Monday, January 21, 2008

The amazing broncho bucking baby!

"I can't" isn't a reason to give's a reason to try harder. ~Anonymous

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.--Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?--Robert Schuller

Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway. ~Mary Kay Ash

I couldn't sleep (starting around 3am) and I remembered I had wanted to post about some of Owen's latest and greatest so here goes...please be aware (since I am) I may ramble a bit.

So, from the quotes from above, you may've caught on, this is a post mostly about determination. Owen is one determined kid. He's also funny, funny, funny! I so wish I could capture his amazing personality and put it here for all to see. He's just so FUNNY!
My sister Amanda (from WI who got married this past summer) and her husband Jason got Owen this silly "zebra" toy for his birthday-and truth be told, it just wasn't right for Owen. I knew the minute we put it together, that Owen would probably out grow it developmentally, before growing into it physically. Let me paint the picture for you. It's a ride on toy like a rocking horse, but it's a zebra on a post and it would swivel and bob up and down (when used properly). It has a weight limit up to 50 pounds, so Jake gave us a demo and it looked like he was on a mechanical bull. It was a riot. But, when Owen was put on it, it was clear he was about 5-6 inches (in leg length) too small. It made me sad, but I love my sister dearly and she picked it out so we brought it home and added it to the "at home toy store" Owen has acquired.

Well, not long after getting it home (late Nov), as Owen began pulling himself up, etc, we realized, while not the intended use, Owen enjoyed standing on the opposite side from the "saddle" and holding the hand grips and bouncing up and down on his own standing power and rolling the toy chamber on it and making it light up and playing music. And, I really can't stress how dramatic he is when he does this. Occasionally, someone will put him on the saddle and hold his hips and let him ride it like it's intended use, but he always goes back to his drama baby interpretation of how the toy "should've" been intended.

Well, low and behold, 2 days ago, the kid figured out how to climb on it and sit on the saddle-now he's not heavy enough to make it bounce, and he's not tall enough for his feet to touch the base-but darn it-he gets on there (after much effort and fussing) and rides it for all he's worth. So, here's a picture show of his efforts-including some that show off his crazy eye closing and such. More about this in a moment...

I really love a good hand-me-down....and this next photo shows one of them. Some of you may know Jacob was also a preemie. He unexpectedly decided to arrive over 6 weeks early (09-27-03) and had his own rough start to life. He had a few motor delays like walking and this is a great item my mom found at a yard sale to help him with standing, etc. I really hesitated getting it out for Owen as it's really made for a "taller" child but he is really enjoying it and as you can tell from the photos, was really "hamming it up" for me.

Uh, wait a minute-my pix loaded out of order-ok, keep these 2 (above and below in your mind)

Ok, so for the one where he's pushing the of his fav past-times. In fact, he gets VERY frustrated if the cars and trucks don't roll just like he wants.
The other is where I'll begin the part of my post I like to call "my concerns".
See how he's sitting on his knees and his hips are wide-for those of you who don't know, THAT'S BAD. Kids should not sit on their knees and have the weight of their body on their hips (or their bottom on the floor for a better mental picture)-it's bad for their hips. If he were sitting on his knees with his hips and knees in alignment (bottom on the backs of his legs), it would be ok, but the wide spread part is what is bad. It concerns me. It's hard to stop him from doing it as I can't watch him every second. He's also standing on his tip toes, another bad technique. And he is now closing his eyes when we ask him to take steps-he'll just close his eyes and go for it (falling each time of course). So, no he's not walking. He stands about 25% of the time we try to get him to for less than 10 seconds or so at a time and he has taken about 3 steps but it's really obvious that it's more momentum oriented than true steady steps. He usually lets his knees give out when asked to "walk or stand".
So, I'm concerned. He also really walks with one foot pointed out (while on his toes) when we hold his hands and help him walk. It stinks cause his therapies were all just dropped to next to nothing and now I'm going to have to get them back here a ton. Which, I don't mind, I just thought we were on the downward trend of needing therapy. If he had a "walker" he would and could get whereever he wanted in a vertical manner.
And, while I'm on my "concerns" kick, I'll throw in my ultimate concerns-Owen's future. I have lots of "web-friends" whose kids have Actual Diagnosed Dwarfism. I have lots of web and "REAL" life friends who's kids are expected to be average height. And, I'll start my disclaimer now, I know NONE of us know what tomorrow holds for our kids-but with that, work with me here, I'm pouring my heart out. No one I know has a child whom they know/strongly believe will be likely incredibly small for no "known" reason. I don't know where I/He fits in. He's not "average" and he's not a dwarf. But, in my heart, if I really try to take away my "mommy" eyes and look at him, I think he's tending to be more like a Little person. Again, I know he could have this so called amazing catch up growth-yada, yada-whatever. It's not happened as it's supposed to and they (who is they, anyway?) say he's going to catch up by 2 if he's going to catch up. A height predictor I used shows all 3 boys should end up around 5'9" based on us, their parents. I'd say TJ will end up tallest and Jake just behind-but Owen is showing no signs of this catch up growth. In fact, between age one and two, the average kid only grows about 4 1/2 inches and gains little weight-they stretch out so to speak, and loose some of their baby rolls.
Ok, great- but one, Owen has no rolls and two, 4 1/2 inches in a year puts Owen at the size of an average one year old and growth just keeps slowing from there. Now, I'm sure many of you are thinking, why are you worrying yourself about growth charts, his size a year from now, etc. My answer, you really can't imagine (nor judge) until you've walked in my shoes-and, it's not like I mope around about this day and night (well, maybe this one night, but typically, this stuff just plays through in my mind. Plus, almost all mommy's agree-it's natural for us to compare our kids and worry about our kids futures. By worry, I don't mean make myself sick over it, but just genuine concern for our kids. We ALL want the best for them but, most parents spend little time worrying about their kids future "size", unless they are known to have certain genetic issues such as skeletal dysplasias and other syndromes that cause growth problems. And really, I can't even convey what I really mean here-with no good words to describe it, I wonder where we fit in-ie should I hang out with other loops of parents who's kids are LP's or do they really think "hey, get out-you're kid isn't genetically like ours" yet, I rarely enjoy being outside the safety of my close friends because people make such hurtful comments like "he's one!?-wow, he's little" or when they see him cruising around like a pro, they'll be looking at him like, wow, he's advanced, how old is he, then when I tell them, they always make this look-it's a look of "hmmm, wonder why he's so small, does she know he's small?" Duh. And before you even think, don't be so hard on people, they're just curious and they don't know how to react-blah, blah, blah-I know all that-but it's easier to say then to accept. As we all know, people can be cruel and I KNOW WE ARE ONLY HURT if we let people hurt us. It's just easier to say and think than to believe and live.
Re-reading the above part, I realize it's not as eloquent as I'd like. I'm just really starting to get concerned for Owen again as all these issues seem to creep up. I didn't even mention that he still wakes up for a bottle every night and he's still on formula. While he's a joy and just wonderful to be around, he's also a stinkin' mystery!
Well, any encouragement would be appreciated. Even with all my concerns and such, when it comes down to it, I feel blessed to be Owen's mom and wouldn't change a thing about him (really)-I just wish I knew if I was doing what is best for him when it comes to diet and anything to help him developmentally etc, but otherwise, I LOVE him to pieces-I'm just a silly mommy who is sleep deprived, hormonal and honest-too honest probably.
And, while I'm on my honesty kick, did you know that there's actually "blog etiquette"? Yep, there is. Apparently, if you read someone's blog, you are supposed to comment from time to time, sign their guest book and link the blogs you read to yours-who knew? And while I say this as a little "hint, hint" it's mostly just because I'm really curious who I'm actually pouring my heart out to in the middle of the night. So, please consider signing my new guest book and even uploading a photo for it so I can put a face with your name-it's cool to see where in the world people are who read blogs, why they read them (or your connection to the blog) and such.
Thanks for checking in-maybe next time will be more uplifting-but hey, the first part about my determined precious little baby was pretty uplifting!


Katie said...

Hello! My name is Katie and I have an almost 6 month old baby named Cole who has Achondroplasia. I found your blog through Tonya and Cat. While reading your blog I decided I should finally say hi and introduce myself and then I read the very bottom on etiquette and realized that I will say hello :) I just wanted to comment on saying that no matter which "group" of people you lean towards everyone is so accepting. I have found so much support on the web that I don't know where I would be without it! It's a tough thing to compare your child to others. I guess because I do have a diagnosis it should be easier, but it's not. I still have the question of "why me?" "why my child." Owen is so lucky to have a mother like you!


Anonymous said...

Hey there, Bryan's YaYa Candi here. Just wanted you to know I read (or at least check) daily. Your boys are beautiful, all of them. And you have to be one of the most creative Moms I know. Where do you get all that energy?

No blog yet for Bryan, working on it. Keep writing, it is great stuff.

It's a beautiful day! said...

Hey Renee!

I know you've got alot of concerns, but Owen is so stinkin cute and has an awesome smile:-) I think he's one of the happiest babies I've ever seen. Thanks for sharing your heart.
love, megan

Jennifer said...

Renay, when I check your blog (at least daily by the way) and look at pictures of Owen, I see a beautiful, happy little boy who is obviously loved and well cared for by a family that cherishes him. Don't apologize for your honesty or for your fears. Just know that you have people who care about you and about Owen and will try to always be available to lend an ear and a supportive hug! He's perfect no matter what size he is.

Owen W's grandma/Cat's mom

Anonymous said...

Okay, Renay, I am becoming a de-lurker because blog etiquette says I am supposed to, right? I actually read your blog a lot and appreciate your honesty. I don't have anything profound to say at all. I do hear the heaviness in your heart and, as a fellow mom, wish I could take it from you. My mom always says to me, "How do you eat an elephant?" when I'm in a long-term trial. Her answer is, "One bite at a time." So, I guess my only real comment is, "Keep chewing one bite at a time." have been a tremendous blessing in my life in so many ways.

Emily M.

Amy F. said...

First of all, love the pictures of Owen. He is just so happy and displays such pride in himself. Too cute.

Secondly, thank you for sharing what has been heavy on your heart. You're right...I don't think about my son's future height/size because he is average right now...really doesn't cross our minds. But I can totally see how having a much smaller child (and for no known reason) would make you think and look ahead and what all that means for him...totally natural for you to have these concerns as his mom.

You are an amazing mom for so many reasons. You know Owen like no one else does. I would have never known that his knees-hips position was not desirable and now you know to continue his therapies. You connect yourself to other moms who are going through growth issues with their children. You educate yourself and others. Most importantly, you give him just as much love and laughter as he gives you.

You are human...and with that comes SO many feelings and worries. I love your honesty and I love you!

Anonymous said...

You know I read your blog regularly. Please keep it up and continue to share your honesty... Writing is such a great outlet and in a lot of ways shows your true character. As a writer myself, I can appreciate it!
We'll be praying for you and Owey...
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Continue to be proactive with Owens health concerns. Ask questions and persue all avenues.

You ARE an amazing mother to your boys. Lean on the Lord and not your own understanding of life when worried. Your concerns are valid and normal though. Just don't find yourself consummed with them. Life has ups and downs of emotions, hate to see you stay down for to long. Focus on the joy and love he brings you daily. Continue to seek God for guidance!

I have to say I'm looking forward to the HAH March conference. Much needed fun time and a time of refeshing. FYI - I check your blog from time to time, to see how everyone is doing.