Some days...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Some with The Squishy just makes you feel like this...

If he wasn't so darn cute, he would already have been grounded for life.

Girls Night Out!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm not usually a big "going out" fan anymore. I've been that way for a while. I think it's built into my and the hubby's DNA. Don't get me wrong, we will go out to dinner, but usually not until a Birthday or Anniversary comes up. Even when we were dating, we were always the "lets order in" or "lets get the food and bring it back" kind of people. I think it was our first Valentine's Day where we tried to go out to eat, waited for a table for about 2 hours, got our food to go and ate it in the hubby's living room.

Having said that, my love of "girls night out" has been growing since being a mom. Not because we get crazy and go dancing, but it's one of the very few places that I feel like me again. Not the mom-me. Not the employee-me. Not the wife-me. Not the sibling-me. Just me. Yes, we are lame and we talk about our kids, but we get it. We are all moms and that pretty much consumes all of us (which is should - it is the biggest most important and rewarding job there is), but its just nice to have other people get it.

I usually end up feeling guilty about going out for girls night. But it usually only lasts for 20 minutes. :) 

Sometimes its just nice to feel free, even if its for a couple of hours. Free to say what we are thinking and feeling without worrying about who is listening, or what will happen if someone accidently says "damn", or to pretend that we are the carefree, perfect moms that we all try to be (or secretly wish we were). It's about not having to hide about being able to relax, be ourselves and be accepted for just that. It's about not having anyone ask you anything, require assistance or touch you. It's about not having to wipe any noses, or fight with someone that its time to go to bed. It's about finding your way back to that inner rock star that you used to be, even it is just for dinner and a movie.

So here's to wearing your hair down, painting your fingernails, and putting on a pair of high heels even for just a few hours, to just be yourself again.

VCUG/DMSA Round Somethingorother

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One of the reasons that May has been so crazy for us (and for my lack of posting) was that we were rapidly approaching another big day for Emma when it comes to her VUR. I pretty much just tried to put this day out of my mind for most of May, but the closer we got the most I couldn't shake the awful feeling of having to put my Emma Kathryn through another day like this.

I have to preface this by saying that we are INCREDIBLY lucky when it comes to our babies. So much so, that I can't even put into words how blessed we are. The babies are truly healthy and happy and I couldn't ask God for anything more in my life. It's pretty easy to slip into the "Whoa is me" mode, like I'm sure we did before Emma's VCUG/DMSA scan this year, but it sure didn't take long before being at one of the best hospitals in the country, to be reminded of how truly lucky we are.

It's been just about one year since Emma's last DMSA scan. The DMSA scan is a nuclear medicine test that provides a detailed picture not only of how the kidneys look, but how they are working. So during this test, they look for things like kidney scarring/damage as well as how hard both the kidneys are working. It seems like each year it gets harder and harder to put Emma through this as she gets older but its what she needs, so as her parents, that's what we are going to do. This year, was a doozy though. We have done both the VCUG and DMSA tests before, but never in the same day (the VCUG test is the test where you determine if the reflux is still present or not). Again, have to pause here and say how truly amazing the staff was at the hospital. It is incredibly hard to schedule these tests because there is a lot timing restrictions that go into it, and they made special arrangements just for us to keep from having to shuttle us back and forth between buildings (they are moving to a new children's center). Amazing.

First up was Emma's physical. Although she goes regularly to her pediatrician, she has to get a physical the morning of the tests to get the green light, mostly for the sedation portion. Emma did absolutely amazing during this part. Because of her VUR and what she has had to go through, Emma developed a big fear of doctors. So much so, that we couldn't even take her to the vet when we brought Shamie in, because she would freak out when the vet walked in with their white coat. But, we have been working through that and she was so brave when it came to getting everything done. All went really well until we had to get her IV to get the DMSA fluid started before we were rushed off to the VCUG test first.

Once the IV was in and her arm was all taped up against the board, we were off to the VCUG test which is certainly the worst of the two. This is the test that determines if she still has VUR or not. It basically consists of stripping her down (which is scary enough for a toddler), and stressing her bladder as much as possible by filling it through a catheter and taking x-ray images throughout the process. No sedation. Awful. I have never heard Emma scream like that in her life. She was so scared. She didn't understand. Wes and I had to help hold her down. We just wanted to rip her off that table and run. This was the first time we had gone through this procedure while she is potty trained, so trying to convince a toddler that has just been traumatized that she needs to pee on the table (after you just spent months telling her she can only pee on the potty) was pretty tough. Finally, she couldn't hold it anymore (and was complaining that her belly hurt) and she got some relief. Soon it was over (and I know there is a lot that I am missing, partly because I just don't want to relive that moment) and we got Emma dressed and settled and I have never been so proud of my baby girl. She was such a trooper. Probably more so than Mommy and Daddy.

We found out right then and there, she still has VUR. VCUG FAIL.

Not only does she still have it, but it's worse than we had originally thought. It's a Grade 2/3 which means the urine is backing up all the way into her kidneys. Ugh. During her first VCUG test, when she was just under one, we were told that she had Grade 1 VUR, maybe Grade 2. During that test, the little stinker kept peeing on the table as they were trying to fill up (stress) her bladder, so they never got it truly full. But they sure did this time.

I'm pretty sure Wes and I were devastated at this point. Again, not because this is life threatening, but because we just wanted this to be over for our baby. We were both convinced going into this day that it was gone. We wanted to be done with being worried that she has a bladder or kidney infection every time she gets a fever. We wanted to be done with catheters at the doctor's office every time she has a fever to check for UTIs. No more VCUG tests. No more DMSA scans. We just wanted it done for her. But, it was time to move on and deal with the path forward. 

At this point, although we were upset that she still had VUR, I felt slightly relieved. We still had several hours to go, but the next step was to have Emma sedated for the DMSA scan. At least she wouldn't be screaming. She wouldn't be in pain. We even tried to do the test without the sedation because my poor baby was so tired and wiped from the VCUG, that she just fell asleep in Daddy's arms. Unfortunately, she woke right up when we tried to move, so we had to go with the sedation. This time though, it went much smoother. She didn't fight it, she didn't thrash around, she just fell right back to sleep.

Then we sat. And sat.
And watched our baby girl as she slept on the table for an hour.
We giggled as she let out a toot here and there, and snorted a few times, but then just kept sleeping.

We watched as the giant camera, rotated around her, looking like it was filling her up with gas.
 It was such a big machine, for such a tiny baby.

What is so amazing about this, is that they time everything so perfectly, that the minute (and I mean the minute) the test was over, Emma was ready to wake up. I am so thankful that she came out of her sedation so well. She was certainly loopy and tired, but nothing like last year or the year before.

We then headed off to get some lunch in the cafeteria before our appointment with Emma's urologist. At this point, we were just happy to have the hard parts over with, and to have Emma doing so well. She ate a HUGE lunch (which she has done the previous two times as well) and we were off to our appointment.

Long story short, we met with the urologist for probably half hour after to discuss the results and path forward. We came to find out a day or two later, that there was a small amount of possible kidney scarring on her left kidney (the side where she has reflux) but the hospital had just switched to much more powerful cameras, so they were taking the position that it was always there (probably from her original bladder/kidney infection) but that they just couldn't see it before. We then went over what our options are for moving forward:
  • A) daily antibiotics (now that Emma still has VUR she gets kicked off the study she was part of) along with strict potty and eating rules
  • B) DEFLUX (injecting a bulking agent into the bladder wall around the opening of the ureter where reflux happens to stop the back flow of urine to the kidneys) or
  • C) surgery (sever the ureter from the bladder and then reattach it at a different angle so that urine can't back up).
After talking it over with a lot of different people (including her pediatrician that we 100% trust), we pretty much immediately ruled out the major surgery at this point. So far, she hasn't had a UTI since we first found out before she turned one. So to us, even though surgery is the only true fix, it's not justified at this point. Same for the DEFLUX. At this point, our decision is if we should keep Emma on the antibiotics, or try to manage it with just the strict eating and potty routines. I think for now, we are going to keep her on the medicine since the goal is to prevent long term kidney damage and at least give her the next year to try to grow out of this (there was a much higher chance she would grow out of this by the age of 3, but since that didn't happen, we are keeping our fingers crossed that she just needs another year).

So, here we are, with a new prescription for antibiotics and praying that when we repeat the awful VCUG in a year, that Emma will have outgrown VUR for good.  

Emma hasn't really spoken much about the day she got "pictures of her belly" taken, so I'm hoping that she doesn't even remember much of it. But she probably remembers the 1,576 treats that Mommy and Daddy gave her for the rest of the day to try to make up for it. :)

You know you're a mom when...

Monday, May 21, 2012

There seem to be a lot of things that happen to me throughout the day where I stop and think "You know, only another Mom would understand that". So I started to write those things down, and this is what I came up with.

Here is my top ten list of things that happen, only when you are a mom, and that only other mom's truly understand.
  1. It looks like you have a french manicure, but really, it's just Desitin stuck under your fingernails.
  2. Your iPhone smells like bananas one day, and pancakes the next.
  3. You are late for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, except girls night out, for which you show up four hours early for. 
  4. Your kids have nicer shoes and clothes then you do.
  5. Your husband comments on how nice you look dressed up when are wearing a pair of jeans, and a tee-shirt that doesn't have any stains on it.
  6. It makes your week to have an uninterrupted shower without tiny little hands banging on the shower door, or sifting through the trash, or throwing a toy in the toilet or poking a sibling in the eye.
  7. You walk around for at least an hour and a half every day with a Cheerio stuck to you in some unknown location. Oh, and it's location is only "unknown" to you. Everyone else knows where it is.
  8. You haven't gone to the bathroom by yourself in three years.
  9. Someone asks you to borrow a nickel, and in order to find it at the bottom of your purse, you have to pull out two diapers, a sippy cup, some type of container of Cheerios (sans the one stuck to your "unknown location"), a bottle of Tylenol, three bottles of hand sanitizer, an extra outfit and thirty seven coupons to Gymboree.
  10. You would give your own life for your babies, without even thinking about it for a second.

Cooking Up A Little DIY Room Renovation for My Emma Kathryn...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I think I am going to go ahead and just stop saying that I'm going to start posting more because whoa! Holy two posts a month batman! I know. I am w.i.l.d. Things have been crazy around here lately but I have so many things cooking in my mind to post about that I have to get started!

Despite all the craziness that is our lives with two toddlers, we have started another little DIY project. This time though, it's for my baby Emma Kathryn (and yes, I fully realize she is not a baby but maybe if I keep saying that, she will stop getting bigger and never grow up).

She has gotten so big lately, that it takes my breath away. She is my amazing Emma Kathryn an I really wanted to do something special for her. The original idea was to give her a room makeover for her Birthday, but we couldn't figure out how to do it overnight and frankly, I was just too excited not to start. We still have a long way to go...but let's see where we started.

This is what Emma's room looked like when we first moved into the house (and probably for a couple of months afterwards). I can't even remember it like this. Then again I can't even remember my life without my Emma Kathryn, so I suppose it makes sense.

After a couple transformations pre-baby, we ended up with this as Emma's room for almost three years. We had a few small changes and these pictures are a little bit old, but you get the idea. Emma apparently didn't feel like wearing any pants that day. To this day, I still love the high chair rail, and the white paint underneath. It's clean, it's crisp. I have very limited style when it comes to home decorating so if I don't have an inspiration picture, I'm pretty lost. I think that kind of happened in Emma's room (and apparently I have a fear of large frames because her pictures are way too small!).

I like adding little personal things, even if no one knows about them. Like those three flower pictures hanging on Emma's wall. Those are pictures that I took, of the flowers that my mom gave me for my 30th Birthday. The rocker you see on the left hand side, was Emma's great Grandmother's, my Muzzy. It's pretty old and warn, but I just can't build up the nerve to try to paint it or get new padding. I'm too afraid to mess it up.

For a long time now, Emma has been sleeping in her "big girl bed" which was just her crib with the front taken off. But no longer. A few weeks ago, I ordered the conversion kit and Emma has now been sleeping in her TRUE big girl bed. She looks so tiny in it.

See that picture in the middle of her windows? That was made by Emma's incredibly talented Gigi. Her Daddy has the same thing when he was little. Wait until you see Gigi's awesome Hot Air Balloons that she made Emma and Jackson. Amazing.

Oh, and yeah, that's "Oscar" getting his picture taken....

I was so excited to get started on Emma's new big girl room, that I didn't realize how much I was going to miss all the little things that she has had since she was a baby. Like her wall decals, that I remember spending what seemed like forever putting up while I was pregnant. Doing everything in my power to make them perfect for my soon to be baby girl.

Her tiny little hand prints and foot prints that hang on the wall....

Her little train from her Mimi, that she gets to add to every year (that's not going away, just need a better place for it).

It seems like so long ago, that we had crib bumpers and mobiles hanging in my baby girl's room...

So, you have to wait for the big reveal and pictures of Emma's new big girl room when we are done (my goal is still to be done by her Birthday) but we are making some progress. Along with Emma's full-size bed, new sheets, new pillows and new comforter, we have repainted the top part of her walls a light lavender and rearranged the room to fit her new bed. So next on the list is all the little things. New lamp shade, new curtains and new wall decor (which is where I am really stuck). 

I want it to be girly. I want it to be simple. I want it to be perfect for my baby girl.

Oh, and just a little quick snapshot of Emma Kathryn in her big girl bed for the first night ever....

The Squishy @ 13 Months!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I know, I know, long time no blog. Now even the hubby is getting on my case! Sheesh! A girl just can't catch a break!! Anyway...I'm a month late in posting this (ergo the title of The Squishy @ 13 Months as opposed to The Squishy @ 1 Year like I had originally planned) but you get the idea. So, here's a little bit about our little manly, at a little over a year old.

Age: One Year! (13 Months)

Weight: 22 lbs (50th Percentile) This was his weight from his one year checkup.

Height: 30 Inches (50th Percentile) This was his height from his one year checkup.

Size: Jackson "The Squishy" Odom is in all 18 month clothes now. Some of which are big, some of which fit perfectly depending on the brand. We tend to think that he is HUGE but I think its pretty much because his big sister is so small for her age (plus he is right in the middle of the curve at the 50th percentile for both height and weight, and being an engineer, I like data and curves so I tend to believe that first). Although he is starting to lose some of his baby fat, he sure still has hit baby chunk and I love it! His thighs are huge and he has the most manly, swollen little hands and feet. (They aren't really swollen, they just look like it they are so darn chunky!)

Dislikes: The last time I did this update, I think it was when Jackson was 8 months old and I said that overall, he didn't have too many dislikes. Well, boy has that changed! This little stinker has plenty of dislikes and certainly makes it known! One thing is pretty consistent though which is when he is tired, he just wants to go to sleep. He wants his bed and that's it. He is becoming more and more of a picky eater lately though and will eat some veggies, but not many. Lately, he hasn't been a big fan whatever kind of meat we are having for dinner, like chicken or pork or steak. Oh, and this kid HATES eggs. Won't touch scrambled eggs if his life depended on it. Yet will chow down on a crab cake given the chance. At this age, Emma loved to eat just plain ham or turkey (think lunch meat) but not The Squishy. Now if you put it on bread with some mayo, mustard and cheese, he will eat almost an entire sandwich.

Words: So this one is hard because Squishy started talking just around his first Birthday and had a couple of words. Mama, Dada and Hi. But then it was like he just decided to stop! So he has been pretty quiet lately but just recently started talking a lot more. We have heard several "Daddy"s, also "eye", lately, and randomly you might hear something that you think might have been a word, but then you won't hear it for a few weeks. It's pretty interesting to compare him to his big sister at this age though. At 13 months, Emma could say Mama, Dada, Duck, Fan, Cracker, Cupcake, Crab, Car, Cup, Pop, Papa, Dog, Ball and Emma. She also knew several animal sounds too when you asked  her. Squishy will repeat the sound of a dinosaur or a monkey, but won't make the sound on his own. He has really started trying though and its more than just the normal babble because he will say the same sounds (he thinks they are words) when pointing to something. So he is trying!

Personality: The Squishy continues to have the same personality as he grows, it just seems to magnify! He is still very much like his sister in the fact that he is one happy baby. We get lots of comments from strangers at how happy he is. Mostly because they don't live in our house from the hours of 5:30 to 7:30PM. :) That is one part where The Squishy is NOT like his sister. Every night, he gets VERY demanding for those two hours. I really don't know where it came from. I'm not the kind of mom that carries him around all night but you wouldn't think that from the way he follows me around and cries every night. Maybe it stems from his colic as an infant, who knows, but that is one thing that makes the evenings a bit tough. He continues to play hard, and then crash hard at night. He is still a lover. He is still a snuggler (on his own terms though) and he still loves flirting with the ladies. His level of determination has only increased and man is this little guy stubborn!! If you take something away from him and he disagrees with that decision, he continues to let you know that and now, does it by yelling and screaming and folding himself in half and laying on the floor. Yup. We are SO going to be THOSE parents with the kid flapping around like a fish out of water screaming on the floor in Target. Despite his manly little temper tantrums, The Squishy is still a mama's boy (at least so far) and I can't help but just soak up every last minute of it. 

Eating: Overall, Jackson continues to be a pretty good eater, despite having his picky days. He was extremely easy to transition to "people" food as we call it from his baby food which he gladly gave up. He has also been on whole milk since his birthday weekend. He is learning to use a fork and spoon now as well! He still can't be trusted with a plate or bowl full or anything because it will end up on his head, but, so far so good with the fork and spoon. At this point, Emma was still getting a couple bottles (partly because I really didn't know when to transition her and we also switched pediatricians and our new pediatrician was pro-sippy cups and regular cups a little earlier).

Milestones: I'm sure that I am going to forget something here because there seems to be a new milestone everyday! So off the top of my head, Jackson started walking at 10 months, and is now learning to walk backwards, sideways and is even starting to run (mostly when he gets wind of Mommy or Daddy wanting to take something away from him). :) The Squishy is big into pointing now as well, and talking (like I mentioned above). Oh! And this kid can bust a move! Bring on the dancing shoes!

Favorite Things: Hmmm, let's see. Well, first and foremost, The Squishy's favorite stuffed animal is his abominable snowman! Abominable snowman is to Jackson, as Pink Bear is to Emma. He does take after his sister in this category as well as he loves stuffed animals! He loves to play outside and isn't afraid of the dirt by any means. The Squishy also loves his big sister. Just recently, he is started to pay more attention to television (and yes, we are THOSE horrible parents that let their one year old watch a TV show every now and then). He seems to be a big fan of The Fresh Beat Band.

Movement: Yes. All the time. :)

Teeth: He hasn't cut any teeth in a few months though and still has his top four and bottom two.

Sleeping: Just around his first birthday we started to transition the Squishy down to one nap. It was touch and go for a few weeks, and we even backed off a little because the little man sometimes still needed that cat nap to get him through the morning. He is fully on one nap though now, and usually sleeps from 1:00 to 3:30 or so. Granted, he seems to do much better during the week than on the weekends when he is famous for sleeping for an hour total. Stinker. He is pretty consistent with his bedtime and is usually down at 7:30. Sometimes we might stretch it to 8:00 if he had a great nap, and there are a lot of nights where its a stretch to get him to 7:00PM on short naps. The Squishy usually "sleeps in" until about 6:30 in the morning. Oh, and just like his big sissy, he still sleeps in the same position every night. On his belly, snuggled up tight with "Bom Bom".

So there you have it! I am sure there is a lot that I am forgetting, but this little man keeps us on our toes for sure. I can't wait to see what he is like as he grows older. As long as he keeps that love of snuggling his Mama, we will be okay. :)

site design by designer blogs