Saturday, January 30, 2010

Honeybells...

When we were growing up, my grandma would order Honeybells for us from Florida. Jaime and I would look forward to January, because that is when they would arrive. Let me tell you about Honeybells. First of all, they are from Florida. Second of all, you CANNOT buy them in the store- which makes them all the more valuable. Third of all, once you taste these orange-hybrids, you will NEVER want a regular, grocery store orange ever again. Those are sub par oranges buy far, and should be sad that they are called "oranges". Honeybells are actually not an orange, they are a hybrid of a tangerine and grapefruit, and are only available in January for a few weeks.

A few Christmas' ago, Dad continued the tradition and started getting Jaime and I our own boxes. These oranges are so JUICY, that a bib is recommended when you eat them. You can literally choke on the juices. I hoard these oranges, so that they can last for a while. Ryan and I will share one for a treat, but Ryan says that I can have all of them, because he knows they are special to me. Noah isn't interested in them yet, so I guess I get them all :-)

I tried to take a picture of them with my camera, but it didn't do them justice, so I got this picture off the internet. Thanks for the Honeybells, Daddy. I haven't choked on the juices yet!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

9 Months Old Today...

Today, my baby girl turned 9 months old. It's been a rough ride for her these past 9 months, but she is handling it well. We went for her 9 month check up today. Our pediatrician was impressed with how healthy she looked, despite how little she eats. She has gained almost all the weight she lost from being sick. She is now 15 lbs 2 oz, and 26 inches long. Our doctor was pleased that her head is growing (it's in the 80th percentile) which means that all the calories she is getting are going to her brain development. She is a little behind developmentally, but he was not concerned about it. Plus, she was ahead with some development. We go back in a month for a weight check, and he wrote us a prescription for some VERY expensive formula. It appears that we will have to do battle with the insurance company to get them to cover it, but I WILL win that battle. When Ryan and I do battle together, look out.

Happy 9 months, my little lady bug. We love you so much!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Breakthrough?

Since December we have had issues with our feeding therapist for Juliana. What kind of issues? She just stopped showing up. Didn't return my emails, didn't return Ryan's phone calls. Ryan finally called the company that sent her to us, and they said that she had written in our file "mother decided to use a different therapist". That was news to me. I thought we had clicked pretty well, but apparently I was way off base. If you know me, you also know I have a temper when people lie to me, and I was angry for several days, which is why I had Ryan call the manager (my conversation would have probably included many expletives, due to my lack of filter).

So, Ryan called the company and spoke with the manager. She got us scheduled with a different therapist- Peggy. I also printed out every email exchange between myself and Vicki, as well as the emails that were never answered, so that I could show them to the manager.

We met with Peggy yesterday at her office (kind of a downside, but at least it's close to our house). She was very friendly, and Noah warmed up to her quickly. Juliana took a little longer, but I'm sure that's because Peggy was touching her face and mouth, and that's where Juliana has issues. Since Juliana's bronchitis, she had been drinking on average, 15 ounces a day (sometimes more, sometimes less), and had also been refusing tub foods. Peggy was able to get Juliana to start eating solids again, by using a vibrating spoon. Who knew those existed?!? I didn't. We were able to get her to drink a little bit from the bottle, but not much. Too bad they don't make a vibrating nipple for the bottle (that doesn't sound good, does it?).

When we left, Juliana had a messy face and hands, which in Peggy's words, "is a sign of a successful session". Peggy also let Noah pick out a sticker, because he was so good- she had lots of toys in her office and Noah played quietly on the side while we worked with Juliana.

Hopefully, this time will be different. We will now see Peggy once a week, and I have no idea how long that will continue for. Wish us luck!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Strong Woman...

My sister, Jaime, is one of the strongest people I know. 6 years ago, she was 19.5 weeks pregnant. 6 years ago she miscarried. I remember getting the call from my parents on January 14 that Bill had taken her to the hospital, Jaime was running a fever and infection had set in. She would most likely miscarry.

Ryan drove us to the hospital and we sat in the waiting room for hours until my dad came out to check if we were there. I remember we prayed around Jaime's bed, asking God for Him to make the decision for them. Then, Ryan and I drove to Jaime and Bill's house, picked up their dog and drove back to our house. I just laid in bed waiting for the phone call to come. It didn't. I called in sick to work, and drove up to the hospital in the morning. We sat in the waiting room taking turns sitting with Jaime. My mom didn't leave her side. Then my mom came and got my dad and I, and we went in to see Jaime holding their little girl, that she had just miscarried. She was so tiny and so beautiful. I studied her, forcing my brain to remember her, fighting my brain injury to not let me forget her. They named her Faith. Later that year, I got her name in Kanji tattooed on my back.

I was so angry with God for many years, for denying Jaime this little girl. Jaime is an amazing mother with 3 beautiful children now, and one waiting for her in Heaven. I can't wait to meet you, Faith. Neither can Ryan, Noah, or Juliana.

I love you Jaime (you too, Bill).

If you think of it, please pray for the little girl that they sponsor who shares Faith's birthday. She is from Haiti and they don't know if she is alright.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Juliana Has A LOT To Say...

Juliana is finally feeling better- yay! Jaime and Bill let us borrow their jumper because Juliana loves to "jump". I took some video with our old camera, and as you can see, she has a lot to say! Jaime and Bill, thanks for letting us borrow this, she LOVES it! And yes, she is in the doorway to our basement (we finished part of it)- it's the only doorway besides the bathroom on that level.

video

video

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Long Week...

It's been a long, nightmare of a week. Ryan has been out of town since Tuesday, and won't return until Sunday afternoon. My parents are coming tonight to help me out, because I am FRIED!

Juliana has had a bad cold since last Friday- she threw up at the dinner table, and that is all Noah can talk about any time he sees someone new. We just figured it was her turn to be sick, and we were actually pretty happy that she waited this long (8 months) to get sick. One of the down sides to her being sick was that she was eating significantly less than she had already been eating. Tuesday morning, at 2 AM, Ryan got up to feed Juliana before he had to leave to get on the plane. I noticed that he had started the washing machine, so I wandered into her room, and he told me she had thrown up again. I helped him clean up, and then told him I needed to call in sick and email my sub plans to my friends at work, so I could stay home with her.

I was able to get her in to see the pediatrician that morning. I noticed that morning that her breathing was odd. When she would breathe in, you could hear loud crackling. That's when I started to freak out a little bit. I was happy to find out that she was now 15 pounds and she wasn't dehydrated. What I didn't want to hear was that her right lung was not clear, BUT her left lung was clear. The pediatrician suspected bronchitis bordering on pneumonia and he was glad that I had brought her in when I did, because he didn't want to see it turn into RSV, which apparently because of her heart, she is more susceptible to. He started her on antibiotics, and gave me this amazing baby booger sucker that works way better than the one you go home from the hospital with. I also had him check Noah out, since he said she was very contaigous. Noah just had a cold, thank God.

Tuesday was rough, but the night time was worse. I gave her a bath, and got her into her jammies. She then threw up again, so I had to clean both of us up, her crib, and I gave her a new bath. That night, I was getting up every hour or so, to suction her nose and mouth (she was choking on mucus). I had her sleeping in her swing, no motion, just more upright than in her propped crib.

Wednesday, I stayed home again. In the morning, I called the chiropractor and they got us in right away as well. He adjusted Juliana and told me that if she was still as bad as she was on Thursday, to call his cell phone (he's off on Thursdays) and he would drive up and meet us at his office. Wednesday she ate a little better, and there was no throwing up. I was able to get a little more sleep, and only had to suction her every 2-3 hours.

If you live in the Midwest, you know that Thursday we got hammered with snow, and I'll admit I had been banking on a snow day, so let me tell you, when I didn't get that phone call, I was NOT happy to get up, get the kids up and go to work. I should have stayed home another day, but final exams are next week, and I was not done teaching the material that my students needed to know.

When I picked up the kids on Thursday, Juliana was in high spirits. She was smiling and babbling and bouncing, something I hadn't seen her do in days. She still wasn't eating well, but she was definitely better, which was great. Of course, once I got her home, she immediately melted down on and off until she went to bed, but at least she had a good day with Theresa.

This morning she barely seemed congested and we go back to the chiropractor after work to have her adjusted again. I'm just thankful that she didn't get worse, and that my parents are coming tonight. I am exhausted and in need of much sleep. Thank goodness it's the weekend.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Resolutions...

This year I have a few resolutions that I plan on completing, and here they are:

1) A Sprint Triathalon. This is not like the Ironman Triathalon. It's a 400 meter swim, 13.3 mile bike ride, and a 5K run. Some friends of mine are on board to do this as well, so hopefully we will be able to all sign up to do one together. FYI, Adriane and Cari the June one in Naperville I will not be able to do because we will be in Florida, but there is one in Naperville in August. I've been training since this summer with the running part and have recently added on the swimming part (which is harder than I thought, because swimming has always been easy for me).

2) Enjoying my kids. Because of the little girl's health issues, I feel like I have not enjoyed her or Noah like I should have. I feel like all we did in 2009 was go from doctor to doctor. This year, so far the doctor appointments seem to be spread out more, so we won't be in the car as much.

3) Making some friends at church. There are a lot of nice ladies who go to our church, and I feel like I don't know any of them. Three of my four closest friends are spread out in Illinois and I never get to see them. My fourth closest friend is my sister, and while I talk to her on the phone, we don't live close enough to see each other as often as I (and Noah) would like. I thought that by signing up for Mom Connections would help me do this, but due to problems with the little girl, being sick myself, and Ryan being out of town, I haven't connected there either. I think I do have a babysitter for the upcoming meeting, as Ryan will, again, be out of town.

4) This one is for next year (2011), and I totally want Jaime and Bill to sign up for it as well. Ryan and I want to do the warrior dash (click on it to see what it is), and if you put the mouse over the pictures, it shows you what you do at that stage. I mean, who doesn't want to get totally dirty and get to jump over fire?!? It looks AWESOME! Mom, will you babysit for us, please? Any one else want to jump on the bandwagon? You get some cool stuff too, we don't really care about the free beer afterwards, because we don't drink, but the rest of it sounds like fun.

Well, I think that's about all for my resolutions, and it seems like they are all do-able.