Monday, September 30, 2013

Microcephaly Awareness Day 2013

Today is Microcephaly awareness day! Every year, on September 30th, families all over the world gather together in support, to celebrate their children, and bring awareness to the issue that is Microcephaly. I'll admit, I had never heard of Microcephaly before Clara was diagnosed. But today, I have expanded my education and understanding of this issue, and others, that some children face on a daily basis. 

A little bit about Mircocephaly:

Microcephaly (my-kroh-SEF-uh-lee) is a rare neurological condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and sex. Sometimes detected at birth, microcephaly usually is the result of the brain developing abnormally in the womb or not growing as it should after birth. Microcephaly can be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Children with microcephaly often have developmental issues. Generally there's no treatment for microcephaly, but early intervention may help enhance your child's development and improve quality of life. (source) 

Some children with microcephaly will be of normal intelligence and development, even though their heads will always be small for their age and sex. But depending on the cause and severity of the microcephaly, complications may include:
  • Developmental delays, such as in speech and movement
  • Difficulties with coordination and balance
  • Dwarfism or short stature
  • Facial distortions
  • Hyperactivity
  • Mental retardation
  • Seizure

Just to give you some perspective on the numbers, at Clara's 15 month appt., her head was measuring 16.73 inches, which is in the 0 percentile. Her height and weight are measuring age appropriate. There is a big discrepancy between her rate of head growth and body growth. 

I encourage you to take a few minutes and do your part. Even if it's just reading this blog post and reflecting. Or reaching out to a family who you know might be struggling.

Oh, and sport something yellow for Clara today! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Weekend Links 9/27/13

We got back from Chicago and hit the ground running this week. A lot going on in our world these days on several different levels, and while some days are tiring and overwhelming, there is good in all of it. 

Here's some reading for your weekend. . . enjoy! 

Question for you: How are you going to simplify? - Simple Mom
Dear Moms: Sleep deprivation is nothing to brag about - The Happiest Home
Hunter Hanner story - And then there were three (Brandon and Hunter were buddies in college. God has been working miracles in Hunter's life recently. I highly encourage you to check out their story.)

Eating Disorder, Mental Health and/or Self Esteem
Weight Stigma Awareness Week 9/23-9/27 - BEDA
Letting go of the "ideal" body weight - ED Bites
Confessions of an emotional stuffer-downer - (in)courage

Infertility, Miscarriage and/or Loss
What I want you to know about having triplets - RATM

On another note, hop on over to my friend Erika's blog. She has some really exciting news to share. Let's all celebrate with her and join in prayer that THIS is what God has been waiting, so long, to bless them with.

And just because. . . How cute are these little babies toddlers in Sunday school class? I dropped Clara off a few weeks ago and had to snap a picture because oh my goodness it was just too cute for words. Something about seeing her in that little seat with her feet hanging down just melts my heart. And, I love how Clara is so interested in looking in the mirror. Thanks, Lauren for stepping up and teaching our littles!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Windy City

Brandon and I left bright and early this past Saturday morning for a three day trip to Chicago! Remember back when we were trying to decide where to go and when?? Well, we kind of put that trip on hold, but when we learned we were pregnant with baby #2, we decided if a trip for the two of us was in order NOW was the time to do it. And Chicago won out! It was fabulous, and we had a blast! I did not want vacation to end, but was so thankful to see my baby girl once we arrived home.

Here are some highlights from our three day getaway! (We joked that by the pictures this looks like Brittnie's trip to Chicago instead of a couples trip, since a lot of the pics Brandon was taking. . . We should have had more people snap pics of the two of us!)

Saturday 9/21- Chicago day 1

Architectural boat tour

Leonida's Chocolate Shop

NBC Chicago! Had to snap a pic! 

Cloud Gate in Millenium Park (aka "The Bean")

Can you find us in the reflection? Kinda like Where's Waldo...

We walked SO much that first day, a nap was in order, and apparently Brandon snapped a pic. Lovely.

Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza (So. Good.) We heard this is where all the locals go, instead of Giordano's, so we decided to give it a shot. Totally worth it! 

Sunday 9/22 - Chicago day 2 

On our way to breakfast at Elly's Pancakes. Best. Breakfast. Ever. I would go everyday if I lived there!

Random squirrel eating a french fry

Cubs game! It looks sunny, and it was, but it was absolutely freezing. Was not prepared for the cold that day! The group behind us had earmuffs and blankets!

Dinner at Carmines. Brandon ordered a whole chicken. Not sure what he was thinking. But it was good!

View from the skydeck on the 40th floor of our hotel

Monday 9/23 - Chicago day 3

Brandon went on his own little adventure in search of donuts. I'd say he found a winner!! While he was gone, I had the privilege of meeting up with my blog buddy Gillian for a little Starbucks date! I was SO excited that we were able to meet in real life, and chat in person for a little while that morning. So fun, right? She was just as sweet in person as she appears on her blog. How did we not think to get a picture together??? Next time Gillian. Next time!

Lego Store inside the Water Tower 

Last train ride on our way back to the airport. . . I guess every vacation must eventually come to an end.

It was a short, yet fabulous vacation. So thankful we were able to get away!
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