Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hospital Stay for Chloe

So, let me start from the very beginning...14 days ago, I left to go to NC for my grandmother's funeral. When I arrived, I called David to let him know I had made it safely and he told me Chloe had started hacking and coughing but that she was okay. I knew I couldn't do anything about it so I let it go and knew I would be home within a few days.
Fast forward 7 days and we are about to leave for Thanksgiving in Atlanta with David's family. Chloe was still coughing and wheezing somewhat but I had started her on breathing treatments and felt we were managing okay. No fever, oxygen levels were fine, and there was no increased work of breathing. On Black Friday though, things changed drastically. Chloe's cough became so violent she began throwing up with some coughing spells, she spiked a fever, and couldn't speak a full sentence without stopping to cough in between words. I took her to the Urgent Care by my in-laws house and sat there for almost 2 hours waiting to be seen. After finally getting into a room and waiting another 20 minutes, the doctor came in and spent 5 minutes with us. I told her that I had listened to Chloe's lungs because I am a nurse and felt like Chloe was decreased in her lung bases. I told her about Chloe's history with asthma and how concerned I was becoming as she was getting worse. She responded that she didn't sound like she had pneumonia and she diagnosed her with bronchitis. We left with a steroid and an antibiotic. Within 8 hours, Chloe's oxygen level had dropped to between 82% and 87% and we were on our way to the closest ER.
After arriving, Chloe was taken straight back in front of everyone else and was placed on oxygen immediately. A continuous Albuterol nebulizer was ordered and given and she was taken for a chest x-ray. We were told that Chloe had a left lower lobe pneumonia and that the antibiotic given to her earlier was useless as it wouldn't touch a pneumonia. The doctor's plan was to transport her to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital via ambulance for admission and to start an IV for antibiotics and do some blood work before the ambulance came. Then plans changed and the docs at Scottish Rite wanted to do the IV and blood work there so we held off. We took a little ride to downtown Atlanta in the ambulance with Chloe on oxygen and getting another very powerful breathing treatment en route.
Once we arrived, we were put in the ER and the doc there evaluated us immediately. He didn't think she needed an IV and felt that as long as she would drink fluids that she would be okay without it. He wanted her on Zithromax for the pneumonia and didn't think blood work was necessary since we were treating her with a great antibiotic for pneumonia. Then, we were taken up to the 3rd floor which was our home away from home for the next 3 nights.
We were assigned a hospital pediatrician since we were out of town and didn't have our own and THAT doctor thought the pneumonia was viral and did not order any medicine at all other than oxygen and breathing treatments. These treatments didn't really make a difference as she was not getting off the oxygen so they changed her to a different type of treatment where the respiratory therapist gave her extra breaths with an ambu-bag during the nebulizer. The thought was that this would help push the medicine deeper into her lungs and thereby clear up the airways better and help her get off the oxygen and stop the cough.
This worked a little and by the 3rd night Chloe went all night without oxygen but her cough was worsening again!!! She again started coughing so hard that she would puke. I asked for an antibiotic and the doctor said no again. They did repeat an x-ray and said it appeared to be getting better so they felt confident it was viral. They sent us on home though and told us to follow up with our pediatrician in 2 days. They told me to double her Albuterol dose from now on and give 4 puffs every 4 hours for 24 hours and then 4 puffs every 6 hours for 24 hours and then just give it as needed for the coughing. She also was sent home with some breathing exercises to do and I was told to monitor her oxygen level at home while she slept and bring her back if she went below 90%.
For 2 nights she stayed right at 90-91% when she slept and coughed all night long. When we went to our pediatrician, I told her all about how concerned I still was because she seemed to be worsening again. Her fever was starting up again and she was just really really puny looking. She was down 5 pounds, wasn't drinking and her lips were so dry. Our doc ordered blood work and another chest x-ray. Come to find out, Chloe's pneumonia WAS bacterial and it was obvious on the xray that it was not resolving. It was BIG! She should have had an antibiotic all along! I am angry that the doctor at Scottish Rite didn't listen to us, didn't listen to the other 2 doctors who thought she needed antibiotics, and didn't do any blood work to see if it was in fact viral or not. My child suffered un-necessarily for 6 days when she could have been better by the second day after being admitted. Now that she has had 2 days of the Zithromax, she is about 90% better. Her cough is greatly decreased, she isn't requiring as many breathing treatments, and she is playful and energetic.
What a crazy, long, tiring, and worrisome Thanksgiving vacation. Whew... I need a vacation from my vacation.

oxygen level at home before we went to ER...and before we could 
leave it had dropped to 82%...and just FYI, it should not be below 93% EVER

in the first hospital ER waiting on the ambulance to come get us
 and take us to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital

night number 2 on oxygen. Very sick and very very sad.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chloe Turned SIX!!!

So, last week, my sweet Chloe girl turned six years old. Where did the last 6 years go? Someone please tell me!!  I honestly can remember so vividly my time with her in the hospital as a newborn and that short drive home where I was thinking "oh crap, I'm a mom now...what do I do when we get home?" But thankfully, with lots of prayers, laughs, tears, trying times and joyful moments we have all survived the past 6 years. I love this little girl of mine like no one's business. She is my life and makes my days so much happier. Now that she is in school, I find myself missing the time that I used to get to spend with her on a daily basis and look forward to the weekends and holidays so that I can just be with her more. We are truly two peas in a pod as we are so much alike.
Thank you God for choosing me to be this little girl's mommy. I am blessed beyond measure.

cupcake cake for her kindergarten class at Carmel

Birthday PANcakes

Hannah is Chloe's best friend. They went to Parent's Day Out together since they were 2 and are now in seperate classes in Kindergarten but the rooms are right by each other so they still see one another every day.

Kirk is Chloe's other best friend. They met when she was just 5 months old and he was 10 months old. They too are in seperate Kindergarten classes but see each other a lot.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Christmas Is Coming

So I have never been one to want to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. As a matter of fact, our tradition since getting married has been to put the tree up the weekend after Christmas and watch Christmas Vacation after it goes up. We do that every year.
I am thinking about shaking things up a little this year though. I may put my decorations up THIS WEEK!!! I don't know what has gotten into me, but I am READY. Maybe it's the fact that it's dark by 6 pm now. Maybe it's because it is FINALLY getting cold in Tennessee. And maybe it's just because my kids are super excited and we just LOVE this time of year.  Regardless of the reason, don't be surprised if you drive by my house and it's the one all aglow by the end of the week. And don't be surprised if you are in my car or even in my house and hear Christmas music being played. Eeee!!!!! I am so excited just thinking about it all. I may even let the kids start watching Frosty...which is just crazy because they will want to watch it nonstop from the time I unpack it until I box it back up. They will be singing Frosty until next July!
So, what are your traditions when it comes to Christmas? Do tell.

Besides the decorating, here are the traditions for Team Blevins:
1. Chloe and I go to the Opryland Hotel for 2 nights and see the Rockettes while we are there. This will be our 4th annual trip.
2. Ernie - our Elf on the Shelf
3. Christmas Eve service at church and then we go to the lights at the river and walk through the display and then have our Christmas Eve dinner at...are you sitting down for this....? Wendy's!!!! Ha. That's right. We do it right on Christmas Eve night.
4. Bake cookies on Christmas Eve for Santa and make reindeer food to sprinkle on the lawn before bed.
5. Go shopping for a family in need.
6. Make Christmas Shoe Boxes for the Operation Christmas Child program.
7. Bake cupcakes on Christmas morning and then have a birthday party for Jesus after dinner.
8. Watch The Christmas Story multiple times. Poor Ralphie is going to shoot his eye out! Ha!!!

And I'm sure there are more that my brain won't allow me to think of because it really wants me to go to sleep instead of getting more and more hyped up at this hour.  And with that, I am going to close this computer and go to sleep hopefully dreaming of all things Christmas!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Thoughts...

Here it is. Finally. Election Day 2012. President Obama vs. Gov. Romney. All day long I have had this nervous excitement in my soul. I have teared up at various times throughout the day (my husband said I was a dork because of it) thinking about what a blessing it is that I live in America.

I actually voted last week during early voting because I knew today I would have the children with me since schools are out and I had a doctor's appointment scheduled. As I walked into the polling place last week I actually did shed a few tears. I know, it sounds dumb, but I couldn't help but think about how blessed and privileged I am to live in a country where I can go cast my vote for President and not worry about getting killed on the way in or out. There are so many countries where that happens. Where people can vote, but have to fear for their lives for doing so. And there are many more countries where the citizens have no say at all. My brother happens to be in one of those now. And maybe that is why I'm a little more emotional over this election. Because my little brother puts his life on the line every single day and night to protect and defend our freedoms. He doesn't do it for a "thank you" or for any other reason than the fact that God placed a great desire in his heart to serve this wonderful country that we live in and to serve the citizens. He placed a desire in his heart to fight for what is good, and pure, and just, and honest. He placed courage above and beyond anything I could ever imagine in his innermost being which allows him to be able to go to where the bombs are and take them apart so that another soldier or civilian doesn't get injured. My brother chose to be the bravest of the brave so that he could keep our country as safe as possible and to keep our rights and privileges just that...ours.

For those of you who voted, thank you! Thank you for taking the time to let your voice be heard. Thank you for casting that ballot and not taking our rights as American citizens lightly. And for those of you who consciously chose not to...well, there are no words. None.
Based on the map at the bottom of my blog, I have many readers from around the world and I just want to say that if you are in a country where you are not given the freedoms that Americans are, or you live in fear of death or punishment if you voice your opinion, know that there are people here in the United States who pray for you and care about you deeply. I know that I actually pray for each and every person who reads my two blogs and there are many of my friends that do as well. Hugs to every single one of you and many many prayers of blessings, safety, and happiness to you all.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Looking Forward To...

Here are some things that Team Blevins has planned for the coming weeks and are therefore starting a countdown...

Nov 9th : Girls' Night Out with my "Unglued" Bible Study gals - going to Maggiano's in Nashville
Nov 15th: Chloe's birthday!!! Party at school and then a family party at home
Nov 16th: Thirty-One party and Girls' Night In at my house
Nov. 17th: Food shopping with the kids for a family in need - participating in a "Stock the Cabinet" event for them!!
Nov. 21-24th : Heading to Georgia for Thanksgiving
Nov. 24th: Back from Georgia and begin decorating for Christmas!!!
Nov 30-Dec 2nd: Weekend at Opryland for me and Chloe...our 4th annual girls only Christmas Spectacular weekend
Dec 6th - Girls' Night Out with "Unglued" gals at Patty's Restaurant in Kentucky!!!
Dec 13th - Begin 12 days of Christmas for David
Dec. 24th - Christmas Eve Church Service, the Christmas on the Cumberland

Some non-set-date events that we also have in the works are:
** annual Christmas party for the Chick-fil-A owners in the Clarksville/Nasvhille market area
** annual Christmas party for our CFA team at our house
** Christmas party with several neighbors
** Christmas shopping for a family who is in need.

And all of these things mean there are things to be done:
1. Buy birthday balloons, plates, candles.
2. Wrap gifts
3. Send Thirty One evites out and buy party supplies - beverages, food, cups, and plates
4. Create a Shopping list for the "Stock the Cabinet" event
5. Work on Thanksgiving crafts with the kids
6. Create a "thankful tree"
7. Reserve room and tickets for Opryland trip
8. Get Chloe a Christmas dress and Brody a Christmas outfit
9. Gift for my "secret sister"
10. Christmas shopping for family
11. Christmas crafts - make a list of several to do with the kids and buy supplies
12. Make Christmas mesh wreath for front door
13. Buy Christmas gift for the CFA parties
14. Shopping for Christmas gifts for family in need with the kiddos - get the list of sizes and toy preferences
15. Come up with Elf of the Shelf creative "hiding places" for 30 days worth.
16. Get list idea from Pinterest for the 12 days of Christmas things for David and go shopping

And now I need to get on Pinterest and start my craft list so I can start my supply list and then get to work.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween and All Things Fall

I LOVE fall! Autumn is the best season in my opinion and it makes me so happy. I mean, how can you not be happy when you pull out of your driveway and drive just about 30 seconds before you run smack dab into trees that are orange, yellow, and red. They are GORGEOUS!!! I could stare at them all day and still not get enough. Not to mention the cooler weather. Because of chemotherapy and the cancer pill I am still stuck with taking for another 2 years I have severe hot flashes. Like, the kind that your mom and grandma used to talk about and you thought they were exaggerating. I can promise you that they were NOT lying! They literally feel like your body in on fire on the inside and you can just be hanging on the couch doing nothing when they start. UGH!!! I digress... anyways, cooler weather is GLORIOUS!!! Also, pumpkin patches. Ooooh how I love going to the pumpkin patch with my kids. This year I went with Chloe to the patch with her kindergarten class and I was going to take Brody by himself but he did not want to go. Right then I secretly wondered if he could really be my child...then I remembered that I carried him for 9 months so I just chalked it up to him being like his daddy...even more!
Anyways, I have lots of pictures to share so sit back and be ready to scroll on through to see how our autumn of 2012 is going so far...

David and the kids at our church Trunk or Treat

Brody's best friend, Carter- he was a pirate underneath that coat

The chicken checking out the candy

my small group's "trunk" was from the movie Lorax

At school, Chloe had to dress like a character from a storybook so she chose LadyBug Girl from the book "LadyBug Girl and Bumblebee Boy."

Doing morning work before the Storybook Character Parade

Friends - Abby, Jackson, and Kinsley

Friend - Sean

Friends - Ella and Anna

Mrs. Campbell's kindergarten class

waiting for their turn in the parade

Chloe and Abby

The teachers dressed up too - these were from the Winnie the Pooh books

The kindergarten teachers were Pete the Cat

These were the 3 Little Pigs

And the office staff were all characters from the series of 
books "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie".

Chloe with Mrs Campbell - only THE best Kindergarten teacher in the State of Tennessee - no really, she is and she has the awards to prove it

Mrs Winters, Mrs Campbell, Mrs Tucker, and Mrs Wigington - OH, and I MADE those awesome Pete the Cat shoes. Just some poster board, paint, hot glue, and ribbon...and a whole lot of patience, experimenting and time.

getting ready to "shop" the neighborhood