Friday, April 29, 2011

the royal wedding

i'm watching it right now b/c i didn't want to get up in the middle of the night. i SOOO wish olivia was old enough to understand this. i mean...a new PRINCESS is "born" today! you can deny it all you want but every little girl goes through a phase where they want to be a princess. it may not last long but it's there. every girl FEELS like a princess on their wedding day (or they should) but only 1 in a million get to really be a princess! it's a modern day, real life fairytale! on a fashion note - what the hell is on this girls head? these are prince william's cousins. royal or not...this is bad. kate was classic. i like that she kept it simple. i'm a simple girl too! hey! maybe harry wants a simple girl... one can dream!

cheerio! i'm off to finish this wedding!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

big movies and lots of wires

yesterday we attempted pigtails in public for the first time. from all accounts they may have lasted 4 minutes. we'll keep trying! this may have been the first time in well over a year that she didn't wear a bow to daycare. she's growing up! :)

after kindermusik last night we went up to the joe for a movie on the jumbotron! this is such a neat experience! thank you union board for putting this on. we'll definitely attend more of these! and they offered free grilled cheese samis, popcorn and gatorade and water! but we didn't partake b/c you couldn't take the food on the field and that's where i wanted to sit!she was totally into the movie! (don't tell UB that i let her snack on the field!)
today was our followup with the cardiologist. it was a great appt! they hooked about 10 or 12 wires up to her for a few minutes and printed a graph of what looked like her heart beat (think the printout when you're in labor...that's what it looked like.) she handled that like a champ. then we saw brenda the NP and then dr. king. he confirmed that her ultrasound looked good. he went over her murmers and leaky valves and the hole in her heart. we go back next week for one more echo just to "cross our t's and dot our i's." at the last echo o got a little ancy so he quit before he could really check one artery and today was another afternoon appt which meant no nap... so we'll go next week in the morning when she's not quite as "tired". :) if she still won't cooporate then well do an MRA for which she'll have to be sedated but he doesn't expect us to get to that point. we'll see the pulmonologist in june (in monroe so no driving to alec!!) and assuming his findings are good we won't go back to the cardiologist for another year! PRAISE! he assured us that she's totally healthy, has no heart disease and can be treated as a normal toddler! if we never mention this to anyone (other than disclosing it on mandatory forms - daycare, school, church trips, etc...) they will never know she's "sick". and we certainly don't want her to feel "different" from other kids so except for when it's necessary it won't be mentioned again! obviously when she's old enough to understand we'll tell her that her heart is on the wrong side but as far as we're concerned it's just a technicality. NO BIG DEAL!

i got her an icee before i picked her up from daycare for the ride over. score one for mom!the point of this pic was to get all of the wires. next time i'll give better instructions...

Monday, April 25, 2011


i've been waiting for this day! and it's here!
now to get some matching rubberbands and more bows. her bow holder isn't big enough for 2 of each color; what are we gonna do?!?! now that i type that we may go old school with ribbons. yes! can't wait! i just love having a little girl!

and tonight she looked at me, grabbed my face, said mama and then kissed me. melt. my. heart. good day!

easter 2011

since i was at the beach easter morning the easter bunny visited o at her daddy's house. he brought some books and a bunnny that my aunt linda (dad's sister) made. (this is the aunt that made the raggedy ann at christmas; she's pretty good!) i'm glad he took pics; looks like she liked what she got!
once i got home the stevens clan gathered at jenny's for our easter celebration. let me just say...we are not a game playing family. we're just not. it's not our style. but jackie decided that we needed to add some spunk to our family holidays so this year we had egg races and egg tosses. i'll admit; i'm a pessimist and thought "this is so cheesy" but i participated and actually had fun! so, we may have started a new stevens family tradition. way to go jackie for making us look like fools but it was fun! after eating and games o got to hunt eggs.

checking out her loot from gg and pops!

pops may have cheated during the egg race. i think he set a record for egg races around the world!

girls beach trip!

aaahhhh! this was most definitely needed! hillary, emery, sheree and i left about 3:30 on thursday headed to orange beach. it was GREAT! we layed out for 2 days, shopped, ate great food, drank good drinks and seriously enjoyed each others company. no other words needed. enjoy the pics!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


o loves the dog bowl at her daddy's house. she has yet to figure out that as soon as she gets in it she has to go inside for a bath which cuts her playing outside short. surely one day she'll figure it out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


couple of funny things:

olivia now kisses her own bobo's. does this mean i'm falling down on my job?

we got home today about 5:15 and didn't come inside until almost 7! o went straight out back and i followed shortly with water. she played hard! then we had dinner outside (she eats so much better outside!) and discovered that the college guys next door (that call me mam - i am NOT that old) had a dog. o was in heaven! she went to the fence and petted it. then he ran away. she stood there and called "hootie" for a very long time. he'd come and go but obviously didn't answer to hootie. so finally the boys take the dog back inside and a full blown melt down occurs over no dog. OMG. i'm glad she has dogs at her daddy's house to get her fix b/c i sure don't want that responsibility! i may have to have a chat with the college guys to see if we can dog sit some saturday afternoons that we don't have plans!

she sat at the fence for a long time waiting on the dog. then i realized what she was doing... does she think if she digs a hole she can crawl under the fence to get to the dog??? i was laughing so hard!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

another fab weekend

friday after work we went to dinner and a movie. jackie controlled o while i worked my shift and the pics show she had a great time! this is an annual event put on by JA and it's so much fun. another great ruston family activity!

jackie stayed with us friday night so i was able to go to rachel martin's 30th bday party at sundown. so glad i went; rachel and i got some much needed catch-up time!

saturday morning started with the 2nd annual kd egg hunt. we had to miss last year b/c o got sick so i was thrilled to go this year! o totally got the concept of hunting eggs and was all over it! after her nap we went to amelia's first bday party! it was another egg hunt and again, o was good to go. it was great catching up with a lot of friends that we don't get to see very often! then miss shelby came to stay with o so i could go to amelia's mommy's 30th bday party at portico! i had a blast and wish valerie a great bday on good friday!

since i'm going to be out of town on easter sunday morning i decided that we'd have "easter morning" today. olivia wore her easter dress and we did pics in the front yard. the whole sha-bang (except for the easter bunny that is coming to see o at her daddy's house on easter morning.) then at church Jesus was there with his donkey "burrito" for palm sunday. o was skeptical at first. so we went on in. when i went to pick her up after church the nursery worker informed me that o loved Jesus but she loved burrito more! she even went as far as to suggest that the easter bunny bring o a donkey. nice try. not gonna happen!! and then God smiled on me; trinity was doing a baked potato lunch as a fundraiser for one of our ongoing ministries. no cooking for me!! we enjoyed having lunch in the fellowship hall with janie and jeff mcgehee! i know i complain about busy weekends and being tired but honestly, i wouldn't like it any other way! weekends with no plans are so boring!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


o did great this morning! she couldn't eat or drink after midnight so last night i packed her food and cup in the car so she wouldn't see me do it this morning. i'd like to pat myself on the back for thinking ahead like that! gg and pops met us at the hospital in monroe and we got checked in and then waited. and waited. and waited some more. obviously st. francis north didn't know i had an almost 2 year old that hadn't eaten that morning! she was fine but busy. normally i can entertain her with food. not so much this time! we entertained her with lipstick. she's such a girl and i love it! once back she did ok. a little squirmy but what can you expect from a toddler? the ultrasound tech was able to get all the pictures she needed and she told us that o has a spleen! that's the best news! i'm still not sure how all these pieces will fit together for her final diagnosis/treatments but i know it's a good thing that she has a spleen! so now we just sit and wait until our next appt with dr. king on the 27th. i'm anxious about that one b/c i want the appt with the pulmonologist SOON! her breathing is so rattely and i don't know what else to do to fix it! 18 days and counting on the breathing...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

a fab saturday in pics

we went to kid's day in the park sat morning to support legacy park.
then to trinity's easter egg hunt sat afternoon.

then to some friends to gill and hang out sat night (sadly there are no pictures to prove this) and o stayed up until almost 9pm! we left there about 8:30 and i got her home, bathed and a breathing treatment done by 9. she was pooped! but she had a ball playing with her friends!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

surprise! we had an echo today!

i was having a leisurely lunch today with jenny when dr. king's office called. i decided he was important enough to answer for so i did.... here's how the convo started, "this is jennifer from dr. king's office. olivia's aunt jenny has been talking to brenda in our office about olivia's condition and we have an opening at 2:15 today if y'all can come."

um...yeah! she went on to say that dr. king was actually in the office and they'd feel better doing our echo with him there in case there were any problems.

and it turns out there are some SMALL problems so i'm SOOO glad jenny pulled those strings!

first, dr. king and his staff are AMAZING. he's a strong christian and was sure to tell us that God would bring us through this. i may have shed a tear at that point.

the short of it is olivia has the worst kind of dextrocardia. her heart is on the wrong side but her other organs (liver, etc) are in their correct place. apparently if your heart's on the wrong side you want everything on the wrong side. this gives her a 95% chance of heart disease. based on todays echo she has some leaky valves (one is mild to moderate which i assume is worse than the ones he didn't mention) and a hole (which very well may be the hole that everyone has in utero but is usually closed by birth but is very common that it doesn't). with no other testing he placed her in the 5% chance that there is no heart disease!! PRAISE!

we go on april 14 for an ultrasound of her belly at st. francis (we're looking for a spleen and if she has a spleen that it be in full working order). then our june 29th appt with dr. king got moved up to april 27. i'm not happy that this is "bad" enough to warrent such a jump in appt times but considering how this appt could have turned out i'm thrilled.

we will have to meet with a dr. elon (i could have very well butchered that) who is a pediatric pulmonologist. he's out of new orleans but comes as far north as alexandria so we'll meet him there. (dr. king is currently in works with getting him to come to monroe so a day may come that we'll be able to see him in monroe but i'll go wherever they tell me to go...) her breathing issues could very well be related to this which is why we'll be seeing him. that appointment has not been set yet; i think dr. king's office will set it and let us know when.

at our april 27th appt we'll do another much more detailed echo (possibly with o sedated, i didn't catch all the details) and an MRA (i don't have a clue what that is) and review in detail exactly what all she has and our treatment plan.

with all of this said she is very healthy. she's nice and pink and appears to have no problems with heart function/breathing. she can run, play, dance, play sports and be spanked. yes, they assured me it was ok to spank her. we will not treat her any differently than we have been (although she may get a little spoiled until all these dr appointments are over!)

i'm SO happy they got us in today. dr. king wasn't going to be there friday so we would have had to wait all weekend for results (and i'm going to be out of town monday and tuesday) and i just would have been on pins and needles. he came in the middle of our echo and was with us the rest of the time and talked to us about everything. his NP (the one that jenny got to pull the favor) was also with us. she's been with dr. king for 30 years.

as of right now he doesn't see any need for any surgeries but again, all tests aren't done. overall i'd say it was a pretty good appt. of course we were hoping for GREAT news but i'll definitely settle for GOOD news.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

there's always a first time

it was bound to happen sooner or later. olivia locked herself and my keys in the car after kindermusik today. she was playing with the keys while i strapped her in and once she was in i threw the keys in the front seat like i ALWAYS do and shut the back door. except this time i didn't realize she'd hit the "lock" button on my keys. yep... jenny came to our rescue by leaving the restaurant she was eating at, going to my house to fetch my spare and bringing it to me. o did great the first few mintues but then realized that she was the only one in the car while all the other people were outside having fun. then we had to entertain her... the good that came of this - i found out another little girl in kindermusik with us sees dr. king for the hole in her heart and her mom is a nurse and she just raved about dr. king. well, to be honest, i haven't met anyone who didn't just rave about this man so i think we're in good hands. she even offered tips for the echo. like take a sippy cup or something for o to do during it. i probably wouldn't have thought of that! isn't it funny how God puts us in places and people in our lives to calm our fears... He is awfully good at what He does!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

no news is good news?

maybe??? we went to khanfar this morning and got an oral steriod for her wheezing/cough. her white count was back at normal. so, i've told several people that she's absolutely healthy except for the fact that she can't breathe. dr. khanfar set up our appt with the cardiologist for friday at 9:15. she'll have an echo done and then go for another chest xray. then our real meeting the the actual dr (dr. king in monroe) is set for june 29. i know what you're thinking and i thought the same thing - june 29? seriously? however, this date will change based on the findings of the echo and chest xray. so, i guess if they move the appt up then it's probably not a good sign... i'm not expecting to find out anything on friday but i'm praying that whoever does this echo will at least talk me through it so i have an idea of what we're dealing with before our meeting with the dr. i didn't sleep well last night so i'm hitting the sack with my new best friend - cough medicine.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

ER visit and a development

let's start from the beginning. i took o to quickcare last sunday for wheezing and coughing (i know you're shocked.) it was all in her head and had not moved to her chest. i immediately started breathing treatments and have been doing them twice a day since sunday. on wednesday she was slightly better. on thursday she was worse and on friday slightly better again. saturday morning rett dropped her off here so we could begin our busy day and all through the morning i knew her breathing wasn't good. but i had to assume it was all still in her head b/c i'd started the treatments early enough so there was no way it could have moved down, right?!?! o played all day, had a good appetite, etc. no signs of any major distress.
at one point we entertained her with lipstick. she LOVED it! such a girl!
now to today... rett called about 9:30 this morning and said it was bad. he'd woken her up about 9 (hello!!) and she was VERY lethargic and not responding to anything. he'd done a treatment and could tell she was retracting mildly. i told him to meet me at jenny's. she agreed it was bad and that we needed to go to the ER. thankfully she agreed to come with us; it helps to have someone interpret medical jargon! (on the way to the ER i called my parents and told them to sit tight. at this point there was no need for them to do anything drastic like heading over to play the waiting game.) once in the ER they immediately did another treatment. did a flu and rsv swab and the dr came and ordered a chest xray. xray done and not 10 minutes later the xray guys are back for another one. they ask me if she had any birth defects and that they needed to do another xray. WHAT??? i'm not sure if that registered with anyone else in the room but i KNEW something was wrong with that statement. as soon as they finished i looked at jenny and rett and needed to know why they'd question a birth defect and need another picture. i'm crying and the poor nurse is trying to reassure me... even jenny said she would have approached that as, "i'm sorry but we messed up and just need another picture." i would have preferred that. now we get another breathing treatment as soon as this one is over the nurse brings in a popcicle. o kinda started to perk up at this point and inhaled the popcicle. then they come to draw blood and start fluids. they get the blood but her vein rolled and so we get them to hold off on the iv. the dr agrees that if she'll drink some then we won't have to do the iv. now the rsv and flu tests have come back negative. they attach a "wee bag" to her to try and collect urine. meanwhile we're pushing fluids. she gets orange juice, grape juice, my diet coke and jenny's water. by now it's also well past o's lunch time and she's pretty active. jenny went to the hospital subway and got us all lunch. while waiting on that o inhaled some sherbert and the nurse's cheese (you all know how she loves cheese.) then she ate her sandwich, apples, some of my chips and drank her hi-c. (jenny is such a good aunt-pure sugar.) oh, somewhere in all of this they did a strep test too. so now we're waiting on her to tee-tee in the bag and for all results. her blood shows a white count of 22 but EVERYTHING else is negative/clear. by this point o is a typical almost 2 year old and we're a little tired of waiting on her to tee-tee so i suggest the catheter. call me mean but it got the job done and was quick. urine tests were clear too. so the dr comes in (5-6 hours later) and tells us that all tests are clear and we're left with a cough, wheeze and high white count.
eating her lunch

she got a little mustard on her... :)
and then... he explains what they found on the chest xray. olivia has a condition known as dextrocardia. her heart is on the right side of her chest rather than where it's suppose to be on the left. he explained that there are varying degrees of this condition and since she's never had any problems he assumes that her's is a mild case. but we definately need to get to khanfar for a referral to a pediatric cardiologist. here's what i know about this... this occurs in about 1 in every 12,ooo people so it's not all that rare. however, the rarest form of this is that her heart would be absolutely perfect, just on the wrong side of her chest and all we'll have to do is a yearly cardiologist appt for the rest of her life. but that's the rarest form of this so i have to prepare myself for some complications. i KNOW she's fine. other than her rsv she's never had any problems. i KNOW she's fine. but we'll know more once we see the cardiologist (which hopefully will be soon b/c his NP is jenny's teacher so hopefully that connection will get us in pretty quickly.) with all that said...guess what a symptom of this condition is. REPEATED SINUS AND LUNG INFECTIONS! yep. this TOTALLY explains why she is always sick with breathing issues. we FINALLY have an answer! PRAISE GOD! He put us in that ER today so we'd find this. i know it. and he'll get us through this.