Thursday, December 18, 2008

A little Christmas miracle

Our family has been blessed this Christmas season many, many times over. There is one thing, however, that we as a family have been praying for non-stop for about two months. Our sweet noonie has been suffering so terribly from congestion that we have been led to our pediatrician countless times, an allergist, and eventually an ENT. He was diagnosed with RSV, bronchiloitis, acute chronic sinusitis, allergies, and reflux...and probably a couple of other things I can't remember. We were given sprays, drops, and pills to give our sweet baby to help him breathe better. We gave away our cat. We tried everything the doctors told us to, and knowing they weren't helping, we quit all of the medication. When we visited the ENT they took a culture of his...well...snot, and sent it to the lab to see if there was any bacteria growing (this was immediately after he finished his second round on antibiotics in one month) and it came back that there was indeed a small amount of growth. He wanted to put him on antibiotics again (to which I said a polite "heck no"), and give him an antibiotic ear drop in his nose. We agreed to the drops since it is so localized and it wouldn't give him the horrible diarrhea and diaper rash that systemic antibiotics give him that just add to his misery. Well, whadda ya know. About 4 days ago I noticed something when I was nursing him that I hadn't heard in so long...nothing. No snot, no boogers, no string of goo between his nose and my boob (it was ALWAYS there...gross, but true!), NO CONGESTION!!! I suppose we have no way of knowing whether it was the drops, the lack of Mila, lots of prayer, or the combination of all of these things, but we are SO GRATEFUL to have a clear-breathing baby again!!! I haven't used saline, a snot sucker, or a tissue in FOUR WHOLE DAYS! (As fun as the snot sucker is, I was ready to put it away!) YAY for our silent-breathing noonie, and our own silent nights for which we are so grateful.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Family Photo Shoot

We had our family pictures taken yesterday by Wendy Updegraff, an AWESOME photographer here in Jax. We are so happy with how they turned out, and we haven't even seen any more than these six! We will post more when we get them! Thanks, Wendy!

Goodbye, our sweet girl

On Wednesday of last week, we gave our sweet baby girl away in hopes that it will help our noonie breathe a little easier. It was SO hard and I have cried many tears, but I know that she is in a GREAT place and that she is being well cared for! Mila has been a member of our family for about two and a half years, and she has brought us so much joy. She is playful and sweet and has such a funny personality. We miss her so much already! I think I see her all the time, and I close doors and wrap my Q-tips in toilet paper out of habit. I hope one day Porter will outgrow his allergy (or we find that the Dr. was wrong, which may be a real possibility) and we can get her back!

Krissy and her friend Sara drove up to Jacksonville Tuesday night to pick up our little kitty. She and Sara hit it off right away! I think it may have had something to do with the fact that Sara was crocheting and she desperately wanted that yarn! Sara loved her right away, and I hear her husband Dave really loves her, too. She has a sister now, so she won't be the only cat in the house, but apparently she has been walking around Sara's house like she owns the joint. That's our Mila.

Porter and I spent lots of time saying goodbye. He sure did love her. He was starting to laugh at her, and she was comfortable enough with him to let him pet her. He even grabbed clumps of her hair a couple of times and she never minded.

Here they are on their way to her new home! (This was the point just before I completely lost it.) We are so grateful to have been able to send her home with someone who we know so that we can visit her and we know that she will be safe and cared for. It's harder to find a good home for a cat than you think! Thanks a million, Sara and Dave. We appreciate it so much!

P.S. She totally shredded her way out of that carrier on their way home in total Mila-fashion. That kitty is nuts sometimes!
We love and miss our Mila girl! I can't wait to pet her sweet head again!
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Our new guy

A couple of weeks ago I started watching a precious little man named Jackson. He is just too cute! He is such a sweet baby with the most delicious dimples I have ever seen! He has the sweetest family, and we are really enjoying getting to know them. Jackson and Porter are exactly 3 months apart. Isn't he yummy?!

Jackson and Porter playing. They are best friends already!

I have to say how much I miss my sweet Brookie and Christopher, and I think about them ALL the time! I was lucky enough to be able to go over last night and spend some good quality time with them and get a fix of my sweet kiddos! I was with their family for three WONDERFUL years, and Craig and I have been SO blessed by having them in our lives. They will always have a special part in our hearts and in our lives. I know we will be a part of each other's lives forever! I miss them so terribly, but it has been a good change for our family to have me at home. We love you Jen, Chris, Christopher, Brooke, and Bailey!!!!!
Here is one of my all-time favorites of the three of them. They REALLY love Porter and they always have, and this picture shows that so clearly. They love to snuggle him! Christopher was always randomly going over to him and giving him kisses. What a sweet boy! Brooke LOVES him so much. When I went over to their house last night Porter was asleep in the car and when I came through the door the first thing out of Christopher's mouth was "Where did Porter go?!" They were always so sweet and loving to him. I hardly ever had to remind them to be gentle. They just always were. I am so blessed to have been part of their sweet little lives! I love you forever, my babies!

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More Thanksgiving pictures

A couple more pictures from our Thanksgiving holiday!

Seriously loving on Aunt Krissy.

His new bestie Jordan! They were SO cute playing together! Jordie taught him how to sit up!

On our way back to Jacksonville, we stopped at a rest area so I could feed Porter and let him get out of the carseat for a few minutes. He LOVED sitting in the driver's seat with Daddy! Don't worry...we were parked so we weren't Britney Spears-ing it.
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Okay, I know this is late, but I wanted to share some pictures from our Thanksgiving trip down the Bradenton. We had a blast!
Maddie and Ella loving on Porter

Porter and Grandma Claudia (my best friend Krissy's mom)

We did our family Christmas while we were there since we will be going to Denver for the holidays. Aunt Brianne is in school for dental hygiene and she got him his very first toothbrush!

He loved his Aunt Suzanne! He hung out with her at the fish tank and was happy as can be.
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Porter loved hanging out with Grama and Aunt Joni! The kisses were plentiful!

This is Porter enjoying a sweet potato in his little net feeder. He LOVED it and practically sucked it dry, but unfortunately was up all night with a tummy ache. This boy and sweet potatoes just don't get along!

He fell asleep while Aunt Brianne was holding him. How sweet is that?!
Playing in the wrapping paper. Pure bliss for the paper monster.
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

blah, blah, blah.

Porter has really found his voice lately and is constantly talking! His favorite thing to say is "blah, blah, blah." That's probably his interpretation of what he hears Mommy saying to him all day. "Yeah, mom. Blah, blah, blah. I hear ya." He is such a joy and he keeps getting cuter by the minute. He is the most wonderful and constant blessing in our lives and we fall deeper in love with him with every day that passes.

I have some serious blogging to do about what has happened in our lives recently, but to be honest it's all a little overwhelming, so I feel like I need a 6 hour blog session to be able to catch up. I will try my best in the next week or so to get caught up so that I can tell you all about our trip to Colorado for Christmas when we get back!

Stay tuned for some updates on what we've been up to. Love to all.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

A visit to the allergist

At Porter's doctor's visit last Friday for his fever, his pediatrician referred us to an Allergist/Pulmonologist and an ENT for a second opinion on his bronchiolitis and chronic congestion. We were very blessed to be able to get the first appointment this morning with the allergist. He was AWESOME. One of the best, most thorough doctors I have ever seen. Specialists rock. Basically, he took a VERY detailed account of what our little noonie has been through in reference to his nose and lungs since he was born. He thinks Porter has an issue with chronic sinusitis, which has the same symptoms as a cold, but is an infection in his sinuses (he has probably had this three times since birth). We have to watch the color of his mucus (awesome) very carefully, and if it is tinted, even white, for 10 days or more he suggested that he go directly onto antibiotics. Also, he took thorough notes about our home and life and our family history. He didn't think allergies were contibuting to the constant nasal congestion, but with our history he wanted to do a few tests just to be sure. He had 13 skin scratch tests on his back for a number of allergens to see if he had reactions to them. He tested for the most common things for a baby his age to be allergic to (soy, egg, milk, wheat, 2 kinds of dustmites, cockroaches...disgusting, 4 kinds of mold, cat and dog). I was wigging out when they told me they were going to poke him 15 times (two to measure by), but it ended up being WAY easier than I anticipated. They take a little plastic thingy with a rough end and just rub it on your skin. The sweet nurse showed me how it felt and it wasn't painful at all. That calmed my fears a lot, and I didn't even leave the room like I threatened to. Porter didn't seem to mind at all, but by the 13th rub he was thinking "get this woman off my back, mom." The hardest part was that we couldn't touch his back for 15 minutes, when they came back to read the results. Here he is being a trooper with Daddy. Psycho Mommy with the camera, of course.

The damage. This was before any of the reactions started popping up.

Naturally, we let him do his favorite thing ever and eat the paper on the table while we waited. Whoever came up with te paper-on-the-table idea is a genius and I love them. As does Porter. High-quality entertainment.

So, when they read the results, he unfortunately did have 3 reactions out of the 13. The worst one was for egg, which he is getting through my breastmilk. Basically he said that if he got a reaction to the airborne allergens then it is correct, but the food may or may not be correct. Doesn't it seem strange that me eating egg can make my baby more congested? Weird, but true! So what I have to do is eliminate egg from my diet for 7 days, then back on for three, out for 7, back on for 3, then the same thing one more time. I will journal his nasal symptoms and then we will be able to determine whether he is indeed allergic to egg. Fun, fun! He said I can wait until after Thanksgiving...yesssss. :)

To my MAJOR dismay, the other two reactions were cat and dog. Sad, sad, sad!!! I asked the doctor if this means we have to get rid of our sweet kitty, and he said yes. I just about started crying right there in the office, but I held back the tears until a) I called my mom. (that will always get me going) and b) I walked through the door and was greeted by our sweet Mila. I am SOOOOOO SAD!!!! Obvioulsy, Porter's health is the most important thing to us, so she will go, but I am NOT happy about it! So, if anyone knows someone loving who may want our sweet little girl, please let me know. I would love if it was someone I know so that we can have visitation and call to check on her. Also, Porter may grow out of the allergy, so if in five years he is all better, I will be asking for her back. There will also be a strict interview process beforehand. Okay, I know I'm being dramatic (and not serious), but I LOVE HER!

We also aren't going to be able to stay at my parent's house for Thanksgiving this week because of their little (okay, huge) kitties, so thanks, Krissy, for letting us crash in your pet-free home.

Isn't it amazing how many little things can go on with a healthy baby?! We are looking forward to our visit with the ENT on Friday, December 5th to get more detailed information on his trachiomalacia.

What a day.
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These pictures make me laugh. Just some of the joys of parenthood!
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some things we've been up to

Sitting in his big boy booster seat. We tried to eat real food for a few days again and have decided against it, once again. He loves it so much, but it makes him cranky! So...we wait! He is such a little loverboy!

Sitting up all by himself! He's got the little tripod sit down pat, but don't leave him alone, he'll topple before too long! Is my baby really sitting?!

Being naughty in the bathtub. He tries to instantly roll over once he gets in there, but we don't let him until he's all clean and we drain the water (and he doesn't like waiting!). Doesn't he look like he knows he's being naughty?

Sticking his tongue out! He is quite obsessed with this lately, and it is SO cute! He's also saying "la la la" a lot. Oh, and drooling enough to compete with Niagra Falls.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

My favorite 8 minutes of today

I sat in the rocking chair tonight to put Porter to sleep and as I started to nurse him his eyes immediately closed. He was sooooo tired after a long, sniffly day. He finished eating, and his eyes popped open, which is unusual because he is usually lights out by then. He has discovered his tongue lately, and it is THE CUTEST thing ever when he sticks it out waaaay far and plays with it. He looked up at me and started playing with his tongue and we gazed into each other's eyes. He would stick his tongue out at me, and then I sould stick mine out at him. He would smile, and that obviously would make me smile. We concentrated on each other's faces for eight whole minutes (I just happened to glance at the clock), smiling and sticking our tongues out and in, out and in. It was pure bliss. Then he turned and nursed himself back to sleep.

I read a poem on my friend Veronica's blog tonight and I loved it, especially the end. (click to read the whole thing)

'The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep'

Saturday, November 15, 2008

sick again

Our sweet baby is sick again. I called the doctor Friday morning because he has been congested since right before Halloween. It seemed to be getting a little worse instead of better and lasting forever, so I called in and they had me bring him to the office that morning to check things out. After a LONG visit, 2 breathing treatments, a chest x-ray, and a stressed out Mommy, he was diagnosed with RSV with wheezing which then led to bronchiolitis (click for more info). His spirits are up, and he is pretty much normal during the day, just extra-snotty. No fever and his ears and throat look great, so that's a blessing. His nights are pretty tough, though. He gets extra-congested while he is sleeping, so I have to suction his nose and use saline drops several times a night just so he can breathe. It is especially difficult to feed him at night. (No, he's not sleeping through the night yet!)

His pediatrician said that this could go on for weeks, which I can't stand the thought of! Hopefully he will be able to kick it sooner rather than later and be able to breathe freely again! She also has him on a 5-day trial of allergy medicine to see if allergies are making the situation worse. After a day and a half on that, I don't think it's helping, but we'll see.

I can't wait to put the nose sucker away! It is such a necessary little evil (and is quite addicting, I admit!) and he has grown to loathe it. I feel horrible every time I have to wipe his little nose or sit down to do yet another breathing treatment. Please keep Porter in your prayers so that his little lungs will be healthy again soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My favorite day of the month

The 10th is my favorite day of each month! Porter turned 5 months old yesterday. Just as last month, I can't believe how fast the time is flying. Our little man is growing so fast, sometimes it seems like when he wakes up from his nap he has grown another inch! He continues to be such a joy in our life, and we are so grateful to be his parents! He is full of smiles, especially for daddy and for new people! He is rolling like crazy, and can push himself WAY up on his arms so that his chest is completely off the floor! He is so strong, and he still loves to stand up! He is practicing sitting, and will probably have that mastered before too long. He has also developed a very distict cry/yell when he is MAD. It's pretty funny! He has such a little personality!
How could anyone not love that sweet face and infectious smile?!

To celebrate his month birthday, he tried avocado for the first time! After much time researching what might be the best first food for our little one (after the rice cereal issues), we decided avocado was they way to go! He LOOOOVED it! You seriously couldn't get it to his mouth fast enough! He is a great little eater! He also tried a sippy cup with water for the first time today and did a great job! He is a natural! I made homemade sweet potatoes for him tonight and we will probably try that tomorrow. Yay, food! He has been waiting...not so patiently...for Mommy to get back on the food bandwagon. He gets mad when he sees me eat and I don't give him any! Little moose!

We also celebrated by taking Porter to the zoo for the first time! Unfortunately, we only got there an hour before it closed, so we were mad-dashing around to see as many animals as we could!
Here he is in the car on the way. An all-American boy. (Well, half South-African, too!) Does he not look like my brother in this picture?!

We rode the train while we were there and he LOVED it!
This is a picture of him sitting with Aunt Suz on the train, checking out the sights.

We have loved every second of the last five months!!!
Sweet noonie, WE COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE!!!
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

4th and 4th

I was *sort of* tagged by my friend Melissa! I've never actually done a tag that I was supposed to, but I thought this one was super cute and clever! Plus, when I looked to see what mine would be I could NOT resist! What you do is go into your pictures on your computer, go to your 4th folder and find the 4th picture, then post it! Anyone recognize this CUTE baby?! ...

It's RUSSELL!!! I went to Orlando to visit Kendra where she lived right after Russie was born and I took pictures of him like I was the paparzzi! He was SOOO cute! (And still is!) I just thought this was too ironic not to post...from my most dedicated blogging friend!

So, obviously I tag Kendra :) and also....Jessica, Lindsay, Andrea, Alisa, Devon (even though I didn't do yours...sorry!) about everyone :)
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