Regan and I Are a Family!!

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

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Okay, I had to put a more upbeat post after the last one. The story behind the picture is that Regan got out of the bath, came in my room and destroyed the bed in a frenzy of dancing. Her bedtime is still not ideal and she was up to watch "Dancing with the Stars". She LOVED it! She then started twirling and trying to dip herself on the bed! I had helped her with her dipping technique in the living room, but obviously she hadn't gotten all the boogie out of her system.

So, back on the picture. I turn around and pull her pajamas out of the drawer. A SPLIT second! I turn around and she is up on my very high headboard shaking her purples, dancing and waving her arms. Have I mentioned a time or two that she is very quick and very mobile?!?!?!?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Health Scare - Warning: Long, Rambling Post

About three hours after the steroid. She is feeling pretty good! She loves to collect stuff and hide it in different places. It makes living with her a little more interesting. She just up and decided to try and do gymnastics in one of the cabinets. Of course I let her for awhile because I was just so darn happy she was feeling good!

This week with Regan started off pretty rough. She had been waking in the night again. Not nightmares, just waking up off and on through the night. It culminated on Wednesday night with her waking and just crying and crying and crying. Not scared crying, just crying. I had no idea what was wrong. I tried everything. We finally ended up getting out of bed and meandering the house and then got back in bed and watched The Amazing Race for one and 1/2 hours. This is when I feel exhausted being single. What I wouldn't have given on one of those nights to be able to just let her visit someone else one of those afternoons so that I could nap. Anyway, I took her to daycare on Thursday and was sure I would get a phone call that morning to come pick her up because she was so tired, I thought she would give them a rough time. By noon, I thought I was home free because I hadn't gotten a call and they go down for a nap at 12:00. I had to go to work that morning because I had a scheduled meeting with the wheelchair vendor to make modifications to several children's chairs. At 12:37 I got two phone calls right in a row. One from the downtown ESE office, the other from the daycare. I knew it couldn't be good. The daycare was calling all my contact numbers to get a hold of me to tell me that Regan had severe rashes on her feet and hands and was screaming and scratching herself like crazy. The ESE secretary called my mom and told her the daycare had called and couldn't get ahold of me. My mom works in the downtown school building and so the when Karen, the ESE secretary, heard that the daycare had a "serious" concern, she called my mom. I travel to 14 different schools and so they don't always know what school I am at. Calling my cell phone is the most direct way of getting ahold of me, but they tried that number second. I immediately went to the daycare. I couldn't get ahold of my mom, her secretary told me she was out looking for me and Regan. We ended up pulling into the daycare at the same time. We went in and Ms. Barb, the daycare director met us and was very worried. She said Regan had been itching and screaming and she had a severe rash on her hands and feet and they were starting to swell. She had read what I wrote in her medical information and I had said to call immediately if she developed a rash and she knew some of her medical history and she was concerned. I got Regan and we called the doctor who said to come in right away.

We arrived at the doctor and one of the things they did was a strep test. I won't bore you with all the details, but basically they were not sure if it was a definite positive. Dr. Jones threw out several possibilities, Kawasaki syndrome being the one he thought it looked like the most. She didn't have a fever though and so he was ruling that out for now. He said that Dr. MacKoul said many asians get a rash on the hands and feet with strep so we were treating it like strep for now. He pointed out one patch of redness, not rash, on the calf of her leg. He said it looked like the beginning of a skin infection and if it changed at all to call the office or get to the ER immediately. He said it was probably just a no name skin infection, but to get it looked at if it got worse because of the word I am getting so sick of hearing: MRSA. His indecision about her diagnosis did not make me feel comfortable. After the visit there were still unanswered questions that made me worry. His worry about the redness increased my worry.

That night, we were up for hours with her screaming and itching her feet. The next morning I thought things looked better. I had a flat tire, had to walk Konnor to school (he was late, of course) and get my brother to drive me to my mom's work so that I could borrow her van. This took a couple of hours and by the time we got to my mom's Regan had the same redness on her calf showing up on her underarm. Her axillary lymph nodes were also very swollen. Her calf looked worse. I called the doctor they said to come in immediately. By this time, I am panicked and managed to be a crybaby when I called my work to tell them I wouldn't be in.

We got in right away and saw Dr. MacKoul. I LOVE her. Can I say it one more time: I love her! She is awesome. She peeks in the door and shakes her finger at Regan and says, "You're going to be the death of me little girl!". I said, "You!" and she laughed and said she has nothing on me! I will say, I have so much more appreciation for parents who have chronically ill children. It will break you if you let it. I don't know how they are so strong. The mental strain is unreal. I can deal with chronic health issues. I just am terrified of it being life threatening again.

Dr. MacKoul examined Regan and said that the redness is not connected to any skin opening. She had several massive mosquito bites on her legs that were healing and I was so scared that had provided a skin opening, but the redness was not around them. She said the redness on the arm also did not have an opening it was surrounding. It looked exactly like the MRSA did when she was in the hospital. Dr. MacKoul said she didn't think it was and we were going to put her on a steroid to treat the redness and provide her some relief from the itching. She did say if it got worse, she would be on stand by this weekend for me to call. She said she would let her husband (who was on call this weekend) to tell her if I called and she would meet me at the office to personally look at Regan. That is a great doctor! We had a joking conversation about me just needing to make a standing appointment every month, and Dr. MacKoul mentioned that there were about five patients in her practice who the office staff know are to get immediately seen if they call. We had the dubious honor of being one of them! While I was there, I got to meet the triage nurse, Betsy who I have had many conversations with on the phone, but hadn't gotten to meet. Dr. MacKoul tracked her down when I casually mentioned that one day I wanted to meet her. Betsy and I had a nice little conversation and it was nice to put a face to a voice! It is just a great office. I feel confident in Dr. MacKoul's clinical judgment and she put my mind to ease once she examined Regan.

The concern with Regan's MRSA is that there are only two drugs that it is responsive to. You can't treat it with the regular protocol because it is an unusual strain. MRSA is very common, her strain of MRSA is not. The infectious disease doctors said they had only seen one other case so resistant to all meds. That is why they feel it came from China, because it is such an unusual strain. The only effective drugs must be administered through IV and that means staying in the hospital. The second concern is how it went systemic and began spreading up her body. My constant fear is, if it comes back I don't want it to become resistant to the two drugs it responds to now.

The other great thing about Dr. MacKoul is that she has such great clinical judgment and the steroid gave Regan almost instant relief. She was happy within one hour. After not sleeping for about a week (she must have been getting sick and feeling the beginnings of illness), we slept in that night until 9:30 the next morning!!!!! Sleep has never felt so good! I was a walking zombie all week and so I felt so refreshed! Her arm and leg look no worse and so we feel it isn't MRSA, but just a viral skin thing like Dr. MacKoul said. I am so glad all my fears were unfounded!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Four Day Weekend

Library event, you can click on any picture to make it bigger.
Playing hide and seek with her cousin! She had undressed herself trying to get me to let her shower!

This weekend was a four day weekend for me.....the school district had a holiday on Thursday celebrating the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah and then on Friday was a Hurricane Make-Up day which we very fortunately did not have to use this school year. It certainly didn't feel like a four day weekend, where did it go?

On Thursday, we threw papers, ate lunch with Framma and spent a half an hour or so at the Calusa Nature Center. Marmie was supposed to have his first day of obedience school, but it got rained out. He missed last week because I went to Tyler's memorial service. I hope he isn't a obedience school drop-out before he even attends his first class!!

Friday afternoon was spent at the library at a very neat science show. I love the Cape Coral library and all the good events that present. They are all for free and really have had a wide variety of events. All of them have been great! Regan was learning to sit still for more than 1 minute and Konnor loved watching them make exploding lava, slime, a soda bottle powered rocket, and other things. They then have a ton of books to encourage the kids to read about the topic that was presented. Next week is Aesop, one of my favorites!

I had to take another continuing ed course on Saturday. 101 Things to Do with a Gait Belt. It was interesting, but I would rather have been home! I now have to take a few more hours on the internet and I am done! Saturday evening, my mom and I began working on the church nursery. We are in charge of painting, renovating and cleaning, and it is quite the project!

Regan is really coming along with feeding herself and dressing herself. She really tries so hard to get dressed. She can almost do most of her shorts and skorts, but can't figure out the shirts! She has now decided she loves showers and will start undressing and lead me to the shower and try to convince me to turn it on. She is still needing to be convinced she is not going to shower two or three times a day! I love that she is into hygiene, but that is overdoing it! ;)
She has also had a growth her feet! She has been able to wear the same pair of squeaky shoes that I brought home from China. She has been in size 3 shoes since she came home. I had bought her a couple of size 4s, but they had been too big and she would walk right out of them. She is now officially in size 4. Another interesting, but totally useless bit of trivia: her shoe size and her diaper size coincide. She used to be in size 3 diapers (purples as she calls them!) and has now moved into 4s.

The charming thing she learned in daycare was to scream "mine!" whenever she wants something. Not the most wonderful lesson to bring home. We are working on cutting that out of her repertoire!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Beach Pictures

Regan is just so darned cute that I had to post new pictures!! I also had to say a few more things that I have forgotten to post.

1. Regan's favorite movie is "You've Got Mail". I have absolutely no idea why. It isn't very exciting or flashy, but for whatever reason if I put that movie in she is entranced. We put it in sometimes when I am cleaning house or cooking dinner because it is one of my favorites and yet I don't have to sit down to follow the plot. As soon as she hears the theme music she will literally come running from wherever she is to watch.

2. Regan loves music and activity and I had posted earlier about how she will copy people and mimic their poses. She does this all the time with whatever is going on the tv also. I was flipping through channels and a Justin Timberlake concert was on the tv. She tried mimicking all of his dance moves and arm movements! She will also do this with commercials or random tv series. Just pick up and mimic how they are standing or what they are doing with their arms....things like that.

When I have more time I'll have to remember to post about this new things she has learned from daycare!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Beach Time and Konnor's Tooth Loss

This Friday, my mom and I took Regan to the beach. We got there about sunset time and watched the sun go down. This was Regan's first trip to the beach and she loved it! She loved wading in the water and playing in the sand. She kept wrinkling her toes back and forth. She would have taken off and tried to swim if we didn't keep reeling her back to shore! I love watching her experience and discover new is an awesome feeling!

Konnor had a big night last night, he lost his first tooth! My mom is going to make his tooth pillow and then the tooth fairy will come visit! He was EXTREMELY excited!!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Konnor is the Big 6!!

I finally had had enough of Regan's hair hanging in her face. I took a pair of scissors and decided that if I totally butchered her hair, it would as least grow back. Not an easy task to cut the hair of a 19 month old who never sits still. My strategy was to cut a piece everytime she would walk by me! My mom is always trying to convince me to leave it down. She likes it better down, I like it better in pigtails. At least now, she can have it down without looking like a ragmuffin!
Konnor and Jason in their fishing outfits.
Fishing off the pier. You can't really see it, but Regan is crying hysterically! She hates these giant people and critters who always want to take their picture with her!
Regan doing one of the things that she does best...... talking on the phone! (Please ignore the mismatched outfit, we were "bumming around" at home! ) Notice she is all dolled up with her "bracelet" on.

We had a very busy week this past week. On Saturday, Jason (my brother) signed he and Konnor up for a fishing tournament being hosted by McDonald's. All proceeds go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. It was an awesome event! It was a $20 dollar registration fee and it included a fishing rod, tackle box, t-shirt, trophey and lunch. Konnor had a great time! It was the beginning of his birthday celebration.

On Sunday, we had a cake that my brother made and then Konnor's mom picked him up because she wanted to have him for his birthday. We don't mind, because we almost never celebrate on the official day. Regan's birthday was celebrated 6 months late! The birthday celebration justs keeps going!

On Monday September 3rd, Konnor turned 6!!!!!

On Wednesday, I had an appointment with our adoption social worker to complete Regan's second post placement visit. I tried mowing the lawn on Tuesday, but of course my lawnmower broke a belt. I told Jennifer my disclaimer was that I tried, but don't judge me on the grass! I hate yardwork. Despite the yard tribulations, it was nice to catch up with Jennifer. She had a new referral to deliver to a family and she was driving to meet them after our appointment. How exciting! I will never, ever forget the excitement of Regan's referral and I am so happy for everyone experiencing that wonderful emotion! Jennifer and I sat and talked while we completed Regan's paperwork and we did some extra paperwork while Jennifer was here ;)

Thursday was not such a good day. I attended a memorial funeral for a little 5 year old little boy. Please keep Amy, Jimmy, and their family in your prayers as they mourn the loss of their five year old son. As unbelievable as it is, this is the second child that they have lost. I am devastated. I saw him for therapy from the time he was 8 months old until he was almost 4. For over two years, I was at their house 2-3 times per week. Tyler was the most awesome little boy. He would smile at the sound of your voice and even when he was fighting seizures, aspiration fears, and various other medical concerns, he would give the most amazing smile and laugh. It makes you come home and hug your own baby that much tighter.