Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lately

Cora
  • Has started to smile this week, yay!!! I wasn't sure if it was the real deal since she often sleeps with her eyes open but I get a small smile about once a day now. I'll take what I can get, it's so cute!
  • She's got a bad rash all over her body. I first noticed little bumps on her legs last week, just a few, nothing major. But come Sunday it spread all over her and the ones on her arms and stomach are red patches. I took her in to Dr. Keblawi and he said it is not an allergic reaction to her reflux medicine. (I was convinced that's what it was because she was also spitting up a lot more than usual). He said something is irritating the hair follicles so it's topical. I've racked my brain wondering what things I've changed and can't think of any. I'm wondering if it's the dryer sheets I use so this week is a game of finding and eliminating the source. He also added an additional reflux medicine to help her spittiness.
  • She still sleeps a lot. Yesterday Mom texted me to see how Cora's rash was doing but I didn't know because she just sleeps all the time. I have to wake her every time to eat, even in the mornings.
  • She's slept through the night for the past 2-3 nights. I am excited about this, naturally, but also concerned still because she just sleeps constantly.
Kimball
  • Is such a boy. The end.
Lance
  • Still enjoys his job which is great. He still enjoys being in the bishopric and singing barbershop. Nothing really changes with him.
Becky
  • I have finally decided to get out a little home decor, this duplex is a little boring without some kind of personality on the walls.
  • Downton Abby's season finale was on Sunday and I'm going to miss it. Mostly because my group of friends get together every week to watch it. Sort of a mini girls night. I'm really going to miss that.
  • I got a new calling and am the RS VT coordinator. It should be interesting but I'm anxious to serve in some kind of capacity again, it's been a year since I've had a calling.

Never Rides Without The Hat


This Kid

video
I don't know about this boy sometimes!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Munchkins

Cora with her little skirt I just made for her! And a huge headband, haha. A friend in the ward made it for her and it goes so well with the skirt.
I tried to get a sibling picture but Kimball was not having any of it.

Smell My Feet


Continuing Education

It's a wise decision to go to college and get a degree. I finished two years, the first year was generals and the second year was the start of what was then called Computerized Bookkeeping. I finished one year of that program and then married Lance. I never went back to finish my degree.

And now here I am. I'm 28 years old with no degree and two kids. What about school? I don't even have a desire to go back to school and have no idea what in the world I'd get a degree in. I've always worked as an office manager, even up until the day Kimball was born and then I quit to be a stay at home mom. I absolutely love being a stay at home mom. My kids bring me pure joy and laughter, even frustration at times. But I wouldn't trade it for a six figure income or any other income besides endless kisses, pint sized hand holding, and soft hugs.

I've decided that I can still continue my education at home and I don't mean finishing school online. My education now is learning how and doing my best at raising these children and keeping house. Our theme this year in RS is Back to Basics. In January we were taught how to make homemade rolls (I'm SOOO disappointed I missed this class but we were visiting home at the time). This month we learned how to sew pillowcases which was taught yesterday. It was so much fun! I call our teacher Grandma and she is absolutely phenomenally talented. I really didn't know what fabric to pick for the pillowcases because no beds in our house need any but I still wanted to learn how to make them. I decided to make some for Kimball so I chose Cars fabric because he's in love with Mater. Anyway, it was such a great class! Needless to say Kimball now carries his pillow all around the house.

I found a tutorial on Pinterest a few months ago called the circle skirt and I gave it a go. I made this all by myself, I didn't even have to facetime Mom! It's so funny because the skirt is seriously about 5" wide, it's so little but it fits Cora really well. This tutorial was so easy, I'm glad I was able to do it and will probably make several more in the future for her!
As I continue my education I'm looking forward to more baking, sewing, mending, cleaning, cooking, organization, time management, personal finance, raising righteous children, caring for a marriage, and being a devoted disciple. I'm anxious to put my studies to use and I love my job!

Every Little Boy's Dream






Friday, February 21, 2014

Of Things That Matter Most

"Brothers and sisters, indeed we have great reason to rejoice. If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most."

- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Welcome Grady!

Brad and Heather had their baby! He was a whopping 9.10 lb and stayed in the NICU for a bit due to low blood sugar. However he is home now and we are so happy!


PS

We don't have doctor appointments for the next two and a half weeks! What are we going to do with our time?! (And sanity)

She Tugs At My Heart Strings

My poor baby! She had quite a difficult time at the doctor, I felt so bad for her! We got the blood test results that Dr. Keblawi ordered. The only two I remembered specifically were thyroid and anemia. At any rate, everything came back normal so we still don't have an answer as to her fatigue. 

Also her stats for this week were 23.5" and 11.10 lb.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Speechless


Neuro and Cardio Follow Ups

I've seen a pretty big difference with Cora being on the infant Zantac. She's still only eating the minimum ounce volume per day but at least she's getting that and is still gaining weight. The few changes I noticed last week have not improved.

Monday was Cora's appointment with the pediatric Neurologist, Dr. Reggin. When Cora was in the NICU they did an ultrasound of her brain and found a few cysts so this appointment was to follow up with that concern. After reviewing her conditions, doing a physical evaluation, and again reviewing the ultrasound, Dr. Reggin ordered an MRI of her brain. The ultrasound just has too many shadows and the MRI will give better clarity and detail. He also wants to check each structure of the brain to ensure no abnormalities there. The MRI is scheduled for next month.

In doing the physical evaluation Dr. Reggin said she's "not as responsive as I'd like to see." That wasn't news to me, those were a few of the concerns I already had from the previous week. I did mention to him that her eyes don't focus or track very well and that she's also got a wandering eye. He looked a little closer at her eyes and recommend that we take her to a pediatric Ophthalmologist. That appointment is scheduled for next month.

Tuesday was Cora's appointment with the cardiologist to follow up my concerns from the previous week, particularly her fatigue. Dr. Burg did a limited echo and found the fatigue is not connected with the heart problems. Neither heart defect should make her tired like that. Bummer, now where do I go from here? Dr. Burg said Cora's pulmonary stenosis has worsened but not to the point of intervening with surgery, it isn't worth the risks at this point yet. The ASD is still there and "moderate in size" but not of concern right now. She slightly hinted that maybe the fatigue is a developmental issue with the brain and recommend I take Cora to the Guild School for a developmental evaluation. That appointment is scheduled for next month as well as her follow up with Dr. Burg to determine if surgery is yet needed for the pulmonary stenosis.

We're now seeing five different specialists for various things. In receiving all of this news I was pretty discouraged, especially on Monday. It's like going to the dentist for a check up and finding that you have cavities, need a root canal and crown, and need other teeth pulled. It's discouraging and that's the best word to describe it. Simply discouraging. I'm still optimistic and hopeful that everything will be ok but it's still very hard at the same time.

Good Morning!


Finding Joy Through Loving Service

"Brothers and sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, no matter how much we try to make it complicated. We should strive to keep our lives similarly simple, unencumbered by extraneous influences, focused on those things that matter most."

- M. Russell Ballard

Absolutely Adore Her



He Takes After His Dad


Spokane Friends

Cora and Sydney, 3 weeks apart


Old Pictures

A coworker emailed these pictures to Lance this week. These are from the work Christmas party, Cora was 2 weeks old.


 His boss, Karen, is in the middle kneeling with her husband.

The Atonement Covers All Pain

Elder Orson F. Whitney wrote: "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. ... It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire."

- Kent F. Richards

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ready, Break

Just got home from a little girls night. I so needed that!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Little Worried

Since Cora's cardio and pediatric doctor appointments last week I started noticing a few minor changes in her. The biggest one being that she would sleep right after eating. No awake/floor/play/wiggle time. None at all whatsoever. I thought maybe it was just from her shots so I decided to give it a few days but come Monday I didn't see any improvement. It started to worry me so I decided to call the cardiologist to see if her heart conditions would cause her to be more tired from working over time. She said it wouldn't but that she would be doing clinicals next week and could do a limited echo on Cora herself and suggested I make an appointment for next week. She said to follow up with Cora's primary doctor.

I then called her pediatrician and left a few messages. Four o'clock came and I hadn't received a phone call back so I started to get more worried and called to speak with the pediatrician's nurse. She told me a few things to watch for overnight and that the doctor would call me first thing in the morning.

In the morning Lance drove my car to work because he didn't have time to put the chains on his car. I was a little bummed out because the car seats were in my car and that meant I couldn't go to the playgroup at the mall. Oh well, it's not the end of the world. Right after I told Lance to forget about switching me cars, the pediatrician returned my call and wanted to see Cora. (This was yesterday). So I called Lance back and told him I needed the car ASAP.

Dr. Keblawi (we call him Dr. Kaboom) checked her over and listened to her heart several times. He couldn't hear the murmur getting louder/worse so he wasn't too concerned about that. He asked about her eating and I didn't realize it until he asked, but she was eating less. The last 3-4 days she went down to 4 oz and the last 1-2 days she went down to 3 oz. He wasn't worried enough to put an iv in her but is definitely concerned about her eating, the recent appetite just isn't enough. Especially with her body burning more calories because of her heart conditions.

He told me to document and keep monitoring her feedings, wet diapers, spit up, etc. and prescribed an infant Zantac for her acid reflux. (Which turned out to be $88 for one month! Thank goodness for insurance). He wasn't too concerned at all with her sleeping so much during the day nor was he concerned about the milestones. (She doesn't smile or laugh). He also ordered the two results of her newborn screening since it wasn't in her chart and ordered some additional blood tests. He wants to make sure none of that has changed and that there isn't an underlying issue. The blood-takers had to poke her three times, the flow just wasn't enough to get a good draw and they ultimately didn't end up with enough for the more insignificant tests. That means she's dehydrated. Even more important that I document her feedings so she doesn't start to lose weight.

I don't know if I'm overly paranoid about her health. I seem to jump to conclusions with minor changes like this which probably won't amount to anything at all. I guess I watch for the little things because of the cysts on her brain and her heart conditions; I don't know how major those are or if their severity has changed. Regardless, I'm glad I took her in. Better to be safe than sorry. I'm so, SO thankful for her awesome pediatrician!

My poor sweet girl was so tuckered out and all bandaged up after the appointment, makes me so sad!

Long Distance Love

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. But I love the fact that we can Facetime Grandma! (Especially when I'm in the middle of a sewing project and need her "hands on" help).


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Win Win

Do you see those little wet footprints? I'm sure one day I'll miss those.
 At least once a week Kimball drenches himself, the chair, and the entire kitchen with water.
 He loves to pull up a chair and will play for hours with various kitchen cups and spoons in a trickle of water. It turns out, a trickle adds up to puddles and puddles add up to floods.
 BUT.......he's happy and now I don't have to mop the floor or give him a bath.  :)

Looky, Looky

This little boy didn't see his Dad for two days this week, thanks to work. And it turns out Daddy isn't very good at putting the treats away, Kimball found them on the counter and was quite proud of himself. Skittles before bed? Why not.



Peanut Butter Cookies

This is how we remedy colds around here, Cox style.




And yes, that's a real picture of my peanut butter cookies! Looks can be slightly deceiving, they were a bit dry. And as usual for myself, the dough was better than the cookie. Unfortunately I think Kimball may have learned that from me.

Oh Mr. Sun

These -15 degree temperatures really make me miss our Charleston, SC days.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Two Month Checkup

I absolutely LOVE our pediatrician! It's so nice to finally have a doctor who will take the time to listen and answer questions without rushing through everything. Cora had her two month checkup on Wednesday. She weighs 11 pounds and is 23.5" long. She's really grown since being released from the NICU, doubling her weight and gaining 4-5" in length.

Mu suspicions were correct, she does have mild acid reflux and is colic. The doctor switched her formula to one specifically designed to help with spit up, if that doesn't work then he'll prescribe an infant Zantac for her. The colic is just in the evenings from 4-11pm and there's nothing I can do about that, of course.

He reviewed the cardiologist and geneticist visits/notes with me just to follow up and be sure they're staying on top of her issues. I had a lot of questions for him about various things so we spent probably 45 minutes just on those.

I'm so thankful for good doctors and modern medicine. I always have been but I've grown tired of doctors having been to my fair share for myself and Cora these last few months. But my faith is always restored when I have a really great doctor visit like with our pediatrician. I always leave there comfortable and confident in my mothering abilities, like I really am doing the right things. It's so refreshing to have a doctor like that.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ahhh

We were invited to a few super bowl parties on Sunday. We only went for the company, we could've cared less about the game as anyone could guess. This is how Lance "watched" the game.



A Time To Prepare

"With the demands made of us, we must learn to prioritize our choices to match our goals or risk being exposed to the winds of procrastination and being blown from one time-wasting activity to another."
- Ian S. Ardern

Ready For Church

Thank you Liz for making everything - dress, booties, and headband!



Little Everyday MOMents

I am so glad Kimball finally likes his sister! I was about to go crazy trying to protect her from little stomping feet, flying toys, flying fists and feet, quick car wheels, and anything else he could think of to hurt her. I know it was all just a phase and an adjustment period. Kimball now can't get enough of Cora and I love it! He loves to say good morning to her and on this particular morning he had to bring in his puppy, dog, and Elmo to give sister kisses and say hello. He loves getting on the floor right in her face and talking to her. He loves hugging her and giving kisses. It really melts my heart, I love my children so much!


You Matter To Him

"The Lord doesn't care at all if we spend our days working in marble halls or stable stalls. He knows where we are, no matter how humble our circumstances. He will use--in His own way and for His holy purposes--those who incline their hearts to Him."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Heart To Heart

Yesterday Cora had an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist. I wasn't sure what all it was for since the NICU scheduled it before Cora was released, I assumed they were going to do another echo on her heart to keep monitoring her heart murmur.

I had prepared to drop Kimball off at Julie's house who volunteered to watch him so that Lance could go with me. I knew I would need Lance's support and an extra set of listening ears. But the day before, Kimball had a fever. Shoot! I couldn't let him go to Julie's house and get her kids sick too. So we decided it would be best if Lance came home from work and stayed with Kimball, I had to brave the doctor appointment on my own.

It was a long four hour appointment! First she had an echo done which was interesting trying to get her not to move at all for an hour. I'd fed her and bundled her up so she would be in Sleepyland and very cooperative for the echo. That worked until I had to undress her. She woke up and wasn't too happy to be hooked up to all the cords, covered in sticky gel, and a little chilly. I tried my best to calm her down and we just had to plow through it. Then we waited in the waiting room for a bit before they called us back to have an EKG done, genetic questions answered, and her height and weight taken. Then I waited some more for the doctor to finally come in and speak with me. After reviewing the echo she found two things wrong with Cora's heart. This is how they explained it to me:

#1 Pulmonary Stenosis. It basically means the pulmonary valve doesn't open all the way or the leaflets are thickened which blocks blood flow to the lungs. To correct it, they do surgery by going through the femoral artery and inserting a catheter in the valve. We knew about this condition in the NICU although they only referred to it as a heart murmur, we didn't know the exact diagnosis. In the NICU Cora's level was 'mild' and it has since worsened to 'moderate.' She has a follow up appointment in a month to see if this condition has improved or worsened and then they will determine if and when she'll have surgery. Most likely she'll have the surgery.

#2 Atrial Septal Defect. It basically means there's a hole in the middle part of the atrial septum, between the left and right chambers. It typically has a flap that acts as a trap door, but Cora's trap door isn't closing. Her hole is a "good size." This condition doesn't affect infants or children but does cause problems in adults. To correct it, they do surgery by going through the femoral artery and inserting a catheter. She has to be 30 pounds before they'll do the surgery so we've got a few years before this will happen, about two or three years old.

Both of these conditions could correct themselves, time will tell. Worst case scenario she'll have heart surgery in a month or two and again at 2-3 years of age. Once these procedures are done she'll have nothing to worry about as a child or adult. Also, the procedures have a high success rate.

A lot of people have asked how I am holding up. Of course you never want to find out that your child has problems or needs surgery. We've known since 20 weeks gestation (7 months ago) that Cora had one or more issues. Most of these issues have been resolved. For seven months we have heard nothing but, "she could have a heart condition, she could be fine, she could have a genetic disorder causing several things, she could have this or that abnormality, she could be fine, we just don't know until she's born....." and so we've never known anything but speculation and guesses for seven months. Honestly, I feel relieved! I'm relieved to finally have an end to speculation and know exactly what abnormalities Cora has, that there's been a diagnosis and they have a name. No more "we aren't exactly sure, we just have to wait and see." I'm relieved that there is treatment because it means she can live a normal and full life just like any other child. I've never had to watch a child go through surgery so I'm sure if things get to that point it will be heart wrenching (no pun intended). I'm sure I'll be worried and on pins and needles but there's no need for that right now. For the past seven months and for the coming years I will continue to fight for her health and happiness, to give her the best care possible, and to be optimistic and exercise my faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tidbits From Last Week

  • While I was running errands, I heard a car parked across from me that was having a hard time starting. Luckily I always have an emergency car kit with me so I pulled the car around with kids in tow and jumped his car. The middle aged man was very grateful. And I was grateful for the opportunity to help, it always feels good to help someone in need.
  • One cold morning I went outside to start the car so it could warm up for the kids and me, only to discover my darling 2 year old Kimball locked me out of the house! My phone was inside so I couldn't call any one, so glad I was starting the car which means I had keys outside with me. Since this incident, Kimball has managed to lock himself in the laundry room. I had no idea that door knob even had a lock on it.
  • Sunday was one of those days that tested me. I was feeding Cora during sacrament meeting and Kimball was acting up. I took Cora out first and then went back in the chapel to retrieve Kimball. It wasn't pleasant and I tried so hard not to let it ruin the rest of the day.
  • We had the Roe and Ramos families over for dinner on Friday, it was a lot of fun.
  • Saturday Lance let me have a few hours to myself so I tried to find some new clothes. I scored a really cute dress at Kohl's on clearance for $6. Can't beat that.
  • Saturday night Lance and I went on a date. Finally! It had been a while, we went to a new restaurant for dinner and then to the grocery store for milk.

Valentine Shoot With Heidi