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Thursday, October 17, 2013

To catch you up on our situation...we've had Sanai about 15 months now and she's had approximately 30 febrile seizures.  I had never even heard of febrile seizures before she had her first one. I honestly thought I had overdosed her on Tylenol the first time she had her seizure. She had this blank stare and was unresponsive. She actually had her convulsions while I was speeding to the hospital so I could hear her but I didn't see her.

Luckily these seizures only last 2-3 minutes and are always associated with a fever.  It's not necessarily the fever that causes the seizures, it's the sudden spike in her temperature that causes a misfire in her brain.  After she comes out of her seizure she's usually awake long enough for me to give her some medicine and then she sleeps for several hours because it really wears her out.

I've almost given up going to our primary doctor because when I do they can't ever find anything wrong with her that is causing the fever. She has no runny  nose, no ear infection, no cough, nothing!  They've taken her blood, taken urine samples, swabbed her throat, NOTHING!  I now just call my doctor, tell him what's going on and take his advice...which is usually just to wait it out.  There's nothing else we can do. 

In the waiting room being silly

My biggest frustration is the fevers, they literally happen once a month and there is no symptoms. I wanted to talk to the pediatric neurologist to find out more as to whether this is normal among internationally adopted children. I know she hasn't built up as many immunities so maybe she's more susceptible to our diseases.  They said they haven't noticed anything related to internationally adopted kids at all.

They said basically that we just have to endure what's going on.  The most "active" time of febrile seizures is when they are 18-24 months so we are in the worst time.  They said she won't grow out of this until she's 5-6 years old.  Arggh. 

The one piece of advice they offered was to give her the seizure medicine they prescribed BEFORE she has a seizure instead of waiting until she has one.  She always has a fever anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours before she has her seizure.  There's only been two cases where she's had a seizure and we hadn't noticed the fever because it literally had spiked in a few minutes.  Hopefully this will stay ahead of her episodes and help prevent them.

Being such a good girl in the room

The neurologist said that they would be more worried if she were developing slower than what she should be but she's right on track. She was happy, all over the place and was giving all the doctors high five while we were there so he said there's really nothing to worry about.

And honestly, seeing all the sick children at the hospital made me thankful that we have a situation that in a few years will only be a memory.  Her situation could be much worse, so I'm simply thankful that we had access to doctors who can help ease our frustrations and fears and help us through this time.

We greatly appreciate all the prayers!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

We are definitely an outside family, we enjoy the sun and doing anything outdoors.  We had been planning since January to get Micah a trampoline.  His birthday is in January but we didn't want to buy a trampoline then so we just got around to it last week.  Both kids are definitely enjoying the jumping.  Sanai doesn't jump, she just sits and Micah bounces her all over the place with his jumping!

Some call it a trampoline, I call it a giant playpen

Both of my kids also LOVE the pool.  One day we'll probably invest in something nicer but for now they are content with the plastic kiddie pool.  For the price it has lasted us 2 summers so I can't complain.  Tommy didn't put a swimmer diaper on her this day...this was the 2nd filling of the pool.  "Someone" pooped in the water as soon as it was originally filled. Opps.


Both of our kids lately have had the silliest faces that just crack us up. Sanai has mastered the "mean face" and displays it quite often (something Tommy taught her).  They both definitely keep us laughing.
She did not learn this at home! ha ha

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This past Sunday we were in Murfreesboro for church and decided to go to Cheddars to eat with the family.  It was warm out but nothing too crazy.  We had noticed while we were waiting for a table that Sanai had started to feel warm and sure enough about 5 minutes later she went into a seizure.

It wasn't a bad one as far as it's intensity but it seemed to last longer than ones in the past.  We decided to just continue to do what we normally do and strip her of her clothes and give her motrin.  She started cooling off after I put a cool rag on her head and she took about a 20 minute nap afterwards.  She eventually woke up with more energy so after we finished eating we headed back to the house.

Here's where I learned my lesson: When we got home I didn't give her the seizure medicine.  The pediatric neurology department at Vanderbilt in Nashville had given me a small dosage of medicine to give to her after she has a seizure and it will prevent her from having anymore. It really just calms the brain and she's only supposed to take it for 3 days after her initial seizure.

We had been home about an hour when I noticed her getting warmer.  It had been about 4 hours since her Motrin dosage so she was ready for some tylenol.  I gave her the tylenol and as soon as I sat back down with her on the couch she went into THE MOST AWFUL seizure I have ever seen her have.  It didn't last a really long time but it was very intense.  She had a pretty hard time coming out of it and I couldn't get her fingers unclenched for quite awhile even though I know she had come out of it.  She slept for almost three hours after.

I took her to the doctor the next day to see if she had some sort of infection that might be causing her fever but they took blood and swabbed her throat and everything came back normal - besides elevated white blood cell count which is normal of an infection. 

Helping out the nurse
So I guess we'll just keep on keepin' on and try to maintain the fever.  Luckily, Tommy had a fairly easy week and could watch her the days she's been home.  Whenever she doesn't feel good or has had a seizure we usually bring her in the bed to keep an eye on her. We are always afraid she'll have a seizure at night and we won't hear her.  This is how I found them on Monday morning.  So sweet :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Two weeks ago the family gathered for a much anticipated vacation in Orlando.  It was smoking hot - and I don't mean myself in a bikini. And unfortunately, my little Ethiopian decided to have a seizure after being seizure free for 3 whole months. 

We actually went to three urgent care clinics the next day to see what was causing her fever.  My guess was ear infection or sinus infection but the first place we drove to had a two hour wait. WHAT?!  The second place didn't see children under 5 years old and the other place heard the word "seizure" and told me we needed to go to the hospital. SIGH.

I called my primary care doctor as my last resort and begged them to call in an antibiotic for me.  We had to run back to the house we were staying at, grab our clothes and head downtown to check into the hotel and return the rental car in the next two hours.  I was stressed!  Needless to say the doctors office pulled through and we got her started on some medicine right away.

I didn't get a whole lot of photos from the trip because we got a new camera and Tommy of course toted it around with the strap around his neck like a big nerdy tourist.  I love that guy!

Here is a few photos I got with my phone of the hotel (we stayed at the Hard Rock).

Here's most of the kids, minus Micah and McKenzie

With all the stuff to do, they enjoyed walking around this tree!

She tried to hang but the heat and the excitement wore her out.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July, huh?!

This summer is flying by, how is it already July?!

Our nephews have been staying with us the past several weeks off and on so we've taken full advantage of the football field just down the street from our house.  We head down there with their bikes and let them ride and run around. (secretly hoping they will wear themselves out!)  Tommy is of course in heaven surrounded by all these kids.

I love Saturday's because Sanai is usually up before anyone else and it gives us some quiet time to snuggle.  This morning I had just taken her hair out the night before so I couldn't stop laughing at her hair and the funny faces she was making while I was taking her picture. ha ha
We always seem to migrate onto our front porch in the afternoons to watch the cars go by and enjoy the breeze.  I caught a rare moment of snuggles between these two.  Micah would cuddle with her all day, but she wants no part of that most of the time.  She was probably just too tired to fight him off, but they were watching Curious George :)
And for all those who are cringing at her hair...I know, I know.  She wasn't feeling well so I didn't mess with her hair that day.  But never fear, I got it back in tip top shape the next day.  Her hair is getting really long.  And she's doing a lot better at letting me actually do her hair.  Although it's still like World War 3 when I wash it on Sundays.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The kids were heading out to Vacation Bible School with a friend of ours last night so we tried to snap a photo of the kids. Anyone who has kids knows it takes precision and timing to get them to sit, look at the camera and smile TOGETHER.

It only took about 6 tries before we got a good one!  The last few photos are of Sanai smacking Micah in the head.  And the large knot on Sanai's head is from earlier when Micah accidentally shut the front door on her head.  How that actually happpened, I don't know.  Never a dull moment at our house!

Our lil peanuts! :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm a little behind, but wanted to share some pictures from our Memorial Day Weekend!  We have great friends, The Green's, who have a cabin near Mammoth Cave/Lake Nolan area and anytime we get an invite we take it.

There's something so relaxing about being away from home in the tree's.  There's no laundry and dirty dishes taunting me for a cleaning.  I pack shorts and tshirts for everyone as I know we aren't going to be doing anything but eating, gabbing and watching movies.

Relaxing on the back patio with a magazine. Nothing better!

Sanai and Tommy decided to take a little nap

Why doesn't this kid nap!


We found this awesome park, both kids loved it. 
The slides were intense, Sanai squealed the whole time!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The past few weeks have been busy, busy.  Tommy ended spring practice last week with a really good scrimmage against Watertown.  This week is their last week of school so he's pretty excited to get his summer started.

Sanai is EVERYWHERE now and has mastered walking. Almost!  She's such a water bug and loves taking showers.  If either one of us is in the shower she will push the door open and charge towards the shower curtain.  It's much easier to wash her this way because she gets so crazy in the tub so this is often how we bathe her.  She loves it!


On Saturday mornings I often walk about a mile or so to the farmers market downtown.  Usually Sanai is up so we pack a sippy cup and some cheerios and she's ready for a ride.  She likes to ride in comfort with her feet up on the tray.  Silly girl!
We've been utilizing a toy that she got for Christmas a lot lately.  She's recently discovered how much she loves watching PBS Kids on our phone but she also likes to press the button at the bottom and then will hand it back to me to turn it on. GRR  So if you put the phone in this case they can't hit the button and can watch the show.  GENIOUS.

This past weekend we got some barrels and are getting them ready to catch the rain from the roof on the other side of the house.  I think this will help in keeping water out of our basement and will help with constantly filling the swimming pool in the summer and watering my garden and flowers.  Micah's job was to rinse out the barrels because we bought them from a local car wash and they were full of soap.

More pics of our rain barrel system to come.  Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I guess it's because the weather is warm or maybe because several blogs I read daily are getting into clean eating but I've jumped on the bandwagon!

I recently purchased a juicer, I had some bonus points at work to spend on something and we really don't need anything so I wanted to get something I might not normally buy and as soon as I saw this I got super excited!!

I have attempted to cut sugar out of my diet.  No more soda, cookies, cake, candy, etc which has been hard because I have a major sweet tooth.  The first few days I had major headaches and cravings, I'm not going to lie.  But I continued drinking my water and would throw in some crystal light with dinner.  I started noticing that carrots, bananas, etc tasted very sweet to me and I could calm my sweet tooth with a piece of fruit instead of a piece of candy.

I've had to face the reality that I'm not in my 20's anymore and I can't just go run a few laps and do some crunches to get the weight off.  I'm not a morning person so I have a super hard time getting up early enough to work out before I get ready, get two small kids ready, get them to daycare and arrive at work by 8am.  It's not going to happen.  So the easiest way to get healthy and maintain a good weight is changing my eating habits and try to incorporate exercise when I can.

Not only that but I want to set a good example for my kids about being healthy.  I can't preach to them that they need to eat healthy and then I'm shoveling a giant bowl of ice cream in my mouth!  Which I don't do, by the way, but my husband does.  Yep. I threw him under the bus. 

Our kids have always been pretty good about eating fresh fruits and veggies. Of course Micah goes through his phases of not wanting certain things but he was home sick one day so I decided for lunch to surprise him with a unique way of eating his lunch.  I told him to start from one side and work his way to the other.  He successfully ate everything which included a grilled cheese cut into 4 pieces, an apple, tomato and carrots.

The first thing I started juiced was a few carrots and a few oranges and it tasted really good.  I can't believe the difference in juicing oranges versus store bought orange juice.  Anything citrus is so frothy and yummy. 

Micah also likes to get in on the juicing fun.  I have everything cut up before hand to make everything move faster.  This day we juiced a handful of strawberries (stems included), two large handfuls of spinach and a pear.  I thought it tasted like a fruit punch!  The true test was seeing what Micah would think.  So I poured it into a dark cup because honestly, it looked a gross dark green color.

Having fun juicing!

Taste testing...

Ok...he didn't like it! But at least he tried it!
I started getting more adventurous with my combinations and have found a few I really like. 
This combination was one green apple, one pear, a few celery stalks and the stalks from some broccoli that we had the night before.  I really like that things I would normally just throw away can be used.  This juice was light and refreshing and sweet from the fruit.

I have read how detoxifying beets are so I bought a few and tried them in some juice.  This combination is one beet (greens included), one carrot and one orange.  I have learned a few things about beets.  They need to be soaked in a vegetable wash bath and scrubbed THOROUGHLY before they are juiced.  Also, a little beet goes a long way.  This juice made me gag, I'm so cheap I plugged my nose and chugged it because I didn't want to throw it away but I literally felt sick to my stomach afterwards.  Beets taste like dirt.  I don't like beets.  Maybe one day I will give a beet another chance but when I walk by them at the grocery store my stomach churns. :(
I've also started making smoothies about once a week when I'm fully stocked with fruits and vegetables.  Tommy got me a pretty nice blender for my birthday and I really like it! 
The motor sits on top which is unique, but it has a lot of power and blends things a lot more than my Cuisinart blender did.  Plus, I love that the blender mechanism pulls completely out when you are done which makes it super easy to use a spatula to get every last drop out as well as clean it.  No more trying to get a spoon around the blender blades in the bottom!!  Of course I would love to get a Vitamix blender but I just can't justify spending that kind of money right now.
A normal smoothie might be a frozen banana, strawberries, blueberries, an orange, carrots, spinach, prunes, grapes, some water, ice cubes and some almonds.  You could also throw in flax seed, chia seed or anything other healthy supplement.  I thought this might taste gross but it's actually very good.  I don't always do the almonds and I don't like raspberries because the seeds get stuck in my teeth. (Again, if I had a Vitamix it wouldn't matter).  Whatever you have you can just throw it in!

Good to the last drop! 
What healthy things have you incorporated in your diet??


Thursday, April 18, 2013

This past weekend was cousin time.  Apparently CJ, my 10 yr old nephew, had been complaining that he didn't get to spend enough time with Sanai, Taraja, my 4 year old niece, complained she doesn't get to come over and Jerell, my 6 yr old nephew, complained he hadn't finished his "mission" to fight evil villians with Micah.  So they got to spend last Saturday at our house.  COUSIN SLEEPOVER! 

I think we did a good job at wearing them out.  I blew up the giant bounce house and they ran and jumped and played most of the early afternoon.  When Tommy got home he took them to the park and wore them out some more.

We headed home and grilled some hot dogs and hamburgers and then played outside until they couldn't see anymore.  We did assembly lines bathes and had everyone is bed by 9:15pm and all but one was completely knocked out by 9:45pm!

I'd say it was a fun successful weekend!

Picnic on the side deck with their snacks

He'll obviously sleep anywhere

Poor buddy fell asleep with one shoe off! ha ha

Dinner outside - less mess!