Saturday, September 13, 2008

G is for Giraffe

Today we had Olivia's Halloween costume "fitting." I wanted to make sure she wouldn't outgrow it by Halloween. It's still a little big, so it should fit perfect by then. The costume is just one of the amazing gifts that we've received from the Omli's. Some of you that began reading the blog at a later date, are probably wondering. . why giraffes? So, here is the post that I wrote explaining about just that:

(Blog post written Sept 26, 2007) When we were planning the nursery, we knew we wanted an animal theme because that would fit a boy and a girl. Well, it kind of turned into a giraffe theme because everything we started buying had a giraffe on it. We also bought a large 4 – 5 ft stuffed giraffe (Mr. Giraffe.) We kind of joked about the kids not being able to get away from giraffes. Shortly after they were born, Olivia was put on the blue lights that had a giraffe on it. She was then moved to her isolette that is the Giraffe brand. Then, they gave her an isolette cover that had, you guessed it, giraffes all over it. So, we have this weird connection to giraffes and today we learned that there was a baby giraffe born at the Sedgwick County Zoo. They named this baby giraffe. . . Olivia. I don’t know what all of it means, but it is all very intriguing.

I also ran across this picture taken December 2005 during our trip to Orlando. Of all the cutouts like this that we saw, I found it funny that I would have my picture taken with a giraffe.

Then, my dad found this picture of him as a baby. Hmmm. . .interesting that he had a picture taken in his high chair with. . .a giraffe. One of the many questions I have to ask God is "Why giraffes?"

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008 - Update

Rain, rain, go away!

We're getting quite a bit of rain in our part of the world. Many of the roads and intersections are closed and the rain is expected to continue throughout the weekend. I hope all of you are safe and able to make it home from work! I also have a few blogger friends who live in the path of Hurricane Ike. Thinking of you! I guess the weather is all that I have to talk about today.

Head on over to Kerry's blog and Stacie's blog (yes, Stacie now has a blog for those of you who don't know! It's listed under Family and Friends called Everything and Nothing.) They have pictures and additional statistics on our crazy amount of rain.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just when you thought she couldn't get any cuter. . .

I can't tell you how much videos like this warm my heart. What some people might not understand are the grim outcomes given to micro-preemies. Logan and Olivia were given a 30% chance of survival. I didn't know if I would ever be able to take my babies home. . .these babies that I prayed for with my whole heart. We were handed a booklet after they were born. We called it the "bad" book that listed everything that they were at risk for. As 23-weekers, they had a 90% chance of a major disability! We accepted that. We would still love them with all that we had and would provide them with all that we could. After losing Logan, we needed Olivia. I've mentioned before how this tiny little girl carried her mom and dad through their darkest days. I knew that I may never be able to teach her to jump rope or ride a bike or take her shopping for a prom dress. But, I would give her the best life that I could. Then, one day she could breathe on her own. . .and drink from a bottle. . .then she smiled and laughed. One day she rolled over. Today she's sitting up and grabbing everything that she can find. . .and she'll talk your leg off. She especially likes to talk about her wonderful daddy. No matter what the future holds for Olivia and others like her that are born so very early. . .we will love them and celebrate every milestone that's met. I celebrate all of you micro-preemies. You're the strongest people I know!

~She's laughing at my goofy faces. . .or maybe it's because I'm just plain goofy. . .


I forgot that chocolate gives me quite the headache. . .

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - Update

You'd better be nice to my mama!

At the store today, I picked myself up some chocolates. I needed them. . .I had that kind of day. Olivia had her post-op eye appointment this morning. I had worried about that because you know how she is with eye appointments, but it went great. The doctor thought her eyes looked great and she acted like such a big girl and hardly cried at all. It was MY doctor's appt. that didn't go so well. Actually, at a doctor's appt, you'd actually get to meet with the doctor. Ryan's mom came over to watch Olivia and I drove all the way across town apparently to just have blood work done. . .blood work that I had already had done. . .some of it just last week. I don't know where the major screw-up was. You know, it takes a lot to make the decision to go to a doctor for help and then I can't even get in. Then, they say I can get in, but not really. After all I've been through. . .I don't know. I'm not asking for preferential treatment, but there are some things that people go through in life and they just need to be treated with a little extra care. I try to relieve some stress and it only causes me more. I'll just eat my chocolates and hug my little girl and it'll be fine. If not, well, those people will have to answer to Olivia. . .and she can give one evil eye! (Especially the day after her surgery.)

Today is a good day, though, because it's Uncle Kris's Birthday!! Happy Birthday!!
(Sorry, not a very good segue into that.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Olivia's Progress

You would not believe the change in Olivia after her surgery. It is amazing. She is grabbing onto her toys and shows interest in everything around her. She is also sitting up completely on her own for long periods of time. I continue to be blown away. How can this be? Well, I ran across the following article.

Babies' Development 'Catches Up' After Surgery To Fix Crossed Eyes

Here is one of Olivia's first attempts to sit up completely by herself. What a big girl!!

The Many Smiles of Olivia Paige

Olivia's feeling a lot better today. I don't think you can discount the effect that weather has. Whenever the temperature drops, children just seem fussier. She may also be getting another tooth. Mom, you have no idea how much having those enchiladas for dinner helped. That was one less thing to worry about yesterday. And Shelley? The chicken pot pie was delicious and we are so grateful to you! You both have no idea!

To add to our stress, we believe one of my guinea pigs (Morgan) had some sort of stroke. She is unable to move and when she tries to, she falls over and flails her legs. With Olivia's surgery/recovery, I just haven't had the chance to get her into the vet. We have gone way over lately in our veterinary budget. . .okay, so we don't have a vet budget, but if we did, we would be way overdrawn. Note to self: Don't have so many animals around the same age. They will all become elderly at the same (and most inconvenient) time. Luckily, she doesn't seem to be in pain and is still eating very well.

In happier news, you wouldn't believe how well Olivia is pushing up on her arms. I had no idea that eye surgery would equal such better use of arms. It's amazing!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008 - Update

Crabby, crabby, crabby. Olivia woke up extremely irritable and has remained that way for most of the day. I ended up calling her eye doctor because her right eye looks just awful. As long as it's not actively bleeding or draining, I guess we're okay. Anyway, nine hours and two naps later, Olivia seems a bit more content.

We met with PT this morning and she cried during the entire visit. She wouldn't even roll over for her. I can't say that any of the exercises that I've done with her have helped. Olivia seems to do things when she feels it's time. Her PT does not believe that her delayed development is anything physical. She should be capable of moving, her mind just hasn't wrapped itself around the idea. I'm supposed to put her through the motions in hope that one day she will get it. I wonder sometimes how much doctors and therapists even know about 23 weekers since they make up such an extremely small percentage of the population. Are we expecting too much for her or not enough? On days like this, I feel defeated. I am dreading the upcoming RSV season as we will have to go back into hibernation (for hopefully the last time.) It's like a dark tunnel that I'm approaching. I'm still struggling with extreme fatigue and being stuck inside the house all winter most likely will not do much to help.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008 - Update

Mommy and Me
Hangin out with dad.

Jumping on the bed!

Olivia's right eye does not look very good today. It is very red. They gave us this ointment to put in her eye four times a day, which we do faithfully. We are supposed to pull down her lower lid and put a "ribbon of ointment" along the bottom. That's easier said than done. When she's thrashing her head about and squeezing her eyes tightly shut, we are lucky to get some on her eyelashes in hopes that it makes it into her eye. Couldn't we have gotten eye drops as well? We also have to keep her from rubbing her eyes, which we can do when she's awake, but I don't know what she does in her crib. We could have gotten arm restraints, however, Olivia calms herself by sucking on her hand and the arm restraints would prevent her from doing that. Her doctor suggested putting socks on her hands, which we are currently doing. I'm sure that might help for a few minutes at least. It's hard to do because we're trying to encourage her to use her hands more. Any suggestions? I'm pretty stressed about the whole thing. Olivia, however, still seems to be her usual happy self which I am thrilled about.