Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fever Redux

Mary has another fever - this time complete with vomit and diarrhea. Poor baby. She's actually not too fussy, but we've gone through a lot of clothes (Mary and mama both).

Mary also had another appointment with Dr. Varga, the cardiologist, this morning. We found out last week that he is leaving Loyola at the end of June. I was very upset until I found out that he is only moving to University of Chicago. Dr. Varga has given Mary amazing care throughout this ordeal. He has been extremely accommodating and unfailingly kind. Last week after I called his nurse in tears, he phoned me back to reassure me that he was not going far and would still be available to care for Mary. Today he told me that even if he were no longer Mary's cardiologist, he was committed to supporting her in any way possible. One of the first things he is planning is setting up a satellite office in Elmhurst (even more convenient!).

Mary's echo looked good, she still has a leaky valve and a tiny hole - not unexpected. The doctors and nurses are always impressed by her - how big and healthy she is, and of course, how cute!

She also had some blood drawn today - very bad. The phlebotomist had an extremely difficult time getting a vein and expressed concern about future draws. Her endocrinologist wants her thyroid levels repeated every 6-8 weeks during this first year, so I'm not sure there is any alternative.

Edited to add: All better, now - Wednesday, May 28th - not sure what was up.

Monday, May 26, 2008

White Shoes

Here's our little fashion maven today at Aunt Darlene's. She's not wearing any shoes.

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

When I find myself in times of trouble

We try to be very thoughtful about what media we expose Mary to. Charlie watched a lot of television as a toddler/preschooler. Way too much, in fact. By the time Sam was born, I had read Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook. This was just the impetus I needed to rid our lives of the idiot box. So for a couple of years, we were TV-Free. Then when the White Sox were in the world series playoffs, we quickly ordered cable to restore reception to our house. As you know, they made it - and we got to watch! After that we fell into a routine of TV (mostly sports) from October through March, and no TV from April through September. Even when we have some sort of reception, the viewing is very limited. Our plan was to not expose Mary to any sort of screen until she was well over 2 years old. Ah, what 8 days in the hospital will do for one's strongly held convictions.

There were a lot of hours during Mary's recovery that needed to be filled. And while we spent time reading, and playing, and listening to music - we also watched an old favorite from Charlie's early years, Baby Songs, at least 17 times!

In the weeks leading up to her surgery, we made a video of the boys - reading to her, and playing in the yard and talking to the camera - which Mary also enjoyed while hanging out in the PICU. And when Daddy would visit, they would sometimes catch part of a ball game.

Lastly, there were two YouTube videos that came in handy during some really fussy periods. The first was The Beatle's Let it Be. Mary was mesmerized by this one. It had to be this specific version, with shaggy Paul staring into the camera looking stoned. At one point, during a particularly long teething related crying jag, I had the laptop propped on her bed and I just kept hitting replay. The other was this song by They Might Be Giants. We watched this one more towards the end of the week, when Mary and I would sit on the big bed together - it made us happy :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Now I've been happy lately

Grandpa, Mary and I took the train downtown to the Green Festival. Mary was a good little traveler, and of course charmed most everybody she saw. She liked looking at the houses passing by.

And because it's Lilac Time, and we were right near Lilacia Park, Grandpa did a quick photo shoot.

Future Lilac Queen?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You Give Me Fever

Mary has had a temperature of 102 the last 2 days. We had the ped check her ears, just to be sure, but he said it looks like a virus. Really, other than that pesky little heart thing we dealt with earlier, Mary's been very healthy!
Edited to add: Mary's fever is all gone now - Friday, May 16th

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mama's Day

We had family over today for Charlie's birthday. Here is Mary with her oldest cousin, Jack. Jack is also who, in some ways, I consider my own first baby. He was born to my (much older and married) sister when I was 18 - I could not have been more excited! It's hard to convey how crazy I was (and still am) about him. He's 15 years old now, stands 6 feet tall and weighs over 215 pounds! I clearly remember him at Mary's age. I hope she's never over 215 pounds, but I know she'll be 15 before I'm ready. The days are long, but the years are short.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mr. R and Mr. S

Today Mary and I headed down to the south side. My niece, Madeline, was having "grandparent's/special person day" at her school. Obviously, Mary's pretty special. We saw Madeline's classroom, and where she eats lunch, and where she plays dodgeball. Actually, I have no idea if she plays dodgeball, but we did peek in the gym. There was also a short service with special prayers for grandparents, etc. Even there, at a tiny catholic school 40 minutes from our house, people came up and told us they had been praying for Mary!

Madeline and Mary both have the middle name of Ruth. Making them M R (ourlastname) and M R (Maddi'slastname).

Madeline had early dismissal, so we stopped by Darlene's school and were able to see her kindergarten classroom. Again, so many people wanted to see Mary, all who had been praying for her!

Isn't my big sister (and her daughter) pretty?

Madeline and I then picked up lunch and the three of us hung out at her house for a while - with Madeline cracking Mary and me up.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Their Biggest Fan

Here's Mary enjoying Charlie's baseball game today. It was so cold, she had to wear her snowsuit (in the sun!). She loves being outside and especially watching the monkeys.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Moving Forward

Mary had an appointment with her cardiologist today. She had a hard time settling down for the echo, but, as usual, the technician was super patient. When she finally nursed to sleep, they were able to get a good look at her heart. The fluid is completely gone! Praise God! Dr. V. said she actually looks better than expected (something about output, I think). We have to go back in 3 weeks, but after that, it won't be for 3 months! I feel like we are finally on our way to normal. Sam came along, since Daddy and Charlie are in Arkansas. He's a good little helper.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Mary is 6 months old today. Before she was born, people would say how wonderful it would be to have the surgery behind us. Scott would tell me he couldn't wait for it to be past. Even while I was still pregnant, though, I knew that rushing that time, also meant rushing her babyhood. I am so, so relieved to have her surgery over with - but, yes, all of the anxiety and anticipation rushed her babyhood, as well. She is no longer an infant. She definitely is a full blown baby! She loves being outside, and her favorite thing to do is watch her big brothers run around. She rolls from front to back, and back to front, all the time. We haven't yet seen a tooth pop through, but Mary enjoys gnawing on apple slices and tortilla chips. We're having a lot of fun - all of us!