Saturday, February 26, 2011

Peter's Numbers are Rising!

I am so excited. I periodically check my blog throughout the day to look for comments and such. I must say, having the donation box on there gives me a whole new reason to check! I am excited to say that our total has increased $200 just TODAY! Our total raised as a family is a little over $800, and Peter's total grant is now a little over $16,000. That means we have less than $4000 less to raise. That may sound like a lot, but considering the grand total of $20,000...its not that much.

I do want to take a moment to personally thank everyone that has donated to his fund, even prior to knowing we were the family seeking to make Peter our own. If we keep raising funds at this rate we will have all of his money in under 2 months. Then we can be Warriors for other RR babies.

What a great day it's been! Thanks again.

We got our donation button for Peter!

We got our donation button and Family Sponsorship Page button for Peter! I am so excited that we can raise fund for him on our blog.
I am also currently designing a blog to talk about JUST the adoption process, but will still be giving updates on Peter and the adoption on this blog as well. I just want the nuts and bolts of the adoption process on a separate blog to be able to look back on when it is all said and done and we have Peter in our arms and know that the mountains of paperwork and frustrations we are sure to feel had a light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kai's Doctor Appointment

We had to take Bear to the Dr today. He wasnt really bouncing back from his tonsilectomy very well and we were having a difficult time getting him to eat or drink anything. After almost a whole day with no wet diaper, we decided it was time to take him in to make sure he was OK.

We went and the Pedi said he had until 4PM today to drink some fluids and pee. He had also lost 3lbs in one week :( I knew he felt a lot lighter. But he had woken up a little happier this morning and was drinking some water, so there was hope. When we got home from the Drs appt, he had some water and a WET diaper! YAY!

He has taken a few more fluids here and there and eaten a little bit today. Daddy just reported to me(Im at work)that he was giving him chocolate milk right now and that he had had a second wet diaper. Yay for Pee Pee, LOL.

In the future I will really sit and think about having a procedure like this one done. Kai has never had tonsilitis or really been sick that much, so Im not sure why we were removing them. I have used this Dr several times and I think I let myself slip into a comfortable area and let him take the reigns. Hindsight, I would NOT have had the tonsils removed, there was no need. Ear tubes, that is my mommy lesson of the week. We cant ever let our guard down when it comes to any of our children. Always ask why and demand answers, especially if you dont really know why something is being done.

That's my quick blurb for the day. I need to blog from home so I can add in so pictures, but I cant seem to get more than one day off in a row!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Note on Peter's Grant

Many of you know that Peter had a massive fundraiser for his grant and a little over $15,000 was raised in about a week. Peter still has that money in his grant, but our Family Sponsor Page starts over at $0, because that is our Family Fund raised. The funds are kept separate in case something happens an adoptive family is unable to proceed forward, that way the child keeps all the funds that was originally in their grant for the next family.
So Peter still has his $15K and we still need $5K to get him home! So, please spread the word.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Peter!

Today is Peter's 4th Birthday. I wonder if he has ever had a cake or a present? I wonder a lot of things about Peter these days. Even doing something as simple as letting the kids play in the tub, I wonder, does Peter take a bath in a tub? Does he have toys in the tub? Who dries his hair?

Why would I be asking all these things about this little boy so many miles away? I will tell you why. We are now committed to Peter to be his Forever Family! I was so excited to learn this news today, and on his birthday, no less! I hope someone has told him, I hope he understands that he has a mommy and a daddy and a brother and sister that love him very much...I hope he knows we will move mountains to get him here as soon as possible.

That is our big news! We are so very excited, as are our families and many of our friends.

Now, I must go start his OWN page on this blog for the big adoption adventure! Here is the link to our FSP on Reece's Rainbow, where these wonderful children are awaiting their homes. Soon I will have my donate button and the story of how Peter came to be for us, but for now, I must get some rest!

Ear Tubes and Tonsils 2-15-11

Boy....what a day. Although its a 'simple' surgery and quick, it still takes its toll on you as a parent. It never ever gets easier when they take your child out of your arms and walk back with him to the OR. Tears always spring into my eyes, especially when he goes so trustingly with them. I try to tell him in the days before up to the day and that morning what is going on, but I dont know if he understands me yet. Im pretty sure he doesnt, not that anyway. So I always feel the guilt of sending him off feeling fine and waking up in a confused daze and in pain.

This time was pretty bad. He actually had to be intubated to have his tonsils out, who'da thought? He was so upset and out of it when he woke up, it broke my heart.

We were ushered into the PACU and there he was, in the same bed spot he was the first time he had his ear tubes put in, at 6 months old. Only this time I didnt have all the confusion as to why they kept directing me to the bed where an elderly woman was holding a baby, LOL. I now know they are PCAs that hold them when they wake up til you get there. That poor girl...LOL. Im sure she has seen it a thousand times because she handed him off beautifully as I charged full steam ahead bypassing the nurses and the Dr to get to my crying boy. I mustve had a crazed look though, because her eyes were awful big as she did the hand off, back away maneuver. Eh, what can I say. He's my baby.

So we sat with him for an hour and a half or so until there was a room for us since this time we would have the joy of staying the night in the hospital. During that time we witnessed the moment Kai came out from under the anesthesia and became lucid. It was odd but very cool to watch. His eyes went from kind of a hazy blue and not real focused on anything to a crystal blue and he was staring straight into my eyes and knew it was Mommy. He finally calmed down.

The night was rough. Lots of being woke up for vitals, to make him drink, pain meds...I was up all night, which was fine. Luckily by some miracle, he ate all his breakfast and drank 9 oz of water...he hadnt eaten more than 3 spoons of food all day or night.

It has been 5 days since his surgery and we are still struggling with feeding and fluids. I finally got more fluids into him today, but not much food. I hope this passes soon. I dont like it and I dont like seeing my Bear out of sorts and sad and crying. The pain medicine works great, but makes him loopy and he staggers all over the house. Im still not 100% sure why they took them out. He has never had tonsilitis except for the week before surgery and they were a little swollen that day at the ENT. If I could do it all over again I dont know that I would have them removed. This long, painful recovery for removing something that didnt seem to really bother him seems silly. Im usually more on the ball and ask more questions, but I dropped the mommy ball this time. I didnt ask why they were removing them and I should have done so.

But tomorrow is another day, so lets hope its a good one. I hope so, because I work and Daddy will be home with him!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Peter(16) A boy, not a number

He will always be an alias and a number until he comes home to his Forever Family, which has stepped forward. If they do not rescue him in time he will be sent to an adult mental institution at the age of 5. He will be 4 years old on February 20th.

He has a heart defect that can be easily be fixed here in the US. He has a Family that has stepped forward. He just needs his grant of $20000 filled. In just 10 short days, $14000K has been raised to save Peter. Please, just $5 is all we are asking to send him to his forever family.
This is a BBC mommy. They have 2 others already but feel Peter will complete their family.

If you cannot donate even $1, we dont care, just send it to someone that may. Peter has a heart condition that needs to be fixed and he needs to get to the US ASAP.

Here is the site you can donate to on Reece's Rainbow:

If you are weak at heart, I suggest you dont go beyond Peter's page to look at other children's pages. There are so many. Most are international. These grants you donate to relieve the families that are stateside and are bringing these babies home!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blogging for Peter(16)

So for the past four days we have been on a mission. A frantic mission. There is a little boy named Peter. Peter has Down syndrome and needs heart surgery. Peter also lives in an orphanage in a far away European country.

Why the urgency? Peter will be 4 years old on February 20th. When Peter turns 5 he will be sent to live in an adult mental institution. Why? Because that's how it is done over there. His heart will not be repaired and he will probably not live much longer than a year in there.

Peter is posted on Reece's Rainbow. Its a ministry that assists in the adoptions of children with Down syndrome and other genetic and congenital issues, like CP and HIV, to name a couple. He has been listed since he was an infant and never had one single inquiry. There are also ways to raise the funds for these children so that when a family comes forward, they have some money behind them already.

A full grant is $20000.00. Another mommy has taken upon herself to raise the entire grant for Peter's adoption...before he even has a family!!! In 9 short days, over $13000.00 has been raised for Peter. Mostly by word of internet. It has gone wild on FB. People are posting and reposting. I know I have been. And I know my friends are probably getting tired of seeing it.

Peter is rumored to have a Forever Family!! He has even been moved on Reece's Rainbow's page to the My Family Found Me page. The family cannot come forward publicly. Not until they are committed on paper. Right now they are committed verbally. We are all dying to know who they are, but we know in due time we will know. The most important thing right now is that A)Peter's funds are being raised and B)Peter has a prospective family.

Here is his Reece's Rainbow Page:

Here is Patti's blog, she is the mommy fundraising for Peter:

Today I have taken a different approach. Im blogging for Peter. Its another way for you to help, but it wont cost you anything but a little bit of your time. I emailed The Ellen Show. I told them Peter's story and Patti's quest. I am asking you to do the same. If anything, this will get Peter's story out. Im not asking for money from Ellen...just to put up Peter's picture, Peter's story, and how others can donate. Please, take five minutes out of your day to do this.

Here is the link:
Please repost this in your blog or FB status or email everyone you know and ask them to do the same.

Please Please help Peter, Patti and his Forever Family.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
My husband and I have donated no less than 4 different times to Peter. I am now taking a different approach and asking you to do the same too. This wont cost you any money.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Proud Mommy Moment

There comes a time in every parent's 'parental life' that they have a Proud Moment. Well, I hope they all do. Ive had a lot. Most of those are proud moments over something my children have done, but Ive had my very own Moment.

A lot of you already know about it but I want to blog it anyway, mostly becuase this blog is for my kids to come back and read someday. You know, when Im in the home telling them to get off my imaginary flowers and treating them like staff...I want them to remember and know that not only was their mommy beautiful, intelligent and a killer sense of humor, I apparently want them to know that I am full of sh...hey! This is my story, I'll tell it how I want. No, but I want them to know that I was more than the lady that made them eat their peas, do their homework, grounded them...all the things I cant wait for in the coming years. I want them to know that I always have their best interest at heart.

And I want them to know that that meant I would take on a large company that made baby/infant stuff, for lack of a better word. Because they make everything from diaper warmers, to bottle brush cleaners to bathtub toys. Which brings me to my story. Bathtub toys.

Kai LOVES the water and he LOVES bathtime. We found the best bathtub toy EVER. I was a little yellow submarine, not to be confused with The Beatles or a Subway sandwich, but an undersea vessel. It had a tiny propellor and a happy smiley face and it zoomed across the bathtub. We had just purchased our 2nd and 3rd one because the first one pooped out on us and we wanted to make sure we had them on hand. One night Kai was in playing with the sub while Daddy was with him at bathtime. I heard the bloodcurdling screams from the kitchen and new it was serious. I ran towards the bathroom, Daddy is running out with Kai wrapped in a towel. Of course Im thinking the worst. Luckily it wasnt terrible, but it was enough for Mommy to put on her Mommy pants.

There is a small intake fan on the bottom of the sub. Its covered, but there are still small slits in the bottom. The intake fan sucks the water up and shoots it out the back, which is what makes it zoom all over the tub. Kai was playing with the toy and pushed it down into his lap. The intake fan uptook something other than water and lacerated 'the boys'. It was more superficial and I doctored it with Bacitracin for a couple of days.

In the meantime I got on FB and BBC and warned as many mommies as I could about the Debil's Toy. Someone told me about the CPSC, Consumer Product Safety Commission. I have a hard time saying all that. But I got on their website and filed a formal complaint. I didnt think I would hear back from them. I figured it was one of those pacifying type things. I got a confirmation email and then a confirmation letter in the mail with a copy of the report. It stated due to high volumes of complaints, yadda yadda...I probably wouldnt hear back. They only call on the worst, I suppose.

Much to my surprise, about 2 weeks later I got a call...from the CPSC. They wanted to make an appointment to come to our home and do an interview and take the toy if we still had it. We sure did! I had 2 of them and I even had the packaging, which BTW claimed it was safe for little hands(it didnt say anything about 'the boys')and showed the intake valve. We made the appointment and they came out. It wasnt too gruelling. I did have pictures but my computer chose to crash the day before and I lost my whole hard drive. Go me. They talked to us, collected the toy and the packaging. We were told that they would purchase a new one as well and have their engineers(wonder what kind of engineering degree that is? Crappy Toy Testing Engineering?)test the one we had and the new one. If there was a recall, it would just be listed on their site, we wouldnt get a special call or anything.

I checked for a couple of months and figured nothing ever came of it. One day I got a LOAD of messages on FB and BBC. Everyone was telling me that the smiley little sub had been recalled! Whoot! Wow! Really? I did that? Seriously?


And then it made the Forbes Top 10 List of Most Dangerous Toys of 2010. Turns out they were able to locate 19 other cases of lacerations of other boys and 'their boys' and the toy was recalled.

Bathtub Toys Recalled by Munchkin Due to Risk of Injury

And here is the Yahoo article about the Forbes list:

And here is the guileful little fellow

What did I learn from this? I learned that being a mommy is WAY more than feeding, clothing and playing and all the day to day activities, but its also advocating. Had I not had Kai and his extra chromosome, I may not have went as far as I did with this. I have had to learn to advocate for him. He has helped me find my voice. He has taught me to put aside my own fears and do whatever it is I have to do for my children and do it without shame or caring what other people think. And I did just that.

The second thing I learned was that sometimes the system works. It was a good feeling. Just because you think it might be a waste and no one will notice, do it anyway. You never know who is watching. You never know when your one small stone in the pond will cause the tidal wave.

You will never know if you dont try.

Those are words to live by.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The 'Celebration' Of Whole Heart Birthday

Pictures say a thousand words, so I wont bore you with mine...

I dont think I even have words, only laughter...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A little history in the making of us...

So far my writing has been all about Kai. While he is the fire in my passion, I do have a husband that is the love of my life and a daughter that is the lilt in my laugh and I thought it high time they be introduced as well. I met Cameron about 4 years ago. I wont say how because that is our story, but I will tell you it was a whirlwind romance, so to speak. I pretty much moved in with him after the 3rd date, and I had never lived with another boyfriend, ever! I dont know if even after 3 dates he could be called that, but he was.

Within the month I drove to Georgia with him to spend the Thanksgiving holidays with his family in a cabin. We all did well to hide the crazy and had a great weekend. I was still in Respiratory School, so we came back home after the long weekend. We are a light-hearted couple that joke and poke fun with one another every chance we get. If you dont know us you may think we were borderline rude to each other, but that's just how we are, and we love it.

Soooo, we had been together a little over a year...I think. It all seems like a forever ago with all we have been through. I mean who dates, has two kids and gets married in less than 4 years? Oh, that would be us and in that order I might add. So yea, we were together a year in September or October, I cant remember and neither can he, and I was pregnant that next February! Happy Valentine's indeed. So, fairly new couple and now a baby on the way. We could handle it. And then the layoff came. His. And then the bedrest came a week later, mine obviously. I had some bleeding a tear in the placenta. Seemed Kai got a little randy in there and was tearing the house up, which all makes since now...

During our little 'break' that we had is when we received two pieces of news that rocked our world. I will tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing when we got that first call. Now call me stupid, but shouldn't the person on the other line calling to give someone potentially bad news perhaps read whats in the envelope before they call? I mean, this isnt the Oscar's people...Nope. I was on the couch, watching LOST. I had all the seasons on DVD and was plowing my bedrest through them. The phone rang. I new they would call with the screening results either way, but the nuchal scan looked fine, 2.9, high end of 'normal' but normal nonetheless...funny how the word 'normal' irritates me now. Anywho, the phone rang. I answered. Eyeballs still half glued to LOST. I heard the nurse introduce herself and say she was calling with my screening results and Oh my, these are not good results. Ruuuuh? <--Ya know how Scooby Doo does when he cocks his head sideways and makes that noise? Yeah, that was me. Of course she starts off with the worst first and all I hear is high odds for Trisomy 18. I almost tossed my lunch. I threw the phone at Cam and I dont know what I did, something dramatic I am sure. But that was that call. High odds for Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 21. He gave me some odds, which were SO wrong and off, but I cant blame him for not realizing how important those numbers were. Well the rest is history. We all know how that saga turned out. Great, in my opinion. Once we had the news of Down syndrome we ventured off to Texas Children's Hospital for a fetal echo because apparently children with DS often had heart defects. Our level 2 U/S looked great and she didnt see anything wrong with his heart, of course this was at 18 weeks. You cant see a whole lot except there is one.

So, 3 weeks later we got the other set of news. This was actually more devastating to me than the DS. And what really sucked was I knew before the Dr told us. We had the fetal echo, which is just a fancy word for an in depth ultrasound and measurements of the baby's heart and blood flow to determine if there were any defects. I had read up prior about the AV Canal, which was the most common heart defect, and at the time, to me, the scariest. I now know there are far far far scarier heart problems than an AV Canal. Unfortunately, I see them 40 hours a week now...But I was watching the screen intently, looking for a sign. Doctors would be great poker players. Let me tell you. That Doctor did not flinch or grimace or look sideways as he typed ASD at one point and VSD at another. I knew then. I knew Kai had the AV Canal. The doctor left the room and told the tech, who was fairly new, to keep scanning and practicing and get us some nice pictures. She did just that. While she was doing that, I burst into tears. I couldnt help it. I knew. Ach. But I didnt want Cam to know I knew, so I just apologized and said the DS diagnosis was all still new and I still get upset. We walked into the room with doctor when he was ready. He drew a nice pretty heart on the paper and said, this is what a heart is supposed to look like. Then he drew another, not so pretty picture and said, this is what your son's heart looks like. The good news was they did these repairs every week. They were highly succesful. And best of all, he had a balanced AV Canal. I still dont know what the balanced means. Usually I would run out and look that up, but at this point I was so tired of the numbers, the odds, the percentages, the likelihoods...I didnt care about the statistics anymore. All I cared about was given the defect he had, it looked GOOD, GREAT even. And I left it at that.

During our 3 months off that each of us had, mine medical, his due to the impending crash of the economy, we were able to get and deal with all of this news and do it in our own way. The phrase, Everything happens for a reason, took on a whole new meaning at this point. I dont think I could have held it together at work with all this happening and maintain our home life. This gave us a wonderful chance to absorb all of this info, educate ourselves and when we were ready, tell our friends and family.

I was released off of bedrest at 23 weeks and he went back to work a week later. Nice to both be back at work. A month or so later, Hurricane Ike made a direct hit over our area and tore the hell out of everything. I was 29 weeks pregnant with a child with a heart defect. Given the past failed attempt of the city of Houston to evacuate without mass catastrophe during Hurricane Rita, I wasnt going anywhere. A few hours later I almost wished I had. The first half of the storm wasnt too bad. Then the eye...eerie. Then, then it hit. The second half of the storm. It sounded like squirrel's running across our roof. We should be so lucky. It was the shingles being ripped off of our house. Then the water started. Drip drip drip...right on my forehead. Where was I? Was this Chinese water torture? No, it was worse. Our ceiling was leaking, right onto our bed. We got up, went to the living room. Worse. I sat on the couch while he went into the attic to look(I know, I know...very stupid, hindsite), and I sat on the couch...then about 5 feet in front of me the ceiling opened up like the mouth of Hell and just spilled to the ground. OMG. It was getting crap all over my 3 month old couch!!! I hollared for him to get back down NOW. We moved and covered the furniture so momma wouldnt flip out. Hey, I was pregnant...I had priorities.
All said and done, we lost our roof, 3 ceilings, including one directly over our bed, and a lot of our fence. Is this the pregnancy from hell or what? Haha. But by some weird force of nature, not unlike Ike, our roof, ceilings, new tile, new carpet and appliances were all repaired and done before I had Kai. Except the new carpet in our and his room. That was laid the day he came home from the NICU.

That's my crazy pregnancy with Kai. It was a rollercoaster to say the least. So, after his heart surgery was good and done and we determined he was a pretty healthy little boy we decided to start for #2. Little Lilah Jane. That's not her real middle name. It's her naughty middle name, but seeing how she gets called that more often than her real one, I should petition to change her birth certificate. And secretly that was the middle name I wanted, so this is my way of getting it. Even Daddy calls her that. We decided we would start trying that July but I figured we wouldnt get pregnant the first month, especially with our age, so I suggested we start trying in June so I could chart and yadda yadda just to be aware of what my body was doing. Well apparently I dont have to be aware of what my body is doing because it functions just fine on its own, old or not. So on June 15th, 2009, I got my BFP. I was shocked. We were both shocked. I POAS several several times. I wanted a digital to be sure, but he stopped the madness. So I just waited the 4 weeks to go to the doctor.

Lilah was born in March without incident and with 3 pushes, which is more than I can say for her brother. He requested forceps to make his entry more grand. He even had some decels to put threat behind the demand. Now we have Kai and Lilah. Two peas in a pod. The older pea is usually running from the pod seeking shelter from the baby pea, but they are best of friends nonetheless. Usually she is lodged firmly up his rear, but there are times when he is chasing her all over the playroom grabbing at her footed PJs while they both laugh hysterically. Those are the moments that make my heart soar. Sometimes I worry I had them too close together and am cheating Kai out of 1 on 1, 100% of the time to help him learn. But I know now he doesnt need, or want me for that matter, 100% of the time. He learns just fine on his own.