Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I emailed this to family today and I just couldn't resist sharing. She's not the happiest kiddo doing this on command for the camera, but she played along and she can successfully sing the ABC's and is starting to sing more and more!
Yesterday in the car she demanded songs (instead of sports radio) and then when I was singing along, I was told, "NO MOMMY, MY TURN" and she sang and sang ----- she's solo artist!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
They made it to Kindermusik within an hour of landing in Salt Lake!
We boarded the ship and enjoyed the afternoon. Dinner was full of excitement and the only night we shared our table with 3 very interesting ladies who never returned to the formal dinner. We had bets on whether they’d show for elegant night and what they’d wear!
Tuesday was our day at sea and we began with a cold/windy morning on deck watching Denver news and then the Today Show. The sun came out and we enjoyed deck games and the joys of cruising with a thousand Saints fans! Who dat? Dinner was lobster and much fun including a birthday celebration for Alyssa!
It's just not a vacation without some of Alyssa's specialty "self portraits"!
Wednesday we arrived in Progresso. I would call it “up and coming resort town”. We were hounded by the locals and did some shopping. We enjoyed dirt cheap massages near the beach and watched the ocean while we indulged in some drinks!
Thursday we arrived in Cozumel. We shopped and enjoyed the AMAZING Carribean view from Fat Tuesday’s with our yard of Miami Vice! We didn’t venture to Carlos and Charlie’s this trip and skipped the table dancing.
Friday was our final day at Sea and Saturday we were very sad to say goodbye to our vacation on the Triumph. I love you Carnival and we’ll be back!
We walked around New Orleans and I quickly was attracted to the city. I’d love to plan a long weekend to take in the culture and support New Orleans. It’s a city like none other.
Happy Birthday Alyssa! What a way to welcome you to the 30’s!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
It will be hard to say goodbye, but I am so excited for a fun time with my Mom and Sis! It's Birthday Week Alyssa!
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I am dying to know who it is and he better figure it out...and then I can be even more jealous!
We met up with Marlow and Mason at the zoo and she just cracks me up! As a parent of a child who hits I find myself preparing her for situations and discussing it all in detail before it happens! NO HITTING at the zoo! Yeah for Ella! We talked about holding Mason's hand and walking nicely and she did it all! I was so proud! It has cooled off and the animals are more active. We were so close to a gorilla, tigers, and the monkeys. It was awesome! She is so full of animation and she showed Mason the ropes!
She took a NAP without any fight! We were both such a wreck the last 2 days....it was a delightful treat!
I headed out to the world's worst spa for an eyebrow wax and pedicure. It was my "daily deal" and therefore worth what I paid for it....but they did not gain a customer in me! I will not be going back! I also snuck in an alone trip to Target and picked up Ella's Haloween pics. I went on a whim and the goofy male photographer got some great shots! Sorry they are so late....but family, they will go out in the mail tomorrow!
It's so amazing that the mood of a toddler can change my day.....but my little girl was a gem today and I am very thankful! Go figure.....now I work for 2 days and then head out of town!
That's when the routine visit to her neurosurgeon turned into a full day at the hospital and another half day for another head CT. Miss Ella now has a third rare condition. Craniosynostosis. Kind of rare to happen at her age, but why would it be anything less than rare?
I'm frustrated! I'm scared! I'm mad! I'm having a big ol' pity party for my little girl! It's been a rough 2 weeks. This is my blog and where I put my feelings and my feelings today are crappy and I think this is unfair!
It was really a challenging call for everyone to decide the right time for surgery. We had always been told to wait as long as possible to close the holes in so that they could use her own bone. But now we are being told there is so much space to fill since now they have to enlarge her skull to give it room to grown AND fill in the holes, so cadaver bone is a must. Well....they didn't want to do cadaver bone before??? And of course the risk of having to re-do the surgery because her head is not close to fully grown. But now we have no choice. In the end we were advised to choose a time that works best for our family and get her in for surgery soon. If and only if the ophthalmologist could rule out any damage to her optic nerve from the pressure in her head. If there was damage, she would be going to surgery ASAP (after a LONG visit to his office, her optic nerve is fine, but she is at a higher risk of vision issues, so we should follow up with him as well). The neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon assured me they would work with me on a date and they are flexible. I spent hours looking at the calendar for a perfect date.....then I got the voicemail to call her back for the surgery date they set. OK, our decision was made for us. We'll deal with it.
My job was not-so-nice in dealing with my time off. I'm asking for 2 weeks. I called them within 5 min of me knowing the date. I WORK at the children's hospital where my daughter will be having neurosurgery! Seriously? The first thing she said was, "well, how much vacation do you have?". I brought up FMLA and she told me I wasn't eligible. I still feel she is WRONG and I need to make those phone calls, but I haven't felt like doing it in my time off this week. I don't have the energy to fight for myself!
I'm a flood of emotions -- surgery, keeping family informed, dealing with my job, dealing with my out of control 2 year old, playing single mom while Joe is out of town, feeling guilty for leaving next week. Why does she have to have another issue? Are all of these issues my fault? What does this mean for future family decisions? Is she just a 2 year old or does her head hurt or is something else wrong? I have to strongly evaluate every fit she throws!
I'm thankful this round of appointments is over. I purposely schedule all her appointments while I'm working weekends so we have plenty of time for the issues we are now used to. Sadly, I now feel Ella will have regular appointments with a pediatrician, neurosurgeon, ENT, plastic surgeon and now an ophthalmologist! She understands going to the doctor and thankfully she's OK with it. Thank God my schedule allows for this while I work weekends or I'd be fired!
Ella will have surgery January 12th. It is expected to be a 5 hour surgery with a night in the ICU and about 4 more nights on the floor. That will likely be the LONGEST 5 hours of my life! The neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon will work together to expand her skull and repair the holes.
The positives are -- it will be done. She can likely be a regular kid with less restrictions. They can't promise me anything because they don't know how much space will be left. They referred me to a support group for parents of kids with craniosynostosis and most kids do wonderfully and you'd never know they even had surgery ---- but these are the kids who have one skull defect and it's repaired at about 6 months of age. All but one suture is fused for Ella and she has the 2 additional large holes. I feel we have a different situation. No one really knows how it is all going to go and it scares me. I know she is a fighter and it is comforting to see these kids doing so well.
I'm thankful for my awesome support system. Joe is amazing! Family and friends have been awesome! I ask for prayers for Miss Ella and her surgeons. We look forward to a fun Christmas in Iowa and then home to prepare for the big day.
Other parents struggle through many worse things and I am very appreciate and cognizant of that. I am very thankful for what I have and the wonderful resources we have access to. I'm just plain sad and frustrated today!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
She only slept about an hour and it didn't touch her.
We have a very strong nap/bedtime routine and it's always been simple! I'm lost as to what to try! I know the key is routine, but our lives don't lend to a very steady routine. There are no jobs for me to change to and Joe will continue to travel.....
We have great fun and I attempt to wear her out in the morning, but from noon to bedtime 2 days in a row.....I can't take it! She is so tired she's going to get hurt!
As I type this.....she's NOT asleep in her crib and it's not pretty! This is all making it so much harder for me to leave her next week. Although in the middle of it all I would have gladly boarded any ship for much longer than 5 days!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I was so excited to take a nap today.....I really, really needed one. I got Ella to sleep and she woke up within 15 minutes. I got her back to sleep and it ony lasted 5 min. I wanted to rest.....so I took a pillow and blanket in her room and hoped she would go to sleep....she didn't! At least I layed down for a while.
Next I took a crabby 2 year old to go vote. The line wasn't bad....but nothing is fun with a grumpy kid! It's an elementary school and she found her voice echoed......so she yelled and yelled and yelled and woke up the newborn near us and then he cried.....it was fun.
She cheered up a bit tonight, but all in all --- LONG day! I'll be asleep very early tonight and I hope to sleep as long as she does!
I am hesitant to leave Ella for the 1st time. I've only spent one night away from her. It was a horrible night of stress and little sleep followed by a triathlon!
The stress comes because Joe has a lot going on at work and will likely have to be out of town (country) as well! Thankfully Grandma Dorothy has offered to help and my Dad and his wife randomly decided to come out that week. Thank you, Thank you! God knew we needed them, I am just sure of it!
Ella will be spoiled and loved while I'm gone! I'm worried because she was a crab-monster to Joe on Friday night DEMANDING Mommy and telling him "NO WAY". Poor guy....
Selfishly I can't wait to fly ALONE! I can read books, magazines, sodoku, sleep, enjoy a beverage! It's been a LONG time since I will have had so much ME time. I didn't used to look at a flight as relaxing, but I will enjoy every second! And when I arrive I will get to spend time with my awesome sis and mom.
We are spending Sunday night on Bourbon street and board our ship on Monday. We travel to Cozumel and Progresso, Mexico. I can sleep in, relax in the sun and eat my own HOT food, and stay out as late as we want! Even better --- we will have some fabulous girl-time together. I love my girls so much and it will be great! This is the most budget cruise I have ever planned and we don't care so much about where we will be, we just want to be TOGETHER! We all need a stress-free few days as well!