Monday, February 28, 2011

What a beautiful day

The sun is shining, it's nearly 40 degrees....gorgeous way to end February.

I am dying that I didn't take a picture of the view from the hospital parking terrace, the view overlooking the entire Salt Lake Valley was so beautiful today!

The visit with our neurosurgeon was great.

It was amazing to see side by side images from Sam's MRI and 6wks and the one from two weeks ago.  I am such a geek and am completely fascinated with this!  There is definitely a noticeable change in the size of his ventricles.  There is more fluid stuck in there.  Left and right (lateral ventricles), along with the third ventricle are enlarged further from 6wks, fourth ventricle looks normal.

The best news of the day is that while there is more fluid and thus more pressure, it is not bad enough that our dr feels the need to get in to surgery quickly!  Yahoo!  He said that he would like to consult with his partners just to make sure that they agree with him, but with this man's experience, especially directly relating to hydrocephalus, I trust his opinion and would be surprised if the other neurosurgeons felt differently.  I suppose it could happen, but I certainly don't expect it to.

Speaking of surgery, he feels like Sam would be a good candidate to have a ventriculostomy (this link also labels ventricles, so that above paragraph might make more sense) instead of a shunt.   We are able to see very clearly that Sam's hydrocephalus is due to an obstruction in the third ventricle.  The term "aquiductal stenosis" has been thrown around in some of Sam's diagnoses, though as I discussed this today with our dr he mentioned that typically in that case there is a membrane at the bottom of the third ventricle that is preventing the flow of fluid out of the brain.  In Sam's case, the obstruction appears to be either due to a small malformation at the base of the ventricle or possibly a tumor (don't freak out yet) in the way there.  While we can clearly see the obstruction, we can't clearly see exactly what it is.   He mentioned that occasionally a small benign tumor will grow there and case the blockage, but that it isn't something that needs to be operated on or needs to be a cause for concern.  Thank goodness, because tumor can be a pretty frightening word.  With the number of malformations that we have seen there in Sam's brain, I'm leaning towards that.  You know, cause all my expertise comes from....uh....being his mom.  Honestly, I don't feel any underlying need to worry about what exactly that blockage is.

Though there are of course risks with a ventriculostomy-as there are with any surgery-they are fewer than those of a shunt.  Less chance of infection, less invasive overall, less recovery because things aren't being implanted clear from the brain down through the body into the abdomen.  We'll talk more about that when the need arises.

So timeline?  Still unsure.  This is a GOOD thing!
Unless we continue to see a marked increase in head size over the next couple of months, we will just hold off, and do another MRI in the summer around the time Sam celebrates his first birthday.  <----That makes me think about celebrating his first birthday!
No surgery plans for now.   Happiness!

We just keep on keepin' on.  Enjoying every day and every smile from this cutie-patootie boy of ours.
Can you believe he'll be seven months on Friday?!  It's amazing that it's been almost a year since this whole journey began in an ultrasound last March......

Thank you again for your prayers-we are so very appreciative!


Waking Up

This morning we're off to visit the Neurosurgeon.

You know what's amazing?  That head that was bulging so much two weeks ago?   Looking awfully normal for the past few days.  The veins that were popping out?  Nice and flat now.  We are so grateful for the prayers in our little Sam's behalf.  I will never understand that people don't believe in the power of prayer.

Now an appointment that I was nervous about a two weeks ago suddenly seems very routine.  Perfectly calm, not a worry on the radar.  It is a good feeling.

I am also going to stop by the palliative care office at the Children's Hospital to see the sweet nurse who visited us in the hospital when Sam was born, and has called asking about him a couple of times.  I am so excited to show her how well Sam is doing.  That will be fun.

And since it seemed fitting for a Monday morning.....
I mentioned being a meanie and filming Sam as he was still groggy from his after the sedation from his MRI.  I have a feeling he will follow in the footsteps of the others and talk in his sleep.

I hope you woke up a little better than this today.
And that if you didn't, you also got to stick your thumb in your mouth and drift back off to sleep!

Off we go to neurosurgery!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Randomness

Too much floating around in this brain of mine.

I thoroughly LOVED the comments on the last post about number of kids.  And the emails.  Very fun to read everyone's thoughts.  I had an interesting conversation about it with some friends the other day as well.  General consensus:  With close friends, we all talk about things like that anyway.  Otherwise, mind your own business, am I right?

Those who were interested in the game the Dot Dot Dot review can find it HERE.  It is the Super Press Space to Win adventure.  Still cracks me up.

Speaking of the Dot Dot Dot review, we have a friend who watched it multiple times and couldn't figure out why it was so funny.  When we pointed out the gross spelling errors he said "oh.  I didn't notice that."  When we pointed out that the narrator was reading the errors as written he said "well that makes more sense."  Oh dear.
I can't tell you how many times we use "beacuase" and "esey" in our conversations now.  That also still cracks me up.

I'm headed down to paint trim in my girls' bedroom so we can get that put back together.  They decided they are done with pink and purple.  I knew the day would come and really, I'm kind of surprised we made it till my oldest was 12.  Granted they've been asking to change the color for a year.....
It is now a funky aqua color.  Pretty darn bright, but fun.  Accents will be black and white, should be cute when it's done.  The tax return showed up in the bank account today (hallelujah!) so we can get their beds ordered too.  No more ginormous metal twin over full bunk.  (hallelujah!)

It snowed last night.  A lot.  Well, not a ton, but more than just a little.  I'd guess we're at 6ish inches right now?  It's supposed to keep going through tomorrow and Sunday.  I really enjoyed our little taste of spring and seeing my tulips start to poke through the ground.  Good thing the snow is beautiful as it first falls, makes it a little easier to be bundling kids up again.  But with that said, I am SO ready for winter to be over!

It was haircut week for the boys.  Aaron cuts their hair, saving us roughly $3,546,287 a year.  Ok not quite,  but close enough with the rate at which my little apes tend to grow hair.  Taylor has been asking to go bald since before Halloween.  He wanted to be Avatar something or other but we wouldn't let him shave his head due to the fact that he was cast as Scrooge in a production of A Christmas Carol.  I know, I haven't blogged about that yet.  It's only been two months....I'll get there.
Now we didn't have any reasons why he couldn't.  So Aaron handed the clippers over.

Then after cleaning up the less than even self-cutting job, his head was bic-ed at his request.

This child is a toothpick, so when he's bald he looks like chemo boy.
Can't wait to see him in his baggy basketball uniform tomorrow.  All those gangly limbs hanging out.

And his giant shoes (the boy wears a mens 7 now) remind me of toothpicks stuck in jumbo marshmallows.

And without hair his ears look as big as Sam's.

Speaking of Sam, I'm dying to photoshop a certain photo of Sam to make his skin blue.

Had a team meeting yesterday for my first relay event.  I am beyond excited.  We are doing the Red Rock Relay in Moab, so it's a short quick one, but should be a blast and goes through such beautiful places!  And it promises some good hills.  Two and a half months.  Can't wait.

I am going out tonight with two of my very best friends.  I am beyond excited for this too.  Even just a 30 minute chat with these people the other night totally turned my crazy day around.  Hours together should sustain me for a couple of months.  Good times for sure.

I have never been more grateful for a washer and dryer in my home as I have been for the past week.  I am ready to be done passing the stomach flu around.  We are now at almost 12 hours since the last child puked all over everything.  Ok, not everything, just the bathroom, but still.

I am even more grateful that I have not been hit with everything passing through my house for the past two weeks.  Fighting a little cold but that's it.  I'll take it!

I need to repaint the kitchen.  I have decided I am done with the dark red that it is now, but have no idea what I want to do.  What to do, what to do......  Thoughts?

I have been taking pictures of my midsection post baby.  You know I'm obsessed with belly pictures while I'm pregnant, watching my middle expand to great proportions.....I thought it would be interesting to see the transformation going the other direction.  Even though I'm still not where I'd like to be ab-wise, it's encouraging.

I can't figure out where I put our little point and shoot camera.  Again.  I do this about 10 times every week.  There were some pictures I wanted to download of Charlotte and I in a box.  Hmmm....wonder where that is....I should find that today.  Again.

But first I'm going to take advantage of Sam's morning nap and go paint that trim.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I guess I crossed the line

I have a lot of kids.
I know that I have a lot of kids.
Heck, even our Christmas New Year's Card this year flat out said "we have a lot of kids" .  Yes really.

But apparently I have crossed a certain line with eight.

I've had comments since number 5 rolled around about having a lot of kids.  I found that slightly unusual due to the fact that I live in Utah where traditionally everyone has a lot of kids.  Not as much as it used to be, but still, it's UTAH!
There are four kids in my family (I have two brothers and one sister), and it felt like we had an average, if not smallish family.  When I was a kid it seemed like everyone else had six kids and we "only" had four.

Typically when people would ask how many kids I have-and I swear it comes up every time I leave the house no matter how many kids I have with me- I would get a reply of "You don't look old enough to have that many kids!" or "wow-that's a lot!"  or "you really have your hands full!" or something along those lines.  Every once in a while I'd get a snide or just flat our rude comment, but oh well, it happens.  Thankfully the good outweigh the bad, so you just learn to ignore those ones.

But since I've had Sam, actually since I was pregnant, the questions and comments have changed a little bit.
Even when we had seven kids, we'd get the same responses.  "Wow!  Seven?  Really?  Seven?!"
(which makes me think of The Sounds of Music "Don't you like children?" "Yes, but SEVEN?!")

Now we've entered new territory.
It seems no one has 8 kids of their own unless they are a Duggar or Octomom.
In the past month it seems to have happened more than ever.  The new response when I tell people I have 8?
"Is it a yours/mine/ours thing?"
"So....are some of them adopted?"
"Did you give birth to them all?"  I've actually been asked that 5 times in the past month.
And the multiples question has started morphing from "do you have any multiples?" to "How many sets of multiples?"

Don't get me wrong, I really don't mind, and I'm not complaining, I just find it funny that for some reason adding an eighth child has really thrown people.
I can only imagine what it would be like outside of our little bubble here....we haven't been out of town for a while, but on our last trip to SoCal with seven kids, we certainly garnered some looks!

And it has me curious-do you get questions and comments about the number of kids you have or how close in age they are?  Or like a friend of mine with two kids who got some very probing questions the other day, do you get interrogated by people wondering why you don't have more?

Still, I think my favorite part of the personal questions that get asked when this subject comes up is "you are done, aren't you?"
(NO, that's not an announcement!  And yes, I know, I STILL need to change my header.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Special Delivery

Dear Mail Carrier:

I grew up in a neighborhood where the mailman actually walked from house to house.  Still does.  Because the mail boxes are on the houses.  Yes, you deliver mail in the middle of nowhere, but there are thousands of us who live out here, so it's not like one stop totally out of your way.   I think it is nice that you get to just sit in your jeep out here and do not have to walk up to each house.  It saves you tons of time.  I'm sure that getting out to actually put packages on door steps can probably get annoying.  Thus I say to you, kudos for creativity.

But really, you can no longer blame me for the door to my mailbox not shutting easily.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oh the laughs

For Your Sunday Evening Viewing Pleasure.  Or maybe Monday morning for many of you.  If so, hopefully this gets your week off to an amusing start.

Everyone has their favorite little YouTube guilty pleasures.  One of ours is Dot Dot Dot.  We watch it at least a few times a week.  It never fails.  Laughing every single time.  The more you watch it the funnier it gets.

For those of you not familiar with this little clip, allow me to explain.  Actually, allow me to copy and past the explanation.  
In an age where the anonymous reviewer is held to no general standard of grammar or spelling, an intelligible trolling rant is a common and often eye-rolling occurrence. And when a game is meant as a parody of its genre, and a player playing it doesn't quite get the joke ... well, magic happens.

But the real triumph, is when an epic voice actor decides to perform a run-of-the-mill game review rant ... committing to all its grammatical belligerence.

I present to you, Dot Dot Dot — Animated. I hop uyo enjo it.

 In other words, someone wrote a review. That someone has next to zero functionality in regard to grammar and spelling, and no appreciation for satire, and this is a dramatic reading of the review as written.  Please watch this:
(for some reason part of the screen is being cut off...double click to see the full thing-trust me, you want to)


Now, back in the first week when we had discovered this little gem, the hubby and I happened to be watching it repeatedly.  Late at night.  Like the wee hours of the morning late.  (and yes that is his phone that goes off.  twice.  Who was calling so late?)  After a very long day.
You know how things are funnier when it's really late and you are totally wiped out from the day?
I was dying at how hard Aaron was laughing, so I filmed it.
Yes, that is my squeaky voice and strained laughter.  But it pales in comparison to him totally dying over this video.

Yes, that was a snort in there.  A couple of times I think.  It is a rare thing to see him laugh so hard he squeaks.
No, we don't drink.  Thank goodness!  If this is what sober is like, can you imagine?  Do you think the stress of school, work, and life in general might be getting to him?
Nah!  It's all good!  But man, things can be so much funnier in the middle of the night!
Oh, we played the game too.  Hilarious.

You can bet that we will be studying spelling a little bit more at our house this week.


Saturday, February 19, 2011


With a house full of petri dishes,  you know it's going to happen.

Thankfully when things get passed around it's usually just a cold.
Occasionally it's something worse.  As I'm sure you can imagine, the stomach flu being passed around a large family is less than fun.  I already do a lot of laundry.  Of course I got in trouble for making a facebook comment about when my whole family gets sick and also about laundry, so I will no longer speak of such things.
For a few minutes anyway.

A couple of the kids had crossed paths with a cold recently, but thankfully nothing big and it was short lived.  Then last weekend rolled around, and of course Sam started with the cough.  He held out till Monday night when the wheezing started.  Ah, RSV my old friend.  Cue the part where I drive my husband crazy due to my paranoia.
Actually I did pretty good this time.  I guess having been through it a handful of times, including twice that landed kids in the hospital, makes me feel slightly more aware of what to watch for and when to call the dr or head in to the hospital to pull out the big guns.
Not that there are guns at the hospital.  I'm sure I could make a facebook comment about guns that would really tick people off too.


Tuesday rolled around and it looked like a few other kids were going down.  Only one stayed home from school.  I kept my fingers crossed.  Wednesday morning arrived (I swear that always happens after Tuesday) and two different kids were too sick to go to school.  I would have put money on one faking it, but didn't feel the need to push it just in case.  The Tuesday sickie was feeling well enough to go to school but still had a little cough hanging on, so with a dose of cough medicine, off she went.
A few hours into the day she called me telling me that she was feeling sick again and needed to come home.  I had one sleeping child, two that had been quarantined to their bedrooms and my friend's little girl who I was babysitting for a little while.  Which is why the other two weren't allowed to leave their rooms and the other kids weren't allowed to play downstairs.
I do what I can.
Because of the logistics and the timing, I began to give my oldest child the mom pep talk about how she's really ok, she can hang on for a little longer, tough it out, blah, blah, blah.  
And that's when it sounded like she either dropped the phone or was hanging up on me.
"Malia?  Malia?  Malia?!"  No answer.  Hmm.
Then her teacher picked up the phone.  Huh?
"I'm going to walk Malia down to the office, she doesn't look so good and said she needs to lie down."
Well ok.  I guess my pep talk was no good.  Some quick scrambling and out the door I went.

When I walked into the school office a few minutes later I was greeted by one of the secretaries (they all know me entirely too well at this point) who had a slightly concerned look on her face and told me "uh, she actually passed out."
Her wonderful teacher was sitting in the nurse's office with her.  He had been next to her about to walk down to the office when she fainted.  Which is nice because he caught her before she hit the floor. Then carried her to the office.  And he was kind enough to carry her out to the car for me.
I restrained myself and didn't go with the line I really wanted to say; "it's a good thing you're not a big fat guy or this would be really difficult."
We heart Emperor's New Groove in this house.

Malia spent the day sleeping it off.
I spent the rest of the day sterilizing the house from top to bottom.
One of the kids who had stayed home puked.  While sleeping.  In the top bunk.  And didn't know it.
So when I went down to check on him I was greeted with the opportunity to clean last night's dinner off his bed, his little brother's bed below him, the wall and the bunk bed ladder.  Good times.
I may never be able to stand the smell of the orange scented Clorox wipes again.

I debated keeping everyone on lock down, but had two that insisted on school on Thursday so I let them go.  Those two survived Thursday and Friday.

Ironic that those were the two puking today?  Yep.

It's Saturday night and things seem to be looking better, despite the fact that I am now finding out that practically the entire neighborhood has been sick since last weekend.
The pukers feel much better.  The laundry is getting done.  (there I go talking about sick kids and laundry again)
Only a couple of kids have lingering coughs.  Sam has held up fabulously and actually sounds wonderful, very little cough remaining and just a bit of a runny nose.  I love that he totally bucks the odds on everything he encounters.
My friend's children (including the daughters that were here this week) have stayed healthy.  PHEW!

I thought I felt something coming on when I was on the treadmill yesterday but seem to be fine today....maybe my body was just looking for an excuse to get off the treadmill.
Can I survive unscathed?
We'll see.

Who is extremely grateful this week for a washer and dryer!

When procrastination pays off

Our Saturday had an exciting start.  Not exciting as in a fun exciting kind of way, more of a "dang it!  We need to fix this now!" kind of way.

I promise, we do occasionally have just plain old boring days.
Next time I have one I'll try to remember to blog about it.

Aaron and I were lazing in bed debating whether or not to get a new kitchen sink.  Sam was chillin' out being all cute in between us.  He's good at that.  The older kids kept knocking on the door asking about breakfast.  Geesh, it's like they think they should eat it every day or something.
Just kidding.
On weekdays they pretty much do their own thing and then we do big breakfasts on the weekend.  This morning they all wanted smoothies.  We sent the oldest son to retrieve frozen fruit from the chest freezer in the basement.
Can you guess where this is going yet?
No?  Here's a hint:  said son came back upstairs and said "um, the bag of berries is leaking."

Yep.  The freezer.

The good news is that it still works perfectly well.  And no one was playing with the plug so no possible shock/electrocution issues.  yay for parents thinking ahead and making sure the freezer blocks access to the outlet so kids can't unplug it!
The bad news is that one of my younger little darlings found the dial on the side of the freezer that turns it from cold to colder.  Or from colder to less cold.
Or in this case, to "off".
Please someone tell me WHY for the love off all things good do manufacturers even put "off" on the temperature dial?!  If you wanted your freezer off wouldn't you just unplug it?  Would there be a point to leaving it plugged in but off?  Someone enlighten me.

So, over the course of the next hour, we salvaged what we could.  I was super glad that it was not the very beginning of the month when I'd done the big stock up grocery trip and filled the freezer.  More good news came in the form of the bag of cubed ice still being completely frozen, which meant that the great turning off must have happened quite recently, likely yesterday.  There were still some frozen spots on some of the food, so it wasn't completely thawed and was still usable.  We lost some meat of course.  Lost a lot of veggies.   Sent thawing chicken breasts out to neighbors who could use them today or tomorrow since we can't possibly eat 30 chicken breasts in one weekend.
The kids eat a lot, but not that much yet.
Thank goodness.
I was totally bummed that my Freschettas were not salvageable.  I totally would have eaten pizza at 9am just to use them and not throw them away.  Dangit.

On the bright side, we made a LOT of smoothies with all those quickly thawing berries.  The regular freezer is now stocked with smoothies for the week.  And we're going to have to make something tomorrow that will put the rest of the blueberries to use.
The freezer is also totally cleaned out as well.  Yay clean freezer!

So what does this have to do with procrastination?

The freezer upstairs-the normal one that is part of the fridge-is full to bursting with things that I have been too lazy preoccupied busy to take downstairs to the chest freezer.  Had I been on top of things we would have lost a lot more food.  And all of the frozen breast milk.  That would have been super frustrating.
Two thumbs up for procrastination!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Getting inside his head

If this were some exciting blog about a fascinating person who gave stellar advice about your personal life, this title would reference some great secret about how to decode what your guy is thinking.

But it's a crazy blog about an insane woman and her billion kids, so this references some killer pictures I'm about to show you.

435 pictures of the inside of my baby's head.  Really.  They weren't kidding about being thorough!  Some great views.  Some amazing shots.
No report on the disc.  GAH!  Seriously, not a single paragraph, only pictures.
Oh well.  I am super curious to see what the evaluation says.  Wondering if the neuro-radiologist who did the report will still say holoprosencephaly, even though that has been wiped off his list.  I'm working on getting that report from Stanford into the rest of his records.  Wondering if this dr will also feel like the rhombencephalosynapsis is there.  (sending these scans off to an evaluation study for that)  I'm not expecting the report from these scans to have anything new and life altering, just wondering what the current opinion is.  It's like a super exciting guessing game.  Is it bad that I find it a little entertaining to see what everyone thinks?  I'm going with no, it's not bad, because it indicates that things are going so very well with Samuel that we aren't desperately looking for a magic answer....just a more up to date how to proceed kind of answer.

On to some pictures!

All that white in the middle-a whole LOT of fluid.  

A classic favorite, the bulgy eyes picture:

And one more-look closely at his mouth.... (you should be able to click on the picture to enlarge it)

That is his binky in there!  Makes me laugh to see that.

I did get a chance to talk to the neurosurgeon's nurse again today.  Yesterday she called to let me know that our Dr was leading department meetings and hadn't had a chance to look at things yet, but she'd let us know asap.  She called this morning and said "I'm confused.  You told me there was a big jump in head size, but I don't see that at all."  Huh?  I gave her the info from the charts I had but once I started thinking about it I was a little baffled myself.  We knew his head was huge when he was born, but on our Pediatrician's charts, it was listed at 56th% at two weeks old.  Thus our mild panic-56 to 97 was a huge leap.  She said that from the appointments with neurosurgery, they had him on the charts at 90th% when he was little, and his current measurements put him at 97th, so an increase, but not a huge jump.  We verified the numbers just to make sure everything had been entered correctly, and the measurements were consistent, it was the charting and percentiles that were different.  Hmmmm....  Thankfully they could access all of his charts from our Pediatrician in their computer system so they could see the different charts being used.
Point being, after that back and forth, Dr K finally saw the charts, the scan, and the report and though he isn't terribly worried he would like to see Sam a little sooner than our appointment.  So we will be going in on Feb 28th instead of Mar 7th.

I am glad that the situation isn't nearly as immediate as we all thought.  Seeing that the jump in head size isn't nearly as scary on the neuro charts is a little comforting.  Also the fact that Sam's body size in relation to his head size is a bigger spread now (8th% weight/31% height @6mo) compared to what it used to be (27th% weight/60% height@4mo) may be exaggerating the appearance of the size of his head.  The bulging fontanelles and veins are concerning, and part of the reason we are getting in sooner, but with no "neurological episodes" going on, we're ok.  Phew!

Feeling very blessed (again)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Monday

It was a long morning.  Day really.
Something about procedures on your kids that can just be emotionally draining.

The most amazing part of the day?  The cough that we prayed all weekend would be gone enough for us to proceed with the MRI kept itself at bay this morning.  As of this afternoon, Sam sounds awful.  He's even getting a little wheezy tonight.  Oy!  Wheezy and raspy is no good.  As much as it stinks to hear him hacking away, I can't help but be overwhelmingly grateful for it's timing.  Just a few hours earlier would have been a serious problem.

Bonus points for me remembering to dress him last night in PJs that did not involve any snaps or zippers so he could stay dressed in his own clothes during the MRI.  So much easier to not have to change clothes.

Once the sedation really kicked in, the scan went very well from what we were told.  It took quite a while, but the nurse mentioned that the radiologist was trying to be as thorough as possible and got as many scans and angles as he could, with contrast and everything.  We should have every piece of information on the current goings-on inside Samuel's head that we could possibly want.

After the scan my boy was sleeeeepy!

We let him just rest for a full hour after the MRI finished, waiting for him to start stirring on his own.

Not so much.

So then we started bugging him trying to wake him up.  We got him awake enough to eat for a bit, though with his suck suck suck sleep startle sleep startle suck suck suck routine, it took a good half hour to nurse him.  And I was enjoying entirely too much just sitting in a quiet room loving on my warm and snuggly little guy.

At that point he conked out again, so we really started bugging him.  With a full belly and at his normal nap time, it took even more work to get him to really wake up.  Thankfully he was irritable enough that we knew he was ok, but it wasn't until we pulled off the tape and removed the IV that we really saw some good action out of him.

(IVs are sad on tiny hands)

And then he found his thumb and was out again.

As I sat there, I couldn't help but think to myself that any kid with a bug phobia who woke up in one of these recovery beds would really not be happy.

Anyway, he was out again for the ride home, but breathing well and reactive to loud noises and movement.  Also, oh my heck I love those ears!

 Funny thing was that he was still a little loopy for a while after we got home.   I couldn't resist capturing it.   If you get over the sad factor, it really is funny.  Either that or I'm just nuts.   I will share it if blogger ever lets me upload a video again.

That reminds me that I was never able to get Aaron's post-op video uploaded.  I must try that again.  Hilarious!

I am supposed to call the neurosurgeon's nurse tomorrow to make sure he had a chance to see the scans, at which point they will let us know if we can wait till March 7th for his next appointment or if they feel the need to squeeze us in sooner than that.  Thankfully we have not had any episodes of spams or convulsions, or any seizures, but over the past week there have been moments where Sam will kind of just act weird for a little bit, often accompanied by crying like he is in real pain.  It only lasts a short while, maybe a minute or two, but it is a little unnerving.  His fontanelle and veins are bulging much more this past week too, noticeably so, so I assume we can chalk all that up to increased pressure, which probably is pretty darn uncomfortable.  Poor kid.  So thankful that this is all that is going on could be so much worse, much scarier.  We have truly been blessed!
I am anxious for Aaron to get home with his laptop so I can read the report on the scans.  Darn disk won't read on the Mac.  A neuro-radiologist did the evaluation, so it should be pretty in-depth.

It sure is nice to see this bright smiling face again tonight!


Monday morning, sitting and waiting.....

It is a beautiful morning! It was warmer when I left the house at 5:45am today than it has been at the warmest point of the afternoon lately. Highs should be in the mid 50s for the next couple of days. Love!

Other than the weather, the big thing today is of course Sam's MRI. I am sitting in recovery waiting for the scans to be finished. Thank heavens for the iPad. Good stuff.

Sam was a doll this morning. He woke up about ten minutes before we had to leave and was obviously hungry. He was not happy. I really worried that he'd just cry all the way to the hospital. I should have known better. He nodded back off after a diaper change and a few minutes in the car. He was happy and calm through all the paperwork, vitals, waiting, and even the IV. Thn thanks to sweetease, he slipped back off into a nap before we even started the sedation meds.

I got to hold him while he was being put under this time, and got to put him on the table instead of just handing him off. All was well.

And en a few minutes later he woke up. Yes, that's right, AFtER the sedation meeds were given! Out family's running theme? "that never happens....." after anoer bolus of meds things must be ok as I no longer hear any fussing from down the hall and no one has come back to talk to me, so I assume he is sleeping and they are scanning. Now I hurry up and wait.

Thank you for the prayers in our behalf this weekend, we needed them. They very specifically told us that we could not do the MRI if Sam had a cough, so of course he started coughing yesterday. We came in this morning knowing that we might be sent home, but thankfully his lungs are still completely clear, oxygen levels are good and we were able to give it a shot. That is why he woke up-using a less potent sedative just to make sure his breathing doesn't become an issue, but I am very grateful that we were given the chance to proceed and not put this off. Some things over the past few days have indicated that pressure is increasing in his head, I really worried about waiting much longer to have the scans done.

He should be out soon, hopefully they can get all the angles that are needed!

(oh, please excuse any glaring typos. Auto correct can be an interesting thing, and navigating blogger on the iPad is interesting)

Happy Monday!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Time to face reality. Again.

The mom instinct was right on, and Sam's head has indeed gotten bigger.  Quickly.
Time for the next MRI.

The original plan was to wait till he was around a year old for our next MRI experience, but his head has jumped considerably over the past couple of months.  He has jumped WAY up the growth curve, going from 80th percentile two months ago to 97th now.  Right up at that top edge of the chart.  That itself is a pretty big jump, but considering that his measurement before 80th% was 70th%, and before that it was 60th%, well, obviously not a good trend.
We are starting to see some bulging of his fontanel as well.

I am thrilled that we are able to get in quickly but it's a tad big disconcerting that they got us scheduled so quickly.  We booked on Thursday for the first Monday appointment.  We were actually offered a Thursday afternoon appointment when I called on Thursday morning.  Oy.  Part of me is bummed that I couldn't make it work out on Thursday, the other part of me is relieved.  This gives us the weekend to just keep on keepin' on with life as normal.  And celebrate Dallin's birthday without wondering if the neurosurgeon has seen the scans yet and what his fluid levels are doing in that head of his.  Sam's head, not the neurosurgeon's head.

Thankfully we haven't seen any change in behavior, and there haven't been any seizures, or even any spasm incidents, so we are hoping that the rapid head increase has allowed his brain plenty of room to not be too squished from increased fluid levels.

This most likely means that it is time to bite the bullet and get his shunt in.  We are super grateful that he didn't need that shunt in his first few days of life as we originally anticipated.  It is nice that he is bigger and stronger and that we have been able to put it off this long.  Though the thought of my 6 month old baby having brain surgery is of course a little scary, we are also very grateful that of the brain surgeries out there, this one is pretty darn routine and simple.

As for now we have a Valentine's date for an MRI, we'll let the rest come as needed.

6 months

One of these months I'm actually going to get his monthly pictures up on the day he hits that month.  For now I'm a week late again.  But I wanted to get to his 6 month check up first and get his official measurements.  It has nothing to do with the fact that I'm just a procrastinator.

Sam is weighing in at 14lbs 14oz, and is just a smidge over 26 inches long.  Little guy!

And now to brag on my baby.

He is fabulous.


Incredible, wonderful and stinkin' adorable.  ]

And he sleeps now too.  Woo-hoo!!!
Granted that is largely due to the fact that he found his thumb.

Oh well.  It's cute now.  I'll worry about it when he's bigger.  For now, sleep is way too precious.

Still working in sitting up.  Getting closer!

Look at this boy genius:

Ok, so that was the four year old's interpretation of "come and make Sam smile for me", but Sam is close.  Loves grabbing those feet anyway.   And already has a favorite book.

He is amazingly strong-loving to stand up now.

And he has pretty good balance to boot:

even when chewing on my hand.  Which is constant now.  But that's ok, I'd rather it be my hand than something else.
(look-the veins in my hand are almost as big as the veins in his head!)

He scoots and rolls all over the place.  He can't quite get up on all fours yet, that whole keeping the bum up while coordinating the lifting of his giant noggin just isn't happening right now.  That's ok.  Too soon to really be mobile yet anyway.  At least too soon for me.  


Monday, February 7, 2011

I think I may know where Charlotte gets it....

It's 10:09pm.

I put my kids in bed quite some time ago.  Even the older kids were getting in bed an hour ago.

Or so I thought.

As I started my nightly shut the house down routine and went to switch out the last load of laundry, I heard some strange noises coming from downstairs.

I went down to investigate and found Malia and Alaina disassembling their bunk beds.

Granted, I had told them it needed to be done, as we are going to repaint their room this week and the thing is monstrous.

I intended to get to it tomorrow, or maybe Wednesday depending on how tomorrow goes, and whether or not the two science fair projects that are due Wednesday get finished.  Also it depends on whether or not my head explodes tomorrow while trying to help get those science fair projects finished on time.

As I stepped into their room and saw that they were almost done and there are pieces of bed all over, I asked what in the world they were doing.

The reply?
"getting a head start."

I love my life.  It is never boring.

I am now going to snuggle with a baby who is incapable of disassembling things.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


My little boy has become an escape artist.

Look at this picture:

Notice his feet are out of his pjs.  He wakes up like this.  All of the snaps are still together.
Somehow he gets his legs up and out of his pajamas without popping any of the snaps open.
Don't know how he does it.  Cracks me up.


Lest you think I was kidding

Or exaggerating, I decided to take a few pictures on Tuesday morning of the things that Charlotte was involved in.  You know, the next day after that whole "middle name" post.
The following are the highlights of things that happened prior to 2 pm.
I will spare you the things that happened after 2pm.

First up:  The flour

Ok, she gets it from me, she loves to bake.
Usually she's really pretty good at keeping it in whatever mixing bowl she grabs from the cupboard.
Yesterday morning, not so much.  The whole bottom half of the pantry not so much.

Followed by: Bread
I am very grateful that she didn't just try to cut herself a piece.  Charlotte+knife cannot have a good outcome.  She got creative and went with the measuring cup, scooping out the inside of the loaf.  Points for creativity.

Next up: Milk

She actually dumped out half of my almond milk on Monday, which is not only annoying, but pricey.  Also, she dumped it into the kitchen rug, which I realized only when I stepped in it.  I hate it when I'm wearing socks and step in something wet.  But hey, my kitchen rug has now been washed three times in the past week.  It's really clean.
So yesterday's milk adventure was just plain old regular milk.
Follow the milk trail....

At least she removed all the cards, game pieces and the dvd from this box insert before filling it.

She then filled the game box's lid.
And then she took her little cow swimming in the insert.

That's me milking the cow.
Awesome.  again.

And what morning would be complete without playing in the plant?
This child has left this plant alone for almost her entire 2 1/2 years.  Suddenly she has decided she is missing out.

After that I had to put the camera down.  I was obviously a step behind her all morning, trying to document it all made it even worse!  The afternoon was a lot more of the same, though we had a beautifully blissful hour or so of peace and calm while reading stories and playing with Sam.  Somehow that just made the rest of it all ok....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And the SexyModest winner is.....

Ok, before you see that part, for those of you that "liked" SexyModest on Facebook, you will see their announcement today...They are having a massive giveaway, the likes of which they say has never been seen before on Facebook.  I am intrigued.  First they must get up to 20,000 likes.  Yowza!  Anyway, encourage your friends to like them too (all they have to do is click that one little button)...I am anxious to see what they have cooked up!  Last time they did a big giveaway it was $500....I can only imagine what they have in store this time!

And now says:


Blogger Katie Stoddart said...

I shared the video
January 21, 2011 2:19 PM

Congrats Katie!
I will be in touch with details!