Friday, July 24

Seeking hope in Iowa

On Monday we'll spend the day in a variety of appointments (4 to be exact) at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.  We find ourselves traveling 14 hours because we need answers for our sweet girl.

Three of her appointments will revolve around hearing and one appointment with her former endocrinologist.  Ainsley's left ear which was "normal" at birth is now her worst ear.  We decided to aid her left ear about 1.5 years ago and her hearing continues to decline in that ear.  We sought a second ENT opinion here in TX and they recommended having Ainsley see an ENT specialist. The doctor that did our second opinion knew Ainsley's Iowa ENT and highly recommended him.

This is a picture I sent my sweet girl this week as I was away at work.  It was fun to trade pictures with her through her Grammie (thanks Linda!) this week.  On Monday before I went to the airport her Baylor audiologist played a sound sample for me and her grandparents.  She played a conversation with normal hearing and then a conversation how Ainsley would hear with her L and R ear without hearing aids.  I could NOT hear the L ear sample....and I could faintly hear the R. Her audiologist did a wonderful job reinforcing how important it is for Ainsley to wear her hearing aids at ALL times.  She is good about this, but we normally read books after bath when here aids are out so we'll have to change that up so she can hear us well. I didn't cry when I couldn't hear Ainsley's L ear sample--it didn't hit me until I was driving to the airport later that day.  I wonder about Ainsley one day being a mom and not having her hearing aids in at night and not being able to hear her newborn baby or her disengaging in class because she can't fully hear and participate. 

We are returning to UIHC because that is where our sweet girl came into this world. 

They cared deeply for Ainsley for 3.5 years before we moved to Texas. 

Ainsley's first set of tubes (February 15, 2011) at UIHC when she was just 4 months old. 

We are praying that Dr. Smith and his hearing group will help us to figure out what may be causing the progressive loss so we can be able to provide for what Ainsley may need moving forward.

This was another tube surgery--SO cute in her gown.  We will start the day with a hearing test.

We'll then see Ainsley's wonderful audiologist--Dr. Shea.  Ainsley is SO excited to see her!  How we've missed her!

We'll then see her ENT-oto doctor-Dr. Smith at 2:30 pm on Monday and he'll determine if she needs surgery for a 5th set of L ear tubes and/or a possible repair of her ear drum if it is still ruptured and not healed.  He saved a surgery spot for her on Tuesday in case he needs it.

This is an audio chart.  Ainsley's left ear is in the 50s now--so she can't hear anything above the 50 db line without hear hearing aids.  The right ear thankfully is just at a 30-40 db loss.

One of my favorite authors, Angie Smith, used this quote by K. Gibran in one of her books to illustrate that God is present in times of heartache it says, "And the cup He brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears." 
We know that God has a plan for our sweet girl.  She has had SO many challenges over the past 4 years and yet she approaches life with such a JOY and spunk that will not be extinguished.

Tuesday, July 21

Fun with Grammie & Papa

Larry and Linda came to visit us this weekend since Ryan is at a conference this week and I'm traveling for work too.
They got A a giant Elsa balloon, she loved it!
Sunday after lunch we went to some open houses for fun, Ainsley loved running around looking at houses...she really liked this closet!
Sunday night we went to Lion's Park-our realtor sent us some free tickets to this park! She is so kind and thoughtful! Ains had the best time!
Riding the train!
Need for speed!
Monday A told us she was getting married..,
When she asks about marriage I tell her she can get married after college....well-she thinks she's going to college with her pre-k!  She has a few more years to go :)!
Monday morning drop off at pre-k!
Linda sent me these pictures Monday night! Ainsley had gymnastics Monday and Tuesday night this week! She loves it!
Thanks L and L for taking care of our sweet girl this week!

Sunday, July 19

Ainsley and Mom Day!

Saturday morning in our house we each had a suitcase packed and we are each going somewhere different! The next two weeks will be a little busy for us...Ryan left Saturday for a conference, I leave Monday for a work trip and Ains will travel back to Iowa later this week with her grandparents and then Ryan and I will join them a few days later after our work trips!
In the midst of all of the busy travel Ains and I had a fun day yesterday. Since it was just the two of us I let Ains pick some fun things to do. First up-pizza for lunch!
We brought a few princesses to lunch too!
Next up, the library! We have a small library close to our house, this was our first time there so we got a library card and LOtS of books! The summer reading program ends at the end of July so we've got lots of reading to do!!
Saturday afternoon we made a Grasshopper Pie for Larry and Linda's visit!
Ains helped with each part!
And as any good cook does she taste tested at several points in the cooking process :)!
This was her face when I told her we had to let it chill before we ate it! "Really mom"!?!
Saturday night-Rosa's! We sat right next to some fire fighters! Ains kept smiling at them so one came over to meet Ainsley and he gave her a card of their fire station. She was thrilled. 
She told me at the end of dinner that she now wants to be a fire fighter instead of a mermaid!  So thankful in the midst of a busy time we have good family support and grandparents who are now ALL retired (congrats) who can make the journey to TX to visit!

Thursday, July 16

Sweet dreams and a Guitar

Ainsley was having a hard time falling asleep last night so I let her listen to an Eric Carle book via Netflix and this is how I found her a few minutes later :).
Isn't this a cute idea? Ains made this in music class Wednesday and wanted to show her new Baylor teacher!
Ains only has her new pre-k four times a week so as we were driving to campus today she said "mom, I'm all done with college this week...". 

When Ryan picked Ainsley up from pre-k today she wanted to play a little song for the bears on campus :).

Wednesday, July 15

New School

Ains started her new pre-k this week! It's a 4 week pre-k for hard of hearing kids. Ainsley was excited to meet other kids with hearing aids.
They are teaching Ainsley how to put in her own hearing aids!! We are SO excited about this! Such a big girl!
The first day she was SO hungry after her first school...we didn't know that they didn't do snacks there so on day 2 we were much more prepared and A was much happier :)!
So proud of her new school!

At Ainsley's other pre-k she worked on this castle for a long time her teachers said...
Complete with princess drawings!

Each night A picks out her snack and car treat for the next day and we work on her homework (site words) :)!
Tonight A and I made an apple pie. She's been wanting to bake ever since we watched the Pioneer Woman's pie show earlier this week. 
My little chef!

Sunday, July 12

Weekend Fun

Friday night we went out for dinner at a new pizza place-they had a game room! 
Someone has a need for speed!!

I let A play on the iPad for a bit when we got home and I found her curled up in our bed. Her favorite show-The Magic School Bus on Netflix.
Time to play outside once it cooled off!
We found this airplane at the dollar store-it worked great!
Popsicle to cool off!
Saturday morning donuts! 

More plane fun!

Saturday afternoon we went to a birthday party for one of Ainsley's sweet friends!

Ains with the birthday girl! They had a photo booth! How fun!
Lunch after church!

Ains wanted to give her daddy a "popsicle" kiss...I knew what this was so I took a quick pic! 

Ains has always wanted to try this! The girl told us we could pay after-I think she thought Ainsley wouldn't go through with it...
The fear set in and I thought she was done and then...
She soared!
She LOvED it!!!

She kept going higher and higher!
Ains and I watched the Pioneer Woman today and she was making we made a cherry pie tonight...a Texas version :)!