Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We've Been Busy!!!

It has been a very busy week. With me starting back to school, parent-teacher conferences, several fall festivals, a date night, my birthday-yes, I'm now officially 30, fall break (for Broderick and I) a 6 year old check-up, and Broderick's final t-ball game ....well, we've been busy to say the least.

I went back to work last Tuesday. I really seem to have a great class. It is complete opposite of last year (in make-up, last year's class was great too). This year I have 12 girls and 6 boys...last year it was flipped and believe me it makes a huge difference. The kids all seemed very excited to have me back, but definitely a little sad to say good-bye to their long term sub. She really did a great job! I was very blessed to have such a terrific, experienced person taking my place for the 9 weeks I was off. We had school on Tuesday and Wednesday and the students had a half day on Thursday. The second half of the day was spent on parent-teacher conferences. My long-term sub was kind enough to volunteer and came back to help me with the conferences. I was at school until 6 p.m. YUCK!!!! My body is still getting used to my new pumping schedule and I have already seen a decrease in my milk supply, but even with the decrease I am still freezing 25 ounces every 2-3 days. I was freezing that amount everyday, so it scares me...but I still have a freezer full of milk and still producing more than what Adalynn eats-so it's fine!

We did go to two fall festivals last week. One was at church on Wednesday night and the other at the Fire Station. The boys had a blast and Adalynn looked adorable in her Berry Fairy costume. Broderick was a scary ninja and Camden wore his Frankenstein costume on Wednesday night and was Jack Jack from Incredibles at the fire station. Be sure to take a good look at their eyes in the close-up shot...total opposites! Camden is Mr. Blue Eyes, and Broderick has gorgeous hazel eyes (like his mommy).

On Friday night my friend Misty surprised me with a fantastic early birthday gift. She came bearing balloons, gifts, and even a gift certificate for a restaurant. She also said she would be back to get the kids later that evening as well as a house key and that John and I are to enjoy our evening. So she came back around 5 and took the kids to her house and then brought them back home and put them to bed. John and I went out to dinner, to the movies, and Wal-Mart too :)! It was a much needed break after such a crazy week at school.

Broderick and have been enjoying some quiet time on our Fall Break (since Friday). I return to school tomorrow for a teacher work day and Broderick goes back on Thursday. Broderick had his 6 year old check-up on Monday and weighs just over 62 pounds. He is almost 4 feet 2...still off the charts in both height and weight (and has been since 2 mos old). He is the size of an average 8 year old. Based on his height and weight as well as the height of John and I, it is projected that he will be 6'2" when he is fully grown. WOW! I can't imagine looking up to my son. Broderick got the flu-mist as well as another shot (Hep. A...I think). He did great with both!

Camden stayed home today with a yucky cough and Adalynn has a slight runny nose. The first cold of the season. UGH! The weather has definitely changed and John even turned the furnace on last night for the first time all season. Please pray that both recover quickly. Also, continue to pray for Ryan as he prepares for his stem-cell harvest and for decisions his family must make concerning his treatment. On a different note, please pray for rain as the state of Georgia is facing a major water crisis and a level 4 drought.

Thanks for checking on us!

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Big Day

Well, Broderick had his big day...his Halloween Birthday Party!!! He was so excited to have friends from kindergarten, church, and preschool at his house for a costume party. The children had a blast! They looked great. Even John and I dressed up (we wore blue shirts and blue jeans with name tags on that said "Gene" and "Jean"-we were a pair of blue jeans) Hee Hee :) Adalynn looked adorable in her berry fairy costume, Camden was a scary Frankenstein, and Broderick looked too grown up in his ninja garb.

Tomorrow is also a big day. It is my first 'official' day back to work. I did go in for a few hours this morning, but my substitute was still there. Adalynn had a urologist appointment this afternoon, so I didn't stay all day. (He said she is fine....YAY!!! No fistula that we could tell and no further testing is needed at this point in time). I can't believe it is already time for me to go back to work. I am extremely excited about getting to know my students, but very sad to be leaving Adalynn. She is still soooo young compared to when I left the boys to go back to work. I know she is in great hands, but they're not mommy's hands, so that makes me a little sad. Please pray for Bridget (who is taking care of Adalynn) and me (that I make it through my first day without her).

I hope you enjoy the photos. Most are from Broderick's party, a couple from before (Adalynn bathing and one of Broderick on a surprise birthday call) and a few from our photo shoot after his party (attempting to get Christmas card pics ready---we hope to get cards mailed out BEFORE February this year). I can't promise anything though. I won't share too many on here, so you can be excited when you get your card! Hugs and Kisses to all!!! Thanks for checking in on us.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Finding On-Line Friends

Okay, I have to admit it...I've been on the computer way to much since Adalynn is born. I pump while at the computer, so every 3-4 hours during the day I am on here for 20-30 minutes. Speaking of that...it is almost time to call the milk bank to get another cooler, our freezer is full once again. Back to the subject, since I am on the computer I have found lots of great sites...mostly about cleft lips/palates. I love the ladies on the message board at ivillage.com. They have tons of great advice about cleft lips and palates. I have also discovered several blog pages exactly like ours, made to keep family and friends informed of what is going on in our lives. One such page is Rachel's. She was born with the exact same condition as Adalynn's. She had a unilateral cleft lip and palate. She has already been through 4 surgeries (2 for her lip, 1 for the palate, and most recently she got her second set of tubes). She is such a beautiful little girl and it is so nice to read about someone who is going through the exact same things that we are...same thoughts...same feelings...same prayers. Her mom, Darcy, posted a picture of Adalynn on her page so the people checking in on Rachel can see our beautiful little lady. Take a minute to go to her page by clicking on her name and reading about "Rachel's Journey." Don't forget to leave them a comment, letting them know you were there and you are praying for them too!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

4 Month Check-up

Adalynn had her 4 month check up today with her pediatrician. He said she looks great. She weighed 12 lbs. and 4 oz. (putting her in the 25 percentile....skinny minnie), but was 25 in. long (75 percentile...very long). Everyone says she is going to be tall and even when they measured her during my ultrasounds, her legs always measured a couple of weeks ahead of everything else. Broderick weighed a whopping 19 lbs. and 9 oz at 4 mos. and Camden was right behind him at around 16 lbs. BIG BOYS and now I have a perfect tiny little lady. We are so blessed. Above is a very recent photo of Adalynn. She is now officially 1 month post-op with less than two months to go until her next surgery (when they will repair the palate).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Quick Update

I really just wanted to share some recent pictures with all of you that check on us. There really isn't much to update. Broderick turned 6 today!!! Adalynn's been going to Ms. Bridget's house in preparation for mommy going back to work next week. And last, but definitely not least, is Camden...well, Camden is Camden-more rotten everyday!

Here are some new pictures.

Me with Adalynn and Ms. Pouty face while sleeping...

Camden goes from crazy to serious in a nano-second. He said "Mommy can't take my picture....I can't see you!"

A scary sword yielding, baseball glove wearing soccer goalie!

Broderick...our left handed batter. Daddy says that can make him some money one of these days!

Friday, October 12, 2007

We're 3 for 3!

Well, it's official! Adalynn will make us 3 for 3. She has to have ear tubes!!! Broderick is now on his second set (first at 13 mos, second at 5 1/2). Camden had his put in at 8 months old, and Adalynn will get hers at 6 months old. They will "piggyback" (as they called it) with her palate surgery. She and I traveled to Atlanta to meet with the E.N.T. and they determined both ears were full of fluid. She hasn't had an ear infection, yet-knock on wood, but babies without a palate are notorious for having ear problems. I guess that means she is doomed. If she takes after me (like Broderick and Camden do when it comes to ears), then she would have had to have tubes regardless of the cleft issues. The tube that allows fluid to drain from the ears is somehow attached to the muscle that controls the palate (which for her, more or less, does not exist). So the fluid is just sitting in her ears. The audiologist did two hearing tests and she failed both (despite passing them at birth). We just pray that she continues to stay healthy and does not get any ear infections between now and the surgery date, but that is probably unlikely, especially since she will start at the baby sitter's house soon.

On another note, she has discovered her feet. She lifts them up and grabs for them all the time. It is very cute. She hasn't quite figured out how to get them into her mouth, but that is coming soon. She does still seem a little sore and really hates it when we massage her knot (which you can kind of see in the photo), but we are massaging it several times each day. We are also using Vitamin E oil as well as a steroid cream on the actual incision site to help minimize scarring.

We continue to stay busy. Broderick has been introduced to "chores" and has a list of things he has to do each afternoon before he is allowed to play on the X-Box. John's parents and nephew Brandon let us have it since they are upgrading to a 360. John and Broderick are loving it. Broderick comes home every afternoon and goes to his list and immediately starts doing his jobs. I wish I could make a similar list for John, but I don't think that would go over to well. School, for both boys, is going great and Camden is convinced that every time he sees the letter "C", it just has to be his name. He is enjoying his friends and talks non-stop about having a birthday party so they all can come, especially since we are getting ready for Broderick's party (he'll be turning 6 next week).

Be sure to check back soon for birthday pictures. It's a costume party and it should be a blast (yes, John and I are dressing up too). Thanks for checking in on our family. If you get a chance, check Ryan's blog to read about the latest happenings in his life. I really appreciate everyone praying for not only our family, but his also. He really is an amazing little man with a great mom, dad, sister and brother.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Busy Days Ahead!!!

We can't believe that 3 weeks ago today she had her surgery. We are so amazed at how quickly she has recovered. Her new smile is adorable.

She is getting bigger and bigger everyday. Everyone comments on how she hates to be held like a baby. She has to be upright and watching the world. Even when she is lying on her back she tries to sit up. She also loves to stand and does a great job at holding her own body weight up. We recently brought the exersaucer and Johnny Jump-up down from the attic. We can't believe she is big enough for these things already. She loves the exersaucer!! She isn't so sure about Camden spinning her around in it, but so far, no one has gotten hurt!

Adalynn looked adorable last Sunday wearing her Colts gear and watching the game with daddy. John was a little disappointed this Sunday when he found out the game wasn't going to be televised down here. But, on a positive note all the other games have been, so this was the first one he missed. The bad part was, that it was his birthday and he really wanted to watch the game. He also requested BW3's wings...so he didn't get anything he wanted! Poor John!

I will be going back to work in about 2 weeks. I can't believe that it is time already. I am excited to get to know my kids, but at the same time worried about it being too hectic and too much work. I hope I am able to continue my pumping schedule at work and make the milk Adalynn needs. I did recently donate hundreds of ounces to the Milk Bank at Wake Med in North Carolina (yes, there is such a thing as a milk bank). We had to do something...our chest freezer was full of frozen breast milk-over 2000 oz!!! Ms. Bridget will be keeping Adalynn while I am at work. Camden will continue at the preschool and John will pick him up in the afternoon. Broderick is excited to be able to go to mommy's room after school (mostly because he gets to play on the computer). Please keep us all in your prayers as we go through this transition. Hopefully it will be an easy one.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Follow-up Appointment with Plastic Surgeon

Adalynn had her follow-up with Dr. Burstein today and he is happy with how it looks. We picked Broderick up early from school and Camden was already home (he is fighting a virus) so it was a family affair. It took about 1 1/2 hours to drive there and 1 1/2 hours to drive back, so it was only fitting that we were in and out of the doctor's office in about 25 minutes. CRAZY!!!!

While we were there I asked about her nose being so flat on the cleft side and he said that she didn't have much nose to work with and they will operate on it again when she is 4-5 yrs old (when she is bigger and the ear cartilage is stronger). He also said that we needed to start massaging the scar (a knot has already started to develop) and he prescribed a steroid cream for the incision site. She still has stitches on the underneath side of her lip and on her gum-line that will dissolve in 4 weeks or so and we are still on for December 10 when he will repair her palate.

Thanks for checking in on us. We love you all!