Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Slideshow Update!

So I finally got around to updating the slide show of Darby's monthly pictures on the pink chair!

Darby is growing way too fast and into everything. She is standing and balancing on her own! She has taken 2 steps (not holding onto anyone or anything) but hasn't started walking yet - unless she is holding onto her walker toy! When she walks with her walker, she says "weeeee weeee" like she is swinging. She also points to the swing outside and says "weeeee weeee". She does the baby sign for "all done" and says "num num" when she is hungry and wants to eat! (We have always said "num num" for food to her, I don't know why but obviously she picked up on it!) During the day she is always asking for her "papa" and pointing to the backyard. She also points things out to us and says "see?"

I can't believe in just a few weeks she will be 1 and make the step into toddler-hood!

Here is the updated slide show!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

I can't live without ...

... these ingenious sippy cup (or snack trap) straps! You can hook them to the highchair, car seat, stroller or wherever else you can figure out! I came across them at Walgreens of all places and couldn't pass them up. I am so glad I spent the 6 bucks (for a pack of 2 straps) they have been more then useful.

They are long enough so that Darby can still throw back her juice like she does -

... and when she gets in her silly "uh oh" throwing mode, the sippy or snack cup is only going to go SO far! It doesn't hit the floor so there's no getting dirty, and she can pretty much pull it back up herself.

I never expected to come across such a find at a drug store. This was definitely a diamond in the ruff!

I'm sure I could even figure out a way to make these simple straps myself, maybe I should! Whoever had this idea is one smart person!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Eric's 1st Fathers Day & Julie Update

After Eric gave me such a fun day on Mothers Day, I knew I had to plan something extra special for him too. We had a busy weekend with family (my sister and brother in law are in town) and of course we celebrated with both of our Dads too. On Sunday Darby and I took Eric out on his special Fathers Day outing!

First Darby gave her Papa his 1st Fathers Day gift! An Angels tshirt that says DAD 1 on the back! He loved it! (He also got a new beach cruiser a few weeks earlier that was his gift too!)

Then we went to Pollywog Park in Manhattan Beach so that Eric could do one of his favorite things - play a round of disc golf! Darby and I enjoyed walking around the park watching him play and enjoying the beauuuutiful weather!

After the park we drove down to the Manhattan Beach Pier and had lunch (and of course a beer) at the Manhattan Beach Brewing Company. We had a great time, and of course Darby enjoyed being with her Papa. She just loves him so much!

On Sunday morning while D took her morning nap at my parents house in Redondo, Eric and I went over to UCLA Medical Center to visit Julie. Eric had also spent the afternoon on Saturday with her. She is able to talk if she applies pressure with her hand to the spot where the trach tube was. Hopefully she passes her next swallow test, failing 2 has been tough. It was great getting to see her looking happy. She is really doing awesome and looks great.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

I can't live without ...

Like I said before, I am all about anything that makes life easier. Thus, I am a fan of the "Snack Trap" or "Snack Catcher"! The particular ones I've bought for Darby are made by Munchkin, but there are other brands out there that are pretty much the same.

With these snack cups, Darby can easily reach in and grab her snack, with out being able to dump it all out at once! Also, she pulls out just what she eats so there's no mess (but I'm sure it's possible!?) and whatever is still in the cup can easily be saved for later!

I usually bring one filled up with a snack for Darby whenever I need to run errands. It's easy for her to hold on to (she usually holds one of the handles, although she isn't in the pictures!) and best of all it's self-serve so I have both my hands free!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today ...

... I was that mother in the store with the child SCREAMING at the top of their lungs. Darby has been teething pretty bad lately. She has 2 bottom teeth, and it looks like she is getting a few more on the bottom. Any day now. I just wish they would pop through so my poor baby can get some relief and a good nights sleep (and me too). At least when she is screaming in public I can comment she is teething. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it's because she is being naughty!

... Darby is 11 months old! I realize I still haven't posted a 10 month post, but I'm sure you all understand this month has been a bit crazy for us! I will post months 10 and 11 together soon!

... I talked to Darby's Pediatrician about transitioning from breast milk to whole milk. I am going to mainly pump (even though I hate it! So time consuming!) and give her bottles of breast milk/whole milk combined. Today after lunch she had breast milk mixed with half an ounce of whole milk. I will do that for a few days, then switch to 1 ounce, and gradually increase till its all whole milk! The only time Darby really nurses for comfort is in the middle of the night (but not every night). That may be challenging with the weaning, but I am confident she will do fine. I have loved nursing Darby. It has created lots of special moments and has been very beneficial for her!!

... My Mother in Law is doing GREAT! The trach tube has been removed, she is no longer on any oxygen and is starting to talk again. Eric even talked to her on the phone this morning! We are so happy for her. She may even be able to come home in a week or so! Amazing! Thanks again for all the prayers!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Julie Update & Fun with Cousin Miles!

As Julie's recovery from the double lung transplant continues, she is taking lots of baby steps in the right direction! We were able to visit with her a few times this last week, and she is really looking great. Yesterday when we arrived at the hospital, we could see her walking around through the windows in the doors to the ICU! We joined her for the last half of her last lap around her section of the ICU, and she did great. She still has the the trach tube in, so she is still unable to talk, but communicates by either writing in her book or mouthing words/sentences. Hopefully the trach tube will be out sometime this week, but really it's hard to predict. It just all depends on how things look each day. She is on a feeding tube for now, but once the trach tube comes out they will do a swallow test to make sure everything works ok - then she will be able to eat some soft foods. She did write us a note while we were there telling us how she can't wait to be able to DRINK again. I can't imagine not being able to take a sip of water when I wanted! Poor thing!

Last week they did a procedure to remove a small piece of her lungs so it could be biopsied for rejection. While we where there the Dr. came in to share the results. He said there was slight rejection, but nothing he is worried about. They will start Julie on some additional meds to help with that and said slight rejection like that can be normal for this stage after a lung transplant.

Like I've said before, there are always some setbacks but that is just par for the course. All in all she is doing GREAT and we are all just SO proud of her.

Last week my 7 year old nephew Miles came to visit for a few weeks. He is staying with my Mom and Dad in Redondo, but of course I will get to see him quite a few times while he is here! On Thursday he came over to meet Darby for the first time and to play for awhile. They had a great time playing together. It is so cute to see Miles interact with her, you can definitely tell he has smaller siblings at home. He is so good with her and loves to kiss her cheeks!! (who doesn't!?)

On Monday and Tuesday mornings we are taking Miles and Darby to Disneyland! It will be the first Disney adventure for Miles and as you can imagine, he is just SO excited.

My sister and Andrew are coming to visit in a week and we also have a family camping trip planned while they are all here! Miles can't wait to go in the trailer, he thinks it looks so neat. It should be really fun. I love when my sister and Andrew visit (we don't get to see them as much as we'd like, I wish they lived closer!) and having Miles here too just makes it all extra special!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

I can't live without ...

As a mother, I am always on the hunt for ANYTHING to help make life easier. There are definitely some things out there that do the job. I've decided I need to make sure everyone else knows about these gems too! The plan is to post each Thursday about something I just can't live without - or don't want to live without! Hopefully I can stick to the plan. Of course Darby updates and things about her will still be thrown in, but I'd also like to branch out a little and have more variety in my posting.

First things first. Diaper trash bins. Some people swear by the Diaper Genie - but I don't want to hassle with having to buy specific trash bag refills. I feel like a regular trash can would stink up the house to high heaven. We have a Diaper Champ but even still sometimes when you walk into the room you can tell there are dirty diapers lurking. Well, not anymore! I discovered these babies:

They WORK! It's amazing. Dirty diaper smell no more. I'm almost positive if you just used these with a regular trash can in the baby's room, the smell would be significantly less. Another reason why spending money on the Diaper Genie refills isn't worth it. Unless they make scented refills ... and if they don't they probably should!!

I know it's not that complicated to put some Johnson and Johnsons No More Tears shampoo on a washcloth. It takes 2 seconds, if that, and it's probably more cost effective then these:

BUT I can't live without them. I keep a pack of these (and a spare) under the sink in the bathroom. I don't have to remember to grab a washcloth before I stick Darby in the tub. All I have to do is reach into the cabinet, dip it in the water, lather D up, rinse her off and toss the washcloth. There is always enough soap on it, it doesn't irritate her eyes just like the normal stuff and simply put - it just makes life easier!!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

10 Month Old Time Outs & a Julie Update

I have to say Darby is certainly wise beyond her months, and not necessarily in a good way! 10 months old and she already knows how to throw a tantrum - I'm talking head whipping back, body turning into jelly, scream filled, TANTRUM! I always thought tantrums happened later, at least after their first birthday! Darby knows what the word "NO" means, she hears it a million times a day because she LOVES getting into everything she shouldn't, even if she has just freshly heard the word "No". She will look at you when you say "no" then go back to doing what you told her not to! Naughty little thing!

Today, she was attempting to get into the cabinet in the living room (for the millionth time I might add). I've decided that once I've said "NO" and removed her from doing what she shouldn't be, if she goes back to it, she will get a time out. Yes, time outs at 10 months old. I think if she is old enough to know what she is doing (which she DOES), she is old enough to be corrected! Obviously I am not expecting much from 10 month old time outs, but I have to start somewhere. I've decided to stick her in her packnplay immediately after saying "NO" for just a few minutes. Hopefully she starts connecting it all and we get somewhere.

Saying "NO" a thousand times a day is exhausting. I'm sure only to get worse before it gets better!

With Julie's lung transplant it is all about baby steps. She is making improvements daily, but there are also set backs. All in all, she is doing great. Right now she is breathing on her own (with some extra oxygen) and no longer with the help of the ventilator. They have taken her out of bed and she was able to sit up right in a chair. Of course she is still in pain and has a ways to go, but being a week out from such a massive surgery, she is doing wonderfully. Her lungs are working 100% and she is fighting with everything she has. We love her so much and ask for your continued prayers!

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Some Complications

I am sorry to say Julie isn't doing as well as she was. The bottom of both lungs are not functioning. This morning they had to place a tracheostomy tube and of course she has not come of the ventilator yet. Please continue your prayers. We are hoping to go for a quick visit later on today if she is up for it.

Yesterday I had these made. Since Julie is in the ICU she obviously isn't allowed any flowers to cheer up the room. I figured being able to see Darby (and since Darby isn't allowed in to see her) might help lift her spirits a bit. I got them blown up to 12x18 so no matter where they are in the room, she can't miss them!

I really just wish it was 4 months from now already and she was home and everything was perfect. I am REALLY so very lucky to have such a great Mother in Law in Julie, and to have married into such a close knit family.

I will post another update when I have one.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Julie Update & D's New Doll

Today Julie's progress has slowed down slightly, but she is still doing well. In order for her to be taken off the ventilator, some of her pain medication has to be reduced - so she has feeling in order to breath properly. Of course this causes lots of pain and discomfort for her. Also, she was so used to breathing with little quick breaths that breathing at a normal pace (with the help of the ventilator) has caused her some anxiety. Yesterday evening when Eric and I were in visiting her she wrote a note to us saying that for so many years she was used to breathing faster that having such controlled slowed down breathing feels odd. It will take some time for her to get used to breathing the right way again.

We are still hopeful that tomorrow she will be taken off the ventilator and breath on her own for the first time in years. If it doesn't happen tomorrow, we will be hopeful that it will be the next day. At any rate, she is still doing well - much better then expected. She is in the most capable hands ever at UCLA Medical Center with the BEST doctors, and has about a million people saying prayers for her!!

While we were at the hospital, Eric found his way into the gift shop. He found the cutest baby doll - that is almost the same size as Darby - and just couldn't pass it up. She has fallen in love with the doll and will not let it go! I can lay her down for her nap with the doll and she holds on to it and doesn't fuss! Today when I laid her down for her nap I snuck back in a took a quick picture, then took one of the baby monitor. It is just took cute not to share with the world!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Latest

I am sorry for the delay in updating everyone. I just wanted to wait to post until I had something uplifting and positive to write.

After a long day (Tuesday) filled with lots of waiting, the double lung transplant surgery finally got started around 11:30-ish, I think the donor lungs arrived somewhere around midnight. It lasted about 6 hours. Time could not have moved slower during those hours. We received an update around 1:30am that the new lungs were being sewed in. The next update wasn't until around 5:30 when they were finishing up.

After a long morning filled with not so great news on Julie's progress (I don't want to go into too many details, because I really have no idea what she is comfortable with me writing for the world to see), the afternoon brought much needed HOPE.

In the morning, Julie had been requiring 100% oxygen to breath with help of the ventilator. By the early afternoon, she was down to 80. By the late afternoon she was at 40! A normal person breaths at a 20, that is not far off. Once she is down to a 20, her breathing tube can be removed. This morning the Dr was saying she would need to be kept out for days. But by the afternoon she was awake. She looks great (given the circumstances) the difference from the morning and the evening is nothing short of amazing. She is writing notes, asking questions and communicating. Still, of course she needs rest, is in pain and there is still a LONG ways to go. It's all about baby steps.

Thank you God, for this wonderful gift for my amazingly strong Mother in Law, whom I love with all my heart.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming!

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009


The transplant surgery is scheduled for around 7 or 7:30 tonight. From what we've heard it can take anywhere from 6-10 hours. We will be here every minute until the surgery is over and we know Julie is doing ok.

Darby is having a great time getting lots of attention from her Grandma, Grandpa, Great Aunts and Uncle, Uncle Ryan and Great Grandpa and Nana!

Awhile ago Darby and I were in with Julie and a girl popped in that had a successful double lung transplant a year ago. She ran a MARATHON in March. Darby might be the only one who will be able to keep up with Julie once she's recovered!

Please keep the prayers coming!

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Prayer Request

Some of you might already know that my Mother in Law, Julie, has been waiting for a lung transplant since December. This morning the call came in and right now we are all camped out at the hospital. The surgery probably wont actually be until later this evening - they have to run some tests on the donor (a 17yr old on life support) before the organs can be harvested.

Please pray for Julie, for the success of the transplant surgery and her recovery. I will post an update when I have one.

Thank you all!

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