Thursday, November 29, 2012

Surrounded by love

We got home from the hospital yesterday and this afternoon Vivian received two wonderful surprises. Our neighbors across the street brought us dinner which was so perfect because I had absolutely nothing planned and it was 4:30pm, and Kelly delivered an edible arrangement complete with chocolate covered strawberries!

We felt so very blessed. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Today is the day Vivi gets to go home!

Her fever is gone and she's perked up so much compared to this past week. Definitely not 100% yet, but on the right track, that's for sure. Given that it was our last day at the hospital, and Vivian was so ready to go home (irritable that it took so long to get discharged), I didn't take any pictures until we got home. The doctor had to wait to let us go until it had officially been 48 hours since her fever broke, which was 4pm since her last temp was 3:45 on Monday. Those last four hours were rough.

But we made it and were finally set free at 4:30pm. It took a little while for us to pack up - they gave us so many toys, books, and little trinkets that they actually needed to be wheeled out in a wagon by one of the nurses (Vivi refused a ride herself, preferring to be carried by me).

It was soooo incredibly wonderful to come home with our baby girl finally healthy! Owen was so excited to have his best friend and playmate home and was super excited about all the fun stuff she brought home with her. Especially the princess bowling set that the nurses gave her as a going home gift.

He presented his sister with a special ornament that Grandpa let him pick out in the gift shop of the hospital which she just loved. It's a Ruldolf one with blinking lights!

Then she had a special surprise waiting for her from Grandma and Poppy who wished they could have been here with us during this stressful time. It was her very own princess chair - pink & white polka dots! Now she has her very own chair to sit in when she and Owen watch their favorite shows! Thank you Grandma & Poppy!!

So happy to have our happy little girl back! Thank you so much to all our friends and family for your love and support during this past week & 1/2.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Just brushing my teeth before bed

Our little ham is back! (So happy!!!)

Post-IVIG and Owen visits!

Vivi woke up this morning practically a new kid. We all slept from 4:30 until I couldn't take the little double cot any longer, and I got up to check on her and grab a cup of coffee. I sat in the rocking chair by her bed and watched her sleep peacefully.

She was up around 7:30am and Ben left to go home and get ready for work, giving her a kiss and a high-five before he headed out. She felt so good that we just had to get a little playtime in over in the playroom before breakfast arrived.

So we went and did a little shape project that Mommy concocted:

We went back to her room soon after we finished our shape project so that she could eat breakfast. She had some waffles and yogurt and milk, and our new nurse came in to introduce herself. The rest of the morning we rested and played on the ipad, and the cardiologist came in around 1:30pm to check her heart with an echocardiogram.

Everything checked out just fine. She'll continue on 1/2 a tablet of baby aspirin (orange or cherry flavored so she'll chew it herself just fine) a day for the next 8 weeks, and we'll go back to see the cardiologist in 2-3 weeks and again 6 weeks after that for a final check. They're checking to make sure that the arteries to her heart did not have any signs of aneurisms because of the inflammatory procedure of IVIG.

When the cardiologist was finished, Vivi had the best surprise ever. Owen came to visit with Grandma! (They were waiting patiently in the playroom, and I was relieved to see that Owen was able to be torn away from the playroom to come to her room and give his sister a big hug - once they were back in the playroom. LOL.)

We hung out in the playroom for awhile and then I took Vivi back to her room to see if she would nap since she was yawning. She tried, but there was too much excitement and she had more visitors on the way. Grandpa and Aunt Hillary came to visit before dinner! While we were waiting for them to arrive, Vivi's doctor had encouraged us to take the kids on a wagon ride around the hospital for a change of scenery. Owen helped to push Vivi's IV pole to the playroom to get the wagon. They loved it! We went down to the lobby to see the Christmas tree and the fish tank, and then headed back to the room to relax and watch a movie before dinnertime.

We had a nice time catching up with Grandpa and Aunt Hillary, filling them in on our time in the hospital. And then it was time for Vivi to get ready for bed since she had had such a big day. Ben had gotten there from work just when Grandpa and Aunt Hillary had arrived, and since Grandma was staying over to watch Owen, he was able to stay for a few hours to visit and see just how well she was doing after the treatment. We were both amazed. As long as her fever stayed away for 48 hours, we'd be going home on Wednesday.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Visit from Grandma!

Today the pain was still there, and her fever was still coming and going. Without the pain medicine, Vivi was pretty miserable when she wasn't sleeping. Grandma came to visit after she dropped Owen off at preschool. Vivi was really happy to see her.

After Grandma left around 3:30, I had the nurse come in to take Vivi's temperature since she felt warm to me and was pretty fussy. Sure enough, her temp had gone back up and it was the highest it had been since we were re-admitted - 103. The Infectious Disease doctor on staff came in to see her since he had been brought in on her case. He said we'd give it one more day and then he'd start looking outside the initial diagnosis of pneumonia.

I was not happy. I was scared to wait another day when it was day 10 of her fever. I called Molly for her opinion, then Brett, then Vivian's pediatrician. I was starting to worry it could be something more serious than just pneumonia, especially since all of her chest x-rays showed a minimal pneumonia in her lungs.

Vivi's pediatrician had the paperwork from the hospital and from our doctor's notes, she agreed with her that they should probably treat her for Kawasaki disease, especially since the fever had been lingering so long and at that point Viv was on 3 different antibiotics. Our doctor at the hospital came in and talked with us and said they were going to go ahead with the IVIG treatment for Kawasaki since Vivian had most of the symptoms (albeit not classic symptoms, but similar enough that it warranted moving forward with IVIG to protect her heart). I was in the middle of driving back to the hospital from showering and gathering clothes at home when Dr. S called me saying she was in the room discussing the procedure with Ben. I joined in on the conversation until I was actually in the room too, and Dr S stayed to answer all of our questions before they started.

I was pretty nervous about the whole thing because it is an inflammatory process so to protect her hear from an aneurism, they have to give her a big (for a child) dose of aspirin before, during, and after the procedure. Then, they start it very slowly so that if there is an allergic reaction, they can immediately stop and treat the allergy. Poor baby had to get a new IV put in and on top of that, her original IV from when she was readmitted had to be taken out and placed in another spot because it had started leaking a tiny bit. She was a trooper through it all. At the end she said "All done!" and got to pick a prize out from the toy box.

 They started the IVIG at 9:20pm and I stayed awake until 11pm because I was worried about how she would handle it. Of course, she slept through the entire thing. Even when I had to wake her up at 9pm to give her the first aspirin dose (they let the parents do the medicine by mouth since the kids take it better that way) she went right back to sleep within 30 seconds. The nurses were checking her vitals every 15 minutes in the beginning, then as she was showing signs of handling the treatment well, their vital checks moved further apart.

At 11pm, I decided to head down the hall to the "parent sleep room" to try to get some good rest while Ben was staying overnight. I gave him instructions to please wake up at 4am when the nurse comes in to give the aspirin so that he could give it. But unfortunately, he wasn't able to wake up. I woke up at 4:15am to sounds of Vivi screaming from down the hall. Yes, the door to my room was closed; hers, not so much. She was so sleepy though that she went back to sleep by 4:30, and so did Ben and I.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandma Marshall!

Today was Grandma Marshall's birthday! Unfortunately, we didn't get to celebrate since Vivi is still in the hospital. Vivian painted a beautiful birthday card for her Grandma though, and we'll celebrate once we're home and well and we can all get together. Check out her left-handed painting skills:

On our second trip to the playroom today, we did glue dots with beads and also some stamping. I've learned this week that my little girl is very into arts and crafts and that makes me so happy since I used to love art myself when I was a kid.

She was feeling better than yesterday and wasn't in nearly as much pain because the doc decided to give her a pain med (stronger than baby Motrin) to help her feel more comfortable. She would get upset towards the end of the 6 hours that it lasted, so they kept her on it the entire day and night. The doctor is re-assessing things tomorrow.

In case you're wondering, Owen has barely noticed we're not home since he's way too busy having fun with Grandma.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More tests, antibiotics, etc.

This morning Vivian had a repeat chest x-ray to check on the pneumonia, as well as a panel of bloodwork and a urine culture. Here we are outside the x-ray room, waiting our turn. We were wheeled down together in a wheelchair but Vivi was so sick she wasn't able to enjoy the ride. I was still in my jammies and she was getting annoyed with me for taking pictures so early in the morning.

That afternoon, we met with the doctor who would be on our case and she was fantastic. Viv was sleeping and Dr. S. was making her rounds on the floor when it was our turn. She took over an hour to speak with Ben and I and to learn our case from the beginning. She asked lots of questions, confirmed things, and discussed with us what she thought was happening and how she was going to go about treating our baby. We were impressed with how thorough she was, especially considering how brief my interaction was with the doctor who had seen Vivian the first time she was admitted. I guess re-admission means you get more intense attention.

The rest of the afternoon Vivi spent resting, playing on the ipad, and doing arts and crafts in the playroom.

Oh, and we watched about 30 episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba and Diego. I'm over them. Unfortunately for me, she's not.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Follow-up at the pediatrician

Well, we went to our 10:30am pediatrician follow-up appointment this morning, and the doctor took one look at Vivi and upon feeling her belly, sent us straight back to the hospital. When she was pushing on her abdomen, Viv was doing what is called "guarding" - she was flexing her muscles to protect what was hurting her. The doc immediately thought he might be suffering from appendicitis.

I had Owen with me too at the time, which turned out to be a good thing since he kept her company in the ER triage room. See:

Ben came as soon as he could and took Owen home where Grandma Marshall met him to babysit while he came back to the hospital with an overnight bag for me and to speak with the doctor. She had an ultrasound, another x-ray, and a CT-scan to triple check her appendix. Sleepy baby fell asleep on the table during the ultrasound:

Daddy did such a good job keeping her happy in the triage room. The ipad didn't hurt either.

We were admitted and moved up to a room around 10pm that night after they determined that it wasn't her appendix, but something else that was the source of her pain. That, they would have to look into tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Ben made his most delicious turkey ever this year. Curt wasn't able to make it since he was battling bronchitis, but Hillary and Tish came over to celebrate with us. Vivi slept off and on the entire day, and only ate 2 bites of apple pie. We were anxious to get her to her follow up appointment the next day since she did not seem to be improving at all. In fact, last night we even called the pediatrician on call because Vivi was doing rapid breathing and it wasn't even 3 hours after her last neb treatment. Luckily, she slept okay during the night other than waking up twice for neb treatments. Hopefully the doctor tomorrow will have more advice on how we can get her well!

(Does Ben's turkey-carving outfit look familiar?)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Going home!

Today the doctor sent us home. Even though Vivi's fever is still there, she's now fully hydrated and the doc says the virus probably needs to run its course. We're excited to get home to Ben & Owen and to get ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow! (Owen made Vivi a tower in honor of her homecoming!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trying to figure this out

Vivi and I slept okay in the hospital that night. We met the doctor who was on that day and she explained how she thought it was probably viral pneumonia and it would need to run its course. She put her on two antibiotics, just in case it was bacterial, so that we could stay on top of it. They treated her fever with Motrin and kept her fairly comfortable. We even took a trip to the playroom, but all she did was cry, so we went back to the room so that she could rest. It seemed to me that her little body just wanted to sleep and rest to fight whatever was making her so sick.

Grandma Marshall came over this morning to stay with Owen. So thankful that we have family close and they are able and willing to jump in when we need help.

Monday, November 19, 2012

From the pedi to the ER

This morning Owen went to Mom's Morning Out and Vivi stayed home since she was still feeling miserable. I called the pediatrician and got her in for a 2pm appointment while Owen was at preschool (he had back-to-back MMO/preschool today). The doctor took one look at her and said she suspected pneumonia. I didn't think so since she wasn't coughing or struggling to breathe, but the doc pointed out her rapid breaths and I immediately agreed with her. They did a neb treatment in the office and it helped her oxygen level, but since she still looked so bad and she also was pretty sure she was dehydrated, they send us right over to the ER.

I called Ben and left a message and then rushed her over to the hospital. We didn't have to wait too long before they took her back for a chest x-ray. They immediately started an IV to give her fluids and told us we'd be there overnight. Ben picked up Owen at preschool and took him over to Kelly & Matt's so he could play with Kayla until Ben got home. He brought me an overnight bag and met us in the ER triage room where we were still waiting to get moved up to the pediatric floor.

Baby girl was so weak that she barely fought at all when they did the IV, and she was out sleeping soundly for the entire ride to our room. I met our nurses and they got us settled in the room before I turned in for the night. We'd meet the doctor in the morning. The room was very nice and comfortable - that's my cot in the background. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Still sick :(

Vivi still had a fever when she woke up at 5:15am this morning, so I tried to get her to eat a grape popsicle. She looked terrible, but after a dose of Motrin seemed to be doing okay. Still wasn't very interested in eating or drinking, which was starting to worry us.

By 10am I was thinking it could be an ear infection, so off to Urgent Care we went. They said her left ear looked infected and they put her on Amoxicillon. Hopefully after today's 2 doses she'll be feeling much better tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2nd Annual Pre-Thanksgiving at Kel & Matt's

The Taeschner's hosted another incredible Pre-Thanksgiving feast this year. Matt did two turkeys, two ways and they both were delicious. Kel made her famous roasted butternut squash with spinach and cranberries, and everyone brought a side or dessert to compliment the meal. Everything was so yummy, but one of my favorites was the smoked sweet potato casserole with smoked pecans on top - so flavorful!

Ben and Vivian unfortunately missed out because she was running a temperature. But I of course brought them home a big plate of leftovers to enjoy.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stitch Fix

I recently signed up for Stitch Fix in an attempt to add some nicer pieces to my wardrobe since I tend to suffer from Old Navy fashion syndrome. I love Old Navy since it fits my budget so well and they always have trendy outfits which I enjoy trying, and some timeless items which I've been able to make last through several seasons (if I'm lucky).

I heard of Stitch Fix from of friend of mine from high school. She tried it and loved it, so I signed up for a Fix. Each fix is a $20 fee for them to send you a box of 5 hand-picked items for you (free shipping) which you then try on at home with your own wardrobe and accessories. Whatever you decide to keep, you pay for, minus the $20 fee (it acts as a credit towards your purchase), then you send the rest back in a pre-paid shipping envelope which you can put in your own mailbox for pickup. If you decide to keep all 5 items in your box, you get an automatic 25% discount.

It's such a fun way to shop and to pamper yourself. I've really been enjoying it. My first Fix was neat - there were lots of different items that I would never have chosen for myself. I ended up keeping one piece out of the five. You decide when you want to order a fix, or you can sign up for a monthly box. I like the flexibility of choosing when I get my Fix, so I do them one by one, usually as a treat before a special occasion when I know I'll need something new to wear. You fill out a personal style profile for them before you schedule the Fix, so that they have your sizes, likes and dislikes, and any requests for specific types of items you'd like to see in your box. And let me tell you, they definitely deliver if you are very detailed with your profile. :)

In my second Fix I received two items that I decided to keep - a comfortable cotton dress that can be worn with leggings in fall/winter and without for spring/summer and an intricate feather print blouse which can be dressed up with a skirt or down with jeans. I love how versatile both pieces are. Stitch Fix sends you a card with each item that has ideas on how to wear it with things you probably already have in your wardrobe - love that. And every time a friend signs up for a fix using my referral link, I earn $25 credit towards my next Fix.

 So check it out and if you're interested, please sign up using my link. If you get the box and end up not liking anything they send, you're only out the $20 styling fee, which, in my opinion is worth the fun it is to play around with fashion for an hour after the kiddos are asleep for the night. My idea of Mommy Entertainment/Pampering! :) 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Flying home with my princess

Vivian was such a good girl on the flights. I kept her entertained with the ipad and the TV in the headset in front of us worked too at times. On the flight down she stayed awake the entire time from the excitement, but on the flight home today she slept for the second half, waking up in time for her favorite part of the flight.

This girl especially loved the unlimited snacks. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Visiting family and friends

The big bonus that came along with traveling to Sanibel for the writer's conference, was that it was 2 hours away from my Mom and Dad, Mike & Lindsey and Max, and friends of ours - the DiPietra's. When the conference finished up on Sunday morning, we headed back to Weston to have a playdate with Wyatt and Grant. They showed Vivi their rocket launcher and taught her how to play "Don't Wake Daddy" which was super cute and fun. It was so nice to catch up with Tony, Dotty, and Andrea and the boys since we only get to see each other once or twice a year.

Then it was off to Mike and Lindsey's to see Max and have dinner together. Max and Vivi had fun playing, but Vivi wasn't used to sharing with someone her size and thus threw several monster tantrums - complete with kicking and screaming while laying on the floor. This was a first for her. But it was awesome spending time with my brother and sister-in-law and I got to give her belly a little kiss. Can't believe that in four months we'll have another cousin in the family!!! And a girl for Vivi to play dolls with too! :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sanibel for the weekend

I took Vivian with me this weekend to attend a Writer's Conference on Sanibel Island. My wonderful Mother-in-law offered to watch Owen, and my parents offered to come with us to babysit Vivi while I attended classes and readings during the day. It was such an incredible opportunity and I met so many fabulous writers. Thank you to the grandparents and Ben for making this trip possible. You all are the BEST!

I had the chance to sit in on lectures given by published authors who were so inspiring and enjoyable to listen to. In the afternoons, there were readings where the authors would select essays or chapters from their books to read to us. I loved every single minute of the conference. Especially the people I met. The first day I met my conference buddy Dusty. He and I hit it off right away and hung out during the breaks in between sessions. He read my work (writing exercises that we were given during the lectures) and gave me the confidence to read one of my pieces aloud during a class. He's going to make an amazing professor in a few years. :)

It was such an awesome experience that when I came home, I immediately booked another one. The author who I was hoping to meet at the Sanibel conference actually didn't make it due to an illness she contracted the day before the event. So I checked out her schedule and found that she's the keynote speaker of a memoir writer's retreat in March and I managed to get one of the last early-bird tickets for a long weekend in Seattle. Cheryl Strayed, if you wanted to check her out. She's pretty amazing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We voted

and cancelled each other's vote. That's just how we do it in our household. No matter how hard he tried, Owen couldn't convince his Daddy to vote for Mitt Romney.

This little miss was just happy to get a sticker.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The cootie show

Kayla and Ryan came over to play today and the kids got out Owen's Cootie game. They built their own Cooties and then did a puppet show for us. It was very cute. Love their imaginations.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I wish I had a mixer

This morning over breakfast, Owen told me that he wished he had a mixer for his kitchen. A real mixer. For his kitchen. To make things.


Really, bud? What would you make with a mixer in your kitchen?

(chomping on a mouthful of cereal) I think I'd make some zucchini cookies, Mommy.

That's my boy.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Milk or Water?

She can't decide, so she has a little of each. :)

Vivian, put your shoes on please

No, sweetie. Your shoes, not your baby's shoes. At least she's trying which is more than I can say for her brother when I ask him to put on his shoes so we can get out the door.

Morning show

Most mornings, the kids wake up famished and must have food and milk or juice immediately. I am usually able to get a pot of coffee brewing (or if I'm lucky I set it up on auto the night before) before they start crying for their breakfast.

Because of this, I always feed them first, clean up after their mess, and then set them up with a show before I make my own breakfast. This ensures I will get at least 20 minutes of quiet time to enjoy my bowl of oatmeal and cup of coffee. :)

This morning they shared the beanbag while watching an episode of Backyardigans.

My loves.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I learned how to de-seed one of these babies today. And that Owen LOVES to eat this highly time-consuming, yet delicious and healthy, fruit.