Friday, May 29, 2009

I feel better now :P

Hi everyone,

Quick post to let you guys know all's well here. Mr. Dax had a great week and continues to improve with his balance pulling up and getting around. He's just doing so stinking well!!!

His new big boy convertible carseat came in yesterday. I thought I'd be smart and do everyone a favor... I'd read countless places that policemen and firemen are trained in installing car seats, and to stop by any station and they'd install one for you, and make sure it's done correctly. Clever me, I called our neighbor, who's a fireman, and drove out to the EMT station where he was working last night to have one of them install the seat, rather than listen to my husband swear and yell for 2 hours that it won't fit, there is a piece missing, the &%# seat is broken, etc..., before he eventually will throw the seat into the road to be run over by the next passing car... Or some variation of that story.

At any rate, apparently due to budget cuts, there is no longer a car seat certification. There are, however, several very kind men working at that particular EMT station... About seven of which took turns for about an hour and a half trying to install the car seat... (You know, two to read the directions, four to take turns trying to make it fit, and two to stand by giving "helpful" hints and laughing at them...) But they only swore a few times, there was no yelling, there were only a few comments about missing pieces, and the seat was never thrown, though I think a few of them thought about it :) I WAS told several times to never, EVER remove the seat, because it must have been designed by NASA and you have to have a degree from MIT to install it :) Only the best for my boy!!!

It was community service at its finest. Thanks guys!!!

As for me and my littlest monster, as of Thursday he is 3 lbs, 6oz!!! That's more than twice as big as Dax was when he was born. Daxton's girlfriend's mom and I were laughing yesterday that Ty is now the size of those kiddos we used to refer to as "those giant mutant babies." What worries me is that he is now growing really well and looks as if he might be headed towards being a big baby... Which is a Mills thing... Sheppards have smaller babies... Although that's not what worries me. What worries me is that we're going to end up with a BIG BIG BOY with a BIG BIG ATTITUDE!!! He's already showing his stripes... We tried for 10 minutes yesterday to get a clear 3-D pic of his face during the ultrasound, but nooooooooooo... You could just see him laughing as he put and hand in front of his face, then his foot, and then his hand... Oh, and just in case you were wondering, there was NO attempt to hide the boy parts... THOSE he keeps on full display. I'm going to get the doctor to smack his bottom extra hard during his initial post-partum assessment just for that one...

AS FOR THE HOUSE... THE %&$# HOUSE... We HAD a closing date scheduled for this coming Monday, as you'll remember. We're still waiting. We still don't know. Everything has been turned in and done and all we can do is wait and pray (and swear a lot.) If we don't close Monday then we may or may not get the house, and we will lose our earnest money if we don't close, and by no fault of our own. We did, however, sell our current house this morning, woo hoo, so hopefully we'll get the new house next week and will put a kibosh on our "homeless" status. (We do have 60 days before we have to move out of this one... It could be a whole lot worse...)

If we DO close on our new house this coming week, you're all invited to a Beer and Paint Party on June 6th :) As I'm currently 3 shades of knocked up, and we have a son who flunked Breathing 101, we're recruiting help with cleaning and painting in the new house so that Dax and I can hang out away from fumes as much as possible. (In other words... Shep will be a busy boy :) All who participate will get an autographed picture of me at the beer store with Dax and his oxygen on my hip looking not the slightest bit out of place. (BTW-we'll have regular drinks for us non-drinkers...)

Oh, and we'll feed you, too.

Come on, it'll be fun! (For me and Dax :P)

Alrighty, time to go eat now. Love you all, and thanks for all the continued prayers and support!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Things That Piss Me Off Thursdays (except it's a Tuesday)

Okay, so you know how a lot of bloggers have their oh-so-cute "Wordless Wednesdays" and "Not Me Mondays," etc, etc... So I have decided to start my own, and it may only last for a week, and I am posting it on the wrong day because "Things That Piss Me Off Thursdays" sounds better than "Things That Piss Me Off Tuesdays," although I guess they both work out in the grand scheme of things...

At any rate, I'm going to rant about things that piss me off today, because, quite frankly, I'm pissed. I think that's a pretty good reason. The name of the game is that YOU get to rant today, too, (or you can actually wait until Thursday, I don't care) either in my comments section or on your own blog and link back and we can all be raving lunatics and feel better in the process.

Misery deserves company, right??? So join in; it'll be fun.

On to what's really important, though, which is WHY I AM MAD TODAY.

Thing 1: Let me refresh you for a moment about that house we've been trying to buy for months now. Since January I think??? Click here: if you're not up to speed...

So at any rate, we're closing on our current house this Friday, and have a closing date for this coming Monday to buy the new house. We've picked out paint colors and arranged furniture in our heads and nothing can possibly go wrong at this point, right???

Until we find out today our mortgage broker may have sat on his thumbs a little too long before ordering the appraisal, and since there is currently a delay in getting appraisals done we will more than likely not be able to close on the 1st... Which is the last day of the contract... Which means A.) the seller's bank will probably go ahead and foreclose on the seller and we don't get the house, or B.) the seller's bank will agree to push back the closing until our mortgage company gets all their ducks in a row, but we'll be charged $75/day late fees until we do close... Not a lot of money unless this drags on for another 2 to 3 weeks late as our realtor thinks it might...

Of course, we could also get a super-nice appraiser who will push us ahead of everyone else and get the report completed by the end of this week... but... seriously... What are the odds of that???

So that's Thing 1 that has me pissed off today.

Thing 2 is much less important, but it's a very important global issue impacting hundreds of millions of people... Namely, why can't I ever get the correct order at fast food restaurants anymore??? Ever?

Thing 3 I won't discuss much, other than to scrape the surface of a super-sticky moral and religious topic that I'd rather not get into, other than to say when did it become the "good Christian thing to do" to enable others to make bad lifestyle and financial decisions simply because they profess to be fellow Christians? I'm more of a "hand up" rather than a "hand out" giver, and I don't think that makes me a bad person or a bad Christian... Just not a big fan of the whole "Christian Financial Bail-Out Plan."

Thus ends the 1st Weekly "Things That Piss Me Off Thursday" (on a Tuesday) blog list. I feel better now. Thanks for listening, and feel free to comment and leave your own rants!!! It'll be fun :)

*** Did I mention my pregnancy hormones have kicked in?***

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Awesome Reports Yesterday :)

Yesterday was a long, busy day, but it was a really good one :) We left the house early (for once) to run errands... Got to Nashville just in time to stop by Krispy Kreme for EIGHT dozen doughnuts and then get over to Centennial for neurodevelopmental clinic...
The geneticist stopped in to see us when we got there... She was VERY happy with how Dax is progressing. She has been talking with the researcher in Canada that is studying cerebellar hypoplasia and prematurity, and she has explained Dax's MRI findings to her... And the researcher says she has never seen that pattern of hypoplasia, with the pons and the cerebellum and the septum pellucidem all missing or very small. (She says if we're ever in the neighborhood she'd like us to stop by so she can look at him. What are the odds of us making it to Canada anytime... EVER???) The Canadian researcher has a colleague she has forwarded Dax's information on to, but it just seems that we're getting more and more proof that Dax is just a unique little boy.
After talking to the geneticist a little longer, it seems to me she and I are both on the same page... We both feel that something due to Dax's prematurity caused his brain issues, even though there is no proof one way or the other that it was an insult that occurred after birth over a genetic fluke. Her gut tells her that somewhere in Dax's early development he had an undetected brain bleed or clot of some sort that caused the damage, and then resolved before it was able to be detected. As brain bleeds are super common with itty bitty babies, this doesn't seem too far fetched. At any rate, now that we have officially ruled out septo-optic dysplasia again, she's done with us unless we begin to see some other symptoms that have not yet emerged... Yay! That's one doctor down... Six more to go??? Five? Seven? I lose count...
So we met with the neurologist after that and he seemed very happy with Dax's progress, also. We have an actual office visit with him in early June, and he will schedule a repeat MRI under sedation for sometime this summer so we can get a better look at what his brain is doing. I'm anxious to get the MRI done... Maybe the brain damage wasn't really as bad as it originally looked? Maybe the brain was able to grow some more usable tissue? With him not being sedated for his last MRI there was some room for error... So, we'll see!
Met with the clinic OT after that and she was also very pleased. Most of the issues that had concerned her at our last visit had resolved, and he smiled and chatted with her and showed off all his new skills.
Oh, and he was 19 lbs 3 oz. Yay! Almost time for that new carseat :)
So, we left there and visited with Dax's old buddies on the high-risk OB and NICU floors, and then we were off. Got home in time for his PT session and he rocked her socks off yesterday :) She showed him 1x how to transition for lying on his tummy to sitting up, and then he practiced it himself for about 15 minutes. She can't get over how motivated he is to learn new things :)
I'm just so stinking proud of him. He's such an amazing boy!
So I guess that's it for now... As a side note, as of right now, we will close on our current house next Friday, and will then finally close on our new house on the following Monday. Everything should be all clear and easy now... but... don't be surprised if something happens and we end up homeless because that crazy bank pulls some nonsense.
So, please keep us and this new house in your prayers.... It's been a long time coming!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prayer Request

Hi all,

Please send up some prayer requests for Monica and her family over at

This week the baby she has carried for over 24 weeks passed away in the womb.

Thanks so much for any prayers and encouragement you can offer!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today's appointments...

Quick post to let you know after the longest day in the history of man, Dax finally passed his hearing test today!!!
The good news is... He CAN hear.
The bad news is... I now know he just chooses to ignore me. Is it too young to start beating him... I mean... giving him lots of love pats... everyday?

I asked his ENT (who happens to be a man) if he thought Dax was a little young to demonstrate Y-chromosome related selective hearing... To which he replied... "What?"

Not funny.

Had my appointment today and all still looks well there. Ty's a big boy now, with his head on my bladder and butt behind my belly button. Looks absolutely perfect! We'll get another complete ultrasound next week so we'll have a weight... Hoping for at least a 3-lb heavyweight!!!

That's all for now... Dax has neuro-developmental clinic on Friday, but we're expecting that to go very well... Will post sometime afterwards...

Oh, and BTW, ran into one of Dax's old NICU-mates, Cydnee, at the ENT today. She looks FANTASTIC!!! She spent 11 months in the NICU and has a trach and g-tube, but she was all smiles and just waved and clapped the whole time we talked to her... That's one tough little broad... :)

Okay, love y'all! Hope you have a great rest of the week!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bear with me as I try to be educational for once...

Happy Saturday morning! We're all sitting around the living room watching the Monster Hits Fuzzy Awards video.... The best video EVER. The cause for my very manly husband to endlessly sing "C is for Cookie" and "Furry and blue... And ORANGE!" over and over all day (and, okay, me too.) I'm about to dig in to some paperwork but wanted to do a little post first...

Dax is doing great! We went to order his glasses yesterday and we'll have two pairs in 7-10 business days. I cannot wait to see how he responds once he's able to see... I'm not too concerned about him keeping them on since he's always had something on his face, so what's one more thing? I AM concerned about him pulling them into his mouth and teething on them, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

After we picked out the glasses we stopped by Centennial to say hi to some of our old friends. I don't notice how much Dax has grown until I see a itty bitty one get rolled by... Wow. He really is such a big boy now!!!

And, since my last report, he has decided that pulling up is easy. He did it once, and now you can't stop him (not that we want to.) He's doing so amazingly well.

And, of course, Big Mama and Baby Ty are doing fine. I'll be 28 weeks on Monday... That's a huge milestone! Still planning on keeping this bun baking at least 12 more weeks, though... There can't be that much difference in birthing a 1-lb baby and a 11-lb baby, right??? :)

So, I actually have a reason for posting today other than just updates... It's something I think about a lot, but something came up the other day with another mother and it's just on my mind now, so you guys must suffer the consequences :)

Let me preface this by talking about what it's like to be the mother of a kid who's not "perfect." I'd be willing to bet most of you parents feel your children aren't "perfect," so I think you'll understand. You know the feeling you get when your kid throws a tantrum in public, or says something embarrassing to someone, or gets hooked on drugs, or fails a class, or is born with a disability... It's really all the same. Very, very different, but still the same. Guilt and fear and pride and love are born in you the second you have a child, and from all reports those feelings never go away. Now, imagine how you feel when your child does something that is not "perfect." You worry that people will talk, you wonder what people think. You wonder if you've failed as a parent, if there was something you could have done differently, if only you had tried harder and taught your child better or set a better example... Dealing with "not perfect" children is trying for anyone, and every parent has to deal with it.

Now, imagine every time you take your child into public people are able to see he is not "perfect." They stare at him or whisper, and children ask their parents questions and their parents "shhh" them. The occasional person will approach and ask you what's wrong with your child, and some will even make "helpful" comments about things to try to help your child.

And this is not an infrequent occurrence; it's an everyday one.

I'm a very lucky mother. I've worked in disabilities my entire adult life, and I understand that people's curiosity is built in fear, and compassion, and lack of knowledge, and I'm used to the stares and whispers. I'm also very blessed to have a son who is doing so exceptionally well against all odds. I admit, there's a small (okay, sometimes not too small) part of me that will always blame myself for everything that has happened. (Again, it's the mother in me.) Along with that, I know there are people out there who judge mothers of sick children, because it must be our fault, right? If we had eaten better, eaten more, eaten less, prayed harder, exercised more, exercised less, had a cleaner past, or taken our vitamins we would have had healthy children, right? And, you know what, when your baby is in a bed right next to a baby born addicted to drugs... There's really not much that separates them at all.

But I digress.

My point is, most people don't understand how their reactions can effect a parent of a child with a disability, because, quite honestly, most people don't know how to react. Children are supposed to be born healthy and whole and "perfect" and those who aren't pull at heart-strings like nothing else can, but they're different, and different so often = frightening and deserving of pity. Even if the children are not able to notice, the parents are, and it can sting sometimes.

(I should add here that I think it's funny when people pity us. I think we are extremely lucky to be Dax's parents, but that's a whole other post entirely...)

So, on to the purpose of my post... To educate you on what to do and say when you encounter someone with a disability and you wonder what to do... The correct answer is to...

Okay, so there is no correct answer. Every mother and father and child are different. Speaking for myself, I would much rather someone ask me about Daxton than stare. Kids are awesome :) They look at him and say "Why does he have that thing on his face?" and I give a simple explanation, and they smile and say "okay" and all is well. Adults are often sneakier, but I would much rather an adult say "Oh, what an adorable baby. I've never seen a child so small on oxygen," and then allow me to elaborate if I so choose, than have an adult pretend to ignore him then stare when they think I'm not paying attention.

Other parents have different preferences, and I can't speak for them. What I CAN do is give a short list of universal "What not to do's." Here goes:

  • Stare
  • Touch the child without the parent's permission. Sick kids + new germs can be disastrous. Don't be offended if the mother says no, and don't be offended if the mother says okay, but then squirts you with sanitizer first.
  • Ask "What is wrong with your child?" It's just a bad question.
  • Compare apples to oranges (i.e. your child is just like my friend's son who has autism/CP/Downs/etc...) Disclaimer: It IS okay to say something along the lines of "I don't know much about your child's diagnosis, but I do have a friend with a child with ______ and I know some of the struggles she's faced..."
  • Say you know what the family is going through if you don't (i.e. I know all about prematurity; my daughter was 2 weeks early.)
  • Be anything other than optimistic. Now is not the time to comment on that article you just read about short life expectancies, the cost of long-term care, or drug side effects. Stick to comments about how beautiful the child is, what a fighter he is, how cool his wheelchair/glasses/walker/etc... is, and what amazing parents they must be. And feel free to ask if it's okay to add the child to a prayer list.
  • Treat the family with pity. Many families are in need of support, and if you see an area where you can help and feel the pull to do so, please do. The family does NOT need your pity.
  • Minimize what the family is going through (i.e. "You're lucky. If he's in a wheelchair you'll always know where he is."
  • Forget to count your own blessings. (i.e. "Oh, be glad your child can't crawl... Mine's all over the place and I'm so tired of him getting into things.")

So, admittedly, it's a short list, but hopefully it will help. Even as a mother of a less than "perfect" child (even though I think he's pretty darn close to PERFECT :), I find myself curious about other people's children and their diagnoses and issues, so it's a reminder for me, too.

So, thanks everyone for listening! Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lots of pictures and appointments...

Hello all,

It's only Tuesday, but we've had a long, long week so far. Not a bad week, just very busy, and I'm super tired. We had a really good weekend which climaxed in Daxton giving me one more Mother's Day present...

Rewind 1 year ago to my first Mother's Day. We had been planning on trying to start Dax on CPAP trials after almost 2 months on the vent... Of course, Dax being Dax, he gets sick and we know ahead of time that we won't be getting extubated on Mother's Day. Oh well. We had Aubrie's memorial service the day before Mother's Day and then spent the night at the hospital so we could be close to our son... Needless to say, it was an emotional Mother's Day. At any rate, a very awesome doctor gave us a wonderful gift... We got to see Dax's face with NOTHING on it for the first time. Of course, he turned really purplish blue and had to be reintubated, but, still. We got to see his face. Every purple inch of it. What a special time. Soooo, for Mother's Day this year I took everything off Dax's face and for the 2nd time ever, we got to see all of his face. And it didn't turn purple :) What a difference a year makes, eh?

Oh, and I should mention here we heard this weekend that we finally, definitely, positively, will be getting our house. Should be closing the first week of June... I'll believe it when I see it, but... We'll see. Actually getting my hopes up this time!!!

So, fast-forward to Monday, Dax had his first cardiology appointment since his cath and his echo looked fantastic. That coupled with the info we now have from the cath=no more monthly visits to cardiology :) We're down to every two months now, whoo hoo!

So after that visit, Dax went on his very first grocery shopping trip. (Isn't this exciting reading?) I opted for Publix since it's less crowded, and I bleached down the shopping cart, covered the handle with a blanket, and keep clorox wipes with us to wipe down anything he might touch. All in all, a totally normal grocery run :) Oh, except that Dax was completely drenched in pity by the time we left, and an extremely precious little boy laid his hands on Dax and prayed over him in the check-out line. Other than that, totally normal...

Funny, I forget that other people see him as sick. We don't see him anymore... He's normal to us... It's all these kids without tubes that freak us out...

At any rate... Here's picture proof I actually let him to go the grocery store...
So, finally, today we had two appointments, one for me and Tyler, and the other for Dax. The day started off FANTASTIC, since I had to be NPO before my appointment and I, of course, woke up around 1:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Just in case you're not aware, I don't do well not eating. I didn't grow this belly by counting calories!

(And this is an old picture btw... It's much bigger now!)

At any rate, I had a glucose test done this morning and we'll find out the results later on. As far as Tyler, he looks great and the stenographer said my cervix was "beautiful." *blush*

We left that appointment and headed to Vandy for the much anticipated eye exam. Keep in mind, preemies have vision problems, long-term oxygen can cause vision problems, Dax has already had eye surgery which has led to peripheral vision loss, he has a potential diagnosis of septo-optic dysplasia (which had still not 100% been ruled out), and he has nystagmus (where the eyes dance back and forth rapidly) from his missing cerebellum. So, again, vision has been a concern of ours. After a very thorough exam which Dax did not enjoy, not even a little, we have the following info:
A.) The optic nerves are perfect=NO SEPTO-OPTIC DYSPLASIA (and I will drop kick the next doctor that brings it up :)
B.) Dax has already learned to compensate for his nystagmus by holding his head at a certain angle, which allows him to better focus on what he is looking at. There is potential for him to be able to overcome that as e gets older, but if he's still doing that in a couple of years, they can easily go in and re-align the eye in a way that will move Dax's best focal point to the center of his vision, so he'll no longer have to crook his neck. Sooo, that's good news.
C.) Dax's retinas look fantastic, and there is no concern for his retinas to detach due to his history of ROP. YAY.
D.) Dax will have peripheral vision loss from his ROP, but, thanks to his nystagmus, he'll never notice, since his eyes are constantly scanning anyway. Funny how things work out. And, finally,
E.) He is significantly near-sighted and we are on the hunt for baby eyeglasses so our little man can finally see the world. The doctor estimates Dax can see clearly about a foot from his face, and anything past that is likely pretty blurry. We tried on a few pairs today, but, believe it or not, there is apparently not a huge market for glasses for 18-lb babies. We did find one really cute pair we'll probably go back for next week... They're absolutely stinking adorable!

I'm so excited to see how much progress he makes when he's finally able to see the world!

At any rate, I think that's all our news for now. Again, it's been a busy couple of days... But good days:)

Wanted to drop a couple of blog addresses before I go... We sick-baby-mama-bloggers try to stick together, and there's a few out there in need of some prayers and support right now...

Baby Kennedy is very sick.... Please check her out at
Baby Kayleigh passed away yesterday. Their blog is
Baby April Rose will be born any day now and is not expected to live...

And, of course, please keep on praying for Baby Payton and for fellow preemie moms Tiffany and Laura...

Thanks all! We love you guys!

And we'll end with a few more pics! (Finally got off my butt and downloaded some...)

Recuperating after my cath. Poor guy.

Helping daddy drive the boat.

Trying to figure out how to put the fishing pole in my mouth...

I'm such a happy boy!

Naked pool time with my rubber duckies...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

So, it's my second Mother's Day and, in addition to the "fat-girl" shirts that I received (since I'm outgrowing all my maternity clothes), it's 10 o'clock and Dax is still sleeping! Now, that's a thoughtful gift :)

Just wanted to take a second and say Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.... It's a job I never expected to be so hard, or so wonderful, and I'm just thankful you've let me into the club.

Hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hope you appreciate this...

...because I could be napping right now! I am soooo pooped. It's been a long day and now I have peace and quiet and time for a nap, but... Thought I'd let y'all know we had a great week. Dax's lungs are still a little wet from all the fluids from his cath last week, but his oxygen needs are remaining low. He's actually able to stay on about .3-.5 now during the day, and .1 to .25 or so at night. That's huge for him! He sounds pretty rattly when he breathes but all in all the lungs are doing well.

He had a pulmonology appointment this morning and it went great. They made no changes and we'll keep on keeping on... They remain happy with what they see!

His girlfriend had her pulmo appointment today, too, so we peeped in on her... She's so cute!

Weight today was 18 lbs 8 oz, and length was 26 3/4 inches. He's continuing to have perfect growth!

We have cardiology and opthamology next week. Will let you know how they turn out as soonas we know.

As far as milestones, Dax continues to improve every week... He's just now figured out how to go from sitting to crawling without crash landing on his forehead first, and he's continuing to work out how to pull up. His PT says one of his biggest hurdles right now is his hip flexion, so we're working hard on staying in a kneeling position and other positions that will help flex his hips and get them moving...

His speech therapist just left a few minutes ago, and she also seems pleased with his progress. He's copying facial expressions better, and we had several minutes today of him (after much build-up) saying "ahhhhhh" to rounds of applause and lots of "yays" from the audience. She feels his speech is not that delayed for his corrected age. :) Big smiles from mama :)

The funniest new thing he is doing is this weird delayed laugh that he does when no one else can figure out what's funny. He'll just be sitting there looking at a toy, then throw his head back (hard enough to lift his feet off the ground) and open his mouth wide, and then just crack up. We've decided he's just a little slow catching jokes, and that somewhere in his mind he's thinking... "Oh, THAT'S what Elmo meant when he told Grover he couldn't find the letter 'M'." He's just so stinking funny.

And I hit video gold yesterday when I found The Sesame Street "Fuzzy Awards" video... Not only do Shep and I like it, Dax will just stare at the television, completely transfixed, for 10-15 minutes at a time. This is a kid who A.) hates sitting, and will only do so if he has something to play with right in front of him, and B.) spends 95% of his waking hours manipulating toys and figuring out how to make them play music or make lights, and then trying to put the music and lights in his mouth. C.) Has the attention span of a... baby. He just stares at the TV in complete fascination and won't even try to move out of sitting position because he's scared he'll miss something... It makes a great babysitter when mom needs to do chores! (Not that I would use the tv as a babysitter. In general. Unless I really need to. Or I'm tired of hearing BINGO.)

As for me, we had Ty's appointment after Dax's today and everything continues to look great. Tyler is officially 2 lbs now!!! What a big baby :) I'll have my glucose test next week to check for gestational diabetes, but I don't anticipate any issues there... I think I'm starting to feel the occasional contraction but my cervix still looks great. I'll be 27 weeks on Monday... I'm almost to the 3rd trimester!!! Who knew there were 3 of them?

And, finally, I haven't given an update on the house situation lately, so I thought I'd recap our house-buying escapades from the last few months...

First, we begin looking in Jan/Dec. It's a buyer's market, right? Houses are priced to sell. We find one right away that is super-cheap but needs some work. It's a foreclosure. We make a bid. So does someone else. They get the house. We find out later they bid $10,000 less than us, and had contingencies in the contract that we did not. Somebody had a friend. Good for them.

Moving on, we find another house with great potential. A little more expensive, and also requires some work. It's a foreclosure. We put in a bid. Someone else did too, just a day or two before. They got the house. Good for them.

We find another house. It's the first house we've found that gives us both the warm-fuzzies. Best school district in the county. Older, established neighborhood. The kind of place kids ride their bikes to their friends' houses and play in the street. Cul-de-sac with a pond across the street. Priced to sell. It's a short sale.

This is where the fun starts.

We place a bid. a little less than the asking price, but we'd be willing to pay asking price. It's priced well below market value.

The seller's realtor (SR) reports another family is also putting in a bid. Crap, we've been there before. It might be a trick, but we up to the asking price. No biggie.

The seller accepts our offer! Yay! We're getting our house!

The SR sends our offer to the seller's bank, who has to make the final approval on the house. We're not worried. I mean, we offered the asking price. There should be no problems.

We're told to expect to wait 2 weeks to hear a reply. We wait.

A month goes by...

A negotiator has been assigned at the bank, but he's not responding to the SR's emails or calls. She gets mad. Her client is trying to sell their house to avoid foreclosure. Speed it up already.

The SR files a complaint against the negotiator.

The negotiator turns down our offer and raises the price of the house by $30K. What????

Shep and I are disgusted we just wasted 6 weeks on a house when we could have been looking elsewhere or working on plans to build. Then we get the bright idea that maybe if we resubmit our original offer, the offer will get sent to a different negotiator at the bank. We really like this house, and we're willing to try one more time.

So we wait.

The seller gets another negotiator.

Then there was another negotiator.

(BTW- I'm leaving out that Shep and I are hearing about 3x a week that we'll def know something "by tomorrow." We discovered in short-sale terms that "tomorrow" = at least 2 weeks...)

A new appraisal is done. We wait for the results. We'll know by tomorrow if the bank accepts our offer.

And we wait. About a month, actually.

FINALLY, we get word that the bank will sell us the house, no more waiting, no questions asked, no more hassle, if we raise our offer by $6K. Not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it really pisses me off. I'm pregnant and hormonal, and we've been trying to buy this house for 3 months now. We look at it again, decide it's worth the extra $6K, and send in the offer.

We'll know by tomorrow.

A week later, we get word from our realtor that the bank has DECLINED our offer, and has raised the price of the house by another $900. Our realtor is extremely apologetic, and says he'll take the money out of his commission. He's just as tired of this game as we are. But remember, I'm pregnant and hormonal, and I'm really pissed now, and Shep and I aren't playing this game anymore. We're out. Game over. My pregnancy hormones tried to convince me to go torch the #%&$ house, then I'd feel better and the poor family trying to sell the %#$& house could collect the &^$# insurance and buy a new *$%& house. Luckily sensibility won out over the hormones, this time.

So we start talking to a guy about building our new house on some land we own on the other side of town. We get excited. It's what's meant to be.

Until, of course, the SR apparently called the negotiator and told him what a piece of work he was, and how we'd been trying to buy the %#$* house for months and they had strung us around and how unethical they were, yadda, yadda, yadda, and then suddenly the bank decided they would "eat" the $900 and would let us have the house for the price we had previously agreed upon.

"EAT" $900. The bank will "eat" the $900. Are you friggin kidding me? That's a business lunch for one of the executives we just paid a bonus to. And they'll "eat" the $900. (Calm down pregnancy hormones...)

At any rate, we decide to resubmit the agreed upon price, with the contingencies that we A.) close the 1st week of June, B.) have the month of May to clean and paint so Dax and I don't have to be smothered in fumes, and C.) have, in writing, from the bank, that they will not foreclose on the house in the meantime, or sell the house to someone else, or otherwise renege on our contract.

Simple enough, right?

The SR submits our requests to the bank, and they say it will happen. We'll get it in writing. It's all going to happen. We'll get the contract... Tomorrow.

That was last Thursday.

Still no contract.

So, if you happen to see on the nightly news that a pregnant woman outside of Nashville got caught burning down a house in a tidy little suburb, know it will probably be me, and that I feel a lot better now. (Still hoping sensibility wins out over the hormones, but it's a tough battle!)

At any rate, that's all for now! Time for that nap... Love you guys!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cath update and a small soap box


The cath, etc, went better than expected! We were the first cath of the day and they were able to get Dax back quicker than I expected, since Vandy seems to have their own (verrry slow) clock they go by for procedures. After they had him sedated and intubated they placed the ear tubes with no problems, then the cath also went off without a hitch. The cardiologist was pleasantly surprised at Dax's pulmonary pressures; his right lung pressure is normal, and the left lung is high normal. Layman's terms= pulmonary hypertension is controlled and not a big issue right now. The ASD (hole in the heart) is actually two holes, one big one and one small one, and the doctor feels relatively certain the small one will close on its own, and the bigger one might, too. There is moderate shunting of blood through the hole, but it also is not a major issue at this point in time. The plan had been to use the cath line to block the holes off to see how it affected the pulmonary hypertension, but they felt the risk of causing damage to the hole was greater than what they would gain from it, since everything looks so good right now.

The plan, then, is to do nothing. They won't make any changes right now, and probably won't unless Dax gets worse or something major happens. They will keep him on the meds he is on now, and will increase them as he gets bigger, since, as the doc said, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." (I think a more appropriate line in this case might be "If it ain't fixed, don't broked it even more!") What they need is for Dax to keep growing bigger, healthier lungs, which will take care of the pulmonary hypertension, and as time passes wait to see if the holes close themselves. If the holes do need to be closed, it can be done fairly easily once Dax is a little bigger and stronger.

As for the hearing test, I say, What hearing test? Apparently the person who was to complete it forgot to pencil us in and the ABR did not occur. That was the least of my worries, and now that he has the tubes he can get a regular hearing test anyway. No biggie.

At any rate, we spent a while in recovery but he was already extubated before I was able to see him. He stayed sedated for a while but once he was completely out from under it, you'd have never known he's had anything done. He' such a trooper! He played and ate and showered me with these smiles of complete love and adoration that make my heart melt, even with all the drool and gold teeth.

It was pretty hard to see him all wired up again... He had on 5 heart probes, a pulse ox, an IV, a blood pressure cuff, and his oxygen... So much I didn't like picking him up and moving with him because I was scared I would pull something off... But Daxton didn't seem to notice... He crawled 100 laps around his bed, tried to climb over the rails, and explored without the slightest notice to how many stickers he ripped off or many alarms he sounded while he played :) Not that you could hear them over his trusty piano, which he played almost nonstop, that you could hear allllllll the way down the hospital halls. Bet all the nurses went home singing BINGO and pulling their hair out!

All in all it was a very good visit and went really well. We spent the night in the locked-down unit for immuno-suppressed kiddos, like those with cancer or just following a transplant, and that alleviated a lot of my fears of having Dax around a lot of contagious kids. It's very hard on the heart to see all the super-sick kids though. (I'll have to spend some time one day writing out my thoughts on God's role in sick and dying kids. One day, maybe, if I ever figure it out.) At any rate, I'm so thankful for a son I can take home and play with.

So, we finally discharged Thursday and killed some time waiting for my OB appointment. All's well with me and Mr. Ty. I am having some contractions that I can't feel, but unless my cervix starts shortening it's normal and nothing to worry about. And right now, my cervix is AWESOME :P It could be Miss August in a cervical pin-up calendar. How's that for dinner conversation?

So we're home now and Dax is fantastic, with just a little residual soreness in his groin area where they entered for the cath. (Seems like every time we admit to Vandy they end up cutting him near his boy parts?! Is that just something they do for fun?) He's lying on the floor now playing with his toys, including the fancy new piano we found that looks almost like his old one, except it plays less annoying songs :) More importantly, he loves it, but the fact that I haven't heard BINGO in over 10 minutes... That's priceless!!!

As far as milestones, Dax is continuing to improve the fluidity of his commando crawl and his thumb breaks, though ever-present, are shorter now. He's trying reaaaaally hard to pull up, and would probably be successful if he understood the laws of physics and gravity, etc, which he proves he does not over and over again :) Thank goodness for diapered baby booties! He has two bottom teeth now, both gold, and is working on pushing through a top one. We have jokingly started referring to him as "10 Cent" since he has a built-in "grill,"and if the dentist won't cap them one day, maybe he will at least embed some rhinestones and dollar bill signs to give him more street cred. :)

So I guess I'm off for the night. Thanks for all the prayers this week, and please continue to pray for all the sick babies out there... Also continue to remember Miss Payton as they wean her off meds and try to get her stable enough for a g-tube. Please also pray for Drayke's family, as his family struggles through what should have been his first birthday. Please also pray for friends Laura and Tiffany... Laura is almost officially full-term with little Conner after having two 1-lb preemies in the past (YAY!!!) and Tiffany finds herself unexpectedly 1-month pregnant after just only less than a month ago struggling with the one-year anniversary of her son Samuel's short life after being born at 24-weeks. (Tiffany has had multiple surgeries over the past year to correct physical issues that could impede her ability to carry a baby full-term, but the doctors remain skeptical at this time. Please send up lots and lots of prayers in her behalf for a long, healthy, wonderful pregnancy, and a big, fat, healthy baby!) Also please pray for another pregnant friend, that she has a long uneventful pregnancy and a beautiful baby with everything intact!

Which reminds me of a small soap box, if I may. I'm 25 weeks now, and will be 26 weeks on Monday. I'm bigger and fatter and pregnant-er than I have ever been and am ridiculously happy about it. I flash my blindingly-white, billboard of a belly (ad space, anyone?) at anyone who will look, and, in a weird way, enjoy the aches and pains and gas and incontinence and hunger and hormonal-ness and weepiness and dry-mouth and everything else that comes along with pregnancy, because I've seen the other side of it. I love it because it's me that's uncomfortable and not this wiggling little bladder-squisher that's very happily and comfortably doing aerobics in my womb right now. It continuously amazes me to hear other mothers-to-be, or those who were pregnant before, continuously complain about the discomfort they had to go through, and how ready they are to "get that thing out of me." I'm constantly being told lately how "Ooooh you'll be pregnant in the summer. That's terrible!" Noooo, what would be more terrible would be being NOT PREGNANT in the summer. Trust me, I did it last year, and it sucked.

The moral of the story. Pregnant women: Quitcherbitchin. Enjoy being pregnant. Be happy that you have a perfect little monster inside you stealing your energy and giving you acne and stretch marks. Trust me when I say a few months of being uncomfortable is worth it. Ask any mother who wasn't given that chance!

And, that being said, I'm going to pee now. Thanks for listening.

Love you all! Have a good weekend!