Khloë: 10 months old (44 weeks)

Note: I am wayyyy behind but a lot has happened in the past month that has not allowed me to update regularly!

My baby gets a little older every week:


44 weeks (October 7)

44 weeks (October 7)


Khloë came with Jordan and I to our young adults group at church on Wednesday evening. I was hesitant to go because I wasn’t sure how cranky she would get near bedtime. I can’t leave her in the nursery with the other kids anymore–can’t risk another kid touching her toys and then her putting them in her mouth–so she stayed with Mommy and Daddy during the group. She was happy and chatty and made everyone smile!

Thursday morning we went to Pembroke Hospital to pick up Khloë’s AFOs. They are molded hard plastic braces (with cute butterflies!) that she will wear for 1-2 hours a day for two weeks, as a breaking in period, and then we are to slowly increase that time. The braces are meant to correct the slight curve to her feet.


Minnie Mouse

Sweetness

I ordered two bottles of sambucus (black elderberry extract) from Swanson Vitamins and started giving Khloë 5 ml once a day to boost her immune system. Many SMA kids are given this extract and I decided we should try it out.

At 3 am Saturday morning I woke to the sound of Khloë crying. I checked on her and felt wetness on her shirt. Turning on the mini flashlight we keep by her crib, I saw she was covered in vomit. I called to Jordan that she’d been sick, and as he came into Khloë’s room she started to vomit again (through her nose and mouth). I quickly turned her on her side so she wouldn’t choke and Jordan quickly suctioned out her mouth. Her breathing looked normal, but there was a lot of thick mucous in her vomit. I stripped off her pyjamas and moved her to the change table while Jordan pulled the sheet and mattress cover off the crib and tossed it in the laundry basket. Then I attached the pulse oximeter probe to one of her toes to check her o2 levels. They hovered around 94-96, with heart rate high 140-150s. She ended up puking a few more times. We were concerned enough that we decided to bring her to the ER in town. Once we got there, though, she seemed better. The doctor ordered an x-ray which showed pneumonia was clearing up but wasn’t gone. He was unsure as to what was causing her to vomit because she had no fever or other symptoms. He suggested we stop giving her sambucus for a couple days to see if that was the culprit, and then re-introduce it in smaller amounts. By the time we got home, it was after 7:30 am. We all went back to sleep for two hours. When Khloë woke again, I let her nurse and then did some chest PT. She threw up one more time a little while after that. I kept a close eye on her for the rest of the day, and after a great nap in the afternoon, she seemed back to normal again.


New hooded towel

And then Sunday morning she vomited at the end of her feed! This time it was very yellow and looked like bile. I vaguely remembered reading something about bile in the enteral feeding booklet we were given at CHEO but I couldn’t find the information I was looking for. For the rest of the day she was fine. A couple times, when I vented her G-tube, it looked like bile in the syringe. We ended up going to our friends for turkey dinner and once again Khloë was perfectly fine through her feeds and was in good spirits. We got home around 8:30 pm and I realized I hadn’t yet changed her G-tube dressing. When I unwrapped it, I saw that the tube measured at 6 cm (instead of 10 cm). I slowly pulled it out to 8.5 cm but there was quite a bit of resistance so I left it. I started to think that maybe the vomiting and bile had something to do with tube migration. Jordan called General Surgery at CHEO and spoke with a doctor and the doctor told us to bring Khloë to the Pembroke Hospital to have it checked out. That’s a 30 minute drive and neither of us wanted to bring her back to the ER. We figured we would try once more to pull the tube out to 10 cm, and luckily this time it worked! No more vomiting and no more bile!


Playing the xylophone

Daddy also taught Khloë to “play” her toy xylophone. She loves tapping at the keys!

We received the brand-new suction machine this week, along with a few enteral feeding and suction supplies I had ordered. Our nurse coordinator from CHEO called to check on Khloë and remind us about next Wednesday’s appointment. And we decided to cancel our upcoming weekend trip to Kingston because my mom was still sick.

Khloë: 10 months old (43 weeks)

Here she is in all her 10 month glory:


43 weeks (September 30)

43 weeks (September 30)


A week of antibiotics seems to have cleared up Khloë’s pneumonia. After two and a half days on amoxicillin I began to notice a difference: hardly any suctioning had to be done and the junky sound in her chest was just about gone. Hurray! Jordan and I were pretty worried for Baby Girl but she pulled through. Fingers crossed this will be her only illness this winter!


Hello, Autumn!

Mid-week we bundled Khloë up and attempted an autumn leaves photo shoot. She was afraid of the leaves… Luckily a few pictures still turned out!


Sweet eyes

Mama & Baby in the leaves

Bawk bawk!

Fall theme

We took Khloë, with friends of ours and their two children, to a pancake breakfast at a community centre in town. Even though Khloë can’t really play with the toys–I always bring toys for her that are easy to clean if dropped or touched by another child or adult–I like for her to be able to socialize with other people. She loves watching other kids play.

The same friends came with us to a church dinner on Sunday. Their 4 year old hit it off with another little boy and they were inseparable all night. And then Monday evening we enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner at their house. Khloë and Carly (a year and a half) smiled a lot at each other and Khloë kept her eyes on her to see what mischief she was getting into.


Sparkle princess Khloë

Little princess collage

Lastly, the CCAC dietician popped in to see how Baby Girl was doing. She weighed in at 18 lbs!

Baltimore / Washington, D.C.: National Aquarium (Part I)

With the cancellation of our Walt Disney World trip due to my pregnancy, we decided instead to put Jordan’s vacation time to good use and visit Washington, D.C. He’s always wanted to go there as an adult since he doesn’t remember his family trip there as a child. And I figured I would be able to handle this trip at 26 weeks along. I think I underestimated how hot it would be in September! The dates we chose for our trip were September 7 – 14, 2013. We planned to stop in Watertown and Syracuse, New York for shopping, then spend a night and full day in Baltimore, Maryland before ending up in Washington, D.C. for the rest of the week.

{September 7 – Syracuse, New York}
Our first stop was Syracuse, New York. Once we reached the US border, we stopped to register my DSLR camera, lenses, and ASUS tablet. By the time we reached the Quality Inn, it was close to 11 pm. The first room we were given smelled heavily of cigarette smoke even though it was apparently a non-smoking room. We switched rooms and that one had a toilet with flushing issues. But we were so tired that we just dealt with it and went to bed. We spent the next day shopping at Target (maternity clothes!) and the Carousel Centre. The long day of walking was hard on my feet and back but I managed alright. Dinner that day was at “Ruby Tuesday’s” and it was delicious! The following day we checked out of the budget hotel and drove 5 hours to Baltimore, Maryland.

{September 8 – 10:00 pm – Baltimore, Maryland}
We made it to Baltimore by the evening and struggled with finding a hotel that included parking. Finally we ended up in a crappy Days Inn on Whitehead Court with what looked suspiciously like mold in the bathroom and a wobbly toilet. My allergies acted up quite badly when we were in the room. For dinner we found a tiny Chinese restaurant called “China Garden” that had the most amazing chicken lo mein!

{September 9 – 9:50 pm – Baltimore}
After breakfast, we headed down to the Inner Harbour to visit the huge National Aquarium. First we parked the car at the Lockwood Parking Garage; you get a discount on parking when you show the Aquarium ticket upon leaving. We spent from 11 am to 1:30 pm at the Aquarium. Entry was $34.95 USD per person. After the discount, parking for the day cost $19.00 USD.


Baltimore Inner Harbour

National Aquarium Sharks National Aquarium

Seahorse

Beautiful coral Turtle Two frogs sitting on a branch Jellyfish Cloudy skies 26 weeks pregnant

For late lunch, we ate at “Potbelly”. Then we braved the harrowing drive to Arlington, Virginia, where we checked into the very affordable American Hotel at $63 per night (including parking). I’m SO glad I found that hotel! After settling in, we walked the five blocks to 23rd Street and had dinner at “Cesar’s Diner”. If I wasn’t so pregnant, the walk from the hotel would be easy, but I kept getting a cramp in my belly.

***Continued in next post.

Germany – Part III

***Continued from previous post.

{November 9 – 12:00 pm – Berlin}
On the ICE direct train to Nuremberg. (Cost: €194) The trains are so expensive! It should take about five hours to reach our destination. This morning we were up at 8:30 am (why, on our last day in Berlin, were we able to get up?!) to start packing our things. By 10:30 am we had checked out and walked down to catch the M5 tram to the stop just after Alexanderplatz. Hopped on the S-bahn to Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Bought our tickets for the 11:52 am train to Nuremberg (Nürnberg). Grabbed some sandwiches to bring with us for lunch (discount with Welcome Cards).

{November 9 – 7:15 pm – Nuremberg}
Here we are in Nuremberg! The streets are cobbled and the architecture is beautiful. At the Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof, we waited in line at the DB kiosk so that we could ask directions to our hotel, the Sorat Agneshof, and purchased bus tickets. Before leaving the station we found a grocery store and bought a few snacks. We absolutely love these refrigerated Kinder snacks:


Kinder treats (iPhone)

From the train station we hopped onto a local U-bahn train. After going a couple stops, we realized that we were heading in the wrong direction! I find the underground railway so confusing to use. We quickly got off and went to the other side of the platform and caught the proper train to Rathenauplatz. Then we transferred to bus #36 and got off at the Rathaus stop. From there we proceeded to get lost in the dark! We didn’t have a map with us and kind of wandered around, going up and down the cobbled, hilly streets dragging our suitcases until we ended up sitting on a bench in what turned out to be Albrecht Dürer Square. I stayed put, munching on a chocolate pastry and guarding our suitcases, while Jordan went in search of our hotel. Less than 10 minutes later he reappeared and told me that we had walked by the street earlier. Figures! Checked into our hotel. The room is small but it was cheap so no complaints! There is a bed, a television, and a good-sized bathroom, which is all we need.


Jordan & I heading to Nuremberg

{November 9 – 10:20 pm – Nuremberg}
After checking into our room on the second floor, we freshened up and went in search of dinner. The gentleman at reception gave us a few restaurant suggestions. More wandering around in the dark took us back to the square and past the castle, until finally we ended up at “Albrecht-Dürer-Stube”. This restaurant is just around the corner from the hotel and came highly recommended. Everyone sits around communal tables and the atmosphere is very warm and friendly. I ordered the pork shoulder with dumpling and red cabbage, while Jordan had the venison stew. (Cost: €25) We are getting low on cash, better find an ATM soon.


Room (Sorat Agneshof) Bathroom (Sorat Agneshof) Pork shoulder with dumpling and red cabbage

{November 10 – 6:25 pm – Nuremberg}
After being out all day (what else is new?!), we are having dinner at “Karl’s Brückla”, a restaurant we found randomly.

This morning we ate breakfast at the hotel to save ourselves some time. (Cost: €14) We got a map from reception and pinpointed where the nearest Deutsche Bank ATM is. Walked over to the Hauptmarkt (main square) and found the tourist info kiosk. Purchased a special group day pass for €8 which we will more than make up for just by taking the bus to and from the Documentation Centre. Looked around the square for a little while; all sorts of tables were set up with fresh produce, cheeses, lebkuchen, etc.


Agnes Sorathof Nuremberg Hauptmarkt Nuremberg

Walked to the Deutsche Bank and withdrew €250. And then returned to the Hauptmarkt to catch bus #36 to the Doku-Zentrum stop. Our plan for the day is to spend some time at the Documentation Centre & Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Admission with audioguide to the Documentation Centre is €10 per person. We spent over an hour in there, touring through the exhibits. Although it was very interesting, we got so hot and bored with listening to the audioguide that we ended up hurrying through the last few sections. Most of the information we had already read about in other museums. At the end of the tour we stepped outside to view the inside of the Congress Hall. We handed in the audioguides then went outside for some fresh, but chilly, air and ended up walking around the Congress Hall to take some pictures. Jordan really wanted to see Zeppelin Field so we asked directions inside the Centre, then set out walking again in the drizzle. It is about a 10 minute walk from the Centre. I’m glad we went because it was neat to see. The steps are crumbling and it’s “climb at your own risk” and the immense field is now a stadium.


Strange sculpture On the bus Documentation Centre Congress Hall View of Congress Hall across the water Pausing in the rain for a photo

Caught bus #36 back to the Hauptmarkt. Looked around at a few shops. I bought a keychain for Lori. Walked around for what felt like eternity before finding a place to eat dinner. I ordered the pork cutlets stuffed with ham and cheese (also came with salad and fries) and a delicious hot chocolate; Jordan ordered pork topped with a fried egg (with potato wedges, salad, and 2 beers). (Cost: €27) I couldn’t finish my amazing meal because the cutlets were huge!


Press this button for Breakfast

{November 10 – 10:30 pm – Nuremberg}
After that filling meal we hopped on the U-bahn at Lorenzkirche and journeyed to the train station. Purchased our expensive tickets for tomorrow’s ride to Geilenkirchen. (Cost: €230) Also got a couple snacks then returned to the hotel for the night. Too bad we couldn’t stay here longer because we didn’t get to see very much!


Zeppelin Field Hitler's platform Pork cutlets stuffed with ham and cheese Amazing hot chocolate from "Karl's Bruekla" Warming my hands

{November 11 – 1:25 pm – Somewhere between Wurzberg and Frankfurt}
On the noon ICE train to Frankfurt. Once there we change to another ICE heading to Aachen. From Aachen we will end up in Geilenkirchen where Tammy & Tyler will pick us up. We ate breakfast at the hotel again, then took the bus and U-bahn to get to Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof. We should be in Geilenkirchen by 5:00 pm.

{November 11 – 3:00 pm – Montabaur}
We barely made our connection in Frankfurt. Once we boarded and found our seats there was announcement stating that the train would be delayed 6 minutes. I hope that doesn’t mess up our connection in Aachen. Ate our chocolate cookies for snack.

{November 11 – 6:00 pm – Tüddern}
Made our train in Aachen. Tammy & Tyler were waiting for us in Geilenkirchen, with their dog Doug. Now we are just settling in.

{November 12 – 6:45 pm – Tüddern}
Yesterday we had veggies & dip, various cheeses, herbed crackers, and sliced sausages for a snack at Tammy & Tyler’s home. Later, Tammy made chicken kebabs, rice, and white asparagus for dinner. We sat around eating and watching “Top Gear” on Netflix for the rest of the night.


Trier, Germany

Funky statue (Trier) Porta Nigra Trier's Church of Our Lady

Thermal bath ruins

Today we drove for 2 hours to Trier and walked around the town centre. We bought “cone fries” (aka fries in a cone of paper that we fell in love with in Austria two years ago) and “pizza in a pocket”. Bought a couple postcards to add to my collection. Took some photos of the Church of Our Lady, Porta Nigra (near the tourist information building), and the thermal bath ruins. Beautiful day to be out! I should note that I finally had to pay for use of a toilet today. When you gotta pee, you gotta pee!

{November 13 – 2:40 pm – Tüddern}
Tammy had to work today so Tyler, Jordan, and I drove out to Aachen. We wandered around the area near the cathedral. There are tons of bakeries selling printen (Aachen’s version of lebkuchen). I bought a bag of miniature printen pieces covered in chocolate. The christmas displays in the bakeries are beautiful to look at. Jordan bought a cherry danish for a snack. We found a Starbucks and I had to go in to try the lebkuchen latte; it tastes like a light gingerbread with a lot of cinnamon. Jordan ordered a caramel macchiato and we enjoyed our beverages sitting on a bench by the cathedral.


Enjoying a danish in Aachen Aachener printen Aachen Cathedral

Our main reason for coming to Aachen was to visit the Lindt chocolate factory. Jordan asked for directions in the Starbucks and the girl gave him a free map with the route drawn on. We walked over to the factory, when we probably should have drove. Luckily it wasn’t raining and we all seemed to have plenty of energy thanks to our coffees. When we got near the factory we noticed a huge sign saying “Lindt Chocolate Factory” but neither of us noticed the huge arrow pointing to the left. Instead we kept walking straight and ended up having to walk around the entire perimeter of the factory to find the entrance. Oops! No photos allowed inside the factory and it’s cash or debit only. I went a little crazy seeing all the beautiful chocolate for sale but knowing we could only pay cash, I tried to limit myself. I ended up spending €34 on chocolate! It could have been worse….


Drinking a lebkuchen latte Jordan's caramel macchiato Lindt chocolate factory

Posing in Aachen

We got back to the truck by 1:30 pm just as our parking was about to expire. On the way back to Tüddern we stopped at a gas station in The Netherlands and bought some sparkling Lipton iced tea! Reunited at last with my favourite iced tea. And then the realization kicks in: Oh no, tomorrow we leave!


Sparkling iced tea (iPhone)

{November 14 – 5:30 pm – In the Air}
We’ve been in the air since 2:00 pm. Time to play catch-up.

Didn’t do much yesterday after returning from Aachen. Watched the boys play Forza Horizons on Tyler’s XBox 360. Once Tammy came home from work she heated up some cheesy tortellini for dinner. And of course we snacked on more bread, crackers, and cheese. We talked the boys into turning off their game and instead watched more “Top Gear” episodes that cracked us up. By 10:30 pm we had our things packed and were in bed. I can’t believe how much cramming I had to do to get all that chocolate to fit in my suitcase.


Leaving Germany Plane food A fighter jet outside my window

Tyler came home from work early and drove us to the Köln-Bonn Flughafen. Took about 1.5 hours. He dropped us off at Crew Gate Alpha. After getting the attention of some military personnel on the other side of a glass door, we were let inside and passed through security quickly. We waited outside for what seemed like ages before a bus showed up to bring us to the plane. Sat on the bus with four other people, also for ages, before being allowed to board the plane.

***End of journal.


Welcome home!

The food served on these military flights is so much better than other flights I’ve been on. Each time the stewardess came by, she would give me cookies! The flight home was fine. Jordan and I sat at the front for the first leg of the journey, which gave us lots of leg room. Once we entered Canadian airspace, two fighter jets came up along side the plane and welcomed the soldiers returning from Afghanistan. That was pretty cool!

My chocolate stash and souvenirs:


Kinder and Milka Lindt chocolate bags Yummy Lindt treats

More Lindt chocolate bars

Postcards Magnets

Germany – Part II

***Continued from previous post.

{November 7 – 10:00 am – Berlin}
Another dreary day. It’s cold outside; I’m thankful for my mittens and warm winter coat. Having breakfast at a small cafe just down the hill from the hotel. Scrambled eggs for myself and a bread/meat/cheese platter for Jordan. Reasonably priced. There’s only 2 little tables in the cafe.


Jordan's breakfast (Nov 7) Neue Synagogue City toilet

{November 7 – 7:45 pm – Berlin}
Eating dinner at “Kilkenny Irish Pub” at Hackescher Markt. Splitting a BLT sandwich, which is huge, some water, and pumpkin soup. (Cost: €10) Another long day that I’ll write about when we return to the hotel.

{November 7 – 9:00 pm – Berlin}
I think this is our earliest night! My whole body aches from walking and carrying my DSLR all day. My feet are sore. But it’s been a good day, despite the weather. So, after we finished breakfast this morning we returned to the hotel and filled up our empty juice bottles with water. That will save us a bit of money (mostly for Jordan, as he drinks a lot more than I do). Then we caught the tram to Hackescher Markt and walked over to Museum Island to the kiosk for the Neues Museum. The lady told us it was an extra €4 per person to enter the museum. Jordan was mad about that as we had already paid for the Welcome Cards that included Museum Island. We ended up not paying the extra money. I really wanted to see the Egyptian collection, including the bust of Nefertiti, but we are trying to save money here and there.


Reichstag government building

Next we hopped onto a double-Decker #100 bus and got off in front of the Reichstag building. Nice to finally see this place in the daylight. Took some pictures and Jordan took a couple with me standing in front of the building. Left there and walked back to get some daylight photos of Brandenburg Gate. And then finally continued walking until we reached the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. We walked through the stelae until we found the main entrance to the underground museum centre. We went through security (they scan our bags, coats, etc just like at the airport) and entered the free museum. The warmth inside was wonderful. We spent some time inside, walking through the Holocaust exhibits room by room but there was so much information and things to see that we just skimmed through. I don’t know how to describe the feeling I got from seeing the exhibits….


Brandenburg Gate in daylight Stelae Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in daytime

Jordan replicating a postcard we saw

Moved on to the Topography of Terrors building to use the free washroom and to see the Berlin Wall in daylight. So far we haven’t had to pay for use of a toilet! By then it was raining and we decided to make our way to the Natural History Museum. Took awhile to find Invalidenstrasse but I remember we took a U-bahn and then walked some. On the way, since we were getting hungry, we bought some fries from a currywurst stand. They were so good! While walking by Potsdamerplatz I spotted waffles so we stopped for one of those too (nutella and whipped cream). I ate the whole thing myself! Once we reached the museum we got reduced admission with the Welcome Cards. We spent an hour and a half there. The first exhibit room is filled with dinosaur replicas. As we continued through, there were many neat things to see like precious rocks, replica animals, solar system, etc.


Berlin Wall Fries from currywurst stand Belgian waffle with nutella Naturkindemuseum Jordan with a dinosaur Earth

Zirconia

Tiger Jordan at the museum Amorak truck

After that museum we made our way back to Hackescher Markt to the Irish pub for dinner. Jordan was determined that we would locate the Volkswagon dealership we had walked by on Friedrichstrasse the other day, so off we went again! We did find it, after asking a local who Googled on his smartphone, and spent some time looking at the Amorak truck. Boring for me, but fun for Jordan.

{November 8 – 12:00 pm – Berlin}
So jet-lagged still! I don’t remember feeling so tired and achy the last time we came to Europe. Ready to head out for the day. The original plan was to go to Charlottenburg Palace today, but it will depend on how we’re feeling after lunch. We should have been up early in order to spend a good amount of time at the Palace.

{November 8 – 1:30 pm – Berlin}
Still haven’t made it to Charlottenburg Palace. Took us forever to find a place to eat, like usual. I don’t know why that is. We seem to wander around for ages before agreeing on a restaurant or cafe. Finally we settled on “Cancun” in Alexanderplatz. I ordered the chicken quesadillas and Jordan’s having chilli. We shared a banana milkshake. (Cost: €15) Before we found the restaurant, we wandered around Alexanderplatz and viewed the giant World Clock. At a store just off the main square I bought a pink Berlin bag (Cost: €6), keychain (Cost: €4.44), and deck of cards (Cost: €3.95). The cards are for Angela.


World Clock Quesadillas at "Cancun" In front of Marienkirche and TV Tower Posing with a giant seahorse Grosser Stern Sculptures in Grosser Tiergarten

{November 8 – 8:15 pm – Berlin}
At the Landsberger Allee S-bahn station having pizza and chicken schnitzel cheap. I don’t know the name of the restaurant. We didn’t make it to Charlottenburg Palace as I wasn’t feeling well after our Mexican lunch (although it was delicious at the time). I felt better in the late afternoon and it didn’t make sense to go all the way out there by then. Mostly we just walked around and explored the city. Took a few pictures of the Rathaus (city call) and Marienkirche with the TV Tower in the background.


Funkturm (radio tower) Motorbike sculpture Pizza for dinner (Nov 8)

Ended up on an S-bahn to the Zoologischer Garten station, then bus #100 to Großer Stern (in Großer Tiergarten) to view the giant Victory column. We spent a bit of time there, but as it was raining and getting dark we wanted to keep moving. After taking some pictures, we caught the bus back to the Zoologischer Garten S-bahn station. Jordan had found something called Funkturm Tower (radio tower) on our map and wanted to see if we could find it. So we got on another S-bahn and headed over. We did end up finding it after a lot of walking. I’m not even sure which station we got off at. If I wasn’t so terrified of heights, we could have gone up the Tower in an elevator. I’m not so fond of elevators that you can see out of.

***Continued in next post.