Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Speaking of...

It seems like whenever I'm at a loss for what to post, I start thinking of random things to talk about that don't even go together. Then again, maybe I can connect them somehow....

I have Keaton and Kolby home with me from school today, because they have coughs just like I do. I heard them coughing throughout the night and knew their teachers wouldn't appreciate it if I sent them to school like that. So, as per my rule of "if you stay home sick from school, you take a nap", everyone is in their beds right now (except Mr. Kimble, who is sitting on my lap). Kolby went up to his room when I told him to, and came back down the stairs about four minutes later, all snuggly wrapped in his blanket and looking drowsy. He said "I just woke up. What a good nap." Silly boy. He got sent back upstairs to take a real nap! Now he's sleeping (That lump under the blanket is Kolby. I don't know how he breathes, all wrapped up like that.).
Nevertheless, all is quiet upstairs right now. I'm savoring the moment.

Speaking of upstairs...everytime I walk by the kids bathroom, I smell toothpaste. Now, I can think of a few other smells coming from a bathroom that would be worse, but since I just cleaned the bathroom, all I smell is toothpaste when I walk by.   I hate the smell of their toothpaste. It's minty and kid-approved and blue and well, I hate the smell. I prefer baking soda and peroxide toothpaste. No mint to gag me with. I keep my toothpaste hidden from the kids. I don't want them using it and spreading their minty toothbrush smells to my bathroom.

Speaking of my bathroom...Georgie loves to play in there. She gazes at herself in the mirror. She stares longingly at my makeup. She uses my hairbrush and wants me to put hair product in her hair. She is so girly. She asks almost everyday when she will be twelve years old. Why? She says "So I can have pweety earwings in my ears!" She also insists that I paint her fingernails and toenails all the time. She loves nail polish.

Speaking of nails...I can't keep Kimble's nails short enough. Poor baby. I clip them and clip them and still, he scratches himself all the time. Maybe I should sew little mittens for him to wear at night.

Speaking of sewing... I made this little pouch for my iTouch. It was quick and easy. I should make more. Here is the link to the instructions. Now, I can just drop the pouch in my purse, and not worry about my iTouch getting scratched up.  I extended the length an inch so that I can keep my earphones in the bottom of the pouch.  I showed the iTouch peeking out the top, but I assure you, it fits all the way down in the pouch, nice and snug.


Speaking of my purse... I got a new one! Although I love all of my handmade purses, I was in need of a change. I was looking for something a bit more trendy, I think, and something that would separate the "diaper bag items" from my "purse items". I think I succeeded.

The outside pockets snap closed, and keep the essentials I need for Kimble (toys, diapers, wipes, sanitizer, change of clothing, burp cloths, and for me, a bottle of water and a bag of trailmix). The inner zipper pocket keeps my purse items.

I love that this purse is a color that would look awful on me if it was an item of clothing, but as an accessory, it's great. I get lots of compliments on it.

Speaking of compliments...I got a great one on Sunday evening, after I interpreted for a special church meeting. The other interpreter, whom I had just met before the meeting, and thus had never seen me interpret, asked me if I had gone on a sign language mission. That made me feel really good. My sign language skills are still quite lacking, and although I'm far from perfect, I really am trying hard to do a good job.

Speaking of perfection...

I adore this little boy. He is rarely away from me, and I love it. I love holding him during the day. I love that he prefers to chew on my finger instead of his chew toys. I love that he nuzzles so close to me throughout the night. I love the babbles he makes, his tiny giggles, the noise he makes when he eats, and the way he looks at me with absolute love and trust. He is getting so fat and chubby. I love it.

Speaking of getting fat...I've been trying to go in the opposite direction myself. Since carbs are a huge weakness for me, I'm only allowing them with dinner. The rest of the day, I focus on protein, veggies, and fruit. It's been working too! I've already lost a few inches. We don't have a scale in the house, which makes for happy oblivion, so I have to see the weightloss through measurments, and how my clothes fit. I'm positive we had a scale before, but who knows where it went to. Probably got lost in all the moves.

Speaking of lost...I'm loving loving loving my favorite show. I wish LOST could go on forever, but since it can't, this season has been a great last season. So many questions are being answered. I'll be so sad when it's over for good. It's definitely been my favorite show of all time.

Speaking of time... it's almost time for Kamy to come home from school...then homework..then dinner (spaghetti and turkey meatballs), then bed... 'cause I'm sick. This cough sucks.

Stupid Cough

I've been coughing most of the night.  I felt something coming on a few days ago, and was really hoping I wouldn't get sick.  Stupid cough.  It's not just a little cough either.  I get the whole super-forceful-wanna-gag-shakes-your-whole-body-hurts-so-bad kinda cough.

But I'm no stranger to this cough.  I get it all the time.  The problem is, it turns into bronchitis.  If I'm lucky, I'll keep my voice, but it usually disappears within a few days.  This is the same thing I got a week before I had Kimble.  Luckily, I had enough prayers and antibiotics to make a recovery before it got bad.

I probably need to make an appt with the doctor, but I really hate our PCP.  I've been needing to change doctors, with the insurance company, and haven't done it yet.  Now, I HAVE to go to him, and I don't want to.

It's impossible to keep my coughing germs away from Kimble.  He's constantly in my arms, right next to me, or nursing when I'm coughing.  I'm praying that he doesn't get sick.  Poor baby doesn't need this right now.

I'm going back to bed.  Stupid cough.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flirting With The Husband

I drew this picture on the kid's chalkboard the other day.  I'm the first to admit that I don't draw.  Just not my talent I'm afraid.  But look!  I made us holding hands!  I showed my fabulous drawing to the Husband, who said something like "Uh-huh.  That's great babe" and walked away.  I guess he prefers a different type of flirtation.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Another Heart Babies Reunion!!

Most of the day on Saturday was spent visiting with another family that has become close to our hearts. The Parrill family had their little baby, Chance, the day after Kimble was born, on November 5th. It wasn't until after Chance was born, and was monitored in the ICU, that they discovered that there was a problem with his heart.

What they found was that Chance had Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA), which is where the two main vessels that carry blood away from the two ventricles of the heart (the pulmonary artery and the aorta) are formed on opposite sides of where they should be, thus making the pumping responsibilities of the heart ventricles mixed up as well. The surgery he underwent, when he was less than two weeks old, was called "The Switch". Basically, the Surgeons cut the vessels, as well as the coronary arteries, which are as small as 1-2 mm, and connect them to their proper places, which allowed the blood to be pumped to the proper places. Although this seems straightforward, it takes a delicate hand and impressive knowledge to successfully operate. Even with that, Chance had some complications following his surgery that required him to stay longer than they would have liked.

Today, Chance is doing great. He's rolling over and sitting up and he smiles constantly. He shouldn't need any more surgeries in the future either, so that is great news! This last Saturday, Chance and Kimble got to "officially" meet each other.


Chance is a little peanut compared to Kimble, with about 4-5 pounds difference between the two. It was so cute to see them together.

We got a family picture as well!  The Parrills have two girls besides Chance, and from all the giggling we heard, had a great time playing with Georgie and Kamy.



We spent the day talking and eating and playing games. The kids had a blast playing with each other. It was really a delightful day. Next month, we want to get all three families together for a fun playday. I love that these boys will grow up with each other and have a very special connection.

Just for laughs, I'm including this next picture as well. Kimble looks so huge compared to Chance, and while he is, he is even more so in this picture, with Chance sitting back in the crack of the cushions and Kimble sitting up closer to the front. We laughed and laughed when we saw this picture. We thought about photoshopping in a bag of Cheetos or a big hotdog or something, in front of Kimble, just to make the picture more hilarious. Anyway...for your laughing pleasure. Kimble the brute, and Chance the peanut.

Friday, March 26, 2010

{Yes!}terday

Yesterday I heard lots of "Yes!" cries going around.  The kiddos were sent outside, with explicit instructions to play in the snow for a LONG time.  They were happy to oblige. Kolbers found lots of snow drifts to play in... 

Keaton enjoyed warm hands, thanks to his Daddy's gloves.

Kamy got in tune with snow angels.

Georgie was so cute in her snow pants and mismatched gloves.


When they were done playing outside, they came back in and made "ants on a log" with quite an excessive amount of ants...


And Mr. Kimble was nice and cuddly in a little dalmation sleeper.

Just one last day of Spring Break around here.  Although it's been fun to enjoy the days with the kids, I think on Monday, when the kids go back to school, I might just let out a little "yes!" of my own.  I have four books I've had for a month that I haven't even been able to open.  Monday just might be the perfect day for that.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Bike Ride That Didn't Last Long

It was such beautiful weather on Monday (two days after we went sledding) and the roads were clear and dry, that the kids went outside to ride their bikes around a bit.  Georgie, who got a bike for her birthday in December, hasn't quite mastered her bike yet.  She says it's shaky and scary and she doesn't want to ride it around.  However, with some encouragement, she decided to venture out.  She found her sunglasses and her little backpack, put on her helmet, got her shoes on, and then she set out to ride her bike.

Coming out of the garage, we have a slight incline on our driveway.  We set her up, showed her how to brake, and let go.
She immediately jumped off, because she was scared. So we tried again on a flat stretch of land.
She made it about three minutes, with daddy holding on the entire time, before she called it quits.  Oh well.  There are plenty of summerdays ahead of us, for her to try mastering the bike.

New Binkies!

My thoughtful sister Sharon sent Mr. Kimble two new binkies.  These binkies are shaped just like the big green ones he got at the hospital, but they look a bit cuter.  They feel the same to Kimble when he sucks on them, so he doesn't know the difference.
We had to cut his old green binkie when we were in the hospital, because his nasal canulas and CPAP breathing thingie wouldn't fit.  With these new binkies, they are already shaped differently at the top, and they don't hinder breathing equipment.  Yay!  They also conform to their faces a bit better.

If your little one loves the green hospital binkies, but you don't like thelook of them so much, I would suggest to you to get some of these binkies. They come in different colors, and can be scented like vanilla.  You can order them here, and at $1.75 each, I think they are a bargain.

This has been a nonpaid advertisement for Gumdrop Pacifiers. :)

The Roller Rink

I was trying to remember the last time I went rollerskating. My family use to go all the time when I was younger, but I think that the last time I was on skates, I was in college. I guess you can't call them skates, though. There was a new trend going around at that time. It was called Rollerblading. Some of you may be familiar with that term. At that time (and quite frankly, at this current time as well) I didn't know how to Rollerblade.

At college, I had a date (quite a rare occurrence, I must say), and he suggested we go rollerblading. I was very very wobbly, and not very successful at rollerblading. Once, I grabbed his hand for balance. I guess I wasn't as quick to let go (I was super shaky on the Rollerblades) and he said "Can you let go of my hand now?". We didn't go on another date.
So anyway, the Husband had this Monday off of work, and with the kids on spring break, we decided to make use of the coupons the school gave us, and go rollerskating. Kamy has gone a time or two, but for everyone else, it was a new experience.
The kids were really wobbly at first, and quite frankly, so was I. However, we soon got use to the feel of the skates under our feet. I took turns taking everyone around.

I know it won't be long before Keaton will refuse to hold hands with his mother, so I cherished the time we had.

Daddy and Mr. Kimble waited on the sidelines while we skated, and Kolby was very independent and didn't want help at all. In the hour and a half that we were there, he made remarkable progress!



During one moment, while I was preoccupied by taking off my skates, Georgie snuck away from us and started skating around the rink. She was hugging the wall, all the way around, but she didn't fall! We sent Kamy to go get her and bring her back. They didn't want to stop skating!


It was a fun day for the kids. We'll have to do it again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not To Be Outdone....

Keaton also drew a family picture.  He really likes Superman, so he has a crest on his shirt, with a K instead of an S.  Also, if you notice, he drew Heath and I pretty much the same..except if you look closely, you can see the hesitant curves of a chest on my figure.  So cute.

Family Details

I absolutely LOVE it when Kamy draws me pictures.  The little details make me smile.  Pointed toes. Earrings.  Pockets.  Kimble sitting up and looking happy.  This picture is so great.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Rollover {with incriminating evidence}

This cutiepie learned how to roll over a few days ago!  He's been on the verge for a while now, so when he finally did it, we all clapped and cheered!  In fact, he did it so fast, that I didn't have time to grab my camera.  So what did we do?  We set the stage again...had the camera ready...and encouraged Mr. Kimble to roll over again!  He started to.  He was doing it!  Then....a little four year old decided to give him a little nudge.

It looks like he got a little help rolling over, but we promise you that he did it all by himself the time before.  Really!

So we tried it again.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kimble was not pleased.  Rollover time officially ended.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cleft Lip Smile

We have a date set for Kimble's cleft lip surgery.  It is May 4th.  Kimble will be exactly 6 months old.  I'm gonna miss this smile.

Sledding During Spring Break!

The first day of our Spring break was absolutely gorgeous. I think it reached 75 degrees! The kids played outside and had a blast. The second day of Spring break, it was 23 degrees and we got snow dumped on us. No kidding. Crazy Colorado weather! So what do we do? We go sledding of course!

I love Keaton's expressions as he sleds. He goes for it, and loves it!

Kolby's mouth might've been a bit colder than everyone else's, due to the fact that he "lost" a tooth right before we left. I say "lost" in jest, because I practically had to wrestle Kolby to get the tooth out. It was slightly traumatic, but it came out, and he's looking forward to the Tooth Fairy coming tonight.
Georgie spent her time running up and down the hill before we finally got her on a sled. She had a blast!


Kamy had a great time going down the hill too. Here is Keaton, in back, giving her an extra boost.

Of course, everything is more fun when Daddy's involved! Georgie actually looks scared here, but I think she was just afraid that they'd run into me.  I was straddling the sledding trail as I took this picture.


I love how it is so apparent that Keaton is loving it!

It was pretty fun for me too!


While we went sledding, baby was just a few feet away, in the van, snuggled nice and warm in his soft snowsuit.

After Kimble woke up, we had to take a family picture!


He is too cute!

We had hot chocolate after we were done sledding. Kolby really enjoyed his, as you can tell. It was a great time!


We went with our friends, the Bingham Family. They have four boys of their own, so it was super fun. We hear there is more snow in our forecast. I think this is an activity we may have to repeat during this Spring Break.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hugs

Kamy wanted to give me a hug today, so she drew me a picture of it.  This way, I can get my hug anytime I want.  How very thoughtful of her.  I made sure to give her lots of hugs in return.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Contemplating The Next Step


Tuesday morning we woke up extra early (4:30am) so we could make a very early appointment in Denver for Kimble to undergo a Cardiac MRI and a 3D Echocardiogram. His doctors needed the information from these studies to make a more informed decision on the next stage of Kimble's heart surgeries.

Kimble had to be under anesthesia, as well as be intubated, for these procedures. Even though it wasn't surgery, it still made my heart go pitter patter. It is very hard. Every time I have a nurse take my baby from my arms, and tell me to say goodbye, it just...I don't know. It hurts. They see me crying. They tell me something like "Oh, he'll be fine! Don't you worry." But I do worry. I've watched him come out of anesthesia before. I've seen him struggle to live after his heart surgery. Even though this wasn't surgery, the same feelings were there. I absolutely hate handing my sweet baby over to someone else, and then have to turn around and walk down the hall, with my arms empty. It's just wrong.

After about three hours, Kimble was brought out of anesthesia, and he was HUNGRY! That is always a good sign. So after about half an hour of feeding him (his last meal was 3am, so he definitely needed to make up for lost time!) he was stable enough to be released from the Radiology department. After that, we made our way up to the 3rd floor Cardiology wing, so we could discuss with our Denver Cardiologist, Dr. Adel, about the MRI results.
While we were waiting for Dr. Adel to review the information, Kimble had his height and weight checked again (almost 15 lbs!), and everyone raved about how fat and healthy he looked. He also got some routine tests done, like an EKG...


...and some routine developmental checks...



And after some love from Daddy, we got to work discussing the next step for Kimble, in terms of his cleft lip surgery, as well as what his next heart surgery would entail.


Here's the thing with Mr. Kimble. His heart defects aren't "textbook". Because he has three serious heart defects, he doesn't fit into the quick fix category. Let me explain a little bit about the structure of the heart, to give you an understanding of his complications.

The heart is divided into four parts, essentially. There is a right side and a left side. Likewise, each side has a top and a bottom. The top chambers are called atriums, are are holding areas for the blood that is coming in, and at the bottom of each of these atriums, there is a valve that allows blood to go into the bottom chambers. These bottom chambers are called ventricles, and they are the pumping chambers. From these ventricles, blood gets pumped out, through another valve (on the right side, it's called the pulmonary valve) and then the blood leaves the heart. When it's pumped out of the right ventricle, it goes to the lungs to get oxygenated. From there, the blood goes back into the left side of the heart, where it then gets pumped throughout the body. Once it finishes it's course through the body, the blood comes back to the right side of the heart, to begin the cycle again.

Kimble has defects concerning the right side of his heart. The tricuspid valve is the valve that allows blood to enter the right ventricle, from the atrium. The pulminary valve is the valve that takes the blood that leaves the right ventricle, and directs it to the lungs. Kimble's tricuspid valve is tiny and weak and hardly lets any blood enter the right ventricle. Because of that, his right ventricle is tiny and muscleous, and isn't quite functioning very well. In addition, Kimble's pulmonary valve was missing, or unformed, when he was born. During his first 5 weeks of life, that pulmonary valve was ballooned through, and is now an opening, which allows for blood to leave the right ventricle.

So what the MRI showed, is that the right ventricle isn't getting enough blood to sustain Kimble's life. Currently the BT Shunt that was placed during Kimble's 1st heart surgery, is the only thing that is keeping Kimble alive. Needless to say, we are very thankful for that shunt!

The next stage of the 3 stage surgery that was originally planned for Kimble, is called the Glenn. After the blood has circulated through the top part of his body, it is directed back to the heart via the superior vena cava, where it is pumped back to the lungs to get oxygenated again. The Glenn procedure reroutes this blood directly to the lungs, connecting the superior vena cava to the pulmonary artery. This makes it possible for the lungs to oxygenate the blood, without the right ventricle needing to pump the blood to the lungs. This is a great thing, but puts a lot of pressure on the left side of the heart, which would be doing the work of two pumps.
Just for some quick information, the third stage of the heart surgeries is called the Fontan, and it essentially does the same thing as the Glenn, only it reroutes the blood coming from the bottom half of the body. Thus, the entire right side of the heart would be bypassed (not used, ignored, forgotten about, disregarded) This surgery, if it comes down to it, would happen between 3-5 years of life.

Because Kimble's right ventricle, although very small, is actually pumping blood (albeit a very small amount), his doctor's don't want to dismiss it entirely. They want to see if it can be made useful, because if they can get the right ventricle to pump enough, it will lead to a better quality of life for Kimble. Two pumps are better than one, afterall! So the problem isn't quite with the right ventricle, but with the tricuspid valve. If there is some way to tweak the valve, surgically, or do something to it to make it stretch open, be bigger, work better, then the doctor's think the right ventricle will respond positively, and such drastic rerouting of all his major arteries could be avoided.

However, in all likelihood, Kimble will need to have the Glenn, along with surgically tweaking the tricuspid valve, but we are trying to avoid needing to do the Fontan.

For the next little while, as the doctors discuss what is best for Kimble, we wait. This isn't a problem because Kimble is healthy and strong and THRIVING right now! While we are waiting on his heart decisions, Kimble will have his cleft lip surgery. That will most likely be next month. His next heart surgery will most likely be around June or July. So, we'll see.

Feisty Leprechauns

A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore. He is said to sport a red beard, have pointy ears and rosy cheeks, and wears green, practically from head to toe....which covers a pretty short area, considering they are thought to be no larger than a child, but could even be no bigger than about 6 inches tall.

Leprechauns have the noble trade of being shoemakers, but their notoriety stems from their obsessive greed over pots of gold, their shamrock stashes, and their mischievous behavior. Quite often, Leprechauns are sneaky, feisty, and very hard to catch. They are troublemakers, especially in school classrooms. They like to mess up desks, throw down backpacks, and knock over teacher's chairs. They leave a glittering of gold dust wherever they go, and in consequence, the kids at school ALWAYS know when a Leprechaun has been sneaking around their classroom.

I hope it's only those feisty Leprechauns that make mischief at school today. Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!