Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Wednesday One: Week 23

Well, since I'm almost a week behind here, I guess I need to get this posted! It was a hard week for us with the loss of our Daisy. I wish I had pics of her from every day to use, but I don't.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rest in Peace, Sweet Daisy Duke

Daisy Duke Seeley
February 2, 2006 - June 7, 2014

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."  - Dr. Seuss

She'd been with us since she was just 6 weeks and 6 pounds.
As I sit here at the beach, during our annual Florida vacation, I have to keep repeating these words to myself. Our sweet baby girl is gone. As you know, she was diagnosed with lymphoma just about a month ago. We made the decision at that time to try chemotherapy, to see if we could rid her little body of this vicious disease and hopefully give us a little more time with her. Though she spent her lifetime with us, 8 years was much too short, but it was plenty of time for her to get us to fall head over heels in love with her. If you would've asked me 8 years ago if I could ever love a dog as much (or more!!) than most humans, I would've laughed at the mere idea. But Daisy quickly stole our hearts and became our "first" baby. She truly was the perfect pet and our best-behaved child. Her almost humanistic expressions never ceased to amaze us, and made us love her even more. Boxers are a special breed.

Sidewalk dining at Brasserie Jo in Chicago
Anyone who knows us knows how big a part of our family Daisy was. She went nearly everywhere with us (including a trip to Chicago, where she was able to dine with us) and we've tried to include her in as much as we could. So, our annual vacations have been trips to pet-friendly beaches for the last several years. Daisy loved the beach, which was kind of funny seeing as how much she normally hated water. Even as a puppy, she quickly learned that if the concrete outside the back door looked wet, she did not want to go outside to potty. She was a princess from the beginning! But when it came to the beach, she couldn't get enough of it. She loved chasing the birds and the waves here on the gulf coast of Florida. So, a few months ago, we planned another trip back to the beach. Then we found out that Daisy was sick and we didn't know what would happen. We hoped to still be able to take her one last time, so she could enjoy the week at the beach with her favorite people.

Our sweet princess
We took her to the vet on Wednesday last week, to get her checked out, as she seemed to be having a rough time again after her 2nd chemo treatment. The vet wanted to see if it was just from the chemo, or if the mass was still enlarged, so she did another ultrasound to check. Unfortunately, it looked like the chemo wasn't working, and though that may have been part of the reason she wasn't feeling great, it was probably because the mass wasn't shrinking, and may actually have been getting bigger. :( So, at that point we knew that she probably wouldn't be undergoing any more chemo treatments, but we would continue to give her the prednisone as palliative care, to keep her comfortable. The vet thought she would have a good week with us at the beach, and didn't see any reason that we couldn't take her with us. By starting the prednisone, a steroid, again, her appetite returned and she was eating well and had her familiar pep back in her step. So, Saturday morning rolled around and we were up early to start our long road trip to Florida.

Tucked in the backseat. Comfy on her favorite pillow.
After nearly 12 long hours in the van, we finally made it to the ocean and Daisy watched the birds from the backseat as we made our way across the big bridge over to the island we're staying on. As we pulled through the gates to the subdivision, Josh asked if Daisy was ok. She didn't respond and we started to worry. We pulled over and realized that her body was limp. She had taken her last breath. We were literally 5 minutes from the house that we would be spending the week in, and she was gone. As it was happening, it was traumatic. We'd been driving all day, we were tired, and the unthinkable had just happened. We were devastated. We arrived at the house and got her out and tried to see if we could revive her, but it was too late.

Now that we've had a couple days to process it all, we're coming to terms with her death, or at least the way it all happened. We would've loved to have been able to spend the week with Daisy at the beach, but it wasn't meant to be. We're glad that she went peacefully, on her own terms. She was laying on her favorite pillow, able to see all of her people from the back of the van (where she spent so many hours over the years), surrounded by love. We didn't have to make the difficult decision to put her down. I still don't know if I could've done that, even though I know that is sometimes the best option. Even though we didn't know it was happening, I'm glad that we were all there with her. She knew we loved her and that's what mattered. Now she's up in heaven, watching over us. As Ethan says, she's an "angel dog," keeping us safe and sound. Though it's been a difficult week so far, we're trying to remember that Daisy would want us to have a good time and enjoy our beach vacation, just like she would've if she had been here. We love you and miss you, sweet girl.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Amos's Nine-Month Check-Up

Age of Baby: 9 months

Size of Baby:
  • Weight: 16 lbs 8 oz (down to the 3rd percentile), +8 oz from last month
  • Length: 28 inches (up to the 42nd percentile), +1 in from last month
  • Head circumference: 17.5 in (down to the 26th percentile)
  • Height-to-Weight ratio: down to the 3rd percentile
Amos is still wearing a size 3 diaper and 6-9/6-12/12-month clothes. He wears a size 3 shoe.


None this month.

Doctor's Visit Summary:

His visit this morning went well. Everything looked great...except his ears. :( Poor guy has a double ear infection, which is probably why he was running a low-grade fever yesterday and was up screaming the night before last. Sigh. Otherwise, the doctor said he looked good, just on the small end of the range. But, visually he looks nice and healthy, so no worries.

Picture of Baby:

Here is Amos's 9-month picture in the 12-month onesie. He's getting too big!! He has so much personality and continues to be his happy, easy-going self.

And here is a comparison of all three of the boys at nine months, just for fun. Ethan and Noah were still significantly bigger at this point (Ethan was 28.5 inches long and weighed 18 lbs 1 oz and Noah was 28 inches long and weighed 18 lbs 8 oz). He's still a good mix of the two. Not as crazy as Ethan, but not as serious as Noah was at that age. ;)

Ethan, Noah, and Amos (each at 9 months)

Accomplishments this Month:
  • Crawling correctly (stomach off of the ground)
  • Pulling himself up on furniture
  • Walking along furniture (cruising)
  • Saying "mom-mom-mom"
  • Using a sippy cup for water
I love these animated gifs! Haha!
Amos has had an explosion of accomplishments this past month! Of course it all happened while Daddy was away in China for 3 weeks!

He has mostly given up his "army crawl" now for a "true" crawl. When he wants to go really fast, though, he still drags himself. He is really quick at it, so I guess that's why! ;) He has also started pulling himself up on furniture and walking around, hanging on to some of it. It didn't take him long to figure out the crib either, so that was quickly lowered! He loves this new standing position, as he can reach, and help himself to, all of the toys his brothers have been trying to keep away from him! Haha!

Amos is definitely saying "mom-mom" now. It usually happens when he is hungry at the table and wants me to give him food! Haha! He also says it a lot when he is tired and ready to sleep.

I finally gave him a sippy cup to try out. He is able to get some water out of it, but for now, prefers to use it as a teething toy. Sigh. I probably waited a bit too long on this one, but hopefully he'll get the hang of it soon!

New Foods tried this Month:
  • Yogurt
  • Pancakes (pumpkin, banana, buttermilk)
  • Eggs
  • Pasta/noodles
  • Broccoli
  • Bread
  • Cheerios
  • Cake
  • Ice cream
  • Chicken
  • Pork
We've moved on to table foods for Amos now. He doesn't seem to mind being fed the purées, but it's definitely easier to let him feed himself, since he is willing and able. That may have been helped by the fact that Daddy was out of town! So, I let him try anything that he wants as long as I can break it into small enough pieces. I'm obviously avoiding things like honey and nuts, and other potential allergens, at this point. The boy loves pancakes just as much as his big brothers. Surprise! I already make double batches of those now. Soon I'll be feeling like a cafeteria worker with the amounts of food I'll need to prepare for these growing boys! Yikes! I've also continued to nurse him every 3-4 hours during the day (around 8 am, 11 am, 2 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm) for around 5-10 minutes.

Amos had a rougher month in the sleep department. He is still averaging around 13 hours of sleep a day (10.5 hours at night and 2.5 hours during the day). He is still going to bed between 9 and 10 pm, and sleeping until between 8 and 9 am. He has continued to wake most nights this past month, though, but goes promptly back to sleep if I feed him. Sigh. Half the time, he wants a morning nap, but half the time he waits until the afternoon to sleep. If he takes a morning nap, he usually goes back down later in the afternoon for a 2nd short nap. I thought the night waking was related to teething, but he has kept it up even after the bottom two teeth were in, so I don't know about that. :/ I'm hoping it'll get better again soon!