Monday, May 31, 2010

Back from St. John's

The hubster and I (accompanied by Grandma) had to drive to St. John's on the weekend to bring Sarah to her annual urologist appointment.

Some of you may remember past posts on Sarah's condition. Basically, she has reflux in her left kidney. Normally, if everything is functioning correctly, urine will flow from the kidneys through the ureters and into the bladder. However, Sarah has an obstruction in the ureter. This causes the flow of urine to be partially blocked, making it flow back into the kidney (reflux). This pushing back of urine into the kidneys can cause permanent damage if not closely monitored. At the moment, Sarah's left kidney is functioning at about 60% with a reflux level of about 3.

On the bright side:
- This is a treatable condition in most cases and is fairly common.
- Sarah's reflux could be worse - she is a level 3 (with 1 being best, 5 being worse)
- Many children will gradually "grow out of it"

On the negative:
- We have to take meds every day and Sarah hates taking medicine!
- Having a VCUG done every year is NOT fun at all! (especially when Mommy realized she wasn't allowed in the room this time being prego and all - xray...duh! Good thing we had Grandma cause Daddy is just no good at that stuff!)
- We have to drive 8 hours to St. John's every year to see the specialist as there isn't one in our area.
- Sarah's test results reveal her condition is slightly worsening every year.

Here's what the doctor thinks:
We still have some time to work with as Sarah is still only 3 years old. Studies at the moment show that 8-9 years of age is the cut-off for the condition to improve on its own without surgical intervention. So, we'll go back next year in May for our regular tests (VCUG and ultrasound) to check again on the development of the reflux. IF there is no improvement or if the condition has worsened again, then they will probably want to perform a day surgery procedure to dilate the obstructed area of the ureter. We will then have a follow up VCUG a few months later to check if the dilation is helping. Hopefully it will. Our option otherwise, a few years down the road, would be surgery to repair (with a stent?) or replace the ureter. I don't have the full details on how this surgery would work - I'll need to do more research.

So let's cross our fingers for little Sarah for improvement over the next year.

P.S. According to our ultrasound, it appears that baby#2 has all of its little kidney/bladder/ureter parts in tact :)

If any of you have to go to St. John's for medical testing or treatments, the place recommended to us (thanks Wendi!) for our stays has worked out very nicely and gives a discount with a copy of your doctor requisition. Click on Hillview Terrace Suites for more information. Rather than a hotel room, these are furnished apartments (at about the same cost of a hotel) with 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms and a fully stocked kitchen - ideal for an extended stay.

Monday, May 24, 2010

No. 24 and No. 28 - Sorting and Organizing Through one of THOSE days!

For me this long May 2-4 weekend was not about get-aways or camping (although those would be nice). Rather it was about trying to get some things done around the house.

Well, what a disaster that turned out to me. I didn't know I could have such emotional turmoil over attempting to finalize spring cleaning.

It started on Saturday morning. I awakened to the sound of the lawnmower outside. The hubster stayed home from the store to get some yard work done (much needed and appreciated - Thanks babe!). I got up, Sarah got up, and we had breakfast. far so good.

I had planned to hang clothes on the line - much too windy, looked like rain. Disappointment #1.
I started to gather laundry - ALL manner of the hubsters clothing strewn on the floor on his side of the bed. Annoyance #1.
Thoughts of the long drive to St. John's this week for Sarah's dr's appointment - Worry #1.
Sarah decides she wants to watch Beauty and the Beast and the TV won't work. I reach behind the TV to check the plug-in, come up and hit my head HARD on the corner of the shelf above the TV - Hurt #1.

And then I started to cry. At any other time, I probably would have cursed a little (inside my head, of course) and gotten furious at my lack of spatial awareness regarding the shelf. On this day, I cried. And then I sat on the floor and cried. I got up and went to the bedroom, saw this disaster of clothing needing to be sorted in the closet and cried some more. Sat on the bed, started thinking of all the other stuff on my "to-do list" not getting done and literally sobbed. I don't know that I've ever felt so overwhelmed. It was crazy. I'm not usually like that.

#24 and #28. Sorting toys and clothes into bins/purging "give-away" items.
I spent the majority of the morning in fits of tears but managed to still sort a bunch of stuff - I gathered up a huge garbage bag of items for good will. I put away winter items and won't-fit-this-year summer items and took out all my maternity clothes. I told the hubster I was feeling very overwhelmed and unorganized. By the time I looked up, he was already headed back outside. I called him back to carry some bins for me. And then he left. And then I cried some more because he didn't even seem to hear what I had said. Urgh! But when he came back inside he brought a bunch of things up to the attic for storage so he was somewhat redeemed. We headed out to Deer Lake to run an errand for the store and I felt much better after getting dressed, putting on some makeup, and getting some air.

I had Sarah's toys nearly all sorted into bins already - one for dress up clothes, one for toy dishes and food, one for small-motor-play (aka Junkie little McDonald) toys. But I also got out the crayola bin and sorted all of the crayons (good vs. broken), markers, leds, stickers, paper, etc.

Phew! Glad that's over! I don't think I could handle being an overly emotional person. How does one ever get anything accomplished? How do you handle days like this?

Hope your weekend was better than mine. Happy Victoria Day!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister! Hope it was a great one!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diaper Stash and Ultrasound Update

Doggy loves our new Jamtots Berry Plush Cloth Diaper!

So far, the softest diaper we've tried - feels so smooshy and comfy.
Has a snap in liner for easy laundering.
The cover can be used separately with a prefold or fitted diaper.
Made in Canada! (I love that part)

On the expensive side at approx. $28.50 each. I wouldn't have tried it at that price but I got a $10 off deal.

I don't think we'll be ordering more of these diapers. Unfortunately, the price is a little too high. But it's nice to have one of them in my stash for wee baby. And the one I have is a size small which should fit nicely from birth. Many of the one-sized diapers actually start fitting closer to about 12 lbs or so.

As of a few days ago, I think I now have enough diapers ordered. I know it's soon but I warned you - I'm obsessed!
(Thanks scrapbooking ladies for the gift ($) - which I used to finish purchasing my diapers)
I've been keeping my eyes peeled for deals and have gotten all of my diapers on sale! Bonus!
I even found a lady who made me a diaper for $9 out of my own "O Canada" flannel! Of course, as with any addiction, there are still some diapers I'd love to buy. Like these and these and these!
Lucky for me the hubster has been very patient with me. But I'm sorta thinkin I may be pushing it if I order more right now simply because they are "oh so cute!" But seriously, aren't they?
And what's even more exciting than cute colourful cloth diapers? Seeing baby for the first time, of course! Today was our ultrasound and we got to see baby's heartbeat, tiny little feet, and mouth opening and closing - absolutely fascinating!
At first the baby seemed to be sleeping - no movement at all and his/her hands were up covering his/her face so the ultrasound technician wasn't able to get the profile pic she needed. How cute is that?! Sarah always slept with her hands up by her face too. The old wives tale says this is a sign of a happy baby...I sure hope so!
After about 20 minutes or so, baby starting squirming all around and poking and prodding mommy everywhere. I tell ya, there's just no better feeling! I didn't realize I was crying until I felt a tear run down my cheek.
We were also happy to learn that this baby has a 3-vessel cord (normal) whereas Sarah only had 2-vessels which is most likely the cause of her kidney issues.
On the negative side, Newfoundland doesn't allow you to go home with a photo of baby from the ultrasound. I was very disappointed at this, especially after having about 8-9 u/s pics of Sarah. Quite frankly I think it's rather silly and I'd love to know why this is. The ultrasound tech had no idea. She said she thought I could "purchase" the photo from my doctor....huh?
Picture or no picture, it was a very happy day for us!
Jamie said "I think it looks like a boy". lol...I highly doubt it but I guess we'll see in about 4 months!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I knew WE would have to be on this List

MSN Front Page this morning had a headline that caught my eye.

The Star Style Hit and Diss section from Cannes also caught my eye but I'll leave that one alone.

Top 10 Friendly People around the world
Chris Robinson's Top Ten Favourite Places

My first thought upon seeing the title: "Obviously we Newfies have to be there..." and so I read on:

Having met so many wonderful, giving people during my travels (I've even been offered a bride) I take the liberty of sharing my favoritism towards the friendliest cultures. Here is my top ten list of friendliest destinations.

1. Irish
Emerald Isle, diamond people – without question, it's the warmth of the Irish people that stays with you long after you return. Total strangers treat you as close friends and the 'craic' – party spirit – of the Irish pubs is legendary. Maybe it's the magical properties of a pint of Guinness?

2. Thai
The most gentle people on the planet. The Thai Buddhist culture underpins their genuine desire to please travellers. They naturally offer up their cultural heritage and make it easy for visitors to experience. I was once picked up on the streets of Bangkok by a local who took me to his family temple and then to his home to meet his family - all without a word in common.

3. Newfoundlanders ( we are! I knew it!)
What makes people who live on a rock so friendly? Could be their Celtic heritage, their self-reliance or their remoteness from stressful big cities. Whatever the cause, their spirit is irresistible. If you survive being 'screeched-in' and kissing the cod, you are ready for anything.

4. New Zealanders
I probably relate so easily to The Kiwis (or they to me?) because they are the closest people in spirit to Canadians: they, too, have a beautiful homeland, a big brother neighbour, and they take great delight in showing off their home to travellers...but always, as befits a kindred Canadian attitude, in an understated way.

5. Tahitians
The best way to describe the overwhelming friendliness of Tahitians is with this example: my wife and I were travelling with our ten week old baby and treated ourselves to an upscale dinner in Papeete,Tahiti's capital. Just as our meal arrived, baby Pip started to cry. Without hesitation, our Tahitian server scooped Pip up in one arm and served meals with the other until we had finished our dinner…much to Pip's delight.

6. Bajans
Nature has provided Barbados with many attractions, and the people of this Caribbean island complete the package. I have run the Barbados Marathon twice, and the enthusiastic support of the Bajans lining the route is what carried me both times. The amazing part is that they clearly thought we runners were crazy, but they cheered nonetheless.

7. Greeks
Have you ever tried to visit a Greek home and not end up eating with your host? It's impossible! They are possibly the most hospitable people in the world - in Greece or wherever in the world they have settled. And, yes, I have actively participated in a crazy, plate-smashing dinner party at a Taverna on the island of Kos that I will never forget.

8. Bolivian Aymara and Quechua Indians
I once spent many weeks trekking around Lake Titicaca high on the Bolivian and Peruvian altiplano. I had no tent, nor were there any hotels to speak of. I simply staggered into a village at the end of each day and the wonderful locals shared their homes and their food with me.

9. Kurds
Years ago, a small group of us were camped out near the Turkish/Iranian border. A band of armed Kurds surrounded us and invited us to join them at their camp, where we were feted until dawn. Their spirited hospitality was overwhelming.

10. Sherpas
In the Himalayan valleys of Nepal live a self-reliant people unlike any others I have encountered. They help Westerners who come in search of high altitude adventure to feel welcome. They seem to rise above hardship. Their quiet nobility literally embraces travellers who journey there. When I trekked in the Helambu region north of Kathmandu, their hospitality was simple, gracious and oh so appreciated.

By Chris Robinson
Chris hosts Canada's top rated radio travel show - the Chris Robinson Travel Shows on Newstalk 1010 CFRB in Ontario and CJAD 8000 Montreal in Quebec.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Favourite Gift

Just wanted to share what the hubster got for me for Mothers Day.

No flowers.
No candles.
No romantic dinner.

Just one big giant Cadbury Hazelnut bar...the perfect gift every time!

Thanks Babe!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

No. 32 - Video Sarah Singing

She loves to sing. Sings constantly. Wants me to sing her to sleep every night. She makes up songs about everything imagineable - quite the little songstress!

In this one - it's all about Jesse crying loud, a Jesus church hymn, and a princess deciding to go to another house...I think :)

Monday, May 03, 2010

A Quick Peek for Krista n Pete

I'm not a photographer by any means. But I do love taking photos! So when Krista called and asked if I would shoot her wedding, I was nervous as heck, but said, "Yes!"

As I said, I'm no pro, and it shows in many of the shots I took, especially when lighting was an issue. But I'm also super pleased and think I did pretty good considering my inexperience.

It was a c-c-c-cold day but luckily the rain stayed away. And it was a beautiful wedding with a beautiful bride and groom - so in love with each other, it's awesome!

And the bridal party were fantastic too - Thanks guys and gals for sticking out the frigid temperatures for your bride and groom!

So without further a-do, may I present Mr and Mrs Peter and Krista Cammie...

First, the pretty rings...if you zoom in super close, you can actually see Krista's reflection in Peter's wedding band...neat!
There are many shots I love of the bride but there's just something about this one...
Love this one of Peter...very handsome...
The old fallen down apple tree made a perfect backdrop for the bridal party...
The beautiful couple...
And what's a wedding without some's to Paul, the A.D.D. twin brother and his...finger? (Come on, Paul, you knew it was gonna end up on the internet somehow!)
Thanks so much for the opportunity you two - I see how happy you are together as a family and wish you nothing but joy and blessings for the future! (MANY more pics to soon follow).

Love, Myrna

P.S. Thanks, Christa (Christa Hann photography), for the pointers and support!

Twenty Weeks

I'm half-way there!

It's scary to think that the second half of my pregnancy is probably going to go even faster than the first half with the summer season approaching and life getting busier by the second.

I'm excited, anxious, and (I think) even more nervous than I was having the first baby. Life is already hectic with a business and a 3-year old and I often wonder how I'll keep up or if I'm really cut out for this mommy business. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom - it's a rewarding job that fills your heart with so much joy you think sometimes you just might burst! But it's a job filled with constant guilt and worries and I often find myself questioning whether I deserve such blessings.

This 20 weeks has been different than with my first pregnancy:

Pregnancy #1: Tired only at the beginning, felt better than ever the rest of the time
Pregnancy #2: Still waiting for that burst of energy to kick in!

Pregnancy #1: Super organized with cleaning and tidying
Pregnancy #2: I sit and look at all the mess and wonder why it's not getting done ;)

Pregnancy #1: Felt lots of crazy movement starting at about 15 1/2 weeks
Pregnancy #2: Felt tiny movements early but it's sporatic, lighter, and not nearly as often.

Pregnancy #1: Slightly more weight gain early on
Pregnancy #2: Only 5 lbs so far - and actually have weeks of (unintentional) weight LOSS

Pregnancy #1: Was well into the 3rd trimester before peeing at night became an issue
Pregnancy #2: Holy constant pressure on the bladder!

Pregnancy #1: A lot of heartburn and swollen feet from the beginning
Pregnancy #2: So far so good

Pregnancy #1: Didn't have a clue about morning sickness
Pregnancy #2: A lot more nausea (at night at the beginning) but have thrown up only once on Easter Sunday morning.

Pregnancy #1: No cravings, save my normal desire for chocolate
Pregnancy #2: I seriously made a huge plate of french fries with hamburger meat and gravy one night at 10:00 because I was STARVING for it and just couldn't get it out of my head - bad! bad!

Pregnancy #1: Dreamt I was having a baby girl
Pregnancy #2: Dreamt about having a boy (although I still think it's another girl, and I'm totally fine with that!)

Things that are the same:
Lots of headaches
Very congested (especially at night)
Most people say they can't tell yet that I'm pregnant - showing but not a lot and still fitting into most of my regular clothes.

If you've had multiple pregnancies, were they the same? or all different?