Sunday, February 28, 2010

There's this little girl...

that means the world to me. Kate has been such a trooper over the past 8 months with moving to a new town, sharing mommy with not only a new sister, but one who required/requires lots of attention and care. This little girl keeps me on my toes and always offers up a new challenge - good and bad!! I love her more than words can express. She wears many hats around our house, here are a few.

ADVENTURER (swinging at the new playground we found - just in time for spring!)


EXCELLENT LITTLE MOMMY (her babies were taking a bath in a big tub like Grammy and Pops's house)


INNOVATIVE (We decided to paint our body with glitter glue - what a mess!)
EXPERIMENTER ("I was getting the last little bit, mommy." - pudding out of a snack cup while putting Addison down for a nap. Not sure why the sour face - I could not keep from laughing when she told me the story.

SCIENTIST (Water table at the Wonder Place in Little Rock)


I cannot do a post about our Kate girl without sharing a few of her most recent funny stories. Last Tuesday as I was getting her out of the car for bible study she proceeds to tell me that her parts were talking (that is what we call our girl stuff). I said really, what were they saying. I'm not sure what all she said, but something about them laughing came out - you never know with this girl!

I had another one to share but my memory is getting awful. There are so many moments with this girl that just crack me up. You never know what is going to come out of her mouth. And yes, she loves to be naked - we have one rule -must always wear panties!

One of the most important things to this little girl right now is her doll house. Oh my goodness - I am so glad we decided to get this for Kate for Christmas. She absolutely loves it. Morning, noon and night she is requesting that you play doll house with her. If you visit our house - you will play doll house - no one is off limits (including Chris's resident friends - yeah, that's right Neil and Blaine have played doll house - the secret's out).

Most of all Kate is the best big sister Addison could ever ask for. She is always on watch for her - making sure she doesn't eat something off the floor (her babies have food allergies -too cute), climb on the fireplace and she better not get near the doll house!!

Oh how I love you Kate. Today was a day that many prayers for patience, guidance, patience, patience, patience were said, but I would never trade you in a heartbeat and love you just the way you are!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bumps along the way

I keep telling myself the posts revolving around Addison and her FPIES will soon be over and I can consistently blog about our daily life, but what I am realizing is that this is part of our daily life.

Just when things were looking up and I found myself feeling "normal" and seeing sleep and complete happiness in our child we hit a wall.

It seems that when I quit mixing breastmilk with the Nutramigen Addison was unable to tolerate the formula. We went from a very happy, playful, sleeping 8 month old to an extremely fussy, irritable, rolling as if her tummy was in pain, stinky poo (TMI - I know), and about three hours of sleep at night. She also starting rejecting the formula but acting so hungry. In a 12 hour stretch she only drank six ounces - by far not enough. The child care worker at bible study even made comment that she seems so hungry but she will only take a few sips and then begins to cry and refuses the bottle - not sure what is going on. Chris had noticed that her skin was not looking as hydrated and she was becoming pale again - all signs that are not good. My motherly instinct told me something wasn't right and I found myself slipping back into extreme emotion of my child is getting sick again - why is this happening???? Chris is working nights right now - and of course nights are just scary when your kid is not doing well and you are alone at home.

With all that being said Chris got in contact with the allergy doctor and she told us to try a different formula - Neocate. This formula has to be ordered and is extremely expensive. The nutritionist gave us five cans to try. I hurried down to the clinic to pick it up on Wednesday afternoon and Addison sucked down a bottle immediately - I was starting to feel better and a sense of relief came over me.

After being on Neocate Wednesday evening and all day Thursday Addison slept at night again and she is back to her happy playful little self.

I know God has a plan for her little life and along the way He is teaching me so many things. He deserves so much more than I give Him and I am so grateful for his love and care for us - especially my children.

I pray each night that God watches over both of my girls, but I feel so much gratitude for what He has done for Addison.

Financially we cannot do this, and honestly when I think about the fact that she could not tolerate what most kids with soy and milk allergies take I realize how severe her allergy is and emotionally it is draining, but like I told my parents God did not bring Addison into this world to leave us to do this alone. He will provide and He has and will continue to take care of our sweet girl.

So, that's where I've been lately. Thank you for the sweet comments from my previous post - bittersweet endings. I needed those encouraging comments as we went through this trial this week - I was feeling some mother guilt over the nursing when she could not tolerate the Nutramigen.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bittersweet Endings

You know those things in life that when you are finished, or your goal has been accomplished, or the good thing you have been waiting on is finally here and then it's OVER - that feeling you are left with inside - it's not regret, complete joy or even guilt it's just that feeling in your stomach that one cannot explain.

Well, I've had one of those experiences in the last week. If you keep up with my blog at all you've read about our sweet Addison and her journey with FPIES. I chose to continue nursing her and have never regreted the sacrifices I made in order to do so. Sure there were times I wished she would take a bottle or sleep through the night without the need of me, there were times I wanted to dive into a huge bowl of ice cream, but we all have will power when it comes to the well being of our children, but regret never!

Since Addison's diagnosis we have known that eventually she would need to be on special formula in order to fulfill her nutritional requirements. I was taking it a day at a time and was hopeful to make it to her first birthday. We had offered her the formula on different occasions and she always refused, so I was not sure how this switch from breastmilk to formula would go - I was very anxious about it.

Two weeks ago I got sick with 102 fever, chills and body aches for the second time in about 6 weeks. I just had not been feeling well and was starting to feel like the diet changes I was making was taking a toll on my body -there were a few other things going on I won't share here : ) I knew the time needed to be sooner rather than later for my health. I was taking extra supplements, but your body just tells you when enough is enough.

BUT, with all that said, I would have never stopped nursing. I just could not do it. I guess that second bout of sickness did my milk quality and quantity in. All last week Addison was fussy and just not her usual self. Chris was off last weekend and over the weekend we both were just confused by her discontent. I thought something was wrong with her mouth because she kept putting her fist in it and crying. Little did I know she was HUNGRY!

Something told me to pick up a can of overpriced Nutramagen - good thing I did. Tuesday afternoon Addison was nursing and just crying and very upset. I began to wonder if my milk was gone. Sure enough it was. I got a bottle and mixed a little bit of breastmilk in with Nutramagen and she sucked the bottle dry - this is a child that had refused a bottle since her hospital stays in October. I cried and knew it was over - bittersweet moment.

God took control of the situation and said it was over. I know He knew I never could and it was time. Even as I sit here now I am getting teary eyed. I have worked so hard to take care of Addison over the past 5 months since her diagnosis and even before when she was so fussy and I did not know what to do to make her not cry - oh how I remember those days.

Someone who saw her today - happy, smiling, and completely content would never imagine what all she has been through and how far she has come. She has been on straight formula since Thursday and is doing great. She honestly seems so much happier - she has a full tummy!! She actually slept throught the night for the first time and took two 1 1/2 hour naps (long nap for us) - yes, she is 8 months old tomorrow and it was a first for us. I know this is what is best for her and she is doing wonderful - it's mommy and her protectiveness that is still struggling at times.

As we close one chapter of Addison and her rare diagnosis, we open another. I know each new chapter in her life will be bittersweet. I am thankful for her health and progression forwards, but oh how hard it is to always leave her in the hands of our Maker.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And She's Off

It's my chance to make a break for the bathtub - oh how I LOVE taking a bath!
Yeah, I made it without mommy catching me!

If I could just get this leg up a little higher. Daddy didn't quite get a picture, but I was hiking my leg up trying to CLIMB in. Mommy finally put me in!The best part, I get to share it with sister, oh and I love the foam letters. I always have to take one with me to get my jammies on or I scream!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope your day was filled with LOVE! I just realized Chris and I do not take many pictures together anymore - need to work on that but too late V-Day (I'm in my comfy p.j.'s already!!) Today was wonderful - Chris was off of work and we actually all got to attend church together - rarely happens these days. Here are some pics of our Valentine festivities.
Kate iced and decorated cookies for daddy and his co-workers. We delivered them to the clinic on Friday afternoon - Kate and Addison were quite a hit.
Valentine presents ready to go! The keyboard and giggling pig were Christmas presents that were intended to be returned but I found them in the garage not long ago and decided to give them to the girls for Valentine's Day. Kate loves her piano and as you can see below Addison's favorite part of her gift was the card!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Four Months Ago Today...

Our lives were forever changed. Jesus held her tight and prayers were answered. How truly blessed we are.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where to Start?

Last night I finally did it - uploaded pictures. I had not uploaded pictures from my camera since October 10th - insane! I do not know where to even start. Our family has had so many adventures between then and now, but for now I'll just update you on the girls.

Kate is such a great big sister. Always concerned about Addison and what she is doing. She cannot wait for her to walk and completely be able to interact with her. Kate loves to play with her dollhouse and her legos. She is quite a little mommy as well - she keeps her babies in line! Kate is such a smart little girl and loves to be NAKED - we require panties at all times. Hard to find appropriate pics of her right now! Then there's Mr. Bear (yes, he's got pink flowers on him, but long ago I referred to him as Mr. Bear and it stuck). Mr. Bear goes everywhere Kate goes - the potty, school, grocery store, EVERYWHERE! This little guy ranks really high and is well loved, as you can see!

Addison is a little climber. Today I was working in the kitchen and I heard the piano - Kate was on the couch and that's right, Addison had figured out how to reach the keys and with a big grin was playing away. She attempts almost anything and is constantly on the move - in the direction of where I am going most usually. She is such a blessing to our family and I just love her chubby little cheeks. I often refer to her as my "breast" friend - she loves to nurse. Today while I was pumping (in hopes of getting her on a bottle soon) she was climbing all over me attempting to move the pumping gear in order to indulge herself - crazy as ever!

This picture says it all! Oh how thankful I am!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So there's this really small two letter word that trips a certain someone out in our house. So you ask, what might that word be..........................NO.

As a matter of fact that word might just be the biggest issue for my sweet little girl who is set to turn three at the end of April.

This word makes heads turn, legs kick, bodies flop and yes the occasional 360 degree spin - some might consider her to be an Olympic athlete of the future. Those are just the body movements. We are so talented that we are able to include a face full of tears, once in a while a continuous buzz sound (not sure how to describe that) and even a cough or two in between.

Oh how I love you sweet precious Kate, but oh how I wish you could just understand that NO means NO and regardless of your actions - It Will Not Change.

I love you - here's to loving our amazing two year olds!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Baby it's snow outside!

So far in Little Rock the meteorologists have not been impressive. The last two icings/snows we have had were not even predicted and about a month ago Little Rock shut down to a trace of snow- people it was crazy!!

Wish I was more organized and could share pictures - BUT, still have not uploaded pics since October - where does time go????

Little Rock has 6 inches of snow and it was beautiful this afternoon watching it fall to the ground. Our good friends sharing this crazy journey of residency with us have never really seen/lived in snow. Last weekend it iced and they were psyched, Chris and I laughed and told them it wasn't snow, but today they got to experience it all - driving included : )

We've all been sick so we didn't get the girls out in it today, but hopefully tomorrow we can all bundle up and enjoy some snow. Kate loved it last time, Addison not so much - so we'll see.

Hope you are all staying warm!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Proud little wifey

Maybe some of you caught the Dateline NBC episode Sunday night showcasing Arkansas Children's Hospital - and yes, that is where Chris is doing his residency. I am one proud little wife after watching the report. It is pretty amazing to watch and know that your husband is saving lives and training at such a great facility and program. Obviously I already knew this through our experiences with Addison, but now the world does too!!

It was a great report and should make any resident spouse feel proud. It was taped over the course of last year, so Chris is not in the report, but he works side by side all of those who are.

Here is the link if you are interested in watching. Enjoy - all you mommy's out there, a tear or two might be shed. It took me back to our visits with Addison (very similar to a few you will see in the report - tons of people crowding over a small child while the room is full of doctors and pharmacists, etc. - um I completely melted when I walked into that) and I am so thankful that God protected her and she is with us today! Forever changed is what I always say. Thank you Jesus!