Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow, snow and more snow.

I would be happy to not see any more snow flurries until next year.  We have so much snow.  We have not had snow like this in years.  I don't think the snow "hill" that the plow makes has been this big since Evan was in Kindergarten or maybe even younger. 
When Evan got off the bus from school and spied the new snow that had been added to the hill, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.  He handed me his backpack to bring in the house and got to work. 

The snowman Spencer made the night before during our snow storm.  I was outside shoveling and couldn't even keep up.  As soon as I finished, the driveway would be covered with another half inch. 

He hit up the recycling bin for milk and juice tops to decorate his snowman.

There is something about Evan these days.  I like him so much lately.  I know that probably sounds weird, but I don't know how to describe it.  I love all three of my kids with every inch of my heart - and I love them all equally.  But sometimes I don't always "like" them all equally.  Is that true for all parents or am I just the worst mom in the world?  I don't "dislike" my other two kids, it just seems that Evan and I have had a great relationship for the past week or so.  Most likely things will change in a day or so and I will feel a greater connection with one of the other two, but the past few days have been all Evan.   Am I a bad mother for even writing that?  Go get my application for mother of the year and throw it away.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Snow Day # 4?

Last year our winter was so mild that the kids didn't get one snow day the whole year.   Last Friday we got the call for snow day number four.  At least I think it's number four - it might be snow day number five.   I looked at the calendar  the other morning and realized that they haven't had a full week of school since the first week back after Christmas break.  How crazy is that?

The kids quickly ate breakfast and went outside to sled and play in the snow which is pretty much the same thing that happens on every snow day. 

Spencer likes to find icicles that he can knock down.  I don't know how many times I have to tell him to stay away from them or he is going to wind up with a giant icicle stuck in his head.  The funny thing is that I remember the icicles that used to hang off the side of the house that I grew up in.  It was like a massive ice formation over the concrete path that led to our backyard.  I can remember my mom and dad telling us not to walk under the icicles in case they started to break loose.   It is funny how as you grow older your parents voices start to come out of your body.

I love it when the kids can just get along and play together.  I love this picture of Spencer and Hailey that just shows the sheer childhood joys of wintertime.

The kids asked us if we could take them to the big hill to go sledding. They are usually pretty good about entertaining themselves on the small hill around here, so we decided that a treat in the form of more challenging hills was in order for after lunch.

I was in shock when we arrived at the hill and there were only three other people there and they were on their way out.  It was a perfect sledding day.  Where in the world was everybody?  On a normal day, this place is so crawling with people it is ridiculous - total stress fest.

The kids started by warming up on the smaller side hills.

And then they made the trek up the big one.

Evan pretty stoked about his ride down.

Daddy and Hailey got snowplowed on their way down.

The kids trying to make a "train" down the hill.  Evan's sled went out from under him about half way down.

How can kids spend so much time outside and not feel cold at all?  I had to go sit in the car because my feet were freezing from standing in the snow. 

It was a fun snow day, but I am ready for Spring.   The end of the week will start the month of March - last year in March we had some eighty degree days and Hailey waded in Lake Michigan.   I don't really see that happening this year.  In fact, we are on track for another winter storm to hit us tonight.  The weather forecaster at noon was saying the morning commute tomorrow would most likely be treacherous.  Perhaps snow day number five?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beauty and a Beat

One day last month after Hailey got home from school, I told her that we had to run outside so that I could take a recent photo of her to put on her birthday thank you cards.  She crabbed a little bit.  She was so hungry (because she doesn't eat ANY of her lunch!).  She wanted to watch Good Luck Charlie because she hadn't been able to watch TV all day!  I told her that if she cooperated with me it would literally take less than two minutes.  She grudgingly followed me out and these are a few of the photos I got. 

The girl is unbelievably photogenic.  And getting so old looking.  I can't believe what a beautiful young lady she is turning into.  

I mentioned in a previous post that she had to have further testing done on her irregular heartbeat.   As is most often the case, when it rains it pours.  Two days before Evan went in for his surgery, we were at a different hospital getting her fitted with her holter monitor.

As long as she doesn't have to have any needles poking her, she is a trooper with whatever needs to be done.  The technician stuck the electrode stickers on her and hooked up the monitor and she was good to go.  The technician told me that as long as she wouldn't mess with the electrodes, she wouldn't have to tape the cords down.  I told her that I would make sure she didn't mess with them.  That tape is the worst!  I swear it takes off your first layer of skin when they remove it.

When we got home she was eager to show her brothers her set up.  I told them they had a new robot sister.  They all thought that was pretty cool.  By the way, her lips and fingers are orange because on the way home from the hospital we stopped to see Grama and the Aunts at the Sandbar.  She was more than happy to sip a Kiddie Cocktail and eat Cheetos like they were going out of style.

Her biggest concern was what she was supposed to tell people if they asked what she had in her shirt.  I told her that it was not a secret and that she could show and tell it to the class if she wanted.  Just so she didn't show them her nins.  She told me she wound up showing her teacher and a few of her other classmates.  My biggest concern was how we were supposed to get the monitor back to the hospital.  It was the day before Evan's surgery so the snow storm we got overnight was already starting and the roads were awful.   Thankfully we made it there and back without incident.  When we got home the long process of removing the stickers began.  Keep in mind that this is a girl who won't even let me rip a band aid off of her.  She sat in a bubble bath for about an hour and a half until the stickers loosened up enough for her to take them off herself.  Not to mention I had to sing about thirty seven made up songs about brave girls taking off stickers and bribing her to "just rip" with the promise of M&M's.

The results had to be reviewed by a pediatric cardiologist so we had to wait for over a week to hear anything.  Our pediatrician called the other day and told me that he had the results and everything came back in the "normal" range.  The test showed incidences of PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) and PACs (premature atrial contractions) but they were a low percentage rate based on the rest of her heartbeats.  He said that it is most likely something she was born with that won't have any impact on her life, but he still recommends that we see a specialist.  I am almost certain that she has the same thing Trent has, but it would be nice to have a name for it and know that she is for sure all right.  

So for now we wait a bit longer.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Surgery in a snowstorm

We had to be at the hospital at six in the morning on Friday to check in for Evan's surgery.  That means we had to be up at about 5:15 throw on clothes and be on the road by 5:30.  It wasn't really a big deal since I couldn't fall asleep on Thursday night and felt like I didn't sleep a wink all night.  I kept waking up and checking the clock hoping that I wouldn't oversleep.   We made it up, we made it into the car and at 5:32 am, we got stuck in the snow leaving our driveway.  That really wasn't what I needed to help with my nerves which were already on the edge that morning.  

Of course our snowfall totals would exceed a foot that morning.  We have had record low snowfall amounts for the last two years.  Leave it to this morning to wage upon us a good old fashioned snow storm reminiscent of my youth.  Luckily our neighbor was out (at 5:30 am) snow blowing his driveway and he and Trent managed to get the car unstuck.  I took off down the road in the deep, deep snow determined not to stop for anything.  Once we got out of our neighborhood and onto main roads, the plows had been through and we made it to the hospital just before six.  

There isn't much to report with these photographs.  It was just mainly me trying to make Evan and myself feel relaxed and comfortable.  We were both tired.  We were both nervous.  We both just wanted to get it over with. 

Waiting to get called back.

In our "cubbie".  Dressed in his gown with his blanket and Laddie. 

He didn't really want to get on the bed. 

Evan and his fluffy socks.  I was so happy when I talked to the nurse the day before and she told me that he could wear pajamas or anything comfy he wanted for the surgery.  I knew he would want his soft pants and fluffy socks.   I really think they helped him feel as comfortable as he could. I was thankful for that and every time I saw him in his favorite clothes it made me smile and feel a bit calmer.

He decided that being comfy in the bed might not be so bad and thought that maybe coloring a bit would make the wait time go faster.

Laddie gets in some coloring as well. 

The only time I started to get a bit flustered was when the anesthesiologist came in to talk to us.  I had a hard time understanding her and I know they have to talk to you about worst case scenarios, but it really is not something you want to hear in that situation.  She seemed nice enough and competent, I just felt uneasy because I have never experienced one of my kids being put under before.

I really liked the surgical nurse.  She came in and was warm and bubbly and told me that they were going to take great care of my little guy.  That is the kind of stuff you want to hear as your baby is getting ready to be wheeled out of the room.  She wondered if he needed to take the "giggle juice" which supposedly relaxes the kids so they don't get upset and cry while they leave their parents.  Evan didn't want to take it.  He was already calm and reminded me again of what a strong person he is.  I couldn't have been prouder of him.  I asked her if he had to take it and she said he seemed fine and that she couldn't see him crying as he left.  I told her that he would be fine.  He wouldn't cry, but I might.  I was tough though.  As they wheeled him out I kissed him on the head and told him I loved him and would see him in a few minutes.  I went into the waiting area and watched his number traverse the board.  PRE OP. OR. RECOVERY.  It was probably only twenty minutes or so before the doctor came in and told me everything went fine and he was already waking up.  A few minutes later they called me back to see him.

He looked pretty rough when I first saw him which is to be expected but is always hard to see.   They put the patch on his eye because I guess when he was first coming out of sedation he kept trying to touch it.  I am sure it felt sore.

Hanging out in recovery playing games on the ipad. 

I am sure it was hard to focus with only one eye because he gave up on the ipad pretty quick and just wanted to lay and be quiet.   The marker on his forehead is where the doctor marked him for surgery.  Evan wondered why he had to write on him and I told him so they don't accidentally cut off your nose instead.  He thought I was pretty funny.  Or maybe not.

He finally started to feel better and seem much more normal.  Talking.  Asking questions.  Eating popsicles. He spent an hour or so in recovery and then we got to head home.

We stopped at Burger King to get him something to eat.  He wanted hot dogs from G & L but since it was only ten in the morning (though it felt like two) they weren't open yet.  He decided on Burger King and asked if he could get a Whopper.  I let him and he ate the whole thing.

He was thrilled about the chocolates that I gave to him for being such a trooper.  He layed low most of the day, but was pretty normal.  Playing on the computer.  Watching TV.  I know he wanted to go out and play in all the snow, but his discharge instructions said he should stay inside for the rest of the day. 

The next day he was feeling fine and his eye was almost back to normal.  It still looked swollen and a bit black and blue.  Of course the spot where the doctor cut off the chalazion was still pretty raw looking and hadn't scabbed over yet.   I really hope that it is gone and that we can ward off any others we see forming.  People that get chalazions tend to get more.  He has already been treated for one in his right eye.  Now that I know what to look for, we just have to be vigilant to get rid of them before they become infected or whatever his was.  I am anxious to go to his follow up appointment on Thursday and hear what the doctor has to say. 

This experience has been something I would not like to repeat and believe me, I am so thankful that it is over and behind us, but I have to say that the whole thing was pretty positive and went quite smoothly.