Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Hospital Visit

Levi had a croup-like cough earlier this week & got an oral steroid at the pediatrician's office. He has gotten more congested from whatever virus he has, and tonight he was working harder than normal to breathe. We know that this can all-to-quickly turn into a dangerous situation, and after calling the pediatrician's after-hours number & speaking with a nurse we decided to take him to the ER.

Poor Baby (once he fell asleep, I laid him beside me and moved his hand to make it look like he was chillin' with the remote)

Bronchitis, Upper Respiratory Infection, and Reactive Airway Disease (which basically means having a history of coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath).

He got another oral steroid & a breathing treatment. He is going back on the inhaler that we just weaned him off of, and after a few hours of observation, we are back home. (Thank you Grams and Grandpa for coming to get Adam, and Meredith for staying at the house til they could get here.)

The thing that is so hard is knowing when to be concerned and when not to. I am glad we went & think we made the right decision, but the doctor was telling me that Levi could go home b/c he wasn't in respiratory distress... Now at that time, Levi was sleeping peacefully. But here's the thing...I know of a nine month old (with Ds) that was in the hospital in our area last year for breathing problems. The doctor sent the family home & gave them his phone #. They called in the middle of the night with more concerns about her breathing, & he told them to bring her in the next day if she was still doing it. Well, when they went into her room the next morning, it was too late, and that sweet little baby girl was gone. How do I go home and trust that Levi isn't in respiratory distress when he is sleeping?!?!?

Well, I've already cried about that tonight, so I am gonna try to get some rest. I've been up almost 22 hours now. I am sure things will look better in the morning & I am too tired to have insomnia at this point.

Oh, but first let me share with you one of my favorite inventions. It hooks up to the vacuum to suck snot out of baby noses. Brilliant! I got mine online from New Zealand (about $23 and that included shipping). And before you call CPS, it doesn't use ALL the force of your vacuum. Levi handles it better than the bulb syringe. Click here for the link to the place I ordered it from. Greatest. Invention. Ever.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beating the Heat

We beat the heat today at the waterpark. It was so much fun seeing Adam venture out and try some new things. At first he just wanted to sit on the steps or walk back and forth on them. He didn't want to get very wet at first. As time went on he got more and more comfortable. He even played on this thing for awhile. He wouldn't get anywhere near it last time we were there and this morning he kept asking if we could go somewhere else because he didn't like the big red bucket (it fills up with water and dumps it all out every few minutes).

Right before we left, he was bouncing all around singing and having a blast. I was grateful for bumping into a friend who wanted to hold Levi. It gave me some one-on-one time with Adam.

I try not to duplicate my facebook posts and my blog posts, but for those of you who don't use facebook, here are some pictures I took yesterday of my friend Brooke's beautiful children. I love knowing more about how to use my camera!!

Two of the best lookin' kids I know!

Speaking of good looking kids (I know. Great segue. Right?)...I was so excited to see the rest of our photos from last week's photo shoot. They are AMAZING! I almost cried but was smiling too big! Kristin Tatem did a fantastic job!! To see a quick slideshow of all the photos taken at Levi's photo shoot for the Buddy Walk billboard, click here. The access code is: Levi

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Little Squirt

I finally figured out how to let more light into the my camera! I have been curious about working in manual mode & have finally gotten brave enough to read about it and give it a try. I experimented with it a little while the boys played outside tonight.

(I know, this is too much light, but I'm so glad I now know how to do that on purpose!)

Adam's squirt bottle is still one of his favorite summertime outdoor toys. Last year he called it, "Shirt, shirt." Now he clearly enunciates when he asks for his "squirt, squirt" bottle.

Adam chasing his Daddy around the yard...

Levi playing in our new landscaping rocks...

Here is Levi thinking, "Hey, it is kinda funny when Daddy sprays us with water!"

Then, "Ya know? This isn't really all that great after all."

And finally, "NO MORE, PEOPLE!"

We got a sneak peek at the photos from the billboard photo shoot. Click here to see the photographer's blog and a few of her pictures. I LOVE them & can't wait to see the rest!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mommy's Mini-Retreat

I just posted a few minutes ago but decided that this day needed its own special post. My friend, Keli, planned a fantastic day for the two of us on Saturday. Emailing the itinerary was a nice touch (reading that alone should give you an idea of how much fun she is), and our secret location was a massage place where she treated each of us to a ONE HOUR massage! I cannot describe how awesome (and needed) that was! I enjoyed the spa music playing in the background but couldn't help but wonder if the Hallelujah Chorus would've been more appropriate.
We have both seen some cool-looking Kia's on the road lately, and decided to go test drive them just for the fun of it. It was a great day full of laughter. Love that chick! Thanks, Mama!

Nothin' Much

Not much to talk about. I almost didn't even post tonight, but here goes nothin'.

There is really nothing new going on. Levi will be 14 months old in two days. He hasn't reached any big milestones. He isn't making any real progress towards crawling, or talking, or self-feeding. But I feel at peace with all of that. He is precious and easy-going. I always enjoy being near him, and truly cannot stop kissing those sweet little cheeks of his! He makes me feel like a million bucks.

I never updated on the weaning, but he stopped nursing about a month ago and has adjusted beautifully. I miss the ease of nursing and the excuse to sit still every once in awhile, but it is also easier in many ways.

Adam is making some progress towards potty training, and is so much fun. He cracks me up saying funny things all day long.

And the two of them together...

Just precious!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I haven't felt much like blogging lately. I also haven't felt like cleaning, cooking, name it. A bad case of the blahs has hit me, and I really need to get over it.

During Levi's last therapy session, Adam got to help swing his little brother in the big blanket. I love how the therapists that come to our home make an effort to give Adam attention and allow him to get involved.

Levi is now working on kneeling and reaching up. Here he is at the fridge reaching up for magnets.

Levi's photo shoot for the Buddy Walk billboard was Wed. morning. It went really well, and I cannot wait to see the proofs. Afterwards, I took the boys to the mall as a reward for doing so well. Adam thinks this is one of the greatest places on earth!

Lately Adam wants me to draw his favorite characters for him. My old, dormant drawing skills are improving with all the practice I'm getting!

And Adam likes to draw so much...well...

Levi got his first haircut Saturday...



(the red nose is proof that there were tears, even though he recovered quickly) Things went well at first, but I had to call Wes in to hold him down as I did the back.

Sweet, sweet boy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Weekend Off

I am so grateful that another speaker was able to cover this Saturday's seminar for me. I have done presentations on zero sleep, when Levi was in the hospital, when I've been sick, and under all kinds of other circumstances. It killed me to have to get someone to cover for me, but there was just no way I'd be able to do a seminar without a voice. I waited near the airport until I knew for sure someone else could go. I got so tired while driving home that I pulled over and took at 30 minute nap in the car (in a Cracker Barrel parking lot) even though I was an hour away from home at that point. I stopped at the doctor's office on the way back home. They switched my antibiotic and gave me a steroid shot to help me get my voice back. Last night I read that whispering is the worst thing you can do when you have laryngitis because it puts so much strain on your larynx, but of course that is all I've done since I've been home. It is impossible to communicate any other way! Maybe I'll learn more signs in the next few days while I wait to improve!

The Quietest I've Ever Been

I have been sick all week. At 3 am Saturday morning I woke up and had to throw up but ended up passing out first. No fun. I have been queasy ever since and got a sore throat and neck ache in the middle of the week. I have been home for a few weeks and was just scheduled to work in Boston this Saturday, but I got a call to do an extra teacher training. So Wed. afternoon I went to the doctor. They tested me for strep, mono, and pregnancy! All were negative. They gave me some antibiotic since I had a presentation to do, and I started feeling better pretty quickly. I got up at 6 a.m. yesterday and drove 6 hours to Detroit. I felt fine all day but started to get hoarse towards the end of my presentation (which was from 3 p.m. to 8pm). The training went so well, and I really enjoyed the teachers. When I finished up, I drove til midnight and stayed at a hotel. Now I have no voice whatsoever and have a flight in four hours for another training in Boston. Lovely. They are working to find a replacement for me. I am just hanging out in the hotel room for now.

On a good note, Levi had his ENT follow up Monday, and his sleep study showed that his pulse oxygen level was 90% or higher 99.9% of the night, and even then, it only got down to 89%. The fluid that has been in his ear for the past few months was gone, too. So we will follow up with the ENT in 6 months, and she plans to do another sleep study when he is 4 years old. We are so blessed and thankful.

I took a few pics this week that I want to share but don't have my camera with me at the moment. I hope to blog more soon!

Have a great weekend! It'll be interesting to see how mine turns out.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Block Party!

I have never been able to go to one of our annual neighborhood block parties. I have been out of town every year that I can ever remember there being one. Even though I already had a busy day planned, I knew the block party would be my last function of the day. So Saturday morning, while Wes & our handy brother-in-law started on some home improvements, I took Levi to our Down syndrome association meeting (45 minutes away from home), ate lunch with a friend, stopped at the store, went to get Adam from his grandparents (an hour away), fixed a salad there, then drove an hour home and plopped the kids and the food in our double stroller & took off. I wasn't about to miss it!

And what an event it was! I never imagined so many people would be there! There were even tents and porta-potties! It was nice catching up with people and getting to meet people we often just wave at as they drive by. The couple hosting it started by acknowledging a family for buying and fixing up a house that needed some TLC. Everyone gave a round of applause. There was a prayer before the meal, and it was just a great night! I appreciated that everyone was told to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages, and there wasn't even any smoking. A few groups played corn-hole after the meal. I'm really glad I made an effort to get there and sure hope I get to go to more in the future.
(Our across-the-street neighbor, Dave :)

By the way, my salad (Paula Dean's Corn Salad- which I failed to get a photo of) was a big hit. Here's the recipe...
2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 (10 1/2 ounce) bag coarsely crushed Fritos chili cheese corn chips
Mix everything together except the Fritos. Add the Fritos just before serving.
(I didn't use the green pepper- FYI. We no likee.)

And I came home to this new bathroom floor and other improvements! Thanks, guys!
Extra prayers are going out tonight for our friend "Grandma Temple" who starts chemo tomorrow and no longer has her beloved husband. I know his love and affection would mean so much to her right now in this tough time.
We love you and are praying for the best!