Friday, July 31, 2009


Tomorrow I go home and see hubby after being gone for a week. I'm a bit excited ;)

Malachi and I have been having a good time with family this week. Aunt Stephanie and him have been getting to be really good friends and he's spent most of this day with her. He behaves really well with her - I wonder how she does it ;)

After his nap this afternoon we're heading up to Ben and Sarah's. I'll be there for one night, he'll be there for two. Rick and Mickey are taking him over to the Zoo tomorrow. At least that's the plan. I haven't told him that yet, just in case it doesn't happen.

Unfortunately my camera batter died on Monday at the MoA and I didn't bring the charger. So I haven't gotten very many pictures. My sister and my aunt did get some great pictures. Malachi used Steph's camera to take some awesome pictures too. Hopefully those will be posted on Facebook soon so we can see them.

Malachi's off to his nap now, and we're going to watch Pride and Prejudice (one of my most favorite movies).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


No! It's July people!!

I am in Minnesota though. We came in on Saturday for John's 10 year class reunion which was on Saturday night. He had a really good time. I was really sore from the pregnancy and a lack of good shoes. That inhibited me from having a good time. But it was fun to watch John get reunited with some of his friends from school. We met a guy who's currently living in Beijing for business. That was a good contact to make.

Sunday morning we went to our old church here, City Hill Fellowship. Most of the people didn't recognize me with out my long blond hair, but after seeing John they knew who I was. We really enjoyed our time there, reconnecting with people we haven't seen in years. The worship and the sermon were great - very refreshing after being gone from our home church in Dallas for five weeks.

Sunday night I drove to Glenwood, MN where John's parents live because Malachi was there all weekend. What a blessing!! Monday morning we drove down to my mom's house. We've been hanging out with them since (yes I realize it's only Tuesday morning).

Today we're taking Malachi to the Mall of America! I'm very, very excited about that. When I was looking up their hours I found out it's Toddler Tuesday. We'll see what events are going on for that - and Malachi gets to eat free at Chipotle today - yay! Free taco for Malachi!!

I'm really missing John - more than normal when I'm away. Wonder if hormones have anything to do with that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The last couple of days have been pretty calm. Unfortunately it's given me time to be down about how busy we've been and how icky I've felt. I really thought I was done with the morning sickness and tiredness. I was wrong. But oh well - it will pass.

It also means I don't really have much to blog about. I guess I'd rather have nothing to say than another hospital visit or some other horrible thing.

Today John's having a swearing in ceremony. It's really just a thing for show because he was really sworn in on his first day. But it's a fun thing for families to go to. One of the Deputy Secretaries is coming to officiate. Unfortunately the Secretary of State was busy.

*****six hours later*****

Just got back from the swearing in ceremony. It was very short and sweet. I teared up a couple of times, but that's no surprise. Tonight we're going out for Beijing Duck. Gotta start eating more Chinese. We'll be living in the Sichuan Province so we'll have to start eating more Sichuan food.

I'm very sleepy but maybe we'll go out and see a movie while Rick stays here with Malachi tonight. We'll see...maybe.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pediatric Neurologist

Today was a check-up with Malachi's new Pediatric Neurologist, Dr. Lavenstien (Dr. L). He had a second year resident with him also who was very nice.

Both Dr.'s were very impressed with Malachi's development and are confident that the seizures aren't inhibiting that. Dr. L said that we're going to be watching Malachi for any seizure activity over the next six months. If we see any hint of activity during this time we're going to do a 72 hour EEG. They're hoping to get him during a real deep sleep to see if they can catch anything (with the two previous EEG's they've caught nothing). If we don't see any activity we'll go see him in six months.

John and I noticed that Malachi's sleeping has decreased the last couple of weeks. I asked the Dr. if this is a side effect and he confirmed that it is. It doesn't become a concern unless Malachi starts sleeping fewer than eight hours a night. So far he's still doing that. It's just hard for mom and dad to get up at 5:50 am like we did today.

The Dr. seems unconcerned by our impending move. The city we're moving to (again, to find out where check John's blog) has a population of 11 million. He seems confident that if there isn't anything in our city to take him to that there'll be something close. The medicine that Malachi takes (Keppra) is made by 22 different companies world wide and will be very easy to access.

If Malachi gains 15% body weight then we need to increase his dose (4 lbs). He hasn't gained a pound in over a year it seems (this did not concern the Dr. - he's a pretty mello guy) so this isn't something I'm very concerned about.

Apparently 70% of kids that have Epilepsy don't ever find out why. The cases that are like that who go seizure free for a couple of years on medicine have a very good prognoses. That said...if Malachi goes two years with no seizure activity on his medicine then we'll look at weaning him off the medicine to see if he's done seizing.

Please pray that Malachi has zero seizure activity. I want to never see him do that again. That is my prayer for my son. I love him so much, and I don't want to see him go through this again.

Thank you to everyone who's been so supportive over the last few weeks. We miss you all so much and love you all so much. And believe me, I too wish that you could just hop in a car and come over to hang and chat. I really miss y'all so much.

Blessings to you all!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Flag Day!

Check out John's blog to find out where we're going!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Look

My blog has a new look. Tell me what you think. Also, check out:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Drama, Drama, Drama

Today I went to the hospital. The reason is not very pretty - so I wont mention it. I called the OB's office and left a message to notify them, and ask if I needed to do anything. Right before I was about to get into the pool with Bethany, her kids, and Malachi they called me back. The Dr wanted me to go to the hospital.

So I went in after drinking a lot of water because I figured they'd want me to drink a lot of water in case of an unltrasound. I registered at patient registration in the lobby, and after standing at the counter for 10-15 minutes while they registered me, I made my way to the triage unit for labor and delivery. The desk in triage then wrote up their own paper (one small one) and let me use the restroom (soooooooo much water).

I laid down in a bed and sat there for a while. I went to the bathroom again (I can't stress how much water I had). Then Patient Transport came to get me to take me to Ultrasound. I went down there and by then I really had to pee, so the ride in the wheel chair was pretty miserable. Then the ultrasound with an ultra full bladder was even worse.

After that, and emptying my bladder again I laid there waiting for the ultrasound technician (who was really cold btw) to show the films to the doctor. She wouldn't even tell me if she saw a baby. Apparently she did see a baby - and she saw a heart beat. She just didn't tell me. The OB (which is the one I've been trying to see btw - kind of exciting) was really surprised she never let me listen to the heart beat.

The doctor said the heart beat (166 bpm) was perfect. The baby measured at 9 1/2 weeks (I'd been guessing 10) and looked great. The "issue" wasn't even really an issue. I was released to go home (which I did right after I went to the potty again). I have to make sure I don't do to much for the next seven days and keep an eye on things. Otherwise I'm fine. No bed rest - thank God!

I can't believe all the drama this family is experiencing.

Time to learn

I've been learning so much about myself in the last four/five week:How Strong I am, How Weak I am; How Loved I am, How Much I Love.

People say that each pregnancy is different, and I didn't believe it. But this pregnancy has been different than the last. I think the morning sickness is starting to wane. I'm starting to have a bit more energy (although it's still pretty hard to run after a 3 year old). With the last one these symptoms didn't subside until week 13ish. I really love having Malachi "hug" the baby or say good morning to the baby.

Speaking of baby, we got Malachi a baby doll to practice being a big brother. So far we really haven't done too much practicing, but he really like "feeding" the baby.

Right now Malachi's getting himself dressed. We're going to go outside and ride his new bike. I'll have to post pictures...I might do it.

Bethany and their kids are coming over in a couple of hours to swim and have lunch.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Can't even take off a bandaid anymore

******Sorry about the delay in posting this. I started it a while ago and just finished it.******

Most everyone knows this already but for those that don't, Malachi was in the hospital for two days. On Wednesday morning he had his worst seizure yet. He seized for about 3 1/2 - 4 minutes. After that he was gargling and struggling for breath, he turned blue around his lips. He normally would be calm for a few seconds after seizing and then cry for a bit and then be passed out for 20-30 minutes, but it didn't happen that way this time. He calmed for a bit, then cried, then calmed, then cried, and this cycle happened maybe six times. He also vomited during that time. Right before he vomited I called 911 - this was a very unusual seizure process and with the blue lips and all I decided it was a good time to call the EMTs. We got to the Pediatric ER at about 10:00 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. John was on his way, he left work at about 9:30. Unfortunately I took the car keys so he couldn't go home to get the car first.

By the time we got to the ER he was fully concious and seemingly fine. His vitals checked out, and if someone was just looking at him and didn't know his history or what happened earlier that day they would think us crazy to have him brought in. However, they did know what happened and they did know his history and it was decided to have him admitted after the ER Dr's consulted with the on call Pediatric Neurologist. Before he went upstairs they decided to start the testing and get his bloodwork done there. Having the IV inserted into his hand to get the blood was the most traumatic thing I've seen done to him. They had to swaddle him to keep his body still. He was crying out for me and asking me to hold him, it was so hard for me to not weep with him.

After he was admitted at about 12:30, his history and vitals were taken by a Resident and during that time the Attending came in to check him out and tell us about the system of the hospital. He told us that the Drs on the floor were going to confer, make a plan and let us know what it was. A couple hours later we still hadn't heard the plan, but someone came in to do something - I wish I could remember what. John probably remembers though.

After a while more, someone did come in and tell us the plan. The pediatric neurologist had a colleague of hers look at the EEG done one Tuesday (the ped. neurologist on call just happened to be from the office we went to for that one) and everything looked normal. They wanted a more in depth look into his brain though, so they called for an other EEG. They wanted to try to get it done over night, so they were chasing down the technician who does that to make sure he didn't leave before he started. They also said that they were ordering an MRI for the next day. He would need to have an IV put in. After that was told to me, I decided to go home and shower and change, I was still in my pajamas from the morning. I took the metro home, showered, changed, grabbed p.j.'s for me, and clothes for Malachi to leave the hospital in (he went in the ambulance in nothing but his underwear). I also grabbed his blankie and elephant for comfort.

When I got back they hadn't put the IV in - dang. But they did it in a way that I'm very happy about. The Pediatrics floor has a program in it called Child Life. There's a staff working on the floor during the day to man a play room and help kids with the procedures that are going to happen to them. A young woman, Liz, came in to tell Malachi about IV's and have him do one to a doll that he named and colored a face onto. After this we went into the "Jungle Room" to have the IV placed and the Liz came in to help. It was such a different experience. He did cry a bit, but only a little bit. I was so, so thankful for Liz.

After that we ate dinner, and shortly after that the EEG technician came in. He came in at about 6:30. What a horrible experience. The leads for this over night EEG were glued onto his head. To do that the technician had to use a long tube from an oxygen pump on the wall and would dry the glue with that, except instead of just letting the air blow on it, he would drag the end of the tube on the wet-glued gauze, but it was quick and a lot of times he hit Malachi pretty hard. Malachi was miserable and it took him three hours. He would often blame Malachi for a lead not being on right, or coming off and while sometimes Malachi did move and cause it, it was apparent that often it was his fault. It made the experience very frustrating for John and I too.

After that was done, John went home to get some work done and to sleep. Malachi and I tried to sleep, and Malachi did alright. He slept from 10-2 when the nurse came in to hook up some IV fluids. He actually slept through that, but then a roommate came in at 2:15 and woke him up. The poor boy was young and had had multiple seizures that day. The ER had so over medicated him that he couldn't sleep, or walk and his speach was slured. He didn't sleep at all and Malachi didn't fall back asleep until; after 4 He woke up at 6am on Thursday.

We waited only a little bit for the nurse and Pediatric Neurologist to come see him. The neurologist said that there wasn't any seizure activity recorded on the EEG, and he passed her neurological exam. We were just waiting now for the MRI. At that time, he wasn't on the MRI schedule, but the DR on the floor made it her personal project to get him in there Thursday.

At 8am Malachi's nurse came in and said that his MRI was going to be in about an hour, so they're trying to find the EEG technician to get the leads taken off. He came in about 15-20 minutes later and Malachi started crying immediately. I promised Malachi that he wasn't going to use the air that time. He saw Malachi's misery and got the leads off pretty fast. He scrubbed some of the glue off, but couldn't get it all. That was fine, I had my baby back looking mostly normal! Almost right after he was done with that patient transport was at the room ready to take Malachi to MRI.

So he sat on my lap on the wheel chair on the way down to MRI which was on the 1st floor, but all the way in the back corner, it felt like a basement. We had to wait a bit, but then an MRI technician came to talk to us about the process. We then waited a little bit longer for the room to be emptied. When I got in, the anesthesiologist explained that he would put the anesthesia in through the IV and it really didn't take long for Malachi do go down. It was actually a very disconcerting thing for me to watch.

He was taken into the MRI room and I went to get breakfast. I bough a bagel and banana and brought it to the waiting room. Being alone there was the first time I let myself get emotional. So I allowed myself a little break down. I didn't want to get too emotional because I knew that they would bring him out any minute and I didn't want him to see me that way.

We went upstairs after being in Pediatric Recovery for a few minutes. Malachi kept his apple juice down really well and then after a bit of a rest ate his cheezeburger almost all up. I didn't want him to eat the whole thing because I didn't want him throwing up, but he never did. We waited for a couple of hours and the MRI showed nothing, so after that we waited for just a little bit longer and the medicine they ordered came up. I gave that to him and then we were released.

It was so nice to pack up and go home. I had to go down to the pharmacy to get his Keppra (anti-seizure) medicine. But as we were sitting there waiting I was falling asleep. When we got home we had a small snack and went to bed. We were both so exhausted.

I'm sorry if this sounds jumbled, or if there are simple grammar mistakes. I'm very sleepy still from pregnancy and we haven't slowed down since we got home (Morroccan dinner on Thursday night, trip to the Zoo and Baby shower on Saturday, large shopping day yesterday, and today we're puppy sitting - EXHAUSTING!).

Monday is Flag Day! That's the day we find out where John's being posted. I wont be posting the location on my blog for a week. You'll have to check out John's Blog in order to find out. You should check it out anyway. You'll find out lots of good information on it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Less than a day

until his EEG. We're supposed to be in the office tomorrow at 8:15 to fill out paperwork for his 8:30 appointment. John and I have been talking to him about his appointment, telling him that he needs to answer all questions they ask. I told him they're going to put stickers on his head and look at his brain.

With his recent aversion to anyTHING medical and large tears at the sight of anyONE medical I thought it would be better to prepare him. Hopefully tomorrow wont be as hard as I expect because of the talking about it. My friend Bethany will be picking us up tomorrow morning to hopefully leave by 8:00. I can only let him sleep tonight for five hours and I have to keep him awake on the way to the appointment. I'm so thankful that Bethany is going to drive us so I can do that. I'm also thankful that it's only about a 10-12 minute drive away so we're not in the car all that long.

I'll update tomorrow after we get home and Malachi is sleeping peacefully.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I know I've said this

but I feel like there's very little time to blog. Really when I look at my day not everything I do is valuable, but with the pregnancy and the exhaustion that came with it, I really don't do much more than necessary.

We've had a pretty good week! No more seizures this week. However, life for me is very stressfull because of the last one. Any time he trips, lays down on the ground, or anything that a normal three year old can get away with happens my heart stops. I've done a lot of praying for him, but I still don't want him to go unwatched.

Rick and Mickey came into town on Friday morning for the holiday weekend. We brought them to our favorite restaurant so far Dogfish Alehouse. John's really liked their beer, so we thought we'd try their restuarant. In the last two weeks we've been there three times, and I think we're going again for dinner - unless he wants me to cook.

Yesterday after nap time we made our way to the metro and to Washington, DC. John has some great pictures on his blog from the day. I was very skeptical of going - I really, really didn't want to brave the crowds with a 3 1/2 year old. But we learned that if we're in town next year we don't have to be nearly as cautious as were were yesterday.

We went downtown at 4:00 and I sat for an hour saving our spot (which was really good). John, Rick, Mickey, and Malachi went to the National Air and Space Museum which Malachi loves! When Rick came to relieve me of my post as space holder I joined John and Mickey on the Mall between the NAS Museum and and the Natural Galery of Art. I needed to eat dinner so I bought a ham and cheese sub and ate on the steps of the National Museum of Natural History. We then went to that museum which consisted of Malachi running to all the things that he really likes. I noticed he was most interested in the things that were at his level. The large dinosaurs and the big whale didn't interest him nearly as much as I thought they would.

After that museum we made our way back to our spot and hung out for about an hour and enjoyed a spectacular fireworks show. There was a large tree in the way of some of the lower ones, but otherwise we had a great view! We left shortly before the finale and made our way onto the first metro out of downtown. It got a bit crowded, but I know it would've been much, much worse after that train. We made it home by 10:30. We all thought we'd still be waiting for a train at that time, so it was a pleasant surprise.

Now I'm being pressured off the computer because we're heading to breakfast.

I hope everyone had a great 4th!