4/16/17

Happy Easter!!

I hope everyone is having a blessed and happy Easter!

For some reason this morning, I'm remembering of our very first Easter with Carla.  She was born the Monday morning before Easter, had her first open heart surgery on Thursday, and I remember Easter Sunday morning, being at the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake with Bobby's parents and brother as well as our son, Cody, when I received a phone call that they had decided that they didn't think Carla was quite ready to have her chest closed that day.

Weird the things you remember...

Because she was born so close to Easter, I think when we came home we had like ten stuffed bunnies or something.  We spent another Easter at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake, when Carla had just turned 4, and had been hospitalized after catching RSV and suffocating. I have a picture of her with the Easter Bunny that was at the hospital that day... I think we have actually spent almost every holiday in the hospital at some time or another.  So, on this beautiful spring day, when I wake up to my 10 year old playing on the computer and begging to eat the chocolate in her basket, it feels just a little sweeter.

Today will be a pretty low key day.  Cody will come for breakfast and stay for the day... Carla will participate in the town's Easter egg hunt at 1:00 and then we will do a family dinner around 2:00, with Our little Wright Family, plus Bobby's folks and brother. Bobby has to leave for work at 3:00, so that's about it for the festivities.

I cannot help but to feel incredibly blessed and happy.

Love, Jen


4/8/17

Birthday Celebrations!!!!

The whole last week of March, Carla was sick with something similar to pneumonia. She had fevers every few hours and was coughing out really dark greenish brown phlegm.  We started her on one antibiotic and then, after lab results, they started her on a second antibiotic.  They finally started working by Friday, but unfortunately, we had already cancelled Carla's all girl sleep over that we had planned to celebrate her turning a decade.  We rescheduled for this Friday (the 7th) instead and luckily everyone was healthy enough to attend.  

Sunday, the 2nd, was Carla's actual birthday.  I cannot believe she is already 10! How time flies! There  is something significant about turning a decade old, and it was hitting me pretty hard that I wished so much that my Mom could have been here to help us celebrate.  I bet she would have been such a fun Grandma and she was always good at organizing a party, so that had me missing her too. 

On the morning of her birthday, we had our usual Sunday morning breakfast with Cody and Bobby's folks. Thomas and Mandy also came out, so that was fun too.  In the afternoon we went to Helena and had a celebration with the Morgan side of the family.  It is always so good to see everyone.  On Wednesday, we got together with Bobby's side of the family and took little miss out to Applebee's for dinner.   She loves it when they sing to her and bring her ice cream.  The big birthday sleepover was last night and I can honestly say, it was a hit!  The girls had so much fun and there was giggling, singing, screaming and down right energy going on.  They stayed up past midnight talking and thinking they were getting away with something.  I got up this morning and made them cinnamon rolls, pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage. I knew 3 of them had a busy morning, so wanted to make sure they had enough to eat.  

I have to admit, I am super tuckered out from the festivities and have been super lazy all day. The chances of me getting anything done tonight is pretty much nonexistent.

Here are some fun pictures from the birthday week :) 


Opening presents on the morning of her birthday :)




 In Helena with our family ...
Carla with Aunt Diane

Snuggling up her Great Grandma Morgan

Carla and Daddy

The three of us with the beautiful cake Grandma Sue got for her.

That cake was not only beautiful... it was delicious!

Hugging her cousin, Kamden

Give me some knucks. 

Grandma Sue with Kamden and Uncle Bill

Nightmare Freddy Fazbear

Some cool gifts from the neighbor.

Being a sweetie..

Showing Kamden the bears.

Grandpa is signing and Carla couldn't help but to join in and sing and dance. 
 Wednesday night at Applebee's
Just after being sung to and getting her ice cream. 

Strike a pose, with Uncle Tom

You guys! Get your tongues back in your mouths!

Carla with her Daddy & Uncle Tom
 The Birthday Sleepover.

We invited all of the girls in Carla's class (because it's a fairly small class). Last week we would have had 8 girls total but because of circumstances this week we only had 5 total.  I have to say, 5 is a lot of little screaming girls.  AND I never fully understood just how quiet both of my kids are.

Here they are... I was trying to get a nice shot of the 5 of them, but it went off more like a blooper reel...




Decorating their own goody bags :)

Headed downstairs for some karaoke...

These girls are total hams...








 After singing for a while, they had a snack and then worked on a play...

 Later on we did presents, and ice cream cake.



 Aunt Carol (or as we call her, Aunt Cares) bought Carla this cool candle.  It lit like a torch and then sang and spun around.  I thought we maybe should have had the fire extinguisher a little closer... :)


It has been a very fun Birthday week and we are so very blessed to have had 10 years with this amazing little sweetheart.

Love, Jen

3/9/17

Cardio appointment (3/8/2017)

Yesterday we drove to Missoula for a 12:30 appointment with Dr. Sticka. For the most part everything looks pretty much the same and maybe even a tiny bit better. Dr. Sticka is your usual cardiologist, so won't give you too much to get excited about (I swear they must teach them in heart school how to make sure and jump to worst case scenarios... Just in case the parents don't have a reason to stay up at night worrying).  I did tell him that I understood what complications could arise and that I didn't want to talk about them until they arise. Mostly I don't want him scaring Carla. When and if we get into a situation where we need to re-list her for a heart, we will be the ones to tell her, in the most optimistic way we can manage. Until then, we don't need to worry her, she needs to focus on being a kid as much as possible.

After the appointment we headed over to Jimmy Johns for a sandwich and then to Best Buy to look at some technology.  We ended up getting Carla a drawing pad (that she has been asking for for months). We told her it is an early birthday present :)  She was OVER THE MOON EXCITED!

She's about to burst with excitement!

:)

Isn't she adorbs :)

The roads on the way home were good, except for McDonald Pass... I was so thankful the Bobby was driving.

Yucky roads...
Today Bobby woke up with the stomach flu... so we are feeling really sorry for him as well as steering clear of him and his mung... Poor baby.  Carla says: Dad has the "Man Flu" ...  She's pretty cute. I pray to God that Carla and I don't contract the "man flu"

Well, that's about all I've got!  I hope this finds you happy and well!!!

Love, Jen


3/6/17

Update

Let's see, what's blog worthy...?

On Thursday, the 23rd, the school called and told me that Carla was feeling dizzy and looked pale. I went and got her, took her blood pressure (which was normal) and fed her some food. She had caught a cold and it was hard on her. She kept saying: "I hate my body, I have the worst immune system." She was sick for about a week and finally went back to school last Wednesday, the 1st. I caught the cold on Wednesday, the 1st,  and Bobby started feeling poopy on Thursday.  Mine was actually only super annoying for 2 days, mostly just a head cold with a super runny nose and itchy face. Bobby seems to be a lot sicker than I was, so hopefully it's not something different and we don't all get sick with what he has.

One of the interesting things I noticed about getting the call from the school on the 23rd... It totally threw me into a tail spin.  I had been tracking my calories, exercising and being really good. and feeling really good about myself.  After arriving home from picking up Carla, I just wanted to stuff my face with junk food. It made me feel very vulnerable and probably cued my self diagnosed PTSD. When I woke up the next day, my whole body just ached. It felt like someone had taken a bat to my back, shoulders, hip and neck. This is what living with chronic stress will do to a person. I try really hard not to let myself get carried away with what ifs and also try really hard not to let myself worry about things until they actually happen. But, every once in a while I feel like I'm losing it.  After a couple of days of what felt like an emotional tail spin, I am feeling more like myself again. Thank God!

Carla has a cardiologist appointment in Missoula on Wednesday (the 8th), so I am hoping for good news on that. It's always a little nerve wracking because you just don't know what they are going to see. It's also a little nerve wracking this time of the year because you never know what mother nature is going to throw you. I am not someone who will travel if the roads aren't safe.  So, hoping they stay alright.

I'll let everyone know how Wednesday goes!

Love,

Jen

Yesterday Carla felt like having S'mores.  I thought this was the best way to roast a marshmallow in the house :)

2/21/17

Checking in...

Hello there!  Time has been flying by and I don't necessarily have much to report.  But, I have seen a large improvement in Carla's coloring as well as her energy level.  Yesterday she wanted to walk to school, so we did. It took about 17 minutes (it's about 6 or 7 blocks), but she didn't have to completely stop to rest at all.  This was a huge improvement from when we tried walking to school in the past. School has been going pretty well for her except that she seems to get over stimulated pretty easily. She has always been super sensitive to sound and when her classmates get really loud she can't take it. She also hates pep assemblies for this same reason. This morning she is still sleeping because when I woke her up for school she said that she had a sore throat. I know there are a bunch of colds going around the school so, it's not unlikely that she doesn't feel well.  I guess we will see for sure later in the day.

Yesterday I rearranged and got rid of a bunch of clutter in Carla's room. She wants to have a place to put a desk, so rearranging was in order. She is getting to the age that she is not really playing with her toys. So she wanted to sell them, (she has a really cool Barbie Dream House as well as a Princess Castle and a ton of barbies, princesses and princes). I had all the dolls sold, but then she had a change of heart and didn't want to get rid of her toys. The lady who was going to buy them (online garage sale) was very gracious about the whole thing. Carla did, however, part with the little pink kitchen and accessories that she got while we were in Seattle waiting for her heart. This gave us more space to work with, so that was good.

I can't believe she is almost 10!!!  Before we know it she'll be all grown up! The other week she said, "Dad, I AM almost 12..." In that tweeny way kids get.  We laughed and told her she was almost 10 and has to be 11 before she can almost be 12.  Silly kid!

Hoping your Tuesday is filled with awesome!!

Love, Jen

2/6/17

Back to life...

Well, we are home and getting back to regular life!  Carla has started school again (for the first time since Christmas break) and we are keeping our fingers crossed that she will stay healthy.  I have noticed a little bit of bruising as well as random bloody noses, so have a call into Children's to see if they want to decrease the dose of blood thinner she is taking.  She will be taking a blood thinner for at least 6 months.

Our plan at this time is to see her cardiologist in Missoula in about 5 weeks and then to go back to Seattle in May, Missoula in June or July and then back for another cath in August.

I picked up Carla for lunch today and it seems as though her day is going well.  I think she looks quite a bit more pink and that she seems to have more energy.  Although, maybe I'm imagining things, who knows?

I am so glad that everything has gone as well as it has and am hoping that this band-aid will keep her healthy for awhile.

Love, Jen

2/2/17

Stent updated

We spoke to the doctor and he said everything went perfectly! Carla is getting much better blood flow to the bottom of her heart and we are so very happy and feeling blessed. She is sleeping now and we will spend the night for observation.

Thank you for the love and prayers! 

The stent opening is in between the two red lines. 

The stent is placed in between the 2 red lines... this is before it was opened.

Stent...

We arrived in Seattle last night around 5:00. We rented a car, drove the city, rented our room, went to dinner and then did labs at Children's.  We finally settled in for the night around 9:00, it was a long day. 

This morning we had to check into Children's by 6:15. We stayed at the Talaris Conference Center, just blocks from the hospital, to make for an easier morning. Carla's procedure started at about 8:00 pacific time and we are currently about an hour out.  They told us it would take about 2 hours after she was fully asleep.  So, we should get to see her around 11:00ish.  We will be staying at the hospital tonight and hopefully everything will go perfectly and we can come home Saturday as planned.  

Here are some photos from yesterday and today.  Bobby is actually with us too, he just didn't make it into any photos :)

All masked up to fly.  I told her we were "airplane ninjas"

Last night at Jak's Grill for dinner.  Good food and Carla LOVED the chocolate cake dessert she got!

This morning, with her plushy. 
Please pray everything goes perfectly!  I will update after we talk to the docs.

Love, Jen