Saturday, January 31, 2009

72 hour Chewie Update

Well, it's been 72 hours since his surgery. As you can see, those steristrips really lasted a long time-HA! The one across his lip came off Friday am (actually he woke up and it was gone) and then by last night the ones across his nose were history. The shiny stuff is the double antibiotic oinment. That's for both keeping the scabbing soft and to protect the incision. Goes around his penis too--yeah that's alot of fun!
So, I can't get over the difference. He is hearing stuff he has never heard before. At the grocery store yesterday he was so excited because he kept saying, "mom hear that? mom what's that sound?" When he goes in for his one month post op with the ENT, he's going to do audiology too and we'll really see the difference. I could only get a Tuesday appt. for that, so Aunt Mimi is coming up to watch the kids and daddy has to take him in. I've committed to every Tuesday at HospiceCare, so can't change that.
Speaking of HospiceCare, I do have to brag. I managed to save enough with the second job so that I can pay for the second half of the kids' tuition. YEAH!!! Yes, it's been ugly but soon it should be better.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Well, besides the fact that I was woken up by a little boy that crawled on top of me, pushed his face into mine and said "momma my penis hurts" life is good. His steristrip over his lip fell off and I can really see how nice and even his lip is now. I expect next week I'll start massage his lip to make sure that the scar doesn't pull up and that it stays soft.
This is how my family is. Mrs. Jansen, the kindergarten teacher who I just absolutely love and wish I had her energy, asked Rauan to tell the class what kind of surgery his brother was having. Rauan didn't really want to say but she encouraged him. Possibly too much because he told the class that Alihan was having his lip, ears and PENIS (loud voice--moreso then usual) done. Ok--this is a kindergarten class. Can you imagine??? Ted said the look on her face was priceless. Well at least he used the correct term!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Poor guy--doesn't quite get what's going to happen. I had to bribe him with a Diego video to get him to take off his coat. Yes, I am a strong believer in bribery!
Right after we got to our room on yes--P4!!! We lucked out--no overflow unit for us. They came around with a wagon full of soft pillowcases and Chewie likes Diego and dinosaurs. Isn't he cute with his surgical cap?

All I have to say is I am blessed. I have a wonderful family, a couple of great jobs and I have been lucky enough to have --as another nurse said to me--the creme de la creme of doctors for my children. Dr. Del came by and checked on Chewie and left this little note for him. Spoiled much???


Can you believe how much his side profile has changed!! This was this am before we left.
We were out by 9 am. We came home, unpacked and I started washing clothes--the never ending battle. It was hilarious walking out of the hospital--hearing this little bitty--but amzingly clear voice--yelling out as he walked--"My penis hurts, my penis hurts!" Yeah--where I know an amazing amount of people. All I could was say I know baby I know, but it will feel better soon.
So, he sees the urology NP on Thursday am. Ted was given the choice of either picking up Bubba from school or taking Chewie for his follow up (he hasn't decided--anyone placing bets??)
I'll take him back to see Dr. Del on Friday afternoon. I do have to say--being back in the craniofacial swing of things, I miss it so much. Someday.
Oh Julia just said to me Mom, he talks better! Amazing what happens when your ears are cleaned out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brief update

Chewie did great. Wow does he look different! The biggest news is he ended up with ear tubes. The ENT doc told us that he pulled HUGE pencil eraser size wax out of both ears and then he had fluid behind his right ear--so in went the tubes. He was pretty nuts waking up, but he eventually calmed down--and now he's in the room with daddy coloring his Diego poster and I'm in the playroom with Rauan and Julia--trying to keep them occupied.
Hilary--I promise I'll call you tomorrow! It's been busy and the grandparents just got brief updates--that's the extent of my calls. I just wanted to let everyone know that Chewie was doing well--drinking, eating and peeing!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Sometimes it just scares me. Every year we've gone to the Monster Truck show on Saturday night. And we were looking forward to showing it to Chewie. After 12 straight days of work, Emily's birthday party and just the normal day to day--I just told Ted I didn't feel like going. To be honest, I had told him a couple days before I would be perfectly happy just sitting at home and watching TV and being a family! So, we didn't go. Julia crashed early along with the boys--so it wasn't a bad thing. Woke up today to find that a tragic accident had caused the death of the announcer. Thank God we weren't there! As tragic as it was, its not something I want to explain to the kids. While I'm comfortable with death and talking about it--this is just not something I'm ready for them to witness--hopefully they never will. Please say a prayer for those involved in this horrible tragic accident.
As I mentioned yesterday was Emily's birthday party. It was fun. Julia went with me and played with Lucy--Emily's niece. Lucy just happens to be the sister of her deskmate Gabe. Yes it is a small world. When Emily's mom asked how we meet---well, adoption, of course. But, as we talked, we found our lives have intertwined--just missing each other. God finally decided enough of this jogging around and meet already! What fun! And what a great group of women. Julia and I had a blast--and she loved being part of the big girl group.
Today was the start of Catholic schools week. Early church--yes I got my butt out of bed early! Then school tour--where of course Gabe and Lucy were with their mom(Jessica, Emily's sister) dad and baby sister. Yes they ran around and helped tired my children out. Then we went out for brunch--something we haven't done for awhile.
Chewie's surgery is on Wednesday. I'm searching for some stuff for him and today I bought him some Diego movies. He LOVES Diego--I have no idea why! Anyways, I have a sneaking suspicion we'll end up on the overflow unit--ok how stable can you get when your anal retentive mommy is a peds nurse who works with craniofacial stuff and that's what you are there for---and who knows what kind of supplies they will have for distraction?? Granted he might not like watching movies after surgery---but then again, this is the kid who puked, cleaned himself, slept a few hours, and was ready to go about a week ago. He doesn't feel sick for long! Anyways, got the soft foods, got food for Rauan to take in for snack day---because of course I signed up for Rauan's snack day to be the 28th and then scheduled the surgery for them. Brilliant plan huh? Only me! So, I'll keep you up to date as this progresses. And to prove just how anal retentive I am--I'm going to take pictures before and after--and during his recovery. Yeah I'm weird--but you already knew that.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It really stinks when.....

you come home from work, a rather sucky work shift, trip over boots in the doorway and a barking dog, stumble your way into the kitchen then go into your bedroom where your hubby has just opened the bed and somehow, someway a dog has puked all over the sheets. Yeah. Nice. So, at 12:30 last night (or this am however you look at it) I stripped the bed and headed to the washing machine. All I can say is I'm sleeping until noon tomorrow. Snoring and don't wake me! ANd if I find dog puke again on the bed--I'm heading to the couch.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


WOW--today my children--my colorful family--watched the first African American president be sworn in. No matter what your political views, isn't it amazing to watch our colorful country stand together at our nation's capital and see history being made? Rauan came home today and told me how he got to watch the inauguration and see Barack Obama become our president. Our children got to see that anyone--ANYONE--can become a great leader and inspiration to many. Of course Julia had to tell me about the "lady singer and her big hat". That just cracked me up. Leave it to Julia.
I have to say I was blessed today to be at a work environment that encouraged us--actually helped us to arrange our schedules--so we could watch the inauguration if we so chose to do so. And I chose to do so amongst my new HospiceInc. coworkers--young, old, colorful, male, female, from the highest level of employment to the unpaid volunteers. All together. That, in and of itself, is an inspiration.
And just a shout out to my MIL--they loved my stethoscope and the story behind the initials!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I am so excited!!!!

After a totally crappy 4 days at work--something close to miraculous happened tonight. For those of you that have been with us from the beginning of our adoption journey--and I'm talking before Julia--this might ring a bell. When we found out about Julia, we knew about the cleft lip and palate. What we didn't know about was the amniotic banding. All we knew was she had a "deformed right hand". At that time we basically said screw it--whatever it is, we'll deal with it. There was a reason for that. While I grew up, I knew someone who I now think has amniotic banding. I first meet her in second grade and graduated high school with her. What were those thoughts I had??? If L. did just fine ( which I knew she did in high school and I had heard through the grapevine), then I know Julia will. I think that's why I didn't even blink when I saw Julia's hand and then found the band on her ankle. Knowing how well L. did really was the final thing for us--it really sealed the deal and erased whatever speckle of dust I had.
In the years since I have frequently thought of L. and have wished of finding some way to contact her. Just to thank her for the wonderful and positive example she gave and how that influenced me so many years later--and brought me first the most wonderful daughter in the world--and really started the ball for the boys. For some reason I just have felt compelled to write her a letter or something.
Tonight, in talking with a person at work, I got that address. It was truly a fluke, a miracle, an act of God--I don't know what you would call it. All I know if over the next couple of days, I'm going to write that letter and also send some pictures--one of Julia in the orphanage and one now. I need to let L. know that even if she didn't know it--her positive example gave hope and a family to not just one child but 3.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Brrrrr, baby it's cold outside

I hate to complain, especially last year when Ted and I were freezing our butts off in Bishkek and Tokmok (and asking for a heater for our room--and that wasn't helping!) but when they are predicting 50 below with wind chills--and the high isn't even going to hit 0, now that's bloody cold! Again, why are we living in Wisconsin??? Even though the kids like cold--I won't let them play outside. Today the boys had hockey and Julia went to the supper Wal-Mart with me. Don't laugh--on a Saturday that can be a marathon. Tonight--Ted is braving the cold to make steak on the grill. Then he'll brave his favorite winter activities and stick his ice cold hands up my shirt and watch me jump. And I mean brave---cause if it's could enough, he could lose body parts!
The next 2 weeks will be busy. Every day I work with hospice or the UW. Am I crazy? Perhaps. But last night at hospice I laughed like I haven't laughed in years. And that was with the staff. Yes there is tragedy--some of which I experienced last night--but there is also joy in every day living. And interestingly enough, I discovered last night that there is an extremely strong belief in something beyond this current life--not just beliefs, but stuff that the nurses there have experienced. Hummmm, makes you stop and think doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chewie medical update

Chewie's revision is scheduled Jan. 28. Part of the pre-requs for it are a preop physical one month before the surgery. Some of you know the story about how my doctor and her partners contract were "severed" after many many years with the same health organization (he 30+ and she almost 16 years). While I liked her replacement just fine (she is a great doctor and was exceptional with my issues), I preferred my own doctor--who has seen me through the infertility hell and adoption hell and all that followed. Low and behold, she relocated to the University and her office is super close! YEAH!! So, today Chewie got his physical..Ok--the kid has a set of lungs and they are LOUD and ENDLESS! All I can say is she's wonderful and by the end of the appointment he was playing with everything in the office (she has two young boys too). The boy is 43 inches tall and 42 pounds. I honestly can't remember how much he weighed when he came home (30 or 32 come to mind) but he was 36 inches. That averages to just over 1 inch a month!!!! I know he is way muscular then before. She is also fairly certainly that yes, that bump on his ribs is a repaired break. E'nuff said on that issue. Except for the mention of that special place in Hell.
Rauan is home sick. No fever this am--complained of a belly ache, but because of something he said I thought anxiety. So, late morning phone call. Went to school to pick him up and found him lying on the bench outside the office with a bucket. Got in the van and drove him home with Ted following me (yes he was there--Ted was testing my patience this am and I think he was trying to suck up). On the way home what do I hear from Rauan but "I'm hungry,what's for lunch?" Oh--major mom pissiness at that point. Told him he was tired and to go to bed. Ted went in with him and all of the sudden I hear "I'm puking I'm puking" Ted saying "what" and then a major "GET INTO THE BATHROOM NOW!!!" He had vomited all the way down the front of the bunkbed, hit Alihan's bed, hit the ladder--YUCK!!! I think he narrowly missed Ted. Just missed. While I'm cleaning it up, Ted said "I don't know how you stand it" . When I questioned him he said--"how do you do this everyday" Listen--if all I have to deal with is a little vomit--it's a GREAT day! Vomit is nothing.
Ok everyone---a little respect for the nurses! HAHAHA, we deal with a lot of crap--literally and figuratively. There was an interesting article in today's paper about the nursing shortage. Humm do you think he read that? Oh I have many comments on that article--but I'll save that for a rainy day. Main point--see first sentence in the paragraph.

Monday, January 5, 2009

One Year Ago Today

We met our third child Alihan. Our journey started out strangely enough with not planning to have a third child--at least for quite awhile. I moderate an AdoptCleft group and I get pictures and information about cleft-affected children available for referral. So, while scrolling through some info. that had been sent to me--and talking to my mom on the phone ( I multi-task), up popped this picture of Alihan, now known as Chewie. I gasped and sent the picture to my mom. I knew, I just knew. I called Ted, emailed him the picture and told him we were adopting again. Thus started the process. While rough--rougher then the previous 2, I wouldn't change a thing. Our house is loud, crazy, messy--filled with laughter and joys (and a few cries and yelling done by the brothers and sister!) This is what family is meant to be.

Prayers Please

My children returned to school today. I found out from one of my children's teachers that a little girl, C. is quite ill and the prognosis isn't as good as they would like. She's at my hospital, so I really can't give too much info. Although not my patient...gray area. Anyways, please pray for this little girl and her family. I have seen the strength of prayers before--it gave my father an extra 6 years with us here on Earth and prayers brought us a wonderful family. My prayer is that God will guide and comfort this family on their journey--whatever the outcome.
Thank you.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Taking all the fun away--aka--why don't people keep their mouths shut???

Some moms' need a kick in the ass. Sorry but it's the truth. I want to maintain the illusion of Santa for as long as possible. It's the age of innocence---and I want my children to have a childhood. Once that illusion is gone, something changes. So, before Christmas, Julia tells me "Brandon's mom told him that Santa isn't real." Me, trying to maintain my composure while thinking mean things about Brandon and his mom--"really, well, what do you think Julia?" Julia said" I think Santa is real" (Thank you God!!!). My reply was "me too". Of course it didn't hurt that we saw "Santa" driving a car--probably on his way to a party. C'mon people--why wreck a 6 years old fun? Of course, Julia mentioned it again today. I told her Brandon didn't know what he was talking about. Of course, this is the same child that kept telling Julia that her fingers would grow back. Brandon's mom--if you want to "spill the beans" to Brandon--fine whatever--but tell him to keep his mouth shut to other kids. Honestly, no one ever told me--the realization just came about and that's just fine.
Besides, what is Santa? Is Santa the joy and love and the feeling of family that we really try to experience at Christmas time? Is it the love we give our children when we surprise them with gifts? Is it the generosity that makes it way through church groups, homeless shelters, and the Salvation Army to make sure that every child has at least one gift and a decent holiday meal? If that's it, Santa is real and will continue to be real to me and my family forever.
Ok done with my rant. But I'm still pissed off.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

HAPPY 2009/ One year ago

Welcome 2009. 2008 brought us many new things--both good and bad. It was not an easy year, but I wouldn't change it. One year ago today, Ted and I were packing, getting ready to meet Chewie for the first time. It doesn't seem possible that it's been a whole year!
May 2009 bring peace and love to everyone.