Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jude's new talent

Jude has another new skill. He has begun rubbing his feet together when he is in his swing or his chair. He uses the big toe of one foot to get the opposite sock down and then pushes it the remainder of the way with his heel. This is what I came out to after his long nap yesterday:

In case you can't see that, here are a couple of close ups:

And, of course, his feet were popcicles!

This is from this morning, when he was in his chair while I was getting ready for church. See my cereal bowl? If I eat while I am right next to him, he watches me the whole time.

So, I suppose there is really nothing I can do about it except continue to put the socks back on. I usually wait a while, until his feet are good and cold in hopes that he will not want to kick them off again.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Praise God for his might works!

Baby Veiyah has opened her eyes! The Dr. also took off her chest incision tape and the incision looks like it is healing very well! If you've read some of my previous post, you know that we have been praying for this little one, born around the same time as Jude. You can check out her story here. I am amazed by God's power to heal from apparently completely bleak situations. I am inspired by this family's complete reliance on Him to carry them through this trial.

Here is an except from yesterday from Veiyah's mommy, Ani:

"Veiyah is continuing to show us how powerful her middle name really is!

Jael "God's Power"

She survived 3 open heart surgeries in 6 days. She isn't even 11 lbs yet. She was supposed to die 6 hours after birth. We were then being handed her over to us to die in our arms only to stop all machines and drop every Dr's/Nurses/Staff/OUR jaws. She made it through her first open heart surgery 3 weeks after birth at only 33 weeks gestation. Her twin sister died from SVT, Veiyah slipped into SVT and we said to ourselves that it was over. She was healed and hasn't slipped back since the first day it happened. (some Dr's disagree with me on that, but i'll explain that later)

Bowel surgery came on December 15th. She was 2.5 months old. 2 weeks old gestation. Malrotation. She then 2 days later "coded" and was bagged and chest compressed back to a fuller life. We went home for 22 days. She was Life Flighted to UIHC due to low blood oxygen and was given an emergent balloon cath procedure that we were told she "may die during this procedure". She survived and then thrived and we went home a week later. We went home for 6 days. She turned blue twice that week that we were home and we admitted her to UIHC on Friday, February 6th. Wednesday February 11th, she underwent open heart surgery called the "Glenn" and had complications where they had to place and extra shunt to get through it. Four days of no real improvement later,Sunday Feb 15, Dr Davis made the decision to go back in and take down the original Glenn. While in there, cleaned it out and it looked fine, so kept her chest open to see how she'd do. It only spiraled from there. Monday Feb 16 emergency surgery was taken on a 3rd time to take down the Glenn and put an extra shunt in.

This baby that was predicted to die and her twin predicted to live, is ALIVE and is a living PROOF of our Most High King. If anyone wants proof of a miracle, I can send you the paperwork from the staff here that doesn't explain why she has made it thus far. Just say the words.

They took out Veiyah's chest tubes today. She is still intubated but they did a pressure test to see if she could handle being extubated soon, and she passed with flying colors. They are slowely going down on her sedation/pain meds to get her to a place where she'll be awake enough to remember to breathe when they extubate her. This will hopefully happen w/in the next day or so. Veiyah had 2 blood clots from after her pic line in December. They never changed, never moved, and they have NOW gotten smaller."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"My Husband Rocks!" Friday

Katy Lin's prompt for this week's MHR is

"Share your favorite "married moment" from the past couple of weeks. Anything that was special, made you smile, or made you feel all "warm and fuzzy" :)"

I actually have a lot of these, but my most favorite one has to do with the date we did not get to take on Saturday (see the earlier post about Jude teething).

Jeff and I have not been on an alone date since September. We had one planned for October (to see Fireproof), but you know that Jude had other plans, and arrived at 35 1/2 weeks instead of waiting until his due date. That's o.k. If he had been a normal 40 week gestation baby I would have DIED considering they gain about half a pound a week in the last month. That would have put him close to 11 lbs.

So we were planning that birthday date for the longest time, but I just couldn't leave Jude with a babysitter the way he was screaming. It just wouldn't have been fair to grandma. But the thing that makes me smile about Saturday is that we were just so content walking around Wal-mart for that hour while Jude slept. It didn't matter to either one of us that we didn't get our dinner out and a movie just so long as we were together. We were semi-alone because Jude slept (for the first time that day) the whole time. And when he woke up, we went home.

Well, actually, we went to Farmer's to try to find a mattress that we liked because our 10 year old mattress is really doing a number on both of our backs. That's kind of sad because we have to get rid of the bed where I birthed our son. But it's kind of happy, too because we'll have a comfortable spot for one of our favorite activities. . . sleeping. What were you thinking? Well, yeah, we like that other thing, too:-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We are on the all out war path against this thrush. We've been fighting against it since Jude finished his third round of antibiotics, but he had it before then. The stuff just keeps coming back!

So today we put EVERYTHING Jude has come in contact with in the wash: toys, bedding, blankets, slings, clothes, changing table cover. You name it. But then it was nap time and Jude's blanket and nap time lovey were still in the dryer.

So we improvised. Jude was more than willing to prove that he is just as adaptable as we are:
This is the hat that I bought him in Peru before we even decided that we were going to have a baby. It's made out of Alpaca wool, so it's really soft. Today, it was a stand in for his lammy.

And, no kidding, he i s sleeping in this photo, but sometimes he smiles in his sleep. He just happened to do it right as I was snapping this photo today:

And we just had to show off the hat that Miss Emily gave us. Too bad it was raining today so we just wore it for photos. But one day it's going to be sunny and we'll show it off around town.

Like father, like son:-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Woah! Cranky baby alert!

Who stole my otherwise happy, calm baby and replaced him with a screaming, inconsolable, won't-take-a-nap one?

Since last Thursday, we have been dealing with the teething monster. It started out with him being a little fussy and not nursing well on Thursday, and if you've seen my kid, you know he likes to eat. So then on Friday, starting just after noon, it was an all out scream fest. Thank the good Lord that Ellie was in a good mood that day because Jude was very high maintenance from then on out. Ellie sat in the bouncy seat and watched T.V. (sorry Jenn and Daryl) in my room while I gave Jude a bath. Then finally he fell asleep only to wake up when Jenn came to get Ellie.

I tried cold teething rings, frozen wash cloths, crushed ice in a baby sock, Tylenol. Then only way I was able to get him to eat after that was when he was so tired from crying that he was falling asleep.

Then Saturday, Jeff brought home some teething tablets, but Jude was still a wreck, so needless to say, we did not get to go on our date. I just did not want to put Grandma Karen through the type of night I had on Friday. We finally figured that the magic bullet was to give Jude the Tylenol and teething tablets together about half an hour before nursing. But, we didn't figure it out until we had already taken him to the after hours clinic. I just wanted to make sure he didn't have another ear infection. So, he fell asleep on the way to Wal-mart, woke long enough to watch us eat lunch at the Wal-mart Subway, and then fell back asleep. So, we decided to just walk around Wal-mart for an extra hour and call that our date. Nothing says Happy Valentines Day like the Rollback Man.

Yesterday, he was going bananas before church, but he was an angel all through church. He even slept half an hour during the sermon. Then when we got home, he slept for three hours straight and had no more problems the rest of the night.

Today, while Emily was here with Izzy and Ty, he got all wound up again, but after a brief nap and a nurse, he seemed to calm down and just enjoyed himself with watching Em's kids and their antics. As they were getting ready to leave, he fell asleep and has been out for about an hour and a half now. I hope he gets a good long nap in and that the worst of it is over, but when in the world are those little buggers going to poke through? Soon, I hope or Florida will be a real exciting adventure.

P.S. Please keep praying for Veiyah (see the post below "Praying for Veiyah"). There have been several ups and downs over the past couple of days, including her vital signs going down so low while she was on the life support. Then they went up and the Dr. told her parents they might be able to close up the chest in a few days if she held steady. But this morning her vitals plummeted again. You can feel from the tone in her writing that Veiyah's mom is just so weary from all of this, having just burried one child a few months ago (Veiyah's twin) to all these heart surgeries on her baby. Pray, pray, pray.

Friday, February 13, 2009

"My Husband Rocks!" Friday

I didn't check the prompt for this week because I already know why my husband rocks this week. My husband rocks because he can make Jude do this:

(I love those little baby legs Jude is wearing. We got two pair free when we ordered the BumGenius diapers.)

Also, my husband rocks because he took care of BOTH babies the two days I had the stomach virus (that he gave me:-) ). And from what I could hear on Wednesday, Miss Ellie wasn't the easiest baby to be around. Jenn and I have come to the conclusion that maybe she just doesn't like men.

But, in addition to giving me a stomach virus for my birthday, he also gave me The Price is Right for our Wii and an iPod shuffle. I had been saving my swag points for it, but now I can use those to buy music for the iPod. I love it because it's light and won't bounce around a bunch when I run.

Um, can you tell I like pink?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I have been following a lot of Mommy Blogs these days (can't imagine why) and there was one little girl that I have been praying for over the last month because when she was born she had to be hooked to a bunch of machines to keep her oxygen levels up and to feed her. Her name is Harper.

Last night, Harper's mommy posted this button.

This is one sick little girl. Please, please, pray fervently for her. You can click the button to read her story.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jude's video montage

Well, I tried and tried to figure out how to post this video I made to the blog and finally gave up and e-mailed it to my hotmail address book. Then, when I got the confirmation e-mail there was a URL and I was able to post it here. Oh, well. You live, you learn.

This is a video montage of our journey with Jude so far. It starts with our move to LaFayette and Jeff's fire academy graduation (those events are linked) because that was one of our requirements that had to be met before we would try to expand our family. I am really proud of this video even though all I did was upload the photos and pick the music. It starts with preconception and goes through Jude's 4th month, because, duh, Jude is four months old.

View this montage created at One True Media
Samuel Judah

On a funny note (and I can't post a photo for obvious reasons) when Jude is completely submerged in the bath water (head and shoulders out, of course) his little turtle crawls back into its hole. If you're a parent of a boy or had an ultrasound of your baby, I think you know what a turtle is. Having only ever babysat girl babies, this comes as a surprise to me. I mean, the water is warm, so why does that happen? Do I win the award for completely inappropriate observations?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More cause and effect with Jude

Jude is learning that he can kick this toy to make it play music. (Thanks for the toy, Sarah!) He's still not too sure about the toy, but he's warming up to it.

He's also learning to sit up better (with lots of support!).

And here are some more shots of him enjoying that toy:

In this one, you can really see that he is losing his second chin:-) And now if you look at the back of his head, his neck looks slimmer because he has developed muscle to give him all that head control. Of course, if you look at the back of his head, you'll also see a nice little flat spot (it's getting better) because we can rarely convince him to lay facing the left. I think it is because I am to his right when we sleep. If I turn the t.v. on :-( sometimes he will face left to see what's on. I try to only do that so I can eat breakfast in the mornings.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"My Husband Rocks!" Friday

Today I am going to respond to the MHR prompt, but then I have a story of my own to share.

One of Katy Lin's prompts this wee was "Tell us about some of the things that you and your husband do to just have fun together!"

Jeff is the best person to do fun stuff with. He is always making people laugh and has such a good nature. He reminds me so much of my Uncle Chris, so it is funny that they both are firefighters. On a regular basis, we hit the Wii for fun. It started out that I would always beat Jeff at the bowling, but now he's pretty good, so my days are numbered.

Before baby, we used to run the trails behind our neighborhood. When Jude is a little older, we will do that again (though we now live about a mile and a half away from the trails now) but for now, when it warms up we can run the cemetery that is across the street from us because they are paved.

My favorite thing that we do for fun is when we go to Mentone, AL each year for our anniversary and stay at Sarah Wilcox's bed and breakfast, The Mountain Lauren Inn. She makes the best breakfasts and there are tons of great hiking trails around. The best one, of course, is the one that comes out at the top of DeSoto Falls. There are tons of great little shops and homey resturants. We could spend all day in the Antique places. If you are ever in Mentone, be sure to eat at Winwood Farms. What's nice when we go is it is always the Rhododendron Festival, so there is live music and craft vendors all over the place. I don't know too many husbands that are interested in this kind of stuff, but Jeff always enjoys himself as much as I do. I think the best part about Jeff is his ability to adapt himself to any situation.

Now, for my story, which is another reason why my husband rocks.

Monday, I had my cell phone in my back pocket. I knew I had it in m y back pocket, which is why I checked my pockets before I threw the clothes in the laundry. I didn't find it there, so I figured I left it out when I made a phone call to the pediatrician earlier in the day. However, when I got my jeans out to put in the dryer, guess what was in the back pocket! Give up? Right. . . my cell phone.

I have had a cell phone for five years and have never done anything like this. As a matter of fact, the worst thing I ever ran through the wash in all my life was a tube of chap stick. (Well, tissues are pretty bad, but that's just because they shred and get all over everything.) However, when I took it out, it was still on. What I didn't know is that when an electronic item gets wet, you are supposed to remove the battery and not put it back in until it's completely dry.

So, sometime between 10pm and 2am it began to vibrate continuously and the battery died. I charged it, but when it came back on, it wouldn't do anything except turn on. The next day, it worked again, if you didn't mind that it was continuously vibrating again.

So I fried my cell phone. But did my husband get angry. He could have seeing that we are on a strict budget living off of one income. I lived my childhood in fear of being raked over the coals any time a mistake like this was made because so often we were. Mistakes were not permissible. But my dear husband reacted kindly and began listing solutions. He even went on eBay and found me another pink phone.

The girl at the Sprint store rocks, too. It turns out that I was eligible for my upgrade LAST September. I was having a huge case of pregnancy brain last September so I thought it was this September. I still got to walk out of there with a pink phone, only this one is prettier than the one I washed:-) And, the girl was able to transfer all of my contacts over, so I did not lose any phone numbers. And believe me, it would have been a lot of phone numbers (family, friends, doctors, midwives, pharmacy, old coworker friends, church family, our Realtor). I can not imagine starting from ground zero on that one.

Anyway, my husband rocks and he's going to be an awesome dad to Jude as he grows up.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jude learns about cause and effect

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I posted this video about Jude's first big boy bath (without the infant sling in the tub)?

Well, here we are just a couple of weeks later and Jude has learned that if he kicks his legs, the water goes everywhere! He especially has a talent for soaking Jeff who is usually standing at the bottom of the tub. When we start a bath the water usually comes just about an inch under the top of the tub. As you can see, it's not even close by they time I thought to get the camera out.

Here are some more of Jude's amazing skills that he has acquired in the last couple of weeks. It seems every day he is doing something new.

Playing with his swing table:

Using the exersaucer (Thanks for the blanket grandma. He's still a little wobbly here.):

Even though you can't see his face, you can see in his profile how happy this makes him.

Here are some photos from a little home fashion show :-) we did with a couple of things he owns that are still a bit too big:

When I left the room he was taking a nap and his lammy was beside him. When I came back into the room, this was what I was greeted with. Guess he likes his lammy. (I don't know why I started calling it a lammy, but I was looking at it a couple of days ago and I think it is a bear.)