Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter and her Follow-Up

Easter morning was a pretty good day. I woke up with my sinuses really congested from all the pollen in the air - I've never had allergies like this until we moved here. It took us a little while to get going that day because we were all feeling like our heads were foggy. Lauren dove right into her Easter basket and then waited not-so-patiently for Natalie to wake up so she could show her what the Easter bunny brought for her, too. Here's Natalie, still in bed, and Lauren showing her a wrist rattle and rattle socks set.
Once we all got up and going, we headed to Katherine's house for brunch and an egg hunt. Here's Natalie all dressed in pink with her new wrist rattle. She knows how to accessorize already, just like her big sister.
She was feeling pretty good. And here's Lauren in her dress. It had a castle drawn on it, something that looked like it was out of the French countryside. Lauren called it Cinderella's castle.
The kids had way too much fun with the hunt and were all really good. My job was to take pictures, but between someone else's memory card being full and then my batteries dying (hey, it was a long week for my camera in San Antonio) I didn't get a whole lot. Ben helped Lauren look for eggs. The day started out kind of chilly, but was in the mid to high 80s before too long.
Things wrapped up around 4 and we headed home.
On Monday, Natalie and I headed back to San Antonio. She had a CT scan Tuesday morning and then we met with her Neurosurgeon for her follow up. It was great news all around. Everything healed up much better this time. The CT scan looked great and he said he thinks he sees some Cortical Mantle forming! There aren't enough exclamation points to get across how happy I am about that, so I'll just use the one, but know that even now, retyping it, I'm jumping up and down inside. We've stayed really hopeful for her long term prognosis and to know that her brain is increasing in size is WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL news. The week after surgery she was already vocalizing more, and I think I've even noticed an improvement in her eyes - they don't seem to go lazy as often. I hope that now that the pressure has stabilized, it will relieve some pressure off her optic nerve and maybe her vision will improve and the muscles will follow.
She had another appointment with Early Childhood Intervention this week and has another this Tuesday. Her therapy is coming along. There's no magic to it, we're just doing lots of different positions to help encourage her to move and get her muscles going.
Our house had two showings this week. Ben restained the deck today and trimmed branches from the trees in the back. Hopefully that will help whenever the next showing is. I'm trying to remain positive about it all, we knew going into this it could be 3 or 4 months, but it's easy to get discouraged. The hardest part is that our realtor is telling us there isn't anything we need to do to improve the property... it's basically the best it can be, but that still isn't bringing in offers. Frustrating!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lauren's Birthday Extravaganza Week

Let me start where I left off. Natalie was released from the hospital the day after her surgery and we came home the next day (Saturday). Sunday was Lauren's birthday, but we didn't want to have a bunch of people come to the house in case there was a showing, and we couldn't have anything outside because there was really windy, bad weather. We decided just to do something small at home.

We woke up and had chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream and sprinkles.
(Which Lauren helped to prepare:)
Then she opened presents from Mommy and Daddy and from Natalie. Then it was time to shower and get dressed in her special birthday dress that Ema sent.

We were off for a birthday girl lunch at Chili's. She got 'snack n cheese' and chocolate milk and then a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the waiters sang a happy birthday song. We thought she'd love it, but she hid against Ben the whole time. After that, we went to the mall to walk around and came home. She was so worn out that she fell asleep on the couch a bit before 7. We hadn't even had dinner or cake yet!
The next day when Ben got home from work we did her birthday song and cake. She picked out a pink cake with white frosting and helped me make it. She even helped put the sprinkles on the sides of the cake. She's going to be quite a baker.

Tuesday we got the house ready to go and headed down to San Antonio. We had dinner and picked up Grandma Lissa at the airport. The next morning we got up and ready and went to the Rainforest Cafe on the Riverwalk for lunch. Lauren liked the butterflies, but did not like the snake when we walked in, or the monkey hanging over our table.

She had to jump in someone's lap when he started making noise, and when the lightning storm came through the rainforest.

After lunch we were off to the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

One of her recent favorite things to do is pick flowers, so we thought this would be a place she'd really enjoy. And she did. Natalie liked it, too. She got to be walked around and there were lots of things for her to look at.

Someday when she's bigger, maybe Daddy can do this with Natalie, too. Lauren sure enjoyed it!

We didn't spend too long at the Botanical Garden. Just long enough to walk through everything. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not cold.

She still couldn't leave without picking at least one flower, though. :)
We went back to the house and had cake and presents. This was the cake she picked out and it was hers to dig into.

The next day we were off to the San Antonio Zoo. .
Parents magazine just named it as one of the top 10 zoos in the country, and specifically good for kids under 5. I think Lauren agrees.

She got to feed and brush the goats at the petting zoo.

Then it was time for a hot dog before she hit the beach.

She loves that beach. She could spend all day there. Who cares that the water was icy cold? Not her.

The next day was Sea World. She got to watch the dolphins. She kept yelling, "Come here dolphin so I can pet you!"

But they weren't listening.
She rode her first water ride, the "Texas Splashdown" which has two good drops and lots of water. She loved it. She was good in the 45 minute line to get on the ride. She got to watch Shamu's show and the Sea Lion show, see penguins and the Clydesdale horses and see more flowers.
It was an exhausting week, but lots of fun. Lissa flew back on Saturday, and we drove home after dropping her off at the airport. On Sunday we went to a friend's house to do an Easter egg hunt and have brunch.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Looooooooooong Day

I had Natalie at the hospital at 5:30 am and I am so exhausted already now a little after 6 pm.  It was the same pre-op routine we've been through twice before- a set of vitals, a lot of paperwork in the first room, then to the pre-op waiting room, more paperwork, more verification of who (Natalie), what (shunt revision surgery), where (her head, duh), and why (previous shunt wasn't working correctly).  At 7:30 they took her back to begin surgery.  I took that opportunity to have some breakfast downstairs in the cafeteria and get some milk up to the PICU for her overnight stay.  A little after 10:00 her neurosurgeon came in and got me.  She did really well through the surgery and she was out.  He replaced the shunt and the catheter going into her brain.  The previous one had worn away the brain surrounding the catheter and she had a 5mm (or so) hole where fluid was just leaking out freely every time there was a pressure increase.  He put something over that and sealed up the hole and created a new path for the new catheter and sealed it since not sealing it last time (which is normal) didn't work for her, obviously.  He also tacked down her skin and tried to rough up the area so that it would need to scar down and will hopefully heal back the way it is supposed to be instead of the way it was.

She already had the tube out by the time I went over to the PICU.  She ate a bit from a bottle and did well with that.  We had to leave her flat on the bed for a while.  The neurosurgeon came in and saw her this afternoon and gave his ok for me to pick her up.  I held her and fed her just before I left, she threw up all over me, but I think she was in a bit of pain and the last of her pain medicine had worn off.  The nurse gave her some tylenol and was going to let her calm down a bit before she tried to feed her again.  I am going to have some dinner and then head back to the hospital tonight for a little while.  I need to be home before it gets too late tonight, though, because I am just beat.

He ordered a CT scan on her, and she'll have that tomorrow morning.  As long as everything looks ok with it, she'll be coming home tomorrow.  We'll be back at our house before Lauren's birthday on Sunday!  Yay!
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Our Videos

Latest Video of Lauren:

Video of Lauren walking:

Lauren's First Steps:

Our 5th Anniversary Video: