Happy 3rd Birthday!

Wow it’s hard to believe that it has been three years since I started gathering my thoughts and experiences to be able to put this blog together. It’s was an idea that I pondered while pregnant with my first child, a child that would soon come into this world “different”.  A child who I had not yet met, but a child, a baby that I wanted to protect and shield from the world. A world in which we all know can be cruel, very cruel.

When our son Jameson was born he was absolutely beautiful! Although he came to us missing both of his lower arms and hands, the moment I saw him I was in love. However, that was a day that I had been so incredibly nervous for, not to give birth(believe it or not) but somehow my fear was how would I react to seeing my baby. A baby who was not considered “perfect” in the eyes of society. Honestly, I was worried to death about a lot of things, but as I held him for the first time, all of that uncertainty disappeared.

He was perfect.

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Just like any newborn he kept us busy! I completely forgot about starting the blog.

But then a few weeks went by and we began getting lots of questions. Some nice, some mean. Particularly from people who didn’t know us or our story. The answers to the questions were not always cut and dry and I didn’t have time elaborate. So that’s when I finally decided that the blog was in fact a good idea. I felt I needed to share our journey (a long journey at that). I wanted to give my child a voice since he didn’t have one yet, a fair chance to tell people why he looks like this, and the best way in my opinion was from me, his loving mother who was there and always will be every step of the way. (link to very first post)

When I told my husband that I wanted to start a blog he was hesitant and asked “If you want to shield and protect our son, why put him in the public eye?” It was a good question, but to me it wasn’t putting him in the public eye it was like I said, to give him a voice.

Starting this blog was one of the best things I have ever done. It has connected us to so many wonderful people, led us to once in a lifetime opportunities, and I hope that it has brought inspiration and encouragement to other families like ours!

So Happy 3rd Birthday davisday2day and Happy 3rd Birthday to the amazing boy who is my little superstar!

Jameson Cruz

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Today, Jameson is doing amazing!

He is such a healthy beautiful three-year old! A typical little boy who loves the outdoors, muddy puddles, playing ball, going on walks and hikes, he loves to color, play with play dough, do arts and crafts, all of which can do with or without his prosthesis or what he calls his “helpers”. The way Jameson has adapted over the past three years is incredible, he has exceeded our expectations entirely. We could not be more proud of him!imageJameson is such a love, he loves everyone! He is as social as one can be! Other children are always curious when they first meet him and they can often times come across as unkind. Nevertheless God has blessed Jameson with the ability to let it all roll of his back. All the questions and stares have never seemed to bother him. I pray that he can always be this confident and unafraid.

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Jameson attends preschool one day a week and he loves it! This fall he will start going two times a week. I wish it were more only because he wakes up everyday asking “are we going to school today?”

Last May, just after Jameson turned two we were blessed with another baby boy! Jameson is a wonderful big brother, he and his little brother Jackson have a fascinating bond already. I love seeing them interact together. It is quite magical.

 

imagej and jackJameson and Jackson

imageHanging out with his dad is one of Jameson’s favorite things in the whole world. I adore seeing the wonder in my son’s eyes when he watches his dad work on projects or shows him how to shoot a basketball. Jameson is always eager to learn. I love that about him.image

imageJameson is intelligent, kind, and funny. He often comes into a room and says “I love you guys”!  His vocabulary is really impressive, in fact he never stops talking. He loves to sing, count in Spanish, watch Peppa Pig, build race tracks with his dad, take his toys apart, and is considerably fond of tools. But like any three-year old there generally comes fits, cranky times, and selective hearing. Nothing out of the ordinary, but to say the least he is very head strong and knows what he wants and usually knows how to get it.

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We have been incredibly blessed by Jameson and would not change him for the world. He is now aware that he is not exactly like everyone else, he says to me “mom, I don’t have fingers, but you do, and dad does, and Jackie does”, and  I say “that is okay, you have your helpers. They have fingers, and just like you they are so cool!” He looks at me for a moment and says, “yeah I am cool!”

We still have many challenges ahead of us but it is nothing that prayers, perseverance, and love can not get this little boy through.

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Jameson has my heart.

imageHappy three years of life you have a very bright future ahead! We love you Jameson Cruz Davis!image

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Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday! We have come a long way! This is video footage of Jameson, one year ago…

Making Everyday Memories

Some of my favorite memories of this year so far…

The moment Jackson was born. So amazing to have done this twice, I feel incredibly blessed.

Jackson’s smile. To die for, loving those double dimples.

The fun adventures we have experienced recently in our new neighborhood.

Jameson’s smile. Love that handsome little boy.

Watching my two sons bond. Even at this young age I can tell that they are going to be best friends.

And us. Our little family of four.

 

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Latest Video: Jameson At 2 years old Using his Prosthesis or we call it his ‘helper’ arm

Video: Last night Jameson wearing his left helper! He’s amazing at just two years old!

Building Prosthetic Arms For A Toddler: Jameson’s First Myo’s

Last week we traveled to Advanced Arm Dynamics in Portland, Oregon to have Jameson’s very first set of  Myoelectric arms built. A set of electric arms that he can move and operate himself! Despite having no hands or lower arms, at 18 months old Jameson is determined to do anything! His ability to adapt using his short arms amazes everyone who meets him. “Why does he even need prosthetic arms” some people have asked, ” he is absolutely wonderful without them!”

We were there on Halloween!

We were there on Halloween!

His dad and I agree that he is amazing, but he is still a baby and relies greatly on us to do the tasks that he will most likely need prosthesis for in the future.  Important things like, dressing and feeding himself, using utensils, writing, and personal hygiene can prove to be much easier with at least one prosthetic arm/hand. We just want to make sure he has every option available to live the most independent and fulfilling life possible!

Everyday at AAD was spent building the perfect pair of arms for Jameson. There are many types of prosthesis available, but we chose Myoelectric’s because they are currently the most advanced and easiest for him to use.

On Monday and Tuesday Jameson’s arms were casted, he worked with Kerstin his occupational therapist, and met a fellow amputee!

Upper arm socket mold after casting

Upper arm socket mold after casting

Giving fellow amputee Tom a fist bump!

Giving fellow amputee Tom a fist bump!

He absolutely loves working with Kerstin!

He absolutely loves working with Kerstin!

On Wednesday, things did no go quite as planned. Jameson, just like any normal toddler, decided that he did not want to cooperate. Even between meltdowns, Mac, his prosthetist had a difficult time doing fittings. It was hard to see Jameson so upset and it was also very discouraging to think that all the hard work to get to this point was for nothing.

Second upper arm socket design, Jameson liked much better!

Second upper arm socket design,much better!

We finally figured out that the new type of upper arm socket was the problem. It was not working for Jameson and a new design was needed. Back to the drawing board, Mac and Cullen came up with a similar upper arm socket to his old prosthetic arms, something he was used to and it worked! With a new design never done before, Jameson’s prosthetic team at AAD contined to build the rest of his arms. By Thursday afternoon we had a preliminary or prototype Myoelectric left arm to work with. image image image image

On Friday morning Fox 12 of Portland joined us for a few hours here’s the link to their news story http://www.kptv.com/video?clipId=9501569&autostart=tue.image

By Friday afternoon we had both prelim arms on! After only a short time wearing the Myo’s, Jameson figured out how to operate the hand function. There is no easy way to instruct a 1 year old how to do this, he had to figure it out on his own! Jameson was able to learn very quickly that by flexing his tricep muscle he was able to open the hand! This happens when an electrode inside the arm senses the movement of that muscle.  When we all saw Jameson figure this out so rapidly it was truly amazing!image

image image imageimageIt was a great week but not without it’s challenges. Currently, we are home without his new arms. Unfortunately it was time to leave before the finishing touches were made. We are anxious to receive them soon and continue with the learning process. There is still a lot of work ahead and it will not always be easy, but right now Jameson has an incredible attention span and his willingness to learn is amazing. He is like a little sponge, so in our opinion there is no better time to teach him how to use a new, more advanced set of prosthesis.

Needing New Hands Already?

Jameson, my precious little cutie patootie!

Jameson, my precious little boy!

My husband Jim and I were a little shocked the other day when Jameson’s prosthesis would not fit. Gosh, already? It was a little unexpected that our little guy out grew his first set of passive arms so quickly. Yes, kids grow fast, but goodness we’ve got a wild weed here! I guess I should not be surprised because he has worn size 12 month clothing since about 9 1/2 months. We just thought for sure he would be in this set of arms until the fall. Keeping up with his wear schedule at this point is pretty crucial in the whole process of learning how to use the prosthesis, adjust to them, and tolerate them. This process will get him ready for his really important next set, his myoelectric “hands”. Ideally, he will be ready for the myos at 18 months.

Luckily, we have been scheduled right away for the next available appointment at our prosthetic company Advanced Arm Dynamics. We leave this next week. Of coarse, they were wonderful and said not too worry they will adjust the prosthesis and get Jameson back on track! This major growth spurt was not at all a shock to AAD. I on the other hand, am still a little surprised. Or maybe I am in a little bit of denial, I want my baby to stay a baby. Don’t all mothers want that?!

My other concern is that he is probably going to need a lot more prosthesis than we originally expected.

A major question now is this: just how many sets is he going to need? Jameson is a growing boy and a fast one at that. Looks like we’ve got a long journey ahead of us with fittings, fund-raising, and faith that we will be able to provide our son with what he needs to lead a more normal life.

Thankful For Modern Prosthesis

When we first learned of Jameson’s limb deficiency we knew that fitting him with prosthesis was his greatest chance at a more “normal” life. After endless hours of prosthesis research I discovered how lucky we are to have today’s modern medicine and technology. Prosthesis have come a very long way!

prosthetic leg circa 1978

prosthetic leg circa 1978

Back in 1978, when I was born, the prosthesis were made from mostly wood and fibreglass, they were very uncomfortable, barely functional, and unattractive.

We feel so blessed to have more advanced options for our baby.

At Advanced Arm Dynamics they showed us some of the current options like: very realistic skin, manicured nails, tattoos, Ipod docks, and of coarse the electric ones. It is truly amazing and we are very excited to see what the future has in store for Jameson!

Some of todays todays options:

manicured nails

realistic skin

phone dock

tattoo

ipod arm

myoelectric