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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Rachel and I drove all over Tampa looking for her neurologist. I thought it was up by St. Joseph's hospital off Habana, but apparently, it was by Memorial Hospital in South Tampa off the same street. We made it in time and saw the doctor, who I did like. We scheduled the EEG for June 1 and I have to somewhat sleep deprive her. That should be not fun. Rachel is fighting a bad diaper rash from all of the antibiotics, but we tried the A&D with zinc as a suggestion from a friend and it has worked wonders. Her butt is still red and rashy, but she is not screaming when we change her. Her nose started running today, but right now it is clear. Ugh, I am just so tired of her being sick. We did manage to go to the gym last week and church so that was quite the improvement. All three of us did the March of Dimes walk on Saturday. It was very nice weather and a good 3 mile walk. I couldn't do it last year because I had just had Rachel 2 weeks before, but hopefully we can make it each year and support Hannah and Kate's team!

Rachel is taking a few steps here and there, but nothing spectacular. She is into everything and I caught her today opening a door. We have the lever door knobs, so I knew she would be able to, but I just didn't think it would be this soon. I don't have many pictures, but Toby sent me two from Brett and Sara's wedding about a month ago and I like them, especially the one of Rachel and I. So here they are:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An eventful week

Matt, Rachel, and I went to the pool with our friends Adam, Jill and their son. The weather wasn't overwhelmingly hot and the sun was kind of hidden, so none of the adults really wanted to get in the water. Fortunately, Rachel got this little floatie for her birthday, so we just had to keep her close to the edge of the water. Jill had to get in with little Adam and she played with Rachel some too. The water was cold, but Rachel seemed to enjoy herself. She was also being a little camera shy in that whenever she would see us trying to take a picture, she would instantly turn her head away or kind of hide behind the turtle's head.

Rachel and I missed church again on Sunday for like the 4th week in a row it seems. Monday afternoon, she woke from her second nap with a fever and just flat out crying her sick cry. She was also kind of twitching every few minutes and I called the doctor, but they said just to keep giving her motrin for the fever. I called back about the twitching and they said to take her to the ER. She hadn't done it in an hour, but then it started up and so we took her to the emergency room. The staff at St. Joseph's was wonderful and the doctor said he was leaning a little toward thinking they were seizures related to the fever. She had white spots on her tonsils, fluid in one ear and an infection in the other (still) and a runny nose (still). She was tested for the flu, got a chest x-ray for pneumonia and that was negative, and got blood taken from her hand to check her white blood cell count, which was a little above the normal range. Since she had been on a good antibiotic for 5 days already, he gave her a shot of a different and stronger one. Between all of the poking, prodding, and rectal temperatures, she was so tired and so were we. We had some family that came and stayed with us. Rachel got cuddled and spoiled, but it was so nice for her to actually want to be close to you. We got home around 2am and fumbled through the next day or shall I say, the adults did. This little girl didn't really want to take much of either naps, but I imagine she went to bed early. We also saw her pediatrician Tuesday morning and she does not think she had seizures, but was just hypersensitive to the fever, which she said was somewhat common. Nevertheless, we are going to see a pediatric neurologist for an EEG on Monday. I think everything will turn out normal and hopefully none of this will happen again. On a good note, her runny nose is much less runny, so maybe we can get back to church and the gym very soon.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rachel's Barnyard Party

Here are the pictures from Rachel's birthday party. We will start with the food first. Katie saw a picture of a really cute barnyard themed cake and I had no theme/ideas for her party, so we decided to try it. We started working on it the day before her party and put about 6 hours into it while watching 4 kids. She then came over on the day of the party to do some finishing touches for another 1.5 hours. Here was the finished product:

The little animal cupcakes turned out really cute and were pretty easy to make! We also saw this chick idea made from a boiled egg.

We had hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled beef and chicken BBQ sandwiches, crackers and dip, macaroni salad, and a big fresh fruit salad.

I was so busy the whole day that I didn't have time to fix Rachel's hair. Aunt Lauren and Grandma decided to do pigtails for the little piggie.

She had mostly family and a few friend's over (actually Matt and I's close friends who were willing to spend a few hours at a one year old's birthday party). Her two most best friends (Lauren and I could only hope) and cousins were there, Hannah and Kate!

DJ and Adam manning the grill. There was actually a small fire out there at one point.

We sang Happy Birthday!

She ate an entire cupcake!

Hannah and Kate finally got a cupcake too!
Hannah was not as thrilled with hers as Kate, but I recall that was the way it was at their first birthday party too.

Of course, Rachel made a huge mess. Matt and I bought her a little kiddie pool that looks like a hippo for her birthday. Matt had blown it up and filled it with water hours before so that it warmed up a little bit. We stripped her and let her take a bath out there so that she was nice and clean for present time. After she came in, I started cleaning up a few things and noticed that we forgot to light the candle. So, in order to get my $1 worth out of the candle, I lit it just for a picture.

We opened presents and she didn't care at all. Matt and I quickly opened the gifts. She got some books, a pool floatie, some clothes, 4 sets of PJ's, Toy's R Us gift cards, a few toys (including some beach ones) and some stuffed animals.

The next day, we went to Siesta Key for the second time in 4 days to celebrate a few birthdays on Matt's side of the family. The weather was not nice and it was actually chilly for most of the time. Rachel ate most of the time and I finally let her down to play in the sand for a few minutes before we left.
I was trying to take a group picture, but Rachel decided she would just rather crawl out of it.

One of her toys that she got, a corn popper. She cannot walk behind it yet because well, she cannot walk, but she will drag it along the floor to hear some noise.

We also went to her one year well baby checkup yesterday, but she was actually not well. She still has fluid in both ears and the green nose is an infection. The doctor put her on some stronger antibiotics and allergy medicine at night. She acts just fine except I can hear her coughing sometimes during her naps. She is learning how to blow her nose. I don't know how she figured it out, but when I put the Kleenex up to her nose to wipe, she will blow out a little bit. Hooray! We are also beginning to discipline her for opening the trash can, cabinets, dresser drawers...If you don't agree with our methods, I don't want to hear about it. You will thank me someday for having a well behaved child.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Aren't They Beautiful

This has nothing to do with the little one. Half of my amaryllis are in bloom and they are just so pretty, especially the pink one, which I don't think bloomed last year. So, enjoy!

I will do another post (when I am home for a few hours at a time and not exhausted) about her birthday bash soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One Year Behind Us!

Yesterday was Rachel's birthday and we had a busy day. Lots of errands to run and I had to work last night, so I really didn't get many pictures of her on her birthday. These are the only two I have, but I do plan on getting a lot from her party. She didn't get anything special eat on her birthday because I really didn't follow many of the eating guidelines with her. She already had eggs, peanut butter, and cow's milk. There is basically no food that is off limits to her, but I do limit her sweets intake much more than my own. We did share an ice cream sandwich a few days ago though. She is doing really good drinking milk out of a straw sippy cup for all her meals. With the other ones, she was making a huge mess by letting most of the milk flow out of her mouth. So, she is actually drinking with this kind. Very nice. She has become slightly pickier about food, but is overall a very good eater still. I have also noticed that if I leave some food that she didn't want to eat on her tray long enough and that is all she has got left, she will start to pick at it.
I found her flipped out hair to be really funny this morning, so I took a picture. She goes right for the camera when I get it out so that is why they are close up.

This next picture was during her second round of antibiotics and she had a nasty diaper rash. I let her play for 2 hours naked to help air it out a little. We played outside for a while, but then came in to avoid a sun burn. She did not pee or poop at all.
Rachel was playing in her room one day and found her old carseat. She happily started playing in it and I think we will be getting to that stage where playing with chairs and carseats are really fun.

I find it so cute that she looks around things or just how she plays so different than before. She is getting better with running behind the walker. She is also letting go of things now to stand by herself. The longest has been about 10 seconds. We have been trying to get her to walk to things or people, but she seems to prefer taking a lunge or nosediving towards it. She has gotten one step in and then fell on her face.

Update on the house next door: the renter is moving in today and the inside is done. The outside is not done because of the stupid tree that fell and CSX being really slow about doing anything with it. I did a lot of work in the front yard and put some landscaping in. It is not done though because I need to grow some other plants from my own cutting so that will take a few weeks to get them started.

The weather has been awesome lately and I have been spending most of my free time at the gym or digging around in our yard. I replaced/cut back all my plants and put down new mulch. I put in some more dianthus because the one I had looks great after the winter. I also am trying my hand at roses, only two though, but they look great so far. I bought some more crotons, red sister ti plants, ixora, and day lilies. Some new ones I got are soprano and straw flower. I planted 36 gladiola bulbs in the back yard and am really hoping they take. My amaryllis are about to bloom! I also decided to grow some veggies since we eat so many. I bought some already started green and red pepper plants. I planted some green and yellow squash seeds in pots and am just waiting to see some sprouts! It is so exiciting, especially to know that I can grow some of my own food and save money!
My veggies and gardenia, which has many blooms for the first time!
Dianthus with some aztec grass as a border (not new, they hold up really well).
Japanese boxwood that are about 4 years old. They are doing awesome and I cut them a little to give them some shape and make them more even.
Daylilies around the border. I alternated the normal gold/yellow with a new one I got at the plant show which I was told has a rose/salmon color bloom. We will find out! I have a yellow ixora in the middle.

On the right is one of the new roses and to the left of that is the strawflower with an orange bloom.These are all sopranos that I got at the plant show and I cannot find them anywhere else, but they looked pretty and easy to maintain.
The house next door. We cut back all of the 8 foot high shrubs and than was done with a chainsaw. I went back through with some lobbers and make them looks nicer and removed all of the weeds and vines that were growing through them. It was a nightmare. I also removed all of the weeds and vines right in front of the house, which took me about 6 hours total. You cannot really see any of the plants I put in but my selection was very limited as the whole yard gets almost no sun. Either way, the yard looks way better.
As for the gym, I have been trying to exercise about 7 or so hours per week. Sometimes I double up on the classes and work out for two hours back to back. Since the fall when I did the bootcamp class, I have lost 3-4 pounds and 2.5% of body fat. My Body Mass Index has also gone down by 2 points. I am feeling great and highly recommend exercising as a way to get more energy and feel good about yourself! I have accomplished all of this by not really eating much better than I was before either. If you know me, you know I love to eat and have no will power.