Monday, June 30, 2008

Stability is good.

Olivia has actually had a fairly stable 24 hours now. She has still been a little up and down with her blood pressures, but besides that, she's doing well. Her vent settings aren't nearly as high as what they were last week when she was on the vent, so she does have that going for her. Yesterday when she was acting up, they decided to put her on her belly, which she always seems to enjoy. They just switched her over to her back again, so it's nice to see her little face. The epinephrine drip was turned off yesterday, but is still in line just in case, but she hasn't needed it since yesterday afternoon.
Her lungs are looking a little suspicious, so they are going to do an ultrasound of her left lung today to see if there is fluid surrounding it causing it to collapse. If so, they will most likely put in a chest tube to drain the fluid. The x-ray was taken while she was on her belly, so I think that's what makes it look suspicious, but it's always good to rule things out.
On a brighter note, I'm loving this weather. I don't really get out much, but it's still nice to "see." It's about time we were able to get our Spring that we never got. Mom, the kids, and I went out yesterday and picked raspberries. There were millions! We got tons and the kids thought it was so awesome that they could just pick a berry and eat it right then and there.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Olivia continues to be a mystery - as usual. She started doing better around 11:30 last night. They ended up putting in another central line in her groin for more access since the other one came out. Otherwise, just tweaking medications trying to find the right balance. She had a relatively stable night after that. This morning, almost all of her numbers are looking good, except those crazy blood pressures of hers. Now they are high. Imagine that. Anyway, I'm sure it will be a long day of tinkering with things trying to get her back on track. It's always so difficult when there isn't a straight answer as to what causes these things to happen so it doesn't happen again. I think the easiest answer is that it's just Olivia. She definitely likes to keep things hopping!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Where to begin?

Well, Olivia's acting up. This afternoon, she dropped her oxygen saturations into the 60's, so they turned her up to 30 liters. That's a whole lot of O's. She did okay for a while, but then dropped her pressures. They put another arterial line in her arm, started her on an epinephrine drip, and then ended up having to re-intubate her. She's been up and down with all of her numbers all day and has a full Christmas tree of pumps for her meds again. It was nice to see her so happy and awake for the last 2 days, so it's hard to see this step back. We hadn't had any setbacks for a really long time, so I suppose we were due. They went ahead and put in another line in her neck, which ended up being a good thing. When they went to do a chest xray, the central line in her chest came flying out. I guess things happen for a reason. Anyway, the Dr. T. and the nurses have been working hard all day to get her where she needs to be. She'll get there soon enough. Please pray.

Bring on the yellow

Olivia had a topsy turvy day yesterday. In the morning, she was doing great. Afternoon-not so much. Evening - doing great again. The afternoon leg was due to a fever of 103.9. She was very restless, mottled, hot, cold, vomiting, breathing fast, etc... Once her temp started coming down, all was well again. The highlight of the day was the scale. They weighed her for the first time this admission. She was a whopping 26 pounds! That's a gain of 5 pounds since we've been here. Go Livvy - pack on the pounds!
As for today...sleepy. She was apparently up all night. So, she's sleeping all day. Rightfully so - she has another fever and tested positive for C-Diff.
Warning - Zac made me put this warning because he refuses to talk about baby poop, so if you are sensitive to the subject, refrain from reading the rest of this paragraph. C-Diff is a bacteria in her stools. It mainly grows in the large intestine and can be caused by being on antibiotics for an extended period of time. The antibiotic kills all the "good" bacteria and causes the C-Diff. So, they will start her on a different antibiotic to kill the C-Diff.
Anyway, the C-Diff can be held responsible for the fevers and the vomiting from yesterday. Or it could be from pulling the infected art line. Or it could be just because it's Olivia. Who knows. Regardless, it's put us into isolation - bring on the yellow! Anyway, she will probably sleep the day away, but the rest will do her good.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Wishing well

I actually got to hold Olivia last night. That was the first time in over 7 weeks. We both seemed to handle it just fine. We were totally breaking the rules since she still has her arterial line, central line, and pacer wires in, but they needed to change her bed linens and it was just as easy for me to sit down and hold her! Thanks so much, nurse Stephanie! You truly made my day! I am however, going to have to start lifting weights to get back into the mode of holding her. She's gotten heavy!
As for today, Olivia got to move rooms last night. It will be pretty nice to have a change of scenery. We have moved into the corner "suite." It's one of the bigger rooms up there and we are hoping a better view of the fireworks next week! I guess it pays to have at least a little seniority up there ;)
Her arterial line has still been having some bleeding issues here and there, so we've been wondering why they don't just pull it. The only reason she has it is to monitor her blood pressures. She really hasn't had any blood pressure issues in a long time, so it seems silly to have to keep torturing her by changing the dressing so often. Anyway, she spiked a bit of a fever Wednesday night, so they drew cultures on all of her lines. I secretly had hoped her arterial line would come back positive for infection so they would pull it. Wishes do come true! (Is that bad that I had hoped for my baby to have infection?) So, she is starting another antibiotic today and they are pulling the art line! Hooray for Olivia!
I wonder what I should wish for next?!?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


So, I decided to take the camera in and try to get some pictures of Olivia "vent free." She was pretty playful at the time, but still rather groggy. I whip out the camera, and low and behold - Cheese! She gave me the sweetest little smile you've ever seen. Enjoy! Oh, you'll need to ignore the crusty face. She needed a bit of a bath.

Now I can smile!
Now I can clap!
I can play with my daddy!
And I can suck on my paci, too!
As for the other kiddos, Jack spent his morning yesterday building card houses. He's going to try to keep them up until Zac can see them on Saturday. He was really proud. What a creative kid. He made 21 of them altogether. Let's hope for no earthquakes!

I had taken the pictures of the card houses so I could show Zac at the hospital. Brooklyn then insisted that I take a picture of her, so daddy could see that one, too. So, I thought I would throw it on here. She's been doing great since she turned 4. I think my guidelines have somewhat helped. Don't get me wrong, she has her moments, but they aren't near as frequent as they were when she was only 3.
The kids really are doing well even though their lives seemed to have turned upside down. Brooklyn did say that she misses our real house and yesterday while she and grandma were riding bikes, she said "I sure do miss that baby!" It has to be hard to go 7 1/2 weeks without seeing Olivia. She has gotten so big. Once she starts feeling a little better and is more awake, we may ask if we can break the rules and let the kids come see her. I think Olivia would love that just as much as Jack and Brooklyn. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

She's free!

Well, sort of. They extubated at 1:04 this afternoon and she seems to be doing well. They started off on the high flow system at 10 liters, 100%. She was doing great...but then they made her mad. She's having some major bleeding issues today from her arterial line. The doctor put in some extra stitches and she didn't like that so much. So, her sats started to drop into the lower 80's, so she has moved on over to the Aquanox system. This is more for the adult world, but she seems to be handling it well. She's starting out at 20 liters, 100% and we'll work from there. Her sats still aren't great, but better. Anyway, she looks great and is sucking away on her pacifier as we speak! Thanks for the great prayers!

Rumor has it...

Today is the day. The plan is to get that tube out of Olivia! Today is day 50 of being on the ventilator. That is her longest stint ever, so we have to pray that she is strong enough to do all the work on her own. I'll be sure to post after they extubate her - don't know when that might be.
I don't know if you noticed, but I changed the little title under the heading of our blog. It used to read "A peek into our lives." That doesn't quite seem to fit anymore. Most days, you are getting a glimpse of our entire life - past, present, and future. Not just a peek. So, "dive on in." Hopefully Olivia's journey will continue to be a testimony to His enduring love and faithfulness!

Also, could you please pray for strength and peace for a family who lost their son this morning. We were in the hospital with this family at least a handful of times and I can only imagine the emotions they are feeling today.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

CPAP trials and tribulations

Well, Olivia has been tolerating all of her new goals just great! She had two CPAP trials yesterday - the first for an hour and the second for 2 hours. They monitor how well she is doing with these by checking her blood gases. They were not great, but basically unchanged between being completely on the vent and on CPAP. She completed a two hour CPAP trial this morning and is on another trial right now and seems to be doing fine. She will have another CPAP trial tonight and if everyone is happy with her gases and how she handled them, she may be extubated as early as tomorrow! Can you believe that! She is doing so well. These are huge steps for Olivia, but she's handling it all like the pro that she is!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Busy Bee.

Olivia has a busy day ahead of her if she decides to cooperate. She had a great weekend - tolerated all the changes that were made. As for today, the plans are as follows:
1. Decrease vent settings
2. Start coumadin (oral blood thinner medication)
3. Give platelets.
4. Start CPAP trials!
Do you know what that means? CPAP trials are basically turning off the rate on the ventilator and seeing how she would tolerate being off the vent. If she tolerates this, she may be able to get off the ventilator sometime this week! How crazy is that?!?
She did get some blood last night so she is nice and pink today. Her x-rays are looking great, as well.
If she has a good day, I am heading back to Macomb again tonight for a sleepover with Zac and the kids. Jack has another game tonight so we are going to that and out to dinner! Can't complain about that!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Top 10

The Top Ten Signs You Have Spent Too Much Time In The Hospital:

10. You know the family members names, ages, history, etc. of pretty much the entire medical staff.

9. The doctor calls your cell phone while you're in the middle of Target to see if you want in on a free offer from an infomercial you watched earlier in the day (He's the sucker buying things from an infomercial, not me - I said no).

8. The nurses start inviting you on play dates with their kids and start buying you gifts for important events in you life.

7. Olivia's ID band is blank because all of the ink has rubbed off.

6. Medical staff in other departments start asking how your child is doing when you walk past.

5. You know the doorman/greeter on a first name basis.

4. The staff make hair bows for your child, bring in fresh picked strawberries for your other kids, plants for the grandma, and seeds for your other kids to plant.

3. Your child knows of her favorite respiratory therapist as "nana"

2. The nurses start gathering outside the room to take pictures and try to capture your child doing great things on film when you are not there.

1. Your parent ID band basically dissinigrates and falls off. Better yet, there is a tan line underneath.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Slowly, but surely.

Olivia's still doing awesome. They have started working on her vent settings which means there actually may be an end in sight for this ventilator! They are just going down a teeny weeny bit each day, so it will still be a while, but she is tolerating it just fine. All of her numbers have been great and she has tolerated an increase in her feeds, decrease in her diuretics, decrease in her blood thinner, decreased in her last sedation, etc...
She is going to have an ultrasound of her liver today because her liver enzymes have gone up. They don't expect anything to come of it, but are just making sure. Other than that, not much else is new with Olivia.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Losing lines

Olivia is actually starting to get rid of some things. She pulled out her catheter yesterday and has been able to keep it out since she is peeing so well. They also decided to pull her central line from her right leg as opposed to replacing it. Since it showed signs of infection and she had another line in place, they thought it would be okay to get rid of it.
They have been trying new things with securing her vent tube to try to prevent the skin breakdown. We'll see how the latest works today. Otherwise, she is getting yet another round of platelets to keep her numbers up and is still working on getting her blood thinning medication to a happy place for her. All is well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Go Livvy! She is doing awesome. It's amazing to see the progress she has made in just the small amount of time that I was away. They were able to get her nitric oxide completely off today, another sedative is off, and her vent tube holder is changed out. She was given some platelets and is going to be getting the central line in her right leg changed out today sometime too.
It's so fun to see her playing with everything. The nurse gave her a large medicine syringe to play with and she was switching between her two hands. I know it seems so minor, but that was the best part of the day. I remember so well when her therapists at home were so excited when she could pass things back and forth. It was a huge developmental milestone and it's nice to know she hasn't lost too much as far as that goes. I think it's going to be the muscle tone that sets her back. Her legs should be great since she can kick those around, but having her arms restrained is going to set her back a little. Oh, and they also re-started feeds today.
Anyway, everyone is so pleased with how well she is doing. The big battle they are addressing today is her skin breakdown.
WARNING: This next part is pretty gross. There is literally a hole in the side of her face from where the vent tube holder was and the other side has a huge bruise that looks like it could turn into a sore. Also, everytime they have to change a dressing, it pulls a layer of skin off and she starts bleeding. So, they have called in a wound specialist that should be in this afternoon sometime.

All in all, Olivia is doing awesome. Jack and Brooklyn are doing great, too. Brooklyn has really been a happier child since she turned 4. Must be those ground rules I laid down for her. I loved seeing Jack's game last night. They have really improved since the first game of the season. He was able to hit twice and make it the whole way around without getting out and he got to play 2nd base. The three of us went out to eat for breakfast and just hung out around the house for the entire morning.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Crazy good.

Olivia is doing amazingly well today. They did an echo this morning to check out her heart function and the cardiologist was very, very pleased with how well everything is working. Her artificial valve is doing a great job and her tricuspid valve leak has slowed down a bit. They were able to keep off one of her sedation meds that they stopped yesterday and are going to try to discontinue the other today. She is still on intermittent IV sedation, but this would put her down to having only one sedation drip! She's never been able to do that while she has been on the vent, so this is huge! They are also trying to wean down her nitric oxide as tolerated (so maybe off if she decides to tolerate it!) She is going to get some more platelets this afternoon to pump her up a bit. They increased one of her antibiotics yesterday because her central line did come back positive for infection, hence the 104 fever the other day.
So, all is well here. If we can find our way, I'm taking the kids back to Macomb tonight. Jack has a baseball game and Zac is at a conference in Bloomington. So, he is staying at my parents house and the kids and I will stay in Macomb. It will be nice to be home for a night. I have absolutely no idea when I was home last. I think it was mid- to late May for Brooklyn's last day of preschool, but I'm not sure. Anyway, it should be nice. So, if you don't hear any updates until tomorrow afternoon, that's why! Have a great day!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wonderful Weekend

Olivia has had a great weekend. She tolerated her back for 8 hours yesterday and made it over 10 hours today. She was able to get rid of one of her sedation medications, so we're down one medicine pump. She was having some significant internal bleeding from somewhere (possibly her feeding tube was causing lots of irritation) so they removed the feeding tube and stopped her feeds. They also decreased her blood thinner to try and get her blood to "thicken up" a bit. That seems to be helping so far.
We did get some preliminary results back from her bone marrow biopsy. Apparently her last biopsy showed 10% blasts in her cells (I thought it was 2-3%, but maybe that was something else) and now she is showing 5% blasts. This does not mean her leukemia is "getting better" or anything like that. I could just be the difference in the sample, however, it is not progressing at this time. We will continue with the same plan as before and probably repeat another biopsy in 2-3 weeks. If she is healthier at that time, they will most likely go ahead and start an aggressive curative treatment here in Peoria.
We had an enjoyable Father's Day weekend. Zac got lots of fun things from the kids, including a new baseball, a "#1 DAD" key chain, a Spiderman t-shirt, a red pepper plant, and a pair of Cardinals boxers that are at least 3 sizes too big. He was super excited. Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

CT results

This is going to be really difficult to explain without an animated picture, but I'll give it my best shot. The CT results are back. Turns out that because her heart is enlarged and her lungs are "heavy" due to lots of junk, scar tissue, lung disease, etc..., it's causing the left branch of her windpipe to get squished. (These are obviously my terms, not even close to medical terms and may not even be right). This happens when she is on her back and on her tummy, but when she is on her tummy, she is probably more comfy and doesn't send her body into stress mode like she does when she is on her back. So this is why they think she doesn't oxygenate as well on her back. There is no fix to this, so it sounds as though she is just going to take a long time to get off the ventilator. We just have to wait until her lungs get stronger for her to be able to tolerate weaning down on the vent at all. Sounds like it's going to be a long summer vacation in Peoria for us...


I forgot to post about the CT scan yesterday. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess. Anyway, they took her down about 4:00. It took a little over an hour and they were able to get her front side and back side (twice actually). She handled it like a pro. The radiologist is going to read it this morning and call up here and let the docs know of any significant info.
Otherwise, she had an okay night. She was pretty wiggly and wouldn't settle down. They gave her some blood and some albumin because her pressures were low. She spiked a temp this morning of 104.something. So, they drew cultures, gave her a cool washcloth rub-down, and turned on the fan. She was able to settle down right away and seems to be doing great now. We'll just wait and see what the CT showed and see what the rest of the day has to bring!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

One down, one to go

The bone marrow biopsy is done. She handled it great. We should get some results by the first of next week to see if numbers have changed. Of course, they scheduled the biopsy for noon and about 11:45, the people from CT called and asked if she could be down there by noon. Figures. Anyway, they know Olivia's ready whenever they are, so when they call, she'll go on down for that!

The big day

Sounds like the CT scan won't be until later this afternoon. I'm sure you were all sitting on pins and needles waiting to see how it went, so just a little more of a delay. So, I don't know if they will get the bone marrow biopsy done today or not. We'll just have to see how the day unfolds.
On a side note, they put her on her back this morning to do some dressing changes, and she is actually tolerating it really, really well. She's been on her back now for almost 4 hours and her numbers are holding their own.
And guess what else...she's been smiling again! This morning, she got a large amount of medication through her feeding tube that caused her to vomit because of the irritation from going down. I was right up there talking to her and telling her what a great job she was doing (not with the vomiting, just in general) and she gave me the biggest smile you could ever imagine. We have such an amazing little girl!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bone Marrow

Because of Olivia's frequent transfusions and low blood counts, they are going to do another bone marrow biopsy tomorrow. It sounds like this: If her leukemia cells have progressed, they will probably go ahead with a chemo treatment immediately. If not, regardless of her leukemia cell counts, they will probably start chemo as soon as she is healthy enough. It sounds like they will do the start here in Peoria during this admission. Anyway, we should know by the beginning of next week what exactly the plans are. Otherwise, a big day tomorrow. CT Scan in the morning and a bone marrow biopsy in the afternoon! Yippee.

CT Scan

Olivia's had a quite the morning. She had another blood transfusion overnight and is getting platelets right now. Because of her blood problems lately, Dr. Al from St. Jude's is coming up this afternoon to check her out again. Her 3 central lines have been bleeding quite a bit, so she got all those dressings changed and some new stiches put in. They ended up giving her an enema yesterday afternoon, so she's been poopin' like crazy. They decreased sedation again yesterday, so she has been wake a little more. Since she still isn't tolerating her back, they ordered a CT Scan for tomorrow. They'll do a scan with her on her back and on her front, so hopefully that shows something. Obviously, we don't want anything to be wrong, but it would be nice to know why she dislikes her back so much. She isn't going to be able to go to school on her belly after all, right? Otherwise, all seems to be going well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another good one

Livvy is having yet another good day. This is unheard of - this many good days in a row. I don't quite know how to react. Anyway, she is doing really well. They just turned her back over to her back and set the bed more upright to help get the pressure off of her lungs. Hopefully this will allow her to tolerate her back better. She looks so big sitting up like this. It's really good to see. They are also going to wean down on her 2 of her sedation drips again and increase her methadone and ativan with the hope of getting her off of some of the sedation drips in the next couple of days. I think this is pretty gutsy of them, but she seems to be handling it just great. So, all is well and things are still heading in the right direction!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Wiggle Worm

Still trying to keep Olivia under control - she is moving around like crazy. First, her little foot starts going, then her leg up and down, then her head lifts up. She is getting so much stronger, so it seems like a good time to start moving ahead with things. She is still at 9 on her nitric oxide, so they need to get that down to zero. Some of her vent settings are relatively low, but there are also some numbers that are relatively high. Her tummy keeps getting bigger, and she has always had issues with constipation, so that's another thing the docs are addressing. The main issue at hand is trying to figure out why she isn't tolerating laying on her back. Nobody has been able to figure out a reason, and she obviously can't spend the rest of her life on her back, so we'll see what the consensus is on that. I said if they would simply stop doing the blood gases and turn off the monitors, they would have no idea whether or not she is tolerating it or not. They said no. Oh well, she'll get there!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Brown Eyed Girl..

How exciting! Olivia's been trying to open her eyes. Yesterday, one eye was a little less swollen, so she was able to peek out at us. By last night, even with the heavy swelling, she was able to peek out! It is so nice to be able to see those big brown eyes, even if it's just for a few seconds. She was even able to get down to 40% on her oxygen by this morning and her nitric oxide is down to 10 (with a goal of zero by tomorrow morning)! Yippee!
She's still a strong little girl - even with all she's been through the last 5 weeks. She's been trying to lift her head and tries to kick her little feet up, too. She's making great headway, thanks to all of those amazing prayers!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

We loved the movie yesterday. It was a really good one. It had a good message, was funny, was action-packed (Brooklyn did get a little scared), and very tasteful. They did say "stupid" about 5 minutes into the movie, and Brooklyn was sure to point out very loudly that "they just said the really bad 's' word."
Olivia has had a really good night, again. They were able to wean down her nitric oxide from 40 parts per million to 22 parts per million. She is still moving around quite a bit, which is nice to see. Her eyes are too puffy to open so it wil be very exciting to see her open them one of these days. Everyone says her lungs sound awesome, which is very rare for her. This is all great news! We will continue to take those itty bitty baby steps until we get to where we need to be!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Baby steps, people!

We've always said that in order to keep us happy up here in the PICU, we just need something - anything - done each day. It could be a fluctuation in medication, remove a line, make vent changes, give her a bath, etc... Any change at all keeps me sane for the day. It's the days that absolutely nothing gets done that makes me crazy. Olivia likes to take itty bitty baby steps during her recoveries, so we can accept the small changes. So, the fact that last night she went from 50% to 45% on her oxygen on the vent is great! We'll take it!
Otherwise, the plan for today is to flip her over to her back for a while and see what she thinks of that. If she is good today, they may try to wean down her nitric oxide.
Jack and Brooklyn are very excited about today - Kung Fu Panda opens. So, we are heading to the movies this afternoon. It got good reviews, so we are anxious to see it! We'll have to give our review after we see it and let you know what we thought!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Niabi Zoo trip

We had a great time with friends at the zoo yesterday. It was great to have some mommy time and for the kids to be able to play with some friends, too! We took lots of pictures, but here are just a few:

Olivia even behaved while we were away! She had an excellent day. Last night, she started getting little funny, so they turned her back over to her tummy. No problems from then on! She is even wiggling around a bit today. They are going to give her another transfusion and increase some of her sedation so her blood pressure stays in a reasonable range. So, all is well on the home front!

Are you ready for yet another random act of kindness:

There was a card sitting on top of our computer in Olivia's room today. It was a belated happy anniversary card for Zac and I (we celebrated 8 years of marriage on May 27 - yes, that was Olivia's surgery date as well. At least we'll always remember the date she had her mitral valve replaced!) Anyway, there was a gift card for us to go out and celebrate sometime. "With love, some friends" Well, "friends," Thank You! You have absolutely no idea how much you all mean to us. You make everyday so much easier by making us feel so comfortable with everything - whether it be a good or bad day. You pray with us, pray for us, laugh with us, and even sometimes cry with us (or for us depending on the day;) You care for Olivia as if she were your own, and for that, we are forever grateful. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Check this out...

Olivia is still doing unbelievable. She had a great, great night. They turned her back over to her back this morning and she is tolerating it better than ever. Her oxygen sats have been no less than 99% since I've been here. They were able to get her oxygen down to 50% and her rate down to 17! This is huge. But even bigger than that - they turned off the paralytic. I haven't seen her move yet, but we'll see how she tlerates it. Her blood pressure and heart rate don't seem to affected by it so far. We'll keep our fingers crossed...

Grandma is coming to hang out with Olivia for most of the day so I can take the kids to the zoo. We are meeting a bunch of friends from G-burg at Niabi Zoo in the Quad Cities. Should be a fun day to spend with the girls and their kiddos! So, we need Olivia to continue to behave so there are no worries while we are there (and no rain would be nice, too!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Down, down, down we go!

Olivia had a great night and is having an excellent day! She has tolerated going down on the vent like a champ! The have been able to make quite a few changes with no attitude from Olivia. Keep up the great work, princess!

Brooklyn is 4 today! We woke up first thing this morning and went for breakfast at IHOP. Then to Target to buy a few necessities for her - things she couldn't live without, such as a new outfit for her Barbie and some new Princess underwear. It's an incredibly icky day out today, so a few movies and snacks should keep her happy until this evening when the boys come over this direction and we meet for some ice cream and a few leftover presents!

Happy Birthday, Brooklyn! We love you!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Strong work, pumpkin!

Olivia is having an awesome afternoon! The doctor decided it was time to bite the bullet and give some things a try. So they turned her back over to her tummy, did lots of suctioning, tweaked the vent a little bit, changed a few medication doses, and have actually been able to wean down some on her oxygen. Woohoo!
These are all little baby steps, but we'll take it! Keep up the good work, Livvy!

Picture pages, picture pages

Here are the promised photos from Brooklyn's Beach Bash yesterday. I think we did a pretty good job of creating a beach scene in central Illinois. We had a little pool full of sand for the beach, inflatable beach balls, whales, dolphins, and fish all over the place, a pool full of fish for fishing, and a bounce house (every beach has a bounce house, right?)

Click to play Brooklyn bday

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Can you believe Jack even lucked out and got a present.

Nice, huh? This has been an ongoing battle between Zac and some friends from Galesburg. Jack's always loved rain boots. Zac can't stand them. The friends get them for him almost every year just to make Zac crazy. It always works!

This is the concert I was entertained with this morning. Jack got Brooklyn all dressed in his clothes. She did vocals on the High School Musical microphone while Jack played the Hannah Montana guitar. Very entertaining. I see definite blackmail possibilities in the future with this photo!

And, so she doesn't feel left out, here is Olivia! This is pre-operation, but this is what people saw when they walked by her room. She would stick her legs straight up in the air and clap them together all the time. Even nurses that didn't know she had been admitted would know as soon as they walked by her room. It's like her little trademark. Can't wait to see it again!

Anyway, Olivia had a really good night and she's having a great morning so far, too. They increased her diuretic again since she is really puffy. The bleeding has pretty much stopped and the surgeon doesn't seem concerned with it. They are also adding a sedation patch today so they can start to see if they can wean some of her IV sedation. And, the biggest news- she pooped last night (first time since Wednesday). Go Livvy!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Come on, Olivia, don't be mad

Olivia decided to behave so we could all enjoy Brooklyn's Beach Bash. Brooklyn had a great time playing with everyone. Stay tuned for pictures...

Olivia must have been mad at me for something this morning. I had a really hard time leaving her today because she just wasn't looking good. She was acting up again and causing problems. I left, mom came in, and she turned into a completely different child. She had a perfect afternoon (all things considered). We'll hope now that I'm back this evening, she's done being mad and will continue to be good.

For those not around the area, the Children's Miracle Network raised over 2.2 million dollars today!!! Thanks to all who donated in Olivia's honor!

Children's Miracle Network

It's the telethon today benefiting the Children's Miracle Network of Illinois. The TOUCH hour (the Organization for Understanding Children's Hearts) is from 3-4 this afternoon. Some of Olivia's doctors and nurses will be answering phones off and on today if you would like to call and donate. You can call anytime and you can even donate in honor of Olivia if you would like. All donations directly benefit the Children's Hospital of Illinois and the Children's Miracle Network. So, if you are in the giving mood, feel free to give 'em a call. The local number is (309) 662-4970. If you are local, it's on News Channel 25 (WEEK). No pressure - just wanted to give the CMN and the CHOI a little plug for the day!

Bloody mess.

Olivia is still bleeding. I think the goal for the day will be to find out why she is bleeding and where is she bleeding from. They are now weighing the gauze that is collecting the bloody mess and she did bleed a little over an ounce throughout the night. That's too much. The bleeding from her nose has slowed down, but not so much from the chest tube site. We'll cross our fingers that they get this all figured out soon.
Otherwise, her numbers are all good regarding her heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen sats, etc... You just can't have it all when it comes to Olivia. They should be doing rounds soon, so I'll post again if anything worth mentioning comes from it.

On another note: today is the big birthday party for Brooklyn. I'll take lots of pictures and post those later. She's having a beach party at Grandpa and Grandma's house and is super excited to be turning four. We've already told her that four-year-olds don't whine, don't have prissy attitudes, and don't cry when someone looks at you funny, so we are all excited for this increase in age, as well.