Thursday, July 30, 2009

Time line...

It was suggested to me that I should create a time line of the last 6 months that we have had with Molly and her numerous hospital trips. There are 2 reasons to document the events. First of all, I'm afraid I will forget and secondly I hope that this will soon be behind us and it can just be a memory. Feel free to read but I won't be offended if you don't. It's mostly for Mike and I and our family. Molly has been remarkable through the whole experience and I want to jot down a few things about our trip.

November 2008 - just before Thanksgiving we met with Dr. R after having a ultrasound and VCUG done late October 2008. It was recommended then, with the results now being bilateral reflux of her kidney's, to have corrective surgery done. It is called bilateral reimplantation of the ureters. It will be done laproscopy with the aid of a robot.

January 30, 2009 - we went in for surgery this morning at St. Francis. The surgery went well and we were in the hospital until Sunday, February 1st.

Thursday, February 5, 2009 - Molly had been complaining for 2 days of abdominal pain and she hadn't had a bowel movement since Sunday. I took her to see Dr. C, our pediatrician who had me increase her dose of Miralax for constipation.

Friday, February 6, 2009 - after a very rough night I called Dr. R's office and they sent us for a x-ray to see if there was a large amount of stool in her bowels. They could see some on x-ray so they had us do a dose of Lactilose. This stayed down for about 10 minutes and then Molly threw it up. She had been throwing up since Friday morning. We also did Pedialax which are suppositories.

Saturday, February 7, 2009 - another rough night that resulted with Molly not having a wet diaper overnight. I called Dr. R and he felt that she needed to be immediately admitted to the hospital. That day they did 2 or 3 enemas that did not result in any stool being passed. Molly's abdomen is distended so much that she looks like she is pregnant.

Sunday, February 8, 2009 - after some early morning labs are performed it is discovered that Molly's renal function is very low. This would indicate complete renal failure and lack of kidney function. Dr. C, Dr R's partner, is on hand and a renal ultrasound is immediately done and a catheter is inserted. When they don't see anything wrong with the kidney's we go immediately for a VCUG (voiding cystourethagram) in radiology. This doesn't show a leak in the bladder. Dr. C's then says Molly needs a cystogram right away. This will determine where a possible leak may be happening. She is now thinking the ureters may be leaking. Dr. C's wheels Molly herself to the pre-op area. She is whisked in to surgery. Dr. C comes out later and tells us she is needing a interventional radiologist to assit with a ureter set of stents being put in. This will take all of the pressure off of the kidney's and allow the leaking ureters to heal.

Monday, February 9, 2009 - Molly's renal function panels are greatly improving but she is still in quite a bit of discomfort. Dr. R decides that we need to get the pressure off of her abdomen and allow the urine to drain another way. Molly was completely filling up with urine over the week after surgery. We go back to surgery and they put in an abdomen drain. It is performed by Dr. R. There is just something weird about seeing urine come out any other way then normal. It is amazing how comfortable Mike and I became with all the tubes.

Tuesday, February 10 - Friday, February 13, 2009 - Molly's renal panel function continues to improve but she is irritable and in some discomfort. She is not really interested in eating or leaving her room. We try some anti-depressant drugs, which also help improve bladder spasms, and they make her even more emotional. The urine in her catheter and in her drain are still exiting at a good pace. The end result is we are hoping for the abdominal drain to eventually slow down.

Saturday, February 14, 2009 - We think this morning that we will be bringing Molly home some time that afternoon. It is discovered by Dr. R in the morning that the drain has migrated back inside Molly's abdomen. This is very discouraging and probably the lowest day we had. Dr. R has to take her back to surgery to find the drain and replace it. It also became a bit uncomfortable between Dr. R and the nursing staff. They are bending over backwards for us.

Sunday, February 15, 2009 - We bring Molly home from the hospital with the catheter and the abdominal drain. Mike and I are able to empty them and record the numbers ourselves.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - We go to see Dr. R and they take a culture of the abdominal drain fluid. They both need to remain in for a few more days.

Friday, February 20, 2009 - We do another fluid culture for Dr. R and he wants the catheter and drain to stay in over the weekend.

Monday, February 23, 2009 - The abdominal drain fluid has become almost non-existent and has slowed down dramatically. We go to the hospital early in the morning and give another sample off fluid. We see Dr. R in the lobby and he takes us to his office where he removed the catheter.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - We go to Dr. R's office and he removes the abdominal drain. It is amazing how much happier Molly is after both tubes have been removed.

Wednesday - February 25, 2009 - The nurse from Dr. R's office calls and says that there is some bacteria in the fluid sample from the drain and a shot of gentamicin is recommended. We go to Dr. R's office to receive the shot.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009 - routine visit to Dr. R's office where we give a urine sample and he checks out Molly's incisions.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 - Molly goes to The Center for Health and has outpatient surgery to remove the stents in her ureters. She does great!

Friday, April 24, 2009 - I had noticed for a few days an increased demand in Molly's drinking and a lot of frequent urinating. I call our pediatrician and they have us come in for a urine sample. They call within 2 hours and tell me that they are concerned because Molly's urine is concentrating - meaning that it is more water than urine. It is clear and looks like water. They ask us to catch a first void of the morning and come in for some blood work.

Saturday, April 25, 2009 - We go to the lab and do the urine sample and blood work. Around 5 o'clock that evening the pediatrician calls and says that the urine is not concentrated and we need to be admitted to the hospital for some tests. It is appearing that Molly has diabetes insipidous. It is a water form of diabetes and not related to sugar. This kind of diabetes can be pituitary related or kidney related.

Sunday, April 26, 2009 - we meet with Dr. W an endocrinologist. She has Molly take a pill which is a form of a hormone in your brain. If it is diabetes insipidous your brain will tell your kidney's to get rid of more urine and your urine will start concentrating normally. We also meet with Dr. H, a nephrologist. He wants us to understand how important it is to keep Molly's kidney's healthy.

Monday, April 27, 2009 - it is determined that this is not a pituitary problem (whew!) and we go for a test where they run dye through the kidney's and observe their function. I can't remember the exact name of the test but it called something like a Mag 5 scan. An i.v. has to be started for the test. Traumatic. I have been in contact with Dr. R and let him know what was going on. He feels that it may be related to Molly's other surgery and is waiting to be called in.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - Molly goes for a renal ultrasound and Dr. R and Dr. H determine that there is a blockage with her ureters. Molly is taken to surgery and a new set of uretal stents are put in. Her kidney function had started to deteriorate again.

Wednesday, April 29. 2009 - We are released from the hospital and Molly's kidney function is back on track. She did great with the surgery and is strong. Dr. R has determined that scar tissue may be causing the blockage.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 - Molly has to have a blood drawn done for Dr. H to check her renal panel function.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - We see Dr. H in his office and Molly's renal function is really good and she is doing well.

Monday, May 18, 2009 - Molly has an ultrasound at the hospital and we see Dr. R in the office. Everything looks good and we talk about some options for Molly. Dr. R would like to try an outpatient procedure where he will thread a balloon up to Molly's ureters and expand it with the hopes of breaking up some scar tissue that has formed causing this blockage. Mike and I agree to try it and he gives us a 50% success rate.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 - I take Molly to meet with a nutritionist at the hospital. During the hospitalization in February Molly lost 4 pounds and we are having trouble putting it back on. It is important to "fatten" her up in hopes that it will help the healing process. The nutritionist gives me some great ideas.

Thursday, June 18, 2009 - Molly goes in for the outpatient balloon procedure. After about an hour and a half Dr. R comes out, with Dr. C, and tells us that although Molly is stable and doing great he could not get the balloon threaded up to her ureters like he hope to. He feels that the blockage is too great and that he needs to reimplant her ureters again immediately by opening up her abdomen. I'm sure the look on my face was priceless. After my initial shock set in we agreed to go forward. Molly was in surgery 3 1/2 hours and did wonderful.

Friday, June 19, 2009 - Molly rests in the hospital and is doing well for the situation. She is catheterized and not happy about it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009 - Molly is released from the hospital and we are sent home with the catheter.

Monday, June 22, 2009 - We take Molly to Dr. R's office and he removes the catheter. Again, it is truly amazing how much better things get once it is removed. Molly is in some discomfort for the next week but gets better every day.

As of today things are going really good. We go next Thursday, August 6th, to have the last set of stents removed. This is done outpatient. We hope and pray that after next week the whole ordeal will be behind us. We will go for weekly ultrasounds for a while to watch everything but we really hope that the second surgery did the trick. There are some days when I can't believe all this happened!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Enough potty talk already...

Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!! It may have begun here. The dreaded potty time by youngest cherub. I have been trying to ignore it A LOT but I'm not sure I can anymore. I have found Amanda twice today naked from the waist down just walking around minding her own business. When I ask her what she is doing she says "potty" or "pee". What the heck?? I can not afford to have her accidentally peeing on my brand new, beautiful, soft carpet. No way. I have unearthed the potty chair and it now has a spot in the kitchen. We also switched to a pull up this afternoon in hopes that she will realize that taking it off means hang out on the potty. We already knew she had a fascination with taking her clothes off if you remember this post. This has taken that to a whole new level. One that I wasn't quite ready to take. Yes, I admit that I find it much easier to keep her in a diaper longer. Cameron and Molly were 2 very challenging potty trainers and I already had accepted that Amanda would be just as hard. It just can't be that easy. Nope, I don't believe you. After all, I am a bit experienced in this! Ha-ha. I truly don't think that the concept has completely clicked for small fry but she loves the idea of doing whatever her brother or sister do. I just may be the recipient of that enthusiasm!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


We had company from Tuesday to Friday morning. Mike's brother, Mark, his wife, Emily, and their 3 girls were visiting from Ohio. We were a layover on their way to a wedding in Minnesota. We have another guest arriving tomorrow morning and staying until Tuesday. It is my baby-sitter from when my brother and I were little. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania and she flew to Peoria on Friday. She is with my brother and his family first. I thought I would share a few pictures from our latest visitors. Mike and I really worked to get things in order for guests. We still have a way to go but at least all the boxes were put away and it seemed like a real house here.

Cameron and Maddie - too much Fun Dip

Molly, Amanda and Morgan

Cameron and Marissa


I love my Big Brother!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


My Mom gave me one of those little daily devotional books for Christmas and I can't say that I had done a lot of reading in it. I unearthed it the other day unpacking more boxes and cracked it open. At first it may have been a diversion to stop unpacking but one particular day stood out to me. It was yesterday's passage. It said, "Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day." Psalm 91:5 There is a little daily message summarizing the passages and it says that taking foolish chances is not risk, but stupidity. Risk entails a good goal, a decent chance of achieving it, and a strong dose of trust. Risk is actually necessary if we want to grow in our relationship with God. When he calls you to do something out of our comfort zone we need to try, even at the risk of failing, while we trust him to help us complete what it is he has asked us to do. What a mouthful, right? I was recently thinking about how much preparation Mike had put in this time last year when he was job hunting. A lot of time would be an understatement. It can be a full time job looking for a full time job. We did a lot of trusting and risk taking and it has paid off. I feel emotional sometimes when I think of what we have done in the last few years as a family. Moved to 2 different states each time further from our families yet having great and positive experiences each time. I think we are a pretty strong couple and family. As long as I'm with Mike all risk is worth it. The passage ends by saying commit everything you do to the Lord, Trust Him and he will help you. I'm trusting him...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I did today...

There seems to be a gross misunderstanding in our house about what goes on here every day. I will admit that not every day is action packed but let me state up front that there is no napping (by the Mom) and there are no bon-bon's to be found on our premises. None. I will also admit that from time to time a little ADD sets in and I may get distracted and drift towards the computer. The Facebook website might be involved. I have to protect myself so I will not divulge too much information on that. But, I will share a picture collage of a day in the life of ME!

First we went to soccer. Cameron loves to wear the jersey for goalie.

Then we were home to meet the Rainbow Play system installers and have our play set put together. Fun!

Then Cameron went to the dentist. No cavities!

Then Cameron went to tennis that evening.

I meant to take pictures of the laundry I did and the dinner I made but my ADD set in yet again and I forgot!! I think you get the picture. I also had breakfast and lunch for the cherubs so they can have well balanced and full tummies. I also went to the video store and rented some movies. Along the way I treated myself to a frozen Coke which I did ALONE!! We had a busy day but a good one. Hope you did, too!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Teddy Bears...

I have to say that one of the things I love best about where we now live is the GREAT park system and their fun programs. Cameron has enjoyed t-ball, soccer and tennis this summer. Those pictures will come later.

The other program that they have really been enjoying is a morning day camp called Teddy Bears. It's 2 mornings a week and I don't know the origin of the name but it's been a lot of fun. They do playing, singing, learn games, have a snack, listen to a story, do a craft, play some more - just have a great time! It has been a good decision to go and it has been worth the low cost that they charge for it. All of the park district programs seem well run and are geared for kids. Here are a few pictures to share!


Cameron and Molly

Cameron and Molly with their friend, Lydia

Having fun things to do in the summer makes the days really good!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Oh my!...

Yesterday started out pretty dreary here so we decided to head to the movies. Cameron REALLY wanted to see Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian. After the initial shock at the cost of the movies: 2 adults, 2 kids = $24 (at a matinee!) and then of course some snacks (which no one could agree on just one) = $16 we settled in to watch. The movie was good but not as good as the first one to me. I love the first movies story and this one was a little harder to get in to. But, I loved that we were successful at getting 3 kids to sit for almost the entire movie with little problems. I say little problems, though. We sat Mike on the aisle and then Cameron, Molly, Amanda and then myself. Mike and I sandwiched the kids between 5 seats. Amanda walked around a little between us but the theatre wasn't very busy so she wasn't disruptive. We were really getting into the story line and I guess engrossed in the movie when I happened to look over to see how everyone was doing. There was a sheen on Amanda that I couldn't figure out what it was. The theatre was pretty dark. I leaned closer to look (she was standing in the middle between Mike and I, but closer to Mike) when I realized she was standing there completely naked. Buck. In her birthday suit. No pants, no shirt, no diaper. All off. I loudly whispered, "MIKE!!" He was just as clueless as I was. I whispered, "where are her clothes!!??" The look on his face was priceless. I quickly whipped a diaper out of my bag and threw it to him. He diapered her standing up while I reached for her clothes. He got her shirt on and I put on her pants. We found her shoes ('cause you know how clean a movie theatre floor would be!) and put them back on, too. In the midst of this Molly announces in her regular voice "Mom, Amanda took her clothes off." No, really?? We have had a few good laughs about this but I really wonder if this is a brief look at what the future lies ahead for us. An exhibitionist? A artist? An actress? Please pray for us now! :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vacation, all I ever wanted...

I don't see a vacation in our future this summer. First of all, it's already July 8th and we don't have one planned. Secondly, school starts here August 19th and the summer is quickly passing. Thirdly, I kept waiting for CAT to take another rolling layoff and the July one has been cancelled and we don't know if one will be taken in August yet. The "thirdly" is a good thing but I was kind of hoping for a little family time. So that leads me to daydream about where I would go if we had the opportunity. There are so many places in the U.S. that I would love to see. Most of them would be much better when the kids are a little older. When I was growing up all, and I mean ALL, of our vacations centered around some kind of history lesson. We have an infamous story, really only funny to my immediate family, about our 17 hour trip from Seville, OH to Williamsburg, VA. It really should have only taken about 8 or 9 hours but we did side trips along the way to Appomattox Courthouse, Monticello (which we only saw the parking lot of) and the University of Virginia Rotunda building. We also did Jamestown and Washington D.C. on the same trip. I think you catch my drift on the history. My Dad is a history lover to say the least! My parents have twice been to the Abraham Lincoln library here in Illinois and loved it. I look forward to visiting it in the next few years when the kids will appreciate it a lot more.

Anyway, allow me to live vicariously through you...share with me your dream vacation location. Or share with me a place that didn't impress you very much. Then I can consider scratching it off my list!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I have had my dining room painted twice since we've lived in our new house. We moved in May 29th and it's been painted twice, by the same painter, the same color. It is a great butter cream light yellow. I really, really wanted the dining room to have a unique look so the painter suggested adding a topcoat of Ralph Lauren Candlelight to the color. It looks really cool...on the swatches. I'm not so sure about on the walls. The Candlelight top coat can be described as "an innovative top coat designed to emulate the radiant glow and the subtle nuances of flickering candlelight." Sounds awesome, doesn't it?? I thought I would love it but now I'm not so sure. I can guarantee that the hubby isn't going to like it one bit. He was satisfied with the painting last night before the Candlelight finish was added today. I have a feeling paint # 3 is our future...

Mike called to ask how it looked and I said "well..." and that about summed it up for him without even seeing it. I'll update on the dining room walls future soon...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why I love Facebook...

My loving husband is never going to get it. I've tried and tried to explain but he looks at me with a blank face. He can't understand my love of Facebook. He can't understand what it is that makes me feel connected. When you move to a new place it can take a while, and I mean a while, to feel normal. You feel like an outsider. You feel like you have a large tattoo on your forehead that says, "Hey, I'm new!" Learning the in's and out's can be a challenge. But, the thing that has connected me the most with the real world is finding friends on Facebook. Especially my sisters from AU. Some of the girls I wasn't necessarily that good of friends with back in the day but we many of us seem to have a lot in common now as Mom's, wives and daughters. I love reminiscing but I also love connecting and sharing advice on life. I am friends with some really smart, cool, and fun women! I just wish that we all lived closer so our friendship could be more than just over the internet! I thank all of my FB friends for their support over the last few months. You have no idea how much it meant to me to read updates about my status from you. It really felt like you were there for me and that means the world to me. You have allowed me to feel like myself even when I have felt new. I have laughed over old stories, old pictures and old memories. The hair and the clothes alone have made me chuckle. And when I talk to my old college friends we have never aged a bit and I LOVE that!! We're still 20, hot and fun! Keep it up, ladies!!

Thanks for being my virtual and real life friends. I love you all!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wish you were here...

The 4th of July is a bittersweet day for me. I love the festivities of cookouts, fireworks and fun but in the back of my mind I remember what use to be. My grandmother passed away on the fourth of July in 2006. We happened to be at my parents house in Ohio visiting when we got a phone call early on the 4th. My Aunt said that my Mom and Dad needed to come right away. Shortly later my Dad called with the sad news. Not the way we anticipated the day to go nor the way we anticipated one day for my Grandmother to pass. She died peacefully in her sleep the way anyone should want to go. I was so lucky to have her for 35 wonderful years. My grandfather was lucky to have her for 65 wonderful years. Can you imagine that - 65 years of marriage?? Crazy but what an wonderful example that I have had in my life. My grandparents lived for each other. My grandmother was not well most of my life but she never, ever complained. Another good example to live by. My grandmother never met my youngest, Amanda, but she would have loved her feisty attitude. Cameron has really been sharing a lot that he learned this past week at vacation bible school. It's been amazing to see how much he retained from it. He has told me several times that when we die we will go to heaven. That Jesus died for our sins and that we will meet him in heaven. I think of other people I hope to meet one day and being reunited with one of my favorites - my grandma. I miss you, Grandma!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Where did summer go???

Wow! I can't believe that we are days away from the 4th of July. Crazy. Where has our summer gone?

I say this because the 4th of July has always seemed like the middle of summer to me. A holiday that was symbolic of a build up of fun days. I am bummed because we almost always spend one of the nights around the 4th by going to hear the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Usually a group goes and we always have a fun time. It is a large amplitheater with a huge lawn and we take blankets, snacks, mommy juice and chill. The kids play and snack and then we hear a festive concert with fantastic fireworks. The perfect way to celebrate. Since were here in Illinois this year we aren't going. Bummer.

I'm also curious where the summer has gone in the way of the temperature. Last week it was unbearably hot. The kind where you were sweating just walking to the mailbox. Gross. Today it might not even break 70. Last night at vacation bible school I was kicking myself for not having a sweater when we were outside for games. It was really cold! I'll take the rest of the summer being a balmy 80. Warm enough to swim or run through the sprinkler but not too hot where you can't even go outside at noon. A happy medium. Is that too much to ask??