Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Soccer Parties

Three of our kids have been playing soccer this spring season. Alex has been playing high school soccer. Jarem and Tessa have been playing recreational league soccer. Since February our schedule has been very busy. Over the last couple of weeks they have all had their culminating soccer parties.

Tessa's was first. They had a parents vs kids soccer game with a break in the middle for cake, pizza, and trophies. It was pretty fun. The other moms talked me into playing and I had a good time. Tessa enjoyed that I was out there too. This was when Eric, jarem, and Jesikah were in Florida, so just Alex and I were there with Tessa. Tessa got put on a great family oriented team with girls that have been together for a long time. She had an awesome coach.

Tessa getting her trophy from her coach
Getting congratulated from the other coach
Last team picture

Next was Jarems party at Kid n Play. It is kind of a mix between jump zone, Chuck E Cheese and a children's museum. They too had the standard pizza, cake, and trophies.

Jarem getting his trophy from Coach Maples
Playing with the hand cranked train

Lastly, Alex's party was a formal catered dinner on the 3rd floor of a bank. It was very nice. Just Eric and I went with him since it was $14 a plate and not really for kids.

Team picture of Alex's team.  Alex is in back row, 4th from the left side.  You can just see his head
We are proud of the effort our kids have put in to becoming better soccer players this season! And we are so grateful for a lighter schedule as well!! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Luxury Living

Tessa hasn't minded the hospital at all. She said it is like a luxury hotel where everyone waits on you and you get your meals served to you in bed.

Jarem let her take his Horton the green elephant with her do she would remember him. They have a sweet relationship.  Horton and Mr Cuddles (her new penguin) are becoming friends. I knew she would love the penguin because of the big eyes. They have been inseparable ever since she got it.
They are a bit slow at getting our discharge orders in the computer this morning so we are just waiting.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tessa's Catheter Ablation

We have spent the day in Vanderbilt Children's Hospital today with Tessa where she had a procedure done called catheter ablation.

Recently, we have been monitoring a heart condition that Tessa has which has presented itself in the past six to nine months. It is not life threatening, but it causes her to have episodes of her heart racing over 200 beats per minute at random times for no apparent reason. She has learned how to stop the episodes and could live with it if she chose to. The general term for it is SVT or Supra Ventricular Tachycardia.  We started with our Primary care doctor who referred us to the Vanderbilt Pediatric Cardiology.  They gave us a heart monitor that Tessa was to keep with her at all times and with the goal to try to capture an episode.  Within a month, we were able to capture an episode to verify that the condition was indeed what they suspected. 

Because her episodes were quite frequent, radiofrequency ablation or catheter ablation was recommended to destroy the abnormally conducting tissue in the heart.  This procedure has a very high success with very low risk and she could be rid of the racing episodes completely. So we talked with her about it and made the decision to go ahead with the procedure.

She had that procedure done this morning and is doing very well. We were a bit nervous because they have to first locate where the extra circuit is and then they go in with several catheters over one artery and several veins and burn the spots where the extra circuit is so that the rhythm can no longer go that way. When they found the spot today, it was right next to the av node, which increases the risk. However, we trust the surgical team who have that situation in about half of the cases they do.

It is called specifically AV nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT), or atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia  This is a type of tachycardia (fast rhythm) of the heart that originates from the top chambers of the heart (supra). AVNRT is the most common regular supraventricular tachycardia. AVNRT occurs when a reentry circuit forms within or just next to the atrioventricular node. The circuit usually involves two anatomical pathways: the fast pathway and the slow pathway, which are both in the right atrium. The slow pathway is the one typically targeted for the ablation. 

Thankfully, it all went well and was successful with no complications. We are so grateful for a great children's hospital here with skilled doctors and staff. Tessa is feeling good and will be coming home in the morning. She will have to take it easy for about a week then can resume normal activities.

Picture of the entrance of the children's hospital as we walked in at 7am
Tessa and I waiting for her to be called back.  (Eric took the picture)
Tessa trying to wake up from the anesthesia just after the procedure
A few days before her appointment, she kept talking about getting balloons in the hospital, so I surprised with some balloons.  It made her happy!

I also picked up a little gift in the gift shop just for fun.
It was a little big-eyed stuffed penguin.  It hurt to move her neck this direction so she just turned her eyes.
Our view outside our room window

Officially Out!

It's official! Eric is now out of the Army. He signed his last paper and went to an awards ceremony to receive his last awards and certificate of honorable discharge. It has been a good 9 years for us, but his commitment was over and it was time to move on.

Too bad too, I always thought he looked very handsome in his uniform! :)

Headed out to his last awards ceremony

Tessa's Graduation

Two days ago, Tessa graduated from 5th grade and will now be heading on to middle school. It was a bittersweet day for me.

Sad because she is leaving elementary and that phase of her life. And also sad for me because the principal of the elementary school is retiring. She is the one that we started with here at Glen Ellen school when we moved here. Then she opened Rossview the following year when we moved there. In addition, the music teacher who has also been with us from the beginning and whom I have accompanied for this year is moving and leaving the school.

But, more than sad, it was also a very proud day! I am so proud of all Tessa has accomplished. She has had a wonderful 5th grade year with an amazing teacher. We couldn't have asked for anything more. She has been involved with so many clubs and has maintained straight A's all year.

But two things made me the most proud:

(1) She was named 5th grade overall citizen of the year! She received the Dowdy award and a $50 gift card to Books a Million. I gasped out loud when they called her name because I was so excited and proud of her. No one knew about it ahead of time, so it was a big surprise! I do believe she really deserved it too! She is a caring and kind-hearted person.

(2) Tessa had the opportunity to help with the life skills kids this year and this one little girl had really attached to Tessa and Tessa to her. Her name is Haley and she was going to be moving up with the 5th grade to middle school.  However, she was scared to be at the graduation by herself. So they asked Tessa if she would sit by her and hold her hand during the graduation so she wouldn't be scared. Tessa agreed to and it was just really touching for me to see her kindness to this sweet girl and holding her hand and helping her throughout the whole ceremony. I could tell she really cared about her.

It was one of those proud mommy moments! Of course I was already emotional with my daughter moving onto middle school and also with their principal and music teacher leaving whom I have both become close to. So as I said "bittersweet", but much more sweet.

Below: Tessa walking in to the graduation song holding Haley's hand

Below: Tessa receiving her Dowdy award (hard to see)

Below, the 5th grade standing to sing, "Lean on Me".  Tessa was in the backrow, so we couldn't see her.

Below, Tessa receiving her diploma as well as her presidential academic award and pin

Tessa and Haley coming down after receiving their diplomas

Waiting for the rest of her class to receive their diplomas before sitting down.  She was very kind to Haley.

Below, leaving the graduation after everyone had graduated.

Tessa with her teacher, Mrs. Furcolowe

Outstanding Citizen of the year award for the 5th grade

Below are pictures of the 5th grade dance, which was the night before graduation.  Some of these are also with their principal, Mrs. Ford, who is retiring.  Pictures compliments of Paula Peek

Tessa with some of her friends at the 5th grade dance

The boy in the plaid shirt is Connor.  He is our next door neighbor and I have been watching him before school quite often when his parents both have to work early.  He is an entertaining kid!  We have had fun with him this year.
Mrs. Ford dancing with the kids.  The always has fun dancing with the kids are the 5th grade dances.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New posts

I have posted some old pictures from my camera.  They are a month or two old because I have been using my phone for pictures.  Here's some new posts that I back-dated which you might like to read. 

Jarem's birthday
Jarem's birthday party
Easter morning

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mothers Day

Mothers Day was a little different this year because Eric, Jesikah, and Jarem were out of town. They went to Florida to celebrate our nephew Logan's graduation with some of our extended family.

We were all planning to go together but then we found out that Alex couldn't miss anymore school and Tessa and I had to be there for her honor choir concert since I was playing the piano.

So when that didn't work out, we were going to fly and meet them there a couple of days later. At the last minute, we cancelled that trip too because we didn't realize the distance from the airport to the location everyone was staying and we would have had 2 days of travel for 1/2 day of vacation.

Anyway, so it was just the three of us. Typically, Jesikah gets up and makes breakfast in bed for me. Eric sometimes helps too and then the kids all bring me cards or things they made at school and we have a pleasant morning. Then we go to church and after church Eric makes dinner while I relax and I usually get a favorite dessert as well.

With Jesikah and Eric being gone, I honestly didn't even know if Alex and Tessa would remember. Luckily, people from church kept dropping hints to Alex the day before.

So, Mothers day morning arrived and I was awakened at 7:11am by the phone ringing. It was Jesikah wishing me a happy mothers day. I couldn't be upset with her even though it was my first day to sleep in for a long time. I appreciated it and tried to go back to sleep for about an hour and a half but couldn't. Around then Eric called to wish me a happy mothers day and to apologize for Jesikah calling so early. After talking with him for awhile, I hung up the phone and laid there.

My two kids were still fast asleep and it was getting close to 9:30. I was starting to feel a little bad thinking that Alex and Tessa were just not up to handling mothers day alone. :) One thing I knew for sure...if Alex was going to do something, it wouldn't be early. But I figured that breakfast would be the thing they would do if they did something, so I would give them a little more time.

I went and took a long shower and leisurely got dressed. When I opened the bathroom door I could smell food cooking!!! They had come through! I was elated. I continued getting ready until Tessa came up to call me to breakfast.

When I went down, I found that Tessa had cleaned the kitchen while Alex made breakfast. They had tried to give me everything I liked and both had written nice notes for me. It was very sweet and thoughtful.

Alex kept asking me if they did ok and if the food was ok. He had made two small omelets for he and I and had given me the better one. He had left the omelet to warm on the stove while he made the other food and he was worried that it had turned kind of rubbery (which it had), but i was so happy for the gesture that it tasted good anyway. I could tell he felt good about what he had done.

When Eric, Jesikah, and Jarem came back on Monday, they showered me with gifts. Jesikah had a picture she had painted and a card she had made ahead of time. In fact she asked me if I wanted her to tell me where it was so I could have it on Mother's Day, but I said I would rather get it from her! I am so grateful for great children and a wonderful husband.