Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Crazy Life!

Oh my, December has definitely not been boring in our house!  Let's start with the good stuff - Alle is continuing to thrive and our little chunk:) is growing more every day!  She is starting to babble a lot more, and is getting so much more comfortable not having me in the same room as she is every minute! (most minutes she still prefers to be held, but there are times when she is happily playing with her toys in a different room!).  The boys have had a great vacation from school for the last week - we spent the week in Richmond with my family, celebrating birthdays and Christmas and just loving being together!  And Hannah - where to start?  Our precious little one has definitely had more than her share in her 4 short years of life with her juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.  We are so thankful that she continues to be in remission and we pray that it stays that way!  BUT, for the last 6+ months she has been complaining that her "side" hurt.  First we thought that she was anxious about Alle coming home, then maybe her arthritis had spread into her hip, then maybe she had a stomach virus, then maybe she was constipated, then perhaps it was a convenient excuse to not eat her supper.  It was never bad enough that she was screaming in agony, just an on and off "my side is hurting - can I lay on the couch?"  I mentioned it to the doctor multiple times and she thought the same thing that I did - gas pains, etc.  Then, about 2 months ago, she started throwing up.  Once a week, in the morning, after moaning and groaning all night.  and then she was fine.  so again - the stomach bug?  I was a clorox wipe fiend.  But, no one else ever got it.  Ever.  But every week - she threw up once in the morning and then nothing.  After 7 weeks of this, my momma/nurse radar was going off.  She did not have a fever, no other symptoms, but something was not right.  So I called the doctor, again, last Thursday.  What should I do?  I think that there is something wrong but when I verbalize what is going on, I know that I sound completely crazy.  They did not know what to do, but just in case they suggested that I take her to the ER, because they had nothing.  So, off we went to the er, last thursday.  Now, I am a nurse, and if some neurotic mother told me what I told that ER nurse, I probably would have struggled to keep a straight face, and then as soon as I was out of the room I would have burst into laughter and told all my coworkers about the whack job that was in room 11.  Anyways, the nurse pretty much told me that she thought Hannah was "anxious about her schedule" and was "throwing up because of anxiety".  Okay.  and then the doctor decided that "she has esophageal reflux".  Really?  because the pain is in her side!  and so I harped, and bugged, and they finally ordered an abdominal ultrasound and then were going to discharge us.  But, the ultrasound, and the following CT scan, showed severe left hydronephrosis.  Basically,  they believe that she has a congenital condition were her ureter (the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder) is overlapped at the top with another vessel (usually all the vessels just hand out side by side:).  As she grew, the other vessel has caused an obstruction, which in turn is not allowing urine to flow through the ureter to the bladder.  In short, her kidney is huge, and dying.  If left alone, she would lose all kidney function in her left kidney.  Her right kidney has been compensating superbly, and so far, while she has permanent kidney damage, she will most likely return to adequate function once the problem is taken care of.  So, after a few more tests (not so much fun with IV's and catheters), her pediatric nephrologist will go in with a robot and cut out the obstructed area, and reattach the ureter to the kidney.  they will place a stent (a temporary tube for the urine to flow through until the ureter is healed).  She will be in surgery for several hours, and then in the hospital for about 3 days after.  Fun times, I tell you, fun times.  This is something that is usually caught at birth, and if it does not resolve spontaneously (which in many cases it does - Noah had it in-utero and it resolve three months after birth), the child has surgery before the age of three to prevent permanent kidney damage.  Unfortunately, we had no idea, and are just catching it now.  Thankfully, our ped. nephrologist is one of the best in the country, and hopefully this will all be behind us in a couple of weeks.  Never boring in our house!
Okay - are you still there?:)  Sorry for the long post - I have had so many wonderful friends and family ask about exactly what was happening, and thought that it would be best to try to explain it here!  We are anticipating surgery in the next few weeks, and we covet your prayers and support as we support our precious Hannah.
Okay - I leave you with some pics of my girls that I snapped at the beginning of the month. Hopefully I will be able to take some of all my monkeys on monday - they are growing so fast, I just want to freeze time!
Have a blessed New Year!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Hannah!!!!

Our precious Hannah turns 4 today!!!  I cannot believe how fast the past 4 years have gone.  Hannah - you are such a blessing in our lives!!  You are mommy's girl, always ready for a cuddle, to read a princess book, to dress up like Cinderella, to play light sabers with her boys......  We pray that your 4th year is full of love and joy!  We love you Hannah!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our Alle turns ONE!!!!!

Happy 1st Birthday, precious girl!!!!!  I cannot believe that today you turn one, and that you have been in our arms for four months.  I have very mixed emotions flowing through me today, many of which I did not expect.  I feel grief over the 4 months that I did not know you, over the eight months that you spent out of our arms.  I am mourning for your birth mother today, thanking her from the bottom of my heart for the precious gift that she gave us.  I am excited to watch you grow this coming year, to see the world through your huge, beautiful eyes.  I am so blessed to call you my daughter.  Your laughter and smiles light up our family, and I am constantly amazed at the complete way you have attached to me, unconditionally.  I love your kisses (although we are working on the closed-mouth kiss), and your cuddles in the morning.  I love the way you kick your feet when you see "your kids", and the joy in your smile when they kiss your forehead.  Part of me cannot wait to see you grow, while another part wants to stop time and enjoy this stage.  Happy Birthday, Alle!!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Little Ticking Time Bombs

Let me start by saying - if reading about vomit makes you feel like you are getting sick - don't read this.

I HATE THE STOMACH BUG!!!  (love the caps,right?).  15 days ago, Alle (our little one from ethiopia) started throwing up.  Did I mention that I hate the stomach bug?  and I desperately hate it in babies.  Of course, all they want you do is hold them, and then they really really really want you to hold them right as they are vomiting, all over you.  fun times.  this lasted for 7 days.  oh my word. laundry, and washing, and changing, and vomit.   Not only do I hate the stomach bug, but I hate wondering when they are going to throw up next, where they are going to throw up next, and who is going to throw up next.  they are like little ticking time bombs.  so, after 7 days of throwing up, and being lethargic, and no one else getting sick, I took her to the doctor.  "she's fine".  lovely - thanks for that.  (BTW - I am a nurse - which makes me the most least empathic mom ever!).  Anyways, she went two days without throwing up (friday and saturday) and then threw up on sunday.  Are you kidding me?!  then - nothing m, t, and w.  Praise the Lord!!!  Now - I had only cloroxed, lysoled, scrubbed the house three times a day for over a week, and now I am sure that the rest of my family has no natural defenses left because I killed them with chemicals:).  Oh, life was good for three days.  then Hannah started throwing up on thursday in the wee hours of the morning, and then alle joined her at 11.  really?  What is more fun than one child throwing up?  two!!!  AHHHHHH!!!!  cloroxed and lysoled again.  and again.  and then again.  So, if you ever come to my house - please excuse the chemical smell:)  the boys are still okay (as far as I know), and eric and I are fine.  What in the world.  seriously.  I HATE THE STOMACH BUG!~  oh, and did I mention that my children never get the 24 hour bug?  nope, we are special.  we always get the days into weeks bug.  love it!!!!

Did I also mention that I am going batty (honestly) because I have been living, breathing,cleaning, and dreaming about vomit for fifteen days? fifteen days.  On the bright side, my house has never been so clean.  on the not so bright side - my kids may never again eat white-colored food, because that is all I have let them eat for fifteen days.  and I am completely sure that they are tired of hearing me say "you cannot eat that because if you do, and you throw up, I am not cleaning up red vomit".  Oh yes, I know that you wish that you lived at our house.  At least for the last fifteen days.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Jadon!!!!

happy birthday to our Jadon!!!  He turned 7 today, and we are so incredibly blessed to have him in our family.  He is the sweetest, kindest, most mommy-loving boy ever!!  Hope that you have a great day Jadon!!!!  We love you!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

absolute cuteness

So, August is just flying by - and between swimming lessons, playdates, days at the lake, and school shopping - we are keeping incredibly busy!  But, in all the craziness that is our life, I do remember to get the camera out every so often to catch some of the joy that is in our home.  It is amazing how much the monkeys love Alle - what a blessing she is!  Enjoy....