Saturday, August 23, 2014

Change


    

Our family has seen lots and lots and LOTS of change in the past few weeks. I am not gonna lie - change is hard. It has been hard. We're in a bit of a period of transition, and I am trying to take deep breaths and remember that in a few months (I would say weeks but that feels optimistic at this point), this will all feel like the new normal. 

Backing up a bit...Luke is completely better. I mentioned a set-back, but I didn't notice as much of a set-back as just more of the same misery. It really was just a solid ten days of a pretty sick boy, not doing much playing, not doing much eating, very slow progress, getting up a lot at night (he slept in our room), etc. Brian was off for week #4 of my recovery and the 2nd half of Luke's recovery. And it just wasn't a fun week, but we got through it. AND. I might be crazy, but I feel like we could tell a difference right away. He can DEFINITELY hear better (he was crying about the fly buzzing in the house because it was SO LOUD), his language seems to have developed overnight, he isn't waking up at night any more, and he just seems happier, better behaved, more loving. Who knew? Or am I giving the surgery too much credit? Either way, I love this crazy kid, and in a weird way, we grew closer over those ten days of recovery.



Week #5 of my recovery was a carefully calculated schedule of friends who brought their kids over and helped lift Anna as needed (after my mom covered the early morning hours). It was a really nice week, actually, as Luke and I were feeling well, and we had this revolving door of people coming to hang out with us, and we got to catch up with some friends that we don't always make the time to see. 

Week #6, Aunt Mel worked from home at my house, bless her heart! Trying to work in this chaos is not easy, but she made it happen. It was really nice to still have her help this week because it was also the first week of school for Katy and David (starting Wednesday). It has been quite a transition for both of them, and I needed the support as I was trying to figure out how to transport the two kids to two schools. So Katy is in a new building and David is going all day for the first time. The good news is that they both have great teachers and friends in their class and I know they are both in a good place. But it's an adjustment, and there are challenges, and we're working on getting those smoothed out. Baby steps!

Also in week #6, it was a huge week for Brian. After holding his last work position for 14 years, he moved into a new position in a different department at the same university. Once you have been very comfortable somewhere for 14 years, it's easy to forget what it's like to start over. So that first week was also a big transition for him. But now at the end of week 2, he is already feeling more settled and happy and looking forward to the new adventures ahead. More change! 



Finally, after 6 weeks, I am able to pick up this sweet baby girl! I am feeling really good and I'm so excited to be past my restrictions. I've been on my own this past week and it has been nice to be feeling like I'm (somewhat) in control of our days again. I'm trying to get back into exercise and healthy eating (really need it). And although Anna quickly figured out that I can hold her again, after all that time she has developed a close bond with her Daddy. If we're both in the room and she falls down and hurts herself, she'll run past me and go over to him. I'm glad that she has her Daddy, but I also hope we're able to get our bond back quickly. I miss my baby girl snuggles.


We've been working (and working and working) on teaching her not to dump her plate on the floor when she is done. On this morning, she ate a whole bowl of cereal without dumping it, and I tried to make a big deal about it by sending a picture to Daddy. She really seemed to get it and was proud of herself. :) Little victories.

Another thing that I want to remember...all this week, Luke asks me a zillion times a day when we can go pick up David from school (6.5 hours is a loooong time). When David comes home, Luke practically attacks him, he's so happy to see him. Then the two of them disappear into some game they made up. Eventually I need David to come to the table and do a little homework. Luke wants to sit right next to him and constantly asks, "are you done yet? how about now? why is it taking so long?" which makes the homework take twice as long as it should. Brothers! I hope they are always good friends. Luke starts preschool after Labor Day and he is SO excited. We pass his school every day (it's close to the house), and he shouts, "Bye, new school! See you in a couple of weeks!"

Three mornings a week with just me and Anna??? It's going to feel very strange. More change.




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Recovery #2

Pigtails are happening, and they are cute as ever.
Week #3 brought my Dad and Sue to help, and then Thursday of this week was Luke's scheduled tonsillectomy. I was feeling pretty decent at this point, just tired, so we tried to do a few fun things with kids and grandparents before Luke's Big Day. 

On Monday, we had well visits for Katy, Luke, and Anna, so here are some stats! 

Anna at 18 months: 23 lbs, 10 oz (40 %'ile) and 31.5" (50 %'ile)

Luke at 4 years: 32 lbs (15%'ile) and 38.5" (15 %'ile)

Katy at 8 years: 45 lbs (5 %'ile) and 46.5" (5 %'ile)

My dad and I took the boys to see Planes 2 in the theater. It was okay, they really liked it. My dad and I were cracking up at the reclining leather seats - we don't get out much. :) 

The next day Dad and Sue were up for a REAL adventure and we took all 4 kids to the pool (and I wasn't able to get in the water). It ended up being such a fun afternoon (except for the part when Anna had a total meltdown and I couldn't pick her up, so my dad was carrying her to the car screaming so we could take her home for a nap and I could come back). The weather was perfect and each kid made more progress in the water:  Anna was putting her face in and bouncing up and down in water up to her neck. Luke was able to paddle around the kiddie pool on his own in his floatie vest. David went off the DIVING BOARD!!! And swam to the side by himself! He was SO proud. And Katy went down the big slide (she's still an inch and a half shy of the height requirement but we got permission from the manager and she was beside herself with excitement.) I got video of Katy and David's Firsts, but I can't figure out how to get them on here, so...

The only picture I was able to take. Pre-meltdown.



Well, don't mind if I do!
Finally came the day of Luke's surgery. I took him out the night before and tried to explain in basic terms what was going to happen - but the great thing about Luke is that...he just doesn't seem to get it, or at least he doesn't get worked up about it. So the morning of the surgery, we were walking into the (very convenient, very nice) surgery center, and he was skipping and singing, "Everything is Awesome!" He was just blissfully unaware, all the way into the OR. The only time he got a little nervous was when we entered this room with his bed...

He's trying to smile. Poor buddy. I was much more nervous than he was.
The biggest surprise to me was how fast it went. From the time he left our sight until the surgeon was in the waiting room giving us a report was 25 minutes. What?!?!? The families who were there getting just ear tubes were in the waiting room less than 10 minutes. Crazy. But the surgeon said that his tonsils and adenoids were both huge, and that his ears were full of fluid, so she went ahead and put tubes in, too. She said we should expect to see an improvement in hearing, health, sleep, and possibly attention and growth. So that was really encouraging, making me feel like we made the right decision.

We had to be there at 7, the surgery was at 9, and we were home by 11:30. That first day he was out of it, but didn't seem to be in a lot of pain, just laid on the couch, ate some popscicles, even got down and played some. But at 10:00 that night, he woke up screaming and that started a very difficult couple of days. The day after the surgery was hard to watch and worrisome. He wouldn't move, refused to eat and drink, resisted his medicine, had a fever and chest congestion (apparently normal), just seemed awful. That night he threw up 3 times, but the next day he started to make some progress. He was sitting up playing the iPad, taking small bites of applesauce and sips of water, etc. Today is day 4 and he's eating a pancake and has been off the couch playing some. So he's much better. I'm bracing myself, for everyone has warned me of the setback that we can expect days 5-8, but I'm thankful that he's feeling better for now.

More to come....I will be happy to see August.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Recovery...

I have been blessed to have so much support in the last week and a half since my surgery, and literally could not have done this without friends and family helping out, and I am so thankful. I wanted to write a little bit about the experience while it is still fresh in my memory, just so I have it for future reference.

This is my first experience having surgery. All day before and especially the morning of were just miserable with anxiety. I was surprised in the whole triage and pre-op process how much I could hear other people's conversations. And over and over, every patient talked about how nervous they were. I guess it is just scary to be that much out of control of your own body.

The surgery went smoothly, but due to an equipment malfunction, I was under anesthesia twice as long as they anticipated. my surgery was at 7, I was starting to wake up in recovery around noon, saw Brian and my dad briefly around 1pm, an was up in my room by 4. I did not anticipate how awful that first day would be. I didn't eat any solid food until late that night, didn't get out of bed at all until the next morning, and that was with assistance. I was discharged at 4pm on the 2nd day, and ouch...that was a rough ride home.

The first week was just one step at a time...every day was a little bit better - at first I was in bed all day except for a one-hour trip downstairs. The next day, able to sit up in bed and come down twice. The next day, eating full meals and just taking two naps. The next day, just one nap. By day 5, I was able to get dressed, go to church and drive home. 

This second week, I'm feeling fairly normal, just tired and sore. The hardest part is realizing that I need to take it easy. The house is still bustling around me, and my mother-in-law is here this week to help, especially with Anna. But she really needs help, and I just cannot sit on the couch all day and watch her do it alone, so I do what I can. And after a few hours, my body hits a wall and I need to stop. But I'm figuring out how much I can do. Kathy has been a God send this week, and I literally couldn't have done it without her.

Poor Anna. Actually Anna is fine, I am the one having a hard time not picking her up. She falls down and is crying and I just want to scoop her up. I feel like I miss her and I'm afraid that she will feel rejected or something. But she really seems to be fine and happy, loving the extra daddy and grandma time. Four more weeks. 

This week has also been VBS. We go to this fabulous program that is a little bit of a drive from us, but the kids love it, it is so well done, and we knows lots of families who go there, so there are lots of friends for the kids. But Katy has been having a hard time lately again, so I ended up being a classroom assistant 3/5 days in order to help her "conquer" VBS with success. That really wore me out, both physically and emotionally. But it's done. (Had I known this was going to be the case, I wouldn't have done this one week after surgery, I THOUGHT I was going to relieve our workload a bit by dropping 3 kids off for a couple of hours everyday.)

But the weather has been gorgeous, the kids have lots of neighbors outside playing, and friends have been bringing loads of food. Now starts the countdown to Luke's surgery: 6 days. I really look forward to mid-August when all of this recovery is behind us.