Wednesday, July 29, 2009

10 Things I've Learned About my Grace

1. Gracie loves mac and cheese, vanilla ice cream, mashed potatoes, goldfish, ritz crackers & scrambled eggs
2. She hates chocolate
3. She loves music
4. She loves being around other kids
5. She isn't big on hair things
6. She likes to look at herself in the mirror
7. She is incredibly stubborn...she wants to try it on her own first and don't try to force the issue on her
8. She hates having her booty wiped, or her face and hands after eating either
9. She is not a fan of Hope still (but she is trying to say her name...there is a puh sound coming out now)
10. She loves her feet and shoes and loves to put on lotion

Even when Grace scrunches up her face when she's having a tantrum, I can't help but think how cute she still is and I just want to scoop her up and give her kisses...that would be a bad thing right?

Today we visited one of my friends and her daughter. We had a nice time and we loved the banana muffins that they made. I got the "secret" recipe for the muffins that move you, if you know what I mean...that seems to be an issue for Grace now that she's eating a lot of mac and cheese. Afterwards we came home and just hung out. I think we needed a day like that. Grace only took a 30 minute nap but she went to bed early. I am hoping that she won't get up earlier. She is still waking up twice at night and I'm giving her bottles. I have them already with formula (which isn't the best but after spilling it in my half sleep I found this way was better) and I have a thermos with hot water and a glass of room temp water. She will go back to sleep this way because her tummy is full. The thermos was one of my better investments.

Tomorrow is the day we've been waiting for...meeting with the surgeon. I hope it goes well and he doesn't have another emergency. I'm not as nervous this time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot, hot, hot

Can I just say I'm a little sick of these 100 degree days! AND I would like some rain! Holy Cow!

Grace is cutting yet another tooth...I could feel the bud on the top left now. Poor thing. I have found the teething tablets (they are homeopathic) are helpful as is tynelol and motrin (motrin seems better for her). She doesn't like teething rings...she's into blankets and fingers. I'm going to try the washcloth in the freezer.

I still haven't received her certificate of citizenship. I can't get her SSN until's kind of frustrating.

My principal gave me FMLA. I am so thankful for her support.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Baby is Baptized

My Grace was baptized by Deacon Stan on Sunday. She did so good during the hour long ceremony. I am so glad that we got that done and I'll feel better going into surgery next week.

Today I got permission from my principal to take FMLA. I will miss my job but I need to be with my girl. She is growing so fast...gaining weight and a little taller.

Friday, July 24, 2009

19 months old

My baby turned 19 months today. I can't believe how much she has changed since I met her. Every day I learn something new about my girl. She is so independent and funny. Her sleep is on and off. Last night was great...maybe it was the 3 bottles she drank. She gets baptized on Sunday. Yea!

Yesterday we were supposed to meet the surgeons but they had an emergency surgery so we didn't get to meet them. We met the nurse and she was great. She gave us a packet and tried to give us as much info as she could. We are going to try again next Thursday. I still have lots of questions. I can't believe in 2 weeks my baby will have open heart surgery. It's kind of scary just thinking about it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My baby is REALLY a toddler

It happened today...she became a toddler. I don't know what she ate this evening but girlfriend was literally up and down and exploring and wanting to be in everything she shouldn't. She was walking or holding onto things to get where she wanted. She didn't want help and she wanted to be active girl. HOLY COW! The only way you would know that she's a heart baby is that she was breathing super hard and sometimes she had to take a little break. I can see that when her heart gets mended she is going to wear me out. She's also a little kissing bandit. When we were leaving my parents' house this evening she was kissing everybody including her cousin Brennan...she kept kissing him on the nose and giving her cousin Alex slobbery and licky kisses. I hope she makes sure to keep those kisses to family because I'd hate to hear that she's kissing all the boys in school!

She is a clever and resourceful child too. I was in the bathroom getting ready to go to lunch and I had put her in her vibrating chair in front of the mirror (she is vanity smurf as her Aunt D says)...she stood up, grabbed the trash can and used it as a "walker" to help her balance as she walked into the bathroom to see what I was doing. She was grinning ear to ear...she's so proud.

So far, the past two nights have been night terror free. Thank God! She does sleep very restless from like 2 to 5. When I give her the beta blocker at 5 a.m., she goes back into a more calm sleep. I hope that after the surgery, she'll sleep better.

Tomorrow is the big day where we meet the doctors. I should have a list of questions but I am so just kind of overwhelmed. I'll write them tomorrow before we go. I also found out we have to go and get more bloodwork done. YUCK!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's Been...30 days!

I can't believe that I have been home for a month now. It seem so much longer. I have been a mom for about six weeks now but it seems like a lot longer. I have to say that Grace is doing exceptionally well for the short amount of time that she's been home. There are days though that it seems that we've taken two steps forward and one step back. Part of her issue is the beta blocker medicine and the teething! Poor baby! She feels cranky and funky! She's also a restless sleeper because she lacks the oxygen and because of her meds. Last night (well 4ish or close to 4) my girl was screaming in her half awake half asleep state. She didn't want a bottle or anything. I scooped her out of the crib and held her and put her into bed with me (she is not a fan of this except in the mornings when she gets up and we play a little then)...I was able to put her back into her crib when she fell asleep on my bed. She was restless in the morning but got better when we went to Grammy & Pa's. I think she gets bored of just the two of us. She likes to be on the go. She has been waking up earlier and earlier the past two days. It's exhausting.

Grace got her meet two of her great aunts and her great grandmother this weekend. She liked them all. Thursday is our big day for meeting the surgeons. The surgery is coming up August 7th. I know she needs it but I am dreading it just because I'm nervous. I am sure this Thursday after I meet the doctors I will feel least I hope so.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I love my new do

I got my haircut today. I LOVE it because it will make my life easier. Grace is still sleeping in her crib. I just gave her the 10 p.m. beta blocker med and I had to wake her up a bit. She was not having it. I felt horrible but I know she needs it. The next one is at 6 a.m. There are only 3 more weeks until Grace's surgery. Time is going super fast. I'm nervous but I know she's in good hands.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Random Motherhood Thoughts

You know, you think you know what motherhood is going to be like but it's really one of those things that what you think isn't the reality. I have a newfound healthy respect for all single parents. I get it now! I think I was very critical of how some people parented but you know, we do the best that we can. And we take it a day at a time. I love being a mom. I really do. But it is an incredibly challenging and hard job. There are times when I think I must have been smoking crack when I decided this was the route I wanted to go; but I realize that having this doubt is normal. I love my girl to pieces. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

One of the best pieces of advice I can give to the soon to be single parents, get your network of support now and don't be proud...ASK for help. It can be having them do laundry or watching the baby for an hour while you take a nap. This is my hardest hurdle. I am one of those people who I wouldn't say is proud but who wants to be the girl who can do it all...yeah, you need your friends and family to help you out otherwise you'll fall apart. I almost did. Being stuck in the hospital for several days made me rely on my support network. It made me feel guilty too but I'm a Catholic girl and that's just a Catholic gene, I think.

Grace is finally sleeping in her crib which means I get to sleep in my bed. YEA! I am hoping it will help my sleep situation. She is still on the beta blockers which she hates taking. It does make her less blue though. I'm hoping after the surgery she won't have to take them.

Grace still is leery of Hope. I feel horrible for my poor dog because she is separated from us. She has pretty much the downstairs but she can't be with me a lot because Grace is with me. I'm trying small baby steps to get Grace not to freak out. She doesn't scream as much and she's interested in her. I just pray every night that she'll get over her fear and accept Hope as Hope has accepted her.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I hate teething!

If I had a genie in a bottle right now, these would be my 3 wishes: heal my daughter's heart, have painless teething (or have all teeth come in and be pain free) & let my daughter sleep through the night!

We had a rough night last night. She was very restless. I ended up sleeping next to her on the floor from like 1 a.m. on. So far, she's doing well. I put her down an hour early and gave her the 10 p.m. meds while she was sleeping. She took them well.

We are trying to do something every morning because I have learned that my girl likes to be on the go. It's too freaking hot here (102) to do anything after noon...she doesn't do well in the heat (neither do I).

Well, in 2 weeks we meet with the surgeons and next week I am getting my hair cut. I can't wait because it's driving me nuts. I hope I get to see my friend Chris tomorrow before he leaves again for Virginia for the rest of the month.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It's been over a month since we became a family was yesterday that I had my one month anniversary of being a family. Who would have thought that my whole life has DRASTICALLY changed in 30 days! I have always had a very blessed life. But on June 7th, my life became even more blessed...more than I could have ever imagined. The past 30 days have been tough...I won't lie. But they have also been incredibly beautiful like when my daughter smiles at me or reaches out to me or shows me her belly. I think that all of the trials we have endured the past 30 days are making us stronger as a family unit. Who would have thought that both she and I would get chicken pox? (I'm glad she had a much milder case). She has come a long way in the past few weeks since we've been home. She loves her baths...she is getting on a schedule....she doesn't scream bloody murder at bedtime...she lets me change her diaper and clothes...she is a macoroni and cheese aholic. God knew what he was doing when he gave her to me.

Today we went to the lab to get her blood drawn...poor baby...they had to stick her twice because her veins weren't giving enough blood. I wanted to cry along with her but I had to be strong. I hope they got enough and we won't have to go again. Of course, they'll be doing the bloodwork before the surgery. The good thing is that both of us fell asleep for a couple of hours on the floor at Grammy & Pa's house. I hope it doesn't affect her sleep tonight. She's sleeping peacefully on her mattress. But, I'm sure she'll end up off the mattress and on the quilts at the other end of the room. Girlfriend is a wild sleeper. I'm hoping to move to either a crib or toddler bed by next week.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Surgery Dates Set

Today was a successful day. We went to Wal-Mart by ourselves (meaning just Grace & me) without any incident except forgetting the jello and rice cereal. We had several visitors come and see us. Grace took an hour nap (well, just shy of an hour). She wasn't as fussy as she has been. She enjoyed her bath again and is sleeping on her mattress on the floor...I'm a little nervous about that. There are pillows everywhere s to help if she falls. I wish I had bought the side railings before I attempted this. Oh well...everything is a learning experience.

Her pedi cardiologist called and said that he presented her case this morning and the surgeons say they can fix her up and make her well. YEA! He thought it would be VERY complicated but he said these guys are the best. He knew I was anxious and tried to get me in this month. Unfortunately, the earliest they can schedule it is August 7th. She will be admitted on August 6th. I am supposed to go back to work August 10th, so I am going to have to call work and figure out how to do FMLA after coming off Adoption Leave. It stresses me out a little because I do care about my job. I know I have Shannon who is just as good as me but I don't want to give my principal the idea that I don't care about my job and my whole world is Grace. She (Grace) is my world, but I also have a career which allows her to be my world. It will all work out in the end. It always does. I have to remember that time is God's, not mine.

You know, I was looking at some of Grace's referral paperwork....I recommend that when parents get that paperwork, look at it with a grain of salt because a lot of times, it isn't totally true and your child will probably change. It can be a guide, but let me tell you, my daughter is not a moderate sleeper. She's incredibly restless and she needs to eat every 3 hours. That is why she'll wake up at 2 a.m. She needs the food for her body to function.

Tomorrow will be my month anniversary of being a mother. Like the president, I plan on giving my 30 day state of motherhood address!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Two Faces of Grace

My daughter has two faces: cookie face & The Empress Grace. Most of the time we get to have the sweet cookie face who laughs at Wipe Out and Cookie Monster chasing the letter O. But some of the time we get the Empress who is not at all pleased by anything and just wants to have a hissy fit about anything and everything: bottles, being held, being put down or when she has to take the yucky beta blocker. I feel bad when she has to take that medicine. We've really noticed that it is sapping her strength and she's incredibly wobbly. She had been making major walking attempts but now she falls because I think she's weak and dizzy. She may be pinker and less blue with the meds but she has had to give up walking for now. Poor baby. She is also not eating as much.

I also discovered by mistake while we were watching GMA, she likes country music, Blake Shelton to be exact. She was swaying to his song this morning and directing him like a music conductor.

I am scabbing up pretty well. My face is pretty much cleared. I accidentally hit one and it ripped off so I think I'll have a lovely scar! FUN! I think today I am going back to my house. I am looking forward to being in my own house and giving my parents back their space. I felt horrible that they have been going to bed early and not able to watch late night TV because we were there.

Tomorrow is the day that the doctor presents Grace's case to his colleagues. I'm praying that they get the ball rolling and that they are able to come to a medical consensus and that it will allow her the best medical intervention.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July

My little fire cracker is crashed in the stroller. She's suffering from a multitude of ailiments including new heart meds (a beta blocker) that makes her feel funky, new teeth coming in, and not being at her home (we're staying at Grammy & Pa's at least this weekend). Before I got "the pox", I had grand ideas of celebrating the 4th of July with my usual grilling of burgers, dogs and my homemade ice cream. Even though I am feeling better and starting to scab, I have been banned from the grill...not that I would be able to eat a whole heck of a lot. I have lost over 20 lbs since I left China. I think I lost 5 lbs on the chicken pox diet! Oh well, my dad will get us some BBQ from Bill Miller and I'll just hang out in my biter biscuit stained lounge pants and t-shirt and celebrate our country's independence!

It still hasn't rained here and the temperature is in the triple digits! I REALLY hope that nobody pops fireworks on my street or the street behind me. It not only freaks out my dog but it also is dry as a bone and my grass would easily catch fire.

Friday, July 03, 2009

I'm Freeeeeee!

I finally got released from my jail, I mean discharged from the hospital. What an experience! They gave me a brain scan (wasn't supposed to) and gave me another person's IV meds (he had the same last name)...good thing we were on the same med! They didn't report it but I will be contacting risk management tomorrow. Our health care system is scary. I do feel better...I will give them that. If you pump a girl with so many drugs her body has to respond. My skin is starting to itch and scab. I shouldn't be contagious after Saturday. YEA!

I also found out my daughter has two heart defects: AVSD & Tetralogy of Fallot. It makes for a more complicated surgery. The doctor said that he is taking her case to conference on Tuesday to make a plan of action and that I should anticipate surgery in the next few weeks. Hopefully by then, NO POX!

I want to thank everyone who has prayed, visited me, taken care of my child during my illness! You rock and I'm blessed!

I am just glad to be at my mom's house. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be home again!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Yeah, I'm in the hospital

My chicken pox got so bad that I had to go to the ER on Monday afternoon and I was admitted into the hospital because I was in pretty bad shape. I was becoming dehydrated (because my throat was so bad with the pox) and I was pretty week. They have been pumping me full of lots of stuff...they just told me I tested positive for some sort of bug...not quite sure. I look disgustingly gross. I feel like I should be one of those trolls under the bridge. I'm poxed out all over, especially my face.

On the bright side, Grace's appointment went well yesterday. They said she does have a heart issue and it can be fixed by surgery but it wasn't an emergency situation. We should know more later this week when the doctor calls. They said she has great pumonary arteries (at least I think that is what my sister told me).

I hope to be out of the hospital in the next day or so.