Monday, July 21, 2014

Six Weeks Down

An update on Henry is long overdue...we have been pretty busy this summer. In the beginning, we had quite a learning curve on life with this halo, but the last few weeks have been pretty fun and the halo has become a normal part of everyday life. Henry is even sitting on the floor in it and scooting around on his bottom with good balance. We are going on six weeks now! In fact, we've decorated it with Seahawk colors and stickers. Just about everywhere we go, Henry catches people's eyes and makes new friends. This means new friends for us, as well! It also means perks sometimes, like when an anonymous person bought he and his brothers ice cream at a restaurant, when we get to board the airplane first and see the cockpit, or when he is given a real major league baseball and even Seahawk football game tickets for the fall. Yes, life is never boring with Henry in a number of ways! The funny thing is, I don't think he even really knows why he gets so much attention and adoration. He just keeps being himself, always looking around and ahead to the next thing.

Henry had his 2-week checkup at Shriner's and his incisions were found to be healing quite nicely. The bandages were removed so cleaning him and washing his hair has been way easier. We have an appointment on July 30, only nine days away, to have his c-spine fusion x-ray. If healing well, the halo could be coming off that following week or two. If not, well, we won't think that way! Henry's 5th birthday is coming up on August 20th, so how wonderful it would be to have it off by then. I am still thinking about what we are going to do for his first birthday with us.

Following that appointment, we had a fun afternoon at the OMSI in Portland. He really loved the planetarium experience and space has become one of his new interests. On Friday night, we went to see his brother at kids' camp not too far away where he got to roast a marshmallow and eat a s'more for the first time from his own personal campfire (rain cancelled the regular bonfire), and since then, Henry has been singing some of the funny songs he heard, like "What's That You Say?" and "Button Factory." He is quite entertaining!

We had a fun trip out to the Quinault Rain Forest and got to see the world's largest Spruce tree. We also visited another local fire station where Henry got to see a REAL fireman's pole. He was full of questions and had the best time with the tour, then he got his own first fireworks! The Fourth of July was a lot of fun as we spent most of the day near the beach with friends for a picnic and play. He was nervous watching the small fireworks we did at home but soon enjoyed them, especially the large firework show we saw at the river at night.

Our best time yet was our trip to Oklahoma a couple weeks ago that we just returned from a few days ago. First, we spent an afternoon near the airport at a family fun center to celebrate Henry's brothers turning 11 and 13. Yes, we now have a teenager in the house! The following morning, we flew out for Tulsa, Oklahoma and spent nine memorable days with family there. It was the first time for my side of the family to meet Henry, and when lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins descended on the lake for a reunion, he was a bit overwhelmed. But, in no time, he was himself again, talking and playing as usual. The time there also proved to provide a lot of firsts for Henry...boating (he got to help drive), fishing (he caught three crappie), riding (and driving) a golf cart, riding in a convertible (he pretended he was in a parade the whole time), eating on a floating restaurant, playing mini-golf, and experiencing the Tulsa Zoo and Oklahoma Aquarium. It was a special time for all with many memories made. We had to fly three planes home instead of two because of delays, which Henry didn't mind at all, but it put us home at 3:30 in the morning. Needless to say, we are still recuperating.

We appreciate your prayers and for you keeping up with our journey. I will say that our weather here is between the 50s and 70s right now, so it is pretty bearable for Henry in his vest. Surely some more hot days are coming so we are definitely thankful for this cooler weather. I will post an update after Henry's x-ray appt. on the 30th to let you know what we find out concerning removal of the halo. We have some fun times ahead this summer, and I know one little boy is extremely excited about turning five! Enjoy a few of our trip photos...