As I enter my 28th week of pregnancy, tons of memories flood into my mind of a little over two years ago when I experienced one of the scariest and yet most joyful times in my life. At this time in my pregnancy with Suzie, I noticed that she wasn't moving as much as I had become accustomed to. For two days I would try to get her to move and felt as though her movement was becoming less frequent. Looking back, I can see the Lord's hand in everything that happened those few weeks and months when Suzie was born. I wouldn't have gone in to the doctor unless my nurse had called me to give me some test results. Had I waited even a day, it would have been too late and we would have lost her. I had the most wonderful OB who was not only incredibly skilled, but also a strong believer who kept telling me, "We know Who's in control!" We were able to get into one of the best NICU's and stay right across the street. Suzie was given a 40% chance of surviving and we were told if she did make it, she would most likely be moderately to severely mentally and physically disabled. And just look at her now! What a blessing she is to us and we wouldn't trade all that we went through for anything. We have been blessed far more than we deserve and every day Suzie is a testimony of how merciful God is to us wretched sinners.
People ask me all the time if I'm scared about this pregnancy. The truth is, I can be tempted to worry sometimes. Who's to say that the Lord doesn't want me to go through something like this again? And yet, I know and have seen that when you encounter a trial that seems far too great for you to handle, God's grace is right there to see you through every moment. And so, whenever I am tempted to fear, I look at my Suzie and see God's grace overflowing. I remember how scary it was and how the Lord comforted me all the way. And I do pray everyday for the safety of Sawyer, knowing how the Lord loves Him far more than I ever could! I praise God for allowing Sawyer to be quite the mover so I can have that little bit of assurance that he's doing okay. If I were to encounter a day when his movements decreased significantly, it would certainly be scary! But what a blessing it is to know that we can trust in our Sovereign and kind God.
I thought I'd post this picture of what Suzie looked like the day she was born, since Sawyer is about that size right now, and I still have a whole trimester left! Suzie Lorraine; 7.18.08; 1 lb. 14 oz.; 13 1/4 inches
Well, I don't know where the time has gone. Thanksgiving came and went so quickly and we were so blessed to have our dear friends invite us over to their home for the holiday since it was our first Thanksgiving away from family. We were at their house from 10am to 8pm. I hope we didn't overstay our welcome! Suzie just loves the Eddins and will always recite all 7 of their names whenever we are on our way to their home. Here is a picture of her with two of their boys, Danny and Judson:
I said I would never get a fake tree, but some friends had an extra one that they gave us and I gotta admit, I love it! No mess, no hassle with the lights, no dead needles, no holes. Why didn't I convert sooner? We don't have a fireplace so we had to improvise with the stockings:) Our traditional Thanksgiving family picture. It's amazing to get one with no one's eyes closed! Here's one of my favorite's of Suzie-Q. And one more fun one...with Suzie's bedhead:) We are doing great here. I'm 25 weeks now and feel more pregnant than I ever did with Suzie. I'm only three weeks away from where I was when I had her! That is just crazy. Kyle wanted to stick with the "S" names so we've decided to name him Sawyer. Little Sawyer is quite the mover which is definitely the best thing about pregnancy. Suzie's doing great and is officially doing therapy without mom around. I watch from the parent room and she is just thriving. She is walking more and more, probably 5-10 steps 6-8 times a day on her own. She does better at therapy. She is talking up a storm, knows all her shapes and numbers from 1 to about 13 and is even getting pretty close to knowing the whole alphabet (in the song, not by seeing the letters).
Since this really is my online scrapbook and the closest thing I have to a baby book for Suzie, I wanted to record some of the cute things she has been saying lately so I'll remember them years from now. Here are a few phrases she says regularly in her sweet little voice: "Hi Mommy! Good morning to you!" "Daddy!!! Suzie wants you!!" "I get it for you." "Hey! What you doing?" "How are you?" Then when you ask her how she is she'll respond with, "Pretty good." "I hurt. Kisses make it better." "Twenty-two hours." (No idea where this comes from but she says it a lot!) "Where are we?" She says this whenever we get really close to home and she wants you to ask her the same question back. Then she'll say, "Home!" "Night, night darling." "Bye sugar!" She says this to her therapist Pam when she's leaving. If you go into the bathroom she'll say, "I go potty too!" Although she's not really close to actually using the potty:) There are so many other funny little things she says, but that's all I can think of for now.
Thanks for continuing to follow us here on the blog. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!
For Halloween our church went to The Boys Ranch, a children's home in Lubbock. The kids had all kinds of games and food and then they went around the parking lot to receive candy from all our trunks. The kids had a great time and ended up with TONS of candy! Here are some pics of our time. Suzie went as a puppy dog but some people thought she was a cow:) She keeps asking for her puppy shirt!
And I had to include a few videos of Suzie singing. So sweet! She starts yelling in the middle because she is so impatient to watch herself on camera!
Thank you all so much for your prayers for Suzie's eye surgery! The surgery went very well and the doctor was pleased. Her eyes are very red and a little crossed for now, but we hope that once her eyes adjust to her new looser muscles, they will be a little straighter. After a few hours of fussiness and discomfort after the operation, she had a great night's sleep and seems to be back to her normal self. Praise God! We won't have a complete look at her alignment for another six weeks, but the doctor seemed pleased with how she looked this morning. We pray that she will not need another surgery for a very long time! Or at all would be nice:)
Please join us in praying for Suzie's eye surgery! The surgery is scheduled for 10:00am on Monday morning. They said for us to plan on being there all day and being able to bring her home that evening. Please pray for the Lord to protect her and for wisdom for the doctor. We will post how it turned out on Monday evening. Thank you so much for your prayers! What a blessing it is to be a part of the family of God.
For those who haven't heard on Facebook... Kyle is just thrilled!
I also wanted to post a little video of Suzie taking a few steps! We see more and more progress with her every day.
We had a great time with my sister and her youngest daughter, Ashley. Suzie liked Ashley a lot, although she kept calling her Shelby, but Ashley seemed a little afraid of Suzie. Suzie is kind of a rough little girl, so I hardly can blame her!
Suzie is officially a "Puggle" in our Awana program. Here she is sporting her new shirt and backpack. She's such a big girl! She's already such a loyal Red Raider fan and cheers, "Go Raiders!" even when we are losing:)
Well, it's been a while so we have a few things to update on! First of all, Suzie has made some tremendous progress in the past few weeks. First, she has begun to stand on her own for up to 10 seconds! She is getting much better at keeping her right heal down and putting some weight on that right leg. All that increased weight bearing has allowed her to start taking steps! She has taken up to 7 steps at one time but definitely does best in therapy after they've been working out her legs. She can take two or three steps at home before she sits down. But this is a huge improvement for her and we are very hopeful that she might start walking before the baby comes in March.
She also just continues to grow in her vocabulary and piecing sentences together. She can sing the whole song, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," all by herself, although she slurs several of the words. She is learning new words and new ways to express herself every day.
Here is a video of her standing for a few seconds all by herself:)
And here's our clever girl turning a basket over to stand on so that she can reach higher. She pulled this picture down and brought it over to me and said, "That's Daddy!" Another update we have is regarding her eyes. The doctor only saw mild improvement from patching and recommended surgery to correct the strabismus in both eyes. While the problem seems mild right now and she appears to be able to see okay, her vision is likely to become impaired the longer we wait to correct it surgically. So her surgery is scheduled for October 11. It is an outpatient surgery so she will be able to go home that day provided there are no complications. She will have to be put under anesthesia and be intubated so I am not looking forward to that. We so appreciate all your prayers and trust in the Lord to continue to show His mercy to our girl.
On a more fun note, we have had a slew of visitors lately! My parents came two weeks ago, Kyle's parents came last weekend, my sister and niece come tomorrow and two more good friends stop by in October! We just love having our dear friends and family staying with us. Suzie likes it too:)
One of Suzie's favorite thing to do is sing. Some of her favorite songs are Jesus Loves Me, The Wheels on the Bus, ABCs, and Elmo's Song. Here's a little video of her going through all the different parts in the Wheels on the Bus.
Here are a few pictures of Suzie Q: So happy to be with Daddy:) Trying to stand all by herself! She can get up but has no balance and falls over right away. But it's a step in the right direction!
(Okay, so I've been trying to publish a post for Suzie's birthday ever since last Sunday, but the video option still isn't working right! So I decided to post anyway:)
Last Sunday, our sweet little girl turned two. I just can't believe how big she is! She is more and more fun everyday. We praise God for giving us the past two years with our precious girl. We were reflecting back on two years ago when we weren't sure whether our little girl would survive or be severely disabled. To see her now, her joy and sweetness, we are just so amazed at how much God has blessed us.
Suzie had a great birthday and got a lot of fun new gifts! Here is a little video of her enjoying one of her presents:) You can view the video on You Tube by clicking here, but I'll leave this up in case it starts working.
Her vocabulary grows everyday and she is beginning to speak in sentences now which just amazes us. Here are a few of her most common phrases where she puts a couple words together: -"Help me Mommy!" -"I go church" -"Hold you" or "Hug you" -"Up please" -"Chocolate milk" -"My baby" or "My Daddy" -"Wreck em' Tech" (thanks to Auntie Debra) -"Bye bye yucky" (when we throw her diaper away) Another funny thing is that she has started calling her Daddy, "Kyle." I don't know why, but sometimes she'll be wandering around saying, "Mommy! Kyle!" It's so funny:) I'll try to be better about posting next month:)
Okay, so I am aware that every parent thinks that their child is the most adorable, funny, and brilliant child alive. But I think since we were told that Suzie would be moderately/severely mentally and physically disabled, we are even more prone to gawk at her achievements and think she is the smartest little toddler that ever existed. Especially since she is so far delayed physically, we are just so proud of how she is developing cognitively. We are so thankful for all her progress. So here is a video of our brilliant little Suzie doing one of her new favorite things...counting!
(On a side note, the reason for the blog title is that Suzie's new favorite word is cookie. It is by far her favorite thing to eat, which she is now asking for every time we enter the kitchen or I say it's time to eat. She is also quite fond of the Cookie Monster at Therapy and the ladies at her therapy place have recently dubbed her "The Toy Monster" because she goes through more toys there than any other child:)
The month of May was another wonderful month for the Sanderson Family! Kyle gets to enjoy the next few months of teasing me for no longer being in my 20s as I turned 30 this month and Kyle doesn't join me until October. My parents came out to celebrate with us and we had a great time showing Suzie off. My mom taught her to say "Love you!" when prompted. It's very sweet and you can see how she says it in this little clip: My parents turned into cowboys while they were here! We've had some great events with the youth group and look forward to going to summer camp in South Texas in two weeks! We've had a great time getting together with friends and watching our little girl progress. Here's a video of her reading her book. Check out how many words she knows! We are so thankful for her and so proud of her. The eye doctor hasn't seen much progress her exotropia, so he wanted to give the patches one more month and then we'll consider surgery if there is still no improvement. We pray that the Lord would allow her eyes to correct themselves through the patching, but we trust that He has a perfect plan for our Suzie. Here are a few more pictures!
She loves to stand up on this table and turn on and off the light. She's getting much better at climbing up on things!
Suzie had a follow up appointment with the eye doctor last Tuesday. We felt like the few days preceding the appointment, her eyes had gotten a little worse. The eye doctor immediately saw the issue, diagnosing Suzie with exotropia. Most likely a result from her cerebral palsy, her eyes tend to drift outward, the opposite of cross-eyed. He noticed it in both eyes, although the right eye is stronger than the left one. So he recommended we start patching her eyes for two hours a day. We patch the right eye for two days and then the left eye for one day, and repeat for the next three weeks until we see him again. I was a little skeptical that Suzie would even tolerate the patch, but she does so well! She cries when I pull it out, and will rub it sporadically, but she leaves it on and just gets caught up in playing. I'm so proud of her! I think part of it is that she really doesn't like the way it feels when we pull it off, so she's not in a hurry to remove it herself. I feel like her eyes are already getting better, although she still struggles the most when she is tired. But I am hopeful that this will resolve the issue and she might not need surgery. Here are a couple of pictures and a short video of our little pirate!
The day before her eye appointment we went to meet her new neurosurgeon in Midland. He was very personable (who knew a brain surgeon could be sociable!) and recommended we come back every six months until she is five years old. If I am tempted to be discouraged about Suzie's eyes and how she has another possible surgery looming in her future, I just need to remember many of the children I saw come in and out of the neurosurgeon's office. Many of them in wheelchairs and/or unable to speak or do anything for themselves. God has been SO abundantly merciful to our little girl and to us and we are extremely grateful for how well she is doing. Praise the Lord!
We have had a very busy few weeks and it's just getting busier! The past few days have brought a whole lot of rain, which Lubbock, similar to Santa Clarita, is not set up the best for. Our church parking lot, front and back yards, and the roads are just seeping with water. But we are enjoying the rain and things have gone from dead brown to lively green in a matter of days. Spring is here!
Here are some more pictures to recap our last few busy weeks:
Suzie went to her first Red Raider baseball game! She did great and would even clap right along with the rest of us.
We celebrated our first holiday here in Texas and had a great Easter service followed by fellowship, food and an egg hunt with some wonderful new friends.
Nana, Kyle's mom, came in for a weekend visit.
We've been having a blast with the youth group!
The craziness continues these next few weeks. Granddad (Kyle's Dad) is coming in a few hours and the guys hope to go to a football game and a baseball game tomorrow, despite the stormy weather. Then we have a baseball game with the youth this Sunday. Monday we meet with Suzie's neurosurgeon for the first time which is more than a two hour drive for us. Then Tuesday we're back to the eye doctor. That afternoon, one of my best friends, Karyn, and her husband Darby are stopping by for a visit on their way to Georgia. And that weekend we have a campout with the church. And my parents come in a few days after that!
We are all doing really well and loving life here in Texas. Suzie continues to progress and grow and we are continually amazed at God's mercy to us. She is such a joy. She is talking up a storm and now says more words than I can count. Here are a few of her new words: yellow, red, blue, green, three, sit, bubble, cheek, toe, my, church, catch. She is also beginning to put two words together. The other day when Kyle picked her up from nursery, she said, "My daddy!" and at therapy the other day when she saw herself in the mirror she said, "Hi Suzie!" And when you ask her what color something is, she always says, "yellow" first, so I have been correcting her by saying, "It's not yellow, it's red." So when I asked her what color something was she said, "Not yellow.":)
She's also progressing very well physically. Her therapists really want her to use both her hands at the same time to engage both sides of the brain together. One of her favorite activities in doing this is catching the ball like this video shows. She is also starting to be able to inch forward on this car using her legs.
One day, Suzie discovered that she can use this toy to walk around the house. She just started doing it all on her own! This video only shows her walking a few steps. She actually will walk around for much longer, but I chose this one because it also shows her crawling correctly for a bit and putting on a "necklace" which is one of her other favorite two handed activities.
Kyle and I were married on November 11, 2006. Our precious daughter Suzie Lorraine was born on July 18, 2008, three months before her due date. We have seen God's love so much, especially these past several months. We praise Him for all His many gifts, but most of all for sending His Son to die for our sins.