Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Nineteen-Month Birthday Addie!

Monkey is nineteen-months-old today!
I think yesterday took a bit more out of her than I realized; she was really sleepy today and fussy tonight. Take a look at her battle scars on her arms. When I touch her arm and ask her where her boo-boo is, she whines and points to her bruise. Sweet baby, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Addie and her new baby

I never got around to giving Addie her new baby while we were in the hospital. As soon as I put Addie in the car seat, I handed baby to her. She was thrilled! (Notice the bruise on Addie's cheek from the other night and both arms are bandaged.) We stopped for lunch at Sumo on the way home and baby stayed tightly wrapped in Addie's arm the whole time. They are upstairs resting now...

A visit with monkey after the mean lab work

Although we had hoped all the lab work ordered by Dr. Dudgeon could be obtained while Addie was sedated, it didn't work out that way.
For starters, Dr. Dudgeon had ordered so much lab work that the hospital would not do it all at once. They said that for Addie's body weight, they would only take 10 cc of blood at one time. The orders called for 12-14 cc. Then, during the MRI, there was a problem with the I.V. and they had to take it out immediately after the MRI was complete. We were told we would have to take Addie to the central lab or either see if they would obtain the labs at clinic. When we got to Dr. Ness' office, the nurse had to call Dr. Dudgeon to prioritize the labs. Although we were told that clinic wouldn't do the labs, I managed to convince them to since Addie had already been stuck twice. From what I was hearing, the clinic lab was much nicer than central lab. We made our way to clinic lab and didn't have to wait long before it was our turn. It was so hard to hold Addie knowing what was coming, but the lab tech that we got was amazing! She immediately found a vein and was so gentle with Addie. Poor Addie starting crying as soon as she was stuck, but she is such a sweetie, she just sat in my lap, holding her baby with the tears streaming down her face. The lab tech got her right arm all bandaged up and then rebandaged her left arm because of the amount of blood that had dripped onto her arm, hand and wrist band. See...all it takes is a little compassion to make a scary situation all better.

A nice man who was walking by while we were taking pictures of the amazing flying Addie and monkey, offered to take a picture of the three of us. Those pictures are rare!


All done!

Addie did a phenomenal job prior to and during the MRI!

I sent Dr. Ness an email yesterday letting her know that we could not get an appointment with her until August 20th and requested that she email the results to me. She emailed me back late last night and told me to come to her office right after the MRI for the results. I knew she was a wonderful doctor, this just proves it! We do have the results from the MRI. It was a lot harder to hear the results than I thought it would be. I am doing some additional research and will give details soon.

I held back the tears as I asked Dr. Ness to please tell me if I could have done something wrong during my pregnancy. She was very, very firm with me and told me not to spend one more second thinking that I had any part in this. She told me that Microcephaly is such a complicated and rare condition that scientists have tried to recreate it in a lab setting and have been unable to. She said there was no way that I could have "caused" it. I managed to keep the tears back as she finished talking, printed out pictures of the MRI for me and explained the concerns. Dr. Ness told me that the results could have been so much worse. She is really proud of Addie for her accomplishments, advised us to continue to monitor her for seizures and to prepare ourselves...for what?

Boo-boo

Addie was very curious about the I.V., but was very good not to mess with it too much. The numbing cream worked like a charm - thank goodness! The nurse had to stick her twice because as soon as she put the I.V. in the first time, Addie's vein gave way... Her veins are so tiny that they had to use a preemie I.V. on her.

Pre-MRI

On the way to the hospital... Addie fell fast asleep after she made sure baby was safe in her arms.





























We didn't have to wait but only a few minutes before we were called back to our room. Addie did really well while the nurse checked her vitals and put the numbing patch on her arm.



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Eighteen-months in the waiting...

This is so hard for me. Tomorrow is the day I have been dreading for eighteen-months. Addie is scheduled for her MRI. I know in my heart that it cannot be any worse emotionally than her first MRI at eight days old. I am much more mentally and emotionally prepared, I don't have all the postpartum hormones interfering with logical thinking, but I am so afraid that something else will be discovered. I am preparing myself for anything.

As most of you know, Addie's first MRI resulted in an incorrect secondary diagnosis that was not revoked for five-months. We also discovered extra fluid around the ventricles and it took a world-renowned expert to give us the final diagnosis. I'm tearing up just writing this...I'm stronger than this and I know I will get through this regardless.

I hope that everyone is on schedule tomorrow. It will be extremely difficult to occupy a hungry eighteen-month old for more than an hour. Unlike the times Addie has been put to sleep for her Eustachian tubes, this time an I.V. is required prior to her sedation. I want this to go as smoothly as possible. I will be with her and we'll get through the toughest part of it. Once she is sedated, it will be a big relief for me.

Chris and I bought Addie a new baby today. A Corolle Baby that she can take with her tomorrow - it's a special baby because this baby can go in the bath and swimming pool with her. I think Addie will just love her (although she is still firmly attached to her baby from our E.D. friends!).

I emailed Dr. Ness today advising her that we could not get in to see her for almost a month. I asked if she could please email us the results from the MRI. We'll see...

Where's Julien?

Addie and Julien had a great time playing in the pool today. Julien is gone for the night so that he doesn't have to get up so early because of Addie's MRI. We took Addie out to the pool after we dropped Julien off; sometimes I really think she is a little lost without him. She just splashed for a few minutes, but didn't have the excitement that she had earlier. :(

I wonder where she gets it from...

Both of my children were sleeping in my room this morning. Chunky may look just like her Daddy, but she acts just like Julien and Me. :)

I wouldn't wish it on anyone

Two of my friends have unfortunately entered the "wait and see world" this month. I have not asked either of them if I could post details, but I know they need prayers, so I will give very limited details. Please say a prayer for them.

Baby Jack is a sweet baby who was born without complication. On the morning he was to be released from the hospital, it was discovered that he has transposition of the great arteries (TGA) (his aorta is where the pulmonary artery should be and his pulmonary artery is where his aorta should be) and a large ventricular septal defect (VSD). His parents are amazing people and are fighting for him. They don't know what the future holds and they need our prayers.

Baby "R" is at 20 weeks gestation. "His" beautiful parents decided they would wait until birth to discover if this angel is a boy or a girl. What they do know at this point is that Baby "R's" amniotic fluid is critically low. "His" Mommy has Oligohydramnios. One day they have renewed hope and then it seems bad news follows. This wait and see world is excruciatingly painful.

I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone and know that if nothing else can be done, we can pray.

Rotten little monkey!

Aunt Nonna found a website for my rotten little monkey last night. This site makes sock monkey nap mats in either red or blue. I couldn't pass it up and ordered my monkey another nap mat this morning. I just got an email from the owner of the company and she said that all of her items are custom made and it would take 2-3 weeks before it would ship. I guess Addie will have to start off using her frog nap mat and then wait for monkey to arrive!

Addie vs. Pergo

Sweet baby girl lost her battle against the kitchen floor last night. Addie was pushing her train over to the fridge, when it slipped out from under her and she slammed face first onto the floor. She had the most pitiful cry and it just broke my heart. She has a good size bruise on her cheek and forehead. Julien doctored her up with an ice pack (boo boo lamb is missing) and after lots of hugs and kisses, she was feeling better.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Shield your eyes...

It's not everyday you see a baby maul an ear of corn! Talk about chowing down! My awesome Mom brought dinner over again today and Addie showed the corn who was boss. It was a sad looking mangled core when she was all done with it...bless its heart.

Sock monkeys

I have always liked sock monkeys, but since I now have a little Chunkey Monkey, I am all about the sock monkeys!
I found Addie the cutest outfits that have sock monkeys all over them and I am on the hunt for other sock monkey baby items. I found a website that makes the most adorable sock monkey nap mats, but just couldn't bring myself to pay $100 for it (not that Addie doesn't deserve it, but that is almost double the cost of the froggy nap mat I bought for her). I have checked every frou-frou shop between Homewood and Trussville and cannot find any other items or nap mats with sock monkeys on it. So, if anyone knows of a shop selling the merchandise, please let me know! Otherwise, I'm sure I can con GaGa into buying Addie the sock monkey nap mat or better yet...Santa!

Pure exhaustion

My new schedule has started to take its toll on me. I have been a little less than pleasant this last week and if you have managed to be one of the unlucky ones to cross my path, I do apologize. Chunky Monkey is way off schedule and didn't go to sleep until midnight last night, which meant I got a whopping three hours of sleep before work this morning. Had the Ford Taurus in front of me been driving any slower on the way home this afternoon, I swear I would have fell asleep!
We are down to two weeks before we change schedules again. School and daycare will be starting soon! All that homework...I thought I was exhausted now! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Safe!

Addie gets very tense and upset over really loud noises: the vacuum, lawn mower, can opener, etc... Last time Chris was mowing the lawn, we were sitting out on the porch watching and Addie got so upset that Chris had to shut it off, come over and get Addie and take her to the lawn mower and let her touch it to make sure it was alright. When Chris turned it back on, I ended up having to take her inside.
While we were playing in the office today, Addie heard the lawn mower and started fussing. I pulled up the blinds for her to look and although she was safely inside, she was not happy that her Daddy was outside with that monster!
Thank you Chris for being one of the most hardworking and giving men that I know!

Pottery Barn for Men

Chris, Addie and I stopped by our local Home Depot (AKA - Pottery Barn for Men) to pick up some sand for Addie's play table yesterday. Home Depot was having their end of the season sale on outdoor/patio furniture and we just couldn't pass it up. We really needed furniture for the sun porch. Thanks to Chris for slaving in the blazing hot sun today and getting it all assembled and set up for us! I can't wait to get a chance to really enjoy it! You know, we got so caught up in the furniture, that we forgot all about Addie's sand...which meant a trip to Wal-Mart. We bought Addie some really neat purple and green sand - we'll get pictures when it cools off enough for us to go outside and play!



Friday, July 25, 2008

Red-headed child

These past two weeks have been difficult to say the least. I have had battles and fires at home, work, daycare and school. My stress level is reaching maximum capacity.
My sweet Mom in her effort to make my life easier brought over her oh so awesome homemade lasagna yesterday. She made one pan of traditional lasagna and one veggie for me. :)
Addie turned dinner into a feeding frenzy and managed to have lasagna in every available area of her arms, neck, face and head. I cleaned her up in the sink, but wasn't about to torture her and wash her hair. We were on our way out the door for a walk and then water play, so it really just didn't matter... That's just disgusting! :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rotten

While Julien and I were shopping on Monday, I caved and bought Addie a water/sand play table (rotten). She finally got a chance to test it out tonight and loves it! She had my legs completely drenched and she was soaked from pouring water out of the boat onto her head. :) I will have to remind Chris to buy her sand this weekend to fill up the other side of the table.
Of course Julien got a new toy too, he got the Guitar Hero for his Nintendo DS (rotten). For those of you who haven't seen it, it is so cool! He does a great job, whereas my guitar player got fed up with my incompetence and threw her guitar down...I guess Julien didn't inherit his guitar-playing ability from me!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our friends at Children's E.D.

I took the day off work today to spend some extra time with Julien and to take him shopping for school. We had a great day and managed to get a lot accomplished - the CEO of Abercrombie should be calling me any time to personally thank me for my purchase today! :) Chris met us for lunch and then we went to visit our friends at Children's Hospital. It has been too long since our last visit! Addie was in a great mood and was just as sweet as she could be. Everybody just spoils her rotten and when we left, she had acquired a new baby doll, a care bear and a book. Julien also walked away with a bucket full of goodies! Rotten, rotten, rotten - both of them! Thank you all for your amazing generosity and love!

We think Addie met another milestone during our visit. I have been working with her for weeks, trying to teach her where her nose, eyes, ears and mouth are. Without a second thought, she showed us where her ear was today (third collage, first picture)! I will keep you updated on the progress; I hope it wasn't just a fluke!

As soon as we got in the car, Addie fell asleep! She was just exhausted from all the activity today!

Thanks Julien for being such a great helper with Addie's stroller and all the shopping bags today!










PROGRESS!

I was playing with Addie yesterday and was showing her how to push her toys while crawling...she decided to show me something even better. She got on both knees and was pushing her train around the house! She is doing such an amazing job and is even balancing her arms on her new ball and "walking" on both knees! This is wonderful! I will keep you updated and get more pictures posted soon! If I can find the connector for the camcorder, I will upload a video too!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Chocolate cows

Julien introduced Addie to the amazing world of chocolate cows...he just couldn't resist and offered her a drink of his chocolate milk. She is hooked! Of course, what she doesn't realize is she had chocolate milk everyday while in my womb...it is such a terrible addiction. I don't think there is an actual ICD9 for chocolate milk addiction, so I don't see insurance covering for treatment...we'll just have to tough it out!

Borrowing the pulpit from Nicole

My friends and family in the medical field can just skip right on over this post...

For those of you who don't know my stand on vaccinations, let me give you the abridged version. I realize the tremendous need for routine vaccinations - obviously millions of people would die without them. My problem with the vaccines is the way in which they are administered and the number of vaccines that are given - seriously, since when do we really need a Chicken Pox vaccine? Regardless of what the FDA states, combining vaccines is dangerous and any parent who has sat up all night with an infant who spiked a 104 fever after receiving a vaccine knows the fear that runs through your veins. The statistics are overwhelming and with the rise of Autism and other developmental disabilities that our children are facing, it is sickening. 1 in 150 children have Autism, with white males being the most at risk. Have you sat back and taken a good long look at our children? I remember when I was growing up; there were very few children with any kind of disability. My whole point, educate yourself - give informed consent. Before you take your infant or toddler in to be vaccinated, do your homework. The statistics are alarming!!! I do NOT allow Addie to get more than one vaccine at a time. This was a battle that I fought with Dr. Dudgeon in the beginning, but won last summer. I will choose what vaccines Addie receives and I wish I had been more educated on this subject when Julien was a baby. What started my little ramblings this time??? The FDA approved a new vaccine June 2008, it is the Pentacel vaccine and I cannot believe the combination:

Pentacel, [Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Adsorbed, Inactivated Poliovirus and Haemophilus b Conjugate (Tetanus Toxoid Conjugate) Vaccine] (DTaP-IPV/Hib) is a vaccine for intramuscular injection. It consists of a Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Adsorbed and Inactivated Poliovirus (DTaP-IPV) component and an ActHIB® vaccine component. ActHIB vaccine (Haemophilus b Conjugate Vaccine [Tetanus Toxoid Conjugate]), consists of Haemophilus influenzae type b capsular polysaccharide (polyribosyl-ribitol-phosphate [PRP]) covalently bound to tetanus toxoid (PRP-T). The DTaP-IPV component is supplied as a sterile liquid used to reconstitute the lyophilized ActHIB vaccine component to form Pentacel vaccine.

You got all that? I hope you do before you allow it to be injected into your child. It is not required that vaccines be combined. You can request vaccines to be given separate and at any length of time apart, preferably at least four weeks and never when your child is sick. I don't like to preach often, but just be more informed...it's your childs life!

After thought...obviously, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, which is great because this is my blog and I get to say what I want to. Of course every child is different and one way doesn't work for everyone - my friend who has a child with Autism would very much agree with me, whereas someone who has never had a child with any kind of disability would never think twice about giving this vaccine. If this post saves just one child or enables a parent to make a more informed decision, then it has served its purpose.

:)

Thank you Polly for making my night! Your kind words mean so much!


Chris and Julien spent the day at Barber Motorsports Park today, while Addie and I enjoyed a quiet day at home without the boys. As soon as they got home, I managed to talk them into going to the waterfall in Old Town. Somehow since having Addie, I have turned into a G-I-R-L! I cannot stand the bugs and when you combine 300-degree heat and bugs, I'm just irritable (I hate Alabama summers)! Addie and I only managed about 20 minutes of playing keep the bugs away before we headed to the car while Chris and Julien waded through the water to find shells. On the way home, we stopped by Publix to buy a fly swatter for the one fly that has managed to torment us all day long. While trying to get Addie's floppy seat settled into the shopping cart, we were obstructing traffic, which turned out not to be a bad thing...Polly stopped to say hello and was so kind - she saw my Addie article and has been following the blog since! I live for moments like that! Thanks again!

My favorite!!!


Addie - Eighteen-month photo session