Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, baby!

Today you are 29 and I could not more proud of the man you have turned out to be. I have loved you for the past 5 1/2 years, and am more impressed with you now than I ever even hoped to be. You are sensitive and caring, a diligent worker, compassionate, honest, and soulful. You are talented, humble and selfless-- especially when it comes to your family. We have been through a lot as friends and spouses and finally as parents and we will go through a lot more. But now, more than ever, I am sure that with you by my side I will be taken care of, protected and lead in an honorable way. Livi and I love you so very much! We wish you the happiest birthday ever!

And since the blog is mostly about her, lets take a minute for a Brian and Kelly photo montage...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No more Target toys

I think we are reaching the end of an era with Olivia. It will not be long before we won't be able to buy her appropriate toys or devices at the store and cart them home with us in the car. We will soon be relegated to only online shopping. Some people can online shop just as well as in the store. Not me. I like to actually see what I'm buying in person before I spend all the money on it. But, thats how it goes. The toys in the store that are intriguing to her she cannot operate because they require more fine motor skills than she has. Yet, the toys she can operate on her own are for much smaller children and the reward (lights or music or whatever) is not appropriate for her age. We are morphing into the "special needs" section of entertainment which most of the time just means "we're going to charge you triple for it, just because we can".

If you have seen any pictures of Olivia in her little (stressing little) blue rocker you know she is obviously way too tall for it. Her poor little head tilts to the side because her body is so dad-gum long! We use that chair mostly for chilling at home. We've been looking for something to grow with her, but it needed to be size appropriate and have straps to keep her in since she can't sit in a regular chair by herself. You cannot go to the store and buy these things. Instead, you have to get them online and pay, yes, triple the price or better. So, in the next week or so Livi should be getting one of these in the mail...

And, since its poop brown you KNOW we had to get the purple straps. This is a VERY generous Christmas present from a very dear loved one. Thank you. It should fit her for a couple of years and will sit in this base thing in the living room or will actually also strap into the dining room chair so we can all eat together.

Later this week I will post pictures of Olivia in her new nighttime sleeping device--a hip brace. If we are diligent (you better believe we will be) this brace SHOULD keep Olivia from needing hip surgery later on. Will she like it? probably not. It doesn't have purple anything. Its just white. But, she will tolerate it and then get used to it and we won't have to worry about having a hip cast on some time down the line.

The best toy she will be getting soon? Her very own iPad. Yes. Before you judge, hear me out. It IS for playing, but mostly for therapy. Apparently the iPad is replacing all of the previous very expensive speech tools with of all of its amazing therapeutic and educational apps. It will also hook up to her switch with an adapter, so instead of trying to make her fine motor stills improve to use the touch screen, she will be able to use her switch. I am SO excited to get this for her. Merry Christmas, sweetie! Don't worry, we'll be sure to get you a purple cover for it.

So, am I done shopping at Target? Heck no! I got another girl that will be here in a matter of weeks (9ish). You better believe I will still be visiting my local Target plenty!

By the way, I'm a terrible blogger. We're home. Got home Friday. Olivia was just SUPER sore all weekend from the spinal tap on Wed. but back to her old self now and getting ready for preschool as we speak. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Room for one more?

We've been busy busy lately, but in a good way. Brian went to Philly last weekend for a conference and the girls had the weekend to themselves. We survived and had lots of fun! Then Tuesday afternoon we left for Livi's neurology appointment in St. Louis. Wednesday at 7am we got to the hospital and they did a spinal tap to use some of her spinal fluid for some more tests as to the cause of her epilepsy. Later that afternoon we met with her neurologist in clinic and came up with more steps to our plan for Livi's treatment. We are so lucky to have providers that care so much!

We got home from St. Louis last night at 8pm. At 11:30pm we were in Childrens Mercy's ER because Livi had another fever. We wanted to check everything out considering she had needles stuck into her spine earlier that day and were concerned about infection. Turns out she has some sort of a spot on her chest x-ray that is either pneumonia or a slightly collapsed lung. I might know more when I speak with the dr.'s today, but suffice it to say we are all very tired, but doing well considering. She is just on her regular home regimen of things now with the addition of antibiotics. We'll see where we go from here. Brian and I might be worse off than Livi--getting home from the hospital at 4am after two days of travel and getting up at 5am the day before.

I had another (one of the weekly) perinatologist appointments for the baby (who we are now positive we will be calling Gabrielle). She looks great again this week! But the craziness of the last few days got me thinking---do we really have room for one more? Of course we'll love her like crazy, but so much of what we do even down to the hour is about taking care of Olivia I just don't know how we'll make it work. I know, I know....everyone does. We will too. Just seems insane to think about. We'll want Gabby to feel she gets as much attention and love as Livi. What will we do with a midnight ER trip? Only have one of us take Livi? Take all of us? Go nuts?

Oh sheesh--it'll work out somehow. I do need your help, though. First name is definitely Gabrielle. Last name is still definitely Key (don't worry, honey). Middle name is under further review--suggestions?

Monday, October 3, 2011

No pants afternoons

This weekend was the first time in a year and a half that Brian and I have found time to get away for a few days without Olivia. It was fantastic, but of course we missed her. Because of the generosity of some very kind friends, we spent the weekend in northwest Arkansas at a lake house alone. We fished. We slept. We did watch about an hour of football while we ate lunch. And then we fished some more. The whole time we enjoyed the best weekend ever and this view...

Meanwhile, in Joplin, my mother enjoyed this view...

Thats my grandma and my dad reading Livi's pop-up book to her on my parents new and wonderful back porch. I'm trying to convince my mom to call it the 'mom cave'. I'll let you know how it goes over... I think the picture was meant to convey to me that everyone was perfectly fine and having a good time. The first thing I noticed was that my mother was making sure Olivia felt right at home at their house--by keeping with our tradition of 'no pants afternoons'. Generally, if we aren't going out of the house, Olivia is doing stuff in a diaper and a shirt. Its really just laziness on my part. Also, Livi gets Miralax regularly and its just easier to keep from washing another pair of pants, thus she just doesn't wear any. Apparently no pants afternoons doesn't keep EVERYONE from washing extra laundry---sorry grandma!

Side note: I am 29 weeks pregnant. How is this going so fast? I need to get my act together. The 'nursery' is still 100% Brian's office. Whoops!