Sunday, October 24, 2010

When in Rome...

Where did we go this weekend?

Okay, so we didn't actually make it to Rome...but close!

This weekend was unlike our normal weekends.  Most weekends Russ is spending time at work fixing a truck, working on the recycling line or fixing some other piece of equipment.  However, this past Friday night Russ came home from work and asked if we wanted to take Ellie to Wisconsin Dells for a night...that meant we had daddy to ourselves the whole weekend!!  And what a great weekend it was!

We made our reservations at Hotel Rome which is a part of the Mt. Olympus Theme Park.  Mt Olympus has an indoor and outdoor waterpark and an indoor and outdoor theme park.  The place was plenty big for a three year old to wear herself out, as well as mom and dad!  We left Saturday about noon after dropping Lily off at grandma and grandpa's house.  We figured we would arrive in Wisconsin Dells about two, however, after missing a turn and too many potty stops we got there about 3:30.  We were able to get right into our hotel room, dropped our things and headed to the outdoor theme park.  There were roller coasters, go cart tracks, and some little rides for Ellie.  She rode on the hot air balloon ride and the airplane ride, but by far her favorite were the go-carts, or racecars as she calls them.  She had a smile from ear to ear everytime I looked at her riding the go carts with daddy!  It was just priceless!

After grabbing some supper Ellie was thrilled to check out the indoor water park.  We had such a blast here!  We tried out the Lazy River but that wasn't quite her thing!  So next we tried out the waterslides...and these were some fast waterslide, ya know the kind where ya hit the water at the end and get a major wedgie?!  We couldn't get her off of the slides.  Really, I think they need some escalators to the top of these slides.  I was pooped just from walking up the stairs half a dozen times with the intertube and child in tow!  We finally did convince her to check out the Sunken Pirate Ship which is an area designated for younger kids.  Here Russ and I could relax while Ellie played on all the slides.  It was so great to see how much fun she was having!

Finally, we decided it would be best to head back to the hotel room before she got too tired!  All three of us snuggled up in bed and watched some SpongeBob before falling asleep.  I thought for sure since she had such a busy day that she would sleep in...not quite!  She was up at 6:45 and ready to go exploring again.  We told her we would take her back out to the go carts since those were her favorite but since it was a little rainy they closed the outdoor theme park, but they opened the indoor theme park.  Here we got to ride go-carts again, rode bumper cars, rode in a big bus that went way up in the air and played in the Alien Ball Pit.  And of course the trip wouldn't be complete without a stop in the Arcade!  By noon, Ellie was looking a little tired so we decided to take a quick trip to the outlet mall before heading back home.

 I think Russ and I actually enjoyed this part more than Ellie.  These cannon gun things shot foam balls across the ball pit so we were having some fun with some other little boys shooting back and forth!

Overall, we had an amazing weekend.  Although all three of us missed Lily like crazy it was wonderful to be able to spend some time with just Ellie.  And she was just a little tantrums, no meltdowns...just unbelievably perfect!  I could not have asked for anything more from her!  This is a trip we will definitely be repeating again!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

All About Lily

It seems whenever I decide to update our blog I can never figure out how to start, even though I have so much to say.  I thought I would dedicate this post to Lily since she will be hitting some pretty big milestones this month; turning 18 months and being 1 yr post-op!

We'll start with her cardiology check up in Iowa City.  When we originally scheduled he cardiology appointment we purposely scheduled it on the same day with an ENT Dr.  Lily has had so many ear infections since last September we decided to have tubes put in and see if that works.  Because we had to fit all of these appointment in in one day it was decided that Lily would have an un-sedated echo.  Many of you have seen Lily in action and she doesn't sit still for very long.  The thought of having an un-sedated echo just didn't sit well with me.  I kept thinking if she didn't lay still they wouldn't get good pictures and I wanted to make sure that everything was checked over really well and we didn't miss anything.  Fortunately for us she was amazing.  I couldn't believe how well she laid there on the bed watching Sesame Street and before we knew it, she was fast asleep.  Actually the whole day she was just incredible.  The chest x-rays have always caused her tears and fits.  They lay her on a long table and put some weights on her arms and legs to hold them down...and if that isn't bad enough, I have to move behind the wall to avoid the radiation.  She surprised the heck out of my by just laying there and letting the techs get all the pics they needed.  Lastly, we had the EKG done and again, she was just perfect.  Overall, I couldn't have asked for her to behave any better.  It is almost like she knew what had to be done!  Dr Reinking came back with all the results of the tests, etc and everything looks just great for her.  Her heart function is really good and her oxygen saturations are holding in the 80's...all good news!!  We don't have to go back for another 6 months...yippee!!

The following day we were in Iowa City to her Lily's tubes out in her ears.  It was an early morning leaving the house at 4:00 am so we could be there at 6:00 am.  I thought like in the past we would be able to walk back into the operating room and hold her as they put her to sleep.  However, they decided to give her a little something to relax her and before you know it she was in the arms of the Dr and he took her back into the operating room.  Because of Lily's heart condition we had to make sure that we had an anesthesiologist who works with pediatric heart patients and we had to be in the main operating room in case anything should happen during surgery.  Fortunately all went smoothly and in less than 30 minutes they told us everything went great and she was being moved to the recovery room.  By 9:00 she had recovered enough from the anesthesia that we were able to leave.  So far things have been great with her ears.  We go back to the ENT in the beginning of November to have her tubes checked...wish us luck!

In other news we have begun the fun task of potty-training Lily.  When we first introduced her to the potty I would sit down with her in the morning and we would sing songs while she was sitting on the potty.  We are in a pretty consistent routine now of getting up in the morning, enjoying a little cuddle time and then we head to the potty.  The first thing she does when she sits on the potty are the actions to the Itsy Bitsy Spider.  I guess that is her favorite potty time song.  Something else that we have used during our potty time routine is sign language.  Of course we use potty, but also the signs for more, all done, wash and good job.  I am amazed how quickly she picked up on the signs for our potty time routine.

Lily has been in an actual daycare center now since school started and she has adjusted really well.  She is beginning to be very verbal, in fact, I would say she has become quite sassy!  She is a girl who definitely knows what she wants and when she doesn't get it...boy, you'd better watch out!  I think part of that attitude is probably our fault since we tend to spoil her a bit.  She's been through a lot so she deserves it!!

Something we are not looking forward to is cold and flu season.  We are waiting to her from Lily's pediatrician to see if she will be able to receive the RSV vaccinations again this year.  They don't think it should be a problem but you just never know with insurance companies.  Pray that these are approved for Lily because getting RSV would take a huge toll on Lily.

We are looking forward to Halloween this year.  Last year we celebrated Halloween with Lily in the PICU.  She has her bi-directional glenn surgery on October 29th of last year so we are just about to the one-year anniversary of that.  WOW!  A year already!  This year we are heading over to my brother and sister-in-law's house for chili on Halloween night and then taking the girls trick or treating.  I can't wait to see my little witch and black cat all dressed up!

Hoping everyone is having a great fall so far!  I will leave off with a few cute pics of our little Lily Bug!