Monday, July 26, 2010

The Puke Monster Is At Our House

I got home last Saturday (7/17) from Colorado (post coming about the trip...waiting on pics to be developed from a throw away camera....who knew it now takes a week to get those things developed?!....anyways....) and when we woke up on Sunday morning to feed Elle, her feeding pump just decided to not work. Error message after error message (one of the few downfalls of depending on a machine to feed our child). We decided to do a gravity feed and hung the bag of formula up on the wall and let it drip down into Elle's stomach. Elle is very sensitive about the rate at which she is fed. Too fast and it is an instant puke. It took us a long time to find the perfect speed at which to feed her - slow enough so her stomach can handle everything but fast enough to where we don't feel like all we do is feed her all day long. We guessed we had the bag too high and Elle got the food too fast because she puked. Out the nose...out the mouth....grossness. We really didn't think anything of it and just continued gravity feeds for the rest of the day and she seemed totally fine. Monday...again....puke in the morning, fine with her afternoon feed and then the worst thing happened. We had an appointment with her ENT in the Medical Center. It was raining, terrible weather and I had to wake Elle up from her nap to get to the appointment. The drive down there was fine. Appointment went great - no tubes for Elle! Whoo hoo!! The drive back home...not so much. I decided to take the HOV lane since 290 traffic was backed up and it would have taken us 2 hours to get home. We jumped on the HOV (single lane for cars with more than 1 passenger - allows you to by-pass all the traffic sitting on the freeway - completely blocked in - once you're on - you can only get off at certain points every few miles) and started making our way home in the rain. Half-way home, Elle starts screaming and nothing would appease her...not the 20 books i passed back to her, not the 10 pacifiers I passed back to her - nothing. I can't pull over to console her because 1) it's raining and 2) I'm on the HOV and can't exit. As we were about to reach our exit, I heard the dreaded sound of gagging and then the worst thing happened - Elle began to puke and gag and choke while I was driving - on the HOV - with no way of me pulling over to help her. I was helpless...I couldn't do anything to help...I couldn't reach her....I couldn't slow down....I couldn't stop....and did I mention that it's raining...badly...very badly. After a few terrible minutes that seemed to drag on forever, I was able to get to the HOV exit and exit the freeway and pull into a parking lot and console my very terrified and frantic child. It was just awful. I haven't felt that helpless in a very long time. We finally made it home and got her cleaned up and down for a nap. Tuesday I was still thinking that her puking was from the fact that we were still having to do a gravity feed because our home health company delivered us a broken pump (totally different I'm still mad about). I took Elle to gym class as usual and then on to therapy where she puked not only all over me, but also all over one of the sofas in the waiting room at the therapy center. I'm still blaming the puking on the gravity feeds so she makes it through physical therapy and then occupational therapy but once we get home the puking starts again...along with the dreaded diarrhea. Great....time to start the pedialyte. Wednesday was the same with puking rounds followed by the dreaded "d" stuff. Poor little girl. We were able to get in with a pediatrician but not our usual one (ours is out of town for the month) and she told us just to continue with the pedialyte until we start to see signs of improvement. We are now on day 10 of the puke fests and thankfully they have diminished to just 1 or 2 a day. We were finally delivered a working pump (after 3 failed in we were brought 2 pumps that didn't work and they lost my order for a new of the nurses at our pedi's office called our home health company and laid into them...we had a working pump by that afternoon). I just hate this for Elle. She is tiny already but has lost weight due to the fact that she is getting a majority pedialyte and only a few calories a day. Her normal feed is 7.5 ounces of pediasure every 5 hours 4x a day. Today we were able to bump up her pedialyte to 5 ounces every 3 hours and towards the end of the day we started to add in an ounce of pediasure with the feeds. We've called the cardiologist and they said they would be doing the same thing for her in the hospital that we are doing here at home so just to continue on with the fluids and watch for signs of dehydration. Last Sunday afternoon Lee surprised me with a new washer and dryer. I think we have already gotten our money's worth out of it. No less than 6 to 8 loads a day of sheets and towels and clothes...all of which has been puked on....or even worse....the dreaded "d" word....10 days of 6 to 8 loads a day...oh my. Even as I type this, Elle puked again in our bed...after our sheets had just been changed. So now, even though I was completely caught up on all the puke washing...I now have another set of sheets, our mattress cover and a few pillow cases that were the latest victims of the puke monster. Oh please Lord, let this end peacefully and go away as suddenly as it came! Please give Elle a break from the constant puking and give her strength where she has lost it. Please comfort and console her in a way that only YOU can. Please just give our little baby peace and comfort as she fights this terrible virus. And please, Lord, give Lee and I strength to get her through this and strength to console her and comfort her as she cries out in discomfort. Oh please, please just help Elle to heal!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Circus Came to Town

Several weeks ago (yes, I am THAT far behind) Lee's cousin had a suite at Reliant Stadium for the circus. We were lucky enough to join her and her family and their friends for a night of elephants, tigers, high flying acrobats and a very entertaining ring master! We got there early to meet all the animals and the entertainers. Elle did great seeing the animals. She would sign "elephant" or "zebra" or "horse" or "tiger" as we were looking at each one. When we got there, I put her hearing aids in and after about 30 minutes, she pulled each of them out and handed them to me. It's was just too loud for her little ears with those aids in!
Looking at the zebras and tigers and signing "elephant"
The beginning of the show was uber entertaining (for me) but Elle got antsy after about 30 minutes. Thankfully we were in the suite so Elle was able to crawl around on the floor and practice her assisted walking with ViVi's help. After intermission the animals came out and Elle sat on ViVi's lap and stared in amazement at the tigers and elephants.

It was so much fun and we all had such a good time. It was Elle's first time to see such big animals and she was just amazed. Thank you Rodgers family for such an amazing night!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Few Video Updates

I have so much to share...about Elle's first trip to the circus and my first getaway sans hubby or kiddo....but for are some video updates!

The girl loves her baths...she is signing "bath, yes and please"

She found the toilet paper

She's getting braver and won't be long until we have a walker on our hands!

She was upset with us because this was probably the 900th time we made her whistle...the first 899 times I was laughing too hard to get it on video. Eventually she got upset with us and only showed us a few seconds of her talent...between cries. Sometimes she actually does whistle...well she sucks air in and it makes the whistling sound. But most of the time she just makes the face and it still cracks me up!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Firsts on the Fourth

Maybe I should title this "Happy Belated Birthday America!" This past holiday weekend we braved the rain and packed up both dogs and elle and headed down to Matagorda, Texas to my parent's bay house. It's been 2 years since Lee and I had been there and Elle's first time. Despite a few rain showers on the way down there, the weekend was perfect! No rain, breezy enough to keep the mosquitoes away and overcast just enough to be pleasant outside.
Saturday we took Elle on her first boat ride. I wouldn't say she hated it, but considering she's not even a fan of wind blowing in her face during our morning walks, you can imagine how not ok she was with the wind blowing in her face during the boat ride! We went fishing but didn't catch anything so we headed back to the house. Saturday night we hung out outside and Elle watched my cousin shoot off fireworks.

Elle on her first boat ride
Sunday, after the boys came back from a successful fishing trip, we took a short car ride in to Blessing, Texas to eat lunch at the historic Blessing Hotel. We then headed down to my dad's deer lease to go bass fishing on the lake. Elle got to drive the mule for the first time - and as suspected -she loved it. Elle did amazingly well considering that it was super hot, we were out there for a few hours, I forgot her sippy cup so she was drinking water out of the water bottles and it wasn't that breezy. She was pretty content to play in the make shift tent we made with a sleeping bag and some chairs! I think she was also enjoying watching the dogs jump into the pond whenever we would catch a fish. Their freedom was taken away and they had to be tied up but Elle sure did like watching them jump around. On the drive out to the lake, Elle was fascinated with the buttons on the mule. Sure enough, she somehow managed to turn on the lights on the mule which we didn't discover until we were ready to leave and the battery was run down! Thank goodness for Lee and my dad because they were able to get the the mule back up and running and we were able to get back to the AC! Our day in the sun wore our little lady out and she was asleep by 7:00pm and missed all the fireworks. Oh well, maybe next year...

Elle and Grampy (and Reggie) ready to head back to the AC!
Monday we went fishing again and Elle got to see her first live redfish up close and personal. While she likes to look at fish in books, she not that big of a fan of the real things. She hid her head on my mom's shoulder when Lee brought the fish to her. Too bad the dogs aren't like Elle and shy away from fish. Reggie went diving for shrimp in the live well and came up with a mouth full of bait and Dutchesse fell overboard a few times trying to eat our fish before we had them landed. Crazy dogs! I will say that being in such close quarters with the dogs all weekend really helped Elle get over her fear of them. Fear is probably the wrong word - she likes to look at them when they are far away or outside. We ran out of bait at about the same time Elle decided it was time for us to leave. Little lady fell asleep in my lap on the boat ride back to the house.

Lee and Elle
I'm so glad the weekend went so great. Elle was a trooper out in the sun and being around the dogs. Although, my dad does have a pretty great shade that covers pretty much his entire boat so really the only time she was in the sun was when we were at the lake. I'm excited for the next time we go down there....I'm hoping it will be soon!!