Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our first ear infection

We knew it'd happen sooner or later, but we just kept hoping it'd be much later. Cleft babies are more prone to ear infections, and so that's part of the reason I've decided to pump rather than do formula, but she still got an infection. The doctor said she's got alot of fluid in both ears that's probobly affecting her hearing, but only one ear was infected. She's on antibiotics, and is scheduled to see him again in about 2 weeks, to see how she's doing, and figure out what to do about her reflux. He was hoping she would have grown out of it by now, but some days it seems to be getting worse rather than better.

Other than that Savannah's ok.

Christmas was wonderfully exhausting, and we all had fun with our new found traditions. We had a wonderful time reinacting the saviors birth.
Mary, Joseph and the donkey

"Abuelita" in her happy place

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rockin around the Christmas tree

We got our christmas tree up and decorated, and were able to keep the casualties to a minumum. I don't know about anyone else, but trying to get the tree decorated with the kids was a nightmare. Maybe it's our own dumb faults for haveing glass bulbs, but the last thing they wanted to do with those things was put them on the tree. "Bowling" with them was fun, hiding them was fun, and pulling the tops off was fun, but just doing what mom said to do, not so fun. All in all though, like most activities with the kids, we looked back and thought...totally fun and worth it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Let the good times roll!

It's amazing to me how you never quite appreciate moments for what they are until they are gone and you long for them back. So, here's to good friends, old times, and the moments we're in now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

We are HOME!

I really have to start by apologizing for not keeping everyone better informed on what's been going on, but it's just been so crazy(even for us).

We left to NY on Sunday, and flew all night. The kids did great, probobly because we've instilled in them that the only appropriate thing to do on a plane is sleep, no matter what time it is. We drove to our apartment we were renting, and were greeted by a disshevled looking women with a six pack in her hands. IT'S 8 AM!! The place was a dump,there were shady people hanging out and smelled like cigarette smoke. We tried to tell her we just couldn't stay there, but she just wouldn't take a hint. We had about 10 suit cases between us all, it was freezing, and our appointment was in about an hour. This women drank 3 beers in the time she was talking to us, and got progressivly pushier about the whole thing. We finally said NO, and basically walked away, and had to search our another hotel witin walking distance, because it was either that or take 3 cabs around NYC searching for vacancy. The double tree was on the corner and happened to have what we needed for the week at a whopping $650 A NIGHT! At that price I think the least they could do is put out some muffins and coffee in the morning, or throw in some internet use in our room, but no, apparently nothing is inclusive in NYC.

It was a hectic start, but once we got settled in, things went very smoothly. On Monday night before Savannahs surgery we went to the giant ToysRus, and had a blast.

Savannahs surgery was 6 hours long without any complications. I read, and read, and read, to keep myself from thinking about anything really. (Those Stephanie Meyer books are really good time passers.)
Mark and the kids went to see the Empire State Building.

When she was finally done with surgery I was too squimish to hold her, so Mark held her while she came to. As I watched her wake up I couldn't help but think of all she's been through in her short life, and to think it's only the beginning, it just made me cry. Everyone kept asking "what's the matter, don't you think she looks good?" Even Dr. Cutting asked, and i kind of felt bad, because he did an awsome job. It's just hard to be excited, or even happy when you see your baby come out of something so painful.

I knew i should of kept up my blog even in NY, because now it's all a blur in my head, but the first five days or so were the hardest, she didn't sleep more than 30 minutes at a time, and she did have those uncontrollable crying spells a lot, but having Mark and my parents around made it bearable.

We did get to have some fun while we were there. We took the kids out to Central Park, and made a whole day of it. There's a carousel, an ice skating rink, and even a zoo there.

We saw the statue of Libery, and ground zero. We rode a taxi, the subway and a ferry. I learned how to properly tie a scarf, and now understand what it means to really be cold.

All in all our trip was everything we could of hoped for it to be, and are happy just to be home. Savannah's still wearing arm restraints, has to have saline put in her nose about every hour, and we have to tape the incision. but in about 4 weeks from now, we'll have none of that, and we can focus on just trying to "normal" for now. Her next surgery date is MAY 6Th (which also happens to be her birthday)and that's when she'll be having her palate closed.

Thank you to all those friends,family, doctors and staff who have prayed, fasted and been such a help to us. We know this was a group effort, and can't express the gratitude we feel in our hearts twords you. I hope you can look at Savannah and know that you have trully made a difference in her life and ours.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The rumors are true!

Yes, we did move last Saturday to Brea CA. It wa kind of weird because didn't think it would happen at all let alone so quickly, so we really didn't tell any one. We found out Wednesday we could rent the house, and packed and moved on Saturday. We had a few people go to our house and look through the window only to find out we were gone.
It was a bitter sweet moment because we've looked forward to moving since we moved into our Comstock house, but as we were packing and it started becoming a reality, we realized how much we're going to miss the Pickering Ward. They've truley been our extended family through it all with us. Brea's not THAT far, so it's not good-bye, just, we'll see you later. We've worked really hard to get unpacked and settled before we leave for NYC. Savannahs big day is on Tuesday. to be continued.......

Sunday, October 28, 2007

16 days and counting!

Wow time has flown. I hope to do better at this whole blog thing. In exactly 2 weeks from today we will be flying to NYC for Savannahs Surgery. We were fortunate to have found an apartment for rent for about $250 a night, which is a steal compared to hotel prices. Savannah's doing well, she's been seeing her doctor about 2 times a week now but we still have about 5mm to move on her left side. Impossible according to the doctors, but we're praying.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We met the surgeon

On Tuesday night Savannah and I flew out to the big apple to meet her surgeon. We flew all night, and she was a doll and slept the Entire trip there. Me on the other hand....something about flying to New York on September 11 just didn't feel right, then you go and throw in one muslum sitting right across from me, and that was enough for me. I tried smiling at him when we first got on the plane, but all I got was a stone cold look of death. My mother-in-law said it was because they don't like women. I was sure it was because we were his ticket to his paradise with 72 virgins. BUT we made it. Poor man was probobly just as uncomfortable flying that day, because I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking that.

We took a nice hour and a half ride through Queens (i took a ride share van) and finally made to the doctors. We met Dr. Cutting, and I was as impressed as I hoped I would be. He explained the entire process in detail, and that made me feel a whole lot better about our decision. Her surgery is scheduled for November 13th, and we're hoping and praying her gums will touch before then.

While we were waiting in the lobby for the nurse to see her, we met another little girl with a bilateral cleft. Her name was Niomi, she was 8 and had the sweetest little voice i've heard. She was playing with Savannah and said "I hope the kids don't make fun of HER at school." I said do the kids make fun of you at school? and her eyes welled up and she said "yeah" My heart felt like it had burst. I wanted so badly to hug her and tell her it was not true. Whatever the kids said was not true. But instead I was speechless. I managed to tell her she was an awsome little girl, but who wants to hear they're awsome when others are making fun of you? I think the reality of what these poor children go through dumbfounded me.

The world can be such a cruel place.

Monday, September 3, 2007

We have a winner!

It seems that after much research and prayer we have decided upon a surgeon. We will be having Dr. Court Cutting of NYU do her surgery our in New York. I spoke with them out there last week and they gave me a tentative surgery date of November 12th. It's alot later than I had thought or would want it to be, but we'll take it. I just can't wait untill i could cuddle her against me without fear of hurting her. That's been one of the harder things about this whole retainer thing. I'll probobly fly out to NYU this coming week to meet with the surgeon, but that's still not planned out yet. I'm actually a little nervous about flying to New York by myself. San Antonio I had down,I knew my streets, and the airport pretty well, but New York is a whole nother matter. We'll see.
Mason and Kiera are doing well, reeking havoc and chaos throughout the house. They love Savannah(sometimes a little too much) and enjoy "playing" with her. On Friday Mason was busy "playing" with her on her bouncer and fell on top of her. Usually not a big deal, except this time he smacked the retainer right out of her nose. Poor Savannah, she was hysterical, and I couldn't get the retainer off, so I eventually had to take the scissors to it and just cut it off. It was a rough morning after that. This pictures actually from about 3 weeks ago, but i thought it was nice.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Kiera's calling in life

So I think most of you know Kiera's been in ballet this past year, and finished this summer. I thought i'd let her try Hula dancing this next year, but she's just not having it. Most days I'm lucky if she only changes into her ballet outfits once. Today during "NAP TIME" I heard lots of talking and jumping, and this is what i walked into. She's convinced that that's what she wants to be....."a beautiful ballarina"

Nam appt. #14

Savannah had her second "adjustment" here in L.A yesterday, and I've got to say it's probobly been the worst yet. We're moving on to the next phase of the NAM which is suppose to stretch her columella (the narrow strip under the nose) and to do this they've added nasal stents to the retainer. They had me hold her in a dentist chair for about 2 hours while they measured and marked where everything was suppose to go. I did really well at holding it together up untill about the 25th time they shoved the retainer in and out of her mouth, at which point they made her bleed. The rubbing from the retainer made the inside of her nose and the roof of her mouth bleed. I know you've heard me say it before, and you'll probobly hear me say it several more times before this whole ordeal is over but......I just couldn't hold back the tears. Poor Savannah. She fought those doctors off tooth and nail the whole time. They were quite impresses at what a fighter she was. After a few more "tries" they had the retainer where they wanted it, and sent us off on our merry little way. If we thought she hated the retainer before, she loathes this one. She swats at her face trying to get it off, but so far with no luck. Hopefully it stays that way.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The "Retainer"

I just realized (thanks Rebecca) that I haven't really posted any pictures of Savannah's old or new retainer. The big pink one is the old, and the clear small one is the new. She hates them both equally as much.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A change in pace

Well, since we last went to Texas, a lot has happened. I think the biggest change was we've decided to continue with the NAM here in L.A. I don't like the doctors as much, but it just got to be too much for everybody to handle, including me. So we went to get her new "retainer" on Thursday at CHLA. It was a 4 HOUR appointment! Kiera was asking every 5 minutes if we were ready to go. She finally got a hold of some of the steri strips, and spent about 30 minutes putting on HER baby doll's retainer. The nurses and doctors were quite amused by it Mark had to hold Savannah as they stuck fingers, probes, mirrors and retainers in her mouth for about an hour and a half. Mark's been awsome and I am really glad he was there to help get us all through it. I don't know what I would do without him.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The news cast

OK, don't laught at my face, it's my first interview EVER. At least Savannah looked good. Enjoy CLICK PICTURE TO SEE VIDEO

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

We made the 5 o'clock news!

So, I just got back from Texas about an hour ago, but I don't feel my usual blaaaish self. I was able to use our miles and took a direct flight. SO much better. Today at Dr. Hensons they had a local magazine and news come out and interview him and some of the NAM babies. (moms of course). Savannah and i got about 30 seconds of air time, and after editing it's probably less, but we were still pretty excited about it. We are all doing pretty well. We still haven't chosen a surgeon, but plan on talking to a couple here in L.A sometime this week. We're both pretty tired, so I'll write more later. Enjoy the pics.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Kiera turned WHAT?

I can't believe my baby's turning 4, but it's true. It's been four years now since our lives really started, and looking back at it, we've loved every minute of it. This year we had the "bright" idea of doing a beach party and couldn't have picked a worse day to do it. It seems like nobody could make it, and there was a 45 minute line just to get in the beach. Once you Were in you had an indefinate wait for a parking spot, only to be greeted by blasting winds. BUT all in all it was a ton of fun. We roasted weenies, had caked and made s'mores. The kids didn't seem to mind the wind, so we tried not to also. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIERA!

Texas visit

So i got home from CHLA on Tuesday at about 7:30pm, and i had to leave for the airport at 8:15pm. We barely made it on time, and i made the flight by two people. I had to hold Savannah for 4 and a half hours, but at least i got on. At this point i was so excited because i could catch the earlier flight from Atlanta to Texas, and have more time once i was at the doctors. So i got in to Atlanta at 6:30am and the flight left at 7:03am, so i RUN to the little train that takes me to terminal C. I really had to use the bathroom and pump, and since i can't with the baby on my lap I ran to the bathroom as soon as im there. Now, I CAN and DO multi task once in the bathroom stall, but even still, Imissed the plane by about 2 minutes. I ran to the check in counter only to see CLOSED posted on the board. I said
"What do you mean it's closed? It's only 7:00 am" to which i get "Oh, the planes leaving a couple minutes early. You could catch the next flight at 8:47" And as much as i tried, I just could not fight back the tears. It's 4am our time and i haven't slept a wink, my arm is killing me from holding Savannah, she's crying and I didn't even finish pumping.
So now i have to go to a different gate to rebook my flight, and i'm just a mess because i'm thinking the Doctor won't be able to see me if i get in later, and i'll have to spend the night out there. I called Mark who called Dr. Henson to see if i'd be ok and he said it was, so now i felt a lot better. I successfully rebooked and made my flight. Once there i caught the first Taxi I saw, and made it to my appointment. The trip back was pretty uneventfull. I didn't make the flight from Utah to LAX at 4pm so i had to wait for the 7:55 flight. Thunderstorms rolled in, and it was POURING by 6pm. Flights were delayed and i didn't end up leaving untill 9pm, but at least I got home. Needless to say we were EXHAUSTED.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Surgeons visit

So on Tuesday afternoon we met with the surgeon at the Childrens Hospital. She was really nice, and answered alot of our questions. But it just seems like for every one piece of good news, there's like 3 bad pieces of news. She doesn't seem to think Savannahs "nub" will be pushed back enough to do the GPP (sew her gums together). She also said her columella (tip of her nose) is not stretched enough for her to have good results at the time of her surgery. It's hard to hear such discouraging news. We saw a little boy in the waiting room that she did surgery on, and he looked ok at best. I found a surgeon in Maryland who did an awsome job on a little boy that looked just like Savannah. It's the only picture i've seem that's actually given me some hope. Well whatever we do, we kind of need to choose a surgeon soon, so that's what we'll be praying about.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

10 Weeks Today!

This is my first blog ever, and i'm so excited at what the internet can do. I hope to be able to keep everyone who's interested updated on our family, and especially Savannah.

Savannah is 10 weeks today, and that much closer to being done with her NAM (the retainer) and her surgery. We meet with the surgeon from CHLA on Tuesday. We're still not sure if that's who will be doing the surgery, but we'll know on Tuesday. And yes, we're still going to Texas this week, just on Wednesday instead of Tuesday.