Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Three Month MRI and 6 wk Post Op Appt.

Our morning started off a bit rocky...Gavin woke up early and was not in the mood to take a 2 hour ride in his car seat to Gainesville, but what choice did we have? Our trip to Shands today was very important, as all of our trips are, but today was extra important. It was a important to me because we were going to learn if the tumor at the bottom of Jacob's brain stem had changed or grown and Jacob was going to meet with Dr. Pincus to have his 6 week post operative check up. These appointments were a big deal to Jacob for different reasons. He was going to find out if he could go hunting with Pop Dana this weekend and resume his normal activities.

On the way to G-ville I managed to make several necessary phone calls and make my mom very nervous about my driving and talking on the phone in the process. I did get needed information from the Division of Blind Services (whole different story) and I did find out that Jacob's MRI wasn't where I thought it was going to be (there are two different places Jacob goes for MRIs). I also found out that the orders they had on file didn't call for contrast. Jacob's MRIs always call for scanning without and with contrast. So after another call to the neuro surgeon's office that was straightened out.

We arrived at MRI early and they took Jacob back within 10 minutes. After changing into his gown, Jacob informed me that he wasn't in the mood for an IV today and he shed a few tears. After the "it's always worse in your head pep talk" Jacob willingly went to have his scan. They took pictures without and with contrast and Jacob said the nurse tech who placed the IV for contrast didn't hurt him at all. My mom, aka Nana sat with Jacob the entire time and she said Jacob sat perfectly still. Brave Young man. Everything went just as it was supposed to go and we were in and out of MRI within just a little over an hour.

Next Jacob had his post op appointment. As usual we met with the nurse, then a resident and then Dr. Pincus, who said Jacob looks fantastic! Also Jacob is now over 5'3 ft tall and officially taller than his mama! Dr. Pincus also reviewed the scans Jacob had just had and said the tumor in question, at the bottom of the brain stem does NOT look like it has grown or changed. Whew!! Fireworks, let's cheer. Great news and answered prayers. We will be toting the prayer blanket crocheted for Jacob from the ladies at Good Shepard with us everywhere. I do have to call on Monday to confirm Dr. Pincus' opinion with the radiology doctor's report, but Dr. Pincus was very confident in his findings.

The other good news we received was that Jacob can go hunting, ride roller coasters and fly on airplanes. TD was thrilled to know Jacob can once again take out the trash. I was also very happy that Dr. Pincus said that once Jacob starts his scans and appointments at NIH we can bring those scans home and Shands can put them in their system. If Shands is happy with the NIH scans then Jacob will only have to have the scans at NIH. There were a few questions I forgot to address, but I will save them for next time. By the time we saw Dr. Pincus Gavin was no longer happy and the little Captain Cranky Pants I put in the car seat that morning had returned. G did finally pass out as I was running around the hospital trying to get the surgery records and recent scan copies for NIH. That was a much needed nap!

For those of you who don't know we finally got our dates for Jacob's first trip to The National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD to participate in the 5 year NF2 study there. Jacob, Gavin and I will be leaving November 29 and returning on December 5. I will take notes and hopefully blog all about it when we get home.

For now though we are excited about Chason spending the night with us tomorrow, Granma Gina visiting this weekend, Jacob going hunting with Pop Dana and Gavin's 1st Halloween next weekend.

Thank you, Thomas for helping me get Brie to and from school today and taking such good care of her. I'm so lucky I have you. You are precious to me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Half a Year Gavin!!

Happy Half a Year Gavin!!

Today we celebrated Gavin turning 6 months old.

(Thanks for the idea Heather!)

After stopping for sodas at the gas mart, Publix for the cupcakes, and Michael's for the "motor" for Jacob's rockets we arrived at Tom Brown Park around noon. Even though there were a lot of people at the park we were still able to find a nice pavilion to have our picnic lunch TD made for us. TD hung Gavin's Happy birthday decorations and unpacked our lunch. Gavin and I were on bug patrol, pointing out to TD any bugs that needed to be "removed" before Gavin and I could settle in for the party. We waited for Nana and Papa Ken to arrive. It had not turned out to be the "sunny in the low 70s" day our always right weather person promised us. It was freezing! Even the wasps TD had to squish were frozen, but we were determined to make the best of a very special day.

Nana and Papa arrived with Gavin 1st balloon. He loved it. Nana tied it to Gavin's wrist and he watched it all afternoon. After eating lunch I enjoyed watching my big boys chase each other with cans of silly string. We then packed up our picnic and headed to the van to warm up. While I thawed out TD and Jacob built Jacob's rocket and missile. About 30 minutes later we headed to the top of the hill, in the middle of the Frisbee golf course. Shooting off the rockets was awesome! We did a countdown and everything. It was even fun looking for the parachute parts in the trees after each launch. Later the boys played woofer ball while Gavin took a nap in the grass on our quilt.

It was the best happy half a year ever!!

On Monday Gavin had his 6 month appointment with our primary doctor, Julie Kelch. My baby boy weighs 17 lbs 8 oz and is 27 1/2 inches tall. He is in the 75 percentile for a breastfed baby and is super healthy. Gavin has reached all the milestones of a 6 month old baby and then some. He has been sitting on his own for over a month and is now getting up on his hands and knees rocking. He also knows his name, is curious to what is being said around him and is incredibly social. Gavin is throwing down toys and objects to watch them fall and to see what happens once they do. He is passing objects from hand to hand and using both hands to hold things. He is also getting things out of his reach by scooting and rolling and he is feeding himself bitter biscuits. Busy Busy.

I love this age. Everything is new and exciting to Gavin. He brings new life to everything for me. He has so much personality. He is so amazing. I can never say enough how in love I am with him and how happy he makes me. and as I will say over and over again, I am so blessed to have Gavin, Jacob, Brie and TD!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Brie's Incredible Edible Animal Cell

Brie's Science Research class was studying plant and animal cells. They had an assignment to create an Incredible Edible Cell - plant or animal. Brie chose to do an animal cell.
Brie and TD talked about the best way to create an edible animal cell (it could only be 15 mm), they made a grocery list and Brie and I went shopping. After buying $20.00 worth of sweets we were ready to create the most fabulous and yummy animal cell.
We cooked a huge sugar cookie to use as the base and placed a half purple gumball stuffed with a jelly bean in the middle for the nucleus/nucleolus. Red pixie stix sugar was used for cell membrane, blue pixie stix sugar for the cytoplasm and jelly beans were the mitochondria. We also used oriental noodles for the cytoskeleton, skittles for the lysosomes, fruit rollups dusted with blue pixie stix for the golgi bodies and fruit rollups with blue sprinkles as the endoplasmic reticulum and ribosomes.
Brie and I had a lot of fun making the cell. We made a huge mess in the kitchen and dinning area, we gave ourselves tummy aches from eating too much candy and I managed to burn myself with the hot glue gun. It was all worth it.
Brie won 2nd place in her class!!!
TD and I are are/ were very proud of Brie for creating an awesome Incredible Edible Animal Cell!!!