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Sunday, June 17, 2012

iPhone Photo Dump!

I love my large amazing camera...and it goes with us often and takes amazing pictures.  But, as we all know, our phone is always attached to our bodies and is SO convenient to snap pictures and upload them to Facebook or text and email them.  I can't believe that I have over 500 pictures on my phone!  Here are a few from the past several months that have never made it to the blog and I wanted to make sure we documented!

This was taken about 30 minutes before Tater broke her arm...if only we had known what was coming our way!

Bruiser's preschool school picture...LOVE!

Sassy being sassy!

Tater learned to write me "love" notes!

Sassy had the local weatherman visit her preschool class...and her picture made it on TV!
(She's sitting on the bottom left!)

Oh, the pose!

The Big Blue Bug, a local icon that made national news when they added his tie!
Sassy likes to claim it's "my tie" every morning as she and Daddy drive by it!

Tater, the Young Author, in first grade!

And...we went camping!
Our home away from home.

Our little Katniss in her tutu!

Mountain man!
We're all about the costumes!

Dinner time!

Mommy and the Sass


A little red, white, and blue!

Color-coordinated nails!

Our local zoo opened a new play are for the kids and we won a contest to preview it and make it on the local news that was filming it.

There is amazing water play!

And some creating that is tons of fun!

And what are pictures from the House of Sprout without some beach shots?
Playing like they like each other!

Sassy and Daddy in the water...her favorite place to be!
Here she was telling the water to "Stop!"

Shivery girl!

Love this shot!

And to end this photo's the injury Mommy suffered this spring...thanks to a mandolin slicer!  It required 3 stitches and I still have a scar and lose of feeling in the finger tip!  I couldn't let Tater have all the fun!!!!!!

Happy Father's Day!

This is the day that we honor those special men in our lives that
we call "Dad", "Daddy", " and "Father".

And our Daddy is no exception to that honor!

He works hard...sometimes too hard.
He's often tired...sometimes too tired.
He likes to play...sometimes too much!
He loves us...never too much!

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

And Last Week Was Easy...

Hard to believe but I kind of feel like last week...stuck in that small hospital room, reading on my kindle, watching endless television, lounging round-the-clock...was the easy part!

This week we headed back to work and school.  We've scheduled doctor appointments.  We've been giving lots of medicine.  We've rested and tried to relax.  We've dealt with news that we didn't want to hear.  We've cried a bit...and asked "why?" a lot!

It's hard to watch your little girl and wonder what she  did to deserve all these struggles and challenges.  But it's so easy to watch her love life and take such pleasure in the simple things!  We are happy to take on the worrying and decision-making if it means she can stay the amazing little girl she is!

We've set our appointment with the immunologist.  In a week and a half we'll have a better idea of where we are heading and how to help Tater.  That, along with her improved health at the moment, is the good news.

She has developed a secondary infection related to the antibiotics.  We spent the evening at the doctor yesterday.  She's worried about her report card and I had to put out some fired with that...but I think we are okay.

Meanwhile, our family is struggling to accept my mom's ever-growing health issues.  I haven't discussed it much here but it has been a rough few years.  I have had to surrender the mom I know to some horrible diseases way too soon.  Watching her struggle with Parkinson's disease and memory issues has been heartbreaking.  But her latest struggle is hard...effecting all of us close to her.  I don't want to share her personal issues but I'm sure she wouldn't mind if I asked for your prayers over the next few weeks as she undergoes surgery and treatments to stay healthy. 

As a matter of fact, we all would appreciate those prayers. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Longest Unplanned Week!

We were in the midst of the countdown to summer.  We were juggling the normal craziness of our life.  We were working through bad news within our extended family.  We thought we couldn't handle anything else.  Then...

About 2:15 on Wednesday, the school nurse popped into my classroom and said she had "Little Sprout" in her office complaining of a headache but giggling away and no fever.  I brushed it off as her not wanting to do work in class.  At about 3:00, our dismissal time, Tater came into my classroom shivering and looking like death warmed over...honestly, she looked terrible!  I felt her head, almost burned my hand on it and quickly dismissed my students and made a beeline for home, the thermometer, and a call to the pediatrician. 

When we got home her temperature was 102...not sure I remember her ever having such a high temp.  The doctor wanted to see her at 4:15...and she actually snoozed on the couch until it was time to leave.  Daddy met us at the doctor's and took the other two kids home.  Tater was 103 in the office and the doctor determined it was the start of an ear infection, prescribed meds and sent us home.  I was a bit hesitant...when does an ear infection come on that quickly?

Within the hour, she was worse and asking to go to the hospital.  What kid (especially one who has been through as much as Tater) asks to go to the hospital?  She was having tummy and leg pain and refusing to walk.  The doctor on call for our pediatrician sent us on our way and I left with Tater shivering in the back seat. 

When we arrived at the ER, they immediately sent us to a room and we saw the head doctor before our nurse even made it into the room...that's when I knew this was serious.  There were blood tests (which took 3 sticks because her veins kept collapsing) and a flu test and a chest x-ray and a strep test.  The doctor managing her care felt so bad for her that he left his iPhone with her for an hour!

Within an hour of us being there, they were talking about "finding us a room upstairs" and I knew we were being admitted.  That was about 10:00...we finally made it to our room at about 3:00am.  Tater catnapped throughout but I was running on empty!

We slept for about 2 hours and started the day with LOTS of doctor visits.  Daddy joined us and we waited for the admitting doctor, the pediatric nephrologist on-call, to appear.  She came in with her team of med students and basically told us we were looking at a blood infection (bacteria in the blood).  We were placed in isolation and began the wait for the culture to come back identifying the bacteria.  We met with infectious disease...a new speciality!  We also met with cardiology...because on top of it all, they detected a murmur in her heart that could have been related to the infection in some way.

We had more test.  More blood cultures.  An echiocardiogram.  More doctors.  Oh, and we enjoyed watching the thunderstorms our our window!

We had visitors like crazy...Tater's first grade teacher, her kindergarten teacher (and Mommy's friend), two really good friends of Mommy's...and of course Sassy and Bruiser came to check it out!

We watched a lot of TV, a few movies, did some art projects, and tested Mommy's patience. 

I loved that all the med students came to say good-bye to her as they left each day...just because they liked her!  But, really, can you blame them!

By Friday we got the word that she had a blood infection called pneumochoccial strep.  We knew that we were stuck in the hospital prison until they tested for drug sensitivities and that it could result in a PICC line for IV antibiotics at home.  

By Saturday we were stir crazy!  Luckily we were sprung from our four walled cell and could roam the halls...and by 3:00 we had our walking papers!  We were released with oral antibiotics, orders for a new vaccine, and a referral for Boston Children's Hospital immunology team. 

Yup...we are looking at some new issue!  This was Tater's second episode with this particular bacteria and she has a history of many, many, many other infections.  So we know there has to be something more.  What that is, we don't know...but we are fortunate enough to live close enough to a world renowned hospital and will be taking complete advantage of that!

Meanwhile, tomorrow we return to school and our normal life.  We have 8 more days to survive until summer begins.  I may not make it...I'm having a bit of an anxiety attack about sending her back into the pit of germs...but she is thrilled to be back in time for field day!

So, please keep us and Tater in your prayers...and we will let you know what we know when we know it!

SUYL - My Kitchen!

This week I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner for her "Show Us Your Life" series. This week is all about kitchens.  Our kitchen is truly the "heart of our home"!  I, in particular, feel like I live in there!  This was one of the main rooms that sold us on our house...but we've still made many changes!  The kitchen is my personal favorite!  We've replaced several of the appliances and the lighting.  I'd love to replace the floor...but that's an undertaking that I'm not sure we are ready for quite yet!  So...enjoy!

Looking in from the hallway.
My new fridge...if only I could keep the fingerprints off!
And the new stove! 
The doorway to the dining room is on the left.
 A command center corner - swimsuits, towels, take-out menus, cookbooks, cups for the kids to get their own water, cell charging station...
Love my write-on menu board...and new recycling cabinet!
 A summer picture of Sassy and my kitchen organizer binder! 
The pantry!
The hallway leading into the wall, message board, show bins, hair tie station!
Coat hooks for the kiddos!
Close-up of the chalkboard paint message board.
 Command Central!
Schedule board on the left, weekly plans in the middle (hard to see with the glare!), emergency numbers in a frame by the phone, and our calendar in the upper right...
 ...with a large chalkboard underneath!
 Summer behavior charts.

 And this is actually the mud room and entrance to Tater's new big girl room...but we use it as additional kitchen storage.  That is where we keep the second fridge (yes, we are that family that needs a second fridge!), our deep freezer, lunchboxes, etc.  I am so thankful for the extra space!

There it is...our kitchen!  Hope you enjoyed the peek and I can't wait to see yours!