Saturday, November 20, 2010

Milestones

We've had several big milestones lately and I just wanted to take a minute to record them.


#1 - Lance and I celebrated our 4th anniversary! I can't believe it's already been 4 years! We got to celebrate by taking a short road trip down to Las Vegas while Grandma J watched Abbie. We were originally supposed to go on Wednesday and come back Saturday night, but my poor pregnant body just couldn't handle all of the walking and those oh-so-comfy hotel beds, so we ended up leaving a day early. The big highlight of the trip was going to see Blue Man Group. Man are they bizarre! We also hit a few of the classics like the foutains at the Bellagio, the volcano at the Mirage, and of course we had to stop at the Coca Cola Factory to sample different drinks from around the world. All in all, it was a great trip and we had fun getting to spend some time alone together.

Blue Man Group

Coca Cola Factory
We drank all but 4 that were REALLY nasty


#2 - Abbie is now 1 and 3/4 years old! Hehe. To celebrate this significant milestone, we moved Abbie into a big girl bed! I can't believe it! It really feels weird that my little baby is not in a crib anymore, but we thought it was a good time to make the transition. It's been a week now and she had done amazing! She doesn't try to climb out (she never tried to climb out of her crib either) and she is still the great sleeper she was before. Knock on wood. We should also celebrate that Abbie now loves nursery! No more screaming or tantrums! Yipee! She's still doing well with eating and Mom and Dad love not having the tube! She talks constantly and repeats almost everything she hears. She loves to help Mommy sing songs, her favorites at the moment being Twinkle, Twinkle (she can almost sing the whole song by herself), Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam (or sunbeep as she sings it), and Once there was a Snowman. She is our little sweetheart, and we can't believe how much she is growing and learning!

She's such a big girl!


#3 - I am officially 30 weeks pregnant! - I feel a little bit bad because I haven't said much at all about this pregnancy, but there really hasn't been too much to say. Things have gone pretty smoothly, and I am only now starting to experience some of the third trimester woes, like mega heartburn, discomfort due to my increasingly large abdomen, and difficulty sleeping. One of my favorite things about pregnancy is being able to feel the baby move. I thought Abbie moved a lot but wow, this little girl is crazy! I swear she never sleeps because I feel her ALL the time! We're getting really excited to have her here but it still seems like a long way off. Abbie loves to give my belly kisses, and when I ask her if she wants a little baby sister, she nods, but I don't think she really understands. I think she will adore the baby, just maybe not all of the attention that the baby gets. And as a special treat for all of you who get this far, I'll post a picture of my ever-expanding belly! Wahoo! What? Aren't you excited?



Only 10 weeks to go!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween!

We had such a fun Halloween this year! We had a little bit of a rocky start to the spooky season on an innocent trip to Macey's grocery store. I took Abbie down the "Halloween" aisle so I could look at the candy, when suddenly she burst into tears! She had looked up to see these freaky skeleton ghouls hanging from the ceiling. Needless to say, the rest of that shopping trip didn't go so well and I quickly learned to avoid the "Halloween" aisle at any store for the month of October! Because of that experience, I wasn't sure that Abbie would be too keen on trick-or-treating, but she did great. I think her favorite part was waiting for the doorbell to ring so she could hand out candy to the kids. We had a Halloween party to go to so we tried to come up with some sort of costume. Basically, we just used what we had in our costume box and tried to match our costumes to some recognizable figure. Lance's "Injun Joe" was awesome, but all we could come up with for my costume was Kevin Jonas! Oh well, I guess it was funny.


"Kevin Jonas" and "Injun Joe"
Cutest little Panda

Of course we carved pumpkins this year, and Abbie got to participate a little bit more than last year. She picked her own, and was so excited that she got a Mickey Mouse on hers. We tried to let her help with a little carving, but ended up switching the little carving tool for a pen and let her go at it. Lance and I carved too but I didn't get a good picture of our pumpkins. Anyway, hope you all had a great Halloween! I can't believe its November already!
Yummy!

Trying to carve

Decided to draw instead

Mickey Mouse!

Daddy hard at work

Saturday, October 23, 2010

NO MORE TUBE!!!!

I don't know if you can tell from the title, but we are very excited that this day has finally come! In order to give you an idea of why this is such a big deal for us, I'm going to dip into Abbie's history for a little bit. If you're not in the mood for reading, just skip to the end to read about Abbie's latest. For those of you who don't know Abbie's story, getting her to eat and drink has been a struggle from the beginning. She wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything by mouth until she was three months old, due to her multiple surgeries, recoveries, and some aspiration problems. She's had some form of feeding tube since birth. Her first tube was just an IV. She then graduated to a tube that went through her mouth and down to her intestines. This one was especially hard for us to see because she would gag every time she moved her head! Luckily, this one was only for a few days when she was a newborn.

Anderson Tube (through the mouth)

The next tube went through her nose and down to her intestines. She had this one till she was 3 months old. While this one wasn't nearly as bad as the tube through her mouth, we had to watch those sweet little baby hands to make sure she didn't yank it out! The next tube still went through her nose, but we finally graduated to a tube that actually used her stomach!

NG Tube (the yellow one going through her right nostril)

First day home from the hospital, hooked up to her feeding pump

Little stinker! Pulled out her tube in the middle of the night!

We also got permission to start trying to feed her by mouth. I figured that it would take some work to get her to eat enough to get the tube out, but wow, I had absolutely no idea of the journey we would take over the next 18 months. I won't go into all the details of our feeding attempts. I'll just say that over the next 4 months, we were happy if she drank a tablespoon of diluted formula a day. Because of her agonizingly slow progress, we decided to put in a more permanent feeding tube. It was a hard decision, but by now, Abbie was 8 months old, and it was impossible to keep her little hands away from her tube. Her poor little cheeks were raw from yanking the tape off of her face, and my nerves were shot from having to pin her down while Lance put the tube back down her nose. Anyway, it was a relatively simple surgical procedure to get the gastronomy tube put in and we finally got to see her beautiful face with no tape and no tube. The G-tube was a LOT better than the nose tubes, so we had a lot to be thankful for.


Poor little cheeks after Abbie ripped her tube off her face

The lovely G-tube, all bandaged up right after surgery

Finally, what a precious tube-free face!

We made some good progress over the next 8 months, and on May 17, 2010, Abbie had her first day and night of 100% oral feeding. Even though Abbie was now eating and drinking on her own, we still had to keep the tube in to make sure she could maintain a good weight gain. Finally, after 5 months of not using her tube, we got permission to get it removed!!! On Friday, October 22, we made the familiar trek to Primary Children’s Hospital and checked in for surgery like old pros. Abbie knew the drill too, but for her that meant start crying at the sight of anyone in scrubs! She was ok once we were in the waiting room and she got to play with all the fun toys.


Not so happy after the nurses took her vitals


When it got closer to our surgery time, the nurses gave her some medicine for “separation anxiety” which basically makes the kiddos unaware of what is going on around them. It’s nice for me because I don’t have to watch her cry and scream for her mommy while being taken away by a complete stranger. I thought it was hard to send her in for surgery when she was a baby, but it is soooooo much harder when they know what’s going on!

Abbie "smiling" for the camera after taking her medicine

Anyway, the surgery was only about 30 minutes and Abbie was a champ as always. We were home a few hours later and besides a little bit of soreness, she is back to her normal, crazy self. It will be so nice not to have to worry about her tube catching on the edge of a chair and getting yanked out and I can finally teach her how to go down the stairs on her stomach! We are so grateful for Abbie's amazing journey so far and can't wait to see what life holds next!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yay for Ultrasounds!


Can I just say that I have been terribly spoiled with both of my pregnancies! I probably got 5 or 6 ultrasounds with Abbie and I've already had 4 with this baby. I just love getting to see the little fingers and toes and lips and nose, although my favorite image is the spine for some reason. I just think it looks cool because you can see all the little bones. Anyway, enough blabbing. We met with a perinatologist (high-risk pregnancy doctor) who did an ultrasound to make sure that everything was ok with this baby's heart. It was just a precaution because of Abbie's condition. Drumroll please.......everything looks GREAT! I saw 4 little chambers and 2 valves just pumping away! It was a relief to know for sure that everything was ok. Oh, and we confirmed that Baby #2 is definitely a little girl for those of you who hadn't heard ( I forgot to post after that ultrasound). Anyway, we are very happy with the results and are looking forward to having a more "normal" baby experience this time around.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

29, 6, 3, & 14

Wow! I can't believe July is already over! This summer has gone by in a flash of family reunions, holidays, camping trips, and lots of fun in the sun. I have a lot to catch up on and it will probably take me a few posts, but at least I'm starting.

29 - We celebrated Lance's 29th birthday last week!! Only one more year until he's officially old! Just kidding. Life starts when you turn 30 right? Anyway, Lance has been wanting to go to Rodizio Grill for a long time, so we left Abbie with Grandma and Grandpa and headed off to stuff ourselves silly with all kinds of meaty goodness. When we got back, we opened presents, ate cake and ice cream, and played games. I forgot my camera so sorry for the lack of pictures.

6 - We met with our pediatrician to see when we could look into getting Abbie's feeding tube taken out and he told us that he would like Abbie to go 6 months tube-free before we take it out. So we're looking at mid-November for the day we've been looking forward to since Abbie came home from the hospital! It's going to be a great Thanksgiving for us this year!

3 - This is the number of Sundays left until Abbie goes to nursery!! Wahoo! I think she will love it, so we're crossing our fingers! It's not going to be much of a change for me since I teach primary, but Lance is very excited to feel like an active member of church for the first time in a year!

14 - As exciting as all of those numbers are, this is the number we are most excited about. As of today, I am 14 weeks pregnant with baby #2!! The little squirt is due at the end of January and we're excited for Abbie to get a little brother or sister. Hopefully we'll be able to find out the gender at my next appointment on August 17th!

P.S. Sorry for the complete lack of pictures!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Success!!

I love chili!!


Abbie has officially gone one entire month without using her feeding tube!! We are so excited and so happy with her progress! She's still on the small side, weighing in at just under 20 lbs, but she's still on the growth charts and she's still gaining weight (very slowly, but at least she's gaining). Her favorite foods are Mac'n'cheese, chili, jam sandwiches, green beans, broccoli, chicken and rice, and cheese. She's really not very picky, but it takes a lot of effort every day to make sure she gets enough food. Hopefully things will continue to get better and she'll start eating more by herself, without so much help from mom. As for the drinking, she is doing excellent! She drinks 2-3 cups of milk mixed with pediasure from her sippy cup with no problem. Sometimes, I think back to the days when we were happy because she drank one ounce from her bottle and I can't believe we finally made it to this point! We don't know how long Abbie will need to go tube-free before they'll take the actual tube out, but that's not really a big deal for us right now.

Yummy mac'n'cheese!

On another note, Abbie had a cardiology appointment a week ago and everything was just great. In fact, the doctor took Abbie off of her last medicine, so we are officially medicine-free! Yipee! So Abbie is pretty much a normal, happy little girl. We are so proud to be the parents of such a little fighter! We love you Abbie!!

My sippy is my best friend!

Friday, May 14, 2010

First Trip to the Zoo!

Abbie would NOT look at the camera all day!


About a month ago, Lance took off early from work so we could go on a little outing to the zoo. Abbie loves animals and we were so excited to see her reaction to the animals at the zoo. It was a little dissapointing because a lot of the bigger animals, like the elephants and zebras, weren't outside. We did get to see lots of monkeys, which were definitely Abbie's favorite. We also got to go inside the giraffe house and Abbie was fascinated with them.




This little monkey loved Abbie and wanted to kiss her!



Wow, look at that tongue!



Abbie liked the animals but she was more excited to be able to get out of the stroller and play at the little park. She liked going down the slide and sitting on the play animals. She also loved playing in the fountain. All in all, it was a fun little trip. We're looking forward to lots more adventures this summer.








Gabby Abbie

Lately, Abbie has been jabbering a lot. And by a lot, I mean nonstop all day long! It's so cute because she acts like she's really having a conversation with us. She has started saying several understandable words like mama, dada, ball, dog, bye-bye, cheese, shoes, pants, bath, box, dance, and outside. Of course, to most people they still sound like jibberish, but we can tell. She also enjoys making animal noises and has about 6 or 7 animals in her repetoire. She likes screaming, growling, and using her tongue to make silly sounds. This is a little video we took at dinner when she was making sure her utensils knew that she was the boss.


video

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Fever!


This picture is from Easter last year. Abbie was still in the hospital but it was just that morning that we recieved the news that Abbie would be going home the next day!! What a wonderful Easter miracle that was! This is one of the few times she wore clothes while in the hospital, but it wouldn't be Easter without a pretty Easter dress! We've come so far and we feel so blessed that Abbie is doing so well. This year, however, Easter didn't quite turn out as we expected. We had planned to go down to Beaver for the weekend for the Annual Moss Easter Egg Hunt. We were so excited for Abbie to run around with her cousins and find eggs. I guess she had different plans though, when she decided to have a fever, and do nothing but sleep and cry for four days. Poor thing! We had to nix our Beaver plans and have a quiet weekend at home instead. She was starting to feel better late Saturday and Sunday so we did get to do a little Easter celebrating. We decorated some eggs and tried to have some Easter egg hunts but she didn't really have the energy to walk around to find the eggs. Luckily, we had a ward Easter egg hunt the week before so she still got to have that experience. We also had a nice Easter dinner at G & G Johnson's house and then went to visit Great Grandma Johnson. Abbie even let us enjoy most of General Conference. Overall, it was a good Easter. We really missed seeing all of our family down in Beaver but fortunately we'll get to see them in a few months for the Moss Family Reunion! Yay! Hope everyone had a great Easter and Conference weekend!

Here are some pics from last weekend:



Abbie wasn't quite fast enough at first


She got one!

Calling her girlfriends to tell them about her pretty Easter dress



Now some pics from this weekend:


This is what she was doing for 85% of the weekend

What a hairdo!


video
Abbie's version of egg decorating



Visiting Great Grandma J

Family Easter Pic

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pigtails: Attempt #1

So Abbie's hair is getting kind of long, but only in the back. She looks like she has a mullet. Anyway, I thought I would try my hand at some little pigtails. Poor little thing had to suffer through her mother's lack of hair-doing skill. It turned out cute enough but I don't think Abbie will ever let me do it again. Plus, it made her look like a boy from the front because you couldn't even see the pigtails. Oh well! We'll try again someday!
From the Front: You can't even see them and it looks like she has boy hair

From the Side: Cuter, but see how she has no hair on the sides?

From the Back: Cutest. I think they turned out pretty good (at least from this view)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Memories

For some reason, I have a distinct memory of last year's St. Patrick's Day of all days. I probably remember it because Abbie's nurses made her all of these really cute bows and I was so excited to use the pretty green one for Abbie's first official "holiday" St. Patrick's Day. Anyway, I just thought it would be fun to do some comparison photos from last year to this year.

The famous green bow

Sitting up in a chair for the first time

One year later...man what a difference a year makes!

Hope everybody had a great St. Patty's Day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Abbie!!!

Birthday Girl loved the balloons!
Yesterday Abbie got to celebrate her first birthday with lots of cake, balloons, presents, and family! We had pizza for dinner, cause what's a party without pizza? Abbie loves pizza crusts, so it worked out great. Next, we opened presents and she loved every one of them. It took awhile, but you can't expect a one year old to open a new toy and then just move on to the next present without playing with it first. She got some cute new dresses and outfits for Spring, new books, some stuffed animals, a beautiful toy chest (made by Grandpa J), some cool new toys, and a play tent. After presents came the cake. She took a couple of swipes at the frosting and decided she didn't like getting messy. Oh well! More undamaged cake for the rest of us to eat! Here's a little video of Abbie going at the cake.

video

While we were eating cake, we watched a couple of slideshows with pictures from Abbie's first year. The kids were kind of bored so Abbie and her cousins went to play with her tent. I was sitting there, watching the slideshow when I noticed that it had gotten kind of quiet and both of Abbie's cousins were sitting there watching too. I asked Haley where Abbie was and she said, "I think she's trying to climb the stairs." Yikes! We all got up and ran to the stairs. Lance's brother Ren was the closest but we were all just a little too late. We don't really know what happened, but I think she fell from the 2nd or 3rd step up and bonked her head pretty good. She had a big goose-egg and was crying pretty hard for a few minutes. We knew she was okay though, because after the initial scare, she wanted to get down to play with her new toys. Poor girl! What a birthday present!
Can you see the red bump on her forehead?
Anyway, thank you to all of our family for making Abbie's birthday special. This year has been a challenging one for us, but we are so happy to have this sweet little angel as part of our family. She makes us smile and reminds us that life is precious. Happy Birthday Abbie! We love you!

Loving the party hats!
Playing in her tent

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Long Day, but Good News

Getting checked in. Not a happy camper!

Abbie's heart cath was yesterday and boy was it a long day. We arrived at the hospital at 9:30a.m. only to be told that somebody had told us the wrong check-in time. We weren't supposed to be there till 11a.m. and Abbie's procedure wasn't scheduled to start until 12:30p.m.! That left 3 hours for us to try to keep Abbie entertained and somewhat happy. We managed, with lots of help from the toys at the hospital and a little nap. So 12:30 rolls around and we still haven't heard anything. We asked the nurses in the waiting room to call the cath lab to see what was going on and found out that they were going to be delayed. We ended up waiting almost 5 hours before Abbie was finally called at 2p.m.. The procedure itself took 3 hours, and then we had to stay at the hospital for 5 more hours to make sure Abbie was ok. We ended up leaving the hospital at 10:15p.m. Yikes!

Making lunch for mom and dad while we wait

Abbie taking a nap in a wagon

Anyway, that was our long day, now on to the good news. The pressures were a lot lower than before and it doesn't look like there are any other big problems. Abbie's heart is definitely unique and it's just going to have to be monitored to make sure it is growing and working properly as Abbie grows. So, bottom line is nothing is changed from the original plan and Abbie is doing well. Here are some cool x-rays of Abbie's heart. I just thought it was neat to see the pacemaker and the lead wires that are attatched to her heart. You can also see how her sternum was wired shut after her open heart surgery.