Monday, July 21, 2008


Here is video of Evan's first trips down big-boy slides all by himself. Note: the leisurely pace of the first slide did not prepare us for the speed of the second one; Evan was more scared than hurt (lots of padding at the bottom of the slide) and was ready to go again in no time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

At the Playground (Vacation Pictures II)

We're back from Sunriver since Sunday afternoon. It was really hard to get back into work after taking some time off. We spent the week with Grandma Anna, and Jeremy's sister Jessica's family. In addition to the Birthday celebration, Evan spent lots of time in the pool, at the playground, and going on bike-rides. Grandma Anna was nice enough to watch Evan so mommy and daddy could go out for dinner to celebrate their (4th!) anniversary and go on a canoe ride with Uncle Michael (the canoe ride was on a different day).

We are so proud of Evan! Vacation agrees with him, as he made HUGE progress in several areas.

SWIMMING. The first day we were able to get Evan sitting on our lap into the pool water up to his chest before he started making a fuss. By the time we left, he would sit on the pool step (with us around him, but he didn't have to be on our lap and he pushed our arms away--he did not want to be "held") and splashed away. We got him to stand up and take a few steps in the kiddie pool, but he preferred sitting. When Jeremy took him out of the pool the last day, he was trying to turn around and get back in!

PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT. Evan went down 3 different slides all by himself. He loved the merry-go-round (are we really surprised by this--it's basically a giant sit-n-spin), out spinning pretty much every other kid. Still not a fan of the swings, but 2 out of 3 isn't bad.

PLAYING WITH OTHERS. Evan had lots of fun sharing toys with his cousins. Nathan would lay down on the floor next to Evan--it was really cute. On a related note, I was pleasantly surprised with all the kids who curious about Evan and wanted to play with him or help him. In the swimming pool, his g-tube was visible and we got lots of questions about that (and his ear). We explained it was how Evan eats, and added the benefit that he can take medicine without tasting it. We got lots of "That's neat!" At the playground, one of the little girls from the pool saw Evan on the merry-go-round and she offered to hold him so he wouldn't fall over his first time through. She couldn't have been older than 5 or 6. It was so sweet to see her grab him up in a big hug, and even nicer that Evan held sort of still for her (I wished I had my camera that time!) as they spun round and round.

This is my new favorite Evan picture. Doesn't he look proud--like he knows this is something big?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Family Birthday Dinner

Evan's 3rd Birthday was celebrated with his cousins Nathan and Jack (Nathan turned 3 on July 1 and Jack's 1st birthday was July 13). I made a group cake (that's why there is a total of 7 candles on it)--Evan had a couple tastes, but was more into the presents.

The three B-day boys--Jack, Nathan, and Evan

Although it looks like Evan is taking a breath to make a wish, I think he is really expressing dismay at the fact there is a big messy cake sitting on his nice clean hi-chair tray. Take it away daddy!

Says senior Evan, "Chocolate cake mustache anyone?"

Happy Birthday Evan!

As I started typing this post, I happened to glance at the clock--it was 1:38 in the afternoon--exactly the hour and minute Evan was born! Happy 3rd Birthday to our sweet little Pookie. We love you so much :)

Vacation Pictures I

Some pictures from our summer adventures. More to follow!

View of the Columbia River Gorge, near Maryhill Castle.

At the replica Stonehenge WWI Memorial. This is a 1:1 scale reproduction, Evan is included in the picture for scale. As Jeremy disappointedly pointed out, this stonehenge is made of cast concrete as opposed to giant slabs of stone individually hewn and hauled from hundreds of miles away (and they had the nerve to call it a reproduction...)

The memorial did, however, pass the "taste test" with Evan.

A 2/3 Storrs Family Portrait.

Evan amazed us by overcoming his fear of water enough to not only get in the pool, but actually appear to enjoy it! Cousin Nathan (born 2 weeks before Evan) is on the left.

As with a bath, toweling off is the best part!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Evan's CHARGErs Team Photo

Here is our team photo from March for Babies. We ended up raising a grand total of $6001 for the March of Dimes--thank you to all of our team members and to everyone who donated. We couldn't have done it without lots of help from our friends :)

Clinic Updates from Tuesday

I posted some pictures from this past Tuesday, but I didn't take the time to summarize the appointments:

1) Cochlear Implant Evaluation. We met with the program director, Dr. Norton. Today's appointment was mostly like an orientation--we talked about different types of implants, our expectations, the "positive" and "concerning" predictors for Evan (he only has three positive predictors--the rest of the 10 other predictors are negative or neutral...). Evidently, Evan is a promising enough candidate that we will continue the evaluation. The next step is to get an MRI of Evan's inner ear, and then meet with the psychologist and the surgeon. Jeremy and I still have not decided one way or the other about a CI for Evan--we are still gathering information.

2) Eye Exam. Evan saw Dr. Preston in the afternoon. His vision with both eyes together is very good--20/30. He does still have a significant outward eye turn...the good news is that it is intermittent (comes and goes) and that it switches eyes. When he is concentrating on looking at something up close, he can swing that other eye in. His glasses prescription did not change much--he still has a lot of astigmatism in the left eye. His eyes are also much more aligned with the glasses on--Dr. Preston estimated he is aligned about 60% of the time with the glasses when concentrating on something close. This means Evan is not a canditate for strabismus surgery (to correct the eye turn). Our new plan is for Evan to be patched with his glasses on while playing with visually stimulating toys for one hour per day. We also talked about the possibility of fitting Evan with a contact lens in the left eye. Because of the astigmatism, it would be really difficult to fit him with a soft contact lens. Dr. Preston and I talked briefly about fitting him with a large diameter gas permeable lens--I am going to look into it more.

Between these two appointments, we got to briefly visit our friend in CHARGE Burke and his mom Chris. Burke has a cochlear implant, so it was neat to see one in use (we also got to experience first hand a kiddo who loves to try and eat the CI--Burke can clamp down pretty hard!). Burke used to have a walker like Evan's (he just got a new style a couple weeks ago). When he saw Evan's walker, he had to go try it for the sake of nostalgia. Evan also tried out Burke's, but quickly discovered that walkers can be pretty squirrely when they don't have a lock keeping them from rolling backwards. Thanks for the visit and for feeding us :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What Evan's Been Up To

Lots of Sit-n-Spinning in the great outdoors

Chocolate pudding tasting (not bad for daddy's first attempt at "making" instant)

Window licking (glass is kind of bland--I much prefer the taste of a good screen)

Visiting with friends (today I got to play with Burke)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy July 4th!

Today was spent relaxing and doing yard work (wait--those two kind of contradict each other!) at home. Evan had a nap earlier this afternoon, so we imagine he will stay up late tonight and we can go see the fireworks. I thought I would post pictures of my hens-and-chicks I took this afternoon...don't they remind you a little bit of fireworks?


Evan is very interested in his g-tube right now. He will pull off the cap when it's time to eat (or sometimes just because), and he will pull the end of the vent tube towards his stomach and try to connect it. He also loves to roll up his shirt and look at the g-tube, or show it off.

Let me show you...

There it is--my handsome tummy!