Tuesday, May 31, 2011

365, Pretty

Pretty flower I saw on my walk home from the bus. It is entirely too hot outside. The end.

Monday, May 30, 2011

365, Memorial Day

To those who have served, and to those who will serve, we thank you. You are heroes.

(Um, isn't the flag supposed to be at half-mast?)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lengthy Update for Bug's Fan Club

I know Liesl's fans are anxious for an update, and I have been slacking a bit. Yesterday afternoon I got to have my Q and A session with Carter, and I only wish I had been keeping a list of my questions up to that point. If Liesl is ever in the ICU again (obviously, we hope not), it has been decided that I MUST go visit her to see everything, and because there is a 1 to 1 nurse to patient ratio so I can ask all the questions in the world.

Carter was very patient with all of my questions and answered everything. I am a very visual person, and I found myself wishing there was something equivalent to a museum exhibit or book with all of the tools and info pertaining to Liesl's various procedures. It would have a glass case with "artifacts", which would include the tools, scopes, drains, machines, etc with small descriptions. There would be a large wall or something with an oversize photo of a doctor and patient with text on the side detailing some procedure or process. There would be different mini-exhibits for other medical procedures, and it would be organized similar to the floors at Childrens-- respiratory problems in one area, blood disorders in another, etc. As it stands, google images has been my only venue to search for visual aids, and I would not recommend it in this case.

Key info from Q and A with Carter:

- Liesl has to wait 8 weeks between rounds of sclerotherapy because the antibiotics injected into the cysts are so strong.
- right now it looks like they will do 2 more rounds of sclerotherapy and then reevaluate things, which will probably be towards the end of August.
- the best analogy Carter and I could come up with for the cysts is that they are like balloons... the sclerotherapy deflates them, but the balloon itself is still there. Liesl will need surgery somewhere down the road so that the doctors can remove the "balloons" and clean everything up on the inside.
- normally this surgery is a 1-night stay in the hospital, but because Liesl has a critical airway, we don't know if hers will have to be longer.
- the cyst behind her trachea cannot be reached surgically, so the goal is to make it shrink as much as possible and not let it grow or re-inflate.
- Liesl will have MRIs to see how everything is going and to check if any cysts have moved. Yes, they can move.
- The doctors don't think she ever stopped breathing before since she was unable to resuscitate herself, so we are all VERY thankful it happened while both parents were around, not while she was sleeping.
- She wears a monitor at night that goes off if her numbers go above or below a certain point.
- The doctors have to keep an extra careful watch on Liesl for infection, but otherwise she is back to being a normal baby!

While at the pool, being a happy baby and smiling in her sleep.

Loving her Mom.

365, Pools Are Open!

Good Books

Since my new commute does not involve driving, I have the opportunity to read on the bus and metro. The first few weeks I was too afraid that I would miss my stop if I read (or some other irrational fear), and then I carried my nook with me just to look like a true commuter, but never actually opened it up. Now that I have figured out how to use public transportation, (for the most part), I have rediscovered that reading for pleasure actually exists! After high school, it was drilled into my head that any time spent having fun was time not spent on my design work, so I read lots of design books, but not much else. That sounds more dramatic than it is meant to be, but things related to design had the top priority.

I have finished 3 books since mid-April, and I think this is the most consistent use my nook has ever seen. All 3 of the books have been stellar, and I am quite happy (and somewhat relieved) to know that I still enjoy reading- being in elementary school and staying up all night reading with a flashlight wasn't just a phase!

Hilarious. The laugh-out-loud kind of funny. I am not one to exhibit an audible laugh while reading, but her writing makes it impossible to contain!

Great collection with lots of short chapters, making it easy to get to a good breaking point within a few minutes. The stories are written by everyone who is anyone and are all wonderful.

Read this one on a whim (I wanted to try renting an ebook from the library and this was the only one available that I had ever heard of) and I am SO glad I did! It was a bit slow to get into, but once I did, I could not put it down. Seriously. I woke up early on Saturday morning just to finish reading it. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Few Other Pics From Today

This face seems to say, "Aunt Cec, SERIOUSLY?!"

Her trademark smiles.

Snoozy baby.

Liesl is ready to hang 10 this summer!

Ingrid on their new deck.

365, Happiness

I spent a good chunk of the afternoon with the girls, which was wonderful. It was so nice to have the little cuddle bug Liesl back in my arms! This is the first time I have held her since she first went to the hospital. Of course she is much bigger now, but still loves to snuggle and everyone is still second to her Mom.

Ingrid was being very sweet to Liesl and even put piggy-lovey (her most prized possession) on Liesl's back as a blanket. I was so happy to finally be able to snuggle with both girls at the same time that it was worth sweating under the blankets!

Friday, May 27, 2011

365, Shorts

Those shorts that I ordered on Wednesday night? Yeah, they got delivered today. I love when standard shipping arrives unexpectedly fast! While these colors are fun and would all look adorable with a white polo shirt, I'm not sure they go with much else... They certainly aren't getting mailed back tonight, so I will look into this tomorrow. In the meantime, I am curling up in bed and finishing my book - its been a long week!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

365, Kickball

I have missed kickball the last few weeks due to the craziness, so it was particularly nice to see everyone again tonight. I slid into first base on my knees (my guess is that it looked more like a fall, but whatever) and later tonight I realized I am much more allergic to grass than I had realized. Even after a shower, I had some lovely hives on my legs. The ref said the ball tagged me during the slide/fall (which it totally didn't!), so the hives weren't even for a good reason. Had I been safe and then scored a game-winning run, I might feel otherwise.

There are always planes taking off and landing during our games, but for some reason, they seemed to be landing exceptionally low tonight... as in, there were a few times I wanted to duck for cover because it looked like the plane would be landing on our field. Where I would find cover in an open field, I don't know.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

365, No Self-Control

I have no self-control. None whatsoever. I went to Starbucks this morning (my goal this week was only to go MWF, and it was Wednesday, so why not?). Then Jenna went to Rita's in the afternoon, and I simply can't say no to that, so I had to join. Right... Next week I am going to try giving myself a cash budget for food / treats during the week and see if that helps curb my spending because I NEVER spend cash. My rationale is that if I spend cash, I can't check online and see where my money is going, so my credit card seems smarter. Stay tuned next week (I know you are already on the edge of your seat... "a young professional learns how to spend less on yummy treats").

During our jaunt back from Rita's, Jenna remarked on my flavor choice (swedish fish and juicy pear) in that I have the taste buds of a child. I'm not sure how I managed to keep this hidden from my coworkers for almost 2 months, but go me? In the elevator I confessed my love and comfort of ordering off the kids menu, and how I would often have my little brothers order chicken fingers for me since they were actually under age 12 and I was, well, 20.

For someone who isn't really a fan of food, I sure do post a lot of pictures of my various snacks. This could be the reason why I had to buy some new shorts tonight- I went to throw on a pair after work last week, and suddenly there just wasn't enough fabric in those darn things! They MUST have magically shrunk over the winter...

Shorts a size too small did, however, give me a fabulous excuse to go to the mall and see my queens (and select other people that I actually like) at the Fruit Box. I REALLY miss those guys, but man, I do not miss working when it is crazytown on the floor! Rob recently had his face gutted to fix his broken voice, and he sounds wonderful. Edward took one look at my fit-flops and told me they look like shower-shoes that a stripper would wear. One manager looked at me and jokingly told me to put my work shirt on, and I didn't recognize most of the specialists. Yep, the world is still spinning on its axis.

Most importantly, Bug is still home! I had all of 2 seconds to talk to my sister, but Liesl is being a trooper and was a good baby while she was in the office today with Carter. Liesl has a monitor of sorts that she wears when she is sleeping to give her parents a small peace of mind, but I haven't gotten all the details on it yet. She has a crazy medication schedule to continue fighting the morphine withdrawal and is being weened off of that over the next 2 weeks. Or something like that. Hoping to have a 20-questions session with Carter this weekend after she has gotten some sleep and readjusted to life outside of Childrens.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

365, froZENyo

I love froyo, and this place is the best one I have been to so far. It is about 1/2 a mile away on F street, which is just far enough that I won't go everyday but not too far to walk. It is self-serve with an ever rotating 16 flavors and some yummy toppings. There is only 1 size cup, which is pretty dangerous for me. Today was only the 2nd time I have been, so I am still in the midst of trying out lots of different flavors. Todays assortment was red velvet (because everyone raves about it... I thought it was so so, but I'm not a big red velvet person), banana creme, cookies and creme (my favorite), berry tart, and angel food cake (another staple). Luckily the flavors don't mix TOO much until you get to the end and everything has melted, but by that point I was stuffed to the gill and needed an excuse to put it down. Maybe one day I will be able to exhibit some small bit of self-control and only have 1 or 2 flavors per cup... yeah, I don't foresee that happening either!


Liesl Bug got discharged from the hospital tonight!!! Oh happy days!!!

She started nursing again last night and the doctors removed her feeding tube this morning. It took a while to process paperwork (it always seems like that is the longest part) and locate some medicine that she needed, but she will be sleeping in her own house tonight!

I, of course, have a ton of follow up questions, but have decided to let Carter get some sleep before pestering her. No clue what the future holds, but for right now, its just nice to have her home. (And this time we are all hoping it is for more than 10 hours!)

When I visited Bug on Saturday, there is no way I thought she would be home this soon. Clearly, there are some AMAZING people thinking about her and praying, and the prayer quilt is magical. I also think that having her whole family in the same room / a visit from her big sister helped speed up the path to recovery. Keep 'em coming!

Carter sent this picture this morning- the first one without any tubes on her face!

Monday, May 23, 2011

365, Losing its Appeal

The caffeine in my frap no longer has the same effect on me, and I only feel slightly more awake after having one.  My goal this week is to only have one on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tomorrow morning will be the test. If successful, my wallet will thank me.

Smiley Baby!

Carter said she tolerated having a pacifier in her mouth a few times today, but she still refuses to suck on anything. But she is starting to smile again, which is FABULOUS news! We have all severely missed seeing that goofy baby grin over the last few weeks, and this means she is one step closer to coming home!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

365, Sticker Book

Jon dropped Ingrid off after their trip to the hospital, so she and Abby and I had some girl time until Mimi and Casey came to pick her up. Jon was going to go straight to Mimi's and drop her off there, but Ing FLIPPED OUT because the initial plan had been to come to my house, and she was not about to skip that!

She has a special area in my house for her toys (i.e. my old things that I can't bring myself to part with) and tonight we found my old sticker book. Even at my young age of 8 years old, my ocd patterns were evident and the stickers were all neatly arranged and categorized. Ingrid's favorite page was the Lisa Frank sparkly stickers, circa 1994.


If there was a dictionary with photos, these would be right next to "heartwarming," and the definition would include "that feeling when your heart actually melts and a smile takes over your face."

(I wasn't there, but Carter sent these photos.)

Ingrid got to join Jon on his trip to the hospital today, and for a few hours, the family was in the same place. It has been entirely too long since that last happened, and I know they were all sad to see it come to an end. The highlights for Ingrid included watching the helicopters land and take off, going to get ice and water, and snack runs (although I think just being in the same place with both parents and her baby sister was the biggest highlight of them all).

Lisa sent us some photos tonight from her camera...  prayer quilts and both families. I KNOW they will bring many blessings to the families!

Liesy Bug Update (mostly from yesterday)

I am exhausted. I feel bad saying that because others, Carter and Jon in particular, must be at least 10 times more exhausted than I am and they are pushing through it. I slept for 12 hours last night and still wasn't able to get up in time for my soccer game. I tried to get up 3 times (and I even got out of bed each time), but I ended up falling asleep in the midst of my morning activities, including at the kitchen table.

I briefly mentioned the prayer quilt for Liesl yesterday, and you can check out some of the pictures below. Ingrid was pretty good in church but got excited when they said Jesus, which she pronounces "Jee-us". The dress she was wearing was a little on the small side (it happens when you grow so fast and are a ginormo-child) so at one point I gently tugged on it to pull it over her rear a bit more... Her reaction was to pull it up and flash the people several rows behind us, and she threw in a little booty shake as well!

Lisa, Ing, my Mom, and Liesl's quilt.

Beckett and his quilt.

The Priest saying a silent prayer and tying one of the knots for Bug.

After the church service, I got the privilege of spending a good chunk of the day at Children's with Carter, Jon, and of course, Liesl. It was great to be able to see the baby after so long, but she still has a ways to go before she can come home.

She still isn't back to her normal, smiley self, but I'm sure she will be up and running soon. She still has to feed through the tube because she refuses to have anything in or near her mouth. She has a very sore throat and is fairly hoarse, but her voice is coming back quickly. After having a tube down her throat for 8 days PLUS the irritation of a sore throat, I don't blame her for not wanting anything near her mouth! Her chest is very congested and she needs to cough but won't because it is painful and makes her gag (again, don't blame her!). Everything that is going on with her body made her a little pukey the last few days, but I will keep those details to myself.

Since she was on morphine for the majority of the 8 days she was sedated, she is experiencing withdrawal. The nurses and doctors have a rating system / scale that helps them evaluate the withdrawal symptoms, and as of yesterday, she was down to a 3.

She doesn't have a picc line and we are praying they don't have to put one in (it is basically a little tiny tube that is threaded through major veins and prevents the actual veins from disintegrating). She still has IV ports in her hand and arm, but nothing is connected to them right now. Carter suspects that those ports aren't even good any more, but the doctors are leaving them to avoid re-sticking Liesl if they suddenly need to get her fluids or meds.

She is happiest when she is in her parent's arms, but yesterday while I was there they tried letting her rest in bed because she had barely slept in several days. She did at least sleep a little better last night, but it is close to impossible for Carter to get any rest. If the monitor isn't beeping about something, a nurse is coming in to check vitals, or Liesl taking a loud and labored breath / gag combo.

Interesting Things I Learned

- In order to test if an IV port is still good, doctors inject a tiny amount of saline solution. If the patient flinches or quickly moves, they know that vein is no longer good (and the solution was injected directly into their body, not through a vein).

- Before starting another tube of milk, the nurse has a small syringe of air that she pushes through the feeding tube, and then uses a stethoscope on Liesl's belly to listen and make sure the tube is in the right place.

- I got to watch the nurse change the bandage under Liesl's chin, and I have to say, it was pretty anticlimactic. There where 2 tiny red dots, similar to what you would see after getting a shot. Although that part wasn't as exciting as I had hoped, I am glad that Liesl won't have a scar from anything so far!

We got to watch some medivacs land and take off from the helicopter launch pad while sitting in Liesl's room, which I thought was VERY cool. The Children's chopper has their logo on the bottom (design nerd) and it was surprisingly quiet.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bug Update Must Wait

I am fighting a losing battles with my head and am trying hard to keep my eyes open, but it isn't working. Liesl update from today will have to wait until tomorrow.

SUPER abbreviated version- she is out of the PICU and the only line going IN to her right now is her feeding tube (not even oxygen into her nose!). She is hoarse and uncomfortable, but she is a tough cookie and on the road to recovery!

365, Prayer Quilt

This morning my Mom, Ingrid, Alex, and I went to a church service where a prayer quilt for Liesl was blessed. Lisa spearheaded the project, making it that  much more special for our family. After the quilt was blessed, people came and tied square knots and said a silent prayer for the Bug. There was another quilt being blessed for a little boy who also had some lymphatic cysts, and he had some of the same doctors that Liesl currently has. It was such a special thing to be a part of, and I know that it will only bring good things to Liesl. A GIANT thank you goes out to Lisa, Good Shepherd Catholic Church, and all of the special people we met today! You guys are rockstars!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bug is Out of the PICU! (and other events of today)

The best news of the day- Bug is no longer in the PICU! Last night was a rough one for Carter and Liesl, but Liesl got much calmer and better once she was in her Mom's arms. I am looking forward to spending a good chunk of tomorrow at the hospital with Carter and Liesl, and then I can ask my 8349809328 questions to the nurses. (In Carter's defense, she has been wonderful with giving me detailed updates... this just gives me a chance to actually see how everything works).

In what has become a routine, I headed straight from work to my Mom's house to give an extra set of hands with Ingrid. Just before I had gotten there, Ingrid fell and skinned her knee in the driveway. In a quick attempt to distract her, Alex got Ingrid totally focused on playing with the hose and having a great time, so she forgot about her knee (thankfully).

Our long-time family friends, the Shannon's, brought over dinner tonight. Lisa is probably the best cook any of us know, so it was delicious, as expected. We had lemon-linguine with roasted chicken and asparagus (I think) and some other green things (sorry Lisa!), salad, yummy bread, and homemade biscotti. I cleaned my plate, which is about the highest compliment I can give. Jon took some to the hospital so he and Carter got to have a real meal as well. Big thanks to Lisa and her gang!

While sleeping at Mimi's, Ingrid has been helping out with small chores, particularly with the dogs. Tonight she decided to put Ellie's bowl under the kitchen table, and then lay on the floor and chat while she ate. Luckily Ellie is a really good sport about it and as long as there is food involved, she is happy.

365, My New Desk!

I am VERY excited to have a desk at work that is just for me! At the Fruitbox, if I so much as went to the bathroom I would come back to find someone at my desk. Additionally, I have drawers! 2 beautiful metal drawers! I am also in love with the size of the desk... Rob and I both sat at a "desk" this size, together, with two 27-inch monitors. I have just doubled my real estate. Thank you, KG!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tube is Out! (At Least Momentarily)

Today the Bug's doctors sent a camera down her throat to check on things and take some photos. Evidently they saw good things, as they removed her breathing tube later in the day! She isn't out of the woods yet though... She was having difficulty breathing on her own, but that could be due to all of the throat irritation from having things sent down it. Until her breathing is stable, she can't eat, which makes for a very unhappy Bug (and parents, I imagine). They are still in the PICU and the doctors are keeping a close eye on the Bug, as they could have to re-intubate her at any given moment. In the meantime, she is finally back in her parents arms! And keep the prayers coming- I want that tube to stay OUT!

*update- as of this posting, still no breathing tube and feedings have started!

Carter looks beautiful and you can really see the relief and joy in finally being able to hold her baby again!

Tonight I told Ingrid that I had a headache, so she went and got her Dora phone and called the doctor. She told the doctor that I had "a little problem" (like in one of the videos) with my head. Then she told me to be patient and a nurse was on her way. It is really interesting to see how her brain works and how a toddler processes things, and it is astounding how much she takes in and understands.

I told Ingrid to put shoes on, and this is what she grabbed. Why does this even surprise me???

Dressed up? No, thats just what she wore today. Certainly takes after her Mom!

365, The Production

Our new desks arrived today, which was very exciting. I expected it to take a few hours of some occasional power drills, but otherwise no big deal. Boy, was I wrong! It was a production; an all day event. The electricians were simultaneously drilling into cement while the desk guys were hammering, and it went on until about 2 pm. The whole production wasn't over at 2, but the majority of the noise had stopped by that point. Had I realized this would be an event, it would have been worth lugging my 27 inch desktop down to the conference room, but for my expectation, it didn't make sense. So instead I sat at my computer and didn't get a whole lot of work done because the noise and commotion was THAT loud. I am, however, looking forward to getting my desk all set up tomorrow!

Weird. The End.

Yesterday at work we discovered if you search twitter for "cecily kidd" (the important part is the space), Justin Bieber is one of the results. We don't know why. I have never mentioned him in a tweet or anything. This is just plain weird.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Other Adventures From Tonight

Bug was finally going down for her MRI around 7:30 pm. No other news to report-- she continues to hang in there like a champ!

Ing and Mommy before the kitchen turned into a pretend salon

Modeling her silk pajamas (my Dad brought them back from China for Carter when she was Ingrid's age)

The salon then turned into the doctors office as Ing checked Mommy's temperature