Friday, February 27, 2009

Dylan's latest appointment

Dylan again got a synagis shot today. He was all smiles up until he got the shot. Made me feel bad for him. But on the bright side, his lungs sound really good and he's not wheezing anymore from when he had viral brochialitis or however that is supposed to be spelled. Don't really feel like looking it up right now.

Dylan has started to say "ba ba" a lot. Actually, it's more a stream of "ba ba ba ba ba..." Have to admit it, every time he does that I think (in my best Pee Wee Herman impression), "I liked it better when she went 'ba ba ba ba ba'." Kind of have to be there, I guess. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Molly's Kindergarten Check-up

Molly had her kindergarten check-up this morning. It went well. She is about 65% for both height and weight. I did have to bribe her to get her to do the urine test. She really didn't want to do that part. But once I found the way to bribe her (told her I'd let her get something from the candy machine in the building) she was more than willing.

She got 4 shots and didn't cry at all. She's tough. Dylan, on the other hand, cried and cried and cried. Mom was there helping me and he didn't want her. He wanted me. Wonder what I do to my kids to make them just want their mom. Ah, well.

Molly thought the doctor was silly. He kept asking her if she gets to go to "skindergarten." He asked her what it's really called and she grinned and said, "I don't want to say it."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

FHE Painting Activity

Russ had an idea to let the kids paint pictures for Family Home Evening last night. Told Molly about it on Sunday so she kept asking and asking me all day Monday when he was going to get home because she was so excited about it. When Russ did get home, he took Molly and Lys and ran to the craft store to buy more paint and some canvases for them to paint on.

I do find it funny how much more willing the kids are to help clean up when there is something they really want to do. Russ told them they had to help clear off the table and cover it with newspaper before anyone could paint. I think it was cleared in record time. They completely covered the table with newspaper and taped it down so it couldn't slide. And then decided that it would be a good thing to put the leaf in the table to make it bigger. No, they didn't cover the spots on the table that were left exposed after adding the leaf. Yes, some paint did get on those spots, but cleaned off easily enough. The newspaper actually made it so it wasn't bad to clean up. Quite fast, actually.

Obviously, Dylan didn't get to paint. He sat in a chair and chewed on his shirt as you can see in this picture.

The kids had a blast painting. Don't think we're going to do it again for a long time though. Even though they finished in time to go to bed, Russ didn't finish his. When it was an hour past bedtime, I finally had family prayer without him so the kids could go to bed. And since he was last to finish, I let him clean it all up. :)

Here are a few pictures from it. This is Molly working on her painting. She knew what she wanted to paint as soon as Russ told her about painting.
Lys working on hers. Russ was helping her a little. He squirted a bunch of paint on his canvas and mixed it around and the kids really liked that so she had him squirt some on hers.
Russ blending his colors together.
Emma (and a little bit of me) stopping to pose for the picture.
Jimmy working on his. Looks so serious, doesn't he?
Jimmy got tired of watching Dylan chew on his shirt so gave him this big toy to play with.
Lyssa posing with her finished painting. Russ let them put some glow in the dark paint on them, so they had a good time last night with the lights off. The paintings are hung up in their rooms.
Molly with her finished painting.
Emma with hers.
This was mine. I don't like the feet. Couldn't decide how to do them so just left them like they are. Really don't like the feet. Ah, well.
Jimmy's finished painting. I wanted to get him posing with it this morning but he left for school too quickly.
Russ' finished painting. He loves paisleys and decided to paint some.
So there you have it. The painting activity was fun and surprisingly not too messy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

National Pancake Week/Day

When Dylan was in the hospital two weeks ago, I noticed on the computer screensavers there that this week was National Pancake Week. More specifically, Tuesday is National Pancake Day. Since then, I have learned that on Tuesday (the 24th), IHOP is giving away one free short stack of pancakes per customer between 7 am and 10 pm. As part of this, they encourage (and accept) donations that go to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Can I just add that I think it's kind of ironic that National Pancake Day on Fat Tuesday? (Looking online briefly, National Pancake Day isn't a new idea. It goes back centuries and is associated with the start of lent.)

I will admit, I had totally spaced that this week is National Pancake week when I made pancakes for dinner last night. Makes me kind of wish I had waited a day to have them so I could say they were in honor of that. But hey, this way I can go to IHOP on Tuesday and enjoy free pancakes. And as we all know, free food is good food. Feel free to join me. And along the way, maybe we can help IHOP reach their goal of raising $1,000,000 for the Children's Miracle Network (when I checked, they were already at $35,000). Want more details? Click here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

More Random Pictures

I decided I would post a few more pictures. Wanted to get a closer one of the new carpet. I laughed taking the picture. Didn't quite look the same shade in the picture as it did when I was sitting there. Looks pretty close to how it looks in the basement though. Dylan's room it looks more green, probably because of the green walls. A little side note here...did you know that it is very hard to find the little baby rings that go on my necklace in this new carpet? Well, it is. (I know this because Dylan got a death grip on my necklace and managed to break it. Not by the clasp, no. That would be too easy. Instead he broke it right in the middle. I had to pry two of the rings out of his hands.)
This next one is of my car with the Valentine's hearts. Since I mentioned it earlier, I thought I might as well throw in a picture of it.
And since we're now on the subject of Valentine's Day, I'm including a picture of the flowers Russ bought for me. I thought they were very pretty. And in case you're wondering, we celebrated Valentine's on the 13th because all of the kids (minus Dylan) were sleeping over at their grandparent's house with cousins. Since Dylan had been sick and we really don't want him to get sick again, we stayed in. Got takeout from Olive Garden and watched the episode of Psych that was on that night. I quite enjoyed eating the extra bread sticks we ordered with the alfredo dipping sauce for lunch the next day. Only way to eat the bread sticks (dang you for having us get the dipping sauce that first time, Bryce).
I couldn't decide on which other picture to throw in, so that's all I'm adding.

New Carpet!

We had new carpet installed yesterday. Which wasn't totally planned. Well, for it being yesterday. We knew our carpet was in and we needed to pick it up. Russ had arranged to have someone install it for us and he came to measure Wednesday evening to make sure we had enough carpet ordered for it and to see what all he would need. It was a big job. We replaced the carpet in four bedrooms plus the family room and hall. We had started to get the rooms ready for the new carpet, but weren't totally ready. The basement just needed things cleared out. The rooms upstairs needed a little work (with the exception of Dylan's room...I had gotten that one ready so it just needed to be cleared).

So you can probably imagine my thoughts when Russ told me Wednesday before the guy came that he had him coming on Friday to install. And then when he came he told Russ that he couldn't really do it Friday, but the next day would work for him. Russ and I ended up staying up until 2:00 in the morning trying to get things ready. We didn't quite finish. I got up early yesterday to finish. Jimmy had stayed home sick Wednesday and was faking still being sick (I could tell he was trying really hard not to smile and even told him so) but decided to not fight him about it because he could be a big help with Dylan while I finished getting things ready.

I just had my bedroom left to finish clearing out and pulling up the carpet when he got there. I started to pull some carpet up and he told me he could do that for me. I very happily let him. Figured we were paying him by the hour and he could do it faster than I could. I had thought he could start in the basement then do the upstairs bedrooms, but he had a different idea. Had the padding down in the other two bedrooms when he pulled up the carpet in mine. Got that out quickly and put the padding down.

The kids quite enjoyed running on the padding and then the new carpet. I had to keep telling them to leave Mario (the guy who installed the carpet) alone. As soon as the bedrooms upstairs had carpet in them, the kids were in the rooms having a good time running (and rolling) around. They got a hold of the camera. Jimmy took this picture of Dylan sitting on the carpet in his room:
I'm working slowly at getting things put away. Using it as a way to get rid of things we don't use or need and organizing things. So my living room and kitchen are still disasters, but it's getting there. Anyway, here are two more pictures of the new carpet. It's mostly brown with some green shades in it. I like it. Just find that it's harder to put things back with carpet than to move them on floor without. Ah, well.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine Car Magnets

I have some decorative magnets for my van. Started out with polka dots, which made my van look very much like a Wonder Bread van. Okay, Mom bought them for me, but we both thought it would be fun to put on the van because there are a million vans out there that look just like mine and thought it was a fun way to make it easier to know which one was mine. When I first put them on, I had a lot of people comment and ask if why I put them on (I even had someone pull along side me as I was driving and take a picture). I would sometimes tell people (jokingly) that I put them on my car in memory of my grandfather, who worked for the Wonder Bread company (this is true), even though he died a year before I was born.

My magnets have expanded and I also have a Valentine's collection of conversation hearts and shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day. When the polka dots got very worn and faded, we got some flower magnets and two smiley faces. Jimmy started to refer to the van as the "hippy car." I rarely noticed, but he would comment whenever someone would flash us the peace sign as we passed them. Eventually the smiley faces disappeared off of my car, along with a few flowers. Not sure if the kids took them off to play with them or what. Don't really care all that much, as they, too, were getting quite worn and faded. (Trust me, I am going somewhere with this and it isn't aimless rambling. It's rambling with a purpose.)

Last year, I totally forgot about my heart magnets until the day after Valentine's Day. A little late. This year, I put them on early. For more than one reason. I didn't want to forget again and the flowers, like I said, were quite worn and faded. But mostly I put them on early because of National CHD Awareness week that ended on Valentine's Day. Not that anyone really knew that's why I put them on early. But I knew, and that's fine.

Since having a child born with a congenital heart defect, I have learned some things that I didn't know before. Some of which I have learned as recently as this past week. For example, I didn't know that here in the US, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects than from all of the childhood cancers combined, but pediatric cancers get 5 times the research funding. And that less than 1% of the money raised by the American Heart Association goes toward congenital heart defect research (I read somewhere that about 1 penny for every dollar raised goes toward CHD research). Just a little food for thought there.

Even though Valentine's Day has passed, as has National CHD Awareness week, I still have those heart magnets on my van. I can't quite bring myself to take them off yet. And if someone were to ask me why I still have them on, I might say I'm just lazy and haven't gotten around to it yet. Or I might smile a little and tell them they are there as just my small way of participating in bringing awareness for CHD's. Knowing me, I will probably say both and add that it's a bit early for St. Patrick's Day magnets.

(Probably should have taken a picture of my van to add to this post. Ah, well.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pictures of Dylan

I thought since I've posted a lot lately, I would go ahead and keep it up at least one more day and post some pictures of Dylan in the hospital this last time. Still wish I had taken a picture of the door with the sign telling the nurses and such that they had to wear masks and things when going in there with him and that the "patient is confined to the room." Just cracked me up for some reason.

Anyway, I took a couple of him playing with the toys they gave him while there. Mostly because I wanted a picture of him in the jammies they let him wear while there. This first one he's not happy because I rolled him onto his back to get a picture of his face and the front of the shirt. He wasn't happy with me. He wanted to stay on his side/stomach playing with the toys.
As you can see here, this is why I turned him onto his back. Can't see his face at all. He sure liked the toys though.
Here's Russ holding him. He really liked playing with the cords.
So there you go. Pictures from the hospital. And another post this month.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dylan's Follow-up

Sheesh. I'm posting a lot lately, and not really for reasons I would like to post about. But at least it's something somewhat interesting.

I took Dylan to our pediatrician for a follow-up from the hospital. His stats are good. At least awake. He said he thinks it wouldn't hurt to keep him on oxygen while he sleeps for a few or several days. He did say he sounds raspier than he did when he was in on Wednesday for his well check. I told him he sounds better than he did on Saturday night, too. So I think it's good that I took Dylan in.

But man, it's funny to see how excited Dylan gets after his nebulizer treatments because of the steroids.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Going Home!

We are getting ready to go home. They are bringing oxygen and getting a nebulizer for us, then we should be able to go home.

Another Update

Dylan is still getting better. They are saying it looks like they will let him go home today, but probably with oxygen for when he's sleeping (although he napped this morning without needing it) and probably nebulizer stuff. He starts to get a little wheezy when it's close to time for his next treatment but otherwise is doing much better. Going to be nice to get him back home again.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dylan update

I'm at the hospital now with Dylan. He's doing better. He's currently off the oxygen and will hopefully stay that way. His blood-oxygen levels tend to go down when he sleeps, so that's the real test. He hates the nebulizer treatments, but they do seem to be doing a lot of good for him. He's still congested, but most of the wheeziness has gone and he's generally happy. Unless they decide to suction out the congestion. Hopefully he'll have a good and an easy night.

Dylan at the hospital

I am really quite tired as I'm writing this, so I hope it makes some sense. Just so you're warned...

Late last night Russ and I decided that we should take Dylan to Primary's to get checked out. He was wheezing quite badly and almost seemed to be having a hard time catching his breath. So I changed back out of my pajamas and drove Dylan to the ER.

My first thought when I stepped into the ER was that it was going to be a very long night. The ER was packed. Took a little bit to find a place to sit after checking in. About a half hour later they called us back to do the vitals and the nurse said, "You just earned yourself some oxygen." His blood/oxygen levels were lower than they should be. So after fighting him about it, they were able to give him some oxygen. I swear the dirty look he gave the nurse was the same he gave me when I had to wake him up for his echo on Friday.

I didn't bring anything to read, which was okay since Dylan was awake most of the time I was waiting. A family sat close to me and the husband asked about the oxygen Dylan had. I told him and also explained how he had been born with a heart defect. Sometimes it's nice talking to people like this. Makes you realize how blessed we really are. He was originally from Africa and said that this country is amazing. In Africa, there wouldn't have been anyone we could have taken Dylan to in order to correct his defect.

To shorten this rambling so that I can take a nap, Dylan was admitted. He should hopefully come home tomorrow. Doesn't have RSV. His lungs look clear, but he had a really bad wheeze that they are treating with nebulizers every 4 hours. Dylan was very tired from being up most of the night with me and so is sleeping a lot this morning. Which is good. Now if only I were asleep too....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dylan's echo

As you are probably aware, Dylan had another echo yesterday. With all that went on yesterday, I just didn't get a chance to post about it. He's getting to the point where he doesn't like to sit still for very long. Wants to be moving or playing with things. He had been asleep when it was time to go back for his echo and he wasn't very happy to wake up where he was. Actually gave me a dirty look, which made me chuckle. But he was pretty good for the echo. He kept trying to roll over to grab the cords, so I gave him a toy to hold to keep him a little more still. At which point he started to sing as babies do. Made the guy doing the echo laugh. When he finished getting the things that he was supposed to, he said he wanted to do one more little thing. They have recently added 3D to the machines so he did a little in 3D. That was kind of interesting to see. He said the 3D doesn't help when looking at the heart all that much yet, but it's getting there.

From there I went into another room to have the ekg and blood pressure. He was all smiles for the tech who did that and was very happy when she let him hold the cords for the ekg. She said he was one of the best babies for her to do that. He sat very still. I was amazed. She said that Dr. Menon (Dylan's cardiologist) would be in shortly, but was working with a resident who might actually come in first. Which is what happened. When Dylan saw the resident come in, I think he decided he had enough. Didn't want to let her listen to his heart. He was better and held still for Dr. Menon, who told her to listen again because he has a very typical conduit murmur and he wouldn't hold still again.

Anyway, from what Dr. Menon said, his conduit leak has worsened and there is some narrowing with the lungs (I can't remember if it's the veins in the lungs or the bronchial tubes), which he said they will fix when they replace his conduit. So after hearing this, I was happily surprised when he said to come back for another echo in 4 months. I thought he would want to have me come back in 1 or 2 months again. But hey, I'll gladly take 4. Of course, he said the usual of watching for signs that his heart isn't working very well of sweating more, not eating as much, getting tired more, things like that. Seeing as he'll be 10 months old at his next echo (well, almost since we went a week earlier than 4 months because Dr. Menon will be out in June), he is having a sedated echo. Which means I get to be there really early in the morning. Which I guess isn't horrible, but I'm really not a morning person. Ah, well.

Oh, today starts National CHD Awareness week (goes from the 7th through the 14th). So now you're aware. :) Maybe I'll make heart-shaped sugar cookies for it. Or one big heart shaped Rice Krispy treat. Hm...decisions decisions.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Xena: 4 Nov 1997-6 Feb 2009

Eleven years ago tomorrow Russ, Stacey, and I went for a long drive and came home with a three month old Xena. She was very cute and afraid of everything. I wouldn't have been surprised had she been afraid of her own shadow. When children were afraid of her because of her size, I would tell them that they didn't need to worry, this was a dog that used to be afraid of cats. I would walk her and she would see a cat and try to hide behind me. She did eventually learn she was bigger than they are. Heck, because of her I have a somewhat funny story of getting engaged.

She was a good dog. Sure, she had her faults, some of which were my fault for not finishing her training and properly socializing her after another dog attacked her. She was always good with the kids and loved to be with her people. Never did quite learn that barking at people wasn't a good way to get them to pet her.

Most Great Danes only live to be about eight years old. Thanks to Mom, her live was extended seven years after she blew out both of her knees chasing after a cat that would tease her. I'd like to think those were a good seven years.

This morning we took her to the vet. She had lost thirteen pounds in the past three months and twenty four pounds over the past year. He said she was going into heart failure. We knew it was time. It was hard but we know it was what was best for her. We will miss her. Rest in peace old friend. Meet you at the Bridge.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jimmy and Scouts

Tuesday night was pack meeting for cub scouts. Jimmy received his Bear award and a gold arrow point. He was supposed to have gotten two silver arrows and the World Conservation patch, but when they went to pick up the awards to give out, they found that all of the scout stores in the valley were out of silver arrows. In the attempt to find some, they forgot to get his conservation patch. Just means that he gets to spread getting awards over two months.

As is tradition, when the boys earn their rank award, they get to have their faces painted. In this first picture, Jimmy is waiting to get his face painted. As you can tell from the picture, he wasn't the only one. (A little side note, had I noticed that Jimmy chose to wear pants with a big hole in the knee, I would have made him go change. He does have pants without big holes.)
This next picture is of Jimmy after he had his face painted. He looks thrilled, doesn't he.
After the awards, the boys played a couple of games and seemed to have fun. Didn't take any pictures of the games though. So next month Jimmy will be getting more awards and then he'll be going into Webelos. Seems crazy that he's going to be in Webelos. Next thing I'll know, he'll be going into Boy Scouts. Crazy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dylan's 6 month check-up

I took Dylan in for his 6 month check-up this morning. Almost made it on time, even. I blame Molly and Lyssa. For some reason they think go get in the car means play around and ignore mom. I threatened to leave them, which got them moving a little faster. Not much though.

Anyway, Dylan is average height and about the 25th percentile for weight. Which is what he was 2 months ago, so he's growing well. He kept rolling around and trying to grab everything during his exam so I finally gave him the immunization card to hold.

Dylan has had a cold for a little under a week now. He has also been teething and so has been cranky. Turns out his crankiness is probably more because he has an ear infection than his teeth. Plus he wheezes a little and the doctor said it sounds a little like rsv. He said it's probably not rsv since he gets the shot, but nothing can totally protect against it, so there is a chance it is. And if it is, it's just mild, but keep an eye on him. I just wonder if it is rsv, if it would be a bad case if he didn't get the shot. Ah, well. Guess it's good he gets his next echo in two days.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Emma's SEP Conference

I had Emma's SEP Conference today. Originally scheduled one for Jimmy for today as well, but his teacher has been out the past two weeks and will be out all this week so his got cancelled and will be rescheduled sometime after she's back.

Anyway, Emma's went better than I planned. She's been having trouble at times keeping her hands to herself, so I expected the bulk of the conversation to be about her behavior. In a way it was, but not what I expected.

Emma is one of the smartest kids in the class. She does very well when she actually does her work. Yes, she still doesn't always finish her work. Her end of term testing she had to stay in at recess a couple of times to finish, but did very well on it. Her whole class knows how quiet she is so when she is asked to answer a question, they all get very quiet to hear her talk. Her teacher commented that she doesn't hear her make so much noise as she does when we are sitting there for conferences.

So it went generally well. Her teacher is going to try to do a sticker reward for finishing her work. She promised her some stickers the other day if she finished all of her work and she did very well at finishing everything so she's decided to keep trying that to see if it will help.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Report cards

Jimmy and Emma brought home their report cards on Friday. Generally, they were both good. Jimmy's had a couple that I question. He got a 0 in math. Every math assignment I've seen him do or bring home has always had good scores. Can't quite figure out the low score for math. He also got a 1 for independent reading. He's a good reader, so I don't understand that one, either. Guess I get to ask his teacher tomorrow at SEP conferences.

Emma's was mostly 4's with a little lower in things like following directions. But that's nothing new. She likes to not do her work. Any ideas to get her to actually do her work are welcome....

I may actually break down and take them over to Krispy Kreme to get the free donuts for good report cards. Mostly because a donut sounds pretty good to me. Not that it is good for me though. I've been eating a lot of not so good for me things lately. Ah, well.

Oh, Dylan cut his first tooth today. Looks kind of painful, but should start to feel better now.

February Birthdays

Happy Birthday this month to:

Also to Uncle Ken, but I don't have a picture for him. (Interesting to note, Steph, Seth, and Ken all have their birthdays on the same day.)

Hope you all have a great birthday this year!