Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Hudson Cup

Hudson turned the big 0-3 this past Thursday. The day began with a special breakfast of waffles, sausage, watermelon and grapefruit juice– all chosen by Hudson. Next it was time for presents...

...followed by a trip to the zoo. Then for lunch he chose Shake Shack, a burger & frozen custard place... one of his favorites. No complaints here!

Hudson stood in this statue at the zoo and said, "Take my picture!", then did the fake smile.

This polar bear usually just swims by but this time he stopped and stared at us for a really long time. Cool and creepy...

Today we had his party, The Hudson Cup. Hudson and Sawyer love cars and Cars (the Pixar movie), so that was the theme we settled on. Hudson was still battling for a "stranger" party, even after we explained to him that strangers are adults we don't know. He finally relented.

When the kids arrived, the "DMV" (Cameron) took their info and measured their height for their license.

The kids all got their own shirts with a personalized NY license plate on the front. They got to pick what it said. They colored their "race cars", mounted them on sticks and then we headed to the Hudson River Speedway.

Here's the dramatic event, captured on video:

After the race, it was time for water balloon fun. We had a few games planned, but decided to just let them go crazy and pop them.

Last, but not least, cake and ice cream + presents. Happy Birthday, Hudson! We love you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sawyer: the reflux capacitor

We met with the doc, "the pediatric urologist" last Monday, who was not convinced that Sawyer has a blockage. He ordered two more tests, which Sawyer went through today. One was another abdominal ultrasound and the other a VCUG, which shows if he has reflux between his kidney and bladder.

Turns out Sawyer has some serious reflux going on. They rate reflux on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the worst. For Sawyer, one side is a 2-3, the other is a 4. Kids with a 1 pretty much always grow out of it. The urologist said he would guess Sawyer has about a 50/50 chance.

Sawyer's treatment plan is an oral antibiotic once a day for the next year, when they'll check his reflux again. If it hasn't improved at all, we'll discuss surgery. The doctor said it's a 2.5 hour procedure, with a day or two hospital stay. They do a ton of them and it almost sounds better than some of the other stuff he's been through. But we won't worry about that for another year...

As of now, Sawyer's kidneys look fine and haven't sustained any permanent damage. The doctor said if he grows out of it or has the surgery, that should still be the case. "Twenty years down the road, you can't pick out the kids who have had reflux." There's only damage when reflux goes undetected.

Overall, we're just glad to know for sure what is going on and how to treat it.
He has no physical limitations and shouldn't be in any pain from the reflux. He shouldn't have to go through anything out of the ordinary for a long time, which is a huge relief. We're looking forward to Sawyer running on his full 1.21 jigawatts soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Need a laugh?

Visit You can find jewels such as:

Click the 'most popular' link on the left to get to the best ones. I was seriousry raughing so hard.

Runner-up for the most funny website of the week: These were pretty funny, although some were just cringe-inducing. I'm pretty sure these people are awesome in real life...

Thanks to Emo and Chris for the tips. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Erin's Special Day

So in honor of Erin’s birthday yesterday, we held the annual Church picnic in Central Park. It was more coincidence than anything as it was the day that had no other ward activities were going on.

The highlights for me would probably be the water balloon toss and the watermelon piñata. For those of you who have not yet experienced this fruity activity: 1. replace the piñata with a watermelon, 2. place (don't try and hang) it on the ground (preferably on a tarp for juice containment), 3. add a large stick, 4. blindfold at your preference, 5. whack the heck out of it, 6. eat, season to taste.

Mother Nature decided to make her brief appearance at the end of the party (10 minutes prior) so that created the rush to clean up, but we enjoyed being in the rain. Overall, we couldn't have done it this week without a lot of help from friends pitching in and finding various ways to help. It was amazing that it all came together so well.

We hit Magnolia on the way home from the picnic for Erin’s favorite cupcakes and wouldn't you know they had coconut meringue cupcakes. Perfect! We also walked by Dustin Hoffman, who wished Erin a Happy Birthday with a kiss. (Half of that sentence is true.)

You'll also see that little s is on the mend and enjoyed his share of cupcakes as well. He has been so happy since arriving home. (Personal side note: I think the concept of hospitals should be re-evaluated as they aren't the most conducive to healing).

For some reason Hudson decided to play around with the cupcake wrappers. We'll just call this next shot "untitled." :)

For the evening, we dropped the boys off at our friends' place and went out to eat. Wouldn't you know it, but I forgot the "tickets" in the stroller and we had to go back, only to find a few friends there to yell, "SURPRISE!" This was all pre-planned and I'm lucky I didn't spoil the surprise. For a guy who usually unwraps and re-wraps his Christmas presents, this was a hard secret to keep. I think she was genuinely surprised, though.

Erin is an amazing person. She is genuine with her emotions and comfortable in her own element. With the challenges the past few weeks have given, there's no possible way to give to her what she has given to Sawyer in support and care. We all love her (especially me)!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sawyer Update

We're home! Finally. After five days in the hospital, we all enjoyed sleeping under the same roof last night. These pictures are of Sawyer after they took his IVs out and we got him dressed. He was giving us this sweet little hopeful smile, like "Really? Are we going to leave?"

After a long test where he had to be under anesthesia, we found out that he has a partial blockage between his kidney and bladder. There's a possibility he'll have to have surgery... we'll find out more when we meet with the pediatric urologist on Monday. Until everything is taken care of, he's on oral antibiotics 2x/day. Definitely a trade up from IV meds.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, food, and babysitting for Hudson. We appreciate it so much.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Our little sick man...

I really try to keep my posts short, but this is a long story. Here we go:

Last Saturday night Sawyer came down with a fever. Sunday he threw up a few times, then was eating normally. By Tuesday, the fevers were still in full force and pretty high (104+) so we took him to the pediatrician's office where he was given a diagnosis, not by his normal doctor, of "...viral illness going around like crazy, 4-5 days of fevers, followed by a rash..." He had no respiratory symptoms, ears and throat also looked perfect, so it made sense.

The next morning, Wednesday, I was starting to feel nervous again because he just seemed so sick. Whenever our kids have fevers, they act sick when the fevers are high and then when the meds kick in, they play with their toys, act better etc. Sawyer was extremely fussy even when the fevers would go down. He reminded me of the sick-bed scenes in period movies where the sick child lays there in a daze while the family mops their brow with a cloth. He was that sick. Plus, super clingy and totally lethargic. He kept grabbing his neck over and over, which made me nervous about meningitis or something else horrible. And I kept expecting Hudson to come down with it but he was 100% healthy.

By Wednesday night his fevers spiked at 105+. I called his normal doctor who said to bring him in that night, even though the office was closed, for an immediate urine test (by catheter- that has to feel great) to see if he had a UTI or kidney infection. They also drew blood and did flu swabs. Everything came back normal except the blood showed a possible inflammation somewhere in his body but was generally inconclusive.

By Friday, the fevers should have been gone if he had the "fever virus" but then they spiked to 106.5. Our doctor sent us to the ER where they took us fairly seriously until his fever once again spiked to 106+. That freaked them out more than our word that his temperature had really gotten that high. They drew blood, more urine by catheter, flu swabs, chest and abdominal x-rays, and a spinal tap. All the immediate tests came back negative but we had to wait for the results of the cultures, which take 24-48 hours. They admitted Sawyer and we finally got into a room in the pediatric unit about 3 am.

They gave him tons of fluids by IV, as well as antibiotics as a precautionary measure until the test results came back. His fevers steadily improved through Saturday and Sunday. By Sunday night the results where looking like we might end up with the general "fever of unknown origin" diagnosis. Sunday night they told us they found an organism in his urine (basically a UTI) causing his fevers and pain. They started him on a more specific antibiotic and told us they would need to do more tests to make sure there were no other problems.

Which brings us to this morning, Monday. After an abdominal ultrasound, they discovered that his left kidney is swollen. Two things could be causing this. 1- a partial blockage between his kidney and bladder, or 2- "reflux" between his bladder and kidney, meaning things could be traveling back up into the kidney from the bladder. Apparently that's fairly common in little kids.

So now we have to do a separate test for each of those possibilities and are looking at a going home date of Wednesday or Thursday, as long as his fevers keep a bay. Even though the source of the problem hasn't been treated, the antibiotics for his infection have made a big difference. Today was the first day in over a week that he has smiled, eaten well or played with toys. We were starting to feel like we were never going to see "Sawyer" again.

He has been a trooper through the whole thing but needless to say, he's scarred. He cries whenever nurses or doctors come close to him or touch him :( I'm just glad he's young enough (sixteen months) that he won't remember anything.

Here's what the first few days in the hospital were like:

Sleeping a ton or crying/fussing but we didn't take pictures of that :)Teddy has been Sawyer's faithful companion through it all.

Here's how he was doing today. Don't judge my hair. I'd been in a hospital room for 3+ days straight...

And just for bonus... here are some videos from lunch and of the boys playing. You also get to hear one of Hudson's favorite things to say: "I am a robot. De-dum-de-dum-de-dum..." :)

This one is pretty much for the Grandma's :) It's just the boys playing with the new toy we picked up for Sawyer today.

I've been too nervous to leave the hospital up to this point, but since he is starting to do better, Cameron sent me home for the night. Needless to say, we're looking forward to all sleeping under the same roof again. We'll keep you posted...