Zach's Eye Surgery

In his hospital gown, watching videos with dad.

Thank you so much for all those that prayed for Zachary.

Surgery went well yesterday and his eyes are already looking much straighter. Praise the Lord! True to form, and no wuss to adversity, Zach dove into surgery with ease. We had to leave for Loma Linda at 5:15 in the morning. I was a little nervous about the fact he couldn't eat a thing or drink a drop of liquid ALL morning. Especially since he usually wakes up and one of the first things he looks forward to (other than seeing his family), is to have his bottle of milk.

And YES, I still give him a bottle. Why? Because he loves it and I see no real harm in letting him have it for just a little while longer. :)

God answered our prayers all throughout the morning and Zach ended up doing just fine. He went into surgery a little after 9:00 and he was done in 80 minutes.

Another thing I was a little anxious about was that fact that he was going to be under full anesthesia and that he would need a breathing tube during surgery. Because of his prematurity and his extensive experience with breathing tubes (MRSA and pneumonia in the NICU), we've worked hard to help him overcome eating solid foods over the last year. Thankfully, right before surgery, the anesthesiologist came out and told us he wasn't going to need the kind of breathing tube that went all the way down his throat. They ended up using one that just went into his mouth. Another sweet mercy! Thank you, Lord!

His surgery was uneventful and he did wonderfully!

 Our sweet brave boy right after surgery, trying to wake up from the anesthesia.

Safe is his Father's arms.

As we arrived early in the morning to Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, I felt a mix of dreading yet another children's hospital and also, being extremely grateful for them. In the big scheme of things, this surgery for Zach was very minor. There are kids in these hospitals fighting major illnesses and their parents are struggling just to be brave and keep hope alive.

I have experienced both major and minor now and my heart goes out to every parent who has ever had to step foot in a children's hospital.

Just like UCSF, these folks were amazing and they took good care of us. They will continue to monitor Zach's eyes going forward, as only time will tell...

After coming home in the afternoon and lots of rest, our boy was eating like a champ again by dinnertime.

In fact, it wasn't long before he was running around the house and kicking his ball. :)

Today, he's back to his normal playful self. :)

Only close up, can you see the redness (which will heal in a few days) on the sides of his eyes.

By God's grace, this has been another hurdle our boy has overcome. We're praying this surgery will help his eye muscles to remain straight and last a lifetime, or at least for many many years to come. 

Praising God in advance for Zach's complete healing and restoration, as well as the redemptive power He continues to display in Zach's precious life!

Update on Zach: Praise and Surgery

A couple of weeks ago, we took Zachary to his developmental check-up appointment. It was the last of 3 appointments we had spanning the course of 18 months.

We were so grateful to hear he's doing phenomenal! Not only physically but cognitively and mentally as well. He impressed the occupational therapists and doctors with just how far he's really come. Technically, he's a 22 month old but in reality, they were looking to see if he was developmentally on track for a 19 month old, since he was born 3 months premature.

They said he was not only on track, but he has now SURPASSED some of the milestones of a 24 month old. Basically, he's all caught up!

Hallelujah!! God is so good.

This kid had so much going against him early on in his life but God, He wasn't done with him yet!

Today, we are all as smitten as ever with our miracle boy.

He's a very active, smart, playful, joy-filled toddler who makes our days sweeter and reminds of the goodness of God.  


Surgery: another hurdle to overcome...

For the last year, we've been patching Zach's right eye (his stronger one) for 2 hours each day. At the moment, this is the only time he ever wears his glasses. We patch in order to make his left eye (the weaker one that drifts) stronger. The day has come where his left eye is finally strong enough to have corrective eye muscle surgery.

If you think about it on Thursday morning, please keep Zach in your prayers.

One thing's for sure, he is one tough kid and he's no stranger to overcoming obstacles. We know the Lord will watch over Him and we trust Him for a successful surgery, according to His will and His perfect plan for our boy.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

Faith's Spring Piano Recital

Our lovely pianist did a WONDERFUL job!

Here she is with Miss Sierra, her teacher for the last 6 months.

Ellie did a fantastic job, too!

Always fun to perform and be supported by friends.

So proud of our Faith!

Zach decided to help other grandmas out with their walkers.

And Matthew was so kind to give Zach a little guitar lesson.

This was the first recital where there were no grandparents present. Grandma never missed one and when my dad was able to come, he always brought flowers for the girls.

But God in His grace...He provided family through the gathering of all our dear friends. We didn't even know they were coming that morning, nor that they would bring flowers for our girl. :)

Grandma's spirit must have been with Faith because all morning long, she was so calm and poised, humble yet confident.

She played her song the BEST we've ever heard her play it!
(I posted a little clip on my Instagram feed)

Considering school took up so much time this year, we are so proud of her and all the hard hours she put into practicing.

Well done, Faith! Congrats on a beautiful recital!

Summer Read-Alouds

With only 14 days left of school, the countdown to summer has begun and we're happily creating our family's summer read-aloud list over here. Even though the girls are great readers, we've always been big proponents of reading to them OUT LOUD. In fact, with the girls going to school this year, reading out loud has been one of the biggest things we've missed with them. By the time they got home, a typical day consisted of school work, dinner, showers, and studying. This took up most of our evenings. We didn't even have time to read out loud anymore.  

We've missed the great discussions, the laughter, the closeness, the suspense, the excitement for one more chapter and the many life lessons we learn together by reading good books out loud.

With the end of the year approaching and school work slowing down a bit, we've already begun to sink our teeth into a couple of these books and it's been so wonderful to reclaim that time together.

We can't wait to dig into the rest!

Is it summer yet?? :)

Zach is also getting to the point now where if you ask him if he wants to read a book, he'll run over to the bookshelf and pick out a book for himself. Then he'll plop down on the floor and wait for you to sit down next to him and start reading. His attention span is getting much better, too!

This kid should build quite a vocabulary over time if he has 4 capable readers in the house, reading to him every day! It's so sweet to see the older ones reading to their baby brother. Gah! I love it!