Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday!

My honey turned a year older this past weekend.  Here are some precious pictures of him as a cute little'n.

Guess who?

(Levi- 4 months)

I don't know about you all, but I can see so much resemblance with our boys.  Too cute!

(Doesn't Abby look so much like this darling Aunt Connie?)

(Josiah almost 2)

(J & L together)

We have learned a lot about each other this year.  There were plenty of opportunities to bond, both through happy moments and difficult ones.  We made some very important memories and have strengthened our commitment to one another.  

Patrick, you are a wonderful husband and father.  We all feel so blessed that we got you!  Josiah often asks, "Mommy, why does Daddy have to go to work?"  I always tell him, "Daddy works very hard so that we can be together!"  

This year in Patrick's B-day card, J made sure to include a 'thank-you' to Daddy for working so hard.  It was cute.

These are some of my personal favorites, Daddy with his babies.

(Abby about 3 weeks old)

(Josiah- 1 day old)

(Levi- 2 days old)


Monday, January 25, 2010

New Cocktail

Seizures.  What can I say about them except...

I can't even find the words to describe how frustrating they are.

The past several weeks we have seen a significant increase in Abby's daily seizure activity.  She's having more of the complex partial ones but also the staring episodes.  They both leave her exhausted and very irritable.  They come regardless of where we are, what we are doing or what time of day/night it is.  Therapy lately has been a joke.  Abby just drops her little head and falls asleep in the middle of an activity.  Sometimes we don't even notice the seizure, they can be so subtle.

Today we took her in to see the Neurologist (two weeks early from her scheduled appt).  We talked over all the things we are seeing, Abby's irritable behavior, recent medication changes and lots of other details.  

She concluded that 

1.  The Banzel that we added several months ago is no longer working.  (a problem with other patients as well)
2.  The Keppra could very likely be causing some of her irritability, since she's been on it over 4.5 yrs.  
3.  We have a little wiggle room with the Zonegran.

The plan:

1.  Draw labs and check medication levels (we did in the office)
2.  Start decreasing the Keppra, very slowly
3.  Start decreasing the Banzel, very slowly  (it's no longer working)
4.  Start giving daily doses of the Clonazepam that we give during times of illness (during the transitions)
5.  Increase the Zonegran
6.  Consider adding a new med, or resorting back to the Lamictal she was on before.

After a lot of worry and prayer (I know it's supposed to be in the opposite order, but I'm trying to be honest), we are hopeful that this new plan will yield some positive results for Abby.

Unfortunately nothing happens quickly in this arena but at least we have a change of course with a small light at the end of our tunnel.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Choose Life

This weekend a March for Life is being held in our nation's capital. I just signed up to "virtually" walk along side thousands of other Americans who believe that all human life is precious and sacred.

It's easy! Click here to join and within seconds you can create a virtual "self" that will represent you on Washington's National Mall. It's one small way to be a voice for the unborn.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

7 months

Levi has changed so much this past month!  He seems to be doing something new every day.

Our new nickname for him has become "our little traveler".  He is up on hands and knees rocking back and forth, with an occasional scoot forward.  Crawling is just around the corner!  I can't believe it.  He will be crawling before he sits by himself.

All the little toys and nick-knacks lying around the living room floor have to be picked up and put out of sight now.  Although I don't usually see it happening, he makes it from point A to point B in no time!  Yesterday we found him reaching into the toy basket (several feet from where we put him down).

He is also saying "Ba Ba" all the time, and sharing zirburts (you all know I can't spell).  It is so cute.  We have been signing with him for a while and this gets BIG smiles from him.  Josiah is even refreshing his sign vocab to help us.

We started rice cereal a few weeks ago.  He was not thrilled.  Although we aren't in a hurry it sure is fun to feed babies that will eat.  I remember when J started eating solids!  It thrilled us to no end that he could and would gobble down anything we gave him!  After 6 years of trying it's honestly still hard that Abby won't eat.  

Speaking of Abby, it's been a difficult few weeks.  Her behavior has been very challenging for me.  The finger biting and moaning has brought me to my knees on several occasions, and feelings of insanity on a few.  The socks have gone on her hands in an attempt to save her poor chewed up skin.  

We still feel that something is wrong... pain, discomfort or extreme frustration.  It comes and goes.

This has taught us to be mindful of the mental health of our partner.  Patrick has been so good about letting me 'escape' when I need to at the end of a trying day.

We have been setting aside time each day to pray for Abby, to bring her many issues before our Father.  It is painfully obvious that only He knows what is wrong.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Yes, we actually got some snow here in Alabama!  But, although it looked beautiful I didn't venture out in it this weekend.  Abby has been sick on and off this past week so we have just hunkered down in our warm, cozy house and enjoyed spending time with Gigai (my mom).

The funny thing is that Patrick took Josiah on a special trip to CA to visit our cousins Bill and Shannon with their kids Maddie and Hunter.  Guess what they got to do?  


I'm jealous. 

(taken with a cell phone)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

TN Christmas- part B

Off to the aquarium!  

Instead of exchanging gifts this year, the Job side of the family decided to pick a fun experience that we could do together.  Memories can be a special gift!

It's not any easy task to choose an experience that EVERYONE would enjoy when you consider the cold weather, 2 babies in tow, a child in a wheelchair and 6 adults with ideas of their own.  Not to mention a Pipai (Grand-dad) with a possibly fractured foot!

We settled on the Ripley Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg TN.  Little did we know that would be the perfect choice!

Not only did the kids love it, but Abby showed consistent visual interest surrounded by darkness with brightly colored exhibits.  They really caught her attention!  That was the biggest and most wonderful surprise for me.

The babies did as well as could be expected with one in a carrier and one in a stroller.  Pipai enjoyed the museum from the comfort of a wheelchair.  As strange as it was for us to see him in one, it kept him comfortable and off his foot.

Our goal of making memories was a complete success!

Thanks Mom and Dad for a wonderful Christmas!

TN Christmas- part A

It's already the beginning of the New Year and I'm just now going through our Christmas pictures, recalling a wonderful 10 days spent with family.

Some of our time in TN was spent with the Hull side of the family, and some was spent with the Job side... thus the split in posts.

We had so much fun and experienced so many wonderful days it would be almost impossible to include all the details, so I'll just try to capture some of the highlights in photos to give a glimpse of our Christmas.

Josiah spent a special day with Aunt Connie and Uncle Matt, coming home with a new stuffed friend and memories to last a lifetime.  Thanks guys!

Thank you Papa and Grandma for making another Christmas special for ALL of us!