Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Don't Worry, Bee Happy!

Photo taken by me last weekend in Breckenridge, CO.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Land Yacht.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Speaking of Hearts...

Baby Stellan is heading to Boston either tonight or tomorrow in order to be cared for by a different, more specialized doctor. Please keep him and his family in your prayers through the transition and the next few days as the doctors and his parents make some very hard, potentially risky decisions concerning his care.

God's will be done and His story be told through this precious baby boy's life.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Whatever It Was, It Was Not Her Heart.

We saw the cardiologist today. He looked over Letha's x-ray, EKG, blood tests, and CT scan from the ER Sunday night. He also gave her an Echocardiogram today. He listened very attentively to how I described Letha's pain and the course of it, what helped and what didn't help. After all that he feels that her pain was caused by a muscle spasm of her chest wall. It is very common in children and can be caused simply by growing. He does not feel that it was related to her heart at all. The Amplatzer device is right where it should be, doing the job that it's designed to do! All things heart-related look better than they looked a month ago. So, mystery solved.

"I French Kissy You Mama!" and Other Fun Stuff!

You're probably taken aback as much by the title of this post as I was when my 4 year old said it to me! And then he did THIS:
We laughed hard and I grabbed the camera! Thankfully, he has no earthly idea what French kissing actually is, and I'm happy to keep it that way for a long time to come! I think it's almost as cute as whispered kisses.

It was a busy, busy weekend. We had a big birthday party on Saturday. Kevin has been asking since December to have "Josh, the Magic Man" at his birthday. I think he must be Josh's #1 fan! I met Josh a few years ago at our church's fall festival. He amazed me with a card trick. Amazed. Then in December we took the family to see Josh in concert to raise money for MD. Spectacular! We were not disappointed on Saturday either! Josh had us all wanting more! (Thanks Josh!)

Yes, I made the cake. No, I don't take orders. However, if you are a friend, and you ask nice, you might just get one for your special occasion.

And then there was Easter, though I prefer to call it Resurrection Sunday.

We had my best friend, Penny and 2 of her girls for the weekend. If you notice the eggs, you might wonder why I have an egg with the name "Jim" on it. At the same time Penny and I (dyeing eggs after the kids had done theirs and gone to bed) had the same idea of making an I <3 you egg to our husbands. Her husband Jim is in Iraq currently, serving our nation's Army. And we all <3 him for his service and his family for their sacrifice as well. May he return safely.

This little guy LOVED finding eggs. Though he didn't really get that they were eggs, but he liked finding the "balls" all over the room! Mostly though, he liked eating the candy! His candy and everyone else's! It won't be so adorable in the future. And let's just say, candy for breakfast does NOT make for a happy baby during the traditional family photo following the Resurrection Sunday services. Nope, not at all!

See what I mean? Normally, I don't include family pets in the family photo, after all, his outfit doesn't really match. But, Lucifur (AKA: Louie) was NOT going to give up his comfy spot on the couch for anyone. Neither did he want anything to do with the screaming baby on the big man's lap. Nope, not at all!

Blessings to you from our family to yours!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Unsolved Mystery.

Last night after dinner when Letha took her first bite of chocolate cake (dessert) she grabbed her chest and started crying, "It hurts. It hurts." We couldn't really figure out what her other than her chest. Immediately our thoughts jumped to the conclusion that the device had become dislodged, because nothing else made sense. I took her to the ER, calling the cardiologist on the way. He also recommended that we go to the ER.

First they checked her blood pressure and O2. Her blood pressure was a little on the low side at first, but that could have been a bad reading since it was normal everytime after that. Then the took her for a chest x-ray and did an EKG. Both showed that the device was still in place and her heart rhythms were comepletely normal. On an interesting note... since her last x-ray a month ago (with the pneumonia), her heart has decreased in size and her pulmonary arteries have shrunk! That was wonderful news to my ears!

So, since her heart is OK, they next gave her Malox thinking it to be heartburn. It didn't help the pain. Then they drew blood to check heart enzymes and blood gases. everything was normal except the one for pulmonary embolism (sp). So they did another CT scan to check the lungs for clots. The CT came back clear.

They sent us home with Vicodin for pain and no explainations. We're following up with the cardiologist tomorrow for another echo. She is still in pain, it's less. And she's up and about, which tells me she's OK.

I talked to the pediatrician about her this morning at Kevin's 4 year check up. The pedi thinks that it's probably an esophageal spasm from what ever she was eating. I don't know what to think about that. Chocolate cake is pretty benign, and Malox didn't help, and she's still in pain, and eating doesn't effect it.

So, it's still a mystery. But, we know it's not what we feared. Seriously, I was expecting the worst last night. I was just sure they were going to have to rush her in immediately for open heart surgery! Thank God it wasnt' that!

And that's all I know for now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Post-Amplatzer Occluder Update.

On our way to the cath lab last week.

In recovery.

It has been a week since Letha came home from the hospital. And, oh, what a week it's been! In the hospital she was astounded that she ran to the nurses station without getting winded. I was astounded that we were seeing results as early as the first night!
This is the device that's in her heart. This one is the largest they make, hers is significantly smaller.

Though she had the green light to return to school on Friday, she chose to stay home because she was still feeling not quite up to it. My girl LOVES school, so I was surprised.

On Saturday the headaches hit. Big, bad headaches. Eye pain. Nausea. "I-want-to-cut-my-head-off-and-throw-it-out-the-window" pain. We called the pediatrician who thought it best to call the cardiologist. Ah-ha! The headaches seem to be normal for those who have large holes closed. The body has to do some major adjusting of blood pressure/volume and such, which gives the brain a little workout. Poor Letha

The headaches are still hanging around, usually after aerobic activity. Tuesday evening after school Letha ran over to a friend's house. Todd coming home from work "caught" her running. She was winded, but not struggling to breathe. I asked her later about running, if it was different. She told me she got out of breath, but that she felt light, not heavy like before. Oh my precious girl! Your lungs were doing the job they were designed to do without being SO full of blood that they couldn't do their job!!!
Oh PRAISE the Lord!

Yesterday she ran and won races against some friends and her brother! I'm not sure that's ever happened before. Later in the afternoon we met with her Asthma & Allergy specialist. I had given him a letter from the Cardiologists findings, and he was surprised to learn of her ASD. He had never heard her murmur himself (and now he never will!). He also believes that her asthma could be solely from the ASD and our plan is to stop her asthma meds and try it out. Woohoo!

We went home, shared the good news with Todd and played some baseball in the street with the neighbor kids. Miss Anti-Sports herself joined us! Seriously, there are some big changes happening here. She may not change her personality, her likes or dislikes, but she IS discovering a new ability to um, BREATHE while doing things normal kids do, which makes her more open to actually DOING them! And who knows, if she can do them, maybe she'll find she LIKES doing them after all!

I have to laugh. Letha and Todd have started exercising together in the mornings on the Wii Fit. Todd informed me this morning that he can't keep up with her!
Who'd have thought one month ago that my asthmatic bookworm would outrun her brothers and outexercise her father in just the first week after having a hole in her heart repaired!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Eleven - a Little Contest.

Everyone loves a contest, myself included. I know lots of blogs have little contests here and there. So, my first contest is coming up, and here's how it goes...

Eleven is my favorite number. I was the 11th grandchild, born on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:44 pm and my first initial is the 11th letter of the alphabet. And in case there's any wonder left about my blog name, I'm a procrastinator who waits until the 11th hour to do things and I'm somewhat of a social rebel (in the way that my beliefs and priorities are rarely in line with social norms).

So, way down near the bottom of my sidebar there is a hit counter. The person who sees and takes a picture and e-mails me the picture of my counter with the number eleven thousand eleven (11011) will win a $25 gift card of their choice (itunes, Starbucks, WalMart, Chilis, Cold Stone or other favorite) as long as it can be purchased in my area.

It shouldn't be long until we have a winner, but I won't mention it again until we do!

In Which I Skip Wordless Wednesday.

This baby was long awaited, much hoped for,
given to us through faith (literally!), quite pampered, very thouroughly loved. My first picture of him is a small blob of a few very fragmented cells that I was sure would never result in a pregnancy. After all, he came on the heels of 4 "perfect" embryos that resulted in 2 miscarriages that sent 3 babies to heaven. How could that fragmented, slow growing embryo become a baby when the perfect ones hadn't? But he did. Every single day of that pregnancy I celebrated. I thanked God for each day with him and left each tomorrow in God's hands. (Thanks to the very wise words of my friend Cija!) I still do.
We chose not to find out if we were having a boy or girl. This was my dear husband's idea. I stuck to it for him. That is, until the day before my c-section when Todd left me alone in the ultrasound room with the ultrasonographer, Linda, who didn't like not telling any more than I liked not knowing! Besides, I figured I could keep it a secret for 24 hours, and I did! I confessed my secret just minutes after he was born, but it was no surprise to Todd. He realized his blunder in leaving the room during that ultrasound and knows me well enough to know that I had been patient as long as I could!
Four years ago, this boy made his way into the world screaming and crying, only to be calmed by his Mommie. Four years ago I found out that love has nothing to do with genetics. Four years ago I fell head over heals over head over heals in love with a 7 pound 15 ounce, 20 inch long, blue-eyed, blonde-haired, mysterious, miraculous, bundle of fabulous fun and boundless energy that changed everything about our family, forever.

Today at 8:26 am (when this post posted) my precious Kevin will turn FOUR years old!
Happy Birthday Kevin Alexander!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Kitchen Floor.

Just a quick post to say that I blogged. :)

We put a new floor in this past week/weekend. I have no "before" pictures, because Todd pulled the nasty, supposed-to-be-white-but-looks-black, berber carpet out while I was napping on Thursday, recovering from an uncomfortable night in Letha's hospital room. I suppose I could take some "after" pictures, but the new floor just makes the rest of the kitchen look as gross as the carpet looked before we pulled it out. It reminds us that we have lived here for 11 years and haven't painted since just after we moved in.

On a little side note... I was down on the floor measuring for trim and while Todd was cutting the trim and adjusting the kick plate on the dishwasher, I decided to scrub the cabinets and kick plates really well. Have you ever considered your dishwasher? I thought that the inside of a dishwasher would be clean, because after all, it washes and cleans your dishes everytime it runs, right. Um, not so much. I was washing the outside, but had to open the door to scrub the sides of the door, you know. And since I was sitting on the floor, eye-level with the inside of the dishwaher (very unusual for me since I stand 6 feet tall), that's when I saw it. Filth, mold, and grime the likes of which I have never seen before (and hope never to see again!)!! Completely disgusting! If anyone has tips on keeping the inside of a dishwasher clean, I'm open to hearing them! blecccckkkk!

Anywhoo. Back to the floor.

You might think that one would be more excited about having a new kitchen floor. But as I mentioned, it makes it painfully obvious that there is more work to do, which is not so fun. And, the new floor was kind of a consolation prize. We were hoping not only to redo the kitchen completely, but to add a 10 foot by 18 foot addition to the kitchen and basement. With the economy like it is, we just can't justify the expense of moving forward with that plan. So, the new floor is a temporary fix to make the kitchen look a little better while we wait, and wait, and wait.

Have I mentioned that I hate waiting?

On a brighter note: A friend stopped by yesterday while we were finishing up the trim. She commented on how well Todd and I work together. And I have to say, I agree, we do work well together. That is such a blessing! When working on a project like this we fall into a completely comfortable roles. I'm the foreman and he is the laborer! Haha! Ok, I'm only half kidding. I am good at seeing the details. He is good at the execution. And we discuss together the best plan of action, then do it. I'm good at measuring, he's good at cutting! It works. Yes, we do have moments of tension when we're tired. We do get frustrated when things aren't working well, or we have to remove 4 pieces of flooring because we notice a chip in the laminate 2 rows back. But overall, we work well together like a well oiled machine. And it's a comforting testiment to me of the strength of our marriage.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Everything You Wanted to Know About Our Day... And Then Some!

We left home this morning around 7:40, grabbed breakfast at Del Taco (couldn't miss Del Taco day entirely, you know!) and arrived at the hospital just after 8:30. The hospital is under construction and it took awhile to find where we were supposed to check in. We finally got all the paperwork taken care of, vital signs taken and chnged into the lovely hospital fashion.

About that time several friends arrived, one of our pastors, 3 leaders from the youth group, and Grandma & Grandpa. We joked around a bit and had prayer during which the Dr. arrived. He answered all our last minute questions. Letha's only questions centered around her extreme modesty! She didn't want to take her underwear off! lol! The Dr. was SO understanding and sensitive to her need for modesty. I heart him for it! He explained everything as it would happen.

Then the anesthesiologist came to wheel us up to the cath lab. When I say "us", I mean I rode with Letha on her bed! :) Our spirits were light and we were having FUN. I got a monkey suit on so I could accompany her to the cath lab, where I held her hand and stroked her face and laughed at the anesthesiologists silly jokes until Letha fell fast asleep, crying. And Mommie cried as she left her precious baby on the table.

About an hour later the Dr. joined us in the waiting room to tell us that he was done. Letha's hole was bigger than they had anticipated. Previously it had measured 16mm. Today it measured 18mm, or 24mm at it's max (about the size of quarter.) The Dr. said it was the largest he could hae fixed through the cath. Any bigger and it would have required open heart surgery! Thank God it was no bigger! But, being that size the Dr. wanted to keep her overnight, just to make sure that the occluder stays put.

What seemed like an eternity later they came and took us to the recovery room where Letha was coming out of the anesthesia just like her Mommie does: sad, disoriented and freaked out! She was crying, asking repeatedly for me (as I stood there holding her hand and talking to her), and trying to get up so she could figure out where she was. As she started to calm down I talked her through the whole thing and got her to understand where she was. My poor, poor baby! I was laughing at her and wanting to cry all at the same time.

Before we were able to talk to her to explain that she was going to have to stay one of the nurses spilled the beans. Ooops! I was going to wait until she was a little more emotionally stable, but when she heard the nurse, she LOST it!

My mom stayed until we were settled. Todd was here until about 3 when he needed to head home to take over things there. Letha had an x-ray and an EKG, which came back completely normal. Wonder of wonders, my brother came to visit. He brought flowers and peanut butter M&Ms. Later Todd came back to bring us "stuff" from home, Godiva chocolate and let the boys visit. (Except for Kevin, who stayed with Grandma)

So, we're here. We've been waiting for pizza to arrive for over an hour, because we didn't get dinner oredered soon enough. We're watching a movie and eating some of the chocolate my brother brought. It's been a long day, filled with hope, anxiety, praise and healing. God is good, all the time.

Oh and before I forget... We go home tomorrow sometime after a final Echocardiogram. And Letha has been telling me that she already is noticing the changes in her breathing, as in, she's not noticing her breathing. She also RAN down the hall to the nurses station and back. When she got back she wasn't winded. A new great feeling for her!! Praise God my baby has a chance to be a healthier kid than she has ever known how to be! I'm overwhelmed with JOY for her!

Wordless Wednesday - We HEART Letha!