Congratulations, Class of ’11 ♥

See that little face on the right? Well she graduated this weekend......whaaaaat!

My little sister, Alex, graduated this weekend. Wow, is all I can say. When did she get so grown up?!

Thursday night was Alex’s cap & gown, and it was so stressful trying to get us there on time. Noah decided to not make things easier and take an HOUR to finish his bottle. So instead of getting there at 6:15 – 6:30 like I wanted (the ceremony started at 7:00), we didn’t even leave town until about 6:20. And it is a 40 minute drive. Sigh. Thankfully the ceremony didn’t start RIGHT at 7:00, so we had time for a bathroom break when we waltzed in at around 7:05.

As a side note, I’ve always wondered why there is a blessing at a public high school. Plus the kid doing the blessing couldn’t do a passable public speaking gig if his life depended on it.

Here are some pictures of the cap & gown ceremony:

Walking up to her seat...

....sitting....

....Noah and Grandma....

.....the graduate and her proud parents....

....and me, Caleb eating Noah, sleepy Noah, and the newest graduate ❤

Friday night was the public ceremony; fancy dress, corsage, the whole shabang. We got out there at a semi-reasonable time, and I had the job of doing Alex’s make up and tying her into her corset gown. I cried when I finished her make up, I couldn’t believe how grown up a little blush made her look! I was quite proud of my make up handiwork, and I am happy to report that it STAYED ON, even with some crying that was done during the ceremony.

Her escort, Joey, showed up on time, and we got some pictures of them on the deck before they took off to the Research Station for the big class picture.

We met up with them at the school, took some family shots, and then it was time to enter the arena! Mom and Dad had their own reserved seats, so Caleb, Noah, and I managed to find seats on the outside aisle to ensure quick and efficient escape in case of a fussy baby.

The ceremony went pretty good, it had the appropriate amount of cheesy and eye rolling to be expected of a graduation ceremony, and before we knew it, it was time to file on out and get to the gymnasium at the school for the three ceremonial dances.

Alex’s escort had to leave early, so my poor sister was without a dance partner for the “Escort Dance”! I leaped to the rescue, grabbing a nice man dressed in a dress shirt and tie off the sidelines to be a stand-in escort. My sister, always one with the menfolk, never even found out his name, LOL. But he was just a pretty face, so it all worked out.

The second dance was the “Parent Dance”, so off went Alex and Dad to “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney (which was actually played at my grad too, haha).

Then the third dance was the “Go-Crazy-and-Pick-Whomever-You-Want Dance”, and Alex chose a young man named Matt to be her lucky dance partner. Later I found out that they are dating and she never told me! Meanie-pants.

After that was all said and done, we took some scenic shots around the school, and the princess got whisked off to go home to get ready for Dry Grad later that evening.

Overall, it was a great (albeit LONG) day, and I am so grateful because Caleb was my knight in shining armor and took care of fussy Noah so I could enjoy her ceremony and be the resident photographer/annoyance.

Here are some pictures!:

Make up and hair close-up....

....lacing up the dress....

....Alex and her escort....

.....to be honest, none of us had any idea how to put the boutonniere on, lol....

....laughs and putting on the corsage....

....one of my fav shots.....

....sisters ❤ ....

....the whole family!....

.....Auntie snuggles the Noah, pre-ceremony...

....and a few hours later, the ceremony is done!...

......

....dance #1, with the stand-in escort....

.....dance #2, ❤ ....

....dance #3. Her expression is so cute....

....proud parents, watching on....

....

....love this one too....

....."Victory!"....

.....not bad for a point-and-shoot....

....the carriage awaits....

....proud mama ❤ ....

.....and my knight in shining armor ❤

_________________

Congratulations, Alex!

I love you and I am so proud! ♥

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Operation Homespeak (via Adventures Of The Sunshine Brigade)

Our birth group is amazing. 🙂

Operation Homespeak I was ambushed earlier this week. I thought I was headed out to a long-awaited playdate with the Vancouver contingent of The Sisterhood; instead I found myself standing in the parking lot of my apartment building, jaw agape and completely stunned at what had just happened. The girls in my birth club had managed to pull a fast one and give me the surprise of all surprises—a gesture reminiscent of what Don's co-workers had done for us back in … Read More

via Adventures Of The Sunshine Brigade

Lost In Translation, literally.

While Googling myself today (don’t ask), I found a spammy site that had this to say about me:

“Mother olivia ___ and ascendant caleb ___ stop onto their first-ever little, clump of experience noah james ____ in their bag on the south conception of grande prairie on monday, jan. 3, 2011. noah wasn’t due to endure but today the family. kim bridgeman, who lives in st. albert, is environment up a conveying of boob concentrate from herself and added care in neaten woods to be dispatched either by automobile or by greyhound bus. “i never was bounteous proponent for boob intake but i.”

And,

“Young pair hunt boob concentrate donations for infant son. by josephine lim, herald-tribune staff. updated 4 months ago. noah james ____ wasn’t due to springy to 2011. the child pupil was dropped at grande prairie’s qeii infirmary on dec. 19 with his umbilical cord. kim bridgeman, who lives in st. albert, is environment up a conveying of boob concentrate from herself and added care in neaten woods to be dispatched either by automobile or by greyhound bus. “i never was bounteous proponent for.”

Damn me, I’m always hunting for that boob concentrate!

Apparently Noah was dropped off at the infirmary with his umbilical cord! And he is also a “clump of experience” and a “child pupil”……lol!

HIE Observations

I follow a blog about a little girl named Sophie who has HIE. She is a success story, and one that I hope we can mimic as well in the months and years to come.

I was looking through some of the blog’s links, when I found this, a chart explaining each grade of HIE.

For those that have been following since Noah’s birth, you may remember that he was diagnosed with HIE III — the most severe.

Looking at this chart, though, I have many questions.

________________

On the pdf file that this chart is from, it doesn’t say when the doctors would apply this to a baby, however I am assuming that it is a prognosis they make within the first few days of life. In that case, I can definitely see why they diagnosed Noah with Grade III.

Comotose:

– When Noah was first shipped off to the Stollery, he was put on 3 different anti-seizure meds, which basically acted like a strong sedative. I describe it as “rag doll baby”. He was essentially in a coma-like state 24/7. He didn’t open his eyes, didn’t react to stimulus, didn’t cry, didn’t make any noise, nothing.

Profound hypotonia*:

– When he was in that state, you could lift his arm or leg and it would just flop right back down, he had no muscle tone or resistance in movement at all.

Failure to maintain spontaneous respiration:

– At birth, he was put on a CPAP and then oxygen prongs, up until he was de-tubed. Initially, he had holes in his lungs that developed due to the bag used to resuscitate him. His lungs healed themselves quickly, but he was put on the oxygen prongs since they told us that he was breathing room air, but not often enough.

Prolonged fits that are difficult to control:

– At 1 day of life, he started having apnea episodes that accompanied eye twitching and raised arms, which we later found out were seizures. At 36 hours he suffered a severe seizure, which was the domino that sent us to the Stollery. Once there, they told us that the only brain activity he had was his seizures, and the EEG showed exclusively burst-suppression patterns, which is very severe and very bad.

____________

Once we took Noah off his life support (on Christmas Eve, at 5 days old), he started showing signs of improvement. Reading through the symptoms of HIE II (they told us while we were being discharged that he may have Grade II instead), I can see the difference.

Lethargic:

– Once his meds started to wear off, Noah become steadily more awake. It started with only one eye open, then both, only low light, then full light. That was all while we were still in the hospital.

– He started developing some reflexes, again once the meds started to wear off.

– He didn’t cry until about a week after we got home.

Marked abnormalities in tone:

– He started off as hypotonic, but in the last few months he’s gotten a lot stiffer. I see this as both a good and a bad sign. Personally, I prefer stiffer joints than the looser ones with no muscle control. But OT/PT have noticed that the stiffness in his arms could be what’s preventing him from bringing things to his mouth (although he does bring his fist to his mouth occasionally).

Requires tube feeds:

– Initially, yes, he was tube fed. However, after his tackle was removed, he hasn’t been tube fed since.

Fits easily controlled:

– Noah hasn’t had any seizure activity since we took him off his life support on Christmas Eve.

Recovering by 7 days:

– We took him off his meds at 5 days old, and he was showing a marked improvement by 7 days old. However, I’m not sure if this point is based on being medicated or not (i.e. does it mean it’s based on spontaneous or assisted recovery? Because we were obviously assisted by the anti-seizure meds and the unintended 3 day dehydration).

_______________

Now, Grade I. I am most interested by this column, because Grade I has never been mentioned to us. We were told that Noah was the severest of the severe, and the whole “he will never walk/talk/eat” spiel.

Irritable and “hyper-alert”:

– Noah is actually a very easy-going baby (disregarding the last week where he hasn’t napped at all…), so I’m waiting for the verdict on this one once he gets a bit older, and once he can communicate with us more (i.e. when he can talk).

Mild hypotonia:

– I don’t actually know the normal level of tone that a baby’s supposed to have…..I have a playdate next week with a mom and her baby who is a few days younger than Noah, maybe I’ll ask to hold her baby and I can compare.

– I’m wondering if this relates to the muscles in the neck too? In that case, I again don’t know what’s considered “normal” tone, but his head control needs work, still.

Weak suck:

– Perhaps most intriguing of all was when Noah suddenly developed a very weak suck at 8 days old, which prompted us to start him on a bottle. Since then his suck has developed to a very strong one…..seriously, try feeding him and he’ll prove it to you! 😛

No fits:

– Noah hasn’t had any seizure activity since we took him off his life support.

Recovering by 48 hours:

– As far as we know, no.

_______

So the weird thing is that he seems to be all over that chart. The burning question is then, what grade is he?

 
* hypotonia = very loose, hypertonia = very stiff

Friday Night Leftovers!

Sigh. I am terrible at blogging. So much has happened that I haven’t even commented on yet! The election, Mother’s Day……gahh. I’ll try and get my posts up this weekend.

– I won a “Mom’s Home Cookin'” contest last week and I won tons of swag. YAY. I also got asked to teach a cooking class! (those who know me, feel free to “wtf”, lol)

– Slightly TMI, but I haven’t gotten my period yet….still (19 weeks PP!!). It makes me paranoid, although logically I know I’m not pregnant.

– Noah’s head control is still not great. Sigh. I’m hoping that by the time he is 6 months, it’ll be on track.

– We scored a free Bumbo and tray today!! YAY! (Thanks, Amanda!….if you read this 😛 )

– I went out on Wednesday and won “Name That Tune” for my friend’s team at the bar. I felt proud. I called it within the first 5 seconds, lol. It was this song:

Not only is Mariana’s Trench one of my favorite bands, they are Canadian, and they were my first bar concert when I was 18……they were amazing, and I want them to come back! Give their YouTube channel a listen, I promise that you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

– Speaking of Wednesday, I had so much fun being out. Yay adult time!

– We had a month’s free programming on our cable, and now I’m sad because it ran out and we don’t have my favorite stations, lol. Boo.

– I found a decent photographer who will do full day coverage for our wedding for $800. I like!

– I had a walk at the park with my mom group this morning, during which Noah was incredibly fussy, and then I couldn’t figure out how to collapse the stroller so I had to call Caleb to tell me how after trying to figure it out for over 10 minutes….lol. I am such a dumbass 😛

– Noah has not napped properly in a week. Non-napping makes Noah cranky, which makes his mom cranky.

– My mom has really started pushing for me to get meds for my PPD and PTSD. I’m not even sure that I actually need them, and here she is telling me that I need to get them……..pressure that I don’t need, thanks.

– My sister is graduating on May 27….HOLY CRAP. I am so not looking forward to the ceremony, there will be too many kids that I really don’t want to see, lol.

That is all! Stay tuned for my thoughts on the election, Mother’s Day, and my weight loss battle update!

Want more leftovers? Check out the host here.