Monday, February 18, 2013

♥ day recap

we spent this year's heart day...writing out (store bought) valentines for harper's preschool class | decorating our dining room for a special heart-shaped egg breakfast (made by mama) and heart-shaped waffles with strawberries and nutella and cool whip for dinner (made by daddy) | heart-attacking the girls' bedroom door with reasons why we think they're special | having a balloon fest | giving presents | sharing love |

the last picture is a painting of the special surprise we had for daddy for valentine's day and his birthday coming up this week.  harper painted a train on the tracks, and a city with tall buildings.  he had a hard time guessing, so we shared the secret.  next post will detail our quick weekend jaunt to the windy city!

hope you had a very happy heart day! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013


happy day!
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today is one of my very favorite holidays.  a day dedicated to love and red and pink and hearts.

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and candy...

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my girls know about that all too well.  i won't tell you the number of m&m's and mini chocolate chips that were consumed in bribery to get these photos complete.  i'm not above bribery for photo shoots.

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i wanted to capture the love i have for these two little beings.  it's immense.  they are amazing and beautiful people.

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so, a valentine's wish to you my friends.  may you have a day for dreaming and love...

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a day without tears or heartache...

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a day of pure happiness and giggles.

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{kiss, kiss}

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Elmo, then and now

Yesterday, we took a morning trip to Detroit for a Sesame Street Live performance.  This is the 3rd time we've been, the last being when I was pregnant with Crosby.  Amazing how much Harper has changed, and how our family has grown!

circa 2011

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circa 2013
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The girls were both so excited at the show, singing and dancing and smiling the entire time.  They both zonked out on the car ride home, a sign of a successful morning.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013


I didn't think it'd take me this long to write this story down- the story of a day I will never forget.  I knew that 12-12-12 was going to be significant, but definitely not in this way.  But I want to write it.  It weighs on me daily.  The what-ifs.  The could haves.  I hope that by writing it down, I will learn to let some of it go.  It happened, it changed us.  We keep on going.

Crosby was very sick with the stomach bug on a Monday and Tuesday in mid-December. Pretty much threw up anything she ate or drank. She slept a ton, and was pretty weakened. After almost 20 hours of not throwing up, she vomited everything she had eaten on Tuesday night. I called the nurse at our peds office, and she said to give her a few sips of water or pedialyte every 5 minutes until she went to bed.  She accepted this a few times, but then she just wanted to eat.  Kept asking for food, and I struggled hard not to give in.  I just didn't want to see her throw up again.  She had a hard time going to sleep, but managed to eventually.

 That night, I slept in Harper's bed to be close to Crosby.  Wednesday morning at 6:30 am, Michael came in to wake me up before work. Crosby stood up in her crib so he picked her up and held her.  She coughed a couple times, so Michael pulled her away from him to look and make sure she was ok.  It was at that minutes that her head and eyes rolled back and she started shaking. He put her on the bed and asked what she was doing.  I don't know what instinct kicked in, I've seen these many times in my job, but I calmly but authoritatively told him she was having a seizure and yelled for him to call 911.  I could only watch her seizure happen.  I can't tell you how hopeless that felt.  I couldn't do a thing but watch and call her name.  Over and over and over.  I told her that mama was there.  I told her to hang on.  I told her not to leave me.

I swear it took forever, but in reality it was 10-15 seconds.  The 911 operator asked questions and sent the ambulance, who arrived within minutes.  They hooked her up to some monitors, took her temperature, asked questions, checked her blood sugar level, which was 62, at the low end of normal but pretty low for someone her age and size.  They asked where we wanted to take her.  We chose the hospital where I gave birth and where they treated my dad for his heart attack 10 years ago.  We loaded up in the ambulance, strapping Crosby into her carseat, who had aroused just a bit by this point, but still very dazed.  Michael followed in his car behind us.

We were brought into the adult ER, since the peds one hadn't opened yet.  We were asked the same questions as before.  The doctor ruled out a febrile seizure since she hadn't had a fever.  He believed it was likely due to low blood sugars, and decided they needed to hook her up to IV fluids.  They struggled 2 or 3 times to get it in.  There was screaming and crying, both from Crosby and me.  They decided to call in the NICU nurses.  When 2 of them arrived, it still took two tries but they managed.  She was so dehydrated, a vein was blown and she was bruised.  But the fluids began, hopefully to help her mend.  At some point during that time, my sister arrived.  She helped so much, and I remember just crumbling into her arms once the IV was finally inserted.  I was so utterly scared.

They started sugar water to increase her blood sugars. Peds ER finally opened at 9 am, so we were going to be transferred over there, but they didn't want to do sugar water, only saline.  So they switched her bag of IV fluids, and we were moved to Peds ER.  We did a whole lot more question answering, praying, staring at a sleeping Crosby, who pretty much had been out since her IV ordeal.  The pediatrician took a wait-and-see approach, allowing the fluids to kick in before anything was decided.  Michael stepped out to get coffee, and when he returned, we sat talking, praying more and watching our little girl.  Within minutes, around 10:30 am, after sleeping and being so completely out of it, Crosby's eyes popped open.  I called her name and tried to get her to look at me.  I screamed to get the nurse, that she wasn't acing right.  And then she went into a second seizure. The nurses and pediatrician rushed in, calm as ever, and did what they needed to do.  As soon as the seizure ended, another very short one, they told me I could hold her.  She was heavy.  She couldn't help me hold her.  That weight of everything that morning was so tremendously heavy.

"This changes everything," the pediatrician said.  We were being admitted.  A CT scan was ordered.  They took her blood sugar again, which had dropped to 49. They told us that seizures actually spike blood sugars, so hers must have been extremely low. They gave her a sugar water bolus before the x-ray, which spike her sugars to 110. We were wheeled down to the X-ray room for a CT scan.  I couldn't leave her, and they verified many times that I wasn't pregnant.  Michael had to stand outside, but I donned my lead apron and neck shield and held her hand as she was strapped down to the table and the machine started up.  The whirring was loud, and so similar to the fan we run in her room every night at bedtime, that she immediately fell asleep.  She was so still, and the scan went very quickly.  We were wheeled back to wait.  Nana and Papa had arrived by that time.  We talked and tried to keep our minds from the possible results of what the scan might show.  The pediatrician came in within 30 minutes, and shared the fantastic news that the CT scan showed a perfect little brain.  Everything was normal, no brain mass or bleed, which is what they were looking for.  We all collectively sighed a humongous sigh of utter relief.    We were still being admitted for overnight observations, but had to wait for a room.  Crosby was still completely asleep.  Nana and Papa headed home.  Within minutes of leaving, Crosby woke up.  She sat up, looked around, said a few words.  I can't even begin to tell you how my heart swelled with hearing that voice, those words.  At this point, she was ok.  Grandma arrived, we offered Crosby popsicles, and she happily accepted.

We were finally admitted to our room, and on the trek, Crosby just didn't seem right.  She was acting very lethargic again, not overly responsive and I panicked.  As soon as we met our new nurse, I asked her to check her sugars.  They had dropped yet again to 71, close to her low levels from that morning.  I probably sounded crazy because I repeatedly kept asking for a sugar bolus, and the nurse couldn't do anything without doctors orders.  I was so anxious and did not want to see another seizure.  The nurse agreed to push a little bit of sugar into her, and Crosby quickly recovered closer back to her self.  We then proceeded to wait and watch and talk with nurses and the pediatrician and family and field phone calls and e-mails of people so worried about our little one.  The nurses encouraged any eating or drinking she wanted and checked her blood sugars every hour, then every 2 throughout the night. Crosby was such a trooper, managing to sleep a few hours here and there between her crib and our arms as we held her in the rocking chair, entangled in a mess of lines and tubes.  Michael and I took turns holding her and sleeping on the rock hard pull out chair.  Neither one of us slept too well.  Crosby had had a few bites to eat and drink before bed and kept her levels fairly elevated throughout the night, so as we found ourselves at Thursday morning, they weaned down the IV.  They did a final blood test around 11 am, which was torturous having to hold her down through tears and protesting.  Then they took her off completely at 12 noon. She was again checked at 2, had kept the levels up on her own through eating and drinking fairly so we were discharged and sent home. She got sick and threw up again that night at dinner, but wasn't acting different and still wanted to eat, so the doctor said to just watch her and bring her in only if she continued to get sick or lethargic or not act herself. She did ok sleeping that first night home, and managed to stomach foods the next morning, so we started looking on the bright side of all this.

So basically, when kids sugars are too high or too low, it can cause them to have a seizure. Crosby must have had no reserves of anything from being so sick early that week that her body could do nothing but seize. It's something we have to keep close watch on now when she gets sick again and push fluids and foods heavily to avoid this, but she may grow out of it. And as far as the blood work that has come back so far, no metabolic disorders or anything concerning are showing up.

My stomach still hurts when I think back to that day.  I still lose my breath.  I still find tears welling in my eyes.  We are very thankful and blessed right now, and I have learned once again to practice cherishing every moment.  You just never know when things will change.