Tennessee Trip

Madilyn and I took a quick trip to Tennessee this past Friday through Wednesday. This made 33 trips on an airplane (I think) for her. She is a pro. She was such a good girl all week. She actually has been the last couple of weeks and it makes me think she’s growing out of her ” 2s ” stage. I don’t like to call it “terrible,” but you know what I mean.

Side note – at one point during the trip, Madilyn and I had this conversation:

Me: Madilyn, where are your manners?
Madilyn: In my tummy!

I couldn’t help but laugh! Speaking of laughs, her Daddy has been teaching her knock-knock jokes. Ones that don’t make sense! They love being silly together.

So anyway, she enjoyed her time with Mammaw, Nana, Uncle Chris and the rest of the family in TN. She attended her first Sunday School class while she was there, and we got reports that she was so well mannered. She made her Mommy very proud.

For those of you who don’t know, Mom and Mammaw’s houses back up to a large cemetary on a big hill overlooking Kingsport. On Saturday I walked to the mausoleum on top of the big hill where Dad and Pappaw are buried side-by-side. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 3 years since Pappaw passed and 2 since Dad did. The walk there is beautiful (and quite a workout). It only took me about 25 minutes but I was feeling a little sore for a day or two after. There are lot of steep hills. Trust me. But every time I do the walk I think about my dad who walked that path every day after Pappaw was buried there to visit his grave until he got sick and was unable to.

I watch how Mom and Chris just delight in Madilyn and note all the changes they see in her since the last time they were with her and I imagine how my Dad (and Pappaw and Jeff’s dad, Jay) would have done the same. Madilyn would have been the biggest thrill and joy to them – especially at this age now she’s able to communicate so well. On the plane ride back home, a grandpa leaned over to us and said that Madilyn is the best baby he has ever seen on a plane ride. She was really good. Grandpas often stop and talk to Madilyn, and I think of them as little surrogates – God’s reminder that he loves her and he knows where she is and what her needs are.

Well, I totally didn’t intend on this blog post getting into all that. I guess this is what happens when you don’t consistently blog for a while!

At any rate, I didn’t bring my good camera and my phone takes horrible pictures, so I don’t have many good photos to share. We did get a picture of a young turkey Mammaw’s neighbor caught running around. He brought it up to the car for us to get a good look at. Madilyn said she wanted one.

Uncle Chris took a couple days off work to be with Madilyn and we enjoyed being with him. He rented “Toy Story” (the first one) for Madilyn to watch (Nana had bought her the Toy Story stuffed animals and book) and she loved it until the part where Buzz Lightyear loses an arm. She got very sad and turned off the TV. She is a sensitive soul. We explained to her that Andy is able to fix his arm because he is a toy. She seemed satisfied with that.

We ate lots of good food, did some relaxing, some playing, and Nana read a lot of books to Madilyn. I did my regular work, and even had a conference call in the basement, which I’m sure looked totally professional, especially with the exposed insulation ceiling. Thankfully, I work with really cool people who understand. We met baby Jonah, the newest addition to the family. He is a total cutie. And Mammaw babysat Madilyn a couple of hours and even took her for a ride in her wheelchair inside the house. I couldn’t believe how great she is getting around – especially compared to when we saw her last! She is an amazing woman.

We had a great time as always and look forward to our next visit! We met Aunt Gloria, Shana and Amelia for lunch and enjoyed some good laughs and strawberry shortcake before we flew home Wednesday night.

Daddy had bought us welcome home presents. Madilyn got two enormous bottles of bubbles and I got flowers, a card, an iTunes gift card and a little box of chocolates! Man, I need to go away more often!!

Alopecia Update

Jeff and I have been doing some research on our own about Madilyn’s condition, that, coupled with the information we got from our doctor originally, makes us think her hair loss is linked to a very high fever she had back in January. We had to take her to the emergency room because we couldn’t get it to come down. There we found out she had pneumonia. We read articles that said the hair typically falls out 3 or 4 months after the event that caused the stress (like a fever). Usually, the hair loss is temporary, and the hair grows back.

We have not seen any more hair fall out in the last two weeks and we hope and pray this is the tail end of the hair loss and thinning. And with Alopecia, it seems you have splotches of hair missing – from the size of a dime up to like 2″. With Madilyn, it’s been more like a thinning of the hair all over. With the worst of it being in a half ring shape in the back of her hair (where the length of the hair on top covers it). So, it makes me think it’s not the typical Alopecia. I’m not a doctor, obviously, but it was natural for us to try to research this and come to a conclusion. This makes more sense to me (the hair loss being linked to the fever).

I appreciate your continued prayers and I’ll keep you updated. We are looking forward to a full summer of making fun memories! Tomorrow is Madilyn’s last day of “school” (her Mother’s Day Out program) and since we won’t be in school during her birthday, we are bringing treats for lunch and the class will sing Happy Birthday to her a little early! She keeps telling everyone that she’s “almost 3!”

Alopecia Areata

Madilyn’s hair has been thinning over the past several months, and over the past several weeks large pieces of her hair would just fall out of her head. The doctor diagnosed Madilyn this week with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disease that attacks the hair follicles and the hair falls out. The disease is very unpredictable in children. Some have more dramatic hair loss than others. Some never grow back the hair they lost. Some do. There is no cure, but our doctor said the disease may persist for several months and suggested that the body may regulate itself.

We are praying for no more loss and a quick regrowth to a normal head of hair, and for this NOT to be a cyclical occurrence like it commonly is. We pray for complete healing. We’d appreciate your prayers for her. We are thankful that this is not a painful disease and that it does not affect her health otherwise. I’m also thankful she’s too young for it to affect her emotionally. I appreciate all the supportive comments we’ve received on Facebook already. I hope to learn more about what’s going on and maybe we can find some additional answers.