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


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.

Friday, July 04, 2014


Brian found some old photos when he was fixing something in his mom's attic this week. I was shrieking when I saw some of them... We certainly gave Luke the perfect middle name (Brian)!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Cousin swim at Grammy and Papa John's

We're back from our trip to Kentucky and it was a great time, as usual. We celebrated birthdays (Luke's, mine, and Kelly's), did some fireworks, watched late night movies, ate lots of good food and swam a LOT. The best part is lots of time with family, playing and chatting and catching up since we don't get to see them often. The kids are in heaven while we are there, and all the swimming wears them OUT. I always love how every year, that much time in the water means that every child reaches a new level of swimming independence:

-Katy swims all over the pool, shallow and deep end, without assistance or an adult needed in the water (we're still watching from the side, of course). She was doing this last year too, but it is just awesome when they get to this point. 

-David was the most significant: this is the first year that he never needed any kind of floatie...he swam around the shallow end of course, but also jumping/sliding into the deep end and swimming to the edge like a pro. He also picked things up off the bottom of the pool in water over his head. He'll be able to do the diving board the next time we go to the city pool. 

- The first day, Luke stayed on the steps and wouldn't do anything else. But eventually, he was wearing a floatie vest, moving all around the shallow end on his own, even without an adult next to him. 

- Anna became quite the daredevil! She jumped off the side into my arms, and eventually she was pointing to the slide, wanting to go down. Sure enough, Brian took her down on his lap, and she wanted to do it again and again! (Pictures below). 

My friend Beth gave us this Cars party pack that was entirely paper party supplies - the girls had a blast setting up a "Lightning McQueen party" for Luke.

Brian's gift to me: he got the first year of this blog printed and bound into a book! There's potential to finish the rest of the project, but it isn't cheap, so this was a very cool surprise.

At any given time, there's a handful of kids in the pool (and usually either Brian or I or both, too, since we have so many non-swimmers).
(Aunt Kelly was testing the sports mode on her new camera for some of these)

He really thought he was smiling.

Look at that face!

And she wanted to do it again and again!

Brian's such a good dad - he's completely under water, trying to keep her head up and pass her to me.

Carrie and Luke having a snack in the hammock.

We eat most meals outside in the gazebo.

Grammy making snow cones.

This is Luke's cautious face, he's nervous about the sparklers.

Watching fireworks

Cousins! L to R, Leah (11), Luke (4), Kim (14), Anna (1), David (6), Carolyn (10), Katy (8)