Sunday, February 7, 2016

Ella's ER Visit!

On Monday January 25th I came home from BSF and walked upstairs to change. Ella's bedroom is right at the top of the stairs and I heard this funny gagging sound. I went into her room and found her sitting up looking kind of out of it. I asked her if she was going to puke and she shook her head no. Then I went to change and she puked! Of course she had eaten a super awesome dinner so it was quite yucky! Michael dealt with all her covers and sheets....almost puking himself in the process. While I dealt with Ella and got her in the shower. Jackson ran and got a bowl so Ella would have something to puke into if she needed it again. She did end up puking two more times that night, but it was mostly just phlegm. Of course I kept her home the next day from school. 

On Tuesday she seemed tired, but that's to be expected, but she ate really good and seemed great by Tuesday night. Wednesday she went off to school and did fine she was tired and she did complain of a headache here and there. On Thursday I went to school and volunteered. I ate lunch with her and she didn't eat that much, but seemed okay. 


Thursday after school though she got home and went straight to the loveseat and laid down. This was SO not like her. She complained of another headache so I got her some ibuprofen. During this whole time she had had a cough....hence the phlegm. After I gave her the meds she was coughing quite a bit and ended up throwing up. The rest of the night she spent on the loveseat going in and out of sleep and puking every hour or so. She also had a low grade fever. She threw up again in the middle of the night...again just phlegm and then she woke up another time and said her room was too hot.

 Friday was the end of the semester so the kids didn't have school. She seemed to be feeling okay and she ate a good breakfast. The crazy part about all this was that NO ONE else in our family was sick....AT ALL. No hint of a runny nose, no cough...no tummy aches...nothing! I figured it was just the phlegm that was making her gag and it wasn't a tummy bug. I also toyed with the idea that it could be allergies. I also looked up the symptoms of a malfunctioning shunt online since that's the only thing that's different about Ella in regards to the other 5 members of our family. She was exhibiting the first 4 symptoms....vomiting, headache, fever and lethargy. The other symptoms included vision problems, seizures, loss of coordination and swelling/redness at the site of the shunt. She didn't have any of those symptoms. 

On Friday morning after she kept her breakfast down we went and visited Kim and the kids at their house for lunch. Then I took the kids to my parents house to spend the night. Ella was great at Kim's house....playing around. She didn't eat much, but she had a late breakfast so that didn't worry me at all. By the time we got to my parents house she just laid down on the carpet in the family room and didn't move. My mom said she'd call if anything got worse. I talked with her later and she said that Ella laid on the floor for quite a while and even fell asleep for a time. On Saturday she perked up though and seemed fine. 

On Sunday morning we were getting ready for church and she complained of another headache so I gave her more ibuprofen and then we were off to church. About halfway to church she said she felt like she was going to puke and that's when I had it. It was time to take her to the hospital and figure out what was going on. Michael got off the freeway and turned around to head home. I briefly thought about taking her to Urgent Care because I was also thinking it might just be a sinus infection....she had told me her cheeks hurt and my cheeks always hurt when I have a sinus infection. I figured a run of the mill sinus infection would be no problem for an Urgent Care Clinic, but then what if that wasn't it. Michael said that if I was taking her in I was taking her to the right place....off to Mary Bridge we went!   



We walked up to the front desk were greeted by a nice lady and then we were being taken back to a room....we didn't even have to go to triage! Have I said I love Mary Bridge? 

First the nurse came in and then the Dr. I explained my concerns about her shunt and she was super supportive of me bringing her in. She said that even if I had gone to Urgent Care they probably would have just sent her to Mary Bridge anyways. She said that normally she would look at a kiddo with these symptoms and say it's just a virus, but with Ella's pass history and knowing that she's had the same shunt since September 2011 it was definitely a concern that the shunt could be malfunctioning and we needed to rule that out. I helped Ella get into her gown and the nurse gave her some nice warm blankets and we watched some cartoons while we waited for them to come get her for her xrays. The purpose of the xrays was to see if the shunt was still connected and not separated somewhere and also to see if it wasn't kinked. I got to go into the room with her for the xrays, but I had to stand around on the other side of the wall where the computer was. I asked the tech if I could take pictures of the xrays when they were up on the computer screen. She was fine with that! 



This shows just how far into her brain the catheter goes....right to the middle! 



This one shows the tube that leads from her value down into her abdominal cavity. It's on the left side of the screen at the base of her neck and cross over the top of her collarbone. It's super light so it was hard to see! 



I had the hardest time finding the tube in the above picture. The tech was able to point it out. Besides seeing the tubes for her shunt it was just super cool to see all her bones! 



Here's the side view where her value is. It shows the tube going into her brain and it also shows her grown up teeth waiting to come in! 



After the xrays she got a little bit of energy back so we played the fun game that was on the wall in our room. She was being so goofy. I texted Michael and told him she was acting fine....of course we take her to the ER and she starts acting normal....typical! 



She thought it was so funny that her gown opened in the back! She was being silly and stuck out her tushie so I had to get a picture of her cuteness! 



Around noon we were taken to a different part of the hospital for her MRI. The MRI would show her ventricles and whether there was extra fluid or not. The last time Ella had something like this done was way back in December 2013. She was still so little she ended up having to be sedated. Thankfully this time around she was old enough to do it without all that fuss. We explained what was going to happen so there were no surprises. She also got to listen to music and I was able to stay in the room with her and rub her leg. The tech was concerned about my nose ring so she did test it with a strong magnet to make sure it wasn't going to get sucked out of my nose by the machine. Thankfully it was just fine! 

It took a while for the MRI results to come back, but when they did everything looked to be in working order! PTL!!!

Again the Dr was super supportive of me coming in and she even said she was concerned about the situation and she felt so much better knowing for sure that Ella's shunt was working properly! It's just one of those things where it's so difficult to diagnose if it's working and she just has the flu or a virus or if it's the shunt. Plus when nurses and Dr's keep acting all surprised that she still has her original shunt and it's almost 5 years old I can't help but think that it is a ticking time bomb and it is going to stop functioning at one point or another! 

Santa Al and his wife Ellen have a grown daughter with Hydrocephalus and she commented on my Facebook post that they ended up in the hospital quite a lot with concerns about their daughters shunt and whether it was functioning or not. That made me feel so much better! I do not want to be one of those over sensitive moms, but I think this particular situation calls for a bit of over sensitivity! 

Praise God our Ella Grace does just have a virus and it's nothing as horrible as her having to have another brain surgery! 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Pizza Pizza!

I love to make homemade pizza. I make my own bread dough and that's what I used for my pizza crust. I have Kim to thank for that! It's a lot of work, but so worth it! The best part is all the kids will eat it too! 


On this particular pizza night at our house I thought it was hilarious that Owen was wearing his Pizza Food Pyramid shirt so I had to take a picture. I had just recently gotten this shirt with a bunch of other boys clothes for free from the Des Moines Buy Nothing Facebook page. Owen thought this shirt was pretty cool!  


Of course if you take a picture of one kid you have to take a picture of all the kids! Silly boy! 



Pretty girl!

The only thing is I didn't get a picture of Jack....not sure if he was in the bathroom or what, but he missed out on a photo op! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

New Rocket!

Right before we tested out the new bikes Owen wanted to try out the new rocket that Jack and Ella got him for his birthday. 



We decided to take it out into the street just in case the rocket shot up high enough to land on the roof.; 



Thankfully this rocket is a bit more heavy duty so even if there is a little wind it doesn't really get push far. 



This design was much better than the first rocket we got Owen a few years ago. 



The stand is much more stable as is the rocket itself. 



I love this action shot of Jack! 



Everyone except Zeke got to try it out. Zeke is so anti-everything really! He does not like to participate in most anything! 



Daddy was the one that finally got it to shoot up as high as the box claimed it could go! 



Towards the end Owen was able to get it to shoot pretty high as well! 



Jack tried all kinds of different ways to stomp on it, but most of the time it didn't work very well since he'd only land on the side! Cute kid!!! 



My favorite thing about it is they can do it without my help! They can set it up and they can operate it no problem! Hip Hip Hooray!  

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Biking Ride!

On Martin Luther King day the kids didn't have school and Michael didn't have work and the sun came out! It was a MLK day miracle! :) 


Since Owen's birthday was only a couple days before it was the perfect time to take his new bike for a ride.



He LOVES it of course! It rides like a dream...I know from personal experience!




Of course his favorite thing is all the different gears. He loves to try them all out!



He looks pretty cool on his new ride! 




Even though McQueen isn't new it's been so long since Zeke has gotten to drive him around he was pretty stoked!




Ella had fun cruising around in Zeke's Dodge Ram!




Then Michael decided to get a little tough with Jackson. See he's going to be 8 years old this year and he still doesn't know how to ride a bike. We haven't really pushed him because we do know that he struggles with balance and he still has dexterity issues. But the time for tough love had finally arrived. While I was inside Michael had a pep talk with Jack and then finally just pushed him down the little ramp of the driveway and let go. I guess that finally did it because he started peddling.



After a couple times riding on his own Michael came and got me so I could come watch .



I'm so proud of Jackson. This is something that has really scared him. He has confidence issues so this was a huge deal for him. 



He still needs to work on pedaling and steering at the same time. He tends to look down at the road while he's pedaling and then he freaks out when he looks up and sees he needs to turn or if one of the other kids comes too close to him. Then he puts his feet down and stops himself. 



He has been able to make two loops in the street without stopping! We were so proud of him!! He still lacks confidence though and needs to work on trusting his body and it's abilities! 



Unfortunately the weather has been so yucky he's only been able to go out twice since Owen's birthday. 



Hopefully we'll get some nicer weather soon so he can practice practice practice!!! 



Zeke Man has no interest in riding anything with pedals. He's totally a scooter boy! 



It's kind of understandable though since his short little legs have a hard time reaching pedals on most toys! 

Oh the woes of being almost 4 years old, but being as short as a 2 year old! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Look Who Came To Visit!

Last Friday I got a text from Jen asking if they could come over the next day....if you don't remember they moved to Spokane back in October. They were over here because Logan had some audiology appointments. I was thrilled and I knew Ella would be as well. I wanted to tell Ella, but at the same time Kendra was coming over to play and I wanted Ella to focus on her friend that was here now and not being focusing on Logan coming the next day. 

On Friday night while putting Ella to bed I told her I had a secret and she could here it now or wait to find out in the morning. Of course she chose to hear it right then. So I told her that Logan was coming over the next day. At first she looked at me and just stared. Then I said it again and waited. She took a deep breath in and then screamed....then screamed again and again and again! I'd say she was excited! 



Richard, Jen, Logan and Connor got here around lunch time and they even brought stuff for to make lunch. Logan and Ella escaped upstairs and started playing like they had just seen each other the day before. I love that they have such a good friendship it's like no time has passed at all. It's almost like sisters! 



Once lunch was ready they came down to eat and then went right back upstairs to play. Richard only stayed for a few minutes because he needed to go shopping to find coats for the kids. Jen and I got to sit and chat and catch up. Michael just hung out and played on his phone and then went upstairs to finish watching a movie. Us ladies were having lots of fun talking! 


It wasn't until it was time for them to leave that I thought to take pictures of these cuties! They should all be coming over again for more appointments for Logan in April so hopefully we'll be able to meet up then. It's not the same as seeing each other everyday....in fact it's probably better since they would get annoyed with each other when they saw each other every day. I love the relationship these girls have! 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

LEGO Club Finale!

For three weeks in December and 3 weeks in January the boys got to attend LEGO club after school on Thursdays. Each week they were challenged to do something different. Sometimes working as a team and sometimes working individually. They did a free build, they worked together to build infrastructure, they learned about buoyancy by building a boat and seeing if it could float, they worked as a team building animals from a - z and one other thing that escapes me at the moment. 

The last day of LEGO club was a challenge to build the tallest tower. Whoever build the tallest tower that could stand on it's own without anyone holding it would win a small LEGO set. 


At first the kids started out on the tables but they get pretty wobbly with people bumping into them and then a few of the kids towers got too tall and had to be moved to the floor. Owen really loved this challenge and even though his tower collapsed a couple times he didn't get frustrated he just built it back up again. 



Jackson didn't have as much luck with making a very high tower, but he still enjoyed himself.

The kid that ended up winning somehow made a tower that was actually taller than me! I was sure it was going to come crashing down at any moment, but it didn't. The funny thing is that the two kids that were neck and neck at the end were actually twin brothers! 

LEGO club was so much fun and the kids and I are looking forward to Mr. Heintz having it again next year! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snack Shop!

A couple weeks ago I went online and found one of my favorite toys as a kid and I bought it! 



Last week is came in the mail! 



At first I was going to wait until all the kids got home from school, but then I thought better of it. I figured if I let Zeke play with it by himself than when the other kids got home maybe that would be one less kiddo trying to play with it. 


I made Zeke all sorts of things...banana split, pizza, ice cream cone and a hot dog. 



Zeke really played and played with it....so much so he started to yawn. I thought I was going to find him passed out on Owen's bed like I usually do when he puts himself down for a nap! 



Cute cut up little hot dog pieces! 



He very much enjoyed scooping out ice cream and making pepperoni for his pizza. 

On this particular day Ella came home on the bus, but we had to go pick up the older boys from school later since they were attending their after school learning program. Ella got to play with Zeke for a bit, but I forgot to take any pictures of her playing. 


When Owen and Jack walked in our creations were still all out on the dining room table for them to see. 



As you can see someone was a little excited! At this point I didn't really get to play with them since I had to start making dinner, but the enjoyed themselves. 



One thing I do know is that we seriously need to invest in some new Play-Doh. Also we need to make sure we get the 5oz containers since they will be the right size to fit in the snack shop. There is an area in the front that you can put 3 containers of Play-Doh so it's like you are scooping ice cream at an ice cream shop. We only have the smaller containers of Play-Doh so when you go to scoop from them they slip and fall out.  I'm so glad I purchased it and I love seeing my kids have fun playing with a toy I loved playing with when I was there age!