Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Technology Help!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE music. I can just listen to it all day long. Sometimes I long to be back in Athens, Georgia right smack in the center of it all where most of the great bands begin. When I lived in Savannah, after I graduated from UGA, it was great. I still had a fairly good music scene, plus a jam-up classic rock station that I still miss to this day. When I moved to Macon, Ga. I was without a good radio station and it was no fun. Well, here I am in Jackson, Ms. where the music scene hasn't even thought of coming here, and don't get me started on radio stations.

So, enter Santa Claus. He got me an MP3 player so that I could download all the music that I wanted to have at my own disposal. I am SUPER excited about this gift. But one small hang-up.......................I don't know how to use it. :(

I am asking for feedback for all of you out there that download music to your devices. What are good sites, how much do they cost, what is the variety of music, are there free sites, etc.????

Help!! Just post your answers as comments. I greatly appreciate it!

PS - the new song on the blog is a shout-out to my old Athens days. Talk about some good music!

plug for brownie-goose

soooooooooo exciting!!

brownie-goose has a brand new website! check it out at www.browniegoose.com.

browse, bookmark and pass it along.

happy new year!

amy

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sleep Study Answers?????

Okay, so...........here we go again with sleep study hoop-la. Our original follow-up appointment was in January, but it got bumped up to earlier this week which of course freaked me out in thinking something was awful wrong that they needed to tell us sooner. We had heard back from the GI doctor and what she said surprised us.......the apnea was definitely NOT related to the reflux, in fact - she wasn't having any more reflux than any other child her age. So, in other words, no need for expensive Prevacid (thank goodness I was being supplied by the samples at work) or dietary changes. Her reflux was not even an issue to even think about. So, the first thing that went through my head was, "thank goodness we did an MRI because if not, I'd be wetting my pants by now." Then, at the sleep study doctors they told us something surprising as well. (By the way, I am sure most of you know how much I HATE surprises) Her central apnea was no longer a concern. Sure, she was still having apnea moments, but they seem to believe that they are related to natural phenomenon.....such as coughing, sighing, etc. So, I was glad we did another study so that they could further look into that.

So what gives, right? They think that she is having disorders of arousal. Basically, she is getting too much of a period of REM sleep that is characterized by slow-wave sleep. I know, Claudia......yawn, yawn. So what does this mean? Basically, in this stage of sleep that she tends to fall in she is having a tremendous amount of parasomnias (nightmares, terrors, etc) that is causing her to cry out and awaken. This is the same phenomenon that is known to make people sleep-talk and sleep-walk. So, what do we do? Funny, the docs want to do a rigorous sleep schedule, good thing I quit my job, right!? They think that the reason she spends so much time in this particular part of her sleep is because she is soooo sleep deprived and her body is craving this deep sleep. So, if we get her on a rigorous sleeping schedule, we are hoping to avoid any deprivation so that she can get some normal sleep. Well, this is what I have wanted from the get-go. Here is the kicker, it doesn't really go away. The sleep MD that we were talking to has an 8 year old that is still suffering. So, Byron and I are thinking of robbing a bank to buy a house that has another wing in which to put her. Haha, just kidding, really. About robbing the bank. :)

They also believe she is hyper-sensitive to stimuli when sleeping which is why she awakens so often. (There you go Mandy, my OT friend) Basically, she is an incredibly light sleeper. So, once again, we are in need of another wing in which to place her. Anyone that knows of this sort of mansion that we could afford on one salary (a resident's salary might I add), let me know please!

So, here we go again. Rigorous sleep schedule, here we come. Thank goodness I've got all the time in the world to practice to make perfect!

"Mare-ing Kiss-thmas"



Well, Santa Claus did visit......whether we had been nice or not! Louisa still hasn't grasped the entire concept of Santa, she is actually petrified of him. She will call him "Claws" or "Senta" and say "ho ho ho, mareing kiss-thmas." She never once bothered with the presents under the tree which was a blessing. On Christmas Eve, we ate a ham (my first one I ever cooked!) and allowed her to open one present since that was a tradition that both Byron and I had growing up. We let her open a book that we could read before she went to bed. She loved it, and in turn went into the living room and started to grab presents from under the tree and said "open pressens." Well, her behavior was short-lived.

The next morning, Christmas morning, Byron was on call so he had to go in and round but when he got back, we opened presents. She got lots of books, movies, an etch-a-sketch, a small battery-powered 4-wheeler and lots of plastic kitchen items from Aunt Sandy to go along with the kitchen that MiMi and Gandaddy are getting her. She LOVED the plastic food, she could have played with it all for hours.

One of the ENT attending doctors had us over for Christmas lunch since we were stuck here in Mississippi with Byron being on call. We had a great time. They have pet ducks and a pet bird that visited with us, so Lula Kate was impressed. Here are just a few pictures from the day.

Posing with daddy and his new jacket with her finger in her nose looking for more presents.


Watch out......Lula behind the wheel! PS - she has a slight obsession with putting bows in her hair if you were wondering.


Mallard & Lucy enjoying a toy.


Murray is just happy if you give her a box.


Haha, here comes trouble.......the high-heeled princess shoes and a purse. Ha! What a priss!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

RSV..........de-coded.

So, my first "real day" as a stay at home mom was a disaster. I was at Children's Medical Group with a sick child. I was soooo embarrassed to have to go, but I had already done all of the things I could think of to do at home, so it was off to see Dr. Smith again. And he thought he got rid of me, ha!

Turns out my hacking, coughing, snotty, wheezing, fever-running child had RSV, just as I figured she did. See, Cheryl (at C3M) I did listen to you sometimes. I remember one RSV season you told me that if you listened closely enough to the cough - you could hear a certain hack to it that meant RSV. Well, she had that hack, and I just knew it. So, on home with some steroids and some breathing treatments (which I am sure for those of you moms who have done this before with young children, is NEVER fun).

For those of you who may not know what RSV is, I will spare you the boring definition (since I have hung up my RN for now) and instead give you some of the definitions that I came up with yesterday. Here goes, RSV stands for:

1. Really Snotty Varmit
2. Really Should (have some) Vicks (vapor rub)
3. Raspy Sounding Voicer
4. Rattling Sneezing Vomiter
5. Really Shoddy "Vacation"

I came up with many more, but I will keep it at my top 5 to avoid posting profanity, anything too vulgar or inappropriateness.

She is doing much better today, so I really can't complain. Until the next event.........

PS - I gave my mom a hard time yesterday because I think her and dad gave me the wrong name. I love Amy, don't get me wrong, but maybe if they named me "Murphy" then Murphy's Law maybe wouldn't apply to me so often!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feeding the Dogs





This was cracking me up. I was busy trying to tidy up the house so that my Friday morning clean wouldn't be too awful and I could hear Louisa tinkering in the breakfast room and hear the dog bowls clinging. She loves to bang them around and play with them. Well, I started to hear the "ting" of the food hitting the bowls and I walked in there to find her reaching down into the big bag of dog food and grabbing out handfuls and placing them into the bowls for the dogs to eat. Mallard & Lucy were loving the attention. To pun, they were eating it up. Haha, I know. Honestly, she did this for like 30 minutes - she NEVER concentrates on something for that long. It was too cute. She kept saying, "Nucy eat, Mawward eat." I was able to get some things done, you know my motto, "whatever works."

By the way - I am now officially unemployed. Scary. It hasn't hit me yet. I am sure that I will enjoy it Monday morning when I don't have to wake up with my alarm!! Yipee.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bittersweet Surrender

There is a song by Big Head Todd & the Monsters that describes how I feel right now. The words say, "It's bittersweet, more sweet than bitter, bitter than sweet, it's a bittersweet surrender." Tomorrow is my last day at Children's Medical Group and I can't decide how I really feel. I'm excited one moment, scared the next, ready for it, freaked out, sad, happy, etc. This was a tough decision for me to make, and for some reason, I am still questioning it. I am not sure why, and Dr. Smith (the MD that I work for) even said himself that there is nothing better for a child than their mother to be home with them. So, everything should be ok, right?

I tried to break it down last night as I laid awake in bed (with a screaming child all night you get used to lying awake in bed) and I think I finally figured it out. I think I am afraid of losing my identity. I am a pediatric nurse, I know what I am doing and although it is the BIGGEST oxy-moron to think I am "just going to be a mom," it scares me. At work, I can diagnose an ear infection with just a few symptoms from a mom, I can spot strep throat a mile away, pneumonia can't hide from me and I can look at an immunization record and tell you exactly what you need or don't need. I can give shots with my eyes closed and tell you doses of medicines and the right ones off the top of my head. However, I am not sure that being a mom is so simple. Nursing is hard, don't get me wrong, but I know that what I am now up against is way harder than anything I've done in scrubs. It scares the mess out of me. I think this is why I am bittersweet.

Don't get me wrong, I'm already planning out my days and getting a schedule down (of course scheduling treadmill time so that I can run and watch Ellen) and planning playdates, etc. I am really looking forward to being able to clean the house more than just once a week (yep, there is the OCD). But, I will miss my days at CMG. I will miss Thursday afternoons falling apart at the seams, insane requests from parents, laughing because I am so swamped that I don't know if I'm coming or going, my sweet patients, telling Dr. Smith over and over how it would be if I ruled the world, etc. But this is a new chapter, I am hanging up the RN for a while. Wish me luck!

PS - Thanks for all of those (friends, patients, etc) who have helped me with this decision. Some parents at work (you know who you are) have been soooo supportive and helping me in being okay with my decision. So, here we go trying out to be "just a mom."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Tree Farm



The place where we went to pick out a pumpkin also has a tree farm where you can go and cut down your own tree. I have never done this before, but have wanted to for a few years, so we took Louisa back to Nichols-Boyd Farms today to pick out the perfect tree. Luckily we got there at a time that wasn't too crowded and we were able to get on the tractor and go out to the field where we got to chose our own Leland Cyprus. We found the perfect one, and a nice boy that worked at the farm cut it down for us. Louisa was too busy running around and kicking dirt balls to care about the tree, but I was stoked.

When we got home Byron was SUPER sweet and put all of the lights on the tree (temper-tantrum city for me) while I put the wreaths on the windows and got all of the mantles (we have 3 fireplaces, yes 3.....and not a one have we ever used!) and stockings ready. Louisa was once again too busy, this time eating popcorn, to care. Then she got into helping Byron put the ornaments on the tree and all you could hear from the other end of the house "I do it, no I hold it." Yes, Louisa, you can do it.

Here are some pictures.

This is Louisa watching the man cut down the tree.


Loving to run around in the field and kick all of the dirt balls.


"Helping" us to trim the tree.



Daddy carrying the tree.


Too bad you can't see the horns that usually disrupt the halo.


Here is the finished product, well sort-of finished. Haven't gotten all of the ornaments because I can't find my box of wire thingies that hang the ornaments on the tree to finish.




PS - here is April, the donkey/zebra mix that is the inspiration behind our goldfish "Zonkey."

Alabama Christmas

If you are not an Alabama fan, you may want to turn down the volume of the blog during the month of December. I love music, all kinds, but there is something about Alabama that I just love. Well, I grew up listening to the original Alabama Christmas tape each year at Christmas. Believe it or not, I cannot find the CD, I have looked for the last few Christmases. But, anyway - I am not one that really enjoys decorating the tree or house, etc. Crazy I know. But it is a no-brainer that listening to some of Alabama's Christmas songs will get me in the Christmas mood quickly. They almost put chills on my arms when I hear them. I was very sad to see that I couldnt download all of the songs to play on my blog - but I found a few.

There is not anything else that I can think of that brings me back to childhood more than this album. I can remember being in the den of our house on Nassau playing this tape over and over, and flipping it when it needed to be on side 2 and dancing and singing, probably driving my mom crazy since I dont think she really likes country music! Sadly, Thistlehair the Christmas Bear was one that I couldnt find, but I remember before I learned how to work the tape player asking Dad to play the bear song over and over and not understanding why I had to listen to all the other songs before it got to it! Just goes to show, I've never had patience! Also, during Homecoming Christmas there was a spot on the tape that was bad so it always sounded funny.

Hope you all enjoy and maybe it will bring you back too!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The morning after............


This picture says it all. She is a good sport. Once again, that trait did not come from her mama. You can see the markings that they use to place probes, and for some reason they use permanent marker that doesn't like to come off, so she has red marks for days. Also, they use some sort of wax to put all of the probes on her head, so you can tell it wrecks havoc on her hair, talk about a bad hair day. The sleep study went fair, Byron did this one with her and she did her regular waking/screaming cycles again, we just hope that it correlated with the pH probe machine to determine if that is the causative factor. We have a follow-up appointment on January 6th. So, until then.....................

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sleep Study Round 2

I know in my last post about the sleep study I said I wouldn't do it again because it was so awful, but here we go again. The sleep guys are hell-bent and pressed in believing that it is her reflux causing the central apnea, but the GI doctor says no way. So, the only way that we can figure this out and go further with treatment is to do another sleep study with a pH probe in place. Here is the kicker, I have to take her to the GI doctor tomorrow afternoon before the sleep study for the probe to be placed. For those fortunate enough not to know what is involved with this, let me just paint a beautiful picture. They have to put a tube down Lula's nose that goes into her belly. Yep. For real. I personally have never had this done to me, but unfortunately have done it to many children when I worked at the Children's Hospital, and it is not a good time to be had by anyone. I am so nervous and torn up that I cannot even sit still. It is so past my bedtime right now but I cannot even think of sleeping, I just panic each time I close my eyes. I feel awful.

Just please everyone say a little prayer that we will get some answers this time. I know Byron and I are so ready to move on from this, and if Louisa could just put it in words I can only imagine what she'd be saying.

I will try and keep everyone updated, but we probably wont have the results for a few weeks.

brownie-goose for Christmas

Here is yet another plug - check out www.browniegoose.com for all of your last-minute Christmas shopping needs. I have added new inventory and gotten new fabrics.....check it out!