4th Birthday Photo Session

4th Birthday Photo Session

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Not only does the g-tube NOT leak, but it's seemingly completely healed.  Andi is doing great!  She is plugging along, learning new words every single day.  She's learning them quicker and repeating them even more often.  She's starting to really put words together too.  'Hi Dad! How are you?'  "Where's Ashley?" (her favorite gal at Kid's Camp @ the gym.)  So, things are going really well.  We're trying to work on walking.  Yesterday we walked down the street to say "hi" to the trees.  Yes, we're destination walkers.  Gotta have a goal to strive for.  She walked halfway there with her walker, and the rest of the way holding onto my hands.  I figure whatever way we get there, the more she does it, the stronger she'll get.  I haven't noticed huge changes, but I did see something new yesterday.  I sat her on one of her three riding toy and we saw her actually proper herself forward using her feet.  I know that sounds pretty inconsequential, but actually, that's a pretty big deal.  She's getting stronger.

She had a cold a week or two ago, but that has finally gone.  Today, is by far the nicest weather day we've had since last summer.  I got the lawn mowed and some trimming done while Andi naps.  I would be out there now doing a bit more, but that requires some items from the garage.  And... well, when I went out there last time, I saw what I thought was a mouse.  Upon discussing it and it's size, we've determined that it was a rat.  It's just walking around my horribly cluttered garage, like a scene out of Hoarders or such.  I'm so completely grossed out, I probably won't be going in there to clean it out anytime soon.  Ewh! 

We've signed the contract to have our new roof, insulation & gutters done.  There are a lot of repairs to be done to the wood supports.  It's gonna hurt the finances bad, but, it HAS to be done.  Hoping it is smooth sailing with no hidden surprises.  Otherwise, I think I'll implode.  So, here's hoping that all goes without a hitch!  We could use just a little more good luck!  :)

Ooh, lil' bit is waking from her nap!  Time to go enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ding Dong, The G-Tube Is Gone!!!!

Yesterday, we awoke and raced around prepping for our big-time appointment.  I threw Andi, well, not really 'threw' her, into the tub for what I thought might be her last bath for awhile.  We got cleaned up and out the door.  We stopped at the grocery store to pick up some cake, a balloon and party-gifts for the Dr. & nurse.  We raced to our appointment and by this time, Andi was pretty upset.  She was whiny, clingy and crying.  She made me wonder if the previous nights' dinner was upsetting her tummy.  So, by the time we got checked in and awaiting our turn at suite 1, Andi was pretty agitated.  She had been crying, turning her cheeks & eyes red.  Maybe my enthusiasm was a bit too much for her, I don't know.  I tried my best to secure a great mood of celebration, but, that is not what we got, at all.

The nurse, whom we adore, is 36 weeks pregnant with her second child.  She has told us on numerous occasions that the one thing she was looking forward to all day was seeing Andi.  She is a huge fan of Andi Bean, and has even shown up with the pediatrician to see Andi off to one of her seven surgeries.  Although, I can't remember which one.  I think it was #5, which was sealing up the leaky g-tube, putting in a central line for TPN, blood draws and med's - while we waited a good week for the stomach to heal.  Andi fell asleep in her arms, which is how we saw her off to that surgery.  Precious. So, we brought her a really small baby gift.  She's having a boy, and so I found a dinosaur themed outfit, there's a dinosaur on the butt of the pants, and the onesie says, 'My Momma Rocks' or something like that.  That spoke to me, because she's been an amazing friend to Andi and me.  We also brought cupcakes.  They were ugly in a thick green frosting, but on top of each cupcake was a Mickey Mouse ring, which spoke to me.  Andi's becoming more fond of Mickey Mouse.  I figured the ring might be a good distraction.  So, Andi is crying for the nurse, although she'd take breaks from the wailing to entertain something the nurse had to say.  Then, the Dr. peeks in and says he'll be a minute.  "No problem!"  I go back to my constant in the pediatricians' office, calming a Bean.  We sing songs, quiz about anything, and even play a lame game of 'pretty baby in the mirror!'.  She likes to see herself in the mirror and sometimes, that really squashes a bad mood.  The pediatrician comes back in and makes a joke about me not wanting to take out the g-tube that day.  I don't even think I laughed at all, but was still in celebratory mode, despite Andi's bad mood.  He reminded me that I could have done this myself.  I agreed and said, 'yeah, but I wanted the hole symbolism of doing it here with you guys', as we were FINALLY closing a VERY long chapter.  It seemed only right to do it together with them.  I can't even count how many times I went to appointments just about the g-tube, whether it was the leak, the puking, the acid-burnt skin, etc.  It's been too many to count!  After he took out the g-tube, he put a little silver nitrate on the hole to help stimulate it to close.  Taking out a g-tube is nothing more than using a special syringe, attaching it to the balloon port, and drawing the water out of the balloon.  Then it slides out.  It's pretty dang simple, honestly.  It's gross, but it's simple. 

So, here's a before/after of the g-tube removal.  Again, Andi's only crying because she was in her pediatrician's office and she was probably pretty sick of my super-hyper, over-the-top enthusiasm cheering on this moment...

Now we just have to hope the hole closes up on its own.  We have six weeks to watch for that.  If it doesn't close, then they will have to go in and surgically close it.  Apparently, it's a pretty intricate surgery and will require a few nights stay in the hospital.  I interrupted him when he was telling me about it, because honestly, I thought I heard him say $1500., which is what I told him.  As he started to continue about the hospitalization, I repeated, 'all I can hear you say is $1500.'  This is said despite the fact that he didn't say anything about cost.  That's just what I heard.  I am probably a little too vocal about cost, but I don't care.

So far, we haven't really had much leakage, not like the first g-tube.  I have kept gauze on it and when I change it, the secretions are minimal.  The Dr. said I could give her a bath whenever.  He actually encouraged it saying that it would be good to help with healing. 

This morning we went to observe Andi's future preschool.  Andi is going to go to a hearing-impaired preschool when she turns three. We got to see how the kids come in on the bus, line up, march to class and the routine of their day.  It was really super cool and I'm anxious to get her started.  I know an environment like this is exactly what Andi needs to help her  take off.  We have our Early Intervention evaluation to come up with her game plan for ages 3-5.  So, it's likely Andi will go to preschool four days a week, from 8:30 - 11 a.m.  It might start right after her birthday, for two weeks, or we might have to wait until July.  I am hoping we can get those two extra weeks before they go on break, because I know Andi... she is going to grow leaps and bounds being surrounded by other kids, seeing what they do, and it will challenge her in ways I cannot.  I'm super thrilled at these new chapters lurking before us. Beyond thrilled!