Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The things we take for granted...

Boy, I guess I have been spoiled lately because my family has for the most part been in good health.. that is until last week, It all started last Wednesday when I came down with the stomach flu.. yUcK!!! I seriously gelt soooo lousy, then in spite all of my attempts at handwashing and such on friday morning JJ got it.. he started throwing up like every 10-15 minutes and could barely even stand up, with JJ, there is no messing around... this kid has NO room to spare in losing any weight or any water in his little body so I took him to his doctor. One look at him and she said, "looks like he needs to go upstairs and will be spending the night with us" ExaCtly what i hoped she wOulD NOT say... Of course then while we were in her office, Emma says mommy I dont feel good my tummy hurts.. and she too began to vomit!!! Thank goodness for husbands and daddys though... I called him at work and said "you HAVE to come, I CANNOT do this by myself with both of them being sick... " Emma needed to go home and rest.

Daddy got to the doctors,... took Emma home and JJ and I began the dreaded hospital admission.. seemed like it took FOREVER... but finally we got up to our room in the pediatric unit at St. Lukes Magic Valley Regional medical center.. all JJ wanted to do was just lay there. He was such a brave big boy! The nurse came in and put in his IV and he didnt even cRy! he didnt Flinch, he just layed there and let them do what needed to be done.... the nurses could hardly believe it! I was so proud of him... He did however, Cry when they made me take off all of his clothes and put him on the scale.. lol
a few hours later, they had to draw blood... this time he still did'nt move but he did cry just a little.. his vein blew and he had quite the bump and bruise. still he was very brave... the next few hours he just slept and felt miserable..

If any of you have stayed the night at the hospital, you know that sleeping is pretty much out of the question.. most of the night I sat in a chair watching over him.. and then part of it , i cuddled up next to him on his uncomfortable bed... then of course the IV alarm went off just as I fell asleep,... they came in to fix that... then an hour or so later, JJ pulled his IV out while he slept... he was holding it in his hand while it dripped blood! I knew this meant that he would have to be stuck again with a new IV... uggggg!!!

I was so mad... just before bedtime I told the nurse,... dont you think we should put something over that so that it doesnt come out while he sleeps... but she said NOPE it should be fine!! well she was wRoNg!!.. they had put his IV in and then put it on an arm board to hold it still but didnt put anything over that... uggggg.... anyhow, they got the new IV into his other hand this time, and then put the arm board on and put a washcloth OVER it so that he couldnt pull it out this time... my poor baby!!!

the next day, he still felt pretty lousy... he still couldnt eat or hold anything down.... we stayed the entire next day and then FINALLY at around ten o'clock that night we got to go home.... Emma was also still feeling pretty sick and daddy had been up all night with her as well so needless to say, we were a pretty exausted family... Sunday we all slept off and on the entire day! Monday, dad went back to work, and the kids slowly started feeling a little bit better... all of us still have a little grumbly in our tummies and arent eating well as of yet, and JJ through the whole ordeal lost 2 and a half pounds.. he was holding strong at 24 pounds for quite sometime but now is down to 21.8 pounds so we need to get him eating again...

through all of this I have realized that for the most part, we have been a very lucky family! and i will never take our health for granted again!! I am so thankful for EvEry day that we wake up healthy and happy... it has been one mIseRaBle week for us! It also makes me dread even more, the impending upcoming hospital stay that we will have for JJ's surgery... It makes me so sad to see my baby sick, or in any pain....
In this last picture, i wanted to show JJ's security tag lol... they put it on him like he was under some sort of "house arrest"... it's so nobody can steal the kids... neat idea huh? you'd think so, however every time that we tried to take a walk or anything on saturday it would go off and everyone would start freaking out!! anyways, I am just so happy he is feeling better! and Emma too!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And then there's Dawson....

Hmmm where to begin here... again I am reminded of how quickly life passes by,.. Dawson turned..........

On February 11th. The day after Emma turned 5... This year was a little more difficult because it was the first year EVER that he has spent his Birthday away from us.. But, since he is now living with his dad and Carrie he was there for his Birthday.. It seemed sort of surreal but since he is older, he doesn't really like a big fuss made anymore for his Birthday, he prefers just the presents lol..

I cannot BELIEVE that "I" am old enough to have a teenager!!! again, when did that happen???

Dawson has always been a little ball of fire! He is very stubborn and very sMaRt!!.. He makes me very proud and I miss having him around here all the time to joke around with! He is a great kid and is doing well in school,. He takes Kick Boxing classes at a gym ran by a UFC fighter and is actually getting really good from what I hear.. so, Maybe someday we will all see him fighting in the Octagon ha ha...

Lately i have been going through alot of old photos and it brings back so many memories.. Dawson being the oldest, always felt that he needed to "protect" me and take care of me after his dad and I split up.. He grew up way to fast and way too young!.. I am happy that he is finally relaxing a bit and enjoying life, even if that means that he has to live away from me in order to do it!! so in the event that he ever decides to finally read my blog, I feel the strong need to embarass him here lol j/k.. seriously though
Dawson, I love you SOOOO very much... More than you will ever know, You are growing into such a wonderful young man. You have brought so much Joy into my life over the past 14 years.. being my firstborn, i can honestly say that i didnt understand unconditional love until I had you.. You helped me to mature and grow up myself!! I love and miss you so much and you are welcome to come here ANYTIME!!!! we ALL love you.. thanks for being a good big brother too!!

"Happy 14th Birthday Dawson"

~Time Flies~

WeLL, It seems like the past few weeks I have found myself asking "wHeRe has all the TiMe gone"??? on several occassions. On February 10th my BaBy girl turned......

!!!! 5 !!!!

It seems like in a blink of an eye, we went from me being pregnant with her, to her being a whopping 5 years old... how did that HaPpEn????

it feels like just YeStErDaY that I was holding my tiny girl in my arms.. she was soooo small weighing in at only 4 lbs 10.6 ounces and 17 inches long.. her tiny head fit in the palm of my hand!! And did i mention that she was STUNNINGLY BeAuTiFuL!!!!!

I know, EVERYONE thinks that their little baby is the CUTEST baby ever born, but seriously Emma was and IS a BEAUTIFUL little girl.. She is the kindest little girl I have ever known, she has the biggest heart and would do anything just to help anyone out!!.. She will give her brother her very LAST piece of candy, (even though she REALLY wanted to have it herself) and she gives the BeSt HoLdS in the whole wOrLd..

we are so lucky to have her be a part of our lives.... I always wanted a little girl, to do her hair, dress up with, and play barbies... and she has exceeded those expectations by FAR! She does my hair and makeup on a regular basis (good thing we only stay at home ha ha) and she is my little model for my photography.

right now she says that she will stay our little girl forever, that she never wants to grow up and the only guy she still wants to marry is her daddy, HOWEVER, i know this time wont last and that someday she wil lwant to spend her time doing more "important" things then hang out with us, that she will someday find her very own Prince Charming, get married and have kids of her own.. and i WISH those days would NeVeR come!!!!
She tells us
Love ya mommy, and Love ya daddy! a Million times a day, and i could never get enough of hearing it!! SO,......
to my little

BaBy angel, I LoVe you to the mOoN and bAcK,
more than you will Ever kNoW...
you have brought More LOVE And haPpInesS
to my LiFe than i even cOuld have imagined and I am SO
PROUD to not only be your MommY
but your very best FrIeNd foReVer!!!!
HaPpY BiRthDaY Princess...
and many more to come,
you are loved more than you will ever know!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Almost caught up...

Ok, so i think we are getting close to caught up!! HOORAY!!.. So, we moved here, rented a house and the kids went to school.. the boys visited their dad and his family in Salt Lake city about one weekend a month and then we rotated holidays and split the summer.. This worked for a LONG time but as the boys got older and Dawson into his teenage years, he sorta got tired of the small town.. we will get back to that in a minute..

Once We moved back here to Twin, I got involved with a national group called MOMS club.. it stands for Moms Offering Moms Support... it was SUCH a great idea and has been fantastic for the little ones.. we do playdates, gymnastics, moms night out, arts and crafts, parties etc etc... Emma is SO shy so it helps out alot... Emma also too dance class over the summer and she REALLY enjoyed that, so we will get her back into that this summer.

JJ has continued to slowly grow, and is now 2 years old.. he is just like any other 2 year old running around getting into everything lol.. tourmenting his big sister ha ha... We finally made a trip this past November up to Seattle to see Dr. Hatch (the amazing surgeon that we found in New Mexico)... it was quite a drive for us but well worth it!... Dr. Hatch said that JJ is doing AMAZINGLY WELL.. and that he is very pleased with his progress.. HOWEVER, he still wasnt quite ready for the closure surgery.. SO, we plan to do that this coming summer. We want JJ's body to be big enough and READY for everything to go back inside. JJ was also born with bilateral inguinal hernias, so his intestines pop out into his testicles.. (i know sounds painful huh)... they hope to fix that at the same time, but so far, when we push the Omphalocele in, it pushes the hernias further out and vice versa.. so, for now we just continue to wait!! and we are MORE than okay with that.. if i had my choice he would never have the surgery but OBVIOUSLY that is NOT an option..

So, back to the boys, Dawson and Cody decided after spending half the summer with their dad, that they wanted to try out living there for a school year.. it was a TOUGH decision on all of us, but we decided to give it a shot.. They really wanted the opportunity to get to know that side of their family better, plus they were expecting a baby boy who was born this past December, so their family went from a family of 4 to a family of 7 and ours from a family of 6 to 4 so that has been pretty interesting! They are doing well there though and are very very happy,... so , i dont know if they will want to come back!.. and while that makes me so very sad, (they will never understand how sad), I want them to be happy and so i will do what is best for them..

So, now I think I can get on to telling you all about our boring every day lives and little things that happen in it HOORAY!! .. last April we took JJ and Emma to Disneyland so that was A blast.. they both LOVED the plane rides and seeing all of their favorite characters.. boy it was EXHAUSTING!!!!!!! below in my slide show you can see some of our favorite pics from that trip.. Then lets see what else, oh this past Nov when we took JJ to the dr in Seattle, we came back by way of the Oregon Coast and were able to see Seaside Oregon which we absolutely adore.. there are lots of pics of that trip too! I will continue to add pics and updates as things happen.. Below is a picture that miss Emma drew of our family this evening that i thought i would share..

Monday, February 2, 2009

Moving forward..

o.k. where was I?? so, we went home after 25 days, and came home with Oxygen and a feeding tube.. that was pretty interesting to say the least.. as if it is'nt enough to carry around a baby in a car seat, we had a backpack oxygen tank with tubes hooked to the baby.. The first few months were pretty HeCTic. we had visits with the Pediatrician like once every other week to monitor JJ's weight gain (or in his case LacK thereof) and we had an occupational therapist that would come once a week to do play therap to try to make sure that he was on track for his age..
JJ's Omphalocele grew completely covered in skin by about the time he was 3 months old so we were able to stop putting the cream on it,. it also got smaller as he grew which was the whole idea of waiting.. some of it, fell back into his insides like it was suppose to and some did not.. It sort of looked like a huge hernia..
JJ had a hard time learning to hold his head up.. I guess i never really thought of it much, but we all use our abdominal muscles more than you would think, when holding our head up.. he had a hard time with that because his abdominal muscles werent there.. He had a tough time learning to sit up, and obviously could NOT lay on his tummy.... Those boppy pillows that they make now were a Godsend for us.. He also got visits once a month from a home health nurse that gave him shots to prevent RSV.
JJ gained weight VERY slowly and was tiny for a long time.. He did however finally start nursing only AFTER being released from the hospital!! The reason he has always had such a tough time with weight gain is that he breathes faster than a typical child.. due to the fact that his lungs grew long and skinny,.. and since he was always breathing so fast he would burn off all of his calories just with breathing.. (boy wouldnt that be nice for any of us who WisH we could lose weight lol)
When JJ turned 9 months old, we decided to move back to Twin Falls IDAHO.. With that move, we decided to see how well he would do off of the feeding tube.. up until that point he was having it placed mostly just at night and it would then be hooked to a pump that would slowly dispense food all night long.. I know what you are thinking.. "boy that would be lucky for when he was a newborn, since the pump would feed him during the night i would'nt have to get up right??" WRONG...he still woke up every 3 hours to eat just like any other baby.. Plus I was having to stick the feeding tube down his nose and into his stomach almost every night at that age because he would pull it out all the time (little stinker!).. it became a process that we both dreaded so it was time to see how he would hold his own without it ... and HE DID!! after the feeding tube was out, he never lost any weight.. He continued to steadily SLOWLY gain weight!.. Plus he was right on target at that time with all of his skills.. he was Crawling and trying to stand even..
Next , we took off the oxygen.. and again were surprised.. we just slowly weaned him off and he did GREAT.. he had NO breathing problems and again didnt lose any weight.. so, we never looked back!! We got him a good pediatrician here (after throwing a few fits!) and she said that he was good to go without it.. we were ELATED!! JJ found a whole knew freedom in not being attatched and held back with tubes and so did we... like i said we had been using a backpack oxygen tank when we went out, and then around the house we had a bigger thank on wheels that we had to roll around everywhere.. and with the tube in his nose to deliver the oxygen he couldnt really get very far from it so that part SuCkEd!!
John found a job here without any problems (actually before we moved) and the kids started school and all was fantastic!..
Here are pics with the timeline of his recovery.... all of the captions for each picture are located BELOW the pic...
This pic is right after birth.. obviously i have posted it before but i wanted to give you a timeline on his Omphalocele.. see the dark part inside is the liver, and then there was a fluid filled sack sort of thing at the side of it..
This is JJ's Omphalocele at 6 Days old.. the first time i was able to apply the cream and dressing.. Amazing how since birth it went from clear to like this,.. it started hardening up as well, you can see his umbilical cord at the end of it..

This is the Omphalocele at 2 weeks old.. the pink part on the bottom corner is actually new healthy skin growing... he was still in the hospital here..

The above pic is JJ's first REAL bath.. fully in water.. he is home now in this pic and is 1 month old.. up until now he's only had spounge baths.. the umbilical cord was STILL on at this point.. it finally had to be cut off..

This pic is at 1.5 months.. you can see all the skin how it is just gowing up over the Omphalocele

and finally this pic was taken at around 2.5 months, probably closer to 3.. all that is left is a little scab looking part on the bottom, you can also see how it sort of sinks into his body... when he breathes out though it pushes out...