Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Birthdays and Poinsettias

Here are a few pictures from Isabelle's birthday (pre ER visit)





































































I also wanted to let those of you who live in the Birmingham area know that The Bell Center is selling poinsettias for $15 a piece.  All proceeds will go to The Bell Center.  For those of you who don't know about The Bell Center and want to learn more click on the link.  This will bring you to their website with all of their information.  The Bell Center relies solely on donations and with the economy being in a bit of a slump donations have been down for the year.  This is a great way to help out a good cause and buy decorations or a gift for Christmas.   I have to have the orders and money in by October 30th.  The poinsettias will be delivered to The Bell Center on December 7th.  I will go pick them up that day and then either deliver them to you or you can come pick them up from me.  Please leave a comment or email me if you are interested in buying one.  If you do not live in the Birmingham area unfortunately I will not be able to get the poinsettias to you but you are still welcome to make a donation if you want.  Have a great Wednesday!  

And The Winner Is...

The Silvas at Simple Chaos

Congrats! Head on over to BabyLegs and pick out your prize (any item up to $12)!  Send me an email at amanda.st.smith@gmail.com with your pick and the address or PO Box you would like me to send them to.  Congrats again!

Thanks to everyone who entered and all of those who take the time to visit my blog and read about Belli.  Check back later today or tomorrow for pictures from the birthday! 

Monday, September 28, 2009

100th Post Giveaway!

*The contest is now closed.  I will post the winner tomorrow!*

Can you believe this is my 100th post?  When I started this blog at the end of June I never imagined I would enjoy writing posts as much as I do or that I would meet as many online friends that I have.  So, in honor of my 100th post and to say thank you to those of you who have taken the time to come read about and pray for my sweet girl I am hosting a giveaway contest.

What am I giving away you ask?  A free pair of BabyLegs of your choice.

How do you enter?  That's easy!  Just leave me a comment on this post and you will be entered.  If you do not have a blog and post under anonymous make sure and leave me your name!  I will close the contest at midnight on Tuesday.  Good luck everyone!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Birthday and an ER Visit

Last night we finally got around to celebrating Isabelle's birthday (which was on August 1st).  Originally we were going to wait to have a party until she got the halo off so she would be able to enjoy it a little more but since she had the second fusion and will not get the halo off until the end of October or later we decided to go ahead an have her party.  We just did a last minute thing with only immediate family but it was fun none the less.  I will post pictures from the party soon.

We ended the birthday bash with a trip to the ER.  Isabelle got a little rambunctious and slipped on the floor and fell backwards.  She took a hard hit directly on the back of her halo.  This was not the first time she had fallen so at first I wasn't too worried.  I checked her pin sites in the back where she fell to make sure they hadn't moved or weren't bleeding or anything.  Everything looked fine...until I turned her around and noticed that all four of the pin sites in the front were bleeding.  Not only was she bleeding but I knew that if she hit hard enough to shift the halo enough to make the pin sites bleed that it was possible she had also hit hard enough to have knocked something loose in the back of her neck.  So off to the ER we went.

My first thought when we walked in was "Oh, s***."  It was 8 at night on a weekend so you can imagine how many people were there.  I just knew we were going to be there for hours and hours.  What I did not take into consideration was the fact that if you come into the ER with a child bleeding from the head you get moved to the top of the list and don't even have to wait.  I never in my life thought I would be glad Belli was bleeding from the head.  So off to triage we went and then immediately to a room.  We were in our room for about an hour and then they brought us back to take x-rays.  After about another 45 minutes the neuro on call came in to let us know that the x-rays looked fine.  Nothing had been knocked loose and the pins hadn't shifted enough to where they needed to be adjusted and that we could go home.  Hooray!  So after waiting about another 45 minutes for the nurse to come with our paper work we finally left the hospital around 11.  Thankfully they had an Elmo movie there and Isabelle sat in the bed with me the whole time and watched her movie.  She was so good.

So that is how we spent our Saturday night.  I hope yours was much less eventful.

On a separate note, I think I am going to have a giveaway in honor of my 100th post which is actually this post but we will pretend like it's my next one since I wasn't planning on blogging about an ER visit.  I am thinking of giving away a pair of BabyLegs of your choice.  What does everyone think about that?  Any other suggestions?  Let me know what you think!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Five Question Friday

It's time for Mama M.'s Five Question Friday again!  Don't forget Belli is answering the questions!

1.  What celebrity have you been told you look like?
I have never been told I looks like a celebrity. 

2.  What is your all time favorite movie?
"The Cat Movie"  AKA Baby Einstein's Baby Wordsworth.  This was the first movie I ever watched and the ONLY movie I would watch for a long long time.  I eventually moved on to other Baby Einstein movies and now Elmo.

3.  Since we are talking movies...Popcorn: overrated, underrated, about right?
Popcorn?  Bleh!  I like to kick back with some milk and Carnation to watch a movie.

4.  Are you a glass half empty or half full type of person?
Half full! I am always optimistic and never let anything get in my way!

5.  What perfume/cologne do you wear?
Johnson and Johnson Head-to-Toe.  And this odor of not having a good hair washing since July 8th.  Yummy!



MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Belli Update

Isabelle's appointment today went well.  Her surgeon said that everything was still where he left it =-)  Her pin sites still look good and she continues to tolerate the halo well.  He wants to see us back in a month. 

I asked him what was the longest she could have the halo on if everything continued to go well.  He said he would like her to have it on long enough for the bone and bone paste he used in the second fusion to harden so it could be another two months.  Because she is safer with the halo on then that is what we are shooting for.  Please continue to pray for no infections and that Isabelle continues to tolerate the halo so she can keep it on.

I know I said I was going to do Alphabitty Moments for the letter D but my brain is so fried from studying that I can't even think of anything to use for D.  So as soon as I think of something I will put it up.  I welcome any suggestion =-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Go Vote! Now!

*Update*
Stupid me forgot to put the link.  Duh!  Here it is.  Game Room Makeover

I know I said I wasn't going to be posting this week but I just HAD to put up this link so you guys could go vote for Children's Hospital of Alabama.

Here's what you do:
1.  Click on the link
2.  Create a voter account
3.  Vote for Children's Hospital of Alabama.  You can vote ten time in one day so while you are there you might as well vote ten times =-)

What are you voting for you might ask?  Microsoft has partnered with Children's Miracle Network and is giving away three free game room updates for Children's Miracle Network hospital.  The top three hospitals will recieve a free game room update.  These game rooms as sooooo important to the children to have something to do while they are there.  Especially for those who are there for such a long time.  So it's that simple!  Go vote!  Now!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hiatus

I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be taking a small hiatus from blogging for the next week. I am taking the GRE next Tuesday so I will be spending all of my spare time studying. Taking this test was a bit of a last minute decision so I have not been able to prepare for it as well as I would have liked.  So please pray that I do well!

Isabelle has a check up with her neurosurgeon on Thursday so I will be posting an update about that (along with my "D" Alphabitty Moment) later that night. I will also do Mama M's Five Question Friday (on Friday obviously).  But other than that you probably won't be hearing too much from me until next Wednesday.

Please, please pray that we get a good report at Isabelle's check up on Thursday.  We have yet to hear good news at any of her neuro appointments since June 25th so I am of course nervous about this one.

Please don't forget about me while I am gone! 

Friday, September 18, 2009

Five Question Friday

Yay!  It's that time again so here was go...

1.  What is your favorite line from a movie?
That would be from Little Einstein's Big Huge Adventure.  "Let's help rocket fly to the moon.  Clap with us, clap with us, clap, clap, clap!"

2.  What group did you belong to in school?
Currently that would be the loud mouthed trouble maker group.

3.  If you had $1000 to spend on just yourself what would you do with it?
I would buy a bunch more Gerber thermal blankies so I would never have to hear my mommy say, "No, that one is dirty."  I would also buy more Elmo movies so I won't ever have to hear mommy say, "No that one's broken."  And BabyLegs!

4.  What was your favorite childhood cartoon.?
Baby Einstein.  Definitely.

5.  What kind of sleeper are you?  Back, tummy, side, sprawler?
Before the halo was put on I slept on my tummy.  Now I sleep on my side.


MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alphabitty Moments

I ran across a blog called The Love of Family.  She came up with this idea called Alphabitty Moments.  The idea is to take a picture of "the little things" that have to do with our children's lives so we won't forget them when they are older.  Then we post it on our blog.  Each week is a new letter.  Luckily this week is C.  Since I only missed A and B I am going to do all three of them in this post.  You are supposed to do each letter like a scrapbook page and there are some online sites you can use to get these templates.  I don't have that much time to do it not but they are so cute and definitely something I am going to look into at a later date.  For now though...my Alphabitty Moments.

A is for...
AFO's (ankle-foot orthotics)














While Isabelle may always need some type of brace like this we are hopeful that with a lot of hard work these will only be part of her childhood.  They have and will also play such an important role in Isabelle's milestones.  Without these she won't be able to take her first steps!

B is for...
Belli



















And Blanky!















Belli is the nickname I have for my sweet girl.  I consider this to be part of her childhood because I don't think she is going to let me call her Belli when she is in high school =-)  I also had to use Blanky because Lord knows we could not make it through the day hour without a blanky!


 C is for...
"Cat Movie"















This is actually Baby Einstein's Baby Wordsworth but Isabelle calls is "Cat Movie."  This was the first movie she ever watched and by far her favorite of all of the Baby Einstein movies.

So those are our Alphabitty Moments for A, B, and C.  Tune in next week for D!

No! I Don't Like It.

I feel that I must share what my sweet, wonderful, precious, always polite little girl did today. (Note a hint of sarcasm in that sentence).

Today was her second day back at The Bell Center.  The children have snack time while they are there and they are given water and a snack (today was vanilla pudding and vanilla wafers).  Well my sweet, wonderful, precious, always polite little girl took a sip of her water and then told her teacher, "No water.  I want juice."  They then tried to give her the vanilla pudding.  My sweet, wonderful, precious, always polite little girl responded by screaming, throwing a fit and telling her teachers she wanted to get up from the table.  They then gave her a vanilla wafer which she threw onto the table after saying, "No!  I don't like it!"

Umm, excuse me?  Who the heck do you think you are?  How embarrassing!

Anywho...if any of our Bell Center friends are reading this I do apologize for my normally sweet, wonderful, precious, always polite little girl's behavior today.  I guess Isabelle and I will need to have a little talk about table manners =-)

I do think that I need to defend her sweetness and tell you that last night my mom sneezed and my dad heard Isabelle (who was supposed to be asleep) on the monitor say, "Bless you Mimi!"  See she really is sweet.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pet Peeves- The Grocery Store Version

I enjoyed posting my first pet peeve post so much that I decided I would do another one. This one is going to be themed though. For those of you who do not know I spent most of my high school and college years working part time at a local grocery store. If you are ever having a bad day and need to make yourself feel better, go to the grocery store there. There are so many stupid people there that you are sure to leave with a brighter outlook on life. So the following are the pet peeves that I have that people at grocery stores do. I apologize in advance if I name something that you do at the grocery store. But at least now you know!

1. If you see someone standing in an aisle stocking shelves and wearing a uniform for said grocery and you need help, DO NOT ask them if they work there. If they do not work there they would not be stocking shelves and wearing the uniform.

2. Do not unload your groceries onto the belt and then leave to go get "one more thing." One, people are behind you. Two, don't lie. You know you are going to get more than one thing.

3. Do not come into the express lane with more items than what the sign says (maybe 1 or 2 more but that's it). If you do this then the people who actually only have a few items have to wait on your rude self to finish.

4. Do not walk into the store and ask someone where something is before you even try to look first.

5. Don't try to buy alcohol on Sundays before 12 (which you can't do here) and then beg me to sell it to you, swear that you won't tell, even insist that you won't drink it until 12. Um, no.

6. This one is pretty common but please to have your check ready before you come in line. And please know your pin number if using debit.

7. This goes for not only the grocery store but any where that you are in a line. Do not talk on your cell phone! You are holding people up. And do not talk on your cell phone and then get off and act like I am being rude because I haven't spoken to you. I'm sorry, I didn't want to interrupt your conversation.

Ok, I could go on and on. I might make these pet peeve posts a regular occurrence if everyone enjoys it. Let me know if you guys have any themes you would like me to cover!

*Isabelle Update*
She's doing great. No news to report on. There is one pin site looking icky so hopefully there is not infection. Other than that just the same old stuff.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Five Question Friday


It's time again for Five Question Friday. In honor of September 11th Mama M. has chosen some patriotic questions. These questions will be a little hard for me to answer with Isabelle's answers but I will do my best!

1. Where were you when you heard of the September 11 attacks?
Half of me was at my mommy's high school. When she got to school she heard the t.v. in a teacher's room and went in to see what was going on. She watched as the second plane hit and then later as the towers fell. The other half of me was with my daddy. I'm not sure what he was doing!

2. What is your favorite patriotic song?
Since I haven't really listened to too many patriotic songs that I can remember I am not sure. But my favorite patriotic sound would be fire works on the 4th. That's patriotic right?

3. When you hear "America" what do you think of first?
Knowing that I am in the best place for my medical care and that under the right circumstances and with a lot of hard work I can grow up and do anything I want to do.

4. What are you most proud of America or Americans about?
I am proud that my fellow Americans voted for our current president in the hopes that he could help change some of the things wrong with this country. It is just too bad some people won't give him the chance.

5. When you hear "American Food" what do you think of?
Apple pie and hamburgers. Neither of which I eat. But that's just what I think off.



MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cock-a-doo-doo

**Update**
I forgot to mention...Check out my new scrolling blog roll to the right. Just some of the other blogs I follow.

**Original Post**
*Warning- This Post Contains a Graphic Image*

Well it's really just a picture of Belli's incision and her shaved head. But some people don't want to see that stuff so I just thought I would warn you. And I put the picture at the bottom of the post so it wouldn't be the first thing you saw.

No Belli updates today. Just wanted to post this video of her doing some animal sounds. The rooster is new so I had to get it on video. Her crimson BabyLegs finally got here so we will have them for the game Saturday woohoo!


video


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pet Peeves

I have a lot of pet peeves. I mean A LOT. People just annoy me in general which is probably why have so many pet peeves. So, I decided that I wanted to do a pet peeve post to share with all of you my pet peeves. Feel free to share your pet peeves with me in the comment section.

1. When people start a questions with, "I know you can't tell me, but..." If you know I can't tell you something DON'T ASK.

2. When people use the elevator instead of the stairs when they are only going up one or two flights of stairs. And we wonder why our country is so obese.

3. When I am in a public restroom and someone comes in a goes in the stall right next to mine when there are plenty of other free stalls. A little privacy please!

4. People who start asking a teacher questions when there's only a minute left in class.

5. People who drive under the speed limit. I totally understand driving the speed limit for safety but driving under the speed limit can sometimes be more dangerous than driving over the speed limit. Speed it up people.

Ok, that's all for now. I am sure I will remember more soon and I will post a part 2 soon. Like I said feel free to comment and talk about your pet peeves in the comment section.

Monday, September 7, 2009

No Title

*Update*
I realized after I posted this that I never actually blogged about getting to go home. I only Tweeted it. So if you don't follow me on Twitter and missed the Tweet on my sidebar then you didn't know we were home. Duh! So surprise...we're home!

*Original Post*
I could not think of a title for this post. After about five minutes of thinking I realized that I could have been half way finished with the post already if I hadn't spent five minutes trying to give the post a title. So I just named it "No Title." Creative huh? Right.

Anywho...

Some of you may remember this post from the first time Isabelle came home. So I only found it fitting to take this picture when we got home Sunday.
Yes the balloon is tied to her halo. And please do not look at the picture too closely because I look awful!

Isabelle has been doing great. She slept all night last night and for the most part has been a happy camper. She has been asking to take the halo off a lot today and it breaks my heart. She does it right around the time she needs some more Tylenol or Motrin so I think she starts hurting and wants to take it off. This morning was really bad because she hadn't had any medicine all night and she was crying and begging me to take it off. Oh it was so sad. She has done much better through out the day though since she was getting regular doses of medicine. I think I will wake her up tonight though and give her something so she won't be so miserable in the morning. I did get to wash her hair tonight but it will take a few times to get it completely clean again. There is a lot of gook and gunk in it. And dried blood. Because I know you guys wanted to know that =-) I also have to take the bandage off of the back of her neck in a couple of days. That should be tons of fun since it goes up to about the middle of her head and the top of it is on her hair. Ouch! Other than that I do not have much to update on. We will go back in two weeks for x-rays to make sure everything is still in place and the fusion is taking. So the prayers are for the fusion to take and no infections in pin sites or the incisions.

I do want to post these pictures that I took before the surgery. In case you don't know Isabelle has very very very loose joints. She can do a lot of weird things with her body that should just not be allowed. She has figured out how to get onto her tummy and the following is the step by step progress in pictures.
Pretty talented huh?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday 5:10

We are in a room. Isabelle continues to do well. She was feeling much better when I got here this morning. She has been a little cranky since we got up to our room but I am hoping she will start feeling a little better after a good nights sleep. I saw the surgeon this morning and he said everything looked good and we should be able to go home soon. That pretty much all the updates I have for Isabelle.

I would like to ask for you all to pray for the family of a 16 year old boy who died this afternoon in the PICU. I am so sad for this family, but makes me so so thankful that I have my sweet girl here with me.

Oh and one last thing...ROLL TIDE.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Night Update

We went in a little after 8 to see Isabelle. She was feeling and acting much better since she got a couple hours sleep. Still a little cranky and groggy but better. They also moved her to the other side of the PICU away in a corner that is much quieter, bigger, and private. She is still just behind a curtain but it is much better than where we were. And it has a TV so I can watch football tomorrow. Yay!

They are taking Isabelle down for a CT scan tomorrow morning just to check the positioning of her spine and all of the instrumentation that they used. Thankfully her surgeon is the weekend neuro (they rotate weekends) so I will be able to speak with him more in depth about Isabelle than I would if it was another neuro.

Of to bed now. Will update tomorrow.

No, Right Now!

This is what my sweet little girl said to her nurse in the PICU when the nurse told her she would get mommy in just a minute. She wanted her mommy right now!

Isabelle is doing very well right now. She of course is very cranky and fidgety. I went back at 4 to see her and we decided to give her a small dose of morphine to calm her down and help her sleep. We left at about 4:45 in hopes that she would get some sleep. If she sees someone in there she will stay awake. It is VERY noisy in the PICU though so I doubt she will get any sleep anyway. Unfortunately we were not lucky enough to get into one of the isolation rooms in the PICU. Instead Isabelle is just behind a curtain. So there is nothing to drown out the sounds or light. Hopefully we will get into a room tomorrow and she will be able to sleep a little better.

We are probably going to stay out in the waiting room until the 8pm visiting hours so until then we will just be sitting and waiting. Feel free to email me or something so I can be entertained!

And thanks again for all of your prayers.

12:50

Just spoke to the anesthesiologist. They have taken her off of the vent and she is in recovery. She has woken up and he said she wasn't having in trouble talking (big surprise!) or moving any of her limbs. She asked for her blanky and once they gave it to her she calmed down a lot. He commented that he loves how her blanky calms her down more than the drugs. This anesthesiologist has taken care of her a few times and he remembers her blanky! She should be up in the PICU in the next 30-45 minutes or when they have a room ready.

12:00pm -Surgery Complete

Dr. Rozzelle just came out and let us know that he was finished with the surgery and everything went pretty well. He was not able to do the better option I mentioned earlier but he was still able to get everything aligned like it is supposed to be. He also said that the first fusion looked good and her pin sites were still looking good as well. She was still on the vent when he came out here but he said they were planning on taking her off soon and bringing her up to the PICU after she wakes up a little bit. Thanks to all for your support and prayers. I will continue to update through out the day when possible.

10:28

Just got another update. They are working on getting the instrumentation in right now. Isabelle is doing great. Keep the prayers up!

9:10 am

Just got a call from the nurse. They just started about five minutes ago and everything is going well so far. She also let me know that after they took Isabelle and she got back to the room she calmed down a lot and started chatting away. So I was glad for that. They should call again in another hour or so.

8:00 am

The anesthesiologist just came out and let us know that Isabelle went to sleep fine. They did not have any trouble getting the tube down. They were just about to flip her over when he left. They should call with another update within the hour. Please continue praying.

Surgery Day 7:20 am

They just came to get Isabelle. Please pray for my sweet girl. I will update when they call me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Five Question Friday (On Thursday Night)

Hey everyone! I wanted to do Five Question Friday again but was afraid I wouldn't have time since Isabelle is having surgery tomorrow. However, Mama M was kind enough to post it on Thursday night. She is the greateast! Here goes...and don't forget these will be Isabelle's answers.

1. The clothing out fir you remember from childhood and why?
I don't remember a specific outfit but when I sees pictures of myself when I was in my c-collar I will point and say "my collar!"

2. When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?
Well a professional talker of course. I could go on and on and on and on....

3. What is your must have for Fall?
BabyLegs and an Alabama outfit.

4. If money were no object how many kiddos would you really have?
Well, if I treat my kids the same way I treat my dolls I probably shouldn't have any!

5. The best part of your birthing story?
When my Apgar score was 9 the second time the did it instead of 1 like the first time!



MckLinky Blog Hop

Pre-Surgery Update

Just a few quick tidbits before we go in tomorrow.

We had an appointment with Isabelle's ortho yesterday and he said she looked so good that he doesn't want to see us back for a whole year! Woohoo!!!

We went for her pre-op check up today and got a chance to speak with the surgeon. He told me that there are two options he has once he gets in. One of the options will work better than the other. It has to do with the instrumentation that he will use and to just spare you the boring details I will just ask that you please pray that the better one works. Not only will this work better but he will be trying that one first and if it doesn't work then he will have to do the second once which means she will be under for longer. I don't really have any other details or any other information that is different from the last surgery. Just please pray for my sweet girl and that everything goes well.

Also, while at the pre-op today I was told that because of the swine flu the hospital has a new rule that only parents can be in the rooms with the children even once they get out of PICU an into a regular room. So if you were planning on visiting it will have to wait until we get home. Sorry!

I will be updating tomorrow from the time she goes back until the surgery is over like I did last time so please stop by and check in on my girl.

Prayers, Prayers, Prayers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bama BabyLegs

I don't really have too much new to report on. Isabelle and I are still trucking along waiting for the big day. I am starting to get more and more nervous as Friday nears but I just have to keep reminding myself how well things went last time and there is no reason it should not go the same way as long as everyone does their job. I guess that is the scary part. That you are handing your child over to people who by nature can make mistakes.

On a brighter note football season is almost here. Four days to be exact. To get ready for the season I bought these BabyLegs for Isabelle. If they get here in time I am going to take them somewhere to get monogrammed. I haven't decided if I should do "Go Bama," "Roll Tide," or "UA." Any suggestions? She will be wearing them all day Saturday. I am not sure how long we will be in the ICU but hopefully we will be in a room by 7pm Saturday night so we can watch the game.

I am also really excited about how well Isabelle has been doing in PT. She does not seem to have lost any strength at all. As a matter of fact she seems to have actually gained some strength. While we are certainly not enjoying the halo the extra weight has helped her to gain some muscle strength. When she scoots around she is basically dragging and extra five pounds around. Same as when we work on standing, she is lifting extra weight. By the time she gets the halo of she may just standing up and start running!

I guess that is all for now. I think I am going to do a picture post some time this week. That is of course only if I can remember to take some pictures!