GrandDaddy-O in the Hospital


February 25th, 2008

For those of you that don’t know, on Friday night my dad (GrandDaddy-O), had something go wrong with his heart. He passed out in the kitchen and cracked his head open and ended up taking an ambulance ride to the hospital. His heart rate was going crazy (between 40bpm and 130bpm) and he was very dizzy and throwing up. They ran a ton of tests and so far found nothing seriously wrong. We are still not 100% sure what happened but since he is finally feeling better today we hope they will be releasing him from the hospital later this afternoon. It seems like he is going to be ok but its been a scary ordeal. I hope it is at least a wake up call that he needs to take a little better care of himself since we sure would like to keep him around…..right Pop?

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Right on Track!


February 22nd, 2008

Nora had her 9 month check up yesterday (even though she’s closer to 10 months) and got an A+! Dr. Ness was extremely pleased with how well she’s doing in all areas, growing, eating, mental development. She’s in the 90th percentile for length and weight and in the 50th for head circumference. We could not be happier with Nora’s progress! :) Her TPN rate was dropped earlier in the week and she has been tolerating the decrease very well and her blood sugar has been staying stable.

Nora had her first bite of oatmeal on Sunday and loves it! We cook her organic oats and blend them up. She’s still eating her squash and rice porridge as well. We tried sweet potatoes a few weeks ago but they were giving her diarrhea so we’re holding off on them for now and will try them again when she’s a little older. Her digestive system seems to really like the oatmeal and it hangs out in her intestines for a long time and makes for nice thick poopies. Since her system seems to like oats the next new food we’ll try is Cheerios. We’re excited to give her finger foods with a new texture and I’m sure her new teeth will enjoy munching on them.

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Do I have something on my face?


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A Happy Monday


February 18th, 2008

Today’s needle changing went great. Nora didn’t shed a single tear. She got a little suspicious when we weighed her but then was completely content in her daddy’s arms while Virgina did her assessment, put in a new port needle and I held a valentine balloon for her to look at. We will definitely continue the tag team approach from now on. Nora gained 3 oz from last week so her TPN rate will be decreased to 15ml/hr for 12 hours a day and stay at 17ml/hr for the other 12. If she has a gain at next weeks weigh in then she will go to 15ml/hr 24 hours a day. :)

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Nora Update


February 17th, 2008

I can’t believe it’s been over two weeks since our last Nora update. Time just flys by in Noraland but she has been doing great. She has been at a lower TPN rate for the past two weeks (down to 17ml/hr from 20ml/hr) and has continued to gain weight at an impressive rate. She was up to 16lbs 12oz last Monday and we are anticipating another good jump at tomorrow’s weigh in. Her doctor will continue to decrease the rate each week as long as she continues to gain weight. The ultimate goal is to get her down to a lower rate for only 12 hours a day instead of 24 and then eventually get her off TPN all together.

But one thing we’re not looking forward to tomorrow is the weekly needle changing routine. For the past 4-5 weeks Nora has been getting extremely upset when we put in a new IV port needle. We’re still using the numbing cream so she’s not feeling physical pain but she certainly lets us know that it hurts her feelings, gets very upset and cries a very sad cry. :( She’s just too smart and knows the routine. We weigh her, then nurse Virginia takes her vitals and assesses her then the new needle process begins. We put on our face masks to keep our germs away from the port site and nurse Virginia organizes the dressing supplies, blood vials, etc. while I get all of the comforting supplies ready, binki, bottle, favorite toys. For a long time she was totally fine to be distracted with toys, drink a bottle, or sometimes even fall asleep during the process but then something changed. We have to hold her in a certain position to keep her still and I think that’s definitely a big part of the problem. We let her sit up last week instead of lying her down to see if that would help but she still got just as upset. She gets so upset that some of the time Virginia can’t even draw blood from the port until she calms down because she’s so tense her blood isn’t easily flowing. It’s always me (mom) and Virginia for the process so tomorrow dad will be here in hopes that a changing of the guard will help. We know that this often happens to children who have to have a lot of medical procedures done, we were just hoping it wouldn’t happen with Nora. One very good thing out of all of this is that Nora still loves her nurse Virginia very much and doesn’t associate her with the not-so-fun stuff. We can’t express enough how thankful we are to have such a wonderful nurse like Virginia who loves Nora so much and takes such good care of her.

On a happier note Nora is going through a language explosion! She is saying “Dadda”, “Mamma”, “Bubba” (the family dog), “poop”, yep!….poop, and the most complex is “kitty cat”. Most of the time she will just say “cat” but when she’s really excited about seeing them she’ll say “kitty cat” in a high pitched squeal. A lot of times when Montana comes in from work, which he is frequently in and out during the day since his office is in the back yard, she will say “hi da!”.

Nora is also now able to stand for a few seconds all by herself without holding onto anything. She practices in her bed and play pin starting off by letting go with one hand and then the other. She LOVES to play peek-a-boo by peeking out back and forth from above and below the top rail.

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She is also now officially crawling and also hurling herself forward at an alarming speed. A few weeks ago she realized that she has fuzzy stuff on top of her head and loves to feel her hair.

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Thanks to all of you who left such sweet comments about the passing of Montana’s grandfather. Your love and support is very much appreciated. He was a wonderful man who meant so much to all of us. On the day he passed Nora was able to gather at Mamma Tom’s house with the rest of the family and finally meet Montana’s cousins and their children. Even though most of his family only lives 20 minutes away Nora hadn’t met but just a few of them because #1 we are very protective of Nora and have been keeping her exposure to other people limited until she got a little older to give her immune system a chance to get as strong as possible, and #2 there were colds circulating among the family for a while. But thankfully everyone in the family was cold free and Nora was able to help bring some light and love on a much needed occasion.

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Love is in the air!


February 14th, 2008

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Nora played cupid for her first Valentine’s Day………

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“What is this thing on my head?”

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humm, I think I’ll take it off and investigate…..

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and don’t dare put it back on!

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ah, that’s better!

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Now it’s time for our little angel to take a rest…….playing cupid sure takes a lot of energy. :)

For those of you who don’t already know, Nora really did play cupid for her grandmother NeeNee (Sarah’s mom). At TMH where Nora was born and in the NICU for the first 6 1/2 weeks of her life, every visitor has to check in at a security desk to go up to the baby floor. NeeNee was up to visit Nora almost every single day while she was in the NICU. During these many visits back and forth to TMH my mom developed a friendship with one of the guards, Don Oakes. My mom has been single for 27 years and is now engaged to be married to Don this summer. Here’s Nora checking out the ring last fall when they told us of the big event to come.

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Congratulations NeeNee! Nora loves you!

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So Long and Thanks for All the Fish! (and MUCH, MUCH more!)


February 11th, 2008

On Saturday morning my grandfather (DaddyTom) went to heaven. He will be missed greatly but I know he is now in a better place, looking down upon us all, and smiling.

As a child I spent most of my weekends and summers at my grandparents house, in Quincy, about 20 minutes away. Most of my time was spent fishing (and hunting in the winters) with DaddyTom. DaddyTom lived a very clean and wholesome life but had one addiction, and fishing was it.

From the time I was young, up until he physically could not do it anymore, DaddyTom fished twice a day, 6 days a week, taking only Sunday’s off and I was there to go with him as often as I could be. If you asked my parents back then they would of said I was gone waaaayyyy to much. I am sure my folks would of liked me home more but its kind of hard to compete with all day fishing with an expert fisherman, a swimming pool and a bunch of fun cousins and friends….and of course a #1 Grandmother (MammaTom), so of course I was there as much as I could be.

Most of our time fishing was spent slow drifting and hunting for the big bass and talking about pretty much anything. I think those were some of the happiest times in my life so far. I learned all about his life and he taught me many, many things. I attribute a lot of who I am today to the time I spent with him and I know he was proud to be able to be such a big part of my life. He was not only my grandfather and my fishing partner but he was my best friend.

As I am writing this I have begun to think how much of my life has been surrounded by fish and how they have always been such a positive part of my life. Now with DaddyTom gone in body (his spirit will be with me forever) I am now “fishing” every day with Nora and her Omegaven. Although with the Omegaven it seems like we are ALWAYS having a great day and catching our limit. It is hard losing him but I feel so fortunate to have known him so well and to have been given so much time with him over the years that it has made letting him go easier. My only regret is that he did not get to spend more time with Nora but I know he now gets to watch over her all the time from Heaven which makes me feel more secure than I have felt in a long time. I always knew Nora had a Guardian Angel but now she has two!

We love you DaddyTom and you will be with us in spirit forever. I will forever cherish all the time we had on Earth together and I look forward being with you again one day. I am sure the next time we meet you will have already found the best fishing holes in Heaven. Till then…..Fish on!

DaddyTom and Nora

Obituary for Howard E. Thomas

1946-2008

Howard Edge Thomas, 88, died Saturday, February 9th, at his home in Quincy.

Mr. Thomas was born in Martin, Georgia, and moved to Quincy with his wife, Evelyn Jarrard Thomas, in 1946. He worked in the automobile business and eventually established Thomas Motor Cars, Inc. He was a deacon and active member of the First Baptist Church, Quincy.

Mr. Thomas is survived by his wife and their children Brenda Thomas Patterson and her husband John of Yulee, Florida, Bruce Thomas and his wife Chris of Quincy, and Jody Thomas and his wife LoraLee of Tallahassee; seven grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters Helen Crone of Dunellen, Florida, Hazel Daniel of Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Hilda Herbert of Ocala, Florida. He was preceded in death by his brother Hugh Thomas and his sister Harriet Robinson.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, February 12th, at 11am at the First Baptist Church in Quincy. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 10-11am in the church’s fellowship hall.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the First Baptist Church, 210 W. Washington St., Quincy 32351 or to Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd, Tallahassee, Florida 32308.

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Bye Bye Button!


January 30th, 2008

Nora had her g-tube button removed a week ago yesterday. Wow, I never thought we’d be saying that before her first birthday or any birthday for that matter. She is doing great and the hole in her tummy is healing amazingly well. The actual removal of the button wasn’t very fun for sweet Nora (because she had a Bard button that is kind of like an anchor instead of a catheter) but she was sore for only about a day and a half and her tummy is obviously feeling better than ever. She has never slept on her tummy but the past two mornings we’ve awoken to find her snoozing away on her tum-tum. It’s still crazy to me that they just pull the button out and don’t put any stitches or anything to close the hole going from her skin straight into her stomach. Apparently the stomach heals very quickly and only 15% of people have to go back for a procedure to close it if it hasn’t closed by itself after 6-8 weeks. The hole is still leaking a bit but the leakage is minimal and we’ve only had to keep a bandaid on it the past few days instead of gauze.

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Nora had quite a time playing with the table paper and checking out the digestive system charts in Dr. Crooms office while we were waiting for him to come in and take out her button.

We are very excited about Nora’s progress with oral feedings and weight gain! Her little intestine must be growing, adapting, or both because something amazing certainly has happened for her to be able to process so much orally. She’s eating 106ml bottles of her Elecare formula about every 2 hours and eating her solids twice a day, which we will be moving up to 3 times a day starting today. She’s still loving her squash and rice. She’s had butternut and delicata squash, and sweet white rice and short grain brown rice. I’ve been a little hesitant to move on to the next veggie, sweet potato, just because of the gas factor. But we’re going to go for it today!

The solids have definitely made a noticeable difference in her weight, last week she was up to 15lb 7oz (a 8 oz gain from the previous week) and this week she’s an even 16lbs! So now the next step is to start tapering down her TPN. Her doc has given to green light to lower her rate per hour, she’s currently at 20ml/hr and we’ll drop 2ml at a time every few days as long as her blood sugar stays good. And then once she’s down to around 10ml/hr we’ll start dropping hours, yay! Hopefully by her one year b-day she’ll have a good amount of free time during the day off the IV’s.

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Our cute little lioness…..these were taken the day before Nora had her button taken out. As you can see in the second one she had to play with it one last time and give me the look that says “Oh this is what you don’t want me to play with? Are you sure you don’t want me to open it for you?”

:)

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