We had a lovely Easter. Although we didn't make it up north to visit any family, we were able to spend Easter with new friends in Louisiana. The weekend before Easter we took the boys to an Easter Egg hunt at PPG. They even tolerated having their picture taken with the Easter bunny. I was pleasantly surprised they didn't scream at him. Dave had a few days off for Easter and we were able to get lots of family time in over the weekend. Saturday we went to our Pastor's birthday party at a nearby lake. It was a lovely, breezy day. On Sunday we went to church and then had an Easter dinner with some families from church. We have truly been blessed with our new friends and church family. I hope everyone had a Happy Easter!
Monday, April 18, 2011
It was a sunny weekend in the high 70's this weekend so we got out and about as much as we could with two little boys that both take at least 2 naps a day. We went to a picnic/Easter Egg hunt (I'll post all Easter related pictures later) at PPG Park on Saturday afternoon and then went to watch Dave's softball practice in the early evening. On Sunday we went to church and then visited the pool that afternoon. It was nice to have a fun weekend with everyone feeling well enough to get out.
James on the slide...he loves them.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Since we're not sure how long we're going to be in Louisiana, Dave and I decided to rent while we're here. I'm so glad we did. After getting to know the people here, I've learned that owning a home here comes with a totally new set of challenges. Termites are a regular problem around here and everyone has there home checked at least twice a year. There's also hurricane season and the stockpile of plywood and other accessories you need to have to protect your house in case of bad weather. Those two things alone were enough to make me relieved that I don't have to worry about that! The termite protection billboards I see every couple blocks remind me every day that I'm thankful for our apartment. The apartment also has great amenities. I know we're going to love having a pool for the hot summers. There's also a nice fitness center that Dave has already put to good use. The clubhouse has Wi-Fi, an "Internet Cafe", and a media room. The internet cafe has a coffee machine and there are often free cookies and popcorn there. The media room is a room with seating for about 10 people and a large screen TV and blue-ray player. We took James down there the other night to watch "Busytown Mysteries" on the big screen while we checked our email. The complex is also in a great location. And here are a few pictures...the inside is nice but a mess so enjoy what you get!
This is the view from our 3rd floor balcony...the stairs I take every day are getting me into shape!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Apparently no matter how sick we get or how wrapped up in unpacking we get or how many nights James spends in the hospital, time still moves. Andrew is growing and developing like a healthy, normal baby boy. At his 6 month check-up he weighed in at 17.5 pounds (50%) and was 27.5 inches long (75%). Andrew eats like every other Iverson, which means he eats A LOT, usually taking down 40 ounces of formula, 1/2 a cup of oatmeal, and 4 ounces of baby food every day. Andrew is sitting up and weight-bearing well on his feet. He has also discovered that his feet are a great toy! Andrew is full of smiles and is usually only grumpy when it's naptime. I am going to work a lot harder at getting a good nap routine for him now that we're all home. He does a pretty good job at bedtime, but still wakes up around 2 fairly consistently. We're working on that too :) But basically he's a good, happy boy so I'm not complaining (too much) about his not so good sleeping habits that are mostly my fault anyway. Enjoy the pictures of Andrew on his 6 Month birthday!!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
After James' most recent surgery in December, we were hoping his acid reflux troubles would go away. And for awhile we thought they had. His reflux was much better and he had a cold in January that didn't turn nasty, so we were hopeful. He even went the whole month of February without any trips to a hospital, only seeing a doctor for an 18-month well visit. Then around mid-March the whole family got colds. Dave and Andrew seemed to get a mild version of what James and I got. It took me over two weeks to kick it. James' reflux was acting up around the same time and the combination always seems to push him over the edge. The doctors say that reflux makes colds worse and colds make reflux worse, so the two can really feed off each other and make a bad cold really, really bad. James ended up in the hospital for two nights while my parents were visiting because he needed some oxygen. He seemed to be getting better so we went home. The Monday after that we headed to Houston so that James could meet his new surgeon and pulmonologist. He also needed to get his vision tested since he had bleeding on the brain when he was a newborn and currently has a droopy eyelid. All of his new doctors are great and Texas Children's is a great hospital. The eye doctor said that his vision is perfect for now and that the droopy eyelid is minor. We'll have to take him yearly to get his vision tested to make sure his vision stays on track (this is due more to the fact that I had a lazy eye that developed later in my childhood than his newborn issues). The surgeon wants to do yet another esophogram with an upper GI and small bowel follow through. He wants to make sure there aren't any blockages or strictures (since his reflux has been acting up again) and get a better idea of what James' looks like on the inside. He also referred us to a GI doctor because we would all prefer to get James' reflux under control with medicine as opposed to another surgery. We won't have to see the surgeon regularly unless another surgery is required. The pulmonologist changed up some of James' nebulizer meds. When he's not sick, he'll be down to one breathing treatment a day. This is to keep the swelling of his airways down that the reflux causes. We'll make trips to see the pulmonologist every 3 months. Overall the trip went well. A new friend from church road along with me since Dave had to work. It was so nice to not have to worry about Andrew while I was talking to all the doctors. On the way back from Houston, James got sick again. We went straight to the doctor when we got home. His oxygen rates were low again and had to be readmitted to the hospital. This time he was in for 9 days. He had some ups and downs over those 9 days. I was lucky enough to have made yet another new friend through church that sat at the hospital with me most days and helped take care of Andrew. Our new church family has been the biggest blessing. James and I never went a day without a visit from someone and they often brought meals and snacks for us too. They are amazing! After James got discharged we headed back to Houston to meet his new GI doctor. She is actually from Pittsburgh...such a small world! She added a new medicine and has a few other ideas to try to help James. We will be seeing her every 6-8 weeks, probably making small adjustments to his meds each time until we find a combination that works for him. She also said that as his core gets stronger, the reflux should get better. This is because as your core gets stronger, your stomach and esophagus get stronger and do a better job of holding down food and acid. She also mentioned that his acid reflux will be a lifelong battle. It was kind of nice to hear this from a doctor instead of believing and hoping that each next step will be the thing that fixes James' problems. Our goal is going to be to get his reflux under control enough that it will stop negatively affecting his respiratory system. James also has new therapists. The system in Louisiana doesn't have as much funding as the one in Pittsburgh, so he won't have therapy as often, but the therapists he has are great. James has also been making progress on his own the past couple months so I think the therapy he will be getting will be enough. For now he has an occupational therapist and a specialty therapist; both will focus on building James eating skills and trunk strength. Finally, James was tested for food allergies last week. The doctors wanted to make sure that there wasn't an allergy making things worse for him. He wasn't allergic to any of the 30 foods they tested for. They also tested his immune system at the same time and it was normal as well. Good news! James has been completely healthy for about a week now. Please continue to pray that his reflux stays/goes away and that his little body can fight off any germs that come his way!
Monday, April 11, 2011
I have been out of touch for the last several weeks. We finally moved into our apartment in Louisiana over the weekend of March 18th. We were all fighting off colds at the time and the move went slowly. Dave and Andrew seemed to kick it quick, but James and I were down for the count. We finally got all of our stuff into our apartment (but not unpacked) and James' cold turned into pneumonia (yet again) and he had to spend time in the hospital (yet again). He was in for 2 nights one week and then back in for 9 days the next week. We've also made a couple trips to Houston to meet James' new doctors down here and last week Dave had an eye infection and the worst strep throat ever. He didn't move for 3 days. Despite all of this I probably would have found time to blog and post pictures, but our internet was not working in our new apartment. Today it finally works! So I owe you several blog posts since so much has happened. I seem to finally be unpacked so I am going to try to catch up on posts. Look for several on James, Andrew, and our new place over the next few days!