Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day was great. Jason woke up early to play football with his buddies which is a tradition for him. He calls Thanksgiving Football day instead of Turkey day! Our good friend Victor is in a band that was playing in town the night before, so Jason went to see him, then brought him back to our house to spend the night since he was invited to Jason's parents house for Thanksgiving. It was only 18 degrees here in Chicago, too cold for me but it didn't stop them.
They left pretty early in the morning around eight, to play at our near by park. Pretty silly if you ask me, but the guys love it! The girls didn't wake up until after the guys left. I gave them breakfast and we ate while we watched the Thanksgiving day parade on TV.

When we walked into my mother and father in-law's house it smelled sooooooooooooo good. I just love the smell of Thanksgiving. The house was filled with food, and we ate, let me tell you. Appetizers of all sorts. Grama's Turkey came out great, she made sure not to dry it out this year, because last year it was a little dry. For the first Thanksgiving in her life she bought a meat thermometer to make sure she didn't over cook it.

The Turkey is done!
Papa carves the Turkey
And like you don't get full up enough on the actually Thanksgiving dinner and the appetizers you eat before it, there was dessert too. I felt like I was going to blow up.

Mary and Grama had gone shopping the week before. Mary picked up a nutcracker for Anna because since Mary's grandparents took Mary to see The Nutcracker Ballet last year and got a souvenir for her (her very own Nutcracker) Anna had been admiring Mary's. So, Mary gave that to Anna as a gift for Thanksgiving. This was very thoughtful of Mary, and Anna was so appreciative of it. It made my heart melt to see how very much these girls love each other.
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I don't know if you can see from the picture above but Anna must have eaten something that she has a slight allergy to because all of the sudden her face broke out, and she was very itchy. I had to go home to get some benadril. Of course this made her sleepy and she passed out on the couch for a little while with uncle victor. And of course Alex was the most tired. After a day filled with bottles, crawling, and pulling herself up on everything, who wouldn't be tired. And Daddy played with Victors guitar.

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After we all stuffed ourselves to the max we all settled down to watch The Polar Express. I would recommend this movie to anyone. It's one of those kid/adult movies. It is filled with Christmas spirit, the perfect movie to watch on Thanksgiving, right up there with Miracle on 34th street (the original of course.)

There are so many things to be thankful for. The most obvious is my family. My girls, Jason, my in-laws, our health and our friends who are always their for us. We have a roof over our heads and food on the table. I'm thinking of Anna's liver buddy, Annika, and her family who could not be together on this day. Annika is in the hospital right now for a bleed that she had last week, and is now waiting to go into surgery next week. Please say a little prayer for this family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

They grow too fast!

These children of mine are just getting so big, and their personality's are so much older. First of all, Mary has been asking for months to get her hair cut. Then Anna started asking as well. I have been fine with the idea, but Jason had been having a hard time giving into them. Finally, last week, we did it. We took them both to great clips. They didn't get it all chopped off, I wanted to keep it long. They both had their hair down to their waists. Anna had about 5 inches cut off, with some layers. Mary had 7 inches cut off, with layers put in as well. They both look great, but I am a little sad. Anna's curls got cut off, and I cried the other day. I thought that she would still have them, and that they would show up better with her hair shorter, but they are long gone. Here are some pictures of their new does:

The first cut on Anna's hair, then after it's done
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I didn't get a picture of Mary getting her hair cut, but here is how it turned out:
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Daddy and Alex waiting at the Hair salon.


In Alexandria news: She has learned to pull her self up to a standing position. I was at the grocery store last night doing some last minute shopping for thanksgiving when I got a call for Jason. He asked if I had put Alex to bed. I started to freak out, "why, is she not there?"
"No, she is here, did you lay her down?"
"What are you talking about?"
"I was just wondering if you lied her down because she is not laying down, she is standing up!"
I could not believe this. Isn't this a bit early? I didn't think she was even close to pulling herself up to a standing position. Then I thought maybe Jason had lied about it, but why would he lie about that? When I got home he had her up, playing with her at ten in the evening. So, I put her down. Ten minutes later I walked in and sure enough she was standing. I startled her, and she fell to the side and hit her head, poor thing. It took her forever to get to bed that night. I think her reasoning behind it was that she didn't want to forget what she had learned that day.

Jason was quick and got a picture for me. The first time she pulled her self up.
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Anna's friend Delta was over today. They played dress up with Alexandria, Mary was at a friend's house.
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I know I posted a lot of pictures, but I can't help it. They are my pride and joy and we need to capture them in these young years because before we know it they will be in high school, college, having boyfriends, having babies themselves.....

Tomarow is Thanksgiving, we will be going to Jason's parents house. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

4 years ago.......

Well, yesterday marks the four year anniversary for Anna's first surgery, the Kasai. I can't believe it has been four years already, she has come such a long way. At the time I don't know if I really knew what was going on. It all seems like a blur to me. I think I was still in shock during this time. I know that some of my readers know exactly what I'm talking about. It was at seven weeks old when Anna's regular pediatrician became concerned with Anna's still being jaundice. I had talked to a family member the day before that told me I should get her checked out, "she may need to be put under bili lights", she said. Oh how horrible. I thought it sounded horrible to have to bring her to the hospital for a few hours to be put under bili lights. The very next day we went to visit our pediatrician, who hadn't seen Anna since she was about three or four weeks old. He told me it wasn't right that she was still jaundice, and that he would like to send us to a specialist at Children's Memorial Hospital, he also mentioned something about blocked bile ducts. My first thought was, ok, so you they'll give her some medication that unblocks them. I didn't even know where bile ducts were. On his referral, from what I could make out, he had written down ?biliary atresia?. That was the first time I had seen that word. Looking back I can't believe how very little I knew about all of this. I didn't even know why babies got jaundiced, or that it had anything to do with the liver. You can imagine my shock when our Dr. Whitington told us that he was sure it was Biliary Atresia, Anna was to be admitted that day to run further tests to be sure including a liver biopsy, and that if it was indeed Biliary Astresia she would need a procedure called the kasai and eventually at some point in her life she would need a liver transplant. It hit us like a ton of bricks. It took hours, days, for it to all register. Anna seemed fine besides her yellow color, is what I thought then. Looking back I know better, she was anything but fine. She was crabby all the time, barely slept, and had major feeding problems. I was in denial, I know that now. Only three days after we came to Children's Anna had her Kasai. She was just 2 days short of 8 weeks old. Those seven hours in the waiting room were miserable. Our 7 week old baby was having major surgery, I was scared about what the days following would be like, heck, what the years following would be like. It's unbelievable now. Anna is doing so well. It seemed like years while Anna was sick. It's hard to believe now that she had the kasai, 2 bouts of cholingitis, a month in the PICU, and her liver transplant all before she was 6 months old. Now, Alexandria is 7 months old, and it seems that she was just born yesterday. The time has flown by with Alex. By the time Anna was 7 months old she was home from the hospital and doing very well, it seemed like 7 years then, not 7 months. It's hard to explain the way I feel about all of this, and I am not great at getting my feeling out in writing. This was a bitter sweet day for us.

Now at seven months old Alexandria is getting growing up very fast. She has a tooth! She is crawling, and she does so big! You know, "How big is Alex?" Then when you say, "So big" she puts her arms up. She even tries to say it, but it sounds more like "AHHHH, AHHHH!" She is brilliant. Poor thing has been sick though. For a couple weeks now she has had a cold. One night last week she was up almost all night. In an attempt to calm her down I laid her next to me with her sleeping on her stomach and I was stroking the back of her head. As I was doing this I noticed a little lump on the back of her neck. This naturally freaked me out. I woke up Jason to make him feel it, but he didn't think it was anything. After I finally got her to go to sleep I put her down in her crib and tried to get some sleep myself, but you can imagine the thoughts going through my head. This could very well be nothing, but it could very well be something. After Anna and all she went through I don't take anything lightly. So, I got up and did a little research on my trusty computer, (well not so trusty lately, but that could be a whole other post) I came to the conclusion that it was probably just a swollen lymph node which was very possible because she had been sick. That put my mind at ease enough to be able to sleep until I cold call my ped the next morning. I got her in and he thought it felt like what I thought it was. He checked her out and asked me if she had been pulling on her ears, but aside from being stuffy and sneezy she had been pretty happy besides that restless night before. She had an ear infection in both ears, poor thing. I wouldn't have brought her in if it wasn't for that lump I felt, but I am glad I did. He was surprised that she didn't act like she was in more pain. My strong little girl, she takes after her big sister Anna.

I wouldn't feel right unless I included a couple pictures in this post. In an attempt to get a picture of Alexandria's tooth, this is what I got. It isn't big enough yet to see in a picture, but I like this picture anyway
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Here she is doing SO BIG!

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And crawling
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