Saturday, February 5, 2011


It's strange now, when I go back and look at photos of Owen when he was first born, and right after his first surgery. I'm more upset now, when I look back, than I was at the time.

I've had two more babies since Owen. And neither of them has gone through what he has, thankfully. But it just shows me how it "should" have been, and what Owen has missed out on, and how much he's had to endure. And it makes me sad.

I've been going back through these pictures because I've been asked to speak about my experience with heart disease and Owen. I'll be giving this talk tonight, and using pictures in a Powerpoint presentation to illustrate. Hopefully, this will all go well. And when I say "go well" what I really mean is that I won't cry. =)


Monday, January 17, 2011

Projects and a New Venture

Now that Camden is here and I am no longer pregnant, I feel fantastic! Even though I'm really tired most of the time, I still feel like I could take on the world. So apparently I am! Here's what I've been up to:

1) The laundry room. I've removed most of the old shelves, painted and put in a small cubby unit for shoes and such, and I've bought several wall cabinets. The last few steps are to remove the final shelf, install the cabinets, and purchase and put in a tall cabinet for the mop & broom, etc. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm excited for how great (and organized!!!) it's going to be!

2) The living room. This one is a little tougher. I have the paint, and plan to get started this week. I've got a referral for an electrician, and will be getting an estimate to wire for the TV to be mounted above the fireplace. That's the tough part - I want to move the TV up there, and Mark doesn't. I simply want to get the TV up off the floor so we can open up the room a little more. Mark is agreeable to getting the estimate, so we'll see what it is and decide from there. Otherwise, it's just paint and curtains... and probably someday soon replacing the carpet as well. That room certainly sees a lot of traffic!

3) The master closet. This will be physically the most difficult. I'll be removing all of the shelving the builder installed, painting, and putting in a new custom configuration of shelves, rods, and drawers. This project will go in stages, and I'll start once the laundry room is completely done.

I'm really excited to complete these projects. As one friend said, it's so much easier to motivate yourself to keep your home clean and organized when you've put hard work into it!

Aside from all of that, I've also become a stylist for Stella & Dot. This is a jewelry company for whom I'll do home-based trunk shows. I LOVE this jewelry! It's amazing how much more put together I feel when I'm wearing a really pretty piece of jewelry, and this company has a LOT of pretty jewelry. I'm not looking to make any money, really, just have some fun, make some friends, and earn some jewelry. In fact, if I were hoping to earn a true income from it, I wouldn't have joined. I simply don't want to put that kind of pressure on myself (especially right now!) But I think I'm going to have a lot of fun doing it, and I'm really looking forward to an excuse to spend time with other grown-ups and make some new friends in the area. I haven't been great about that since we moved.

So now that you know all about me, what are the kids up to? Well, Owen is doing SO MANY exciting things! He's actually starting to talk, which is just amazing. He's also doing more with his mobility. He's *almost* crawling on his hands and knees vs. his army crawl that he's always done. He's also pulling up to kneel much more often and easily. It's so great to see him feeling good.

I think Gavin is having a little baby sister-induced anxiety. He's a bit clingier than he had been, and wants me to hold him and cuddle him a lot. I, of course, LOVE cuddling with him (Owen is not really a cuddler) but I obviously can't do it as much now that the baby's here and I'm nursing her. So I'm just trying to fit in extra cuddles and kisses between nursing and chores, and I'm hoping that will be enough for now. Gavin's also getting really good at shape sorters and puzzles, and he can count to ten.

Baby Camden is already changing so much! She's more awake and alert, and she's just starting to smile at us. I'm just in awe of her.

We're having a busy month of January, but life is great and we couldn't be happier to have these three precious children in our home!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's a new year and a new lifestyle for us! Camden got to come home on Christmas morning - what a wonderful present! Since then, we have been adjusting to life with three little ones at home. It's an adventure, that's for sure! I was so afraid I'd be completely overwhelmed once the baby came home, but it's the exact opposite. I feel so energized! It's great to be able to get around well again (finally!) and there are several house projects that I'm excited to complete. And, of course, the kids are super fun!

The only thing slowing me down is Camden. She wants to nurse constantly! I feel so blessed to be able to nurse her exclusively this time. I didn't even try with Owen, and I was unsuccessful with Gavin. So what's the problem, you may be asking... Well, Cami wants to nurse ALL THE TIME. I have no idea whether this is normal for 3-week-old babies, but it does drive me slightly nuts. She'll nurse for 45 minutes or so, fall asleep for 10 minutes, and then wake up and want to nurse again. This can go on for hours on end, and it's pretty frustrating, especially when I'm also trying to take care of the boys. I'm hoping she gets more efficient at eating and settles into more of a pattern soon.

Owen saw his cardiologist yesterday, and things are looking great! We were able to back off a couple of his meds, and his O2 sat was 84%, which is much better than it was at Thanksgiving. He's still not quite where he should be, but with time he should get there. We're definitely seeing an increase in his energy level and mood, and it's been so nice!

Owen's developmental progress lately has centered on speech. He now has two definite words: "yeah" and "go." He also has been trying to say "open" and "da" (for da-da). A lot of these sounds are completely new for him, and it's been so fun to see (hear) his progress. It would be so nice if he just took off talking soon! Though he'd have to compete with Gavin to be the talker in our family - Gavin is by all accounts pretty advanced in his speech. We've started working on counting, shapes, and letters with him. So far, every letter is "A," every number is "9," and every shape is a circle. He really enjoys the interaction, though, so hopefully learning will be fun for him.

Owen has a few more doctor appointments this month, and then hopefully we'll have a break for a while. We're looking forward to a calm spring!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Camden Paige

Our newest little Frossard, Camden Paige, arrived on 12/12 at 1:09pm. It was an easy induction, and she was born quickly. Too quickly, actually, because she aspirated amniotic fluid and developed pneumonia. It sent her into respiratory distress, and she had to be admitted to the NICU, where she remains. Which is why I haven't felt much like updating since she was born.

At this point, she is off of her antibiotics and oxygen, and is pretty much like any other normal newborn, except she doesn't eat very well. So in the NICU she has to remain until she eats an appropriate amount and gains weight. This is so heartbreaking, especially so close to Christmas. We don't think she'll be able to come home before Christmas, and it's really putting me at the end of my rope. We've had so much great support from family and friends, helping watch the boys so we can spend time at the hospital, bringing meals, and just checking in on us. But the fact is I just want my sweet baby girl home so we can be a family on Christmas.

We are grateful that this is something she will recover from and that she should go on to be a healthy child. I just can't help but be sad and miss her, too.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy December!

Can I just say, I'm so excited December is here?! It's such a fun month! While Christmas shopping and preparations can be stressful, I truly enjoy the challenge of finding that great gift for each special person in my life. It's especially fun when I can get creative and surprise them with something they really love! I usually put a lot of thought and care into choosing and wrapping Christmas gifts, and it's that much more fun to watch people unwrap them.

Santa already has a list for the kids, and most of our Christmas cards went out today. There are still a few people I need addresses for (if you are one of my friends who has moved within the past 6 months, I'm talking to you!) Our Christmas decorations are up, and I love turning on the Christmas tree lights and relaxing in the living room. I started making Christmas cookies yesterday, and I hope I have the energy to make lots this year! This is the year I plan to tackle my granny's famous nut rolls, finally!

Mark and his dad painted the baby's room last weekend. I'm still getting used to calling it the baby's room instead of the guest room. Mark put together the crib (yes, we now have THREE cribs in our house) and my friend Andrea helped me get the mattress in it. I washed all of the 0-3 mos. clothes, and I think we have enough, depending on how much she spits up!

Owen saw his regular pediatrician today. He didn't have to get any shots, but the doctor is very concerned about his continued vomiting. So she's going to contact his developmental pediatrician to discuss a trial of Reglan. Years ago, I would have been against this for him, but now I'm open to it. SOMETHING has to change for this child; he simply cannot go on vomiting like this, several times a day, forever. Not to mention the fact that this is something our growing family cannot continue to handle, either.

Owen also had a great therapy session with his OT and DT earlier this week. He did fabulously and was so fun for them to work with. I wish every session could go that well! We are getting re-started with speech tomorrow and PT on Monday. I hope he is the sunny version of himself for them, too!

Baby Girl hasn't shown any new signs of arriving anytime soon, so we're still looking at December 12th for my induction. Gavin is still as cuddly and talkative as ever, though we're starting to work on not hitting. In all, we're having a good week, though I sort of wish I could fast forward to the 12th!

Friday, November 26, 2010

These Days...

These days... I have at least a dozen contractions a day. Sometimes they're spread way out, and sometimes they're right on top of each other.

These days... Baby Girl has DROPPED! She's down so low that the nurse often has trouble getting a steady reading of her heartbeat for the NSTs. I have to lie almost flat on my back for her to find it.

These days... The Christmas decorations are up at our house! The shopping is almost done! I'm excited to enter the holiday season with a new life in our house!

These days... Owen feels more and more like himself. He sings songs with us (or rather, he does the motions). He laughs and plays. He crawls around. He's making more vocal sounds. And he's willing to taste food.

These days... Gavin is a clingy, snuggly little guy. He does NOT like us to walk away from him, and has reverted to demanding that I carry him up and down the stairs (he can, and used to, do this perfectly fine on his own a couple of weeks ago). He has so many words! He says "more, peas" (more, please), "ah done" (all done), and his favorite: "no." He pats Owen lovingly on the head, but he also steals his toys. Today he spilled some milk on the floor, walked over and got one of Owen's cloths, and bent down to wipe the carpet. In many ways, he will be our oldest child, and I know he'll be a fantastic brother to Owen.

These days... I don't know what to pray for when it comes to Owen. His surgeries are over; there is not much more that can be done for his heart. Do I pray for a long life? Or a life with minimal pain and procedures, even if it means he leaves us sooner? I get the impression that he won't be able to have both, and as his mommy it sometimes makes me yearn to place him in Jesus' arms to receive His healing and be free of all this. Then I feel guilty for even considering that Heaven may be the best place for him.

So I guess these days, as always, we could really use prayer that God will guide us in the right direction as a family, that He will make it clear what decisions we should make to follow His path. After all, Owen WILL be in Heaven someday. Mark and I have a responsibility to continue to follow God's will so we can get there, too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cardiology Update

Today I took Owen to see his cardiologist. After a chest x-ray, EKG, and ECHO, the verdict was in: Owen's heart looks great! We're obviously very happy with this outcome, but it's not quite that cut-and-dried yet...

Even though Owen's heart function looks great, and he's pinker than ever, his sats are still only 75%-ish. Not what we had hoped for or expected, and not good. I spoke with the surgeon about this today, and he said that Owen's x-ray actually still shows some shadows, indicating that Owen still hasn't fully recovered from his post-surgical infection. So what does this mean? For now, it means that we continue our current drug regimen, and give him more time to heal. We go back to the cardiologist in 1 month, have another chest x-ray, and possibly change things up then.

In the longer term, it means that Owen's fenestration may have to be closed soon. This involves a cath and overnight hospital stay. In our world, this is soooo not a big deal. Weird to say that, when many parents freak out over their little ones getting ear tubes! =) The fenestration closure is something that's on the table, and I'm sure we'll revisit it at the next appointment.

In all, it was a good visit. I was hoping to get rid of some of these post-op meds, but it will just have to wait a little longer. At least Owen only has to have the penicillin for 2 more days - it's wreaking havoc on his poor little digestive system! =(