Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We have made it home. The trip was very long and exhausting, but we made it. I will post more later...after we have recuperated. We are home, and my sister just dropped off the big girls a few minutes ago. It is nice to be a whole family again!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Friday

Well, we decided to stay an extra day because Abigail still isn't feeling well. Abigail's allergist here worked her in today and said that she has a viral infection. We have albuterol that we can give her in case she starts having breathing difficulty on the way home, but hopefully we have avoided that situation this time around.
We were able to spend time with Mike, Ramona, and Conner again this evening before heading home in the morning. I am so thankful that the Lord has united our families, and I am looking forward to growing our friendship for years to come.
We are all packed up and ready to head home early in the morning. Our goal is to leave here by 4 am...that's right, that would be 3 your (AR) time. I will leave you with this sweet moment. Ross and I were eating dinner tonight when Ross suddenly got this "what are you doing" look on his face. He said, Abigail just reenacted a scene from The Little Mermaid. I started to ask which one when I realized that she was holding a fork. Yes, anyone who has children will know that Scuttle tells Ariel that the fork is a dingle hopper and that it is for brushing your hair. So when Ariel "gets legs" as my kids would say, she is eating dinner, sees a fork, and begins brushing her hair. After I, "Awe she's soooo cute," I realized how gross that really is. Although it could be worse; at least all she was eating was ice! In case you didn't know, she LOVES Ariel. I leave you now with a smile on your faces.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Past and Present

A year ago today, our sweet baby was being admitted to Arkansas Children's Hospital for dehydration, feeding refusal, failure to thrive, and malnutrition. Little did we know that she would be diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis; and exactly one year later, Ross would be in Cincinnati having an upper and lower scope for the same disease. It is amazing how things can change in the span of a year. Here are a couple of pictures from where we were last year...

Ross came through both scopes well; although, the doctor said that he was very agitated while they were trying to get the upper scope down so they had to keep sedating him. He is sleeping now and will probably be out most of the day. Apparently they gave him A LOT of medication.
It will be a couple of weeks before we get the results of his scope because after Dr. K's lab read the pathology reports, his biopsies will be reviewed by Cincinnati Children's and then the doctors will discuss his future treatment options.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow, Allergies, and a Fever

This picture was taken while it was snowing. The snow has melted off of the roads, but a dusting remains on the grassy areas.
Look familiar? Yes, those are the same looking whelps that Miss Abigail had on her little arms!

Here you go, Ross' allergies: milk, wheat, peanut, soy, apple, apricot, banana, blueberry, cantaloupe, coconut, lemon, orange, strawberry, watermelon, barley, corn, oat, rice, rye, sesame, sunflower, almond, Brazil nut, cashew, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, walnut, codfish, flounder, lobster, scallops, shrimp, tuna, green beans, broccoli, carrot, celery, onion, lettuce, pea, squash, tomato, molds, ragweed, grass, trees, weeds, mites, cockroach, and cat. Basically, he can eat meat and potatoes, every man's dream! :) Although, my husband used to enjoy eating fruits and vegetables. I knew it was probably going to be bad, but luckily he will be able to eat all of the meats. Ross is now doing the prep for his upper and lower scopes tomorrow. We have to be at the office by 7 am and his scope will be at 8.
Now for the fever part...Abigail started running a temp. of 101.2 degrees. We are assuming that she has picked up a virus from spending the past three days in and out of doctor's offices. We are praying that she doesn't have the flu! The hospital has a strict visitation policy in place during flu season where children under 12 aren't allowed to visit and all of the "community toys" are locked away, but she still managed to pick up something. I guess we should feel fortunate that this is the first time that she has gotten sick from one of our many visits to the doctor.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today's Recap

Ross' appointment with the GI went well today. Dr. K was very nice and more importantly, he was well educated in EE. He asked a lot of questions about Ross' previous history and prepared us for the scope on Thursday. Tomorrow's appointment with the allergist will be more eventful I'm sure. That appointment will be at 11:30 am.

On another note, it snowed here a little today. Unlike Arkansas, they know how to treat and scrap the roads here. However, if you ask our friend, Mike, he says they don't know what they are doing...obviously he hasn't been to Arkansas when it snows! :)

We went to dinner with Mike, Ramona, and Conner tonight. Poor Conner wanted to get down and play like any normal 18 month old, so he ended up with Grandpa for a while. Next time Conner, we will have to go somewhere that will allow you and Abbz to run around and play!
Thanks Mike and Ramona for working us into your busy schedule and for a wonderful dinner.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Abigail's Scope and MG

Mommy's sweet baby had her 7th scope today. Abigail did very well, and Dr. P said that her esophagus looked normal. He also said that when they look that good most of the time the results come back clean. That is what we have been praying for. We will hopefully have the results before we head back home. All in all today was a quiet day. Tomorrow, Ross has his consultation visit with the GI at 8 am.

Mary Grace went "home" from the hospital today. She is with my parents at least for tonight and tomorrow, and they will discuss the remainder of the week. Hannah is with Ross' mom at our house and loving every minute of her alone time with her Nana.

Gracie Update

Mary Grace was admitted to the hospital last night for observation. The doctor said there would be significant bleeding if the clot broke loose again; so he wanted her close. She was able to sleep all night, but she her throat is very sore this morning (which is to be expected). The doctor has not been by yet this morning, but hopefully he will let her go home today. Thank you for your prayers! We will continue to keep you all up-to-date.

On another note, Abigail's, scope is today at 4:30 pm. Please be in prayer for her safety and that this is a clean scope and there be zero eosinophils. We will not get the biopsy results for a few days, but as soon as they come in we will let you know.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mary Grace's Tonsilectomy...

This is a pre-surgery picture of Mary Grace before the tonsil and adnoidectomy. The surgery was on the 5th and she has done very well; until today. The unfortunate thing is that Ross and I are in Cincinnati with Abigail. Mary Grace started bleeding apparently A LOT tonight. Ross' mom is staying with the girls so my dear and sweet Mandy took her to meet my parents so they could take her to the ER. Nana and Hannah are at home, we are in Cincy, and MG is on the way to the hospital. We are hundreds of miles away and as you can see Ross and I are a little stressed. I know that God knew this was in the works and He is in control. We are leaning on Him to take care of our little girl while we are away. Thank you to all of our friends and family members who have helped in taking care of her through this process. In case you are wondering why she is bleeding; 1 in 20 people have bleeding when the scabs fall off. Lucky us...Mary Grace is one of the 5%. Okay, I am going to go for now. I will keep everyone update on Mary Grace and on Abigail and Ross as well. Abigail's scope is at 4:30 pm tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Appropriate Scripture for Today's Economy

Matthew 6:25-34

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Storms and Very Special Thank You

Many of us are familiar with story of Jesus calming the Sea while on the boat with the disciples, but how many of us have actually stopped and really read this passage?

Mark 4:35-41

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Matt read this passage in our Connection Group Sunday morning, and I have been studying and pondering over it ever since. His big lesson was being prepared before the storm of life hits, and I was screaming to myself, "What if you are already in the midst of the storm!!!?" So begins my reading. You can find this passage in Matthew 8 and also in Luke 8; however, Mark paints a beautiful picture for us. While Matthew and Luke simply say that Jesus is asleep, Mark says, "He was...asleep on a pillow." This shows Jesus' fleshly-side tired from preforming miracles and teaching parables, but also his deity-side knowing all was okay. Now here the disciples are in the middle of a storm, there boat is taking on water, they think there is no way they are going to survive, and Jesus is asleep on a pillow. How many times do we get all worked up and say, "Jesus do you care? There is no way we are going to make it through this situation. How are we going to make it?" How many times does Jesus have to calmly remind us, "Have faith my child, I can see the whole picture. I will never leave you nor forsake you. It will be okay."

I know that this passage was for me this week. Thank you Jesus for working through Matt to remind me that even though I am in the midst of a storm, He is there reminding me to have "faith of a mustard seed". When we have faith, He shows us a little ray of sunshine to show us that is He is ever-present in our times of need. My ray of sunshine came from the Harris family this week. Yesterday after picking MG up from school we returned home to find the most precious package anyone have ever given me hanging from the front door knob. As soon as I drove up to the house, I knew what it was. You see, they knew that Mary Grace did not have a winter coat and that we did not have the money to go buy one, so they as a family lovingly purchased a coat for our daughter. Thank you Drew, Mandy, Alex, and Emma! God has used you in more ways than you know. For those of you in a storm, I hope this helped and for those who will be someday, I hope this passage comes to mind and can help you like it has helped me. I will leave you with a picture and a quote from my beautiful girl in her beautiful new coat.

She says, "Mommy, I like it and I can't feel the cold anymore!" She is so strong, she never mentioned once to us that she had been cold, and that her little jacket just wasn't cuttin it. God is good!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pictures in the Park with Alex and Emma

We had a wonderful day watching Alex and Emma while their Poppy was having heart surgery. We tried to stay occupied while Drew and Mandy were at the hospital. Oh, I should mention this did not occur today, but I have just now had to the chance to upload the pics to my camera. First we laid down for a rest while watching the new Tinker Bell movie. Then we went to the park, amazingly several of the pictures turned out really well. My favorite one is the first one (hence the reason it is bigger than the rest) because they are just being themselves! We finished the night with cheese pizza, a bath, and PJ's. We are glad that Poppy is home and doing better, and even prouder that the day went so well!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yes I am Alive and Kicking...

I know I have been missing for a while, but I am alive. The family has been stricken with the lovely stomach bug, and Abbz with bronchiolitis. They have all returned to a "healthy" status, and things are starting to return to what we like to call, normal. I really have nothing exciting to write about; so I will leave you with my latest gluten-free recipe.

Grilled Parmesan Chicken with Alfredo Sauce and Quinoa:
3-4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and grated Parmesan Cheese

2 cups heavy whipping creme
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. tapioca starch (opt.)
1/2 tsp. salt

Coat chicken breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese to taste. Grill chicken on prepared outdoor grill and cook until done (or until no longer pink inside). While the chicken is cooking pour whipping creme and tapioca starch (if using) into a sauce pan and mix together with a whisk. When well blended, add all of the other ingredients minus two crumbled bacon slices to the whip creme mixture. Heat until just boiling. Once the chicken is done slice on a diagonal.

To serve:
Prepare Quinoa as directed on box. Scoop as much Quinoa as is desired onto plate. Pour Alfredo mixture on top. Top this with grilled chicken slice, and a drizzle of Alfredo sauce. Garnish with crumbled bacon from reserved bacon and shredded Parmesan cheese. Can serve with bacon-wrapped asparagus on the side.

Although this recipe is "allergen-free" for us, it is really very delicious. Let me know if anyone tries it. Oh, and by the way, Quinoa is a grain much like rice, but packed with much more protein. I actually like it better than rice and I think it is much more flavorful.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Quiet Moment you hear that? Of coarse you don't because you are there sitting staring at a computer screen, and I am here in my quiet house. Quiet? Yes, quiet. The girls are nicely tucked into bed, and Ross is fast asleep. Ross had a bad encounter with a bag of chips today. These chips he has had several times with no adverse reaction...until today. First his lip starting swelling, then his gums, and finally the lump in his throat indicating that he was in fact having an allergic reaction, and yes his throat was closing up. He quickly took 2 Benadryl and headed to Wal-Mart with the Epi-Pen tucked into his pocket. Why Wal-Mart you ask? He bought Children's liquid Benadrly to swish around his mouth and gargle to hopefully stop the swelling. After a couple of hours there was success. Oh, did I mention he was in Ft. Smith working? Yes, imagine my distress knowing that he was a good hour and 15 min. away. I felt completely helpless; as I am sure he did, but luckily everything turned out fine. Now he is fast asleep in our bed breathing normally. He will probably be out until morning. Wow...12 hours of sleep...I could go for that! Let me leave you with this...

"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." -James 1:2-3

I have known this verse since I was a child, but came across it again in my reading last night. This verse and this verse alone may be the single most important verse for my family and the trails we are facing together. "Count it all joy..." I can honestly say that I see the joy in this disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Yes my daughter and my husband both have this disease, but I see that my God has a bigger plan. A plan bigger than the disease, bigger than not being able to eat, bigger than the strange and confused looks, and much bigger than the tears. I know that this is for HIS glory. I am honored and blessed to be the wife of an incredibly strong man that restricts his foods so that he can be healthier, and so that someday he can tell his baby girl that he made sacrifices that paid off so they can both be well. A man who is willing to face this disease knowing that God is standing there with him through it all. Ross and I are equally as blessed to know that our Heavenly Father entrusted us to provide for such a sweet and beautiful little girl. Although Abigail isn't able to eat the foods we eat, she has brought us joy beyond words. Her name has truly brought meaning to our lives; even more so than we could have ever imagined. Abigail means "My father's joy," and she is just that. Not only has EE brought us joy, but it has also brought us patience. Patience in waiting for doctor's appointments, money to provide the medical care needed, test results, and the unknown. Through this trial we have met amazing people with children that posses unexplainable strength. We have seen doctors with passion like nothing I have ever seen before. We have become a part of a church family that many do not find in their lifetime, and relied on family and friends for the support they have promised to show. So, if asked, yes I have found divine joy and patience during this trial, and thank God that He knew that with Him we could handle it. This trial is a process, but someday I know there will be healing, and we will give Him and Him alone all of the glory!

Cincinnati Follow-Up and New Beginnings

We have our dates for our next Cincinnati trip. We will be leaving Dec. 14th returning Dec. 19th. It will be another busy trip; hopefully filled with just as much great information as the first trip. This will be a follow-up visit for Abigail. She will be scoped on Monday, and with much prayer she will have ZERO eos! We want 0 eos/hpf because that will mean that the elemental formula alone is working, and her levels should be able to control through diet. Although this is a follow-up for Abigail, it will be Ross' intial visit. He will see the GI specialist on Tuesday for a consultation, allergy tested on Wednesday, and scoped on Thursday. We are anxious to learn what his treatment options are and to see what improvements have occurred since his new diet restriction.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baby Sister All Grown Up

Fayetteville's Homecoming was last weekend; and much to my surprise, my baby sister is all grown up! I still think of her as my little baby sister, when in fact she is turning into a beautiful young lady. Her beauty shines from the inside out, and I couldn't be more proud of her. Here are a few pictures I took of Blair and Nathan from that night.

FHS Homecoming 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Strep Throat and Busy Plans

Mary Grace has been unfortunately stricken with the dreaded Strep Throat. Poor baby was miserable. Her fever didn't break for two days and her throat was so swollen it is difficult for her to breathe when she was lying down. We started her antibiotic yesterday and let me tell you, it's a miracle drug. Dr. K said that his "drug of choice" for strep is Omnicef and that most children respond by the next day. I was hopeful, but realistic because it usually takes MG a good 5 days to recover. However, she woke up fever free and able to eat 1/2 a chocolate doughnut. That was huge improvement since she ate nothing the day before. Hopefully we are on our way to recovery which is good because we have a busy weekend planned. Friday is Fayetteville's Homecoming and my sister is cheering in the game, so I must go. Saturday we are going to Hot Springs for Ross' grandmother's birthday, and Sunday my grandmother will be in town; so of coarse we have to get the family together for a visit. It has been several months since she has seen Abigail; in fact the last time she saw her we were at Children's. I am looking forward to seeing family, but not the chaos that goes along with it.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I don't have anything exciting to talk about, but I don't want to clean house so I am going to think of something. What have we done? Yesterday, we went to the park with Mandy, Alex, and Emma. My girls always enjoy playing with "Emma and Alex" and it gives Mandy and I time to laugh...most of the time at one another. We had decided that our kids need a padded room, but then quickly remembered that wouldn't work because Abigail would most likely be allergic to the material in the padding...i.e. Latex. You have to laugh at that one.
Let's see, what else? Oh, I had another MEMEC meeting last night. It is always nice to talk with other mothers that are experiencing the same trials and tribulations that you are facing. Plus, it is a great escape for us mother's that are taking care of sick children all day. Four and a half hours later our meeting came to an end...only because Barnes and Noble closed, but I am sure our husbands were glad they didn't stay open any longer. Thanks husbands for letting us go out last night!
Amanda is coming over today to take pictures of my girls. I am so excited! The last time we had pictures taken, Abigail was 5 days old. Amanda is wanting to start her own photography business some day; so I figure she can practice on my girls any time! ;) I hope she is able to fulfill her dream; I know she will be great at it. Between Kristen and Amanda you would think I would have new pictures all of the time, but I don't. Who has time for real pictures (not just snap shots)???
You are all probably bored out of you minds reading this nonsense, so I will go for now. Until next time, have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I decided to do a tribute to some of the things I am most thankful for that most people take for granted. Hope you enjoy!

*Freedom of religion...loving the Lord my God, having Jesus Christ as my personal Savior,
and knowing above all else He is in control!
*Parents that taught me to have a personal relationship with Christ
*Good Health
*Having the freedom to eat whatever I want without having an allergic reaction.
*A wonderful husband, 3 beautiful daughters, family
*Friends that I can count on no matter what...even if it is about a problem that is entirely too
much information.
*My garbage disposal, dishwasher, refrigerator
*Washing machine/dryer and hot water heater
*Coffee, sugar, and cream because no good coffee is without sugar and cream.
*Hair straightener and make-up
*Work...not me, but my hubby :)
*Clean water to drink
*A house with heating and air
*Laundry...dirty or clean because at least I have clothes!
*Disposable diapers...I have washed, folded, changed, and cleaned dirty cloth diapers-NO FUN
*A reliable vehicle even if that makes me a "mad mom in a mini-van"

Okay, so my list could go on and on, but you get the idea. Hopefully it has reminded you of things to be thankful for during our current economical status. Stay happy, be thankful, and remember that God is always in control. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11. A quote from Pastor Floyd, "We live in God's ecomoy, not our economy." Trust and believe and He will provide.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Annie tagged me! Here are 7 weird and random facts about me:

1. My children must always have on shoes and a hairbow before leaving the house; and I prefer they be in coordinating outfits.

2. I cannot go to sleep with the closet door creeps me out.

3. I'm an FHS band geek. I played the flute and was Captain of the Flag Line 3 years in a row.

4. I absolutely hate going to the eye doctor, but don't mind going to the dentist.

5. I have always wanted to have identical twins.

6. I put garlic in every thing...excluding desserts of coarse!

7. Ross and I were engaged before we went on our official first date. What?! We were poor college kids and couldn't afford to go any where. Unless of coarse, you consider lunch in the Pomfret cafeteria a date! Ha!

I hope you enjoyed my list of random facts because it took me forever to come up with anything. Normally I have a list a mile long, but put me on the spot and I clam up. Amanda, Mandy, Erin, Kristen, Alicia, Stacey, and Alissa...TAG YOUR IT!

Monday, September 29, 2008

BB&B 2008

Who is in that picture? That's right. Jesse James was signing autographs at the "6th Street Wal-Mart" on Saturday Morning. For those of you who don't know who Jesse James is, he builds West Coast Choppers among other things.
Ross, Grumpy, and Jesse James. Good thing I took a picture with Grumpy's camera also because Jesse isn't looking at the camera in this one!
Grumpy and the big girls...Abigail still isn't up for touching Grumpy...I think she is afraid! ;)
Look at that hot momma on the back of that motor cycle!...Somehow I ended up with a picture of my mom and Ross on the bike and none with me! So sad. :( At least she looks good.

I have about a million other bike pics, but thought I would spare you the agony of looking at them. Ross always wants to take pictures, but they don't look as good as they did in person. All-in-all the weekend went well and we had a great time. It is a wonderful weekend for both Ross and the girls to spend time with just their "Grumpy" (aka Ross' dad).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mary Grace's Baptism

"My eyes have seen your salvation." -Luke 2:30

When Mary Grace was three and four, she was involved with Cubbies, an Awana program. During that time, she learned to memorize scripture. As she did so, she kept coming back to Luke 2:30, "My eyes have seen your salvation." This was her favorite verse for quite some time, and as it turns out, on January 9, 2007, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. On July 13, 2008, she was baptized at our church First Baptist Springdale. Mary Grace was honored and excited to have Mr. Zach (our family friend) baptize her that morning. It was an amazing experience; one I know she will always remember. I have been meaning to post pictures, but never seemed to find the right time; so Mary Grace, this is for you. Mommy and Daddy are so very proud of you for making the single most important decision of your life. We are happy to not only have you for a daughter, but also to know you as a sister in Christ. We look forward to seeing your relationship with the Father grow and mature throughout the years, and expect to see mighty things done through and in your life as you walk with Him. Here are some pictures from your very special day!

Mr. Zach and Mary Grace

The Green Family
The Hill Family
The Moore Family
The Girls are ready to go...

Brownie Points for Momma

So I attempted to make my husband "pizza" and "cheesecake" a couple of days ago, and you know what? They actually both turned out very well. The flat bread pizza crust was made from tapioca flour, tapioca starch, basil and rosemary. It was very yummy...much like a pizzeria pizza! Then, as if that wasn't adventurous enough, I made a crust less chocolate cheesecake with ganache and whipped cream on top. It was also good, but a little too sweet for me. A little went a long way. Yes, my husband is the luckiest man in the world to have a wife that is willing to be a little adventurous; so that we do not have to eat the same foods over and over again. :) Enjoy the pictures of my master pieces.

Oh, I did not stop there with the coolness. I let my children have cheesecake and coffee for breakfast! Yes! Coffee...mind you, there was very little coffee and a WHOLE LOT of sugar and cream. They thought it was the best and I won several "coolest mom ever" points with the big two this morning. While I am bragging about myself, I might as well rack up on those brownie points while they are rolling in 'cause I have no idea what's for lunch today. ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall!!!

For those of you who know well, you know that I love fall! Today is officially the first day of fall; so Happy Fall to you all! In honor of fall and in no particular order, here are a few reasons why I love fall:

*The crisp, cool, clean air.
*Autumn colors on the leaves.
*The smell of warm apple pie.
*Thanksgiving and Family
*Celebrating the birth of our 3rd daughter.
*Cornstalks, Hay, and Mums
*Hot apple cider

Monday, September 8, 2008

Catch Up

Okay, so in search of a doctor for Ross, we have been led back to Cincinnati. I spoke with three different clinics in Arkansas including UAMS, and none of them have had much experience with any eosinophilic disorder much less EE. After talking with the Centers for Eosinophilic Disorders in Cincinnati, we have confirmation this is where we are supposed to be. He will have to go through the same "approval" process that Abigail went through, but since she has already been seen and he has such large numbers of eos this should not be a problem. In fact, we already know that we will most likely be traveling during the weeks of Nov. 5 or Dec. 17. So....MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY...because we aren't gonna have any money left for gifts! Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right? RIGHT?!? ;) I'm sure we will work something out.

In other news, I took Abigail to the dentist last week. Dr. Rhodes, by the way is great if you are looking for a wonderful pediatric dentist that loves his job. Now that I have put my plug in for Dr. Rhodes, I will get to the point. He wants to see her every three months because she has calcification build up from not being able to eat anything abrasive, and since she has such severe allergies he wants to avoid decay at all costs (because she could be allergic to the material in fillings). He also suggested that we have her frenum (the thin piece of tissue that connects the top lip to the gums) cut. It is tight and very difficult to brush her top teeth. Our appointment with the oral surgeon is Thursday. Another procedure and it ever going to end?

Hannah and Mary Grace are doing well, I am happy to announce. Mary Grace is loving school and Hannah is loving being the "big sis" while Gracie is there! I have to admit it has been fun having Hannah basically to myself for a few hours each day! As for me, well I was sick all weekend, but I am feeling much better today. I guess I just had a virus...or my body said it was time for rest because I ran a fever without any other symptoms for about 24 hours and felt crummy afterwards, but like I said am good today. Ross was wonderful though!! He kept the house clean and did laundry...he even cooked a little! Well, I am done playing the catch up game until next time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Results are In...

After much waiting; Ross' pathology reports confirmed that he does in fact have Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Just to show you how he compares with Abigail, his highest eos count was 80 and Abigail's was 90. Pretty close to the other words, he isn't doing too well either.
I have had several questions about how Ross is handling his new diet. He is actually doing quite well with it at the moment. It has effected all of our diets, but surprisingly it hasn't been that hard so far. Although reality hit me yesterday as I was watching the Food Network channel and I realized that I will not be able to bake like I used to. Baking is/was my passion and now I won't be doing that...for a while anyway. That's okay though; I will just have to learn to change my passion from baking to cooking. All in all we are doing okay! We are now in the process of seeking out doctors for Ross. Doctors who have seen adult EE patients. Well, it's time to get Abigail from therapy so I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I May Just Go CRAZY!!!

It has been two weeks since Ross' scope, and we still do not have the results! Is it just me or is that just absolutely ridiculous?! I may loose my mind before we even get the stinkin results. He went by the doctor's office today to see if they could tell him something, and they said that they didn't have them back yet. The pathology department said they would fax them over; but the nurse said that she didn't know if she would be able to read them, so someone will call in the morning. Seriously?!? Bring them home to me...I can read them! Can you since the frustration and impatience yet??? Okay, I am done ranting. I will let everyone know the results as soon as I know something! AAAAWWWWWWWHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! I feel a little better now ;).....

Friday, August 29, 2008

Allergy Testing and New Diets All Around!

Well, we have the results from Ross' allergy testing. Here goes: all fish/shellfish, all tree nuts, peanuts, peas, corn, wheat, rice, rye, oat, oranges, green beans, onions, soy and yeast. As well as, environmental allergies and cats. So between Ross, Hannah, and Abigail our diets will be seriously altered. Oh, and now for the funniest part! I talked to our vet yesterday, and because Kobe is not metabolizing his food properly, his little body is producing large amounts of kidney stones; so he will also be on a special diet the rest of his life. Now isn't that just appropriate! Okay sorry for the side note, back to Ross. He is going to have a hard time giving up wheat, so we are having a last "hoorah" this weekend. Since we are Italian by choice (meaning we LOVE Italian food) we are going to have pasta for dinner! Although he is already omitting most of the offensive foods now, he is planning on going "cold turkey" on Monday! This is going to be a life change for all of us, so I know we will need the prayers until we become a custom to our new way of eating. For all of you food lovers out there, enjoy it and please don't ever take it for granted!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Come On...

Really! Isn't it enough that my daughter has EE and my husband will most likely be diagnosed with it within the next two weeks? Now my dog has a problem! Poor little thing has had a "pee problem" as my 6 and 4 year olds so politely pointed out. I took him to the vet today, and he has an enlarged prostate and will be neutered tomorrow. As if that wasn't bad enough, I had to leave him there tonight. Let's just say he is not going to be happy we he gets home tomorrow! You know I just had to laugh to keep from crying. I know that my dog being neutered isn't a big deal, but come on...can't my dog at least be healthy?!?

Zach talked about peace today in Connection Group (our way of saying Sunday School). The opening question this morning was, "What is peace?" As soon as it was asked, my immediate answer (in my head) was Jesus! Jesus is peace. Not only is He peace, but He is the Prince of Peace. I have totally and completely found peace in my Prince of Peace through all of this with Abigail and now Ross. Now, don't get me wrong I have my emotional days; which I also think is normal. Through the emotion, there is peace and comfort in knowing that He is in control of it all. I have learned to accept the things which I cannot change, and He has given me the courage and knowledge to do the things He would have me do. It is through Him alone that I can feel this way and write these words, but it is true...every word.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Who Got Scope Now??

As many of you now know, Ross has been presenting with eosinophilic esophagitis-type symptoms. After having difficulty swallowing and feeling like someone has been strangling him for the past week, Ross was finally scoped yesterday afternoon. The procedure went well, but the esophagus did not look so good. The pictures showed esophageal rings, furrowing, white plaque, and strictures. He had dilation done to stretch out the stricture (fancy word for narrowing). Although the doctor wouldn't say it and he leans more to the thought of reflux verses EE; let me show you why we believe that he also has EE...besides the fact that our daughter has it.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Endoscopy Findings: white plaques, stipple-like exudates, linear fissures, trachealization (ringed esophagus), strictures
Reflux esophagitis / gastroesophageal reflux disease / GERD
Endoscopy Findings: linear ulcers at distal esophagus, often with exudate; also erythema or edema; normal in 50-60% of symptomatic patients - thus biopsy required if clinically suggestive of reflux esophagitis even if normal endoscopy
This information was taken from an article found online at the following address:
I'm no doctor, but the fact that Abigail has already been diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis and the evidence that Ross has all of the endoscopy findings supporting EE; I am betting that he does in fact have it. But like I said, I'm no doctor...maybe I should have been! :) Anyway, the results will be in within 12-14 days.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Life As We Know It Will Never Be the Same Again!

Today our very beautiful, intelligent, oldest daughter started her first day of school! She walked into Mrs. Taylor's first grade class with excitement and eagerness to learn. We exchanged our hugs and kisses and said our good-byes, and then I realized, "This is the end of the life we have known until now." Freedom to go and do as we please, with no real sense of any schedule or time frame is gone. The hardest part of this reality lies in the fact that Mary Grace has been with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the past 6 years; and now I have to entrust her life with some complete stranger for eight hours a day. Hannah said, "Mommy? Gracie will be gone as long as Daddy is at work?...I am sad, and it doesn't make me feel very good." Her best friend and sister will not be there for every waking moment anymore. However, this will give Hannah time to be the "oldest" with Abigail, and hopefully at the end of the day when Gracie is home again, they will all have a different kind of love and respect for one another. I am excited to see the newness this year will bring; and sad to see the "baby-like" actions disappear.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Results...

Sorry we didn't post yesterday, but we were both completely worn out. Okay, I am sure you all have been anxiously awaiting the results from the scope and patch testing. First of all, her scope showed that there are still eosinophils present in her esophagus; so we have to remove bananas from her diet. She will be on formula ONLY for the next three months; then re-scoped. We are also scoping Hannah at this three month appointment per doctors recommendation. There are two types of eosinophilic disease; allergic-type and nonallergic-type (autoimmune), and the only way to determine which category she fits into is to go strictly formula only. The reason for this is if it is allergic-type, the theory is that once we remove the bananas the eos will be gone. If they are still present after the banana removal, then she has the autoimmune version. We are praying diligently that she not have the autoimmune type. The allergic-type is easier to control with elimination diets and so forth; this is not the case for autoimmune EE. I'm sure that was a bit confusing and I will be able to better explain it once we get home. Now...allergy. She tested positive to two more things. Mustard and sunflower (both are seeds). So for now, she is on her formula only. She will be able to eat the original flavored (only) Dum Dum suckers, Pixie Stix, and Smarties; as they are only sugar and artificially flavored. Thank you all for making this possible through prayer, support, and encouragement! We will be leaving early in the morning and should be home around 5-6pm.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Seriously, do you see the eight-lane divided highway here? This is exactly what the highway looked liked on the way to the hospital this morning, only in a little different location when we were somehow hand picked (we decided that he could tell we were out-of-towners b/c we have no license plate on the front like everyone else in OH)by a motorcycle cop standing on the side of the highway radaring people. Now, you have to remember this was in early morning traffic that we were "flowing" with a the rate of speed as everyone else. The oh so very nice police officer asked for our information, went back to his motorcycle, and returned to the car............................................................................

This is what he so politely handed us. Of coarse there was no time to explain that we were heading to Children's Hospital where we have been the entire week, but apparently he has no heart. By the way, Jason and Terri, HWY 71 from the hotel to the hospital is 55, not 71...just for future reference ;)!!! Oh, and the price....$104.Luckily, all we had to do today was attend an information meeting and tour the lab. We were done by 12:30pm and toured downtown Cinty for the rest of the day. Enjoy the pics. It was a much needed and welcomed break.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tough Day Tuesday

Abigail still nice and happy before any of her testing began. We are sitting in the allergy clinic waiting room.If you look closely, you can see the whelps (hives) that formed just minutes after the skin test solutions was placed on the inside of both of her arms.

Patch testing was done on some of the foods that tested negative. We will remove the "patches" on Thursday afternoon, and the results will be read on Friday.
Well, today was a very long and tough day, as we had expected. The doctor came in and took Abigail's history. Based upon what we told him, he decided to do 45 skin pricks. Once she was stuck she proceeded to scream at the top of her lungs, flail her body so that we could barley hold onto her, and itch obsessively. The main problem with all of this was that she was not allowed to scratch the hives or touch anything to the inside of her arms! Yeah, I know....
After all that, we had to place the patches. Underneath each round container is "whole food". Or, in layman's terms, baby food. These will stay on with no water exposure (including bath and sweat) until Friday. Okay, I am sure you are all wondering about the results. Are you ready? Okay, here you go: milk, casein (milk by-product), egg white, egg yolk, wheat, codfish, peanut, peas, barley, corn, rye, cashew, walnut, halibut, and tree nuts. The patch testing will tell if there is a delayed reaction to any of them that have previously tested negative. The allergist also said that he may do more skin prick testing on Friday. He said this several different times, so I am thinking that is highly likely.

Prayer Requests: The the patch testing will provide accurate results...there is still some question if the small amount of steroids they gave her yesterday could pose a problem. With the Lord's help, I know the results will be accurate.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Good News and Bad...

Ross, Abigail, Abigail's nurse, Patches the Bear, and I before her procedure.

I'm holding Abigail as they are putting her to sleep in the O.R.. You cannot see her well, but thought you could get the idea.

First and most importantly, Abigail's scope went very well. In fact, her esophagus looked better than it has yet. We will have the biopsy results on Thursday, but Putnum believes that she will be able to keep bananas in her diet. That would be a huge blessing! As we were giving Dr. Putnum our family history, we got to Hannah's and he asked if she had ever been scope. We said no, and long story short he felt that we should, and he would like to do it the next time we bring it looks like there will be many more trips to Cincy. As for Hannah, Ross and I still have some praying to do about that.

Now for the not so good news. While she was in recovery Ross and I were talking to the nurse and found out that they gave her Decadron (a steroid) during her scope. This is a problem because she is supposed to be off of steroids for one month prior to the allergy patch testing. We talked to the allergy nurse and because Decadron only stays in her system for 12 hours, she thinks that they will still be able to do the testing. The good news is that it will not affect the skin prick test, so they will at least be able to do that test without any problem. We will find out about the patch testing in the morning. Although this was all very frustrating, Ross said that all the Lord kept "saying" to him was, "I am in control, I am in control." We know that no matter the outcome, He is in control and that is the best for Abigail. Besides all of this excitement, the hospital was amazing. I wasn't able to take pictures today, but I will have some later on this week.

Prayer Requests: Tomorrow's skin prick tests will be difficult; pray for strength for all of us. Pray that if we are supposed to do the patch testing now that all will go as planned; and if not, that Ross and I will have peace that now is not the right time.