Monday, July 13, 2009

I might as well make it official

I've been working on a new blog this week, and I am hereby officially redirecting this blog to:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Isaac Update 07122009 0719

We had an uneventful night. Isaac opened his eyes for a few moments again and went back to sleep. He peed a lot and lost a bit of weight, though he has a long way to go before he has returned to the nine pounds he was when I brought him in. Prayer requests for this morning: -Isaac's blood sugar is too low, so his ketogenic diet TPN is being discontinued by the intentivist and he'll be put on regular diet TPN as soon as the TPN is ready. (TPN is IV nutrition, and the ketogenic diet is a low carb diet used to manage some metabolic diseases among other things). -There is much debate over how to manage Isaac's needs - should they treat him like a regular cardiac kid or like Danny. How much sugar does he need? How much fat and protein? What supplements? Please pray that God will grant the doctors much wisdom in this area. EAch doctor has his own way, and when they argue, they stress me out. -Isaac's lactate levels have risen back to around 7. Its been steadily rising from 4.9 since yesterday afternoon. Normal is around 2. Danny was pretty much never below 7. The rise in Isaac's could have to do with the blood sugar issues. Or the fluid overload. or something else entirely. Please pray that the lactate levels go back own. Other than that, it's another day of watching and waiting and fine tuning treatment according to Isaac's needs.

Isaac Update 07112009 2019

Today was eventful in a good way. Isaac is no longer on epinephrine! His lactate level is 4.7, which is still high (normal is less than 2), but Danny's lactate level was never lower than 7. That is one of several things that show that Isaac is different than Danny. Even if he has the same thing, he's much less severely affected.

I had my emotional breakdown this morning. We all knew it would come, and it did. I'm sure that it won't be the last one either, but the first is usually the worst. However, I was rescued from my pity-party by my husband and a old friend from the Little Light House - both of whom God used to speak peace to my heart and to calm my fears and ease my frustrations. God gave them both the ability to see though my foolish concerns and speak wisdom to me. In spite of it all, God is good, and He continues to bless us in the circumstances that we are in.

I don't understand His purpose in all of this, but I'm going to choose to trust Him anyway. Danny taught us that God is sovereign and faithful and true. Each of our other boys has lessons for us. I'm sure Isaac is going to teach us plenty.

edited to add: I am realizing that I need to tell you all that the perceived infection (if it existed) is probably going away with the broad-spectrum antibiotic that Isaac's on and the prayers. The cultures aren't growing anything. And he's peeing much better, though he is still puffy. He has a way to go in that area.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Isaac Update 07112009 0652

The night was uneventful. There was a tiny bit of weaning of medication. And some lab work. And a transfusion. And some sleeping. That was about it. We saw some old friends, too.

Please continue to pray for
-Isaac's blood pressure to remain consistent as the medications are very slowly weaned
-Isaac to be able to rest well today
-our other boys to have a wonderful day with Mimi and Popsy
-Jon and I as we move beyond shock and disbelief that this has happened, and because waiting is hard.

Isaac Update 07102009 2041

Well, it was the uneventful day we were hoping for. There's not much going on this evening except meds and labs and more waiting on labs and such.

Isaac is now warmed up to 96.8 degrees F. His color looks good, his output is now appropriate and he got a visit from Drew today. Drew had a lovely birthday and finished it off with a visit to Isaac.

Isaac Update 07102009 1014

Isaac's labs show that he may have an infection brewing. Please pray.

Isaac Update 07102009 0622

It's another day of waiting. And today we get to warm him up. Isaac's body temperature has been kept at about 92 degrees F for the past couple of days to protect his brain and organs from the effects of the hypoxic event he suffered while he was being resuscitated. All of his blood gases are looking about the same (normal ph with elevated lactate and slightly low bicarb). His kidney function has improved a bit, but there is still a lot of room for more improvement. He hasn't has more wiggly moments, but he has rested nicely this past night.

Isaac Update 07102009 0139

OK, Praying Peoples, we've got a specific request for you.
Pray for increased kidney function and for the lasix to do it's job. Isaac has some weight to lose, and he needs to increase his production of pee-pee.

Otherwise, he's resting nicely. And I'm going to go back to sleep for a while, too.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Isaac Update 07092009 2336

Isaac has had a pretty good day. There were no major improvements, but there were no setbacks either. His ph level is holding steady at 7.35, which is normal. His bicarb and lactate levels are skewed, which we know would be consistent with a COX-2 deficiency diagnosis. We refuse to give up hope for his complete restoration because we know that we have a creative and loving God who does heal miraculously. God might heal him completely, and God might not, but who am I to argue with Him? Isaac did get restless this evening. His blood pressure was even, so we know he wasn't in much pain. He stretched and wiggled and tried to open his eyes and peep at me. He squeezed my finger, too. His movements were the same little Isaac stretches that we have seen at him with no stiffness or tremor. He was wiggly for about a half an hour, during which I held his hand and sang to him (not that anyone else would have enjoyed my singing, but he doesn't seem to mind it). And now we've gotten him quite comfy and he's settled for the first leg of the night.

Prayer requests:
-peace and rest
-improved heart function
-improved lab values for both the lactate and the bicarb while everything else holds steady.
-that Drew would have a wonderful birthday tomorrow in spite of all of this
-that God would heap blessing on the army of people who love us and are caring for us

Isaac Update 07092009 0658

Well, Isaac and I actually slept a bit last night. His blood pressure got low enough that we were all almost worried about it - and he stayed right there for a long time. He really slept. Not just the drug-induced sedation, but real sleep. And then his pressures came back up nicely when the x-ray tech slipped the film for the morning x-ray under him. And when the nurse was changing the dressings on his incision and central lines, he got made and needed more sedation. (I don't like that we were hurting him, but I'm thrilled that he was mad about it because yesterday he didn't seem to mind some things that should have been painful.)

As for the lab values,
We asked for a ph of 7.35, and we're at 7.34.
And his lactate didn't make 5 or less yet, but we are at 9.9 - so he's found the single digits.

And there is peace in this room this morning. The Spirit of the Lord has come with healing on his wings.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Isaac Update 07082009 2225

It was a good day for Isaac.

Today, "Good Day" means that nothing got worse. He's still pretty much where he was this morning. He's still got all the lines and drugs and equipment that he was using this morning (and he's quite the technology guy today). But he's resting, and his blood pressure is more stable and his labs look a bit better.

It was a good day for us. God is indeed good all the time, and He has provided us with a huge and loving support network for which we are very thankful.

Prayer requests for the night:
-That everything would remain stable so that we can all get some rest.
-That Isaac's brain would not be at all damaged
-That Isaac's heart would be healed completely
- Some specific lab levels - we're looking for a ph of 7.35 and a lactate level of five or less.
-That any underlying problem would be removed completely by our Creator God who heals.

07082009 0847

Everything was kind of touch and go for Isaac until about 3:30am. And then his blood pressure started to stabilize, and we got a little rest. He is still extremely ill, but things aren’t quite as grave as they were last night. He’s on even more drugs, and it’s going to be a long day of waiting and watching.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bookworm #5

Since he was born, #5 has breathed faster than he should. And no one really thought much of it. His respiratory rate was the upper level of what is considered normal. So, the pediatrician ordered some labs and a chest x-ray just to see if there was a problem. The labs were fine, and the chest films were inconclusive. So he ordered an echo, but we miscommunicated about who was calling who about what. So, the echo didn't happen until this afternoon.

The echo was at 3:30pm, and it showed fluid around his heart. Our favorite pediatric cardiologist was on-call, and he came in immediately. He admitted #5 to PICU at St. Francis in order to drain the fluid in a simple procedure.

But, it wasn’t simple. In the process, his heart started bleeding, and he wound up having heart surgery in the PICU room. Now he is stabilizing in the PICU on many, many drugs. And it’s going to be a long night.

In the process of all this, we learned that his heart looks just like Bookworm #1's. So we will be starting the process of genetic diagnosis. It is possible that he has defied our good odds of having only healthy children after Bookworm #1. He may have COX-2 deficiency.

We'll just have to wait and see. Please pray.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Today, I cleaned my kitchen (twice), picked up other people's crap off the floor (numerous times), taught school (copywork, grammar, math, history, botany, piano), finished a book (Lessons from Blackberry Inn), started another (Creative Correction), snuggled with various needy children at appropriate times, fixed my husband his Father's Day dinner (steak and roasted veggies with pasta), and made sure that everyone was where they needed to be when they needed to be there (doctor's appointments, swimming lessons...).

Today, I spent TWO HOURS at a doctor's appointment for which we were FIVE MINUTES LATE even thought we left FORTY minutes early for a FIFTEEN minute trip. I'd have everything packed up for hours. All we had to do was put on shoes, potty, and get in the van. And then there was traffic. And construction. And a cop with a lane blocked while he wrote some idiot a ticket. And #3 fell asleep in the van. So, when my mom met me to be my spare hands, she wound up bringing a whiny, cranky kid with who took a 10 minute nap back home. So, I had the Great Ball of Energy (#2), and #4, and #5 at the doctor's office by myself. That was interesting. They really did very well, but oh-my-they-were-not-created-to-wait-long. And as for why it took so long - well, that's what you get when you combine my new insurance with our pediatrician's office's new computerized record-keeping system and a two-year old who needs some vaccinations - but we don't know which ones because his chart has gone AWOL and a one-month old who is likely to have silent reflux and needs some labwork and a x-ray to rule out other problems in order to receive medication to make him stop refluxing. Poor baby. Plus, on the way out, it took forever to pay and get future appointments made (one seven-year-old well-child exam, one two-month old well-child exam, and a third attempt at a nurse visit to get the shots for the two-year-old who isn't going to appreciate such a thing.)

Today, I wore flip-flops. My poor toes were rolled over with roller skates, stepped on several times, jumped on once, and caught under a door at the doctor's office. Tomorrow, I'm wearing Keens. I want my poor toes to be well-protected until they recover. I wear flip-flops all the time - I don't know what was up today.

I'm tired now. I'm going to take care of a little business and then sleep.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Heard in our living room....

(#2 to #5)

"You aren't big enough to eat yet - just to drink milk.  But soon you'll be able to eat squished food, and then you'll grow teeth and get to try chicken fingers!  They are so tasty!"

(a few moments later)

"Are you wondering how I'm talking?  That red thing that you breathe though is called a mouth, and after you learn to use it, you'll be able to talk too."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Be a Book Buddy

School Library Journal posted the Top 100 Picture Book Poll of 2009. (Thank you SLJ!) From that fabulous list, I have created some more fun for all of us! Here's the scoop:
Below is a list of the top 30 Picture Books according to School Library Journal. Copy and paste this post and create a post of your own with it. Then, go back and highlight the books you and your children have read! After you post, leave a comment at The Bookworm's Booklist to let me and others know that your post is up. I can't wait to see who's read what! I have highlighted the books we've read in greenAnd I just placed the ones we haven't discovered yet on hold at the library.

#1: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)   A BACKYARD BOOKWORM FAVORITE
#2: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (1947)
#3: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (1979)
#4: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1962)
#5: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (2003)
#6: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (1941)
#7: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (1955)   A BACKYARD BOOKWORM FAVORITE
#8: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (1939)
#9: Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag (1928)
#10: Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems (2004)
#11: The Story of Ferdinand by Monroe Leaf, ill. Robert Lawson (1936)
#12: Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann (1994)
#13: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (1948)
#14: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, ill. Lane Smith(1989)
#15: Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (1996)
#16: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (1987)
#17: Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (1947)
#18: In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (1970)
#19: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (1982)
#20: George and Martha by James Marshall (1972)
#21: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (1999)  A BACKYARD BOOKWORM FAVORITE
#22: The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone, ill. by Mike Smollin (1971)   A BACKYARD BOOKWORM FAVORITE
#23: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban (1964)
#24: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, ill. Lois Ehlert (1989)  A BACKYARD BOOKWORM FAVORITE
#25: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton (1942)
#26: Corduroy by Donald Freeman (1976)
#27: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (1902)
#28: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, ill. Ray Cruz(1972)
#29: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig (1969)
#30: Brown, Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin Jr., ill. Eric Carle (1967)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And he has arrived....

I'm sitting in my comfy chair at home with a tiny boy asleep on top of me.  He's absolutely precious.

And very much adored

We're taking the week off from school.  The King has been home all week, but he goes to work tomorrow.  We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The time has come, and I'm a tad nervous....

Bookworm #5 will be joining us tomorrow.

Yep, you heard it right.  

I've been three centimeters all week and having lots of contractions.  Neither my OB nor I want this baby to come on the weekend because hospital rules don't allow for weekend VBACs, and I refuse to have a c-section for someone else's convenience - if it's medically necessary, than sure - but not just because someone else said I have to.)  So, tomorrow it is.  I'm contracting quite a bit, though things aren't organized.  Hopefully it will pick up a bit though the night because I would really, really like to be in labor when I arrive at the hospital in the morning.  It just seems easier that way.  All the little Bookworms will be well-cared for while we are gone because all the grandparents are on deck tomorrow.  There is nothing at all to worry about concerning them, so I can just go birth this baby.

Tonight, I need to dump the pictures that are on the camera to the King's computer and to our back-up drive.  And I need to charge the batteries in the camera.  But, aside from a few loads of laundry, that is about it.  Amazing.  Everything is finally done, as if it were all orchestrated by God, so that I feel ready to do this in one sense.  And in another, I know that once he's here, my world's going to be turned upside-down.... again.... until we find our new normal in a few weeks.  
On other fronts: #3 is daily amusing me with his conversations - particularly those he has with other children.  #2 just had his first case of true bookwormishness.  He was listening to an audiobook of The Wizard of Oz that we borrowed from the library - and he sat still with the CD player for TWO AND A HALF HOURS.  (This from a boy that isn't even still when he is asleep.)  But he HAD to know how it ended.  Then he wanted to know if it had been made into a movie.  He was deeply disappointed to hear that it has, but that the movie is really quite different from the book.  I've promised to get it from the library in the near future.  We shall see what he thinks.  In the meantime, he's determined to listen to the whole book again.  #4's vocabulary is exploding and we're thrilled to be hearing new words from him on a daily basis.

And that's about all.  I'm being paged by children who are too excited to sleep.  Guess I'd better go read a bit more of a book in order to keep them quiet.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In case you are curious....

as to my lastest large reason for not blogging now that my long list of household projects is almost all checked off.

My computer died.  I mean it really died.  It's seen several-times-a-day use for five years, and it has all the symptoms of memory trouble, but my Bookworm King hasn't found a way to make it work without spending a lot of money. And we can't replace it at the moment because we have a baby coming and need our funds for that.  SO.... no computer for me means very little time to do anything more than check email and facebook and bloglines.  We are completely screen free in our house from the time the King leaves for work until the time he comes home, and then after the kids are in bed, he's usually back to work on his laptop, so I'm having to find new ways to amuse myself.  

But since I have a minute - I'll report on what's up:
The King and #2 have taken a large interest in botany and gardening.  They have veggies growing in several areas of the yard, and #3 and #4 love to "help."  Today, they were all out messing with the compost pile, and when I checked on them, #4 said, "Compost, Mama.  Compost." And pointed lest I not understand what the great pile of ever-blackening food and yard waste was. #2 took me on  a tour declaring emphatically that "There's LIFE, Mama! LIFE is everywhere!  Just look at all the green!" And #3 ran over to report on the TWO HUGE WORMS he had been studying, that were reported as being at least two foot long.  That's not a worm, I'm thinking - that's a garden snake.  And I hate snakes.  But the King was quick to inform me that it really was a worm, but the size was slightly exaggerated.  I'm not sure if he was telling the truth or not - if there are snakes in my yard.....

#5 is growing in my ever-widening belly and is swelling up my feet and ankles.  I think I have officially reached the cankle stage - there is no difference between my calf and my ankle.  

SO as for my list - 
the house is mostly finished - some trim to put up and some touchups to do
next years homeschooling is planned and the curriculum is purchased
the freezer is nearly full of meals for the post-baby period
the boys are very excited about meeting their new brother
the King is almost done with his semester at the seminary
and #4's birthday is on Sunday, and that is the last major event before #5's arrival.

So I've blogged a bit.  And there are no pictures because they are on my computer. But they exist, yes they do.  

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March in all it's craziness, part 1

A trip to a local park with a duck pond. We went with friends to identify and feed the ducks. #4 got close to the water.
Then he got closer to the water. And then....

He had to be fished out of the water. Blessedly, it was a warm day. And we grabbed him before his head went under. And we had a change of clothes in the car. And hand sanitizer. Duck pond. Ew.

He cleaned up quite nicely, see?

This was later that day during a trip to Lowe's for more paint and such. The Home Improvements are on-going.

March in all it's craziness, part 2

A trip to a different park. At which I managed to get them to pose for a decent picture. Don't they look like three peas in a pod?

#3 climbing higher and higher, and #2 waiting his turn.
#4 flew down the slide. His hair caught up with him at the bottom.

My backyard this morning, March 28, 2009. You'd think this was Michigan instead of Oklahoma. What happened to spring?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Boomtown Bonanza GiveAway

My friend Marietta over at The Bookworm's Booklist is hosting a giveaway of the book Boomtown by Nowen N. Particular.

The book sounds wonderful - and I hope we win it because I'd love to read it with #2 - and if we don't win it I'm going to have to buy it - even if I have to *gasp* pay FULL PRICE. So, I hope we win - but you should go enter just in case she doesn't draw our name out of her proverbial hat! :)

#3 turns 3

Feathering my nest....

I didn't realize that I haven't posted in over a month. I've been working hard to prepare our home for the arrival of #5 - cleaning, organizing, getting school stuff ready for the rest of the year, selling things we don't need, buying things we do need, and creating more space in general.

We have had major renovations to one bathroom and are working on the second one. We've added many cube-shelves to our playroom and we are working on some new habits regarding toy-usage and clean-up time. I've re-organized most of our storage areas and gotten rid of countless things we don't need, want or use. We put up four Rain Gutter Bookshelves and are planning a couple more because they are even more handy than we thought they would be - and they look COOL! All the bookcovers become wall-art. See? Here's one:

My little closet-office has been cleaned out and rearranged so that #2 and I can sit in here for his morning written work. That is working nicely because we've modified our family's routine to include the King playing with #3 and #4 while #2 and I have a little schooltime early in the morning before the King leaves for work. Because #2 is highly distractable, this is working fairly well.

Most importantly, I've spent time with my children - we've worked together and played together and generally enjoyed each other. We've read some good books, spent a lot of time outside, built and shopped and had an all-around good time.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Conversations in the grocery store....

It's Field Trip Friday, so #2 finished his week's work early this morning and we ran out the door to go meet our homeschool group. We had planned for #4 to stay with Gramma (She's such a blessing to us!), and once we got over there, #3 asked to stay too, so it was just me and #2 for a trip to Reasor's to learn how a grocery store works from the inside out. Sounds like a weird field trip, huh? It was actually pretty cool - they divided us into small groups and took us behind the scenes into the produce storage and the deli preparation area and the bakery and meat packing area. We saw the loading docks and everything, including the inside of a Hiland dairy truck and a Coca-Cola truck. Did you know that the new produce is always at the top and in the back? It really does pay to reach a little farther because it will last longer in your fridge.

After the field trip, #2 and I stopped at Whole Foods, where we greatly amused an elderly lady. She was standing behind us in line at the meat counter, and she was listening to our conversation, which was centered around a tower of canned tomatoes. I called it a pyramid at first, but was corrected. "Mom, this is more like the (step) pyramid we built with Legos than the Egyptian pyramid that we built with Wedgits. It's a ziggurat." The elderly lady behind us giggled and said to her companion, "He must be homeschooled. Those kids are so smart."

Amen. Now go tell that to state Sen. Mary Easley and state Sen. Jim Wilson.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Caution: Treasures are being stolen!

My kids are playing in the playroom. They really want to go paint, but I'm not sure that I'm up to that kind of mess. So, #2 is building with Wedgits, and #3 and #4 are causing general mayhem with the Little People and Mr. Potato Head, who currently has an arm where his nose goes.

BUT, there is evidence of our current school work in #2's play, and that is so much fun to see. He's built a pyramid, and he's making alarm sounds and saying, "Caution! Treasures are being stolen!" over and over in a voice that would probably be annoying if it weren't so darn cute.

What it made me think about was all those little moments with my children when I let myself get frustrated because I'm not "Accomplishing Anything" (other than childcare). Oh my! There are so many moments that I let my lack of progress on other projects spoil my enjoyment of my sweet boys and their growing and training. Talk about stolen treasures.

Monday, January 12, 2009

In case you were curious....

Bookworm #5 is, indeed, another boy.

And I've been working hard on my nesting project list - because it's the second trimester - and that's the time for getting things done. :)