Archive | January, 2009

New Salmonella Scare

28 Jan

There are many things in life that stick with us.  Our memories from high school and college, the time before you get married, married life before children, and the birth of your children…just to name a few.  We have a few things in our life that have left imprints more than others…11 lb baby, multiple surgical procedures and hospitalizations….one of the worst scares of our life was when Girly Girl suddenly got sick during October 2004.

During October 2004, our family decided to take a trip to Clanton, AL, to the Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch for a day of picking out pumkins and doing activities as a family.  We had a wonderful time!  We picked out our pumpkins and rode the hay ride.  We visited the petting zoo and even allowed Girly Girl to ride the ponies.  Button Boy was about 18 months old, and just ran around a lot…he loved the freedom of a giant field!

On our way home, our little thumb-sucker (aka Girly Girl) fell asleep with her thumb stuck where in normally was found — in her mouth.  About 2 days later our baby girl began having horrible stomach cramps and diarrhea.  We allowed this to go on for about 2 days, until she began running a fever and was becoming lethargic.  We quickly took her to the pediatricians office, and they tested her stool for salmonella.  I honestly don’t remember how long it took to get the test results back….the days from those two weeks are forever going to run together in my mind.  The test results came back as positive…she was unable to walk to the bathroom, I was carrying her…her fever was getting higher and the Tylenol and Advil we were giving her was not working very effectively…we had to evacuate Button Boy to my parent’s house because of his medical issues he could not affordto get sick…the night that her fever hit 105 — Mojo and I were in the van getting ready to head to Children’s Hospital when the pediatrician’s office called and said not to.  Honestly, that was the biggest mistake we had made through this entire illness.  The next morning (which, if I remember correctly, was a Saturday) we were in our pediatrician’s office with a VERY sick little girl.  Our doctor said that he wanted her to have a blood culture and it would take 24 hours to get the results, it was EXTREMELY rare for the culture to come back positive, but if it did, he would call us and we would need to go to the hospital.  We immediately let him know (not that it was necessary, he already knew our feelings toward the Pediatric Unit in the hospitals in Montgomery) that we would be driving to Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital.

We remember the call vividly.  Not the time or where in the house we were when it came in…just the fact that the voice on the other end said Girly Girl’s culture was positive and we needed to head to Birmingham.  I levitated.  I know I did.  I blacked out.  I don’t remember the drive to Birmingham.  I remember carrying her into Children’s Emergency Room.  I don’t remember triage.  I remember being in a curtain, which was a first for us in the ER @ CHS.  We had a wonderful ER doctor, of course, and nurse, of course.  We have never had a bad experience at CHS, even though I know that exist.  The nurse looked like she swallowed a basketball was extremely pregnant, and so good with our very sick little one.  I remember knowing that we would be admitted, and having to explain what an I.V. was to Girly Girl.  From what I remember the basketball nurse was the one that came up with idea of describing an I.V. as a “straw”.  It made perfect sense to her.  She was so sick that when the “straw” was placed she barely fought.  That was a sick sick little girl.

We ended up spending just around 10 days in the “Penthouse” (for those of you not familiar with CHS-Birmingham, that would 7th NE) of Children’s.  There was an outbreak of E-Coli in North Alabama at the same time, and were at least 4 children there and one that we knew of that was on dialysis.  We were very fortunate to have nurses that we already had experience with from all of Button Boy’s issues, so they knew me and Girly Girl rather well.  And I can never say enough about the residents from UAB that work at Children’s…they are always wonderful!!!  The ER resident that we had the evening we were admitted actually became our Infectious Disease resident during our stay because of a change in rotation, so he was GREAT!!! 

Girly Girl did finally get better.  She was out of school for a little over 2 months total.  We finally realized that if we had gone on to Children’s the night we wanted to, she probably would not have been as ill as she was, but we have our doctor’s for a reason.  We do trust their opinion.  And with everything we have been through, we have learned that medicine is not exact, it tends to be a guessing game…and thank goodness we have been exposed to doctor’s as intelligent as House, but with much better bedside manners!!!

We also realized just what a life threatening disease/contagion/bacteria salmonella is.  If Girly Girl had not been treated when she was, there is a very good chance we could have lost her.  It is something that to this day haunts us.

Please, take the new salmonella outbreak seriously.  We do.  We *are* still eating peanut butter, but we are very aware of where the links are, and are continuously watching the news and internet for new information.  Mojo is extremely cautious when it comes to food now, and with good reason. 

My dear sweet nephew has been ill with a stomach bug for over two weeks, and was tested for salmonella on Thursday of last week.  It sent chills through us!!  We were terrified, and tried not to let my brother and his wife know how scared we were….I tried not to ask too many pointed questions at his symptoms, but it was very difficult!  Praise God the test result came in Saturday morning and it was NEGATIVE!  Even Girly Girl was terribly concerned, and she jumped up and down in joy when we told her!

Baby Red

Baby Red

Major Food Allergies, Please Read!

25 Jan
SPEWD free

SPEWD free

Please go read my friend’s blog, SPEWD free, about her son’s reaction to children eating on a playground.  Button Boy’s allergy is mild compared to her Little J’s, and it scares me to think what my life would be like if his were this severe.

Fly Cleaning

21 Jan
FlyLady

FlyLady

I am a semi-convert.  Convert to cleaning.  I have been reading FlyLady and her suggestions on how to add certain habits to your routines.  One of the suggestions that I am finding most sensible is the fact that instead of creating another schedule or plan we should add new items to our routines very slowly and make them habits.  Make it a part of going to bed…you know, getting on your pjs, brushing your teeth, taking your sleeping pills <ha!  that is to see if Mojo is reading!>. 

FlyLady has Baby Steps, 31 days of them.  Now most of the days are simple tasks…that is what makes her plan a good one.

I finally got it together and began with Baby Step #1…Shine Your Sink!  See my picture below.  I got my sink nice and shiny Saturday, and amazingly it spread to the rest of my cooking area! — uh, except the floor….that will come when I get the breakfast nook done….anyway.

 

Oh How It SHINES!!

Oh How It SHINES!!

Check out FlyLady, take a look at the Baby Steps…

Cold Weather, Warm Soup

15 Jan

It is very unusual for the weather to do what it is doing and about to do here in Montgomery, AL.  Let’s see, the week before and after Christmas we were hitting around the 70 degree mark.  This past Sunday, I believe our high was the mid-sixties!  Tomorrow, the HIGH….THE HIGH I TELL YOU….is going to be 40 degrees.  Yes, fellow Bloggityville, USA-ers…that is 4-0.  Do you know how cold that is to someone from Alabama?  It is like -40 to someone in Alaska…except for the fact that in Alaska they EXPECT VERY COLD WEATHER!  Here in Alabama, you are lucky to find fleece coats before November….and to try and find a coat now?!  When you were really expecting to get through the rest of the winter without needing one….or long-jons.  Try finding some of them somewhere….hey, try finding them anytime and them not being hunting camo!

Anywho…

Since the weather is going to be quite frigid, I have declared this week, SOUP WEEK in our household.  Sounds pretty good, eh?  (Like the Canadian-ese thrown in for effect?!)

I made my first attempt at homemade Potato Soup…homemade ala “Semi-Homemade”with Sandra Lee.  The recipe didn’t actually come from her, it came from my (excuse my Kindergarten-ese) BFF ‘Lainey!!  <giggle, giggle, snort, snort>  I thought I would share the recipe, mainly because my entire family thoroughly enjoyed it!  I did change a few of the ingredients, and made way too big of a pot of it, but other than that, it was great!

EmmyJMommy’s “Semi-Homemade” Potato Soup

1 small diced onion

1 TBSP butter

3 cups heavy cream

3 cups whole milk

2 cans potato soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 bag frozen hashbrowns

1 lb cooked bacon

1 lb shredded cheese

Saute onions in butter until onions are clear, I did not caramelize them for the soup.  Once the onions are done, add cream and milk.  Add the 3 cans of soup and frozen hasbrowns.  Let it come to a slight boil.  BE CAREFUL — IF IT SITS TOO LONG, THE HASHBROWNS WILL SETTLE TO THE BOTTOM AND BURN (not that I know this from experience….actually, I do)  When ready to serve, crumble bacon on top with cheese.  You could also add a dollop (?) of sour cream to taste!

Yummy!
Yummy!
Note:  this is not an actual picture of my soup...
remember, I burned the potatoes a little!

Not So SAHM

8 Jan

I have a new friend.  We met casually at church.  Her youngest daughter is the spitting image of my Button Boy’s “betrothed” Drama Girl.  Well, come to find out…she has a blog.  I have become a daily reader of her blog (she updates it almost daily…much more frequently than I do!).  Vicki is a SAHM (I still haven’t figured out why she named her blog “Not So SAHM”), she is a believer who leads her children and she  teaches them God’s truth.  She has been married 13 years to Du (I haven’t figured out if “Du” is a nickname or his given name…I am quite curious, though) and they are a military family, which means they move…a lot.  She home-schools her eldest daughter, which amazes me when anyone feels called to home-school, it is as important a decision as any in a parent’s or child’s life. 

In the last week or so, I have found out that she is moving in the next few months.  UGH!  The military!  I have grown up in Montgomery, and have had friends come and go over the many years and I am not finding it any easier as an adult.  I only have a few months to get to know Vicki better, face-to-face.  I know that our friendship will continue to grow in the next few months…and luckily, we will continue to grow our friendship over this wonderful anomaly of Bloggityville USA over the years to come! 

Please visit her blog…find out what a humorous and caring person she is.

Meet my friend, Vicki!

My friend & her family

My friend & her family

Prednisone, I am NOT happy!

6 Jan
Buddies!

Buddies!

 

After Button Boy’s last endoscope, the results were not as promising as we had hoped.  The accumulation of white cells that were creating the discomfort in his throat had diminished, but not to the point that Dr. Saeed was ready to stop all medication.  Button Boy began taking Prednisone about 2 1/2 weeks before Christmas.  We began noticing that his cheeks were beginning to look like a chipmunk…cheeks filled with nuts!  We were not experiencing what we had really hoped to see, which was a dramatic increase in appetite.  He was still not eating very well.  Then, all of a sudden, we began to lose our sweet little boy, and see that he was being taken over by a child who was having some pretty severe mood swings….he wasn’t dramatically violence, but when he was getting angry he was balling up his fists which is something we have never seen him do.  He wasn’t becoming giddy or depressed, but what we did see was the inability to recover from sadness. 

For example, Button Boy LOVES his school.  He attends a Montessori method school in town (his sister also attended there) and loves his teachers and his classmates.  The week before school was out we began to see Button Boy become clingy when I dropped him off in his classroom.  His teacher commented to me that it took him over an hour to settle down and participate in line-time and lesson time….this is very unlike him…he has been very active in his line-time, singing and participating in lesson introductions…he has also been very active in lesson time with puzzles and math lessons, and is becoming more interested in reading and writing.  The fact that he was not recovering from being left in the classroom was very disturbing for me.  We also began noticing that he was becoming more clingy at church and at home. 

We became concerned enough to call Dr. Saeed’soffice and speak with them about the trials we were experiencing and our concern that it could be the side effects from the Prednisone.  We have been blessed beyond our understanding withthe medical professionals that have been taking care of Button Boy.  As soon as I spoke with the nurse, she contacted Dr. Saeed and they made the decision to cut his dosage in half instead of taking him completely off.  Taking him completely off the steroid would do several things….it would cause a need for the next endoscope to be moved to earlier to see if the minor amount did anything to effect the accumulation of white cells….it would mean the need to wean him off of the steroid because his little body has already absorbed enough to cause him to have withdrawal symptoms when he has missed only one dose…it would also increase the chance of the necessity of trying the six-step elimination diet that I am scared to death of!, I only have so much organization in my life, and I am unsure of the discipline I have to make it through so many months of eliminating Soy, Wheat, Egg, Dairy, Nuts, and Gluten, I mean, it hurts just to think about it!…I would do it, but oh!  it would hurt!

So, we have now been almost 2 1/2 weeks on the lower dosage of Prednisone, and Button Boy went back to school.  His ability to control his emotions is still a struggle…he seems to have a difficult time recovering from disciplining and getting upset at something.  He is still having a little trouble with “clinginess” at church — school is another story, we’ll see how it continues to go.  His appetite *has* finally increased.  When we stopped at the Varsity on the way to and back home from NC, he ate 1 1/2 cheeseburgers…EACH TIME!  That is HUGE for this young’un!  He is also wanting to “nibble” all day long, which we expected, but it has finally kicked in!

We are looking forward to seeing Button Boy’s continued progress….until March 4th….and then we’ll be hopeful to see the Prednisone GO AWAY!!!!

2009 — What to Expect?

1 Jan

As most people do at this time of the year, I have been contemplating the new year — 2009.  Wow!  I was born in 1971….I graduated from high school in 1990…I graduated from college in 1994…I met my future husband in 1996 and we were married in 1997.  We celebrated the “beginning of the new millennium” in 2000, only to find out that it really began in 2001??  (or something like that).  I gave birth to my daughter, Girly Girl, in 2000.  We moved from North Carolina to Alabama, 5 weeks after she was born, in 2000.  I gave birth to my son, Button Boy, in 2003….2003 and 2004 are a blur of hospital stays, surgeries on Button Boy and serious illnesses for Girly Girl.  2005, I had gastric bypass that changed my life…2006, did I actually do anything in 2006???  2007 was the year of plastic surgery….and 2008, well, I’m lucky to have made it through in one piece!

EmmyJMommy

EmmyJMommy

2009

There are a few things I would love to see happen in 2009.

I would like to simplify my life.  I feel like we have absorbed the world more than I ever meant to.  My small little family has lost it’s sight of what is really important.  Simplicity is where I feel like we need to be.  I would like to put our emphasis back on our Lord and Saviour, first and foremost.  I would like for my husband and children to see me a wife and mother of God’s Word.

 …women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  Titus 2:4-5

I have failed miserably as a wife and a mother…and it is my prayer to return to God’s Word, diligently…daily.  To not sit idly by and watch this life that God has blessed me with just go by without living by grace through the faith He has blessed me with.

I would like to be a better friend and accountability partner with my sisters in Christ.  I have let them down in that past year by not following through with commitments, by not holding them accountable to God’s Word and by not staying in God’s Word myself.  I pray that they will forgive me (EBD & MMM)….and I pray that I can recommit myself to them.  (an aside to them personally, I have talked with Mojo about having some more time to renew and recommit to our friendships.  I love you both dearly!)

Those two things, being enormous and overwhelming for myself to admit to and commit to, are where I hope to work to during 2009. 

2009 is a very promising year….as most new year’s are…., but it holds so much more for me.  I have the hope, faith, trust, love and support of my family and friends….but especially my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.