Friday, February 27, 2009

Being Thankful that Noah is OK!!!

So this begins a long story...but everyone knows that I am usually here goes. Along with Noah's other health problems, he has some eye problems that we have been keeping an eye on since he was about 18 months old.

I should preface this by saying that I have a wonderful cousin, who is very much like a sister to me, who had retinoblastoma as a toddler. For those of you who don't know, that is a malignant tumor that grows on the retina. It is a cancer that is most common in kids under 5. Basically, because of our family history, I was checked as a child, found negative. My cousin was treated at St. Jude (successfully) and is a healthy happy grown woman. So, when Noah was still at infant we had his eyes dilated and tested to rule out retinoblastoma. He was negative, thankfully. During that time, we found out that he does have exotropia. Which means his eyes tend to drift outward when trying to focus on objects at a distance. Doesn't sound like too big of a deal, except it intereferes with your depth perception, etc, (which is important for driving, etc.) Also, obviously it is a cosmetic concern. Now, obviously this wasn't a concern to us for that specific reason, but we all know how cruel childhood can be when you look "different" from other kids.

So we were keeping the exotropia under observation and it wasn't getting any better. Fast forward to January. After Noah's birthday, we had a photo of Noah turn up that was very scary for us. In the photo, one eye is red and one eye is white. Most people would assume that this is a camera malfunction, etc, but in my family you know that is one of the most common symtoms for kids with retinoblastoma. In fact, it is how many parents find out their children have the tumor. So basically we contact a pediatric specialist at the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. We pack up Noah (and our scary photo) and go to see the specialist earlier this week.

He is obviously very concerned over our family history and the photo with the "white pupil". After he dilates and test Noah's eyes, we're thankful to report that there was no sign of a tumor. However, the reason for the photo of Noah turning out like that is that Noah's eyes are misaligned and that's what is also causing the exotropia. He tells us that we have 3 options. (actually 2) If Noah was a toddler we could have tried patching for a couple of hours a day, but at 5 that doensn't help. Our other option is glasses, which Noah now has. He doesn't love them, but we are hoping they help the problem. Our doctor explained how the lenses might him him (it does in about 1/3 of kids) and I will spare you the specific details. And finally, our last resort is surgery on both eyes if the glasses do not work. Needless to say, we are praying that the glasses work. We got back in 3 months so I'll let you know!

I'll post some photos later of Noah in his new glasses! Just wanted everyone to be updated.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009

So considering the fact that Travis and I have still not gotten to have a night out together for our ten year anniverary which was the day after Christmas...I didn't hold any high hopes that we would make it out for Valentine's Day. Factor in my crazy working schedule, a rampant stomach virus, a 17 month old with a 5 week bout of diahrea, two kids with food allergies who really can't eat at restaurants safely, we just can't seem to get a date night together. Oh and also, Travis has worked 19 days straight since the ice storm and has been putting in 70 hours plus at the office.

So, what did we do for the big day? Travis had to be at work at 5am that morning, so he was off and gone before me and the babies were awake. He did leave me a new book, some chocolate, and a lovely letter which has made me cry every time I've read it. He will probably kill me for posting this, but he has written me letters every Valentine's Day that we've spent together and they are really beautiful. He is not so much on sharing his feelings and all but I can always count on his Valentine's letter to be wonderful. I have kept every one of them, and wouldn't trade them for anything. He also left some goodies for our two little Valentine's as well. (Noah was psyched to realize that Valentine's day was another gift giving holiday and Nana as well as Pappaw Randy brought some goodies too.) I then spent the rest of the day working and tending to the babies. We had church that night, and we topped off the evening with a trip through the drive through at McDonald's. Thank goodness for apple dippers (no eggs, no nuts hurray!)

Sunday morning I had planned to cook Travis favorite dinner (Bar B Q ribs!) so I got up really early to put them on so they'd be ready when we got in from church. We then parked ourselved on the couch where me and the kids took an afternoon nap and Travis watched the Daytona race. We visited with both his parents and mine and basically had a wonderful Sunday.

After the babies went off to sleep I had to get in the office for some work time (which is hard to come by these days with Travis not being home to tend to the kids as much).

Anyway, I'm still hoping I get that date night out for my anniversary and maybe Valentine's Day too...maybe when the kids are in college...but our weekend home together was great too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In Light of the Approaching Holiday....

As an at home Mom during the day time hours I've had a chance to see alot and I mean alot of Valentine's Day commericials this year. Most of which are aimed at men to try and persuade them to order their wives/girlfriends/etc 18 red roses, or to buy diamonds, or fill in the blank here (I know you've seen the commercials.) Flip the channgel a little and you will find channel after channel of daytime soap operas with romantic, gorgeous men whisking their ladies off to some deserted island or other such fairy tale stuff...

This crazy Valentine's Day marketing (which seems to be much aimed for the floral and greeting card companies) has gotten me to thinking about Valentine's past. Hmmm....not so many years ago I would have told you that the most romantic thing was roses, date night, a love letter, jewelry, etc. I must say, in the fourteen years that I've been with Travis he has managed some quite lovely gestures. Suprise roses, perfume, you name it.

However, let me tell you what romance means to me now! I'll let the soap opera ladies keep their tuxedoed men, cause my guy will come home from a 14 hour work day and still make time to sit in the floor and play Batman with Noah. Even when he's exhausted from working he makes time EVERY night to cuddle with Lil, give her a bottle and most nights she prefers Dada to get her to sleep. He is their hero and their favorite play buddy (especially if it involved outside and mud!)

Now don't get me wrong, I still love to get flowers, and to have a night out as much as the next girl but I can see a lot more clearly now. Any guy can pull out a few flowers and candy one day a year. I'll take mine anyday.

Friday, February 6, 2009

An add on to the food allergy post...a funny one

As Noah grows I try to talk to him about the importance of learning to carry our emergency medication with us, and being cautious about the food he eats...etc. (all in a child friendly way of course)

Today we are having just of those talks on the way home from a friends birthday party. Noah is thinking seriously about this and tells me, "Mom, when I am a grown up boy where will I put my epi-pens when I ride my motorcycle?" Umm...Mom doesn't know the answer to that question....

Anyway, just thought it was cute and that is just another reason I love boys!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Alarming to anyone Else but Me

OK so in my long and arduous journey as a Mom of a child with severe food allergies I have discovered many things along the way. Some of which I wish I would have known to start with. Some may have made a difference some maybe not.

Anyway, as everyone knows Noah has a SEVERE peanut and egg allergy and Lilly was recently diagnosed with a level 3 egg allergy as well.

Getting to my point...the MMR vaccine contains an egg component. Noah does not receive the MMR vaccine for this very reason. We (and his Physician) sign a medical waiver against it.

Lilly did receive her 12m MMR vaccine before she was diagnosed. Within days of receiving the vaccine she awoke with a fever near 105. We had to immediatly put her in a bath of lukewarm water, do Motrin and Tylenol for several days. She had no other symptoms. However, the child had never been sick before this vaccine and now has been sick on and off since then. She has also been diagnosed with an egg allergy and the child HAS NEVER INGESTED EGG OR ANY FOOD CONTAINING IT. I am not saying that her vaccine caused the allergy or fever....but I can't help but wonder what the connection is.

Anyway, I have spent alot of time researching the possible causes of the increase in food allergies and one theory includes (you guessed it) a link between vaccinations and food allergies. OK I am not totally against vaccinating kids. I realize the diseases they prevent are horrible. I'm just saying ome kids may need diffeent options.

Lastly, I have come across something that I had no idea about that is very startling to me. I am willing to bet that most of you are not aware either. There are at least three vaccines that are routinely given (the Chickenpox Or Varicella vaccine being one of them) that are formulated from cells from aborted fetuses. As a mom who is absolutely pro-life, this fact in itself is alarming to me as well. (Google it and see what you find...)

Anyway, just something to ponder. I realize that I may take a lashing for some of these opininions, but it is my blog after all...