Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good News and Giggles

So.... this is Caleb, writing for my wife, Hilary, who is curled up in a Vicodin hangover. We went to the Tacoma branch of the Seattle Infertility Clinic early today for an exam - checking out Hil's "tubes." The outcome was just about as good as we could have hoped. While one of the tubes doesn't seem to be working properly, it doesn't need surgery. It's NOT a case of hydrosalpinx. It's just a less-than-perfect tube. The other tube seems to be working just fine. So we have reason to believe that a natural pregnancy is still possible. Hurray!

So, you know how much fun Hil is, right? I mean, all the time... She's a giggle-maker. Well, especially when she's hopped up on meds. She's been extra-hilarious. I'm thinking about producing an internet show, "Hil says the darnedest things."

Example: After the exam, Hil was feeling a little nauseous. Attentive, the nurse left the room and entered again a minute later with a cup of water. "Hilary, here is some water for you," she said sweetly. "Oh...thanks," Hil started, "but do you think I could have some juice?" And a danish, Hil? the nurse went to the staff refrigerator and poured her some strawberry lemonade.

So, we're excited about the good news from the exam. And we're laughing at silly Hilly. Thanks for reading, thanks for caring. And you can bet that Hil will keep you up-to-date, right here. Stay tuned :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas cleaning

WELP, Jodi the quilter just left with all my mothers fabric. (TEAR, pause, breathe.) I made a quilt for my sister Andrea's baby that is due in January and Jodi is going to quilt it for me. I called her yesterday and asked if she could come and get the quilt and oh... by the way would you like some of my mothers scrap fabric Jodi?  She said yes, she would love it. She would use it in her classes and what is left over she would take to the angel guild. She didn't know what she was saying yes to, 4 bins full of fat quarters, scraps and some bigger pieces as well. She was so sweet to take it all away. I'm glad that it will be used and kimi's fabric will be circulating homes in the harbor in some way. She was incredible that mother of mine. She did so much, so many quilts and project. Some unfinished that I will work on. 

I finally came to terms with the fact that I just couldn't possible use all of my mothers fabric, and it just wasn't my style. So I rummaged through all the fabric and paired it down to this...
Mixed in with all of her fabric was love notes from when I was little. Or note pads with insanely long lists on them and at the top it would say TODO Monday. She would undoubtedly have everything crossed off her list. Made for a teary start to my day yesterday. My auntie Karen came around 1, just in the nick of time. She was there to help my cut the binding for the baby quilt, but ended up cleaning up the sewing room with me. It's not finished, but its WAY better.
I want to recover that couch... on the todo list. And unlike my mother, when I say i want to recover that couch, i am NOT implying that I will be doing it. I will have someone else do it :) Anyway, after Karen and I finished upstairs we came down and worked on my kitchen. If you remember, when I had just gotten married my mother flew down to Arizona right before she was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and helped me re-organize my kitchen. Well here we are two years later and her sister was doing the same thing for me. We pulled everything out and put it back in. Two garbage cans full of old spices and odds and ends. She even "attacked" my stove top. What a sweet Auntie. It has been tough entering into Kimi's season again this year. It seems as though we are all feeling sad. I may have jumped the gun and put up Christmas at our house last week but, I like love Christmastime. So many incredible memories from when I was young. I have the stockings hung... Caleb, me, Kimi and Emma cat
My mom made mine and her stockings... Karen made Emma cats. And Kimi had started Caleb's but hadn't finished. Last year my grandma finished it and surprised us with it for Christmas. She hadn't told me that she was working on it. She went to the yarn shop and they helped her finish it. It took grandma and yarn-shop angels a while to figure out where kimi left off. We will treasure our stockings forever.
Tomorrow Caleb and I finally have our second appointment to find out more information on my hydrosalpinx situation. We will be praying that it is just blocking the one side, not the other... And that it's treatable and we can still get pregnant naturally. That would be great! We will update when we find out. 
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Play dough and PKU

A week and a half ago, My mother-in-law called and asked if I would be interested in flying to Chicago (Wheaton to be exact) to assist her take care of Lucy, JT, and Eli (Caleb's brother's kids). I checked my schedule and sure enough, I could make it work. So, 5 days later I was on a flight to Chi-town getting ready to surprise my nieces and nephews. I told Kimberly and Josh (My in-laws... PS, i hate the word in-law... it sounds so judicial) to keep my arrival a secret, i really wanted to surprise them. Gina (mother in law, Caleb's mom, marriage mama) and I arrived and grabbed a cab to the house... Our cab driver wasn't the most friendly taxi-driver I have ever met. He wanted NOTHING to do with us! He pretended like he didn't speak English when we asked him if he could swing through a McDonald's/anything we were starving but, managed to understand directions perfectly! Strange huh? Anyway, I had him drop me off a block away, then I walked up for my grand entrance. I pictured in my head kids squealing AUNTIE HILLY... big hugs all around, tickle fights... NOT SO MUCH! I got a scared look out of the kids and a timid hug, Maybe they weren't even sure who I was?! After about an hour of so, they warmed up. I did have to prove my coolness with some doll-playing/play dough/coloring/whatever they asked me to do! :)

Josh and Kimberly took their newborn Ruby with them to Baltimore, which left the other 3 for Gina and I to play with. Ruby was absolutely precious.

She was born with PKU as well as their 3rd child Eli. PKU (phenylketonuria), in its classic form, is a rare, inherited metabolic disease that results in mental retardation and other neurological problems when treatment is not started within the first few weeks of life. When treatment is begun early and well-maintained, affected children can expect normal development and a normal life span. only treatment is a very strict diet that limits the amino acid, phenylalanine. What does that mean for Eli and Ruby??? It means these brave little ones get a blood test weekly that their mother administers and sends away to doctors to be monitored. The "treatment" is a diet.

Diet. The diet for the most severe form of PKU, called classic PKU, eliminates all of the very high protein foods since all protein contains phenylalanine. This means that all concentrated sources of protein must be eliminated from the diet in order to limit the amount of phenylalanine. Except in rare circumstances, the diet does not allow consumption of meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, cheese, ice cream, legumes, nuts, or many products containing regular flour.
A synthetic formula is used as a nutritional substitute for the eliminated foods. This formula is very expensive.
The diet is supplemented with special low protein foods and weighed or measured amounts of fruits, vegetables and some grain products. These foods are allowed in quantities that suit the individual child's tolerance for phenylalanine; some can have fairly liberal diets and still maintain good control of blood phe, while others must have a very strict diet.

So, you can imagine now why Gina wanted my help with the kids. Three kids is hard enough, now we had to do this pku thing. Sweet Eli is so great, and for the most part drank all his "milk" for us and the food that we gave him. We made it just above 200mg of phenylalanine almost every day which was our goal. Lucy and JT of course know the diet well and were very helpful coaching Gina and I on the diet. Can you imagine a day in the life of sweet Kimberly? Four kids under the age of 5,  Two with a very demanding disease. Did I mention that her husband and JT are gluten intolerant!? Talk about WONDER WOMAN! I am so in awe of her! :) We really did just have the best time. I cried leaving the kids, they are so precious.
Grateful for family and airplanes.