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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Top 10 Moments of 2015

Happy New Year!!

I want to start off the new year with a little recap of our family's big events of 2015. It will give me a chance to think about what I am really thankful for from the past year, and it will also give me an opportunity to share about Henry's latest and greatest milestone which I can't believe I haven't written about on the blog yet!! 

So here we go! Here's our top 10 of 2015!

1. Calvin's Palate Repair Surgery

A big deal for our "22qT" (Get it? Because 22q deletion.) This was his second surgery, the first being a hernia repair when he was 5 months old. In this surgery, he had one last hernia repaired, and he had his submucosal cleft palate repaired. (Check out the post from his surgery for the details.)

While it does not seem to have had an immediate impact on his speech, it was a necessary first step toward getting his palate and the surrounding anatomy as functional as possible. It's complicated. Every time I try to explain it I'm afraid I'm getting parts of it wrong... but basically there is likely at least one more surgery in his future to help him with his speech development, but this surgery had to happen first. And it went as well as could be expected. And we're so thankful to have had awesome doctors working on our little guy. 

2. Our Magical trip to Disneyland

I'm so glad we got this trip to Disneyland and California Adventure in before we said our goodbyes to the west coast. And I'm not even remotely sorry that the boys were so little that they won't remember it. James and I will remember it and we'll remember how happy it made them at the time and how much fun we had as a family. And we'll all relive it through the pictures! 

3. Camping with Toddlers

We went on 4 camping trips last year, bringing our total to 6 camping trips since the babies were born. We got to enjoy different parts of California's gorgeous landscape... redwoods, hills, lakes, the bay... we even got to visit an observatory and see planets and stars and stuff. Our little urban babies (at the time) got to get dirty and enjoy some nature. And by the 6th time around, I think we pretty much got the hang of it. On the Must Bring list: just-add-water pancake mix, lots of baby wipes, glow sticks, and a laid-back, I-don't-care-how-dirty-the-kids-get attitude. (Seriously, toddlers will get SO DIRTY. SO SO DIRTY.)

Here are my past posts about our camping trips:
China Camp
Little Basin
Fremont Peak

4. Calvin Went to Preschool

I was so nervous about sending Calvin to preschool! But in all respects it turned out to be a good experience. His teachers were so kind and patient with him (and with me!). The class was very play-based. Calvin got to have his speech therapy one-on-one twice a week at school. And he loved going to school. In fact, I am feeling a little mom-guilt about the fact that we are not putting him into preschool again until the fall... For a few reasons, mainly financial, we are going to keep him tot-schoolin' with me at home until next school year. I know he will be excited when he gets to go to preschool again! In the meantime, I am going to enjoy having him at home for a few more months. And I know Henry is happy to have his brother around again too :) 

5. Mom and Dad did some Races

James and I are pretty proud of our fitness accomplishments of last year. We ran two 5Ks with City Beer Runs in the spring, and then I started training for the Giant Race 10K in August. Meanwhile, James was continuing to do his bike-train commute to San Jose, and once or twice a month he would bike the entire 60 miles from SF to SJ. This helped him train for the Marin Century race in which he rode a total of 135 miles, including biking to the race early in the morning!

James and I ran the Giant Race 10K together in August. I did not keep up with my running after that, but James' sisters have talked me into training for a half marathon in April... so I guess it's time to dust off my pink sneakers! (And buy some cold weather running gear because YIKES IT IS COLD UP IN HERE EARLY IN THE MORNING!! I miss CA weather already.)

6. Most Awesome Family Halloween Costume So Far

I am still so proud that we pulled this off. And I still can't believe how we lucked into these awesome pics at the zoo!

7. Mom and Dad do Invisalign

One of the benefits of James working for Align is that we were both able to begin Invisalign treatment. Invisalign is a way to straighten your teeth with clear trays called "aligners" instead of metal braces. I started in March of 2015 and James started in April. My teeth were pretty darn crooked... especially my two front teeth. One stuck out in front of the other and in some pictures it would look like I was missing a tooth! It is harder to tell from James' "before" pic why he needed Invisalign because it was his bottom teeth that were crooked and you can't see them when he smiles. 

March 2015

April 2015

December 2015

Now I'm about a month away from the end of my treatment and I'm so happy with the result! James' treatment got a little complicated and he's having some dental work done before he is able to finish straightening his teeth, so it may be a couple more months for him. Again, you can't tell from his smile!

8. Crazy Cross-Country Move

Probably the most life-changing event of last year: James took a job at Duke University and we made the leap into a new life here on the east coast. It was a decision that we put a lot of time and thought and prayer into. We are so grateful that we got the opportunity we were waiting for to be able to relocate and be closer to our parents and brothers and sisters. We are sad to be so far from our loved ones in California. We will miss all the places that became special to us there. But we really believe this was the right move for our family and we are happy to be here getting settled in North Carolina. So here's to the new year in our new home in our new state! 

9. Christmas Morning in our New Home

We even got to spend Christmas morning in our new house! The boys woke up to find dinosaur tracks and what appears to be a T Rex shadow on the walls of their bedroom! Then, there were gifts around the tree, treats in their stockings, and another big surprise in the playroom!!

Are these two the cutest or what?!? They were super adorable on Christmas morning and spending those special moments in our new house helped make it feel like home. 

OK, Drumroll Please........

10. Henry is Walking!!!

Yaaaaaaay! Hooray for Henry!!

This video cracks me up. Henry is toddling around like a drunken sailor... Calvin, who I assume is hamming it up for the camera, keeps assaulting Henry - acting like he is going in for a hug, but instead knocking poor wobbly Henry over... and their cousin Davis keeps trying to help Henry and get Calvin to make amends for pushing his brother down!

Henry took his first steps in November. His very first independent step was from his speech therapist, Monica, to me during speech group. Little by little, we saw him taking two... then three or four steps from one piece of furniture to another. In the beginning we could hardly get him to walk to or from one of us because he would just collapse and expect to be picked up. But by the end of November he could make it from one end of the living room to the other and he would walk from one person to another without begging to be carried. He was able to really show off at his last therapy session with our California PT, Will :)

That video is from Thanksgiving, and over the past month he has gotten stronger and sturdier. He doesn't crawl to get around anymore, he gets up and walks! He can't stand up from the floor without pulling on something to help him, but he will crawl over to the nearest wall or piece of furniture or person's legs and pull himself up to walk where he wants to go. He still stumbles and falls or gets tired and sits down fairly often. But his progress has been amazing and so heartening! We are so proud of our "Super Duper!" (Get it? Because Dup15q.)

It was a good year. So much to be thankful for.

And thank you, dear readers, for caring enough about our little family to read this blog :)
I hope you, too have much to be thankful for from 2015, and I wish you lots of love and blessings for the new year.


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