Sunday, November 21, 2010

Truman’s New Toy

The incredible therapists with tiny-k let Truman borrow a child size walker to see how he did.  He LOVES it.  At first he was a bit overwhelmed by the entire thing and like to just walk around it instead of actually using it to walk.  But this weekend he really got the hang of it and started zooming around! 


I took a little video but you will see at the end that his sister distracted him a bit.  After that point he just crawled over to her and tried to get her to play with him.  The whole point of the walker is to let him choose to use it independently….so I had to give up my video pursuits.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

If I only had a brain…

The good news is that Truman has a brain!

OK…that was a bad joke.  Of course he has a brain!  And it is a beautiful one too.

We got the results from our neurologist finally.  He called us himself…which is one of the things we love about him.  It is also incredibly terrifying when I hear his voice.  Why would the doctor call if it was good news?  Right?

But it was good news…mostly.

His brain has “minor changes” that do not “raise any red flags or give a specific diagnosis.”  He has all of the parts and pieces and there is no evidence of degeneration.  All really great news.  Of course hearing that there are any “changes” makes my skin crawl but with no visual it is easier to to deal with.

The hard part is the thing we have struggled with throughout this entire process…we don’t have an answer.  We know something is wrong but we can’t figure out what it is. 

His neurologist understands our frustration.  Every test that we take we pray for a negative result but with every negative result we are further from understanding what is going on with our son.  He has tested and tested and tested and just can’t find the answer.  He cares enough to call us personally to talk through the next steps and to apologize for not being able to find a diagnosis.

Have you ever had a doctor apologize to you?  Me either.

So we will continue with physical, occupational and speech therapies.  We have an appointment with Cranio-facial in January along with another Swallow Study.  We are also due to go back to Genetics.  Every day we will keep working with him and trying to give him all of the support he needs to get stronger, gain balance, learn words, etc., etc.  In other words—we don’t stop fighting but we don’t know what we are fighting against.

It feels like we are flailing around in the dark just hoping to land a hit.  And it is so hard for people to understand.  I keep hearing “no news is good news…right?”  Well of course!  We do not want ANY of the things we have been testing for to be the diagnosis.  But maybe if we had a diagnosis we would know that we were doing the right things for him.  Or we would be able to prepare for the future.  Not knowing what could happen next is impossible. 

Good news…mostly.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MRI Tomorrow

We have officially hit the point we were hoping to avoid.  Tru was given until 18 months to walk or we would need to do an MRI to check out his beautiful brain.  Well, here we are at 20 months and still no walking…

Our very blunt neurologist (whom we love) in his French accent told us:
”We need to see if all of the parts of his brain are there.”

Hmmm.  Didn’t ever realize there as a chance that all of the parts wouldn’t be there.  After all he is living, breathing, crawling, babbling, hugging, kissing, splashing, laughing, etc. etc.  It didn’t seem like an option.  But, I guess it is.

The other thing we are looking for is the ratio of grey matter to white matter or something like that.  Apparently by this age the brain should look fully formed.  If you have an MRI any younger it is difficult to see everything because it is all still white and not differentiated.  I guess we can see if it looks “normal” or not. 

He will have to be put completely under because the MRI has to be done completely still.  He is 20 months old and will go under anesthesia for the 3rd time.  It never gets any easier.  The memory of him coming out of anesthesia after the tonsil surgery is still very fresh in my mind…and it is not a pleasant memory. 

We should also be receiving the results of some the genetic testing we did in September fairly soon.  Again—we are keeping our fingers crossed that everything comes back negative.  It is such a weird position to be in.  We are trying so hard to figure out what is going on with him but each time we test we hope to not find an answer. 

The good news is that I have reached a point where I no longer completely freak out every time we are waiting for an answer.  I can put it all in a box on the shelf and not deal with it every second of the day.  Occasionally the box decides to fall off the shelf and hit me the head making me crazed for a few hours.  Typically this happens at night when the house gets quiet enough for me to think.

Here we go again…

Sunday, October 31, 2010


We had such a wonderful Halloween this year!  Truman was adorable, Scout was fully engaged in candy hunting, the entire family was at our house to celebrate my sister-in-law and my birthdays and the neighborhood was filled with adorable kiddos.  How much more perfect can you get?

ScoutFairy Scout was a Autumn Fairy this year.  She got the idea because of the “Fairy Garden” that my sister and mom created out at my parent’s farm this year.  The grandkids each had fairies that represented them and we created different areas with flowers, houses, decorations, etc. for the full fairy world.  Scout was in love with the whole idea and wanted to be a fairy to continue the fun. 

The girls had fairies…so what do you do for a little boy in a fairy garden?


You have Garden Gnomes!  The fairy garden included the Gnome Village for Truman and when I saw this costume I almost fell over!  Is he the cutest thing ever???


My nieces, Chloe and Kennedy, like to help the little kids trick-or-treat (plus it gives them the excuse to dress up and get candy too!)  Cute group, huh?  And the gnome outfit is just killing me!


Truman only made it to about 5 houses before he decided he had enough of the trick-or-treating part of Halloween.  He wanted to keep his costume on though!  I was shocked but he kept that hat and beard on for over an hour!  I was finally the one who took it off.

The rest of the girls went out with Chad and his dad and hit the streets.  They came home almost 2 hours later with a HAUL of candy.  I guess that Scout learned some tricks from her cousins.  She would ask for “candy for her little brother so she could share.”  Hmmm….I don’t think there will be much sharing going on!

Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone had a safe and fun night celebrating. 

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater…

We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch this year and as always we had a great time.  I love the fact that we have created these type of traditions with our kids.  I have such strong memories of this exact pumpkin patch when I was growing up and now to see my kids running through the fields…well…it is just a great reminder why we live in Lawrence. 


Like the How Tall sign…we have been doing this sign since Scout was only 3 months old! 


They added a new play area this year that the kids loved.  (Again showing the tradition thing Scout was super excited by the new set!  She immediately recognized that it had not been there before.)


Tru loved the tunnel under the hay.  He crawled back and forth over and over.




Truman, as always, had a great time people watching.  I swear that kid is amused by the human race.  He is such a detail guy.  When he gets his hands on something new or is in a new situation he really takes the time to take it all in and look everything over.  He spent about 15 minutes checking out the pumpkin before deciding that was the one for him!


When we got home we started carving.  Truman was hillarious trying to figure out what the heck we were doing.  Scout was the artist this year and designed our pumpkins for us while Mommy and Daddy did the actual carving.  Truman helped clean out the inside of the pumpkin and he liked to squish the goo.


Scout made a Kitty Pumpkin


Truman and the pumpkin had matching grins!



My pumpkin, Scout’s, Truman’s and Chad’s.  Not a bad looking group. 

Another wonderful fall tradition that we now get to share with our little guy...such a joy!

Ren Fest 2010

We took Truman, Scout and Scout’s friend Amber to the Renaissance Festival this year.  I haven’t been since I was in high school so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be as fun as I remembered.  I was very wrong!  The kids had a blast.  They were the perfect age to really enjoy all of the activities.  Truman had a blast people watching and checking out all of the fun shows.


This was the look on his face pretty much the whole day.  He just laughed at all the crazy people!





What a fun day!  The people are CRAZY but in a fun, harmless way.  I even tried to participate in one of the shows by being hypnotized…didn’t work!  I was up there giving it my all but it was a bunch of hooey.  The kids got a kick out of seeing me on the stage until finally I got tired of hanging there in the uncomfortable seat and stood up and walked off the stage.  I don’t think the hypnotist was too thrilled with my departure.

We will definitely go back next year.  Scout is already planning our trip!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weeke’s Family Visit

Our good friends from Wisconsin came for a visit over Labor Day Weekend.  Yes…I do realize that was almost 2 months ago.  But I am just now dumping the photos from my camera.  So I found these and had to share!


John, Andy and Chad on my parent’s porch.  John and Chad met when they were in the Madison Scout’s Drum and Bugle Corps and have maintained a strong friendship through the years.  My brother met John when he was in our wedding and they immediately clicked.  These guys are so fun together.


Michael, Cristin and Truman.  Cristin. John’s wife, is an amazing lady and we just love her to death.  Their son Michael is two weeks younger than Truman!  He was supposed to be several months younger but he decided to come super early so he and Tru could share a birthday month.  I can’t wait to watch these two boys grow up together and become the best of friends like John and Chad.


Michael showing off his cymbal skills to impress Chad.  Chad was a cymbal player in the Scouts so of course we have a pair. 


John is Truman’s Godfather and we are so blessed that he agreed to play this role in our son’s life.  John is an incredible man and I know he will be a great role model for our little guy.

We had such a fun weekend.  I hate that we live so far away from each other.  They are the only reason I would visit Madison in the winter!  Hopefully we will have a chance to see them again soon.  Miss you guys!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Random Things I Love…

Sometimes life throws you for a loop.  Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to just hide under the covers and pretend that the world has stopped moving.  Sometimes it is hard to remember why to keep fighting.  Of course my family and friends make that easier.  A silly dance by Scout or a grin from Truman can turn the whole day around.  But sometimes you just need to remember the little things that make life great.  The random things that you love and make you happy…

Here are a few of mine.

Flannel sheets

The smell of a bonfire

Candy corn

Gilmore Girls

The moment the lights go down before a performance

New underwear

The song “Shoop”

Feeling chilly after a day in the sun

Peanut butter fudge ice cream

Watching someone open a gift you have given

Sitting on my parent’s porch

A perfect avocado

Books by Herman Wouk

Weeping Willows

Sand between my toes

Believing in Santa

Getting a card in the mail

School supplies

Coffee with dessert at a fancy restaurant

Singing at the top of your lungs…with the windows rolled DOWN

There are many more and I could go on and on.  And that is a good thing.  It is a great thing.  Life can throw a lot of garbage in your path but these random things are worth it all.  I know it might sound cheesy but it helps. 

So…your turn!  Share some of the random things you love!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It doesn’t make sense…

I found out last night that a friend of mine had passed away.  He was only 30 years old. 

We were not incredibly close.  In fact we saw each other only on occasion.  We met a few years ago when I was working at the Chamber.  He was a business owner and a member.  I had the opportunity to work with him on a couple of events and we had a few really great conversations.  He was the type of guy who could immediately make anyone feel comfortable.  He was full of ideas and was committed to our community.  I was so impressed that someone so young was already so successful.  He didn’t take himself too seriously though.  We joked about being the next generation of leaders and how to take Lawrence by storm.  And he had a great smile. 

So although we weren’t close, I am overwhelmingly saddened by his passing…in a way that I can’t really explain.

I keep experiencing waves of emotion.  I cannot stop thinking about his wife and what she must be going through.  I picture trying to explain to his 2 year old son that Daddy is gone.  I try to imagine how it is possible that we will not run into each other at an event sometime in the future and catch up with everything that has been going on in our lives.  I don’t know how his parents can breathe or his friends that were with him can function…because this isn’t supposed to happen. 

This isn’t supposed to happen.  A healthy, young, vibrant man with a beautiful family and a wide open future should not have been taken so soon.  It doesn’t make sense.  It is not possible to process.  He wasn’t fighting a long illness or involved an a tragic accident.  What happened was tragic, of course, but this was different…one minute he was here and the next he wasn’t.  And from what I understand he was alone when it happened.  Was he scared?  Did he know what was going on? 

I consider myself a religious person.  I am not a study the bible, go to church every week no matter what, pray at dinner type of Christian--but I do believe.  In fact I have spent more time in prayer during the last couple of years than I have pretty much my entire life.  But his death shakes that core.  Because how does religion explain this man taken before it was time?  I know the standard answers and to be honest—none of them are good enough.

When things like this occur it is natural to want to pull those you love close and thank God that everyone is safe and sound.  It is also natural to be in awe of the complete unknowns that life holds for each one of us.  Maybe awe isn’t the right word.  Fear plays a big role too.  How do we deal with dropping our child off at daycare or sending our family down the road on a trip? 

There are no answers.  There are no words even.  It just doesn’t make sense.

The world was a better place because Gavin was in it and I was lucky to have known him.         

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina…

The other major update about Truman and one that I still don’t know how I feel about came from the eye doctor.  We took Truman in to make sure his vision was OK.  Sometimes balance issues and other delays can be caused by poor vision.  We also realized over a year ago that Tru didn’t cry tears.  He is a happy dude and doesn’t really fuss much anyway but when he did there was never a tear.  His eyes watered when he coughed or had crap coming out of his nose but he never had that big tear slide down his face that makes us all giggle.

The good news was that Truman has perfect vision.

The bad news is that the doctor is 99% sure that he was born without the “response tear gland.” 

Apparently there is a gland above your eye that fills with tears that come from an emotional response.  The gland as it fills has overflow that comes out of the eye and we call tears.  He told us that 2-4% of the population is born without the gland.

He told me that Truman will never cry tears.

Truman will not cry at a sappy movie, on his wedding day or when his child is born. He will never laugh so hard that he cries or put on a show of tears to get away with something.  He won’t cry when someone he loves passes away or breaks his heart.  He will never know how cleansing it can be to just let it all go and sob.  He will never experience the salty taste when his lips are coated with tears during a moment of pure sadness or joy.

I don’t know why this one has been so hard on me.  Maybe because it is so real.  So permanent. 

Because we don’t have a final diagnosis at this point I still can imagine that he is going to “grow out of it.”  It is still very possible that Truman will eventually catch up or at least get close and we will all breathe big sigh of relief.  Part of that is the assumption that he will grown to get married or have a child, have his heart broken and laugh uncontrollably.   But the truth is…we don’t know if that will happen.  At this point so much is unknown so it is much easier to imagine a “normal” life than anything else.

But this was a “never” moment.  And all of it really crashed down for a bit.  It still really hasn’t sunk in.  And I know it sounds a bit crazy to get so upset over such a relatively small thing.  But I come from a family of criers.  We cry at everything.  Dog food commercials, sappy songs, beautiful sunsets, funny stories…we are big with the tears.  I can’t watch Extreme Home Makeover because I literally boo-hoo from beginning to end. 

Will people think he is hard hearted or soulless when they realize they have never seen him cry?  I know it is sexist but I guess it is better that he is a boy since big boys don’t cry and all that crap.  (Don’t tell my Dad that…he is worse than all of us put together!)

Tears are a big deal.  Having to face a big reality is bigger.  Hiding in my closet so I don’t have to deal?  Possible.   

Medical Stuff

After a few weeks Truman is now doing so much better since he had his tonsils and adenoids removed.  It really is incredible to realize just how bad his breathing had become when compared to now.  He doesn’t snore anymore!  I used to be able to listen to him snore through the baby monitor and know that everything was OK.  Now I have to check on him all the time just to make sure!

That is the good part.

The bad part is that he is continuing to have issues with swallowing.  The issue actually goes back to birth.  He struggled as a newborn with nasal reflux.  Basically he would have milk or spit up come out his nose.  His eyes also watered and his nose was always stuffy and he got a lot of infections.  We had a swallow study done and the doctors thought that it was a muscle tone issue.  (See all the other medical posts to learn how much I love hearing THAT as a reason once again!)  Basically they thought that he wasn’t strong enough to swallow everything all the way down to his stomach so some would squeeze back up and come out his nose.  So we started thickening his formula to help weigh it down and make it easier for him to keep it down.  And it worked!

As time went on we slowly decreased the amount of thickening he needed and eventually he stopped needing anything at all.  He did continue to have infections and suddenly his tonsils & adenoids were huge.  So off we go to remove them to make him better.

After his tonsils and adenoids were removed he suddenly started having stuff come out his nose again.  I was trying to feed him some ice cream a few days after his surgery and suddenly two lines of chocolate ice cream started pouring out of his nose.  Freaked out I called the ENT who reassured me and said that it can happen because the soft palette can get stiff after the surgery and to give it a couple of weeks.

Typical doctor—if HE had food coming out of his nose when he ate would he wait a couple of weeks?  I don’t think so.

So we waited.  And waited.  And while it has gotten much better he is still having some problems. 

Adding to the concern we started to recognize that he had lost his consonants since the surgery.  He suddenly wasn’t saying Dada or Baba or any hard consonant any more.  He has all of the vowels the softer front of the mouth consonants but that was it. 

So we called in the Speech Therapist.  She was immediately concerned and I could tell very confused.  She has recommended going back in for another swallow study.  Apparently there is also a nerve that can be hit during this type of surgery that can cause speech issues.  Great. 

We are headed to his neurology follow up tomorrow.  The hope was that he would be walking by this follow up appointment so we could remove the possibility of a few neurologic issues that we still haven’t been able to dismiss.  No such luck.  He is close.  At least everyone tells me that.  He seems like he is ready to go but as soon as he feels the lack of support he immediately crumbles.  Part of me thinks it is confidence.  He is just scared to let go.  (Sound familiar Mommies?)  The other part of me thinks it is a balance issue.

Because he isn’t walking he is officially “delayed” now at almost 19 months.  That delay with the additional small motor skill delays and speech issues all add up to another trip to Genetics and scheduling an MRI to check out his beautiful brain.  Something about grey matter and white matter and what’s the matter. 

My little medical weirdo is happier than ever.  He has also recently discovered how to fight back against his sister or anyone who wants him to do something he isn’t interested in doing.  Trust me, when he whacks you across the face there are  no low muscle tone issues there!  He loves to clean up and then make a mess right away.  And the boy can EAT!  He puts it away.  I swear that he should weigh 40 pounds by now by the way he eats.  And he loves to try new foods.  He really likes to be outside and this cooler weather has helped give him the opportunity to be out much more.  Add a bath and the kid is over the moon.

The saga continues but I am much more calm.  I think.  I sound like I am calmer, right?  Right. 

I Suck

Why can’t I just buckle down and write?

I need to get over myself.  Plain and simple.

I know that I have a billion things going on and that everything seems to happen at once…but is that really an excuse?  Nope. I think the real issue is that I need to get over myself again.  I started this blog as a release and then people started to really read it.  It made me happy that people enjoyed it but then I got nervous.  What if I wrote something that upset someone?  What if someone found out something about me that they thought was horrible?  What if…

The old “perfect” gene kicked in and I started watching myself.  I would sit down to write and unless I could come up with something that was completely readable by the masses I would give up and check Facebook. 

Recent events have re-energized my need to write and my lack of concern about who gives a damn.

So life unplugged here we go.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tonsils and Adenoids are Outta Here!

Truman’s surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids was today and everything went very well.  I was shocked by how quickly the whole process was.  We had a few hiccups to start but overall I was really happy with the care we received.

Because of Tru’s muscle weakness issues he has special anesthesia needs.  He cannot use the “gas” that makes you fall asleep before the actual anesthesia is put in the IV.  The gas can cause issues for certain muscle disorders and lead to some pretty scary complications.  So instead of getting to head into surgery, get the gas to go to sleep and then receive his IV he had to get the IV done before he went in.  IV’s on little ones are hard especially if you aren’t used to doing them.  The folks at Children’s Mercy are typically bing, bang, boom and done.  This time not so much.  They did give him some medication to relax him first and my high pain tolerance kiddo didn’t even cry through the entire pin cushion process.  That IV therapist should thank his lucky starts that he is so weirdly able to handle pain!  They also had to prep the room and remove any gas from the lines before he went in so we were running about an hour late after everything. 

We didn’t get to walk him back which was very hard.  I had to hand him over to the nurse which just killed me.  I felt like my whole world just left my arms.  It literally felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest.  He just looked at me and smiled and I sent him off.

The actually surgery only took about 30 minutes.  I was so amazed.  When I got my tonsils out in 4th grade it was major surgery.  I spent 2 nights in the hospital and I remember it being this crazy long procedure and recovery.  His ENT came out and told us it went very smooth.  He commented about the size—BIG.  He is positive that he is going to be able to breathe much better.  Our hope is that with better breathing he will sleep better, grow more and become stronger.

The experience of seeing him in the Recovery Room was horrific.  NOTHING like what we experienced for his muscle biopsy.  When we came back then he was a little fussy but comfortable.  Once he was in my arms he calmed down immediately and I gave him a bottle and he was a happy camper.  Today when I walked in the room a nurse was holding my thrashing baby who was screaming and had blood dripping down his face.  He was not really awake and he was scared and in pain.  The blood turned out to be normal secretions but he just had a lot more than normal.  He was having a really hard time breathing through them and he sounded like he was drowning.  On top of the screams he was unable to control his body and his head was flying all over the place.  I grabbed him out of the nurses arms and he calmed down a bit but he was still very confused and was really struggling to breathe.  They told me he was “much better” than when he first came out.  WTF?  THIS was better??  I cannot imagine what he was like now that he was “better.” 

They added some more pain meds and used a suction tube to help him.  I crawled onto the bed and held him on my chest just like we did every night when he was a baby.  He settled down and slept.  We had to add some oxygen to help him keep his O2 stats.  As long as he had the meds and we could keep him suctioned he was OK.  After about 45 minutes things got much better.  The doctor came in and gave us the all clear.  We removed the oxygen and checked his stats and then we were out the door.  I was simple amazed that I was taking my son home only a few hours after surgery. 

They sent us home with pain meds and Tru was OK at first.  He was sleepy and a bit whiney.  Then it was time to give him a dose of meds and it was horrible.  He screamed and grabbed at his mouth trying to get it out.  Most of it dripped down his chin and the rest was on daddy.  I had no idea how much actually went in but it wasn’t enough to keep the pain down.  He was super fussy and couldn’t get comfortable.  He wouldn’t drink.  Finally he slept and when he woke up it was time for another dose.  Same situation.  This time I think even less actually got in his body.  I called the  nurse and had them order the same meds he took after his muscle biopsy.  When he took that dose it went right in and everything was just great.  Within a few minutes he was smiling, drinking and even stood up and played on the floor for a while.  He then went into a perfect comfortable sleep.  Whew.  What a difference.

He is almost ready for another dose and hopefully this one will be the same.  The next few nights we will need to wake up everything 3-4 hours to give him his pain meds and get him to drink.  If his throat gets dry it makes the pain worse and can cause complications.  I pray that he spends the next few days sleeping and just letting himself heal.  Hopefully after a few weeks we will start to really see some improvement. 

I had a dream the other night that it was the day of Truman’s surgery and I handed him to the nurse.  A little while later the doctor came out and told us that it went well and he was doing amazing.  He couldn’t wait for us to see him.  When I got back into the room he stood up by himself, walked over to me and said “hi mommy!”  I hope that it is a sign that this surgery was the right decision and will help him accomplish all of these milestones.

Thank you to everyone who sent out prayers or good juju.  It was felt and it was powerful.  Keep us in your thoughts a few more days while he heals. 

It is done.  Thank God.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Truman Update

Things have been running along smoothly so of course something had to happen to throw us off course...

Truman has had breathing issues since birth.  Actually for the first few days of his life he made this noise the nurses called "singing" to help himself breathe.  It was cute at first.  It sounded a little bit like a sigh mixed with humming.  After several hours we were all pulling our hair out.  He needed some oxygen but the nurses said it was fairly normal for c-section/early babies and that he would eventually stop.  And he did--thank God!  How horrible that I spent even a little bit of time being annoyed by my newborn?

He also has an incredibly high palette.  He was examined by a couple of doctors to make sure that he didn't have a hidden cleft palette because it was so high.  Part of his low muscle tone caused him to have nasal reflux.  Basically he didn't have the tummy muscle strength to get his milk completely swallowed all the way down to the stomach so part of the fluid would come back up and into his nasal cavity.  Yes--my kiddo spit up thru his nose.  But most of the time it didn't actually come out it just hung around in his sinuses.  We had to add a thickener to his bottles to make the fluid heavier and therefore easier to get all the way down to his tummy.  It was called Simply Thick and it was like adding gel.  It worked pretty well and it cut the issues almost down to nothing.

But as the doctors told us if you shove enough food up your nose eventually you are going to get an infection.  Interesting way to put it but true.  So the poor little guy has fought sinus infections and allergy like symptoms his entire life. 

The reflux also caused him some pretty significant issues with being on his back.  Instead of being strong enough to spit up and get it out of his mouth he would spit up and it would sit in the back of his throat.  We would lay him down on his back to change a diaper and he would suddenly turn blue because he stopped breathing.  The scariest part was that it was silent.  He didn't gag or choke.  He would just stop breathing.  We quickly realized that he wasn't going to be able to be "Back to Sleep" for the SIDS factor.  So our doctors recommended that he sleep on his stomach on our stomachs.  Our breathing would help him from getting into the deep sleep that stomach sleeping can cause and SIDS issues arise.  So Chad and I would switch nights sitting up with him laying on our stomachs while he slept and we "slept."

He also snores like a man.  A large man who has been drinking.  His has woken himself up because he snored so loud.  I didn't think much about it until I realized that snoring is also a symptom of sleep apnea.  My dad had sleep apnea for years and had to wear a special breathing mask at night because he would actually STOP BREATHING.  I started listening closely to his breathing pattern and realized that he did have several apnea episodes and it scared the poo out of me. 

As he has grown his has become stronger and a lot of the reflux issues have gone away.  But he was still constantly congested.  He frequently has a running nose and it would sound horrible.  It was that deep congested sound that you get when you have a horrible cold.  We would suck and suck and suck trying to clean out his sinuses and it never felt like we were getting any where.  Eventually his ENT gave us an electric version of the sucker and we would use this long tube and this machine would suck the boogers out.  Wow.  That was a lot of snot.  It was weirdly satisfying to see it all come out.  Tru wasn't quite as thrilled with the process as we were.

After awhile the sucking didn't seem to be doing anything.  We no longer got that satisfied tube full of boogers and the sound just got worse and worse.  His regular doctor put him on baby Singular thinking it was allergies.  The medicine helped but off and on it would get bad again no matter what we were giving him.  I finally decided to take him back to the ENT to see what we needed to do.

His doctor took one look at his throat and his eyes got big.  Then he looked in his nose and his eyes got even bigger.  He sat down across from me, but his hand on mine and told me that Truman's tonsils are almost touching.  His adenoids are bigger than he has ever seen in a child his age. 

He wasn't congested...he was trying to breathe through a blocked throat and nose.

His doctor was very concerned of course and mommy started to freak out a bit.  He got me settled down and we discussed our options.  He said that he probably wasn't this enlarged all of the time but that an allergy flair was probably causes them to be bigger.  He also said that it was time for his tonsils and adenoids to come out...sooner rather than later.

Our ENT in in Lawrence.  He is the only doctor that we have gone to that is not at Children's Mercy.  So after I left his office I immediately called Children's to get in with an ENT there so we could get his surgery done at the hospital that has been taking care of him since birth.  I just feel safe there.

The phone call didn't go as planned.  The nurse I spoke to told me that it would be October or November before we could get in for an appointment and December or January before we could get in for surgery.  I explained what the doctor had said about his breathing and how he could stop any time.  I also told her about his developmental delays and that we didn't have a diagnosis yet.  I explained the muscle tone weakness and how careful everything has to be because of this issue.  She told me that every mom who calls has a kid who is "special" and it it is common for kids with developmental issues to have ENT problems.  I nicely told her that I didn't give a rats tushy about other people's kids, just my own and then as politely as I could I asked how we could get in sooner because I was afraid he would stop breathing.

Her response?

"Unless he is coding he isn't getting in here before October or November."


I was so shocked and so upset that I hung up the phone.  I drove sobbing to find my mom at her hair appointment and burst into the salon like a crazy person.  Once I was calmed down and my mom could understand the words coming out of my mouth we went to work trying to find out what else we could do.  Our neurology nurse was shocked by what had happened and she promised to get some movement.  She called a little while later and said that she had us placed on a waiting list for August.  Whew.

So we waited.  And waited.  And Truman got worse.  And worse.

And now we can't wait any more.  He is having horrible nights because he is constantly waking up when he stops breathing.  He is always grabbing his head and looking at me like, "Mom DO something!" 

So we are doing something.  Truman is getting his tonsils and adenoids out at LMH next Wednesday.  We are not going to wait for Children's to be available. 

I am terrified.  I know that LMH is a great hospital.  I know my ENT is amazing.  I also know that they don't deal with developmentally delayed, low muscle tone, 18 month old babies every day. 

Our ENT spoke directly to our Neurologist and got information on anesthesia.  He is going to do it at the hospital and not the surgery center. 

I am still terrified.  I don't know if I would be this scared if he was at Children's or not.  I know that I would be nervous.  I was nervous about his surgery that he did have at Children's.  But I also knew that he was surrounded by people who did this all the time and knew little bodies. 

Second surgery...18 months old. 

I suck at this...

I was doing so well for so long...and then I fell off the blogging wagon.  So I am getting back on the horse or whatever silly saying fits in this situation.  So much has been happening and I think I have just been living in the moment and then crashing.  I forgot how good it felt to just let it out by writing.

I pledge to blog.  I promise...well, I promise that I will try. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Time just flies...Scout's Summer

I swear just yesterday was the beginning of summer!  And now we only have a few days before school starts again.  We have had a wonderful, BUSY summer and I hate to see it come to an end.

Scout had a wonderful time at Camp Raintree.  Talk about an amazing program!  Every day she was involved in incredible activities--art, drama, cooking, science, board games, outdoor games, even "techo" when the kids cool off and have fun with Wii!  She also got to swim twice a day, which is just about the coolest thing ever if you ask her!  She also participated in the Iron Kids Triathlon by swimming, biking and running.  WOW.  Every day she would pop out of bed and every night she was exhausted.  She made great friends and got to catch up with old ones.  We all can't wait for next summer.

She also took Tumbling this summer.  Turns out Scout isn't a big fan of the whole tumbling thing.  I don't know if it was the actual class (her and 2 older girls) or the actual tumbling.  All I know is that she asked me to not sign her up again.  She is ready and excited to start dance and piano again in the next few weeks.

So we are prepping for school to start!  We bought all of her school supplies.  I love school supplies.  I have passed on my dorky obsession to my daughter and we spent several hours hunting the shelves, smelling the "new school supplies" smell and marking her name on each item.  She has a new backpack and lunch box and next week I will take her shopping for her first day of school outfit.  She got her hair cut on Saturday and she looks so darn cute!  I have to take the time to download pictures to show it off.  She got to go to the beauty salon and she felt amazing!

This week she will help out Mommy by being in a photo and television shoot for a new advertising campaign for the bank I work for.  She is super excited.  I swear she thinks "bank commercial today, tomorrow Hollywood!"  I wonder where she gets that?

I can't believe how grown up she has become over the summer.  She has changed so much.  I am so proud of her.  I do wish that I could stop time for just a bit and relish this age.  Before the "tween," before the "teen."  She is so confident and sure of herself.  She isn't afraid of anything and doesn't worry about what anyone thinks of her...well...mostly.  Sometimes we get hit with the copycat bug but I just remind her gently that Scout is perfect all by copycat needed. 

What a summer!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Truman Health Update

In the midst of all the craziness of summer we have been continue to work on Truman's muscle tone issues.  He has weekly physical therapy sessions and we also work with him daily.  He is doing incredibly well.  It is really amazing how much stronger he has become.  In the past few weeks he has really developed a sense of exploration.  He spends a lot of time trying to get into as much as possible!  He stood on his own for about 5 seconds the other day in PT which was very exciting!

The not so good news is that he has been continuing to suffer from a lot of congestion and breathing issues.  He has always had an extremely high palate which caused a lot of feeding issues when he was younger.  He also had nasal reflux which means that when he swallows he doesn't have enough strength sometimes to actually get it all the way down to his stomach so it comes up and into his nose.  Not as big of a deal when it was just formula--we were able to thicken it to help avoid some of it.  But it also caused and continues to cause a lot of congestion issues.  He also has really bad allergies that add to the issue. 

This summer has been particularly bad.  He started snoring (well snoring more) than before.  He was constantly sounding like he had a stuffed up nose.  He also developed a cough.  I finally decided it was time to head back to his Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to see if there was anything else we could do.  He took one look in his throat and one in his nose and informed me that while he does have some congestion caused by allergies...his actual problem is that his tonsils and adnoids are gigantic.  As in tonsils almost touching gigantic.  The sound that we always thought was him breathing through congestion is actually him  breathing through his tonsils and adnoids.

So Truman gets to get his tonsils and adnoids removed.  At 16 months old.  He is going to have surgery...again. 

Currently we are in a waiting mode because we are trying to get him into the ENT at Children's Mercy so he could have the surgery there.  His muscle tone issues make anethesia difficult.  But they can't get us in for an APPOINTMENT until October or November.  Then the surgery couldn't take place until December or January.  His ENT in Lawrence doesn't think we should wait that long.  He will continue to have breathing issues and we could run into a more emergency situation.  So I am trying everything I can to get him into Children's earlier but it isn't looking good.  So I am also trying to come to terms with him having surgery at LMH.  LMH is a great hospital...but it isn't a Children's hospital.  They don't deal with 16 month olds with special muscle issues every day.  How many 16 month olds do they actually have get their tonsils and adnoids out? 

I know I don't have much time to wait so I am working through every possible way I can to get into Children's and when I have exhausted all options I will call and schedule the surgery for here. 

The saga continues.  But man, I love that little boy so much.  How could you not?

Happy 4th of July!

Scout's Room Project

Scout asked to redecorate her room to update it into a "big girl" room now that she is 7.  We started the project this week...

Here are some before shots...

I purposely left it just as messy as it gets so I could really feel accomplished when this whole thing is done!

We have now removed everything from her room so we can scrap the popcorn off the ceiling and paint.

Chad has spent the past few days on that project.  The ceiling is now scraped and painted.  We will start the wall painting tomorrow night. 

I'll update with more pictures as we finish!  Big Girl Diva Rock Star room here we come!

Scout's Birthday

My oldest daughter turned 7 on the 4th of July.  Yes...she is a little firecracker from the very beginning!

We had our annual birthday BBQ and celebrated her special day with our entire family...which has now grown to almost 20 people!

She was overwhelmed with gifts again this year.  My she is spoiled!  A just a tiny bit rotten...but in the best way possible!  She asked for "Big Girl Diva Rock Star" presents.  Your guess is as good as mine...but we all tried!  The scarf and necklace from my nephew Kyle, his girlfriend Liz and his son Brian was a big hit.  She also asked to redecorate her room to make it into a "big girl" room in a, yes you guessed it, "diva rock star" theme.  She got everything she needs to make it a very special room including some really cool art for her walls.  To top it off her CeCe and Papa (Chad's parents) gave her a big girl bike!  Now if we can just convince her to ride it without training wheels.

I started making this flag cake for Scout's 1st birthday and it has now become an annual tradition with people fighting over blueberry, raspberry or "both" pieces!

Scout is growing up so fast!  I can't believe that she is already 7.  It seems like only a few years ago that I was pregnant with her!

She is beautiful isn't she?  Inside and out.

I found out that I was pregnant with Scout when Chad and I were living in Chicago.  We were living in an apartment on the 4th floor of a walk-up.  I really couldn't imagine trying to have a baby in the city (or walking up those stairs 9 months pregnant, let alone with all the baby stuff) so we decided to head back to Lawrence.  Knowing this part of the story you can probably guess that she wasn't exactly "planned".  Wanted, yes.  Planned, not so much.

Most people know my pregnancy story by now so I won't bore you with the details.  For those who don't I will sum it up by saying that I became very, very sick and eventually went into heart failure.  It is called Peripartum Cardiomyopathy--or heart failure caused by pregnancy.  It was a horribly scary time and I was actually given only 6 months to get better...or not.  The not being permanent damage to my heart, a heart transplant or even death.  Whoo-hoo, right?  Great way to start off life as a new mommy.

Every cloud has a silver lining right?  Because I was so sick I was forced to slow down (OK, basically stop) and just enjoy my daughter.  For the first 6 months of her life I spent every waking moment soaking her in and learning all that I could about her.  We slept a lot.  She was very rarely out of my arms.  Even when other people wanted to hold her!  Our close relationship started with those first few months of trying to make an imprint on her memory in case something horrible would happen.  My illness also made it so I had to stay home.  There was no way that I could return to work so I was given the gift of being a stay-at-home mom.  I loved it.  We were a team and we took on the world and my illness together.  She would come with me every day to Cardiac Rehab and would coo at the "grandmas and grandpas" there while I worked out to try and improve my heart function.  I changed her clothes like 3 times a day.  And did I mention how much we slept?

When I made it past the 6 month mark I was able to finally relax a bit and just enjoy being with my daughter.  She was amazing to watch.  She started crawling at 5 months and walking at 9 1/2 months.  She was a chatterbox with a huge vocabulary by the time she was a year old.  She loved people and people loved her.  Scout has continued to be an achiever.  She is constantly blowing me away with her intelligence.  She loves to learn.  She is also a very sensitive little girl.  She has a heart the size of the United States.  She is creative and incredibly funny.  The child can drop a punch line like a seasoned pro!  She is beautiful with these amazing blue eyes that speak for themselves.  She is stubborn and bossy.  She loves to be the center of attention but at the same time she can be very shy.

Our bond that began with those first few months has only grown.  We can look at each other and instantly know what the other person is thinking.  We have the same taste in almost everything and not in a "I want to be like my mom" way because she thinks that I want to be like her!  She is one of my favorite people to just sit and talk to.  I am a very lucky mom to have such an amazing daughter.  She came into this world with a bang and I have no doubt that she will leave behind her mark on the world.  I am just so honored to have the chance to watch her do it.

Happy Birthday Scout!  I love you so much.

Monday, July 5, 2010

So much to blog about...

And yet way too tired to even try! 

Scout turned 7 and I need to post my birthday story and pictures.  Medical news about Truman.  Pictures of the 4th.  The start of a major redecorating job for Scout's room.  Lord, I have a lot I could post...

But if I stay up much longer I will fall asleep at the keys.  So--tomorrow it is.  I promise.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Just a quick message to wish all the dads out there a wonderful Father's Day!  I have been blessed to have an incredible father and an amazing father for my children.

I hope that everyone takes a moment to honor the father figures in their lives today.  A father does not have to be by blood takes much more to be the man that earns to the title of Dad. 

Thank you Chad for being such a wonderful father to our babies.  They both love you so much.  I love to watch you with our kids and see the joy that you bring them every day. 

And to my own are my mentor and friend as well as my father.  I am so lucky to have been able to look to you for advice, assistance and love.  You have given me wings while always giving me a soft place to fall.  My children think the world of you and I am so happy that we are close so they have the opportunity to learn from you as well.  Thank you for all that you do and thank you for showing me how to be a better person.  I love you!

(And thank you for always eating my matter what a flop it turns out to be!  It is supposed to be a banana cream pie!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vote for Truman!

On a whim I entered a few photos of Truman into the Parent Magazine Cover Contest...and it looks like he was chosen as one of the photos that is in the running for the weekly winner.  The contest has judges but they also allow people to vote on photos.

So...VOTE!  Early and often!  I personally think he is the cutest kid in the contest but I may be a bit biased!

Click on the link below to go to the photo and then vote!

Thanks in advance.  I would love to show my little trooper to the world and get the word out about developmental delay at the same time.

Enter by clicking the link above or by clicking here--Vote!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Truman vs. The Ravioli

I think it was a tie. 

Lola Comes Home!

Our new baby came home this weekend!

She is just too adorable for words!  Scout and Truman love her completely and I am pretty much head over heals too!

Trying to fight the evil hose!

Phog is warming up to her.  He is a little overwhelmed by her energy!

I'm so happy to add our little Lola to the family.  Now if she will sleep through the night...I will love her even more!  I feel like I have a newborn again!