Friday, May 18, 2012

Cardiology Update

Earlier this week Harper and I made our bimonthly trip to UAB's Children's Cardiology office for an EKG and ECHO.  This visit, though like the others, was bittersweet with good and bad news.  Good news is that her prognosis is the same "moderate" PVS (pulmonary valve stenosis).  The bad news is that her doctor said that the condition is causing strain on the right side of her heart and will require surgical correction, preferably before she turns 5 years old.  The surgery is relatively simple (as far as heart surgery goes anyway) and is done frequently at Children's with a very high success rate.   The procedure is called a balloon valvuloplasty.  Here's what the Mayo Clinic has to say about it:  This technique, which tends to be the first choice for treatment, uses cardiac catheterization to treat pulmonary valve stenosis. During this procedure, your doctor threads a small tube through a vein in your leg and up to your heart. An uninflated balloon is placed through the opening of the narrowed pulmonary valve. Your doctor then inflates the balloon, opening up the narrowed pulmonary valve and increasing the area available for blood flow. The balloon is then removed.
Overall,  I think our baby girl is going to be fine, but it's still scary knowing she needs surgery on her little heart.  She will continue to see the cardiologist every 6 months now so he can continue to monitor her condition.  We feel good knowing she's in good hands (as UAB is one of the nations top medical facilities) and will be well taken care of.  Overall, she should be able to live a normal, active childhood!

11 Months

Baby girl will be one in less than a month!  I can't believe it.  Where has our baby gone?  Though I love watching her grow and  change, I find myself frequently saying how much I love "this stage" and want to keep her this age forever.  She's still the "best baby in the world" - happy, content and sweet.  The little things I want to remember about her right now are.....the tight little strawberry blonde curls on the back of her neck, how she gives wet "kisses" and tries to bite your nose, her constant smile, how she squeals with excitement, her pink-kitty from GG is still her favorite toy in her crib, changing her diaper is a serious challenge, she loves her bedtime books, she thinks sitting and spinning around on her bottom is super fun, she loves table food, that she has decided to crawl on all fours since moving to the new house, she loves pulling up on things especially to reach whatever her brother is playing with, how she "protests" when you take something away from her, her adorable 4 teeth (2 top, 2 bottom), her silly babbling, she still sucks her two middle fingers and how it melts my heart when she lays her head down on my shoulder when she's tired.  Her hair is getting longer (just long enough for a small bow) and her eyes are still a radiant blue.  She still loves nursing, riding in the ring-sling and being close to mama, but is embracing time with others.  She's one pretty incredible little girl.

11 Month Stats:
16 lbs 13 oz (3%)
28 1/4 inches (50%)

Mother's Day

I had a lovely Mother's Day.  It was my first as a mother of two (and in Alabama, and in the new house).  Dr. M and E got up early and picked some beautiful Gerber daisies (my fave) and whipped up some amazing crapes with fresh strawberries, chocolate and whipped cream for breakfast.  We spent most of the day unpacking and organizing.  It was a drizzly, cool day outside and was nice just being inside with my family and spending the day together.  E helped me pick out the perfect, big, beautiful fern at the store for our new front porch.  That night Dr. M made an amazing "restaurant quality" dinner of fried eggplant, homemade marinara and bread pudding for dessert. Just having my family around me made it a simple and special day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New House!

It's official....we are now the proud owners of Alabama real estate!  We bought a house here in T-town (actually, just 4.6 miles from the house we were renting).  July will be the one year mark of our move down here (I can't believe it) but it was just the right amount of time to get to know the city and neighborhoods.  From start to finish, the whole home-buying process took about 6 weeks.  The first day we looked at houses we drove by this one and asked our agent to show it to us...we fell in love as soon as we stepped out of the car and saw the Gerber daisies (and the back patio).  Once inside the amazing kitchen and roominess of the house sold us!  We could see our future in this home and couldn't wait to move in.  With the 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and ample storage (even a basement) we were anxious to move in and spread out.  We closed on May 1st (did a little painting) and moved in on May 7th.  Grandma W came to help with the kids while Dr. M and I packed and unpacked.  The neighbors have been so warm and welcoming, stopping to chat and bringing us dinner and homemade bread. We're enjoying being home owners again and have already enjoyed some renovation projects (which we love).  We look forward to many happy years in this home.

FRONT - it's much bigger than it looks!

BACK - the patio is ah-mazing (though this isn't the best pic of it)

The Gerber Daisies - gone now because E picked them all for me for Mother's Day :)

 The beautiful kitchen (renovated a year ago)

In the backyard (eek!) - Not sure what kid of snake this is but he was at least 3 feet long.  Just to be safe we caught him and released him at a nearby park.

Stewdog is LOVING the new house!

Harper's Room

Eli's Room