Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's New?

Hey folks! Time for another update.  As usual we've been swamped and another month has gone by.  Abby is now 14 months old and her personality shows more each day.  We get a kick out of watching her discover new things.  She is getting much more mobile and we love that but it does bring new dangers into the mix.  We have to keep an extra watchful eye on her now as she motors around.

We'll pick up where we left off with a bunch of pictures.  In late March we took another trip back to Cook Children's to tour Stephanie's new workplace.  Cook's expansion is massive and the Hemotoloty/Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant addition was ready to move into.  They let families of the staff  come and tour the facility before they officially opened so we had a look around. This is where many kids battle for their lives.

Abby & Mom (Abby's Castle in the background)
Typical Patient Room
Abby & Mommy @ the Nurse's Station
Abby & Mommy @ the Nurse's Station
Stephanie & and her friend & co-worker Heather
Stephanie loves what she does despite the emotional and physical toll it takes on her quite often.  I am thankful for her heart for helping children and respect those in the nursing field tremendously.

At the start of April we headed down I-35 to San Antonio to follow up with the Liver Specialist we have been seeing periodically.  We met up with some of Stephanie's friends and had a good time visiting and catching up.  

Steph's Nursing School Friends & their kiddos - Abby & Steph, Katherine, Finley & Meredith, Carrie & Grace
 Next we headed to the hotel for a nap and a swim.  It was the second time Abby had gone for a swim. The last time she was teething and couldn't have cared less.  This time though she was tentative at first then quickly found out that it was a lot of fun to splash.  We look forward to taking her more often as the summer comes around.  She enjoyed it so much that she wanted to get back in after we were ready to leave.

Abby & Daddy
Testing the water
Abby & Mommy
Abby & Mommy
I'm not ready to go yet!
We had fun the day before our appointment but the time came to go see the doctor and we never really know what to expect on these trips.  We've been staying in touch with the GI doctor at Christus Santa Rosa in San Antonio as well as the GI doctor here in case Abby needed to be listed for a liver transplant any time soon. 

Waiting room fun!
Get naked
Tearing up the exam bed paper is fun.
Thankfully this visit was a good one.  Abby is doing great and does not need to come back for another year!  Everything we have seen indicates things are stable for now in terms of her liver.  Abby will need blood work done as the GI doctor we see here recommends and hopefully things will keep trending up.  We are of course thrilled by this news.  So we celebrated on the way home with some good food at "The Salt Lick". 

Mommy & Abby
Things were getting pretty wild back in Arlington as we headed back.  Several tornadoes hit our area and many neighborhoods were torn up.  I am glad we took our time getting back that afternoon because it was pretty scary just not being able to get in contact with family members so I can't imagine being in the midst of it.  Our home was just fine when we got back.

The next weekend we celebrated Easter with our families and Abby got to meet the Easter Bunny.

Easter Bunny & Abby
The only picture we got of her in her Easter Dress
A proud Dad
Another big deal occurred in our little world: At the beginning of April I (Jody) took a new job.  I have joined a former colleague at his new architecture firm and look forward to what the future has in store for us.  We have opened up a new office in Mansfield, Texas and we are Level 5 Design Group.

So, to sum it all up, the Lord has blessed our little family immensely lately.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Catching Up

It's been a while since we've updated this thing so we have some catching up to do.  After Abby's birthday she had her second trip to the hospital for ear tubes.  One had come out and the doctor wanted to put a bit larger one in.  Abby was a happy early riser for her tube replacement it was her shortest hospital visit yet.  She was under gas anesthesia and didn't require intubation so she was back to her happy self later on that afternoon.

Rise and Shine!

Curious Pre-Op
 Abby has really enjoyed being outside and the mild weather we have been having has allowed us some time outdoors.
Loving the outdoors!

Abby has been receiving occupational and physical therapy treatments in home since about the time she was released from the hospital.  The non-profit organization that has provided that service for Abby at a discounted rate is called Early Childhood Intervention, (ECI) and they are government subsidized.  Well, they have had their funding cut (no comment here) and Chris our great PT has moved on.  We were very sad to see her go as we felt Abby was really making strides with her instruction and encouragement.  We now make trips across town for her PT and it just doesn't feel quite the same.  The safe environment of Abby "working" at home and the positive encouragement Chris provided will be sorely missed.

Farewell to Abby's Physical Therapist, Chris
In early March we took a trip up to the Cook Children's NICU to say hello to some of Abby's nurses and try to deliver all of the donations for her birthday.  The first goal was a huge success, we got to visit Abby's primary nurse during days, Alex. 

Mommy and Abby
Abby and Alex
Abby and Alex
Abby and Alex
We also got to catch up with many of the other nurses that had Abby at some point or another.  These ladies love catching up with "graduates" of the NICU and you can tell that they just flat out love kids as they herded around Abby.

Saying hello to my old friends
We go way back! Like, 9 months or so.
Thanks for all you do ladies!
Abby and Gracia
Cook's opened their new NICU department, which was a massive addition, in September.  So some of the staff took us on a tour of the new areas.  It is very nice, not that we would want to experience any of that again, but if we had to it would be much easier for everyone involved.  The patients and their families have all private rooms now and before we were within a few feet of the next child.  Trust me, moments shared with a really sick kid are not meant for audiences.  There were times that we couldn't visit due to an emergency situation for another kid in the unit and they would have to close the whole unit down for visitation.  And for families that were from out of town I don't want to imagine how hard this was before. Well, gone are those days and bright is the future of the fantastic new facility.

Abby got a VIP tour
New Nurse's Station
Typical patient room
Shy saying bye bye
It was great to see you Alex!
The second goal to deliver the donations was a failure for now.  The unit director wanted to personally received the donations and we pretty much can't make it there during a week day when she is available.  So, we didn't deliver the items yet but we will get them to her at the NICU reunion coming up.

Here are the goods, to those who gave thank you so much!
We went for a sweet snack after our trip to the hospital.
A few days later we headed over to Fort Worth again to visit the animals at the zoo.  They were ready to get outside to because the weather was great.

Oure little animal
Creepy Critters

Back off Komodo Dragon!
Later in March we headed up to Gainesville to celebrate Aunt Lesa's (Lesa Guerin) birthday and visit with our cousins.  Abby had a great time playing with her cousins and we were happy to get to celebrate with everyone.
Cousins Reagan and Kate
Making music!
Cousins Elizabeth and Vanessa

Its been a good but busy few months around here.  We have much more to update everyone on but we will have to fill you in later.  It's time for bed around here.