Monday, January 17, 2011

Update on Alathea

I apologize if I left anyone hanging who caught the brief updates from our wild day with Alathea on Friday. It was a crazy day: CT Scan early in the morning, friends over (fun highlight :), Alathea falls and busts open her chin while playing with friends, neurosurgeon appointment (who refused to allow us to come later, even with the bloody chin), unexpected news at the neurologist and a incredibly rude and insensitive neurosurgeon who brought the not-so-great news, getting lost in uptown and therefore a missed appointment for stitches at the pediatrician, stuck in traffic on 77, while we are in traffic Alathea starts gagging and throws-up all over the car (poor girl), we get her cleaned up and head to the urgent care to get her chin stitched up, they refuse to stitch her and send us to Levine Children's Hospital ER, Joe takes over (thank the Lord!) and takes Alathea to Levine and around midnight they come home with a loopy, but totally happy little girl with a nicely stitched up chin and a huge pink stuffed animal pig, named "little piggy" who apparently got her chin stitched up as well (gotta love Children's hospitals).

Obviously now that her chin is stitched up, it will be totally fine. So let me fill you in on why we had a CT scan and met with a neurosurgeon:

When Alathea was a baby I noticed a tiny bump on the right side of her head. It was, and really still is, so small most people have no idea she has it. In my opinion, any bump is worth getting a doctors opinion on, so every single time we took her to the pediatrician, I had them look at it. And every single doctor told me the same thing- its just a bump on her skull bone that she was born with. No big deal.

This past month I was at the doctor with her and once again asked them to check the bump. Since I had asked this doctor numerous times to check it over the years, she finally asked if I wanted to have peace of mind and have a neurologist double check it. Now seemed like a great time, since our insurance is a HSA and we have met out deductible this year (thanks to Ava's birth), this making the appointment free. With our deductible being reset on Feb 1st, I asked my pediatrician if we could possibly get in before the end of the month.

Little did I know that she would get me an appointment and a CT scan for the next day. (I know now that somehow she got the impression from me that we would have NO insurance come Feb 1st, thus the haste in getting us in). We got a call on Thursday evening at 6pm, telling us to be at CMC the next morning at 8am for a CT scan. I had NO idea that was part of the plan, but figured I may as well go since we got an appointment. (Alathea was totally amazing at the CT scan- I'm proud of my brave girl. She was really scared (like tears rolling down her cheeks, but no crying), but went through it without any complaint).

That afternoon I showed up at the neurologist appointment a bit flustered with the bleeding chin and getting way lost on the way, but expecting the appointment to be simple and then I'd head on my way to get Alathea's chin stitched up. The nurse practitioner looked at Alathea's CT scan and assured me she looked totally fine, but that she'd have the DR come in and double check. The neurosurgeon came in and looked at her bump, and proceeded to tell me that it was NOT just part of her was a kind of cyst and that she would need to have surgery. When he said surgery, I was thinking he must be mistaken, because that had never been mentioned ever before. In a span of 2 minutes max I asked 3-4 questions and he got so frustrated that I was asking them and got up and walked out of the room saying he couldn't help me. Seriously, he walked out of the room. I think the combo of his rudeness and the shock of the news, I started to cry. Fortunately a lady physicians assistant came in and answered my questions.

So this is what we know: Alathea has a kind of (I'll look up the proper name and post it soon) Cyst between the bone of her skull and her skin. It is small and she was born with it. It isn't life threatening or something that will cause problems, except for the fact that it will begin to attach to and weaken the skull bone as it grows. They recommend her have surgery soon to remove it. Apparently the surgery is quick and its very minor. But still, no parent wants to have their kid have surgery. So we need wisdom as to how to proceed. We need to pray about possibly getting a second opinion. And we need wisdom if we should have the surgery immediately (which is recommended, because it is showing the beginning signs of attaching and weakening the skull bone) or if we should wait a year and see if it continues to grow. The doctors have told us that most likely, at some point, she will need to have surgery to remove it.

Please keep us in your prayers as we seek the Lords wisdom. While it was a bit shocking to hear the news, we know that in comparison to other health issues many children face, this is very mild and we are very grateful for that. Thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our very merry Christmas

I absolutely love Christmas, and this year I was more grateful for it than ever! Moving into our house Dec 7th, the Christmas season got started later than usual. We spent the first week in our new house getting unpacked as much as possible...basically getting things "livable". With so much more still to do, Christmas became a welcome break for the scurry of unpacking and setting up the house, and an oasis of "normal" for me.

I'm so grateful we were able to continue with some of our "traditions":

1) We got our tree about a week after we moved in. It was 2 weeks later than we normally would, but hey, at least we got one!

2) We surprised the girls with a PJ & hot chocolate trip to McAddenville. They love the lights. They asked to go back every night after we took them.

3) We had our annual cookie decorating with the Swans & Seavers

4) We took the girls, along with Grammy & Mere to the Speedway Lights show. It was our first time going. The girls liked it so much, hopefully we'll do it again!

5) The girls spent many afternoons painting ornaments that adorned the tree in their room.

A kind neighbor gave us a huge bagful of outdoor lights. So one week after we moved in, the outside of our house looked like Christmas. We made an attempt to decorate the inside of the house. But this was as good as it got:

We celebrated Christmas morning at home just the five of us.
As much as I've loved Christmas over the years, I think having little kids makes it the best! They were so excited!
We started with a waffle & bacon breakfast. Then stockings. Then gifts.
Then off to Jon & Heather's to celebrate the rest of the day with Joe's family.
Including some amazing Boston Butt & Ribs for our Christmas dinner- the Lechner's know how to eat!!

We had Christmas take two, when my entire family (including Julie's boyfriend, James and Rocky's girlfriend, Jessica). It was pure bliss having 5 days with my family all in our new house. What a gift having space to host them!

We enjoyed many wild games of scrabble, a fierce cookie decorating competition, an intense game of hot potato, and a game of battle of the sexes that left the girls as champions. Can you tell we are a competitive bunch?
On New Years Eve we had spaghetti & chocolate fondue.

We also spent a day in Columbia, SC visiting my Grandma and Uncle Perry.
This was Grandma's first time meeting Ava.

And here is the ever-growing Bowers Clan:
(l-R) Rocky, Jessica, James, Julie, Dad, Rachel, Alathea, Ava, Jeanie, Joe & Abigail.

The holidays are over...officially since we just took our tree down yesterday!
Now I sadly have no more excuses...on to more unpacking!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Abigail's holiday highlights...

licking the bowl after making brownies (literally)

licking the bowl after making chocolate cake
(she was happy until I started laughing at her)

aaannd searching the fridge for leftovers after thanksgiving
(in case you are wondering, no, she is not allowed to climb inside the fridge. i just thought i'd instruct her after i took the pic :)

We love this girl. And she sure is passionate about food :)
At least I have a secured kitchen-buddy for life.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Ava's 1st Christmas

Our little bean enjoyed every bit of her first Christmas,
with highlights being eating Christmas paper and bows.
We've decided that 6 months old may just be our favorite stage of babyhood.
Ava spends her day sitting on the floor, with a pile of toys and her big sisters nearby, smiling and squealing in delight. We are so grateful for this little girl.
We're eating up every ounce of her cuteness.