Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And the answer is...

...that they don't have an answer. I got a call from the pediatric gi office today stating that, according to the labwork and test results, Savannah has a clean bill of health. Except of course, that she is still having explosive diarrhea, a distended tummy, losing weight, and has no appetite without drugs. Except for that part.

She has no food allergies, no lactose intolerance, nothing in her stool cultures, and basically all 3000 tests they can came back negative. The only thing they even remotely found was that her levels for celiac disease were slightly elevated, but not enough to diagnose her with the disease. Whatever that means. Which is good. Except that the symptoms are still there.

So, on April 24th, at 5 am, we get to journey over to the hospital where Savannah will be pretty heavily sedated and her specialist will do an upper endoscopy and colonoscopy to see what he can discover. Basically, they take a very tiny camera and take a look at all of her inner organs, intestines, fluids, etc, from the inside.

I'm tired and frustrated. I'm glad they didn't find anything, but then I'm annoyed that we now wait another month for answers. Meanwhile, my poor baby had a very rough couple of days over the weekend. On Saturday morning, she had eight episodes of diarrhea in four hours. Then on Sunday she was fine. I don't get it! Obviously, they don't either. But I wish they did. You know? :) I'm going to go cheer up now and promise to return with a happy-go-lucky post about the sweetest 19-month-old girl in the world. Okay? :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just Call Me Miss Photogenic

I think we're retiring from pageants! Savannah did her last one today and she didn't win the queen, but she DID win America's Doll Baby Miss Photogenic! :) She has never won a photogenic award so we were very excited!

Excuse the messy hair - it was quite windy out!
She did a great job and we were very proud of her! She was third runner up in the national pageant, so thats pretty good. :) Way to go, girly!
On that note though, I think we're finished with pageants. It has been SO much fun and Savannah has done so well, but we're nearing the toddler age where we really have to choose to commit to doing them every weekend to keep up the stage skills or just forget about it. So I think we're just gonna forget about it for now. :) There are so many other things that we want to be involved in at church and in our community, and pageants aren't something that we want to center our weekends around. We are thankful for the fun we've had, the friends we've made, and the prizes that have boosted Savannah's savings account! Savannah still holds a few titles and will continue to represent those and we will travel back to the pageant to crown her successors, but we aren't going to compete for any new titles.
But, of course, she will always be the little queen of our hearts!!! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

No News Is Good News?

This is maddening.

I'm quite convinced they have some test results by now... but they're not telling me what they are yet. Perhaps they are waiting on all of them to come in before they tell me anything at all.

Today, in the mail came an envelope from the hospital lab. I excitedly ripped it open (letters mean negative tests results - so I knew I could get excited) only to find that it was the BILL for the lab work. At least SOMEBODY is on top of things! :)

Hopefully no news is good news?!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What a Poopy Day! (Literally!)

What a dark, sleepy, rainy morning to have to go to the hospital!!! Savannah did not want to rise and shine - and she didn't even know what we were up to today!

We got up early and headed downtown to the Children's Hospital where Savannah was a real trooper for testing. When we walked in she got a funny look and said "Ewww. Boo-boo." She remembered having blood drawn there the other day. We have talked about how we have to go see the doctor for testing on her "boo-boo belly." The lab tech (also a fabulous guy - we've been blessed with wonderful professionals!) came over and explained the whole procedure and then we got started. They prepped her skin with a gel to induce sweating and then placed four electrodes on her arms. The mild electrical current had to run through each arm for five minutes, and during that time, Savannah had to sit completely still. She did great! After that part was over, they removed the electrodes and placed a special patch on each arm to collect sweat. The patch also dyed the sweat blue so that we could see how much we collected. Then she could do whatever she wanted. For a while she just wanted to sit and snuggle with her Mama. She was still a little afraid they were going to poke her again. But she eventually warmed up and they even had her dancing in the hall and playing tag (remember - the goal was to work up a sweat!). But wouldn't you know... princesses don't sweat! :) They checked her after 15 minutes and she had only sweated about one drop on each arm. So they put another shirt on her and wrapped her up in a blanket and waited a little longer - still barely any sweat! The goal was to fill the vial on each arm and run two tests - and average the two. However, we only got enough sweat for maybe one test, and we're not even sure about that. The time was up though, and we had to take the patches off to prevent blistering.

However, Savannah knew that the other day she got a sticker when she left there, and she was NOT about to leave without another one. :) She looked right at the lab tech and said "boo-boo sticker?" Haha. :) So he gave her a BUNCH of stickers. :)

So now we just wait on a bunch of results! She is, however, having big tummy troubles again. They usually subside for a few days and then come back... and they're back. In fact, we stopped for breakfast on the way home from the hospital and she had a massive blow out. Well, we needed samples to run the tests on, so I had to take her to the bathroom and get the samples in containers they had given me. You should have seen the looks I got! I mean what kinda mom is standing over a kid covered in poop scraping it off with a plastic spoon and putting it in little vials?! If I was witty I should have thought of something funny to say to all of the older women looking at me weird... but I'm not. Instead I just grinned. :)
The poor girl has had six episodes since 3pm yesterday. The good news is that we managed to get all of the samples we needed for the labs. I decided today that when she is a sassy teenager and thinks her mom is good for nothing - I'm going to remind her of today when I had to dig through her diaper with a plastic spoon to get lab samples! :)
A big thanks to Mimi for going with me today to the tests and helping out when Savannah had a major blowout. :) And thanks to Mimi and Grandad for being the "poop courier" and taking the samples back to the hospital to keep me from having to drive there a third time this week. :)
And thanks to all of our friends and family who have been such an encouragement - it really helps to know of all of your prayers during this crazy and uncertain time. :) I knew I had great friends and good blog readers - but you guys have really blown me away this time. Love you all! Keep us in your prayers as we now do the really hard part - wait! :)

Testing Day

Good morning! We are headed to the hospital this morning for a big day of testing. I'm holding my breath that today's test for cystic fibrosis is negative, but even if it is not, we know who our God is and a diagnosis will not change that. We know He will carry us through anything and that He is good, and that He loves Savannah even more than we do! To Him be the glory - no matter what happens. Thanks for praying for us today!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ummmm.... what?

Thats what my brain is saying right now. I would be lying if I said I didn't sit here for probably eight minutes staring into space trying to think of where to start. When I woke up this morning, I was in no way prepared for Savannah's doctor visit. This kid is no stranger to doctors' offices (yep, she got my genes there) and I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was kinda relieved that today was the day we would get answers, and kinda dreading the whole visit because I figured at some point it would involve a needle and thats never a good thing.

Well, four hours later, we don't have any answers yet, but we do have a very awesome doctor with very big concerns for our very little girl.

Here is what we DO know:
1. Savannah has lost a pound and a half this month and is almost back to what she weighed at 12 months old.
2. Savannah's belly is very distended (I knew her belly stuck out even though she is underweight, but I never considered that a symptom).
3. Savannah does not eat the amount of a normal 18-month-old (once again, I knew she didn't eat much but thought she just "ate like a bird" and didn't realize that was a symptom either).
4. Savannah has almost never had a normal bowel movement.
5. The blisters on Savannah's bottom are not healing like they should be.

Here is what we are trying to find out:
1. Does Savannah have a food allergy?
2. Is Savannah lactose intolerant or allergic to milk products (including cheese, yogurt, etc)?
3. Is Savannah's digestive system itself functioning right (are the bowels normal, does her digestive system produce enough enzymes, etc)?
4. Does she have a parasite or white blood cells in her stool?
5. Does she have celiac disease?
6. Does she have cystic fibrosis?

As I was standing in the doctor's office, I felt like all of the medical terms and questions were coming at me faster than I could even focus on. I had barely processed enzymes and white blood cells and then suddenly we're talking about celiac disease and cystic fibrosis? What? Slow down! Unfortunately doctor's offices don't schedule time in their day for you to process info and they just load you up with it and push you out the door.

What we are going to do now:
1. Savannah will take an appetite stimulant three times per day.
2. Savannah will take a multivitamin.
3. Savannah will take pro-biotics to put good bacteria in her stomach (like in yogurt).
4. We will keep a food diary.
5. We will collect five stool samples the next time that she has an episode and take them to the hospital lab.
6. On Thursday, we will go to the hospital to have a test done to rule out cystic fibrosis. The procedure is to thoroughly hydrate her, put patches on her skin, then get her nice and hot to make her sweat, then get some kind of test results from the patches on her skin that collect her sweat. It will probably take a few hours to complete - but no needles or pain!
7. We will meet back with the pediatric gi doctor and a nutritionist in four weeks to discuss the next steps. If all of these tests are not conclusive, they will then put her to sleep at the hospital and look at the inside of her tummy with a scope to make sure everything is working correctly and we'll go from there.
8. Today we went to the hospital and they drew two huge vials of blood to do several allergy/lactose tests (THANK YOU, GRAM-B for being the trooper and holding Savannah down while I stood in the hall about to fall to pieces!). Savannah did great from what I hear, but if you know me and blood, we don't mix well, and I stood outside during that process.

Hello? Are you feeling like I'm feeling right now? I was SO NOT PREPARED for this! Hospital? Labs? Put her to sleep? WHAT?! Maybe I was insane going in there, but I really thought they would say something like... oh this looks like a dairy allergy - cut all of the dairy out of her diet for a month and then come back and we'll see how things are going. But instead they said, "This looks very serious and we need to get to the bottom of it - which we WILL do. Your concerns are very valid and I share them completely. We will solve this mystery."

I am very comforted that she has a fabulous doctor who took me very seriously and will leave no stone unturned - but I guess I'm just processing it all. I am also super thankful to Darren's mom for going with me. I thought she was going to help entertain Savannah - but God knew that I would need someone else to listen to the doctor and be a moral support to me, too! I was reminded by MckMama's blog when I checked on little Stellan... nothing takes God by surprise. NOTHING! He made Savannah, and He made Savannah's tummy, and He knows exactly what is wrong with it. And I'm so thankful (but still a little overwhelmed....)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Praying for Stellan

There is this blog I read, My Charming Kids, written by a very humorous mom, about her life with four kids under the age of four. I think she is hilarious and I go there often to put life in perspective. Well, today it really put life in perspective for me.

Her youngest, a four month old charming little boy named Stellan, has SVT. If you don't know what that is, it means that sometimes his heart beats way, way, way faster than its supposed to. Like 300 beats a minute. Well, last night, his started to do that, and hasn't stopped since. The doctors aren't sure his little body can last much longer. I know that you friends do not know this lady, or her precious little Stellan, but I am asking you to hit your knees in prayer for her and this baby - because she would do it for you.

They have tried to stop his heart and put it back to a normal rhythm using drugs and other techniques, but it hasn't worked. They may have to intubate him and he has already been sedated. His heart is enlarged and they aren't sure how much longer his body can take it. PLEASE PRAY!

This is a little boy who is adorable and the doctors told his mom he would never make it out of her womb, but he did. God has a special purpose for this little boy, and for his mom's sake, I hope that purpose is a lot longer than 4 months!!! Please join with me in prayer. If you want to visit her site, please follow this link. http://www.mycharmingkids.net/

Thank you!!!

Sleepy Swimmer

I meant to post this picture in the last post, but I forgot. Ooops. Anyway, I thought it was cute. Our little girl loves to sleep in, and we had to wake her up for swimming lessons. Her hair was all "nappy" (as my former campers would have said), she had sleepies all over her face, and she thought blankie and paci needed to come along for the ride. :) What a sleepy swimmer!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our Little Fish

Savannah started swimming lessons at the YMCA today. I was a little worried, but she did great! Daddy stayed in the water with her.

Dad, you have water on your face.

Little Miss Sydney was in Savannah's class too! Sydney's momma was pregnant at the same time as Savannah's momma and they were born just six weeks apart. They're going to be great buddies.

After getting used to the water, she decided to befriend the swimming instructor. She was the only kid brave enough to swim with the lifeguard. :)

Sydney had the float down to an art.

Savannah liked floating too but didn't care for her head to be in the water.

Savannah learned to blow bubbles in the water...

And how to get in and out of the pool properly.

Look how curly Sydney's hair is!

They also bobbed up and down in the water... and then the last time, Daddy bobbed her head under. We thought she would cry, but she didn't...she just spit a lot. haha.

Here are our little fish and their daddies. We quit taking pictures at this point because they had to get out of the pool and that was NOT fun. Next time we'll have to take cookies or something to bribe them out. :) They will be swimming great in no time at all!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tummy Appointment Update

we got a call from the pediatric gi specialist this morning - the doctor unfortunately has a meeting that day....... so they have to move us up over a week EARLY!!!! hoooray for answered prayers (it was really hard waiting that long when she's had so much trouble)!!! Savannah will now be seeing the gi doctor on the 24th at 11 am. thanks for praying!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We love playdates!

Today brought us some gorgeous and warm sunshine - hooray! After a week of rain, I was beginning to think we'd moved to Seattle! Miss Gina and Emma came over for a playdate. We love playdates!!!! :)


We had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the awesome weather!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Sorry for our long absence - we had a computer crash! But anyway, we're baaaaack. :)

Savannah was really interested in our camera the other day and I was showing her how we could take pictures of ourselves. She thought it was very fun to say "cheese!" and then point on the camera display at the "baby and Momma."

Then Daddy came in and said, "What are you girls doing?!" but then he joined the fun. :)

We sure make a silly crew. :) Hope your week is off to a good start!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tummy Issues

Some of you know that Savannah has been having tummy issues. At least once per week, she has a day where she has terrible diarrhea...and its so acidic that it instantly blisters her bottom. Then, we can't even use baby wipes because it hurts so bad and we have to use wet paper towels. Last week, I took her into the doctor and they drew blood and took a stool sample. All of those tests came back fine, so they are sending her to a pediatric gi specialist (the same guy she saw back when she had reflux) on March 31 and hopefully he can help us out a little more. I feel so bad for her - to be fine one day and having that awful stuff the next. She had it last week from Tuesday-Friday, and already yesterday (Wednesday), it started up again. The doctor said, and I agree, that it just shouldn't be ongoing - if its going to be like that, it should be a virus and then be gone. But the fact that its ongoing means we need to figure out why. It could be something as simple as a food allergy (I say simple but I know that would be complicated to watch out for) or it could be something in her intestines. So please pray that the doctor will have wisdom and clarity, and be able to solve our problem pretty quickly, for the sake of one little tiny bottom. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Anything You Can Do...

Have you ever heard that little song, "Anything you can do, I can do better?" That seems to be Savannah's mantra. Not so much the part about doing it better though. Maybe it should be, "Anything you do in front of me, I'll try to do too."

Uncle Ben is home for Spring Break, and as a result, Savannah learned how to be a drummer. She really got a kick out of how loud she could be - hence the eardrum-protecting headwear. :) Maybe one day she'll be as good at it as her uncle is - he is quite talented. However, for my own sanity - I'd prefer she take up the piano rather than the drums. I guess we'll see!

We also spent the night at Mimi's after insulating our attic to improve the heating bill (go figure - we insulated the day that it was 75 degrees). Anyway, while insulating, insulation ended up strewn throughout the house by the wind, so we spent the night at Mimi's house while Daddy cleaned it up. Toddlers and itcy insulation don't mix well, or so we've been told.

Savannah helped Mimi make french toast...it really helps if you hold your mouth just right.

She is such a big girl wanting to try everything the adults do and willing to help with just about anything!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

18 months + 80 degrees

Was my last post, less than one week ago, really about snow?! Is my baby really 18 months old now?! Both scenarios are hard for me to believe.

Here is my big girl playing outside yesterday - in our 82 degree weather. :)

I can't believe how grown up she looks in these pictures - she is transforming from baby to kid by the minute it seems. At 18 months, she is a very busy little girl!
She loves: Her dog, playing outside, her daddy, being independent, Elmo, going to see her grandparents, waving at strangers, singing, cookies, nail polish, purses, gummy bears, shoes, and talking 24/7.
She hates: Diaper rash, sitting on the potty, getting her hair washed in the tub, having to hold mommy's hand or ride in the stroller, getting dressed, long car rides, vegetables, naptime, mommy leaving her anywhere, boo-boos, and sticky hands.
She talks constantly now! We have to really watch what we say - because she will try to repeat anything! I can't even write out a list of what she says now. Our typical conversation will go like this:
Darren: "Have you seen Sasha?"
Savannah: "Sasha! Dog."
Lauren: "I think she is outside."
Savannah: "Outside."
She literally repeats at least one word out of every sentence we say - like a background conversation to our own conversations. :) Its quite humerous at times. :)
She also loves to sing. She knows "Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Deep and Wide", and "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed." And of course, she knows the Elmo song. :)
She is also very affectionate. She loves to give kisses and hugs. She is quite the little mommy - the nursery workers told me yesterday that Savannah wanted to feed the other kids, and tried to pick them up if they cried. She also was quick to tell them no-no if they were up to no good. Ha!
She sure is a lot of fun! But I've been a bit sentimental lately about her growth because she just looks so big - and not at all like a little baby anymore!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

MORE snow!

We got MORE snow! :)

It was a little deep and cold for 'Cakes this time, but that didn't stop the big kids from getting out their toys, and things got a little crazy yesterday.

It started out innocent - just snow tubing down the hill...

And then someone thought it would be a good idea to build a ramp. Betsy tested it out first.

And Ben managed to somehow go airborne and land on his feet.

And then came the big guy. :)

And if the ramp wasn't enough, that had to add a 4-wheeler to the mix.

But this is my favorite shot of the day. You write the caption. :)

We sure had fun in the snow (or they did - I had fun watching. I mean, would you have tried that?!)