Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pottys, Poo Poo, and Painkillers

Here's just a quick awesome update. Gabe is potty trained!! Finally! He's almost 3 1/2 and the trick that worked for us was paying him to go potty. A penny for pee and a quarter for poop. Weird because I didn't know that 3 year olds had any concept of money and what it's good for. But it worked! I am so glad. Another thing that has helped me is to tell him that I am dissapointed and sad when he has an accident, and since he's pretty much a people pleaser, he tries really hard to keep me happy. I have such a sweet little boy.

Lorelai is doing pretty great. Her last heart appointment was long, but went well. We left the clinic and were told not to come back for a year! I have such a load off of my mind. I also think she is teething, which does not make me very excited with the whole nursing thing...I am quite worried about that! She's still not sleeping through the night, so we decided to move her crib into our bedroom just to see if a different sleep surface would help her be more comfortable. Up until now, she was sleeping in the pack and play next to me. Last night was the second night in her big crib in our room, and she did a little bit better. I think as we add more food and calories to her diet, she will naturally sleep longer and feel fuller throughout the night. I give her Tylenol and Little Teethers gel at least three times a week for her teeth and I want to see some difference! The poor girl is suffering.

Her newest trick is to suck on her toes. It's so stinking cute! And before that, her newest trick is to roll from tummy to back. She's a little behind Gabe as far as milestones, since he was crawling at 5 1/2 months, but I am super proud of her. She makes me smile everyday. And something else that's super funny is that she will only laugh out loud for Gabe! It warms my heart that she loves her brother so much. And Gabe always reciprocates with a tickling session on her face and belly and she just coos right back at him. Someday Ryan and I will make her laugh out loud.

To make it through the week as a newish stay at home mom, I enjoy getting the kids out of the house and to either the park or Story Time at the library. Gabe especially looks forward to Story Time because it means there will be other kids there and he gets along very quickly with other kids. He's so considerate of other kids' toys and space and sharing is one of his strong points. He doesn't fight or hit or yell at others and I am so proud of him.

I got a new calling at church recently as a Relief Society Instructor once a month. I've already been doing it for two months now, and I have to say that I think I kind of enjoy it. I am still finding my bearings as an effective teacher (I think I struggle to get my thoughts out), but the class participation makes for really interesting discussions and I think my own testimony is growing significantly from this calling. The Lord put me in this teaching position, and I intend to give it my all! While I would still say that I am more comfortable teaching the primary girls from last year, it's always a good thing to be put outside of my comfort zone and stretch my abilities. I know I will be blessed for this opportunity. : )

Our future plans include getting Ryan nationally certified as a Polysomnographer (sleep technician). As soon as he finishes his modules (5 left), he will take the exam, get a big raise, and after his 2 year contract is up in Idaho he'll be able to move us anywhere in the country if there's better pay somewhere else (which there is). But for the time being, we will probably stay here for at least another 3 years while Ryan also decides what he wants to get his master's degree in. Our lease is up in March of 2012 and we fully intend on finding a nice cheap house to buy (scary!). I am SO ready to have a yard of our own with a fence and a driveway and a garage and 3 bedrooms, an office know. The American Dream, they call it. It seems so unattainable sometimes, but my parents seem pretty optimistic that we can make it work. I sure hope so!

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When does it stop?

The medical issues just keep on coming. I've had what my doctor thought was a UTI for more than 8 weeks now. I went throught two rounds of antibiotics, two urine cultures, and nothing has helped. Today I went to a Urologist for the first time. We determined that I have sustained some bladder trauma from when I was in the hospital after I delivered Lorelai. (I couldn't urinate, and my bladder got distended.) According to the doctor, it takes longer for an internal organ to heal than even a bone. So he thinks we just have to wait it out for another 6 - 8 weeks. That's fine with me! I was right all along. I knew something got messed up all those months ago! Sheesh! This is the fourth specialist I have seen since I got pregnant with Lorelai! I am so tired of doctors. They can be great, but I'm just done.

So now that Gabe is 3, he's decided to disobey us and do everything we ask him not to do. It got to such a crazy point that I decided to gut his bedroom. He has no toys, no lightbulbs, no blinds, and no climbing surfaces. We even turned the lock around on his door so that he can't lock us out anymore. I just feel that it's necessary at this point so that he doesn't hurt himself, or any of our more expensive belongings. He can slowly earn back his toys by getting stars on a special chart. 5 stars gets a toy back. (Thanks Jill for the idea!) He has to do things like say the prayer at dinner, stay in his room at night/nap time, read a scripture every morning, put his toys away, use the potty etc. So far, he's getting a good idea of what kind of behavior we expect and that we are to be respected as well. He gets to keep his books, puzzles, and stuffed animals, but that's it. Ryan added a little something to his punishment too; if Gabe has a screaming fit, he will get a spray of water in the face from a spray bottle. It's interesting, I know, and maybe it sounds harsh. But it works! When I was young, my sister and I used to spray the cat to make her mad. She kept a low profile after each time, and so far Gabe does too, so it's been nice. I just won't tolerate his defiance anymore. I want to have fun with my son, but only if he stops complaining and whining and starts to "use his big boy words". That's code for 'talk to mommy in complete sentences', not whines. I ignore him if he whines, so he eventually figures out how to get what he wants.

Lorelai is growing big fast! She is 3 months old now. She's such a cute little girl. We call her "Sparkle" for the way her eyes glint when she smiles. I also like to call her "Bunny" when I'm playing with her on the floor. She is still a golden child and super easy to care for. I love my kids so much and it is such an honor to raise them. I learn so many new things about myself in the process and I am glad for this opportunity to better myself through them.

I don't have any further information on the lump in my breast and whether or not we will be operating soon or if I will have to wean Lorelai soon. My appointment for this discussion is May 9th. I'll keep you all posted when I know more.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gabriel's 3rd Birthday

On March 21st we celebrated Gabriel's birthday.  Robyn took the initiative to make an amazing cake with  homemade fondant.   The train cake.  Gabe thought the cake was really neat.  With Gabe's party, we invited both my parent's and grandparents and Ryan's parent's and grandparents. The Warners and the Lotts.  This party was held at Grandma and Grandpa Brower's house.  Once we had finished our Hawaiian Haystacks dinner, we had Gabe dive into his presents.  I wish we would have known that doing so was a bad idea.  Once Gabe opened all his presents he arrived at his present that was a Toy Story Train.  Having this toy train meant he didn't want to focus on anything else and he pretty much had a constant melt down when we told him to blow out his candles on his amazing cake.  It was cake time! Yum yum.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2 Big Events

Lorelai's baby blessing was such a special day. I had surprise family come from out of town; Chris and William! I love those boys so much and it just made everything a little more special for us. Ryan did a wonderful job blessing Lorelai. There were instant tears because the very first words were, "We bless you with health, and wholeness". With the pending heart procedure approaching, those words really meant something to me and I couldn't hold back. Ryan is such a tender man, and I love his emotion when he talks about his kids. He loves us so much.

Grandma Brower made her blessing gown top to bottom and it is just lovely. The little bloomers really tie it all together. Thank you grandma! You're so talented and wonderful and we just love all you do for us.

The heart procedure was today. It went very well. Dr. Womack is amazing and extremely down to earth. He wears old red converse sneakers every day. He came to Pre-op with his left elbow all purple and blue. When we asked him what he did to hurt himself he said it was from gearing up for a sweet slapshot during a fooseball match yesterday. Funny Dr.

He said that Lorelai responded very well to the dilation of her valves. There was only one glitch that made this procedure less than perfect, and that was that they had to take a different route through her heart than originally planned. But it's nothing to worry about. He is very optimistic that she will not have to have this surgery done again. I asked him about her numbers compared to a normal person so I could put it into perspective; a normal persons blood flows through at 1 or 1 1/2 meters per second. Lorelai's WAS flowing at 4 meters per second, which is too much pressure, which is moderate concern. If it was at 5, it would have been extreme concern. NOW it is at 2 meters per second, and that's a happy place to be. She will always have a small murmur, but it's the loudness of the murmur that counts. And her murmur has changed from high pitched to low pitched. YEA!  Another number comparison is that her gradient, or pressure of flow, went from 50 to 15 or 20 after this. I would say the procedure worked for sure!

It took a little while for Lorelai to figure out how to nurse effectively. Her throat was really sore and irritated from the oxygen tube that was down her throat, and she kept choking on the milk. They wouldn't let us go home until she'd fed three times and wet two diapers. She did that just fine by dinner time. But after we had been home for about 30 minutes, she projectile vomited a lot all at once and now she's sleeping and tired and has an empty tummy   : ( but we will keep a close eye on her through the night and make her eat a little at a time so that her poor little tummy can get back on track.

We are doing well but we are so exhausted at this point. It's been a long day. Gabe spent the night last night at his grandma Warner's (my mom's) and he was an angel I guess. I hope! Sometimes grandmas see the world through rose colored glasses, if you know what I mean. Gabe usually has a couple of monster moments every day, but I'll humor his grandma Warner this time. Apparently he put himself down for a nap today and slept for an hour and half. And now he's in his room singing himself to sleep at this very moment. He sings himself to sleep every night. It's either Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or a new variation of the Alphabet song.

Well, I'm pooped.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Haps

A lot of our family is already aware of what is going on in our lives right now. But for the rest of my friends, I thought I would fill you all in. On the day Lorelai was born, our pediatrician, Dr. Johnson, came in to meet her and found a heart murmur during his routine exam. It was a loud one, and concerned him enough to have the pediatric cardiologist take a listen too. Dr. Alexander, the cardiologist, was also concerned enough to order an EKG and an echocardiogram before we could leave the hospital. The results showed that Lorelai has a condition called Pulmonary Valve Stenosis.

This is when two of the three leaflets in her heart are fused together, not allowing the blood to flow properly to her lungs. We were sent home with instructions to come back in a week for another echocardiogram. Well things got worse, although Lorelai looks, acts, and eats like a normal baby. We were told to come back at two weeks; things got worse. Her aortic valve had begun thickening, which means it's working too hard to pump blood on behalf of those fused leaflets. So the plan now is that Lorelai will have to undergo a procedure called balloon valvuloplasty on Tuesday March 8th at 9 a.m. It will take about 4 hours to complete.

The procedure will involve the doctors inserting a catheter through a major vessel in her groin, sending it straight into her heart where it will be weaved in and around until it finds the leaflets. A balloon on the end of the catheter will be dialated slowly in and out, bigger and bigger until the leaflets are either stretched to normal size, or come apart on their own. 70% of babies who have this procedure don't need any more treatment and are normal. The other 30% will need it done again by the age of 5 or 6, and might require a full valve replacement by the time they are middle aged.

Lorelai will be put to sleep for this procedure. I am quite stressed and nervous about this whole thing. But I find great comfort in knowing that if was me getting this procedure done, the doctors would let me stay awake. It's not supposed to hurt, and Lorelai has to remain perfectly still; that's why she'll be put to sleep. The risks are low and the success rate is high, and I am pretty hopeful. When Lorelai wakes up around 1 p.m. that day, we will be put in a room to snuggle her for about 4 hours, hopefully seeing our little girl acting normal and eating well. Hopefully the swoosh swoosh sound of her heart murmur will be gone! If anything seems amiss, we will be staying the night at the hospital with her.

Her blessing day is March 6th, two days before the procedure. As this day is also a Fast Sunday, we have asked not only our entire family, but also our fellow ward members to fast for her. I am overwhelmed with the support we are recieving! I have never felt more loved in a ward than I do in this one. Especially while I was pregnant and in and out of the ER so many times for my own issues; they brought us dinner, took care of Gabriel, and then after I delivered Lorelai, we recieved about 10 more dinners!

I think what I am most nervous about, is the fact that I have to stop nursing Lorelai at 5 a.m. Tuesday. I just hate it when she cries from hunger (like when we are driving somewhere), and I don't know how I will bear it. I can give her water until 7 a.m., but nothing else until 1 p.m. after the procedure. During this time, the hospital will lend me a nursing pump, but since I've never used one, I am worried about it's effectiveness and I just pray that I will be able to nurse her okay when she wakes up. I guess the only plus side to this whole thing, (besides Lorelai being healthy, of course) is that I will now have some milk storage for our freezer! Yea.

So, that's the latest on medical issues. we bought a new couch yesterday and it will be here in 2 weeks. : D  Gabe is happy and healthy and loves his little sister. Ryan is happy and healthy and working hard for us. I love his guts for his amazing support of me at this crazy crazy time.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lorelai Joelle Lott

Born: January 26, 2011
Weight: 7lb 4ounces
Length: 19inches