Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Woodland Birthday Celebration - Drew's First Birthday

Saturday we celebrated Drew's birthday.  It was a week after his actual birthday, but this way we got to have family come in from out of town. Also, it gave us an extra week to be in the house to unpack and prep for the party. This was really helpful since we lost a week to the hospital adventure two weeks ago.

I had so much fun making everything for the party. I have some wonderful friends who also pitched in and helped bunches with setting up and baking. I loved throwing this party. It was so much fun to do and everything came out so well.

A while back I had found this wonderful theme floating around on pintrest of sly fox. Luckily, the graphic was free on A Subtle Revelry's site. It was adorable and fit with Drew's personality. I knew I wanted something a bit different for his party and this was it.

So, in true fashion I went a little crazy with the theme.  There are a lot of pictures because some people couldn't make it to the party and I want them to be able to see all the details.

Front door wreath
When guest first got here they were greeted by a little fox. This wreath was the easiest thing ever to make. It is a foam core wrapped in burlap and then the decorations are just pinned in so I can keep the wreath and change it as needed.
Food table

I had a blast picking out the food for the party. Since it wasn't really a meal party I went with a lot of finger foods. There was Tomato Soup Shooters with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I used Campbell's Zesty Tomato Soup and it was wonderful. The only thing I would change is instead of triangles for the sandwiches I would have cut them into strips. It would have made them easier to dip into the soup.

Tomato Soup Shooters

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Carrot and Celery Trees which were shooter cups filled with ranch or blue cheese dressing and baby carrots and celery sticks put into them. I love this because people can chose what dressing they want and there isn't a mess of dipping dressing out of a bowl.

Carrot and Celery Cups

Fruit Skewers were one of my favorite ideas I found on Pintrest. They were really easy to make and they were also a real hit, too.

Fruit Skewers

These Tomato Mushrooms were a bit of work, but they were so cute when I found the idea. I cut grape tomatoes in half. Then cut mozzarella string cheese into fourths, dipped them into cream cheese, and then shoved the cream cheese into the tomatoes. They were so cute!

Tomato Mushrooms

Sweets Table
We made Acorn Cookies! They were awesome!!! It was Hershey's Kisses glued to 100 calorie pack Sandies cookies with brown icing. They were really easy to make and looked great. There was some debate if they were "buckeyes" or "acorns", but in the end it didn't matter because they were yummy.

Acorn Cookies

Joy made the cupcakes and smash cake for the party. They were incredibly yummy! I am so thankful she did this for us because I can't bake to save my life. This was such a blessing or else we might not have had any cake for the party.

Cupcakes with a woodland friend.

Joy also made Drew's smash cake. It was adorable. I sent her the file of the sly fox. I can't believe she did this by hand. I am amazed at her talentedness! She also made the cake with egg substitute for Drew. Which adds a layer of difficulty to baking because the substitute doesn't work exactly like eggs and tends to make things denser. The cake came out great though (yes, I tasted it) and Drew loved it.

Drew's Smash Cake

I made plasticware containers to fit the theme, too. This was one of those 5 minutes before the party I realized I didn't have anywhere to put the forks and spoons projects. So, I covered two tin cans with some of the extra burlap and hemp rope. They worked great and I will keep these to add to our party supplies.

For party favors we made s'mores bags. I really like party favors that are food. I feel like it is a fun thank you, and it doesn't add to clutter in someone's house.  Michael's has these great coffee bags in the party supply section and they were the perfect size to hold three s'mores per person. AJ found these JUMBO marshmallows called "Roasters" at Wal-Mart so we needed bigger bags. We put three marshmallows, three sets of graham crackers, and one Hershey's bar in each bag. Then we printed labels and put them on the front. It was a pretty quick project.  I think they were a hit because most people took their bag.

I decided that instead of a typical birthday shirt that has a one on it I would make Drew a shirt he could wear for a while, but it would still be his birthday shirt. Of course, I forgot to do this until about an hour before the party (anyone else noticing a theme here of last minute prep?). I painted the sly fox on to a brown shirt I got from Hobby Lobby. They are the only place I can find baby/ kid's shirts and onesies that are blank and in color. I would have preferred a hunter green shirt, but brown was all they had.  Also, Martha Stewart makes copper paint! I was thrilled when I found this paint and realized it would still stand out against the brown shirt.

One of the projects that has been a year in the making was the weekly photo project. I know that some people on Facebook have seen most of these, but it was the first time others had seen any of the pictures. We printed them out and hung the prints on the wall in our new eat-in area. It was so much fun to see all of them together, even though I forgot to print the last two pictures. I love this project and I am so glad we stuck to it even when it was a pain to do it.

The Weekly Picture Wall.


I didn't get that many pictures from the party of everyone who was here, but I was enjoying the party. Next year we will make sure to have a set spot to get everyone's pictures. I did manage to get a couple of cute ones of Drew and the smash cake. He didn't dive into it the way we kind of hoped he would. But, we have been working with him to keep from making a huge mess of food, so I wonder if that had anything to do with it or the fact that there were 30 people watching him eat? 

Enjoying his smash cake.

All in all it was a great party. Things flowed really smoothly and I think every one had a good time. Drew had a great time. He loved being the center of attention and having so many people to play with in one place. He is such a social little thing already. I am so thankful to everyone who made it to the party. It was a lot of fun to celebrate such a special little boy.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Drew's Hospital Adventure - 2012 part 6

Finally home.
Thursday night was far from the uneventful night we were hoping for.  AJ and I got food poisoning and Drew caught an upper respiratory virus.  So between the vomiting and coughing we had a very very rough night.

Friday morning they did the blood work on Drew.  They took a lot of blood.  They also did a femoral artery puncture.  This made it go much faster than had they taken the blood from his arm.  AJ said it only took about 30 seconds to get all they needed.

Once that was done we were back to waiting.  They finally told us the results of the bone scan.  From that it looks like Drew has "advanced" bone development.  They were concerned that because he was so small he might have delayed development, but that isn't the case.  I have no clue what advanced development means in this area.

At about noon they decided they were going to release us.  Yay!  But the nurse wouldn't let AJ or I drive home since we were both REALLY sick at this point.  She kept telling us we probably should go down to the Emergency Room.  She also thought I was joking when I said I would rather die than do that.  Luckily, Courtney came to get us and brought us home.  I got some anti-nausea meds in me and went to sleep while AJ and Drew slept on the couch.  Thus, the delay in updates (I am sorry!) 

My own car!
Today we are all a little better.  Drew still has the most energy of us all, but we are recovering from this adventure.  We did find him his own version of the car from the hospital and picked it up this morning.  I think that solved all his problems of being in the hospital.  AJ and I are going to take longer to recover from everything.

We have to wait four weeks to get all the results from the blood work.  We have follow up appointments with the neurologist in two weeks and the endocrinologist in four weeks.  That seems like a long time.  I wish we had some more solid answers, but at least they have ruled out the worst case options right now.  It doesn't look like seizures for the passing out and his brain is growing right.

We are all so very thankful for everyone who was praying and sending us good vibes!  Thank you for all the text, calls, and encouraging words.  We really only stayed sane because of that and God's grace.  We love you all and thank you for everything!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Drew's Hospital Adventure - 2012 part 5

It needed a push.
While we were wandering the hallways in the little red car Drew got a happy surprise.  He was sent a 'Get Well' balloon and stuffed zebra from our friend Nikki.  Nikki also spent a while IMing with me and being a great encouragement.  I needed it this afternoon.  All the stress has finally hit me and I am having a hard time with it.

I got a present.
Not long after we got told we were spending another night here.  We were told the blood work is going to take a femoral puncture and they wanted to do a bone scan.  Both of which were scheduled for in the morning.   Darn!  We were hoping to get to go home.

Our "aunt" Courtney showed up this afternoon, too.  I got Drew asleep and put him on her, and AJ and I went to grab new clothes and dinner.  She texted us about half way through and said they had just done the bone scan.  Whoops!  Apparently, it wasn't as big of a deal as they made it out to be. 

As I am writing this he is still asleep and snoring on Courtney.  The nurse said we shouldn't have anything else to do tonight.  We might have to do the weight check at midnight, but she said only if he is awake.  Hopefully, tonight will be uneventful.

Drew's Hospital Adventure - 2012 part 4

While we were waiting for the MRI Disney's Animal Kingdom came to visit.  They brought an animal show to the hospital floor.  It was a nice break.  The nurse even unhooked Drew's IV for it.  This was great because even though he didn't care much about the animals, he was thrilled to be able to just wander around.


As we were getting ready to go downstairs for the MRI Drew spiked a minor fever and we had to get tylenol into him.  We think he is cutting another tooth, which is great but the timing is poor.  He has had a border line fever the whole time we have been here.  Though, the tylenol brought his temp down to normal.

Once we got that under control we were heading out of the room and Chip and Dale appeared.  Apparently, they had come with the animal show and were walking room to room taking pictures and dropping of gift bags.  Drew looks rather stoned in the picture.  At this point had had been fasting for 12 hours and up for 4.5 hours after only sleeping 6 hours, so we are cutting him a bit of slack.

We finally got him to radiology.  While they were hooking up the anesthesia he did the breathing thing again.  That was scary because he turned blue as the medication was kicking in and I panicked a bit.  Everything was ok though.  Then we got sent to the waiting room and then back to our room to wait on him to come back.

We got the results of the MRI and everything looks normal.  We also got a heads up from the neurology nurse practitioner that his EEG looked normal except for some slowing (not sure exactly what that means, but it can be in the realm of normal).

Now we are back to waiting.  The endocrinologist ordered lab work, and we are waiting to find out when that is going to happen and if they can pull blood from the IV line or if they need to do a true draw.  This is such a game of hurry up and wait.

But, we did get to feed Drew and though he hasn't eaten solids yet, he is much happier having milk.  And from the sounds of it, AJ found his push car and is making very fast loops around the floor.

Drew's Hospital Adventure - 2012 Mom's Thoughts

Drew is still in recovery from the MRI and waking up.  They told us to come back to the room and wait on him.  This gave us a chance to get lunch and AJ is hanging out in the shower.  He is emotionally recovering in there, and I am taking this chance to process some things in writing.

- It is hard being a mom and needing to be strong.  One nurse said she would be wailing to when Drew was screaming getting something done.  The problem with that is, that it isn't productive and just makes him scared.  So, even though I am emotionally raw and scared I can't stop and break down yet.  It will come when the time is right.  Probably when we get home and I have some quiet time I will cry like a baby.

- I am scared that all of this has been in vain.  Though I just had a mom friend who survived triplets in the NICU tell me, "at least he won't remember it."  I keep hoping that is true. 

- Drew has cried more today than he ever has in his life.  Someone asked if he was a fussy baby, and I got grumpy.  Fussing in the hospital is not a fair sign of temperament, especially after fasting for 12 hours.

- I am happy that Drew still has smiles left in him.

- I am thankful to all the wonderful people here.  They have such amazing programs to keep kids (and their parents) occupied.  Everyone has been nice and helpful and supportive of our family and the choices we make.

- I realize how weak I am by myself.  I am thankful for the outpouring of love from friends and family.  This has been rough and the text, comments, calls, and visits have really helped.

- I am so thankful that normally Drew is really healthy.  There have been some sick little people here, and I don't know how their families do it. Well, I do.  They just keep going because there isn't any other option.

- I am thankful my God is one of healing, love, and power.  I am also thankful He has made people smarter than me and they can help sick people. 

- We promised Drew anything he wants when he gets home.  I am glad he isn't old enough to want anything more than grass, dirt, sunshine, and snuggles.

- At this point in all of this I need - a hug, a hot shower, and a really big margarita or chocolate cake.

Drew's Hospital Adventure - 2012 part 3

At 5pm Drew's grandparents stopped by to watch him while AJ and I went to the house to grab more clothes and pick up food.  Drew fell asleep on grandma and got a nice long nap that he really needed.

Napping with Grandma.
Later at night we found out that Drew is getting an MRI.  Which meant they finally had to put an IV in him.  They did this at 1:30am and it was a horrible event.  He was so tired and just over everything.  They finally got it in and we were able to head to bed.  Drew couldn't have food after 2am, so he nursed to sleep until then.  Everything was going ok until about 6am.  Drew woke up to nurse again and was very mad that he wasn't allowed to.  It broke my heart, but I snuggled him until he finally fell back asleep.  

You woke me up to do WHAT?
We were woken up at 8am by the endocrinologist stopping by.  He looked at Drew and said that he was about the size of a normal 6-7 month old.  He was also interested to hear in the sleeping problems and how active Drew is.  He said we are going to check his thyroid levels and a few other hormones.

After that, Drew wouldn't go back to sleep, so we went and found his car in the Child's Life room.  We have already walked about 40 laps this morning.  Right now, the car is the only thing keeping Drew happy. 

Kari gave me a car in my car.

How many cars can one boy have?
We are still waiting for the MRI.  I just had the nurse tell me that they are setting things up with the anesthesiology, but they don't have a hard time for the test yet.  She said hopefully it won't be this afternoon.  We are still hoping it will be before noon because Drew is not happy with not eating.  Poor little guy has no body fat to give up not to eat.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Drew's Hospital Adventure - 2012 pt 2

Hanging with Daddy in the hospital bed.
After Drew woke up from his nap we had lunch.  His eating has been really flaky while we have been here.  Normally, he eats like a champ, but today he has picked at things and not eaten really well.  The nurse said this is fairly normal.

At 2pm we went to play in the Child's Life room again.  This time they were doing arts and crafts and Drew got to make a painting.  I don't think he was thrilled about this, but it came out cute.  Then we were just hanging out playing with toys when the neurologist tech came to get us.

This was the worst part of the adventure so far.  We had to hold Drew down to put the leads on him.  He did not like being held still or having things on his head.  Luckily, he went to sleep for the test the way he was supposed to.  He also had a spell while we were doing the test.  He woke up from a dead sleep by stiffening and then doing the deep gasping breath and turning purple.  He was hooked up to the monitor then, it was also being taped, and the tech put a note on the file that that is what has been happening.

Drew pulled my t-shirt up to lay on my nursing top since he couldn't nurse during the test.
 It was an interesting thing to have happen.  She let him sleep for about 30 minutes and then woke him up to do a strobe light test.  Normally, babies freak out with the lights but Drew thought they were great and kept reaching out to touch them.  AJ was very happy he liked the strobe lights.  When that was done we had to unhook all the leads. The tech did a great job with everything, but Drew was just done with it all.

Getting ready to take the leads off.

Our regular nurse agreed to take the baby low-jack off to let Drew have a shower as long as we kept him in the room.  While she was taking his vitals he had another mini spell, he did the tensing and then started to turn blue. In some ways that was another yay, because someone else saw it.

Now, we are just waiting to hear back on the test.  We did just get a heads up that it could be tomorrow before we get the results.  Though, if that happens we would have to go to the neurologist office tomorrow.  So, at the moment we are back to waiting.

We just got told we are staying for another night.  The pediatrician in the hospital is going to get an endocrinologist to look at Drew tomorrow too, for the growth issue. We also aren't going to get the EEG results until tomorrow anyways.  We still might be in for an MRI, but that won't be discussed until then anyways.

Drew's Hospital Adventure - 2012 part 1

On Thursday 5.3.12 Drew started having these weird fits of stopping breathing.  We asked around and it sounded like it was "breath holding", which though scary is apparently normal.  He would be fussing and then get stuck in mid scream, turn blue, then purple, have his eyes roll back in his head, and then go limp.  These events terrified me and AJ.  But, since they were normal we decided to wait and see what happened.  We were hoping the couple of times he did it was a fluke.  Well, we went into the weekend and he kept doing it.  So, by Monday he had had eight rounds of this and we called the doctor.  They got us in on Tuesday.

They looked at him and said most everything looked good but there were a few things that still concerned them.  The fact that he is still so small (not even on the growth charts for weight and only at 3% for height, his soft spots have already closed on his head, and he hasn't had any head growth in a month concerned them.  The pediatrician decided that it would be best for us to go to the hospital and get some test done.

At 4pm we checked into Florida Hospital Disney Pavilion.  Nothing happened last night, and all the doctors told us was that we would get and EEG on Wednesday. Since everything was nice and calm we took the night easy. Though, entertaining Drew in a hospital room is a little difficult, the children's floor has some fun toys.

They see me rollin'.
While we were pushing him around in the car we set of the alarm system.  Drew currently has baby low-jack on him.  We didn't realize how sensitive the alarm system was.  I think we need to get that system for Drew at home.  He has become the escape artist.  He has managed to pull off two id bands so far.  His nurse won't put another one on him until we go for a test to keep from losing another one.

Last night we were very thankful to have some great nurses.  We were worried about having to get Drew to sleep in the baby bed (which this time looks more like a bed than a giant dog crate), but they let us sign a waiver saying that he was allowed to co-sleep on the pull-out couch with me.  Whew! That was a lifesaver!!! They also didn't really bother us in the night, but part of that was they needed vitals at midnight and Drew was still up running around.  So, they got them then and let us sleep until about 9:30am.

At 9:30 the neurologist came in to see us.  She said we were getting the EEG, and we might or might not get an MRI.  She said Drew was really advanced for his age, but shockingly small. She also told us that the reflux we have been dealing with might be a sign of seizures if that is what this turns out to be.  AJ and I think that is interesting because we have never gotten the reflux under control for him even on the medications they gave him.

"I fit in here."
After the neurologist left Drew started finding new ways to entertain himself.  He spent a good half hour climbing in and out of the suitcase and pulling everything out for us.  He has also explored under all the furniture and wandered the hallways.

"I got to meet a 'Sam'."
Drew got to meet a therapy puppy aka a 'Sam'. Drew has fallen in love with our friend Joy's basset hound, Sam. This was very exciting to him to see the puppy.  Drew has also spent a lot of time in the Child's Life room. He really likes the big windows.  I think he misses being able to go outside right now.

He has made friends with all the nurses and they think he is adorable.  He is also one of the happiest kids on the floor.  I feel a little awkward that he is wandering the hallways laughing and running while the other kids are so sick.  We did have to tell one nurse that there was a real reason we were here.  She couldn't believe he was the patient.

Looking out over the hospital.
Right now Drew is catching a nap on my lap while we wait until 3pm and the EEG. I will post more when we know something.