Saturday, April 28, 2007

And 2 More Makes 5

Just a quick congratulations to our dear, dear friends in Dallas who welcomed twins into their family last week. Both Hudsen and Tate entered our world healthy and hefty (nice job, Ash!). Here's hoping Mom and Dad are hanging in there with 3 kids under 2 (for another week or so anyway). Oh boy!

And girl!

And another girl!

Oh, and thanks for increasing the Eagles fan population of Dallas by two!

Her Story

I know that it has been a while since I've blogged about Abby's story. I'm having difficulty with the next section. Not emotionally, but strategically within the context of the entire experience. That being said, I've found this exercise to be both therapeutic and emotionally draining, which is why there is normally a bit of time between 'episodes'. And in the interim, I try to blog about one or two light-hearted topics (when someone doesn't throw out the R-word that is). I can normally just feel when it's right to continue. And I'm starting to get that feeling now, but as I've said, I've run into a little touch of writer's block. Be patient, dear readers, it's coming.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I Be A Thogger!

I am honored and humbled (and embarrassed since it's taken me so long to accept this!) to be nominated as a Thogger -- a blogger that makes you think -- by Nicole over at All4MyGals. Nic is the Mom of, you guessed it, 4 beautiful young ladies and her second oldest, Tarenne, has also been blessed with "a little something extra".

These are the rules for this honor:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme (see link above)
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is a silver version or gold ).

So, here we go . . .

1. In the category of "Pretty Sure This Blog Has Never Been Nominated" . . .

Jeff at Out With The Kids

2. In the category of "Not Sure If This Blog Has Ever Been Nominated, But If It Has It Deserves Another" . . .

Tammy and Parker at Praying For Parker

3. In the category of "Already A Thogger, But No Matter Who You Are You Have To Admire Her Strength, Courage, and Faith" . . .

Heather at Especially Heather

4. In the category of "A Blog That Meg Told Me To Nominate" . . .

Cher at Cake For Breakfast

5. And finally, in the category of "Probably Invented The Thinking Blogger Award And Was Nominated In The Post That Nominated Mind Flakes" . . .

Dave Hingsburger at Chewing The Fat

Sunday, April 15, 2007


For various reasons, I must remain silent regarding some details of the experience I wish to share with you. Pseudonyms are being used in this story, and if this post seems unusually vague at times, know that there is a reason.

There is always a reason.

Last week, I was unfortunate enough to encounter the "R" word again. Retard. Retarded. The variation matters not. It was uttered by someone who knows better. In fact, it disappointed me quite a bit to know John in particular used this word. I immediately became defensive and formulated in my mind what action I would take. It would have to be addressed.

It was not until the next day that I would be able to do anything about it. And I was pleasantly surprised as someone else approached me before I did. Amy, who I think very highly of and who was familiar with this situation approached me and asked if I had been offended by this. I said that I was, and that I was really very disappointed. Not only that this word had been used, but that it was John that used it. Amy and I talked about it at length.

I'm tempted to say that it would not have been appropriate for me to approach John, but that's not quite it. It's a little more political than that. Amy asked if I wanted her to say something to John and I said yes. I'm positive that she will -- if she hasn't already. Amy will probably fill me in on the conversation, but maybe not. It's fine either way.

I thanked Amy for coming to me about this. It meant a lot. As I walked away from her, I thought about it and felt good. I'm glad that John will realize what he said. I hope he's a little embarrassed. But more than that, I hope he realized the impact of what he said.

And then I saw him. A man that I had never seen before, or if I did, one that I never really paid much attention to.

Wearing a Buddy Walk t-shirt.

I smiled. And as I kept walking, a feeling of pride grew inside me.

And then I realized what I was wearing. A blue shirt and a yellow jacket-vest.

Fate. Karma. Serendipity. Call it anything you'd like. There was something very special in those few moments.

And there's one more thing. As I was doing a Google image search for the term "serendipity", I found the lovely picture that opens this post.

It's of tulips.

I found it on page 21.

Serendipity indeed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Growing Up, His House Was Like A Museum

Now I'm not saying that I grew up like Cameron Frye, where my house was cold and I couldn't touch anything, but my parents (Mom in particular), appreciate a clean house. It's only because she reads this blog -- thanks, Mom -- that I won't come right out and refer to her as a neat freak. That's much too harsh a term. A neat enthusiast is more appropriate.

But I admire her for that. Honestly, I do. And apparently, AJ is taking note of her ways and offering her quite a bit of encouragement.

The following conversation took place on Tuesday of this week between AJ and Mom-Mom:

Mom-Mom: Don't come in yet AJ 'cause Mom-Mom has to turn off the alarm, okay?

AJ: Okay . . . WOW, oh my gosh!! Do you see this house?? It is soooooo neat. How do you do that? I can't believe it!

Mom-Mom: Well, AJ, when Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop are done with their "things", we always put them away.

AJ: Yeah, but Mom-Mom, I put my things away and it NEVER looks like this! It's amazing!!

Ahhh. What can I say? My house? Not so much. And by the way, AJ doesn't always put his "things" away. The things a 4 year old will try to score some Mom-Mom points. Geez.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Don't Do This - Vol. 1

I consider myself to be a competent parent. After all, recent hospitalizations aside, my kids are still alive and well. I'm still alive too, so that's saying something. That must have been what Darwin meant by survival of the fittest. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that I've never been directly or indirectly linked to the demise of another human being.

Those facts therefore give me license to share with you nuggets of wisdom that I have accumulated through experiences which, since they did not kill me, made me stronger.

One night, about 4 years ago, when AJ was just an infant, he and I were playing after dinner. I was laying on the couch and had him aloft over me. He had eaten squash or sweet potatoes, something like that. As an infant, AJ never spit up.

See where this is going?

My mouth open with the joy of playing with my first-born son, I wound up eating squash or sweet potatoes, or something like that.

Fast forward 4 years to yesterday morning. Playing joyfully with my first-born daughter in a similar position, we anxiously awaited the arrival of her nurse with the hospital discharge paperwork.

Gee, she seems a little stuffy. Let me get the bulb suctioner. She hates the bulb suctioner. I love getting snot out of my kids' noses. Sometimes I think I'm close to actually pulling out some grey matter. What can I say? There is something very satisfying about it. And when I squirt the saline up there to loosen that junk, I show no mercy.

So there I was, laying down with Miss Abby sitting on my chest, bulb suctioner firmly up (way up) one nostril. Ahhh. The sound of that suctioner doing its job. It's a delicate technique you know, considering the stringiness of most saline-soaked snot. You need just the right touch to pull the snot from the nose and suck it up into the bulb. It's tricky.

And when things don't go well, you don't want to be laying down with the child sitting on your chest suctioning goop from the deepest part of his or her nasal cavity. As good as you think you are, it's not worth it.

Alas, I didn't have my 'A'-game that fateful morn. And much like I found myself with AJ's dinner in my mouth so long ago, so too did my precious daughter's boogie juice end up in a very bad place. Though she found it delightful to watch Daddy helplessly grasp for a towel, Daddy did not enjoy the experience as much.

And so, as a hunter tries to be downwind from his prey, so must we as parents be mindful of the devastating effects of gravity with respect to matter expelled from our dear, dear children.

Take heart. Take note. And stay dry.

Friday, April 6, 2007

OK, Better Now. Really.

Abby was discharged from the hospital (again) around noon today. She had a great night last night and another good day today.

We are going to try and make this one stick.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

And, We're Back

Home, that is. For the first night in the last 4, we are all together. At home!

Abby came home from the hospital this evening. She is still not in the best of moods -- cranky and wants to be held a lot-- but otherwise is doing OK. She is back to just 1 liter of O2 (1 1/2 at night) and holding her own. She'll be on antibiotics for the next few days, but is finished with the steroids (which should have been obvious when she threw the refrigerator across the room).

I doubt I'll be able to stay awake much longer, though I would love to watch LOST tonight. I don't think that's going to happen though, so shhh! No one tell me what happens.

Right now, I'm looking forward to night #3 on my new pillow!! Wow!

Abby was readmitted to the hospital around 2:00am this morning. The doctor is confident that:

1. It is NOT a new illness
2. It is NOT the old illness coming back/getting worse
3. It WAS a big mucus plug that we couldn't get out giving her chest PT at home

Meg and I thought this is what it and it sounded reasonable judging by the way last night's events unfolded.

Meg fell asleep last night holding Abby on the couch. Sound asleep, her sats were around 95% on 1.5 liters. We checked her again a little while later once she was in her crib, and she was still in the 90's. Then, I gave her a Xopenex breathing treatment and that's when things got bad. Seems likely that the neb loosened the mucus and it was just too big for her (and us) to work out. By the time she got to the ER, her sats were high 70's -- not good.

So right now, she's back to just 2 liters and in the mid-90's again. They are mimicking the type of support we'd be giving her at home to see how she does.

I'll be taking the night shift tonight as my company is closed on Good Friday, so hopefully we'll have a quiet rest of the day.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Me And My Sickie -- Part Deux

Just a quick post that Miss Abby is in the hospital.


With pneumonia.


Hopefully, we'll be coming home tomorrow, but I'd certainly appreciate any thoughts, prayers, crossed fingers/toes, etc. that are out there to spare!