Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"I'm Moving On"

So we are moving on and moving out! For those of you who haven't heard yet, I was offered a job in TX and we took it. And that's about it. :o) No...just kidding. Umm I will be advising as a UT campus and the hubs is staying in SC with the baby for the time being. (The plan is for them to come out in Dec).

This is an amazing opportunity for us and we will continue to keep all of up updated. Who knows, maybe I'll get better at it now that we are on the move. :o) Well, here we go!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Making Memories of Us" much can happen in a month. I really need to be better about blogging. Although, this blog was started to make it easier for our family and friends to keep up with us and when the family in question is in town it is hard to remember to blog.

We had all our check ups this month so here we go:

Eyes - look good for now. No need for an immediate second surgery, possibly never a second surgery.

Teeth - our baby teeth are coming in amazingly well. There were worries because of how early she was.

Ears - passed. Well mostly...haha our stridor make it hard for us to hear the softest tones.

Which brings us to our last issue - Airway - there was some swelling but it was hard for the doctor to tell if it was from allergies and the change of the seasons or actual scar tissue. We have a follow up in 5 weeks and until then are back on our nebulizer. If there is swelling or any question about her airway they will knock her out again and go back in to take a better look and possibly laser or dilate her again.

I feel like I need to add this disclaimer in case you stumbled across our family page. Addison was born at 27 weeks instead of 40, and has overcome some unique preemie milestones in the last 18 months. Premature births happen and I don't aim to scare anyone or preach, but this is our story and I aim to share it in the most straight forward way.

Life happens, and we are making the most of it. Today, for instance, our little ball of sunshine and I made some more amazing memories. After playing at the park for a grand total of 10 minutes before Addison got bored we began walking home and passed the pool. It was empty and Addison started stretching for the sun glistening pool. One would think I learned for our last impromptu pool trips, but no. We put our feet in and that wasn't enough, so she jump off the first step and planted her hiney on the second step.

Then the splashing started, and the next thing I knew - we were both in the pool, fully clothed and giggling in the sun. For the next 30 minutes or so we splashed and swam around...walking home was fun...squishing the whole way. Of course for Addison that was it, mommy was left with all the laundry (yay!) and I'm the only one who will remember today, but it was totally worth it. :o)

Thanks for checking in...updates will come more often, promise.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"I Can See Clearly Now"

Well at least that is what we are hoping. It has been a week since Addison's eye surgery and she seems to be fairing pretty well. Don't get me wrong it isn't a pretty site (imagine busting a blood vessel in both eyes at the same time) but all in all she is happy and totally unaware of her current situation. There does seem to be a little bit of a turn - but we are hoping that as the swelling goes down her eyes will return to the right position. The biggest risk with this surgery is a second surgery, so we will have to wait and see.

Also here in SC school is back in session and we have decided to homeschool the little peanut for the time being. I mean she is almost 18 months old and we obviously don't expect her to recite sonnets but we are a little afraid that she will be so far behind with her physical stuff and we don't want to add to that. So we found some awesome stuff with the help of another mom in Summerville Mothers and More and are going to start learning our letters. You can check the Letter of the Week curriculum we are using the blog Confessions of a Homeschooler. We can't wait to get started!!

It's late and I still have a lot to do I go. Good night everyone.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer 2010 Challenge

So in an effort to direct my craftiness I am entering in my first online challenge.

Scrappin' Happily Ever After is my craft store here in South Carolina and their blog (Scrappin' Happily) is hosting it's first online challenge and "Summer 2010" is the theme.

This is my first summer truly crafting and so I've tried to use the new things I've learned this summer to showcase my "Summer 2010"

A tear "puppy", stamping, ribbon waves,!

I've used the following items to complete this challenge - a flower, button, ribbon, brad, and stamped image. :o) YAY me!

Now time to work on my card swap card...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

::Catching Up::

Sadly, I have fallen very, very far behind in updating about Addison and our family. With that in mind, I am forgoing my normal song related title and just trying to catch everyone up.

Eric started his new job at the hospital and loves it and I am celebrating my 1 year Scent-iversary with Scentsy! The biggest updates come with baby Addison, who is now very clearly toddler Addison. :o)

We have had 2 airway surgeries in the last 6 weeks and we are happy to report Addison is blossoming now that she doesn't have to work so hard to breathe. She has started babbling and making noises, we've given up our bottle and drink from a big girl straw cup. With that said, we are a little behind on our talking and have brought in a Speech therapist. So if you are keeping count, that's the 4th therapy that Addison gets so all in all we are a very busy lot.

Walking is another project Addison has been exploring and while we cruise with the best of them she seems a little, while drunk. We wobble and fall a lot more than I feel she should and upon having her routine 3 month eye appointment found out that Addison has a depth perception problem due to her extreme earliness. In order to fix this, she will be undergoing a double eye surgery in two weeks. Yay!  Upside is the surgery is outpatient so we should be back home that night, no issues.

So that's about it. We have been keeping very busy with all of that. Not to mention Eric playing softball in this fall and me crafting (pictures to come). But we are never too busy for company. So if you are making a trip to the area, we'd love to see you. I really need some Texas and Ohio in my's getting a little lonely out here.

That's it for now - off to the library with toodles. :o)


Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Feeling Good"

So it has been far too long since our last post. Baby Addison has had two surgeries in the last month, flown to Philly, gone to her first baseball game, and started crawling!

Surgeries first because I'm sure everyone is wondering what happened. Because Addison was so early she needed help breathing for a long time. Now if you don't learn anything about medical advances and preemies - learn this - everything is a double edged sword. Stereoids are super helpful and great for little ones with swelling but has been linked to different types of palsys. Feeding tubes give baby food so their guts don't go unused but then the babies tummy never learns to close and they can have reflux issues. Most importantly, these little ones often need help breathing which can lead to swelling and scar tissue, which is what we have with Addison.

Her first surgery went in and removed a mucus cyst (from all the tubes rubbing) and lasered out some of her scar tissue to allow her to breath easier. We felt like things went well but at her follow up there was still some significant narrowing of her airway and a second surgery was planned. That happened yesterday.

Two narrowed areas were stretched with a balloon and everything seems to have gone well. There was some sign of acid damage from her reflux so doctors are stepping up that part of her meds, but all in all - she is happy and healthy, and most importantly - home! So we are all feeing good.

Crawling is a whole other adventure! She is into everything and we love it. She moves around and looks at us like, "why are you in the way?" or "why did you move that up there?" and she smiles all of the time. Won't be too long before she is walking and mommy has to finish baby proofing the new apartment.

Summer is calling so hopefully there will be a first trip to the beach soon and pictures!! Take care out there!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"I've had one of those days..."

Big week with a lot to balance...Addison was sick again and we made another trip to the ER. Sadly this ended up with an ENT referral and Addison is now scheduled to have "surgery" on Wednesday. I use quotes because we don't know so much that there will be cutting - which is what I think makes a surgery, but there will be anesthesia so there you go. Long story short, Addison has always made some noise when she breaths and everyone thought she'd grow out of a it...a year later and very little progress so they want to go in and check it out.

Eric got a job offer at the same hospital Addison will be in which is great because we really needed it! He is getting a big bump in work and finally a set 8-5 weekday schedule, so yay! I also have news on the job front - an interview Monday at the same hospital (which is also a medical university). Needless to say we are staying put in the Low Country for I'm thinking at least 2 more could be worse. We have an amazing support system here, but it's just hard being away from home. But the move is in 7 days...haha why do I do this to myself?!

Strawberry picking has gone really well and if I can wrap this up and get baby to sleep after her next bottle I have big plans for some strawberry bread and strawberry preserves...packing and cleaning can wait until after some mommy time...Hope all is well out there.

(Newest pictures from Mepkin Abbey)

Grooms Family

Daddy's Girls
Addison eating a flower
She was so done by this point :o( poor thing

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Strawberry Wine"

So it is strawberry season in South Carolina (just one more reason I love living here) and I went out this morning and picked some of the first available before we move away from the fields. I totally lucked out and got some awesome berries! Addison loves them cut up and that's great...but mommy doesn't know what else to do with them besides shortcake and baby nibbles.

Does anyone out there have some ideas or better yet awesome strawberry recipes they'd like to share? I thought I'd go ahead and ask because last year I made the mistake of picking tons of blueberries and then had nothing to do with them...this year I'm trying to pace myself. :o) Please send strawberry deliciousness this way and I'll be sure to share how it all goes.

Moving in t-minus 16 days...where to? We don't know yet...hopeful to have a place tomorrow.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


So much has happened since Little Miss turned the big ONE! Oh my! (Oh Mylanta, as my landlord says.)

The big day came and went and while I did unload our story on to the world, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The biggest thing is Addison is here with us and doing amazingly well.

We spent this past week in Texas with my family and it was much harder than I thought it would be. My parents love that small little girl more than she will ever know and she cried when they picked her up, which in turn made my mom cry...All in all everything was fine. Addison got over the newness of TX quickly and started terrorizing the house.

Nothing was safe! The Easter decorations, the curio cabinet, Addison's Easter dress was all fair game and they all felt the inquisitive hands and mouth of the little princess. We even had a chance to go get her official birthday and Easter pictures taken at Portrait Innovations. And while the photographer was a nightmare we managed to get a few good shots.

She even showed signs of movement with all of her tummy time and inability to reach anything from her typical arm stretched position. The airport was interesting to say the least and when we got home Addison showed us all what a little actress she was. After being put on the floor with daddy across the room there was a clear "step, step, step" as she worked those little arms and legs and crawled her way over to daddy! Seriously? You couldn't have done that for grandma and grandpa so they wouldn't feel like they were missing everything? Silly girl. I fear she will be as hard headed as her mother.

When I look back and think about the past year in the back of my head I can hear one of my mom's favorite songs replaying over and in the words of Martina McBride, "I have been blessed / And I feel like I've found my way / I thank God for all I've been given / At the end of every day / I have been blessed / With so much more than I deserve / To be here with the ones that love me / To love them so much it hurts / I have been blessed"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Happy Birthday to you..."

Addison is one today. It's the Cooper River Bridge Run and I'd love to take her but no strollers...oh well, instead we went to the Flowertown Festival and bought fun things for her. Yesterday we celebrated with family and friends and today Daddy is at work so it's just mommy and baby.

And I don't know what to feel just sitting here looking at her and her staring at me with those big blue eyes and smiling. I'm very aware that turning one is a big deal for anyone with a baby. It really puts in perspective how quickly things change. But Addison turning one isn't just a big's a huge deal!

Part of it is that Addison wasn't supposed to turn one today. She wasn't due until June 21st and obviously that is not today. I've never really sat down and thought about Addison's story and so for her, mostly me, and our friends and family following this I wanted to put it down in writing what happened last year.

Spring break from USC March 8th-15th: I had finished as much of my graduate program as I could in the event that Addison came a little early. For some reason I wanted to be prepared and although we were a ways out I had a lot to finish work wise as well as job searching for after our little girl was born.

After spring break I returned to USC and went about my week business as usual. Eric and I had thought it would be a great idea to get a puppy over the break so I was sort of missing my boys at home but I was only in Columbia three days a week and then I'd be back home. When I got back home that week I had my routine OB check up with my doctor and she was a little worried about my protein and the fact that I had swelled up like a balloon over night and gained 20 pounds in the month since my last visit.

Something sent up a red flag but no worries, we would just watch it and she put me on a low sodium diet, bed rest (meaning no more trips to USC for work or school) and wanted collect some samples. She informed me she was on call over the weekend for the practice and if anything was to happen just call.  That was Thursday, March 19th. I went home and got into bed. Yay! I wasn't on strict bed rest, but I was supposed to take it easy. So that left Eric to do everything in our 3rd floor apartment with a new puppy. (Not our best idea.)

On Saturday, the 21st,  we dropped off the samples at the hospital and came home for a quiet night. Things seemed fine I felt good, no headaches or blurry vision which was what everyone kept asking about. Sunday late afternoon I started to notice it felt like Addison wasn't moving as much as she had and I started to panic. I didn't want to bother anyone - I was pretty sure it was just in my head but Eric and I called the doctor anyways and she had me admitted that evening.

After hooking me and baby up to the monitors and getting my lab results two things were clear to the doctor, Addison was fine and I wasn't. She was moving, I just wasn't feeling it, admittedly she was only 27 weeks so not a huge deal for the doctor. What was a big deal was my blood pressure was climbing but I wasn't having any symptoms of high blood pressure.

In the morning I was given a shot to help speed up the development of Addison's lungs and sent home on strict bed rest. I was not to do anything except go to my doctor on Monday morning for the 2nd lung shot for Addison.

Monday, March 23rd, my doctor informed me she was not comfortable treating Addison and I because we were not past 32 weeks. With our consent she transferred us to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where there was a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the event Addison came before 32 weeks. We were scheduled to see them Thursday morning.

I spent the week in bed...I thought this was my fault. All the things I had done in the past 6 months were going through my head. Did I exercise enough? Was I careful enough when I was driving? Had I taken all my vitamins? I was a train wreck sitting at home while Eric had to work. His work could not have been any less supportive as we went through this ordeal...and he was having a hard time trying to get Thursday off to take me to the doctor much less free time to stay home and calm me down.

My parents started talking about plane tickets and work schedules because they wanted to come be with me and Eric's family was constantly calling to check on the baby...things were crazy. And then Thursday the 26th came. We went into MUSC with the thought that we were fine, they might admit me but we were not having this baby, we couldn't...she was too little.

After the routine baby visit stuff, the doctor popped in and said they wanted an ultrasound to check the baby's fluid. Apparently, there is a risk of amniotic fluid problems when you have high blood pressure, at this point mine was somewhere around 130 over 80 or so (I was a normally 115 over 70) and I was spilling proteins which was not a good sign (we would later be told that meant my kidneys were shutting down).

When the ultrasound tech looked at us and said she is about 800 grams, our mouths dropped. There had to be a mistake, she must have meant 8000...but no. Around 800 grams, about 1 pound, ounces. Again my mind was reeling...there was no way I could have this baby. Good news was she looked great! Fluids were good, she was fine.

I was admitted to the hospital because they wanted to be able to watch me and we lived about 30 minutes from the hospital and that was too far. We drove over and went through admissions, walked up stairs and before they could get me to change I wanted to use the restroom...I was bleeding. I screamed and the nurse was in the bathroom so fast it was almost superhero speed. I was practically thrown into a labor and delivery bed, hooked up to tons of machines and being checked to see if I had gone into labor. False alarm. But the ball was rolling now...

Eric called his family and mine and mom bought a plane ticket for the next day. I was put on a magnesium sulfate which was to protect my brain and the baby in the event I had a stroke...apparently high blood pressure is no joke. But it made me so hot and uncomfortable...and I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything. I was so swollen no one could find an IV site and they had to bring in the anesthesiologist to do all my IV work. Addison was hooked up to a monitor to watch her heart beat and movements.

All evening doctors and nurses were coming in to check on me and the baby and we just waited and hoped my blood pressure would come down and I would be fine and Addison could wait a few more weeks. Then it was no longer OBs coming in - they were Neonatologists and they were there to talk about Addison and her chances of survival as a 27 weeker...(appr. 85%). They gave me something to help me sleep, apparently I accused Eric of spiking my drink and I tried to close my eyes and forget where I was. Then it was 8 am, March 27th, Friday.

There was a doctor in my room telling Eric and I we were having this baby today. My blood pressure was not going down and the only cure they had was to deliver the baby. Also the high pressure could hurt Addison, we would quickly find out the life of a preemie is a double edged sword - everything that seems so good for them can be just as harmful in the long run.

They gave me something to help me prepare for childbirth because that was our plan - no drugs, pushing, all the "this is your fault" looks I wanted to share with Eric...we wanted to do this together. So luckily the staff was willing to try the day wore on my mom got on a plane from TX and I tried to sleep but it became all to obvious - I was not in labor nor was I going into labor. But my blood pressure continued to rise.

Somewhere around 3pm my blood pressure topped out at 200 over 100 and I was done. They were taking me into surgery as soon as they got everyone in place. There would be a team of doctors in the room for me and then Addison would have her very own team so that little room with just Eric and I got very full, very fast. I called my mom but her phone was off she was somewhere overhead coming to be with me. Eric got suited up and I got more drugs and we were off for an emergency c-section.

I remember looking at Eric and telling him I loved him and I remember the doctors saying there would be some pressure...and then things get a little fuzzy. After what felt like an eternity (apparently less than 25 minutes) Addison was there, she made this meek little cry and they let me see her for a split second and she was gone. No daddy cutting the umbilical cord, no quick first family picture...she was rushed off and we heard them call out, "1629, Female, 840 grams, 36 cm" (translation 4:29pm, baby girl, 1 pound 13 ounces, 13.5 inches).

They worked on putting me back together and I was wheeled back into labor and delivery where I waited to see Addison before she was whisked upstairs to the NICU. She was so small and there were so many wires and machines. She was doing as well as could be expected and they were taking her upstairs. I wasn't allowed to go...I would actually not see her again for almost 30 hours. I wasn't allowed out of bed yet and the doctors were still watching me to see if my blood pressure would go down. It did slowly, and we were sent home but we did so without Addison. She stayed behind in the NICU to grow ad develop...

But here we are...85 days in the NICU, about two more months on monitors and oxygen at home but few people can tell. She is a happy, amazing little person and even though it was a very rough patch in our lives we can't help but look back and be happy that in the end we have her and each other.

Happy 1st Birthday Addison! You are mommy's and daddy's little princess and nothing will change that. We wish you all the best and that God will continue to watch over you as you grow and blossom.

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Growing Up"

So it's official - Eric and I made our first big purchase together. It is sort of hard to believe that it took us 1.5 years to do it, but oh well. We finally caved and bought our very own, brand new living room set.

Now some of you know that we did buy a washer and dryer together and a dining room set but for some reason those did not seem as substantial. Maybe it was because the sales man compared our payments to a mortage and everything else we'd bought with cash, maybe it is because at 25 we still did not really own anything like that. Our current  furniture is hand-me-downs and while that's great, it was more poor college student stuff and not adult stuff.

Whatever the reason, in the back of my head all I could hear was "Growing Up" from the end of Care Bears 2. "Growing up its something you can measure/Growing up, it happens every day/being young is something you can treasure/but life is good when you're growing up " which of course makes me sad. Not so much for Eric and I getting older, but our little peanut.

Addison will be a year old at the end of the month and it went so fast. Really makes me wonder how my parents feel when they look at they still see little me? Or do they see me now? I don't know if I will ever look at Addison and see the now her - I still see that little red baby bird in the incubator. :'o) Oh well - I'm not going to be upset that she is getting big. I just hope she stays the same happy strong willed soul no matter what size she is. That's it for now...time to start packing and continue my job hunt.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

'Letters from Home"

So I have been following my friend Kristen's family blog for awhile and she did the cutest thing last week and I wanted to borrow a page from her book. (Interestingly enough, she got the idea from a different Katie, haha Thanks ladies!)

Anyway, here are some letters to various people/things/ideas in my life...

Dear Snow,

Please stop reminding me why I left Ohio, I enjoyed my vacation but if I am going to move to Ohio I'll need you to tone it down a little. It doesn't seem to matter which direction I walk, you blow in my face and the little one, she doesn't like it. Also you make driving fairly cumbersome and Eric doesn't know what to do with you. Please just play nice.

Dear Addison,

As we get closer to your 1st birthday I am reminded just how close I came to losing you and it makes me sad. Our whole world revolves around you and how far you have come in the last 11 months. There is something truly amazing about you and Daddy and I are so happy to have you here with us and get to watch you smile, laugh, and grow.

Dear Alumni people for Alpha Chi Omega, Case Western Reserve University, University of South Carolina, Gamecock Club, Division of Student Affairs,

I understand that fundraising is a large component of making things move, but as an involved student I am a little stressed out about everyone claiming me for Alumni verification. Please stop calling/emailing/trying to trick me into a $150 bound edition of a book that lists everyone who every did the same thing as me in the history of the organization. I love being an alum and give as I can, but if I haven't called you in a year there is a reason. Please leave me alone I don't have a job that pays in money. Unless you would like baby drool. :o)

Dear Facebook,

It's not you, it's me. I cannot deal with all of your changes and I have a lot going on that you seem to get in the way of. I have to admit, I miss aimlessly wandering your pages but I have finished an entire 5 book series and I am looking forward to putting my baby's scrapbook pages together. I am sure you will go on without me.

Dear Eric,

You are such a great partner. Thank you for working so hard so that I could stay home with Addison this year while she was recovering. I'm so proud of you and everything you do. I would love it if you continue looking for a job that values you. Not just because it could be a raise, but also because you could spend more time with your girls and giving back to yourself. :o) You really need some more man-dates in your life.

Dear Apartment,

While I enjoy your spacious 1100 sq ft we are not willing to keep paying more and more for you. With that said when our lease is up in May, we will be leaving you. I am grateful for the last 15 months that we have shared but lets face it, an additional $70 a month just to stay in the exact same situation...we could be in a house. Sorry.



(And for those of you wondering...we did get snowed in an extra day but we are now safely home! :o) Thank you for checking on us!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Giving Up"

So Valentine's Day has come and gone and Eric, Addison, and I enjoyed the holiday weekend together with snow! That's right we got a whole 6-8 inches of snow in the Low Country and it was totally gone and melted less than 24 hours later. What a perfect taste of winter! And still we are going to Ohio tomorrow...which means we will get a full 10 days of snow and cold winter weather. Eric is looking forward to throwing snow balls at me and I'm looking forward to sharing baby Addison with the Klay family! We are driving though, so that brings about an interesting twist because Eric has never driven in the snow...hmmm.

This posts title comes from Ingrid Michaelson's "Giving Up" and is the title because today is Ash Wednesday which signals the beginning of Lent and among other things calls us to give up something. It is supposed to be a sacrafice. As a little kid we gave up candy, but as we get older we try to give up our vices. For some it is smoking, Dr. Pepper, or fast I'm giving up Facebook. I have come to relize just how much time I waste on Facebook and how many things are left undone in my house. So I have put together a list of things I will try to complete with all of my free non-Facebook time.

1. Finish Addison's 1 year scrapbook for her birthday (sadly I'm in month 5...)
2. Finish 4 just for me, non-mommy or field related books (that is one book every 10 days...)
3. Organize and purge our apartment so that when we move in May everything will be more simple.
4. Find a job... (okay that is sort of lofty but we'll see)
5. Start and complete my 5k program so I can run the March for Babies event in April for preemie awareness!

So here we go..."'Cause I am giving up, I'm giving up, for you"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Little Houses"

So Eric and I have talked about a blog for a while, and finally decided it was time to take the plunge and journal for our family and friends. We both love music, so we are going with a lyrical theme for our titles..."Love Like Crazy" by Lee Brice is an amazing song that reminds us to try hard, never give up, and well - love like crazy. 

To start everyone out we thought we'd introduce ourselves with a Doug Stone classic, "Little Houses"
As young newlyweds, Eric and I are currently in a small apartment in South Carolina. We chose this song to kick us off because as Mr. Stone puts it, "love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate, where you eat and sleep so close together, you can't help but communicate. Oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we'd miss. Love grows best, in houses just like this."

I have a Masters from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelors from Case Western Reserve University and Eric graduated from Johnson and Wales University. We have one amazing little girl Addison and not a day goes by that she doesn't learn something new and all we can do is smile at her. Right now I'm staying at home with the little one and selling Scentsy Wickless Candles and Eric is working full time at a chain pharmacy.

I think that is it for today...I hope you enjoy this little look into our lives as we try to stay in touch with our friends and family spread all over the US. :o)