Just to break things up a bit.

I decided today to take a break from my usual posting of long paragraphs and probably multiple run-on sentences. I have a feeling that no one except my mother reads every word anyway (no hard feelings - I just have a gross inability most of the time to write "brief updates"). Yet I have a lot of random thoughts today, so I thought we do a numbered post just for "fun". I am certain you are overjoyed :)

1. Starting with the more serious/important: Yesterday we had Quinn's check up at TCH with our cardiologist and for a repeat xray. After a "quick" visit of around 2 1/2 hours (trust me, that is super sonic speed for them), we were given the great news that all is well! The xray looks pretty clear - still not 100% , but it may not be for awhile - and it's that way for most kids who have Quinn's  history so they aren't worried about that at all. She will stay on her diuretic once a day for another 30 days. We will return in ONE MONTH to have a repeat echo to check out her heart function. One month without a drive down to TCH. I hardly know what to do with myself. (On a side note: just from where they hear the murmur now - higher up in  her cavity - there is a chance that the branch PA's are still pretty narrow. Worst case, we may have to go back in later on and perhaps put a stent in them via cath to widen and allow for more oxygen. But we aren't focusing on that for now. Her saturations are great - 99, 100 and the child is happily recovering. Also, when they repeat the echo, they will specifically look at the right ventricle pressures - they were pretty high before, meaning the right ventricle was pretty stiff and had been overworked for so long. It may just be the passage of time that will allow that muscle to relax and thin out or she may need some medicine later on to help it a long and regulate those pressures. Typically, it's just a function of time, but we want to make sure it stays nice and healthy. Again, we are NOT worrying about that right now - clinically she is doing so well). Our cardiologist was very happy to see her bouncing around and stuffing crackers in her mouth. And I was overjoyed since the last time I saw him, she was laid out in the CVICU. What a difference a couple of weeks makes.

2. That was a long number one. That won't happen again.

3. I think I am becoming a little hypersensitive to people's comments in regards to Quinn. My favorite one yesterday from the nurse who had Q's chart RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER: "So, what brings you in today?" Really? Really? At this point, Q was just sitting in her diaper and had an obviously fresh scar on her chest. Oh, I don't know, we just came for fun because we missed y'all so much.

I think I really should start praying for more grace and understanding before I head down there next time. I know that these people really do care and have multiple patients they are caring for - but I suppose that I hope that they look at these children like children, not numbers on their wipeboard. And prayerfully, I think most of them do. HUGE DISCLAIMER: There are many, many wonderful caregivers down there that we are blessed to have met - including the woman at the front desk who continually called back to the clinic area to check on Q's spot because she didn't want "that precious baby sitting in the waiting room any longer than absolutely necessary". She was a blessing to us yesterday for sure.

4. Ugghhh, 3 was long too. Maybe I am not good at numbered posts.

5. Breakfast around here is my favorite time of day. These kids wake up deliriously happy and ready to EAT. It's by far their best meal of the day and they shove down pancakes, waffles, french toast sticks, fruit, bagels, anything they can get their hands on like it's their last meal. I love watching their happy grins and super concentration on whatever is in front of them. They make the funniest faces and sounds - and now they are starting to respond to me when I ask "Is your breakfast yummy?" And most days, they will go "Yummmmmmmm". Ryan actually usually shakes his head vigorously up and down "yes" when I ask him that question.

Here is a little video from this a.m. My favorite is when Quinn finds a hidden treasure in her bib and stuffs it down:

6. My 2nd favorite time of the day is when Matt gets home and starts playing with the kids. He is so good with them and usually illicits the biggest giggles and belly laughs from both of  them. They love their "dada".

7. We are not above making them perform "tricks" every night for our own entertainment.

8. A few weeks ago I ordered some new shoes for Quinn in bright red for the holidays. I didn't realize how large they ran, so they somewhat resemble clown shoes on her right now. They also "squeak" when she walks. (I really should have read the description more closely when they were called Moo-Shoo Squeaker Training Shoes). Because they were so large, I just HAD to order another pair, this time in pink, in a smaller size. They squeak as well. So last night, we put the red ones on Ryan and pink on Quinn and made them chase each other just so we could hear them squeak, squeak, squeak through the house. They were perplexed by the noise and we just laughed. We have no shame.

9. Without fail, I check the mail 5 out of the 6 days per week. I love checking the mail. Yet, it never fails that on the one time where I don't check it, I usually have some sort of delivery from smocked auctions or other site. Matt is never super impressed by that. Ooops.

10. Hospital bills have starting rolling in. Thank goodness for insurance. Our first EOB was 14 pages front and back. And that was just from a part of the FIRST visit - and not from the subsequent visits or 2nd surgery. Yikes. We also have noticed that the anesthesiologists are the fastest billers. I don't know why that is, but our first 3 have come from those folks. Cha-ching. But since they did keep Quinn nice and safe, I am happily paying the bills. Gulp.

11. The weather in Houston has been less than fall-like. It has been downright swampy the past few days. We are due for a cold front tonight and I have already lined up my boots to wear tomorrow. We should have a high in the low 60's. Oooh, chilly.

12. My entire family is in Vegas right now. So happy they are getting some time to relax after the events of the past 6 weeks. They actually had originally scheduled their trip for the beginning of October but rearranged it after Q's surgery date was changed. I'd be lying though if I said part of me wasn't a little jealous. Yet, I am also enjoying just being at home without my suitcase perpetually packed for the hospital.

13. Although I typically love decorating for fall, I am way behind the eight ball. So this year, I think I will skip fall decorating and move onto Christmas instead. Some things have to give.

14. I am super excited for Thanksgiving this year. We had orginally planned to travel this year, but since we want to keep Quinn close to home & the hospital, Thanksgiving will once again be at Casa de Clanahan. We are thrilled that my mom and her man Steve will join us, along with Ma, Aunt Emmy & Uncle Zeb. We wish the other members of our immediate family could join us, but we are looking forward to have just a low-key holiday. We have much to be thankful for this year. That goes without saying. And I am already starting to drool thinking about Em's mashed potatoes, my mom's oyster dressing, and my green bean casserole.

15. Today, I will finally get to meet my sweet friend, Lisa and her son Field! I know that sounds strange that we are just meeting, but I already feel like I know her so well. I have followed sweet Field's heart journey for over a year now (Lisa was pledge sisters with my good friend Katie, who let me know about their story). We have sent pages and pages of emails and facebook messages back and forth over the past year. I can't wait to give this incredible momma a huge hug. We are also equally excited for Quinn and Field to meet each other -- they were born only a couple of weeks apart - so we totally have their courtship and arranged marriage planned. Hopefully we will actually be able to get some good pics of the kids together and I'll be able to post them soon. If we can get a decent shot of the two of them, I plan to send it to Dr. Fraser and his team (both kids were operated on by him) because I know they will get a kick out of it.

16. I just overheard on the Today Show that the Duggar's are expecting their 20th child. I don't have much of a comment for this except that I just visibly shuddered. Bless them and their family choices, but two is sort of wearing me out at the moment. Can't imagine 18 more.

17. As I mentioned a couple of times during Q's hospital stays, we were fortunate enough to stay with our sweet friends Katie & Ryan. During that time, I got so used to seeing my Katie - her positivity through our entire journey just kept me buoyed and sane (I don't know that she knows how much it meant to me for her to just stop by & visit with us, not to mention the nights when I stayed at their home and we would just stay up chatting about all sorts of things.) I'm typically not much of a phone person, but last night we stayed up and talked on the phone for an hour and a half. I just needed that.

18. I desperately need a girl's night out, and sushi needs to be involved.

19. I also desperately would like a date night with my husband and we are hopeful that this weekend we will feel comfortable enough to leave Quinn with a sitter.

20. If you are looking for a unique way to give back this holiday season, I highly recommend http://www.projectlinus.org/. They are a national non-profit that provides homemade blankets to hospitalized babies and children. Quinn was the recipient of several of these and they are just incredibly special. If you go to their website, you can donate directly to them in honor or in memory of someone special in your life. I know there are so many organizations out there, but just thought I would mention this one that has been so special to our family. It's amazing what the gift of a sweet blanket will do for a family - knowing that it was painstakingly created by someone who will never meet the child who actually receives it just makes my heart happy and gives me so much faith in the humanity and selflessness of people.

21. This past Sunday we had our 2nd annual blood drive at our church, The River. As it was last year, this year it was in Quinn's honor given the life-saving blood donations she received twice in the last month. We were so excited to have at least 30 people who attempted to donate and collected 22 pints of blood - saving at least 66 lives. So grateful to be a part of an amazing church family who gave of their time and red blood cells to replenish the blood supply in Houston, especially during a time when the hospitals run critically low.

22. Ryan's new favorite phrase: "Oppp Axxx" (STOP MAX! - when the dog is going beserk). Quinn's new favorite word: "Ackker" (Cracker).

23. My daughter has a STRONG sweet tooth. She was introduced to all sorts of sweetness she had never experienced in hospital (go figure). She's now obsessed with Teddy Grahams, the more chocolate the better. She was also introduced to homemade cinnamon rolls and shoved down almost an entire one yesterday. Her nap that morning did not go well. It's back to our healthy fat diet now and I don't think she appreciates it very much. But nothing's wrong with an occasional treat, right?

24. I am back to work again full time this week (or at least my version of full time, which is about 12-15 hours). The normalcy of returning to work & having the time and energy to do so, is actually refreshing.

25. Doing a numbered list did not seem to help with the brevity of my posts. My apologies. I will return to my usual format of multiple paragraphs next time.

Back to work! Happy Tuesday, y'all!

post signature


Eugenie Anderson said...

Since as your Mom I do read ALL you write...so I can say I enjoyed the switch today to a numbered posting..perhaps it is because I have "Vegas" brain at the moment but it allowed be to read it a bit..then look away and come back and read the next number!

Eugenie Anderson said...

Since as your Mom I do read ALL you write...so I can say I enjoyed the switch today to a numbered posting..perhaps it is because I have "Vegas" brain at the moment but it allowed be to read it a bit..then look away and come back and read the next number!