Monday, December 29, 2008

Daniel would sooo do this.

I admire this guy's creativity.  I say this is a creative-WINboat.  Oh, and I don't know why the picture is hanging off the side of my blog.  Oh well.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Another little video

This is Ezekiel with his girlfriend, Aleah. This is from last week-ish. They had fun :)

A little video

Merry Christmas Eve Ezekiel!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No longer Backyard Farmers! :( :( :( :(

Look at that handsome little man!   There is no denying that he looks some like me.  I'm the third picture.

He's waving at you!
We will no longer be "backyard farmers."  It's so sad.  We sold our cute little goats and bunnies (except for Hunza, of course) this week because we are starting to get ready to sell our house.  You can't very well sell a suburban house with a backyard full of.... 5 chickens, 3 rabbits, 2 goats, and 2 ducks.  It just doesn't fly.  So I finally put an ad up on Craigslist and got quite a few responses.  The first guy to respond was super cool-- he lives in a sustainable intentional community and has his PhD in sustainable agriculture or something like that!  We were sooo excited- he does all sorts of cool things (like living in a house made of shipping containers and going on humanitarian missions teaching people how to make windmills and organic farming and everything!!) and was really really nice.  He was great with the animals (he bought the two rabbits and the goats) and I felt very satisfied for them to go to a GOOD new home.  He told us we were welcome to come out to the farm anytime and see things.  They even teach classes at their farm about everything they do, and he writes papers about all of it.  So cool!!  Here is their community farm, although their website needs a little love.  Click here to see what they are all about!

Since Daniel took down the rabbit housing, Hunza is hanging out on the ground until we come up with a new plan for him (he's been banished to the great outdoors since Ezekiel has come home).  The chickens come to check things out.   This was too funny- they were so curious.  At least  Hunza didn't seem to mind.  
We're keeping the chickens until we actually put the house on the market and get ready to move, since they are such good layers and they are so easy to take care of.  At least we will still have them.... the backyard is so boring now!  I will have to change the title of my blog.  

I guess the plus out of all this is that we got $140 for selling the animals, which we decided to use for Christmas money.  We weren't going to get eachother anything, but now we each get $70... we're waiting until after Christmas to get all the after Christmas sales and we are exchanging gifts on New Years.   It will be fun.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

5lbs potatoes + 3lbs rice = 8lbs Ezekiel

I finnished my sling!!  Before I actually put Ezekiel in it, I wore it around with a bag of potatoes and a bag of rice to get used to the way it feels.  Let me just tell you..... 

           Zeke LOVES this thing!!  

I'm happy with the way it turned out, especially for my first try.  I ordered 5 more sets of rings because I know about a katrillion pregnant people who will be wanting baby gifts, and I want a second.. third.... fourth one for myself.  I think I will have to order more rings.  
This one is made of two layers of plain old cotton.  It is in theory reversable, although I think I prefer the brown being on the outside (except the brown tends to gather lint).  I made it 30" wide by 2.5 yards long, which was the largest size according to the directions.  I think for the next one I will make it 26" wide, as the pleated area is so large it either inhibits the use of my left arm or cuts into my neck, depending on how it's worn.  I am happy with the length, though-- I like the long tail.  I think I will also make future slings with just one layer of heavier material instead of two layers of medium weight material-- this one is a little bulky (although it's getting broken in).  

Ezekiel does not want to be put down.  He wants to be in this thing all the time-- I'm wearing him right now as I type!  And he's sleeping!  We tend to get a little sweaty in the sling, so he's just in his diaper.  I'm a little worried that he will sleep all day and then be up all night- as it is, he likes to be awake from about 3-5am.  I'm glad he's so happy in this thing, because (at least the last few days) he seems to be kind of a fussy baby.  He's rarely content to just hang out with himself.  Now he can hang out with me!  We're totally portable!  Well, within the 25 feet of his oxygen tube, that is.   :)  Here is an awesome website about baby wearing!

Alright he's getting hungry- bye!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Darling little babies

Our friends Kyle and Sarah stopped by the other day with their new little girl, Aleah Corinne.  Here are the little babies together!  Aleah is quite a chunky little thing, already a whopping 10lbs!!  She is so beautiful!  She kept hitting Ezekiel in the face, and he kept sleeping.  Notice him in his stylin sweater!!  He finally grew into it!  He will be wearing it every day until he outgrows it, I'm sure.  
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.   
And here is the little man right now as I type.  He is snoozing away.  (I know you aren't supposed to put babies to sleep on their tummies, but he's on monitors so we know if he isn't ok.  We won't do it once he's off oxygen/monitors/etc.  I could hear that lecture forming in your head!) 
Yesterday he had an appointment at the special baby clinic, which is where he will be followed by the neonatologists to check his development, etc.  Good news-- he's already a whopping 8lbs 2oz!!  So between Monday and Thursday he gained 6oz!  Since he is growing so well they want us to start weaning him off his feeding tube, which is fine by me.  Now we are just bottle feeding him when he seems hungry instead of bottle/tube feeding on a strict schedule.  I like this new arrangement much better.  I know there is a lot to be said for keeping babies on schedules, but the hospital schedule was too rigorous.  And he's doing great today!  If he keeps up the good work for the next few days, we can take the tube out.  YAY!

Today we had an opthalmology appointment.  Dr. Zumbro (the opthalmologist who sent us to Houston- we love you Dr. Zumbro!) said his eyes look great!!  He doesn't see any problems any more.  We have another follow up appointment the 22nd, but it doesn't seem as if he will have any long lasting eye problems.  We thanked Dr. Zumbro for sending us to Houston, explaining to him that if we had stayed at Wilford hall, we would still be in the hospital for a while.  He was pleased that he could help us out, saying with a smile, "Well, do you believe in providence?"  Yes! We do!  He's a really nice man.  

Both of the men in my houshold are sleeping away right now.  It's quiet and kind of warm in here.  I'm sipping my coffee.  I'm happy.  :)  Seriously, every single time I make a cup of coffee, I thank God that he created it.  I love coffee.  I love that God made Coffee.  

Alright off to buy thread and finnish my sling.  I want it finnished so badly, I practically dream about it.  It better turn out as good as I imagine!  If it does, you all will know what to expect from me for future baby gifts :)  

Happy Birthday!!

London Avery Pike
December 11, 2008
7lbs 11oz

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

Christmasy stuff

tagged by Shell-bell, Christmas traditions!

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!

Ok I am tagging ALL of you!

Monday, December 8, 2008

We made it home!

We made it home!!  We're here!  

I meant to write sooner, but being a mom is some busy work!  Busy, happy, wonderful work.  I don't really mind at all getting up at 3am to feed him.  I don't mind when he cries.  I feel completely happy now that everything is (almost) the way it was supposed to be.  I've even lost 3lbs since we've been home!  Yay no more stress!

We had a nice trip back from Houston-- Ezekiel just slept the whole way.  When we left the hospital, he was 7lbs 6oz.  Today he had his first pediatric appointment, and he weighed 7lbs 13oz which also happens to be Daniel's birth weight!  That was kind of a land-mark for me and I've been waiting for him to hit that weight, so I felt very blessed that the day we took him to the doctors just happened to be the day he weighed 7lbs 13oz.  :)  The pediatrician was wonderful-- I really really liked him.  He reminded me of a mix between my cousin Brian and our favorite nicu nurse, Greg.  I was worried about getting a stinky doctor, but I couldn't have been happier with this guy.  

We have 3 or 4 doctors appointments this week.  It's a busy week for us.  When we went to the hospital today we realized we need to get a stroller.  It's hard work lugging around a car seat full of baby and a diaper bag full of oxygen canisters and monitors.  What I would rather do, though, is finnish the baby sling I am supposed to make.  Then he can be on the front half of me, and I can put the oxygen and monitor in a backpack and just wear it.  Strollers just seem so bulky to me.  Fortunately nearly the entire time we were at the hospital (like 3 hours) he just slept so that made things easier.  

I don't know what else to say.  I could go on and on or I could stop now.  We just love love love having him home.  He is such a little bundle of joy!  OH AND he is almost rolling over!  We think he will probably do it before the end of the week.  He just works and works at it, and he can get on his side-- he just needs to do that last little transition from side to tummy.  It's so cute!  He's also making much better eye contact since we've been home-- this was something I was concerned about in the hospital- he would never really look right at you, he always averted his eyes.  But now he will just stare right at us.  He seems really happy at home.  

Here's Ezekiel and Daddy on the first night home.

Ezekiel loves staring at his dragon that he got from some nice ladies at the hospital.

This is him in his bouncy chair in the NICU.  He loved this thing! 
Here is a picture of him without anything on his face!  Isn't he handsom? :)
Ok more pictures later!  I gotta go feed this little guy.  

Thursday, December 4, 2008


We're going home!! HOME HOME HOME!!!



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

Not yet :( Boo hospital!!

We're NOT going home today. Should I be surprised??

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

Almost four months AND.....

It looks like (hold breath, cross fingers, say a prayer)..... Ezekiel should be going home Monday!! Don't say it too loud-- someone may hear and then it could be all ruined. I'm not a superstitious person, really at all. But it has been months and months of, "You can go home in just 2 or 3 weeks". So when you hear that over and over it's hard to believe it could actually happen. But it looks like we are almost there!

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

Pigeon poop

The walk from the hotel to the hospital is one block long. There are trams running both directions in the middle of the road. We pass Starbucks, Chipotle, another Starbucks, a subway, an empty store, and a cvs on the treck to the hospital. Between the road and the sidewalk there are rows of trees that birds like to sit in. Swarms of pigeons. The sidewalk is speckled with poop. Every time we walk there I try to walk under the overhang of the building to avoid becoming a poop head. I guess last night I didn't do so well, since when I got to the hotel I looked down at my sweatshirt and thought to myself, "Ezekiel puked on me!" No, actually, he didn't. You always think it won't happen to you.

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

This hospital is awesome

I love Texas Children's Hospital. This is just a great place. Here's why:

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

Howdy from Houston

Hi guys! So we made it here just fine. And we are totally impressed with the NICU so far. Sigh. It's been a long day of waking up early, packing, driving to houston, getting settled in, looking for a hotel, not finding one, checking into the ronald mcdonald house (which is where I am at now), and finally ordering a pizza for dinner. Insert pumping between every activity, and you have my day thus far.

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


I am so sorry I haven't written in so long.  I am just so so worn out!  I want to write and put pictures up, etc, but when I have free time I just want to totally zone out.  Or sleep.  I'm sorry guys.  I do love you all.

We are going to Houston tomorrow-- as in all 3 of us.  The opthalmologist thinks Ezekiel may need eye surgery to avoid retena detatchment and therefore blindness.  There are no pediatric opthalmologists who perform this surgery in San Antonio, so we are headed to Houston.  HOPEFULLY he will NOT need surgery-- Please please please pray that the doctors will just be amazed at how his eye has healed.  If he does need surgery, we will be staying in Houston for at least 2 weeks.  So if you want to get a hold of us, please try our cell phone.  

Please pray for me, I just don't feel like I can handle this.  I have become incredibly routine-dependent durring these last few months, and so to have to pack for an undetermined amount of time at the drop of a hat and leave my house and my "normal" life is really difficult for me right now.  Not to mention how worried I am about Ezekiel.  If he has to get this surgery, he will have to be put back on a ventilator.  That is just so scary, since the last time he was on one he almost died from a pneumothorax (the pressure from the ventilator popped a hole in his lungs and he had to get 3 chest tubes).  Please pray.  

Sorry no new pictures but I am in a hurry to go to bed so I can get up early to pack.  I will try to update again as soon as possible.  I don't know what sort of internet access we will have in Houston.  No laptop, so we are a little stuck.  

The good news is that yesterday Ezekiel just "clicked" with the bottle.  He took 3 whole bottles in one day!  That is after WEEKS of trying to get him to take even a few sucks from a bottle.  This is really really encouraging.  We really thought he might make it home before thanksgiving.  If it wasn't for the eyes, he probably would have.  But maybe still he won't need surgery.  Anyhow, I really need to go to bed.  Sorry this is so rushed.  I love you guys!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What? Sunday already? And on becoming a germaphobe.

So sorry fellow bloggers.  I can't believe it's already Sunday and I haven't posted. 

Well I am sitting in our disastrously messy "office".  I was supposed to be cleaning, but you know, the computer is in here and it sucked me in.  

Daniel somehow got horribly sick.  I mean awful.  I've never ever seen him so sick.  We don't know if he has food poisoning or a bug.  Of course I am horribly paranoid that we took some sort of germ to the hospital yesterday (you can type yesterday all with your left hand!).  I think I'm becoming a germaphobe.  I bought three bottles of hand sanitizer this morning for our house.  I bought clorox disinfecting wipes.  If you know me, you know this is soooo not me.   I'm all about the vinegar and baking soda.  What has happened?  Sigh.  And my poor, poor hands.  They are so dry from over washing them.  They hurt, they're speckled with red dots.  They're cracking.  But I just can't stand the thought of getting sick because then I can't see Ezekiel.  I am already not going to the hospital today, and I probably won't go tomorrow because we just can't risk him getting sick.

Meanwhile, he is doing well.  He is 5.5lbs!  He is eating two bottles a day (he won't always take the whole bottle), and we are working on breastfeeding.  He is OFF the vapotherm!!!  Now he is on a nasal canula which just gives him a little oxygen.  We *think* he will be home really soon.   It's hard to say, though... we will see what happens.  Man I am FULL of typos today.  I have to keep backspacing and fixing things.    

Ummm seriously my hands hurt.  

Sooo I have to tell you about my CRAPPY gyn appointment on Friday.  Grr.  All I wanted to go for was to get my thyroid levels tested.  But the doctor never asked me if I had any questions or anything, she just routinely performed her exam, and when I said I was concerned about my weight loss (as in lack of), she just started into this whole memorized schpeel about eating whole grains and lean meats and lots of veggies and no junk food and drink lots of water.  Yes, lady, I already know.  Thank you for not listening to me at all and for being completely unhelpful and patronizing at the same time. 

But this was the worst part:  Before the exam, when I was waiting in the lobby, I had to fill out some paper work.  Well, there was a 10 question questionnaire about post partum depression.  I made the mistake of filling it out honestly, because all the doctor and the nurse could focus on was my high score on this test.  While the nurse was asking me all the preliminary questions before the doctor came, she said, "after your exam we are going to have someone walk you up to behavioral health".  Excuse me??!  What in the world is this crap?!  Of course I immediately became very anxious, thinking, "oh crap (or should I say shymkent?), they think I'm crazy!".  I told this lovely lady (currently resisting name-calling urges) that I was not willing to do that, and that I believe I am perfectly fine considering the circumstances we've been in the last 3 months.  She saw I was upset and didn't push the issue much more.  Then the doctor comes in and all she could focus on was the stupid quiz, too.  I mean, don't they realize that they probably need a different quiz for NICU moms then for full-term, healthy baby moms?  HELLO!!!! GRR.  Of COURSE I cry a lot and I feel depressed and I've lost my appetite.  I think that is NORMAL behavior right now.  I explained this.  Then when they took my blood pressure, it was, of course, high.  I always get nervous going to the doctor anyway, and then to have some lovely nurse tell me they're ready to admit me to the loony bin, I freaked out and was anxious... so yes, of course my blood pressure was high.  But they wanted me to come back for the next 5 days to have it tested.  I said no, that I thought that was ridiculous, and that the only reason my blood pressure was high was because they were making me uncomfortable.  Finally the doctor backed off.  "Well, you're the captain of your own ship," she said.  Lovely.  Thanks for finally recognizing me as an individual.  If only you could make it so far as to recognize my intelligence and ability to think and care for myself, then we would be cool.  It's ok, your behavior is excusable since you have an M.D.  and must be more intelligent than me.  

Enough of that.  In other news, I seriously want to hire people to come clean my house.  When I look around at the messy-ness I get totally overwhelmed and want to either leave the house or cry.  I've been cleaning more, but I haven't gotten to the deep cleaning which is what really needs done before Ezekiel comes home.  Downstairs is all right, upstairs is seriously an absolute disaster.  There are maybe 20 articles of clothing hanging up in the closet (all the stuff that doesn't fit).... the rest are all on the closet floor (or bedroom floor, bathroom floor, laundry room floor).  We have soooo many random papers that somehow make it into random piles around the house, but never make it into the filing cabinet.  We have books coming out of our ears.  Why, God, why am I not one of those naturally organized and tidy people?  Why am I not that way?  I want to be soo soooo bad.  If I could change anything about myself, it would be my lack of discipline.  Because that has to be what this is all about.... if i was more disciplined, I would keep my house cleaner.  I would always pay all the bills on time.  My husband would always have clean socks and underwear.  I could find my favorite lipstick that I lost oh-so-many months ago.  FORTUNATELY discipline IS something I can change about myself.  So I just have to remember that I'm working on it and doing a little bit better on most days.  Ok that's my pep talk for myself.  Thanks for listening.  

And of course, the tragedy of Obama.  Ever-so depressing.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our family in baby form

Happy November 4th!

Today is Ezekiel's "real" birthday.  Today is his due date!  Happy Birthday, my little pumpkin pie!  
He weighed 5lbs 4oz today.  All his preemie clothes fit him perfectly right now.  He tried to bottle feed again today, and guess what?  He did it!  Good job Ezie!  Now they will let him do one bottle feeding a day and see how he does.  

In other news, I found this on the best website ever:

A moses basket!  (The elephant is Ezekiel's.  Daniel got it for him in Peru).  I was soo excited, for many reasons.
1- I've always thought these were really cute.
2- We didn't want to get a big old bulky, expensive crib (not just yet, anyway). 
3- We sleep on the floor (hubby says beds make his back hurt), so a basinette would be too high.
4- This was only $30!!

I love craigslist soo sooo much.  The lady I got it from said she recieved it as a gift and they never used it.  I had tried to find one at babies r'us and there was only one in the whole store- and it cost $100+  on clearance!  I'm so excited I found this one.  The next thing I want to find on craigslist is a down matress topper for our floor-bed.   

Sunday, November 2, 2008

He went as a preemie

He couldn't quite make it out of the hospital to get candy, but you get the idea.  :)  Thanks for the cute costume grandma!

Is anyone else having a hard time with blogger lately?  I don't know what they changed, or if it's just our computer, but I can no longer drag the pictures I upload to new locations.  I am also having a hard time getting it to let me type where I want to (ie between pictures).  Is this just me?

Onto more important things.... Ezekiel weighs 5lbs 3.9oz today.  He's getting nice and chunky.  He's starting to get nice fat baby thighs, oh so cute.  He's so precious.  We are working on his suck/swollow/breathe reflex.  Right now he has a hard time remembering to swollow, so we are dipping his paci in milk or sugar water (blah!) and feeding it to him so he can try to just swollow one drop at a time.  He seems to be doing well!  Hopefully soon we will be able to try and breastfeed him.  He will be full-term on tuesday.  I can't believe it!  He will be 13 weeks on wednesday, and he will be three months on thursday.  What a big week for him!  

In other news (why is this my new favorite phrase?), I haven't lost a SINGLE pound since Ezekiel was born.  In fact, I have gained 3 or 4lbs.  What is wrong with my body?!  Barring halloween night, I haven't been eating junk food at all.  In fact I don't think I was eating enough food period for a while, because my milk supply dropped, and then when I started eating more it went back up again.  I have never been so..... curvy(?) in my life.  I gained 30 lbs while I was pregnant.  Wow.  Today I got out all my size 6 jeans and decided to give them to a friend.  I'm pretty sure I will never wear those again.  I've kept them for, oh, I don't know, 7 years??  The size 8's, though, I took out (actually taped one pair to the pantry door downstairs!) to remind me that I want my figure back.  I need to start excercizing.  The main thing, though, is that I think my thyroid is completely out of wack.  I mean, I've never met a woman who didn't loose at least 5-10lbs post-partum.  I am 3 months post partum and weigh MORE than I did while I was pregnant.  Hello!!!!!  I have a doctors appointment friday, and I am hoping that they will check my thyroid levels and give me a prescription for cynthroid (thyroid meds) so that my body can start working again.  I mean, I am soo exausted all the time.  I sleep a good 7-8 hours every night, and still have no energy all day.  Coffee hardly works at all, and without coffee I am seriously a complete zombie.  I could fall asleep standing up.  It's that bad.  Normally I am not a prescription sort of person, and would rather "tough it out" than take a tylenol for a headache, but I can't take feeling so crappy and being so chunky anymore.  And there is nothing to fix a broken thyroid other than medicine.  Grr.  

Oh someone, please just wave a magic wand and give me back my cute little figure.  I miss feeling comfortable in my own skin. 

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

I'm sitting here, waiting for little trick or treaters to make their way up my sidewalk and knock on my door.  Where are they?  It's been 30 minutes since trick or treat started, and not one child yet.  Porch light is on  (that was last years mistake.  "why are they skipping our house?"), candy is in bowl, I weedwacked the weeds in the yard so we wouldn't be "those" neighbors,  my house looks clean if you just stand at the front door.  Everything is ready, and not one kid yet.  I seriously look forward to trick or treat night every year since I have been an adult.  I love passing out candy.  Really.  Well, I'm sure they'll get here at some point.  

We decided what we're doing about vaccines... for now.  We are going to wait until Ezekiel is two months according to his adjusted age (ie two months after his due date) to possibly start some of the vaccines on an alternate schedule.  We know we don't want hepatitis B, Polio, and DTaP.  We're still researching the rest.  I've added more links to vaccine websites off to the right, and there are some good ones there.  I am so tired of being asked about this at the NICU.  We've already explained many, many times to many different doctors what our plans/views are.  Another doctor asked again yesterday, and said he wanted to sit down and talk about it today.  SOOOO I printed off 40 or 50 pages worth of information about vaccines, and then went through it all and highlighted everything that I thought was pertinent to our situation.  Good thing I got up early this morning.  I took it in to give to said doctor, and guess who wasn't there?  Yup.  It's ok, I will shove it all in his hands the next time I see him.  I will say, "here are some of the reasons we don't want to vaccinate just yet.  If you want to give me any reading materials, I will gladly read them."  (two little ninjas just came to my door!)  I hope he will actually read some of the stuff I give him.  I could go on, but I will stop.  Can't they just write it in our file that we plan to wait until he is older to start vaccinations, and just stop hassling us about it?  Ok, stopping now.  

I think that's all I have to say today.  I will have to put a picture of Zeke in his costume up later.... I don't have one just yet, but he's awfully cute!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I did my to-do list

I did everything on my to-do list today!  Yay!  Pat me on the back.  Ok, since you can't reach, I will do it for you. :) 

I feel like I never, ever get enough things done in a day.  There is always something else to clean, something in the fridge that needs to be cooked, oil needs changed, laundry needs done, bills need payed, animals need fed, laundry needs done again, I need showered, and the list goes on and on and on.... as I'm sure it does for you, as well.

Here is my solution!  Acutally, Daniels solution.... he suggested it: Make your to-do list shorter.  Amazingly, it works!  Instead of writing on my daily to-do list (which I write every morning while pumping) enough things for a week and expecting to get it done in one day, I write enough for one actual day.  Or maybe even a little less than enough for one day.  Then I'm sure to get it all done, which makes me feel better, which keeps me motivated to do it all again the next day.  You see, I LOVE crossing things off my to-do list.  If I cross off less than half, I feel like a failure.  A short to-do list cures this problem.  Here was my list today.  

pump (8 times)
mail bills 
clean for 1 hour
visit Ezekiel
take care of animals (there's a lot!)
make dinner

I did it all!  Ok, I still have to pump more before bed.  But my to-do list got done.  Here is what my to-do list would normally look like, before Daniels sage advice...

pump (8 times)
visit Ezekiel
clean out car
get oil change
schedule ob appointment
pay bills 
take care of animals
change air filters in the house
put air in car tires
clean garage
organize upstairs closet
5 loads of laundry
file giant stack of misc. papers
dust light fixtures
bake bread for the week
grocery store
change burnt-out lightbulbs

You see how I can become overly-ambitious?  And then, in my overly-ambitousness, I get next to nothing done.  I don't understand how I can have such a strong desire for cleanliness and organization and have my whole house/life be so unorganized.  I guess I'm just not disciplined enough.  But I'm getting better.  My new plan is to clean one hour a day (on top of daily things like dishes, bed-making (ha!),  and the occasional load of laundry) and then.... stop.  No more cleaning for that day.  This is what usually happens:  Our house becomes a giant disaster over a few weeks.  I hardly clean at all, hardly pick up anything that lands in random places.  Then I just can't take it anymore, and spend literally an ENTIRE day cleaning.  Then I am so sick of cleaning that i don't clean for another few weeks.  Then it all starts all over.  I hate this cycle.  I want to live in a clean house ALL the time.  I don't like clutter.  I don't like worrying about tripping over things on my midnight treck to the bathroom.  

Anyway, my new plan is working well so far.  My dear friend Aimee is keeping me accountable to my daily hour committment.  So far it's been 3 days, and so far I have kept up, and there is an improvement in the state of our house.  My only problem is that once I get going, I don't like to stop.... so when my hour timer goes off (yes, I need a timer) I normally keep cleaning for another half hour, at least.  Today I must have cleaned for 3 hours.  And that's where the problem comes in-- I don't want to clean that much everyday because it's demoralizing.  I also tend to get caught up in little things... you know, loose sight of the forest for the trees..... so while you can't walk up the steps without tripping on some piece of clothing, roll of toilet paper, or random shoe that is trying to make its' way upstairs, and our bedroom is strewn with clothing and books,  I was cleaning the vaccume cleaner, scrubbing baseboards, vaccuming spider webs from the ceiling, scrubbing the front door, and taking down the curtains to give them a wash.  Hello Kristin!  Pick up all the crap on the floor before you wash the curtains.  It's common sense.  Sigh.    But regardless, it all needs done, and as long as something is cleaned daily, I'm doing better.  And better is all I'm going for right now.  

In other news, I want to make this for Ezekiel.  I'm really excited about it.  I ordered the rings so now all I need is some nice fabric.  Ooooh yay....  I can just see myself happily buzzing away on the sewing machine with a nice hot cup of coffee and christmas music playing in the background (yes, it's time for christmas music!).  Snuggly slippers and pajamas on.  House perfectly clean.  Me feeling perfectly domestic.  Ahhh... what a lovely picture.  My overly-ambitious self wants to make many slings for all the babies I know who are making their way into the world right now.  But my reasonable self tells me to just make one first and see how it goes.  I'm trying to start listening to my reasonable self.  

Oh and by the way.... be sure to participate in my poll in the top right corner.  Who voted for the chevy prism?  Daniel, was that you?  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

But dust

This was too cute.  Thanks Teresa! 

I think this Mom will never forget this particular Sunday sermon... 'Dear Lord,' the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. 'Without you, we are but dust...' He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, 'Mom, what is butt dust?

He's as heavy as a sack of potatoes!

Ezekiel finally weighed in at a whopping 5lbs last night!  YAY!  He also got to try and eat from a bottle.  Unfortunately he didn't do so well... he would suck, but he wouldn't swollow-- he would just let all the milk dribble out of his mouth.  He was very wide-eyed and alert, as you can see in this picture.  He is 12 weeks old today.  
I thought I would put up some baby pictures of Daniel and I.  You all will have to let me know who you think Zeke looks more like!  This is me and my mom.  I don't have any newborn pictures of myself.... you wanna e-mail me one, mom? :)
 The picture below is Daniel as a newborn.  Obviously Ezie looks an awful lot like his daddy!Yesterday they decided to send off cultures to make sure Ezie isn't still carrying MRSA.  Please pray that the cultures come back negative.  If they don't, he will have to go back on contact precautions (ie we won't be able to touch him skin to skin anymore!).    Other than that, everything seems to be going well.  
Oh, and (thank God!) I no longer smell like onions!  

Monday, October 27, 2008


Warning:  Do not keep reading if you are easily grossed out.

Does anyone know why I smell like onions?!  Not just any onions--- purple onions.  All the time.  I'm seriously embarassed to be around people.  It's very strong- Daniel can notice it from a distance!!  I suppose this started 5 or 6 days ago, and it's bad.  I haven't been eating any onions at all.  In fact, I normally eat a LOT of onions and never have any problems.  But with Daniel on the raw milk diet I haven't been cooking at all, so no onion intake.  I don't understand.  Deodorant isn't helping!

I did notice that durring pregnancy I had a very notable lack of body odor.  I could sweat and sweat and I wouldn't smell at all.  Then immediately postpartum I stunk horribly for about two weeks.  Then back to normal, and now this.  I have been taking fenugreek to help with my milk supply, and so I thought it could be that.  But everything I googled said that fenugreek makes you smell like maple syrup.  I would much rather smell like yummy maple syrup than stinky nasty onions.  

Ok, other moms, let me know what's going on here!  I need your help!!
OH my goodness I can't believe I haven't posted in a week!  My how the time flies.  Between the hospital, pumping, sleeping, showering, taking care of animals, cooking (haven't done much of that), and doing any sort of cleaning (haven't done much of that, either...) I seem to run out of time to post.  I'm trying to get back on a normal schedule instead of my stay-up-till-3-sleep-in-till-10 schedule.  I don't like that schedule.  But the wee morning hours have been my usual blog-update time, and so hence no blogs lately.  
Ok so here is the Zeke update:  He is 4lbs 13oz!!  He is still on 3.5 on the vapotherm, but they may bump him back up to 4 because he has been breathing really fast and requiring more oxygen support.  We don't know exactly what's up with that; it could be that a portion of his
 lungs are colapsed again.  Hopefully that will correct itself soon.  Exciting news:  He's off contact precautions!!  YAY!! And He's wearing clothes!  He looks sooo darn cute, too.  Ok time for a million pictures!

Time with daddy.

These are the booties I made him.  They will fit for a while!

I am super frustrated with blogger right now.  Is anyone else having a hard time uploading pictures and getting the format right!??  GRR!  

Monday, October 20, 2008

Picture of the day

This picture isn't from today.... but I couldn't leave you all picture-less any longer.  I will take more of him this afternoon :)

4 steps forward!

Ezekiel made 4 steps forward today, how exciting!

1.  He made a big jump in his weight-- from 4lbs 3oz to 4lbs 7oz!  Yay!!  He passed up his doubled mark, which was 4lbs 4oz!

2.  He got his pic line out (that's kind of like a really long IV that goes in his arm/leg and runs all the way up a vein and ends next to his heart) because he is done recieving antibiotics and steroids!!  

3.  He cried and made tears for the first time!  (unfortunately i missed that... but Daniel told me). 

4.  He had a real bath for the first time!  No more sponge baths!!

It was a good day.  I must have held him for at least 4 hours today, and he was all cuddly and smiley and sleepy.  It was wonderful.  

Tonight while I was there, the very kind respiratory therapist, Raul, told me that he thinks Dr. Kita's insistence that Ezie will go home on oxygen is a "premature diagnosis."  He thinks it is too early to say that, and that there is a good chance that he may not need it by the time he heads home.  I love this guy, Raul.  He is sooo so kind.  I swear you would never know he is in the military-- and we just found out he is a command sergeant major (aka very high ranking!!).  For those of you familiar with military culture, you would know that normally csm's would treat a mere sergeant (Daniel) like the scum on their feet.  But he has been soo soooo kind to Daniel.  He told us, "just forget about that whole command sergeant major thing".   Last night when I was there he came up to talk to me while I was crying.  My hands were full holding Ezekiel, so I had no way to wipe my eyes.  He got some gauze (I guess that's almost like a tissue!) and told me to close my eyes, and he wiped up all my tears.  It was so sweet and caring.  He has told us many times that he prays for Ezekiel, and he always takes quite a bit of time to sit and talk with us.  It's so wonderful to have a Christian community in the NICU.  There are actually quite a few Christians.  

Strange story-- Tonight in the NICU was one of my old Starbucks customers!  (for those of you who don't know, I worked at a starbucks in town for a little over a year.   I quit when I was about 2 months pregnant with Ezekiel.)  His name is Bruce, and he was always one of the nicest, happiest, most sincere customers.  Well it turns out that his wife is one of the NICU nurses!!  She is also one of the nicest and most sincere nurses, and when I found out they were married I was very happy because I can see how well they fit together.  It was funny, though, because I have known this guy for a year or so!  Crazy!  I have actually seen a few other customers in the hospital, as well.  I really miss working there, it was just soo much fun.  I loved knowing all my customers.  I miss a lot of them!  

Alright it's very late, and guess what I have to do.  Just guess.  :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A-Ha ha ha ha ha

Ahhh this is toooo funny. I think it's hysterical, Daniel thinks it's stupid.... So he keeps singing it to me to make me laugh! And I do! :) Here is the original.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

This is just the beginning

Yesterday we had a "care conference" with some of the doctors in the NICU. It was a very disheartening meeting for me. First of all, they (or just this one doctor) said that we aren't allowed to touch Ezekiel. He is on "contact precautions" because he has MRSA, and so to hold him, touch him, straighten his blanket, stick his paci back in, we have to be wearing a gown and gloves. He can't have any skin to skin contact. I can't tell you how much this absolutely breaks my heart. And it infuriates me. Kangaroo care (skin-to-skin contact) is one of the MOST IMPORTANT thing for any baby, especially a preemie. There is this new doctor (We will call her Dr. Know-it-all, or Dr. Kita. I don't know her real name) who thinks she can come in and change everything around, and so she is the one who told us no more skin to skin contact. Before she came around the doctors just said to be very sure to scrub our hands well before and after holding him, and not to touch anything else in the unit with "dirty" hands. But now she is apparently the new final word. She tried to act comassionate saying things like, "I want you to be able to kangaroo your baby as much as do". But obviously that cannot be true.

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

This... how I feel


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

So this is a little lengthy... but worth watching.

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.

Vaccine research day

Well I am settling in to do a good few hours (or more) of vaccine research. Ezekiel is now a little over 2 months old, and we got a call from the doctor 2 days ago "just to let you know that we are starting his vaccines today." We told them no, they cannot start them yet. We want to look them all up first, and decide which ones he will be getting, or if he will get any at all.

So yesterday I asked for a list of the vaccines they would have started, and they gave me information packets on 5.

Hepatitis B
Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib)
Diptheria Tetanus & Pertussis (DTaP)
Pneumococcal Conjugate

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

Happy 10 weeks

Ezekiel is 10 weeks old today!

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. :)


Sunday, October 12, 2008


I just got a phone call from our lovely nurse Bernadette informing us that they FINALLY FINALLY took Ezekiel off the ventilator! :) :) :) :) : ) :) :) : )



Now we can start doing things like holding our baby. That's never something I thought I would have to wait for. I'm so excited.

Meanwhile, said broken hot water heater was easily fixed by kind repair man.... who pushed a GIANT RED RESTART BUTTON. Oh dear. 6 hot-waterless days for nothing. How silly. Durring our hot water fast, I fancied that we were learning how to "rough it" by taking cold showers and boiling water to wash dishes. It was *almost* fun. But not quite. The end of the story is that I really really appreciate hot water. In fact, I am headed to the shower right now.

After I order checks. Because I am completely out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not quite yet

Sooo... Ezie is almost off the vent.... Dr. Guerra (who is apparently from Cuba, but we thought he had a russian sounding accent this whole time. Before we knew his name, we dubbed him "Dr. Russia") keeps telling us every day that he wants to take Ezie off the vent ASAP. They were supposed to take him off last night. Hopefully today!! It should be soon.

They DID take his chest tube out yesterday. :) :) :) :) :) Yay!

Tonight we are spending time with our dear friends the Turners for the first time in weeks and weeks. I'm so excited, I just love them. They're so cool :)

We've made friends with a couple in the NICU. Their baby was born at 24 weeks and was 1lb 1oz. You wouldn't believe HOW tiny she is. She's amazing. Her name is Elizabeth, and you can pray for her, too.

I wish I could give you all a giant hug and a big fat kiss. Thank you so much for praying! I love hearing from you all in the comments section. Checking my blog is one of the highlights of my day :)

Alright I gotta rush off to the hospital. XOXOXOXXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy 2 month birthday... 2 days ago

Happy Birthday Ezekiel! You are two months and two days old. You are such a big boy now.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Hello everyone! I guess there are a lot of people reading this blog now... at least that's what my mom said. You should all leave me a comment! Even if I don't know you, I would love to hear from you. :) :) :) I love you Uncle Bob-bob and Aunt Linda!

Ezekiel was switched to a different type of ventilator today. He seems to be doing better on this new one. The settings are slowly creeping down... they are still high, but he is making a bit of progress. He also seems to feel less sick-- he was pretty calm and alert today. I even got this adorable video of him smiling :)

We are so glad to be done with that 72 hour window. We can finally breathe again! All your prayers helped get us all through, and helped Ezekiel make it. He's beating the odds! :) :)
In this picture you can see little arrows drawn on him. They did that because he had all these little red bumps on his skin, and they wanted to keep track of them. Fortunately after a few days of antibiotics they went away.

This picture is right after he got his chest tubes in. He was really sick here.

I love this little smile! I have an even better video of him smiling (actually I have about 700 billion videos...) but it takes our computer FOREVER to load even these short 10-second clips.

I'm sorry I didn't update sooner, but we blew a fuse and the electricity was out upstairs where the computer lives. Lame excuse, I know. Our hot water heater also broke so I've been boiling water to do dishes and taking cold showers.... brrr.... We'll get that fixed soon... hopefully...

Friday, October 3, 2008

49 hours

It's been 49 hours since they put Ezekiel's chest tube in... so we have 23 hours left until this "critical" stage is over. I think I forgot to mention this in my last post, but when they put his chest tube in, they told us that he had a good chance of dying within the next 72 hours. !!!!!!!! They said it was very important for nothing else to go wrong. He was at the ceiling of his ventilator settings and so if something were to go wrong, there were no more knobs to turn up.... we had a few scary moments yesterday. BUT THANKFULLY he is having a really good night tonight!! I just got back from the hospital and all night long his oxygen saturation level (how much oxygen he is getting in his bloodstream) was very high (94-100%) and they had to continually turn his oxygen level on the ventilator down--- now instead of the ventilator being set at 100% oxygen (that being one of the "ceilings" that made things so scary) it is down to 70-80%. Just fyi, the normal air we breathe has 21% oxygen. I don't know if all that made sense, but it means that he is getting past this risky stage. He is still very sick and on a LOT of crazy drugs... but he is getting better. I know he will be alright. Pray for his lungs-- his right lung is colapsed. They said in his last x-ray that it is starting to look a little better. The combination of his premature lungs (which they call lung disease. Acutally they call his lung disease "bronco pulmonary displasia", or bpd... which just means severe cronic lung disease) and pneumonia and the air pocket/chest tube is a lot for him to deal with. But they said they are amazed at how well the rest of his body is doing... they said that if you don't look at his lungs you would never know he is sick-- nothing else at all is wrong, everything else is very healthy. I know there are so soo many people praying, especially today, and I can see a huge difference not only in Ezekiel's health but also in me. I don't feel like I'm going to throw up all the time now. I was literally unable to sleep because of anxiety that made me feel sick all the time.

Speaking of sleep, it is very late. I mean early. So I am off to bed. :) Thank you Jesus for helping Ezekiel so much today.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Sigh. Ezekiel isn't doing so well. Last friday (? I believe?) he had laser eye therapy for retinopathy of prematurity (rop) which really isn't that big of a deal--- pretty standard for a premie. They sedated him, put him back on the ventilator (just for the procedure), dialated his eyes, and the opthalmologist did his laser thing. He said it was one of the easiest therapies he had performed in his 15 years of practice. Doing good, Ezie comes back off the ventilator on Saturday. Doctor Lefkowitz (sp?), one of our favorites, says that all he needs to do is learn to eat, then he can come home--- maybe 2 or 3 weeks.

Then saturday night (sunday morning) he crashed. He had to go back on the ventilator. It turns out that he has pneumonia and mrsa. I think that the stress of the eye therapy weakened his immune system enough to let these things cause him to be sick (he has had a mrsa colonization for quite a few weeks now, but hasn't been sick from it. A lot of people are colonized with mrsa but do not get sick from it.) So that was Sunday. It's been awful, because to be on the ventilator (it's called a high-frequency or oscillating ventilator) he has to be sedated, otherwise he "clamps down" (he gets stressed from the ventilator and then fights it) and causes his oxygen saturation level and his heart rate to drop, while raising his blood pressure. So no more cute little eyes looking and us, no more little "gas" smiles (I swear they are real smiles). No more wiggling arms and legs. When the sedation wears off, he cries (but makes no noise because of the ventilator in his trekea) and kicks and flails around, and his nurse comes and knocks him out again. I think the saddest thing I have ever seen is to see Ezie cry without making any sound. It just breaks your heart. It's like that crying that children do when they get hurt--- you know, they take a deep breath, have that awful crying look on their face, but everything is quiet-- and then they start screaming bloody murder. It's like that, but the screaming never comes. It's awful.

His mrsa (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is the kind that lives in hospitals, not the community kind. So don't worry, he will be ok. The hospital kind is not nearly as severe as the community kind. He is being treated for both that and the pneumonia and is responding well.

Last night I went to the hospital around 9. At 10:30 he had a "spell" (his stats dropped) that they had a hard time getting him to recover from. I watched as his skin turned grey. They "bagged" him (manually ventilating him instead of using the ventilator) and that still wasn't working. Finally he recovered, but they knew something was really wrong. Immediately they took an x-ray to see his lungs, as they could hear with the stethescope "diminished lung sounds", meaning they couldn't hear him breathing on his right side. The x-ray revealed that he had an air leak in his lung, and a large pocket of air between the outside of his lungs and his ribs/skin. This was pushing on both his lungs and his heart, causing the amount of air he could breathe to be diminished, and making his heart work much harder. They had to immediately put a chest tube in to keep him from dying.   I left while they did this, and called Daniel. We waited for at least 3 agonizing hours in a very cold waiting room as they did their thing. About every hour they came to tell us that it wasn't quite working.  The doctor looked so worried, sad and apologetic- I don't think she believed he would make it.  By the end of it all he had 3 chest tubes. And it worked, thank God.

Finally at 3am we went back in to see him. They had him heavily sedated and they had temporarily paralized him. There was still some blood splattered around his bed, on his sheets. He was perfectly still, and had all this gooey stuff over his eyes to keep them from drying out, as he can't open/close them while he is paralized. There were 2 chest tubes still in (one didn't work so they took it out). He looked just horrible. I cried, and we stayed there until about 4:30, then we came home. Today they have taken one more chest tube out, so now he just has one. We're exausted. It's the next day, I've slept 6 or 7 hours, and I still have a pounding headache.

All this of course means he won't be coming home in 2-3 weeks anymore. Now hopefully he will make it home by thanksgiving.

The good news is that he has been gaining weight. There were about two weeks where he weighed the same--- 3lbs 4oz. Finally he is doing better and gaining weight steadily-- he is up to 3lbs 14oz. He has even still been gaining weight while being sick, which is a good sign. I imagine that he may slow down a little on his gain after this whole chest tube incident. Pray for a quick recovery, pray for him to get well from his sickness. Pray for us, too. We're completely wiped out. I had myself paced for him to be home soon-- now I just don't know how to make it until thanksgiving.

Today he is 8 weeks old. In 2 hours and 58 minutes.