February 29, 2012

Surgery Friday

Picture courtesy of Melissa Pickens Photography
Taken 2/25/12

Kate had an amazing clinic appointment yesterday!  All of her blood counts look amazing and her hemoglobin increased on its own!  She hasn't received the medication that helps boost her red count/ hemoglobin in almost 6 weeks which means her body is making red cells on its own again!!  Praise the Lord!

We also got the go ahead to remove her central lines!  After a frustrating conversation with Texas Children's Scheduling (seems to be the theme of our week!) we set her line removal surgery for Friday morning.  I am so glad that they are coming out as her lines are SO slow these days and the longer they stay in, the higher the risk of infection.  Her surgery will be under general anesthesia and pending no complications, we should be home by Friday afternoon!

For the first time since Kate was 6 weeks old I feel like we are on the road to a normal, healthy life.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is an amazing feeling!

Aside from the "numbers", Kate just looks so much healthier these days - her coloring is coming back, her hair is growing in so fast, she has tons of energy, and is finally starting to make progress with her language development.  From the outside looking in, she seems like a very typical toddler!

We are so blessed to have made it to this point.  I know so many families that don't get to see this type of progress and is just breaks my heart.  I will never understand why some children are perfectly healthy.  Why some have horrible diseases and require things like chemo and bone marrow transplants.  Why some make it through treatment. Why others lose their battle. 

While I will never have answers to those difficult questions, I will forever be thankful to the Lord for pulling Kate through.  She very easily could have lost this battle and I will never take the second chance she has been blessed with for granted.  I am also forever thankful to those of you that have prayed for our sweet girl and supported her, and our family, during this hard journey.  There still could be setbacks, hospitalizations, and hardships but for now we are focusing on the amazing recovery Kate has made and soaking in the most normal days we've had in well over a year!

If you could, please keep Kate in your thoughts and prayers Friday morning during her surgery - which I'm hoping is the last surgery ever - or at least for a while!

February 28, 2012

32 Weeks!



Well, I'm officially 32 weeks today.  Part of me can't believe I'm actually 8 months pregnant and another part of me feels like I should be more than just 32 weeks.  The last few weeks of pregnancy always seem to drag on!

I had an appointment today and things look good!  My total gain is right around 15 pounds and my blood pressure is looking great!  We did a level II scan and took complete measurements of Will. He is a chubster and has the squishiest face and cheeks!  My big boy weighs 5 pounds now and measured well over 35 weeks!  My doctor said "yep, he's going to be much bigger than his sister was".  Seeing as Kate was barely 6 pounds (and dropped below 6 before coming home) I'd say there is a 100% chance he is going to be my big baby!

We were supposed to schedule Will's birthday today but that didn't happen.  The logical side of me knows this isn't a big deal and we will have a date eventually and it will be the perfect date.  However, the hormonal pregnant control freak part of me is frustrated that I was told we'd set things today and I left still not knowing.  Add in the fact that there is now talk about scheduling later than originally planned and I was just blah at the end of my appointment. 

Please don't tell me it's best to wait as long as possible - I don't need to hear "let him cook" from anyone.  I will stay pregnant for as long as necessary and will do whatever my doctor thinks is best.  But, readjusting my "end date" based on conversations we've had since I was 8 weeks pregnant is hard.  I've had April 13 in my mind as the absolute latest I would deliver for months.  Changing that is just frustrating - especially since I know I'll be very uncomfortable by that point and days will feel like weeks as I wait.  I'll get over it - but today I'm sulking in the fact that I'm 6 or 7 weeks from giving birth and have no plans.

Again, I know most women don't know when they are delivering and are fine.  I realize this.  I'm just stressed about what will happen if I spontaneously go into labor before my c-section.  Our closest family members are a 7-8 hour drive away.  Kate isn't a normal child- I can't just drop her off at a friend's house and head to the hospital.  She has medical needs and restrictions that have to be taken into consideration as well and the longer we go without concrete plans, the more I worry about Kate and how she is going to handle all of this.  Add in the fact that she has never been away from either Alex or I over night and I'm filled with anxiety.

I want to go into Will's birth calm so the sooner we have a plan in place, the better I will feel about it all.

Alex was at my appointment today and saw how discouraged and frustrated I was as we were leaving.  Since he is such an awesome hubby, and my birthday is Sunday, we made a detour to a maternity boutique in the same office as my docotr and this momma got a "new bags make everything better" happy!  This beauty came home with me (mine is a really pretty teal).


So I guess our official countdown is less than 7 weeks - could be less than 6 but I'm going with the longest amount of time as to avoid further disappointment.

February 27, 2012

Picture Dump!

I thought I would keep Kate's grandma, grandpas, great grandmas, and extended family happy and catch up on pictures!  I've actually been using my camera a decent amount lately after a little hiatus and have captured tons of fun! 

Kate and I spent Mardi Gras day at the park (no big surprise there - this child loves to swing)!  The weather was beautiful!  There were other kids playing so we couldn't do much but, Kate enjoyed swinging and clapping for the other kids from far away!  I can't wait until she can interact with others at the park!


Elmo is a big time favorite in this house - and apparently playing with multiple Elmos is a must!

Kate was in the silliest mood this past Thursday!  We played so hard Thursday morning which resulted in a great nap for Kate, and me too!  After we both woke up we headed back to...the park!  We are going to have the cleanest park swings ever since I always bring a big tub of Clorox wipes with me and wipe everything down before letting Kate play!  We stayed out there for about an hour and had a blast.  I paid for it later that night though - I'm to the point where I start having contractions and just feel horrible if I over do it - and chasing a toddler at the park for an hour is apparently over doing it these days.  Lesson learned!

Watching the "woof woofs" outside and being silly with Thomas!  Kate received some money from her Great MaMaw Williamson for Valentine's day and picked this Thomas the train set out at Target!  She loves it!


Nigh-nigh!  Kate acts like she is going  sleep all the time!  If only she would actually sleep on a regular basis!

And of course, our standard picture in the swing!

We have a busy start to our week - I have an appointment with my perinatologist this morning and Kate has clinic tomorrow.  We're hoping for good reports all around!  I hope y'all have a great week!

February 22, 2012

Thirty-One Party & Brain Dump!

This picture has nothing to do with this post - I just love it and wanted to post it!

*I mentioned this in my February sponsor post but wanted to mention it again!  I am currently hosting an on-line Thirty-One party with Kodi, a sweet friend and sponsor!  Kodi is a wonderful momma of two sweet boys and manages to balance being an Army wife, work at home mom, and keeper of the house while her husband is currently states away in Arizona!  Help support Kodi's business and take a look at the new Spring catalog.  This month there is an awesome special going on - for every $31 you spend, you will receive 31% off of one item!  Head over to Kodi's website (link), click my events, then click on my name (Lindsey B) to start shopping!  There are only a few days left to order so be sure to head over today and place your order!

*Kate has been dealing with major sleep regression over the past few days.  I'm talking two hour parties in the middle of the night or waking up as much as 4 times a night.  I realized tonight that I hadn't heard her crib soother over the monitor in a few days and sure enough, it was out of batteries.  Alex made a Walgreens run after dinner last night and bedtime was much easier.  I'm hoping that this mistake of mine is going to be the sleep solution!  We all need some rest!

*I have eaten almost an entire half gallon of Blue Bell Chocolate Covered Strawberries ice cream in three days.  No joke.  Y'all need to run to the store an buy this - it is simply amazing! It's a new flavor and only available this month so you need to stock up before next week!

*Having a frank breech baby means I have the joy of experiencing Will's head and feet in my ribs at the same time.  It's slightly painful.

*Kate officially knows where "Bubba" is (in my belly) and where his room is.  She LOVES his room and thinks it is her personal play area right now.  We purchased a couch from Ikea this weekend (the Ektorp sofa bed) for the new nursery and I cannot even count how many times Kate has said "Buh", meaning Bubba, and gone to his room to sit on that couch!

*My maternity pictures/ last family of three session was postponed to Saturday.  I still have no clue what we will all wear.  I really need to figure this out!

*The rain has finally moved on and we have had a few beautiful days!  I am loving the 75+ degree days as it means Kate and I can head to the park!  Girlfriend would swing all day long if she could be out in the sun for more that a little bit!  Speaking of sun exposure, I should probably by stock in sunscreen now.  Kate's skin is extra sensitive to the sun due to the high doses of chemo she received so she doesn't step outside until she is completely covered in sunscreen!

*My birthday is in a week and a half and I'm pretty sure I'm going to ask for a Timi & Leslie diaper bag, as well as a few other smaller things.  Do any of y'all have one?  If so, what style and how has it held up?  I really like the Charlie, Rachel, and Hannah.  I've read mixed reviews on the Charlie and how it holds up so I'd love to hear if any of y'all have personal experience with one!

*Exactly 6 months ago today Kate received her first dose of chemo.  Part of me feels like it was ages ago and the other part feels like it was just yesterday.  I feel like a broken record but I am just so thankful to witness how far Kate has come.  God is good!

Ok, I think that is enough randomness for one post!

February 21, 2012

Sweet Smiles!!

Kate had a great clinic appointment last week and we got some awesome news!  She no longer has to wear her mask when we are outside (as long as we aren't in a crowded place)!!  We took full advantage of the one non-rainy day we had last week and headed to the park, sans mask, to enjoy the swings and play ground!

I may have carried a HUGE container of Clorox wipes with me...and I may have spent nearly 15 minutes scrubbing the swing before putting Kate in.  Anything to keep germs away since her mask wasn't there to stop her from putting dirty hands in her mouth.


Kate had a blast.  I think she was shocked to not have her mask on but she loved the park - and I loved witnessing her sweet, unmasked smile while she enjoyed a normal toddler activity.  I'm not going to lie, I had tears streaming down my face as I pushed her in the swing.  It was so surreal to feel normal.  To be doing normal things with Kate.  To not draw any extra attention due to a bald chemo head or a huge mask on her face.


We looked like a normal momma and baby girl enjoying the beautiful weather.  I can most definitely get used to normal in our lives!


I am so incredibly thankful that we have made it this far.  Six months ago today, Kate was readmitted to start chemo in preparation for her transplant.  It has been a long, hard six months but seeing her sweet smile has made every struggle, tear, and set back worth it. 


And, as always, I am so thankful for everyone who has supported us, prayed for Kate, and encouraged our family as we've walked this difficult journey.

February 16, 2012

Take Action! Help save lives!


On Monday, while watching the news, Alex and I learned about a critical shortage of Methotrexate, a type of chemotherapy mainly used to treat ALL (a form of childhood leukemia).  It is also used frequently in bone marrow transplant patients, post transplant, to help reduce the risk of a patient's body rejecting the donor cells.  Kate received this chemotherapy and Will will require it as well so this shortage really hits home.

The most shocking aspect of this shortage is that pharmaceutical companies are stopping, or drastically cutting, production because methotrexate is no longer a profitable drug to produce.  These companies would rather produce higher profit drugs to boost earnings.

I have a finance degree - I understand business models, really I do.

However, I cannot get on board with companies halting production on a drug that SAVES CHILDREN'S LIVES.  We aren't talking a cosmetic drug, or an antibiotic that can be easily substituted.  We are talking about a drug that is known to cure a specific type of childhood cancer.

I literally get sick to my stomach when I think about this.  Not just about whether or not this drug will be available for Will.  But sick to my stomach for the parents who go through the hell of receiving a horrendous diagnosis only to find out the medication their child needs isn't profitable enough to be made. 

I know what it's like to hear your child has a terminal illness.  It is hell.  I wouldn't wish those words on my worst enemy.  However, I cannot fathom hearing those words coupled with a statement of little hope about getting my hands on the medication needed to cure my baby.  Tears fill my eyes when I think about any parent hearing that. 

Unless we do something, parents will hear that.  And sweet, innocent children will die.  They won't get their second chance - all because big pharm is selfish.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is helping us take action.  You can follow this link and register to send a letter to your legislators petitioning life saving drug shortages.  We need legislation to regulate this.  We need the FDA to have control over the production of drugs that are as important as methotrexate. 

As parents to two children that have, or will, require this drug to help save their lives, Alex and I are asking each of you to take action and help innocent children. 

We, as well as all parents with children requiring this medication, appreciate your support.  Please spread the word - link back to this post, forward the LLS link to your friends and family, post on facebook, do anything you can to spread the word. 

Let's rally together and give these children a chance at survival.

February 14, 2012

30 Weeks!


How far along: 30 weeks - 7.5 months which seems so crazy to me!


Total weight gain: According to my scale this morning, I'm up 11.5 pounds.
Maternity Clothes: My regular jeans are finally past the point of being comfortable so I'm in pretty much all maternity clothes - still living in leggings and tunics as that is the most comfortable at this point!
Stretch marks: Nope

Best moment this week: Moving into the 30s - I have been feeling like time is standing still so reaching 30 weeks feels wonderful!
Movement: Will's movement has changed - it is more rolls/ contort my entire belly versus kicks and punches. 
Food cravings: I'm officially over candy and only want COLD fruit - strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, grapefruit!  I seriously eat at least two cold apples  day!
Labor signs: No. I have braxton hicks contractions regularly but nothing serious.

Belly button - innie or outie: It's getting flatter and depending on Will's position sometimes looks like it is about to pop out any second!

What are you looking forward to this week: I have a big growth ultrasound tomorrow at my appointment and we are going to start planning Will's official birthday!!
My body has really been signaling me to slow down.  I'm trying to rest as much as possible but, it's just not feasible with an extremely active 18 month old in the house!  Alex has been great and helps out so much when he is home but I have some days where I struggle to get on the floor to play with Kate.  It's definitely bringing out major mommy guilt.  I want to maximize Kate's last few weeks as an only child but the bigger I get, the slower and more uncomfortable I get which ultimately impacts our playtime.

All discomforts aside, we are getting so excited that our little man will be here in less than 8 weeks!!  I've been looking back at baby pictures of Kate wondering if Will will favor her or look completely different!  I just can't wait to meet him and kiss his sweet little face!

February 13, 2012

Yummy and oh so easy taco soup!

We've finally had a bit of winter come to Houston.  I'm sure my readers up north would laugh but, to us, below 50 is cold!  We've been in the 30s at night and it has been rainy which makes the cold that much worse!  I much prefer the 70-80 degree days we were having!

I decided I wanted to make soup Saturday night since the weather was so blah.  I went to one of my new, favorite websites - Skinny Taste and decided that Gina's Turkey Chili Taco Soup was the winner!  I was skeptical of using refried beans in a soup but they gave a nice, creamy consistency without using the typical cream based soup or heavy cream!

Image property of Skinny Taste

I made a few minor changes to the recipe - I seasoned the turkey/ bell pepper/ onion mixture with salt, pepper, and garlic powder while cooking.  I also added a can of petite dice tomatoes and a dash of chili powder.  I served it with sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado, and tortilla chips.  It was so, so yummy and a big hit with both Alex and Kate!

I will for sure file this recipe away and pull it out often!  I know many of y'all are getting snow and this easy (took me no time at all) soup would be great for a snowy day!

Hope y'all enjoy!

February 8, 2012

I think I need to hand over blogging duties...

To Kate! She apparently is on the computer more than me these days!



As always, I have tons of things I want to post but find myself busy with Kate or exhausted thanks to pregnancy. I will get better!

At some point...


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

February 6, 2012

February Sponsor Love!!!

I wanted to show my February sponsors some love!!!  We have three returning sponsors and two new lovely ladies!  Please click around, visit their sites, and get to shopping/ advertising with them!!

JakesTrade.com is a NEW way to promote your Trade or service whether you work from home or at a business.  Tutoring, house cleaning, piano lessons, carpentry, ironing, event planning, handyman work, and monogramming are all Trades you will find at JakesTrade.com!  Start your FREE trial today at JakesTrade.com!


thirty-one

Kodi is a Thirty-one consultant and work a home mom to two precious boys.  Thirty-one offers affordable, stylish bags, totes, organizers, and more!  The new Spring line was just launched and is adorable!  This month, Thirty-one has an amazing offer, on top of their wonderful prices!  For every $31 you spend, you will receive 31% off of one item!

I am hosting an online party with Kodi right now so head over to her site, click on "my events", select my name (Lindsey B), and get to shopping ladies!!


Simply Chic is an online, chic, and affordable jewelry and accessory business that run completely through Facebook.  Shopping and Facebook at the same time, is there anything better?  We run fixed price auctions of 20 to 25 items every Monday at 8pm CST.  Items are listed on Simply Chic's wall along with a picture, cost, quantity available, and a description.  It then turns into a race between our fans to see who can claim the item first by commenting the quickest!  It is a first come, first serve listing so come ready to shop on Monday nights at 8pm CST sharp. One of the best parts about our company is FREE SHIPPING on all order - no matter how big or small!  If you have any questions, send us an e-mail at SimplyChicJewelry1@gmail.com.


 
Tantillo Foods started about 18 years ago and is a family run business, but we are not your average mom & pop operation.  All of us have a hand in the business to help keep it growing more and more every year.  Our product line started with a delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oil and now we have five different varieties of oil, two different vinegars, four marinara sauces, and two juices!  We are always trying to think outside the box and come up with new products to help bring our consumers the best tastes of Italy.  We strive everyday to deliver not only  the finest quality ingredients, but to offer the most affordable price points we can.


After two years, and two babies, ChloeTate has re-opened the shop to introduce a new line of personalized stationery including notepads, note cards, calling cards, gift enclosure cards, stickers and more!  Come find your perfect baby shower or birthday gift.  Custom requests are always welcome and more personalized gifts will be added in the coming months so be sure to check back often! 

For the month of February, We're Finally Three readers can save 10% off any order - just use coupon code "FINALLY3"!

Please take some time, visit their sites, and show them some love! Thanks guys!!

February 2, 2012

Park Fun!

Yesterday was a great day! The weather was beautiful - sunny and nearly 80 degrees! I decided that Kate and I needed to get outside and take a walk! We walked down to our neighborhood park and were happy to find it completely empty!

I cloroxed every surface I could and let Kate have some fun! You can't tell but she is smiling and laughing under her mask! We stayed for about an hour and had such a wonderful time! I didn't bring my big camera so these are just phone pictures but I wanted to share!

Swinging!






Exploring!






Walking on the bouncy bridge!



Playing!




It's rainy today but I am praying for more beautiful weather! Getting out definitely breaks up our day and Kate loved playing and exploring!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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