiting for a marriage- but, of course, while Caleb might, there are millions of kids out there around his age that won't wait.

    The doctor has no way of knowing whether Caleb is one way, or the other. Nor is the doctor there to make a value judgement about whether it is acceptable for a teen to be active before marriage. Instead, the doctor provides a valuable service to the teens that are already active- ensuring that the risks of infection are lower, and serious physical consequences (not talking about moral or religious beliefs here) are avoided. My understanding is that the vaccine also dramatically lowers the risk of some types of cancer- only a good thing.

    Also, those canoes look fun!

  3. Congratulations to Anastasia...sweetness just radiates out of her face!

  4. Just wanted to let you know my son's experience wih ganglion cysts, starting when he was Caleb's age.

    At the first visit to the orthopedic surgeon he extracted the fluid from the cyst with a (very) large syringe. This kept the swelling at bay for about 6 months.

    The second option was surgery, this also kept the swelling at bay, this time for about 18 months.

    Now that cyst comes and goes, and it has a smaller twin on the other hand which does the same. My son has opted to leave them alone as long as they don't bother him. He's 25 now, still playing the guitar and the continual flexing of the wrists isn't hampered by the cysts.

  5. They asked me at Jasmine's physical (she's 11) if she wanted the HPV vaccine. Well, she hates shots and we knew she had to get her tetanus booster so she said no pretty quickly. I've also heard of girls having almost stroke like symptoms from it. Turns out Jasmine had to get three shots!! That was very traumatic for her even though Jessica and I got our tetanus boosters to keep her company.

  6. What a great day! I love seeing how far Anastasia has come. You're right, she really is glowing in that photo! Such a difference from the hollow-eyed little girl she was just a few years ago.

    I really hope you find someone to help with Oliver. It seems odd that they won't let you get the EKG if you want it. I'm not familiar with US medical procedure, but you could always pop down to Guatemala for one. ;)

  7. That's awful about the ekg, wow we got referred for an ekg for even minor issues. Yes keep trying specialists,our genetics and neurology docs both referred us. Or try a young doctor who is overly worried,and at a richer hospital that runs a lot of tests. Think of any. Symptoms he has and bring them up. Good luck!

  8. Please do a lot of research on the ganglion cysts, before you decide to remove it. With ANY treatment for these cysts, they usually come back.

    I have had one on my right wrist for years, but after research, decided not to touch it. Seems like the risks outweigh the benefits. Also, insurance usually won't pay for it, even if it causes pain.
    Hope it all works out.

    Congrats to Anastasia...she does have a certain glow about her. :)

  9. This is coming from a 19 year old girl--
    While it's great that Caleb is waiting until marriage please take into mind that not all teenagers do. Many are too scared to tell their parents when they do start having sex and end up pregnant or with a STD. What if one of you children was sexually active and was too scared to tell you but felt comfortable reaching out to a doctor? Even though he was having premarital sex, wouldn't you want him to be safe and protected?

    Also please know that Gardasil not only protects against HPV but protects against many types of vaginal and anal cancers. I got my Gardasil shot when I was 16, not because I was sexually active (and if you must know, I still am not sexually active) but because it is a smart way to protect myself.

    Obviously whether or not your children get this shot is up to you and your children. I'm not trying to tell you they need to have it, I'm just trying to show you my point of view.

  10. Not that I want to discourage your theological perspective or encourage teens to engage in behavior they may not be ready for, but I struggle to understand the resistance to Gardasil. I'll give my purely hypothetical argument that I hope doesn't conflict anyone's wildly varying religious perspectives. It's a situation we all hope our children, or anyone for that matter, never ends up in. The reality of the world, though, is that as we age and move through society in new ways, the likelyhood that we end up in a situation where a choice about sex is being made without our consent increases. It sucks; it's terrible. I hope I never end up in that situation. I hope your children never end up in that situation. I'd be glad to hear the world had somehow eradicated that particular atrocity. But it does happen, to both men and women. Given that, and knowing the prevalence of HPV, for me Gardasil is a way to help prevent some seriously life-threatening (or at the very least altering) forms of cancer. It doesn't mean condoning sexual choices before people are ready. Nor does it give your children a pass when discussing what is, for your family, a serious theological issue. However, for me, I view it as a series of shots that could prevent some monster from taking something from me (in this case, long-term health).

  11. Christine-

    I understand that the doctors are supposed to ask questions like those, but I would feel the same way you do if my son was asked those questions. I am not comfortable with Gardisil. It is too new and there are often problems with young vaccines, as has been proven in the past. I think it sends mixed messages to tell them to abstain but then give them Gardisil. Why not make them carry condoms around, just in case? It is a conflicted message. You should be proud that your son answered the way that he did.

  12. We take care of those cysts ourselves. We take a big book & bring it down on the cysts with the spine. My mom told us to do that. We did it 12 yrs ago & it hasn't came back.

  13. The Gardisil is not only for unprotected sex. 50% of adults have HPV with only a small number of those people even having any symptoms or even knowing. Statistics do not lie. It does aid against many cancers that run in different families. With adopted children where parental backgrounds are sketchy our children all have been vaccinated to ward off the cancers. Also when they hopefully all wait for marriage, their partner may not have. HPV could then be passed to them from their own partner who may be their first. HPV is widespread and can even be in the form of mouth and throat and I am finding working with a youth group that many teens don't find oral sex to be the same as intercourse. While I differ in opinion and would hope that none of our children partake in premarital sex the reality is teens are teens and are tempted and not all are honest with their parents even with open discussion.

    I know myself and my husband did not wait ourselves and had other partners each which we greatly wish we did not have. Both of our parents brought us up with Christian teachings to wait and to this day neither of our parents knew we were partaking in premarital sex. To me there are just too many benefits that outweigh the cons. For cancer alone after loosing a close friend to ovarian cancer I find it important to protect my daughters especially not know what does or does not run in their family history. For us I feel it is better to be safe than sorry. It is every parents choice but I suggest you look into it and then decide. I respect any decision you make as I know in your heart you're making the best decision for your children. No parent can tell another parent that their choices for their children are wrong. I just have learned to never to say never and to continue to preach to our children the importance of waiting and even if they wait protect them against what 50% of what our nation is infected with that their own partner may have and not be aware of and in the coming years likely that number will grow unfortunately if we do not vaccinate. Again it is ultimately your decision and you know the right one for your family!

  14. I agree with a lot of what has been said about gardisil. Very true that it protects against varies types of STDs, but it's main point is that it protects against the most common types of female system cancers and other things that happen down there.

    I think it is great that your girls/boys are going to wait until marriage; however, lets assume that they do...there is no guarentee that their husband wont pass things along unintentionally. I'm not talking about an STD or things that can be tested for, I'm more talking about the theories behind those types of cancer and the HPV and how they interact together that no one can predict (through both types of sexual activities). True they could use condoms; however, that might not be the most practical solution if they want kids.

    I didn't get the vaccine, I was aging out when it first came out and like all vaccines...I want to wait untl they are out for awhile, so they can get all the bugs out and truly understand the effects (both postive and negative). It seems like they have done that now.

    As far as the EKG goes, as someone who used to work in health care insurance I can see why a regular non DS specialist has not ordered one. For a doctor to bill it they have to have probable reason, and just cause he has DS isn't a probable reason. There are many theories and beliefs on whether one should even be done (we've seen that proven here with just past comments). A doctor would need to suspect something...just so he/she has a billing code to put it under. It is unethical for a doctor to just "claim" something for the insurance to accept the claim. Especially if Oliver isn't having any problems or showing any symptoms. You might have a lot more luck (with insurance pull) seeing a dr that specializes in DS (there are several in S. CA). However, any doctor I'm sure would love to send a referral over if you'd like to pay out of pocket.

    Anywho! Just my thoughts. I love, LOVE your blog and check multiple times daily hoping for new posts! Caleb seems like he is going to be a wonderful dad!

  15. Wow, that area looks beautiful... your pics remind me of the summer camp in the old Parent Trap movie. ;)

  16. I also think the lake/camp area looks like the one in the old Parent Trap movie! It's so beautiful.

  17. An EKG won't tell you much useful information; Oliver would be symptomatic if he had a cardiac problem significant enough to change his heart rhythm which is what an EKG measures. What would be good to have is an Echocardiogram; the defects common to Down's show up on echo and can be asymptomatic when the child is young. Any Down's specialist should be glad to get a baseline Echo.

  18. Congratulations Anastasia! And good job Caleb!
    I as a parent still have to laugh at the "private" talks with my kids as they always tell me and always ask to have me there even if the doctors insists I shouldn't be. I also realize that we parents who actually talk to our kids about sex, STDs, the benefits of waiting are in the minority. It is the law now in most states starting at the age of 14...

  19. Hi!I hate it when my children get shots.I think it hurts me more than them when I watch.Pat


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