Sunday, August 24, 2008

Alyssa's Baby Shower

Here are a few of the pics from the baby shower. You can check the rest out by clicking the link to the right. Let me regain my equilibrium and I'll post some thoughts later, but for now enjoy my little beauty's glowing face.

Specially requested cupcakes from Cupcake Island in Omaha, Nebraska.

Me, Alyssa, and my Aunt Lucy who traveled from Iowa to spend the weekend with Alyssa and me.

Alyssa and Andy's sweet mom Shirley (another excited grandmother).

Alyssa and Kat. Kat is Alyssa's best friend from middle school who gave the shower for Alyssa. She, her mom, and her sister brought the entire setup (including food) from Lincoln, Nebraska complete with a VIP guest Ben.

Alyssa and her SK sorority sister Amanda. Amanda scored one of the "favorite gifts" rating with her handmade personalized box.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Like I stated in an earlier blog, I bought a book (before Alyssa was pregnant) called “A Grandparent’s Legacy: Your Life Story in Your Own Words.” I was going to have my parents fill it out, but now I guess it’s my turn to be the grandparent. The following questions are from the book, and in some of my future blogging I will answer more. If I bore anyone, I’m sorry.

Your full given name, the date and place of your birth:
Mitzi Leigh Geer, born November 11, 1967 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at Druid City Hospital, now DCH Regional Medical Center where Alyssa and Christian were also born.

Your spouse’s full given name, the date and place of his birth:
Albert Cardona, born January 10, 1966 in Los Angeles, California at the county hospital, the one pictured in the opening scene of General Hospital.

Your children’s full given names, the dates and places of their births:
Alyssa Beck Cardona, born June 14, 1988 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at DCH Regional Medical Center, formerly known as Druid city Hospital. Alyssa was born via emergency c-section.

Christian Albert Cardona, born May 25, 1993 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at DCH Regional Medical Center. We didn’t agree on a name until 2 days before he was born.

Nicholas Richard Cardona, born December 20, 1994 in Temple, Texas at Scott and White Medical Center. He was actually due on Christmas day, and we were bummed that we had already used up the name Christian. We agreed on his name 3 days before he was born and it didn’t have anything to do with Santa Claus. P.S. Don’t be like my grandmother and call him Nicky Ricky Dicky.

Your parent’s full given names, the dates and places of their births:
Katherine Anne Hopkins, born February 17, 1944 in San Antonio, Texas on Fort Sam Houston at Brooke Army Medical Center. Her father was a POW in WWII until she was 1 ½ years old.

Joseph Richard Geer, born December 1, 1940 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at home. His dad didn’t file his birth certificate until he was over a year old. I guess he was waiting to see if he wanted to keep him.

Your spouse’s parent’s full given names, the dates and places of their births:
Carlos Alberto Cardona, born January 11, 1943 in Guatamala.

Eloisa Aldana, born October 16, 1938 in Guatamala.

The names of your siblings, the dates and places of their births:
Joseph Richard Geer Jr., born July 31,1969 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at Druid City Hospital 12 weeks premature and weighing only 3 lbs.

Jessica Louise Carr, born January 6, 1977 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at Druid City Hospital. She was my first “real” baby doll.

The names of your spouse’s siblings, the dates and places of their births:
Walter Cardona, born April 5, 1970 in Los Angeles, California.

The names of your maternal grandparents, the dates and places of their births:
Walter Garrison Hopkins Jr., born June 18, 1916 in Tonkawa, Oklahoma.

Doris Blanche Carter (Logan’s middle name), born September 20, 1920 in San Antonio, Texas.

The names of your paternal grandparents, the dates and places of their births:
William Oscar Geer, born April 22, 1883 in Pickens County, Alabama.

Ella Beck, born August 10, 1902 in Coker, Alabama.

The names of your spouse’s maternal grandparents, the dates and places of their births:
Victor Aldana, unknown

Marguerita Villanueva, born October 26, 1915 in Guatamala.

The names of your spouse’s paternal grandparents, the dates and places of their births:
Lazaro Cardona in Guatamala

Francisca Castillo in Guatamala

Wow, that’s enough of the family tree. Thanks for reading this far. I have several more generations in a genealogy program, but I won’t bore you with the gruesome details.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Big Big Boy

I just got off of the phone with Alyssa. She went to the doctor today, and Logan is still breech. The doctor doesn't seem worried because she thinks Alyssa will have a c-section anyway. She is measuring 37 weeks pregnant, but she is actually only 32 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I think we are going to get a big big boy. I have a friend who was measuring the same way and she had her baby today. The baby weighed 9 lbs and 10 oz. Oh my God!

This weekend I'll go to Manhattan for Alyssa's baby shower. I'll get some new pictures of her growing belly and post them. For now, I can only imagine how she feels being 5'1" and carrying a toddler on her belly. I thought all of my babies were big (Alyssa was 8 lbs, Christian was 7 lbs 12 oz, and Nicholas was 8 lbs 4 oz) but I had no idea what big was. Also, it really bites that she has to carry him all summer in the 110 degree heat. I hope he appreciates his momma.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Gordon Syndrome

Over the next few months, especially after Logan is born, you will notice me discussing his syndrome so I thought I might do a little explaining up front. I will try not to use incredibly big words, but let me know if you need some clarification.

My mother’s maiden name is Hopkins, and in the Hopkins family we carry a type of Arthrogryposis. Arthrogryposis is a rare genetic condition that has seven subtypes, but in general it causes joint contraction and muscle weakness. Arthrogryposis often affects the extremities, but it can affect every joint in the body. No one in the family has had specific genetic testing done yet, but the signs and symptoms that we exhibit are most consistent with the subtype known as Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, Distal, Type IIA or Gordon Syndrome.

Gordon Syndrome is an autosomal dominant trait. That means that if you carry the gene, you have the syndrome and a 50 percent chance of passing it on to each child that you produce. However, the degree of severity and types of symptoms displayed by each individual seems to be totally random.

In addition to the stiffness of joints and muscle weakness typical of Arthrogryposis, Gordon Syndrome typically includes one or more of the following signs or symptoms in varying degrees of severity:

Permanent flexion or bending of fingers (camptodactyly)
Abnormal bending inward of the feet (clubfoot or talipes equinovarus)
Incomplete closure of the roof of the mouth (cleft palate)
Short stature
Short neck
Split or bifid uvula
Skin folds on the upper eyelid (epicanthal folds)
Drooping eyelid (congenital Ptosis)

In my mom’s immediate family, there are 12 people who have Gordon Syndrome within 4 generations: her father, herself, me, my 3 children, 1 of her brothers, 1 of her sisters, 3 of her nieces, and 1 of her nephews.

Because Alyssa has the syndrome, she has a 50 percent chance of passing it down to her children, and according to her perinatologist and 3 ultrasounds, it looks like Logan does have Gordon Syndrome. There is almost certain confirmation that he has clubfeet, and the flexed fingers (both of which Alyssa has) but we are fairly confidant that he does not have the cleft palate. Whether or not he has any other complications, we won’t know until he is born.

So, what does this all mean? It is vital that he have his feet corrected. Without treatment he will not walk. To do that, he will have to have casts on his feet from the time he is born until they are corrected either by the casting or surgery. They will have to travel to Kansas City every week for orthopedic visits and cast changes. Alyssa had casts until she was 6 months old, and then had surgery to correct her clubfoot (she only had 1). Christian and Nicholas were both corrected with casting alone.

As for his fingers, that is a less pressing issue. Both Alyssa and Christian have lived normal lives with flexed fingers. Alyssa did have surgery on one of her fingers when she was about 10, but she did not feel like it was a major benefit. We don’t know if she should have had the surgery earlier, but when she was small we were most concerned about correcting her feet. The fingers were more of a nuisance.

I hope that Logan’s outcomes are as good as Alyssa, Christian and Nicholas’ have been. I feel for Alyssa and Andy, because I remember what it was like dealing with those casts, weekly visits to the doctor, and hospital stays. Alyssa knows what it is like to have Gordon Syndrome. She also has the benefit of having the knowledge and experience of other parents in the family that have dealt with it. I hope Alyssa and Andy are not scared, and I know that they are preparing to do whatever is necessary to help Logan live a normal life.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Life with Boys

Snuggly Nicholas

Mischievous Christian

...and Girls

Princess Alyssa

Baby Shower Blues (or Pinks)

I went to a baby shower today. It is the second one in a month and both moms are having girls. Now why does this make me blue? BECAUSE I WANTED A LITTLE GRANDDAUGHTER! I know, it shouldn't matter, and truthfully, it won't. However, I was SURE Alyssa was having a girl. I was so sure I almost started a pink quilt. Every freakin pregnant person I know (and believe me that's a lot) is having a girl except Alyssa!!!!!!!!!

I'm not sure why I was so attached to the idea of Alyssa having a girl. Maybe it was because we almost always seem to have girls first in our families. All I know is that I love pink and I can't go into the baby section without ooohing over the little ballet shoes, and ribbons, and clothes. It's almost too much to bear.

Now don't get me wrong, I love having my two boys. I love how easy they are to be around, and how totally unhormonal they are. They are so funny, and much easier to talk to than girls are at this age. I even remember how incredibly funny everything that they did was when they were little. Nicholas was so snuggly and inquisitive and Christian was hilariously naughty. He was so cute that it was hard to get on to him. I know that Logan will be just as much fun, but I can't help feeling melancholy about missing out on all the little girl activities like french braiding hair and going shopping like Alyssa and I did. Did I tell you that I LOVE PINK!

I wasn't alone in my wish either. Shirley, Andy's mom, also wanted a girl. She has 3 boys, and this is her first grandchild. This is especially significant because Andy is the youngest and his 2 brothers are in their 40's and not married. I think Alyssa was her last hope for a grandchild, and WHAM another boy! Now this is certainly not fair because Shirley is the nicest, most giving persons I know. She has taken Alyssa in like a daughter and she is so incredibly kind. I could never wish for Logan to have a better grandmother. Doesn't she deserve a girl?

Oh well, if Logan is healthy and strong then it will not matter that he carries the dreaded y chromosome. As a matter of fact, think of how many girls there will be his age hanging around. Watch out for my tall, dark, and handsome grandson girls. He's on his way.

...and he can still take ballet right?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Taking All Bets

I thought it would be fun to get some responses to the following questions:

"What day will Logan be born on?"
Hint: His due date is October 7, 2008

"What time of day?"

"How much will he weigh?"

"How long will he be?"

"Will Alyssa have to have a C-section?"

"Will Mitzi make it in time?"

We'll see who the winner is in October.

So Far Away

I never thought I would start a blog because websites are more my style, but I decided that this would be a great idea to journal my adventures into Grandmotherdom (or is it...doom). I'll try my best to condense and explain the evolution and intention of this blog outside of Mr. Logan Carter Owen himself.

First, I bought this book at Hallmark for Grandparents to fill out. I did this last year with the intent of quizzing my parents and the Cardona's so that I could write a fairly decent family history for my kids and grandkids. As Christian would say "Is that foreshadowing?" Little did I know...

Jump to a cold hotel stairwell in February. I am on the phone crying to my dear friend (Karri) and she tells me about a friend, who has a sister that I share many similarities with. This friend of a friend lives in the South, is a NICU nurse (close), turned 40 this year, and has a 20 year old daughter named Alyssa who just had a baby (girl). Sound familiar? Anywho, this FOAF (whom I have never met) also has a magnificent blog on which she shares everything from her amazing sewing abilities to her new granddaughter Bayleigh. I have been a subscriber ever since.

I admit it, I am a blog stalker.

Soooooooo, my friend Karri helped give this FOAF's daughter Alyssa a baby shower, and I turned green with envy. Not just because I love my friend Karri who is in NC so far away from me, or because she and the FOAF's sister did such a rockin' job throwing the baby shower, but because the pictures of Alyssa surrounded by family and friends reminded me that our lives are scattered from Kuwait to Hawaii and that I will never be able to do that for my Alyssa.

Next point. Since my Alyssa lives so far away from everyone she knows, I have been toying with the idea of having a long distance baby shower for her. Today I started looking at creating a website just for that purpose, but then I got an idea. Combine the gathering with my grandparent journal and create a blog dedicated to Mr. Logan Carter Owen himself!

OK you can gag now, I know how disgustingly "grandmotherly" I must sound.

So, after your stomach settles, join up and tell me what you think. I'm sure that when the little prince arrives I will flood the blog with his image, but in the meantime I will post some pictures that I have been taking of Alyssa's pregnancy, as well as some games and fun stuff to keep us all entertained. I might even include Al and the boys.