Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hospital Recommendation . . .

If you ever need a recommendation on a hospital we should be your first call. Seriously. Poor little M wrapped up her THIRD hospital stay on Sunday. Her cold I mentioned last week turned real serious real quick as it brought on an asthma attack that landed us in the hospital last Thursday. She's back home now and doing well. (By the way our recommendation would be St. Joe's in Hot Springs. 3 different stays, 3 different hospitals. National Park was ok but the rooms are so small Jeremy and I both couldn't stay overnight.)

Her first hospital stay was at three months for pneumonia. Her second hospital stay was at 7 1/2 months-this was when we found out she had asthma. I still have nightmares about that day. When she got up that morning she was breathing slightly heavy, but she had a stuffy nose and it just sounded like it would when any of us are trying to breathe through a stuffy nose. I dropped her off at daycare and received a call from them 5 hours later saying something was wrong and I needed to come and see her. When I got there she was wheezing really loudly and her chest was retracting deeply (this is when your chest sinks in below your rib cage as you try to breathe-it means you're having to use extra muscles because you cannot get enough air). I took her straight to St. Joe's and they rushed us right to an exam room even though the wait was 2 1/2 hours. Her oxygen level was only 78 (more on oxygen levels below). 5 days later she was released from the hospital. She's been on daily asthma medication ever since.

To me, asthma is very hard to predict because it can happen so suddenly and the symptoms are similar to that of any normal cold. Plus, I've never been around anyone with asthma. It is definitely not like what you see on tv where it's clearly obvious that someone is having an asthma attack, and she can't tell me that her chest feels tight so I have to just look for the subtle signs. Emma's asthma seems to become critical when she has a cold (hence our third hospital visit), so I pay extra attention when she's sick. And even then I think I underestimate her asthma. For instance last week I took her back to the doctor on Thursday because her cold just wasn't improving and I noticed a very slight retraction of her chest. I truly did not expect another hospital stay, but her oxygen level was hovering between 89-90 so they admitted her to bring it back up to a safe level. Lesson learned-if I even suspect something might be off-take Emma to the doctor ASAP. Thank goodness I did.

Now about oxygen levels-the respiratory therapist during our latest hospital stay took the time to explain the oxygen curve to me. Here's what I learned- Most people function on an oxygen level between 91-98 and this is completely normal. 89-90 is considered borderline. Once you reach 88 there is a significant drop in oxygen in your body. Image 89 as the edge of a cliff and 88 is stepping off. Even though it doesn't sound like a significant difference it truly is. An oxygen level of 70 can cause death. Remember when I said Emma's level on visit 2 was 78? yeah. I said a furious and heartfelt thank you prayer when I learned this. At the time I realized it was serious but no one took the time to explain to me how serious. It makes sense now when her nurses kept remarking about how great I was being-all calm and collected and being patient with Emma. Hello! I had no idea a few points was all that was separating her from possible death people! I would like to think I would have still been calm, but who knows.

Moral of the story- Don't ever let anyone criticize you for taking your child to the doctor too often or over minor things. Better safe than sorry. Trust me-Emma's file will be a mile thick before too long because I am not taking any chances whatsoever. What was that- a sneeze? To the doctor!

Our Little Trooper

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The sickness

Poor Little M has been sick for the past three days- running fever, throwing up, and having some breathing difficulties with her asthma. We took her to the doctor and she's on some antibiotics so hopefully things will turn around. Emma is such a little trooper-the only hint that she's sick is that she is very clingy, as in I have to take her to the bathroom with me and STILL hold her the entire time. Doesn't she look pitiful? This is right before her bottom lip sticks out and she starts crying.
My boss is in from Florida this week and I have a completely full schedule at work so Jeremy and I have been alternating staying at home with her, but Mommy is still best when she's not feeling good. Jeremy gets stressed out by constant crying and I come home to a wrecked house.
I really hope Emma gets to feeling better by this weekend because we have an appointment to get our pictures made by a wonderful photographer in North Little Rock. She did Emma's daycare pictures in the Spring and they were fabulous, but that was her last time at the daycare. So now, we're traveling to her. I was so disappointed in her daycare pictures for the Fall. The person you did them was terrible-Emma had snot on her face, you could tell she had been crying, and she just looked dazed in general.
I don't often get to have "expensive" pictures, we usually go to Sears and have to face the butt- crack girl, but I think Emma turning 1 warrants expensive pictures. I finally talked Jeremy into it and then had to battle him on his clothes. He just doesn't understand that colors need to coordinate and was offended when I restricted his color choices. He wanted to wear a blue thermal shirt from Old Navy that said California across the front in yellow . . . please pray for me.
In other news, I think my brother and his family may be coming to Arkansas for Thanksgiving-yay! They live in Florida (part time in Louisiana due to his work) and I haven't seen them in TWO YEARS! I am so excited! I also used their visit as motivation to get Jeremy to finish my hardwood floors-only about 100 sf left!!
And, as part of our ongoing renovation nightmare-it looks like we're going to have to replace a wall and some of the floor in our bathroom. yeah. Apparently water has been getting behind our shower wall and has rotted out part of the wall and the floor under the tub. Where is Ty Murray when I need him? The next time I say the words "we can update this house in no time-let's buy it" SLAP ME, please.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Santa Train- Choo Choo!

As many of you know I'm in charge of a little thing called Santa Train. If you're from Magnet you know what I'm talking about.

(YES- I work for the railroad that always blocks the highway at Butterfield, and NO- I will not make them move no matter how many times you call and complain. Suck it up!)
One of my varied duties for the railroad is to organize and pull off the Santa Train each year. TWO Santa Trains to be exact since we are now running a train in the Warren/Monticello area on one of our other branches. Each year we organize sponsors and have stops from Malvern to Mt. Pine where kids can meet Santa, receive a gift, play some games and eat some yummy food. It's really a great community event and helps a lot of children who may not otherwise receive any gifts for Christmas (think Jones Mill children). At any rate, I also have the privilege (or power) to say who gets to go on a train ride also. We have some space on the caboose where friends and family can ride-this is not advertised to the general public so you didn't hear it from me. Space is limited but lucky for those of you reading this you know someone with pull . . . If you'll be in the area on Saturday December 6th give me a shout and I'll get you on the train. Jeremy will be engineering for a portion of the day so our nephew Holton is going to ride in the cab of the locomotive and "help" Uncle Jeremy drive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Birthday Extravaganza

Emma turned the Big One on Saturday 8th. The fact that she's one still continues to surprise me. On the one hand it doesn't seem possible that an entire year has flown by, while on the other I don't remember what our life was like before Emma-it feels as though she has always been a part of our family. I can vaguely recall what if was like to sleep past 5:30am during the week and 6:30am on weekends . . .but loss of sleep is a small price to pay to have Emma in my life. (Jeremy doesn't suffer from any loss of sleep so I don't see any downside for him! :) )

She had a very big birthday. She was so excited by all of the preparations that she refused to take a nap and was fighting the inevitable crash by about 3pm. She was strong though and held out until 5:30!

Some pics of her party:

The Birthday Girl

The cake . . . Are you picking up on the theme yet? I designed the cake myself, thank you very much, but Ambrosia gets credit for baking it. And yes, it tasted as good as it looked. The leftovers are killing my weight loss goals . . . I have no willpower . . .

Emma LOVED her cake!

Emma's future BFF and her mommy

HoHo and M


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Brawl and a Show

For those that didn't know, one of our other four legged kids had surgery last week. Dakota is Jeremy's 9 1/2 year old lab (he got her waaay back when we were dating) and she is THE BEST dog ever. She was having some issues that are too disgusting to detail so after a late night call to the vet and an early trip to the office the next morning for yours truly, Dakota had surgery last week to remove an infection in her uterus and also be spayed. In order to recouperate she has been staying in the house. Normally this would not be a problem, except Maybell and Dakota both like to be Top Dog and tend to brawl. So, last night all three dogs were crowded around Emma's highchair while we were eating supper (Jeremy was working late so I was manning the zoo on my own) and behaving themselves quite well. All of a sudden I hear Dakota growling. Apparently Maybell is sniffing inside Dakota's personal space bubble and before I can do much more than stand up to try and separate them the fight is on. And let me tell you-it was vicious. Dakota may be a senior citizen and recovering from surgery but she doesn't take any crap. So, Rosie runs away, Maybell and Dakota are trying to kill each other, I'm trying to get between them and Emma is screaming at the top of her lungs. Long story short it took me FOUR tries to separate them and I finally had to lock Maybell up in her kennel. Looking back it was very ironic that both dogs were trying to literally rip the other's throat out, but the instant either one accidentally bit down on my arm or something they would immediately let go-I guess I can be thankful for that at least.
In other news, I think I'm going to talk Jeremy into going to the movies with me in a couple of weeks. This would be the first movie we've gone to since before Emma was born. Twilight is set to hit theatres on Nov. 21 and I desperately want to see it. I read this book purely by accident while stuck in the Dallas Airport trying to get to Omaha for a Union Pacific meeting. I wandered into the bookstore and the cover of the book caught my eye. As most of you know I'm addicted to supernatural stuff-vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts, etc- not cult/obsessed addicted-merely harmless entertainment. ( I also own every Harry Potter book). Anyway, I fell in love with the book and wound up reading all four books in the saga. I'm psyched about the movie and I hope it's not a disappointment. Now I just need to round up a babysitter . . .

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick or Treat

I was a little worried that Emma would freak out with the hood on her kitty costume, but she acted like it wasn't even there. I bought this at Cracker Barrel of all places a month or so ago and I think it is just too adorable.

Jeremy forgot all about Halloween until I called him and reminded him, THEN he decided to stop gossipping with his friends like a little girl and come home from work. (And for those of you that don't know any men who work in the railroad industry-they gossip like little gray haired ladies. These guys don't have anything on the women, I promise. Working with them is like watching a real life soap opera.) Anyway . . . so he was running late and I decided to just go ahead and take her to my mom's house first. I'm all about schedules these days and wanted to take Emma on her rounds before she got sleepy and cranky, which happens around 7pm every night.

Nana gave her some goldfish, which she proceeded to grind into dust. And then tried climbing on the table for the BIG bowl of candy.

Next we went to see Aunt Brittany and Uncle Justin and the Meme and PopPop. Emma's new favorite word is PopPop, which needless to say drives MeMe crazy. You can literally say to Emma, "Say MeMe" and she'll go "Pop Pop Pop Pop". It's hilarious. You can practically see the steam coming out of Robin's ears. John and Robin live on Pine Bluff St so there were TONS of trick-or-treaters. Emma would go to the door everytime someone came up and just stare at them in their outfits. We had to cut our visit short though because the crankiness hit. All in all, not a bad 1st Halloween.