Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I had planned on posting this in Jan. but with the other baby I read about having RSV and going through so much of the same as Grady, it's brough back many memories so I'm posting this now. Below are the things I typed after the Jan and Feb and March stays at Riley.

Monday, January 21, 2008
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The day began normally. Taylor and Grady had spent the weekend at Grandma and Papaw Rouse’s house so that Mommy and Daddy could continue healing and resting from Daddy’s kidney stone and Mommy’s gallbladder removal and ERCP procedure. Grady had been sick at 2 weeks old and his cough had hung on. He was now 7 weeks old and on Sunday, January 20, 2008 his cough seemed to get worse. Grandma Rita brought Grady and Taylor home around noon on the 21st. Mommy had just gotten home from a doctor’s appointment and bloodwork. When Mommy saw Grady she became concerned. Grandma said he hadn’t been wanting to eat so Mommy gave him a bottle. He took it with no problems. However, Grady’s breathing sounded really labored and Mommy got more worried. She had already tried to get him into the doctor that day but they were booked. Mommy called Daddy and told her how worried she was. Daddy and Mommy didn’t want to take Grady to the ER where it would be a long wait and he’d be around lots of sick people. As Mommy was deciding to take Grady to ER, he turned blue around his mouth and tongue, snot bubbled out of his nose, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he stopped breathing. Thank God that Grandma Rita was still at our house! She called 911 and she and Mommy did CPR on Grady. The ambulance arrived in less than 5 minutes. Mommy grabbed her purse and put on some slippers and climbed into the ambulance with Grady. Grandma Rita called Daddy and then took Taylor to Juana’s house. We all met up at the St. Francis ER where the doctors decided Grady was too sick to be at St. Francis and they called the Riley transport team to come get him. During the trip to Riley, Grady had two more episodes of apnea (not breathing or acute respiratory failure). Upon arriving at Riley, Grady was assessed and measures were taken to keep him breathing. Attempts at IV’s being started had been done at St. Francis but were unsuccessful due to how small his veins were. Once again, at Riley, attempts were made to start IV lines so that he could get some fluids and medicines. His little veins were blowing out so they had to do IV lines in both sides of his head. Later, a doctor was able to start another IV line in his arm so that one of the head IV lines could be removed. Grady was receiving large amounts of oxygen but was still having a very difficult time breathing. The doctors switched him to pressurized oxygen (VapoTherm) but his breathing remained labored. His little body was simply too tired to breathe. Grady received breathing treatments but they did nothing to help him breathe easier. The ER doctors called up to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and a room was prepared for him. Grady was finally moved to the PICU at Riley hospital. One last breathing tool (CPap) was used to try to help him breathe, when that didn’t work the doctor on the PICU determined that Grady needed to be put on a respirator or vent to help him breathe. This means that they had to give him large doses of pain and sedation medicines and put a tube down his tiny throat. Once this procedure was completed, Grady was breathing better even though a machine was breathing for him.
During my maternity leave, I became very sick on Christmas Eve and ended up having to have my gallbladder removed on Dec. 28, 2007 when Grady was just one month old. Due to some complications from the surgery, I had to return to the operating room to have an ERCP procedure performed to stop the extreme pain I was still having. This procedure was done on January 17, 2008. After the birth of my son, I returned to my doctor’s office for my post partum checkup. There it was determined that I was suffering from post partum depression. Along with the gallbladder issues I had after Grady’s birth, I was also dealing with his illness (bronchiolitis) at 2 weeks of age, my husband’s two trips to the ER with a massive kidney stone, and a 2 ½ year old at home. The doctor prescribed medication for the depression. I was scheduled to return to work from my maternity leave on Tuesday, January 22, 2008. Needless to say, with my 7 week old baby laying sedated in the intensive care unit of Riley while a machine breathed for him, I was unable to return to work. Grady was sedated and on the vent until Friday the 25. The doctors did many tests to see if he was ready to breathe on his own and he was not ready. Finally, on Saturday the 26th, Grady appeared ready to breathe on his own. The tube was pulled out of his throat and he was weaned off of oxygen until he was breathing room air. He was in a lot of pain and stress from the tube making his throat so raw and swollen. After being removed from the vent he went into withdrawal –like symptoms from being taken off the sedation and pain medications too quickly. Because of this he didn’t sleep for over 30 hours; he was agitated and in pain. Finally he was given a small dose of anxiety medicine to help him sleep.
During the time that Grady was in the hospital, many, many tests were performed to determine what caused him to get so sick so quickly. It was determined that he did not have RSV or Cystic Fibrosis and he did not have a heart defect. He did, however, have pneumonia. The tests were inconclusive as to what virus caused this pneumonia. The doctors feel that Grady got a virus that made him sick and because he was so small and already had a cough from a case of bronchiolitis at 2 weeks old, his body just couldn’t fight the virus and that’s why he stopped breathing.
The final step in getting Grady home from the hospital was to get him off his feeding tube and taking bottles regularly. The feeding tube was removed on January 29, 2008. On January 30, 2008, Grady was discharged from the hospital. Unfortunately, Grady started having breathing troubles again on February 5 and was admitted to Riley again. This time he had a virus but they also started treating him for asthma like symptoms. He was discharged on February 9, 2008. Due to the viral nature of his illness(es), his asthma symptoms, and his young age, the doctors don’t want Grady at his daycare until the 19th of February. They feel this will give him time to continue healing before being exposed to more germs at the daycare. Grady was also sent home with a sleep apnea monitor.
Mommy and Daddy are very grateful to our families and friends for all of their support during this time. We are also thankful to the doctors and nurses who took care of Grady. We felt blessed to be at Riley and lucky to receive a sleeping room for two nights at the Ronald McDonald House. This ordeal taught us a lot about charity and faith. We urge everyone to be trained in CPR and to donate their time/money to Riley and the Ronald McDonald House.

Grady started getting sick the evening of March 3 into the morning of March 4, 2008. He was home with Ryan and Taylor while I was at work. He had a big gaggy burp the morning of March 4 but was fine when I left for work. Ryan says he didn’t want to eat and just wanted to sleep. This was our first clue. His breathing got grunty again and Ryan called me at work. I headed home but then Ryan called 911 and I met them at the hospital (Community South—EMTs said it was closer). Once there we were transferred to Riley by ambulance.
Grady was running a very high fever when we reached Riley’s ER. They got him on Tylenol and later Motrin. They started more IVs and swabbed him for RSV. We sat in the ER for a long time, they had no beds for us. Right about the time they were going to send us to Riley North, a PICU bed opened up. Grady was intubated in the ER and then transferred to PICU. He wasn’t allowed to eat since he had aspiration pneumonia and they couldn’t risk him aspirating again. He tested positive for RSV this time. He spent about 2 days vented and then was taken off the vent and sent to 3B (isolation floor) after about 4 days in PICU. After about a week in 3B he aspirated again and got taken back to PICU and intubated again. This time we were on PICU north rather than south like the two previous times. He spent about 2 weeks in this PICU. He had some cardiac problems when they started the central line. They had to give him meds to stop his heart and then start it back on the right rhythm. Mom and cardiologist said it was SVT rhythm, some others in the room said V tach. They had to get the little paddles out to shock him but luckily they didn’t have to use them. The immunologist came to check on Grady and felt that he didn’t have any immune system issues. A CT scan showed air pockets (sort of like blisters) in his lungs which baffled the drs. but eventually his pulmonologist determined that these were most likely from the pneumonia and venting and we’ll let them be unless they cause more problems. Grady was anemic (probably was since the Feb visit but no one told us and the nurse changed “anemic” to “apnea” at my request because I felt that was a mistake since no one had mentioned anemia before) Anyway, he was anemic so he got a blood transfusion and that helped a lot. He finally got extubated and didn’t look like he was going to make it off of the vent but once we got his withdrawals from the meds under control he was breathing much better. We finally got sent back to 3B where he spent about 2 weeks recovering. Overall, the March visit to Riley was 25 days (March 4-28) and we came home on Grady’s 4 month birthday.
Grady has now spent 40 days in Riley, celebrated his 2 month and 4 month birthdays there, been vented 3 times, gotten a blood transfusion, had more IVs than we can count, been NG and NJ tube fed, on more meds than some adults, had more tests run than we can count, and has come out of it a strong and happy boy. He’s now over 6 months old, strong, healthy, and doing great!

Praise GOD that Grady's healing and getting stronger and healthier (and meaner!) every day! Here's a "healthy" and recent picture:

Please continue to pray

Please see the blog addresses below and continue to pray for these babies.

Grady had a better night. Our pediatrician gave permission for Delsym (cough med) and I gave him that before bed along with a nebulizer treatment, Dallergy, and his 2xs daily inhaled steroid. He coughed a bit but had a pretty restful night. The cough hasn't been bad today.

Ugh, my heart just aches for the mom below. I sooooo know how she's feeling dealing with the RSV.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Please pray for Stellan


This baby had heart issues in the womb but has shown no problems since birth. He's very sick right now with RSV. As you can guess this is bringing back lots of memories for me. Please pray for him.

Also, please pray for Kayleigh. http://kayleighannefreeman.blogspot.com/
She was born VERY early and has been in the hospital since then and has been through so VERY VERY much. I ache for her family.

Also, could you say a prayer for Grady too please? We're dealing with a cough that I don't like. We're doing our standard procedure stuff with meds and treatments, etc. But please pray that it doesn't lead to anything and that we can all get some sleep. The cough is worst at night.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What a weekend

Last Sat/Sun (13/14th) I had the stomach flu. I pass out when I puke so I passed out and smashed my nose on the floor. I'm pretty sure it's broken. If not broken then at least massively sore and bruised.
Skip ahead to this weekend. We were to celebrate Christmas with my family. My parents came to get the kids on Friday and we would head to their house on Sat. Well, Grady decided to get another double ear infection (mind you, he just had a double one on the 2nd and finished his antibiotics on the 11th) So my parents took him to the ped (thank you mom and dad!) and confirmed the ear infections and got him yet another antibiotic (and a referral to an ENT for tubes!)
Anyway, things were going very well on Friday. Then Taylor woke up Sat. am with vomiting and diarhea at 4am! She puked all day and then finally around 5pm seemed better. Since I had already had it we were just worried about Grady. Ryan seems to have missed it. Grady seems to have missed it. Bad news is, both my parents have it now and they are miserable! They were supposed to take me and the kids home today but they obviously can't do that now. They can barely get out of bed. Good news is that they seem to be done puking, I think they are on the "long sleep" part and should be feeling better tomorrow I hope. So, Ryan is coming to get me and the kids. Since my parents already have it and Grady's not showing signs, I'm praying he's not getting it. In hindsight, on the 2nd when he had the double ear infection, he puked a lot of the night but ped chalked it up to his high fever. He had diarhea but I chalked that up to the antibiotic. Looking back, I'm wondering if he had the stomach bug then!
Anyway, we had a very nice Christmas with my parents. Sadly, we missed seeing my brother and SIL and nephew and my Mamaw (they stayed away from the sickos!) The kids got so much stuff and enjoyed their time with my parents so much. Grandma helped Taylor make cookies and Taylor did almost all of the mixing and rolling and cutting and icing! She had such a nice time.
Even though this hasn't been the best weekend we've had a good time and I'll take it over last year any time! (Last year on Christmas Eve I started having gallbladder problems and ended the week with an emergency gallbladder removal. Plus Ryan was getting over an upper respiratory infection and Grady had bronchiolitis and then it went downhill from there! Maybe this year is the end of it all?)

I got tagged

Ok, Rachel tagged me so I will play along. I'm at my parents' house though so the pics aren't really mine.


1) Go to where you keep your pics on your computer, choose the 4th folder

2) Pick the 4th picture in that folder

3) Put it in a post and explain it

4) Tag others and let them know they were tagged

Here's my picture

This is Grady and his cousin Davus. Davus is 10 wks older than Grady. Grady had been out of the hospital one whole month! He was 5 months old exactly on the day of this picture.

Ok, now I tag:
*Sara W
*Sarah F
Ok, I don't have anyone else to tag!
Now, you guys pick your 4th pic folder and the 4th pic in it. Post it and explain it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grady goes to the doctor

Grady had his one year check up this evening (gotta love the late evening appts!) He's doing very well! He's 20 lbs 15 oz, 30 inches tall, and his hemoglobin was 13.1. They routinely do the hemoglobin test at 12 months but we were really interested in it since he was anemic in the hospital in March (and before) and got the blood transfusion. The number should be over 10 so 13.1 was really good! Nothing new, he's got 5 teeth with a 6th headed through and two massive molars making their presence known. We'll keep working on moving to a sippy cup rather than bottle but still keep getting 15-18 oz of whole milk in him. No concerns about no words yet, he communicates very well and interacts very well. Should have some words by 15 months. He got the other part of his flu shot (remember to get yours to protect those kids!) which is extremely important for him due to his respiratory health history. He also got his MMR, Prevnar, and chicken pox. Poor little thighs will be sore! I'm thinking I should get a pertussis booster since mine has probably long since worn off and there's a fairly large outbreak of confirmed pertussis in and around where I live and work right now! Scary! I can't risk bringing that home to my kids!

Other than the normal check up stuff, that's about all there is to report!

We're quickly approaching the "one year" anniversary of things! In fact, we already did the "one year ago today (28th of Nov) Grady was born". Now, if memory serves, we should be doing "one year ago today Daddy had an upper respiratory infection" and real soon we'll do "one year ago today Grady was 2 wks old and got bronchiolitis". I'll try to pop in and update the "one year ago" stuff as it comes up. For those of you who don't know of the whirlwind this past year has been, you'll be entertained by the "one year ago" postings.

Just wanted to pop a picture of my little beauty on here! Isn't she a doll?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend with no kids

My fabulous inlaws came and got the kids on Sat. morning so that Ryan and I could go do some Christmas shopping and then I got to go out with a friend for a speaker at church and then coffee at Starbucks! They have had them all day today too. They are on their way here as I type this so I'll be heading back into mommy-mode here soon. I've totally enjoyed my two days shopping with no kid hassles, an evening out, a full night's sleep, sleeping in (I'm embarrassed to admit what time I got out of bed this morning!) but I have missed them! It will be supper time and bath time and get ready for bed and the week ahead time when they get home. Ryan's at a Pacers game with my dad, brother, and his brother so we're on our own tonight.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Grady then and now

I wanted to post some pics of Grady from his hospitalizations to compare with him now.
Jan. 22, 2008. He stopped breathing on Jan. 21, 2008. This is him on the vent in the PICU at 7 weeks old.

Jan. 24, 2008

Off the vent (Jan 26)

March 2008 (he'd been on the vent and then off and was going to have to go back on)

Off the vent a second time and the withdrawls from the meds were about to start

Out of PICU (March) but not ready to go home yet.

One of his favorite poses, the docs said it looked like he was praying to go home.

I have two pics from his August stay but they are on my phone and I think my husband disabled my texting abilities because I can't send them to myself! :( The January stay was 10 days (vented once), then 5 days in Feb (no vent that time), then 25 days in March (vented twice then), then two days in August (no vent).

Anyway, here are a couple new ones of Grady from just these past two weeks!

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,When you bring gifts for my children this year, would you mind dropping a few things off for me as well? I'd really appreciate it (I've been a good girl most of the year) I'd like you to bring me:
- weekends that last longer than a blink of the eye
- naps on the weekends (for the kids and me!)
- time to go shopping without the stroller and carseats and hats and gloves and sippies and snacks and diaper bag and sanitizing wipes and toys
- jeans that fit and make me look decent- clothes (other than my school/work uniform) that fit and look nice
- time to just sit with a cup of tea and read a book (and the time after the kids are in bed doesn't count, I'm too darn tired then!)
- money that is to ONLY be used for me! I would try to buy the kids something though, I know I would!
- a person to cook dinner and clean up the dishes every day (or once or twice a week even!)
- laundry person (I don't mind the washing, I just need someone to fold, sort, and put it all away!)
- a date night--dinner, theater movie (haven't been to one since before Taylor you know!)
- time and money to go get a haircut- time and money for a massage!
- a pill that will make me lose 20 pounds and keep it off but I can keep shoving food in my face the way I am now

Santa, of course, all I really want is happy and healthy children and family and friends. I want to live life to its fullest and see happiness in my kids' eyes. BUT-- if you're looking for things to bring me, you may use the above list as reference! :)

The Invisible Mom

I guess this is going around on email but I haven't seen it until today. I obviously didn't write this. I DON'T get up at 4 to make pies or iron table linens (and I WON'T ever do that) but I DO feel like I do a lot for my kids that they will never realize or truly appreciate (until maybe they are parents themselves) However, I like the message here.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.
Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.
The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England... Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.
I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're going to love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Spirit Award

First, as I'm typing this, Taylor whisper yells from her bed, "MOOOMMMMYYYY!" So I go in there and she sits up and says, "I want a poodle. I saw one in Miah's magazine!" Ok, Taylor, we'll see. Goodnight. :)

Second, someone (Alicia) gave me a Christmas spirit award! How nice is that?! So, now I get to pass it on!

The Rules go a little something like this:

You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award.
The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas.
You must link back to the person who gave you the award.
You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! :o)
Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 45; it's up to you. But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going!
Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment on their blog.
And that's all!
Pretty easy, eh?

What I love about Christmas:
* Seeing it through my daughter and son's eyes! They get so excited!
* Family
* 2 weeks off school! :)
* Yummy goodies at school and gatherings!
* Giving little gifts
* And, of course, the true reason for the season, celebrating Jesus' birth!

Now I tag:
Rose at growingcolin.blogspot.com

Sadly, that's the only other person I know who blogs regularly. I need more blog friends!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How's this for profound!?!?!

Here's some profound writing for you (see previous post)
That was beautiful, huh?

Woke at daycare with 103 temp and screaming. I got the call as I was leaving school so I rushed to get him (while calling dr. and praying for an appt.) and got him back to the doctor (they usually try to get him in with his history). Double ear infection. So we're on augmentin for 10 days. Bring on the poop! Hope to avoid the rash! He's fitfully sleeping right now with a dose of Tylenol and his first dose of augmentin. Here's to a restful night.

Oh, and let's see how profound I'm feeling when I have to get us all up and ready so I can get to a 7:45 staff meeting (in which I have to make a presentation, yippee skippee! Note, that was sarcasm.)

Good night all! Prayers for Grady's ears to heal and nothing else to start up (respiratory stuff). Oh, and we'll probably be seeing a ENT soon about tubes. Maybe before 2009? That would be a nice end to this whirlwind of 2008.

Nothing Profound

I read other blogs and I am captivated by the richness of their writing. They have a beautiful way of saying things. I think I have too much "newspaper" in me, my writing doesn't seem to flow as beautifully as others. I do more reporting.
I wish I had profound things to write about. During the day I think of things that I should write but since I'm teaching I can't just sit down and write them. Then by the time I get my kids, get home, fix supper, clean up, do baths, and bed, I'm exhausted and those profound things that had popped into my head during the day are sound asleep in my foggy brain.
One thing I'd like to write about is that teachers don't have "easy" jobs. Someone told me one day, "well, at least your job isn't hard" and I about bopped them on the head. Anyone is welcome to come do my job for an average week (and do it well!!) and then tell me it's not hard. Here's my typical day (not that it's "harder" than anyone else's job, but it's not EASY):
* Up at 5-5:30 am (after being up at least once in the night for Taylor's potty break!)
* Get the kids up around 6:15am
* Out the door around 7-7:15 am (unless I have a staff meeting then I have to leave earlier)
* Husband usually takes kids to daycare but some days I take them
* At school by about 7:45-8:15 depending on the day
* Prepare lessons, homework, room for the day. Attend planned or impromtu meetings.
* Use the bathroom (this is important since I can't go again for a few hours!)
* Students arrive at 9:05am
* Full time teacher, mother, babysitter, secretary, nurse, counselor from 9:05-11:30
* 30 min break at 11:30 (which is actually a 20 min break by the time you get the kids to their special class and go to the bathroom)
* Full time teacher, mother, babysitter, secretary, nurse, counselor from 12-12:40
* My lunch is 40 min but some days that's only 20 min due to recess duty. I also have to work on paperwork, make copies, call parents, check on issues in the office so I usually shove a lunch in my mouth in about 20 min and then take a quick restroom break
* Full time teacher, mother, babysitter, secretary, nurse, counselor from 1:20-3:50
* Dismissal at 3:50 then I leave school at 4:05
* At daycare by 4:35, home by about 5pm
* Supper usually over around 6 pm and we start clean up and baths
* Grady's ready for bed at 7pm and then Taylor follows around 7:15-7:30.
* I finish dishes, do any small school stuff I brought home, check email, try to spend some time with husband, unwind, and then crash into bed
I feel like I'm "on" all day. WHEW!
Anyway, I'm not saying it's the hardest job in the world. It's not all that physically demanding but it's mentally and emotionally demanding to be the sole person in charge of (at last count) 27 innercity 4th graders who all bring huge loads of issues with them to school.
Well, it's time to stop wasting time and get my day started!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Birthday Party!

Here are some random pictures from Grady's party on Sat. He enjoyed the paper more than anything and I've never seen a baby get so into a cake. We just let him go at it and then the Grandmas put him in the bath! Taylor enjoyed helping with the gifts. The dark haired boy is my nephew, he's 10 wks older than Grady.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Ok, so it's not until tomorrow (the 28th) but I was at the hospital getting ready to start my labor with him at this time last year so I'll count it! Plus, I'd rather post now before going to bed!

Here's the birth story I had typed when Grady was born. Figure I can reuse it to celebrate his first birthday!

I had gone to my dr. appt. on Wed., Nov. 21, and Dr. Bantz wanted me to go to labor and delivery due to 146/94 bp. I chose not to go. On Sat. the 24 my bp was still up and I got a headache so I called the hospital and the dr. on call said to come in. I went in and they watched me for about 4 hours. BP went down so they sent me home. Induction was still scheduled for November 29 (Thurs). The dr. told me to stay off work until baby was born. I went to my scheduled appt. on Tues. with Dr. Boothe. My blood pressure was 160/92!!! I was still only 1 cm dilated. Dr. Boothe wanted me to go ahead to the hospital that night. We all discussed that 2 days before the scheduled induction wasn’t a big deal and that the bp was high enough I should go ahead and get the induction started. So we went and got Taylor and made plans quickly. I was checked into the hospital around 7 pm on Tuesday, November 27. They checked me and I was still only one cm dilated. They started Cervadil around 8:30pm. I sort of slept off and on through the night. The Cervadil fell out around 3:30 am and they went ahead and checked me again and I was 4 cm! They started the Pitocin around 6 am. I went ahead and got the epidural around 7:30 am since the anesthesiologist was going to be unavailable until around 11 am. When they checked me again (around 11 am) I was 6-7 cm and the dr. came and broke my water. Ryan and my dad headed to get lunch. The nurse checked me and I was 10 cm and 100% effaced. She told me to call Ryan back up and she’d get the dr. Dr. came in around noon. Nurse talked to me through one contraction and then I started pushing at 12:05 pm. I pushed for 5 sets (3 pushes each) and Grady was born at 12:23 pm. He was much bigger than Taylor (she was early and only 6 lbs 4 oz) but he was 8 lbs 11 oz!! So, the pushing went faster but it was much harder!

Grady is such a happy, onery, perfect baby! Well, I guess at one year old he's not a baby anymore but he'll always be my baby! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRADY!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A year ago

Ok, so I know it wasn't a year ago according to the DATE but it was a year ago according to the DAY. Last year, I went to my dr. appt. on a Tues. and my bloodpressure was so high that the dr. sent me to the hospital to induce labor. So, last night as we were putting up the Christmas tree and then laying in bed, all I could think of was what was happening a year ago on Tuesday night. A year ago on this Wed. morning I was tired after a night of little sleep and getting ready to have Grady! WOW! So much has happened in a year!

Late night bathroom trips

When I was younger (like from the time I was pottytrained until I was in about 5th grade and my bedroom moved upstairs) I had a nightly ritual. EVERY night (and I mean every night) I would wake up in my bed and (because I was scared of the dark) call for my dad. "Daaaadddddyyyyy! Daaaaaddddddyyyyyy!" Many nights my brother would just go get my dad (dad's a heavy sleeper) and then dad would walk me to the bathroom and then put me back to bed. I can remember this vividly. I never knew how much my dad must have LOVED this ritual until I became a parent of a pottytrained child.
Taylor now wakes up about 2-3 (sometimes more) nights a week and walks to our room (she says she's scared of "darkness" but at least she comes to me rather than screaming for me like I used to scream for my dad) and then she stands next to my bed holding her silky and babybear and whispers, "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy, I need to go pee." So I take her to pee and, if it's not after 6am, I take her back to her room. She usually wants to sleep in my bed but I tell her it's still dark so she can't. Don't know how that's going to work during the summer when it's light at like 5am!!
Anyway, thanks Dad for the nightly bathroom trips. Sorry I disrupted your sleep every night for so long! :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Couple Pics

Here are a couple pics of my gorgeous kids! Taylor's hair hadn't been fixed but I think she's still beautiful! Of course, I'm a bit biased!

A good weekend

Taylor, Grady, and I got back home today from a very nice weekend with mom parents and extended family. The kids had a good time and were exhausted. They fell into bed and I'm about to do the same (after I put away a large pile of laundry!)
It's always so nice to spend time with family. Now I get to get through a three day week, then do Thanksgiving, Grady's bday on Friday, then the bday party on Sat., and try to rest on Sunday! Then it's three weeks until Christmas break!!!
It's strange how this weekend I was able to start the "a year ago today" thoughts. There's sooooo many "a year ago today" milestones coming up now. I hope to look back on them as something that God got us all through and made us all stronger. I want all of the thoughts of what has happened in this past year to remind us of how strong we are through our God. It truly is amazing what all our family has been through and how "well" we're all doing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Please say a prayer

My daycare provider's oldest daughter (who has been in and out of the hospital about as much as Grady this past year with asthma related problems) is sick again. Please pray that she gets better soon and that Grady doesn't catch it.
Please pray that whatever snot Taylor has isn't serious and that Grady doesn't catch it.
Please pray that Grady doesn't catch whatever this all is and if he does we're able to stay on top of it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanks a million times over

As we draw near to the Thanksgiving holiday, I am even more reminded of how blessed I am and how much I have to be thankful for. First on my list this year is Grady's 1st birthday. I know just how lucky we are that he was no sicker than he was (compared to so many others we saw at Riley we know just how sick he could have been) but there were times when he was labled "critical" and there were a couple times when the future looked bleak for us. But, our prayers were answered and our sweet baby boy, who has gone through so very much and come out of it all smiling and being total cuddles and meaness, is about to turn one year old!!!! I love him so very much.
I am so very thankful too for my precious Taylor. She, too, has been through so very much and was such a trooper through all of it! Wow! She went from being the one and only to sharing mommy and daddy with Grady. Then mommy got sick and went away, then daddy was sick, then Grady was sick and went away for a long time and came back and went away and came back and went away and came back. Then went away one last time and came back! :) She was so good through all of this past year. Ok, "good" maybe isn't the exact word (if you've been around her lately you'd understand!) but she handled it all so well! She is too cute, funny, rotten, for words! I love her so very much!
I'm thankful for Ryan who has been my rock through it all. He has taken care of so very much this past year and he carries a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. His children adore him and I feel lucky to have him beside me through this all. Here's to a better year of health for all of us! I love him so very much!
I am so thankful for my family and friends. There's a million things I could say thank you for but I'm tired and want to go to bed :) so I'll sum it all up with, "Thanks for being there. Thanks for your support, your prayers, your words, your deeds. Thanks for being you!" We would not have gotten through this past year without our family and friends.
I'm also thankful that I have a job, a home, a vehicle, food, clothing, some money (did you know that if you have only $60,000 in assets you are richer than 75% of the people in the world? Cars, home equity, tv, computer, that should be about $60, 000 in assets right there. We truly don't know what it's like to have no money.)
So, in closing, I'm overwhelmed by the feeling of gratitude I have this year. I'm always thankful and think about it even more during this time of year but this year it's hitting me like a ton of bricks!
Happy Thanksgiving now and all year!

Air fresheners

Just a quick note that research is showing air fresheners are causing cancers. Also, air fresheners (any kind, candles included) aren't good for people with breathing problems.

The Patch

One of my students wears 2 medication patches for his behavior. I'd like to buy these in bulk and stick them on various students in my room. I bet he'd sell them to me! :) DISCLAIMER--obviously totally kidding, it's just been a rough day! :)

How can this be right?


How can my superintendent go to less responsibility (but get the same massive paycheck) and promote (and pay more) 2 people who are already making 6 figures while he's having to close 6 schools, and let more teachers go than we've let go in a long time. Also, he can promote two people yet can't give the teachers a 3% cost of living raise? We've been without contract for 2 years now. Doesn't seem quite equal here to me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Obviously this should go without saying but I felt compelled to say it anyway. The views shared by myself may or may not agree with your views and opinions. Since this is my blog I am going to state my views on things but that doesn't mean that I think all reading it should agree. Thanks!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


The link below is just one of many that goes to stories that are reporting on the rise of diseases that were once very much "extinct" thanks to medical advancements. I have a really hard time understanding someone who refuses to vaccinate their child against these diseases. The more research being done, the more we're finding that autism is very likely NOT linked to vaccines. Yes, do your research and decide which vaccines you want to give and when, do a slower schedule if you want, ask for the mercury free vaccines, but don't keep your child from getting a vaccine that could save his/her life or the lives of countless others. I hear people say, "I'm not worried about these diseases; people hardly ever get them anymore." and I want to scream because it's due to the vaccines that people hardly ever get the disease anymore!!!! My children are vaccinated (Grady on a slightly slower schedule due to the hospitalizations) but I don't want them around kids who aren't vaccinated who could possibly expose them to the disease. Grady's not been diagnosed with any kind of immune issues but he's sure made us wonder with how much he comes down with. I would be beside myself if he caught something from an unvaccinated child. I just feel that so much of the suffering could be avoided if people would allow their child to be vaccinated.
Now, obviously, I haven't delved much into the "whys" of not vaccinating. I know there are SOME valid reasons. But, "I just don't want to subject my child to that" (the disease is much worse than a shot!) and, "Those diseases aren't around anymore", and "No one can make me" type arguments just don't fly with me.
Ok, I'm done now! :)


Acetaminophen linked to asthma

This research story is scary! I always try to let a low fever run its course and now that Grady's past the 6 month mark I use ibuprofen for high fevers (wonder what it causes!) but he's definitely had acetaminophen many times in his first year! He's already genetically at risk for asthma, more at risk since he had RSV and had to be vented 3 times, and now let's add this to his list of risk factors!

Just some pics to share

The first is of Grady with his mohawk. It was less than impressive back in May but it's pretty stylish now! Too bad he wasn't in the mood for a picture!

The second is just of my two little Colts fans.

To Grandmother's House We Go!

Grady and Taylor got to spend Thursday night and all day Friday at Grandma Rita and Papaw Jeff's house. They had a great time! Mommy and Daddy got to go out to eat alone (no screaming child(ren), no puffs all over the floor, no picky eater Taylor, etc) and then we slept in on Friday (mommy took the day off), caught up on the Tivoed shows we needed to watch, went to eat lunch, shopped around for a while, then got groceries. All of this was very simple but very enjoyable. No dragging coats and hats around, no diaper bag, no in and out of carseats! Ahhhhhh! Oh, and it's 8:41 am on Sat. morning and Taylor and I have been up for about 20 min. and Grady's awake in his bed but playing. Two sleep in days in a row!!

Oh, and I'm excited about our Thanksgiving(s) coming up, Grady's bday, and Christmas with our families! Taylor, Grady, and I will be spending some time down at my mom and dad's house during both Thanksgiving (well, a weekend early, but still) and Christmas!

Friday, November 14, 2008

No more ads

Well, according to Google Adsense, the clicks on my ads were invalid. So, thanks to those of you who clicked on my ads but I guess they didn't like that I was getting so many clicks so they disabled my account. I was up to about $50! They send a check after $100. I guess I won't be getting that! :)
Anyway, I started this to put the ads on it but now that it's been disabled, I think I'll keep the blog anyway. I don't post every day but I'd like to keep it going.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Having a Child in the Hospital

We have spent over 40 days in the hospital. I feel blessed because these were not 40+ consecutive days, it was ONLY 40+ days, we were close to the hospital so we could travel home when needed, we had family and friends there with us most of the time, and we got to bring our baby home and he's relatively healthy. Now, with all of that said, I do feel that I've learned a bit about having a child in the hospital. Here's what I learned (in totally random order):
- there will be great nurses, good nurses, so-so nurses, and crappy nurses. No matter what type of nurse you get, be polite and realize they have other patients. However, don't be afraid to speak up for something you or child needs, especially if it has to do with your child's health or comfort.
- the nurses don't come in and purposely wake you or your child, they are just doing their job
- doctor time is totally different than real world time so don't expect "we'll be back after rounds" to mean that they'll be back anytime soon. Doctors say, "in a while" and we think "an hour or two" and they may mean "4-5 hours"
- doctors are not God, they don't always have the perfect answer and you can (and should) ask as many questions as you can think of and write things down (or have someone do it for you)
- never feel bad when you question an order or a medication or whatever. This is your child and mistakes do happen. You are the last line of "security" between the wrong med or wrong whatever and your child.
- try to make your room as comfy as possible. If you're in PICU that may be hard but if you're in a regular room you can try to make things "homey" (just remember that housekeeping will/should be in daily to clean and they don't need/want to pick up your stuff)
- if you have your own bathroom/shower be very thankful! That's such a lifesaver!
- if you have a private room be very thankful!
- don't just wait for the nurse to come around, if you need something push the call button
- don't feel guilty asking for things that have to do with your child's health....that's the nurses' job
- don't expect to get a lot of rest while in the hospital especially with a little one
- ask someone to sit with your child and get out of your room at least once or twice a day. Try to get outside too.
- if you are comfortable with it, try taking over some of your child's care (diapers, feeding, etc). If your child has something (trach, feeding tube, etc) that he will be going home with, you're going to need to learn how to do it anyway so you might as well do it now
- ask questions if you don't agree with things, ask questions if you don't understand something, ask whatever questions you have and keep asking until you feel like you've gotten an answer
- don't assume that you will be "remembered". If a med is late or a treatment is late, politely ask the nurse "What time will he be getting X med?" or "What time will Y treatment be here"....a lot of times things have been forgotten
- you can't just sit back and assume that the nurses/docs will do/remember everything
- be aware of every med your child is on and what it's for. Write this down if needed. You should know what med he gets, how much of it, and when
- be respectful and follow hospital guidelines
- wash your hands. Bring or buy lotion for your hands and face and lipbalm. The hospital air is so very drying.
- remember to keep things in perspective. The whole time Grady was sick, we were reminded daily that there were babies/kids all around us that were sooooo much worse off.
- you can do all of what I just said and still be polite. You don't need to be crappy but if things do warrant it, don't be afraid to make a complaint.

Well, that's most all of what I learned being in the hospital with Grady. Hopefully I'll never get a chance to learn any more!

What to expect with a chest xray

Ok, so, I don't know if this blog comes up when someone searches for something regarding respiratory stuff but I thought I'd type out what to expect if your child is going for a chest xray. I'm starting with the easy stuff first.
* First, have your child in something that's easy on and off if possible. Depending on the xray tech, they may let you keep a shirt on if there are no metal snaps or zippers or anything.
* Usually they will let the parent stay in the room (as long as you aren't pregnant) and they'll have you wear a lead apron to protect you.
* Depending on what the doc has ordered, you and/or the tech will lay the baby/child on the table and position him so that his chest is under the light/camera type thing.
* They will have to take more than one picture usually and usually more than one position to get a good look at the chest/lungs.
* More than likely your child will be upset (especially if it's a younger child/baby) and will usually want to move around. I know it sounds mean but if you'll hold the baby in the position they need him in and keep him from moving things will go quicker and easier. Yes, the baby will be upset but things won't take so long. If he moves too much then they will have to take more pics and this will prolong the experience.
* Once they have determined that they got good pics, they'll have you get the baby dressed.
That's it! Chest xrays are fairly easy!

He's My Last Baby

I'm feeling all sentimental with Grady. I know it has a lot to do with the fact that he/we have been through sooooooo very much this past almost one year but I think I'd be this way even if he'd not been through so much. He's 99.99% our last baby and I find myself at odds daily getting excited about his milestones but not wanting him to grow up too fast. Part of me also feels like the bigger and stronger he gets maybe the healthier he'll be but I don't want to wish him older. With Taylor I wasn't so sentimental. For example:
* I was determined (and successful) that Taylor would be done with bottles on her first birthday. We threw all bottles away that day and never looked back. Today, I decided that if Grady wants to continue a bottle at nighttime (or anytime) for a little bit longer, that is fine.
* With Taylor, I was thrilled when she started going to sleep on her own and not needing/wanting to rock. With Grady, I try to make him rock even though he'd usually rather just be laid down.
I am so totally in love with my children and I know the definition of "bittersweet" now that I'm a mother. I am so very proud and excited about all of their accomplishments and I think fondly about what the future holds for them but I also feel so very sad to think that one day they won't be my babies anymore. Although, Taylor did tell me the other day that she never wants to grow up because she wants to live with me and Ryan forever. :)

What Would Bring You Back?

Ok, so, according to someone I love, I'm not "bringing people to or back" to my blog. So, what could I do to draw people to my blog? What could I do to make people want to come back? You mean my intriguing/stunning/beautiful posts so far haven't brought people back numerous times a day? Heehee :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

I added two new YouTube videos down at the bottom. These two songs are sort of my rocks right now. "Bring the Rain" was a song I first heard back in March driving home from the hospital to spend some time with Taylor and it hit me so hard I almost had to pull over. There has been so much rain in our lives lately and especially this past winter but through it all we all have been so blessed and have been able to find such peace in all that has happened. So, God will bring us rain but he'll get us through it too and this song reminds me that through all of the rain I will continue to praise him for our blessings.
The "My Savior Loves, My Savior Lives" chokes me up every time. "I am not skilled to understand, what God has willed, what God has planned". Yes, I don't understand why all of this has happened to Grady and to us but I know that God has a plan. I was talking to a friend one day and trying to put into words how I feel. I was explaining that I want to have faith that Grady will stay healthy but then if he doesn't what does that mean for my faith? She said, "I don't mean to hurt you but God hasn't promised to keep Grady healthy. He's promised to get you through whatever may come." and those words have stuck with me like glue. I don't understand or know God's plan but I know he loves me and lives in me and that he will get us all through whatever comes.
So, take some time to listen to these two songs and think of Grady and whatever else comes to your mind.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bless His Heart

So, last night Grady's heart seemed to be beating much harder and faster than usual. Let me back up. Back in March, he had a central line put in and one of the side effects that can sometimes happen with that is that it "tickles" the heart and causes an irregular rhythm. Grady's heart got tickled and got in an irregular rhythm. This was a scary time as they brought in the paddles to shock him and everything. Praise God he didn't need that and the meds worked to get the normal rhythm back. Because of this they said that he may have rhythm issues in the future.
Ok, back to last night. He had been playing so when I first felt it (I was giving him his bedtime bottle) I thought he was just worked up. But then I noticed it was much faster and harder than I ever have noticed before. I was a bit worried but since they (docs) hadn't said it was a problem I didn't have anything to DO for him so I let him go to bed as usual.
I called his ped. this morning and he called back. He said if Grady's extrememly fussy during this (he wasn't) or very sweaty (he was slightly sweaty) then we should call him but not to worry otherwise. Well, not "don't worry" but don't get all worked up. We have to keep track of any time this happens. If it starts happening too much (weekly or more) then we'll have to put him on a 24 hour heart monitor and see what's going on.
So, long blog to say, please pray for Grady's heart. He had a heart test or two done duing his hospital stays and all showed normal. Just pray that we don't have more issues with this. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Savings.com

LOVE mysavings.com (you can see the link in my right side bar). Sign up and then check often (daily) for new "free stuff". I sign up for things almost daily and constantly get little free samples in the mail! I love it!

Not a lot to say.....

Well, let me take that back. I DO have a lot to say and I have notes written about what I want to blog about but I'm just so busy with the kids and work that by the time I get to the computer I can barely check my email and some other sites before I crash into bed!
Things seem to be going well with Grady. Taylor is a major pain in the butt right now. I'm ready for a break from work. Ryan's tired and stressed. We need a little weekend vacation! :) Well, it's 7:45 pm and I'm guessing 8:30 will be about right for bedtime.
Some things I want to write about in the future:
What To Expect for different medical conditions and tests (of course, I'll only be writing about the ones that we've experienced with Grady)
Trying to balance kids, work, home, husband, me
Dealing with a hospitalized child and staying sane
Teacher stuff

Monday, November 3, 2008


Are you kidding me!??!?! I just posted last night that things with Grady are going better and today Juana has to call me because he has a temp of 103.7!!! Ryan took him to dr. and he has ear infections so he's on antibiotics now (again!!) I'll stop saying he's doing well if he's going to get sick everytime I say it!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Taylor's Lipgloss

Taylor and Mommy had a "day out" today. I had a gift card to Walden books that still had some money on it and a JCP coupon that was $10 off of $10 or more so we headed to the mall after Grady went down for a nap. She insisted on riding in the stroller which looked funny but saved a lot of whining. She had picked a couple things at JCP when I realized the coupon expired Saturday! She handled it pretty well though. I found a Macy's return card in my purse that had $7 on it so we headed there. She picked out lipgloss (more on that later). At Walden's she picked out a Disney Princess book with a MagnaDoodle type thing that is supposed to teach her to write her letters. Little do they know how stubborn this child is! She also picked a Little Critter book, "Just Shopping with Mom".

Back to the lipgloss. MIL and FIL will be getting Taylor lipgloss for Christmas but she just HAD to have the stuff she found today. She's worn gloss at Juana's house so I thought she'd be ok with it. I helped her put some on (it's the kind with the applicator brush) and then sent her to put it in her room. I got lunch ready and realized I hadn't seen her since I sent her to put it away. I holler for her to come in the kitchen. She comes in with lipgloss all over her face, a huge chunk of it on her chin, and pink gloss smeared all over her white shirt. I didn't get a picture of that but I did take a picture of the gloss so that you can see how much she applied. I think her words were, "I shorry, it leaked." Um, yeah.

Breathing Easy for Now

Well, after Grady's latest respiratory issue, we're finally down to no breathing treatments and just some medicated nasal spray at night. He's still coughing a bit during the night but it seems to be just during his "wake" cycles and then he calms and goes back to sleep. This is much improved from the coughing/gagging all night we had a couple weeks ago. I need to make a phone call to the pulmonologist to see if we can take his inhaled steroid down to 44mcg or if she wants us to stay at 110mcg. He's almost out of 110mcg so I need to know which type to refill at the pharmacy. Also, need to ask how long she wants us to do the nasal spray. We're only doing it at nightl; stopped the morning dose on Friday and things seem to be going fine. Praying for a much healthier winter this year!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Teacher Rant

Yeah, I'm writing totally unrelated and random stuff. Maybe someday my blog will have direction and purpose but for now it's random thoughts.
You know what makes me mad as a teacher? Well, there's WAY TOO MUCH to list here. The one thing I was thinking about just now is this: I hate when a previous year teacher comes to you and asks, "Well, how's so-and-so doing? Will you be retaining him? He was really close last year, I figure you'll need to this year." Wait a second! If he was so close to being retained last year and you really thought he should have been then you should have done it. Don't pin that on me! And don't act so surprised if so-and-so is doing well in my room. Also, another thing that makes me mad is when a teacher comes to me about a student I had last year and wants to know why I didn't retain said student. Um, because he/she wasn't failing and I can't retain someone without failing grades!
Other things that make me mad as a teacher?
Lack of supplies
MORE paperwork
annoying colleagues
huge classes
crappy furniture for the kids
tests, tests, tests

Ok, I'll stop now. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Meet my kids

So that you will have faces to put with my kids' names. Here are Taylor and Grady.


So, in honor of Halloween, the Music teacher at my school showed "Thriller" today. It's been a really long time since I've heard that song, let alone seen the video. Well, now I'm singing "Thriller" in my head and picturing Micheal Jackson as that zombie. Plus, the Music teacher and the class were discussing how this video is a historical musical piece. Not sure what's scarier! MJ as a zombie, MJ period, or realizing that a song/video I used to watch is now "historical"! :)

My First Blog Post

So, I've been working on getting this up and running for a while now. I hate to admit that the name "Breathing Sounds So Easy" came from my BIL, Adam. He said that all my other ideas were cliche and he offered this one. As much as I wanted to ignore his suggestion, I just couldn't. I really liked his idea so I went with it.
My thoughts here will probably be totally random. I plan to write about being a mom, wife, teacher, and dealing with Grady's health issues. I'm hoping the "breathing" part makes sense here. Get it? I'm so busy with life that I barely have time to breathe and Grady's health issues have to do with his breathing. Ok, if it doesn't make sense by now it's not going to so I'll let it go.
Anyway, I plan on getting some more stuff set up here and getting things started. I will post as often as I can.