Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Sadie

For those of you not fortunate enough to join Tim and I this afternoon as we walk about in the Plaza and humiliate ourselves in the presence of our bedazzled birthday girl, Sadie...here's a shot of her in her "birthday suit"!

Sadie is 7 years old today...I suppose that's around 50 in dog years. Even though her muzzle is white and her countenance subdued...there's a sweet and bright-eyed puppy inside of her clawing to get out! I actually submitted this photo to cuteoverload.com today...we'll see if she makes the cut!

Sadie + beaded frilly collar = WOOHOO!

What does all of this have to do with Madeleine? Not too much...other than we're obeying the orders we received to be happy for her and celebrate. Life is going on, and even though our sweet Madeleine left us at this hour, 3 weeks ago...there's still a million things to smile about.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Peanuts EVERYWHERE!

Everywhere I turn...peanuts!

This Peanut showed up in a bag of little round cookies that my journal group friends gave to us...these two were fused. Today, I have been cleaning my studio...tossing out junk and organizing piles of magazine images that I've torn out to use in collages. I found a piece of a magazine that said, in large letters..."to be your Peanut".

Yesterday at a thrift store, I bought a "Candy Land" game to make art out of...and have never played the game. It has a character called "Gramma Nut"...and a Peanut patch. Life isn't a bowl of cherries, it's a pile of Peanuts...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pretty Purple Peanut Plate


What a Peanut! The legume obsession continues...
A couple of us went to the Ceramic Cafe to paint items for fun, and naturally...I had to find a good surface to paint a peanut on...flat, rectangular...perfect! I think I sat there for about 3 hours...I always get my money's worth out of the $7.50 paint time fee.

Not wanting this to be another "Born - Died" item...I decided to just write her name, proclaim how pretty she is...and the date painted (and artist of course!) Maybe it's a sushi plate? Maybe I'll put a wire thingy on it and hang it on the wall? Either way, I love making Peanut art. Just wait until I post pics of my front porch! We got a little crazy with the sidewalk chalk last weekend. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Missing Miss Madeleine


*Yawwwwn....*

It seems like a long time since Peanut left...and yet it's only been 16 days. There's been one party and event after another with not much quiet time to actually sit and think about things. Since I have a tendency to actually sit down and think TOO much...it's a good thing that I have this big house that needs a lot of help, and someone that needs me to cook for him and wash his kilts...and that misses Peanut too and needs me just as much as I need him. Plus, I've got a million other projects I've got my head into...rosaries, yard work, art ideas, room renovations...continuing on the baby's room so it will be READY for when the next comes.


I took some time this afternoon to go back through pictures of Madeleine and find a few that I never posted...at least I think I never posted them?! Forgive me if you've seen these before. :) The top picture is a classic Peanut yawn...she always made me yawn if I saw one! And this bottom picture...for some reason, she really looks like my dad to me...I think it's the eye and eyebrow area...and maybe the lack of hair adds to that too! Hee hee...love you dad, love you Peanut!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another Video...

video
On this, the two week anniversary of Peanut going to heaven...I wanted to share another short video with you. The poor quality is due to shooting in low light. Her eyes weren't ready for the glaring fluorescents since she was pre-32 weeks at this time.

You can hear the faint murmurings of nurses in the background, as well as her oxygenation monitor going off. The darkness by her mouth is actually a pacifier, which she sucks on then stops to look around a bit. While it was "not advised" to stroke a preemie...I simply could NOT resist those sweet, soft cheeks! She didn't seem to mind either. It was her back and feet that she didn't like stroked...it tickles...she got that from her momma. :)

Enjoy! We love you Peanut!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Peanut in action

This short little video makes it difficult for me to not regret taking more videos of Madeleine! If only I had video of a diaper change...or of a wrestling match with Mr. Tubersons! The 3 tiny clips that I do have of her just show that her progress was so ensuring, I didn't feel I would need video to remember her by. And I still don't, really. But, here is one where she was just swaddled for tummy time and is nomming on a pacifier. Pretty Peanut!

video

Sunday, May 17, 2009

St. Madeleine - hard at work!

As if we didn't know that Peanut is a saint in heaven...as if we didn't know that she was always in a hurry to get things done! She showed up quickly after we got married...she entered into the world quickly, and even though we were given a good 6 weeks to love her and see her flourish...she left the world quickly. She also had a strong grip and when her hand found you, she never let go! She was (and is...) a force to be reckoned with...after all, they told me at the hospital only a few hours after she was born that she was "a willful child, and wanted what she wanted...when she wanted it!"

Ready for Peanut's first miracle?

Friday, the day we buried Peanut, I got the information in the mail on how to donate the hundreds of bottles of breast milk that I had to a milk bank. They screen you, dig up your medical records, send someone out to take blood...then you pack it in dry ice, ship it off to Texas, or Colorado...and God willing the FedEx truck doesn't break down somewhere along the way...the milk goes to a baby who's mother can't make milk for some reason. Sounded like a lot of work, but I was happy to do it.

Saturday, two of our close friends got married and of course we went to their wedding...wouldn't miss it for the world. I mentioned to Tim that I would wait and call the milk bank on Monday. Right after the wedding, I'm standing under a tree outside of church watching everyone and a woman from the parish, a fellow new mom, that I know but have never really talked to comes up to me and says that she has been praying to our little St. Madeleine for help...that her own milk hadn't come in very well and her baby, who was born 4 weeks premature, was allergic to cow's milk, hated his baby formula and was having a really hard time getting nourishment. What?! :O

Now how beautiful is that?! How perfect! There's no way that is coincidental, it's just too...WEIRD...for a lack of a better word! So they came over that day and we packed two giant coolers of baby food up for their little Punkin! Later that night, he had sucked down 3 bottles, his biggest meal...and he was tolerating it just fine. He's a cute little peanut, and it gives me indescribable joy to know that Madeleine and I can help him and his loving family out...she picked him and arranged this, I'm dead certain. Madeleine knew that her mommy was very sad that all that milk she had made for her wasn't ever going to reach her lips, and every time she saw it in the freezer, it poured salt on the wound.

I think that Madeleine should be the patron saint of premature babies! Even though I think in addition to the patron saint of mothers, St. Gerard is already doing the job! And an added hint of goose-bump giving info...the baby who is getting Madeleine's milk...his name is Gerard.

Oh St. Madeleine..., Peanut of Power...pray for us!
And, uh...while you're quickly arranging needed things...how about a 2nd floor bathroom for mommy, huh?!!! :D

Saturday, May 16, 2009

No more tubes and wires

*Sigh...*
Well? Unlike the rest of this blog...which has started at a point and moved forward...now it's time to start here and work backwards...for a time. But first, check out my rusty photoshop skills! No more tubes and wires for Peanut! She is free!

Yesterday was a good day. There's nothing anyone can do to "get Peanut back"...so I see no point in being upset about that issue. Of course I'm sad, as sad as ever...we all are...but like Father said yesterday at her mass...Peanut doesn't want us to weep, she wants us to be happy because of her joy, she's in heaven, which is one bit of information we can lean on...unlike the mystery of, "What happened to Peanut?". As for that, I'm not even sure the doctors can tell us *exactly* what happened...that's why they call it medical "practice". BUT...from the outcome of Peanut's surgery she had the day she died, some things are evident. More of that at another time...the last thing I want to do right now is to roll it all through my head yet again, for the hundredth time possibly?!

One thing is clear, God does have mysterious ways...and often we are left standing baffled, as the tornado of events leaves and the dust is still settling on the ground...but I believe that He sent Peanut to us to teach a lesson...many lessons! One of those, after yesterday...coming home from the cemetery to find 50+ people at our house, tons of food set out, flowers, cards, hugs from every direction...that this little tiny girl who was only here for 7 weeks, brought all of us together as one big happy family. It should be like this all the time. So smile and remember that those of us who loved the Peanut, near and far, have a saint in heaven praying for us. Remember how hard she fought here on earth...how much harder will she fight now, for us?!

We love you Peanut!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peanut's Mass

Madeleine Rose Maria Walter
March 18, 2009 - May 10, 2009

Mass

May 15th at 10 a.m.

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church (map)
3106 Flora Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64109

Mass followed by burial at North entrance (Children's section)
Resurrection Cemetery, Lenexa, KS
(There will not be a formal procession)
Click here for directions

All are welcome to attend...family, extended family, friends, nurse friends...peanut fans...modest dress requested in the church and ladies, bring a veil, scarf, hat, please and thank you!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Heavenly Peanut

Madeleine Rose Walter left us for a better place around 1 pm today. It was sudden, and very shocking...but the main thing we're focused on is that we know she's happy at home with God. More info to follow.

Resting In Peace...Madeleine Rose

Please Pray Hard

Out of nowhere it seems, Madeleine has, as far as I can comprehend at this early morning with 2 hours of sleep...contracted NEC, or has a hole in her bowel. She's not doing well, and needs surgery although they're not sure she can handle it right now...please pray very hard for her.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Kids, kids, kids

Daddy's turn! We try to take turns but it's easier for mommy to sneak in holds during the day. Right now, we only hold her once a day since it's sort of an ordeal to "get her out of the box". Once she's off the ventilator, they'll have to pry her out of our arms!

Peanut is doing well...she got blood today for the first time in about 3 weeks or more. The continuous feeds seem to be helping her blood sugar...but she better not get used to it because I don't offer that service at home!

They're beginning to talk about a projected time for Peanut to come off of her vent and onto a cpap. A week is the hope, but it all depends on Madeleine of course. I fear that, with the way she tugs at her tubes which are anchored to her face...that she will just yank the nasal cannula from her nose in one swift jerk of the paw! Hopefully by then she'll be stable enough to handle that.

We are very tired parents these days...and it's the "parenting" that's our relaxation! The set for the academy is finished and now the art projects for the school auction are being wrapped up...today it was 1st and 2nd grade "fingerprinting" some ceramic plates. I dreaded it at first because I'd heard they were wild ones...but their behavior was top notch. It might be me though...I tend to intimidate kids until they get to know me. Or is it the other way around? (which one is it, Dave?!) Either way, they were so great today...it was actually a lot of fun!

I got my mother's day dinner tonight since we figure Sunday would be CRAZY at dining establishments. Fine by me! We ate at Eden's Alley, out on the patio under that crisp, full moon. I had the puff pastry with asparagus and goat cheese...amazing. We spent the rest of the evening at the Peanut Palace. Life is good.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Then and Now...

Day 2
Day 50

There's a miracle baby in the midst of us...and she's 3 lbs. 6.5 oz...roughly. Give or take a dirty diaper! She's on continuous feeds of 30 ml of breast milk since her blood sugar has been going up and down...it's seems to be helping. Tomorrow she's getting evaluated by the endocrinologist...they'll probably be able to see deeper into her glandular issues. Tonight, she grabbed her ear and started pulling really hard...it made her very angry! Better than choking Mr. Tubersons!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Peanut!

Madeleine is 50 days old today...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finger Nomming...

"Mommy Tiiiiiime! Ooh mommy, I hope my chin's as big as yours someday!"

Peanut's isolette kept registering hotter than it was...so she got a new one. (Her temp was fine) And it really was new! It still had the manual in it and the cables were all zip tied up. Madeleine is the first peanut to grow in it. While the bed transfer was going on, I got to hold the Peanut. This time...I didn't resist her sweet fingers and "nommed"on them just a little. They were very tasty.

After Madeleine got her new bed, she thanked her nurse friend by licking her finger! She got caught in the action in the above photo...Mr. McBearenstein witnessed the whole scene!

Peanut had her 2nd eye exam today and her eyes are still just premature and so far show no sign of retinopathy of prematurity. Woohoo.! One more exam to go...if she doesn't get it by next week, she will probably not get it. Her feeds were increased to 30 ml today because of her size and she is scheduled for another vent weaning at midnight. Today, she was at 40% oxygen for some of the time...she was wide awake after "mommy time" and needed a little more, so I'm hoping she needs less oxygen as the evening wears on.

The set is almost finished for the academy, so I'll be in Peanutville more. This morning I went to see her at 8 am and Madeleine's nurse friend looked at me like "What are YOU doing here?!" Actually she said, "What...did you not sleep?!" It was nice there in the morning...the halls were quiet, there was hardly anyone around...just how I like it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pray for chunk


The "issue du jour" is...weight gain! Madeleine lost a little bit of weight this weekend, then put a little bit back on..but basically, she needs to beef up because what's in store for her is better than pizza! A crib! She will finally be paroled from her lucite box and into a big girl bed. All she has to do is keep her temperature up, which she's pretty good at...and keep gaining weight. She will be a little past 32 weeks this Wednesday on her 7 week birthday...which also means she can have a little more light on her too.

She's still having a blood sugar issue, up and down...so now they're feeding her over an hour and a half. I'm still curious about this "human milk fortifier"...especially since it has corn syrup solids in it. I know she needs the extra calories...but why corn syrup? Isn't sugar "empty calories"...can't they squeeze some avocado in there or something?!!! Maybe I need to eat more bacon...

I'm definitely in need of some bacon after today...I painted scenery from 8 am until 4:30...that's almost a real work day! I haven't gotten to see my Peanut at all...I'm having Peanut withdrawal symptoms. Tomorrow I carve rocks out of foam...this is the only kind of rock you can float across a lake on! Two more days of scenic art and I'll be back to my 7 hour Peanut sittings. I can't wait!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More Holding

"Daddy Tiiiiiiime! Tummy Tiiiiiiiime! Last night was daddy's turn! (Madeleine's Mom doesn't wear plaid or stripes!)


Madeleine's window is *mildly* decorated...if I didn't have 10 other projects going on right now it would probably be solid cards and pictures. Some parents in the NICU go wild filling the bedspace with stuffed animals, balloons, pictures...it's mostly soothing to the parents, which they need very much! I think a lot of us feel responsible and guilty for the fact that our babies are sick or having issues, and we want to give them everything under the sun. For us, it's everything above the sun that we want to give Madeleine, and I'm not talking about space trash! (I'm not sure where that last bit came from.)


Nothing major to report today. Peanut had a little blood sugar flux, and they're feeding her over an hour's time. Some nurses were already doing that, but some were feeding over 30 minutes. To keep her blood sugar steady and to keep her from having hills and valleys, they're all feeding her over an hour's time now. Her breath rate is down to 35 on the vent now...and she seems fine with it all so far. Tomorrow (later today rather) is Monday...so that will be when they'll decide on some "moves" for Peanut...the weekends are for cruising. :)

Mommy got to hold Peanut tonight, she did great with it. She was instantly asleep as soon as she landed on me and stayed that way for over an hour as she got her 11 pm feeding. She did reach up and grab my chin...(picture to follow later!)...I had to fight the urge to go "nom nom nom" on her little fingers! She also poked herself in the cheek with her own thumb and made a cry face...and a second later was back asleep! What a funny girl. When her nurse friend returned her to her bed, she never really woke up...still sleeping like a log! She likes tummy time the best while on mommy! (On Daddy too, of course, but tonight was my turn!)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pint-sized Peanut

"I, Madeleine Rose, solemnly swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth...this shirt fits me. OH NOES! I already lied!! Mr. McBearenstein told me to say it!!"

This shirt, as I held it up, looked so tiny, I thought for SURE it would fit her. Nope, it goes all the way down to her ankles! But, it has ruffled sleeves and sorta looks like a little white dress. Seriously, it will make you go..."Oooh!! So cute!!"

Madeleine has "graduated" into the next size up of diapers....she's proved through multiple sessions of peeing past her diapers' capacity and onto the sheets below that she requires a higher level of absorption! Of course, they're big on her like everything thing else these days...but a bed change every 3 hours is not optimal. I'm sure Peanut just wants to see just how many cute beds her nurse friends can throw together for her....she loves all the fun colors and can't resist! "Hmm...I'm tired of these sheets with the bunnies on them, what else have ya got?!"

Peanut hasn't had many changes lately. No big ones rather. They've been weaning her vent slowly. Last night they dropped the breath rate from 40 to 37 to make her start breathing on her own a little more. She's been doing it unless she's totally zonked out...then she lets the vent do all the work. Get it while you can, girl. We'll do anything for Peanut, but you have to breathe on your own! Hopefully she will tolerate it and take these little steps toward "tube freedom". I'm not sure what she'll do with her hands once Mr. Tube is gone? But once it is gone...we'll hear her make noise...that will be really wild! It's been easier on *me* to not hear her crying through all the things she has deal with every day. It's hard enough seeing her make the "cry face".

Auntie Shannon is coming over today to scrape wallpaper, Peanut! Here's the colors we'll some day paint it...hope you like them! (If not, you know mommy will just repaint it!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ishop4Pnut

Peanut is having those "boring days" that everyone told us to hope for. She's just eating, growing and taking her baby steps toward wellness. She's just started getting an iron supplement, still at 27 ml of fortified breast milk every 3 hours and still on hydrocortisone and a medication to help her liver. They are slowly weaning her vent down...just by 2-3 at a time. The nurse practitioner came by today and told me they were weaning it slowly and Shhhh...don't tell her! Meaning, if the "willful child" (as they called her the day she was born) knew...she'd act up...so let's be sneaky about it and she'll do fine! So far, so good

The other event for the day was...finding Peanut clothes! "Shopping is fun again!" Whose catch phrase is that...Old Navy? Funny...I hit 3 stores today in pursuit of tiny duds for my petite Peanut...and Old Navy was the only one that wasn't fun! It smells strongly of plastics in there...probably the wall of cheap flip-flops! Their clothes were expensive...I did better at Marshall's and Walmart! One of Madeleine's nurse friends told me about a onesie there that said "Half Pint Peanut" with an elephant on it...I snagged it! $2.50. Found this place online tonight, Sweet Peanut...they have a preemie shop!

I've found that shopping for myself is even less interesting than it was before...it's much more fun to buy stuff for Madeleine...and that I did. I spent $50 (thanks Mom!) and got her a ton of preemie clothes and a very soft blankie which we snuggled together in tonight!!!

Weight - 3 lbs. 4 oz