Regan and I Are a Family!!

Shepherd, Regan, and I Are a Family!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Great Couple of Days

I LOVE my milkshake!
The picture is fuzzy, but look at that smile!
Worn out from all the excitement!
The newest member of the Newton family.

It has been a busy couple of days! I feel like between working summer school, VBS, and doctor stuff, that we haven't really had a summer break. We have been making up for lost time!

On Sunday, we headed up to Marion County to visit their humane society. My mom had seen a dog on their website that she really liked and wanted to see. Marion County is about 3 1/2 hours north of us! We decided just to make a road trip and have a good time. We left about one hour later than we wanted to, because Regan had a rough night on Saturday with more nightmares and hysteria. I had two hours of sleep and she had four. My brother and his girlfriend tagged along behind us. We made it to the humane society and my mom ended up taking home a completely different dog than she had originally been interested in. His name is Bosley, and he was born at the shelter. He is now four months old and just the cutest thing! His hair is hysterical! It sticks up from the top of his head and is curly all down his back. He is quite a mix!

We finished the adoption and it was about 12:30. My grandparents only live about 45 more minutes north (around Gainesville) and so we called them and told them we were coming for a surprise visit! We stayed at their house for almost two hours and then had to head home. On the way home, my mom, Konnor, Yunnie, Bosley and I had a Cracker Barrel take out picnic at a rest area. It was so much fun to get out and do something different. This is the kind of activity we used to do more often and we have been so busy it has falled by the wayside.

W e headed home and besides one unpleasant episode where Bosley lost his lunch in my car (ewwwww!), it was uneventful. I was happy to get home and get some sleep!

Monday and Tuesday were busy dealing with paper route stuff. They are so mixed up over there and have no idea how to run a business. I'm hoping that once school starts back I can stop the second job. It is quite aggravating to deal with them.

On Wednesday, Konnor and I worked on some crafts. My mom and I then took him to a juggling show that was being held at the Cape Coral Library. It was a free event and Konnor had a great time. He loves all that kind of stuff. That night, we got a milkshake treat at Steak N Shake. Regan was fussing in the back seat because she wanted a milkshake. Mine was way too large and so I let her drink from it. She was so cute! She LOVED the milkshake. I think she was just as happy because she was drinking like a big girl and was allowed to hold the big girl cup! She was smiling and laughing and just getting such pleasure out of such a little thing. Of course by the time we got home she had taken off the lid and dumped the remainder of the shake all over my car! I knew I shouldn't have let her hold it for so long, but she was having such a good time!

This morning, we saw Happy Feet at Free Movie Thursday. I let Konnor splurge on a Kid's Kit. He loved having his own popcorn, drink, and Skittles.

This is the life! Having kids and seeing them enjoy the little things.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

No More Doctors for 5 Months!!!!

This week was another busy week and we are taking today to clean up the disaster of a house that has been neglected!

Tuesday and Wednesday we worked on our paper route. On Wednesday morning, I spent a couple of hours on the phone with various doctors trying to figure out what the results were of Regan's immune system bloodwork. We had completed the final bloodwork a couple of months ago and hadn't heard anything. I figured "no news is good news" and I was never really worried about her bloodwork anyway so I hadn't really pursued calling doctors. I had forgotten that she was scheduled for more immunizations on Wednesday and couldn't have them if her bloodwork came back screwy. Finally, the Infectious Disease doctor, Dr. Gonzalez called me back to personally talk alot of gibberish of which the end result was that she could get all her immunizations. After she told me all about this blood count and that blood count she said that some of her levels were slightly off, but that was probably because it was so soon after her hospitilization and that they were probably residual results of the huge infection. She wants to repeat the bloodwork in two months (I'm thinking no). If it was too soon after her illness and that is what they are saying caused her bloodlevels to be slightly off why did they rush me so fast to get the bloodwork done? We should have waited a month or two.

My other huge fear is having Regan receive the MMR. Working in the school system, there are alot of worries that the MMR is linked to autism. It has not yet been proven, but it is a scary thought. I have talked it over with people and done some research, but depending on where you look depends on what results you find. Dr. Gonzalez told me alot of stuff and about various research articles, but the bottom line was that she gave her son the final MMR yesterday and that is is completely safe.

I got off the phone and still was not comfortable with giving Regan the MMR. I decided I wasn't going to let her receive the MMR until I talked to Dr. M, her pediatrician. Unfortunately, we were only scheduled to see a nurse. I figured Regan could receive her hepatitis and we would reschedule an appointment to talk to Dr. M and decide about the MMR at this later date. When we got to Dr. M's office, we were heading to the back and Dr. M was heading towards us. She had seen that we were on the schedule for today and told me she was stopping by to see if I had any questions about her immunity tests. I told her yes and she came in and sat down to talk. I explained my fears about the MMR and she relieved them. Told me about various research and about Regan being older and her immune system being fine. She said her immune system tests showed nothing to be worried about. That is why I love her being Regan's doctor. She anticipated I would have questions and even though we weren't on her schedule, she came to find us to make any questions I had were answered. We are now done with doctor's visits until January!

On Thursday, Konnor, Regan, and I went to the free movie at Bell Tower Theatres. Regan did pretty good. We met four of our friends from Vacation Bible School. That was fun running into them. We then ate lunch with my mom and headed for another doctor's appointment. She had her follow up audiogram and her ENT doctor visit. Her last audiogram showed increased pressure and fluid in her ears, possibly decreased hearing in her right. Since then, I have seen no concerns, but we were doing a follow up. Regan was being REALLY difficult and we went outside because she started pitching a temper tantrum. I told the receptionist we would be outside and she said she would let them know. Well, she didn't. We sweltered outside for about 30 minutes (after 30 minutes of wait inside) and they finally came and got us. They had forgotten we were outside! Anyway, everything is fine. This test result showed no concerns. The increased fluid resolved itself, her hearing is normal, and we have no more appointments with the ENT. In the meantime, Regan was acting up more than she has in a long time and we headed home.

Friday, we took Marmaduke back to the vets. He opened his incision and needed a distemper and parvo booster shot. He did well and loved on everyone and we just have to clean out his incision. In the meantime, I am so thankful I have tile as he has bled drops of blood everywhere! So nice!

In the afternoon, we headed to the social security office where I FINALLY applied for Regan's social security card! The waiting room was packed and I was so worried we were going to be there forever, but 30 minutes later we were in and out! I hope everything is correct, because I found several errors on the printout the lady had made to submit to the social security administration. Hopefully, they were all caught!

We are happy to be done with doctors! Regan has had every part of her body poked and prodded! Her heart has had an echocardiogram and EKG, her kidneys have been xrayed and had a VCOG, every drop of blood has been examined! I think the doctors are finally satisfied that she is okay! Yeah!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My Big Boy

I want my mommy!

Yep, my new man is a dog. A BIG dog! This all started with my mom! My mom has been ready to get a new dog and so we started looking at the adoption areas at PetCo and PetSmart. I also found the best websites; and These websites list rescue groups, pet shelters, humane societies, etc. I'm not into buying a dog from a breeder or pet store and all my animals have either been given to me or are strays. It was really hard when I worked at the vet's office saying "no" to taking home all of the strays that would come in. Anyway, when researching rescue groups for my mom I found a few Great Dane rescue groups. I applied to one group and got approved and was supposed to go out there yesterday to look at their dogs. In the meantime, I kept checking the websites and 6 Great Dane Mix puppies were listed at the Collier County Humane Society. This was on Sunday. My mom had Monday off and so we made plans to go on Monday and be there when they opened. I hate animal shelters and I was nervous about going......I hate to think of all the animals that don't find homes.

Monday morning we got to the shelter and we headed towards the dog kennels. I walked in and immediately saw the hugest dog. He was an adult Great Dane. I looked at his information and he is listed as being 6 years old. That is very old for a Great Dane and so I went down to look at the puppies. They were very cute. Another lady was there looking at them and ended up taking two of them home. I just didn't click with the puppies. There were actually two adult Great Danes. The other Dane was listed as being 4 years old. He was very aloof and didn't want anything to do with me. I went back and looked at the 6 year old Great Dane. He had been picked up as a stray. He was soooooo skinny. He was just the biggest dork. He kept licking my fingers and wagging his tail and just generally being a doofus. I asked the kennel worker if I could take him in the visiting pen. As soon as we got in the visiting pen I knew he was going to be mine. He was this big, lumbering doof ball with the sweetest personality. He about knocked me over as he loves to lean into you. He loved Yunnie and kept trying to smell her pants. Lovely! All my reservations about his age went out the window and I couldn't not take him home. I know my heart will be broken when I don't have as much time with him as I would like, but I couldn't leave him at a kill shelter when he was so obviously a loving, sweet dog.

The adoption fee was fifty dollars and included shots, microchipping, and neutering. I thought that was dirt cheap! You also get a collar, a bag, dog food, etc in a goody bag. I had to leave him there so he could be neutered the next day and I felt bad taking him back to the kennel. Yesterday, I checked on the puppies and they were all adopted. I figured since they were puppies they wouldn't be there long and I was right.

On Tuesday, the shelter had to send him to an outside vet to be neutered. They couldn't accomodate a dog of his size. He actually ended staying at the vet until Wednesday as they didn't get him neutered on schedule. My brother's girlfriend, Jean, picked him up for me since she works in Naples and I was in the middle of Vacation Bible School at the time he was ready.

Friday, we took an emergency trip to the my vets because he kept bleeding at his surgery site. Luckily, the bleeding stopped and it all looks good. I can't fully explain what a nice dog he is. He is already so attached to me. I'm surprised after just a few short days. He cries if he can't be near me. My mom has taken him for two walks around the block for me and he keeps turning around and crying to come back to see me. He also tries to sit on my lap. I like to breathe, so that doesn't work out so well for me! Daisy is a little jealous so I have some making up to do to her! He is so well trained he obviously belonged to someone. He is completely housebroken (thank goodness, he has the bladder of a pony!). I don't think about food on the counters having only had small dogs and he hasn't touched it. He does need to learn basic manners and being so big, I am going to take him to obedience class. The pictures don't do it justice, but with his head up, he stands taller than Konnor. He weighs 114.6 pounds and he is extremely underweight. His name at the shelter was AO78262. I didn't think that was very fitting;) Jean came up with the name Marmaduke and that he is! He is the biggest, most loveable, big baby!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We're Taking the Next Step

I know this may seem sudden, but my new man and I have decided to move in together. He should start bringing his stuff over tomorrow. I'll try to get pictures posted then.

Monday, July 09, 2007

There is a new man in my life!

Eating pizza by the slice - like a big girl!!
Konnor in the vest Mama made for him.

Leslie, this one is for you! Mama and Papa's dog, Abby.

So, there is a new man in my life and that is all I'm going to say about it right now! I'll try to post tomorrow. My mom and I were in charge of Vacation Bible School at our church. Let me just say we had pre-registration and an age limit (4-11ish) for a reason! With extra kids and young ones coming, it was exhausting chaos. 4 more nights to go! Wish us luck!

I'll tell everyone about the new man later when I am coherent!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Vacation with Mama and Papa

Regan has had such a good time visiting with my grandparents. Today, we did a small celebration for my grandmother's 80th birthday, Father's Day for my grandfather, Regan's birthday and a pinata surprise from my birthday! I know we never get it together on people's birthdays and so we just keep celebrating! Regan's birthday got interrupted by her hospital stay and so six months later we are still partying! My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I guess my mom and brother forgot they had bought the pinata. My grandmother's birthday is July 2nd and so we are right on time for that one! One year we had three Christmases because of everyone's schedules. It is quite fun! Here are some pictures from the last couple of days.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

Regan's "fake" smile. If I smile will you hurry up and take the picture so you can sit down and quit interrupting the parade?!?!?

The parade is over so lets go!
Regan had a small snack of yogurt. She was done and so I took her out of her highchair. She was too quiet and when I looked about 1 minute later, she had gotten the yogurt off the table and was feeding herself. She is becoming quite independent! The fun ended when she started spoon feeding Daisy.

Regan's first fourth of July was awesome. It especially meant something this year to think of my little baby first becoming a US citizen. I remember the touchdown of her feet making it official. I thought about being in the hospital and my brother brought me some mail saying it looked "official" and it was! It was her certificate of citizenship.....something I hadn't even thought of given the past couple of weeks we had had.

We went to a little parade and Regan loved it. I thought the sirens of the police cars and firetrucks would scare her to death, but it didn't. She kind of looked at them like "why are you making so much noise", but didn't get upset. She also looked a little puzzled everytime the floats would throw candy at her and I'm sure she was wondering why we were sitting on the side of the road letting people pelt us with hard objects. Oh! And people would blast you with water guns! All and all she had a good time.

We decided to forego fireworks for three reasons. 1. My grandparents were coming for a visit and they wouldn't want to go. 2. I thought Regan would hate them because of the noise. 3. Regan is SOOOOO sensitive to bug bites and the doctor said to be very careful because bug bites are a common site for infection and we don't want her in the hospital again.

I have become a pit paranoid about the bug bites. Here we are in the mosquito capital of the world and Regan is a magnet. The mark on her face was from a bug bite about two weeks ago. I'm afraid it might scar. Her first bug bite was on her arm and she was walking over to me and her arm was all swollen up and red and I was shocked because I couldn't figure out how she had gotten so injured and I didn't know it! Then, I figured out it was a bug bite and I am amazed at her sensitivity. I slather her up with bug spray and try to keep her inside after dusk when the bugs are at their worst. We do have to live but, I figured we celebrated the Fourth and we were okay. We went in the front yard and the neighbors had such a huge selection of fireworks that we felt like we hadn't missed anything.

Regan didn't sleep so great and she was crabby when we headed over to my mom's house to visit. I thought she would be a nightmare and we wouldn't be staying for long. I was so wrong! She was charming and immediately went to my grandpa to hug him and try to get in his lap. She then would hang over my grandmother and kiss her and play with her. She was absolutely wonderful and showed them all her stuff. They adore her and it is so nice to see. My grandfather just kept saying how smart and pretty she was and he loved to see her smile. He would then play with her, tickle her, and just be goofy so that he could see that smile. I am so lucky to have the family that I have been given. They have been absolutely amazing through the entire adoption process and these last six months. I couldn't ask for more support and it is wonderful to see Regan loving on her great-grandparents and them loving her back. Family is an awesome thing.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Regan's Week

Regan loves to take wet wipes and kleenex and blow her nose.
Oh, have I ever mentioned that Regan loves to put on Konnor's underwear and walk around in them?!?!?! I don't get it, but it is really cute! And of course, more nose blowing.
Sweet, sweet sleep.

I am so glad the weekend is over! Regan had a pretty rough weekend and we are hoping a new week is a better week!

On Friday, Regan had her first dentist appointment. The dentist said everything was fine and her teeth look healthy. He said he would expect a child of her age to have more teeth and so they are delayed in erupting. I have yet to look up what is "normal", but she has 8 teeth and the day before the dentist appointment a molar starting popping up. Her bottom teeth are crowded and came in crooked and he says that does not bode well for what is going to happen when her permanent teeth try to come in. He anticipates she will have overcrowding issues when she is older and possibly braces. I did not know that you could tell this so early, but I guess I'm glad I have a warning to start saving for future orthodontic needs!

On Saturday and Sunday, we were trying to get my mom's house painted and fixed up as she was having some furniture delivered today. Regan was into everything.......everything. I am amazed at her language skills. She is the total opposite of Konnor who didn't babble much, but when he started talking he took off and spoke in full sentences. She talks ALL the time. Her receptive language is also amazing. Just this past week or so she has learned: "Put that back", "put it in the trash", "get out of the toilet", "be nice to the doggy/kitty/Konnor", "you better stop", etc. She understands it all and is complying which is big progress. So, all weekend she is "helping" to clean and generally causing everything to take ten times as long. No biggie, we can deal except that the little girlfriend is going to learn some anger management. She is learning the hard way that if she hurts herself by pitching herself backward and hitting her head on the headboard/floor/cabinet/carseat, etc that she isn't going to earn any sympathy so she might as well not try! Thank goodness she is so smart because she is quickly learning that certain behaviors are not happening in this house. She had a brief time out for being mean to the Konnor and she was so upset. She knew what she had done and when I let her get up she immediately went over to Konnor, crawled up in his lap, gave him a hug and a kiss. I didn't tell her to do that, so I was happy she had remorse and understood what she had done.

Following the days, Regan had some major sleeping issues this weekend. Sleeping is never great for her, but this weekend was especially difficult. She usually doesn't sleep more than 8 hours and she wants me to be laying down with her. I thought we were doing so great when Regan went to sleep without having me have to be beside her. I was patting myself on the back and was just generally pleased. At about midnight on Saturday, she work up screaming bloody murder. She was hysterical and I couldn't console her. I held her, rocked her, got up and walker her, tried to feed her and nothing helped. This went on for THREE HOURS. She just couldn't calm down and would be crying so much she was gasping for air. This repeated itself on Sunday. Waking up screaming and crying and inconsolable. After a couple of hours, I gave up and turned on the tv. The tv seemed to work and she was able to get out of her little panic and calm down. We watched half an hour of a documentary on female body builders and we were both ready to sleep! On Monday night, I gave her some Benadryl. She hasn't had nightmares in a month or so. It is scary because she just can't seem to snap out of it.......

Here's to having a better week!