Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mmmm... spaghetti!

"Mom, my bowl is empty!"
Our picky little eater has discovered a favorite food. He seriously could not get enough of the spaghetti, we were laughing so hard and he didn't even crack a smile, he was intense! He has such a hard time eating so many foods, it is great when we find one he loves. Although, is it asking too much for his favorite food to be a little less messy?!?!

And of course the older two had to get in on the messy action!

For being the messiest kid around, I'm not sure why Bryn's face is so clean!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Zac's Surgery - Moved up a few weeks

From my previous post, you all know that Zac is scheduled for surgery in June. We just got it moved from June 15th to June 1st! Yikes, that's a week from Monday... I don't have as much time to prepare myself... There are so many things I've been thinking about like the risks of anesthesia, the recovery, the hospital stay, the risk of bleeding and infection, for my perfect boy's skin to now have scars... It makes me sad. All will be well, keep the good prayers and good thoughts coming his way!

On a side note - When Andy went in for abdominal surgery a year and a half ago, I dropped him off at the hospital in the morning and called the nurses later in the afternoon to see if he made it through surgery! I went and visited him that night and then came back and picked him up the next day. I feel a little bad looking back on it now... I ended up coming down with the stomach flu and threw up on the way to the hospital to pick him up however. Sorry I wasn't a better wife honey!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Hayden!

I just want to pay a quick tribute to my oldest child, Hayden. He is 6 today! Happy Birthday Bubba! Mom and Dad love you so much, you are so unique and so smart, we look forward to the years ahead... I have loved watching you play with Brynley more and more, you are such a good big brother, most of the time!

We love you bud!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Zac- The Verdict!

I am not a doctor, nor a radiologist... I am a Mom. I may not know exactly what everything is called and as you look at the X-ray pictures below, maybe I labeled something slightly off. However, I do my best in taking care of my kids and I think I have a pretty good understanding of what is going on in Zac's body. I will relay the information as best as I remember it!

We met with an AMAZING Pediatric Surgeon this morning at Phoenix Children's Hospital. He was truly a breath of fresh air. He came in with the report from the radiologist and started talking about how Zac has a hiatal hernia, etc. He asked us some basic questions about the amounts he vomits, etc. We then told him that we brought the digital films (We had the upper GI done at a different hospital) and the nurse was loading them on his computer. He asked us to wait a minute while he took a look.

5 minutes later he walked back in, eyes open wide... "Wow...that is pretty incredible" were his first words. He went on to explain that Zac does have a hiatal hernia, however, the herniated portion of his stomach is over half of his stomach. This was something we kind of knew just from looking at the pictures ourselves. From the way he was talking, it was clear that he has never seen a hiatal hernia this large. He said he has a hard time even calling it a hiatal hernia due to the massiveness of it. He said Hiatal Hernia's only present themselves this way in less than 1% of all hiatal hernias!

I've included a few of the pictures from the digital files and labeled them so that you can get a better look. Click on the pictures to enlarge them if you need to!

(Wow, I'm pretty proud of myslef for labeling all of those!)

Pretty interesting isn't it?

The doctor explained the surgery to us. They will attempt to perform the surgery laparoscopically with a camera through the belly button. They will then make 3 additional incisions. There is a possibility that they will not be able to perform it laparoscopically but they will not know that until they get in there. He said the massive hernia is so large they cannot see exactly the placement of the spleen and other things to determine if the laparoscopic way will work. He is pretty hopeful that it will but if not they will need to make an abdominal incision. He also gave one other possibility of something else being wrong within the diaphragm wall, possibly an additional tear (I think). Essentially he will be performing two different procedures while in there. Surgery is scheduled for June 15th. Zac will be in the hospital for 2-4 days, hmm, not sure what to do with a baby in the hospital for that long...

There are risks of the herniated portion twisting up because it is so large. A few weeks ago Zac was very sick and we had to take him to ER because he couldn't keep a thing down for 10 seconds. It's possible that it was twisted and has gone back. The doctor said if that happens again, it is very serious and we need to get him in right away.

Am I worried? Of course a little bit, surgery always comes with risks. I have faith that he will be fine and that this will finally relieve him of the pain and discomfort that he has suffered his entire little life. He is a trooper and I know he will be good as new when it's all said and done!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

My cute message from Hayden today:

Oh how I love being a mom... Watching my children change from day to day, the discoveries they make, the young people they are becoming. I am often reminded what a gift I have been given as I stare into the eyes of these amazing kids. I am so grateful that God has entrusted me with them to raise them and rear them in the way he would see fit.

Hiking in Zion's - March 2009

I am also thankful for a husband who helps me in being a better Mother.

I am thankful for a Mother who taught me how to be a Mother. Who, through example, has taught me to do everything for my kids and support them in all they aspire to do. A Mother who loved me unconditionally. A Mother who taught me to love God and to live a life to make him proud. A Mother who's life was taken too soon...

My mom holding Hayden the day after he was born - May 2003

I am thankful for a Mother-in-law who has shown me so much love and acceptance into her family. Who I know loves me and my children. Who will give to others unselfishly; she has given me so many amazing things and I thank her for that. She is so wise and has so much good advice, I truly appreciate all that she does for us.

Hayden and Grandma Sharon - Thanksgiving 2008

I am thankful for my Grandmother who has always been there for me in all of my endeavors. Who in many ways is very much like a mother to me and Grandmother rather than a Great Grandmother to my kids. She loves and cares about us so much, I don't know many others who have such a relationship with their Grandmother. She even helped buy a house next to us so she can visit more often!

Grandma Nadene and Zac - April 2009

I am thankful for an Aunt who is like a Mother to me. She is the Grandmother my kids lost when we lost my mom. We are so thankful to her for loving us and caring about us enough to buy a house next door to us so we can see her much more often!

Aunt Shelly, Hayden, Me, Zac, Brynley, and Grandma Nadene - Temple Lights, December 2008

My mom and Grandma with Hayden- Christmas 2003
(I love this picture of Hayden with the two of them)
Happy Mother's Day to so many amazing women. If you are a mom and reading this, know that I love you and I thank you for being an example to me!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Mother's Intuition...

We took Zac in for an Upper GI yesterday due to all of his Gastro issues. He vomits all the time and has severe constipation issues. After MONTHS of persistence, his pediatrician finally listened to me when I basically demanded that she have an Upper GI done.

Andy and Zac waiting at the Hospital Registration, he was pretty happy considering he had been fasting!

Andy got to wear the super cool Dalmatian apron while I got the football one, weird.

Zac was pretty easy-going throughout the process. He had to drink a bottle of barium so that it would show the contrast on the X-ray. Unfortunately, he didn't get to drink much of it and was getting pretty annoyed throughout the test. He still pulled through like a champ though!

The nurse looked at the x-ray machine with a look of shock. I looked at the screen and what I saw appeared to be two stomachs. I immediately asked, does Zac have a hernia? The radiologist said yep. Is it a Hiatal Hernia I asked. He replied that he wasn't sure, it could be another type as well. I asked if it would correct itself, to which he replied that we would need to meet with a surgeon, as it was quite a larger hernia. The nurse (Rose, who was AMAZING) said that in 40 years of doing this, she has never seen anything like this in a child.

Rose then let Zac choose between 3 stuffed animals for being such a good patient!

My Ped called later in the day.... The Diagnosis: A Hiatal Hernia

Duh... I have been telling her this since November. I just knew that he did not have reflux - we dealt with that with Hayden and I knew this was different. I had briefly heard of a hiatal hernia when we were trying to diagnose Hayden as a baby which is why I thought this might be what Zac has. We are switching pediatricians... She couldn't even give me a good surgeon referral! I am so frustrated that I didn't push more. This is the cause for Zac's poor weight gain, vomiting, constipation, weird gurgling noises in his chest, inability to consume more than 4 ounces at a time, etc...

I wish I would have taken a picture of the x-ray screen, not sure if they would have let me, but it was incredible to look at. The picture above is a drawing of what his hernia looks like. The bottom part is the stomach, the tube coming down is the esophagus, and protruding out the top on the right is the hernia. Basically, a portion of his stomach is protruding through a tear in the diaphragm and up into his chest cavity. Zac's looked to be about the size of his stomach, this is very large for one of these. Basically, anything that goes into his esophagus goes straight to the hernia and then passes, or doesn't pass, to the stomach. Zac had an episode last week which landed us in urgent care because he was vomiting constantly without holding a thing down. We have now learned that the hernia was possibly extra inflamed at that time and nothing was emptying into the stomach. Poor little man...

We have an appointment with a surgeon at Phoenix children's Hospital for May 15th, hopefully we will have more answers and explanations at that point.

Moral of the story: A mother's intuition is always right!

How it will be fixed: Without having talked to the surgeon yet, my basic understanding is that they will take the herniated portion of the stomach and push it back through the hole. They will then repair the hole as well as reattaching the esophagus to the stomach more securely.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Some scary lessons learned... Please Read!

Some things have happened over the last few days that have made me stop and think...

Lesson #1- Always Buckle Up
Many of you may have heard of the car accident here on Wednesday involving two mini vans, that killed a 6 year old Kindergartner (from my neices school). If you'd like to read more you can check out this link:

If you don't want to read the article, here is an excerpt:
There were no safety restraints in use by any of the occupants in the Honda minivan. DPS investigators have determined that if the occupants of the Honda minivan would have used safety restraints, it would have minimized or prevented the severity of injuries and prevented the fatal injury.

All the occupants in the Nissan minivan were properly wearing safety restraints. DPS investigators have determined the wearing of the safety restraints by all the occupants of the Nissan prevented injuries.

I have been teased a bit for being a "seatbelt/carseat Nazi" at times and after reading and hearing about this sad story, I am so grateful that I have taught my kids the proper way to use a seatbelt/carseat. Hayden will be in a ful back booster seat until he's 12 if at all possible (pretty sure that won't quite happen but maybe we can get close!) It's funny to hear Hayden getting frustrated with friends who ride in our car if they put the seatbelt on the wrong way (behind the back) because I have worked very hard to teach him the proper way to wear a seatbelt, that is something I am not willing to mess around with. My cousin was killed in a car accident at 15, my other cousin is recovering from serious brain injuries from the car accident he was in 3 months ago - cars are scary things. Please, please, keep your kids safe in the car. Mine are not perfect, just yesterday a motorcycle skid out infront of us as we were turning and I had to slam on the breaks and see if he was OK, etc. Not 1 minute later, I look in my rear view mirror and Brynley had taken off her seatbelt and was standing up! I immediately pulled over and got her back into her seat, imagine if that had been only a minute earlier, she would have flown through the car, scary!

Lesson #2 - Don't Open the Door for Strangers
The doorbell rang, Brynley went running for the door as I yelled at her, "Do not open the door!!!" This is our routine every time the bell rings, sometimes she doesn't listen and she opens the door to a neighbor, or Grandpa... you get the idea. Today she listened and went to the Living room window to look out. I (forgetting to look through the peep whole) open the door, no one was there, but behind my car was parked an older model run-down Saturn. An alarm went off in my head, I slammed the door and locked it immediately. Someone yelled and started forcefully trying to open the door and pounded on it, repeatedly. He must have been right by the side of my door. I run and lock the back door, baby in my arm, yelling at Bryn to get in the Family Room.

I pick up the phone and call 911. The operator is asking me everything I can describe about the man, I see him peeking his head through my front living room window, smiling at me very creepily. I'm totally freaking out trying to describe him to the operator yet keepign a good distance, I only got a look at his face. A few minutes go by and I look out the peep hole, he's not there, but the car still is... I immediately stare out my back windows to make sure he's not in the back yard. Meanwhile the operator is asking me about weapons in the house explaining to me that officers are on their way. I approach the front door at which time I hear the man repeating my house number to someone (on a phone possibly). I look out the peep hole, his car is still there. Within a few seconds I see the car pulling away, I step out on the porch and tell the operator he's driving away, she asks me for a plate number, the car stops, I freak and go back inside, door locked. Eventually he pulls away as I explain to the operator which direction he is driving, the plates were too far away to read. The car is gone. The operator tells me the officer should be here momentarily and hangs up the phone. I am shaken to say the least, and irritated that I couldn't see the plate number, he will probably not be caught.

The police took a full report. They checked the yard, it turns out the guy had gone around to our gate and side yard. Did I overreact? I don't think so, the second this guy tried to open my door and do so forcefully, I did the right thing. If it had been the pool guy, he would have said so. The landscaper, he would have said something. A workman for the house, would have said something. Someone from church, I probably would have received a call from someone apologizing later for the incident right? I hate to think the worst of people but the scenario just didn't add up. I second guessed myself on the phone with 911, but why would this guy stare at me through my window and then not try to tell me who he was? It was obvious that I was home, if he was here with good intentions, he would have explained himself instead of leaving, right?

Please, don't open the door for strangers and please make sure your kids are always buckled! These things have just hit too close to home for me.

P.S. If your husband or someone you know drives an older lavendarish/gray Saturn and he came to my house today, will you please just tell me so I can stop freaking out that he's coming back to hurt me???