Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fox Run Park

Memorial Day Weekend.  Saturday was beautiful!  It was a perfect day to be outside.  Seeing as how we haven't really had that many great days lately (weather-wise), we wanted to take full advantage of it.  We decided to go to one of our favorite parks, Fox Run Park, and enjoy the day.

We started off by grabbing some Taco Bell lunch to go, and finding a nice picnic table to eat at.  Then we went walking around the two little lakes, saw big orange fish swimming in the water, and dogs playing fetch in the water.  The fountain provided us some lovely and refreshing spray if we got too close to it.  Just beautiful.
The Husband took a turn carrying Mr. Kimble.  I'm telling ya, there's nothing sexier than seeing your husband carrying his baby in a front carrier, am I right ladies?  As you can tell by this picture, the Husband wasn't too thrilled at this photo-op, but I loved it.


It provided me with free hands, in which to take this self portrait of me and my girls!

We left the lake area and went up through the woods on a hiking trail.  However, that didn't last long.  The kids wanted to come back to the stream and do this:
(and Kamy obviously had to go to the bathroom...)
So we played in the water a bit, and then we moved on to the playground equipment, where we let the kids play for about 45 minutes.

During that time, I sat in the shade with Mr. Kimble, and it was really lovely. 
Then we loaded up the kids and came back home, but stopped on the way to get some Sonic milkshakes (buy one get one free!) to cool us down a bit.  After that, we had a nice relaxing afternoon together, at home.  I also took the opportunity of going grocery shopping by!my!self! and unexpectedly began preparing our meals for the week.  I hadn't planned on doing freezer meals, but it worked out nicely, and now that is that much less work I have to do this week....which is going to be a busy week for us.

Tomorrow, on Memorial Day, we've got more outdoor plans in the works.  Will post about that tomorrow, if I'm not too exhausted from the day's outing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Binkie Situation

 For three weeks after Kimble's Cleft Lip surgery, I thought a lot about binkies.  More importantly, I wished I could give Kimble his binkie again.  Before his surgery, his binkie was a close tie with me, in terms of what, or who, held the number one slot on Kimble's love-o-meter.  After his surgery, when he fussed after he ate, or as he was drifting off to sleep, or when he wanted to be soothed by sucking, he was really sad.  That made me really sad.  We were sad together...counting the days (I'm sure Kimble was counting, in his own way) until the three weeks were up, and we could have a huge binkie party.  Binkies for everyone!

My party plans fizzled out though, when I was finally given the ok to give Kimble his binkie again.  Kimble shunned it.  He shunned it bad.  Poor binkie.

It was like Kimble didn't know what do do with it anymore.  He gummed it a bit.  He played with it in his fingers.  But sucking on it?  What's that?  I'm supposed to suck on this thing?


But I was persistent.  Now you are probably asking "Why not just do away with the binkie and save myself the trouble later on?"  Well, because I know how much he is soothed by sucking.  I know how much it helps him to sleep.  I know how much I NEED him to suck on something else...because frankly, I'm very sore.  I need him to love his binkie again.

So I kept offering it to him.  Some nights, I could slip it in when he was dozing, and he sucked on it as he drifted into slumber.  Occasionally, he'll suck on it when he is awake.  Yesterday, he sucked on it a lot.  I think the binkie has made a comeback.  Kimble is happy.  I am happy.

Although he doesn't suck on it near as much as he use to, I will continue to give it to him.  Even though most of his days now, he is content to just sit on my lap, and watch the world around him, I'm sure his binkie will climb the charts in no time.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Discoverd Pictures

I just discovered thes pictures on our little camera.  On Sunday, the Husband took Georgie, Keaton, and Kolby on a drive, since it was such a beautiful day.  I stayed home and took a nap with Kimble, and since Heath was planning on driving up Gold Camp Road, which is a bit windy through the mountains, Kamy stayed home with me.  She (like me), gets carsick.

I love this picture.  Georgie, with hair messed up and shoes off (because they hurt her feet), Kolby still in his church slacks (I'd have made him change, if I'd known that), and Keaton, with holes in his pants because ALL of their pants have holes in them, and the boys have their arms around each other because they are best friends.

I'm sure the Husband was wanting to get a picture of his beloved Outback, so he posed the kids in front of it.  He loves his car.


After Gold Camp Road finishes it's tour of the mountain, it ends at Helen Hunt Falls (not named after the actress) and they took a little hike up the trail.

They enjoyed their outing.  I enjoyed my nap.  It was a good day.

Enjoying SUN...Finally!


Finally...and I really do mean FINALLY!...we have some sun shining through.  We had three months of spring weather that was confused.  It was rainy and windy and full of hail and snowstorms and thunderstorms and tornado watches and more snowstorms.  Crazy.  Of course, April is when this area normally gets quite a few snowstorms, but it just really lasted longer this year.  I know in other areas, it was the same thing.  Where was spring weather?  Well, it finally came. 

I took Georgie and Kimble to the park two days in a row.  The first day, shown above, we didn't last long.  Soon after those pictures were taken, it turned windy and cold and we had a hail storm (Denver got DUMPED on, but luckily we only had the smallest fraction of the storm pass through here).

Oh, but the next day was in the 80's and the wind was moderate.  It was a gorgeous day.


Georgie loves loves loves to swing.  That's all she wants to do, but she humors me by playing on the slide and other equipment, in between swinging.  She likes to be pushed constantly.  Mr. Kimble was sporting his cute floppy hat in the sun.  I kept him in the shadows almost the entire time.  At this altitude, the sun is killer!

Then we went to Target, where I got a few things for dinner, and we filled up a little baggie of Jelly Bellies for the kids, in the bulk candy aisle.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Food!


Food, glorious food! We're anxious to try it!
Three banquets a day; Our favourite diet!
Just picture a great big steak fried, roasted or stewed,
Oh! Food, wonderful food, marvellous food, glorious food.

Just thinking of growing fat; our senses go reeling,
One moment of knowing that; full up feeling.
Food, glorious food!  What wouldn't we give for,
that extra bit more.  That's all that we live for.
Why should we be fated, to do nothing but brude?
Oh food, magical, food, wonderful, food, marvellous, food,
fabulous, food, beautiful, food, glorious food!

That is from the musical Oliver!  That is the way Mr. Kimble should be acting about food.  Not necessarily dressed in rags with dirty fingernails, salivating their way down the stairs into the dungeon to eat...But at the very least, Kimble, who is almost 7 months old, should flap his arms in anticipation and open his mouth with haste and try to gobble down his food with eagerness.

Instead, Kimble wants nothing, Absolutely Nothing, to do with baby food.

I've tried to feed him veggies, in all forms, deliciously pureed and dripping off the spoon.  I've tried rice cereal spiked with breastmilk.  I've tried fruit.  I've tried table food.  I've tried making it thicker.  I've tried making it thinner.  I've tried feeding him sitting  up, lying down, propped up on my lap, or held by another.  He will not have it!

I bring the spoon to his mouth.  He stares at it in defiance.  I work it in his mouth, he cries.  I try to get him to swallow it.  He gags on it. 


Then he throws a temper tantrum, glaring at me with the injustice of it all.  By the way, the residue of food on his mouth is pureed prunes and apples, mixed with rice cereal.


I know he should be eating solids by now.  I have been trying.  I've been "gently nudged" to make sure he's eating solid food a few times a day, by many a  healthcare professional.  They should really be telling Kimble.  I'm giving.  He's not accepting. 


The really odd thing is, Kimble will eat something (besides breastmilk).  He loves club crackers with a passion.  He also loves the little puff cereal that dissolves in his mouth.  If he had teeth, I'd be in danger of getting my fingers gnawed on, for how anxiously he gums the crackers and puff cereal.  He works it around his mouth just fine, and doesn't gag on it or spit it out.  So why won't he eat anything else?  Yeah.  I don't know either.

So we wait.  We offer him more food.  One of these days he will want it.  Right?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blankets!

This week, I have received some blankets in the mail from two of my blog readers!  Nicole lives in Germany, and she sent me blankets through Target.  Jane lives in Greece, and she sent me blankets through Amazon.  I have exchanged a few emails with both of these lovely ladies, who are so supportive of the blanket drive, benefiting The Children's Hospital in Denver, even though they live oceans away!

Some blankets are knit; some are flannel receiving blankets.  Some are fluffy and soft.  ALL will be loved and appreciated.  Even ONE blanket makes a difference.  It makes a difference to the ONE patient that receives it.  It makes a difference to the family members that are sacrificing and loving, and focusing their attention, on that One person.

I am so thankful for each of these blankets, and for Nicole and Jane for donating them, and for all of you who are spreading the word about the blanket drive.  Blankets make all the difference.  They really do!

Little Miss Trouble

This little girl brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers yesterday.  The first time, she rang the doorbell and ran off before I could get to the door.  When I opened the door, I found a heap of flowers on the doorstep.  I could hear rustling in the side yard, and knew my flower-picker was closeby.  So, I closed the door and waited a few seconds.  Then, I heard a knock on the door again.  This time, when I opened it, she was holding the flowers, and said "Pwetty yewow fwowers for you, momma!"  She still doesn't say her "l" and "r" sounds very well, which was exactly my problem when I was a little girl too.  In fact, I still have to work hard to say those sounds, as they are difficult for me to pronounce, for some reason.

Later in the evening, we were at the church for a cubscout end-of-the-year party.  When it was time to go, Heath and I were trying to herd the exuberant children to the van, and we couldn't find Georgie, which was funny, because she was right underfeet about two seconds before, when I told her that I'd wash her hands (all gooey from smores) in a second.

I took baby, his carseat, the bags of chips, my purse, and a few other things, out to the van.  The boys followed me.  Kamy came.  Heath showed up.  But wait....where was Georgie?  Heath and Kamy left to return inside the church to find her (maybe she was washing her hands in the bathroom afterall) and the boys sat in their seats in the back of the van.  We sat there, for about 10 minutes, discussing the fact that Daddy (who made an appearance every few minutes from searching) couldn't find Georgie.  The boys asked whether we have ever had a child, born before Kamy, that was kidnapped...wondered if Georgie was kidnapped...and Keaton suggested we call the police.  Where was Georgie??

I left the boys in the van and went inside to help with the search.  Within two minutes, Kolby came to find me and said that Georgie was in the van.  What?  I was sitting in the van for 10 minutes, discussing with the boys that Georgie was missing. The boys were in the back seat. Where could she have been hiding?

She was hiding behind the back seat, in the "trunk", so to speak, if that is what you call that space in a minivan.  She thought it was a great game.  She was all smiles and giggles when I came out of the church to see Georgie sitting in her car seat.  She got a stern lecture, on NEVER hiding from mom and dad, and she got her privileges taken away for the next day.  No Dora and Diego.  No Max and Ruby.  No Tinkerbell movie.  No computer games.  Her giggles turned to tears.  I sure hope she learns her lesson.  It's such a sinking feeling, when you can't find one of your children.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don't Eat Pete!

My maternal grandfather's name was Pete.  Grandpa Pete.  Actually, his name wasn't Pete.  His last name was Peterson, and everyone, including us, called him Pete.  It wasn't until years later, that we realized that Pete was not his first name.  "You mean his name isn't Pete Peterson?"  Nope.  I still get a chuckle out of that.

Anyway, this game has nothing to do with my Grandpa Pete, but everything to do with the name "Pete".  It's called "Don't eat Pete" and maybe some of you have heard of it before.  We like to play it for our Family Home Evening, (one night a week we focus on the family, have a lesson, scriptures, songs, activities, and treats!) and last night, this is what we did.  For those who don't have the time or focus to come up with a dessert, it incorporates an activity, and treat, all in one!

First off, have your kids draw some funny faces on a piece of paper, in grid format.  Place a chocolate chip, or m&m, or any small tasty treat that you desire, on every picture.  Have one person leave the room.  When they are gone, decide on one picture to be "Pete".  When that person comes back, he begins to pick the treat, one at a time, off of each picture.  He can continue to eat the treats, until he picks the one that you have chosen to be "Pete".  Then, before he can eat it, everyone yells "Don't eat Pete!"  Game is over.  Everyone laughs.  The paper is re-fueled with your tasty morsels, and it's the next person's turn to try it.  Here is what the kids drew last night.


If you aren't up for drawing, or simply like this next version better, my sister Sharon drew these funny faces last year, when she was at our house.


Have fun with it!

Heart Babies Reunion {x} 3!

Last weekend all three cardiac babies and families got together, for the first time, since we were all in the hospital in November.  It was so fun to hang out with each other.  The kids really have a blast playing with one another, and the adults talk about...cardiac stuff.  We are all brilliantly knowledgeable now, with all things relating to the heart.


We had a good time holding each other's babies, commenting about how they are all adorable, and taking pictures of the boys.  Here are some sweet pictures of the babies, who are 6 1/2 months old now.  Looking at the picture, Adam is on the left, Kimble in the middle, and Chance on the right.


We posed them without their shirts on, so we could show off their chest scars, but it's a little hard to see them in the pictures.  Oh, we have so much fun together!  I love these boys, and their families so much.  I feel very blessed to have met each of them, during such a difficult time for us all.   It's so great to see our babies growing strong and healthy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

No More Glue!


Yesterday morning, before church, I was feeling around the last little patch of glue that was on the skin between his lip and his nose, protecting the suture line.  I clip around the edges that have lifted up and begin to turn yellow, just to keep things looking tidy.  Anyway, as I was doing that, the last of the glue easily pulled away.  No More Glue!!  His upper lip is nice and clean.  ALL of the stitches have dissolved away.  He has a nice red line that will eventually fade away.

The lip looks great with identical peaks.  There is still a bit more thickening on his right lip, than the left, but I'm not sure if that's the way it will stay, or if it will lessen over time.  Anyway, we are thrilled to be rid of the glue!  Happy Day!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baby in a Week

Here are a few pictures I took this week.  First off, here's Daddy giving Kimble some love after getting home from work. The next picture is a video chat, between Heath's mom and Kimble.  They haven't met yet, but will get to in a few weeks.

Kamy does a great job taking care of Mr. Kimble when I am otherwise occupied.  Kimble loves to cradle your face in his hands, as he is talking and cooing.

Kimble sits on my lap in front of the computer a lot.  He likes to arch his back, bring his chin up, his head back, and stare at me upside down, as I'm on the computer.  This next pictures shows him just starting to look up. I actually got a shot of him doing his back arch/chin thrust, but there was way too much cleavage showing, to make the picture appropriate to publicize.  Sorry folks.  Some things I keep to myself. :)


Ahh, but I still love to get some nuzzles in his fat cheeks, and he doesn't really seem to mind it either.

He has a little (well, big, I guess) bouncy chair that he will occasionally tolerate for minutes at a time.  He's just barely been able to touch the ground with his feet now.  About a month ago, he just hung.
It's a good thing we all adore this baby boy.  He certainly makes me happy.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Plan For Surgery


Two weeks ago, the day before Kimble's Cleft Lip surgery, Kimble underwent some CathLab procedures.  This was in anticipation of his next heart surgery in June. The doctors told us a bit about what happened during that time, and what the results told them at the time, and all of this questioned whether he would actually have the surgery in June as planned.  So we have waited...anxiously, to find out what their "roundtable discussion" decided for Kimble.

During the CathLab, Dr. Fagen took some measurements of bloodflow through all of Kimble's faulty valves and tiny ventricles, as well as through the normal ones.  He temporarily plugged up the hole between the two atriums (ASD, or Atrial Septal Defect) and measured how increased the pressure became in his right heart, which actually was quite minimal based on what they were anticipating.  They considered plugging up the shunt as well, to see if enough bloodflow went through his right chamber to sustain his life, but it was too risky to do in the CathLab, so they didn't do that.  However, with all of their measurements, they found that Kimble's right ventricle had indeed grown some, since he was born, and that there was a fair amount of capillaries extending their way through the ventricle and that the ventricle muscle had relaxed somewhat and was actually pumping blood, albeit a very small amount.

So, as I mentioned  before, the results made them question not whether he will have another surgery, but if waiting maybe six months, will be advantageous to let his right ventricle grow more.  In delaying the surgery, will it give things a chance to grow and function better, and thus possibly changing what type of surgery he will have?   As I've mentioned before, and as I'm reminded in every conversation we have with Kimble's doctors, this is not a simple case.  Kimble is complicated in his structure, his defects, and not a textbook case.  In my understanding, it's not that he's complicated so much, but that there are so many things going on with him, that it ends up being more of a "weighing the odds and risks" and what they hope will give him a better life with as much heart function as possible.

That being said, yesterday was the day I finally received the phone call that would tell us whether surgery was still planned for June.  The answer?  YES.  My heart sunk at the news.  Although I know he needs more surgery, there is a huge risk that he won't survive it, and as a mother, I tend to dwell on that aspect of it.

Originally, Kimble was scheduled to have the Glenn procedure at this next surgery.  This is where they reroute the bloodflow coming from the upper part of his body via the Superior Venacava, and instead of it going to the right side of his heart, it will go directly to his lungs to get oxygenated, which is normally what the right heart would be doing (pumping that blood to the lungs to get oxygenated).

However, Kimble's doctors have some other plans for that surgery.  Before they do the Glenn (which most likely, they will end up doing), they want to try out a few things.  First, they want to close the ASD.  Currently, this hole between the two atriums, is where most of Kimble's bloodflow goes, instead of going down to the right ventricle via the tricuspid valve, which as we have talked about, is about as faulty as they come.  The tricuspid simply isn't allowing enough blood into the right ventricle, so the blood chooses to go the easier route, and it slips across the hole and over to the left side of the heart.  This means that the left ventricle is now pumping blood that is NOT oxygenated, to the body.  Not the best scenario.

Now, the left ventricle, when it pumps blood to the body, begins it's journey via the aortic artery.  Along the aorta, Kimble has a BT shunt.  This shunt forms a Y, allowing that blood to either go to the body and begin it's circulation, or it can go to the pulmonary artery (coming from the right ventricle) where it travels to the lungs to get oxygenated.  Kimble's body has learned to regulate that in a happy balance, so that some blood can get oxygenated, and some goes to the body.  Thus, Kimble constantly gets mixed blood, meaning both red (oxygenated) blood and blue (non-oxygenated) blood circulating through his body, and therefore normally has oxygen saturation in the low 80s.

Ok, so now we come to the surgical plans.  Under the watchful eye of the surgeon, in the O.R., they will close the ASD, as well as block off the BT shunt.  Then they will watch and see what happens.  There are two probable scenarios.  First, with all this blood being forced to go where it should go in a normal heart, this could open up the tricuspid enough, allowing blood to fill up the right ventricle, and then it would go through the pulmonary valve and begin it's journey to the lungs to get oxygenated, as it should.  If this happens and all is good, this could possibly mean that Kimble's heart could essentially be fully functioning.  Would enough blood be getting pumped through that right ventricle to sustain his life?  That is the question.

The other alternative, would be that after closing off the ASD and the BT shunt, there would be a huge increase in pressure in the right heart because it is not able to meet the demands of the body. Thus, he would go into heart failure immediately...or possibly, all could be fine, or within minutes, or days, the heart would fail.  They should be able to see whether or not this is life sustaining.

If this fails, under these controlled circumstances, which it probably will, they are already in the O.R. (nice and safe) and they would then begin rerouting the bloodflow, and doing the Glenn procedure, as originally planned.

This surgery is scheduled for June 21st.  One month away.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2 Weeks Out


It's been two weeks since Mr. Kimble's cleft lip repair.  All in all, things are pretty much back to normal with his routine.  He breastfeeds with a passion.  He smiles and interacts with us.  He plays with his toys and watches the kids.  He is even showing a real interest in food.  Until his lip heals  more, I don't want to introduce a hard plastic spoon in his mouth, but I've been giving him bits of crackers, and he LOVES them.

The swelling has pretty much all but disappeared.  He still has a good chunk of the glue substance covering the area from his nose to his lip.  That will eventually dissolve away.  The only thing we are lacking still, is the binkie.  He loves loves loves to suck, and oh how I wish I could give him his binkie when I know that is what he is fussing about, but we have one more week until that can happen.  I have all but given up on his no-nos.  They never stayed on his arms and were more of a nuisance than anything else, because he always whacked his face with them.  Kimble doesn't try to scratch at his nose or lip.  Sometimes he accidentally bumps it, but he really keeps his own "hands off" approach.  His upper lip is still sore, and he cries hard when it gets bumped.  Sometimes, when I'm getting ready to nurse him, my hand accidentally bumps his lip as I'm trying to adjust my clothes and he's trying, in his eagerness, to nurse.  Oh how he cries.  Then, he shows a lot of hesitancy with starting to nurse again for a minute or two.  So sweet and tender.

Two weeks in...one week out.  Binkies...we think about you all the time!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mimi's Cafe Muffins

Did you know that you can go to Mimi's Cafe site and find some of their recipes?  Very cool.  I saw this recipe for their Buttermilk Spice Muffins and since I had me some buttermilk in the fridge already, I made them immediately.  They were delicious.

Buttermilk Spice Muffins
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened (1/2 cup)
3 eggs
3/4 cup  + 1 TBSP buttermilk
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour (I used wheat flour and it was delicious!)

Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs.  Add buttermilk, baking soda, salt nutmeg and cinnamon.  Add in flour slowly, until everything is incorporated.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.  Top with sugar topping.

Topping
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Mix together and sprinkle evenly on top of each muffin.  Then, bake muffins at 375 for about 20-25 minutes.  Makes 12-15 muffins, depending on how full you fill your muffin cups.  (I posted the topping recipe cut in half.  When I made it like Mimi's cafe said to, I had half of the sugar topping leftover, and believe me, I put plenty on my muffins.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Georgie

Georgie makes me laugh with the things she says.  She's in that stage where she knows a lot of words, but doesn't always use them how they should be used.

"Because I'm a sister!"  Georgie uses this phrase all wrong.  I'll say "Good job eating all your noodles" and she'll say "Yes. Thank you.  It's because I'm a sister!"  Or I will tell her to buckle up in the car, and she'll say "I can buckle up real good because I'm a sister!"  I ask her if she brushed her teeth and she'll say "Yes I did, because I'm a sister, right?"  So cute.

"Tomorrow...."  or "Yesterday...."  Everything, in relation to time, is either tomorrow or yesterday, with Georgie.  "Tomorrow, I will be a big girl and get my ears pierced" (she has to wait until she's 12). Yesterday, I was a baby just like Mr. Kimble!"  "Tomorrow, we get to go to the park and it's my birthday and we'll have Christmas!"  "We came home from the hospital tomorrow."  I want to eat spaghetti for dinner yesterday."

"Oh My..."  Georgie says "Oh my goodness" or "Oh my gosh" so many times a day.  It's usually followed by "We can say oh my gosh, right momma?"


"What can I do now, momma?"  She asks me this all day long.  It begins after she eats breakfast.  "What can I do now, momma?"  The only problem is, she never likes my suggestions.  "You can paint...play with your barbies, read a book, color, listen to music, ride your bike, wash your hands, get dressed, watch a movie, color...etc."  She always balks at my suggestions.  One time, I told her "You can clean the whole house!" and she said "Oh-right!" and started picking up her toys.   Unfortunately, it only lasted about 30 seconds before she asked...."What can I do now, momma?"

Whenever Georgie is imitating what someone else has said, she makes her voice very high and squeaky and so funny to hear.  She'll say to me "Yes, Grandma said on the phone (then she changes her voice to high and squeaky) 'I love you.  Be a good girl'." Then she'll return to her normal voice.  It's so cute and funny.

She loves to talk on the phone, and is often seen around the house with an old cell phone that doesn't work anymore.  She holds it up to her ear and has very long pretend conversations with her friends.  Oh, and she also talks her friend's part, as well as her own.  How do I know who is talking?  She changes her voice to her "high and squeaky" voice when it's her friend who is speaking.

She tells everyone we see that her name is Georgie.  People are very respectful, and although I can see that most of them wonder why we named a girl 'George', they just smile and make polite conversation with her.

George loves to draw her little figures, but what is funny, is that she draws them upside down.  What I mean is, that she starts with the head, then draws two dots for eyes, then she draws the mouth above that, the legs coming out of the top of the head (and she likes to draw them "covered with a blanket"), the hair is drawn as and extra circle going around the head, and then she draws arms, with an "x" at the end for the hands.

I love hanging out with my little Georgie.

Some 'Thank You Card' Outtakes

Last week, when we were in the hospital with Kimble, we had many dear friends who helped us so much.  They had the kids spend the night at their houses.  They picked them up from school.  They watched Georgie during the day.  They fed us.  They did anything and everything possible, to make sure that the kids were covered, so that Heath and I could stay at the hospital.

The kids all wrote Thank You cards to everyone who helped.  Some cards were lost, and we had to make new ones.  Then, after I mailed them out, I found the old ones.  Here are the outtakes.  (I absolutely LOVE my kids' drawings!)

Kamy did the one on the left.  Kolby wrote his "thank you" on the top right, Georgie drew the stick figure, and Keaton drew the dynamic duo, which I believe is him and Kolby.


Another card from Kamy.

Keaton drew this next one.  Adri, I think this one was intended for you.  I'm not sure if the bearded figures are supposed to be you and Chad...but I got a kick out of them.
Thank you again, for everyone who helped out and for everyone who WANTED to help out, and for all the support and love we received from all of you.  Like Kamy said in one of the cards...Kimble is doing well.  In fact, he's doing great.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cleft Lip Gene?

When Kolby was born, I noticed that his nostrils were different sizes.  At first, I just thought his nose was smooshed from his journey through the birth canal.  However, he is almost seven years old,  and his nose has never changed.  One nostril is oval shaped and long, and the other is flat and round.  If you look really closely, and are perceptive enough to pick up on it, one of his white lines, going from nasal to lip (philtral columns), is just a bit off center.


Anyway, we really didn't think much of it, other than that his nose is a bit imperfect.  No biggie.  Besides, Kolby makes the best faces around.  He's really funny to watch. 

Well, it wasn't until after we found out about Kimble's cleft lip, and we kept hearing things about genetics, and we thought that maybe Kolby has some sort of cleft malformation.  We talked with our Cleft Lip Plastic Surgeon about it after Kimble's surgery, and he told us to bring Kolby in when we have Kimble's followup appointment, and that he'd take a look at him.

Today, I took them both in.  Turns out, we were right.  Kolby has a Microform Cleft Lip, which is almost like a cleft that repaired itself in utero.  Pretty interesting.  Kolby has a very mild form, almost as mild as they come.  Another name for it, is Forme Fruste, which means implication of incompleteness, partial presence or aborted state.  The only two hints that Kolby has it, are his imperfect philtral column, and his nostril size deformity.   Here is an official definition:

•Microform cleft (forme fruste): This defect is characterized by a "light" furrow along the vertical length of the lip with a small vermilion notch and minor imperfections in the white roll. A small component of vertical lip length deficiency and associated nasal deformity may be present.

What's to be done?  Absolutely nothing.  Surgically, he is fine.  There is nothing to fix.  The only thing to note, is that we now have two cleft deformities in our family, and this means that genetically, we could be carrying and passing on a specific cleft gene.  This is something that our children should be aware of, when they are having children.  This also makes us an official "family of interest" for a phenotype study that the Cleft Lip/Pallet Team are researching.  We all get to go back to the Children's Hospital to participate in the study, later this fall.  Afterall, two kids out of five is pretty high odds for the same genetic deformity.

Just Pathetic

I put Kimble in his no-no's, laid him in his fake arms in his little cradle, and went upstairs to finish cleaning the bathrooms.  When I came back downstairs, what I saw was so sad and pathetic.

Kimble managed to grab a toy with his fingers, and he had fallen asleep holding the toy between his hands, with his arms stuck straight in his no-no's.  That is just so sad.  He can't bend his elbows, so the only toy interaction he gets, is with the tips of his fingers.

I'm actually surprised they were still on him.  He wiggles out of them so fast.  As soon as I turn my back on him, he does this:

This charming boy loves to suck on his thumb and fingers.  The only problem is, he's not supposed to for three weeks!  But...it's so hard to reprimand a face like this.  I hope the cleft lip mends quickly.  I'm having a heck of a time keeping things away from his mouth.