Thursday, February 24, 2011

Layton is 8 months!

Layton you were 8 months old on Monday! You are really showing more personality this month and trying lots of new things. Here's all about you this month:

You are finally starting to get the pincher grasp down. You can pick up the Gerber puffs now, and have decided you really like them.

Most of the time you get them in your mouth. If you don't, you can get a little frustrated.

We get so tickled at you when you do this...

I think it is your way of saying, "I don't like that. I don't want it. Keep it away from me!"

You love your Daddy and he is quite taken with you.

You are trying hard to get on all fours. You just can't quite get that booty in the air yet. Won't be long though. You still don't roll over. I can't believe this!

You have tried a lot of new foods this month, mostly thanks to your Daddy. He loves to feed you things. You have tried shredded cheddar cheese, broccoli and cheese, bananas, rice, mashed potatoes, Spanish rice, mac-n-cheese, peas, diced carrots, mandarin oranges, and green beans. You gobble up it all.

There's that hand again.

You got your first tooth this month!!

You have started growling when you want something. It is funny.

You reach for things now that interest you--which is just about everything. When you are sitting up and reaching for things, you fall over sometimes. You don't like this too much.

You are a Momma's boy, I think. I have been called to come get you in the nursery several times on Sunday morning because you are just sobbing. You make it okay during class, but at some point I think you realize I am no where around and it really upsets you. As soon as I walk in the room and take you, you calm down. I hate to see you sob. This whole thing is new to me because I never had any trouble leaving the other two. They always did fine. I kind of am eating this up though, I have to say.

You are such a good, good baby. All through your hospital stay, people commented on how good you were. We love your smiles and giggles so much!

I took lots of pictures of you eating this month as you can see. This was a mandarin orange.

You are babbling alot. You say "Da-ddy" alot. I don't think you know what you are saying yet, but it sure is cute. Sometimes when you are upset, I'll hear you calling "mmmm." I wonder sometimes if you are trying to say Momma. This may be wishful thinking.

You like your exersaucer. It keeps you preoccupied while I'm in the kitchen. You think you can jump in it though. It is funny to watch you jump in it.

You are still nursing every four hours, 7:00, 11:00, 3:00, 7:00 and 9:00. I really load you up at night. You sleep pretty good. I have been having to put your pacy in several times at night lately, but have been willing to get up and do it since you have been sick. I need to stop doing this though. Oh, you are VERY easily distracted while I'm nursing. The big kids can hardly be around at all.

You are still eating cereal and fruit either in the morning around 8:00 or after lunch at 12 which ever fits with our schedule. You get a veggie and part of a fruit at night. I probably need to start doing 3 baby food meals a day, but our schedule is crazy some days. You are definitley eating more table foods though too.

You weighed 18 lbs 13 ozs last week when we went to the doctor. You are still in size 3 diapers and 6-12 months clothes. You wear size 2 shoe.

Layton - 8 months

Buddy, you are such a precious angel! We thank God that we have you!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Rest of Valentine's Day

As my last post showed, Valentine's Day started off really well with Hannah's school party. Let me tell the rest of the story though.

The night before, I had stayed after church for GALS where one of the girls from our class told the story of her little daughter's heart issues. They have spent much time at Children's Hospital over the last year since her birth. It was an amazing story and really showed the awesomeness of God all through it. I could tell that Layton wasn't feeling very well and even wondered if he had fever. When we got home, sure enough he did--101. For the last week or so before, I just thought he had a bad cold. When the fever popped up, though, I wondered if he could have an ear infection. Earlier that day, I had noticed all these little red spots all over his legs. They kind of looked like freckles. I had a bad feeling about them. I told Kris that Sunday night that I thought I needed to take him to the doctor the next day.

So, after Hannah's party, at around 10:00 I called the doctor to see if I could get him in. They called me back around 11:00 and asked if I could come in at 11:40. We were actually able to see our pediatrician, Dr. Byrum, which really surprised me, but I was so glad.

I packed Lincoln and Layton up and headed to the doctor. When he came in I explained everything that was going on and showed him the spots on his legs. He looked at his ears and said that he did have a bad ear infection. He thought the spots were probably just virus related, but wanted to do a finger prick to check his blood, just in case. He said that it could be something else and he wanted to make sure it wasn't.

Sweet little thing didn't even cry when he got his finger pricked. The lab lady came back into our room a few minutes later and said that she needed to prick him again because she got a weird read before. She kept saying that it was probably just her machine, but she wanted to make sure. I was a little worried at this point, but keeping Lincoln preoccupied in the doctor's office was enough to keep me preoccupied so I didn't worry too much.

A few minutes later, Dr. Byrum came in and said, "Well, I have some bad news, but it is not as bad as it could be. It is not leukemia, but Layton is going to have to go to Children's and spend the night." My heart dropped. I thought how ironic it was that I had just spent last night listening to a friend tell about how great Children's Hospital was and now we were headed there. The doctor went on to explain what was going on.

He said that Layton's platelet count was dangerously low. The first test showed the count to be 7,000 and the second was 15,000. The normal range is 150,000 to 450,000. He said that he thought he had ITP, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. It is a bleeding disorder where the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for blood clotting. It happens when certain immune system cells produce antibodies against platelets. The antibodies attach to platelets. The spleen destroys the platelets that carry the antibodies. In children, it sometimes follows a viral infection. It can be a one time thing (and mostly is) or it could be chronic. The little spots on his legs were called petechiae, which is bleeding into the skin. He actually had them on his diaper area too. I just thought it was diaper rash. The danger is internal bleeding or a brain bleed.

Dr. Byrum said Layton would need an IVIG infusion at Children's immediately. This is intravenous immune globulins. By this time I was in tears. When I heard the word "autoimmune" I felt like all my fears had come true. Hannah's arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Dr. Byrum says we just have this stuff in our family. Ugh! I didn't know exactly what this was going to mean for Layton and it was so scary.

We tried to call Kris. When we finally got him, Dr. Byrum explained things to him and he headed straight over. So, we had to figure out what to do next. Lincoln was with us and Hannah was going to need to be picked up from school shortly. I called my Dad and told him what was going on. He said they would head this way as fast as they could. Then, I called a couple of friends. Leanne just happened to be driving in her car and was able to swing back by the doctor's office and pick up Linc. We called Hannah's school and told them to let Hannah know that Leanne would be picking her up. We were a little worried about this because we didn't get to talk to Hannah ourselves and explain why Leanne was picking her up. We didn't want her to worry, so Kris eventually emailed Hannah's teacher and asked her to call him so we could talk to Hannah. Leanne picked up Hannah and took both kids back to her house till my parents got in town. Thanks again to Leanne for doing that for us!!! She was a HUGE help!!!

Before we left the office, Dr. Byrum asked us if he could pray with us. This meant so much to me. I can't say enough good about our pediatrician. What a blessing he has been.

We got to Children's and finally got in a room on the Hematology/Oncology floor around 2:30 p.m. We saw several doctors who just explained everything to us. When it came time for the IV, my brother, Jeff, had gotten there. They had called one of the nurses on the IV team to do his IV. She looked and looked for a vein in both hands and both feet. She had the hardest time finding one because of the low platelet count and because he is so chubby. I have a really hard time watching any needle work, so I was standing by him trying not to watch too much. He was screaming. I did look down at his face once and saw this dot of blood about the size of the head of a tack on his forehead. It freaked me out! All I could think was that he was having a brain bleed. I know that was stupid, but that was my fears coming out. I had to leave the room. Jeff was able to come comfort me as well as one of our ministers at church who had gotten there. Kris stayed in there with Layton. I found out later that the blood I saw was from when they blew a vein I think. The nurse ended up blowing two veins. She was getting really frustrated. I could hear her sighing and it was just really getting to me. Finally she said she may have to do it in his head, but she was going to try one more time in his hand. I had just about had all I could stand and so I prayed SO hard that she would get it in and this would be over for my poor baby. It is so hard to hear your child screaming because someone is hurting them and they are scared. This time it worked! It took about 45 minutes all together. It was by far the worst part of the whole hospital experience. I hate IVs!

They taped his arm up really, really well so he couldn't pull it out. We did NOT want that thing to come out.

You would really have never known that this little angel was so sick. He was pretty happy for the most part.

They checked his blood when we got here and his platelet count was 6,000.

When they put the tourniquet on his arm, it bruised him pretty bad. This was because of the low platelets.

You can kind of see the petechiae spots on his leg here.

They finally started the IVIG around 9:00 p.m. that night. It took about 4 hours to get it all in him. They came in every 30 minutes to check his vitals and they would increase the rate of the infusion as well. We were really worried about the side effects of the infusion. They said he could have fever, chills, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomitting, headache, or kidney issues. We were praying so hard that he didn't have any trouble.

Speaking of prayers, we were so overwhelmed with the reactions of our family and friends. We could feel their prayers. I know Kris' parents had people in Odessa praying. My sweet friends had someone praying for us every hour all night long. They would send me texts with scriptures and prayers. It was amazing. I will never forget it. Thank you so so much!!!!! We also had several visitors through this whole experience. They were great and helped us pass the time.

Those prayers really worked. Layton slept really well that night (even with all the vitals checks) and didn't show any signs of any side effects. That was wonderful.
The next morning, they did another blood test. When we finally saw the doctor after lunch, he said the platelet count was 23,000. So, it was up and he felt like we could go home. He wanted to leave the IV in, though, just in case we needed to do another infusion. We were to come back the next morning to the clinic to check things again. That night at home was rougher than the one in the hospital. He ran a fever and was still suffering from his cold with a bad cough and yucky nose. He slept propped up in his bouncy seat by our bed. The next morning we were at the clinic by 7:30 a.m. His platelets were 110,000!!! We were so thrilled. He got to get rid of that yucky IV!

He was back to his normal self pretty much when we got home. I know he was glad to get that stuff off of his arm. He spent the rest of the week trying to get over the cold stuff. He did have an ear infection and so we have been giving him an antibiotic for that. We went back to the pediatrician yesterday to have his count checked again. It was 771,000!! Unbelievable. That infusion definitely worked. Dr. Byrum was kind of giddy over it. He wants us to check it again in 2 weeks and he will probably be checked regularly for quite a while. We still hope and pray that this was a one time thing!

It is so hard to watch your little one go through stuff like this. It really makes you lean on God and lean on others. We are not ones to like attention or want people to go out of their ways to help us. It is pretty humbling. When we were in the clinic on Wednesday morning, we saw several children come in who obviously had cancer. It was so sad. I told Kris as we were driving home, "Can you imagine what our lives would be like if Layton had had leukemia?" We are so thankful that he did not. Thanks again for all the prayers.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentines Day

We started getting ready for Valentine's Day back during all the snow. Hannah sat down one day and wrote all her 20 valentines for her class all by herself. This was so fun for me to see her do. She had the list of names of her classmates ready and thought about what she was going to write on each one.

By the way, she is definitely left-handed although she still uses her right hand some. She prefers to write with her left hand.

Here are a few of her valentines. I just got the biggest kick out of these!

Last Saturday, her Daddy took her on their annual Valentines date. First he got her flowers. He even bought this glitter to spray on them to make them pretty because he knew she would think that was cool. Here she is seeing her flowers.

She and her daddy have a really good relationship. He is super sweet to her.

I don't have any pictures from their date, but he took her to see Gnomeo and Juliet, to eat at Sakura (Japanese steakhouse), to get a mani/pedi, and then to this $1 Jewelry store to pick out a ring and necklace. I know she loved EVERY minute!!

Then, on Monday, at school, Hannah had her Valentines Party. I packed up the boys and went to help with it. I sent Hannah on into class and then went to the office to check in real quick. When I got back to her classroom, she was up at the front with her teacher, reading the story that she had written at home to her class. Hannah has gotten to be quite the author these days. I'd say making books is probably her favorite thing right now. Her teacher is SO good to let her share her stuff with her class. I think she has even taken her to one of the first grade teachers to let her show her book.

Lincoln makes himself right at home in Hannah's classroom. I appreciate her teacher so much for this. :-) He is usually pretty good for me.

The kids had several fun centers that day--a game and a couple of crafts. I helped the kids pass out all their valentines. Here is Hannah doing hers.

Her teacher made waffles for the kids at another center. They got to have whipped cream, sprinkles, and syrup. This coinsided with the Ready Freddy book that they are currently reading in class. They make waffles in the book for Valentines Day I think.

While I was helping the kids pass out all their valentines, I noticed that one little boy had little Ziploc bags about 1/3 of the way filled with candy for each of his classmates. I think their valentine was inside the bag. Well, there was one bag that was completely full of candy and this is what it said on the outside "To Hannah, From Your Secret Admirer". Cracked me up!!!! I took a picture of it and sent it to Kris. He texted back that he was not impressed! Ha!

Emma's Party

Last Saturday we went to Hannah's friend, Emma's, 6th birthday party. It was a Jessie party, so she was supposed to come dressed in cowboy attire.

They had some cool games in their garage. Here the kids had to lasso a pony.

Then, they had to pan for gold (butterscotch candy and quarters). So cute!

Emma taking a swing at the pinata.

Hannah's turn.

For lunch they had yummy hotdogs, chips, baked beans, apples, peanuts on the tables, juice boxes, and root beer. They ate off of aluminum foil plates. All cowboy stuff. Super cool!

What an awesome party! Happy Birthday to Emma! She is one of Hannah's best friends!