see more pwn and owned pictures
Monday, December 29, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
If Ezekiel isn't eating, sleeping, or cuddling with me, he's hanging out with dad, who sings him Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and reads him books on economics. Here is my sling! In the making! It should sooo be finnished by now, but I had sewing machine problems. Then I figured out the problems, then I ran out of thread. Still out of thread. I'm going to go get more.... soon. Really soon. After I lollygag on the computer and feed the baby. It will hopefully be reversable with the green/blue pattern on one side and a lovely espresso brown on the other.
This is Ezekiel's new cousin! She was born yesterday, which also happened to be her great-grandma Elliott's 82nd birthday AND her Uncle Josh and Aunt Jamie's 3rd wedding anniversary! We're so glad you made it here London! Sending hugs and kisses your way!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I remember my dad teaching me how to wrap presents. He is still the best wrapper I know!
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real is much more fun. We always had a real one growing up. Daniel and I have only ever had a fake one. It's one foot talll.
3. When do you put up the tree? I just put ours up today!
4. When do you take the tree down? After New Year.
5. Do you like eggnog? Mmmm yes I forgot about egg nogg! It doesn't feel like christmas yet... I will have to go get some. Or make some- I think someone gave me a recipe last year.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Ummmm I remember lots of good ones. My parents spoiled me! They always got really good gifts.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Everyone. I am NOT a good gift-buyer. I need you to tell me what you want. I've gotten better, though, being married to the best gift-giver I've ever met.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Probably myself, eh?
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, we have one that Daniel's mom painted.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I don't ever remember doing either. Now that we have a kid, we might have to start.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't remember. I am blessed with forgetfulness.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? All the clamation christmas ones, and then Elf.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Recycled? Um....
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmasy things, like sugar cookies and egg nogg.
16. Lights on the tree? Not on the one-footer.
17. Favorite Christmas song? This year it's "I'll be home for Christmas".
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Growing up we always traveled, but now it's just us stuck down here in Texas so we just hang out with ourselves. We had a really nice Christmas last year, though. It was nice to do our own thing.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher Dancer Prancer Vixen. Comet Cupid Donner Blitzen. Rudolf.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Again, the one-footer can't handle anything on top.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Consumerism for sure!! And feeling kind of guilty because we never get anyone presents.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I'm just not much of a decorator. This isn't a good question for me.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? This seems repetitive now. I don't know. Probably something I slaved over all day that is super duper delicious.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I just wanted my son home and he is!! I would also love a down mattress topper.
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? I don't know. Aimee, Jamie?
27. Does Santa wrap your gift or leave them unwrapped? Who ever heard of leaving gifts unwrapped??? I don't understand! Of course Santa wraps all the presents!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
We are soooo excited. I can't believe it!! We are eating lunch at the mcdonald house for the last time. We packed up and checked out of our hotel. The carseat is all ready to go. I packed up all of Ezekiel's things in the NICU. Tonight our little boy will spend his first night at home! I can't wait!
I still have a cold, but I think I'm almost over it. I got some tylenol and that's helping me feel a little better. I've been wearing a mask in the NICU. On the way home, I will drive and Daniel will sit in the back with Zeke. Then when we get home Daniel will take care of him until I am 100% better. Our little man weighs 7lbs 6oz today! He hardly needs any oxygen at all anymore-- he often goes hours and hours without it. We will still be taking oxygen home, though. Hopefully he won't need it for too long.
Tomorrow a home-health nurse is coming to our house to help us get all settled in and make sure we know how to do everything (which we do). I will be glad for the extra support just to make sure everything goes smoothly. Next week we will have about a gazillion appointments. One with the pediatrician, the optamologist, the pulmatologist, the special baby clinic, and I'm sure there will be more. It will be kind of overwhelming. But good. Now we are starting a new segment of our lives-- the four month NICU experience is OVER. Thank GOD!! This new chunk of life will be the "take my baby to a million doctor appointments and make sure he is developing correctly" chunk. Again, not at all what I had imagined life with a baby to be like, but still OK. I'm learning to be more flexible.
Right now we are just waiting for a phone call from the discharge coordinator so she can come help us get him set up to go. Hopefully we will leave in the next few hours. The next time you all will hear from me, I'll be home!! I will put a million pictures up. And I can't wait to catch up on all your blogs-- I'm so behind! I will be so glad to be back at home... even if we haven't bought any diapers yet.
Monday, December 1, 2008
They are concerened that Ezekiel is not gaining enough weight. It's a forever long story, but the gist is that because of his cronic lung disease they restrict the amount of fluids he can recieve. To make up for fewer calories because of less milk, they add fortifiers and formula to my breast milk to make it have more calories per ounce (they make it have 30, whereas my milk by itself has 22). Well they won't send him home on 30 calorie-per-ounce milk. The most they will send him home on is 27... he's been getting 27 for 5 or 6 days now, but not gaining enough weight. Today they decided to increase the volume and leave him on 27 calorie milk, but they are concerned about the extra fluid affecting his lungs, so, we have to stay here to see how he does. I think he will do fine. I just want to take him home. But it's ok.... soon enough. I guess that isn't the short version.
Meanwhile I got a cold, so I haven't gone to see him in 2 days because I don't want to get him sick. Daniel may have to go back to San Antonio on wednesday, we aren't sure yet. If he does, I will stay here, but no more stipend for a hotel and food, so I guess I will stay at the mcdonald house if they have room. We'll see what happens.
ANYHOW Ezekiel is doing really well. Fortunately he hasn't gotten sick from me, and Lord willing he won't. The last two days he is doing so well that he has even been able to be completely off of oxygen for 2-3 hours at a time!! That is wonderful!! If we don't end up going home until next week, he may not even need to come home on oxygen. That would be awesome!
I'm a little bored out of my mind, being sick and stuck in the hotel. I have nothing to knit with me. I can't believe it! The project I brought with me is all done except for the buttons need sewn on. It is this super cute baby sweater for our friends new baby. Anyhow, I think I will try and find a knitting store to which I can take the tram and get the ingredients for a pair of socks. I really want to learn how to knit socks. :) My big adventure today was coming over to the hospital to drop off milk at the milk bank and come to the mcdonald house to use the internet. woo-hoo. I am also hoping that room service will come while I am gone and give us clean towls and make my bed. :) I can't eat anymore pizza- that's what we've been eating every single night for dinner.
Ok I hope I'm not boring you all out of your minds. This blog isn't nearly so fun without pictures. And let me tell you, I have sooo many adorable pictures of my now-chunky little son. He is such a big boy now! Over 7lbs!! :) He's so precious.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Friday we have our CPR class, and tonight we are going to buy a carseat. Tomorrow they will teach us how to take care of his feeding tube and how to mix his milk. We're working on going home! So exciting! I can't believe it.
Of course this all happened because an optamologist came to look at his eyes again, and they are looking better! As of now, they don't think he will need eye surgery! We are so thankful. Thank you all for your prayers!!!!! I can't believe the end of the NICU is almost in sight. On December 4th it will have been four months.
I'm not sure exactly how much he weighs today, because they keep telling us in grams. So he is 3110 grams. That's somewhere above 6.5 and somewhere below 7lbs.
He's breastfeeding well. My milk has 22 calories per ounce we found out (average is 20), so they are removing some of the extra calories they've been putting in. I'm glad about that. We're breastfeeding 3 times a day, and the rest are tube feedings (with one bottle feed). He doesn't have the strongest suck yet, so I'm hoping it will get stronger... you can pray for that if you're looking for specifics. :)
Alllrighty well we gotta head out to target. I miss you all.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Today we got on the tram intending to go to "Uh downtown". I just couldn't figure out why it was called "Uh". Until Daniel informed me that it stands for the University of Houston. Oh. Anyhow, we never made it quite that far because earlier stops looked more interesting. We got off the tram and started walking around the Houston shopping district. It was a very surreal experience. Almost every single shop was closed. There weren't many cars around. All the people we saw came up and asked us for money. The Macy's sign was covered in more pigeon poop. Even the little pigeons looked pathetic. I felt very out of it and just wanted to get a breath of fresh air and see some grass. It reminded me that I don't like cities. We walked through a mall at 3pm on Saturday, a saturday before Christmas, mind you, and nothing was open. Then we got into an argument about wether they were trying to honor the Sabbath by having everything closed on Saturday. Of course they aren't, says I. Well they could be, says Daniel. Back and forth for a good 10 minutes. Exasperated, we got back on the tram and got off by the row of pigeon-poop trees and the two Starbucks. Ah, back to our new stomping grounds. I felt much better.
Ezekiel is doing good today. He is a breastfeeding champ. I am so proud of him. He was 6lbs 7oz today.
Thanks guys for all your encouragement and your prayers. We are just so thankful to know every one of you!!
Friday, November 21, 2008
1) Ezekiel is now breastfeeding! Yay!! The lactation consultant came and helped me get him to latch on. We are also using a nipple shield, which seems to have been the key. We are breastfeeding four times a day (although he still recieves his normal feeding through a tube after feeding, as our sessions are considered "non-nutritive". This just means he is eating more and hopefully gaining weight!).
2) They are doing a caloric-content test on my milk to find out if he needs fortifiers or not. Hopefully I produce high-calorie milk and we won't need to fortify anymore. They weren't able to do this test at Wilford Hall. I am sooo excited to have this done! It should be done on Monday.
3) He is almost completely off oxygen!! I have a feeling that he will be off of it in the next few days!!!!
4) The doctors/staff let us participate in their daily discussion of our child (called "rounds"). At Wilford we were allowed to listen, but not really allowed to ask too many questions or take up too much time. Here the doctor gave up his chair for me to sit in, and they let us take all the time we want. They seem to really value our input and concerns. Not that the doctors at Wilford didn't-- they did--- it's just a different feel here. Probably the difference between military and civilian hospitals.
Wilford hall was great, and I miss the staff and our friends there. But this hospital is just a step above wilford.
The eye doctor saw Ezekiel yesterday. Right now his Retena is not detached. The Optamologist (Dr. Holz) is coming back the Monday after Thanksgiving to check them again. Please pray he won't need surgery! Please pray for his eye to be healed. We really believe God just used this eye thing to move us over to Texas Children's Hospital where he would be able to do all the things I listed above. Hopefully the next time he gets an eye exam, there will be no problems. Then Ezekiel would be discharged from here and go.... HOME!!!! Oh AND our little boy is growing-- he no longer fits in his preemie clothes! What a big boy!!
Meanwhile between pumping, holding, breastfeeding, and grabing something to eat, Daniel and I are having a good time. I think we will try to go downtown sometime and have a little fun. There is a tram in Houston! We are so excited to take it, and it runs right in front of the hospital. Daniel is much more relaxed since he is not going to work and since this is not a military hospital. When they first told us we were being trasfered to Houston, I completely freaked out, but now that we are here I am soooo glad. It has been such a good thing for Ezekiel, and it's good for us right now, too.
I wish I could post pictures, but that will have to wait until we get home. Thank you everyone for all your prayers. Please keep praying! I will try to update every day or two while we are here.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Children's hospital in Houston actually has the largest NICU in the country. There is something like 300 beds here! It's really easy to get lost. They have a super nice milk bank where I can go to pump, so that's good. We brought a whole lot of frozen milk with us (Ezekiel is now eating more per day than I produce) so he won't need formula. I would post pictures but we can't do that from this computer. But I will do that when we get home.
Ezekiel is supposed to see the opthalmologist in the morning, and then I will let you all know how long we should be staying here. He took the trip really well. We weren't in the ambulance, but they said he slept almost the whole time. When we arrived, he immediately took a whole bottle with no problems! It is possible that we won't even trasnfer back to Wilford hall-- ezekiel may be discharged from here.
I never really knew what a ronald mcdonald house was before now. It's really nice here! There are bedrooms for people to stay in, and then a large common area with a kitchen that has food, a tv, computers, a whole lot of books... etc. It's nice! The only down side is that we can't just plop into a room and stay.... every morning we have to check out with all our stuff, and then we can check back in at 7pm. That sort of stinks. But the ronald mcdonald house is right down the hall from the NICU-- it's literally in the hospital! I think tomorrow we will try to find a hotel. Fortunately the military put Daniel on medical TDY and sooo he has a daily stipend for food, lodging, and gas. Our lodging stipend is $110 a day, food is $54, and gas is just however much we use. I am so relieved we don't have to worry about extra expenses--- we couldn't afford them. AND the army has let Daniel off work until we go back to San Antonio. I don't think they knew what they were in for when Daniel enlisted.... so far Ezekiel has cost them almost 2 million dollars. Yes, you read that right.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Here is the story with MRSA. At least 50% of the general population has an MRSA colonization (ie they carry MRSA but are not infected by it). The percentage is higher in hospitals, because MRSA is mainly found in hospitals... it's a hospital disease. Being infected with MRSA is a totally different thing. Being infected makes you very very sick, and Ezekiel was infected. Now he is better-- he has had 3 negative blood cultures saying he is no longer infected. However, he still has a colonization. Here's the double standard: if most people in the hospital are colonized with MRSA, as Ezekiel is, why is he on contact precautions and everyone else isn't? I'm going to ask the doctors today. And the only right response is for them to either take Ezekiel off or to put themselves on contact precautions. Am I right? I'm right.
The worst part of the conference, though, was when Dr. Kita explained to us that our NICU experience is just the beginning. She told us that for the next 3-5 years Ezekiel will have to see all sorts of therapists. Speech therapists, physical therapists, sensory therapists, every kind of therapist. She said we would have to take him in for therapy multiple times a week, or sometimes people will come to our house. We will have to have home health care help with his oxygen at home. (according to Dr. Kita he will "definitely" come home on oxygen. Pray that he won't need to do this!). This is all just because he was premature. There is nothing specifically wrong with him that they currently know of on which Dr. Kita is basing these statements, other than the fact that he was born early.
Now, I had a nebulous idea floating around in my mind that raising a preemie would be a little different than raising a full term baby. I've at least read a little bit about it. But I kind of thought that it wouldn't be that different. You know, a few extra doctor appointments, maybe he would need glasses, he might be a little shorter or smaller. According to what we were told yesterday, we are in a whole different ball game. We have a "special needs" child. We need to have "early intervention". I absolutely felt slapped in the face. I know some of you are familiar with some of these things. I know very little about what it will be like to have to live with all this. And of course, it could just be that the doctors are giving us the worst case scenario when they emphatically say he will need all this therapy and help.
This is all about perspective, too. Daniel has a different perspective. He was a "special needs" kid. He was in the special-ed classes in grade school. He was diagnosed with several learning disabilities. And now he is incredibly intelligent, as most of you know. He says that all of the one-on-one attention he got as a child helped him a lot. Of course I want to give Ezekiel the best chance possible, and if that means therapy then I want him to have therapy. I just had always thought that Daniel and I would be able to give our children the best care without "prefessionals" intervening. One more thing lost.
The other worst part of our care conference yesterday was Dr. Kita confronting us on the things we had apprently been doing wrong. A little slap on the hand for breaking rules that no one had told us about. That was incredibly frustrating and I don't want to write much more about it. Today Dr. Guerra (aka Dr. Russia from previous posts) apologized to Daniel for the manner in which we were confronted about these things. So that at least makes me feel better. Dr. Guerra is wonderful. We really really like him.
Obviously I am very frustrated today. Most of the doctors have been wonderful, and we have had a great experience so far with the exception of just a couple of nurses. But Dr. Kita is making things a lot more uncomfortable for us. We don't feel very comfortable in the NICU anymore. But anyway I need to go pump so no more writing for now.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Ezekiel weighed 4lbs 3oz today. Just one more ounce and he will be double his birthweight! He is doing a whole lot better than the last few weeks, although the doctors tell us his lungs are still quite full of mucus. Poor little guy. We've been able to hold him a lot more because.... he moved into a big boy bed! He is no longer in his incubator, he is in an open crib. He was able to move because he is now keeping his temperature up on his own. He seems to like being held, and is starting to stare at us for longer periods of time. He also chomps away on his paci durring most of his waking hours. Soon enough we will be able to start trying to bottle/breast feed. The doctors have talked about the possibility of him going home on oxygen. I'm not too excited about that, I wish he could come home with no "strings" attached. But... it would be better to have him home sooner rather than later.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
This is the Constitutional Party candidate for president Chuck Baldwin talking about abortion and congressman Ron Paul's Sanctity of Life Act. We are voting for this dude. I know he won't win, but I just can't vote for either McCain or Obama. This is who Ron Paul is endorsing for president.
I have always been against abortion, but after seeing such tiny tiny babies in the NICU, I feel much more strongly than I did before. There is a 24 week, 1lb 1oz baby in there with us. Her name is Elizabeth. And she is alive and doing well outside her mother's womb. It is a horrible evil that the so-called pro-life republicans have had the ability to overturn roe vs. wade for so many years and haven't done so. I can't even write about it- it makes me too angry. I think the information in this video speaks for itself.
So yesterday I asked for a list of the vaccines they would have started, and they gave me information packets on 5.
Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib)
Diptheria Tetanus & Pertussis (DTaP)
Just from reading the packets, we have decided NO on the hepatitis B, and I am thinking no for the DTaP. I think we may get the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, because the doctors say Ezekiel has cronic lung disease (we're praying about that!) and that is apparently a risk factor in getting pneumococcal disease.
One thing I found interesting is that on these information packets from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (center for disease control prevention) it says, "Children who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before gettting ----- vaccine."
Alrighty, NICU doctors, I love and respect you all very much, but Ezekiel is still recovering from mrsa and pneumonia, and you were going to stick him with all these vaccines that clearly say to wait until a child is healthy before administering them?? What's up with that???
I'm sure some of you are concerned that I am even considering not vaccinating my child. And some of you are concerned that I would consider giving him any vaccines at all. I'm not on either side of the fence here.... I am leaning towards the non-vaccinating side, but I do see the benefits of vaccination, and I understand a certain percentage of the popluation needs to be vaccinated to keep polio, etc, from resurfacing. Or at least I understand that argument.... I don't know if it is valid or not. Anyhow, I am certainly not going to stick my child with a bunch of vaccinations without knowing what they are, what their side effects could be, etc. Reading the information put out by the U.S. Dept. of Health is not satisfactory to me. I can't even imagine what sort of corruption could be going on between them and say, merck. I'm sure many of you already know I have little to no trust in the FDA. Sigh.... Maybe Daniel will write a blog for me about that....
Alright, with all that said, I want to be objective and fair. I don't want to harm my child either way-- vaccinations or not. Aimee, your wish has come true! I'm doing your vaccine research for you!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
He is doing well off the ventilator. Last night I got to hold him for about 2 hours- we had so much cuddly fun. :) Ok, so he slept... and I had fun. All of the night nurses are wonderful- it's nice to be there at night. I took them all pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Our nurse last night, Greg, put this adorably-dorky little "ourfit" on him-- it sort of wraps around him and velcrows on (to have easy access to all the iv's and things). Too cute! This was the first time he wore clothes!!
Daniel is reading this book and is now trying a raw milk diet. We get our organic, grass-fed raw milk from Bob who delivers milk to San Antonio every 2 weeks. We got 18 gallons this week (gasp)!! There isn't room in the fridge for much else right now. I will let you know how Daniel's diet goes. He isn't dieting to loose weight (he has none to loose!)-- he is just seeing how he feels when he is done. This is a 2 week experiment.
The other day one of our chickens layed a giant egg. When we cracked it open, this is what was inside... ...Another egg! A small one, none the less, but still an egg.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 C. Flour
1 C. Quick or old fashioned oats
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cinnamon (I put 1.5)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 C. Butter, softened
1 C. Firmly packed brown sugar
1 C. Granulated sugar (I leave this out)
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 C. Canned pumpkin
1 C. Chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine dry ingredients except sugar, stir.
In a separate bowl, cream butter till fluffy. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes (I only bake for 15. Maybe this has something to do with the missing cup of sugar?)
Eat cookies with a loved one in front of a big fire with hot apple cider wearing warm fuzzy sweaters. And warm fuzzy socks. :)