Saturday, October 31, 2009

BOO!!! to the Flu...

Yes, hopefully we have scared off the flu from returning to our house this year. It may have temporarily dampened our spirits due to some plans we had to cancel and it may have temporarily made mommy go insane while dealing with doctors, lost swabs and her own crazy fears but all in all we had a great Halloween!

But before Halloween night we had Ainsley's school parade on Friday (before we knew Bennett was sick)...

Here's Miss Fancy Nancy (for those of you not familiar with Fancy Nancy, she is a character from books and is just a little girl that loves to dress up real fancy and have tea parties basically).

The costume.

I had to show the shoes because she was not able to wear these due to the rain we got on Halloween night.

A not so thrilled Fancy Nancy. She's wearing just the tiniest bit of makeup and she's got the attitude to go with it-ha!

A much happier Fancy Nancy on Halloween night.

And a crazy little cat.

I decided I'd surprise the girls and dress up a little myself so when they woke up from their naps they were greeted with cat mommy! They loved it! And Bennett was my little lion this year:)

All the kiddos...Bennett was not too happy with this. The costume lasted for about 2 minutes, just enough to get pictures. I know the poor little guy was probably hot and uncomfortable:(

Time to head out!

Mike took the girls this year which we never do- we both like to take them but obviously I was not going to drag Bennett out. And we really wished we could've gone to our friends house for a little joint trick or treating but maybe next year.

"Trick or Treat!"

All showered up and checking for razor blades in the candy-lol
Just kidding, I didn't tell them that's what we were doing!
{do you remember all those stories when you were little about crazy things in the candy?}

One more thing- I have a very short clip from the parade for all you baseball fans-apparently the World Series is a pretty big deal around here-don't know why that would be???;)

May the best team win!

Flu Update

Well it's Halloween and my poor baby has H1N1. He has been fever free since this morning and took his entire 8oz at 8 am. Hopefully he takes this next bottle. The tamiflu seems to be working really well for him and I can still get a smile out of him every now and then.

I on the other hand I had a freak out moment at about 2 am in the morning once I started to notice I was wheezing when I would take a deep breath. I have asthma and it's controlled by taking Advair so I hardly ever need my rescue inhaler-ever. So I took it and just expected it to work like it always does. Well it didn't and the wheezing continued so I got on line and typed in swine flu and asthma and let me tell you that was a huge mistake. I was convinced I needed to go to the ER because I was afraid I was going to get pneumonia if I just let it sit {I can kinda laugh at myself now as I was in a real tizzy} I woke Mike up and told him I was literally going crazy and that something was wrong. I don't know what was the matter with me. I think getting the call at 12:30 am from our ped telling me that Bennett indeed did test positive for H1N1, sent me into a frenzy! And asthma and anxiety go hand in hand as you may know if you have it yourself.

So I decided before driving myself to the ER I'd call my friend Ginger who is a Physicians Assistant. I could breathe fine I would just wheeze when taking a deep breath. I hated to wake her but like I said, I was freaking out! Let me just tell you, Ginger has been awesome. Thank you so much Ginger for everything, you know all the things you've done for us and I just can't thank you enough! I ended up not going into the ER and I am now taking nebulizer treatments and I hope to get in with a Pulmonologist on Monday just to check my breathing and lungs to be safe. I have calmed down considerably since last night and realize now that it is quite easy to work yourself up.

So if you've learned anything from my last post please know this-if you or your family members are coughing, sneezing, have a low grade fever or just don't feel right- take them into the doctor and get them tested! Please! We've all heard of the horror stories with H1N1 and that doesn't mean we all have to be scared it just means we need to notice the signs early and don't assume you just have a cold. You just never know.

The girls will go trick or treating tonight as they are feeling fine and have been fever free for days now but we are trying to keep a low profile and keep the germs to ourselves. I hope to share some cute costume pics next week-Have a Happy Halloween!

Bennett Has The Flu~Prayers Please!

Type A Influenza. And we all know what that is. Which pretty much means my whole family had H1N1 and we didn't even know it. How can that be? First off I'm asking you to please pray that Bennett recovers just as we have so far, with no complications. I just gave him his first dose of Tamiflu and he is sleeping peacefully.

These were my family's symptoms: (remember-we never got proof of Ainsley testing positive because the swab was "lost" or not good enough, so we don't know for sure that she had it but since we all got what she had and now Bennett tested positive, it's pretty much a given)

Ainsley: (her symptoms were not bad at all)
  • woke up coughing-went back to bed
  • woke up later with a low fever (however-and this was my down fall-I used an ear thermometer and her temp was never above 101 but I think ear temps can be off a little so hers could have been higher)
  • woke up saying her tummy hurt but never said it again
  • Next day fever was gone but would return to a low (ear reading though) temp around 100 throughout the day.
  • still coughing some sneezing
  • decreased appetite some
  • also tested positive for strep throat and treated for that
Harper: (she was much worse)
  • Temp got up to 102 once (ear again though-I am so mad at myself for thinking they were fine because they had lower temps!!)
  • watery eyes
  • cough
  • sneezing
  • didn't eat as much but still drank a lot and ate some
  • fever lasted on and off for 4 days but ear temp consistently said 99 so I thought it was a very low fever.
  • She was treated for strep as well.


  • Same as Harper but I had chills and then I would be sweaty but every time I checked my temp (ear) it was 97-98. So I thought I didn't have a fever.
  • I do have asthma and I have started to wheeze some which I do when I have a cough like this.


  • Same as Harper and I

None of us were on Tamiflu because we didn't know we had it. Everyone is on the mend -no fevers for a few days but now my sweet Bennett has it and I just can't believe it. His symptoms started late yesterday when I noticed a little congestion and then today it was all of the sudden a fever of 100 (rectally) and the congestion was worse. So I took him in and I was able to see the doctor I liked. Turns out that my insurance allows for a lab to come directly to the office to pick up the swab and test it and will have results within hours. The doctor I saw today had no idea what happened last week. She called me at 12:30 am to tell me that Bennett tested positive and that she had just received the call. I was very thankful for her to do that. She said she will be calling to check on him daily and wants to know how his breathing sounds. She sounded exhausted. They are getting slammed with swine flu.

So learn a lesson from me. The symptoms don't have to be that bad for it to be swine. I'm just so glad I took Bennett in at the first sign of a fever and we got the results back quick this time. And I'm so thankful that Ainsley and the rest of us dealt with it okay. I'm hoping my asthma is not an issue.

I have no idea what Halloween is going to be like now. I'm just praying the girls can have their fun now that they are feeling better and Bennett will continue to eat and get the rest he needs.

Sorry if this post is all scrambled, I just wanted to get it out there and ask for your prayers. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Would You Fire This Office?

Last Thursday Ainsley woke up at 1:00 am with a cough out of no where and then an hour later she had a fever. I immediately thought: Swine Flu (it's all over where we live and there was a confirmed case in Ainsley's class last week). But I did not freak out, just gave her some Tylenol and went back to bed and hoped she'd be fine in the morning. To my surprise she was a little better but after talking to my sister I decided to take her in to the doctor because she was still coughing and the fever was on and off. I felt with Bennett in the house, I needed to know for sure if she had H1N1.

So the doctor took a swab from her nose as well as her throat (checking for Strep) and came back in with a positive test for Strep. I would have never known-she did not complain of a sore throat and didn't seem to be too sick. So then they gave me the bag with the nose swab sample and told me to take it to a lab. Excuse me? You mean you don' t have a rapid flu test here?? No. So it was 4:30 and I flew out the door to find a lab, of course with 3 kids in tow. I got to a lab only to be told that I had to come to the back to give all of Ainsley's information, let me just say I was super annoyed at this point. I asked the lab tech how long it would take and he said probably 24 hours. So I'm thinking do we start the Tamiflu just in case or do we wait?? It gets better.

All day Friday, I wait for a call from the pediatrician and I even called twice to see if they had the test results. Meanwhile Harper starts coughing and starts running a fever so Mike takes her in after work. She was negative for Strep and we wanted to hear about Ainsley's test before we had Harper tortured with the thing up her nose. Well guess what? The lab either "lost" the swab or they did not have a good enough sample to test it! Are you kidding me??!!

So these are the things I'm upset about, please tell me if you think I'm being reasonable:

  • I'm just flat out annoyed that they don't have a rapid flu test to tell me in the office if my child has some strain of the flu (other doctors we've used in the past had this)
  • I'm flat out annoyed that I had to find my own lab to take the swab to.
  • I'm furious that they either lost it or the doctor didn't get a good swab (she shoved the thing so far up Ainsley's two little nostrils and made her scream so I have no idea how she did not get a good swab.
  • Now, why don't we know if they lost it or if the swab was not a good one?? Because there is a huge language barrier in this office and obviously someone dropped the ball.
  • I like one doctor in this office but since they do not know the doctor's schedules you cannot make an appointment with that specific doctor until you arrive and ask if they are in...that's annoying to me.
  • Bottom line: I'm ANNOYED!

We have Bennett's 5 month check up on Friday and hopefully I can get in with the doctor I like but I won't know until I get there-ugghh- and I plan to let her know (or whoever I see) that I am not pleased with the system they have in place. Don't know if it will make a difference but I feel someone needs to know it doesn't work well, at least not for me and my family.

So am I being unreasonable here?? I'm already looking into switching but I'm afraid to until after RSV season because Bennett's shots took forever to get approved and if I switch there could be a hold up with his shots due to insurance.

P.S. An update for the grandparents and other family: Ainsley feels better, Harper is still sick and Mike and I are miserable. Bennett, however is still healthy (let's hope and pray it stays that way!!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Ghost of Halloween Past...

Not sure if the title makes since but we'll go with it. Thought I'd share costumes of our past! Won't you join me?

1996-Our first Halloween! "Fairy Princess and 70's Guy"...YIKES!

1997-"Ed Grimley and Black Widow Spider". This was perhaps my worst costume EVER. Last minute thing, literally the day of Halloween I did not know what to be so someone suggested pinning black pantyhose, stuffed with socks to my back (the legs) and wearing all black with the signature mark of the black widow....good idea in theory. You can't see Mike's entire costume but he really did look good.

1998-"Candy Corn and Bum". I had to make a come back from the previous year! My mom made this candy corn outfit (I love candy corn and thought why not be my absolute favorite candy for Halloween!)

1999-"Crayons!" (I'm the red crayon on the far left) senior year at ECU! This costume was a hit-to see all the crayons walking around-pretty cool I must say;)

Okay, we take a big break here because I have no pictures of Halloween from 2000-2003-sorry, I know you're disappointed.

2004-No kids yet but Ainsley was on the way. First appearance of one of the dog pumpkins- isn't Sophie so cute?!

2005- Ainsley's first Halloween- "The Strawberry"

2006-"Minnie Mouse"

2007-"Cinderella and Strawberry...again"...and the dog pumpkins:)

~Sigh~ I miss our old porch. I love decorating for Fall and Christmas and I just can't do it like I like to in our current house:(

Still 2007- Mike and I started dressing up again..."Fred and Wilma Flintstone"

We won a costume contest for the "Fred and Wilma" !

2008- "Sleeping Beauty and Minnie Mouse...again" and the dog pumpkins of course.

Okay, I can joke about this now- how strange is it that I was 10 weeks pregnant with Bennett in this picture (had no idea he had Down syndrome) and I was dressed up like Sarah Palin with her baby, Trig (who has Down syndrome)?? Now I was not in any way making fun of Sarah Palin and her son, in fact I didn't think twice about him having DS I just thought it was a funny costume (you can't see it very well but I also had a toy rifle on my back:)). Mike on the other hand didn't make the best John McCain. Kind of hard to make almost jet black hair completely white...should have gotten a wig.

Stay tuned for this year's pics!

Do you have Halloween pictures from the past?? Share them if you do!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

5 Months-It's Going Way Too Fast!!

Yep, you guessed it, Bennett is 5 months old today! This month we've heard a lot more talking, a lot more thumb slurping and still not much crying {lovely}! He's reaching and playing with his toys, likes to kick up his legs and try to grab his toes but mostly Bennett just loves to be cuddled-that's when he turns the charm on. He can totally be fussing (although that doesn't happen much) and as soon as you scoop him up he's grinning from ear to ear and giggling away. Bennett is tipping the scales at right under 15 pounds and I'm guessing about 25-26 inches.

He gets therapy twice a week now and he's doing quite well. We're working on keeping him in a sitting position and as usual, head control. He has not rolled from his back to his belly yet but he gets so close- Harper was the exact same way and did not actually do it until almost 8 months! I think he'll get there before that though.

We've introduced a new toy- the exersaucer! Another huge and bulky toy to clutter up our tiny family room, yay! Just kidding...anything for my kids! Bennett seems to enjoy it, he still needs support behind him but it's nice because he can be on the girl's level as they fly by him while they're playing.

Loving the new toys.

Can I get a smile Bennett??
There's my happy little boy!

Just can't get enough of him!

Still a tad bit too short to reach the base-that's okay though!

I've also been using a spoon to help Bennett get used to it being in his mouth. Ainsley had to go to a feeding therapist when she was a baby so I remember a lot of the techniques used there and he does so much better than Ainsley did I must say. I tried oatmeal cereal (I prefer oatmeal over rice) once and he did okay but I think we'll hold off a couple more weeks since he doesn't take too much formula (26-28 ounces) and honestly I need to think about how I'm going to add it into the morning routine which right now is always chaotic!

He has his 5 month check up next week so more vaccines (I think) and the RSV shot and then flu shots next month... poor guy.

I will be requesting physical therapy next month (he sees an OT now but she's doing everything a PT would be doing) as well as speech. We'll see if I get speech this early but I am very good a nagging so they'll give in eventually;) I think I may start sign language next month too. Never been a fan of it with my typical kids because I always felt like it would replace actually speech but as my OT says, you are saying the word as you are signing it and while they might not get it for a while, they will get it eventually. And kids with Down syndrome want to communicate but it just may be harder for them at first. Plus I think the girls will like it as we work on it with Bennett.
Anyways, that's the plan as well as trying to stay healthy. Everyone around this town is sick and wouldn't you know I'm taking Ainsley in for a cough and low grade fever-please pray it's not H1N1!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hobby Lobby Love...

Run, don't walk to your nearest Hobby Lobby!! If you don't have one near you just pray that it comes to your town some day soon;) It's my new obsession, easily rivaling the gold standard- Target. Still love Target because you can get everything there but Hobby Lobby takes the cake when it comes to decorating, crafting and sewing (okay so I don't sew but I may try in the near future).

So here are just some of the fun things I've purchased at Hob Lob or shall we just shorten it even more and call it HL since everyone abbreviates things these days??

Why I have the need to tell myself that this is the laundry area I have no idea but it makes me feel organized some how and it dresses up a rather boring and not so fun space.

I could have gone crazy in the hanging walk art department and yes, I know these walls are screaming "paint me!", they are the only ones in the entire house I have not put my paint brush to because they are just too tall so I think I'll have to bring in a professional...maybe some day. Until then, these stars at least break up the enormous height of the walls~somewhat.

They have a huge selection of pink and brown things and these are Harper's colors and again I could have gone crazy but decided on just a couple of things for now...

This little "Sweet Dreams" sign matched her decor perfectly!

Here's another item
for when Harper actually sleeps in her room {very reluctant to let her try to sleep in a big girl bed in fear that she won't nap anymore!}

They have the cutest knob selection at HL!

My dreaded pantry and laundry "room" doors that I really wish we didn't have, needed a tiny update so out with the brass knobs and in with the fun and cute knobs!
{I say dreaded because these doors are like a magnet for little fingers to get smashed in!}

Lots of cute Halloween decor!

So I have not ventured into the Christmas section~yet~ but from just passing by (mind you I've usually got Harper fussing the whole way through unless I bribe her with a lollipop) all I can say is "WOW!"

Just a little background on why I am so excited about Hobby Lobby- When we lived down south my friend from Tennessee would always talk about HL and how great it was but of course we did not have one in the town I lived in. Then we moved up here and she would continue to go on and on (over the phone) about HL and what she bought at HL. And then I started following several decorating blogs and they would go on and on about HL so I got on line to see if there were any in the area~not one in the entire state! However, I did notice there was now one near where we moved from-isn't that always how it is?? So several months later I was driving around one day and saw the glorious sign "Hobby Lobby coming soon!" I couldn't believe it! The only one in the state and it comes to my little town!! So I was there on opening day and just had to leave a message on my friend's phone to tell her I could now join in on all the Hobby Lobby Love:)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Future...

Yes, it's something we all think about from time to time or maybe for some, all of the time. Questions we may ask ourselves: Where will I be 10 or 20 years from now, what kind of job will I have, what will my family be like? When you have kids you of course think about their future as well as yours. But when you are told you will have a child with special needs, it is often the very first thing you think about. Don't know why but for some reason it's all I could think about when we first found out. When I got that call from the genetic counselor on December 26th, 2008, telling me that our baby did indeed have Trisomy 21, I went to my room to cry and all I could picture was a man with Down syndrome in the grocery store, bagging groceries. And all I could think was this will be my son, the grocery bagger. Just being honest here. This was my picture of Down syndrome. A random man in the grocery store was really my only experience so this is what I claimed for my son's future.

So why is it that I assume so much and automatically put limits on Bennett? Why do I assume Ainsley and Harper will go to college and have a great job and a beautiful family but for Bennett I assume he won't go to college or get married or have a great job? Every day I see a video of someone with Down syndrome either getting married, driving a car, getting crowned Prom King, swimming across the ocean. Why do I put these limits on Bennett? Why is it when you are told you will have a child with special needs you automatically assume they won't amount to much. Why does society assume they won't amount to much? No one knows what the future holds.

And why is it that I look down on a job such as bagging groceries for a living? That person is happy, helping others and contributing to society. If that's what Bennett ends up doing, what would be so bad with that?

I can't tell you how many times I've read about people just finding out their child has Down syndrome and their first concern often is: Will my child live with me for the rest of his/her life? I've thought of it too. When I was pregnant I thought how will Mike and I ever go on a vacation by ourselves when the girls are off and married and we still have Bennett? There I go again, assuming away.

I think through this process thus far I have really learned to take things day by day. I cannot focus on a future that is not in my hands. I've learned I cannot put limitations on any of my children, I cannot assume they will do this or that or they won't do this or that. Again, it's letting go of that control I (and I think many parents) try to hold onto so tightly. We are not in control. Simple as that.

It's very nice to just let go of the assumptions in life and focus on today. Today Ainsley is a happy 4 (almost 5!)year old that enjoys school and dance and playing with her sister. Today Harper is a fun loving 2 year old that is learning to talk more and use big words like: cinnamon roll and rhinoceros {so cute to hear her say these by the way}. And today Bennett is a cute, almost 5 month old and he is learning to swat and grasp at toys that dangle above him, roll both ways and makes us smile bigger than we've ever smiled just by seeing his sweet face. Today we are simply living for today and not focusing so much on tomorrow.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Giggling Baby and Snoring Dog!

Not much going on around here except the crazy snow shower we had yesterday-a little too early for that in my opinion but anyways, thought I'd share what some of the males in my life are up to {Ainsley taped this first one so it's a bit shaky and Bennett laughs way more than this but it never fails, as soon as I turn the camera on he usually just stares at it-hopefully you can hear him over my obnoxious baby sounds:)}

This little guy is a charmer for sure...

On the other hand, this one is not...


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Fall Ya'll!

This past weekend we went to a pumpkin patch and unlike other "patches" we've been to in the past, this was a real pumpkin patch! The pumpkins were actually grown there and you went searching through the fields to find your perfect pumpkin-again this was new to us!

The thing I like about the Northeast during the fall is that it looks and feels like fall and the area we live in has beautiful rolling hills and farm land and the leaves are starting to turn-have I mentioned I love fall?!
On the hayride that took us to the pumpkin patch!

My sweet Ains, getting so big.

Can we just stop here and have a look back at past pumpkin patch pics??

2008 2007
Okay, so that's it, apparently we didn't go to pumpkin patches until Harper came along.

Back to the year 2009

Harper picked the one she wanted.

Me with all the kiddos.
Poor Bennett is about to get dropped- she held onto him though.

Me and my boy.

Pony rides!

Ainsley didn't want to ride a "little pony", she wanted a "big horse".

Pretty sure she enjoyed it.

Then it was time to try cotton candy for the first time...

"I don't want blue!"

That's better-"pink!"
All girl I tell you!

I think I ended up eating most of it though;0

We had a great day and we're really getting the hang of having three kids to shuffle around, along with all the gear. Seriously, what did we do with ourselves on the weekends before we had kids?;)