This is our story....The story of our journey as a family of four

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nothin' but some fun pics

                                                        and so the crazy hats begin....

                                                                    oh my heavens...

                                          this one takes the cake...E's channeling Marge Simpson

                                                                       .simply sweet.

                                    his first tape help his little foot and tooters stay in place


                                                      quite possibly my fav look all nicu...
                                      just getting the hearing test done but it looks like he's jammin'

                                                       it may or may not be true that she had
                                                   a case of the sticky fingers with those glasses

                                                     family picture at the zoo... minus baby E

                                             it took her all night to get her hair to look like that

                                                        so snazzy in her new sunglasses

                                                  no surprise that blue is her favorite color

                                                     clearly she didn't want her picture taken

                                                       right before the "island" egg hunt

                                   well, at least this year she found more eggs than pine cones

                                          nothing like a scraped knee to start off spring/summer

Monday, April 19, 2010

Home again, Home again...jiggity jig

Well, I have been trying to come up with some snazzy fantastic title for this weeks blog and that's the best I could's what my mom always said whenever we pulled in our driveway when we were the wee ones, so it seemed fitting :)  We have actually been home for well over a week now and let me tell you it has been fantastic!  We arrived home on Saturday, April 10th at around 5:30pm.....Welcome Home Easton...or welcome to the zoo, and literally what a zoo it was, our 3 dogs and cat were there to welcome us all home, the only one missing was Caidence.  She was at Kane and Amy's because we still had some loose ends at the hospital that Code and I had to tie up together so she had to have a sleep over with the cousins. 

So there we were getting settled in and anxiously awaiting the arrival of sissy....and when she finally arrived she was passed out, and we couldn't get her to wake up for anything lol!  It was kind of unbelievable just how tuckered she was.  So we welcomed our visitors and shared our lil sweet pea with our family and we were just able to relax.  Off to bed we went around 11 and yes, Nae was still sleeping.  To be honest I was feeling kind of bummed that she wasn't going to meet her brother that day, but it's not like he wouldn't be there the following morning to greet her.  Easton woke up at 3:30 that morning and he was doing his normal hungry cry and as I got him out of his bed and sat back down in ours and I heard this little voice say..."mom, dinkie"  I looked over and she was awake....FINALLY!! And she wanted her little brother to have his binkie.  I flashed her a huge smile and said "Nae, meet your lil brother...Easton".....then she flashed me an even bigger smile and said "Deas".  Melt my heart...and as I was sitting their embracing the two of them meeting for the first time, poor dada was in the bathroom with a bloody nose...just the luck!  So then, as a family, we all headed downstairs so E could eat and Caidence could really take a good look at her new baby brother.

Such a sweet night it was, and even though it may not have played out exactly as I had imagined it, it was beautiful.  We all stayed up for a good hour or so just playing, and she would pop over to take a good look at her brother every now and then, but it felt like she knew exactly who he was all along.  It was apparent that I wasn't the only one who created a bond with Easton while he was in my belly. 

Things have been going so well for us since we've been home...we've been able to just relax and enjoy our time together.  There are times when things get a little hairy, but we just work through them.  Code went back to work on Monday, and I'm sure they were happy to have him back, and he was happy to be back. Caidence is such a big helper with him.  She's all about helping with everything, even nursing, which I'm not gonna lie, that gets a little interesting, but still her favorite thing is helping him with his binkie.  She loves to hold him, but doesn't love it when her blankie is anywhere near her baby brother.  I guess she'll share her mama but not her blankie, lol.  I will say that she did tell Easton that my lap was her's..."no Deas, it's Nae's" were her exact words to him, but that's when I told her that I had 2 legs, 1 for each of them. Silly girl, she's still getting pretty fancy with her daily outfits, even Steve the candy man commented on them when we were outside one day :)

As for Easton....the traveling nurse came out on Monday and he weighed 6lbs,and he had his first check up with Dr. Kahn on Wednesday and everything went wonderfully, and he was 6lbs 2.5oz.....then on Friday when his nurse came back he was 6lbs 4.5oz....he's a growing boy, what can I say!  Wednesday he was 8 weeks old, and yesterday he was officially 2mos old.  (I still get confused with the weeks and months....what do you go by?!)  He is loving home though...he gets to snack whenever he wants to, and sissy and him play on a blanket on the floor all the time.  He's just so wonderful...he is actually laying on my lap right now...and that is quite a fantastic thing!  The only hang up is the monitor/oxygen situation, it's a little cumbersome but nothing to complain about...he needs it, and we are home!  He's actually only needed the oxygen a couple times, and he still bradi's often, especially when he eats but he's working on it. I did get a half grin out of him on Thursday which was adorable, but I'm still not counting that as his first real smile.  We had a meeting with EI on Friday, and are now just waiting for his PT to call to set up a time for her to come out to the house to start therapy.  I am still taping his left foot to help the positioning of it, so I'm hoping she wants to continue that or has a better option to keep his foot at more of a right angle instead of it dangling. 

As far as our week ahead, just more falling into our routine- that is if we ever find one.  We are headed back up to Buffalo on the 20th to get his stitches out.  They kept them in for a little longer due to the fact that they had to open up the shunt site so many times, but I will say it is healing beautifully...he is healing beautifully.  He is just so sweet everytime I look at him I just want to kiss him....and most of the time I do just that!   

To all of are all amazing.  You have no idea what your love, support and prayers mean to all of us.  It feels so good to know that Easton is loved by so many, and I know that I've said this before but thank you all for everything. have no idea what it means to our little family.  Life is good for us, I have never felt more blessed...Love my husband and everything he does for us...Love my kiddos and all of the wonderfulness they bring to our lives...just love my really couldn't be more beautiful.

And finally a few more fun pics!   <3 to all from the Rapp fam


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Packin' it up and Movin' on

Well, as it seems, we are on the tail end of our NICU adventure.....phew.  I say adventure because what an experience it has been.  We've been up and down, and down, and then up....sometimes maybe even sideways, but it looks like we are about to be up...up and out the door with no looking back.  Let me rewind a little bit since I've been such a slacker lately with updating you all.

On Good Friday (April 2nd) Easton got his "big boy shunt", and what a big boy he has been since that.  Things couldn't have gone better that day for our lil man, well minus the fact that I set my alarm for 6 and never turned it on and didn't wake up until 7:30.....out of all the days, but we made it to his bedside with plenty of time to spare, but of course we did, it was GOOD FRIDAY after all.  What could really go wrong.  We got the call at 11:11am to wheel him on down to the OR....good timing I thought, and yes, I am still one to make a wish when 11:11 comes around- what does it hurt?!  Like all of the other surgeries we left him after meeting with Easton's OR "team" (he doesn't really have an OR team, but 4 out of 5 surgeries, he's had the exact same people in the OR right down to the nurse, so I think it's only fair to refer to them as his team :) ).  As we walked out those extra wide doors and headed to our seats in the waiting room I felt like dancing.  I felt relieved, I wanted to celebrate....that's not saying that I wasn't worried and was hoping and praying that this would be his last trip, but I knew that he would be just fine.  And he was.   

To us, and I'm sure to Easton the worst part of surgery is the whole waking up process while intubated.  This is always the hardest part.  Watching him struggle and try to cry but nothing comes out, and us knowing that he is ready to be extubated but the Dr's having to wean him off the vent.  They wonder if he's in pain, or if he's just really ticked that he has a tube down his throat.  Me, I know that my baby is ticked.  At one point I just wanted to reach down and pull it out myself...but I'm pretty sure that would get me ticked out of the NICU and really where would that get me?  Luckily for me though our lil sweets decided he had enough and extubated himself.  Yes, he's done this before but this time he couldn't pull out his tubes with his hands...he just bucked it our of place.  As we all sat there and watched him, we started to hear a faint cry, and that's when Danielle, his night nurse ran and got respiratory......and indeed the tube was no longer where it should've been.  That lil genius of ours.
                                            one day out...and still having trouble with the hats!

He amazes me. Us.  The determination that this little boy has is unreal.  As each day goes on he continues to to push and show us more and more of just who Easton is.  It's amazing what a big boy shunt can do for a baby.  He cries when he's hungry.  I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but I mean he cries...he demands food.  He never really did that before, and I love that when he wants something or needs something he lets the whole Birch room know it here at the NICU.  I love that he uses his voice, I hope that he continues to do so throughout his life.  I never want him to just sit back quietly and let his needs or wants pass by.  I don't want that for any of my kiddos.

I would say that his favorite thing right now is to check out the NICU.  I turn him around and sit him up on my lap and he just looks...he looks for hours (okay maybe only 2- 2.5 hours at a time, but that's a long time for a wee one) and he loves to be held, and to get his chubby cheeks pinched and or kissed.  Maybe he doesn't love that so much, but I sure do love doing it to him!  He's so sweet, and I can't wait for you all to meet him. And that brings us to the even sweeter part.....

Home.  Yes home is on the horizon for the Rapp Family!  Nae will finally really know what it's like to be a big sister, and for the first time ever...EVER... we will all be able to be in the same room together :)  We don't have an exact date yet but within days.  On Friday we will be setting up a time for our home oxygen to get set up, and after that we will have monitor training.  From there on out we just sit and wait for them to give us the go.  We are really hoping that it will be sometime this weekend :)  I can not wait to be able to spend my days with both of my babies (and daddy too when he's not working).  I want to just live, just be home- be able to able to take pictures of "Nae" and "Deas" together, be on our own schedule, get into our own routine.  Just be us.

I can not believe that we will be home just shy of Easton's 2 month birthday.  We never imagined that we would be here for so long.  NICU is hard.  It's can break you wears on you, it's it's own little world, it can consume you.  Although it is an amazing place and it does amazing things for our babies that need extra care it also put it bluntly..... we have met amazing nurses and doctors, and they have cared for our little boy in ways that we were not able to do, and for that we will be forever grateful.  But at the same token, I feel like we have lost the first 2 months with Easton....were we there every day with him, holding him when I could, talking to him, loving him, feeding him...absolutely, but it's different.  It's manageable, and even enjoyable at times...but different.  I just can't wait to get home..can you tell?

I can honestly say that Caidence has absolutely with out a doubt benefited from our time in Buffalo.  For starters, she has a surrogate family.....Geoff, Cherie, Charleigh and Quin- we do not know what we would have ever done without you guys.  Caidence is going to go through withdrawl when we are home....the cousins are going to have to step it up...she's not going to know what to do without all of her new friends.  She has really come out of her shell....she used to walk in the kitchen at the Ronald McDonald house with her hand over her eyes if anyone tried to talk to her.  Not only would she not respond, she would sometimes even she runs around like she owns the place telling everyone she sees a little story.  She's so much more outgoing which is a wonderful thing to see.  She's not afraid anymore.  She's2 now...and acting like it.  Yes with a little sass, but the independence is what I'm talking about.  Nae has her own opinion about things, and sometimes compromising is hard for her, but we are working on it and she is doing really well.  Also, Caidence is quite the fashionista...think SJP meets baby gap/target....It's quite the statement to say the least.  Her hair is always a mess and shes apparently big into layering various articles of clothing, with a million colors and patterns.  Yes, she is somewhat of a hot mess.....but it's her, and we love her and her snazzy self!   She's had a wonderful time in Buffalo, and I'm sure she'd be willing to come back anytime.

That's it for now....<3 from the rapp's!