Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I apologize for being remiss in responding to all the comments I have received lately. To make it up to you, and make it easy for everyone, I'm going to compile everything here so you don't have to flip back trying to remember which posts you had commented.

Here goes:

Kaylen's 12 month visit:
Thank you all for your kind words and support. Reading back reminds me that I still need to go in for her shots. I guess that slipped my mind with all the fuss about the cardiologist.

Again, thank you for the out pouring of support and great ideas. Somehow it does help to know that others feel this way at times as well. What's that saying? Misery loves company. :) No seriously, thank you. I had been having a string of really awful days and it helps to put it out there and know you are all there for me.

Cardiologist Visit:
Holy moly! Here we go again: Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! Your kindness, support and understanding has meant the world to me over the course of these very long days.
Tracey: Thank you! You already know how much I appreciate your adding us to your church prayer list. :)

How Do You Cope With Stress?
Monkey: We're flying so sadly I won't get to stop in to say hello and meet ya'll. But....my friend Brenda is probably going to be moving to Sacramento in the near future and I have promised her a visit so if that comes to pass....I'll be knocking on your door! :)

Jen: Are you serious? Only 25 minutes from Disneyland? It seems criminal to *not* meet up. We won't have a vehicle as we are staying at one of the Disney Hotels but maybe we can work something out where you come visit us! :) (Cristin - would you be terribly jealous? Then get your rear in gear and plan a trip too! :) )

Is anyone else thinking of planning a trip to Disneyland the end of May? We would LOVE to meet up with folks and finally meet face to face (and swap off kid-care so the grown ups can hit the good rides! *grin*)

Good Thoughts and Huge Sigh of Relief:
Thank you thank you thank you!!! I'm not sure how I would have gotten through all of this without support and love from my friends. I just knew in my gut this would all be ok but I will admit to moments of sheer terror that my instincts might be wrong and my baby might be seriously sick. Thank God that wasn't the case. I feel much lighter today. A huge weight was lifted.

Are you tired of reading "thank you" yet? Sorry - but I have to do it one more time: Thank you, everyone! You all helped carry me through.
Breathing A Huge Sigh of Relief

Thank you all So much for the prayers and good thoughts - they seem to have worked!!! Although we won't have the final word until tomorrow or Thursday, the tech who performed the echocardiogram felt she was looking at a perfectly normal shaped heart that is doing its job exactly as it should!! Hallelujah!!

I knew it! I just KNEW it!! She is just too darn healthy for something serious to be wrong.

The test itself went well. We were escorted back and Kaylen stood on the scale and then against the wall to see how tall she is. I couldn't' believe it - there was my baby standing like a big girl getting weighed and measured. So cute!! Then we went to the treatment room and we stripped her and placed her on the bed. The tech attached lead wires and we got her into position for the scan. I hopped up on the bed to hold her arms still and Dakota popped in a Barney video for her to watch. She was happy for about 5 minutes and then she melted down. I was getting concerned that sedation would be in her future so in an attempt to avoid that, I asked if it would be ok to nurse her while the tech scanned. So - I got into position and Kaylen happily nursed her way through the rest of the 40 minutes. She actually was so calm it was freaky. I guess that's the power of nursing and having mommy right next to you when you are a little scared of what is happening.

The tech was great - she would point things out and answer our questions. It was very reassuring. The fact that we were at the local Children's Hospital was reassuring as well - they deal with babies and kids all day long - they know what they are doing and they are so gentle doing it.

In the end, Dakota and I are feeling very confident that this is a good outcome and very relieved that this chapter is all but closed. The phone call tomorrow from the cardiologist is all we need.

So thanks again, everyone!! Your support has been the world to me.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Prayers and Good Thoughts Requested:

Ok - tomorrow is the big test for Kaylen. It's at 10:00AM Pacific Time. I would greatly appreciate any and all good thoughts, prayers, etc. that you all can send.

We probably won't know anything until Wednesday or Thursday but I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

How do you cope with stress?

Apparently we plan our escape. We booked a trip to Disneyland for the end of May. A bit crazy and all but we did it anyway.

And yes - the kids are going too. :)
The green eyed monster has me in its grip.

A bunch of my friends left their kiddos in the care of the other parent and took off for a long weekend at the beach. Long days of chatting, walking on the beach, drinking, laughing and shirking all their responsibilities. Nights of blissful sleep. Hours of uninterrupted snoozing.

Nope - I'm not just politely envious. I am all out jealous.

I could have gone. Well - in my dreams. We had planned a trip to see my family this weekend to celebrate Kaylen's birthday but my brother-in-law came down with the flu and since we stay with them, we decided it was in our best interest to reschedule the trip. But still - Dakota needed to study so there was still no way I could escape.

I hope they are all having fun.....but I'm still finding comfort in knowing that they will all be on their way back home in 14 hours. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ok - so this is how the visit to the cardiologist was supposed to go:

We have the EKG and are sent to the specialty clinic to see the cardiologist
The cardiologist reviews the EKG, checks over the baby and says: "I find no evidence of a murmur. Please take your exceedingly healthy baby and go home."
We leave the office happy and carefree.

Did you notice the phrase "supposed to go"? Yeah. So not what we got.

We have the EKG and are sent to the specialty clinic to see the cardiologist
The cardiologist reviews the EKG, checks over the baby, has her medical student check over the baby all the while saying to him "Tell me what you hear." "Now check here - what do you hear here?"

I see Dakota turn a bit pale but I am holding firmly to my "There is nothing wrong. She is just pointing out to him how there is no murmur in this very healthy child."

I boldly say "What are you hearing? The murmur?"
She says "I wouldn't be a very good cardiologist if I didn't hear it."


Ok - so the bottom line is Kaylen has two, not just one, murmurs. Still not too problematic since the doc says "They sound like innocent murmurs.....................BUT........."

Oh yeah - there's a but.

The EKG is abnormal. The results indicate an enlarged left side of her heart. It might still be nothing - or it might be something. More testing is needed.


So not what I expected.

Q: Why is she a year old and never had a murmur heard before?
A: She might never have had one before. These might have been brought on by her recent bout with the flu. This might indicate an infection in her heart.

Q: What if her heart is enlarged?
A: Let's cross that bridge when we have more data.

Q: Could this be why she turns a dusky blue color sometimes.
A: Yes. Or no. We'll know more with the echo.

I decide NOT to do internet research. I have, in all my lack of an ability to cope, decided to return to my bubble of denial. Everything is going to be fine. She is too healthy for it to go any other way.

Her echo is scheduled for Tuesday morning (why is it so much more frightening when they can get appointments so quickly? They would have gotten her in tomorrow but we were going to be out of town. The doc had tried to get her in this afternoon in the name of "saving us a trip". Hmmmmm.). We'll know more then. If she cooperates she won't have to be sedated.

Sedated. I really, really don't want her sedated.

So - that would be the update. And now I am zipping back up my bubble and hiding from anything else. I'm telling you - I really, truly can't cope. (Did I mention how I was holding Kaylen and holding Kelton's hand while we crossed a parking lot yesterday when I fell? Oh yeah - my left leg is so gosh darn purty right now. Anyway - a complete stranger came up to help. When she asked if I was ok, I burst into tears and said "No!" So...this absolute stranger in the Wal-Mart parking lot, held my daughter in one arm, gave me a hug with the other and stood there and let me cry on her shoulder. She said "It's hard. I know - it's so hard some days." She isn't just whistling dixie, my friends. But I digress....)

*fingers in my ears while I sing "Lalalalalalalalalalalalaa"

D'Nile.....it ain't just a river in Egypt.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I know you haven't been over to Addicted to Scrapping in a while so pop over and check out all my new pages. For those of you wanting to join the digi scrapping world, there are some great challenges going on which will give you a good direction in which to travel. I've outlined the challenges and provided a link to more info.

Come on....play with me! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Kaylen had her 12 month well baby appointment today and I wish I could say it was uneventful but.... Let's start with with the basic stuff:

She's 23.2lbs and 30.25 inches long (though I dispute this. Since when do they bend the foot down and measure from the tips of their toes? I've never seen this done before.). She's in the 75th percentile for height and weight and 90th for head. I guess there is no denying that a big head comes from my side of the gene pool. :)

Generally, she looks good.

Except...........she has either developed a heart murmur or she has had it all along but her recent illness has made it more easily detectable since it was clearly there today. (By the by - the doc thinks, based on symptoms, that she had the flu). Coupled with the fact that she stopped breathing a few weeks back and that she tends to get blue/grey around her mouth and nose often for no apparent reason, we are being referred to a cardiologist at the local Children's Hospital. She also had chest x-rays taken today so they can be sent to the heart guy (now that is NOT a pleasant experience for babies. They put her in a contraption, strapped her in super tightly with her arms above her head . The first two times was ok - just a little fussing but when they had to reshoot the films because they were too light, she made it known to all that she was pissed off! I felt so awful for her....).

This is probably going to turn out to be a non-event and if she hadn't stopped breathing they would most likey just be watching her for a while to see what happened. But......she did stop breathing and she does turn a dusky color which means it warrants a specialist.

Since she is just starting to feel better, I opted to wait on the shots. I'll take her back in when she is back to being healthy - I just didn't have it in me to cause her more pain when she still is trying to get better.

Not exactly the "She's completely healthy" visit I had been expecting but considering everything, I would rather they look into it to keep my baby safe.

Oh - and we had her family party tonight. It was very small but fun. She looked adorable in her birthday dress. Here are a few photos:

Look at those eyes!!!!

Monday, February 13, 2006

I've been tagged! (Thanks Shawna!)

1.What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was just moving into the first home I ever owned and I was working at Group Health in Seattle. D and I had been together for almost 2 years.

2.What were you doing 1 year ago?
One year ago today I was bringing my three-day old daughter home from the hospital.

3. Five snacks you enjoy:
Starbucks Rasberry Mocha, cheese, chocolate milk, donuts and anything chocolate.

4. Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
Hmm….this is a sad but true fact: I know the lyrics but I don’t know the song titles. I know most all country song lyrics but the one that pops into my mind is “Jesus Take The Wheel” Oh wait! I also know the theme song for Barney, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, All the opening songs to the Hi-5 series, the Mister Rogers theme song…..ok…you’re getting the picture. That’s pretty much what my life revolves around.

5. Five bad habits:
I bite my nails when stressed, I no longer wear anything other than stretchy clothes when I am home, I tend to speed, I still use far too many swear words, I love to eat kids cereal.

6. Five things you like doing:
drinking coffee, digital scrapbooking, watching TV, talking on instant messaging services and sleeping

7. Five things you would never wear, buy or get again:
a dress, high heels, turkey bacon, Oust, a cheap printer

8. Five favorite toys:
my computer, my digital camera….ok, this one has my stumped. I guess I don’t have favorite toys. Sad.

9. Five people I want tagged…
Tracey, Sonya, Mistalyn, Cristin, and Laura

Friday, February 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, my little angel!

How in the world has it been an entire year since you arrived in our lives? I don't think I've ever experienced twelve months flying by this quickly. In my eyes, you are still such a little thing - maybe 6 months old - you can't possible be a year.

The day you were born is a day I will never forget. The excitement, anticipation, fear and then suddenly you entered the world. You weren't so keen on breathing and you ended up giving us a good scare for a couple days but in the end, you found that you enjoyed using your lungs...and you continued to do so quite loudly for the next 10 weeks. Someone once said that some babies don't enjoy their newborn phase and I'm partial to believing that with you. Once you were finally able to do more, like roll over and hold your head up, you were a completely different child.

Your smiles and laughter fill every day now and I can't imagine my life without you. I watched you toddle around the house today and was blown away by all that you are becoming and all that you are. I think I love you so much that I can't possible love you more and then....the sun rises in the morning and I find my love for you has grown. Every day it's like that and I honestly don't know how it happens.

You are a true miracle and I am so thankful and so blessed that you are in my life. Happy First Birthday, little one. May your future be as bright as your eyes and full of laughter and love.

All my love forever.

Monday, February 06, 2006

A few cute videos to share - hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

The Walking Girl:

Share Video at DropShots.com

The Little Copy Cat:

Share Video at DropShots.com

The Difference Between Boys and Girls; Kelton's goal was to shove all the dolls inside the dollhouse to make them cry. Kaylen's was to remove them to give them love. :)

Share Video at DropShots.com

Friday, February 03, 2006

And...just to lighten the mood (not like it really helped but it was an attempt):
I, being the quintessential Northwestern-er, actually understood each and every one of these. :)

The Pacific Northwest According To Jeff Foxworthy

1. You know the state flower (Mildew).

2. You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.

3. Use the statement "sun break" and know what it means.

4. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.

5 You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.

6. You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.

7. You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "WALK"

8. You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it's
not a real mountain.

9. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and

10. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon.

11. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, Yakima,
and Willamette.

12. You consider swimming an indoor sport.

13. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.

14. In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark while
only working eight-hour days.

15. You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.

16. You are not fazed by "Today's forecast: showers followed by rain,"and
"Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers."

17 You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.

18. You know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of

19. You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see
through the cloud cover.

20. You notice, "The mountain is out" when it is a pretty day and you can
actually see it.

21. You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still
wear your hiking boots and parka.

22. You switch to your sandals when it gets about 60, but keep the socks

23. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.

24. You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.

25. You buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old
ones after such a long time.

26. You measure distance in hours.

27. You often switch from "heat" to "a/c" in the same day. (edited: Yeah right - hardly anyone HAS a/c)

28. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.

29. You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still
Raining ( Spring), Road Construction (Summer), Deer & Elk season (Fall).

30. You actually understood these jokes and will probably forward them.
It's been one of those days........

...and it's only 11:30 in the morning. We have done 15 trillion activities but nothing for more than 5 minutes at a time. Let me tell you - that's a LOT of cleaning up and putting away.

I'm frustrated. I'm tired. I'm lonely (which is odd since I don't have 10 seconds to myself). I'm tired of hearing "MAMA!" screamed at me. I'm tired of hearing "I want a snack!" "MAAAAAMAAAAAA....you HAVE to!" "MAAAMAAAAAA....Come HERE!"

I'm tired of saying "Come here if you want to speak with me." "You just ate breakfast/lunch. You can have a snack in a couple hours." "Actually, I don't HAVE to do anything. I'm the parent."

And I'm so over the whining today. The fussing. The tears.

Have I mentioned lately that I haven't had a child-free moment to myself in weeks and weeks? Good thing nap time is coming.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

"Honey, those are NOT radio dials!"

This is sooooo not what you think (gutter minds!) but this *may* be too much info (TMI) for some people (like my sister) so consider yourself warned. If you are easily embarrassed, just go ahead and click out of here. That said, I know that *everyone* will keep reading because curiosity is human nature. :)

My daughter nurses...it's practically her favorite thing to do but lately she has been mistaking me for her blanket or her stuffed puppy. Yes, it's true - *I* have become her lovie object. Not just any part of me, mind you - oh no, that would be too simple. It's my nipples that she must have between her fingers while she falls asleep. Can you say OUCH!!?? I sure can.

It's been going on for weeks now and yes, I've tried substituting items but she wants no part of that. I've tried "No, honey." and pulling my shirt back down but that is met with wails like you would not believe....and that just isn't worth the trauma or the lost sleep.

So our routine goes something like this:
She nurses and while she is drinking from one side, she has the other side in her grasp. And if my shirt isn't up, no problem, she can do that all by herself. Then we switch sides and when she is done, she snuggles in super duper tight to me, her head on my bare chest and my nipple trapped between her fingers. And she twists and rubs. Babies do not know their own strength. Say it with me now.......OUCH!!!

And yet this is a precious, fleeting time in our relationship and I love every second of her wanting to be with me (I wouldn't mind if she transferred to love to her puppy though). Soon enough - she'll be grown....and this story will be waiting in the wings to embarrass the heck out of her. :)