Monday, December 31, 2007

Dad helps out

My dad is a goof ball. In fact, he has the same hairline as Lilly!

He came over today and held Lilly for a couple of hours while Cindy slept and I baked cookies.

The cookies turned out OK, and Cindy got a three hour nap.

Tonight we are on our own, will probably ring in the new year by sleeping.

Here's to 2008.


Great news

No blood test today.

The doctor took one look at Lilly and said she was looking better.

Friday she goes in again for another blood test -- the two week test that all babies get -- and then we will have hard evidence that the jaundice is going away.

We both got some sleep last night, Violet is doing great too.

Today is good.

I will update later with a picture or two and write more when I am in the mood.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lilly on display

Lilly stares down Grandma at church this morning.

My brother-in-law and his wife (Dwight and Rica) had a small wedding reception at my in-law's church in Oregon City.

I don't know if it's just me, but Lilly is looking a little less yellow. Could just be me. Anyway, after church we came home and Cindy, Violet and Lilly slept, while I watched the Raider game.

Lilly slept on my chest while I sat on the couch and watched the game. Every time I tried to put her down, she cried. I can think of worse things to do on a Sunday afternoon. Yeah, the Raider lost again, but at least I got some good baby time.

Tomorrow is another trip to the doctor and lab for another blood test. Hopefully her numbers are way down and we can stop this daily ritual of doctors and blood tests.

New Year's Day is the Marsh family Christmas, so I will be in Colton in the afternoon, so we probably won't be seeing midnight.

Violet is doing great and enjoyed going to my in-law's church. They made crowns and this just continued to fuel the princess dream she is living. :)

Well, off to make steaks. One of the benefits of having an anemic wife.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

A normal day

Lilly still looks like a character on The Simpson's, but there is some good news. They way I understand it, jaundice starts at the head and works down the body. So if you look at her hands, you can see they look normal, so that's good news. Right?

I may be jinxing myself, but today it's 2:25 p.m. and so far, no major issues or drama or even problems. Heck the kids are even behaving today.

Cindy, the dreamboat that she is, let me sleep for 10 hours last night. Yes 10!

Cindy herself got 5, and is going to take a nap now. Her dad is coming over and I am helping him with some photos for my brother-in-law's wedding reception tomorrow. He was married a year ago in New Jersey and this is the first time he has been back to have the reception here.

We are waiting to see what the weather does, because if it snows tonight, we won't be driving up to Oregon City.

Today, no doctor appointments, no blood draws, just hanging out getting used to having two kids. So far, not too bad. Violet is handling it very well.

Today Violet and I sang "Big Poppa" (the Dad version) and danced a little. That's her "putting her hands in the air because she's a true player (with dolls that is)."

Lilly is still orange and tired. Hopefully she will get better soon. We realized we hadn't gotten the mail in more than a week, so I took the van over there and backed it up. I can't believe how much junk mail you get.

Anyway, the girls are asleep, I have nothing to do, so I am playing Madden until Cindy's dad get's here! No way! Free time!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Thankful for moms

Top: Cindy holding Lilly on the day of the delivery. You can see how yellow Lilly has turned if you look at both pictures. I did lighten up the photo with my Mom a little, as I didn't want to use flash with her sleeping.

The bottom picture is today when my Mom came over and watched Lilly.

It's amazing, I hold the child and she screams and complains and wiggles all over. My mom or Cindy holds her and she falls asleep like a little angel.

My theory is that most of her doctors have been men, so she probably thinks I am going to poke or prod her.

Cindy and her dad set up the light today, and we are going to use it tonight, as soon as I figure out how to secure it.

We got a late start on the doctor run -- day three of doctors -- and found out late this evening that her biliruben levels are down to 16.5. The doc gave us some options, including taking her off breast milk for formula only, for the weekend. Lilly goes in Monday for yet another doctor visit. The doctor did say that she isn't overly concerned about the numbers at this point.

Cindy is still on pain medication so I am still driving her around. I may even make a run to Whole Foods tonight to see what formula options they have. You know, healthier than the free stuff we got from the hospital.

Cindy got four hours of sleep last night and then another three hours this afternoon, so I am hoping she gets more tonight. She is healing up well and making a good recovery. I ended up with about five hours of sleep last night, and I didn't take a nap today because I really want to try to get a full night's sleep tonight.


P.S. Oh, if you are wondering how to get ahold of us, just e-mail

Humor, lack of sleep and good news

Top: Lilly sleeps on her great aunt Gail's shoulder Christmas day.
Below: Violet opens one of her Christmas presents -- a Cinderella bank and clock.

I pride myself on my ability to laugh in the face of hard situations.

Which is why the past few days have been pretty funny. Nothing earth-shattering has happened, overflowing toilets and Christmas tree catastrophes are hardly situations that can shake a family. In the end, Violet and Lilly are pretty healthy and we are blessed that Cindy has a good job and we both can be home for this important time.

Thursday we got some good news that Lilly has not only gained weight (four ounces!) but her Biliruben numbers are down slightly, from 17 to 16.8. Friday is another doctor appointment and another blood draw.

In an effort to do some additional treatment, Cindy and her dad have decided to rig up a full-spectrum light over the crib. We have the eye protection from the hospital and they are thinking it will be good just to glow-light Lilly for a couple of hours a day. I don't know if they know the specific wavelength of light Lilly needs, or if these lights even provide that -- but if it makes them both feel better, why not?

So tonight we finally have the spare bedroom available. I have been licking my chops all day at laying down on the twin bed in the nursery to get some uninterrupted sleep while Cindy offered to watch Lilly tonight.

I lay down at about 11 p.m. and nothing. I laid in there wide awake for an hour before I decided to get up. My mind is racing about a good many things -- chief of which is what to do about daycare for two kids and how to get Violet to and from preschool.

My little white car (1998 Saturn SC2) has a dead battery and it hit me that it was unlocked due to the lack of power. I started thinking about all of the things I have in the car -- camera tripod, GPS, radio scanner, CDs, gloves and other odds and ends and decided to get up and clean it out. In the dark. In the middle of the night.

Kind of like putting lights on a crib.

Hey, whatever helps you sleep, right?

Well, off to stare at the TV and drink some water before another attempt at sleep. The funny part is I even cut way back on the caffeine today to try to help my sleeping.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Griswold Family Christmas

Now, I am keeping in mind that nothing truly horrible has happened, but here is the laundry list of what has happened since Christmas Eve:

1. Put cat to sleep
2. Car died
3. In-laws fueded
4. Lilly needs daily doctor visits
5. No sleep
6. Christmas tree fell over this morning
7. Toilet overflowed all over
8. Cindy is anemic

Off to take a shower and pray nothing else goes wrong this week.


One week

My sister-in-law Carrie, her boyfriend Jim, Lilly (the yellow one) and Violet all "take a smile." That's what Violet calls taking a picture.

Today Lilly celebrates her one-week birthday.

Ok, maybe I have had too much caffeine the last few days. :)

Got my sister-in-law and her mysterious boyfriend (Jim) to the airport this morning. Got up at 4:30 a.m. and got home around 6 a.m. The TV weather morons were calling for icy conditions and snow last night, but when I got up and checked, it was 37 degrees and raining.

We took the van and the trip was without incident.

Carrie and Jim live in Boston, and Carrie has been a huge help the past week keeping Violet entertained. Her leaving is a big loss as far as easing into the whole taking care of two kids thing. Now we are flying without a live-in net.

I say Jim is mysterious only because Carrie has kept his last name a mystery. Mostly to keep her family from Googling him. All we know is that he is a real estate lawyer in the Boston area. I am sure if I was nosy I could narrow down who he is, but if Carrie and he don't want to share, that's their right.

Jim saw Cindy and I at our worst, under stress with lack of sleep and desire to really impress anyone. So he probably thinks that people from Oregon are hicks who talk about football and kids all the time -- football is my default conversation when I am tired.

I am just very thankful Carrie came out and helped us. She even took care of Christmas dinner and for that I will always think she is good people.

Today is another fun-filled and exciting day. We have yet another blood test and doctor visit for Lilly, the heating and air conditioning guys are showing up to do their standard maintenance to our system and Cindy and I are both still running on about three hours of sleep.

The formula we started giving Lilly is making her gag or spit up -- scaring the Hell out of me and having me worry she is going to choke. So the doctor is going to get an lecture from me about formula today -- I hate the stuff and I think she should just be on breast milk.

I think the plan this afternoon is to get a nap, Cindy's mom is coming over and I think Cindy and I are going to try to steal and hour of two of sleep. Friday my folks are going to come over an help, my goal is to feel human by Monday.

Our doctor's appointment is at 11:30 a.m. with a blood test afterward, so I will try and update this later this evening. For now, I am going to stare into deep space until the heating guys show up.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Still fighting Billiruben

This is a sleep-deprived Pat and Lilly on Christmas eve morning at the hospital. As we update this page we will include more photos -- I am trying to do a post a day.

Christmas eve was insane. We had a bunch of family coming over for Christmas (mostly inlaws) and so I was trying to get the house presentable and then I go out to the garage and one of our cats is acting very strange.

Took it to the emergency vet clinic at 11 p.m. at night and had to put it down. It was Shofar, the gray cat no one could catch or pet, so it wasn't a big emotional loss, but more of another thing to deal with.

We had a crazy Christmas and Lilly's jaundice is still an issue. Things get a little more tricky with two kids, but so far Violet has been a very, very good girl.

Today we took Lilly to the doctor, and were told that A. Cindy's blood pressure is perfect and that she is a bit anemic. Also, Lilly continues to fight jaundice. They did a blood test today and the results weren't good.

We came home and her billiruben score was 13. The first blood test we did Christmas morning at the hospital (we went back just for a quick visit to get the test) was 15. Today she is up to 17. The doctor said that she starts taking major action around 20 -- babies can get brain damage at 25.

So tonight we were told that Lilly had to start drinking formula after feeding with Cindy -- something Cindy and I aren't too crazy about.

Of course after the formula Lilly started spitting up, something she hasn't done to this point, and I am freaked out about her choking in the night. Last night she fell asleep with Cindy in our bed and I ended up sleeping on the couch.

Tomorrow we are back to the doctor for a blood test and check up. With Cindy on drugs and me being the only person able to lift, we are both pretty strung out and emotional.

Oh and my white car is dead, I think the battery needs to be changed out. Of course its the only car I have with studded snow tires, and it's supposed to snow tomorrow and I have to take my sister-in-law and her boyfriend to the airport tomorrow at 4:30 a.m.

I went out to change the battery today, bashed my knuckles and threw a wrench down the street, so I gave up and figured that if it's too bad tomorrow, they can take a cab. Or I will jump the white car.

Anyway, I am off to bed, early morning.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Home for Christmas

We got home for Christmas.

We have to take Lilly up to the hospital tomorrow (Christmas) for some testing, but otherwise we are home.

There are a bunch of doctor's appointments after the holidays, and Cindy can't drive for a couple of weeks, so things are going to be interesting around my house.

Got the girls home at around 1:45 p.m.

Violet, Carrie and Jim (Carries boyfriend) were all off shopping.

Now it's nap time until the family descends on us.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Blue Light Special

This is Lilly under the "Billy Light."

It's very blue. She goes in looking like Marge Simpson, comes out looking normal.

I got to hold Lilly tonight for about 30 minutes and she was sleeping and hooked up to the monitors and was perfect. Had 99 percent oxygen saturation and 35-40 respiration rate. The nurse joked it was probably better than mine!

Anyway, she is staying under the light tonight in between feedings and then gets a blood test to make sure the Jaundice is gone.

So we most likely are going home Christmas eve day -- a day late -- and we might have more doctors appointments after Christmas to make sure she is, oh, you know, breathing.

I am going home tonight to get some sleep and be rested for when I drive my two girls home.

7:04 p.m. Sunday

P.S. I missed all the football games today -- and didn't even notice. The power of baby!

Lillian Jean Johnson was born at 12:52 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20 at Willamette Falls Hospital in Oregon City. She was born by C-section. She was 7 pounds and 12 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long.

It was discovered late Thursday that she was having trouble breathing. So doctors took X-rays and determined that she had a small hole in her lung. This happens about 15-percent of the time with C-section babies.

The hole allowed air to enter into her chest cavity, a condition called pneumothorax, and had her respiration rate up around 70-90 when it should be between 30-60. She was getting enough oxygen, as they had a couple of sensors on her feet to make sure.

Doctors advised us Thursday evening that if the condition didn't start correcting itself by Friday afternoon, Lilly would be taken to Legacy Emanuel to have a tube put in her chest to relieve the pressure until the hole closed.

No surgery was necessary, but she did have to stay in the nursery and away from Cindy's suite. Every couple of hours Cindy would get out of bed, walk to the nursery and breast feed Lilly.

As of Saturday morning doctors said the hole had all but closed and there was much less air in her chest cavity. She is still having a little difficulty breathing, but they think that's just because of the initial trauma.

Sunday afternoon she was allowed to be brought into our suite and hung out with us for about two hours. She was breathing fine, although now she is not eating enough and is down around 6 pounds 15 ounces -- roughly 10 percent of her birth weight.

There is some concern now about Jaundice, so she is under something called a Billy Light tonight. It gives her artificial sunlight and helps her get rid of toxins in her system -- I believe. I am still reading up on it.

With any luck they are going to release us tomorrow and we can have Lilly home for Christmas Eve. They are not promising that though, it will depend on how her breathing and Jaundice is.

Cindy is doing wonderfully well, eating solid food and walking around the ward quite a bit.
We are both pretty tired from the stress of the initial diagnosis and not being able to sleep.

I am hoping to get home tonight and get some rest before tomorrow -- I have been trying to get home each evening to tuck Violet into bed.

I will post more pictures as I have time to edit them down.

Merry Christmas.

Pat, Cindy, Lilly and Violet

P.S. I got transferred to The Silverton Appeal, which is closer to home, and the little car got running and I have been using it. I am slowly trying to talk Cindy into a Toyota 4X4 Pickup, but we will see. :)