21 September 2009

Who'll Stop the Rain? 09/21

Thank goodness we decorated Isaiah's room with a Noah's Ark theme because with all the rain we're having here in Atlanta, the house just might float away... Well its not that bad yet, but we have had about a half an inch of water in much of the basement. Either the house has settled over the years, or the floor is just that out of whack, because only half of the basement is wet right now. Of course its the half that includes our little 'dungeon room' that is carpeted which means I will be having fun in the next week removing who knows how old wet carpet in order to prevent mold from over taking the house. The HEPA filter in Isaiah's room will be running extra this week that's for sure.

Most schools are closed around the metro tomorrow, which makes this rain almost like a snow day back up north, but much wetter and warmer. Work shut down early today because of the rain, and I don't know if we'll be open tomorrow since the owner lives about a 45 minute drive away when the roads aren't flooded over. One sign you know it's really bad is when the Chinese restaurant is closed. They're always open, but today when we decided we weren't cooking and called for take out, they were closed. No General Tso's Chicken for me :(

It's supposed to rain here every day until Monday of next week and it has been raining here for nearly a week straight to boot! Isaiah liked it at first, but we're getting stir crazy asnd so is he from the weather. He's getting really close to crawling and he's gabbing like crazy. Sometimes I swear he's talking back to the thunder!

19 September 2009

Swine Flu Schmime Flu 09/19

Isaiah has seemingly bounced back from the flu fairly quickly which leads us to wonder if he really had it at all. We know he was sick, but everything we've read said he'd have a fever for 3-5 days, and he's gone the last two days sans fever. He's almost back up to his normal appetite, but he's still sleeping a ton. Unfortunately it seems like Rachel is getting whatever he had now from taking care of him this week and she's off trying to rest as I take care of the little guy today. Hopefully we can all nip this in the bud sooner than later because we miss hanging out with our neighbors and being able to go out and about. It's been raining here pretty much all week, and making us all a bit stir crazy.

New Photos!

I just realized this morning I haven't posted any new photo albums in awhile. I knew I had to get the Disney trip pictures up, but I had to get some of his surgery pics up as well form our last trip to Dallas. Just click the pictures below to go to the new galleries!

Dallas trip pictures, including a visit with a new friend, Aiden, who also has Apert Syndrome and was born 2 weeks after me!

These are the infill pictures from after my surgery up to the present and include the trip to Chattanooga and Ruby Falls, Disney World over Labor Day, and my first haircut!

17 September 2009

Oink Oink 09/17/09

We thought we got through Disney this time unscathed. He wasn't throwing up the entire time home, and even though it was even hotter than last time, he didn't act like he was getting heat exhaustion because we were careful to keep going into the A/C. Well the last couple days he's been fairly crabby and yesterday he woke up with a fever of 102.1. We gave him some Tylenol and it helped for a while, by noon he was back up to nearly 103 and Rachel took him to the doctor. Turns out he has the Swine Flue. Wooohoo! I guess its better to get it now than a couple weeks before his next surgery in November, but still not fun in the least. It also means we're all on a virtual quarantine for a while. I'm essentially only going to work and the store when needed, and Rachel is planning to stay in with Isaiah. He was pretty miserable last night and got up numerous times. He's going to have a fever for the next 3-5 days and we're trying to manage it with some Infant Motrin. Hopefully he gets better soon and that Rachel and I can stay careful enough and wash out hands and face enough to keep from getting it.

13 September 2009

From Crabby to Passed out in 5.4 seconds

Isaiah zonked out on the floor

Land of Confusion 09/13/09

I hate having to write a post like this, but there's been a bit of a question from a number of people of where we got the money for the Disney trip we took last weekend. I can can assure everyone that all the money you donate to Isaiah's fund through Apert International always goes 100% to his medical needs (surgery deposits, travel costs to Dallas, prescriptions, etc.) and his daily necessities (diapers, food, clothing). The money we spent as a family came out of our reserves we had been building for the past year or so.

Ever since we knew that Isaiah was going to have some unknown issues before he was born we thought there would be a good chance that Rachel would need to stay home from work to take care of him we started to cut back on extraneous expenses and save money. When the economy was starting to turn south and my work started laying off people last October we started pinching even more with the supreme possibility of me not having a job in the near future so that we would have some money to fall back on. The layoff did happen, but much later than I thought, and while Rachel experienced some rather severe postpartum depression that essentially forced her to stay home with Isaiah, it did have the effect of allowing her to keep receiving disability payments for longer than we had anticipated as well. All in all since I was only fully unemployed for little less than a month we had some extra money in our reserves which is where the money for the Disney trip came from. We're still saving money with the goal of replacing the Toyota in the next year. We just needed to do something fun for the whole family to celebrate coming through all we have in this last year. Rachel and I have given up most of our entertainment expenses and cut back on many little things here and there so we feel this was rather justified for us to spend out of our personal coffers.

We don't want people to feel like we're misappropriating the help you are giving us and please feel free to call us on it if you ever have a question about it. We are a non-profit of sorts, just not in the whole business sense I guess, so our financial records aren't public access, but we are accountable to all of you that help us. We truly appreciate everyone's help and try to use your money smartly and always 100% on Isaiah's daily needs and medical expenses unless told otherwise.

12 September 2009

Shave and a Haircut - 2 bits 09/12/09

So today will be Isaiah's first official haircut, if you don't count the little bit we needed to snip to get his IV off at his last surgery. (we kept that little bit anyways) This is our first official trip to a haircut place which I guess specializes in kids and is called something cute like 'pigtails and crew cuts.' Hopefully they're creative enough to do something with his long bangs and Ben Franklin/Grandpa Munster like wisps of hair at his ears. You probably don't seen a ton of shots of the back of his head, but as it gets longer, its getting pretty curly. We may let that grow out a bit, but we'll see. Anyways I plan to take the camcorder and if they let me, take a bit of video. If I can get it to work right I'll try to post some here.

08 September 2009

The Rest of Disney in Review 09/08/09

So since we have annual passes it really opened us up to taking our time and helped us not feel like we had to cram everything into 2 days worth of tickets. We got a little bit of extra time Friday night when we came in to Orlando, and Monday, after we checked out of the hotel, we went to Disney's Hollywood Studios for a few hours.

We started off with the Indiana Jones stunt show and we realized that Isaiah has seen way too many action movies for his young age because the majority of the bullet sounds and explosions didn't phase him in the least. I think I figured out he can handle the loud bangs when he sees what goes with them. The delay from the fireworks confuses and scares him since its not as readily apparent where the sound is coming from to him.

Hollywood studios doesn't have a ton of rides, and most of them aren't kid friendly so we mostly walked around, went through the Star Tours gift shop and a Narnia exhibit, before we went to the big hit of the trip, Playhouse Disney Live! Playhouse Disney is the Disney Channel's morning lineup of shows which, depending on when Isaiah gets up, he usually sees two or three of the shows each morning as Rachel is getting ready, or they're on in the background as he's playing. He knows the music from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny and usually smiles and turns to the music whenever he hears it so we thought this show would be good for him. The show ended up being mostly puppets of all of the animated characters and he absolutely had a blast. When the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme started playing and the puppets popped up his smile went from ear to ear and his cheeks got so big you could barely see his eyes. He kept bouncing to the music and thoroughly enjoyed the whole show. It completely made the whole trip worthwhile. We hit the road straight from the park and got home about 10pm last night. We're still recovering a bit from our vacation, but it was well worth it.
We realized this was really our first family vacation on our own just me Rachel and Isaiah. We've gone on trips before but those were for surgeries and it just felt good to get away and spend some quality time with the family and 1,000's of strangers at Disney

Sunday in Review 09/08/09

Sunday Isaiah decided to wake us all up at a bit past 7am. We tried to get him back to bed so we could rest a bit, but to no avail so we decided to get a jump on the park. We decided we were just going to take it slow today after yesterday's meltdown at the end of the day, and we just didn't want to kill ourselves. It's a vacation after all and we know we're coming back in March with my Mom. We got into the Magic Kingdom just before 11am and were promptly greeted by the street party parade which Isaiah seemed to enjoy. We followed it up Main Street and watched it for a little while before heading to Peter Pan to get Fast Passes. We were about the wait in line there after what happened last time. Isaiah, of course, decides this is a good time to sleep, so we window shopped for a bit and headed over to the Winnie the Pooh ride. He wasn't pukey this time like he was back in March and really enjoyed the ride, especially the bouncy part with Tigger.
At the end of the ride as we were leaving the guy who was riding in the car behind us taps Rachel on the shoulder and gave her $20 to spend on something for Isaiah. It was very nice of him, but we're still kind of weirded out by that kind of stuff from strangers. I guess we just prefer to think of Isaiah as 'normal' and things like that make us feel a bit odd like people pity us. It's been over a year now and we still don't feel totally comfortable being on the receiving end of that kind of giving. I mean we've got plenty of our family members and relatives helping us out, which we are extremely grateful for, but when a stranger just walks up to us and gives us money it's just an odd feeling. I don't know how to describe it really other than we don't feel like we're worthy or that it's that serious to warrant the need. They don't know the whole story and maybe assume things are worse than they are. With all the help we get from our families we feel like we're doing really well, and that there are many other things and people with pressing needs greater than our own. At the same time we kind of realize that if we keep refusing any help we know it won't be there when we really need it.
Anyways after the ride we went to Toontown to see Mickey's house and then head back to ride Peter Pan. Isaiah decided he wanted to sit like a big boy on the seat during the ride, even though it meant he probably couldn't see half of the ride. Since it was now the peak of the day we decided to go to the new and improved Hall of Presidents (updated with Obama) to enjoy some A/C and get out of the sun. Isaiah decided it was a good time to fall asleep again. We took him over to the baby changing station and fed him after that, and headed over to Adventureland to feed Mom and Dad and ride Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise. Since both Rachel and I love the Haunted Mansion we decided to try to ride it with him. After all if Isaiah started wailing it would only add to the ambiance of the ride we figured. He wanted to ride sitting up like a big boy again and then halfway through the ride he fell asleep. Of all the rides to fall asleep on we thought the Haunted Mansion was the funniest. We started to sense a theme of darkness + air conditioning = sleepy Isaiah. We did a little more shopping and bought some coffee mugs for us and some little toys for Isaiah and wandered over to Tomorrowland and rode the Carousel of Progress (There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, standing at the end of every day... the song is still stuck in my head two days later)
At this point we've been in the park for over 7 hrs and nary a break down from Isaiah save for a small one when the dog howled in the Carousel of Progress. The wind was picking up and the skies were getting darker so we made our way back to the hotel, but not before making a pit stop for some ice cream on the way out. We were so proud of how well Isaiah did on Sunday. With all his little naps and us taking it slow it was a record for us for continuous time in a park.

The Rest of Saturday in Review 9/8/09

So Saturday after a dip in the hotel pool we headed over to the Magic Kingdom mostly to take Isaiah to the Spectromagic parade. We had a little time before the parade started at 9pm so we got the token ride of It's a Small World out of the way. You could tell certain parts of the ride were already being decorated for Christmas. There were some reindeer peeking over the hills at the beginning of the ride and the former hot air balloons at the ceiling looked amazingly like christmas ornaments. Another area had snowmen in the sky. Most of the changes were the aerial things, and not that noticeable unless you're an anal retentive architect type person like me who is trying to drown out the song in your head. I apparently fell asleep on the ride at the end since we were stuck for a couple minutes in the last room due to slow loading/unloading.

We started making our way back up to the front of the park to find a spot for the parade. Its a pretty cool parade with all sorts of lights and tons of disney characters and we thought Isaiah would like it. Unfortunately since he refused to take a nap all day he was in a funky mood and only intermittently enjoyed the parade before falling asleep about 10 minutes into it. The parade actually stopped for a bit as I think one of the floats ran out of gas or something since we saw a gussied up go cart with a maintenance man on it running some propane on beyond our view. We had been staring at one of the bears from the country bear jamboree and pluto for about 5 mins at that point. Since Isaiah was sleeping and the parade wasn't moving, we decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel. Of course when we got back, Isaiah was refreshed and wide awake after his little nap and it took a bit to get him in bed for the night.

07 September 2009

Playouse Disney Live Pt 2

This is about midway through the show. He had an absolute blast. This was the last attraction we went to on Monday before heading back home. He was giggling and bopping through pretty much the entire show!

Boba Fette

Yes that is Rachel under there, but apparently she's a peaceful bounty hunter lurking in the shop after the Star Tours ride at Hollywood Studios

Disney Playhouse Live!

Here's Mom and Isaiah patiently waiting to see Mickey Mouse, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, and Pooh and Friends live! Just the music and lights while waiting for the show to begin made him smile really big!

06 September 2009

Mickey Mouse's House

Here's Isaiah having a blast with Mom in Mickey Mouse's Living Room!

05 September 2009

Multimedia message

Test picture

So we just figured out how to post camera phone pics up to the blog while we're out and about so we'll try to pop a few up of the rest of our adventures. The posts will be pretty simple like above until we get access to internet at the hotel or home, but it should mean more pictures!

dog days of disney 9/5/09

So we made it. Our 'resort' hotel room is alright but nowhere near the look of the pictures, but hey we spent next to nothing on it so we can't really complain. We're right by Downtown disney and 5 mins from EPCOT. Since we have annual passes we checked in last night and went to the EPCOT for a couple of hours. We went on The Seas with Nemo, ate dinner in Morocco, and had a pretzel in Germany before attempting to watch the illuminations fireworks at 9. You could tell he liked looking at the fireworks but absolutely hated hearing the bangs. He had a bit of a meltdown just before the finale so we started for the exit just a little bit before it was all over, but we didn't miss much.

We're noticing he's not liking the rides as much this time around. He's cried on pretty much everything he's ridden on except for Spaceship earth which he slept through for the most part. We did lift him up for the picture on the ride which they use for a little video which you can watch below. I held him up infront of my face and they used a cut out of his head (and a little of my hat) along with Rachel's head in bits of the video.

We finished off EPCOT this morning and are back at the hotel to enjoy the pool for a little bit during the high heat of the afternoon since its over 90 here with 60-70% humidity. We'll head to the Magic Kingdom tonight and see if be'll tolerate the parade and all.

Even though its hot and Isaiah has been mildly crabby on the rides, its been fun and relaxing so far which was the main goal of the trip in the first place.

03 September 2009

Hot Dog Hot Dog Hot Diggity Dog 9/3/09

Okay, so Rachel and I have officially gone off the deep end. This afternoon decided we were going to Disney World this weekend since Rachel got a bee in her bonnet after seeing ludicrously low hotel prices online (like $50/night for a resort!) That's not the only crazy thing we did, we bought annual passes to Disney. AAA had them on sale and since we know we're going back in March as a planned family vacation, it was just cheaper than getting 2 tickets for this weekend, and 5 for march, plus we get free parking now and can come and go as we like and all sorts of other little discounts on things we shouldn't be spending our money on.

Basically this is our big splurge for the year. We're kind of looking at this as a much needed vacation after a year so far filled with 2 major surgeries, numerous trips to the ER, partial and then full unemployment among many other stresses. Plus we could really use some fun before his next big surgery come November.