Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pray for Shelby...

As many of you know, Shelby is one of my weimaraners that I love like a child. She is 11.5 years old and has had irritable bowel syndrome for years. However, she has had more and more flare ups the past several years which has been causing other health issues. For those who don't want any details - skip to the last paragraph.

We have been very good about taking her to the vet and have actually seen all three vets in the clinic that I was referred to when I first moved to Birmingham. However, they could never treat her other issues since they were unsuccessful in diagnosing the problem. I would repeatedly tell them her symptoms, and all they would do is prescribe a different medication. It was never ending with the medicine, yet we weren't making any headway for her.

The past 6-8 weeks she has had even more problems, where she not only is having problems passing stool, but she has been leaking some blood, and lately stool, uncontrollably. In addition, she has lost over 10 lbs. It upsets her and us terribly. She can't help it though, and we know she is in pain so we can't punish her or really do anything. I took her back to our vet on Monday, and was told they were "at lunch" and to come back in one hour. So I did, and was told once again that they were "taking a late lunch and wouldn't be back for another hour." I was so ticked off and frustrated that I asked them to copy the files because I was switching vets.

I drove immediately over to another clinic where I was seen by a young vet within 10 minutes. Being young I was worried that he would have enough experience to help us, but he was like a Doogie Howser of veterinarians. Though he had her records in front of him, he asked me to start from the beginning with her problems. I went on and on for at least 15 minutes, and then he started asking questions - good questions. Within 25 minutes, he had done a rectal and knew what was causing her problems - polyps right inside her anus. I was thrilled to finally know what was causing her runny, and mostly bloody stools, but so mad to hear that he found out so quickly by doing such a simple thing - a rectal. It absolutely infuriates me thinking how this other vet clinic could have done this 4 years ago and saved Shelby from all of this pain and suffering, but they were just too lazy to think outside the box.

Though we know these polyps have to be removed, we are now awaiting the results of the tissue they took from them to find out if they are cancerous (which should be in another 2-4 days). She also has an appointment Thursday morning with a specialist in town to discuss possible treatments. Unfortunately, the location of these polyps is a major problem. Our vet said that it is typically operated on by breaking the dog's pelvic bone and going in behind the bone to remove them. However, she is an older dog and we aren't sure if that would be the best thing for her. So....we are anxious to hear what the specialist has to say, not to mention, get the results back from the tissue sample.

Needless to say - we have a lot on our plates right now - caring for Shelby, Spencer, and of course little Bennett. Spencer is 5 years younger than Shelby and has been with her since he came home to us. So it was hard on him yesterday, when we left her at the vet last night to have these samples and the other blood work taken. So please pray for all of us, but mainly Shelby and that the news we hear this week is good.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

First Day at the Pool

Late today, Steve and I finally got our act together and went to the pool with Bennett for the first time. Our pediatrician said that we shouldn't go during the heat of the day, so we made it there by 6pm. The hour before the pool closed worked out perfectly for our first time. She was asleep when we got there, and though we were soaking her up to her chest - she preferred to continue sleeping.

She finally started to stir some, and we were able to catch her with this cute smile. We can only assume that she liked it, but after 15 minutes in the water - she began to fuss a little so we took her out. While drying off sitting poolside we met another mother and got to talking about her family and how they have enjoyed the "Homewood Country Club" for years. I am confident that as we spend more time at the pool we will meet many other nice parents and Bennett will meet some new friends.

Once we got home, we coated her little body with lotion and put a fresh diaper and her PJs on her. Since they don't sell swim diapers for babies her size, we just kept her in her regular diaper under her bathing suit. We had heard that it would swell up after absorbing so much water, but what we were surprised with was how it kept it all inside, regardless of how much water was in it. This diaper probably weighed 5lbs, yet no water leaked out of it. I tell ya - it is amazing how much better these diapers have gotten over the years! All in all - it was a good experience, and we will definitely be returning to the "club" soon!

After such a big day, my boys were just exhausted....

Happy 35th Birthday to Me!

Yesterday I celebrated my 35th birthday - WOW! I am officially in my "mid thirties" now. I know technically, I probably was last year, but I would always deny it. I had a great birthday - Bennett, the dogs and I had our morning walk, and then I enjoyed a nice lunch with Brian, Shannon, Christian, Steve and Bennett. Since it is Shannon's birthday on Sunday - it was really a joint birthday celebration. Though I didn't get a nap in like I would have liked in the afternoon, I was able to rally and make it through a delicious dinner at Ruth's Chris with Steve.

It was our first official night out without Bennett, and we were thankful to have Louis and Sara offer to keep Bennett for us. It was so nice dropping her off and just knowing that she was in good hands. We actually didn't worry, and were able to meet a few friends afterward for another cocktail before picking her up. We were still home by 10pm, which quite frankly is our bedtime now.

This morning I continued to celebrate my birthday by scheduling a massage and pedicure that Steve gave me after delivering Bennett. I now am relaxed and just listening to silence as our daughter takes a nap. Hopefully she will be down for a couple of hours, and then wake up in a good mood. We are hoping to take her to the pool late this afternoon for an hour for her first time. If we make it - I will post another blog later, because she is pretty darn cute in her new bathing suit!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Summer is Here!

Yesterday Bennett celebrated her one month birthday! Whew! We made it through the first month without any emergency room visits or after hours doctor calls (please knock on wood). In fact, today we took her in for her monthly doctor's appointment and she weighed 7 lb 12.5 oz and is measuring 20.25 inches long! The doctor is very pleased with her growth rate, and said that she is in the 25th percentile right now. The appointment went well, up until she received her second hepatitis shot. I left the room this time, so I didn't cry and mess up my make-up, while Daddy stayed back to comfort our upset daughter. Thankfully, she stops crying as soon as one of her parents holds her, so the wailing stopped immediately.

Though her umbilical cord hasn't fallen off yet, our pediatrician told us that we can get it wet now since it is very close. In fact, he said that we can take her swimming this weekend. We are very excited about this, so we bought our swimming pass right after the appointment! The city of Homewood has a great park, less than a mile from our home with a newly remodeled playground and a huge pool. During the summer months the park plays G rated movies on Friday nights. They do this to create a family atmosphere where the whole gang can come with a picnic basket full of goodies, or you can buy pizza there. We have always wanted to go, but felt silly going without any children, but now we have the perfect excuse - Bennett!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy 1st Father's Day Daddy!

Happy Father's Day Steve! Today we had a great day...starting with coffee and a muffin for breakfast! Then we all (including Bennett) got ready for Sunday school and church. We made it successfully through Sunday school with Bennett, but she began grunting 15 minutes into church, so we left. We feared that we would be in prayer, and it would be silent, when she would "bless us" with one of her gassy poop bombs!

Afterward we came home to relax a little before heading to Steve's parent's home for a big Lebanese lunch with the family. Of course we all ate too much, but we had plenty of time to let it settle while we watched the final day of the US Open. A perfect end to a perfect day for Steve!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lazy Saturday

This morning Steve wanted to go eat breakfast outside somewhere so we could enjoy the day. As most know, I have always run a little late, but it is only worse now that we have Bennett. Needless to say - we got a much later start than we had planned. By the time we were ready to walk out of the house, it was after 11am, and it was a hot 85 degrees! I thankfully convinced Steve to drive there, rather than walk like we had planned, even though it was only a few short blocks away.

It was well worth it though. Since we weren't overheated when we got there, we actually enjoyed our breakfast out on the patio, under an umbrella with our sleeping daughter. She was wide awake before we left, but with the short drive - she was out like a light! This afternoon we spent the rest of the day sitting in the air conditioning and watching the US Open - what a lazy day!

Friday, June 15, 2007

June 15th!

For those that have been reading this blog for sometime, you may recall the joy when we announced the June 15th due date of Bennett's arrival (though we didn't know she was a "she" then). Well, it is finally here and I am just thrilled that she is 23 days old, rather than 1 day. In fact, this morning I took her by the doctor's office to be weighed - just to see what she could have been born weighing. I was a little surprised that she was 7 lb 5 oz already - such a big girl!

The past three weeks have been great (even though there have been a few rough patches in the wee hours of the nights). I have thoroughly enjoyed my time home with her, and it makes me sad to think that I will be returning to work sometime in July. People keep asking when, and I must admit that I want to postpone the full-time return as long as I can! Sleeping in a little, and then taking her and my doggies for morning walks have become a nice ritual for us. In fact, the dogs have been very well-behaved since Bennett's arrival - I think because they enjoy having me home with them all day, even though they must share that time with Bennett. If only I could work just a few hours a day from home, and at then at the office as needed....that would be a dream come true! Thankfully we have good care lined up for her - her Mimi and a nanny. And since I work so close to our home, I plan to come home everyday for lunch to nurse and give her some love.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Trial and Error

Saturday, we decided to enjoy the warm weather and head up to Smith Lake for a relaxing night with Steve's family. Smith Lake (for those who aren't from around here) is about an hour north of Birmingham. It is a huge lake that is very clean with a lot of residential areas around it. Steve's parents and Aunt & Uncle built a duplex home there 15+ years ago. His Aunt has since passed away, but his cousins enjoy their side, while the Mizerany's enjoy the other. It is rarely a quiet retreat since so many family members are typically there, but that is what makes it fun for us. We are able to get away and enjoy the serene area, yet have fun with family.

On Saturday morning, while I got "the grey colored right out of my hair" (recall that old TV commercial?), Steve gave Bennett a bath and packed up the car. As I said earlier, we were only going for one night, but the car was loaded...all three kids, a cooler, Bennett's new pack-n-play, our bags, and food for the dogs. We joked about really feeling like a family as we drove up there Saturday afternoon.

Once we got there and got settled, Bennett was passed around like a favorite new toy. Of course, she just loved the attention and slept peacefully in everyone's arms. We kept trying to wake her, but she was way too happy being doted on, especially by her Mimi.

Our duties as parents were pretty low key as cousin Cathy fed her dinner Saturday night while we had a glass of wine. She kept giving all of the hunger signs (the cry and sucking on hands), so we kept feeding her (even though we knew she had never eaten that much before). I really don't know why we didn't listen to our gut, but after 3-4 ounces of milk, Bennett finally gave up eating and fell back to sleep. Steve and I put her down, and hit the hay ourselves - only to be awoken an hour later to Bennett screaming because of a VERY upset tummy . Of course, this being our first road trip, we didn't have our Mylicon or Gripe Water. So we rocked her and tried to soothe her in anyway that we could. Finally, we succumbed to the exhaustion and did something that we said we would NEVER do - we let her...gulp....sleep with us. I know, I know....I am the biggest hypocrite!! She finally fell asleep, as did we around 3 am.

Spencer and Shelby weren't really bothered by all of the irregularity that night, so they were their chipper, hungry selves at 6 am, making it hard for Steve and me to sleep much later. So, we passed a sleeping Bennett off to Mimi and Papa while we had some coffee out on the deck and tried to wake up. The mornings on Smith Lake are by far the prettiest times, so we soon forgot about our horrific first night away from home with Bennett.
We packed the car up around lunch and headed home, writing a list of all the necessities that we will not leave home without next time. Though it wasn't an ideal getaway, it was a great learning experience for us and we look forward to returning on the 4th of July!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Daddy's Little Girl

Yesterday evening we received the first rain that Birmingham has seen in weeks, so we sat out in the sunroom with some wine to enjoy it. It was one of those weird summer rains where the sun is still shining, but the rain is coming down. It was such a relief to have it since we are at a stage 3 drought right now. In fact, we are only allowed to hand water our lawn and plants twice a week, and if anyone is caught excessively using their water - they will be fined. Since we just planted some sod before Bennett arrived - we were thrilled to have it rain on one of our non-watering days so we could capture one more day of "penalty-free watering."

Bennett rocked with her daddy and ate up the attention. It was a relaxing night just listening to music and talking about parenthood - something that we still can't wrap ourselves around. In fact, the thought of getting a homemade Mother's Day card in years to come brought tears to my eyes (I am such a sap anymore). She is such a funny little girl - making so many noices and faces. We love the way she grunts, and the way she always chokes a little when she first starts to eat because she is so excited and eats too quickly. We just stare at her and wonder what she is going to be like. Who is she going to look like in a few months? In 2 years? Will she be patient like her daddy, or have a temper like her mommy? Is her hair going to fall out or grow in thicker? Will her eyes stay blue?

I guess time will tell, and we are excited to learn!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

2 weeks old already?

Thank goodness our child likes her baths. It is one of the few times of the day when she is wide-eyed, so we feel we need to capture the opportunity. Now that we have moved bath time up several hours, she is more content earlier in the night. However, she is still not wild about bedtime. She is perfectly happy while sleeping in our arms, but the minute we put her in her crib - she suddenly gets a second wind. And it isn't that she hates her crib, as she naps in there every morning and afternoon just fine. So, I guess we are still figuring things out.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Sunday...day of rest

Today, we have spent the day as God would like...resting. We all slept in and then enjoyed a late breakfast (while Bennett took one of her many naps). Once we finally got cleaned up, we decided to take a few photos of Bennett dressed in one of her darling new dresses. For someone who hates the color pink, I couldn't be happier seeing our daughter in these feminine clothes. She just looks so darn cute!

Since we have noticed that her fussier times are from 10pm-2am, we are going to try bathing her earlier tonight so she has more time to wind down following it. She has been such a good baby, but for some reason she doesn't want to be put in her crib during that time frame, and prefers to be held. She'll eat some during that period, but really just wants to be held. For now, while I am not working - it isn't the end of the world, but this can't continue so we are going to try.

Friday, June 1, 2007

First Doctor's Visit

It is hard to imagine that Bennett is 9 days old already! After a relaxing morning in Nene's arms this morning, we went to her first doctor's appointment. Things didn't start off well...we had to wait for an hour before going back to see the doctor. She tried to catch some more sleep in her Daddy's arms while we waited, but the thought of food distracted her some. Once we finally got back there, we were a little surprised to see how much weight she had gained. She weighed in at 6lbs 3 oz, surpassing her birth weight. Any doubt of whether or not she has been eating enough has now vanished.
Finally the nurses came in to take some blood - they had to stick her heel (which she hated). Hearing a cry from her that I have never heard before brought tears to my eyes and I cried alongside of her. It was just pitiful, but thankfully when they stopped squeezing her heel, and I could pick her up and tell her things were going to be okay, she calmed down.

Our doctor answered all of our questions, and reminded us that she should join our world, rather than us join hers. So we decided to go out for dinner with Nene before she left Saturday morning. We sat outside on a patio and had a great dinner while Bennett slept through the entire thing in her carseat. She was a perfect angel.