Chronicling The Comerfords

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank you for Soldiers and Baby Jesus

I hope you all enjoyed a fun-filled day at the lake or pool or beach or wherever you were today.  Every Monday off deserves a celebration.  I do hope you found time today to remember why you were enjoying your day.  Remember:
"Only two defining forces have offered to die for you, Jesus and The American Soldier.  One died for your soul, the other died for your freedom."

I am thankful our PawPaw fought for us and made it back home to enjoy a fun day of play and grilling.  Tonight at dinner Amelia asked the blessing.  Instead of her typical "God is great..." she said "Dear Lord, Thank you for Baby Jesus, thank you for all my surprises. Ahh-Men"  I giggled somewhat silently during the whole thing.  Not to make fun of her, but it brought me so much joy. Such a raw and honest prayer.  There is such a sweet, sweet spirit in that girl of mine.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

4 Months of Annie

The happiest baby in the whole wide world (with the exception of the hours of 6 to 8pm) is 4 months old.  Not much has changed from being 3 months.  She is still a very laid back baby.  She likes laying in her crib (it's pretty safe from her sister) watching her mobile.  She falls asleep on her own most all of the time.  She still wakes up once or twice during the night and falls back asleep nursing.  We hope to break this just as soon as we move in June

She is doing a few new things. 

* She drools ALL THE TIME!  I don't know if this is just her thing or if she is cutting some teeth.  Her Grandma bought her some teething biscuits and she loved them.  Amelia fed it to her and she thought that was fun.
* She has started on cereal once a day, we will get to two.  She doesn't seem to mind it and keeps it in her mouth pretty well.
* She is tolerating her sister much better now.  She just enjoys company from anyone
* She SCREAMS.  Annie does not cry ever.  She screams the high pitched loud scream that turns her whole face red.  It is really pretty darn funny.  If she is hungry or tired or just not getting the attention she needs she screams at you. When she is not screaming she is talking.  She babbles all the time and it is precious
* She can roll over some.  She sleeps on her belly and I've found her 3 times now on her back when I go to get her out of the crib
* She really wants to sit up.  She gets bored laying on her back pretty quickly (unless the tv is on and in sight).
* She is a mover and a shaker.  Can't stay still for anything.  We swear she thinks she is as big as Amelia.
* We do tummy time when I remember to do it.  She doesn't mind it and "swims" around pretty good.  I just never think to do it.  I didn't with Amelia either
* She weighs 16.3lbs and is in some 6 month and some 9 month clothes.  Such a chunky monkey
* She has also just this week (4 months and 2 weeks) really started to try and grab things.  She concentrates really hard and will grab for her feet or a rattle or something.

This month Annie also went to her first Low County Boil

And Luau

Happy 4 months Annie!  Your smile lights up your whole face and my whole heart!


Cholesteatoma Surgery

We did it!  We made it through our first surgery!  I hope and pray it is a long, long, long time before any of us requires another surgery.  Amelia did great!  Turns out the tumor was still very small and had not grown towards the inside at all.  This is a huge deal! It meant that the surgeon was able to go in through the ear canal rather than cutting the backside of her ear open.  Surgery only took about 45 mins.  The cholesteatoma was attached to the eardrum which left a small hole in it when it was removed.  He left the hole in the ear because the skin graph he could have put in would be much thicker skin than the eardrum.  Cholesteatomas have a chance of growing back and if he would have used the thicker skin then he would have to go in surgically again in about a year to check her.  Apparently the eardrum is very forgiving and should grow back together really quickly (hopefully within a few weeks).  Since she has never even had an earache, he thinks this will be perfectly fine.

Amelia had so much fun staying at the hotel Thursday night! Too bad it wasn't for a better reason. Surgery was not scheduled until 9:50am and she could not eat anything after midnight.  We knew it would be easier to let her sleep as long as possible. Having to get up and make the commute to Atlanta in traffic with a hungry toddler would have been miserable.  Nana rode up with us Thursday night and Grandma and PawPaw showed up about 8:30.  Grandma and PawPaw brought late night snacks of blueberries, popcorn and juice boxes.  PawPaw took Annie home with him and Grandma stayed with us.  Between the special fairy princess nightgown from Nana and all the late night snacks from Grandma and PawPaw, Amelia now loves hotels!



 
Friday morning Amelia knew something was up, but really didn't know what.

This is what we think of surgery!

I hope we never, ever have to go through another childhood surgery but if we do it will be at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  Every single person we came in contact with was amazing!  Children are definitely first priority but a close second are the parents.  These people are obviously trained to know how to give children and their extremely nervous parents (and Grandmothers) a comfort level at such a stressful time.

I know this sweet lady's professional title is not Bubble Blower, but that is what she did. I think her tag said something about Client Relations Assistant. She had tons of bubbles and walked around loving on babies and letting them blow bubbles in her face (up high! down low!  In your daddy's face!)  I have no idea how much she gets paid, but her sweet spirit is worth every penny, probably more!

About 9:15 or so we were called back to our room. They weighed her, checked her temp and blood pressure.  After asking a thousand questions over and over and meeting with the doctor and anesthesiologist they gave Amelia "goofy juice".  We were told it would make her so silly, but it really didn't.  At first it made her kind of mean and upset. I think it probably just felt weird and she didn't know how to react to those feelings.  We turned on some You Tube videos of Wheels on the Bus and she calmed down and the zoned out.  We did not get to go back to the operating room where she was put to sleep like they said we would.  They were just too busy that morning.  Honestly I am grateful for this.  I  would have done it if she needed me to, but I had no desires to watch my baby be put to sleep.  She was so out of it by the time they wheeled her bed out that she had no idea she was leaving.  The nurse called us about 30 mins later and said surgery had started and she went to sleep really easy.
Blowing bubbles waiting on the goofy juice

The thing about Amelia not being able to eat was we did not eat either (How mean would that have been?!).  I was only able to sneak one little cup of coffee too.  By the time she went back for surgery I was having caffeine withdrawals and was so hungry I was shaky.  The good thing was that consumed my brain for a little while so I didn't think about surgery.  We all went down to the cafeteria to eat an early lunch as Amelia was wheeled into surgery.  When we were on our way back up to our room, Dr Sipp was walking right in front of us going to our room.  He came in to tell us how great surgery went and that everything was quicker and better than expected.  So now I am full and hearing my baby is doing great.  Best part of the day!
Here is the culprit.  Amelia's cholesteatoma was about the size of a little girl's pearl earring.  He got in there, pulled it loose and "it rolled out like a meatball on spaghetti".  I'm sure that is a very fancy term he learned in medical school.

After she got back to our room, the drama began.  I heard the anesthesia would be worse than the surgery and that is a true statement.  I am sure she was scared and disoriented and probably felt terrible.  We stayed there about 2 hours waiting on her to wake up, get to feeling better and drink some icee.  Thank goodness she never once threw up.
We were both recovering at this point.  She was trying to wake up and I was finally able to rest.

We are now recovering at Grandma and PawPaw's.  She is doing much better than I thought she would.  She still gets mad and is pretty emotional.  I'm not sure if the meds are still working their way out or if it is the pain.  She really doesn't seem to be in that much pain though.  After Friday night we changed over from Lortab to ibuprofen.  That has helped her personality a lot.
Daddy said it looks like she has a Big Bird Bluetooth.

I have no doubt that the tumor was smaller than they thought, surgery was less invasive than planned and we were surrounded by such a calming spirit because of all the prayers that were spoken on our behalf. If we ever wondered if our community cares about us, there is no doubting it now.  Our pastor made the hour and a half commute to Atlanta to be with us that morning and say a prayer for our family, we were inundated with texts, phone calls and emails and have received get well packages for our sweet patient.  We are SO grateful for our Lord and all the people he has put in our lives to love on our family.  Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over!

Also, if you get a second say a little prayer for all the families at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  All it takes is a short walk through the doors of that hospital to make you so grateful for your little lovebugs.  There are some sick babies there and some amazingly strong parents. 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Surgical Scaredy Cat

I absolutely hate everything about this whole surgery ordeal.  Well, except the fact that it is saving her eardrum and hearing and brain and life.  I have put on a happy-ish face for weeks, but I am terrified.  I know we have a great doctor (and and even better physician in our Lord) but I just do not like the fact that my baby is being put to sleep at 9:50 in the morning.  I have spent all day hyping up this whole "we are going to a hotel!  It will be so exciting!" experience and now we are here.  The little love has no idea what tomorrow will bring and really, neither do I.  I know it's not going to be as exciting as I made it sound like.  Right now she is sleeping on the other side of the nightstand with my Mom in her new fairy princess night gown. I so wish we were just waking up for room service and a fun day ahead tomorrow. At the same time I am thankful we are here now because it means the tumor was caught early and we are getting it taken care of earlier than later. 

Thank goodness the hotel bartender makes a mean crown and ginger because I am honestly about to crash. Please remember to keep us in your prayers tomorrow!  Mama needs it!

Amelia is really excited about staying at the hotel!

What Does your 2 Year Old Sleep With At Night?

I was trying to make up Amelia's bed this afternoon (not setting a great example, but it was a late morning).  As I was making I kept seeing bumps under the covers.  I'd lift it up and pull something else out. By the time I had everything out, there was a bed full!  I felt like I was cleaning her room as I put away everything that was invited to her slumber party in it's correct place.  Before putting it all up I decided to take inventory


If you can not see, we have...
2 lambs
2 bunnies
2 Minnies
1 Big Sister
1 Little Sister
1 Dragon
1 Cinderella
1 basket holding a baby and bear
1 scarf
1 ballerina
2 soft drinks
1 cookie
1 egg
And a knife (just in case someone tries to take all her stuff!)

Good thing she is in a full sized bed!

A Most Pleasant Pre-Op

Today was pre-op day.  This week has been looming for a few months.  I really wanted to wait until Amelia got out of school to do her surgery because she really enjoys her school and her friends there, but MAN, this has been torture. Between multiple sleepless nights a month with a somewhat-newborn and stressing over surgery, I have not been functioning anywhere near full capacity.

But it is here.  Honestly, I feel much better today than I have since we first found out about the cholesteatoma.   I have had visions of holding my baby down while they put in iv's or a gas mask and all kinds of other crazy nonsense. At pre-op today we found out that Amelia will get some "goofy juice" after arriving to the hospital.  After she is good and goofed up we will go back and they will put gas on her.  Once she is asleep, then we will leave her in very capable hands.  No iv's or poking or prodding of any kind will be done until she is sound asleep.  Hopefully the gas mask will not be a big deal since she is used to breathing treatments.

Mama's stress, worry and guilt over this surgery has added up to Amelia getting a lot more of what she wants... suckers at breakfast, sweet tea at lunch, cookies 24hrs a day, m&m's at the store and last night sleeping in our bed.  Grandpa was sick so we all went down to Nana's for a slumber party.  At the start of the night I thought it would be fun to have all four of us in the bed.  Envisioning sweet snuggles and all that unrealistic stuff.  Well, Annie is used to sleeping on her own and she is a mover and a shaker. The child takes up her entire crib.  She likes her space. She tossed and turned all night long! A-L-L Night!  Amelia moves all over the place all night long too so it was a complete mess!  Each time I try this I remember that a bed is made for 2 people and there is a reason we bought these two girls their own bedroom furniture!

Sweet Snuggles at 9pm
Still holding tight around 2am but all kinds of stretched out. 
Obviously it is keeping me awake if I am taking pictures!
7am.  3 of the 4 family members slept great! 
Mama had no room at all and was a bear to deal with most of the day thanks to very little sleep.  Luckily, the girls and I had naptime around 3pm

While we LOVE our pediatrician, the clinic she is at is a little less that desirable. I suppose all doctors offices have long waits, but a two hour wait with two children at naptime is probably very similar to hell.  If hell is any worse than that, I am extra thankful for my salvation!  And it is my fault for scheduling an appointment at naptime.  And children need special attention which takes longer.  I get it and understand it, I just don't like it! Anyway, the waiting room and staff at Children's Healthcare was a welcome change.  Even the clerical staff knew just what to do to occupy the little ones.  Silly bands, games, books and coloring sheets were a great start.  I was actually able to sit there and enjoy a cup of coffee while we waited. Plus, I'm sure it helps that this is a specialist and there are no flu, rsv, blah blah blah germs floating around.
White baby enjoyed her visit as well and she checked out just fine.

Thankfully, we saw the nurse practitioner rather than the doctor.  Amelia is anti-boys right now (which is fine with us).  Dr. Sipp was SO wonderful with her at our last visit, but she would not have it.  We tried to hype her up today telling her he was Dr. Hunnicutt's boy (I hope his wife is understanding of this) and he was a really nice fun boy like Daddy, but it did not work.  I was so relieved when lady nurse practitioner walked in and said "I will be doing your pre-op today".  It really was a great visit! Seriously, the appointment went much better than lunch at the mexican restaurant afterwards.  Eating out with an almost 3 year old and a 4 month old is impossible!  How is it what two little people out number two full grown educated adults?? Mama and Daddy left the doctors office with a peace about the surgery and Amelia was a great patient.  I'm sure it had something to do with the silly bands, stickers, sucker and playing drums with tongue depressors.  While I still HATE we are going through this, I am so thankful we are going through it with these people.  Our minds and hearts are extra thankful for this special group of physicians and staff.
Surgery is Friday morning.  We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ms Snack

My husband affectionately calls me "Ms Snack".  This is because I am almost always walking around with something to eat in my hands (even if it is just a baby's fat cheek)  Today we went to Publix which I have realized we frequent much, much too often. On a recent trip Amelia asked why Ms Judy, the sweet cashier we love, wasn't working and she asked Mr Albert, our favorite bagger, if he wanted to come to supper at our house.  Back on point, today we went to Publix and surprise!  Bing cherries are back.  They are such a guilty pleasure.  Guilty because I feel terrible about paying $6.99 a pound for anything, but they do bring me such pleasure.  Tonight I am enjoying them with another amazing snack, Special K cracker chips, and red wine. Daddy is on his last week long business trip for a while, Amelia is at Grandma & PawPaw's and Annie is asleep.  I'm just here snacking with my buddies, the Housewives and Bethenny.
Word to the Mama!


Speaking of an affectionate husband, we have a DATE NIGHT on Friday. Whoop Whoop!  Amelia is with Grandma and PawPaw and Annie will be with Nana and Pa.  I plan on eating with both hands and having grown-up conversation with the man I love.  What will we eat?  What will we talk about?  Will I be able to stay awake past 10pm??

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pandora Vs Shades

Sometimes I think my Pandora radio station loves me more than anyone in the whole wide world.  Who else knows me well enough to play Sugarland singing Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire, Old Crow Medicine Show, Chris Rice’s Lemonade then Hootie.  I mean really?!  That does more for me than Christian ever did for Ana!

Do you know what I am talking about?  Are you reading, or a more appropriate question is probably Have you read those books?  I read the first and got so mad at him that I refused to read the second one.  Then I was up to my ears in frustration with my children last Tuesday and needed something to take my anger out on so I downloaded book 2.    I am maybe halfway through and I love the stalky, completely smothering, overstepping bounds creep.  So much so that I looked and my husband this weekend and thought "what the heck is wrong with you?!" I really do not know how this book is helping relationships, but that's a whole other blog.  Here's the thing, 1.  if he was not a gazillionaire (really, $100,000 an hour for a 27 year old) and did not fly her around in helicopters and gliders and buy her ipads and laptops and Audis she would have ran for the hills asap! and 2. The man has no friends and COMPLETELY smothers her.  If it were real life and they knew one another longer than 5 weeks, that would get SO old.

I shall continue to read.  Why?  I have no idea.  I find myself fast forwarding through most all of the sexy parts because really I am too tired to read about that kind of activity.  And I also know how it ends because my book club talked about all three books. I am really excited to get the details of the plot.  Part of me feels like I am only reading it to be cool because everyone else is doing it.  And I better like it because everyone else did.  It's kind of like my husband getting me to try on some Big Star jeans in a clothing boutique in Blue Ridge this weekend. He said they were hot, I said they are $148! are you crazy? And then I looked at them and thought, everyone else wears them, just get them.  And for a brief moment I stood there in the dressing room shaking around singing "She's a big star at Banana Joe's Bar where she sings karaoke every night...." and thought, there is a reason why everyone buys these things...they do make your hiney look pretty amazing... I put back on my $5.99 DKNY jeans I got at Goodwill brand new and left the Big Stars and my karaoke career in Blue Ridge. 

I would like to think I am getting to the stage in life where you do not feel like you need to conform to fit in, but obviously, Mr. Grey, I am not. 

My Pandora does definitely love me for me, but that it because I created it to please me.  Wait, maybe Mr. Grey isn't so bad after all...

Laters Baby 

This Blog Post brought to you by...


My new laptop my parents gave to me for Mother's Day!!  I think I am the last person I know to own a laptop.  It was worth the wait. I love it! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bouree'!

Amelia started ballet in August and what fun it has been!  We have met some really, really great friends.  Amelia absolutely loves dance and I so look forward to an hour each Wednesday with some great girls.  Our little girl is not the most graceful person on the planet but she has learned SO much.  She does things like Plie', Pique', Battement and all year long they have worked on Bouree.  This week we got to see it in action. Bouree!  The girls were so proud!  She has also learned simple skills you do not think about like jumping forward rather than just up and down.  And she likes to make up her own dance moves all over the house. For example... The "Twisties"

Sometimes it's really hard to get up the energy to load up for Wednesday dance.  The Mom's and I even moan and groan at times of if it is worth it to load up all the little sisters and big sisters and lunch and dance clothes to get to the studio for an hour each week, but honestly I wouldn't trade one single week. 

Ms Ang loves our babies and we love her (and her whole family).  I feel so blessed a simple 2 year old ballet class allowed our paths to cross 



Aren't these sweet girls precious?!


Our first recital is Tuesday night.  I will let you know how it goes!!