Is It Worth It?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

As I eluted to before, I have a week long business trip this week that although is only in Virgina, it's far away enough, and has a busy enough schedule to not allow me to head home at all this week. So, I am writing this from my very dark, hot and boring conference center room and find myself questions whether or not signing up for something that could potentially help my career/performance review is really worth being away from Emma and Wes for a full week?

The day started out just as pretty much every other day starts. Although I was a little quicker to get out of bed when I heard Emma wake up this morning because I knew I wouldn't be able to see that stunning morning smile for a week. The day was kind of crazy with teething, laundry, packing, etc and I quickly found myself in a terrible mood which was really sad because I really wanted to spend my remaining few hours with Wes and Emma and when we weren't chasing around and trying to calm a teething baby, one of us was upstairs and the other was downstairs. I don't think more than 20 words were said on the drive to the rental car facility. A lot of what put me into such a funk was just thinking about Emma changes on a daily basis now and all I could think about was what I was going to miss this week. Was she going to start walking? What if she says a new word? What if she forgets me or is mad at me when I get back? It took all of my might to hold back my tears when saying goodbye and I did pretty good, until I got into my rental car.

After waiting almost 30 minutes in line when there were only 2 people in front of me, getting lost on the way to the conference center, arriving 30 seconds before a huge summer storm (I was literally running with my 3,393 pound suitcase into the building, having the power go out as I was checking in, trying to get to my room on the 6th floor with no elevators and not having any power I REALLY started to question, was this worth it?

I am sure that a lot of what I am feeling is just because this is my first time leaving Emma for more than one night, but I can't help but think about whether this is something that I really want to do or not, now or in the future. Thank goodness I have the Internet and I can keep my spirits up by continuing to plan her 1st Birthday party which is right around the corner!

7th Tooth & 1st Boyfriend

Emma's seventh tooth popped through yesterday (which explains the overwhelming amount of drool that started to appear) and despite the soaked clothes, she still managed to start her first boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. :) Emma now has four top teeth and three bottom teeth.

There is a little boy named Landon, that is in the toddler room right next to Emma's Todfant room. From the minute Landon walked into Emma's room (sometimes they start together until most of the kids get there) he was stuck by her side. Apparently, from what Landon's teachers say, he isn't usually one to share any of his food or let anyone touch his face. Well, Emma crawled right over to him when he was eating his blueberry waffle and he handed it right over! Then, Emma decided to show everyone where Landon's nose was and he thought it was hilarious. She proceed to stand next to him while he was eating his breakfast and he took his little right arm, put it around Emma and started rubbing her back.

:::the room then went crazy:::

Emma then decided to play a little hard to get so she headed over to the books but couldn't reach them herself. Landon to the rescue!! He ran right over there, got a book, handed it to Emma and sat down right next to her. Normally, the two classes separate in a little later in the morning, and apparently Emma and Landon spend a lot of time standing at the door between the two classes talking through it and laughing. It's so tragic that a love like that has to be separated all day long!! Haha!! Emma loves Landon and he clearly loves her in return!!

Perfection & Poop Tracker 2010!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We just got a call from Nurse "B", who is the study coordinator and basically our first stop for anything related to Emma's VUR, and she was calling about the final results of her DMSA scan. Perfection!

There are basically two different things that this scan looks for. One being if there is any kidney scarring/damage and the other being how hard both the kidneys are working. Sometimes in cases where children have reflux only on one side (like Emma), you would expect that one kidney may be working a little harder than the one on the side with the reflux. The second part of the test (how hard the kidneys are working) is measured on a scale of 0 - 100 where you actually want the results to be 50 - 50, meaning each kidney is doing exactly 50% of the work. Any numbers between 40 - 60 are still good, but Nurse "B" said that in her 15 years of working in pediatric urology, she has only ever seen one child with an actual 50 -50 rating and guess who that little peanut was...

Emma also showed absolutely no kidney scarring or damage, which was another relief to hear!! So we are finally back to normal and our next appointment (unless another UTI comes up :::knock on wood:::) isn't for 6 months when its just a small prick for a quick blood test. This should however make Emma nice and angry during her 12-month appointment with her regular pediatrician! Yikes! Maybe Daddy should take her to that appointment! To show you also how big of a nerd couple that we are, Wes and I have turned this VUR/study/antibiotics vs. placebo thing into a competition against all other parents ever involved! :) I mean come on...given Emma's results from her DMSA scan and her 50 - 50 score, I think we have a good chance too haha! Basically the doctors know that LIFE will often make it somewhat difficult to give the medicine, so if we give Emma the medicine, 80% of the time, and get 80% of the medicine in her each time, we would be in the upper 95% percentile of parents in this study. Well that's simply not good enough for my perfectly functioning (at least kidney wise) baby peanut!! So our goal is to basically be the best parents ever known to this study!! :) I know...ridiculous. But as soon as we heard those statistics our competitive nature just came right out! So here is our system to make sure we hit 100% over the next two years (yeah right haha).

Another part of being involved in the study is that we will get a call every 2 months to let Johns Hopkins know about how Emma is doing. We will get asked a lot of questions about how often we gave her the medicine, how many times a week she poops (because constipation is such a big deal now) and many more. Ergo, the Poop & Medicine Tracker 2010!

I made a monthly calendar that hangs on our refrigerator (right next to Emma's art from daycare) that is a daily reminder of her medicine. It has a check box everyday so we can keep track of the days that we give her the medicine and a line for the ____ # of BMs. That's right. Poop tracker. I am all about data so when we get those phone calls every 2 months, they aren't going to know what to do with all the data they are going to get!! Once a week, we fill up the little syringes full of the medicine which makes it MUCH easier to just bring upstairs with her bottle of water (for her formula) for the next morning. Cuts down on a lot of the time!

For now, I think that is about it. There is hopefully more to come later on how I am trying to prepare Daddy for a week on his own with Weans (just finished typing up Emma's week long eating schedule). I am also sure that my first week-long business trip will do wonders for my back and forth feelings about being a working mom, so I am sure I will have a mother-related-meltdown shortly! Stay tuned!

Carrot Top

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In Emma's "drunken" stooper tonight at dinner, Emma decided that throwing her food was a really good and funny thing to do. Check out where she managed to throw one of her carrots...

I promise this wasn't staged. :)

DMSA Test One is Done!

Emma headed back to Johns Hopkins Hospital this morning for her first DMSA scan to test for kidney damage from her VUR/kidney infection and she did really well! It was a long day for her but considering she wasn't able to really have a good nap or eat anything after dinner last night, we couldn't have asked for more. We left bright and early at 7:30AM which was good since we weren't allowed to give her anything but clear liquids until the test, so by 7:30AM she was already getting a little cranky. After checking in, having Emma get checked out, they started the IV which really was the worst part of the entire process. At that time, maybe about 9:00AM or so, they started to inject the radioactive material that attaches itself to Emma's kidneys to allow for the scan. We then had to wait just about an hour (for the medicine to be able to get to her kidneys) so we walked around the amazing hospital and grabbed something to drink. Things started a little bit later than expected but we headed back into the room about 10:30AM to start the sedation. Just like in the VCUG test, the little stinker was making those poor nurses work for their paychecks and she just kept fighting the sedation. After about 20 minutes she finally gave in and they could start the test.

Of course, Emma wasn't going to go down that easy though, so exactly half way into the test, those baby blue eyes popped right open to everyone's surprise!! The nurses were pretty surprised that she woke up with the amount of sedation that she was given, so they gave her pretty much the rest of the dose that they could, and given another 15 minutes she was back out and they were able to finish the last part of the test. She then woke up the minute that she was being brought out of the machine! The nurses were kind of chuckling about how she was able to fight off that much sedation and they said that it can actually be linked to alcohol tolerance, so it looks like our little baby is ready for college already haha!

Emma was incredibly hungry after the test so we went downstairs to the cafeteria for some lunch (which was taken care of for us since we joined the study) and Emma was hilarious. She was "talking" to every person around her and looked like a little bobble head doll! She drank 8 ounces of water, 6 ounces of formula, blueberries, strawberries, cheerios, some bites of mommy's bread and some of the nurse's pizza. :) So much for the eating strike! I think she was yelling the entire walk from lunch to the car, including the two elevator rides!

It was pretty funny actually when she got home because of how crazy she was (which was a side affect of the sedation). It very much helped me get through the day though because I had pretty much hit my breaking point from having to hold her down screaming for these tests. I couldn't help but shed a few tears for my poor peanut during the IV, so her being crazy and hilarious when we got home was actually a big relief!

We should get the results from the test tomorrow, so hopefully we will have good news (no kidney damage) to share!

For now, here is a little taste of what life was like with our little drunken sailor this afternoon. Keep in mind that this was abotu 5 hours after coming out of sedation, after two big meals and a two hour nap. So you can imagine how funny lunch was. :)

Emma & Mr. Bear

Sunday, June 6, 2010

As I mentioned below, Emma's favorite toy has got to be her Mr. Bear. Almost every night, she falls asleep in some crazy position with Mr. Bear, so I started to take a few pictures (shocker I know) and here are a sample of the pictures that I took. It's an every night occurance, and I think this was 7 days straight and right towards the crazy weather changes and Emma coming down with her UTI (fevers) which is why you see such a wide variety of PJs.

11 Months & Some Change...

Emma turned 11 months old a little over a week ago and I am still getting used to it. Exactly three weeks from today, she will turn ONE! It has been amazing to watch her over the past couple of weeks because she is just growing and learning so much, that everyday is different. Just this past weekend, she has taken much more of an interest in walking! She actually stood unassisted for a few seconds this weekend and I pretty much immediately burst into tears. :)

Emma must also be going through a growth spurt because she is pretty much an endless pit now when it comes to food and she is drinking more formula than ever (of course right before we end up giving it up haha). She will not almost consistently polish off her 6 ounce bottle, which she usually has 3 or so a day. At about 10 weeks old, we ended up dropping a bottle mostly just from taking queues from Emma. She is still a little picky about eating, but pretty much wants nothing to do with baby food anymore. She wants the good stuff! I find that I am struggling a bit though trying to think of things that she can eat now. Really the only restrictions at this point are milk (for another month), peanut butter (not until 18 months), honey and shellfish. Those are still the big no-goes but other than that, we are more limited to what Emma can and can't chew. My goal for the next couple of weeks (since she wants big people food anyway), is to try to get her onto what we are having for dinner, at least when possible.

At 11 months old, Emma...
  • Has 6 teeth (with another one just about to pop through).
  • Is now walking up and down furniture and is constantly on the go!
  • She says a couple of words like mama, dada, nana, baba (for bottle), duck, bye bye and can almost say ball.
  • She loves to "play" with Shamus more and more everyday!
  • Has a couple of favorite toys, like her colored rings (just like her Uncle Brian), her stand up piano/table, her toy cell phone from Aunt Mary, her lion toy from her Gigi and Papa, her pink soccer ball at Mimi's house, her little toy puppy "Oscar" and by far the favorite is her pink bear.
  • LOVES the Build-a-Bear that Mommy got from Emma's Aunt Mary a LONG time ago. She loves to listen to the recorded message!
  • Is very weary of strangers and anyone she doesn't know.
  • Points at everything!!!
  • Can now dance!
  • Still loves her Tigger & Pooh cartoon!

Our next step with Emma's VUR is coming up shortly as well. On Tuesday, we are heading back to Johns Hopkins Hospital for the DMSA renal scan, so fingers crossed that the test shows no kidney scarring from her previous UTI/Kidney infection!

Black & White Weans

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