Sunday, November 25, 2012

SHOP WeldyWhatnot

UPDATE ON ABBEY: She is doing so well! Adjusting to monitoring her carbohydrate intake and meal planning, but doing great! I just got off the phone with her and she sounded 100% back to Abbey. Her birthday is tomorrow, and she is planning on having pumpkin pie for breakfast. It's one of her favorites and has 57 grams of carbohydrates per serving and she is allotted 60 per meal:) 

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Okay so you all know that I have a fabric problem. Something about it's potential just draws me, going into JoAnn's makes me giddy, so many pretty, pretty things! I'm the same way in Office Depot. Very strange I know, please remember I was homeschooled and haven't been able to shake it completely. 

Anyways, my fabric problem. It's nuts--I buy fabric everywhere, garage sales, online, the aforementioned JoAnn's--and my laundry/craft room is hurting because of it. So I started a little ETSY shop to force myself to finish some projects instead of just planning new ones. Granted, that only gave me a free pass to buy more fabric, but whatever, I'm just going to pretended like it's helping.    

Here's my little shop: 
And it's done well! Apparently if you put things up for sale on the internet people will buy them! It was a little overwhelming the first week and I had to go on 'vacation' status to get my orders out on time. SO cool! Over the last month I've made enough to buy half of a much wanted serger, and on Friday Chris bought the other half as my Christmas present. Isn't he sweet to support my addiction hobby?!

I love her, I really do. (Obviously she's a she, my sewing machine is a dude.) She has allowed me to cut my production time in half! Now I make minimum wage!!
If you have special little girl in your life who needs a Christmas dress let me know! Click on over to the SHOP tab under the blog header. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Abbey is Home!

Look who said so long to the hospital today! Children's was a fantastic place to get better, but I know Abbey is ready to sleep in her own bed. (My parents too!)
We drove over this morning for a visit, and they surprised us with the news that she was getting discharged. (!!!) So we hung out at the Ronald McDonald house, were my parents have been napping, while waiting for everything to be processed. The RMH is a wonderful, fresh place to stay with lots of activities for children. Otto was in heaven. This is actually his happy face, he's very intense while driving. 
I think he test drove every vehicle they had, and there were quite a few!
This delicious little piece of squish was so excited to see her Aunt Abbey feeling better. 
Meri even had her first ride on a bike!
Abbey came over after being discharged and we enjoyed a wonderful meal provided for the families staying at the house. Abbey got to eat everything but the pie:)

We are so thankful to be celebrating this Thanksgiving with Abbey, definitely the best since the year she was born! Doesn't she look terrific?! And all the potassium they gave her must have made her grow, she is taller than me now!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some black Friday shopping to do;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Visiting Abbey

Today the babies, Michael, and I headed to the hospital to visit our favorite patient! (Traffic was incredibly smooth, which is unheard of on our route across the metroplex. We drove through the worst traffic jam in the nation during rush hour and only slowed down once. )
I included the above picture because I want you to remember that Michael really is a normal looking guy. Handsome even. Okay, remember that I got a haircut a few days ago? The stylist sent the ten inch pony tail that he cut off home with me and it's been sitting on the counter waiting for me to find a pinterest project that required human hair. (Ha! Not really...well, maybe.) Anyway, Chris was laughing at me last night and called it a rat tail. You should have seen the light bulbs going off above Michael and my heads. Rat tail?! DONE!
Business in the front, party in the back.
We attached it with a rubber band, and Michael marched through the hospital carrying Abbey's pink zebra back pack. The things this guy will do for a laugh:)

And Abbey did laugh so it was worth it!
Abbey is still working up to giving herself injections, but has been able to check her blood sugar via finger prick. She has been diagnosed as a type one diabetic, and will have to become proficient at checking her levels and administering the needed insulin, and she will! Right now Dad is helping her with it:) 

Right now we have our fingers crossed for a Friday discharge, and today she got to change into real clothes! Michael also took her cell phone to her, maybe she will feel up to texting soon.  

Otto and Meri were thrilled to see everyone, and Otto was very, very impressed by the HUGE model train exhibit in the hospital lobby. It put Thomas movies to shame! (After we left Abbey walked down to see it too!) 
My parents are holding up well, both are tired and still in 'fix-it' mode. I'm sure when they finally make it home the real exhaustion will set in, prayers for endurance are greatly appreciated. 
Meredith loves Aunt Abbey!
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And for my record keeping, Meredith got her first AND second tooth today! Both bottom centrals finally popped through the gums! Yay Meri! And a dinner she mastered actually swallowing when food is put in her mouth. Such a big kid!

Insulin Shots

Abbey is getting a crash course in diabetes care right now. Of all the siblings she is probably the most squeamish about shots/needles so this will be a very big adjustment for her. 

Poor little frog helping her practice. 
Learning to draw insulin. Right now her blood sugar is measuring in the 300's so she is having to calculate how much to give herself. Abbey is a tough cookie and will get this, but I'm a little green just thinking about it. :( 
Practicing on Mom before trying to get over the fear of actually sticking herself. 

Her iv and heart monitor's are gone! Her pH is still a little basic (7.38) but her doctor says on this side of the scale her body is able to convert insulin as needed. Potassium is still low and she is taking oral supplements. 

Moving!

Abbey is on her way to a new room! Way to get kicked out of the ICU Abbey!
Her pH is 7.38 this morning, out of the target range of 7.25-7.35, and last night they started her back on iv fluids and potassium to help rehydrated and avoid a few shots.

No word on how she enjoyed her breakfast, but I am sure she did:) Abbey, Otto and Michael wanted to let you know that bacon has no carbs so you can have as much of that as you like!

Today starts some pretty intensive education on diabetes and new care requirements. Please pray that everyone is alert, and can fully comprehend what is being taught.

If you have my phone number, or want to private message me for it, send Abbey a picture of your day! We are heading to the hospital for lunch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

She Smiles! And Eats!

Abbey continues to make great strides towards recovery. Hannah was able to come up from Bryan this afternoon and has been a very calming and proficient presence for my parents and Abbey. (Hannah is a speech pathologist and works daily in a hospital setting.)

Abbey is off the insulin drip, and is now being given scheduled insulin injections. She will need to master giving these to herself before being able to go home. Her blood sugar is stable in the 100's, which is terrific, and her pH is 7.35.
And she is finally allowed to eat! The nutritionist came in to explain meal options to Abbey and true to nature, Abbey strategically planned her allotted carbohydrates to get the most food possible. :) She managed to eat about 75% of this before getting nauseous. For breakfast she is having an omelet and eight whole grapes.
Her potassium levels are still low (2, and they want at least a 3.5), and she is dehydrated. This evening it took nine sticks and three nurses to get the needed blood:( Abbey is difficult to draw blood from on a good day, and while today is better, we're still not in good territory. The hope is by tomorrow she will be ready to downgrade out of the ICU.

My Mom and Dad are getting some sleep tonight at the Ronald McDonald house and Hannah is with Abbey. Israel is visiting in the evenings, but driving back and forth from Tyler to work during the day. Please pray that he will be alert and safe on the road? Michael is staying with us and both the munchkins are enjoying Uncle 'My-cool'.
He taught Otto how to operate the nozzle on the garden hose:)
And Abbey, don't worry, it's not all fun and games for Michael. I had him mow the yard this afternoon which included cleaning out a flower bed that had the potential of being filled with baby snakes, and currently he's up to his ears in physics homework with Chris...and you know Chris and physics; Michael looks a little green.

Love you sweet girl!

Phone Call

Just got to talk to Abbey on the phone! She is still in the ICU and has a male nurse, which is a tad awkward for her, but she sounded great!

They are starting to allow liquids and she was a little grumpy about the choice of popcicles or sugar free jello. Her nurse was kind enough to strain a bowl of chicken noodle soup and let her drink the broth. Otto recommended Gatorade, which is his cure for all 'owies':)

She is strong enough to browse Facebook using my Mom's kindle, so leave her a message!

Morning Report!

Exclamation points all around!!!!!

Abbey is much improved this morning! She is awake, asking about what happened, and smiling! Thank you all SO MUCH for the kind thoughts and prayers!

They are slowly disconnecting her wires and various cords. She is tired with good reason, blood draws every two hours and the traumatic last few days are nothing to scoff at. As of right now she is still not allowed any food or drink, because her pancreas is inflamed from either the virus or from attacks from her immune system.

Today's focus is figuring out why this happened, and how to move forward. They have switched her insulin from iv to injection, and she will have to continue injections before meals for the foreseeable future. This morning Abbey and my parents will get a crash course in the future home care that is required. They are still in ICU, but she has been down graded and now gets to share a nurse with another patient.

My Dad sounded so relieved on the phone (we all are!), and is happy to report that while she is tired, she is definitely all Abbey! So incredibly glad that there has been no damage to her brain! God is so good!

Latest Update

Abbey's blood sugar is at 129, but more importantly, her pH is 7.22! Great job Abbey!
She is waking up and asking what happened. So much improvement, thank you for your prayers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Abbey

My youngest sister, Abbey, is very very sick.
This morning, after several days of battling a very bad version of the flu, and a rough night that caused severe dehydration, she slipped into a coma caused by ketoacidosis. (Here's the wikipedia crash course.)

So instead of going to a scheduled doctor's appointment, she was taken to the ER. Michael carried her to the car, and Israel drove** while my Mom held Abbey. She was triaged and they brought her blood sugar down from 1051 to 533. She woke up before being CareFlighted to Children's in Dallas. My Mom flew with her and was met by our Aunt and Uncle.

They are purposely keeping her blood sugar close to 400 right now. (Normal fasting is not over 110) If it drops too quickly swelling can occur in her brain. When her blood pH is more balanced (currently 7.18 and we want at least 7.25), they will slowly start bringing her blood sugar down, hopefully by the morning as she is not allowed to eat or drink currently and is very thirsty.

We are thankful to live in a time of modern medicine, where hospitals are staffed with skilled doctors and nurses. According to the test results, we were very close to losing our Abbey, and while she is not out of the woods yet, she is much improved, coherent, and responding to those around her.
Opening her eyes! Go Abbey!
Please pray specifically for the staff treating Abbey, for my parents who are with her, and that her peripheral iv (that they are currently using to draw blood) will stay open so they won't have to start another.

Abbey has no history of diabetes, but has recently (last week) been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism which might have played a part along with this virus in creating such a big problem.

Abbey, we love you so SO much. We are so glad you are a fighter and that your body was made to heal. Keep up the good work Pink Rat!

**And by drove, I mean, possibly went 100mph in the Jeep. And possibly past a police car that turned on his lights but never caught up. I'm fairly positive that she got to the hospital more quickly than an ambulance ever could have. Big brothers for the win.
(I will continue to update here and on my Facebook account. My parents are just a tad preoccupied right now, but are grateful for your prayers and thoughtful comments. They are reading them to Abbey so send her a message if you have a moment.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chocolate Turkeys

I'm a bit in love with Thanksgiving. It's the best of the holidays if you ask me.  Yummy food and family time, anticipation for Christmas is building, but there is no stress of finding just the right gift for everyone. 

At our last few playdate's we've made chocolate turkeys as part of the snack. We made these every year while growing up, and always enjoyed sending them to my Dad's office and taking little flocks to the neighbors. I believe my mom found the idea in a Family Fun magazine originally. I think. 
Adorable and delicious!

They are made of York peppermint patties, malt balls, chocolate stars, and chocolate chips. Everything is 'glued' together with chocolate icing. Putting them together is pretty simple, we would set up and assembly line armed with butter knives and shamelessly hope that a peppermint patty might get accidentally smashed and have to be eaten. 
I had a little revelation just now--a piping bag would make adding dollops of icing much easier and create a cleaner finished product--I'll have to try that later this week when we make another batch. 
All done!  A little flock of {chocolate} turkeys! Perfect addition to your holiday table. 

Weekend Update

So, this happened yesterday. 

Hannah was in town and went with me, thus the video. Ten inches in one chop. It ended up looking like this:
My hair was in bad shape, and I just don't have time to mess with long hair right now, so a mom hair it is. I'm still trying to come around to it, the finished product is pretty boxy when I wanted more of a swing bob. I guess telling the stylist not to give me a reverse mullet wasn't a good idea; he went a little to extreme the other way, it's pretty unimaginative and square. The initial chop had much better shape. In a week if I still haven't adjusted, I might find someone to reshape it a little. 

Chris is at the Cowboy's game with my Dad and little brother, Michael, today! I keep getting pictures like this:) 
The babies and I are trying to get organized for next week, and have the game on in the background but man, the Cowboy's kinda stink. But we hope the guys are having a great time hanging out and checking out Jerry's stadium!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Otto's New Bed

I wrote a list this morning of everything that needed to happen today....and then proceeded to do none of it. But the munchkins and I did have a good day hanging out at home, Meri is teething pretty seriously, and Otto is trying to get rid of a head cold, so we laid low.

During Meredith's second nap, Otto and I got a little ambitious and decided to rearrange the furniture. Remember Otto's old room arrangement? Bam! Here's what it looks like now!
Full bed! For a two year old! Because he's so huge and growing and jazz.

Actually, it's more like, this was going to be his bed in the future, it was taking up too much room in his sister's (still unfinished) room, and it's pretty much a hail mary to get him to sleep in bed, not on the floor behind the door or with us.

Otto has hit a rough patch in the sleep department where he has been testing the bedtime rules. He gets out of bed for a drink, and then to pee, or say 'hi', or just to creep into the living room and wait until we notice him. The toddler bed wasn't working, and cribs are out because he is a climber, so this is what we are trying before the hardcore parenting comes into play. Hopefully getting to sleep in a new big kid bed will snap him out of this bedtime struggle. He has a love of all things big, so maybe this will be the trick to getting him sleeping in his own room again.

I asked him if he wanted to move this bed into his room and, grinning ear-to-ear, he said "No!", so we did. :) He approves.
He climbed up, tucked his babies in, and told me to turn off the lights.
Tonight went well! Not a peep after we (jointly) put him in bed and he fell asleep quickly! Yay! And he thanked us for his "Daddy bed".
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I seriously love this kid, he's just so much fun to hang out with during the day. A few days ago I put on a movie about ballet while folding laundry and today he started mimicking it and showed me his "dancing feet".

Aunt Lala's Shower

My kid's sweet Aunt Lala (Chris' younger sister) is having a little boy in January. We are so, SO excited to meet this little guy, and on Saturday helped host a shower for him at my parent's house. He is going to be one loved baby; my siblings are just as excited for him to get here!
Doesn't she do pregnant well?
These pinwheels were my favorite decoration, and so easy to make!
We had 'Words of Wisdom' cards for the guests to fill out. I found the idea on Pinterest and made one in the very high tech Paintbrush. 
Michael filled one out, and it was hilarious! I wish I had taken a picture of it, the bottom section went something like, "Say goodbye to friends (because you won't have time for any!) and hello to couponing and sewing ALL your clothes.". Good grief, I think those things are fun!  

Angela and her mom, Lisa, one of the best Nana's I know!
Lisa made this diaper cake, which turned out so cute. 
And she made the cake! Adorable and delicious! Baby Stepp's nursery has a brown owl theme, so this cake was perfect. 
Justin's mom, Jan, is going to be Meme. Meredith loved her, she is definitely going to be an excellent grandmother. 
This little guy has three (!) great-grandmothers, how neat is that?
Meri enjoyed the party immensely. She's been having a little stranger anxiety lately, so I was (pleasantly) surprised that she did so well. She even skipped her nap just so she wouldn't miss anything. 
 
The little guy got lots of needed things and adorable clothes. It was great to get together and celebrate a much loved little boy! And look, there's my Mom! I somehow didn't get any other picture of her:( 
Counting down until December 26th;)