Tuesday, January 31, 2012

picture of the day

she will

Hanna's sick now.
She had a fever all last night, and again today. we've been lazy again.
I'm having a heck of a time keeping everyone healthy. I don't know what's going on!
This isn't the reason for writing today though. We had a huge breakthrough today with colouring. As you know, Hanna recently started holding her crayons and markers the "right way". Today, it got even better.
In attempt to make her feel a bit better, we took out the colouring stuff. She was happy to sit at the table with Gracie and coloured an entire page. Switching colours throughout.
That's impressive on it's own, but what's even more impressive is that she put every single cap back on each marker as she finished with it.
A proud moment it was! The big thing now, is the patience she has. She never really had any. At. All.
Now, she works at things. Think about how hard a Mr. Potato Head would be to do with limited vision, and very poor depth perception.
She does Mr. Potato Head now. It might take her a full minute and a half to get the eye in place, but she does it. And it amazes me.
Today with the marker caps she amazed me once more. Not only because her fine motor has come so far, or her sudden patience of a Saint. Not even because her ability to get the cap the right way, and onto the marker with very limited sight.
Its all of the above. It's how she has worked so hard on these little things that we all take for granted, and her work is paying off.
It's the fact that she CAN.

And she WILL.

And that is a fact.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

pictures of the day

They're feeling much better today.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

another good visit - and sick kiddos

Hanna had another follow-up with her GI specialist. Last month he upped her dosage of Prevacid to twice a day, and since then, we haven't had any problems! Yay!
He was very happy about that, and advised us to continue with that dosage for another month. We will then drop down to once a day again the month after, and see how she does with that.
If you remember, he also ordered some blood to be drawn.
Those tests all came back completely fine, and she does not have Celiac Disease. Yay x2!

Hanna's health is peachy, but the other two just can't seem to catch a break!
Hailey has croup (again), and Gracie is just feeling downright awful.
We've been fighting fevers and runny noses, with no end in sight,
Hailey has such a hard time for some reason. Her system is very sensitive to air conditions, I think.
We attended my cousin's wedding this past Saturday and Little Miss came with us to the reception. The air was very muggy and humid inside, and temps were frigid outside. I think the drastic air change is the culprit this time, because she was fine at the party, and as soon as we got home, she had the dry cough.
Poor little thing. We came home from the doctors with two inhalers, and if she's not better in a couple days I think I'll be going back in for some antibiotics. She can't seem to kick it this time. The cough has broken up, and now she's struggling with loose phlegm every time she coughs, and has been gagging a lot.
I hope she's better soon.
Gracie's been laying around a lot, happy to watch movies. Her fever comes and goes, and I swear we've been through two boxes of Kleenex since yesterday.
Poor littles.
I'm hoping by the weekend this house is full of active kiddos again!

Monday, January 23, 2012

8 months

I said it was coming, and now it's here! My little sweetie pie is 8 months old today!
So, what's she doing these days?
She is busy, let me tell you!
She's happy to sit...
But only for a minute. 
Then she wants to just get up.
She's not happy just watching anymore. She wants to be part of the action, and she's still so little...it's scary!
She's pulling up on everything, and even took five steps the other day.
Five very controlled and careful steps!
She gets up on the bottom step now, and I'm sure it wont be long until we have to get the gate up.
Yes, she is going to be a handful...but I love it!

She keeps me on my toes. She makes me keep my floor clean, because otherwise she'd be eating everything off of it!
She had her little fingers on a piece of dog food the other day. Luckily, I never go too far from the little stinker, and saved her taste buds from being traumatized. 

She dances now, sometimes even when there's no music playing. She's even mastered it standing up!

She's still not napping a whole lot during the day, but sleeps good at night. Half in the crib, half with me.

She's so soft-spoken! She babbles away, but in a soft, almost-whisper voice. Don't worry though, she lets us know when she doesn't (or does) want something!

She really is the happiest baby ever, and such a treat to be able to spend every minute of every day with her! And every minute I am cherishing because, we all know it, time goes by way too fast.

Happy 8 months (already!) baby girl!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

i am happy

I. Am. Happy.

Why am I happy you ask? Because I have the most awesome kids ever. The most awesome, healthy kids. Our recent SickKids follow-up really did something to me. It gave me back the, what felt like 30 years that I aged since 2009. I didn't realize how much I was worried about Hanna. About her health. I feel like we're free now. And let me tell you this, it feels good!! I'm really not sure what even to write, but I need to write something to just show how truly relieved and happy I really am!

And since I missed one very important little girl's 7-month post, I think that a post dedicated to her, will be just perfect for a night of happiness ramblings. :)

So, where do I begin?
This little girl is a blessing.

She is happy all the time.

She makes a face that we call "the stink face":
She does it often. If she wants something she can't have. If she's annoyed. If she's frustrated. If she's concentrating.
It's pretty hilarious. Again, see here:
She's starting to crawl - kind of.
She moves her arms in crawling position, only as far as they'll go, then sits back up. If she's not close enough to the object she wants, she goes again until she's there. I guess she's too lazy to use her legs. :)
Actually, she's not lazy at all. She stands up all by herself!
She pulls herself up to stand at the couches, or anything that is a couple inches of the floor, or mama's leg as she's walking by.
She's kind of nuts.
We actually flipped my camera to video mode today because we thought for sure she was going to walk. She stood there and pivoted with one leg 180 degrees without falling. The kid's got balance!

She points at everything.

Everything goes in her mouth.
Since she has a very very good pincer grasp, this is a bad thing.

She still sleeps about half the night on her own, and the rest with me (and the other girls).

She likes putting food on her head.

She loves having baths with her sisters, and cracks up every time I sprinkle powder on her belly afterwards.

She has 2 teeth (on the bottom).

She is at least 19.6 pounds.

I finally got her chubby little feet to fit into some sneakers today!

She eats regular meals with us now, but still nurses.

She is the sweetest baby I have ever known, and so blessed that I can call her all mine!

And that is all I'm going to say until the 23rd which will then be a real Hailey update. Yep! Her 8 month post already! I was very late with this one.

And that is a good way to end my night.
I got a perfect baby sleeping in her crib, a very special 3 year old sleeping next to me, and an all grown up biggest sister sleeping in her own room down the hall.
I am happy. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

24 hours

Hanna had to wear her holter monitor for 24 hours, and she was more than ready to get it off when it was finally time. (And so were we!)
She did extemely well with it though, and surprisingly got used to having her "purse" hanging over her shoulder non-stop.
When she ate, she'd sit it on the table beside her.
On the toilet, it sat on her lap.
She was so happy to hear me say it was time to take it off though!

Can you blame her?
Look at that mess!
Eck...we were all happy to get that done.

I'm still totally impressed with how patient she was though. She did what she had to do, and didn't complain about it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

good girl, Hanna

Well we got back last night, and I have a lot to write about!
First thing first - it was a great visit!

The drive up couldn't have gone better. Traffic was great, and the girls were perfect! Hailey is 100% better in the car now. She was horrible as an infant, so thankfully for the long drive she was able to entertain herself for a while. All of them behaved beautifully, so I was more than happy to spoil them at the hotel.
Checking in.

We got to our room, unpacked our bathing suits and hit the pool! 
 They had a blast. We went back to the room long enough to have dinner, and then went back. We had to make the most of it since we only had the one night. 

Hanna kept herself busy for a while putting the crayons in the tiny box one by one, emptying it, and doing it all over.
Great fine motor/vision activity!

Then we got into our jammies, had some snacks and watched Wipeout.
Gracie loves that darn show. We can't miss it.
We were in bed pretty early.
The next day we got up a bit later than I wanted to, and were pretty rushed in the morning. We had to be at the Cardiology Registration for 8:45, and we had to checkout of the hotel and walk to the hospital. It was snowing and blowing, and miserable to walk in, but we made it on time!
We waited quite a while for Hanna to be called, and I took her in while Matt took Gracie and Hailey for a tour around the very scenic hospital.
The first thing this the tech did was weighed Hanna and "measured" her. His idea of measuring her height was standing her up against a wall and eyeballing the number. He told me she only grew 2 cms since last years visit! And she was 80 cms last year.
Hanna got a little nervous when we walked into the dark room, and got a bit of a lip when she had to get a gown on. She only a shed a couple quiet tears when the tech asked her to lay back down to get a few more pictures. She did great, and got a little stuffed puppy as a reward from the tech.
When her ECHO was done, she had an ECG and shortly after that it was our turn to see the doctor.
I love her cardiologist. He's so good. And not just because he gave us some pretty amazing news either.
Are you ready for the best news ever?
Some of the holes in Hanna's heart have closed up completely and the left chamber is back to it's regular size!
She still has 2 small muscular VSD's, but the one that he was concerned about no longer exists. Amazing.
He also said that he doesn't want to see her for 2 years! What? You don't know what a relief it was to hear that! He wants to be completely sure about everything, so he sent us home with the holter monitor this time. He's been saying it for two years, and finally figured she was old enough to keep it on. She's doing extremely well with it, and a picture of that is coming. Only because I want to show how uncomfortable it looks and how she's keeping it on! She's such a good girl.

We were feeling pretty good after the Cardiology visit, so we were ready for whatever Genetics had to say.

Turns out, it was all good.
Even though we had a little incident, it all worked out. It seems like every time we see Genetics, Hanna is cranky, or having a bad day. They're always our last stop, so it's kind of expected. This time though, I was confident that they were going to see the real her! Boy was I wrong.
We walked into the office and Hanna peed her pants.
She never pees her pants!
She was embarrassed about that, and very cranky, and that's what the doctors saw.
Matt had to run back to the hotel parking garage where all the luggage was, to find Hanna something else to wear while I stayed with all the girls. It was quite a scene I'm sure. When I asked the receptionist at the desk for some paper towels for the mess, she offered me "tissues". "Will this be enough?" as she's handing me one of those little boxes of 20.
Gee, thanks.
I got everything under control and I visited with the genetic councillor for a few. Hanna was happy to answer a couple questions, but mostly stayed quiet and looked quite pitiful. By the time she was done filling her little report, Matt was back with pants for Hanna. Thank goodness.
The doctor came in shortly after, and they went over a couple things with us.
Remember last year when they mentioned the words "mitochondrial disease"? I have been worrying and stressing over those words since I heard them last January. This year, he tossed the idea in the garbage. Nope, she doesn't "fit" that diagnosis either.
Good girl, Hanna.

They sent out a test last year for a type of primordial dwarfism that hasn't been approved yet, probably because of the cost. We gave consent to take the research route instead of the clinical, and they will be a little bit quicker with that. They will take her x-rays, pictures, and findings and do a study in the UK. We'll see what they can find.

After that discussion, we took measurements.
She's up to 21.7 lbs, and 87 cms tall. Yes, go ahead. Scroll up and read what the guy in cardiology told me.  How could he have been 5 cm off? Ridiculous.

She's finally on the charts for her height! Yay!! (This is why the primordial dwarfism doesn't really fit either).
Anyhow, then I asked some questions about the vomiting and reflux, and her health. He answered those questions and ended the visit by telling me that Hanna is a very, very (yes, he said it twice) healthy little girl and he's sure she doesn't have any kind of illness or disease. She simply has a growth disorder, and will just be a "smaller package". Wow. I have been waiting to hear that. They don't want to see us again until we go back for Cardiology, or if they find a diagnosis in the meantime.
What a glorious day!!!
After Genetics we went back over to the hospital to get some food. The girls didn't have a decent breakfast, and it was already past 2 at this point. Everyone ate great, and we hit the road.

Of course we had to get our first real snowfall while we were driving, which made for pretty messy conditions...but Matt got us home safely. We had an excellent visit, and I couldn't be happier to have it all done!

Thanks so much for everyone's love and prayers for my girl.

Now, we can bring on the New Year!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

the blah season

Yes, that is what I like to call January. For the past 2 years, January has been a time to dread for me.
I've always hated taking down the Christmas tree, and all the decorations, and the lights outside, and accepting that the Christmas Season is over.
Now, it's for a whole new reason. January means Hanna's annual SickKids visit. We are extremely lucky that Hanna is a healthy little girl who is seen only once a year at the hospital. 
Every year she has a follow-up ECHO to check on her heart. You can read about last years visit right here. We also usually have a follow-up with Genetics as well. It's always very stressful and I'm just so anxious to get it done and over with.
We're hoping that it is going to be a quick, uneventful visit. The good news is that she's not going to be needing sedation at all this year for the ECHO, which means when we get to Genetics she'll be acting like herself (unless she senses the sometimes bad vibes from them). She'll be much happier going from one appointment to the next, and we wont have to be carrying around a loopy kid. Best of all though, she won't need to fast! Hurray!

We leave tomorrow after breakfast and hope to make it there nice and early so we have lots of time at the pool. Hanna's appointments are actually on Friday morning. We're trying to make the best of it, and I know the girls will have a great time swimming.
Hanna's at an age now where we can reason with her a little, and make sure she knows that she's not going to be poked or prodded this time, so it should be a little more enjoyable. One of our visits, when she was much younger, we got to the hotel and she wouldn't even put her feet down on the floor because she remembered the hospital visit. It. Was. Not. Fun.

Anyhow, if everyone could think about Hanna tomorrow and Friday, and maybe send up a few prayers that everything goes well, we would appreciate it so much. There's still so much unknown with our girl, and it's scary. Every single visit. You don't really get used to these visits.
I'll fill everyone in on everything when we get back on Friday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

reindeer cookies

So, I know I've mentioned once or twice how awesome my extended family is...but I'm saying it again.
My cousin Kristi popped over today and asked is she could have the girls over to help her make another batch of Reindeer Cookies!

She made these adorable cookies for our Christmas cookie exchange. Gracie had a meltdown when the last couple cookies were tossed in the garbage because a wine glass was broken near them. She didn't get to eat one, so she was so upset. My aunt told her that she would have to go to her house and help Kristi make more so she could have some.

And, of course, they made that happen!
Kristi had everything pre-measured to make it easy, and they made they're very own batch of the cutest cookies, ever.

Thanks again, Kristi! The girls had a blast!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

holding a marker

Some things came so easily for Gracie, that I totally took for granted. Like using a fork and spoon. She did this at 15 months old perfectly. I recently watched a video and couldn't believe it! She didn't even spill any of the macaroni out of the bowl.
Hanna still struggles with it. Her fine motor skills have come a long way, and today I can say that she is finally using the "tripod grip" when colouring. She still doesn't use it (all the time) to eat, which would make it a lot easier for her, but it will come.
The last few times while colouring, I have watched her work really hard with both hands getting the marker in just the right spot so she has a good grip on it. Check out this beautiful hold! 

Yes, I realize the picture she is colouring  is upside-down. She wanted to colour the cloud, so...

I'm so proud of her! I know I've been working at this with her, and so has my mom. My mom takes her for respite every Friday while Gracie does dance. She works on different things that she knows she struggles with, and this is proof that whatever's she's doing is working!
It helps that I have got me one determined little girl, too.
Way to go, Hanna girl!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

pictures of homemade gifts

Okay, so I still have to get a good picture of the girls' dressup station, and my mom and dad's puppet theatre, but these next couple pictures I needed to put up tonight.
Here is the pallet shelf that Kristyn and Brian made everyone!
I really shoulda put something in it...but isn't it awesome? So rustic and creative!
My other sister, Michelle embroidered a family portrait of everyone. Here is ours:
I LOVE it! Did you notice where Hailey is?
Go ahead, look again!
Yes! I'm wearing her! How adorable!
I love how Hanna's such a little pipsqueak too! :)
I hope we do the homemade gift thing again next year.
I better start looking for ideas now to be ready!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Last night we said goodbye to another year, and welcome to a new one. We had a great year.
Of course there will be some days that aren't as sunny as others, but overall, it was a great year.We said goodbye to our Gramma, but also welcomed a brand new member into our family. Hailey is such a joy, and such a blessing.
The girls are healthy, and we were even able to bring them to Disney World this year. It has been an amazing one.

We partied at my parent's house until morning with RockBand and karaoke. It was a blast!

When we got there I stuck Hailey on the floor, and Luna was nearby. Look at the following pictures. The puppy wasn't even close to her! You would think she was getting licked or something by the look on her face!

Okay, so I guess the last picture Luna was pretty close. I love the expression though!
Happy New Year to everyone!!!