3:27 PM

Ho Ho and The Bass Pro

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Last night after work we loaded Kaleb up and headed to Bass Pro. We had some things that we needed to pick up before the long weekend. They were giving out free pictures with Santa. We got Kaleb's done. He is so stinking cute! The picture is really unfocused. I guess that's what you get for having 3 teenage boys working the camera. We are going to get his pictures with Santa done again regardless. Kaleb was staring up into the lights the whole time. He's obsessed with overhead lighting. Silly boy. Brian took him around and showed him the fish and bears. I laughed the whole time. Kaleb looked very interested actually.

We ended up eating dinner and stopping at Babies R Us. Kaleb stayed up the whole time and then visited my parents. He was awake from 3 pm- 10:30 pm! He was so tired by the time we put him in bed. That did the trick. When I left for work this morning at 5:30 he was still sleeping. Our first real all night slumber. So now we know to keep him entertained all night if we want to get some sleep. He was also 2 months old yesterday. He's growing so fast.

We have a long weekend coming up. I'll be sure to update soon! Happy Thanksgiving! =)

3:22 PM

The Big Boy Bed

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh how fast the weekend passes. Too fast.

Kaleb took all of his naps this weekend in his own bed. In his own room. He slept like a rock. Our monitor is so powerful that if I turn it up I can hear him breathing. That is a relief. It is the only thing that kept me from running in there every two seconds to check on him. Once the sun went down it was harder to leave him in alone. Brian was such a trooper and coached me through it. Kaleb might just be making the transition into his room sooner than expected. Brian and I have become so comfortable as parents. We are confident in our abilities and are so blessed to have each other.

Saturday was amazing. Char did so great with our tickets. We had great seats in the director's hall. They even paid for our tickets as a "thanksgiving present." I even argued, "there are no thanksgiving presents." I think she was bribing me away from the baby. Twilight was everything I expected and more. I thought it told the story very well and didn't mess with my version of the the events too much. Poor Cody fell asleep within the first 20 minutes :( Brian did enjoy the movie. I'm going to try to get him to read the other 3 books. He got up to go to the bathroom and on the way back in crunched one of those plastic pretzel holders during a really quiet scene. Char and I laughed for like 10 minutes.

When we got home about midnight we should've gone to bed. We both wanted to use this time to catch up on sleep. We sat up talking and laughing. We finally fell into bed at like 2 in the morning. So much for getting extra rest. I woke up about 8 and went to see the baby. He was sitting up in his seat on the counter watching my mom make breakfast. It was so stinking cute.

I'm back to work for 3 days this week. I'm so excited for the long weekend! I'm very happy all of our family schedules work out. We only have 3 stops that are pretty spaced out. I can't complain- I love seeing everyone! I had a very tough Monday morning. I fell down the stairs. Yes, fell. Face first all the way down and slammed into the wall at the bottom. Brian had Kaleb in front of me and ran to help me up. It would have been hilarious if it didn't make me cry alligator tears. I was in a hurry and I dropped Kaleb off at grandma's. I was half way to work and realized I didn't kiss him goodbye and cried the rest of the way. I was such a bad mom this morning. Brian will have the baby tomorrow so I don't have to worry about rushing- I really hope Kaleb gets his balance from his dad!

4:14 PM

Mrs.Thompson and My Green Robe

Friday, November 21, 2008
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

This was the quote in my email bible verse this morning. It seems simple enough. Be thankful for EVERYTHING, good or bad because it is God's plan for you. This verse brings me back to something that happened while Kaleb was still in the ICU. The fact that I couldn't bring myself to blog during this time meant that some stories were left out. We literally experienced this verse firsthand.

It was day 5 of our hospital stay. My parents were down that morning visiting. After the morning doctor from Children's made his rounds he decided that it was time for Kaleb's feeding tube to come out. Although I assured the nurse I'd seen this done a ton of times she politely requested we wait outside because his coughing and sputtering could really upset me. I agreed reluctantly. As we were sitting in the ICU waiting area having our morning coffee the pediatric specialist from University came and sat down with us. We had seen him the previous day who told us Kaleb wouldn't need to be transferred and let me hold him for the first time (he's still my favorite).

He looked exhausted. He wasn't wearing his dress clothes. He was in scrubs coming straight from surgery. "He's going to need more surgery. It looks like it's effecting his heart and there is a valve that isn't closing. He'll be able to live with it for now but will need to be closely monitored until he's old enough to have the surgery done." I almost died. No one had ever said anything about Kaleb's heart. My mom started shaking and we were all asking 100 questions at once. I had seen Kaleb's chest x-ray myself. I saw the tiny hole in his lung but his heart looked fine. This wasn't happening. I finally caught my breath and asked, "You're talking about Kaleb right?" He got a horrified look on his face, "You're not Mrs. Thompson?"

Sweet relief passed over me. I sank back into my chair and took quick, gasping breaths in and out. It turns out a little boy was born on the same day as Kaleb and his mother and I wore the very same robe. I didn't think I would ever be thankful for Kaleb's lung issues during his first days of life until that very moment. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness. That night Brian and I prayed for Mrs. Thompson, her son and his ailing heart. I have found numerous reasons to be thankful for our stay since leaving the hospital.

We are stronger family because of that fateful week. Brian and I learned that we lean on each other in times of crisis. We turn to God and our family. We keep constant prayer and spread the word as far as it will reach. We have always been thankful for our tiny miracle. We laughed at how very strong our son was, breathing so hard that he actually 'popped' a hole in his lung by himself. What a fighter! I learned that day that spending the rest of my life with Brian wasn't enough, eternity just seemed to fit better for our family. And with God all of that was possible; all of this IS possible. Everything that happened to us or will happen is part of his plan. Thanksgiving brings on an entire new meaning this year.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. " John 15:5

Our Son. Our Faith. Our Family. With God anything is possible :)

4:15 PM

The Long Winter Nap

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I have never been more excited to see anyone than I was to see my boy's yesterday. I literally tore into my driveway on two wheels. I jumped out of the car, leaving my purse inside, and ran as fast as possible up the never ending stairs to get to my family. I ripped off my coat and didn't even wait for my hands to warm up before I grabbed Kaleb from Brian. He didn't mind. He was just happy to have mom home.

Brian did so good yesterday. When I got home he did nothing but praise me for being such a great mom. He realized yesterday how hard it was to do anything but parent. I feel very blessed to have such an amazing partner. He plays with Kaleb, changes diapers, feeds him, sleeps with him and even lets him play video games with him. They are so stinking cute together. It's all I can do to not bite them when they are being adorable together. The sleep the same way, make the same noises and even twitch in their sleep. I worry about having another baby. I can't imagine how I could ever love another human the way I love Kaleb.

Once I was home I popped my little man in the tub. He loves bath time. He kicks and talks and smiles the whole time. After he got a bath and ate some dinner my mom brought over some an amazing steak dinner for Brian and I. (Did I mention how much I love living across the street?) Brian rocked Kaleb to sleep around 8 pm. Brian and I headed off to bed around 11 and tried to wake up Kaleb to eat. He usually eats every 3-4 hours and figured he was going to wake up about midnight right after we fell asleep. He was sacked out and didn't budge when we changed his diaper so we let him sleep. This was a picture we grabbed with the phone before bed.



I woke up at 3 in the morning freaking out. I reached into Kaleb's bed and nudged him. He was fine. Still sleeping like a baby :) He finally woke up for a bottle around 3:30. Our little grizzly bear slept for almost 7 hours! If we played with his schedule a bit and he keeps sleeping this long at night we could get him to sleep through the night soon. That would be amazing! I guess Kaleb was settling in for his long winter nap.

On a lighter note Twilight comes out this weekend in the theater. Char read the books also so my mom is going to take the baby on Saturday and we are all going to go to the movies. Our first night out since Kaleb was born. It's supposed to be some pretty crazy crowds (ugh.) but I'm excited to see the movie. I really hope it doesn't ruin my view of the book. I don't really like seeing things through other people's imagination, mine works just fine. At least Brian will get to see what I obsessed about for like 2 months and talked constantly about. I hope Kaleb is a reader too :)

Tomorrow is Friday and I will have made it through my first week back to work. Thank the Lord!

3:29 PM

Back In The Swing

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today wasn't as bad as I imagined.

Brian was able to get up with Kaleb for the first time since we got him home from the hospital. We can't complain- he only gets up once and wants a bottle. I got up at 6 to start getting ready for work. I already had everything ready for Brian's big day alone with Kaleb. The boys got up about 7 for breakfast. I rocked Kaleb for a little bit that morning while Brian was doing some things before I left. He was staring up at me with these big, blue eyes and I started crying. I didn't want to cry. It just overwhelmed me. I packed up my things, said goodbye to my boys and headed off to work.

I turned around before I got to the highway. I forgot my pictures. I needed those to get through the day. I finally got them and headed back out. I only cried for another second on the way. I know that this is just temporary. Even Brian reminded me that Kaleb isn't doing anything exciting right now. Eat. Sleep. Poop. I can handle 8 hours away.

Work was work. It was nice to get back into the swing of things. I miss my friends too. I had about 700+ emails waiting. I spent most of my morning sorting those. I accidentally logged myself off our system and was locked out for a while. I couldn't remember my password from 8 weeks ago- go figure!

I'm so excited to head home to my boys! I didn't realize Thanksgiving was so close. I'll have to get everything ready for Turkey Day soon. I have so much to be Thankful for this year. The Lord has truly blessed us.

9:05 PM

And we have a laugh

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Kaleb laughed. It was amazing. It was like I was seeing him for the first time all over again. Kaleb and I decided to spend the entire Monday together. It was such a cold morning. Just as the sun rose the sky darkened and snow began to fall for the first time this winter. He loved looking at the snow flakes. He fell asleep rocking in the new glider and not even ten minutes later he was laughing in his sleep. My parent's got to hear the laugh too when he visited later. Right now he's only doing it in his sleep. I can't wait for Brian to be able to hear him.

Friday night I was exhausted. I stayed up until 2 am baking brownies for the catering on Friday. Then I worked the lunch buffet at Pictoria Towers. The catering went great and The Party Platter got invited back in 2 weeks. It's such a great money maker. I also got up with Kaleb and was running on zero. That night I was like a zombie. My parent's offered to take Kaleb so that we could get some uninterrupted sleep. We took him over and said we'd give it a try :)

My mom sent me pictures of him every 15 minutes for the first hour. I cried before we got into bed and Brian did a great job of reminding me he was just across the street. Once we got into bed and the lights were out... Brian cried. He got up and got dressed to go get him. I reminded him that he would be the one getting him at the 4 am feeding. I did my job and encouraged him to come back to bed. We finally got to sleep. I woke up at 4 and really wanted to go get him. I was able to hold on until 6 am. He was asleep in my mom's bed so I climbed in and cuddled up to my little love bug.

I've been preparing myself for the big return to work tomorrow. I'm hoping I can blog a lot more once I'm settled in... I have about 20 pictures to take with me.


He loves looking for me and Brian. He's getting so big!

5:43 PM

Picking Our Path

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kaleb had a busy week. He came down with the sniffles so we spent a good chunk of our day suctioning our poor little guy. We ran the vaporizer constantly. He's back to normal now. Even throughout the runny nose he was still a very good baby. We are so blessed :)

We headed down to Children's to see the Plastic's Specialist on Tuesday. We both felt very nervous with all of the decisions facing us. What road would be best for our little boy? Walking through Children's made me feel like the luckiest woman in the world. "What hand?" I kept thinking as we saw all the sick faces in the hospital. We finally made it to our doctor and waited for almost an hour to see him. When he finally came in and did an exam he weighed out our options:

1. Surgery- He stated he would NOT do our surgery. He stated that Kaleb is PERFECT. A hand transplant is much more complex than most transplants. Bones, nerves, muscles... everything has to be in "sync." Brian and I would have to move to Lexington for 6 months and it would cause Kaleb tremendous pain and rehab. And after all that his transplant could fail leaving him more scarred than before. He told us there are other surgeons who would do this surgery but he highly recommends against this route.

2. Prosthetic hand- Kaleb could come down when he's 2 and they'll fit him for a hand. Each year the prosthetics get more advanced and easier to use. He would get refitted each year or with any growth spurts. Kaleb's doctor told us that he will probably get fitted, learn to work with the hand and then come home and chuck it in his toy box. By the time Kaleb is 2 he'll have perfect use of his "helper hand." We both liked the sound of that, 'helper hand.' He has a full rotation on it (like a wrist) and some beginning bones in his wrist so it will be even better for his use.

3. Nothing. Kaleb will be able to function like an ordinary child. Ordinary. Ha. Our son will never be ordinary. Jim Abbott strongly encouraged us to go this route. His parent's treated him just like his siblings. He said it was the best thing they ever could have done for him.

When the doctor finished weighing Kaleb's options a funny thing happened. Brian and I looked at each other. The familiar almond shape of his eye and the light smile gracing his lips told me he was on my level. We felt relief. Kaleb's doctor stopped us. He told us how refreshing it is to have parent's completely fine with being told there child probably wouldn't be esthetically pleasing right away. He said he usually has to spend hours in visits trying to calm devastated parents who he has to tell surgery isn't the best option. He complimented our bond, faith and strength.

Brian and I decided to let Kaleb have the prosthetic option. Nothing like having a 250K hand in our toy box. We can live with that :) When Kaleb is old enough he can decide if surgery is right for him. They are doing amazing things with stem cells and who knows what they can offer him in 20 years? Our son is perfect. That is where we go from here. We said a prayer pulling away from Children's as we listened to the breathing of our flawless son. Sweet relief...

On the work front I am going back to work on November 19th. I need to finish up some things and will be at UMR through the end of the year, at least. I'm pulling double duty because The Party Platter is really getting huge. The shop is almost done. More news on that to come. On the positive note Brian has a TON of days off in December. Kaleb will spend the other days with my grandma, Brian's sister and Olivia. More relief. I couldn't feel better about who he gets to spend his days with... amazing.

We are going to put up Christmas decorations this weekend before Thanksgiving so that we can deal with our busy month better. I couldn't think of a better way to spend the holidays... with my boys!

4:39 PM

November already!?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kaleb had his one month visit on October 30th. He's getting soooo big. He's just an ounce shy of 10 pounds! His head grew so much that the nurse measured it three times. Seriously, look at Brian & I... our kid is going to have a melon! :) He is eating so much now that he gets a phlegm build up in the back of his throat. He sounds like a foghorn for about an hour and it's hard for him to sleep. The doctor suggested switching to the soy formula. I suggested cereal. He said he shouldn't eat cereal until he can sit supported. (Ummm he does that now) We decided to try the switch first. Kaleb was also slated to get his second round of hepatitis. He was poked so much in the hospital that one shot didn't seem like much to us. The nurse told Brian to hold his upper body because he was probably going to scream. "No. He won't," Brian responded. They went back and forth for a minute until finally she gave him the shot. Kaleb grunted. He didn't even lose his pacifier. He IS daddy's boy.

Friday was a warm Halloween! We got the video camera out for the first time since his birth. I also broke down and watched my c-section. It was very emotional for me but it was amazing. I'm so glad we have it! Kaleb dressed up as a grizzly bear!
We got to visit my cousin Mike and his wife Mandi. Their son Carter was so cute and he was so excited to see Kaleb. It's so nice to have them living so close. I really enjoyed the visit. We headed to my aunt's after that so everyone could get there fix of our little bear!
We tried an entire can of the soy formula and it made no difference. We broke down and put a little bit of cereal in his bottle. It did the trick. He has less phlegm and seems more satisfied although he doesn't sleep any longer at night. He's a big eater! We are doing 2 scoops formula to 1 scoop cereal. He seems satisfied... for now!

We go to the plastic department at Children's tomorrow. Friday is the orthopedic visit. We also decided to have my brother-in-law dedicate/babtize Kaleb soon. I'll keep everyone posted!