Saturday, January 29, 2011

Announcing Campbell Reese Lawson

On January 13th at 12:09 am, we welcomed our Campbell Reese into the world. She weighed 7 pounds even and was 18 3/4 inches long. The last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind... If you've seen us on Facebook you know part of the story, but I thought I needed to put it down in the blog world since this is technically where I scrapbook about our family...
It started out when she was about 24 hours old, we found out she had jaundice. This didn't phase us much, as our other 2 had some jaundice as well and we know that a lot of babies have jaundice. Campbell had to stay at the hospital one extra day under the lights. I came home on Saturday morning and she came home on Sunday night. When we brought her home from the hospital, her bili level was at a 14.4, still a little bit high but the doctor said as long as she keeps eating well and pooping well she'll work it out. We made an appointment to go back in on Tuesday and we took our baby girl home. Monday was a great day at home, and I noticed she was yellow but thought it would start getting better. We put her in the light some.
On Tuesday morning I took Cohen to preschool at the church and then we headed to the doctors office. When we walked in the doctor and the nurse both commented on how yellow she looked. I guess I hadn't noticed that it had gotten any worse because I had been staring at her for the past 24 hours straight! :) (side note, I know this is my last baby, so I'm trying to soak in this newborn stage!) They took the Bili meter on her forhead and it wouldn't read. Hmmm... I thought it must just be broken. Turns out, if her level is over an 18 (off the chart) it doesn't read it. The doctor said it must be a little high and that they would have to do another blood draw (this was about the 10th one and she was 5 days old!) If it was an 18-19 they would send us home with phototherapy lights. We left the office, ran some errands, picked up Cohen at the church, and headed home. My mom was with me, so I decided to take advantage of the time and get some work done. As soon as I sat down at my desk the phone rang. It was Dr Capote. Her level was a 24!! And that was a few hours earlier at the blood draw, so it was probably even higher by this point. She said to get her to the hospital immediately. I called Chad (it was game night and he wasn't supposed to come home until late) to tell him. As soon as I heard his voice I started crying and couldn't talk, which isn't like me at all so he got really freaked out. My mom took the phone and talked for me. I quickly packed a bag for Campbell and me, told my other kiddos bye, and ran out the door. Chad met us at the hospital.

We ended up spending the next 4 days in the hospital, just praying from blood draw to blood draw that her numbers would be heading in the right direction. The scariest part of it all was that her levels had hit such a high number that the doctor was concerned about brain function loss and hearing loss. We think we've ruled out any damage done to her brain function, as she's doing great and not showing any of the signs. She passed her first of several hearing tests a few days ago, but we will continue to get them regularly through her first year of life as the hearing loss sometimes takes longer to manifest itself.

God has been so good to us through this whole process. One of the biggest miracles is that He's given both Chad and I this supernatural amount of strength and peace through all of this. Besides the one time on the phone, I'm not sure that I've shed one single tear in this entire process. I've just known deep down that our family is resting in His hands.

Also, I'll go ahead and do a shameless plug for my pediatrician right here... She has been amazing through this whole process. I felt completely informed and in "the know" through this entire process. She took so much time with Chad and I every day and explained every step. If anyone is looking for a pediatrician in the Frisco area, I HIGHLY recommend her.

Ok, enough of the storytelling, I know you just really want to see the pictures.

This was when she was about 3 or 4 hours old.

The next 2 pictures are in reverse order. This is right after they took her apgar, weighed her, etc, and then handed her back to me.

This is obviously right when she came into the world!

This is Grammy getting her first look...

And this is Nana getting her first look....

Here we are leaving the hospital with her (the first time)...

She looks just like Cohen!

Here's big brother. We haven't been successful in getting one of all 3 of them yet. Cohen is SO good with her. I've been super impressed! Part of it is because he's older this time around and the other part is because this is baby sister #2.

Here we are back at the hospital again, 6 days old.

I finally got around to getting a picture of her with her age. This is at 2 weeks.

Some of my dear friends had a Sip n See for Campbell this past Saturday. It was good to see old friends!

This is what Campbell did the whole time.

Very cute decorations! Good job Leigh Ann, Kristin, and Jamie!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bilingual Kids

Here is an interesting article that I just read on raising our kiddos to be bilingual. I thought some of you mommy readers might be interested...

Early Childhood Education –Bilingual Education
It goes without saying that a good education is one of the best ways to prepare that child for the future. This preparation begins from day one, before they even start school. In this diverse and competitive environment, it is necessary for our children to have a great deal of knowledge and a unique set of skills.

The Bilingual Future
A trend that has become certain is the existence of a diverse, global society. Nowhere is this more true than in the United States. By being multilingual in the world we live in today not only gives one a competitive advantage, but also helps to give an intercultural appreciation and sensitivity.

Getting Ready
Traditionally a second language is taught starting in middle school, or even high school in some cases. However research has shown that this teaching can and should begin at the early ages of 2 to 5. This can begin at home or some child care facilities have adopted it into their curriculum. Studies have clearly demonstrated that the optimal period in a child's life for multilingual education is during the preschool years – at exactly the same time they are learning their first language.
Dr. Fred Genessee, Professor of Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, believe it's actually just as easy for young children to learn two or three languages as it is for them to learn one.

Beginning The Process
While it is obviously possible to learn a second or third language later in life, it is more difficult. Studies have shown that it is easier for children to learn at a young age because this is when their brain is most flexible. When they are older they must work through an established first language system and learn new grammar rules of a second language. When they are young, they learn based on mimicking.
The best way for a child to learn a second language is by actually speaking it in a total immersed environment. This way they can observe and mimic what they see with those who speak the language fluently. They can also become involved in their culture which helps in their learning process. So as a parent get involved, have a cultural themed night with music and food of the language they're learning.
The cognitive benefits are outstanding. Those who were taught a second language at an early age had higher overall performances in basic skills such as problem solving, creativity, spatial relations and communication when they entered elementary school. Studies also so that multilingual use more of their brain than those who are monolingual.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas
Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Austin child care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of child care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.