Diagnosis Update! :)

I'm sorry, I'm just now getting around to updating the news!  I got a call from Dr. Black about 3 hours ago- after speaking with the Radiologist, he is sure there is nothing to be concerned about.  Dax's heart is in the normal range for size- and no one has ever noticed any funny sounds when they listen to his heart beat and chest (there would have been abnormal sounds present if he had any of the heart defects that can lead to cardiomegaly, from my understanding). 

The radiologist mentioned a possible cause for it appearing like "cardiomegaly" is "hyper-inflation."  Which, let me tell you, sounds much worse than it is... it means Dax could have been taking a deep breath at the moment the x-ray machine snapped the picture.  Which- he was screaming bloody murder.  So, yeah.  :)

They are probably going to send us for a second x-ray just to cover our bases and be sure, but that is just to play it safe. 
Before leaving for the doctor's office this morning- look at those ADORABLE pigtail buns!!!

We all deserved a toy after this weekend (and week)- and Ada was an especially sweet big sister through it all, so she got to choose whatever she wanted (we filled Dax's prescription at Target so we killed three birds with one stone- meds, Starbucks,and shopping).  Guess which $25 toy she chose (that barks, sniffs, and walks)?  Guess which toy she got in her Sonic happy meal?  And guess which toy she prefers now...

My sweetness is on the mend!  He felt much better today- he had lots of smiles, snuggles, and giggles.  And got all caught up on his eating and sleeping, too.

And, I burned our dinner.  I forgot it under the broiler.  We still ate it, and it was actually still pretty delish!  :)

Dax's Enlarged Heart

We all know that Dax has a big 'ol heart because he's such a lovey boy.  But, now it's a proven fact.  Yesterday, when they performed the x-ray to see if he had any pneumonia, they noticed his heart was slightly enlarged.  They called it "mild cardiomegaly."  
Disclaimer: this is not Dax, nor his heart.  :)
I didn't learn of this until we had his follow up with the doctor today (which, incidentally, is Doctor Jerk from my previous post- Dr. G is still out.  He was actually semi-kind today.  I think he felt like an idiot from treating us the way he did on Thursday- after the ER doctors were so "aggressive" in their testing.  He basically admitted he wasn't aggressive enough in his diagnosis... like, probably should've been sent home with some antibiotics 5 days ago.)- anywho- Doctor Black (I will now refer to him by his real name, officially admitting he exists) says 3 things about this "mild cardiomegaly"-
  1. It's probably nothing.  98% of patients (I'm 98% sure he made up this statistic on the spot.  I'm sure he meant "a large number of these diagnoses") that have a larger than normal heart, are still within the "normal ratio."  Meaning Dax's might be big.  But it's most likely nothing to be concerned about.
  2. The fact that the ER physician didn't mention it to me yesterday is probably a good sign.
  3. If it IS larger than the allowed "standard deviations" in this ratio, then something is wrong.  They would do more tests (EKG, ECG, MRI/CT scans, etc) to diagnose him.  From the research I've done today (which I really wish I hadn't, because now I'm officially freaking out), it's usually a result of Ventricular Hypertrophy in pediatric cases.  (The muscles around the ventricles are larger than normal, and the heart has to work harder to pump enough blood and oxygen to the body and/or lungs- depending on which ventricle is affected.) 
So now, we sit and wait for the doctor's call to tell us if we forget about it, or run more tests.  I know I should have waited to blog about it until I knew more, but I had to get it off my chest!

However, I would ALSO like to point out that it has been rumored that Lance Armstrong also has an enlarged heart.  (And maybe Michael Phelps?)  So, I think that's all that's going on here: is Dax is destined to be an elite international athlete.  :)


The terrible. Horrible. No good. Very bad day (& ER visit). Make that WEEK...

I try not to moan and groan too much.  Especially at times like this when people like Christian are BACK in the ICU, my Dad and Stepmom just sent their baby girl off to college, and my Mom just boarded my little brother on a plane to Germany for 4 months.  But brace yourselves, because all of the times I've ever refrained from complaining in my life is about to all come pouring out in this post.  I had a CRAPPY week.  So did Dax.  (Ada's was just fine, LOL!)

It started when we returned to school- and the technology is all screwy, the text book situation is all screwy, and the entire Texas education system is all screwy.  I'm so exhausted, overwhelmed, and don't even know where to begin to tackle it all.  There is LITERALLY not enough time in the day.  I've been eating my lunch on the drive home everyday (I pump on my lunch break). Well, some days I eat it during my conference- at 9am.  RIDICULOUS!

I usually don't have many issues just plowing through difficult times and situations, but I'm really struggling with this one (in addition to having more responsibility at home with an extra kid, it's just kind of sending me over the edge.  Not that I'd change that fact, ha!)  So, on top of a pretty much terrible transition back into school- it rained on Thursday (which I should rejoice about), and I'd forgotten my umbrella- so the kids and I got SOAKED getting into daycare, and then school.

Dax had a GNARLY rash on his throat that was getting worse by the second (it looked so painful and disgusting.  We FINALLY got some prescription steroid cream that cured it- the cream he'd been prescribed just wasn't working.)  This picture doesn't even do the goriness justice:

THEN, I get a call from daycare on Thursday that Dax is running a 101.5 temperature.  I leave 6th and 7th periods in the dust, pick him up, and take him to the doctor.  It's a sub for our regular doc (whom we love) who stared at my boobs the entire time he was being a total jerk to me (pick one, dude.  You can't do both).  Doctor Jerk calls it "just a cold" and sends us home with our tails between our legs.

Dax gets more and more uncomfortable, and his fever gets higher and higher.  By Friday night, after a full dose of Tylenol, his temperature is almost 104 still.  I'm freaking out- but the on-call nurse says 101-104 is normal.  Don't take him to the ER until it's 105.  He's fine.  It's just a virus.  If he's had a fever for 72+ hours, then call her back.

So I wait.  And wait.  And wait.  And take his temperature.  And give him Tylenol. And give him luke warm sponge baths.  And wait.  And at 72 hours on the dot give the on-call nurse a call back.  When I answer "yes" to the question "has he been inconsolable for 2+ hours at anytime" she treats me like an IMBECILE for not rushing him to the ER then.  (I wanted to tell her she basically gave the OPPOSITE ADVICE just 36 hours prior, but bit my tongue.)

So we head on up to Texas Children's Hospital (they just built one in Katy- it was incredibly convenient.  And nice, too!  There's your perkiness for the post.)
In the waiting room at TCH.  His fever had actually had cooled down a bit, and flirted with the nurses like crazy!  Made me feel like the "crazy mom" that rushes her kid to the ER for everything, but I was just glad to see a glimpse of my little man!

The ER pediatrician checks his ears, nose, and throat, and nothing is infected.  Still no reason why he's been running such high fevers for so long.  So she orders more tests: 
Bloodwork. they couldn't find a vein because he's got such adorable chub.  So that SUCKED.  They poked and prodded my baby for probably 30 minutes.  And never got enough blood.   He was beligerent and in pain the entire time.
Heel prick: since the nurses couldn't collect enough blood from his IV, they went to the primitive heel prick, which also sucked.
Urine check: wanna know how they did it?  A catheter.  Up my baby's you-know-what.  All the way up to his bladder so they could collect a little pee-pee.  ALL FOR NOTHING because he did NOT have a Urinary Tract Infection.  Ugh.
Results: White blood cell count is VERY elevated (21,000 when normal is 5-10,000).  So they ordered more tests:
XRay: to check for pneumonia.  He's congested with very elevated WBC, so why not?  I consented.  Then declined (freaked out about the radiation).  Then consented again.  Then declined again.  Then finally consented after I talked to Casey.  They were so annoyed with me.
Results: no pneumonia.  Again, all for nothing.  At least I made them double shield his genitals to reduce radiation exposure a little more, and put my mind at ease.

So we still don't know where this bacterial infection is.  (I DID make the doctor swear to me that it was NOT bacterial meningitis.  She said he'd be hysterically crying OR almost unresponsive, so I think we're in the clear.  I'm still keeping a close eye on it, though...just because I'm in one pessimistic mood.)

They gave him an uber strong antibiotic. (again, was supposed to be IV, but couldn't find a vein.  UGH.  So he got it in a shot form.  Poor baby.)  And we are supposed to get back in to OUR doctor tomorrow.  Which normally I'd complain because this entire fiasco is going to be expensive enough... but I just want to talk to the man we know, love, and trust with our kids to get some closure and information.

Dax is actually comfortably sleeping now (I think the meds are kicking in.  Plus we caved and gave him a bottle because he wasn't nursing well... which SURPRISE!  I'm starting to get mastitis because of his decreased appetite!  So I pumped while Casey fed him.  And he ate better than he has in days.  Must be uncomfortable in the nursing position)...here are some adorable pictures of my sweetest sweet pea boy in our room after all of the tests and shots and x-rays and pokes and prods- we are just waiting on our discharge papers.  I think he could tell we were about to get the hell outta dodge- after a loooong 6 hours in the ER!

Here's to this week being a LITTLE better????
 He took a HUGE poop while we were sitting in here waiting.  I imagined that was him saying "TAKE THAT, BUTTHEADS!"


First Day of School!

Can you tell Mickey Mouse was on TV?  No one would look at the camera...
Welp, it's officially begun!  It's going to be an interesting (difficult?) year with the budget crisis- I'm teaching 6 maxed out classes of Chemistry and Anatomy.  Pumping twice a day (once on conference, once on my 25 minute lunch break).  My Anatomy and Chemistries pretty much alternate every period (Ideally you want them in clusters-poses the most difficulty on lab days). But so far my kids seem sweet enough.  And I have a job.  That I do enjoy, so that'll help!  :)

Quick comic relief.  Facebook convo from yesterday:
Alicia: What's the most awesome thing for me to open class with on the first day of school tomorrow?  Ready,Go:
Alicia: I'll start: "I'm Mrs. Dowell, and I have turettes.  Bleep bleep bleepity bleep bleepo bleeeep."
FB Friend 1: OK, line up, single file, and the beatings will commence.  I SAID SINGLE FILE!
FB Friend 2: Introduce them to duct tape.
FB Friend 3: Tell them to make their way to the carpet and sit criss cross applesauce.
Casey: Hi, I'm Mrs. Dowell, I need to let you know I have short term memory loss... Hi, I'm Mrs. Dowell, I need to let you know I have short term memory loss...
FB Friend 4: Good morning, I'm Mrs. Dowell.  First things, first: Safety.  Your bunsen burners are already on- place your hand in the flame.  Hurts right?  Never do that.  Next, take the vial marked "HCl Solution." Hold this in your left hand, and hold your eye open with your right...
Alicia: Can't forget my Anatomy classes!  "These are your dissection kits.  Remove the scalpel.  Now pull your hair taut at your forehead...."
FB Friend 5: It says Mrs. Blair on your schedule, but expect you all to address me as Supreme Commander.
FB Friend 6: Good morning, what do you all expect from me?  From this class?  Oh, wait- you think I want to hear?  No, no, no... post your answers to http://www.idon'tgiveacrap.com/.
Alicia: Here's a permanent marker.  Go play Tic-Tac-Toe on the Smart Board (that's a VERY expensive interactive white board, BTW)
FB Friend 7: We are SO not ready for tomorrow...


Dax Wants To Crawl...

I mentioned in my last post that I've noticed Dax secretly practicing to crawl.... well, here he is.  Gearing up, at 5 months old.  SLOW DOWN BABY BOY!  I want you to stay widdle bitty forever!


Dax- 5 Months

I feel like I just posted Dax's 4 Month Monster photoshoot.  But, still here we are- 5 Months!  He is the most snuggly, squishy, lovey, smiley baby in the entire worldI can never get enough of him!  He began daycare last week, and had a rough go the first few days (see posts below)... but as soon as we got everything ironed out (they needed to get a VISUAL on him rolling BOTH ways before he could nap on his tummy, but he rarely rolls to his back on purpose.  So we just had to beg and plead and threaten bribe)- he has been having a blast!  And being such a good boy- the ladies love him and his gummy smile and belly giggle. (of course!)

And, speaking of rolling both ways- he's rolling both ways!  :)  He's been rolling front to back, and we "hastened" the process of rolling back to front for Kids-R-Kids.  (He's VERY coachable, FYI.  He picked up the roll within about 20 minutes of practicing!  And hasn't looked back- I can hardly change his diaper in peace, now!)

I swear the kid is trying to crawl.  He can make it half way across the living room if you turn your head by "maneuvering" around- but I've been noticing some pulling up of his knees while he's on tummy time.  Yikes.

He loves to play in his jumparoo and exersaucer, but loves to nuzzle his face in my neck and snuggle, too.  He's a total Momma's boy, but also enjoys showing off and flirting.  He'll socialize with most anyone- but has an affinity for blondes wearing make up.  He even likes me a little more if I've got mascara and lip gloss on.

And here's the best part of the post- his monster photoshoot.  :) Llllllooooovvveeee.


Interchangeable Tie Onesies Complete!

O. M. G.  I'm obsessed with how these Interchangeable Tie Onesies have come out!  If anyone orders any, I'll have to make more- because I'm sending everything I've already created as gifts because I can't just hoard them in the darkness of Dax's closet!
How do I look, Mom!?
PS- I llluuuuuuuuurve my sewing/embroidery machine.  Most of these ties have been monogrammed after taking this picture- and it just takes them to the next level of adorable!


Interchangeable Tie Onesies

Go HERE to see the nearly-finished interchangeable tie onesies- our latest item for Sweetish Baby that I semi blogged about in my last post.  I will take some more "professional" looking photos tomorrow of sweet Dax modeling his new set.... but I just couldn't resist giving a little sneak peak!!  :)


Solids, Ada's Art, Sweetish Baby, and Mama Bear...

Random post about some random things!  All photos are ones I took with my phone- poor quality, but cute.

Did I mention that Dax started solids, in addition to finally rolling the opposite direction?  It was a week of some big milestones for my widdle guy!

"I drew an airplane!"  And I thought it SERIOUSLY looked like an airplane.

She cracks me up.  Since I won't let her IN the jumparoo, she found a different way to play with it.

MorMor and I at a Sweetish Baby business meeting.  Someone is not working hard enough!

This is what I've been piddling around working on tonight- a onesie with interchangeable ties!!!  I've got 2 ties sewn and velcro on the ties and onesie.. and a TON of other adorable tie fabric.  I can't wait to put Dax in this for church on Sunday!  :)

 And, to close out this random late-night weekend blog, I want to post a Facebook conversation on my wall today.  Dax was still having a rough go at daycare up until this morning.  You will see why everything is dandy at the end of the post!  :)

Alicia: A mama bear will KILL you if you don't do what you tell them to do with her young.  Just sayin'...
Facebook friend: Tonight at 10, a Katy-area mom goes on a killing spree..
Alicia: Local 22 year old daycare employee, loved by all, was mauled and left for dead in Suite 100.  Mama bear still on the loose- tranquilizers ineffective.
FB friend: Officials advising residents to let Dax sleep however the f__k he wants.
Alicia (about 20 minutes later): This just in!  Daddy bear- who is much taller, bigger, and hairier (and also a fairly successful salesman)- stepped in and resolved the situation in 5 mintues!
FB friend: Mama bear maims and mauls, but Daddy bear kills in one swipe.  Which is worse!?

... if you are having trouble deciphering that convo: Dax's teacher was STILL refusing to let Dax sleep on his tummy (even though he'd proven he could roll over 10s of times) because she hadn't witnessed the OTHER roll (which he RARELY does on purpose b/c the kids hates being on his back- the issue in the first place!)  She also won't let him sit in the swing longer than 30 min.  Period.  They are woken up and moved every 30 minutes NO MATTER WHAT.  So, Casey called the director and fixed it so I could quit worrying about it.  :)  Love you, babe!  (BTW- Dax was happy as a lark when I picked him up today, and had taken 2 very nice naps in his crib, on his tummy.)


How 'Bout a Happy Post, Now?

Ok, I've taken some cute pictures lately, and need to post them!

Julie, Hanna, and Rylan came down for a visit!

At Christian's for his 46th birthday- devouring cupcakes.

Devouring cupcakes with Uncle Rick.

Swimming at Christian's!

The rest of these are just some silly shots I snapped while the three of us were snuggling in bed one morning- but I just think they are so precious!  I couldn't even narrow them down to just a few.

Look at my monster feet, Dax!

He loves to grab her hair whenever she's loving on him.

Gimme dat camera.

"Take my picture, Momma!  Cheese!"

A Rough Start...

So, school is right around the corner. I'm officially back on "duty" next week.  Waaaaaaaaaaaa.  I'm weaning Dax into daycare this week.  I don't like it one bit.  And neither does he.  :'( 

Dax sleeps on his tummy- he has since he was just a few weeks old.  It's a huge "no-no" these days.  But he was waking up about every 30 minutes at night on his back (even swaddled)- so his chances of a SIDS tragedy were about 1 in a 1000, but his chances of something else terrible happening because of a severely sleep deprived mother were much worse. He's been pretty much sleeping through the night since we flipped to his belly.  Anyway- they can't let him sleep on his tummy at Kids-R-Kids.  (They didn't care at Tigerland, so the thought never crossed my mind as something to worry about.  Or I would have- of course.)  I understand and respect their adherence to policies- but it made for an AWFUL first day at school. He bawled the entire time.  He arrived exhausted, and wasn't able to nap.  Then, once he was belligerent enough, couldn't settle down. 

I was distraught all afternoon and evening- wondering how I could solve this issue.  He has to be rolling over *both* ways for them to allow him to sleep on his tummy.  (And they still won't *place* him on his tummy.  He has to make it to that position on his own.)  So we worked on rolling the opposite way than he already rolls.  And, after 1.5 days, he DID IT!  We officially have a back-to-tummy and tummy-to-back rolling kiddo.  Now, he just has to figure out that when he goes down on his back at school, just flip over and drift off to dreamland. (I tried to catch it on video, but he started fussing immediately after I flipped out the screen.  Typical!  I still haven't captured the tummy-to-back roll he's been doing since he was 2.5 months old!  Mostly because he doesn't do it a TON, since he hates being on his back.  Why go there on purpose!?!?)

Anyway, this has turned into a ridiculously long post, when I really wanted to just blog about the following pictures!

These are the photos I sent to decorate his crib with.  He's got the coolest pad in Suite 100.  :)

And, my sewing machine came in!!  Sew I've been pracicing (HA!  Get it!?). I decided to create Dax an absorbant cover for his lunchbox ice pack because it gets condensation EVERYWHERE the minute its temperature drops.  I've got some serious perfecting to do, but I think it's a cute idea to try to sell over at Sweetish Baby!

I was initially going for my go-to child's character, a monster.  But realized it is really more of a frog.  Whatevs.

I even sewed in some velcro!  :)  I want to be able to take it off and wash the thing.

I freaking love this boy.  His day was MUCH better today, BTW.  He even showed a glimpse of his true personality with a few smiles and giggles for the girls.  He's going to be OK!


New Business Venture! Meet Sweetish Baby-

OK, I've been DYING to blog about my latest adventure, but was giving some of the items pictured below as gifts, and didn't want to spoil the surprise!!  But they should have all arrived safely (and hopefully soundly!) by now, so I'm so excited to introduce to you: Sweetish Baby

Online Boutiquewww.Etsy.com/shop/SweetishBaby
Blog- http://www.sweetishbabyboutique.blogspot.com/

It's a business that began with MorMor and I collaborating on these adorable baby blankies-
These will be the primary focus of Sweetish Baby (read the profile on the website - www.etsy.com/shop/sweetishbaby-  for a more flowery description of our services)... but I always have funky "pop art" ideas inundating my mind and thoughts, so I will probably sporatically paint some pieces for the site as well.  Here are a few that I was moved to create just yesterday!

Obviously, these are nothing special. I'm not what you would call "artistic" or "talented"... but I am creative and resourceful, which sometimes counts for something!  :)

So, I've already been picking MorMor's brain on the sewing front (I've actually purchased a sewing/embroidery machine already- I'm SERIOUS about this, and so optimistic!) , putting her to work with the few orders that we have already recieved (by networking, not via the site.  YET!), and now the floodgates have opened in my brain and the ideas are pouring in!  :)  Follow us at http://www.sweetishbabyboutique.blogspot.com/ for the latest shop scoop!