Saturday, August 30, 2008

Savannah's MRI

So yesterday we had Savannah's MRI. We were exhausted to say the least. The night before (Thursday) we stayed up late watching the Dem. Natl. Convention on TV (here in Denver:)) and the next morning we had to be at the hospital at 6:00 am.

I was planning on getting up at 4:45 so we could leave at 5:15 but I awoke with a start at 3:55 remembering my tooth fairy duties for Blake! Yikes...we have already forgotten too many times. So I took care of that and decided to just stay up and get moving. We sent Landen off to the neighbors so he could get to school (thanks Brooke!) and pulled Blake and Savannah out of bed. I couldn't feed Savannah at all before the procedure so I made Blake wait also so she wouldn't see any food. He is such a trooper and was very good about it.

When she had an MRI done at 3 months old it took her a long time to be put to sleep because she would never completely relax and fall into the sleep. So I thought it was going to take awhile to put her out and they would start the process right when we arrived. Oh no, we did lots of waiting, paperwork, etc. So poor little kids had been up so early and still couldn't have any food or drink (I did sneak Blake out and gave him something to hold him over). Finally at 8:30 they got Savannah into the room. They wheeled her down the hall in a wheelchair and she thought it was the coolest stroller she had ever seen! :) Jeb took her into the room as they put her to sleep and she screamed for 20 seconds and was out cold. He had to leave her after that and let them take all of the pictures of her brain. We took Blake down to the cafeteria to get him some breakfast and he loved it so much! He kept asking if we could go back there for lunch.

We came back to the waiting room to wait for Savannah and I went in to help her come out of the anesthesia. It was hilarious to watch her come out because she was so disoriented. She sat up at one point and yelled "horseys!" and then fell back to sleep. Anyway, we finally got her out of there and we were so happy the long ordeal was over. We got to take all of the films with us so we can show the Endocrinologist (sp?) on Wednesday. We got home just in time to get Blake off to school. Jeb took him and headed off to work (although it had already felt like a very full day). I was so excited because Savannah was going to take a nap and then I was going to crash for 2 hours before the kids got home from school (I was so exhausted!)

I was reading stories to Savannah in her room on the floor when the phone rang. Now remember, I am 8 months pregnant so once I am on the floor it takes great effort to get up :). I let the machine get it and it was my pediatrician. She said, "Rebecca, call me as soon as you can and even if I am with a patient have them come and get me." My heart just sank. I didn't want to call her. I quickly put Savannah in bed and got up the courage to call. She told me the radiologist that looked at our scan saw a mass (tumor, etc.) near her pineal (sp?) gland area in her brain and we needed to get to Primary Children's to see our neurologist (Dr. Handler who we have seen many times before) right away. This was a whole new thing, totally unrelated to her Dandy-walker cyst that she has had since she was born in the back of her brain. Needless to say I started freaking out, hyperventilating, feeling like I was going to throw myself into labor, you name it. I called Jeb and told him to come and get us, we have to go to the hospital right now(Lisa Marie, I immediately thought of you and all you have gone through is the most horrible feeling to think there is something wrong with your child).

Jeb got home and we went straight to Primary Children's. We did the MRI that morning at Presby. St. Luke's so we had to bring our scans with us. The whole way I felt dizzy, over tired, sick and emotional. Jeb kept trying to tell me, we don't know anything yet, let's wait until we find out more (trying to be strong). I told him it was too late because I am so pregnant and so tired, there is nothing that will keep the tears back. I kept thinking about brain surgery, not enjoying the baby coming because of stress, etc, etc. I couldn't look back at her happy little face in her carseat without feeling so much pain.

We got to the hospital and our wonderful and very interesting neurologist (who squeezed us into his schedule so we wouldn't have to wait the holiday weekend) comes in. He says "What the hell is going on here?" He looked and looked at her scans and asked if we have a copy of her previous MRI from when she was 3 months old? I told him we had it done in Virginia and that Primary Children's should have them on file because I have brought them in before. He looked it up and had them and was able to compare the two. He said she has always had this in her pineal gland area (sp?) and it is not a mass, it is another cyst. The kind of cyst that a lot of children have that will hopefully go away eventually (the kind of cyst we were hoping Savannah had instead of her Dandy-Walker). He said if you would have done your MRI here we could have found that out much easier because we have all of her records and we have seen a lot of children's brains. He went and got a couple of other opinions and all of the doctors agreed.

I felt color come back into my face and immense relief. Jeb and I were so happy to have better news! What an awful, traumatic experience! My heart went out to so many at Primary Children's who get such horrible news about their precious little ones. The Dr. said he wants us to do another MRI in 3 months to take a look at it again but for now we can rest easy. It is so creepy knowing she has another cyst but apparently it is more common than her Dandy-walker and may just go away. He said her Dandy-walker (near her cerebellum in the back of her brain) looks scary and bigger but it is stable for now. We still have to see the Endocrinologist on Wednesday but I don't think she will have anything life-threatening going on. We can deal with anything else right now as long as we know she is going to be okay.

Jeb and I couldn't believe how much peace we felt after leaving that place. There happened to be a Dairy Queen down the street from the hospital (my favorite pregnancy treat is a chocolate blizzard with M and M's :)) and we made a stop! Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I know I made this story really long with lots of details, but I want to remember it. When she is driving me crazy as a pre-teen I can look back and remember how grateful I am that she is doing so well despite her underdeveloped brain. :) We slept really well last night and feel so much better today. My heart goes out to those who don't get such relief and have so much worry to deal with. Since having Savannah I have definitely gained more empathy for others. Thanks to all of our friends and family.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


There are many pictures posted below of the Buffington family in the last couple of months! As you can tell I have not kept up on my goal to update more often. Our baby is coming so soon I figure I better do it now before I have more to post!

As you can see we have a few different pictures from our trip to Utah. We went to Bear Lake and had such a great time with all of my Mom's side of the family. Cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents all stayed in a great house on a very quiet part of Bear Lake. I am the oldest cousin so I have lots of young cousins that are my kids' ages. They loved being free and having so many friends there. We had a hard time getting back to everyday life.

School has started already (Aug. 19) and the kids were so excited! Landen's in 2nd grade and Blake's in kindergarten. They are loving it but Savannah doesn't like to be left behind. I've been trying to hang out with her a lot and it's been fun to have some one- on- one time with her before the baby comes. I miss the boys but it's perfect timing as I'm getting more and more uncomfortable and less anxious to do a lot of entertaining.

We had a great summer. We swam a lot and my kids are finally catching up to others with swimming. Landen hasn't done a lot of swimming lessons in the past and has never been super comfortable in the water. We did swim lessons this summer and I think it helped him a lot. Blake is our little fish, he's doing really well.

Blake's had quite a lot of medical issues this past month. He had a staph infection which was scary because that is something you do not mess around with. We were nervous for a few days and were on pins and needles hoping the infection would not spread through his blood. He was on loads of medication and in a lot of pain. Luckily, after a few days they figured out the right antibiotic that killed it and it was smooth sailing after that. At the same time we figured out his tubes had finally fallen out (he didn't get them until he was 4) and he had double ear infections. Poor kid. A couple weeks later he started losing his voice and not feeling great (around the first day of school). While we were in Savannah's 2 year check up appointment the doctor heard him coughing. She listened to his breathing and said he had bronchitis and double ear infections again. So she sent us home with more antibiotics and another trip to the ENT for the possibility of more tubes. Luckily he is not a complainer but I feel bad for the poor kid.

A lot has been going on as we try to relax and prepare for the baby (hah!). At Savannah's 2 year checkup the doctor declared it is time to get a look at her brain again. We have to meet with an Endicronologist (sp?) to check out some things with her pituitary gland. They want to get a good look at that and her Dandy-walker cyst so they are doing an MRI. I know she'll be fine but I hate that they have to put her under. I am trying to get all of this taken care of before I have the baby...I hope there are no more issues to deal with! Please keep her in your prayers.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and I will update how the MRI turns out (it is on Friday). In the meantime Jeb and I are missing his brother Jacob's wedding and my brother Adam's wedding which we are super bummed about! Good luck you guys! Also my brother Brandon and his wife Stacy just had a darling new baby that they named Lily. I can't wait to be able to travel and see everyone again.

August Happenings

Landen's First day of 2nd grade

Blake goes to 1/2 day kindergarten. Savannah cried when both of her brothers left her.

Blake making sure she will be okay without him. This was before our walk to the school and Blake's dreaded bee sting he got along the way. He is terrified of bees now (he has been stung twice) and has a hard time outside. Good thing it happened at the end of summer!

Blake is one of the oldest in his class (turns 6 in October) and here he is wishing he could play on the big kids playground. He hates the fact he has to stay in the kindergarten section!

Savannah and her friend Drew at the Butterfly Pavillion

Checking out bugs

This picture gave Jeb the creeps! Neither of my kids would hold this guy until the worker told them it would make them braver than their dad. Blake wanted to hold it several times after that and wanted Jeb to know how much braver he is!

Jeb's 32nd birthday!
Jeb's staged look of surprise! The kids were so excited to give him Rock Band, but he is the one who picked it out. I love hearing my little 7 and 5 year olds belt out Nirvana in the basement.

Baby coming soon! I can only post this because it is a non-full body shot taken by Blake

One of Blake's many medicines he has had to take in the past month and a half. Poor kid! (See story above) Notice he also lost his front top tooth. The permanent one is almost done growing in and the other front tooth is now hanging by a thread (snaggle tooth)

Camping with Friends and Soccer Camp

Baseball on the campground! Yes, we do participate in other sports besides soccer
Friends and food!

We camped by this beautiful lake and rented a waverunner for the day.

Savannah loving the dirt! Why is she wearing a white shirt while camping? Not for long. :)

Last day of soccer camp! It was soooo hot all week I can't believe my kids still had so much fun. They were coached by some guys from London and they each were on a team. Landen was on germany's team and Jeb helped him make this sign to hold in their parade.

Blake was on Italy's team. The coaches loved his sign and Blake was very proud of it!

The adults had to do a relay while their kids cheered them on. Jeb was spinning around this ball. He was supposed to do it 10 times but as he would get to 9 they started counting again at 3. They made him do it at least 30 times and the kids were loving it. He had a real hard time finishing the race. :)

Bear Lake and Utah Trip

My brother Lane getting some air.
My brother Adam taking Landen out for a spin. Landen looks nervous! Do you get any better than the beautiful water at Bear Lake?

This is where I spent most of my time. Leaning back, taking it easy and talking!

My Dad was wrestling with his grandkids and nephews (my cousins). I think even more jumped on after I took this picture! He still thinks he is so young :).

Landen found the collection of books

Adam and his fiance Erin are always out entertaining and playing with the kids. They are getting married September 12th and we are so excited to have her a part of our family!
Jeb was spent

Craft time

This was at the Dinosaur museum in Thanksgiving Point. They could have spent all day in this section.
Landen always helping his sister! Blake is good too but teases her a little bit more. He always tells me he'll take really good care of the new baby. :)

Savannah's Birthday

My Mom got Savannah a new bear at Build-A-Bear.
They were all treated to a cookie

Her cake at Grandma's. Although I hate my hair in this :) (long day) I think it is so precious of her hugging me.
Showing Grandpa her new Dora doll

She loved her pink balloons!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

For a special cause

In March, at the age of thirty, my aunt, Abbigail Israelsen became suddenly ill and on a ventilator fighting for her life for 18 days. She was in the hospital for 21 days, but thankfully she survived. It has been a long and emotional recovery that continues everyday.She has joined the ARDS Foundation team to attend a fund raising walk on Sept. 21, 2008. For every donation that is made over $40, Abbi will give the donor an original drawing created specifically for them. The drawings will be done on 100% cotton rag paper with pen, pencil, and ink. You will receive your drawing in the mail by mid October, 2008.After donating towards the Hike for Lung Health, email Abbi ( with three words that she will use to inspire a drawing as a thank you gift.The drawings will be shown at the Anton Art Center for a special fund raising exhibition Sept. 12-Oct. 3, 2008. All proceeds made from the exhibition will be donated for ARDS research.If you would like to read more about Abbi's journey through ARDS visit her website.
The website with her story is:
Hike fundraising page:
Abbi's artwork website:

She is a talented artist and has done some beautiful work! Her and I are only 10 months apart and were best friends growing up. I am so happy she has been doing so much for something she has become so passionate about. Love you Abbi!