Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Long September

Sorry for the delay in entries, things have been busy here. The girls are all doing well. Mary had her 8th birthday last week. We went to her favorite place, the all you can eat Chinese buffet (I have no clue why she likes it there so much) and came home to have cake and open presents. Buying presents for an eight year old is a lot different than it was in all the past years. It used to be toys, and disappointment when she opened a box with clothes in it, and then more toys. This year she loved the clothes (especially her Hillary Duff shirt), and she got a few CD's that she asked for (Hillary Duff again), a pair of roller blades, and a round comfy chair to read in. That was it, and she loved it. Thank goodness, I wouldn't know where to put anymore junk in their room!

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Anna is adjusting well to school, although I think she would like to go more often. She wants to be able to get up in the morning everyday and get dropped off at school along with Mary. It's hard to explain to her why that is not a possibility. I guess twice a week for two hours each day is not enough for her. I'm thinking of signing her up for Ballet again to give her something else to do. That would mean two dance recitals because Mary is in Hip Hop dance, but that could be cool. Anna is still in gymnastics, and is still loving it.

We went to the Make a Wish 20th anniversary celebration last weekend. It was nice, they had good food, and fun for the kids. I ended up going with my friend Jenny and her son Brandon because Jason couldn't get the day off. The celebration took place in my old High School, this is were Jenny and I met and became friends. We were very excited about this, it has been a while since we stepped foot inside. We kept telling the kids about how we went to school here and they seemed to ignore the fact. Finally I asked, "did you here us, we went to school here!" They all looked at us funny and Brandon replied with, "we heard you, you told us too many times!" LOL!!! I guess it's not all that interesting. So, our first stop was to see Mickey Mouse. Anna was so happy that he was there, all the way from Disney World! Silly girl, she acted as though he came all the way up here to see her. As we were waiting in line, Mickey waved at Anna. "See, he does remember me!" was her response. She acted as though her and Mickey were tight, old buddies, you know? Too funny. After Mickey Anna got her face painted, Mary got her hair done, and they both had their nails done. While they were doing that Brandon went to listen to a story that a little boy wrote. This little boy wished to write a book, that's what he wished for. They had his book for sale there, but all the proceeds go to the Make a Wish foundation upon his request. I could cry. After that, and after lunch they had Kevin Sharp come out to sing a few songs, one was called Make a Wish. It was a nice day.

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This weekend we have Anna's cousin Samantha's birthday party, and that should be it for our busy September. Now the holidays will start up. I'm not ready for that, I need to recover from the past couple months!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

My now 4 year old

Well, Anna's birthday came and went. She is 4 years old now and in preschool, she is growing up so fast. Her first day of school went well. The first day was actually a one hour orientation for the students and parents, so her real first day wasn't until the day after her birthday. On Anna's birthday we had a little family party with pizza, cake and presents. It was nice, Grandma and Papa came over to celebrate with us. Anna is so such a sweet girl, after every present she opened she had to get up and give each of us a great big hug, and the thank yous' were never ending. It's hard to believe that she is 4 already, it's seems that it was just yesterday she was born.

Here are some birthday pictures. I especially love the one where she is holding up her four fingers!
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On her first day of school she had a great day! We had to go for labs in the morning and since the ride is so long to the hospital at that time of day we were talking about school and what she thought she would do on her first day, about the friends she would meet and what she would learn. She seemed to be very excited about the whole thing and we talked for almost the whole ride (about an hour on that subject)then our conversation veered off onto a different subject and wasn't thought about again until after we went for labs and while we were eating breakfast at McDonald's. Anna suddenly came up with the fact that she was scared to go to preschool and she didn't want me to leave her there by herself. I was shocked by this comment, I thought she was ok with the idea. I just let her know that it would be fine, she would have fun and I would be right back for her before she knew it. By the time we got to grandma's house to pick up the baby and left for school Anna seemed fine. When we got to school, and the teachers opened the door for the kids Anna ran in before she said goodbye to me. I had to call out after her to give me a hug, she came running back to me, gave me a hug and kiss and ran back in. So, I left my four year old at school all by herself and she was fine without me. All I could do was sit in my car and cry, wipe my tears, then try to find something for Alex and I to do for 2 hours. When it was time to pick her up she seemed to have had a good day (but she wouldn't tell me much) We went and played in the school playground. There were a couple girls from school playing too, and they all played very nicely together and I got to know their mothers. Alexandria got to go on a park swing for the first time, she loved it! Anna and one another girl from preschool took turns pushing her, very gently, on the swing. That night when I went to tuck the girls in for bed Anna told me that she couldn't wait to go back to school the next day. My heart broke when I had to tell her that she was only going two days a week. She got very upset, poor thing thought she would go everyday like her big sister. It took a long time to settle her down and explain to her why it was only twice a week, and that Mary did that too when she went to preschool. Poor thing, I felt so bad for her, but it made me realize how much fun she had, and how much she will enjoy school all year!

Here are some pictures of Anna's first day of school, and at the park afterwards
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I got the results of Anna's blood tests the other day too. Her Prograf level came back at the level they want it to be which is great, so we can go for three months without labs if all continues to go well. Her fasting blood sugar was normal at 95, and the other test which gives the average sugar for the past three months also came back normal. So, we will keep watching her because it is still a mystery why her sugar shot up so high those couple of times, but we won't stress about it either.

Thanks for checking in on us, we still have Mary's birthday to go yet and more days of preschool so there will be a lot more to share soon. Take care!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Anna's Clinic visit

We had transplant clinic Thursday and it went well. All of Anna's labs are perfect! As I mentioned in my last journal entry, we were worried about her blood sugar level and I will explain why. In a casual conversation my mother in law and I were having I mentioned how Anna is always so thirsty all the time. My mother in law, who is an insulin dependent diabetic, told me that she feels that way when her sugar is high and that it was one of the first symptoms she had at the time she was diagnosed with diabetes. We decided to go ahead and check her sugar for the heck of it. We tested her and her blood sugar came back at 399! Normal is between 80 and 120, so this was extremely high. I thought maybe her machine tested wrong so I went ahead and tested mine and it was normal at 106. At this time I started freaking out, but since Anna was acting normally I let it go and just kept a close eye on her. An hour later we were at home, but since my downstairs neighbor is also diabetic we used her machine to test Anna again. It came back at 176 which is high, but not 399! I called Anna's pediatrician just to see what he would make of it. He asked me to check it the next morning before Anna ate or drank and since we were going to transplant clinic the in a few days to let them be aware of it. So, first thing the next morning it was only 102, and that put me at ease. Come Thursday I made Anna's liver doctors aware of it, but they didn't seem too concerned. They told me that Prograf will make blood sugar a little higher, but not 399. They took a urine sample and that came back normal too. Since diabetes runs in both Jason's and my family they are going to check her with a fasting test that measures what her average sugars are for the past three months, and then we'll go from there. We'll get that done along with her Prograf level because...drum role please....they lowered her dose yet again! Since she has done so well with the once a day dose they will keep her level even lower now. They were trying to keep it at around 3, so now they lowered her dose and they will try to keep the level at 2!!! This is very exciting news to us. I will update on how her blood sugar test comes back.

At clinic we saw Natalie., one of Anna's liver friends that also received a part of her mommy's liver 7 months ago. Anna and Natalie had fun together while we waited for the doctors. After we were done with clinic we went up to the floor to visit with another liver friend, Annika who is inpatient right now. After a little while Natalie came to visit Annika too, so they had themselves a little party! They had a good time together playing with playdough and puzzles. It was so cute to see these three amazing girls together. It was also nice for the parents to get together. Here are a few pictures of the girls.

Here is Natalie and Anna Playing in clinic
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Anna Visiting Annika in her room
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Here are all three girls playing with playdough
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This one is for you Moreena, Anna got the same cookie Anni had, she was sooo happy!
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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back to normal

Well, a couple weeks since Anna's wish and we are all getting back to normal. There is so much going on for the month of September, including Anna's birthday next week, her first day of preschool and Mary's birthday only five days after Anna's. Last week Anna started gymnastics, and Mary started Hip Hop dance. I signed them up for the same time and same place so that is saves me an extra trip during the week. Mary was excited to see that a friend from school was in her class, and Mary's friend's little sister was in Anna's class. Anna was a natural, no fear at all. Jason and I both agree that she looks like a natural doing the tumbling. A lot of the other kids weren't too sure, but Anna was out there doing her thing like she had been doing it for years. Anna is such a wild child it didn't surprise me at all. I think Ballet was a little too structured for her. What a difference from her crying for me on the first day of Ballet last year, and almost forgetting to say goodbye this year. At least I know that she will be ok with me not being there in preschool, although I will try to volunteer to help out when they need it. This will be the first class that Anna will take that I will actually leave the building while she is in. I am a little nervous, but it is only twice a week and for only two hours each day. I am embarrassed that I haven't gotten a Medic Alert bracelet for her until just recently, but I was always with her or she was always with someone like her granparents that know everything about her. It will give me piece of mind when I leave her at preschool (trust me, before I got the bracelet I actually thought about sitting in the building for the two hours, how embarrassing.)

Here is a picture of her with her bracelet, she actually like the fact that she has a bracelet that she has to wear all the time, I thought it would be a challenge.
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I am excited for her she gets board with Mary not around, so this will give her something to do. Another thing that I like about this preschool is that she will have the same teachers that Mary had when Anna was sick, so they know us and they are also excited that they now have Anna. They told me that if she was anything like Mary, it's gonna be great! Mary has always been a good student, good listener and "played well with others." Boy, they will be in for a shock. Anna is nothing like Mary. She is hyper, she tells tall tales (you wouldn't believe some of the things she comes up with) she is a bully, and likes to be the center of attention and tries to be funny so I think she will get the class clown title. I have a feeling I will be getting a lot of phone calls from teachers with this one.

Another thing coming up for us this September aside from a two cousins that have birthday's coming up, and a friends birthday party this coming weekend, a house warming party, and oh yes transplant clinic this week. On the 25th we are going to the Make a Wish 20th homecoming celebration. This will be great time to meet with other wish families in the Chicago land area. I am looking forward to the food (catered by some of my favorite restaurants) and the guest star Kevin Sharp! Kevin Sharp is a former wish child and is a famous Country Singer. He does so much for the Make a Wish foundation and I think it is amazing he will be there. The celebration will be held in the High School that I attended, so it will be cool for the girls to see my old school. We can't wait to see Anna's wish granters again so that we could thank them for everything they did for us, it has made lasting memories for our whole family we still talk about it often, and will for years I'm sure.

I will try to update soon, probably after we have clinic Thursday. I am going to ask them for a referral to get Anna tested for diabetes (but that is a long story, and I won't worry about it too much until there is something to worry about.)