Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hospital admission :-(

Danielle had been doing great. Her brother got a bought with Bronchitis just over a week ago and we were SO extremely happy that she didn't get it too. Or so we thought.....Wednesday night I picked her up from daycare, she was happy as a lark, had a great day, just like any other day. We got home I put her on her changing table to take her bunting off and she threw up. Okay, no biggie I thought. She needed a bath so we headed for a nice warm bath, bath nights at our house are a big hit because Danielle just loves them. After her bath I got her dressed, warmed up a bottle, fed her. She ate about 1/2 and threw up, just mucous it seemed. She ate the rest of her bottle and her eyes started to become a little glazed over. So we decided not to push the baby food and instead, I checked her temp, it was 102. I was a bit worried, Danielle never gets a fever. Some kids get fevers frequently, she is not one of them.
On a side note: Dylan loves to help with the baby. Last Sunday our power went out so Dylan thought we had to leave. Thankfully it was only out for a short time, but Dylan didn't understand why we weren't putting the baby's shoes on to go bye bye even though by this point the power was back on! So he thought he would put them on her himself!
So Wednesday night, we snuggled and rested. Dylan became very concerned. We gave her some Tylenol and put her to bed. She slept until about 3:30am, I got up with her, checked her temp 101.2. Her fever was back again. We had already decided daddy would stay home with her for the day Thursday, mommy would take Dylan to daycare and attend to her very busy day at work.

As Thursday morning progressed, baby started throwing up, frequently. She was really scaring daddy. We were both worried, especially about her shunt. A potential sign of a shunt malfunction is vomiting. Because of the fever we were hoping that this was NOT what was going on, but it was in our minds. I called and made an appointment with Dr. Collins at 2pm. By 11 Danielle was throwing up about every 10-15 minutes. Brad was very very scared, I called the doc to get her in sooner and became very frustrated when the nurse told me that she would be fine until her 2pm appointment. By this time Danielle had begun to vomit stomach bile, we felt that she was getting dehydrated. We didn't want to take her to the ER because then we would have a doc that didn't know her or anything about her and it would take forever to get seen. So at 1pm daddy headed to the doc, drove slow because since she was vomiting so much he needed to be able to stop and check on her during his drive into the doctors office.

Upon arrival the nurse knew right away Danielle was very sick. She was making small moaning noises and getting very sick very fast. Dr. Collins came in, witnessed her vomiting and ordered blood work immediately and an RSV test. The RSV test threw Brad because she didn't have any obvious symptoms, NO coughing, NO wheezing, not really a buggery nose, but just a slight fever at this point. Thankfully our wonderful cousin, nurse Jessie, came to assist a scared and worried daddy. Mommy was in meetings at work and was watching her phone closely. The tests came back, positive for RSV, her CBC was elevated. So we were off to the ER for chest x-rays to check for pneumonia. I met Brad at St. Lukes and we got her checked out. She was still continuing to vomit and just not herself. It brought tears to my eyes how in just a matter of hours, baby girl could be feeling SO much worse. She got the x-rays, the really sad looking positional ones in the tube. That just breaks a mom and dad's heart, but she was a trooper. We waited for the results, the doctor called and told us she also had pneumonia...WHAT?! We were SO confused, shocked and just felt horrible for our sick baby girl. She admitted us to the hospital, daddy went to pick up Dylan from daycare and mommy went to the PICU and got Danielle situated.

It was very strange being back in the hospital. A place we had been over a year and a half before... day in and day out with our little baby girl. We were back, not a good feeling, unfortunately we were very familiar with our surroundings, but we knew she would be well taken care of.
They started IV's immediately, took more blood work for a blood culture and tried to make our baby comfortable. She wanted to be held, she could barely stay awake, she was pale, our hearts sunk.....

As parents we think we know our kids, very well, more than anyone else, how could we miss this....Pneumonia and RSV of all things and just weeks after getting her monthly dose of Synegis (RSV preventative) shot???? We were monitored over night, Danielle stopped throwing up and at 10pm took a whole bottle and kept it down. The fever subsided slightly, she never needed any Tylenol to break it, it broke on it's own. She slept great, in her crib even. Although mommy wanted to snuggle her all night long, I slept along side her in the chair and knew she would sleep better in the crib. They woke us every 4 hours for a breathing treatment, vitals etc. She went right back to sleep. By morning she was close to acting like herself again. A happy little girl, she cracked a few smiles and her lips were pink again. She was still pale but continued to be breathing great. Her sats were wonderful, she never needed oxygen, in fact her pulse ox never beeped off all night long, she was a rock star patient! Her precious smile came back!
More blood work showed her less dehydrated, an exam by Dr. Collins showed her to be better all the way around. She asked us to stay for the day and at 4-5pm she would call and get a report and decide if we could go home. Since Danielle had been eating and holding food down, didn't require any supplemental oxygen and was becoming more active we got the go ahead to head home! YAY! Mom and Dad were so happy, 24 hours in the PICU was long enough. We have strict orders to continue breathing treatments until Thursday, even though she is showing no respiratory distress and her lungs are clear, this is a preventative. Dr. Collins agreed that Danielle's dose of Synegis a few weeks ago prevented her from becoming extremely sick. That is also why she did not show any other signs, wheezing, coughing etc. The vomiting was all of the fluid that was in her lungs, she thankfully was getting it OUT!

We headed home, our family was all together once again! Antibiotic, steroid, nebulizer treatments and a lot of TLC! Danielle is totally acting herself again. She is very hungry, which is great, probably making up for the day she didn't eat, she is sleeping 12 hours at least and last night 14 hours! YES, that was a record! She is on the mend, nothing makes mom and dad happier and Dylan too. He was very concerned about his sister, he missed having her home, he is very attentive to her needs, he is the perfect big brother!

So last week was chaotic to say the least. We survived, the lord listened to our prayers and watched over our baby girl. We have a re-check on Tuesday and are excited to get great news that our baby girl is all better. Her fever has been gone since Friday afternoon, although she doesn't like her medicines, we get them down. We are very much looking forward to Spring! The serious sickness' to go away, the warm weather to move on in and our kids to be able to be outside, run and play in the thick green mom and dad sit back and watch the miracles of our world in action!
Thank you lord for protecting our family, keeping our baby girl on the road to recovery and helping us to be reunited at home, for a few days of rest before yet another busy week!~

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New beginnings....

This is the year for new beginnings. New adventures, new outlooks and new things!
Danielle has been such a happy girl these past few weeks. She is generally always happy but she is really just a joy to be around. We have had some quality family time enjoying the new year and we have also had some fun times with family and friends!

Aunt Connie, Cassie and Kenzie came over for a Sunday afternoon visit! They had gifts for the kids and we had gifts for the girls too! They are always SO thoughtful, thinking of us and our kids, and the kids just LOVE them to pieces! The kids got some really neat books and Danielle got the most adorable little boots ever! They fit her little feet perfect! Danielle got in some snuggle time with Kenzie, we all know how Danielle loves to be snuggled!
We have also had a visit from Great Grandma Martin, she came by to visit the kids and to bring them Christmas presents. Ed and Alice came by, it was their first time seeing either of the kids and both kids sure loved the attention. Danielle got some fun toys from Great Grandma and some snuggles too! We will be visiting Great Grandma Holub soon and we can't wait for that!

Daddy and Dylan love their reading time. Dylan constantly brings books over to mom and dad to read. We have been including Danielle in on story time also. It is great bonding time and Danielle loves to listen as we read the books and Dylan repeats after us. These moments are priceless as our children learn from what we read!

Danielle got a new highchair type seat just before Christmas. She loves it, much better than our other high chair we had been trying to use. Feeding time is SO important and we struggled finding something that Danielle was comfortable in. After 2 other chairs mommy found this one and thankfully it is a HIT! She feels supported and she can kick and squirm without a heavy tray on top of her constricting her from moving her legs. She loves her baby food. We let her eat her favorite foods for Miss Michelle at daycare and we try new foods at home. Feeding time is going great!
Our beloved Hawkeyes made it to the Orange Bowl this year and we were SO excited to cheer them on! We dressed in our Iowa gear and got our munchies ready, Hawkeye fever was in full swing!

This was our little home 'mascot'. Dylan just loves these Hawkeye napkins and he wanted them out so we set them out showing our Hawkeye spirit! Anything to make the kids happy, right?!

The Hawkeyes played a fantastic game and pulled out a BIG WIN! It sure was a great day to be a Hawkeye!
In this year of new beginnings, we decided to pull the plug and get Danielle's ears pierced! This is something that we have frequently talked about since last Spring. We have contemplated when would be the best time to do it?! Well with Danielle having MRI's every 6-10 weeks there really wasn't an ideal time to get it done. Now that it is over 15 weeks until her next MRI we figured this just maybe the perfect time!

Last Sunday was going to be the day. Then we kind of chickened out and decided to wait. Then Tuesday was going to be the day. Daddy picked up Dylan and Mommy picked up Danielle and we headed out to the mall. The girl working at the store told us she couldn't pierce ears that day, she had a cold and they are not to do any piercings if they have any symptoms of sickness at all. We had never heard those rules before but we sure appreciated those and their honesty. So we headed back home and decided to try it the next day.

We headed back the next evening and the lady was so nice and eager to help us. We picked out little square diamonds and sat up in the chair. Danielle got her ears marked and then it was time for the piercing. She pierced the left ear first....I looked down after Danielle let out a little cry and looked at it. The earring was in the perfect spot but I was thinking' hmmm this diamond looks a little big.' Just then the lady said that the package was mis-marked and she showed me, the package was for a 3mm earring which is what we had picked....but, the earring was a 6mm earring. There was NO way we could leave it in her ear, the earring was HUGE! So she had to pull it out and re-pierce Danielle's ear. Her ear did not bleed and the most traumatic part was taking out the earring. She re-pierced Danielle's ear and the correct earring looked much better. The whole process, even with having to re-pierce one ear, wasn't too traumatic at all. Danielle did great, the lady was very gentile, took all precautions and overall the process went very well.

Daddy was happy too! Danielle looks so grown up with her little ears pierced!
Another new beginning for 2010 came for our friends Brandon and Monica. They welcomed their new bundle of joy Henley Grace Hahn on 1/13. We have anticipated the arrival of our kids newest play mate for months now, and this week she came and we were finally able to meet her! Holding a new baby was quite different than holding Miss Danielle. Danielle still seems tiny to us until we hold a newborn! At 6 pounds 6 ounces Henley is a healthy baby girl. She has such loving parents who are very excited to finally have her in their arms and we can't wait to watch her grow! Congratulations Brandon and Monica!
Danielle has also had some fun play time with her friend Lila! Lila came over to visit with her mom and dad and the kids just LOVE having her around! Lila is getting so big and busy! She will be crawling in no time! She was very content sitting on the floor with Danielle, just playing with toys and showing us her fun personality!

Danielle wasn't in the mood to sit so she laid in the boppy and laughed and giggled with her little friend!
Lila was sharing toys with Danielle, it was pretty cute! We always have a fun time when Lila comes over to play. We can't wait until the next play time comes :)
One of Danielle's favorite toys she got for Christmas is this flower. You tap it and it makes noise, lights up and even sings songs. Danielle just loves it.
She occasionally gets wild and crazy moving it all around.
It is the perfect interactive toy. Danielle sure knows how to get it to light up and makes noise. It is so much fun to watch her figure out toys and how to get them to activate. She's a smart little cookie!
Just this past week we also got something new for Danielle. She got thumb splints as a suggestion from our Visual Therapist. Danielle does not have any trouble grasping things or holding onto them, she does not clench her hands into a fist when un-necessary, but occasionally she will tuck her thumb into her hand while her fingers are spread apart. With these thumb splints, this will help Danielle to learn that she doesn't need to tuck her thumb when her fingers are spread apart. This will help her when she is on her tummy and gets up on all 4's ready to crawl. She loves when we would massage her thumbs to get those muscles loosened, we would to this when we would see her tucking it in. She also doesn't mind these splints a bit. She wears these for an hour a couple times per day, just enough to get her thinking when she doesn't have them on that her thumb doesn't need to be tucked when her hands are open. We picked hot pink for a stylin' little girl, helping her loosen up those thumb muscles in preparation for her next big milestones... doesn't get any better than that for helping our little Danielle!
We are very happy to have had such a great start to the new year! It is hard to believe that this first month is already half over! We have been able to have quite a few new beginnings this year and we also have celebrated our friends new beginnings.
Thank you lord for these blessings and for our happy girl Danielle Marie!~

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2010!

This New Year's Eve our celebration was spent with great family and friends in Fairfax! We started out the evening with yummy snacks and enjoying each others company. The kids had a great time watching video's and playing games of their own.
Danielle loved getting all kinds of snuggles and watching everyone around her! She is such a joy to be around and definitely prefers to be held most of the time. She is not afraid to snuggle right into whomever is holding her!

This was perfect for the kids. The big kids were good about including the little kids in the games they were playing. Dylan loved watching the kids play a mean game of Twister! Danielle can't wait until she is a little older to get right in on the fun games too!

She sure was a trooper. She stayed awake ALL night long! Everyone kept thinking that she would finally give in and close those pretty eyes of hers, but nope, she was bright eyed and bushy tailed even on the drive home!

Another favorite of the kids at our New Years Eve Celebration was making homemade ice cream sundae's! YUMMY! Sheila brought all of these yummy toppings and delicious ice cream wafer bowls to hold all of the goodies!

Look at all of that caramel! Even the adults indulged on a yummy dessert ice cream sundae! Great idea!While daddy joined in on a few games of poker Danielle enjoyed watching and showing her emotion when the emotions at the poker table were running high as well!A bit after we welcomed in 2010 we snuggled Danielle in her pj's for the car ride home. She looks to be sleeping so soundly..BUT...don't let her fool you, just a 5 minute cat-nap was all she needed to re-energize! At 1:30am we arrived home and tucked her into bed, finally some zzzz's! She was definitely keeping up with the rest of us at this New Years Eve Celebration!And after some sleep she was ready for some morning play time with daddy on New Years Day!
Our family gladly welcomes 2010. We are praying for a great year for our family. Although 2009 was a great year we hope this one is even better.
2009 started out great with Danielle getting off oxygen at the very beginning of March. In May Danielle had her first airplane ride to the sunshine and warm temps of Arizona. In June we had another plane ride to visit Grammie and Great Grandpa Phillips in Pennsylvania. We also celebrated Danielle's 1st Birthday at the end of June. What a fun celebration we had! We had many things to celebrate on that bright and sunny day in June! In August we ventured on a fun weekend getaway with our friends the LeConte's to Wisconsin. In September we celebrated Labor Day in Des Moines at Adventureland with Ellie and the Aarhus family! Danielle took her first real swim in the pool with daddy and she loved every minute of it! We also celebrated Dylan's 3rd birthday with a Hawkeye party for him. October brought Danielle's first trick-or-treating, she was the cutest 'adorable' witch ever! November brought ear tubes for Danielle but she really needed them, she had too many ear infections to count and we are proud to report that tubes have done wonders for her! Thanksgiving was spent with great family at the Krejci's, and what a feast we had! We also ventured to ride on our first 'Polar Express' Train ride that weekend in Boone. The kids really enjoyed their first train ride. December was really chilly and brought us a lot of snow so we decided to enjoy Christmas in sunny Arizona! Danielle had her second trip to the dessert west and we had such a great time enjoying sunshine and warm temps for Christmas this year! We ended the year with Danielle's tear duct surgery, it went okay, not totally according to plan, but we are hoping with lots of hope and prayers that things are just fine. New Year's Eve was spent with Aunt Ellie, Uncle Bill, the Aarhus family and friends....what a way to send out 2009 with a bang and welcome in the New Year!
We are praying that 2010 brings lots of health, love and happiness for our family. Wonderful follow-up doctor visits when they come and we are praying for a surgery free year!
Welcome 2010, we are optimistic this will be a great year for our family!