Friday, May 29, 2009

Home Again

We were finally discharged this morning! Yay! We are at home now, just waiting for the home care people to show up with Anslie's pump. (yawn) And then the work will begin. We are definitely moving to NM next week. We will leave town on Friday, so we have a lot of packing to do! Not fun. Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone again for your thoughts, prayers, visits, and concern. Having your support made this ordeal much more bearable!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let the feeding frenzy begin!

Anslie's biopsy results came back normal so that is really encouraging. It looks like all that is wrong with her is a bad case of GERD (acid reflux). Basically, it hurts to eat so she just doesn't. Or doesn't eat more than enough to curb her hunger. Very sad. She has trained herself to starve because that feels better than eating food. It breaks my heart.

Unfortunatley Anslie lost weight from her last weigh in so she now has a feeding tube (or NG tube). It was rough having to hold her down while they inserted it into her nose and down to her stomach. She had her first feeding this morning and slept through most of it. She tolerated 5oz of the formula and still ate half a cookie when she woke up from her nap. That's encouraging! She will get 5 oz of formula 4 times per day. This will hopefully give her the nutrients she needs to pack on some weight (so we can get the heck out of here) and also stretch her stomach out a little bit so that she can stand to eat more in one sitting.

We hope that with the help of the forced feedings we can get her home by Sunday at the latest. They want to leave the tube in for another month after that, just to make sure she is getting what she needs, as well as learns that food really is her friend. The good news is that the equipment should be easy to operate and we will need little more than a few check ups with a pediatrician to monitor her weight gain. This means that we can move forward with our plans to move to NM.

Right now, Kevin is scheduled to start at the academy on June 8th. If we get home from the hospital by Sunday, that will give us roughly 5 days to get our stuff packed and get on the road, 2 days for travel, and then we will be in our new "home sweet home" of Roswell, NM.

Kevin's last day of work is tonight. He took some vacation time to help pack up the house and to make arrangements for our move. We will be taking turns staying with Anslie in the hospital and packing at home. It's going to be quite a feat to accomplish, but we are anxious to move on with our life, and happy that Anslie will be healthy enough for us not to worry about her.

Things are starting to look up, even though we still have another 2-4 days here in the hospital. Again, visitors are welcome! And, you can bring your kiddos too! Anslie would love to see some her old friends! We are at Rady Children's Hospital, room 243. Visiting hours are 9am to 8pm!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Still Here

Well, we had high hopes of going home today, only to have them crushed by an elusive GI. Both the pediatrician and the Nutritionist said this morning that, even though some test results were still pending, they didn't see why we couldn't wait for them at home. But, it's now after 3pm and we still haven't heard from the GI. The only thing that I have heard is that they were thrilled with her weight gain day before yesterday, a weight gain that she did not duplicate a second day, although she hasn't lost any weight either. At this point, no discharge papers have been issued and I am...tired.

So, I think we are stuck here yet another night - our 9th night here. My back is screaming from sleeping on the rock-hard fold out "bed" - the kind that starts as a comfy looking chair and then turns into a very uncomfortable cot.

Anslie is pretty frustrated here as well. She says "sigh" and points to the patio outside of our room, begging to play in the fresh air. We go for a little while, but there isn't much to hold her attention out there. Fortunately the play room opened up again today and the attendants are sweet to play with Anslie, something I can't quite find the energy to do right now.

Sleeping is rough on both of us, especially with nurses, doctors, and janitors who have perfect timing for coming in our room right when we are trying to catch some zzz's. Annoying. And the banging, talking, laughing, sirens, life flights, crying, doors slamming, and chairs scraping never ceases. 24 hours a day. Yuck.

Anyway, I don't mean to sound blue, but this hospital stay is getting old. I am just grateful that there is an end in sight for us, something that some of these kids don't have to look forward to. It makes you realize how lucky you really are.

Visitors are welcome. Visiting hours are between 8am and 8pm.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Something good...

The GI came to talk to us this morning and told us that the results from Anslie's pH test came back and they showed that she has a pretty severe case of acid reflux. This may not sound like good news to you, but I am thrilled! Mostly that the docs were able to find something. They said that for a normal person, they would expect a few blips a couple times in an hour on the acidic side of the pH scale, but Anslie's was really volatile and constantly jumping to the acidic side. Poor baby.

The reason why this is good news is that if the reason Anslie isn't gaining weight is due to GERD, it's an easy problem to fix. They prescribed a reflux medication for her, one she has been on in the past, just a very aggressive dose, to knock the acid out. They were pleased that Anslie was continuing to eat while she was experiencing the reflux, so the GI has high hopes that with the help of the meds, she will start to feel better, will then eat more, her weight will increase, and then we can go home. And they said this could all be possible without having to put a feeding tube in her. (phew) Time will tell, but we have breathed a hugh sigh of relief for now.

We are still waiting for the results from her biopsy which will confirm the reflux, and will also let the docs know if there is anything else going on. There is still a possiblity she is is having trouble with some food allergies, but this will all be revealed in the test results. I am anxious to find out what they found, if anything, and move on with living our life. It's hard to see my baby stuck in a hospital room when she should be having fun and playing outside and with friends.

We are probably going to be at the hospital through Tuesday so they can monitor her progress with the reflux meds, dietary supplements, and weight. That should get us through until we get her biopsy results, and then....we'll see.

I am feeling a little more positive today because we have gotten something out of this whole ordeal. And if all that's wrong is reflux, as I said before, it's a fairly easy fix. There is hope that life will return to normal soon. :)

Thanks for all of the prayers. We feel your love and concern and we really appreciate it!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Latest News

The two previous posts were emails that I sent out to family and friends. I was made aware that some of you didn't get it, so I decided to post the info on my blog. The first post was orignally written on Tuesday, the second on Wednesday.

So, here is where we are at today:

Anslie underwent her endoscopy yesterday. It seemed to be a fairly easy procedure, only taking about 30 minutes. The GI told us that everything looked normal in her esophagus and stomach. I was relieved, and not. The only abnormality they found was in her upper intestinal tract. There were little white spots, spots that the GI said we all have, but that were unusually pronounced in Anslie's intestins. They biopsied her esophagus, stomach, intestins, and these little white spots. No explanation was given about what these little white spots could be, only that they could possibly be the reason why Anslie isn't gaining weight, but probably have nothing to do with her aversion to food. We are now waiting for the results of the biopsy.

In the meantime, they have placed a pH probe through her nose, down her throat, and into her stomach for a 24 hr study. They will be monitoring her pH levels to see if acid reflux is an issue. I feel like they aren't going to find anything, considering Anslie has been eating really well the last couple of days.

This is the kicker. The docs are going to try and start Anslie on a supplemental formula to help her gain some weight quickly. When asked when we could go home, they told us that she could not be released from the hospital until she gained some weight. (She has lost a little weight since we have been here.) I was a little taken back because, with Anslie's track record, to me that meant we could be here for a very long time. The doc told us that if she refused the supplement or if it didn't help her gain weight then they would put a feeding tube in her to force it down her. Very upsetting, but necessary, I guess. (We should expect to be here until Tuesday.)

I told the doc about our situation with plans to move to NM and she seemed really worried about that, telling us that Anslie's weight issues would probably not be solved for more that 4-6 weeks, with the help of the feeding tube and an OT. She recommended that we either plan to stick around here until Anslie's condition is under control, or that we should put the feeding tube in, get her weight up, and then move to NM immediately and turn her treatment over to the Pediatric GI's there (in Albuquerque -- which will be over 3 hours away from where we will be living).

I'm not sure what to do. Anslie comes first, but Kevin needs to keep his job. We have high hopes that his boss will write a letter to the Academy and get another extension for Kevin. We'll see. I will update more when I have more info.

Update about Anslie

Anslie's little arm is doing much better. The swelling has gone down tremendously and it doesn't seem to bother her at all. She ate a little breakfast this morning and I have been successful in getting some fluids into her. No IV! Yay! The OT came by again today to watch Anslie eat lunch and she said that it looks like once we figure out Anslie's GI issues, she should be good to go. She doesn't have any behavioral aversions to foods and will eat a good variety of textures. The GI came by today too. After reviewing Anslie's medical records and performing a rectal exam, they have decided to scope her. That will be done some time on Friday. Anslie will be put under general anesthesia for the procedure. Depending on what they find, they may also put some kind of device in her stomach and esophagus to monitor her pH levels to see if the GERD really is still bothering her. The only other complication that has happened is that Anslie has a UTI so we did an ultrasound to see what was going on with her bladder and kidneys. No news back yet on that, so I suspect that "no news is good news".That being said, we will be at the hospital through Friday, possible into Saturday. Visitors are welcome! We are in room 243 at Rady Children's Hospital. Unfortunately I lost my cell phone charger so you can get ahold of us at Kevin's number (he got home from NM today) at 619-947-9560 or you can call the hospital and they can patch you through to our room. I don't really have a specific time to tell you when to come by if you are interested because Anslie's nap schedule is all messed up. Plus, the docs and nurses are in and out, so if you do want to stop by, please be patient and understand if we need to keep the visit short. Thanks again for your prayers and well-wishes. It means a lot to us! Oh-- and one more thing: Because of what is going on with Anslie, Kevin was able to get a short extension on his report date for the academy. The new date is June 8th, so we have an extra week and a half. Love,Shillawna

What has been going on

For those of you who don't already know, I brought Anslie to the emergency room at around 11am Monday morning. After a week of her struggling to eat and drink, irritability, cough, runny nose, and a mild fever, she woke up Monday with a fever of 102.7. Under the direction of her pediatrician she was admitted to Rady Children's Hospital for further evaluation. It has been determined that she has pneumonia (again). We will be spending another night in the hospital so that she can meet with a specialist that we had a previously scheduled appointment with (a gastroenterologist) to hopefully get some answers as to why she isn't gaining weight etc. Anslie is doing much better today. She is alert and the Occupational Therapist got her to eat a lot of food this afternoon (her first real meal in several days). Unfortunately it seems that Anslie got a tummy ache from eating so much, possibly related to her GI problems, and she has had a rough afternoon. As a result from her thrashing around for a few hours from her discomfort, she knocked her IV loose and the fluids were draining from her IV into her subcotaneous tissue instead of her veins, causing her hand and most of her right arm to become VERY swollen and tender. Currently the IV is out of Anslie's arm and the doctors will be administering her antibiotics through a shot. :( As long as I can get her to drink fluids (which is already proving to be a challenge) I don't think they are going to have to put the IV back in. Tomorrow Anslie will meet with the Occupational Therapist again (she is checking out Anslie's ability to swallow and see if she might be aspirating food or liquids, which could have caused the pneumonia) and we are hoping she will meet with the Gastroenterologist as well. We are particularly interested in meeting with this specialist because both Anslie's pediatrician and the Allergist she saw last week expect that he will be able to figure out Anslie's "failure to thrive" issues. Particularly, they will be investigating to find out if Anslie is still affected by GERD (acid reflux) or another GI disease called Eosinophilic Esophogitis. I have high hopes that we will be in the right hands tomorrow. Meanwhile, Anslie and I are just hanging around her hospital room waiting for her to get better. We appreciate all of the concern, phone calls, text messages, offers for food etc. It feels great to know that we are cared about! I don't know if I will have access to this computer tomorrow, but I will send another update when I can. Hugs and Kisses,-S

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best Face Picture far I haven't been faring very well with these contests I have been entering in... BUT, I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to view other photographer's work, and have some feedback on mine. That alone is worth entering :) This week's contest is really exciting! We're supposed to enter our best face photo ever and the winners will be published in an Blurb book. This is my "Best Face Photo" ever:

Make sure you visit the link above (or below) to look at everyone else's entries! (PS- Thanks again, Kenna, for being such a great model!)

I am submitting this photo into the Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting I Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I Faces web sites.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some BIG Changes

I just wanted to officially let everyone know that Kevin, Anslie, and I will temporarily be moving to New Mexico fairly soon. Kevin will finish his certification for becoming an instructor at the BP academy on Tuesday and we are expecting his transfer almost immediately after that. I will give more information out once we have it, but I just thought I would prepare everyone for the change.

We are excited for the opportunities this new job will offer our family! Along with some extra income, the experience will be invaluable for Kevin. This change will require some sacrifices -- like the beautiful San Diego weather, friends, familiarity, and the convenience of having anything we could possibly want within a short distance of our home. But we have weighed and measured (and prayed a lot) and have decided this is the right thing for us to do at this time.

We will dearly miss all of our wonderful friends here in San Diego. We will dearly miss San Diego, too. The greatest consolation is knowing that this is only a temporary transfer, and we will only be gone for 11 months at the longest.

Feel free to send me an email or give me a call if you want more details...I'm happy to share the (little) information I have!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

iheartfaces contest entry

Okay, guys- here are my entries for this week's contest. The theme was laughter. I know I have shared these pics (some recently) on my blog before, but here they are again for an encore presentation:

Check our to see all of the other entries from the other very talented photographers.

Birthday Party

Anslie and I went to her little friend, Braxton's, 1st Birthday party last night. Tiffany (Braxton's mommy) did such a great job with everything! The food was soooo good - it looked like she had hired a caterer. There was another birthday party going on at the park too and they had one of those giant air bouncers. They were finished using it so they offered it to the kids in our group. Plus, Cessily, another friend of ours, had just found a mini air bouncer at a yard sale and brought that for all of the babies to bounce in. There were so many people at the party and it made realize how lucky we are that we are surrounded by such a large group of people who share our values and genuinley care about us. Here are a few of my favorite pics from Braxton's party:

The group (well, part of it, anyway...)
Anslie's friend, Ashlynn
The Anglesey Family
Anslie enjoying bday cake
Catherine and Ashlynn, our partners in crime!
Anslie decided that if Braxton wasn't going to open his gifts, then she was!
This is Fenwey. He's Braxton's doggy. He loved to have this hat on. Can't you tell?
Braxton liked his cake too!
This little boy is so dang cute! If Kev and I ever have a boy, I hope he looks like Braxton!
Proud mama and the birthday boy.
Anslie in the baby air bouncer. She liked it, I think?

Dear Diane...

I am really sad that you moved! I wanted to share a few things with you and everyone else that I have come to love about you, my dear friend Diane:

I love that you are always excited to learn new things. It makes me want to learn new things too.

I love that you are so accepting of others, even if they don't share the same religious, political, or social views with you.

I love that you are strong and decisive. It makes others feel secure when they are around you.

I love that you are (very) artistic, and not always in the traditional way. It's helped me to see beauty in ways that I never could before.

I also love that even though you are (very) artistic, you can can pull back and look at life in a more analytical way. You're balanced and that makes it easy to be your friend.

I love that you are quick to laugh and that you don't care what others think of you.

I love that you are willing to help others in their time of need, even if it means extra work on your part.

I love that you always ask so many questions. Not only does it make others feel like they are interesting and important, it also makes them explore the "why's" in their own reality.

I love that you have encouraged me to pursue my life-long passion of photography and have given me the tools to be successful with it.

I love that I know I can tell you the truth about anything without being judged or mocked.

I love that you are my friend and I know that we will be friends, no matter how far apart we live.

I wish you all the best in your new life and in all of your endeavors. I have really had a good time getting to know you and will always cherish the fun times we had together! And we all know you will be back down to Chula Vista to visit, even if you say you won't :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Messing Around with Texture

There is a blog which I have been following that a friend of mine got me hooked on. It's called and I like it because it's all things photography. And that's right up my alley! Each week there is a contest for the best photo portraying a certain topic. This is my entry for this week's topic, "hats". I was also playing around with some texture to give it an interesting aged look. I am not sure if it's successful or not, but it was fun to do nonetheless.
PS - I will be posting my entries on my blog from time to time. Take a peak if you're interested.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cinco De Mayo

On Saturday we went up to Old Town for their Cinco De Mayo Fiesta. It wasn't as cool as I thought it would be, but it was still really nice to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine, the breeze, and some very delicious Mexican food. (Don't worry-we made sure to eat at a restaurant and not the street vendors so that we didn't get swine flu:) I was surprised at the small turn out, probably for that very reason. There is normally 6.5 million attendees and when we were there, there was probably only a few thousand. You could tell the restaurants were prepared for a larger turnout because we had our food LITERALLY within 5 minutes of ordering it. Can't complain. Here's out pics:
Anslie liked her butterfly tiara.
This guy's hat was HUGE!
One of our fave Mexican restaurants in Old Town. Check out Anslie's cool tattoo!
Anslie and a caballero.
This was the tallest horse I have ever seen. Just beautiful!

Forgot about Easter!

I was looking through my memory cards yesterday and realized I'd forgotten to do anything with our Easter pictures. It's a little after the fact, but I guess it's better late than never, right?

Easter was quiet for us. When Anslie woke up, she opened her basket which was filled with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a glow in the dark necklace, and candy, which mom happily helped her eat.

We had a small Easter egg hunt and then attempted to feed the dyed eggs to Anslie for breakfast. That didn't go over well, so we made pancakes instead. Then it was time for church, a video chat with grandma and grandpa, dinner, and bed. Happy Easter.

Random Pictures

I just liked these random pictures of Anslie taken while driving in the car. She's cute. I'm in love. What more can I say?

Advetures at Dana Point

This weekend, some friends of ours, Brandon and Andrea Kirk and their 3 cutie-pie kids, came for a visit from Utah. They lived down the street from us when we lived in Spanish Fork and Brandon was the realtor who helped us sell our townehome when we moved to CA. We met up with them on Friday at Dana Point to climb on the rocks and poke around the tide pools at the beach. It was really nice to catch up with them! I love it when you can get together with old friends after not having spent any time with them for a while and it feels like you were never separated. I think that's when you know you are true friends. Friendship withstands the test of time. Here are a few pics from our adventures at Dana Point.

Anslie found a dog she liked.
Caiden and Katelyn (sorry if I spelled their names wrong!)
We found a lot of cool sea life!

Kev and Anslie enjoying the warmth. It was hot, actually!
Lucky to live here!

Brandon and his babies.
Ruffner family portrait.
I LOVE baby toes in the sand! This is baby Adelyn (again, sorry if I spelled her name wrong!) and her daddy.
Maneuvering the rocks.
Andrea and Katelyn
Me and Andrea
Anslie wasn't so sure about sitting on the rocks by herself.
The MEN. (and the girls)

Dad and Anslie...again. When do I get to be in one of these pics? j/k :)
The Kirk Family.
Our cute friends. Hope you had fun, guys!
Daddies helping babies.

Ans loved climbing through the rubble.
Super dad!

Poking a Sea Hare (sea slug).