Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mommy Moment


I was emailing a friend and recalled the feelings I had the very moment I first laid eyes on Jie Jie and it felt just like yesterday. I wrote to this friend this morning:

I will never forget the day Jie Jie walked into the civil affairs office, called me mama, and walked into my arms. Actually, it's the very second I first saw her enter the doorway that is forever etched into my mind, heart and soul. It was the greatest miracle of my life! I was suddenly a mother, a new identity bestowed upon me by God. I was so filled with love for this tiny little thing and kept falling in love with her more and more every single day that I had her for weeks and months and right when I thought I couldn't love her more, I did.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Morning Surprise


Needless to say, she wasn't wearing one of my PooPockets diapers or this wouldn't have happened!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Fun With Friends



At the zoo again.


A tour of the firestation.
Getting our badges (stickers).


The Jaws of Life. See the wrecked car at the end of this post to see what these exact jaws did this same day. The are quite heavy!


My girls didn't quite get this. They think it was just the regular peace sign all the Chinese kids make in pictures!


The captain thought he was getting cute revenge for when the girls did it to him, but my girls are making the same sign because that's what they do in China.


Showing the girls the pictures of the wreck below.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

From February 2014


Remember THIS from November 2008? Well, Apple finally got to wear it and it will probably still fit her this winter.



My magnolia tree outside my front door is huge and bloomed for about a week then covered my front walkway in pale pink and white petals for another week.



Apple's "fairy dress" was very pretty and was perfect for spring!

1 Year Family Day Anniversay



One year ago in China.


Tonight!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Recovery is Going Well


Apple is recovering very well, but I think today we did a little too much by staying for all of church. She fell asleep sitting on top of the kitchen table while I was combing the surgery effluvium out of her hair!


Exactly the vein I told the anesthesiologist not to try!


Exactly the vein I told her not to try but on the other foot!


Third stick- successful IV site!
Because it's the vein I told her to use in the first place. Duh!


Cooling off carefully in the pool yesterday.


Ready for bed and happy.


Sprawling! You might notice it's a different crib and bedding.
I have two cribs now so I can have Apple in my room after
medical events and during illnesses without having to
disassemble and reassemble her crib each time. The
purple bedding even matches my own bedding.


Today after church.


Taking off the Smurf hat!


Well, the surgeons left all the ponies in - ugh!
Luckily, they left all her hair, too!


Top incision.


Right side incision.


Left side incision, excising the MRSA wound and bringing clean edges together, plus a little extra cut from the coronal incision toward the back of her head to reach the posterior end of the distractor.


Despite what it looks like, I am not pregnant!
I guess it's really time to get in shape.


29 pony tails in all!


Let's go wash that hair, Baby!
I would have posted the after, but like I said, she fell asleep!

A Lizard Tale


Tonight I decided to take a quick dip in my pool to cool off. I was in my bathroom, wearing my swimming suit, when I moved something so I could open the door to the outside and I saw a lizard scramble across the floor. No big deal, I've seen lots of little lizards and I know they are harmless, even in the house, so I opened the door to the outside and tried to coral the thing out. It went the wrong way and scurried all over the place. I was making the appropriate girly squealing noises the more the thing ran. I finally thought I got it to run out the door and it did, but it dropped it's tail, in my bathroom, and the body with the head and legs still attached ran out.

I averted my eyes right away, covered them with my hanging bath towel, just catching the merest glimpse of the wriggling, writhing body-less tail. After a few moments I looked again and it was still wriggling and writhing, so I again averted my eyes into my towel for awhile. Then I checked again and again and it was still moving. A LOT! Why wouldn't the tail just die? But it didn't. And my squeals suddenly turned into sobbing tears into my towel. Even as I was surprised by my outburst of tears and mentally called myself all manner of names, like wimp, big baby, and tried pep talks about tiny little lizard tails, I kept crying, grabbed my pool towel, shut the bathroom door and ran to the phone.

There was a small problem with the phone so while I sorted it out, I calmed down, but I still called my friend, who is a fireman and was on duty across the street at the station, to come and dispose of the tail for me and he did, and I did not, could not, watch.

Would I have disposed of it myself if my friend hadn't been available. Yes, I'd have had to. But I know I would have had to wait until morning, leaving the bathroom door shut all night, while I worked up my courage. I've faced far worse than an undead lizard tail, but something about it just undid me!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

No More Distractors!


The surgery went well! The emergence from anesthesia also went well! My older girls behaved fantastically! I am so proud of them!!!

I haven't seen the incision yet, but I was told that the surgeon did not open Apple's head from ear to ear, as he'd planned, but opened the scalp over each distractor. He was also impressed with my ponytail work. He said he didn't shave her, but I'll not believe it until I see it for myself. He excised the MRSA wound and said that the scalp came together very well. I am looking forward to having a baby without holes in her head!


We got up at 5am, had breakfast and got ready then woke up the baby, popped her into her stroller and went next door to the hospital.


I ponied up Apple's hair along the incision line and everywhere else in order to avoid having her head shaved again. The surgeons were VERY impressed!



For the first time, I beat Apple into the recovery room. I loved that the entire team was very eager to avoid emergence reaction and any other negative reaction and they really worked with me. Except the anesthesiologist, who tried to put the IV in the vein I explicitly told her not to and, of course, it blew.


I was ready with a bottle of electrolyte solution immediately and Apple drank 8 ounces before getting into the PICU and another 4 or 8 ounces once she got up there.


When Apple started to get upset, I popped her into the wagon and started cruising the unit. She settled right down!



Exactly 6h 5m after her surgery, I noticed Apple's face turning red. In another few minutes, she started to swell up. After 10 minutes I was yelling for the nurse to get some Benadryl STAT! It took a total of 35 minutes from the onset to get the Benadryl into the IV and by then the doctor on call had me hook Apple's monitors back on and had epinephrine standing by in case the Benadryl didn't stop the reaction. Luckily, it did and the redness and swelling abated and it looks like Apple got by with only one lasting hive. She gets so many drugs during the surgery that we can't figure out which one or ones she is allergic to.


My little Smurfette!



By 7pm Apple was steady on her feet, though I was still cautious about letting her walk.


She ate and ate and ate and I learned that the steroid she's given in the operating room to reduce swelling also caused extreme hunger and wild behavior.


Now sleeping off and on, sometimes in the crib and sometimes in the wagon. She's only had acetaminophen since the surgery and one dose of Benadryl. She's doing very well with comfort/pain levels and avoiding narcotics seems to have helped her a lot.