Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008 - Update

Harrison misses Bailey quite a bit.
Olivia is sometimes the only thing that makes us smile.

Lately I've been giving my nasolacrimal ducts a work-out. Have you ever wondered why your nose always runs when you cry? Your tears drain down to the back of your nose. It makes sense because Olivia has never once had a runny nose. I worry so much about her sometimes.

I was doing better about Bailey until I cut the pigs' green bell pepper into six slices instead of five. Harrison doesn't know what to do with himself and just sits and stares into space. He has had numerous ear infections throughout his life and it seems his ear is bothering him again. So, we started him on ear drops twice a day. One of my rats is still on antibiotic for her eyes. Things are tough around our house right now. I bought a new laptop a few weeks ago. I had Christmas/birthday money and I didn't know what to spend it on. Since I'm on the computer all of the time, I thought a laptop would be nice. It's been nothing but a pain. I don't know what the problem is, but it seems to stem from Microsoft Vista. All of my transactions that I had entered into Microsoft Money (which I rely on immensely) didn't save. I'm about ready to have Ryan install XP on it. Poor Ryan has had to spend hours dealing with various problems on it. Everything just seems to be breaking around our house.

We have ants coming into Olivia's room. I'm afraid to spray inside the house because I don't trust any kind of spray near Olivia. I think I found the culprit. I guess ants are attracted to peonies and we have one right outside Olivia's room. There are like a thousand ants on it. Our peony is about the only flower in our flower garden. Most years, I plant a lot of pretty flowers, but this year I don't have the time, money, or desire to plant flowers. I don't want to be digging around in the dirt and then handling Olivia. . .plus, she wouldn't like to just sit outside without me holding her or pushing her in a stroller. I just don't want to do much other than spend time with Olivia and Ryan. I try to let Ryan have time to himself during the weekend, but it seems I always have things he has to do (like fix my computer.) I have flowers to put out on Logan's grave, but it seems I never have time to get out there. I feel so guilty about that. Things are just tough around our house right now. Ryan and I just need a break. . .not from our sweet Olivia, but from life in general. It hasn't been too good to us lately.

So sorry for my negative mood, but I've always been honest in what I write and I try to continue to do so. The past 8 months have just really worn us down. And, it's just been a bummer of a week. I promise my posts will become more positive in the future.

Saturday, May 3, 2008 - Update

Does anyone know what story mommy is reading to me? Lin got it right. . It was Gertrude McFuzz.

I have the most wonderful daughter. Lately, we haven't been able to get her to take longer than a 45 minute nap in the afternoon and yesterday she slept for 3 hours. I think she knew that mommy needed some time to herself. Our afternoons depend quite a bit on what kind of nap she takes, but we have quite the morning routine. We always take a morning nap together. We snuggle up in the recliner and she wiggles around until she finds that perfect spot. When she finds it, she gazes up at me and smiles. . .closes her eyes and goes to sleep. Since her afternoon naps have been lacking, I should really use that time to get things done around the house, but. . .that time is just too precious to me. When she wakes up, I change her out of her jammies, give her Prevacid, feed her cereal and a bottle. After she eats, I give her a little foot massage (with lotion.) Because of all of her heel sticks, she had a bit of an aversion to things touching her feet. Now she loves it and sometimes even rolls her eyes back in a state of pure relaxation. After that we read a morning story and then she sits in her bouncy seat so that I can change out of my jammies. Who knows what the rest of our day has in store.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Good-bye Bailey

I lost my guinea pig, Bailey, today. He was 5 1/2 years old. Of course, I love all of my pets, but Bailey and I had an extremely special bond. He was my first guinea pig. I got him in 2002 when I was living alone in my apartment and Ryan was going to school up at K-State. He kept me company when I felt lonely. When we first got him, we thought he was a she and named him Abigail. After we brought Penelope home, we realized that she was in fact a he and changed his name to Bailey. He moved with me into my next apartment when Ryan and I got married. His living quarters increased when we moved into our house. I have a rocking chair in the guinea pig room and I used to swaddle them in a towel and rock them. Bailey is the only one that actually enjoyed it, which is probably why we were so close. He was a cuddler, but he was also a biter. . .he'd keep you on your toes. I think his biting was almost his way of being affectionate. . such a silly boy. During the years when I couldn't have a baby, I got great joy from Bailey, who was my baby at that time. He was the "alpha" male as far as guinea pigs go and all of the other boys knew it. His favorite thing, however, was when I let him out to visit the girls through the bars of their pen. If female guinea pigs do not have their first litter at a young age, their pelvic bones fuse together and a pregnancy could be fatal. So, we never let Bailey or any of the other boys in with the girls. You'd never seen a guinea pig so excited to nuzzle his girls through the bars. He was quite the ladies' man.

He had slowed down quite a bit over the last few months. He had stopped taking his carrot a few days ago, and that is our first warning sign that something is wrong. He was, however, still eating everything else and getting around okay. He had a vet appointment next week. Normally, I would rush my animals to the vet at the very first sign of illness, but things have changed lately. This morning, we knew his time was near and had a vet appt at 2:40 pm. I debated whether or not to even take him because I didn't want to stress him. Ryan's mom came over this morning and spent time with Olivia so that I could spend time with Bailey. I held him and rocked him and told him how much I loved him. Then, I put him into the pen with the girls. They nuzzled him and groomed him and although Bailey couldn't really show it. . .it must have been the best time of his life. This now leaves Harrison all alone and he's never been alone before. He doesn't quite know what to do with Bailey gone. We are going to re-arrange the pens tonight so that at least Harrison is near the girls for companionship. We are not looking to get anymore guinea pigs at this time. Besides, it is very hard to get adult males who get along. Many of them pick on Harrison. . .not Bailey, though. . .they were good friends.

He passed away at about 1 pm, so he managed to escape the vet altogether. I know that losing a guinea pig is nothing compared with losing a son. The pain of losing Bailey will subside, but I don't think the pain of losing Logan will ever go away. Everyone expects to lose their pets someday, but never their child. You add sadness onto sadness, however, and it doesn't make you feel very good. I loved Bailey and he deserves to be mourned. He was very special. He made sure that I had my baby girl before he left me and that's the best gift he could have given me.

Here is Bailey as a baby when I first brought him home.

He grew to be almost 4 lbs

I will always remember him.
November 2002 - May 2, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

8 month/4 month stats: 12 lbs 6 oz, 23.5 in. long (Head circ. 39.5 in)

Do you ever have those days where you just feel defeated and worn down? I'm having one of those days. Olivia had a pediatrician appt today. She had to have one of her HIB shots. There was some confusion over what kind of HIB shot she received in the NICU (one kind is given only twice and the other is given three times.) Well, she got one of each so she had to have another one. She was a trooper, as usual. I was concerned about a lump in her armpit that I found while giving her a bath last night. I guess it was just a fat roll, but that's okay. . .I'd rather feel stupid than have it be something serious.

We have had problems with her eyes since she was in the NICU. We have to clean them about 10+ times a day as there is constant discharge and matted eyelashes. We also do lacrimal massage. Sometimes we clean them so much that her poor eyes become raw. We have always been told they were blocked tear ducts. I guess tears pass through the lacrimal sac and down through the nasolacrimal duct and drain into the back of the nose. It's the nasolacrimal duct that gets blocked. I guess hers are not really blocked. . .it's more like they were never opened. During fetal development, there is a web of tissue that eventually hollows and provides a place for the tears to drain. Because her fetal development was cut short, they never properly opened. Because of this, she will most likely need surgery to open them up. Olivia's doctor normally gives babies until 14 months before surgery is requested. This will be something, however, to talk to her eye doctor about on Monday. I don't know, I just find myself wondering what other things in the future will be related to her prematurity. I don't want to be blindsided. When I was pregnant, I was told everything was going great and it wasn't. I just worry about Olivia so much and I want to know that I'm doing everything I can to help her. There are little things like the way she turns out her hands or doesn't want to lift her arms up over her head that make me worry. It's just one of those days, I guess. Then, her doctor talked about how other babies her age (both 4 month olds and 8 month olds) sometimes take over 30 oz per day and I'm just happy when we have a day over 23 oz with no vomiting. The doctor did say that Olivia is following her growth curve nicely. It's not like I don't feed her as much as she can handle. I push her to eat more, but there's a line that I can't cross or she will throw up. I'm just feeling defeated today. . .I do the best that I can.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just a few things. . . .

I wanted to let all of you know the total amount raised by our team for March for Babies: $2,378. Thanks for all of your help and dedication!!! I should hear back about the team picture shortly.

Also, I finally have a MySpace account. (Is it still cool to have one? I'm always a few years behind.) Anyway, it looks like I don't have very many friends, so if you have a MySpace. . .visit mine at You all will love my layout (thanks Danielle!)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - Update

It used to be that I would spend hours staring at the clothes in my closet. . .wondering what to wear. Now, I throw on the first thing that I see and spend hours in front of Olivia's closet wondering what she's going to wear. Not that it matters. . .she looks cute in anything. Between Olivia's own clothes, cousin Katie's and cousin Izzy's. . .there's a lot to choose from.

Last week, I bought Olivia this Sing-A-Long stage. Izzy has always loved hers and because of Olivia's love of music, I thought she might like one as well. She's a little too young for it, but she lights up whenever I put her in front of it. It also helps her sit up for a bit when I put her boppy behind her (then she falls forward.) Her first love is still. . . her fingers. I try to tell her that she can't suck on her bottle and her fingers at the same time, but she's determined to prove me wrong. Silly girl.

We have a pediatrician appt tomorrow. Honestly, I'm not quite sure why because I don't believe that you get vaccinations at 8 months and I think her last Synagis shot was April 1st. But, I won't pass up an opportunity to talk with her doctor about a few things. Next Monday, she has her first ophthamologist appointment and I'm anxious to see what he says. I think she's doing fine, but she tends to cross her eyes a lot. It's cute because Ryan always tells her, "Don't cross your eyes and dot your T's." I pray with each appointment that she continues to develop and grow as she should.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I've been tagged

Just driving with dad. . . (Wii were having such a good time.)

I’ve been blessed, and I’ve been tagged. Julie tagged me today. Here are the rules:

*Link to the person who tagged you.
*Post the rules on your blog .
*Write six random things about yourself
*Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
*Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog
*Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Secretly, I've been hoping that someone would tag me. I feel so special. Here are the six random things about me. Honestly, I'm running out of things to tell all of you. I think you pretty much know everything there is to know, but I'll give it a shot.

1. I have the most amazing friends and family. During the last 8 months, I have also had the chance to meet the most wonderful people, make additional friends and become re-acquainted with old ones. I cannot believe the outpouring of love and support towards me and my family. There are too many examples to count, but I'll give you one from today. Olivia and I go on our walk and we stop by to get the mail. There is a package in the mail (which is always exciting to receive.) I get home and open it and there in the package are two Maybelline lipsticks in Coffee Glaze!! I cried. Thank you to the Hopkins family. I'm ashamed to say that I am not even sure if I know who you are (okay, now I do. . .I was so excited about the lipstick, I didn't read the note) but I am blown away by your thoughtfulness. Yesterday, I found a bag in my door with gifts for Olivia. I'm pretty sure who they are from because I know this one family with the uncanny ability to find all things giraffe. Thank you everybody for all that you do.

2. Of course, you know that I have 6 guinea pigs and 2 rats. I love naming my pets. I always tried to find names that I like, but probably wouldn't use for my children. My guinea pigs' names are: Bailey, Harrison, Penelope, Morgan, Taryn and Persephone. Sadly, my plan didn't quite work. It's been 8 months and it's time I fessed up. My rats' names are: Lucy and Olivia. Yes, there is Olivia the giraffe and Olivia the rat. I never considered the name Olivia for a daughter, but I fell in love with the name after I named my rat. I have tried to change my rat's name, but she is very smart and had already learned her name. I tried calling her Lily, but she just ignored me. So. . .there you go. I've been trying to cleverly disguise that bit of information. Olivia the rat is the one with the eye problems and has a lump on her back.

3. I actually enjoy paying bills. Okay, I can't really say that I enjoy watching my money disappear, but I like to know where we are at any given moment. It's somewhat satisfying to make sure everything gets paid. I know. . .kinda weird.

4. In high school, I played the bassoon. I played the flute as well, which is the instrument that I began playing in 5th grade. My flute was stolen out of the band room in 9th grade. I didn't have an instrument for awhile, but my band teacher had an old bassoon and asked me if I wanted to try it. I did until I bought a new flute. The next year, they purchased a brand new bassoon for me to play, so I stuck with it. I played flute, however, in marching band. I actually really enjoyed the bassoon.

5. My husband washes all the dishes. When we first got married, he learned that I hated washing dishes and I learned that he hated doing laundry. So, we took each other's most hated jobs and it's been that way for 5 years.

6. I have the most amazing, miraculous, adorable daughter. . .oh, I guess you already know that.

Here are the 6 lucky people that I'm tagging: Kerry, Kim, Heather, Stacy, Crystal, Angie

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008 - Update

Olivia and I went on our first car ride today. . .just the two of us. Ever since Olivia failed her car seat test without oxygen, I've been nervous to take her in the car without being right beside her. I know. . .that was over 4 months ago and she is a much different baby now, but I'm still nervous. Usually, Ryan drives with his two girls in the backseat. Today, I felt like getting out of the house, so we went to the bank and the Dog N Shake drive-thru. Little by little, I'm gaining confidence and feeling more like a normal mother.

Last week, we decided to buy a baby scale. I don't like being surprised once a month at the doctor's office. I'd rather have an ongoing idea of how she's doing. She now weighs about 12 lbs 8 oz. I'll try to give weekly weight updates on her. Yesterday, she started on barley. She seems pretty indifferent to rice, oatmeal and barley. I don't think she hates any of it, but she's not exactly thrilled with it either. She has decided that she no longer wants to take afternoon naps, which makes her pretty cranky in the evening and doesn't let me get a whole lot done. So, I'd better go. . .

***On a not so good note, Olivia's vomiting is back with a vengeance and I'm not quite sure why. We're almost back to a once a day occurrence. I just can't figure it out. Although she usually tends to smile afterwards, it seems that it's bothering her more when she does it. It scares me a bit because she really chokes and turns red while it's happening. Usually, we can pinpoint some sort of reason as to why it happens, but today it caught me by complete surprise. Just when I thought things were improving. . .

Sunday, April 27, 2008

March for Babies continued. . .

Marching for Babies
Olivia's cousin, Rebekah

Aunt Laura and Grandma Sailing getting some love from Thunder Dog.
Cousin Julia warming up.

Olivia was a trooper, but towards the end she was hungry, tired and ready to go home.