Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I am totally overwhelmed by the people who love my son.  And I am so amazed by the people who take time out of their own day to comment, send e-mails, or send cards.  I really try hard to respond to everyone-  and sometimes it takes me a little while (I usually find a time once a week or so to sit down and write everyone back) so if I haven't sent you a thank-you, please be patient with me, but more importantly- please know that every word and every gift has touched my heart in a way that I could never express to any of you.  And if you've done something like that for us- you know who you are... and I THANK YOU.  Everyone wonders how I can ever be positive and how I can see the good from this horrible situation, well that is exactly why.  I can see the lives that Tripp has touched and I see the GOOD come out of SO many kind, generous people.  What a blessing this blog has been in my life- there are people across the world whom I've never "met" but who LOVE my son.  
"No man hath seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us" 
1 John 4:12 

I really wish I could say that Tripp is doing so much better.  But he's just not.  He's definitely been smiling a little more and playing a little more.  But he is still just not the same baby he was 3 weeks ago.  Every now and then he will have a few good moments and I think he might be shaking off whatever this is- and then he's back to throwing himself back and lifting those legs and acting like he's in pain.  I know a lot of it has to do with his eye because it's horrible right now (oh, I cancelled Tuesday's eye appointment because he woke up and it looked a lot better, and I knew it would be a wasted trip because they weren't going to believe me) but I just know something else is going on... I just don't know what.  His appointments are rescheduled for tomorrow because of course, Tuesday evening his eye looked bad again.  So tomorrow he has a dentist appointment at 12, and eye appointment at 3:00, and somewhere in between or before the day is over, we have to squeeze in blood work at the pediatric clinic and then shots at his pediatrician's office.  Phew.  It's going to be a long day... and a tough day for little man.  He has to get his flu shot and then all of his 16 month shots that he's been behind on.  And he still has a bruise the size of a quarter from the Rocephin shot 3 weeks ago.  Oh- and tomorrow is bath day. Grrrrrr... He will be getting his Tylenol with Codeine every 6 hours on the dot tomorrow.  It seems like the only time he's able to function and be happy lately is when he's on the codeine.  And I know that's not good, and it's certainly not what I want- but like Dr. Defusco said, "If it's making him feel that much better, then he's obviously in a lot of pain and he needs it."  I've only been giving it to him once a day... but about 30 minutes after he gets it, he's like a new baby.  That last about an hour, then he's in la-la land.  

So I'm just not sure what's going on with him lately.  And we've done almost all the tests we can- OH yeah- C-Diff was NEGATIVE.  Go figure.  I'm clueless as to what's going on.  And just saying, "Well I hope he gets better soon"- just isn't cutting it anymore.  

I talked to Daylon's mom, Jennifer, about 2 nights ago for about 45 minutes.  Boy, is she a sweetheart... and what amazing parents she and her husband, Brian must be to be going through EB and the transplant  with 4 other children.  She answered a lot of questions and gave me a lot of information about the Bone Marrow Transplant.  It's not something that will be happening tomorrow- don't worry :)  Just something that's been running through my mind lately.  I want to research and be a lot more knowledgeable about it than I am now- just in case it's something we decide to take on.  Honestly, I don't even know if Tripp would be healthy enough to take it on right now.  These little ones have to be pretty strong before the transplant because it takes a really hard hit at them.  But I can't help and think if it would be the right path for us... honestly, it's been consuming my almost every thought.  

Well, the king is asleep so I guess I should be too.  Once again, I thank each and every one of you- my faithful blog readers... you truly, truly are what keeps me "keepin' on."  And I'm forever grateful for that.  

The smile I kept getting while rocking this morning. 
Melts my heart.


What I Wore Wednesday

Hey, y'all!  It's WIWW again with The Pleated Poppy.  I'm thankful for cooler weather finally, and a chance to sport boots (though I haven't worn my Uggs yet!).  Until next week...

The I-Joined-The-PTA-and-Can-Wear-Jeans-on-Thursday Outfit
 tunic - goodwill
skinnies - plato's closet thrift
rosette flats - target

The Yee Haw!
 top - goodwill
skinnies - plato's closet thrift
cowboy boots - goodwill (NWT for $10!)

The It's {Finally} Fall Outfit
tunic - goodwill
skinnies - gap clearance
necklace - goodwill

The Saturday Night
 cowl neck dress - goodwill
jeggings (I can't believe I just typed that word) - gap clearance center

The Ruffliest
dress - goodwill
sweater - NY&Co.
flats - CATO

The Yup, I Had To Buy Them for $1 Pants 

I don't even have words for these pants.  But they have pumpkins on them, and I might be considering wearing them for the Fall Festival at school and/or for actual Halloween.  Just because they're kind of awesome.  {Sidenote: The brand is Totem - anyone heard of that?}

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

30 days later.

It's difficult to write this post without sounding ungrateful and depressing.  So, ahead of time, I'm sorry.  But not really.  I need to write.  Because hopefully writing everything down will somehow make me feel better in 2 or 3 years when I'm able to sit down and reread this post and be grateful for whatever my situation may at that point.  So I'm going to throw it out there and put the buzzword bold blogging to good use.

Here goes...

I hate working full time.  Hate it, hate it, hate it.  I HATE IT.

It's not the work I mind.  I do have a passion for teaching and I love being a teacher and working with children - but, I HATE being away from home. 

I miss Beckham terribly.  I hate that he spends the majority of his time out of my care.  I hate that he cries more often, that he's been sick for going on two weeks straight, that he wakes up in the middle of the night frequently (which is something he hasn't done consistently since infancy), and that the two waking hours I do spend with him I am usually past exhaustion.  I am not giving him my best. I feel it and I'm pretty sure he feels it too. 

I think I cry just as often as he does these days.  Something just doesn't feel right about being gone all. the time.  I leave for work at 6:30am so that I don't have to stay late, and, despite that, I am at school until 4:30pm anyway tying up loose ends and emailng and blah, blah, blah. 

And this, what I'm about to type, is going to sound just downright awful.  But after I spend 7+ hours giving my all to twenty-four children, it's hard to come home and give my all to my own.  And that is the worst.  The absolute worst feeling ever. 

On top of all that, there's still marriage, laundry, bills and other facets of life that require care and attention.  It's hard.  Is there a trick to this?  Am I just missing the part where everything just falls into place and works out?  Because we're only 30 days into the school year, and with 147 left to go, I am seriously wondering just how I'm going to make it through until May as the emotional wreck that I am right now. 

And it's hard for B too.  He's juggling this new stay-at-home dad gig, all while trying to sneak in study sessions during naptimes and deal with me who is crying into his shoulder about how miserable I am.  I guess it isn't easy for any of us right now. 

My prayer lately has been that somehow God will make a way for our family so that I don't have to teach fulltime for very long.  I don't know how.  The lottery, maybe?  Though yesterday, when I picked up my pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, I seriously contemplated what it might be like to work their early shift so I could be home early enough to take Beckham to preschool.  I hear they give benefits for part-time...

And, as I said, I'm sure I sound ungrateful.  But I truly am not.  I am grateful that I do have a decent job that pays the bills, provides benefits, and that B has gone back to school to pursue his college degree.  I just wish there was more time in the day, the money grew on trees, and that childhood lasted longer than a blink.  But none of that is true, unfortunately.

I don't have any concluding statements to make, other than a peppier Babbling Abby will be back tomorrow for What I Wore Wedesnday.  At least I'll look that way in the pictures :) 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just a Monday.

Our weekend was delicious.  And not just because we went out to eat at a local spot and Becks had his fill of bacon. 

 But because we finally had time to let our nothing-to-do-ness dictate what we were going to do.  It was bliss.  After dinner, we had the privilege of previewing a slew of Christmas decor at The Depot.  I mean, come on, it's September.   But, whatever.  Becks was totally into it. 

 A little bit of train watching happened next...
 And, here are these pics, just becuase they're cute :)

Have a happy Monday :)

Big prayers for Big answers.

For some reason, today I think that everyone should thank God for their babies- for their health, their ability to speak and ability to eat, their fingernails and toenails, their skin, their eyes... everything about them.  Because a having a healthy baby is a gift- a gift that's not to be taken for granted.  

I would give anything (and I mean anything... my right arm, my leg... anything) to be able to just pack Tripp up and take him to the beach, or to the mall, or hell- just outside.  I would do anything just to be able to dress him in normal clothes, or just slap a diaper on him without having to bandage his bottom back up and lube everything in aquaphor.  But most importantly, I'd give anything not to have to watch him in pain everyday.  Not to have to watch him try and just open one eye because the other one is swollen shut and pouring like a faucet.  No to have to watch him clawing at his neck (thank God for no fingernails) because the sores around his trach itch him.  Not to have pull a bandage off of a sore while he cries in pain.  Or I'd give anything for him to be able to wake up happy and not in pain. 

Sorry but every now and then I have to vent.  I wouldn't be able to make it through unless I did.  I just go through the motions every day, putting on a happy face for Tripp, and all cried out.  But if I don't let it out every now and then, it builds up.  My days and nights and weekdays and weekends all run together.  And no matter how much coffee I drink, I can't get my energy back (I need to get my butt back on the elliptical).  I'm even sleeping a little better at night since Tripp has been sick (guess he's trying to catch up).  I just feel BLAH.  I have so many emotions and thoughts and questions going through my head right now.  I can't help but wonder about what the next year or next few months are going to bring for us- in many ways.  I'm praying hard.  I started reading a book last night called The Power of Positive Thinking (yes, I am in the middle of about 3 books right now) and I wanted to share some things from the book.  It says that "ordinary problems could be met by ordinary prayers, but when big trouble comes along, you have to pray deep prayers."  It also said that "God will rate you according to the size of your prayers."  And here is the scripture that follows "According to your faith, be it unto you." (Matthew 9:29).  So the bigger your problem, the bigger your prayer should be, right?  Right.  That's why I'm praying big... about what the future holds for us.  I have a feeling that I will have to make big decisions soon, about a lot of things in my life.  So big decisions- means big prayers.  

Tripp is doing about the same, maybe a little better.  I've been giving him Tylenol with Codeine about once a day, too.  And he seems to perk up quickly and play a little, then back to laying back in pain.  With all of the other stuff that's been going on, I forgot to mention his poor eye.  It's been so bad ever since surgery but I just haven't been able to take him back to the doctor with all the other stuff going on (plus there's not much for the doctor left to do!)  So I finally made a doctor's appointment for his eye tomorrow.  Don't know what they will do- we will possibly have to take out the symblepharon ring and just put the contact back in.  I don't know??  We will see and I will let you know.  I'm also waiting to get his stool samples back to see if he even has C-Diff.  So, I'll let you know about that too.  Also, his mouth has been bothering him so much lately, too.  So I'm trying to schedule a dentist appointment, too.  So that if he has to go "under" again for his eyes, we can get that mouth fixed, too (the dentist finally got her equipment in the OR at Ochsner!!!).  Anyway, that's where we are right now... I'm frustrated and want answers... but I'm praying BIG- because I want BIG answers:) Love you all. 

How this child smiles, I do not know... 


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thanks Be to Blogger

Dear Blogger,

Thank you for finally upgrading the picture uploader.  It's about darn time.

Sincerely, A Happy Blogger

Pick a diagnosis, any diagnosis...

Did we treat Tripp for a Urinary Tract Infection- yes.  Do we know if he really had one- no.  Is he better now- no.  So now our brains are saying, "What if it IS C-Diff?"  I think that's the only explanation of why he's still in pain, still has diarrhea, still losing weight, and still NOT HIMSELF.  Seriously, from the day of his eye surgery- September 8- he has NOT sat by himself at all.  He's been in someone's arms- either in the rocking chair, or us standing up.  And don't you dare try and sit him on the ground to play with his toys- you would think he was being punished.  I just don't know if he's been sick and weak for so long that he can't snap out of it- or if something really yucky is going on. 

So with C-Diff, you have to test 3 different stools to really call it "negative."  So yesterday I brought 2 more stools to Dr. Defusco's office in Destrehan so that we could test and be SURE if it's C-Diff or not.  Meanwhile, he's starting Flagyl- and being treated for C-Diff.  We are running out of options- and honestly, I'm kind of starting to get a little worried.  So the Flagyl (Metronidazole) is what we are treating him with and it is 4xday for 10 days.  AHHHHHH.  Sorry.  But if you would SEE the amount of medicine this child is on- adding one more makes me cringe.  I split them up throughout the day, but he has about 10 syringes full in the morning and 4 at night.  It reminds me of where I used to work, with the elderly.  I used to give some of them about 20 pills in the morning.  Tripp is like a little old man!  

He's back on his blended diet.  When he went in for his eye surgery, he weighed about 20 lbs 14 oz. (Mind you, this is with ALL his bandages on)- and that's the most he's ever weighed.  About a week ago he had dropped to 19.4.  And last night he was 19.6.  So I hope and pray that he is started to gain the weight back- because he canNOT afford to lose anymore- he's already a little skinny midget.  I always joke with him and tell him that he's the "Biggest Midget I know." 

So he STILL hasn't gotten his shots, either.  That would just be torture right now.  But he's going on being about a month and a half behind.  I know he's not exposed to kids, or a lot of people at all... but it's still scary.  If he gets anything that's more serious than whatever he has right now- it's NOT going to be good.  Because whatever this is threw him for a loop.  

I have to say- after seeing what Tripp went through these past few weeks, the Bone Marrow Transplant has been running through my mind a little bit more.  It would be a really, really tough decision.  And I don't really know enough about it, or how we would go about it.  But I have to say that the thought has been there.  I can't help but wonder "what if?" But there is the "what if he doesn't make it through the transplant but I would've had 5 more years with him?" And the "what if I don't have much more time, but the transplant is our miracle we've been praying for?"  There's no easy way to make that decision.  I guess it will all come with time.  Meanwhile, I'd just like to do a little research and talk to the other parents who children have been through it.  I don't know if the thought is just crossing my mind because he hasn't been doing well or what.  But I just keep thinking about how he's ALWAYS going to have these issues and he's ALWAYS going to be in pain.  And the worst part about this whole thing- is that he is SO cognitively there.  He will KNOW that he is different and KNOW that his life "stinks."  So do you risk the life he has for a chance at a better one?  There's no easy answer.  

So anyway, that's where we stand at this point.  I'm hoping this new medicine will be the fix, and if it isn't... I think we are at a stand still.  He's had almost every part of his body checked, blood work, x-rays, stool samples... I don't know.  But I do know that I am SO GRATEFUL to have Dr. Defusco as his pediatrician.  I don't know what I would do without her.  The way she cares about Tripp and how she goes out of her way for him makes me feel like we are in really good hands.  


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Goodwill Hunting: Thrifty Finds

Goodwill Hunting = Posts pertaining to my adventures in thrifting.

In something very un-BabblingAbby like, I bought 4 pairs of brand new shoes on last night. I know, I can't even believe I did it. But, in my defense, they were buy one get one 50% off, I've been on the hunt for non-Ugg boots, and pre-worn shoes kinda skeeve me out in a toe fungus kind of way. I'm certainly not opposed to wearing thrifted shoes if the proper conditions are met (i.e. barely worn, no toe fungus), but haven't found any worthy of purchase before. {FYI: I bought two pairs of boots and two pairs of flats - with skinny jeans and fall weather in mind.}

Which brings me to tonight. Chels, Sophie, and I decided to hit up our fav Goodwheel (as Soph calls it) with little more than pocket change to spare. Literally.
I brought my camera for photographic proof of our adventures because it is totally normal for people to take pictures outside and inside of a thrift store, no?
I turned the camera over to my fav niece for this pic, and I think she did a rather stellar job. As evidenced by the pics, after school, it's all about ponytails and leggings for me.
We snatched up some Polos for B, though I only ended up getting the blue striped one. Becks, too, wears a lot of RL Polo and it's all thrifted - either from Goodwill, yard sales, or St. Vinny's. I love their classic appeal and their durability. And don't you think I spend more than a buck or so on each because I refuse. That way, when he muds it all up playing in the mulch or sand or whatever I don't have to rip it off of him or distinguish between nice clothes and play clothes. Anyway.Then I told Soph I wanted some red shoes, so she helped me look through the racks of toe fungus and pulled out every pair of red shoes she could find. All were a definite no. And then, the Heavens parted and shined a glorious stream of light onto these babies and I let out an enormous STOP.THE.WORLD.

Are those slouchy, brown, brand new cowboyish boots IN MY SIZE?!

Um, yes. Yes, they are.

Oddly enough, they are from Target! I die.

And, get this: THEY WERE $10. Let me repeat: STOP.THE.WORLD.
I was content to leave after that, but continued to peruse the aisles to no avail. Well, I did buy three new breakfast bowls because, I kid you not, our's have disappeared into oblivion. Or the garbage. Who knows.

So, after Chels dropped $5.35 in change...

And Sophie dropped to the floor in a pouty fit over us not buying her a pink Beanie Baby flamingo...
We posed with our wares...

And our thrifty adventure was over for the day. Success.

{I've had a lot of questions/comments pertaining to Goodwilling, so I'll do a how-to post sometime in the future! TGIF!}

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What I Wore Wednesday

Raise your hand if you're ready for fall?! Omiword, I can so do without this 90 degree weather! It's really puttin' a cramp in my style. My brain is saying boots and tights and sweater dresses, and the thermometer is saying Walmart tanks and sundresses. And - stop the world - I'm ready to pack up the Walmart tanks for the season. Anywhoooo....

It's time for another edition of What I Wore Wednesday with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy.

The I'm-In-Between-Seasons Outfit
peachy pink top - banana republic outlet (I've had it since June and couldn't figure out what to wear it with!)
light grey pants - goodwill

The Dutchgirl
yellow top - NY&Co.
dress - goodwill

The Jetsetter Goes to School
tunic - goodwill
skinny pants - gap clearance this summer
belt - macy's pre-Becks
rosette flats - target this season

The I Really Want to Wear Scarves Outfit
tunic - plato's closet thrift
leggings - target
scarf - Miley Cyrus for Walmart
rosette flats - target this season

The Mt. Adams
navy top - goodwill
skinny jeans - plato's closet thrift
rosette flats - target this season

The Love This Top/Necklace Outfit
rouched turtleneck top - NY&Co.
pants - NY&Co.
shoes - Cato
necklace - goodwill

Are you playing along this week? If so, let me know! I love checking out everyone's cute outfits for inspiration and ideas :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A-Corn-y Kinda Post

Sometimes, the best kind of nights are the nights you stroll down the street, collecting acorns to fill up a coffee can, with your mom and dad.
Totally, the best kind of night.

Tripp to the ER.

Sunday around 5:00 pm I talked to Dr. Defusco about how he was doing.  He was still in horrible pain and had not wanted to get off the rocker.  He wasn't sitting up to play, wasn't smiling... nothing.  By this time, the pain had been this severe for over 3 days, so we needed to do something.  Dr. Defusco and I talked for a while going back and forth with his symptoms wondering what this could be.  She called the ER pediatrician and spoke with him a while, and they decided that his symptoms could be something called an intussusception.  This is where your bowel kind-of "telescopes" inside itself and it could cut off the blood supply- it can be very serious.  So when she mentioned that, we knew we couldn't take any chances and she said she would sleep better knowing that we were sending him to get checked.  

So she let the ER doctor know we were coming and we packed up (takes about an hour) all our things as if we were going to be admitted (just in case).  You can never be too prepared- been there, done that.  We go to Ochsner in Metairie, so we got there at about 8:30.  This was by far THE BEST ER experience that we've ever had.  I swear, it was like everyone we came in contact with knew Tripp and knew exactly what I expected.  They didn't do anything unreasonable and they treated us with such respect.  The x-ray technicians were SO pleasant and SO gentle with Tripp, the nurses were great, the secretaries were great, the doctor was great.  I know, WE ARE BLESSED to have that kind of care for Tripp.  

They decided that from his abdominal x-rays and his symptoms that it wasn't an intussusception.  Then thought it could be possible C-Difficle, which is a bacterial infection that can be caused from taking antibiotics.  The Doc said that just all the diarrhea itself could be causing the pain by the bowel contracting.  So they took a stool sample and let us come home because it wasn't worth the risk to keep him in the hospital when he wasn't dehydrated (I've been drowning him in Pedialyte).  

But guess what?  C-Diff is negative.  I poked at my brain all day yesterday and finally realized that he could have a Urinary Tract Infection from all the diarrhea.  And if you've ever had one of those, you know they hurt like hell.  I noticed that when I was changing him, his diaper would be dry and then all of a sudden he would let out A LOT of urine while squeezing his legs in pain.  Yesterday was the first time I noticed that he was actually "holding" his urine in.  It must be hurting him so bad.  

SO... if that's what it is, hopefully this short round of antibiotics will take care of it and we can try and get back to normal.  Dr. Defusco is wondering if he really even had pneumonia now, because his chest x-ray looked the same when we took it again Sunday night.  So maybe that's just what his lungs look like... who knows.  But we know he had some type of viral infection with all the fevers he had for over a week.  

So here's the vicious cycle:  Eye surgery > catches something from the hospital > has to be on antibiotics > antibiotics cause diarrhea > diarrhea causes a UTI > back on antibiotics.  NICE.  Just hoping once we get him better, that we don't need another eye surgery.  Then we're back at square one.  

Speaking of eyes, his surgery eye isn't looking any better and it's almost been 2 weeks.  It's still really swollen and watery.  So I guess once he feels a little better, that will be our next thing to worry about- because there's ALWAYS something :)  Oh, and between all these "diagnoses," he's lost over a pound.  Thank God I fattened him up before all of this or we'd be in bigger trouble.  He's back on his regular "fatten me up" diet now, so hopefully we can pack the pounds (or pound) back on.  

I haven't been taking many pictures, because honestly, he hasn't played in over a week.  But I do want to share a book that I've been reading.  It's called Without a Word by Jill Kelly.  It's Jim Kelly (the Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback)'s wife.  The book is about their son, Hunter, who was born with a rare genetic disease called Krabbe's Leukodystrophy.  Hunter passed away at 9 years old.  And this book is about all of the struggles they had to endure in that amount of time (their family, their marriage), but mostly about what a blessing Hunter was to their lives.  It's like I could have written this book.  It's almost exactly our situation.  If you're looking for a new book- this one's a good one.  

Ok, I can't leave you without a picture, so I give you.... the hands of an angel-