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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Worry is setting in . . .

Let me give you all the latest update on Olivia's eye surgery. The doctor's had told us that we should see some results within a couple days after the surgery and to give her the eye drops with the antibiotics and steroids for 5 days post surgery. Well, here it is almost a week later and her eyes are still looking pretty bad. They have been looking pretty leaky (what we were trying to fix in the first place) since the surgery, but in the beginning we were thinking that it could just be due to swelling in the tear ducts from the surgery and we wanted to give it some time to let the swelling go down before we started worrying.

Well, after it had been over 4 days we decided to call the doctor (on Tuesday - her eyes looked worse that day than any other day since the surgery!) just to check on what she thought. I had left a message on the nurse line and a little while later the doctor actually called me back herself! She told me that she wasn't at all surprised to get that phone call from me - that Olivia's eyes were the worst case she has seen in years!!! She did say that she did get the ducts opened up during the surgery so she knows that they were open, but even with the probe in the duct - it was a tight fit - so the ducts sound like they may be more narrow than normal (which worries me). She said that she didn't want to give up hope that the surgery was successful at this point, although there is a possibility that they can re-obstruct. So at this point we were told to continue her eye drops for 2 weeks (instead of the 5 days) and if they still look bad (which they do as of today - at almost 1 week) then we would need to bring her back in (instead of waiting until week 3 for her normal post-op check-up).

So, needless to say, we are all pretty worried about her. The doctor said that there are some other surgical options we could look into if this didn't work, but it was too early to discuss those at this point. So let's all keep our fingers crossed that we won't ever have to discuss them.

Just wanted to give you all an update on what has been going on with her eyes thus far. I'll let you know if anything changes, but at this point the left one looks pretty bad and the right one, though better, is still a bit leaky, as well.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

2 days Post Op Check

Hello Everyone! All is still well with Olivia! She is doing well and her eyes are looking good . . . colorful . . . but good. They are definitely not watering as much as before so the surgery seems to be a success! We'll know for sure when we feel brave enough to take her out in the direct sun when we give them a REAL test!

But for now, we are just spoiling her (almost rotten!), and being thankful that everything went so well.
Here's from the night of her surgery - we decided that she needed a little blueberry dessert after dinner for being such a good little girl all day. (She LOVES blueberries!!)

Here's a another picture and a little video to show off how her poor little black eye looked the day after her surgery.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's OVER!

First of all, let me tell you that the surgery is done and we are home, rested, fed and back to our somewhat normal routine.

Now for the more detailed version:

We did not get ANY sleep last night - (we, being Grant and I) - Olivia managed to sleep right through the incredibly loud and bright storm that lasted all of last night - well until about 4am or so - when our alarm was set for 4:15 . . . ugh! So we started off the morning well.

Anyway, we got the little one up and out the door to leave at 5am to head to the hospital and she was in pretty good spirits considering the time. She didn't even sleep in the car.

We entertained the other guests in the waiting room until it was our turn to be called back (a little after 7am). Then we had a whole bunch of nurses, the anesthesiologist and doctors come by to ask us questions . . . and once rumors got out about the cute little baby with the painted toe nails, we had a bunch of nurses both before and after the procedure coming to take a peek at little Olivia! She was a real trooper for not having had much sleep or any food for over 12 hours!

Here we are getting ready:

What are these things???

See the little froggy they gave me!

What are all those machines for?

Look what they did to my face!

They wound up taking her away (awake - I was hoping we could be with her when they put her under, but we weren't!) and sending us off to the waiting room. (tick tock) Then about a half an hour later or so, the doctor came out to get us. She told us that the surgery went well. She was amazed at just how incredibly blocked her ducts actually were (especially the left one, which was always the worse one!!) Apparently it took her a couple attempts to get the left one unblocked and said it felt like gravel in there!

Then we were taken back to see her and we could hear her right when we opened the door to the big recovery room. She was mad . . . REALLY mad! She was quite grumpy and obviously didn't feel well, but alive and well and hopefully the surgery will prove to be the success that the doctor thinks it is. The doctor said that she will feel MUCH better once this initial part is over. That's good news - maybe now she can enjoy being outdoors.
So, we went home (saying goodbye to all the friends we made in the lobby as we passed back through) and Olivia had a little juice and a waffle and we ALL headed off to bed for a LONG nap! (A MUCH needed nap!!!) Now we are all well rested, Olivia has had a very full cup of milk, a BIG lunch and some snacks and is in a much better mood and aside from the leftover bloody drainage coming from her eyes and nose (yeah, a fun little aftermath of the surgery!), and the start of a black eye on her left eye, you would never know what she went through just this morning. What a strong little girl she is.
Here are some pictures from after we were home. You can sort of see that it looks like she is going to wind up with a black eye on her left eye. But if that's all she gets, we'll take it!

See, don't worry everyone - I'm just fine!

Thank you to all who said a prayer on our behalf and kept us in their thoughts today. We REALLY appreciate it. It was a rough morning for us - but it helped knowing we had so much support. I think all of it paid off - our pumpkin is home, healthy and happy . . . and so are we! :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Surgery Update

Ok, so the surgery time has been set for 7:30 am. We have to be at the hospital at 6 am! ugh! And it is going to take us about an hour to get there! Yeah, this is going to be a rough morning with a cranky, hungry little girl and some tired sleepy parents! :)

Tomorrow's the BIG Day!

Hello all! Well tomorrow is the big day for Olivia! She has her surgery bright and early first thing in the morning. We don't have the exact time yet - they'll call me with that this afternoon (nothing like last minute, right?) But we know it will most likely be first thing in the morning and we'll probably have to be there around 6:30am or so (the surgery will probably be around 8am). So please everyone keep us in your thoughts and prayers for tomorrow. I am sure everything will be fine but I am already starting to worry as any mommy would. I know that I am probably going to be a wreck tomorrow, but I'll try to keep it together . . . at least as long as Olivia is awake to see me . . .
In the mean time, here are some cute pictures to hold you all over. Here is the adorable outfit that Great Grandma Lynn got Olivia when we were in Rhode Island. Doesn't she make the cutest little ladybug??

And after seeing how cute little Karlee's painted toenails were at Olivia's 1st Birthday party, I've been wanting to paint Olivia's - well, I finally managed to get it done. Aren't they so cute? Ok, so not the neatest job - but still very cute! (It's hard to keep her still enough to get it perfect - it's a work in progress!) The hospital will be in for a treat when they take her little socks off in the morning! :)

I'll keep you guys posted on how the surgery turns out and I'll try to make sure to at least post a short note tomorrow to let you know that everything went fine. And other than that, Olivia is in for a little treat next week - Grandmom Susan is coming into town next week to watch her because Ms. Angela and Ms. Muriel from our daycare are going out of town to Jamaica for a wedding so Grandmom has so graciously offered to come help us out and I'm sure they are going to have so much fun together next week. Thanks again for helping us out, Susan - we really appreciate it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eye Surgery Update & Play Time

Well, the surgery for her eyes has been scheduled for the 24th of this month (next Friday). I'm a bit torn about it. Yeah, I don't really want my baby to have surgery, and especially don't want her to have to go under anesthesia at such a young age - but her eyes are so bad (especially when we are out in the sun) that she can't even enjoy a normal outing at the park or playing in her baby pool without her eyes getting all red and swollen and watering like crazy. It just bothers her so much to be outside that it has really kept us from doing too much outdoors. I know this will make it so much better for her, in general, then she can really enjoy herself outside with all her little friends!

Unfortunately, the surgery will be quite expensive for us - my *new*company (since getting bought out) has REALLY crappy insurance and a REALLY high deductible and even once we have paid that, then we will still have to cover a percentage of the bill on top of the deductible. Needless to say, our savings account will probably be all but depleted after this. Ugh - but it will be well worth it to help our baby's eyes! She has to have the surgery as close to 1 year as possible to give the surgery the best odds. So, onward and upward. We can always build up our savings again.

Anyway, enough about that. Here are just some fun pictures of Olivia hanging around the house. The first one is of her in her chair with her baby doll and her bear. She loves her chair and always wants to bring as many of her toys into it with her as she can fit - and sometimes so many that she can hardly fit into it herself!

Here's a cute picture I managed to catch as she was *trying* on my shoe to see if it went with her outfit. What do you guys think?

And a game of "peek" . . .

Olivia had another fun playdate this past weekend. This time she not only met up with Logan again, but also with Masyn (Logan's cousin - also from her swim class) and even got to meet a new little friend, Kate. Here are some pictures from their fun time at Masyn's house:

Masyn is in the front with the wild hair (FYI: sunblock does NOT make a good hair gel!), Logan is in the back, and Kate is the little one hidden behind Olivia

Oh, there's Kate!

When we went inside after pool-time, I sat down on the floor . . . whoops - I had no idea I was sitting in the war zone! Apparently I was sitting in the primo spot for *read to me* mobbings!
Here's Olivia and Masyn on my lap and Logan being an independent little reader next to me.

In this next picture you can see how bad Olivia's eyes look when we've spent any time outside. They get all red, swollen and watery. Poor little baby - we're going to get that fixed real soon!

Here are some more cute pictures from this past weekend. On Sunday, Olivia wore the cute little dress that Grandma Noreen had gotten her. It looked so cute on her! She's even playing with the piggy bank Grandma got her, too!

We even managed to find a bow to match! Thanks to Paula and Sasha who told me about a bow company that makes bows to stay in even the most follicularly challenged baby's hair. Isn't it cute!

Look at that little tongue sticking out!

Check out these cute shoes, too! She'd finally grown into them!

We also took her out to the park/lake on Sunday afternoon to check out the water and the playground. Here we are checking out the water. (Next time, we'll bring better clothing to splash around a bit!)

We got to ride the swings:

We got to ride the slides:

Well that's about all for now, but I have a couple more videos to share with you. The first one is from Friday night when we went over to Olivier and Sam's house for Olivier's birthday celebration. Olivier's family was there and Olivia had a fun time hanging out with his brother's kids. This is a video of her dancing with them along to one of the videos that they brought.

We've also been trying to work with Olivia on using a fork and spoon to eat. It has been going ok and she seems to be getting the hang of it . . . sort of. Here she is congratulating herself on a "job well done" after getting some food to her mouth:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

1st Trip to Rhode Island for the 4th

Hello friends and family! Well, this weekend went MUCH better than this past week did! We went on a surprise trip up to visit my family in Rhode Island for the 4th of July (hence the reference to "more on that later" for the issues with the ear infection). This is why I was SOOO very concerned with the ear infection - we were flying out the next morning. So, as you can imagine, among all the other *fun* news I was getting that week (the eyes and breathing issues) the ear infection was of particular concern!

Well, she actually did pretty good on the plane rides. We had 1 connection each way (so 2 planes up and 2 back). The first one up was a little rough when they pressurized the cabin - we were trying to get her to drink her juice to help her clear her ears but she didn't want to. So that wouldn't work. So, we moved onto Plan B for the second plane on the way up . . . wagon wheel snacks - yup, that worked. She'll never turn down her wagon wheel snacks. It helped her to swallow during take-off and landing and she didn't even notice the pressure changes. We used the same tactic for the way back and it was all good! She even hammed it up for the other passengers. He new favorite thing to do is to point at someone (anyone and everyone!!!) then wave at them and say "HI!!". She says it very clearly and it is so cute. She was doing that to everyone in the airport and on the plane. How funny! I'll try to get it on camera for you all to see.

We went up there on Friday morning and came back on Monday night. The only person that new we were going up there from Rhode Island (my parents and brother knew) was my Aunt Sue since she was helping us get all the baby stuff together (i.e. car seat and pack and play) so we wouldn't have to lug it all with us. Well, she picked us up at the airport and brought us over to my Grandma Lynn's house (my dad's mom) to surprise her - and she and my cousin Scottie walked in first and then when my Grandma spotted us out of the corner of her eye . . . the tears started! It was very sweet! She had no idea!

We got to surprise everyone - but no one had quite that great of a reaction. Olivia was quite a hit up there and LOVED being the center of attention! We were able to enjoy all of our favorite family traditions while we were there: HUGE family card games of Hearts, Uncle Tony's pizza (mmmmmm), Big clam bake dinner from Grandma Betty and just catching up with everyone. This was the first time that most of my family was able to meet Olivia and I'm so glad we were able to make it up there. Here are some pictures from our trip:

Eating Uncle Tony's Pizza:

Grandma Betty didn't have a high Chair so we had to make one . . . we used Grandpa's belts to strap her down! How cheesy - but it works! :)

Here's a video of Olivia and my brother's dog, Ozzy. The dog is only 4 months old (but almost 60 lbs!!!) and Olivia is actually scaring him!! Check out that Pterodactyl scream!

And here's another video from where Olivia stole Scottie's hat and was running around acting silly. She was being such a ham for everyone.

Look how cute her little July 4th dress is!

Ok, so we worked really hard to get a picture of Olivia with each of the family members while we were there. So here goes . . . .

With Papa

With Grandma Noreen

With Uncle Sean (She was VERY tired by the time this picture was taken!)

With Cousin Shane (all the way from California!)

With Uncle Paul

With Aunt Sue (Not sure what she is doing here)

With Cousin Greg (Who was scared to death to even hold her!)

With Cousin Scottie (Better known as her shadow for the weekend!!)

With Grandma Lynn

With Grandpa Larry (or you may know him as Santa)

With Grandma Betty

With Uncle Darryl

With Aunt Darlene
Here are some more pictures from the party at Aunt Sue's house. We were celebrating my Grandma Lynn's 85th birthday (a little early).

Olivia got to have some of the birthday cake - she LOVES cake! mmmmm

Here's a video of her going to town on it:

Scottie had an Elmo doll that Olivia had a good time playing with:

When we were back at my Grandma Betty's house, Grant brought Olivia out to the front yard to play outside. The neighbor had a little pinwheel - made for some cute pictures.

Here's Olivia up in the tree that I used to climb when I was a little girl (in the front of Grandma Betty's house)

And here we are on the way home . . .

Here's the little goofball after she stuck an entire wagon wheel into her mouth! What a goof!

Our last flight was after 7pm and she was pretty worn out. She passed out right as we were taking off.
Thankfully, it wasn't a full flight and we were able to lay her down in the middle seat for the entire flight - she woke up right after we landed in Raleigh.
We are glad to be home - but really enjoyed our trip! I wish my family was closer to where we could see them more often, but I guess if we have to save up to take a big trip every once in a while, this was a wonderful one to take. Looking forward to the next one!