Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To Work, or Not To Work?

That is the question.

On my mind.

All the time.

I think about it, pray about it, non-stop.

Everyone has an opinion but it doesn't matter what other think or say because I am the one who has to make this decision. I must say, it is a good decision to have to make. I am not being forced to go back. My children are not depending on me to eat based on me working or staying home. If only I didn't have to work holidays or 12 hour shifts, then maybe, just maybe it would be easier. I love what I do and know that I can always go back to it. My children will only be little once, right? But what about me? Those four years of sitting in the Pi Phi dining room, studying my tush off, getting up early for clinicals, wiping old peoples'....never mind. Am I choosing those families over my own? Do I really want to go take care of sick babies whose parents are unappreciative, the technology doesn't always work (very frustrating), and I am micromanaged? We are not even allowed on the internet at work!!!! No, not even to check our email. Except there was so much love from the nurses I work with when Anna was sick. So much support and that felt so good to have my own team of warriors taking care of Justin, Brice and me.

My mind goes back and forth constantly. One minute I am sure that I am going to go back, and then the next, no, I should stay home and be with my family and do all the fun events that come up. And the not so fun events, like when they're sick. Is being a nurse WHAT I DO or WHO I AM?

I need a crystal ball so that I can look into the future. Does anyone have one I could borrow? If you do, let me know. Or just send me YOUR thoughts on the matter.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lub, Dub and a "Roar" in Between

I took the one above from our scale at home. Look at that sweet naked baby!

So, today Anna had a follow up appointment with Dr. S, her cardiologist. We got all good news!! Yea, Anna! Her weight is now 10lbs, 6 oz and her length is 23.5 inches. This puts her in the 10th and 50th percentiles, respectively. Like I told the nurse, maybe she won't have to shop in the petites like her mother. Also, let's remember that Justin was seven ounces heavier and an inch longer than this AT BIRTH. Okay, let's all have a moment of silence for Nana (Robin). God bless her.

Anyway, Dr. S. was very pleased with her growth and when I laid her on my lap for him to listen to her, he said, "Is that a double chin?". Why, yes, it is!!! We're so proud of her extra chin. He listened to her and asked me if I had listened to her. I told him yes and he said, "She does have a roarin' murmur." which means that the VSD is small. He also said there is no liver enlargement and that she looked very comfortable breathing. We will follow up with him in three months! Justin and I are so very excited about this news. I say a prayer every night when I am putting her to bed for God to place his hands on her and close it and I feel as though these prayers are working.

On another note. As some of you know, a couple of weeks ago my mom took herself to the ER because she was having chest pains. Everything checked out okay at the ER but they did want her to have a stress test done. She had a "nuclear" stress test done today and everything checked out clear there as well! Thank the Lord! Anyway, after her test she came up to surprise Brice and when we got home from school today, she was waiting for him on the back deck. As Brice will tell you though, she was not allowed to hug him because of the radiation exposure risk. Brice said, "I'll just have to give her an extra hug the next time I see her!" I'm sure she won't mind, buddy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Are you miserable?"

Justin asked me this morning if I was miserable. I guess the reason he asked is because last night I went out to dinner with some friends from work, I didn't get home until late and then Anna decided to wake up at weird hours and Brice woke up crying and coughing at 6-something this morning.

I fed Anna when I got home around 11pm and then thought she might sleep later into the morning. Not so much, she woke up at her usual time of around 3am. Then, because Justin is not good at alarm clock etiquette, I thought I would go sleep in the guest room so he could "snooze" as many times as he wanted before getting up at 6 for a meeting today. And I could maybe sleep for three more straight hours.

Well, for whatever reason Anna woke up at 5am crying, and I went in to find her on her back. I flipped her back to her stomach, put her paci in and went back downstairs to go back to sleep. Then around 6, I hear Brice upstairs crying and coughing and whining to Justin. I don't know what Justin told him but he went back to his room. So, I think to myself, maybe he'll go back to sleep and they will both sleep til 8am.

Yeah, right!

Anna starts crying at 7am. What?! She never does this. I go into her room to find her on her back again and smelling something awful. I just wanted a few minutes to get myself together so again I flip her on her tummy, put the paci in and stumble back to my bed, upstairs, where Justin is still sleeping. He tells me he's had a headache all night.

Anyway, around 7:30am Brice comes back into our room to see who's awake. At this point we both were. I decide to go ahead and get up and get Brice some breakfast and fix Anna's bottle. Then at 8am, she still hasn't gotten up so I go in to wake her up. I notice there is poop on her gown and the crib. Ahhh!

So, get her up, clean her up, feed her. Justin comes downstairs dressed for his meeting and asks me, "Are you miserable?". Also, it is pouring rain outside. I tell him "No, I'm not miserable, but the weather isn't helping."

I then start thinking about all of the blogs I have been keeping up with. Three of them have either lost a baby or have very sick kids right now. I look at my own children who are home with me, healthy, and smiling. I get to clean up a little bit of poop, empty the dishwasher and watch Brice make Play-Doh creations. So, really, I am fantastic.

Yes, it is raining and we have no where to go today. So, the house is already in total disarray. And by the end of the day I probably won't be able to step foot in Brice's room or the playroom without stepping on a toy. It will annoy me to no end. Mainly, because I am tired and just want to sleep through the night, one night.

But then I will remind myself, I could be sitting in a hospital room, rocking my sick baby whose heart has a dangerous arrhythmia (www.mycharmingkids.net), or in the PICU at another hospital with my baby who has a serious infection and may not live. This family also lost twin girls two years ago. If you go to the caringbridge.com website and type in rowynnix, you will find their story. I will say prayers for them throughout the day.

And I will pray for patience and be grateful for the gifts He has given me. Like Play-Doh, which Brice is now asking me to go help him with. He is also asking me to make him a ham and cheese at 10:15am.

So, again, I am not miserable. Just very tired and very thankful.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I came downstairs...

...to find this. And my heart melted.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Boices and Volabucary

So, my intention with starting this blog was to journal a little bit. This post may be more for me to look back upon rather than for you all to read. But, it may entertain you as well.

One of the attributes I will most about my children being little is their voices. So sweet and so little sounding. When I am with Brice on a daily basis, I feel as though he speaks like a grown up. But every so often I speak to him over the telephone and his voice makes him sound so little, which he is. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he IS little even though he thinks and acts much older!

Obviously Anna doesn't speak yet and I know she will eventually come up with some funny words, sayings, and comments. For now, I will just mention a few of the things Brice says.

As you can see from the title of this post, letters in words do get mixed up around here. I will here him substitute "b", "d", and "v" for each other. He has gotten better about this but it used to be a "bacuum" instead of "vacuum". Also, one could use the "merote" in order to turn on the TV! This is one of my and Justin's favorites! He used to call the vacuum attachments, a "beazer"???? Don't ask me! Then, it became the "vacuum detergent" instead of attachment. Maybe this is because the vacuum is in the laundry room with the laundry detergent.

And of course, all of his "r"s and "l"s sound like "w". Which is weally weally twicky when you are talking about our previous neighbors "Wiwy and Wauwa" (Lily and Laura). For some reason the "sk" or "sc" gets him too. School sounds like "sool". Ski is "si".

He also went through a phase where he liked to use words ending in "ly". Suddenly, eventually, actually. Of course, they all ended sounding like "we". Suddenwe, eventuawe, actuawe!

Sometimes he would make up words, which he doesn't do so much anymore and I would ask him "What are you saying?" He would reply with, "It's a wowrd"! Like he is Mr. Webster himself and wrote the dang dictionary!

Lately though, his favorite phrase is "Speaking of..." No matter what we are talking about he comes up with another subject but introduces it with "Speaking of Disney Worwld..." or so on and so forth.

I also like the changing of verbs. Instead of "does", he'll say, "watch what he dooze"! Or, "Listen to what he sayes (long "a" sound)".

Of course, there are the times he has come up with some funny things. The other day Justin and I were talking about my whole delivery with Anna and how when I got in the car and poor little Brice was already strapped in and ready for the wild ride to Northside Hospital he asked me when I got in, "Where's Anna?". As much pain as I was in at that moment I just laughed and told him she was still in my tummy (Thank God!!). Then on the way down I-85, he looks at Justin and says, "Daddy?". Justin was thinking oh no what is he going to ask me and how am I going to answer it!

"What buddy?"

"Did you know that me and Mommy got Wittle Mermaid fwom Bwockbusta today?". Justin was totally relieved that this was what was going through his mind as his mother was in the ceiling of the car trying to breath through each contraction!

All of this learning of the English language is very tricky so I completely understand how verbs get switched around and letters interchanged. It does however make watching them grow up very amusing. I wish I could just bottle up his little voice and then when he hits puberty and his voice changes, I could let a little bit of it out so I could hear what he used to sound like.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March Happenings

Anna is now 9 pounds 5 ounces! She is doing great. She takes three naps a day and is almost sleeping through the night. Last week she slept from 9:30-7am four nights in a row. I thought she was going to continue but then the next night she woke up around 4am. Since then she has woken up each morning around 4 or 5 and sucks down four ounces in no time flat! She then goes back to sleep until around 8am. Personally, I prefer last week's schedule! We'll get there I know. With Brice once I KNEW he could go through the night, I MADE him do it. So mean, I know. With her, I just don't know if I should do this because of her weight gain issues.

When she's awake though, she is so darling. Cooing, smiling and kicking her little chicken legs! She adores Justin and every time he talks to her, she just lights up. Definitely a Daddy's girl. Brice also loves to talk to her in a very high pitched voice which is hilarious. He calls her sweetie, sweetie pea, cupcake and tells her good morning after each nap. I have taken her outside the past couple of days because the weather has been so nice. When the wind blows, she coos and kicks her legs. So, she is doing everything she is supposed to. While I don't want to wish the time away, I can't wait for her to be sitting up on her own so she can really watch Brice play.

Look what I found outside! Sitting in her bouncy seat enjoying the fresh air and her fist!

Brice is definitely a four year old now. Attitude! I don't know how Jon and Kate Plus 8 deal with SIX of them! And when it's not the attitude, it's the whining. Needless to say, at the end of the day, Justin and I are ready for quiet! Brice is enjoying the weather too but I think he is most excited about our trip to Disney World. Justin and I booked our trip last week for the end of April and Brice is SO excited! He asks questions every day about going and asked me this morning, "Mom, what time does our flight leave for Disney World?, lunch time, dinner time?". I just laughed because he used the word "flight" instead of "plane". Anyway, Brice still loves school and tells me everything that went on each day, when he is in the mood! He enjoyed a trip to the Georgia Aquarium this past weekend with his godfather, Jonathan. I wish we lived closer because he just loves it there and could stay for hours. Anna and I hung out with my parents, Blaire, and Kristen and then everyone had dinner together once Jonathan and Brice got home.

As for Justin and I, we are doing well. I am trying to get myself back into shape. The weather has helped inspire me now that I can go outside and walk. I guess the thing that stresses me out the most is keeping up with the house. Would love to do a deep spring cleaning of the base boards but haven't found the time. So, all is well in the Reynolds' household on most days. Thanks for keeping up with our blog!

This is a picture of Brice climbing the hill to the yard of the house next to us. The house is still for sale. And it may stay for sale if any lookers see him out on the side of the yard, hurling his dodge balls down the hill!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation

Some of you may have noticed that I added some other blogs/links to my sidebar. All other blogs have this and I thought I might join them! The real reason that I did it now is that I wanted to add the Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation link. I will let you all read for yourselves, because I know you know how but wanted to tell you about how I know Zoe.

I met Zoe on her first day of life, her first hour really. On December 20th, 2006 I walked into work and found my name next to the "admissions" spot on the assignment sheet. I also had another tiny one to be taking care of that day. When I walked into the Pod however, the night shift nurse informed me that the "team" had just gone to labor and delivery for 25 week triplets. This is not what I wanted to hear at 7 o'clock in the morning! I was barely awake. And, she told me, I would be getting Baby "C". As all NICU nurses know, "A" usually does the best and is usually the reason for the delivery meaning they think they are ready even if their siblings are not! So, when you get baby "B", "C" or even "D" it's usually a little more of a complicated admission process. And this proved MORE than true in this case.

Zoe's sisters arrived in their pods around 7:05/7:10. I kept waiting on baby "C". Where was she/he? Finally around 7:25, the door swung open and their she was. So tiny, so bruised, but so pretty. The "team" had had trouble intubating her. So much so, that she wasn't even intubated when I opened the transporter door. Her little head was about the size of a lemon. She was dark headed and had the longest eyelashes I've ever seen on a preemie. Her little cheeks were red and excoriated from removing tape from them every time the breathing tube was taken out to try and re-intubate her. We finally got her on the ventilator and checked an X-ray. Two pnemothoraxes (air not in the right place of the lungs), one on each side. So, we opened a procedure tray and put in a chest tube. Do you see where I'm going with this? This was one SICK little girl and the next time I looked at the clock, it was 1pm!

She was by far the sickest admission I had ever taken care of.

But, for whatever reason, I immediately bonded with her. This doesn't happen often for me.

We all knew it would be a long road for Zoe and it was. She stayed with us at Northside until October 7, 2007. Over those months, I cared for her sisters, Avery and Lily and got to know her parents as well. Wonderful, wonderful people and even better parents. But Zoe? Oh my goodness, she was so sweet, big green eyes and a wonderful smile. And those eyelashes never went anywhere, neither did her dark hair, it just got sweet curls. Everyone in the NICU knew Zoe and her wonderful disposition. When Zoe finally went home, she was on oxygen, had a feeding tube, monitor, medications, therapies and hearing aids. She did beautifully at home and was making great strides. Due to her advanced lung disease however, she contracted the flu and pneumonia and was admitted to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. She fought her hardest but lost her battle on February 16th, 2008.

Yes, Brice's birthday. Zoe's mom, Keira, and I have kept in touch since Zoe's discharge from the hospital as well as her death. I have done my best to support Keira throughout the past year even though I can't even begin to comprehend the grief. Avery and Lily came over to play last summer and there have been several occasions of Zoe showing herself in my life.

I have told Brice about her life and death and he asks about her often. I think the biggest "sign" I have received was that Zoe was in the same room Anna was at Scottish Rite! I just felt Zoe's prescence in Anna's room one day and emailed Keira and sure enough it was the same room! For whatever reason, I am connected to this little girl.

Zoe's life was cut short like so many babies born too early. The Foundation was created by Keira, Richard (Zoe's daddy), and others to help support those who experience the scary world of prematurity. All I ask of you after reading this post, is to check out the website. It is not completed yet so keep checking back. Unfortunately, prematurity has probably affected most people in some way or another. At the same time, it is a very foreign world to a lot of people.

So, the Foundation's purpose is to...

...well, check it out and see for yourself!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Praise Town and SNOW!!!

On Sunday, March 1st, it snowed! It always snows in Georgia in March and this year has proven true again. Brice loved watching the huge flakes almost as much as Justin!

Brice has had some exciting things going on here in Flowery Branch. On Thursday he went to "Praise Town" at school. Teachers and volunteers from the school set up different stations like places around town; veterinarian's office, bakery, Home Depot, etc. Then the kids all dress up like community workers and get to "praise the town"! Brice decided to dress up as a police officer. As you can tell from the pictures, he didn't want to be in the pictures and kept trying to run away every time he saw me with the camera!