Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Emma Update

Good morning everyone! Emma's decline takes place so slowly that we probably forget to update you sometimes on how she is doing. We don't see changes from day to day, but we certainly see declines from month to month.

Emma seems to be in more and more pain these days. She has recently been fussy, well, always. We're not sure if it is abdominal pain or something else, but we must hold her all waking hours to ease her crying. Even then it doesn't always work. Some days are better. She has also began locking her whole body stiff as a board. It is hard to tell if this is its own action, or whether it is muscle cramps or a reaction to abdominal pain. Either way, the poor thing just locks up with an arched back, stiff legs and over extended feet and cries. We can gently get her back into a ball and she will stop crying and usually go to sleep.

Eating and drinking are becoming more challenging by the day. She has lost the swallowing function and just does a repetitive tongue thrust to get food down. Drinking is less graceful so we use a drink thickener to help her out. Thankfully she is keeping weight on pretty good and now feels like a ton of lead compared to Cora!
Em has also started a shaking in her legs, called "clonus" that resembles shivering from being cold, although she is not. It is just a symptom of another area of the brain being effected.

On a positive note, to commemorate the arrival of baby Cora, Emma's Hugs gave out 100 days of pre-paid parking at MD Anderson Cancer Center on Saturday. That brings our total to over 300 days of parking...and we're just getting started!


To close, check out this beautiful girl in her school picture!
Anyone can run a marathon, but to inspire someone else to run the race is a greater accomplishment. Emma has made many accomplishments!

Kelvin

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cora Update and Pictures

OK folks, sorry this is Kelvin and not Christy, but everyone keeps asking for pictures. Christy and Cora are asleep, so I thought I would post an update. This will certainly be a utilitarian post and void of all of Christy's nice touches. Mispelled wordds will be added for your entertainment. Oh well, you'll appreciate her more on her next post!

Baby and Mom came home yesterday, about 27 hours post-delivery. All is well for both. Here are a few pictures...enjoy...

I will take a quick second to tell everyone what an incredible wife, mother, friend, baby-deliverer, prayer partner, solid rock and beautiful soul Christy is. She goes through the rigors of life with a smile and helping hand to others. She is wise. She is a blessing to her friends and family. She is a Proverbs 31 woman. And if I may say so myself- she's a hottie and she's mine!!! Wooo-hoooo!!!...kelvin (ps- if this post disappears, you know Christy is redoing it!)

Christy with Cora at less than a minute old.





Mommy and baby at 18 minutes old





WHERE'S MY NIPPLE?




Video of Cora as newborn



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Proud Mother Goose and her goslings







Singing Happy Birthday to Cora!



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Cora's Birthday Cake






Dad's Labor and Delivery Locker




The new fam...

Kids with Cora



Here is Christy at 4pm today...only 48 hours after delivery. That's my girl!!! This is a real picture, I swear!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cora is here

Cora was born at 3:23 pm March 27, 2009.
She was 19" long and weighed 7 lb 11 oz.
She is a beautiful girl and is nursing great.
Christy made it look as easy as eating ice cream.
Mom and baby are doing great.
We have pics but the inet connection is slow right now...will post later
k

Thursday, March 26, 2009

We're Heeeere!

*********************Updated at 3:23pm*******************

CORA IS HERE AND ALL ARE WELL, CHRISTY WAS AWESOME, WATCH FOR PICS LATER

KELVIN

**************Updated 1:30 p.m.************************
All is going well. Her water has broken and she is progressing smoothly. The contractions are getting stronger. Christy has assumed her favorite labor position and is rocking back and forth on the yoga/labor ball.

Keep the posts and e-mails coming. I'm reading them to Christy and she's enjoying it.

Kelvin

**************Updated 9:05 a.m.************************
OK, notice the pit drip! We're drippin now baby! Maybe I'll be holding a sweet baby and eating lunch at the same time! I'm thinking happy thoughts, praying serious prayers. The contractions are coming closer now. How is it I never remember just how intense they get? It's ok, I'll get something precious for the pain.



Here's a pick of the monitor showing my contractions and Cora's heartbeat. She is such an active little thing! Sometimes it sounds like she's sprinting in there!




**************Updated at 6:15 a.m.***********
Not much going on here yet. I'm about to get a shower before they start the pitocin drip. Hoping that little drip thing will get this show on the road. I'm getting excited to see little Cora (and not feel her poking my ribs.) Funny story...Luke started getting really excited about seeing Cora yesterday. It was so sweet. Just before Kelvin and I were leaving he started begging us to give her two middle names. He said, "Her name can be Cora LeeAnne Sally Dunnam!" I told him we would have to see. Mom told me last night he and Carleigh were talking about playing with Cora after she comes home. Mom reminded them she would be sleeping and laying around a lot for a pretty long time, and Luke said after about a week she should be good to go, huh? ;) Carleigh made Cora a pretty rainbow picture and wrote her a note telling Cora to "have a great time in the hospital. Love, your big sister Carleigh" PRECIOUS!
-------------------------------------------------------
We're at the hosptial. I've been having miniature contractions, but nothing serious yet. I have progressed a little since I was checked Monday, so that's good news. I'm hoping things start progressing soon. I would really like to see this precious little doll before lunch tomorrow. Hope that's not too optimistic! Thanks for the prayers!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

First go 'round

It's kind of hectic around here trying to get things ready for Cora (me, for one), still taking care of the kids (thank goodness for help!), and trying to get a movie together about the benefit, as well as some other stuff I'll fill you in on later. ;)

Well, here is the first round of pictures from the benefit. To say it was a huge success would be an understatement. The word that keeps rising to the surface to describe the day is "overwhelmed." We are completely overwhelmed! There were so many people there on Saturday, a ton of whom we don't even know. We had friends show up we haven't seen in years and others who came from quite a distance just to help! I can't even tell you how many volunteers there were, from close friends to barely acquaintances. All I can say is we are blessed and loved, and we truly feel it and appreciate it. The tears came easily as I sat and watched the outpouring of love and generosity of so many. The auctions were a huge success and a lot of fun. Kelvin and I were just a tiny bit bummed we couldn't bid on some of the incredibly cool items there! ;) It was a hoot to watch though. The bands were awesome, and Emma loved every minute they played. The whole day was completely delightful! Carleigh and Luke had a very good time too. I think Luke jumped in the moonwalk almost the whole day. Carleigh's class made beaded bracelets and sold them for donations at the benefit. They raised over $500!!

There will be more to share. Here is an article that was in our local paper on Sunday. I know there were a lot of people taking pictures, and I will post them as soon as I can. Thank you again for your prayers and support for Emma and our family! We love you. Don't forget to pause the music on the blog by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sorry it's taking so long

I am working on getting everything ready for a grand post about the completely wonderful benefit Saturday. We are truly blessed. Hang in there with me. It's coming, very soon, very soon indeed.

As for Cora, if she doesn't decide to come before Thursday, I will go in Thursday night and they will start inducing me. Pray for me not to be so anxious about this please.

If you haven't seen already, please pray for baby Stellan, MckMama's little miracle. He is in the PICU fighting SVT (I think those are the right initials.) His heart rate keeps skyrocketing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lookin Good

I had an ultrasound today. Everything is looking good. She is all cramped in there, but I still have plenty of fluid and she only weighs around 7 pounds, give or take. Cora looks just like Carleigh and Emma...those sweet little lips and cute nose! After the ultrasound the midwife and I reviewed everything. She said it all looks good but that they would induce between 38-39 weeks because of the diabetes, and that would mean next week! She said we'd nail it all down at my check-up Monday. I'm hoping the little doll will come on her own on Sunday so I don't have to worry about being induced, and we can still keep our appointment with the organization we have an evaluation for Emma with on Friday. Nothing like trying to plan everything, huh? I know, it's comical!

Well, it looks like God is granting us our requests for good weather tomorrow. It's supposed to be a pretty day. The benefit is going to be a blast! If you're into auctions, this is your day. There are around 100 silent auction items, as well as 100 live auction items and several raffles too. I can't wait to see everyone! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers! Watch for some pictures tomorrow night.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bea-u-ti-ful Spring Break

This week the kids are out for spring break, and we could not have asked for more beautiful weather. Yesterday my friend and I took our kiddos to Old MacDonald's Farm. It was lovely...not too crowded, nice sunshine, nice breeze, plenty to do and animals to feed. The only thing that would have made it better for my inquisitive two was to meet MacDonald himself. They wanted to know where in the world he was, or I should say, wasn't on his farm! I think I said he had to go buy some stuff for the animals or something.

Today was a fun day too. Kelvin took off, and we took the big kids to the Aquarium in downtown Houston. We got to see all kinds of fun animals. Everything from tree frogs to white tigers! It was pretty fascinating. Of course they had fish and sharks in ginormous tanks too! We rode the train, played the carnival games, rode a fun ride (not me of course), and ate some good food. I even took a bite of ice cream.

This morning we took Emma with us to an evaluation for a state funded program that would have hopefully helped with some services for her. Two and a half hours later we learned 1) we make too much money, 2) the waiting list is 7-10 years, and 3) there is a waiting list for all of their services once you get past the BIG waiting list. Could they not have told us that over the phone? Oh well...live and learn! I'm hoping our evaluation next week with a different agency is a little more fruitful.

We're looking forward to a great weekend. The benefit is going to be great, and God is providing some beautimous weather too. If you live in the area and have an hour or two to spare on Saturday, come on out! It's gonna be tons of fun...fun for all ages. The live and silent auctions are going to be a blast! I've heard there is literally something for everyone...from tattoos to Harley and Honda cakes! Kickstands go up at San Jacinto Harley at 10 a.m. I think they want the riders to get there around 9, and Kelvin and Emma will be there to see them off! There will be cash prizes for the motorcycle contests! Can't wait to see you there!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Update on Christy

I had another check up today. Seems my glucose levels are too crazy to control with just a change in diet. So, I'm on medication now, and I have to go in twice a week. One day will be a check-up, and they'll hook me up to the monitor to count Cora's movement and any contractions. The other day will be to get an ultrasound to monitor Cora's breathing and fluid levels. And, I will be induced the 39th week (I'm at 37 weeks now) if she hasn't already come before then, which could happen. Carleigh was three weeks early, and Luke was two weeks early. Emma came on her due date. I'm at a one right now. I'm not too thrilled with the idea of being induced since I've never done that before. Everyone is different, but I prefer to do things naturally with no drugs and no intervention. We'll see. I'm sure everything will work out for the best. One thing I'm sure of is that I'm just ready for a big piece of chocolate cake!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You never know what you're gonna get

"Like is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get." ~~Forrest Gump

Well, so is the weather in southeast Texas, Forrest! Last week we were wearing shorts and t-shirts in the 80 degree warm humidity, and by the end of the week, we were dragging out our sweaters and jackets again for the rainy, highs in the mid to upper 40s! We even have a fire going in the fireplace! The only thing that would make this day better would be to eat some yummy roasted marshmallows! (Darn glucose! What a bummer!) So, just hang around long enough, and you'll probably see the weather you so desire. That's alright, keeps us on our toes.

I'm trying to be prepared for when Cora decides to come. Easter is April 12, and I wanted to get the kids' clothes bought early so I wouldn't be stressing about it if Cora decides to come early, and I couldn't get to the store. So, I ventured out to our new Children's Place, (yippee!) and bought some adorable Easter clothes for the kiddos.



I even bought a matching outfit for all three girls to wear this summer! I'm really going to have to restrain from going into Children's Place too often. They have some of the cah-utest things!!

So, we're on spring break now. We're hoping to get in a fun activity or two this week...maybe the zoo with the big kids or the bluebonnets with the whole family with a stop at the Blue Bell Creamery (I could get a bite), or we could just continue doing the fun family stunts we experienced tonight...

video

I'm so impressed that Kelvin is so agile at his age. ;) Today Carleigh asked Kelvin when he got that bald spot on the top of his head, to which Luke answered, "about 10,000 years ago!" Lookin' good to me baby!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Start Prayin Now

OK, I need all the good weather prayers to start now. The benefit for Emma is next Saturday, March 21. We need pretty weather for this event. Please pray God will bless us with this petition. So many people have worked so hard and have contributed so much to make this event a success. I would like to see their efforts blessed with blue skies. So, will you join me in praying for sunshine for Emma's Bayou Bash? Thanks a million!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Walking Zombie

Emma decided not to sleep last night until I had to get up at 6 or so this morning. So, I'm feeling like a walking zombie today. She had a session with her new teachers from the school district today. I had to wake her up when they got here at 9:30. She wasn't all too thrilled to get out of my warm, cozy bed and do any kind of work this morning, thank you very much. It took her a while to get warmed up to the fact at all, and she still wasn't too cooperative even then.

We have a couple of meetings scheduled for evaluations for her for different agencies who can help with different things. They are scheduled for next week and the week after that. I explained to them both that our attendance to these meetings would depend upon whether or not I was in labor or in the hospital with Cora, and that didn't seem to phase them one little tiny bit. "Sorry, those are the first available appointments we have. If you need to reschedule, we'll understand." Yeah, but will you have another appointment before the summer? (Just a little side conversation that went on in my head.) So, either come in the next couple of days, Cora, or hold out until March 31 or so, sister!

Did you know that this week was Dr. Zeuss's birthday? Luke's class celebrated this week with crazy sock day yesterday, and Cat in the Hat day today. He came home looking adorable! What do you think?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Movin' on up!

My boomin' metropolis of a town is movin' on up in the shopping world. The Children's Place clothing store has it's grand opening tomorrow! I'm so excited! One less store I have to go out of town to shop now! WHOO HOO! The small things in life are usually the biggest blessings, wouldn't you agree. :) So, tomorrow afternoon I will be Easter shopping with the rest of the crazy excited mamas in town!

Congratulations goes out to my sweet friend Lesley! They found out today they are having a girl...Cora's future little partner in crime, I'm sure. After 3 boys, it's about time some pink showed up in their house. Hee Hee!

We are all on the mends now with maybe the exception of Kelvin. I think he's trying to get the crud too. Emma and I still have a little lingering cough, and Em is still fighting a runny nose, but we're getting there. I took Carleigh to the doctor Monday afternoon and she tested positive for strep. She stayed home from school Monday and Tuesday but did a little happy dance because she finally got to go back today after being on the med for 24 hours. She was not at all happy with the amount of homework she has to do now, however! The tears started flowing. I think she was a little relieved to know she doesn't have to get it all done tonight.

Well, enough said for now. I need to get on the Children's Place website and do some pre-shopping so I won't be so overwhelmed tomorrow! Happy Trails!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Passing around the sick bug

There's an update on the benefit entry.

The kids and I are passing around the crud. I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago with fever and congestion. Luke and Emma went last week, and now Carleigh is complaining of a soar throat and running a little fever, so I'm headed in with her today. Oh well, at least it's not the stomach virus that's going around!

Friday we had some tummy and family pictures taken! It was fun, and the pictures I've seen came out great! I'll post some when I get them back.

I had a check up today, and the midwife said we're in the very early stages of progression. It could be a while still, but if the little darling decided to come in the next few days, they wouldn't be concerned. My sugar report didn't look so great though. She said we'd give it one more week making some slight adjustments in my diet, and if half the levels are still coming in high we'll start medication. I hope the diet adjustments work! I'm also hoping Cora won't come on the day of the benefit, March 21. So many people are doing so many wonderful things to make it a success, I would hate to miss out on all the fun!

I still have quite a lot to do to get ready for our new addition. There are clothes to be washed, closets to clean out and chests of drawers to be moved. We'll get it done, or we won't, and it will still be ok. :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Heart of Sailing Dunnam Family Sail

Before I forget, Emma is fighting a cold. I think she probably got it from me.
:( I took her to the doctor today, and he said her ears look good and her lungs sounded like she had a little rattle in the upper part but the rest sounded good. Warm liquids and rest is the script. So, I'm hoping she'll feel better real soon.

We had such a wonderful time sailing in February. The older two kids had a ball being captain and raising and lowering the sails. I had a great time just sitting there and soaking it all in. It was good to be on the water again. I miss the beach house more and more, especially since we're getting some warmer days now. Enjoy the pictures...

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Here is some information about the organization that provided our sailing experience...
The Heart of Sailing Foundation
Sailing Therapy for Special Needs Children

Our Mission
The Heart of Sailing Foundation is a non-profit charitable 501(c)(3) international organization which introduces sailing to children with developmental disabilities as a form of education and recreational therapy. Teaching sailing to our special needs children has proven to be an exhilarating experience, yet calming, tranquil and highly rewarding…for the children, their parent(s)/caregiver(s) as well as those of us who serve them. We do not charge for this service but, instead, rely upon and are most appreciative of donations.

The Adventure
The sailing, conducted throughout the year during daytime and evenings on weekdays & weekends, is about two and a half to three hours long. The child must be accompanied by his/her parent(s) or care giver and must be willing to wear a life preserver. Basically, the first half hour is a ‘getting to know you’ time during which we discuss things about the boat as well as safety items. When we leave the dock, the child helps steer the boat as we motor out to open water. The child also learns knot-tying, navigation and piloting of the sailboat along the way. Once the sails are raised by the child and Captain working together, the child begins to steer the boat under sail. The child, while at the helm steering the boat, is told that he/she is then the Captain (i.e. “the boss”) and, therefore, gets to wear my Captain’s hat. At the conclusion, the child is awarded a certificate as well as a large medallion on a ribbon which can be draped around his/her neck, similar to an Olympic medal.

More About Us
The foundation is providing this free service in 36 locations within the United States and served approximately 3,000 children in 2008. In the Greater Houston area, we provided our service to 313 children in 2008, and plan for at least 500 in 2009. To learn more about the Heart of Sailing Foundation, please go to our web site: www.heartofsailing.org While at our Homepage, be sure to check out two things: (1) our latest PowerPoint presentation and (2) the special feature produced by FOX News. Register for a Free Sail Please log onto our website (www.heartofsailing.org) and do the following: At the top of our Homepage, click on 'Sail With Us' At the next page, scroll down and click on 'Houston-Galveston' At the next page, below '2009' click on 'register' and then complete the registration form Upon our receipt of your registration, we'll make contact with you and we can firm up a sail date.

What Else You Can Do
Please help us spread the word to families with special needs children. Also, if you know those who may be willing to support this unique therapeutic program, please encourage them to help. We depend upon donations from individuals, corporations and charitable foundations. Additionally, we need more boats (loaners or donated) plus many more volunteers: skippers, crew on the boats, as well as help with administration, support during events and fundraising. Come join us!

Heart of Sailing, Houston-Galveston Chapter:
1714 Festival Drive, Houston, TX 77062
Phone: (281) 488-1780
Cell: (281) 507-1867
e-mail—davemccabe@heartofsailing.org

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cakes

Inquiring minds want to know about the adorable cakes at Cora's shower. My sweet friend here in town made them. Email me if you would like to contact her.

Kinda Bummed

It was confirmed last week that I do indeed have gestational diabetes. Did I say that already? Anyway, yesterday I went to the hospital for a consultation with the dietitian and nurse. We discussed some diet changes, and the nurse showed me how to prick my finger and what numbers I need to look for. I have to record them for a week and fax them my results. He was telling me that hopefully the glucose levels can be controlled with the diet, but sometimes the body just needs some help, which would mean medication or insulin. So far, it's not looking so good with the finger pricks. My levels last night and this morning were both off. :( I'm hoping things level out soon.

Emma saw her new home bound teacher yesterday. It was a good visit. I'm glad we decided on home bound for her. Changes don't seem to be up her alley lately.

Last night we went to a local steakhouse and listened to Mean Gene Kelton play. He is one of the bands playing at Emma's benefit. It was a lot of fun! Emma really liked the music. She gets so excited when there is live music. I think she can feel the vibration of the instruments. It was good to see her reacting that way. Lately, she has been unhappy most of the time. She cries and fusses, and I'm just not sure why. It's really disheartening.

I'm working on getting the pictures together from the sailing trip we took. I'll try to post them later today.
Have a good one!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Emma is 3!

 


Carleigh and Luke enjoyed helping blow out the candles. What a sweet brother and sisiter! She loves music, and one of her gifts were those cute little headphones. She's in her favorite spot all snuggled down listening to music at the bottom of the pictures. I think you can click on the collage and enlarge the pictures. (I'm still learning all this stuff.) It was a bittersweet day.

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There was such a dramatic change from last year's party. She's still our precious little angel though. It's so hard to watch her disease progress so rapidly. It's like she's trapped in a body that won't let her spread her wings. I wish she could be free.

Baby Cora's Shower

 


Here are some pictures from the sweet baby shower a few of our very special friends gave baby Cora. We had a good time, got lots of cute clothes and neat baby things, and ate some really yummy and beautiful cake!
 
I think if you click on the picture collage you'll be able to enlarge the view of the pictures. (I'm still trying to figure out all of this blog stuff.) A big thank you to all!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Still here

Just letting you know we haven't fallen off the deep end...yet. ;) I was sick this week, and just bombarded with other things to do and couldn't find the time to write. It's been kind of a hard week. Emma is three today. I'm happy and sad. I realized yesterday I have a very hard time going to the store to shop for special occasions for her. It takes its toll on me. I want to get her all the fun 3 year old toys she should be getting, but instead have to settle for something more appropriate for her needs. We're having a small family party after church today, so stay tuned for pictures of the beautiful birthday babe!

And if you remember from last week, we went sailing last Sunday. The weather was beautiful, a little breezy and cool, but still beautiful, and we had a wonderful time. More to come on our excursion!

Hang in there with me! I'll get going again soon, very soon! (Hopefully tonight)
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