Monday, August 31, 2009

Update on Logan

I've been bad at updating everyone on Logan's health. But...no news is good news! He's had a really good summer without any major colds, praise God! This next month however, we're gearing up to see his new cardiologist. (Hopefully this one's a keeper!) Here's a reminder of what happened at his last appt.

He's scheduled to see a dr from Riley Children's who is suppose to be one of the best in our area. He's ordered an echo which was done at a hospital near his pediatrician's office. (Pictured above.) Then a chest x-ray was ordered which I was able to have done here at our local hospital. (Saved me another hour drive to the other hospital.) And finally, he's requested an EKG that will be done at the time of the appt. So all bases have been covered and I feel like he'll be well informed about Logan's anatomy at this initial visit. (Something I wasn't so confident in with the first dr.)

Logan also had his 4 year check-up ( a tad early due to preschool requirements) and he did really well. He weighs 36 lbs and is 37.25 ins tall...which is 75% in weight and 5% in height! That's our Logan! :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm a believer!!


In coupons that is! I've spent the past week learning how to "play the game" with coupons. And I was surprised to learn that it wasn't as confusing as I once thought. However, I will admit that all my free time this past week has been spent on the internet learning just how to really use coupons. I mean, there's using a coupon...and then there's USING a coupon! Today, I went to my local grocery store with 4 coupons in hand and 2 that I loaded on my shopping card. What I walked out with is pictured above...for only $12.70! Not bad for a first-timer I thought. Just the 4 boxes of cereal alone usually costs $12 in the grocery store. And I've never bought a box of hamburger helper in my life, but I figured it might make a warm lunch in the winter afternoons here...the boys will eat almost anything, right?! For only $0.39 each, who could pass that up?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

We're still here!

Seriously, it's been since May that I last posted? Where has the time gone? As I sat here looking through our summer pictures, I realized that a lot has happened in our family since May. I'll try to briefly recap our summer so scroll down to see other pictures.


In June we took the boys to the Indianapolis Airshow. When we visited the Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL, the boys became enamored with the Blue Angels. We figured this would be a fun thing to take them too. Although it was really HOT, we had a great time.

Our perfect seats for the show! Now we're just waiting... :)




The boys in the Presidential Helicopter.


We were also able to visit a home game of our local AAA Baseball team, the Fort Wayne TinCaps. In fact, here's a neat story about that... We drove an hour on a whim to take the boys to this game. When we got there (after paying for parking) we discovered the game had been sold out an hour before. The kids were broken hearted and began to cry. We were all set with our blankets and snacks, ready to enjoy the game from the grass stands. Then, a lady walked up to us and asked if we needed tickets. Before Nate could answer, this totally rude man stepped out of nowhere and said, "We do, we need tickets now!" The lady looked at our boys with their crocodile tears but since Nate backed away she reluctantly offered these tickets to the rude man. He took one look at them and realized they weren't all together and there was no way he would sit in the grass! He stomped off and we just stood there in surprise at this man's un-grateful heart. She again offered us the tickets and we gladly accepted. However, she would not allow us to pay her for them. Yep, she freely gave them to us and encouraged us to have a wonderful time. Once inside the park, we quickly found out that the grass seats were completely taken but one of the ticketed seats had a huge group of seats together where no one had showed for the game. We enjoyed our free seats right along the 3rd baseline just to the left of home plate. Our boys had a blast in the stands and I fondly refer to that woman as our "baseball angel".

This kid can't take a serious picture these days...geesh!








July

In July we took a trip back home to CA. We were able to spend the 4th with our family at GG's house and we all had a great time. The boys were able to play all day with their cousins that they miss so much. Below is just the beginning to what amounted to an all day water gun and water balloon warfare in the backyard.

Next on the agenda of our trip was the annual family camping trip with Nate's family. We headed up to Trinity Lake for the week and it was awesome. The weather was better than we've ever had and due to the false rumor of low water levels, we were virtually alone on the lake. We rented a huge double decker patio boat one day that had a water slide off the back 2nd level. We enjoyed a yummy BBQ lunch and soaked up the sun. The girls were able to take a trip into town one day and look through all the cute little shops while the boys fished and hiked, and wake boarded. The last 2 nights we were there, we were visited by bears which I now know I'm horribly frightened of. Above is a typical picture of Nate's immediate family. However there was 24 of us in total.

One last monumental hurdle was that at the end of our trip back home, Logan officially gave up the "bidget". Here is the last actual picture we have of him with it, sitting on cousin Colten's lap at the campfire one night. It took a couple of weeks to adjust, but all is well now. Sadly, my baby seems like such a big boy without it. :(



August

I was feeling like one last adventure was in order before summer came to an end, so the kids and I loaded up the car and took a road trip to Maryland to visit "Uncle Nick and Aunt Angie". It was a 10 hour trip and I am amazed at how well the boys do in the car that long. Mind you, we stopped at almost every rest stop through the state of Pennsylvania and Ohio though.
When we returned we were surprised to learn that Nate's parents were able to make a trip out to see us during their well deserved sabbatical. We walked around Navy Pier in Chicago, spent the day on the beach on Lake Michigan at Warren Dunes, ate yummy homemade Amish ice cream in Shipshewana and the boys toured the Hudson Auto Museum while the girls learned all about the Amish and Mennonite communities at Menno Hof.

Then came Monday, Aug. 17th, the first day of Kindergarten for Luke! He was so excited! I was more nervous than he ever was! Grandma Beckie and I drove him to school his first day and Daddy met us there so we could all walk in together. The second day he decided he was brave enough to ride the bus even! We're the last stop before school so sadly, I cheered him on in his new-found independence.


Tuesday, Aug. 18th was Logan's first day of preschool as well. And to my relief, he was equally as excited as his brother had been the day before. There was an orientation the night before where he was able to stay and play in his classroom and I think that made all the difference. He'll be attending school Mon.-Wed. for 2 1/2 hours in the morning. Now...what to do with my free time, hmmm....




Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Little Racer"

We have a bike racer in the house! This weekend in Winona Lake was the annual Fat and Skinny Tire Festival. It offered bike stunts, yummy foods, the smell of Kettle Corn in the air and lots of bike races around the island. And who do we know as one of the racers?? None other than Lukas Anthony himself! After the "professionals" heat was finished they had a relay race for all the sponsors (one of them being Wildman Uniform-the place Nate works) and then the children's races. Luke entered in the 4-6 catagory and had so much fun! Nate was one of the organizers (note: it is no easy task to organize hundreds of anxious kids on bikes!) but he had fun doing it. Only draw back was that Logan got sooo upset when he discovered he couldn't race. You see, there's a strict "No Training Wheels" rule we didn't know about. Oops. :( But we're all so proud of our oldest "Little Racer"!


Gearing up and ready to race!

All lined up and ready!

Luke and Malachi walking their bikes back after finishing the race.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Visit From God

Logan amazes me and scares me all at the same time. I was washing the dishes the other day (April 29th to be exact) and he came into the kitchen. This conversation followed:

Logan: You missed Him.
Me: Who?
L: God.
Me: God was here…in our house?
L: Yep, you missed Him.
Me: Well nuts, I would’ve liked to say hello to Him!
L: He didn’t come here to see you Mom…He came to see me.
Me: What for?
L: He came to tell me that Jesus loves me.
(I played along and baited him a little…)
Me: How do you know Jesus loves you?
L: (slightly irritated at the stupidity of my question) Because He told me!...and the Bible tells me so! He also told me to get ready.
Me: For what?
L: Because I’m going to Heaven in 100 days.
Me: Oh! How exciting!
L: (very matter-of-factly) It really is Mom.
Me: Are you going by yourself? (I was worried a little.)
L: No-you and Daddy, Lukas, all my grandmas and grandpas and their moms and dads are coming with me.
Me: Awesome.
L: So what’s for lunch Mom?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sick :(

Poor little Logan is sick, sick, sick. Luke and I had a terrible virus about 2 weeks ago and we thought that Logan had escaped it. However...it caught up to him yesterday morning. It started with just a slight cough and then the wheezing started. I stayed up with him most of the night praying he could take his next breath. Then early this morning it became much worse. Nate actually jumped out of bed and woke Luke up and they got dressed. We were heading for the ER. But then a miracle happened...he asked me to start singing "Jesus Loves Me" (his favorite beditme song that we MUST sing each night) and he was able to calm himself down enough to get at least short breaths in. He finally agreed to take his "smoke medicine" as he calls it (aka Albuterol breathing treatment) and his respiratory and heart rate starting coming down.

I just hate that viruses go straight to his chest. I feel so bad when he's crying, gasping for air and telling me he's going to throw up. (Mucous...fun!) The doctor's office FINALLY called me back this morning (after a not-so-patient sounding mother left yet another message!) And would you know that the nurse said it wasn't neccessary to see him just yet since the virus just started! Unless, of course I felt that it was an emergency in which case I was to go to the ER. What? What is with these "professionals" out here!? Am I just used to being spoiled by our outstanding doctors we had in CA? Am I just one of "those" moms that have entitlement issues? I keep getting the feeling that my expectations are too high. But is that really so bad? Aren't I suppose to expect the best care when it comes to my children? Right now he's comfortable (wheezing and all) sitting on the couch watching Backyardigans. I dread tonight.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring is on the way!




Is spring really coming? Apparently my yard seems to think so! I've been held captive in my house the last week or so with a chest cold but I made myself go outside the other day when my temperature gage outside read 65 degrees! And this is what I found! There are all sorts of green things sprouting right out of the multch. It's so fun! I have no idea what any of it is...but it's still fun!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Prayer Request

I've been blessed to have "stumbled" upon this sweet family shortly after moving to Indiana. I've seen her warm comments on many of my "heart friends" blogs and to my surprise...we live only 3o minutes from eachother! In fact...I was able to help HER find a pediatrician for her daughter after my extensive search for one for Logan. Well, as I sit here and type this...their precious daughter Grace is undergoing heart surgery at Riley Children's Hospital. If you could take just a moment to say a prayer for Grace and her family, I know they would appreciate it. Even though it's been 2 years since we were in their position...the feelings NEVER go too far. You can follow Grace's progress here. Thanks everyone!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Boys


At least ONE of us is acclimating to the environment! Here is Luke...mastering snowboarding already, at the young age of 5! He's sooo much like his Daddy! Then there's Logan...he's inside with me, where it's warm!! :)


Monday, February 23, 2009

Another "Beachy" Birthday!

Last weekend was super fun but it went by way to fast! We took a trip to Pensacola, FL to stay with my brother and sister-in-law to celebrate mine and Angie's birthdays together again. The weather didn't cooperate (as usual when we pull into town where there should be a warm, dry climate) but we made the most of it. We went to the Naval Aviation Museum on base which is where the Blue Angels are stationed. The kids got to sit in every kind of cockpit there is, it seemed and they had a great time. The next day we enjoyed better weather and had a picnic on the beach and headed home when it started to sprinkle again. But on the way home, the clouds all cleared out and the most beautiful blue sky and warm sun appeared so we spent the rest of the day at the park to play and ended the evening with a yummy dinner at an Irish pub steakhouse called McGuire’s. Although the weather wasn't ideal...it sure beat the blizzards we're having back here at home! I can not wait for spring!!! We're so glad we had the opportunity to visit with Nick and Angie while they were semi close. Just in time too, it appears, as he just got orders and is moving on again. :( The boys miss them so much but in just a few short months, they'll be back a little closer and we can't wait for the next visit!








Sunday, February 8, 2009

2 Years Today!


Two years ago today, we were pacing the halls of Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, CA. We were surrounded by family and friends. And in our minds and hearts, we were in prayer. Our baby boy was in the operating room, under-going his third open heart surgery in just his first short 17 months of life. I remember waking up that morning with the song "I Am" by Mark Schultz in my head. (I think God likes to communicate with me that way from time to time). I prayed those words from that song all day. It hardly seems like 2 years has gone by. You would never know today, watching Logan run and bounce and jam on his drums and guitar, that he was born with a broken heart. It's easier to see, now looking back, the plans that God had for our lives. I remember it feeling so incredibly over whelming. But you know, not once did Nate and I look up and ask why? It just was what it was and we are so extremely blessed having been through that journey and continuing on it still today. I've learned so much about myself and what I'm capable of. I've learned a deeper love and appreciation for my husband. And most of all, I've learned just how much God cares for us and how awesome we are as His creation. Logan is so amazing. I really don't have words to describe what it has been like to have the honor of being his mother.

A little update on our current situation: The boys and I met with their new pediatrician on Friday. He was so nice and Luke and Logan really liked him. The staff was very friendly and it seems like a good "fit" for us. I also learned that Riley Children's cardiologists come up to Fort Wayne once a month for their cardiac clinic right there in the same office! They have a cardiac clinic coordinator that handles all the referrals (which we need prior to seeing those docs for every visit/procedure) and she works there in the same office as well. We've decided not to give Logan the medication that was suggested by Dr. Ghazali and have scheduled him with a Riley cardiologist in May. I'm not sure why no one mentioned this to me earlier but hey...all in God's perfect timing! What a BIG answer to prayer. God is so good!

The definition of perspective is "a mental view or outlook; the relationship of aspects of a subject to each other or to a whole". And if I've gained any perspective at all thus far, it is that God is saying, "Be still and know that I Am."


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fired!

Well, it looks as if we'll be looking for a new cardiologist...again! Here's an update on the situation I explained in my last post. I talked with Dr. Mainwaring (Logan's surgeon) and he was helpful but asked for more info including a copy of the echo report we just got. I left a message for Dr. Fallah (Logan's previous cardiologist in Sacto) and on Friday, I also called Dr. Ghazali back to recap what we learned at the appt to make sure we understood everything correctly. Dr. Ghazali was out sick until Monday. (Incidentally, had this been an emergency, not sure how I felt when the girl told me "he sometimes forgets to call his patients back when he's out so if I don't hear from him by Monday night, please call back again.") Ummm, okay...

Anyway, Dr. Ghazali did call me back on Monday and we recapped everything. Then I asked if he wouldn't mind sending a copy of his echo report to our previous cardiologist in Sacto? He said he would but wondered why? I told him my reservations about starting Logan back on the blood pressure medication and I was just curious why our previous dr didn't recommend the same plan of care. WELL...he said all the "PC" things but the tone in his voice said he was certainly bothered. Then he asked me to write down a number -which I did- then told me that was the number for Riley Children's Hospital cardiologists in Indianapolis and that it would be better if we continued Logan's care with them instead! What!?? Yep, that's right...he fired us! He said he didn't want us to constantly second guess his opinion on Logan's care and continually refer back to our previous dr for advise and that it would be best for everyone if we saw someone else. I couldn't believe it, but on the other hand, I'm more than happy to move on based on that reaction over a simple question! I explained to him that we just met him and he just met Logan and that we have an established relationship with our previous dr. And the fact that the plan of care was so completely opposite of what we were on prior to moving here that we just wanted to have as much knowledge of this situation as possible before making a decision on whether to put Logan back on medication that may or may not even help at this point. He "respectfully" accepted my concern but didn't want to address it. He took the *RETREAT!* plan of action and headed for the hills instead! Oh well. It's just as well this way. But now I have the task of starting over...again.

P.S. Dr. Fallah called back also and said that he didn't feel the medication was to Logan's advantage at this point. He reminded me of the side effects that Logan had while on this med before (as if I forgot!) and stated that it was his opinion that it wouldn't benefit him to be on it at this point. Yes, his aortic valve is leaking (which we knew is was since the day they put it in) but that his body was handling the leak well at this point and so why medicate until it's necessary? ...Thank you!

Friday, January 30, 2009

New Doctor, Mixed Feelings

**Warning** Most of this is to help me keep things straight. Sorry if it's "too much information" for you! :)

Well, Logan had a cardiologist appointment yesterday. We received some information that we’re not sure we’re comfortable with just yet. I have put in a call to his previous cardiologist in Sacramento and after talking things over with him, we’ll decide what’s best. (After typing that out…it sounds so simple. I wish it were that…but it’s anything BUT simple in my mind.)

Clinically, Logan looks great. We all know that! The little guy has always ‘looked’ great, even in heart failure! So that’s a positive and we know that he handles his health condition remarkably. His pulmonary valve and conduit (the one they replaced in Sacto almost 2 years ago now) looks wonderful. It’s handling its position well and Logan’s immune system has decided it likes this one much better than the last, so that’s good!

The part we’re not sure of is that his new cardiologist, Dr. Ghazali, feels that he needs to be put back on Enalapril. This is an ace inhibitor medication used to control his blood pressures. After reviewing the echo from yesterday and comparing it to the previous echoes from Sacto, he feels that Logan is having a gradual enough increase in the pressures in his aortic valve to constitute medication. He reassured us that we are nowhere near ready to talk about replacement; however, it’s more about preserving this valve as long as possible. The better they control the blood pressure leaking through that valve, the better they protect it and preserve it. With this reasoning, we agree.

What we are unsure of is that this has never been an issue brought to our attention until now. I have no frame of reference or scale, to determine the numbers given to us over the course of the last 3 visits. So we’re unable to make an educated decision on whether it’s time to medicate him versus waiting another 6 months, which he also gave us as an option. This is one question that I’ll be asking Dr. Fallah when I speak with him today. Replacing his aortic valve was something we knew would be happening eventually, however it was perceived to be something to deal with in his adulthood. I plan on consulting with his previous surgeon, Dr. Mainwaring regarding this topic. Mostly to gain perspective and additional education on the possibilities and options concerning this area of his heart. I read through the previous echo reports and all that was noted was that the “mild leakage” was something to watch closely. He never mentioned it out loud to us. At least not in a way that was cause for concern. So basically, I’m just looking for reassurance that this is the correct step to take now. It would make us feel more comfortable hearing it from someone who has followed Logan most of his life rather someone we just met. I’m not excited about putting him back on that stuff. I saw such a different baby when he was taken off of it. But if it’s what he needs, then that’s we’ll have to do. Please pray with us for peace and clarity in this next decision we need to make.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Relationships

Yesterday at MOPS we heard from a guest speaker on the subject of relationships. Why we need them, how they affect us, etc. She talked about the differences in intimate relationships such as with our spouse, our children or our family and sometimes with a close friend. And then she talked about casual relationships such as with our neighbors, friends, fellow church members, etc. It seemed like a timely topic for me. I’ve been struggling a bit with my new environment. I have wonderful friends here which I’m grateful for. But nothing seems to be clicking just yet.

And today marks the eve of Logan’s first cardiologist appointment…in a new town with a new doctor. She talked about how, in intimate relationships, we deeply feel our loved ones struggles and concerns. We also share deeply with their conquests and joys. Logan is my youngest child. From the moment he was born I have felt deeply all of his joys and all of his struggles. And yet there is nothing I can do to ‘fix’ his problems or ease his struggles. As another 6 month appt looms, the nervousness starts to creep in. Will this be another stellar report or will this be one of the ones where they tell us his heart is declining again? My brother is also going through some struggles right now that I can’t seem to pray hard enough for and I certainly can’t ‘fix’ his problems or ease his concerns either. This leads me to the most intimate of all relationships. The one I have with Jesus. I’m so grateful to have Him to turn to when my heart aches for my loves ones or fills over with joy in their conquests.

So today I’m talking to Him about my nervousness, my concern for my son’s health and the sick feeling in my stomach for my brother. I’m also talking with Him about the joy that my sons bring me, the way they make me laugh everyday. I’m thanking Him that my husband has a stable job and that we always seem to have just enough money to get by. I’m thanking Him for the relationship with my brother and sister-in-law, that they feel comfortable sharing their lives intimately with me. I’m hoping for a little grace today for my anxiety over all these things and I’m praying for some for my brother’s anxiousness as well.

Relationships are funny things. They can cause us so much joy and so much grief. But most importantly they cause us to feel. Just to have the opportunity to love people through whatever life’s challenges. This greater purpose is so worth it! To steal a quote from one of Logan’s former doctors: Do not let the fear of what if…rob you of the joy of what is”.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Here comes the sun...doo doo doo doo"



What do you get when you have LOTS of snow, a "warming trend", EXTREMELY cold weather and then finally a temperature above freezing? Some seriously long and scary looking icicles! I've also come to realize how the presence of the sun can give you an almost euphoric feeling. I don't care that it's only 34 degrees outside...when the sun's out, it may as well be 75 degrees in my book. (Minus the capri's and flip flops!) I totally took the sun for granted living in California. After all, they don't call it "sunny California" for nothing. Apparently the sun and Indiana have a love hate relationship because they don't see each other much. However, absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Year In Cards 2009

Last week my sister-in-law Angie and I decided to do a card class by Kristina Werner over at Two Peas In A Bucket called 'A Year in Cards'. Every month Kristina offers a couple of sketches and a challenge/homework assignment. We have decided to pick a particular sketch each week and then share what we've come up with with each other. We will also post them on Two Peas website as well. This months card class focuses on Valentines Day cards, but we decided to do them with which ever theme we wanted. Here's my first two cards for the year of cards 2009!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nap Time = HOPE

I think I’m going stir crazy! We've had snow and more snow and the past 2 days we’ve all been stuck in the house. No school too…which means tons of attitude and “why not” questions coming from the 5 year old in the family. I’ve made the best of it but it has not all been pretty! I read my friend’s blogs who are all amazing moms and I strive to be just the same. But then there are days like today when you’re playing the Memory game and putting your hundredth puzzle together and it all goes bad. Suddenly you’ve decided that there is a right and a wrong way to play Memory and Chutes & Ladders…ummm, with a 3 and a 5 yr old, think again. They don’t care that you only go down the slide and up the ladder. They don’t care whether you actually finish the puzzle you’re working on before going on to the next. So why do I? We made snow angels in the front yard today. And then I attempted to shovel the driveway. Why? It’s covered again…just like the living room floor is. Sometimes my attempt at being ‘amazing’ is met with adversity and a bad mommy attitude. Today is one of those days. However, it’s nap time. Which equals HOPE!

**UPDATE** Nap time did wonders and the wind stopped long enough to play in the back for a while. See attached photos and video clip! :)

video


Monday, January 5, 2009

Positive!...Lab Results & Today's Accomplishments

So the results are in and Group A Strep it is. Good news is that the penicillin is working wonderfully.

In other medical news…I think I have found a worthy candidate for Logan’s cardiologist. Today I shamelessly tagged along with a friend of mine to her daughter’s cardiologist appointment with the hopes of meeting this guy and seeing his facility sort of incognito. At the end of her appointment my friend kind of ‘outted’ me a bit and I had to spill the beans. He was so gracious and took more than enough time to answer some questions and assured me that he would love to meet Logan and that it would be an honor to be his care provider. He also sealed the deal on the “pediatrician fence” that I’ve been sitting on so it was sort of a two-for-one deal today! We now have our first official cardio appointment set for January 29th.

Here are a few pictures of the boys from Christmas. We had a wonderful time with the Maier side of the family this year. The visit from Grandma and Grandpa might have made things a little bit harder for Logan. But these new drums from Santa make a nice distraction!



Friday, January 2, 2009

Strep Infection

Strep infection…on your bottom? Who knew! But apparently that is what Logan seems to have. Go figure! He’s been complaining of itching down there for almost 2 weeks now and there just doesn’t seem to be anything to help him. He’s got these tiny, red pimple looking bumps on his little bottom and they look angry! So off we went to the dr. And “oh darn!”…the previous dr that we just saw is out until Monday. And incidentally, the new one we saw today was what a dr should be! Unfortunately he’s leaving the practice. (One wonders if he’s running from the other chick!) But he cultured the area and said he was 95% sure that it was strep. (The actual results will be in on Monday.) Has anyone heard of such a thing? Logan, Logan, Logan…he likes to keep this mother just shy of my own heart palpitations due to anxiety!

P.S. For those of you who are about to email me about taking my child back into that place…I assure you that I am in the process of finding him a doctor in the closest large city from here. (A 45 minute drive I was hoping to avoid but most definitely willing to make!) Nate’s insurance is changing and we’re waiting on our new cards. I have narrowed down the search to a very prominent and highly recommended practice near a credited children’s hospital. We’re just trying to decide on “who” in the practice will get the pleasure of caring for our littlest Maier!