Friday, January 28, 2011

In Collin’s Words

Collin never fails to entertain us with what he is saying lately.  It is so amazing to watch how his vocabulary literally grows every day, but it is sometimes hard for us to keep up!  Some of my favorites over the past few weeks have to be the following – with translations included :)


He loves his bible song CD’s that we listen to in the car, but his favorite song is “Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock.”  Here it is in Collin’s Words:

“Hold, Hold.  Knock, knock, knock” = Behold, behold, I stand at the door and knock, knock, knock.

“Anyone, Anyone” = If anyone hears my voice.

“Open, Open, Open!!!” = And will open, open, open the door, I will come in.


He loves to name places as we drive by, even if we are not stopping.  I have no idea how he recognizes places so well, but at times it is hard to explain to him why we are not stopping at one of our regulars.  Here are some of our usual stops in Collin’s Words:

“Daddy clothes” = the dry cleaners

“Cookie Please Thank-You Balloon Please Thank-You” = Publix (grocery store)

“Daddy moovie” = Redbox

“Friends, Ball, Play” = our church

“Nuggets, Fries, No, No” = Chick-fil-a or McDonalds

“Play, Play, Swing, Whee” = the park


And last, but not least, I will end with a picture of my adorable little Collin in an outfit that he picked out himself.  The “Choo Choo” shirt from his pj’s the night before, his “monkey hat” from cousin Lilo’s birthday party, camo pants, and cowboy “boots”.  No, he is not allowed to leave the house looking like this, but for a lazy day at home with mommy, why not?  I absolutely LOVE this little boy!!!!

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Friday, January 21, 2011

27 Week Update

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I cannot believe that I haven’t written a pregnancy update in 6 weeks!!  As you can see, baby Grace & I have both grown quite a bit since our last post :)

How far along? 27 Weeks

Heartbeat? Holding steady around 150 - 155

Total weight gain? +20 lbs (this is so embarrassing!!!)

Maternity clothes? Yes, yes, yes!  Even though I may be able to squeeze into some regular clothes, the maternity stuff is much more comfortable.

Sleep?  Much better!!  I only have to get up once at night now, and sometimes not at all :)

Best moment? There have been so many great moments over the past 6 weeks, but a few of the highlights include: opening Grace’s first Christmas presents from my family, finally deciding on a middle name “Grace Anna”, and being able to see her move on the outside.

Cravings?  Not really anymore.

Gender? It’s a GIRL!!!!!!  Grace Anna Vuong

Labor signs? Nope.

What I miss?  Still missing all my clothes & being able to shave my legs in the shower!  I also miss bath time with Collin, but am incredibly grateful to Son for taking this over.  It was just too uncomfortable to get down by the tub for that long since he enjoys staying in there for a while playing.

Looking forward to?  Still looking forward to decorating HER room, but I am trying to work on Collin’s “big boy” room first.  I bought this really cute baby bedding set from Target over Christmas.

Product Image

I like it a lot, but I am not totally in LOVE with it…so for now I am holding on to it in case I run out of time to make what I really want.  Plus, I had fun making Collin’s bedding and I think that is why it is so special to me now, so I want that same thing for Grace.  However, I am not ready to return my “back-up plan” quite yet!

Here are some of the patterns that I am considering if I am able to make it myself.

Flower PowerMichael Miller Whimsy Pink Collection

But there are several other that I like too (all from

Milestones?  Realizing that I am not able to do everything that I used to be able to & finally taking advantage of hubby’s offers to take over some things for me :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Merry Christmas to All!!

So, besides our little medical setback, we had an amazing Christmas with family :)  Here’s a recap of what I can remember…there’s been so much that has happened over the last month I hope I can do it justice.

Collin & I left Jacksonville the Monday before Christmas, and spent a few wonderful days with my sister (Becca) & her husband (Warren) in McKinney.  Becca is a teacher, so she was off the whole week.  She was nice enough to help me start my baby registries at Target & Babies R Us.  I know Son would have gone if I begged him, but that’s not really his thing, and I couldn’t have done it on my own.  It is sooooo different registering for your 2nd child.  We have so much already that I was able to pick out more of the “wants” rather than focusing on the “needs”.  Yes, we will need plenty of diapers and lots of pink, but there were some really fun things that I found too. 

Kel-gar Kwik Cabana ILike this cool tent for the beach / pool.  Collin just loves being outside at the pool/beach/or even by the baby pool in the back yard, so I am sure Grace will want to be outside with us also.  This way I can take her without risking putting her in the sun.

Anyways, we also had Collin’s pictures taken with Santa. I won’t say they are what I was hoping for, but he did much better than he did when I took him at home.  He is not screaming or putting his arms up in front of his face, but that’s probably because his mommy was the one actually sitting on Santa’s lap :)

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Collin LOVES his Aunt Becca!  Instead of waking up in the morning yelling “mama mama mama!” he was calling “ah-be-da” & “uh-wa-wa” to come and get him out of the crib - it was sooo cute!

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We joked that this was the best picture we got of Collin with Santa all year…too bad it’s a wooden Santa at Becca’s house!

We left McKinney & headed to Tyler a few days before Christmas, and as soon as we got there the gift opening began…with a ROLLER COASTER!!  Thankfully, it is a toy to stay at Dede & Jimbo’s house.  Even though Collin absolutely LOVED his “car” there is no way we could fit that thing in our house!

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He also got to open his fire truck on Christmas Eve morning…this was all before he started feeling bad.  That night is when he got sick, so all the rest of the presents had to wait until he felt like playing again.

There were so many cute things that he loved at my parent’s house…I wish I could remember them all.  But, on the top of the list was watching the squirrels in the backyard.  He would go and stand at the window looking for them & start yelling “squirrel” when one would come up to the feeder.  Jimbo even let him get all bundled up and help him go out and refill the feeder with sunflower seeds.

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Collin was also fascinated with the cat which he called “meow-meow”.  He would run around throwing his arms up in the air saying, “meow-meow, are you?”  (aka: where are you?) until he found her or someone showed him where she was hiding. 

Then of course we had our annual Hartung Girls matching Christmas PJ’s.

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And here is another picture of the poor baby’s swollen neck.  He really doesn’t even look like himself in this picture.

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Unfortunately just as Collin was starting to feel a little better we had to leave and start our first family road trip back to Florida.  My parents let us borrow their portable DVD player, and Collin did amazingly well on the 10-hour drive considering how he must have felt.  However, I thought if I ever had to watch another episode of Elmo’s World after that trip I would be sick!

We made it to Pensacola after a brief visit with our friends Dave & Paula in Baton Rouge.  They were nice enough to feed us dinner and let Collin run around & play for a few hours.  I think that break in the trip made a huge difference for Collin.

Collin was still not 100%, but feeling well enough to play around with his cousins.  He loved playing basketball with his older cousin, Gavin.  We were so happy that Son’s older brother, Hao, and his family were able to be there at the same time we were since we don’t see them as often.

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Jaeden & my sis-in-law, Tram, opening gifts.  Jaeden was old enough to really get into it & it was so cute to watch him :)  Isn’t he adorable!

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I absolutely LOVE this picture!!  Three generations of Vuong men :)  And Collin is giving his Ong Noi a high-5.

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And we can’t forget sweet cousin Lilo!  She was wishing everyone a Happy New Year & helping Son’s parents open their presents.

We finally made it home on Sunday night, and had a few hours to open our own family gifts before bedtime.  The next day was our follow-up with Collin’s doctor that started the hospital admission.

I know I said this in the previous post, but I really think Collin was the happiest baby in the hospital…after he had a few hours to recover from the anesthesia he was goofing around like his normal self.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Poor Baby Boy!

So for those who are interested in the details of Collin’s surgery and hospitalization (and for me to be able to remember everything) here is a really long & boring post.  Check back later, though probably much much later, for a better post about our wonderful time in Texas & Pensacola with family – and pictures too :)

Collin & I had been in Texas for a few days, and everything was going great.  He was having so much fun playing with family.  On Christmas Eve we went over to my Aunt’s house and at first Collin was having a great time playing with the dogs & my cousin Brenton (aka “Bubba”).  However, before we started to eat he all of a sudden got really fussy, did not want to be put down, did not want anyone except me to touch him, and felt like he had a fever.  After a while of this we decided to take him home to get some tylenol.  On Christmas Day he was still not himself, but he wasn’t acting like he felt terrible either, so we kept him on the fever reducers and let him rest a little extra. 

The next morning (the 26th) Son went to run an errand with my dad & I wanted to hit the after Christmas sale at Target with Becca, but by around 9ish Collin was still sleeping.  This is very unusual for him.  I checked on him & he was still (what appeared to be) sleeping.  I could see he was breathing, and his feet were moving a little so I thought he was still sleeping but about to wake up.  His face was turned the opposite direction, so I didn’t see if his eyes were open or not, but I wasn’t too concerned at that point.  My mom stayed home to listen for him to get up and give him his breakfast. 

Son got home from his errand first and by this time it was probably close to 10:30 and Collin was still not up.  Son & my mom went in the room to check on him again and he was still laying in the same position.  Son walked around the crib and Collin was laying there with his eyes open, but not saying anything.  Son & my mom got him up to change him & could tell that he did not feel well.  Shortly after that I got home and when I saw him I knew something was wrong.  His neck on his right side was really swollen.  He couldn’t turn his head, and when we felt it, his neck was hard as a rock.

We took him to the ER in Tyler and were told that he had a throat infection, which caused his lymph nodes to be swollen and that it was not uncommon in young children.  He was put on antibiotics and we were told to give him OTC pain meds and follow-up with our pediatrician in 10 days.

The next day (Monday) the swelling spread to both sides of his neck.  The poor baby looked like he had a neck brace on, couldn’t turn his head, was not eating, and was obviously in a lot of pain even with the OTC pain meds.  We took him to a local pediatrician in Tyler that day.  He tested positive for strep throat, they switched him to a different antibiotic, and said that if it wasn’t better the next day they would refer us to an ENT.

By Tuesday he was a little better, but still in a lot of pain, so we went ahead and saw the ENT since we were leaving Tyler the next day to travel to Pensacola for 4 days, and I wanted to get another opinion before we were on the road for 10 hours in the middle of nowhere.  The ENT pretty much agreed with everything the pediatrician had said.  He told us that he did not believe that there was an abscess at that point, and that he did not feel one would develop, but that would be the worst case scenario.

We decided to give Collin 1 more day before the road trip, and he gradually improved each day.  We left Tyler on Thursday, and Collin did surprisingly well on the 10 hour trip. 

The rest of the weekend in Pensacola Collin seemed to be feeling better each day, and by the end of the trip was only waking up once in the night for the otc pain medicine (motrin).

We returned home and had a follow-up with our pediatrician first thing Monday morning.  Even though there was still a little swelling and redness I fully expected them to tell us to continue antibiotics and return in a few days.  However, almost immediately after walking in the door the doctor was on the phone with Wolfson Children’s Hospital to have him admitted…what a shock that was to me!  She felt that at that point it had abscessed and that at a minimum he needed to be on IV antibiotics, but would most likely end up needing surgery.

We were admitted to the hospital on Monday afternoon and started in the IV antibiotics.  The next morning they did a CT scan and we met with the pediatric ENT surgeon who told us that there was a deep pocket of puss that needed to be drained, and that she was concerned that if she did not drain it immediately that it would most likely rupture.  They did the surgery Tuesday afternoon, and the procedure itself took only about 20 minutes.

After all of that the surgeon did not find any puss, just fluid.  And all of the cultures they took of the fluid to determine the type of infection came back negative…that was a little frustrating!

Collin had a rough few hours after surgery, but by that night he was running around the hospital room playing & back to his normal self.  We joked that he was probably the happiest baby in the hospital.

They released us this morning, and Collin is acting like nothing ever happened :)  The only way you would know he just had surgery is by the huge bandage wrapped around his neck.

Through all of this we had so many wonderful family & friends praying for us that I know the Lord was with Collin the entire time, and continues to be with him now as he recovers.  It’s never easy to watch your child go through something like this, but I cling to the promise that He works all things for good for those who love Him.