Sunday, July 28, 2013

24 Hour Getaway

For Father's Day, the boys and I gave Joel tickets to the Braves game for this past weekend. He is obsessed with the Braves--he watches them almost every single day. I knew he would love to actually go to a game, and it was something that we had never done together. Then, my Dad had front row tickets to the BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tournament that same day and since my Mom ended up having surgery, they weren't going to be able to go so he asked us if we wanted them--of course we did! So, the plan was to go to the tennis, go to the Braves game, and then spend the night in Atlanta. Of course, then Harrison's surgery got scheduled and it was not looking good for us to go because we were supposed to be giving him the IV antibiotics through Saturday. Not to mention, even if we didn't have to do the antibiotics, we felt really bad putting the kids on the Reed's again because they have helped us with them so much lately. In the end though, the Reed's were kind enough to take them for 24 hours and we got some much needed time away. Even if it was only a day/night, we'll take it! This was actually the first time we had left Harrison overnight without one of us being home! And he's almost 2!  
Here we are at the tennis tournament. We were right on the front row and I really thought we might get pegged with a ball! We watched the semi-finals doubles match before we had to leave for the Braves game.
We also watched this guy, Ryan Harrison, warm up for his semi-final singles match later that day. I wish we could have stayed for his match! He was pretty cute! Ha!

We made it to the Braves game and had a great time there too! The game was a pitcher's duel  through 8 innings, so if you like no hits, you would have liked this one. I personally like a little more action, but it was still fun. The Braves finally scored in the 8th inning and won the game! So, it did get exciting (for a second!)!

We ended up driving to Mentone after the game and staying at the cabin Saturday night. We had an awesome dinner at the Wildflower Café and then called it a night. We were pooped! What a fun day it was!

The boys had a blast with Migi and Pops at the lake and were not happy to see us this morning! Oh well, I guess that is a good sign they were having fun. :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Quite the Week

It has been quite the week. Thankfully, things are calming down now and going back to normal. This week didn't start out that way though!
This picture was taken last Saturday afternoon. Joel and I went to Granddaddy's funeral that morning, then lunch at my parent's house, and then we raced back home to meet the home health nurse who was coming over to take some blood samples and change his dressing on his arm. It was not fun for Harrison as the nurse messed up the first time on the dressing and had to re-do it. She also examined the line in his arm and kind of pulled it in and pulled it back out (which we learned the next day was NOT good!). All was well though and we continued with the IV treatments every 8 hours. We were starting to get the hang of it and I was actually feeling better about the whole process and figured I was going to make it through it after all (not that I had a choice!). Harrison continued to be a rock star though. It did not even bother him in the least!
Sunday morning, Harrison woke up very fussy. He had been so happy since his surgery so it was weird that he was not in a good mood. Joel had him out swinging on the swing set and noticed that he was touching his arm and wincing. We immediately took off the bandage and noticed that above the site, his arm was turning bright red, was swollen, and was hard as a rock. You could sort of see the picc line going up his arm amongst the redness. This was one of the signs of infection that we had been told to look for, so we called home health and they asked us to text them a picture. Of course, they said give him Motrin (because a fever was probably coming) and take him to the ER.

Here we are in the ER. Of course this had to happen on a Sunday where the ER was the only option...

Naturally on a Sunday in the ER, there's not a whole lot of expertise in the picc line arena. Actually, there was no one there that could really help! And apparently, an infection from a picc line is pretty rare--our night nurse that night told us that in 27 years of working there, she had never seen this. They decided to just go ahead and take the line out to prevent anything further from happening (which was disheartening because they basically undid everything he had done last week), and admitted us for the night. Harrison got a regular IV line put in his foot (because both his arms had been previously used), and they would administer the vancomycin through the IV in his foot every 6 hours from then on, and he also got fluids and antibiotics to treat the infection in his arm. We were told the infection was likely due to the home health nurse messing with the picc line. Ugh! Because patients can't go home with an IV, we were told that it was a good possibility we could be there all week to ensure that he got the antibiotics that he needed. Then, we were told we could not leave our room because of the staph infection in his ears. I think that was the biggest blow! How in the world were we going to be there all week and have to stay in the room the entire time?!?!? We threw a bit of a Whitt fit and told them about our experience the previous week and we were give the ok to leave the room, but only for short periods of time.

Thankfully, it was almost bedtime for Harrison so that night was not too bad. He took a while to get to sleep, but we finally got there. By the way, we were in the new hospital this time and it was SO much nicer (as far as staying in hospitals go).

Monday arrived with a visit from the ENT at 6 am (after being up pretty much all night with the nurses coming in and out, and then Harrison knocked his IV loose at 4 am and got totally soaked so there was an outfit change in there too). I wonder what those doctors think of people when they make their rounds at the crack of dawn???

Anyway, we really didn't find out much from them at that point as they needed to talk to Dr. Wiatrak and also to the picc line specialist who did the line last week. They had such a hard time getting the picc line in the first time that they were not sure they could do it again, and really didn't want to risk further infection. They did look at his ears and thought they looked pretty good. So, we sat around and waited.

Later on that day, we finally got news that they were not going to risk doing the picc line again and we were to stop the antibiotics and just hope and pray that what he did get (half of what he was supposed to) was enough to kill the infection in his ears. We go back for a follow up next Monday and I'm just going to die if his ears aren't clear. I think Joel and I were in shock a bit because we sort of felt like they were giving up on it, but we know that if they felt he needed more of the vanc that we would have stayed all week and gotten it through the IV in his foot. I am a bit relieved to not be administering the antibiotics at home anymore though! I really hope to never ever have to do that again, or see the inside of a hospital again.

I have kept Harrison home all week and tried to keep him away from germ filled places. Clorox wipes and antibacterial soap are my best friend. I've scrubbed everything in our house, all the toys, door nobs, and cleaned every room! He is getting at least one bath a day, and washing his hands multiple times. I've never been a germ-a-phobe, but I do not want to go through this again and I will do anything to keep him from getting exposed (I do also know this is pretty much impossible, but a girl can try, right!?!?). I'm terrified of sending him back to daycare because I'm afraid everything we have done will be for not.

For now, I'm really enjoying spending time with my HAPPY child! He's just been a pure joy to be around. We are trying to catch up on our sleep and just lay low. Lots of snuggles, movies, Ipad time, and playing with trucks. And lovin' on big brother too!

So, that has been our week. Joel and I are getting some much needed alone time one day/night this weekend and we are SO excited. Life has been crazy stressful and exhausting lately and it's easy to forget about making time to spend with each other, so we (and grandparents again!) are making it happen this weekend. We are celebrating 8 years of marriage on Tuesday--woo hoo!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Harrison's Surgery

Harrison's surgery on Wednesday went well. We got to Children's at 6:15 am and he was taken back at 7:30 am. We heard from the ENT doctor at around 9:30 as his part (the tubes) was done, and they were starting the pic line insertion which would take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Well, we finally heard news almost two hours later. We were starting to get really worried! They had a really hard time getting the pic line in and failed in one arm so they had to do the other (which meant multiple sticks--boo!). After having to receive a breathing treatment since he was under so long, we finally saw him sometime after 12. He was mad as a hornet! Phew! It took us a good 20 minutes to calm him down. We were so thankful for the Ipad as it kept him occupied while we were in recovery. 
He would NOT go to sleep. We tried and tried, but it was not happening. Joel and I took turns laying in the bed with him. Because the hospital was full, there were no rooms for us, so the nurse in recovery decided to go ahead and do his first round of antibiotics in the pic line, which went horribly. We were warned that too much of the antibiotic would cause him to get "Red Man's Syndrome," and of course, he got it after about 30 minutes. They were trying to do the dose in one hour increments, but that was just too much at one time. His fever spiked to 102, he got red all over, and was itching uncontrollably. It was pretty scary! As soon as she turned it off though, he was fine.

We finally got a room around 3 I guess. The surgery was in the new hospital, but our room was in the old hospital, where they are renovating it (think hammers at 6 am!). Also, the room was terrible. There were black hairs ALL over the room and bathroom. I did not want to be a snob, and I thought we could just bear it for one night, but after an hour of Harrison getting more and more active, I realized that I could not make it and that it had to be cleaned! Yuck, I still get nauseous just thinking about how gross it was.

Harrison found his little hiding spot to take care of business if you know what I mean (always has to be in hiding!). :) This was obviously before we realized how gross the room was and boy did I get socks on his feet fast!

 Feeling better after surgery!

If it were not for these wagons, I'm not sure we would have survived. Keeping a virtually healthy 22 month old in a tiny hospital room is not ideal at all (and the Ipad would not work in our room!). So, we did rounds upon rounds of riding throughout the hospital. And let me tell you, riding around that hospital sure makes you think about how lucky you are to be healthy. It's a good reminder to be grateful for what we have. Things sure could be worse.

Joel went home around 7 and I tried to get Harrison to sleep in the crib, but he was not having it. Even one of our nurses described it as "institutional." It was kind of scary. So, he slept on the pull out, which ended up working perfectly as we had to do an IV treatment at 9 pm that night and his arm was easy to get to (and they were able to do it without really waking him up). This treatment lasted 2 hours and he did great with it.
 I did not get a whole lot of sleep that night. They were in and out of the room 50 million times (for no reason!!!). I think I got about 3 hours of straight sleep and then they were in the room at 4 am, 5 am, and 6 am, and of course the hammering started around then too. Harrison woke up several times too. He had another round of IV meds at 5 am, so at 6, I just went ahead and got up because I knew he would be up for the day when they took it out. We survived the night though and that was all that mattered!

Of course we started the day with another wagon ride. We could watch the trains at Railroad Park from here, so we spent a good amount of time on this patio.

Bless his poor heart, he was SO tired, but would just not give in. We tried to make his ride comfy!

 We were so mad yesterday morning. We had expected to go home once home health had come to teach us how to do the IV antibiotics, however, we got a call at 10 am from home health saying that they had not even gotten the order in yet from the ENT and if the surgery had even happened. It was very frustrating since we knew at that point that we would have to stay there most of the day.

Harrison finally conked out in the chair after lunch (don't worry, we moved him to a safer spot!).

 The home health nurse arrived around 3 and gave us our tutorial. Well, gave me. Harrison was not happy being woken up from his nap and Joel had to deal with him. I was VERY overwhelmed. I really thought the home health nurse would come and do this for us each time, but they will only be coming once a week. There are just a lot of steps we have to do and I have already messed up on steps. I just hate to be doing the wrong thing when this line is a direct connection to his heart. One really wrong move can be really bad! So, there were a lot of tears shed yesterday and last night. We are a little better today as we are getting the hang of it, but it is stressful and not to mention, two of the doses are in the middle of the night so it's like we have a newborn again. We are pretty much on track to get about 5 hours of sleep for the next 10 days. And then to make matters worse yesterday, the nurse cleaned the site and repacked him before we left and she bent the pic line, so last night's dose and this morning's dose took close to 4 hours to complete. It is really a nightmare. We called the home health nurse this morning and instead of sending someone out here to help us (another frustration), she tried to get us to fix the problem on the phone. This situation is just not ideal, but like I said, I keep reminding myself that it could be worse and hopefully (fingers crossed), we will just be doing this for 10 days (even though the home health nurse told us it will probably be more like a month!) and you can do anything for that long!

This is the IV that I can carry around with me while chasing him all over the house. We are trying to schedule these so that the majority of them will occur while he is sleeping, but this morning when it took 4 hours, that was not going to happen! I finally just put him in the stroller and we went for a long walk. That helped him relax too so I will definitely be doing that again.

 He was so happy to be back to all of his toys...

 And we were ALL glad to be back with big brother! Man, we missed him! Thank you to Migi and Pops for keeping him the past couple of days. We could not have done this without them. My mom had surgery on Wednesday too, so she will spend the next 6 weeks or so recovering from that. Her surgery went well though too and hopefully she will be pain free going forward! Our life is just crazy right now!

Harrison is already feeling so much better. I was so proud of him while we were in the hospital and even since we've been home and have been dealing with the IV. I know they say kids are resilient, but I never in a million years thought he would handle things this well. He is not trying to pull the IV out (we do have it covered with an ace bandage), and it really doesn't bother him when we have the antibiotics going and he's basically on a leash. We've really had fun with him these past few days and he's been so happy and talking a ton! I just feel so bad that he's been sick basically his whole life! No wonder he was never happy!

Now it is on to Granddaddy's funeral tomorrow morning and then I think we can get some normalcy back in our lives. Thank you to everyone who has sent prayers our way this week. We appreciate them all and all of the messages and emails and texts too (and even some really sweet get well gifts for Harrison). You all have made this week so much better.

Monday, July 15, 2013


The world lost a good man today. It is a sad day. But it's also a happy day as we are celebrating his 95 (almost 96!) years of life. We will miss him dearly, but I know he's pain free and already dancing with the angels in heaven right now.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Granddaddy! He was so proud to meet his great grandson, Hudson! He was such a sweet, simple man, with the biggest heart of anyone!

Granddaddy, we love you and miss you already, but know you are watching over us!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Friday Fun

The boys had the most fun day yesterday. We started the day with meeting Hudson's best buddy in the whole world, Caleb, at Pump it Up. They were having open play from 10-12 yesterday morning. It wasn't crowded at all and the boys played their little hearts out! Harrison wanted to do everything the big kids did, so guess who had to do it with! I'm not sure how many times I had to lug Harrison through the obstacle courses and down the slides, but it was a lot! I was worn out, but he loved every second of it and it was fun spending that one on one time with him.
These boys have a bond like I have never seen before...
This little guy has no fear at all! He did it all! 

We had such a fun time at Pump it Up and then we went to Chick Fil A to eat lunch. It was a sad goodbye when the boys had to eventually leave each other. Aimee and I are going to work really hard to have more play dates with each other. We all have so much fun hanging out!

After LONG naps yesterday afternoon (me included!), we went to Vestavia's I Love America Day at Wald Park. Hudson got to play with his other best buddy in the world, Haines! It was a big day for Hudson.

 The kids swam for a while and then headed to do some of the other stuff they had...

It was the most beautiful night! It wasn't hot and there was a breeze too. No bugs, no humidity...just perfect! Harrison found a soccer ball and he was kicking it all over the place. I think he might be our soccer player!
Hudson and Haines were so cute. When one boy would do something, the other one would have to do it too. We turned to look at them one time and each one had their hands in their pockets. They had to do whatever the other one did! If one took their shoes off, the other did too.

 We found the music and guess who had to dance! Harrison danced a little too, but he was pretty busy eating his weight in popcorn that I couldn't ever get a picture of him. :)

Then it was movie time! They showed Madagascar 3 (which we have seen numerous times, but we all still love it!). We lasted until nearly 9 pm. The boys were beyond exhausted.

What a fun day/night we had!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Harrison's Shoe Obsession

Harrison LOVES shoes. He loves his own, but he really loves Mommy and Daddy's shoes. Should I be worried about his shoe fetish??? 
Pretty much the first thing I do every night is lose those high heels (leaving my shoes out is likely one of Joel's biggest pet peeves about me!). I can't really parent in those though and sometimes I just don't have a chance to go put them where they are supposed to go! So, every night, Harrison puts on my shoes and takes a lap around our kitchen island all the while saying, "cheeeese" because he knows he's cute! He walks almost better than me in them! Ha!
If high heels is what it takes to make a boy happy, then so be it! :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer Iphone Catch Up

My big camera has not made too many appearances this summer, so I thought I might need to do a quick Iphone recap of some of our other summer activities that haven't made it on the blog yet. Some of these are from back in May, but oh well!
Sweet boy sleeping on the way to the beach!
I'm not sure where this was...beach maybe???

I took the boys to the zoo on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend while Joel worked on the bathroom (don't ask where this project stands!) and just let them do whatever they wanted to. So, Hudson rode the camel for the first time (which was really kind of a rip off if you ask me--he took one lap around the area and that was it!). We also rode the train, saw the dinosaurs, carousel, ALL the animals, you name it, we did it! Love our zoo!

I have never been there when the turtles got fed, so this was exciting. This was free (shocker!) and Hudson is still talking about feeding the huge turtle! He did get a little scared when the turtle tried to take his finger off! Ha! Harrison actually got to feed the turtle too! Couldn't take a picture of that though because I needed all hands on deck!

Tailgating at the Red Bar! One of our favorite things to do!

This was at the summer reading kick off event at the Vestavia Library. I'm a member of PALS and my job this year was to work this event. I took Hudson with me and he helped me register kids and give them their summer reading packets. Hudson was hilarious and truly was my little helper and loved every second of it. We had a lot of fun and I'm glad he came with me! They did have bouncies, face painting, and a balloon man/story time thing too! Fun afternoon!

We went to Caroline's birthday party after the summer reading event, which was outside at her parent's house...couldn't find Hudson anywhere and finally found him WITH the birthday girl playing in one of their back rooms. They were having a blast! So much for the actual birthday party.

The end of a long, long day for Hudson! He almost never falls asleep in the car anymore! Hard to believe that I was able to take him straight to his room, put him into his PJ's, and into bed and he never woke up! He was worn out.

A much anticipated picnic at Railroad Park that for obvious reasons (check out the storm in the background) didn't happen. So, we took our picnic basket and had lunch by Hudson's train table at home. Same thing, right?!?!
Fun night with friends! I would like to say that they all laid here and watched a movie and stayed quiet so the adults could hang out, but clearly, that didn't happen. It made for a cute picture though even if this scene only lasted for about 30 seconds!

Harrison's favorite thing in the world is to be outside doing anything.

And folks, this is what you get when Harrison doesn't get his way! Classic meltdown. No, we do not let our kids hang out on the kitchen table!

Joel and I got to visit the new Regions Field one night at a work event. We had storms all around us, but the game still played on! It is such a nice ball park. We can't wait to go back!

Just being a mess...again...
And again (he was stealing food off other people's plates at this point!)...
No words for this...he looks a little Steve Urkel like! :)

Have I mentioned the boys like trains???? Haha, here we are AGAIN at Irondale Café. Our new favorite hotspot for watching trains. Hudson asks just about every day if we can go to Irondale.
 Happy boy saying "cheese" and taking pictures!

We've had such a busy (and FUN) summer so far!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Update on Life and a Beach Trip

I think I left things off last time the night before our latest trip to the ENT for Harrison. We went last Thursday morning to figure out our next plan of action. After being sick last week while I was out of town, he was feeling somewhat better by Thursday and the ear that has been giving him all the trouble was dry as a bone. We were somewhat optimistic. However, that quickly went out the window when we were told it was his other ear that was infected this time (he hasn't had any problems out of this ear). We knew at that moment that something had to be done. So now, we are awaiting surgery on the 17th (possibly the 10th) where Harrison will get his third set of tubes, this time with antibiotic packing, AND, he will also be getting a pic line put in his arm which will run all the way to his heart and he will be administered antibiotics through an IV for 10 days. We will spend a night in the hospital and then be dealing with a home health nurse after that. I'm sure that there will be more to discuss when the time comes (like how in the world is he going to be ok with an IV in his arm for 10 days????). Pray for us. I keep telling us it could be far worse. He is just SO unhappy 90% of the time which makes life pretty difficult right now because we have no way of making him feel better. It has been a real test of patience these past few weeks. I'm ready for him to feel better and be the happy little boy that I know he really is! I feel so bad for him--I wish we could trade places!
That is not all that happened last week though! It gets worse and I'm almost embarrassed to put this on the blog, but hey, this blog is about the good AND the bad! We have had a birds nest right by our back door for quite some time now. We've been through a couple of sets of baby birds in the nest and the boys have enjoyed watching them grow! And, just last week, Joel had to help a baby bird that had fallen out of the nest get safely back to it. Anyway, birds nests near your house are a bad idea! Trust me! We started itching last week and by Friday, we realized we had a big, big, problem. The issue with having a birds nest nearby is that it is FULL of bird mites that will take over your house, especially in your bed! So, $800 later, we are free of bird mites and our house is as clean as it has ever been. Phew!  
To put the icing on the cake, my grandfather got put in the hospital last Friday and will be having surgery in the morning. He is 95 and is ready to go, but we are not ready for him to leave yet! So, say a prayer for that too, that if tomorrow is the day, that he goes peacefully, and if not, that the surgery will make him feel better and give him some more time with us!
You can see why I was pretty thrilled to be heading back to the beach on Saturday to spend some time with the boys and my sweet sister! I could not wait to get away from everything (although we knew we might have to come home for Granddaddy at any point, but there was nothing we could do in the meantime to make it better, so we went anyway). The plan was for the guys to meet us down there on Wednesday, and then we would all come home today. Well, as with everything else lately, it did not go as planned. We did have a really fun few days at the beach though. The weather was a bit iffy at first, but then we had two really great days before it got really bad! Hudson was great the whole time, but Harrison, who now is battling an infection in both ears, was really fussy. However, they slept great down there and most days, Carrie was up before us so that was really nice! We ate good and had so much fun swimming. I attempted to take the boys down to the beach one day, and that ended up being a royal disaster, so we opted to wait until Daddy got down there to try that again (but that never happened!).
After a 7 hour ride down to the beach (EVERYONE was headed down there for the week it seemed!), we let the boys get their energy out in Seaside and ate dinner at the food trucks. Yum!


My dad has some of his art in one of the art galleries in Seaside, so on Monday night we went down to Seaside to find his art (the gallery was closed though!). We ended up eating dinner at Great Southern and then watched James and the Giant Peach in the amphitheater. It was so fun!

Hudson being sweet and feeding his brother ice cream!

The sunset was so pretty that night! It was one of those nights that we came back to the condo and the boys played in the courtyard until after dark!

Hudson is 100% swimming now. He is jumping off the side and swimming back. He's diving down to get rings. He even learned how to do a cannonball this week! It was so fun to just be able to watch him go! I'm pretty amazed at how far he has come since our trip down there a month ago.

Harrison did a lot better at the pool too, although he hated putting on his puddle jumper. The only person that could get it on him was Hudson!
Of course we made another stop by the Alys Beach splash pad. Hudson rode his bike down there and I strolled Harrison.

The weather did not look great for Wednesday through the weekend, but we still hoped that it would just be scattered like it always is down there. We could not have been more wrong. It was a complete wash out. Unfortunately, the boys did drive down there Wednesday and we ended up coming home on Thursday! Two days of staying inside with little kiddos is not exactly pleasant! They were getting major cabin fever. On Thursday, Joel and I bit the bullet and we went swimming in the rain! We should have won an award for that. :) It was freezing!

Sand Cliffs has a big 4th of July celebration and it was completely rained out, but we wore our t-shirts and took a picture anyway! Sadly, we saw no fireworks and did not get to redeem ourselves with the egg toss on the 4th! Boo!

It has actually worked out that we came home early. We got to see Granddaddy yesterday at the hospital, and even got in a visit with Mama Jean. Dad took us out to dinner last night and we are having family over to our house tonight for dinner. We've had a good weekend, but I'm sick of the rain and pretty ready to get back to our routine next week! I know there are going to be two little boys that are going to have a really sad goodbye to their aunt and uncle tomorrow. We hope they will come back soon!