Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Meeting Jasper

So it's been a while since anyone has posted! Much has changed with us in almost two years. I will post a proper update soon, but in the meantime... meet Jasper, our newest family member!

*disclaimer* we did not buy him from a puppy store. We adopted him through a family friend.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Where has the time gone?

I have not posted an update in eight months!

I owe at the very least picture entries for the following important milestones in the last few months:

  • Declan's 1st birthday (There is SO MUCH GUILT for not posting these pictures!)
  • Trick or Treating 2014
  • Happy Holidays 2014 (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years)
  • Davis Family Photoshoot
  • Dad's minor stroke 
  • Easter
  • Watching the boys grow
On a more serious note, within the last eight months I've been undergoing some serious medical issues. Symptoms include extreme headache (especially with coughing, climbing stairs, bending over, sneezing, etc) extreme neck pain; shoulder pain; weakness in right hand and leg, balance problems;  ringing in ears; hoarseness/voice fluctuation, trouble finding the right words (brain knew what to say, but voice didn't listen); trouble swallowing; periods of vertigo, face tingling/numbness, seeing flashes of light in my vision, and light and sound sensitivity. 

After I started experiencing extreme the headaches (or rather one extreme headache that wouldn't go away) in November I started seeking help from pain management. A head CT had shown nothing and the caffeine/pain pills were not helping. I had to do something. I received an occipital nerve block which helped reduce the headache, but the symptoms were becoming more intense and more had started to appear. I started a plan for medial branch blocks working up to radiofrequency ablations. In the meantime receiving trigger point injections and chiropractic care.

I will have some time on my hands soon, so I should be able to add and backdate these entries.

After an MRI in December I was diagnosed with a Type I Chiari Malformation. I didn't realize that some of the things I were experiencing months before hand were symptoms until after I was diagnosed. I started physical therapy and started seeing a neurologist. Between all the different specialist I was going to the doctor almost daily. Each therapy would help for a few hour to a about a two days before it weakened and the same level of pain and discomfort came back. My neurologist suggested another type of MRI to look at the flow of CSF and it showed a block. She suggested I see a neurosurgeon.

Between the CINE MRI in January and the consultation with the Neurosurgeon at the end of March, I had a particularly bad fair up while at work and according to my work mates, I passed out. I had another MRI ordered because of the weakness in my limbs and the tingling/numbness in my face had started to become increasingly worse. The scan showed that the Chiari herniation was measuring larger than it had been in December.

After a very tearful meeting with the neurosurgeon we decided to go forth with surgery and that pretty much catches us up to now.

I'm having surgery tomorrow, or rather today, since it's after midnight. The link below gives a good description of what will happen. It's not a cure for Chiari, but it should help bring relief from some of the symptoms (if not all of them). I was extremely healthy before so I have hope.

My faith is with God and I pray that he guides the surgeon's hands tomorrow as well as all of the staff that will be looking after me, including nursing, residents, anesthesiologist and anyone else that helps along the way and after!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Allergy update

Declan had a consultation with the allergist on the 15th and we scheduled an appointment for a scratch test on the 22nd. They tested for peanuts, tree nuts, seeds, soy, cranberry, coconut, and eggs. Everything came back negative. While I'm relieved that there is no allergy, it makes me concerned for what happened three weeks ago.

The allergist had us get labs drawn to test his blood for the above allergens. The scratch test has a 4% margin of error, so this is the next step. She will call when the results are in. If they are still negative then we will move forward with caution and test again at age two. If it's negative again, then we'll slowly introduce nuts with caution.

The NP we saw said that it might have been a viral infection with impeccable timing. We may never know. This is good news over all though.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Yesterday Declan picked up a piece of a nut-cluster that Josh and Grammy were eating. It was either a cashew or an almond. Grammy tried to do the reach and sweep, but didn't manage to get it before he swallowed it.

I watched him closely and about ten minutes later a pin point rash started showing up on his chest, back, arms and scalp. Declan was pulling on his hair and I didn't understand why until I realized how broken out it was. Josh called the nurses line and she said if he was having breathing problems that we should call 911. He wasn't showing any signs of breathing distress so we got him in the car to go to the  Pediatric Urgent Care up the road.

We reported a possible nut allergic reaction and they got us back there quickly to check his airways and pulse ox. It was 99% so they were not concerned his airways were being blocked. We waited for what seemed like forever to been seen, even though it wasn't long. The doctor came in and said she thought it was likely a mild nut allergy and gave him an oral steroid and Benadryl. We have to call our regular doctor on Monday and see if she has an recommendation for an allergist. We'll have to have a panel done to see if it was the nuts and which ones and how sever it is.

Declan was a good sport most of the time. Eventually he had his limit and just wanted to go home. We did too! He has an oral steroid to take for the next few days and a script for an epi pen jr. in case it happens again and it's worse. Those things are so expensive, but I'm glad we'll have one on hand. 

Right now I'm just thinking about having to monitor everything he eats and keep things away from him. I'm trying not to freak out until we have more answers, but it's hard not to! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

11 months!

Declan is 11 months old! He is thinking the same thing I am; "How is this even a possibility!?"

This month Declan has been working on cruising around the furniture and experimenting more with letting go while standing. He is fast and I don't think it will be long before he starts trying to walk. His longest standing time has been about 30 seconds before toppling over. He gets very upset that he doesn't have the balance yet. 

He is looking so much like a toddler now and less like a little baby! He and Silas look very similar with their chubby cheeks and deep set Willingham eyes. Declan's dark looks are so different from Silas' lighter ones. One thing is certain, Declan is in need of a haircut, just as much as Silas did at this age. That will come next month though! 

We took a trip up to Bearizona at the beginning of the month and Declan got car sick for the first time. I have to remind myself that when we go on road trips that I need to pack everyone a change of clothes. Unfortunately I learned the hard way, that if I hold a sick baby, that baby will puke on me. Even though it was messy, I think we all had a good time. 

Declan also got his first yeast rash, which resulted in a sick visit to the doctor and extended period time in disposable diapers while we cleared it up. This coincided with his first extended stay away from mom and dad while Josh and I went on our first solo out of town trip since before Declan was born. He did great by the way! Grammy took care of Declan while Bubby and Honey took care of Silas. It was a nice trip away, although we missed both the boys greatly! 

The rest of July was spent getting ready to go back to work and spending as much time as we could hanging out at the children's museum and other indoor play places. It was a short summer, but with Declan being so close to a year it was spend having a good time!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Silas goes to preschool!

Silas started preschool today! My first baby is getting so big! 

First day of preschool! July 28th, 2014

"When I grow up, I want to... Dive the trains." 

Josh and I drove him together on the first day. Silas really didn't want to take many pictures and he walked right in and got involved right away with an activity! He didn't shed a single tear, and I'm proud to say that "Monny" didn't either. 

Outside the center.

Outside his classroom "Pre-K B"

Joining friends at the manipulative table. 

I told him that we were leaving and he said "Bye, Monny. You'll pick me up later? Okay, bye!" 

He had a really good first day too. He said he played. I believe it! He went to bed early and slept through the night! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

10 months old!

Happy 4th of July! Declan is 10 months old!

Our Kentucky trip last month did wonders for Declan's development and growth. I believe it's because he was able to see his cousins at work and wanted to keep up himself. 

Declan now crawls on hands and knees, and boy is he fast! He also pulls himself up into standing position, cruises along furniture and has experimented with letting go. So far he has only been able to stand unassisted for about 5 seconds before falling on his bottom. He tries very hard to pull himself up, but doesn't get past kneeling, although he has this funny plank that he does where it looks like he is trying to propel himself with his hands. That doesn't quite work for him either! The other day he attempted to climb stairs. The gates are going up for sure!

Declan is becoming more interested in table foods. He likes yogurt, puffs, poofs, bread, baked goods, soft fruits and veggies in tiny bits, and most recently, pork and ice cream. He puts everything in his mouth. I feel like he does this more often than Silas ever did. I've had to do the reach and sweep several times because he tries to eat foods off his brother's plate! The majority of his diet is still breast milk and formula, but it's great that he is trying new things! 

He had three words now. Declan says, Dada, Mama and now Papa. He has a variety of sounds but Dada, Mama, and Papa seem to be intentional. We are trying to teach him the signs for Milk, more, eat, and all done. Silas is being a great helper and models the signs for him constantly. Declan gets very excited and will clap when we say "yay!" and lifts up his arms when we say "up". 

Much to Silas' dismay, Declan is also gaining more interest in playing, or rather destroying, his brother's creations. He's baby Godzilla most days and will knock over Silas' trains and city, but Silas has learned to give Declan one or two toys to keep him from "messing up" his trains. 

Our boys couldn't be more different, yet so similar. Declan is much smaller than his brother was at this age. Silas was well into 18 month clothing, while Declan is just outgrowing some of his 9 month stuff. They have very similar features, but they are their own persons. This is true in personality as well. Silas was so serious and quiet. Declan is happy, but mischievous already! He gets into everything and makes his presence known! 

I know the next two months are going to fly by! He is already so much more like a toddler and less like a baby. Goodness knows that the binki and the bottle will be tough for him to give up. Declan is attached to that binki and sometimes it's hard to catch a picture of him without it in his mouth or near by! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kentucky Trip

June 10 - 17

The boys and I flew to Kentucky with Mema, Papa, Uncle Russ, Aunt Andi and the triplet cousins to visit family.

We had an insane delay out of Phoenix and our plane didn't take off until almost six pm, five hours after our scheduled flight. We had a gradual delay so we couldn't even leave and come back later. We blocked off a section with bags to keep all four babies contained and everyone took turns walking around with Silas to keep him busy. Once we got on the plane we had an uneventful flight, which is exactly the type of flight you hope for.

All five of the boys did really well until we departed the plane and had to get the rental and pack up into the van. Everyone was super cranky but eventually fell asleep once we got on the road to Owensboro. Little Shawn made it until about half an hour away from the hotel, but thankfully he didn't wake anyone up. We finally got to the hotel and settled in to bed around 3 am KY time (midnight our time) and we were all up by 8 am.

After breakfast and a trip to The Walmart, we headed over to Aunt Nell's. We spent a lot of time at Aunt Nell's house, which made Silas very happy because all of the cousins he got to meet and play with. Mom was happy because she got to see two of her sisters and many of her nieces and nephews. It was pretty stormy and we were nervous because the next day we planned on going to Holiday world. The rain cleared up though.

Holiday World was so exciting. Silas rode several rides with Mom and Dad and we had lunch in a kid friendly area where he rode his first roller coaster. After we went to the water park and had a blast going down slides and playing in the wading pools. Silas did great and so did the babies. We stayed until closing and had a very late dinner when we got back into town.

We met Uncle Sam for breakfast the next morning. After paying respects to Grandma Cotton, Granddad Vic, Uncle Vic, and Uncle Mark we went back to Aunt Nell's for lunch and watched movies/worked on laundry until Friday after Five at this amazing park by the river. Silas had a blast playing in the splash pad and all over the playground equipment.

On Saturday we had the family reunion bbq. Uncle Frank got into a motorcycle accident so mom and all the siblings missed most of the festivities. Silas had a blast playing with all the kids his age and I enjoyed showing Declan off and chatting with my own cousins. When mom and the rest of the siblings came back things were winding down and we stayed to help with the clean up. We got some great family pictures by the pond before heading back to the hotel for the night.

Sunday, which was father's day, we hung out at Aunt Debbie's house and then had dinner out. We took up almost the entire patio! Unfortunately we had really poor service when we arrived at the restaurant (and by the general manager of all people!), but we spent the evening chatting and eating before going back to Aunt Nell's to finish up laundry. We didn't get back to the hotel until real late and we didn't sleep much because we were trying to get everything situated for our trip back down to Tennessee.

We ended up getting on the road about two hours later than planned, but were able to get down to Great Aunt Pat's (or maybe it was Peggy's) in time for dinner. The boys started to get real cranky after we ate, so we went back to the hotel and repacked bags so that they met weight requirements for the flight back home. We made a few detours before reaching the airport the next afternoon, but we didn't have any issues with delays so we got home on time. We had a very rude lady who made it publicly known she didn't like kids and was upset that the only available seats were next to infants. All of the boys slept the entire flight back to Phoenix, so she made a fuss for nothing.

The boys were so happy to see Josh at the airport! Andi had some battery issues with her van at the airport and we almost had to head back to pick them up, but fortunately someone was able to jump them so they got back home too.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nine months old!

Declan is nine months old! How has it been 2/3 of a year already?! My baby is getting so big and on the go constantly. He is full on crawling now, but frequently switches back to army crawling. He sits himself up and has just started to pull himself up. We had to remove the bassinet attachment from the pack and play and I need to lower the crib mattress as well. Declan has both his bottom teeth and the top two have broken though. He hasn't shown much interest in food beyond purees. Solid foods become more sensory play and most of it lands on the floor or in the high chair.

The difference are really starting to become more apparent in my two boys, but they are still so similar! The Davis genes run deep in these two, but there are still touches of their daddy there, too. Silas has Josh's heavy brow line and chubby checks, while Declan has his deep eyes, oval shaped face, and also his chubby cheeks. Though, they get those from me too. I really ought to get baby pictures of Josh from his dad and post comparisons of the boys to both of our baby pictures. 

Declan had a fun month! We went swimming several times, celebrated big brother's birthday, and ate lots of new foods (puffs, black beans, whole grain rice and fresh melon, to name a few). 

Later this month we'll be going on an airplane for Declan's first trip to Kentucky. Both boys, the triplets, my sister and brother will be flying with Mema and Papa to visit family back east. It should be an adventure for sure!