Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve Day 14

Today is New Years Eve--the last day of 2008! Our theme for the year has been 2008 is great and boy it has been. Lots has happened in our family--new job, new home, new baby and now we can say new liver!!! I wrote in our annual christmas letter that the new liver was the only big thing that didn't happen this year--maybe I "jinxed" us in getting it then by writing that?

Ians labs continue to show steady improvement. I am tracking them in excel--I opted not to do trendlines yet.

He is supposed to get his PIC line put in today--this allows for easy lab draws and meds by IV if needed. He'll need labs at least 3 times a week for the first little bit. I'm not sure if that is happening as he isn't supposed to eat beforehand and he has had breakfast and we just were able to order lunch. A special nurse needs to put it in too and with the holidays I'm not sure if anyone from that team is available.

Grandpa and Grandma are here again today. Grandpa has been tending Livia and Grandma has been playing with Ian so that Brett and I could get some down time. It has been good. We are hopeful to be able to watch the Hokies in the Orange Bowl tomorrow night.

Ian got a "bath" this AM and I trimmed his nails as well. You would think I was pouring alcohol onto his surgery site by the howling coming from his room. My goodness! We managed though. He won't be able to truly bath until the staples are out and then we won't be able to submerge the arm until after the PIC line is out.

What a wonderful 2008 and we're glad we can say....on to 2009 which will surely be a year to shine!

Day 13 Refreshing

So being on the transplant floor means a lot more freedom in terms of visitors, times to see Ian, etc. It is refreshing.

Ian had his drain removed yesterday and was given a sedative to do so. He slept most of the afternoon because of it. Brett and I were able to talk for the first time in about two weeks without ears listening, etc. It was refreshing.

Livia was a bit crabby again. Perhaps she knew that I couldn't find a Christmas dress for her at Target when we went to the clearance sales. Grandma and Grandpa meldrum found one at Kohl's which was refreshing.

I had a nap with livia yesterday afternoon while G&G Meldrum played with Ian and helped him get up and walk for physical therapy. That was refreshing.

So in all day 13 was refreshing....

Monday, December 29, 2008

Day 12 means On to the Transplant Floor

Ian was moved to the transplant floor--aka butterfly floor. He is very excited as he is more moble now and gets to see Livia and other visitors more freely. We are still be cautious as to who comes to visit right now with germs being our enemy big time. We had pizza in celebration of his move. It took a long time to get moved--the hurry up and wait scenario again. The doctors had to write the offical orders for him to move--everything else was done and he couldn't be moved on just verbal direction.

He continues to be on antibiotics to treat any trace of infection. We are hopeful his neck IV line will come out tomorrow. The antimicrobial disk came out tonight so the dressign had to be changed--bummer. Ian hates the tape.

The transplant floor is much noiser in terms of visitors, etc. hopefully brett and ian will get some sleep. The transplant floor room is also much smaller so I took some things home today. We anticipate being on the transplant floor for about a week to two weeks before being discharged for local stay of about two to four weeks then discharged home.

Livia was crabby today. Grandma and Grandpa did great trying to get her to nap, etc. I just bathed her and put her down, am typing this and then heading to bed myself as I am wiped too. We didn't attempt a bottle today so I can't report on that.

I think Brett is tired too. Hopefully Ian will let him sleep tonight. I am so greatful for all the help we have is so many ways. A box of goodies from CCS (Brett's former colleagues) arrived for Ian and us! It was a lovely ray of sunshine.

I am hopeful tomorrow will bring well rested Herbst family members to enjoy a great day!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fever on Day 11

Ian had a fever last night. It spiked around 100 degrees. Fevers are normal after transplant but it is being watched very closely. He is also have some adverse reaction to the antibiotics and so he is having blood cultures done, etc. We should have results starting to come back today but others take 48 hours. The doctors are not concerned so we are trying not to be either. Another antibiotic has been started to help curb any possible new "bugs" that he may be contending with.

I went to sacrament meeting at my sisters ward today. It was great to go to church for just that little bit. Brett and Ian of course could not attend. One of the speakers talked on service and it was so timely with all the service that is being rendered for Ian and us. My sister made meals for us for a whole week--I don't even know how to begin to thank her.

I am going back to see Ian tonight and deliver dinner for Brett. Ian and I will, I am sure play Hi Ho Cherry-O another game that he has recently discovered. It is very cute to see him with the spinner as this is the first game he has played with a spinner. He continues to enjoy go fish, snap and don't spill the beans. Memory is also in the mix.

I played engines with Ian today on the floor. He gets frustrated when his long train doesn't stay together when chugged. He is also very particular about which engines line up next to each other. (Only Thomas should pull Annie and Claribel; Gordon must lead the line, Percy should pull the Chinese dragon, and so forth).

Livia had a good night last night overall--stayed in the pack and play until 3am which means she is not in the bed with me. I know we are going to have habits for both kids to break when we are done this but for now it is just about enduring and survival.

Yesterday I was able to watch a few minutes of a college football bowl game with my parents while I fed Livia--yes multitasking as always. It was great to just sit and watch the game. I am hopeful to watch the Hokies play in Ian's room with him on the 1st--he is very cute when he makes the time-out symbol, etc. I also went to target for some "retail therapy" and it was wonderful. I bought a christmas shirt for myself and stocking holders for next year. I also needed to get the next size of clothes for Livia as she is getting too big for almost everything that I packed. I bought two sleep and play outfits for her to tide us over for a few.

We are hopeful that tomorrow brings us to the transplant floor but we will see....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Day 10 - Still in PICU

We may be moving to the transplant floor tomorrow instead of monday. This is great but will depend on Ian's ultrasound tomorrow morning so it may still not happen.

Livia was a good girl last night for the most part. Grandpa and Grandma have been a huge help with her. She is cooing and "talking" to them so cutely. She had a diaper "failure" in the night which caused some mild drama.

Brett and I may be able to go and eat lunch together with Livia today as my parents are probably coming to see Ian today. Brett is resting now--trying to get some extra sleep from his night time duty. Ian was up several times to go to the bathroom apparently but did well overall.

Thanks to all sending prayers, love, and notes/emails to us!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After Christmas--Day 9

We are still in PICU and will be until at least Monday. This is erring on the side of caution but still somewhat of a bummer as we were hoping to be out by this weekend. The surgeon just wants to be careful and I appreciate that but at the same time going to the transplant floor would help things in terms of the juggling act I have been keeping up for over a week now. It has been rough.

I've been to the hospital twice today and got hte report this AM that Ian was calling out for me in the night. Yeah....that made me feel great. I tried to spend extra time and am going back tonight (with soft TP in hand) to play more rounds of go fish, don't spill the beans, and snap--new games from Christmas that Ian is loving. I am grateful to get some others into the rotation as CandyLand is great but only for about 3 times in a row then I need a break from Gloppy and Mr. Mint.

Livia has been a picky princess today in terms of bottles. She is so cute and I love her so I can't be mad at her. I fed her in a steaming hot lactation room in the hospital and I think we both lost about 3 pounds--it was roasting! She did pretty good last night over all.

Grandpa Meldrum is staying iwth my Mom (aka Grandma Meldrum) and I for a few here at the Mason House as my sisters family is sick and we can't have the germs right now with ian high on immunosuppressants. So the four of us are rooming in a single room--my dad was on a pull out chair last night so I could have a bed--thanks dad! We are so blessed to have the Mason House to stay at!

I had my mom and Dad go to target for the after christmas sales--I need some wrapping paper and stocking holders for next year. I think I may try to go tomorrow--hopefully timing of things will work out. They got some new closed lid drinks for Brett as that is all he is allowed in the PICU.

So we are doing well still on Day 9 and continue to count our blessings naming them one by one...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day is Day 8

Today is Christmas and it has been a special day...not like Christmas is normally for most folks where you wake up and rush to the tree to see what Santa brought. Livia and I got up and spent some time together, I showered and ate breakfast and then waited for my parents to come back from the night with my sister and her family. They watched Livia while I went to see Ian and Brett in PICU and Santa came in a big way. The generosity of people here is amazing to us as Ian received many gifts and visits from special people throughout the day. He got lots of Thomas things--a carrying case with a new engine or two was probably his favorite (coaches Annie and Claribel & Stanley to be very specific). We played on the floor again with a blanket.

Livia did not take a bottle today at all (grrrrr) so my time in the mornign was shorter with Ian. I was there at least to help him get his NG tube out--yessssssss!!! He is able to be a good enough eater and take his meds by mouth that he got it out. The doctors continue to be pleased with Ian's labs. We had Ian in big boy undies but because of some of the tubes and stuff still attached, they were more trouble than good so he is back in hospital pants which he doesn't seem to mind.

I am here with Brett and Ian for a few tonight. My parents came with Livia so Brett could see her today. She napped today which was good as yesterday was a bit rough for that. Brett was able to eat a ham dinner (thanks to my sister) and it will probably be his only real meal today. I brought him a milk and banana this morning if that counts for breakfast. It is hard not to be able to be together as a family and particularly hard for me to be running (literally) back and forth between Livia and Ian. The plan is to try one more bottle type for Livia and if that doesn't work then I will keep running for as long as needed. I am hopeful that by Saturday we can be moved ot the transplant floor so in preparation I am taking home some things that Ian received today for Christmas.

It has been a wonderful day--truly! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Day 7

A week ago Ian received his transplant. So far our first week post transplant has been a bit of a roller coaster like most families in the transplant community said it would be. We've had tears of joy, fear, sadness, and relief sometimes all at once.

I was with Ian for doctors rounds again this morning. The doctors know me well enough now that they brought a copy of the labs with them to hand to me as soon as I asked for the labs. His levels are all looking good. I will be tracking and trending them in excel as soon as I get my laptop that my dad just brought to me today.

Ian is still not fully pink and that could take over a month to happen. Brett and I can both tell he is less yellow in his face, hands, feet and eyes especially. He is in big boy undies today and walked to the potty two times. He was down playing on a blanket on the floor and even got on his stomach at one point to chug the train around a huge track. He is a bit wobbly on his feet which is to be expected given the length of time in bed and nature of his transplant surgery.

Livia hasn't napped at all today and finally crashed on our way here to the hospital. She and I will spend some special time together tonight--I am thinking that we may try to go to a Christmas Eve devotional at one of the chapels near hte hospital. My parents will be with my sister here in the metro area until tomorrow morning and then Ian, Brett and I will have ourselves a very merry christmas in his PICU room. Livia will be watched by grandma and grandpa at the Mason House.

I picked up a small tree for Ian's room today at Target which was absolutely crazy. I usually don't go out this late to buy things for Christmas but the circumstances this Christmas are different. I also got Tacos from Taco Bell for Brett as that is a tradition in his family to eat Tacos on Christmas Eve--not quite like homemade but it was the best I could do. Ian will get some Santa presents here and then a special visit from Santa once back in south carolina. Livia is too little to really know what is happening which is great in many ways. She was not as stellar with the bottle today which is a bit concerning after her great trend.

Ian's new liver is such a great gift--a very special christmas present. As I think of tonight being Christmas Eve with Ian in the PICU, my mind and heart think about the donor family and as before, I have said a special prayer of comfort for them at this time. Thank you donor family where ever you are and God be with you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bob the Builder Day 6

This morning Ian and I are watching Bob the Builder. He wants to get down to play with his engines so we are going to work on that today--it will be good for everyone. Even Brett can now sing the Bob the Builder theme song.

Brett has gone to eat some lunch and I am here with Ian catching up the blogs while Ian is into his Bob the Builder. Ian slept better last night thanks to Mr. Puppy. Ian was scared to sleep with him for fear of getting him dirty but thanks to my mom's idea of putting a hospital gown on Mr. Puppy, last night was the best night yet for Brett and Ian. I cannot say the same for Livia and I. I am beginning to wonder if I will ever stop feeling tired?

The routine so far has been something like this....wake up with Livia and feed her and pump. Shower, grab breakfast to eat as I drive to the hospital. Grab something for brett as well. Arrive at hospital circling in the parking garage for a spot multiple times (takes about 15 mins to park). Arrive at PICU hoping someone is at the desk to let me back. Wash hands on way in. Be with Ian while Brett sleeps, showers and/or eats. Leave to go back to Mason Guest House which is a bed/breakfast set up just for transplant families that is absolutely wonderful! Feed Livy and eat lunch. Write in blog/do laundry/play with livy/search for a grocery store, etc. Fix dinner. Eat. Prepare a plate for brett. Feed livy. Go to hospital to deliver dinner to brett and spend time with Ian. Leave hospital. Feed Livy. Get livy ready for bed. Bed. Feed livy throughout night. I can't get back into PICU from 7-8 am and 7-8 pm b/c nurses shift change. I also can't get back when the doctors are rounding anywhere from 8 to noon--it is crazy they don't have more of a set time as it drives me nuts.

Livia is doing well with the bottle thus far. Has taken it again two more times. What a huge blessing.

Brett and I cannot eat in Ian's PICU room now even though Ian can. Weird isn't it? We also both can't be alseep in Ian's PICU room--even on Christmas eve so we are brainstorming that one. Santa does make a visit here so that is good. We'll be here in PICU through Christmas.

Ian stood up and walked a bit yesterday which was great. He is able to wear underwear again, etc. too so we'll get that taken care of later today. I gave him a sponge bath yesterday and am combing his hair that is quite in need of washing at this point.

I was here again for doctors rounds and report is great. Ian is doing very well. We are close to getting the NG tube out. Ian has to take all of his meds well by mouth...only one med is giving us a little problem so we are going to try to flavor it with grape. cross fingers. Ian can also get one of his hand IV units out today but opted not to do that yet--I think he remembers the pain of the tape from another removal. He'll have to have his neck IV dressing changed and that was so not pleasant yesterday for Ian.

We feel so richly blessed with how well things have gone to this point. We say prayers of thanks multiple times a day as we know Heavenly Father is mindful of Ian and our family.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Livia took a bottle

Livia took a bottle this AM from my mom! This is huge and a real answer to prayers. Thank you to all who have been praying for us for this.

I was with Ian with the doctors rounded today. Looks like Ian will be here until after Christmas in PICU which is what we expected. One of the meds has to be given here in PICU so until he is done needing it he will be in PICU. He'll get his staples out in 3 weeks about and his surgical drain about the same time. His NG tube can come out when he can take all meds orally.

Ian's labs continue to trend down/up as appropriate. I am a numbers girl and the surgeon told me not to follow just one or two numbers or I would go nuts.

I am heading to the store to get some things we need today--soap, deod., stocking things for Ian b/c I didn't bring any, etc.

Again, thank you to everyone praying for us. I cannot say enough thanks to all those who have helped us in any way. We are so grateful and are humbled by the outpouring of love.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Full Diet on day 4

Ian appears to have turned a corner with his new liver picking up functions so that is a huge relief. He still has a long road still ahead of him but some of the bigger hurdles at the front are slowly being hurdled.

He got to eat today and what did he choose--chicken nuggets of course but he didn't eat one after they arrived. He had about 1/2 a blueberry muffin, pretzels, and a chocolate milk. He can also walk to the big boy potty if he wants to now.

I got a nap this afternoon and feel better for the rest in general. My sister brought food to my mom and I today so we can have something other than fast food which is most exciting--never thought I would be excited about green veggies :)

Livy is not taking the bottle still so I am running back and forth between the two kids and it is killing me right now. I have asked our social worker if there is anyway that livia could visit once Ian is out of PICU. Livy in general is just a momma's girl and I am struggling (emotionally and physcially) splittign my time between the two kids.

Continue to pray for our family! We appreciate all the prayers and those who are helping us.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Back in Atlanta -- Day 3

I am back in Atlanta (as of yesterday afternoon) and I must say the drive here this time wasn't nearly as speed laden as the first time. My mom, livia, family friend, AJ, and I got ourselves into the Mason Guest house last night after a very fun yogurt explosion accident. Please do not ask.

I was here when Ian had a bowel movement the first time on Friday afternoon which was great. He is doing well--his labs are showing steady improvement but a little slower than we had hoped. The doctors are monitoring things very closely and are positive by the trending that Ian is showing.

This morning I shifted out with Brett as he had two hours of sleep--I think I got about 3 between feeding livy, worrying about Ian, and the size and "comfort" of my pull out chair that was my bed. While I was here Ian had his catheder (sp?) removed and one of his arterial blood pressure IV lines removed which is great. Taking the tape off him is not fun for Ian at all. He had tape on one of his wrist IVs fail and bled on his ball blanket so I am trying to find a place to wash that for him. When he has tubes/lines/tape removed, I try to distract him as much as possible by playing our engine guessing game, singing songs or other things. Ian keeps asking to go potty in the big potty but that is just not possible right now. We think he may be able to have clear liquids tonight.

I thought I was prepared for the transplant call but no so at all. In three years, I've kept our bags with my sister who lives in metro ATL. Just two weeks ago when we were here for clinic, I decided to take them back to SC to repack/reassess and didn't get to do that yet. Thank goodness I hadn't unpacked anything so could just put them right into the trunk but they hadn't been updated for over a year. Brett and I are having to "live" apart right now and that is one of the kinks in the plan as I had thought we would be together and we are not. The other major kink is that Livia cannot come back to Ian's PICU room so I am having to go back and forth between Ian's PICU room and a family waiting area to feed Livy or from his PICU room to a transplant housing facility about 2 miles away to feed Livy. It is rough--very very rough. As I said on an earlier post, it would be such a stress relief if Livy were to take a bottle as I can pump milk for her where ever and my mom who is here helping me (THANK YOU MOM!) can feed her from the bottle. We are trying a new type of bottle for her later today.

Brett and I have different hurdles with our "divide and conquer" jobs and who has the bigger hurdles--I don't know. He has been amazing and wonderful and awesome and I am so glad we are doing this together and that we can bear our burdens together to make them light.

Please keep the prayers coming!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recovery Day 1 and Clean up crew

I'm home in Charleston for a few hours to get the house in "leaving" order as I won't be back for a while. I feel like I'm running a marathon that just doesn't stop....laundry, return library books, take down the christmas tree, pack clothes, hold the mail, etc. One of my key jobs is to get Mr. Puppy--Ian's lovey for him as well as Harold the Helicopter. I totally bolted without either of these items on Tuesday. My parents are here helping me get a few tasks done and then I am driving back to ATL tomorrow morning.

Ian is my hero. He has been a champ through everything. He has only said his tummy hurts once so far which is amazing to me. I've had two c-sections nothing close to what he has gone through and for those I was saying I hurt a lot more than just once. He will have lots of physical therapy to help him get back to the running and jumping, etc. The day before the call we had gone outside for a walk and chalk and running in the back yard and I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad that we did that; so glad.

We are trying to decide how to handle the whole Christmas in the hospital thing--Ian knows that Santa is very aware that he is at the hospital and to bring some of his presents there but Santa will likely make another visit to our home after we are back and settled.

The surgical team, doctors, nurses and staff have been wonderful. Just wanted to express our gratitude to everyone who has prayed for us and helped us in anyway. Many many thanks for helping us as we cross hurdles everyday with Ian's recovery.
Brett and Ian both have blog sites with information so check the side bar for those sites....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Transplant Day

We got the call for Ian's transplant yesterday morning about 9:15. Brett was out of town on business in Philly so I was solo with both kids. It was too foggy to fly so I had to drive to Atlanta to get here by 4pm. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders for certain. It was all hurry up and wait--we waited all night and into the next morning. I am waiting in the OR area as Ian is just now going to start the transplant--he's been in the OR for 2+ hours already. Things have been crazy with trying to get Livy taken care of--she isn't taking a bottle which is causing huge problems. She also cannot be in the room with Ian at all in PICU or when he is on the regular floor which is causing a new set of variations in our plan. Anyone reading this wondering what they can do to help--prayers for all of our family would be a huge help; prayers for Ian's health and recovery--Livy to take a bottle and be a good girl for those watching her--Elaine and Brett to have the stamina to make it through this. I will try to post more when I get a chance.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spilt Milk

So today in our errand running we had an experience...well let's say I had an experience. At our last stop, I was loading the kids when I realized our bread was being squished so I moved it only realizing too late that the bag with the milk also moved and tumbled out of the car. It was one of those moments that seemed in slow motion but yet I couldn't stop it from happening. Milk gushed out of the spilt gallon and I was trying to sprout at least two more sets of arms to console Ian who was melting down over the spilt milk he had no responsibility for, Livy who needed put in the car, and containment issues for the milk I had just purchased. One nice man asked if I had things under control or if I needed a hand. I think most people would have just left the milk and call it a learning experience but oh no not me. I double bagged it and set it on it's side and put in the car to drive 5mph home. We made it home without further spills and I managed to save more milk than I had thought. I snapped a picture of the jug with the nice whole in the side just for a memory!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Season

So now that Thanksgiving has past and Christmas is right around the corner I figured that I would update my blog on the subject of holidays. Thanksgiving itself was wonderful however the traffic coming home was less than desirable....a 5.5 hour journey took 10 hours. The kids were actually very good considering. Ian loved the tukey and had his first piece of pumpkin pie. I got up on black friday to hot the sales at 5am. I was able to get what I wanted only b/c I sprinted through the stores. My strategy of no cart serves me well.

Christmas time is my favorite but this year I am feeling a bit motr like the grinch for some reason. We got our tree up last night--lights were again tangled despite efforts last year to avoid that. Ian has found the magic of the season this year which is great. He asks about Santa a lot and is a bit weray of our chimney. I managed to get everyone in Santa hats for a quick picture although I want a redo when we are all dressed nicely in front of a decorated tree next round.

Ian is learning Christmas songs and his favorites are Jolly Old St. Nick; We wish you a merry Christmas (complete with figgy pudding verse), and Up on the housetop. He had his first ever roasted marshmellow and didn't like the "fire" on it at all. We'll work on developing that taste.
We've made a countdown chain with various activities on it to help the days and today we are to do a holiday craft so wish us luck and think of us as we glue shiny pom poms on craftsticks, etc.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


So I voted for my first time ever this past Tuesday in the presidential election. It was an experience....tried to go in the AM and the wait time was 3 hours which was impossible for me to do alone with two small children--one who was only a few weeks old. I went back with Brett that night for an hour wait and cast my electronic vote. So nifty! I got my "I voted" sticker which was great. I had a nice lady behind me snap a photo of me at the registration booth and am posting it here. Democracy is wonderful!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Home Alone....

So today, Monday the 27th is the first day that Livy, Ian and I are home completely without help. So far, everyone is still alive and actually out of PJs, with breakfast, etc. I dozed on the couch for a few while watching Thomas the Train with Ian waking up to the repeated request of Ian telling me that he had to go potty. We made it in time thankfully. All of our company left yesterday after Livy's blessing. On saturday we went to historic Charleston and walked around a lot--I didn't walk as far as the group but it was still enough that I have been sore yesterday and today taking OTC pain killer.

Ian continues to be obsessed with Livy's belly button and wants to see it everytime I change her diaper. He is such a good helper and very patient overall when I am trying to take care of her needs. We just visted the Thomas website and now are getting ready to play with his train table before lunch while Livy is napping.

In our morning prayer, Brett gave thanks that I was able to stay home with the kids....plural now and that still is taking some getting used to; that I am the mother of two and am now in the daily grind of life at home without help.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ready or not....

So this is the week of baby #2 arrival. We picked my mom up yesterday so she can be here a few days before the baby arrives to get done all the last minute things before and then after for when I am incapacitated on the couch recovering from the c-section.

It is hard to believe that this is the week......seems like it would never get here and now it is looming right in front of us. I am feeling big and tired. Swelling hasn't been nearly as bad as the first time so for that I am very very grateful.

So ready or not, the time is at hand.....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Experiences for learning.....

So in honor of our three month (almost) mark of living in South Carolina I figured I would update my blog with some things I have learned, observed, or realized about South Carolina since moving away from home state of Virginia for the first time.

1. People in SC don't like to drive in rain. Traffic slows so much it is like people driving in snow in Virginia. A discussion with a friend here resulted in wondering if people like to focus on the windshield wipers rather than the road when it is raining and that is the problem....

2. People in SC run to the stores on threat of hurricane just like people run to the stores with threat of ice or snow in Virignia. Same things are the "hot items"....toilet paper, bread, water, etc.

3. People don't really use an acceleration lane to accelerate in SC. It is more of a meandering into the streaming traffic going 65 miles plus.

4. Traffic laws that I never really appreciated in Virginia make lots of sense mandating helmets for motorcyclists and not allowing passengers in the back of a pick up truck bed. SC car insurance is about four to five times more than Virginia and maybe it is in part to the lack of traffic laws in place.

I've learned a lot of other things Ian will try to catch the enormous bugs with his snack bowl (emptied to catch the bugs), that there is no good time to try to go to the park when it is cool during the months of June-September, and that Ian and I will still go to the pool when people here are sporting sweaters outside thinking it is cold.

The things I learn.......

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Time Passes

So the count down for baby arrival is truly on at this point. 18 days left before "Baby Pat" arrives. I am scheduled for a c-section again on Oct 9th so instead of a baby pool for when she will arrive, etc. I think my family is taking "bets" on how long Ian calls the baby "baby pat" instead of her real name that is yet to be decided upon.

I have everything ready that I can think of--I'm sure there is more. Ian has been helping me fold onesies, etc. He and I went to a big brother/big sister class at our hospital here to gear him up even more. It was very cute and informative. We plan to have the baby give Ian a few gifts when she arrives based on recommendations of friends.

I've been cataloging pictures on our home computer trying to ready it for the anticipated deluge of photos of baby. Seeing Ian in the hospital and grow up before my eyes has been hard and made me realize how quickly time has past for Ian. The day to day time passing is slow but three years flashed before my eyes. It will be even more of a reality when I see a very very newborn baby and see Ian I'm sure. Amazing how time passes......

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tropical Storm Hannah

Living on the coast certainly has its advantages and of the latter is hurricanes and tropical storms. Tropical Storm Hanna just came through the Charleston area last week and it was much much much milder than I thought we would see. It helped that it didn't restrengthen to a hurricane, that landfall was north of here, and that higher winds were to the east. We got rain and a little wind and that was it. I've been through worse thunderstorms here and in Virginia. We didn't loose power here and only had one palm frond come off so we feel very blessed.

Wal-Mart, etc. were bustling with water, paper towel and toilet paper sales earlier in the week. It was crazy. I found myself in the moment and bought some of all three even though we had plenty. It really made me think of the scripture, "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."

Ian did great during the ordeal--we talked to him about the wind, etc. He was more concerned about it getting dark outside before night time. He did love (and is still loving) having his slide inside as we moved all of our patio stuff indoors or to the garage.

We are hoping that we manage to avoid other encounters with tropical storms and hurricanes this season. When we were looking to move here, I actually researched the likelihood of a landfall in the Charleston area even :)

More on the next post......

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hokies loose....

Brett and I were blessed to go to the VT/ECU football game this weekend in Charlotte. It was so much fun! Tailgated prior to the game and then went to the game. Our seats were in sun for only about 30 minutes of the game and that fact went in my grateful journal thatI keep. We had lathered up in sunscreen though and were glad that we did. We drank lots of water and tried to keep cool mental images in mind to help.

The game was great atmosphere but kind of lacked in the actual execution of things. The Hokies just didn't look sharp on any front this game. It was the first one so I'm hoping things will come together more for my alma mater. It was kind of embarassing at some points. I've got pictures on my phone that I'll hopefully get uploaded.

As for other news, I'm nesting seriously at this point. "pat" arrives next month and I have a list of all sorts of things that need to be done before she arrives. Brett is being so patient with me. Ian gives my tummy kisses which just melt my heart! Pat is active active active and I am ready to have a waistline and non-kicked ribs.

Ian hopefully will be starting preschool soon and we are excited for that. He is way into Thomas the Train and just earned Herold the Helicopter for making good sunbeam choices (for the most part) for a week. He keeps getting scraped knees from falls, etc. which are always an emotional moment for him.

I started a facebook page...who knew you could find so many people and that they could find you? I didn't.

I'm ready for the fall season of TV to start and am sad that LOST won't be starting a new season this fall.

Happy Labor Day and as usual more on the next post....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Me and my cheapness

So I get up this AM to go to a grand opening of a Bi-Lo grocery store to be one of the first 100 in line at 8am for a $50 gift card. Ian and I are up then so I figured why not. We get there about 7:58 knowing we would not be the first in line but we were like the 400th in line no lie. It was a line the size of one when Best Buy puts their laptops on sale for $100 laptops on Black goodness. People in line were even saying it was like the day after thanksgiving.....all for a free $50 gift card. We didn't even get in the doors of the store until 8:30. Once we got inside, Ian of course wanted to be in a huge cart with the turning wheels...yeah I already can't maneuver those on a good day with like 20 people in the store, let alone 500 in the store. The things I do for Ian!

I took pictures with my phone and when I download them I'll post a few. So I was curious as to when people got there so I asked one of the brass there at the store about it and was told 4am--no lie, 4am. Police were out directing traffic on the main road, etc. I fit through the tiniest of spots in the Explorer to park. There weren't any great deals--I only bought 1 5lb bag of sugar for $1. We did get some free food tastes though.

One funny thing that did happen is some lady in front of me asked a nicely dressed woman if she worked at Bi-Lo and it turned out she was the Mayor--soooooooooo hilarious! The mayor of course handled it very well and did the obligatory hand shaking, etc.

The only thing that I was planning and counting on from the experience that didn't happen is for Ian and I to be in line close to getting our lofty gift card andthe cry of "I have to go potty" to escape from Ian's lips. Thank goodness that didn't happen. Needless to say we are not trying for the promos tomorrow or Friday as I have come to my senses and realized it is NOT worth it. Oh the things I do in my frugal ways......hope those reading this are chuckling at and with me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Summer Fun

Summer is slowly fading away. I recently visited "home"--that would be Virginia and was again chastised to update more frequently so here is an update on my life in Charleston.

Ian continues to hold steady on his liver transplant wait. He loves the transplant team doctor and wants to go see him all the time at the butterfly hospital--aka CHOA. The transplant floor is decorated with all types and colors of butterflies and it is a hit with Ian. They have a big map display where the butterflies appear and move around it and it is his favorite. He still isn't ready to hold out his own arm for labs but what three year old kid would be? He knows what labs are at this point. He has graduated to a chewable multivitamin now--a big kid. He is also potty trained which is huge and earned a train table for doing so. Yeah Thomas the Train! He loves his big boy underwear too and keeps Thomas (and Percy, and James, etc.) dry and clean.

Baby "pat" is due in about 8 weeks. She is very active at night and keeps me up sometimes--getting me ready for the night feedings I think. I am starting to nest with getting the nursery set up and ready and am loving the pink and purple dresses, bows, tights, etc.

I just finished reading the last book in teh twilight series and it was wonderful. More sci-fi, intamcy, and language than the previous books. It had a few twists I wasn't ready for too. I thought Meyer did a great job finishing the story and am anxious for the movie of Twilight to come out in December.

I'll sign out with my usual....more on the next post.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Major Updates.....

So I am a blogging slacker having not updated this since March. In my defense, life has been absolutely crazy for my family and I the last few months. My husband accepted a job in South Carolina (Charleston) and moved. I am also pregnant expecting a little girl in October. So far 2008 has been great!

Our move was fairly smooth and we feel so blessed that we sold our house so quickly, found a new house that is awesome in South Carolina, and had everything in between come together. We only had one real casuality from the move--plastic trash cans fell from the moving truck and shattered. I have pictures of things but haven't downloaded them from my camera yet to upload. I shed many tears leaving friends, family, and home of 28 years....every time I thought I was done, I would start again. Kleenex should partner with Mayflower in my opinion.

I became naturalized in June and celebrated my first 4th of July as a citizen! It was wondeful. I hope to get a passport soon--not that I have any pending trips coming or anything. I used my naturalization paperwork to get my SC license :)

Ian is still holding steady--PELD is a 10 again. We head to CHOA in 2 weeks for a clinic visit. He loves the "butterfly" hospital and Dr. Romero. We have a new specialist here at MUSC and meet with him in September.

Boxes and unpacking awaits me so I will end with my classic....more on the next post.....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A weekend away

So I've been told I need to update my blog more frequently....will work on that :) This past weekend I spent the weekend away in Floyd, VA in a mountain cabin with friends. It was wonderful and a much needed get away. We went to the Friday night jamboree (my first time) and it was a bit squishy and compact but well worth a few moments of claustrophobia. If you haven't been, it is something to go to! I'm sad to say it was my first time going and I have been in the area for 28 years now. It was great not having to worry about diapers, dosing meds, or battling food with Ian. I definitely hope that the road trip continues for a 3rd annual outing next year. If you want to see pictures of the weekend, you can check out or and read more about the trip. I have wonderful friends!!!!

As for Ian, his PELD is now a 12 up two points from last time but doesn't really do much for his position on the list. This last set of labs was much less traumatic due to nurse judy at the hospital--she was great! Ian is quick though and pulled out the first needle faster than I could even grab his arm. I'm not one for lots of bribery, but for labs, yeah I bribe him to sit and be good. Ian is so into trains--Thomas, Gordon, Percy! He cries every time we return the train books to the library even though we check out new books each time. Naps have been a bit of a battle since the time change but I am hoping that we have turned a corner here.

More on the next post.....


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Turning 30....

So I turn 30 in a day. Ahhhhh!!! I am dreading it really. I've always thought of myself as young but not when I am 30. I also thought life would be a bit different than it is for me. Doesn't hurt to dream though. Both my sisters are coming into town to help me celebrate so I'm excited. I get the most delicious birthday cake--oreo cake. It has real whipped cream as part of the frosting and is soooooo yummy and loaded with fat but so worth it!!!

Ian's PELD is a 10 again. He keeps hovering in a flip-flopping mode around these low numbers. Last lab experience was brutal--six lab techs had to hold a kicking, flailing, screaming child down on a cot. This has NEVER happened before. I was in tears myself at the end and called Brett to give him the heads up that he was on duty the next time for lab draws. Ian calmed down pretty quickly after the ordeal was over. He bruised again on his arm and got a Thomas the Train sticker out of it---except it is Gordon instead of Thomas to Ian--we go along with that to keep the peace. He is big on Gordon :)

Today, I told Ian that we were going some place special--Grandma's--and had him guess where. With complete child innocence and a huge grin, he looked at me and his first response was, special chicken which translated means McDonalds chicken nuggets....he has succombed to the marketing at such a young age already.

I am trying desparately to toilet train Ian without pressure. Any time I ask him if he wants to go he says no then proceeds to use his diaper clearly giving cues as to what he is doing. We had a good stretch at Christmas time where I thought we were making progress but alas, nope. My next idea is to have him help me train his Bob the Builder doll......who knows. We can't find any Bob underware though so Bob may have to Build or Fix some :)

Hearing all the political buzz out there right now makes me want to vote in November. I passed my naturalization test and am just waiting to be sworn in at this point. So exciting. Don't plan to register with a party, but am a republican supporter at heart. I tend to look at key issues and side with the person that lines up with where I fall on those issues. So for me, stem cell research and Iraq are a key issues. So are the economy, and abortion. I'm interested to see who makes the Democratic final ticket.

More on the next post.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Ian is doing well still. His PELD is a 6. Theories of the chicken nugget and driving sunshine seem to be proving out. I track everything and plot it in excel using trendlines, etc. I'm a nut a know; just trying to be a good mom. Ian's tummy is swollen due to his liver hardening. He is in size 3T or 4T shirts and pants have to be elastic waist. Diapers are also a bit of a problem but we are trying to work with him on potty training so we can eleminate the diapers altogether.

I'm into LOST now. Trying to cram 3 seasons into 2 weeks prior to the start of Season 4. Don't think I'll finish before the premier.

I also take my naturalization interview this Tuesday so I'm hoping that goes well. I don't know if I'll be sworn in that day if I do pass or if I will have a different date.

So that is life right now. More on the next post.

eLaiNe :)