Tuesday, June 28, 2016

MRI Follow-Up

Parker had his first MRI 2.5 years ago.  6 months later we met with a neurosurgeon to discuss his Chiari Malformation that we hadn't been notified of originally.  We were advised to repeat the scan in 2 years, which brought us to today.  He had an MRI followed by an appointment with the neurosurgeon.  It was nice to have them on the same day so we didn't have to go back again, but it also made for a very long morning.  We left the house at 5:45 for a 6:30 check in.  It took a bit to get registered and in the room, but finally got his IV put in about 7:30.  He knew something was up right away, but did a really great job overall.
Blood Pressure
Numbing cream for the IV
 Children's St. Paul is getting a new MRI (it actually just arrived yesterday) so we had to walk to United Hospital to use theirs.  The buildings are connected, but it turned a 20 second walk in to 8 minutes with elevator rides.  Jimmy just stayed on the bed with him for the ride, which probably made us all a bit more comfortable.  It was much easier on Jimmy and myself since we kind of knew what to expect.
It still surprised me how quickly the sedative took effect.  I am sure his small size made it work faster as well.  I almost didn't get the camera rolling in time, but they barely press the plunger in and he was out.
 We waited in a nearby room for a few minutes while they got him settled, then the nurse walked us back to our room.  We grabbed a quick breakfast while we waited about an hour for him to return. (Food pictures aren't just for date night and vacations!)
 Esme was a trooper as well.  She has been sleeping until 3:30-4:30, but woke up at 1:15 last night.  This actually worked out really well because we were able to feed her again before leaving home.
 Last time it took about 15 minutes for him to start waking up once we were back with him, but it was almost immediate this time.  He was confused and disoriented, but was able to drink some apple juice and eat some snacks within 10 minutes.  He also did not like when they removed the IV, but I am sure it felt better once it was out.

 We were discharged from the hospital about 9:30 and our appointment with the neurosurgeon wasn't until 11.  We headed up to check in anyway in case they could get us in early.  Jimmy stayed there with him while I went to the cafeteria to get breakfast for Parker.  The doctor was being held up in surgery so we didn't get in early.  We were finally able to get a room a little before 11, but didn't see the doctor until noon.  It was quite a wait, but they gave us a free parking pass for the hassle which saved us $9.  He was pretty much back to normal by then, which made us all smile.
He had a head only MRI last time since they were not looking for anything in particular.  Now that he has been diagnosed with Chiari they did a head and spine scan.  They want to make sure he doesn't have any build up of spinal fluid, which can happen if the Chiari restricts the flow of fluid.  His scan from December 2013 is on the left below with today's on the right.  His Chiari is unchanged at this point which is very common.  If it were to change at some point it would likely get better and not worse.  
 All of his vertebrae are well aligned and spaced.  The dark line is his spinal chord and the white is spinal fluid.
Since nothing has since his last scan he will not need another for at least 5 years unless he starts exhibiting symptoms.  These include things like head and neck pain, problems with balance, poor fine motor skills, and difficulty swallowing.  We will return for physical examinations every 12-18 months to make sure he is not developing any spine abnormalities.  It was 6 hours from check-in to departure, but we made it and it was nice to get it out of the way before I head back to work.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Double Digit Weeks

Esme had a lot of first outings this week.  The Twins game on Tuesday, then we met up with my old work friend Gib for lunch and frisbee golf.  Esme slept through the whole round and we won!  Trees were his enemy that day...  And don't worry, I made sure to support her head when I threw.
Parker has continued to love up on Esme and those are my favorite moments.  He is liking to lift her up, play with her legs and pull her socks off.  I make sure to keep a close eye when they are together.
We are getting more smiles every day and got one for her weekly picture!
And here is a comparison of Parker and Esme.  She is definitely filling out more than Parker did, which is so adorable.  She has also maxed out my kitchen scale, so no more exact weights.
I didn't get any pictures of her final first, but we went to a church softball game.  I was making sure to watch the ball carefully which was good because we almost got hit!  The ball landed in her carseat, good thing I took her out!  Lots more first to come!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Esme's First Twins Game

Jimmy and I took Esme to her first Twins game last night.  We got a set of onesies from members of our small group and she looked adorable!  Parker stayed with my parents since he is a bit squirmy to go to a game.  You can check out his first game here.
She was very well behaved and seemed to like just sitting on my lap.  She slept for about half of the game and did get frightened by the cheering a few times.  We couldn't have asked for better weather, low 80s and very low humidity.  We also didn't have to worry about the sun since it was a night game.
The Twins are having a pretty terrible year, so we weren't expecting the stands to be too full.  We were both surprised at how well it filled out, but that may have been due to the opponent, the Phillies.  Interleague games sometimes bring out more fans since they are teams we don't see often.  It was a slugfest of a game!  There were 5 home runs, only 1 by the Twins, but they did win by a score of 14-10.  Not sure if we will get to any more games this year, but we had to get to one!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day and a Power Outage (C'mon Man!)

We had a great Father's Day, just got to relax and enjoy time with family.  I realize now that I only got one picture of Parker and that was our annual one with Grandpa Buxton.  It is so much easier to photograph a baby that can't move!  Jimmy has always been a great dad and I have loved watching him blossom in the last two months.  He doesn't always show it for the camera, but he is having fun.  And he is much better at getting her to smile.
 After church we went to Jimmy's parents for lunch.  Grandpa Herrmann is recovering well from his heart transplant and is really enjoying his time with Esme.
Our Father's Day tradition continued with Grandpa Buxton, pictures with trees.  Parker's tree is getting huge!  What a difference 4 years makes.
 Esme got in on the action with her own tree!  It is some sort of pine/fir (he informed me it is a red pine!)
, but I can't remember which one.
Jimmy was awoken at 12:30 am by ANOTHER power outage.  You may know our history in this area and it isn't great!  We got an initial repair time of 2:00, then 4:30.  It still wasn't back on at 5:00 and we were running short on time if we wanted to save the fridge food, so I packed it all up (AGAIN!) and headed to my parents.  Once again it was a great change to clean the fridge and defrost the freezer, but not exactly what I wanted to wake up to.  I found out a couple hours later that the power came back on about 20 minutes after we left.  It was a pleasant surprise given our history, but bummed me out a bit because it was a lot of work!  Grandpa didn't mind because he got to hang out with the kiddos some more!  It was only out for 5 hours this time, which makes our running total about 130 hours since we moved in.  It could be worse and I am grateful we have somewhere to go when it happens.  
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, have a great week!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Park Hopping

It has been a pretty beautiful week here so we went to a lot of parks!  We hit up a couple within walking distance earlier in the week.
On Thursday morning we checked out a huge new park in Maple Grove, Central Park.  It is right next to a big pond that Parker kept running towards which made me nervous.  I had Esme in the carrier, so at least I was able to kinda jog after him.  There were swings and rock walls and ropes and so much more!
 We finally came across an awesome slide made of rollers and he was hooked!
 We stopped at Costco to pick up some pictures and walked around for "lunch."  Mmmm...mini pizza!
 Friday was date night, so we picked up some pies at Element Pizza.  Jimmy picked the spice sausage (it was really spice) and I got the alfredo with chicken!  This place isn't too far from my work, which is how I first found out about it.
 We took the pizza to another new park not too far away, Columbia Park.
 My friend and co-worker Rick stopped by for a visit after his Saturday shift today.  He isn't really a baby guy, but I made him hold Esme a few weeks ago and now he thinks she is pretty cool.  He kept asking if she was gonna get angry or puke on him...silly guy!
We'll finish the week with some extra cuteness.  Here are her 9 week pictures from Thursday.  We just did some on Tuesday for 2 months, but I didn't want to miss a week yet!  Go Big Red!