Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sweet Carly D

Alright, here we go. This is sure to be my longest post in my blogging history, but I want to let my friends and family in on what has been going on lately in Carly's World (and ours). I will try to make it as to-the-point as possible. Don't worry - she's fine! She's wonderful! She's just had a lot going on lately.

Carly walks with her feet turned out, on the inside of her foot and sometimes she seems to drag her left foot. We mentioned this to our pediatrician at her 18 month check- up (since that is when she started walking). She said to give it a few months. Two months later it wasn't getting better and we felt like her balance was getting worse. We told the doctor this at a sick visit and she referred us to a pediatric orthopedist.

After x-rays, the orthopedist said all was well with her bones. Since she was a late crawler (11 months) and late walker (18 months) and kind of a late talker, he referred us to a pediatric neurologist and ECI (Early Childhood Intervention - a state and government funded agency that provides at-home therapy to families with little or no cost to them).

First...ECI. They evaluate all aspects of Carly's development and if she is more than three months behind in any area, she qualifies for their services in those areas. Her nutrition was great, but they did recommend physical therapy as well as some basic development. So Kelly and Elizabeth visit us every other week. They give us exercises that we can do with Carly that will strengthen her core and her legs. Kelly also recommended that we have Carly evaluated for orthotics (braces for her ankles), but let's hold that thought.

Two weeks ago we had our appointment with the neurologist (it took 3 months to get in to see him!). (Flashback: When Carly was about 6 months old, our pediatrician ordered a CT scan of her brain to check for hydrocephalus - aka water on the brain - because her head measured big and that is a sign of hydrocephalus. She didn't have it.) Since we had the CT scan at Cooks Children's Medical Center and the neurologist is also with Cooks, he was able to pull up the image of the CT scan on his laptop during our appointment.

He noticed some things that weren't necessarily "wrong", but not the norm. Assuring us that nothing was wrong, he wanted to take a closer look at her brain and spine - just rule out the possibility of something neurological being the cause of her banormal gate (walk). He said his hope was to call us and tell us that he didn't find anything.

So he ordered an MRI and wrote referrals for a physical therapy evaluation, an occupational therapy evaluation, a speech therapy evaluation and a referral to a geneticist (to rule out anything genetic). He also wanted us to have her evaluated for orthotics. He called in a favor and they (the people who do the orthotics) were able to see us that day - even though the clinic was closed due to snow and ice.

Deborah (the lady who evaluated and fitted her for orthotics) immediately recognized LOW MUSCLE TONE in Carly. This is something that can be addressed through orthotics (to correct the positioning of her feet) and therapy. Carly gets her braces on Friday!

So. last week we had the MRI. Yes, our sweet baby had to go under anesthesia, which is no fun for parents, FYI. We found out yesterday that the MRI did not show anything bad! Nothing neurological! Praise God!

Now we are in the process of getting evaluated for all of the different therapies and coming up with a comprehensive therapy plan that includes private therapy through Cooks as well as continuing the therapies with ECI. We're learning a lot about how everything works together. By strengthening her muscle tone and core, she will have the muscle strength to fill her diaphragm with air and say her vowels better.

Carly is amazing! I can't say that enough. We are thankful that her abnormal gate is nothing more serious than low muscle tone. While we realize that this is a challenge God has set before us, we have faith that He will bring us through it. Carly is healthy. And happy. She is also a very determined little girl and Deborah said that will make her a STAR in therapy. Most importantly, she's loved. Trust me - this email makes it sound more "extreme" than it is. If you know her and see her all the time, you know how great she is.

So there you have it. That is what has been going on with our Sweet Baby Girl. I plan to post updates on here, so feel free to check in from time to time to see the progress that Carly is making. Thank you all for your love and support.

And for those of you who read this post all the way to the end, here is a sneak-peak at some pictures that my friend Amanda took of Carly for her 2 year birthday party invitation.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Look at those long locks!

When I was pregnant with Carly, even before I knew that we were having a girl, I wished for a baby with a lot of hair.

I also wanted a fat chubby baby.

One for two ain't bad.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Minnesota; land of 10,000 lakes and 10 million potholes

Last weekend we took Carly on an Adventure of Firsts.
First time in Minnesota.
First time on a plane (she did GREAT!)

First time to meet her great-grandmother and take a picture with four generations of mothers and daughters. 

First time to meet her great-grandfather, too. Oh, how special!

First hotel stay. She loved it! However, since she was in the same room as us, we had to turn the tv off when it was time for her to go to bed. Needless to say, we all got some good nights of sleep with early bed times. Am I complaining? Heck to the No! I love to sleep.

 First time to see snow piled up taller than she is. And, in some places, taller than her daddy!

As a side note, I had to take a picture with "the statue". The statue that came crashing down on my head when I was just a toddler. The statue that left a visible scar in the middle of my forehead. I remember the statue being much, much bigger.

I'm sorry. I didn't realize they were uncovered. My apologies.

The snow was beautiful in some areas, but not worth the trouble of all the shoveling, salt damage to the cars, etc. that Northerners experience. And don't get me started on the potholes.

The visit was wonderful. I loved getting to spend time with my grandparents, introduce her to Carly and watch them interact. I wish we could have stayed longer. I wish a lot of things.

New blog name

While "Team Clark" suites our sports-loving family just fine, I think I want to change the name of this blog.

Here are some new ones I am throwing around. Please, please, please offer your feedback.

1. Thirteen Love (since we were married on the 13th and Carly was born on the 13th)
2It's the Simple Things
3. Straight from our life to your computer
4. Close-Up with the Clarks

Of course, I am always open to suggestions. Ready?...Go!

Things she would never know if we didn't tell her

My heart melts at least 1 million times a day.
Examples? Okay.
Carly has taken my face in her hand, turned it to face her and kissed me.
If Carly hears someone sneeze, she fake sneezes.
I asked Carly yesterday if she wanted any cheese and she "cheesed" like she does for the camera.

I didn't have the camera or video camera handy for any of those heart-melting moments. But I want her to know about them.

As another example, every night I will go in to Carly's room and check on her after she is asleep. Prepare yourselves, moms...I pick her up. I pick her up and hold her. She used to fit in my arms, but now she overflows them. And sometimes she will point back to her bed and tell me, "nigh-nigh". As in, "Mom, I'm tired. Put me back in my bed." So I put her back in the bed, hand her her stuffed puppy and every time - EVERY TIME - she feels around on her puppy's face until she finds his nose and eyes. Then she goes back to sleep. I was able to capture that memory with the camera, but I won't be able to capture them all.

So I stole and idea that my friend and coworker, Sara, shared with me. She has a notebook where she writes down all of the funny stuff her little girl says or does. She has entitled it Things You Would Never Know if We Didn't Tell You.

I went to one of my favorite websites - - and found a vendor who made personalized books. It is 8.5 x 11 inches and has...oh, I can't remember...120 or so blank pages in it.

I plan to go back and think of things that have happened over the past 23 months and then just start adding to it as she says or does something that melts our hearts. It will likely end up being disorganized, with dates all out of chronological order with different colored inks (if you know me, you know that will drive me nuts). But it will be a wonderful keepsake for Carly when she gets older. I can't wait to start writing in it. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Daze

I assume that most of my blog followers are friends. Local friends that know all about the crazy weather that North Texas received this past week. But for those of you who aren't local friends...

We had some CRAZY weather here this week. When we get snow, the news channels go nuts. It's Snowmageden here. It's all they cover - even when the Super Bowl is in town like it is now.

Monday night it iced and sleeted. Texas is NOT equipped for this, so schools were closed on Tuesday. And seeing how it is now Friday and the temperature has yet to get above freezing...The schools were also closed on Wednesday. And Thursday. And even Friday.

I am lucky enough to have a job where I can work from home, so I never had to brave the icy roads to make the 28 mile trip to the office. I haven't left the house since I got home from work on Monday night. I have cabin fever.

Carly hasn't seemed to notice, but Lola has. She is ready for us to leave the house and leave her alone. Well, except for the fact that Carly has been giving her treats all day long. For the past four days. Lola does love that.

So, what have we done for the past four days?


Lola checked out the back yard...and promptly retreated back in to the warmth.

The warmth, however, was scarce on the second day when we experienced rolling blackouts. They didn't roll much electricity our way for the better part of the morning.

Much fussing and many, many tears later...I was able to get Carly's hair in to a pony tail. No, it doesn't take long. No, I don't pull hard. She just cries every single time you touch her hair. Sometimes all I have to do is show her the brush. With as much hair as she has, she will have to learn to deal with it.

We tried to take pictures in the snow the first day, but it was REALLY bright outside with all of that white stuff all over, so none of them turned out...except this one which isn't too bad after you crop me and my squinting eyes out of the picture.

Doesn't she look adorable all bundled and layered up?

 Freddy hooked up Skype so that we were able to chat with all of the grandparents.

Freddy checked the mail. In shorts. With a beer. 

We baked cookies, beer bread, chili, soup, seasoned pretzels, breakfast for dinner...
Needless to say, we ate a lot.

Carly Someone dropped macaroni and cheese on Lola.

On the last day, when Mother Nature decided to cover the ice with snow, we ventured back outside and managed to get a few cute shots.

Even our high-maintenance Lola managed to have some fun in the snow.

We may have been cooped up in the house for four days, but at least we were cooped up together. Okay, I realize that sounds cliche, but the day that Freddy did venture out to work, I was bummed...until he called me an hour later and told me he was headed back home.

And, yes. I am DYING to get out and go shopping for something. Anything.

(Birthday) Party All Day

Last Saturday was full of fun birthday celebrations.

Unfortunately, my camera was not full of good pictures of Carly with the birthday girls. She just wasn't feeling the camera that day.

Here's the best I got...

Cambree and Carly

Carly and Claire. 

Later that night we met up with a bunch of friends in Fort Worth to celebrate three birthdays. Clint, Morgan and Freddy all have birthdays just a few days apart. A lot of us haven't seen each other since Jill and Chae's wedding the past summer - some of us even longer than that!

Jill, Joe, Rachel and Morgan

All the girls - we're a good looking bunch, wouldn't you say?
Jessica, Kelly, me, Kelly, Kyla, Jill and Rachel

My friend Joe introduced me to a new yummy beverage at the Flying Saucer. He didn't want this picture on my blog. Oh, well...

Oh, Lance. He knows how to captivate the ladies. 

We had a lot of fun together. We definitely need to do this more often.

Happy Birthday, January babies!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Holiday Hits

 Carly made out like a bandit this past Christmas, so we packed half of her toys up and shoved them in the top of her closet to pull out at another date - aka when she gets bored with the toys she is currently playing with.

In the meantime, her toys have been a HIT!

Carly especially loves her new climb and slide...

...and Lola especially loves Carly's new golf clubs.


When I was in 7th grade (or was it 8th?), I remember Mrs. Beshea reading word problems to our math class. I was REALLY good at word problems. So good, in fact, that she had to tell the class that "Cheryl can't answer any more. Someone else has to solve the next one."

Well, let's see if you all can keep up with this word problem.

I have known Melanie since elementary school.
Kendra married my friend, Jeremy, and now Kendra and I are friends.
Amie is best friends with Kendra and works with Melanie.

So, other than one bow-making party at Kendra's, Amie and I don't know each other. But we blog-stalk each other.

Melanie and Kendra have never met, but they blog-stalk each other.

So, basically, each of us is friends with two others, but doesn't know one.

Two weeks ago (or maybe more - I'm not the most timely blogger), we all got together for dinner and "Stalk"tails.

Kendra, Amie, Melanie and me.

Okay, I guess that technically wasn't a word problem since there wasn't a question or problem to solve, but it definitely is a crazy blogging web we are all caught up in. I'll spare you the other ways that we are all connected. I'm afraid it might cost me some followers.

It was a lot of fun. You would have never guessed that some of us were basically strangers. I guess that is because when you read so much about a person on a blog you feel as if you know them.

We talked for hours and I definitely want to do this again.