Friday, September 28, 2007

New Surgery Date

Our next surgery date.................................................... October 19th.

We are praying for no illness, infection, or diaper rash.

Here are some pics from my 1st official "play date" ever. We met my friend Jen and her daughter Alina for some play and lunch. The girls had a great time and it was wonderful to be out of the house and eat "out to eat" lunch.
Vi Cheesin' on the slide
Alina on the slide and Anara standing by
Alina making her way down and Vi in line again
Anara just checkin' in
Attempting to get all 3 to pose for a picture

Still trying

That's the best we could do

Violet Quotes:

"Come on everyguys, sing with me!"

"Can you guys all laugh?"

"Of course I would love to watch Teletubbies." - no one asked, that was her request.

"Think I'm all done? Think I'm all done?"

"Actually that isn't right Mama."

"Mama, did you know it's my birthday?"

"Mama I waked up, the sun is up, I'm ready to play."

"Do Teletubbies have eyebrows Mama? I will pretend that they have them Mama."

"Hi Tinky Winky, remember me? I'm Violet. I had to go to the Dr. to get a shot." (We walked in the door after her MD appt. and she ran to the Teletubbies sitting on the couch.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I scream you scream

Sometimes I forgot how close in age the girls really are. I expect Violet to act like a kid and Anara to act like a baby. They are exactly 12 months apart. Anara is not a baby and Violet is not a kid. They are more like twins than older/younger siblings. They still lack the ability to reason and both of them are young enough to still be convinced that the world revolves around them. When one cries, they both cry. Even if one of them causes the other one to cry, it turns into both of them being upset. Maybe they will empathize and appreciate each other more being so tied in emotionally, or maybe it just means they don't like loud noises (the other screaming).

I didn't realize that my last post sounded so depressing. My dad called the other day and said, "I was having a pretty good day until I read your blog and now I am kind of down." For the record, I am feeling much better. I think everyone has these ups and downs and we are definitely more and less satisfied with our lives at different times. I am trying to achieve a balance and be content regardless of my emotional state or the moods of the girls. Hopefully my blog wasn't too upsetting and didn't stir up too much discontent for fellow stay-at-home moms. I wouldn't trade my job for anything and I consider myself to have great career satisfaction. Also, I read in one of the cheesy parenting magazines that (unconfirmed) estimates the job worth of a stay-at-home mom to be $138,000 per year.

Also, I really did appreciate all the comments and emails - it made me feel much more sane.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bees make honey, and flies make poop

This is the view that inspired today's title. Violet and I were sitting on the porch enjoying a fudgesicle when she said, "Daddy says bees make honey. Flies only make poop. Flies make poop all the time - is that right Mama? Do flies only make poop?" The bees Violet is speaking of are on our flowers in the front. There are 4 bumblebees in this picture, and there are probably at least 20 on all the flowers at any given time. So far no one has been stung.

Lately when I say I am a stay-at-home mom, I really mean it. The past few weeks I have lacked the motivation to pack up the girls and go anywhere - no weekly trips to the library, no zoo, no museum, not even one single trip to the grocery store. I might have been driving myself mad staying at home, but when I started thinking of outings I felt tired.

All this time at home has the analytical part of my brain in overdrive while the functional part of my brain must be frozen. Usually I crave at least an hour of quiet while the girls nap, but today is too quiet and my brain is toast. I am not sure how to best write "stream of consciousness" but here were some of my thoughts...

Man, I wish Anara would stop banging her head on the floor when she gets mad. Oh well - at least she has started to move to the rug to do her banging on a softer surface.

What am I going to fix for dinner.

What tricks should I use to get Anara to eat dinner?

Do they still make pudding pops? Why didn't my mom ever buy those?

Will my kids be severely tramatized because of my lack of motivation and structure recently? Do I need some sort of daily lesson plan to keep their brains engaged? I wonder how much TV they can safely watch.

I hope Anara's head-banging isn't causing permanent damage.

What should we eat for dinner? (This has really been an issue for me lately. I usually love to cook and can't figure out why my brain isn't coming up with healthy and tasty ideas for meals. Maybe it's the not-quite harmonic cries of "up please" encircling my legs while I try to cook, or the fact that I have to wrestle with the girls to eat what I fix so macaroni always looks like a good option?)

I wonder if Beethoven's "Fur Elise" will always make Violet think about the ice cream truck? (Every time this song comes on her CD player, Violet says, "Mama, is that the ice cream truck?" Our one legitimate ice cream truck, Mr. Swirl, plays "Fur Elise". The rest of the ice cream trucks are ugly, rusted out vans playing electronic songs with "HELLO" interjected into the song. Some of our ice cream trucks even make their rounds as late as 10:30. You might be wondering what kind of ice cream truck makes their rounds at 10:30pm - maybe the kind selling more than just ice cream?)

What should I fix for dinner tonight?

When will Anara's surgery be scheduled?

And that is a tiny glimpse of my less than exciting thoughts while I folded 3 baskets of clean laundry (yes Mom, I actually had 3 baskets of wrinkly, old laundry to fold that wasn't crisp from the dryer).

Now I am wondering what other stay-at-home moms do and think about. Usually I am preoccupied filling sippy cups, wiping bottoms and noses, and reading stories, but when I am not, you see what happens. What do other moms preoccupy themselves with at home?

My brain was definitely ready for Violet to wake up from her nap after 1.5 hours of silence. Anara was still sleeping so Violet and I headed outside for a fudgesicle. Once it started dripping she was too freaked out to eat so it ended up on her instead of in her.

The only logical way to clean up after a fudgesicle

A little modesty

Epilogue: Hopefully I don't sound too down or dull. Usually life at home with two toddlers is pretty exciting, and I did finally make it to the grocery store yesterday afternoon. We have (I) been a little down since Anara's surgery was cancelled, but I think the clouds are beginning to break. Nothing a couple nights of good sleep can't cure.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Make new friends, keep the old....

This is my favorite picture from our most recent attempt at portraits. We weren't able to get even one good pose of the girls together, but this is the picture we see several times throughout the day.

For those of you who are new, here is a synopsis of our story: We have one biological daughter, Violet (2yr), and one adopted daughter, Anara (1yr). We adopted Anara from Kyrgyzstan in April. Anara has a correctable medical condition, bladder exstrophy and epispadia (basically she was born with her bladder outside her body and there it remains). Because of this birth defect and a couple other complications she is awaiting a 2nd surgery date (the 1st was cancelled because she had an infection). We are hoping to hear about a surgery date as early as tomorrow. Anara's long term care plan will be lifelong catheterizing as the new bladder will not function as quite the same.

For those of you who are old and wondering what I am doing - I recently started reconnecting with the adoption community and have invited some people to join our blog. I thought that I should recap a little so that people wouldn't have to scroll endlessly to piece things together.

I think that is the basic picture. Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Healthy Skin

Little Monkeys

Nice day for a walk


Anara's diaper rash is finally healed. The rashy skin has peeled of to reveal a nice, pink layer of healthy skin beneath. It's almost like a sunburn. I think it was the removal of the antibiotic. We are going to try and keep her off antibiotics for now. We will pray for no infection and watch her very closely. A couple nights ago she had a rash all over her body (face, arms, legs, and stomach). This is going away and now that just looks like extremely dry, bumpy skin.

Ready to start potty training?

Not quite

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One long week

Sitz Bath

The cancellation of Anara's surgery has been a bit of a bummer. I didn't realize how much of a bummer until Nate went back to work Monday and life was back to normal. I wasn't looking forward to the surgery in the same way that you would look forward to a fun vacation, but it was going to be a change from the daily grind and it would finally make Anara's life a little easier (and our lives).

Anara still has the worst diaper rash I have ever seen. Her urologist stopped her daily antibiotic yesterday. Anara has to be on continuous antibiotics because she has kidney (vesicoureteral) reflux and hydronephrosis (swollen kidneys). Without antibiotics she is at risk for infection. With antibiotics she constantly battles diarrhea and diaper rash. This is the 4th antibiotic we have tried and they all have the same effect. Today is Anara's 9th day of the yeast medication (diflucan) and it is still blistering with new life. If it doesn't look better by tomorrow we will go to Riley and see the wound nurse again.

As for the surgery, we don't have a new date yet. We would really like to get something on the calendar, but I hate to keep asking the urologist - I know he hasn't forgot about us.

Violet quotes:

I said, "Vi, you need to pick up your toys before Daddy gets home." Her long reply, "Daddy will say, 'Violet did you make this mess.' and I will say, 'Yes Daddy' and he will say, 'Did you clean it up' and I will say, 'nope'".

"Dear God, please help Mommy wear a dress like a lady and look like a penguin. Help the penguins to get some snow and make a tunnel."

"Dear God, please help Anara to feel better. Please fix her bladder. Help her shoulder, help her to obey Mommy and take her medicine too."

Monday I was a little frustrated and she had been pretty whiny. I told her, "You better pray that Mommy has patience" but I was just being sarcastic. Immediately she folded her hands, bowed her head and said, "God please help Mommy not to lose her patience and help her have some patience." She went on and on and I can't remember the whole prayer but it made me laugh (and humbled me) that she took me literally.

A friend was visiting one afternoon and Violet looked at her and said, "I am going to pray that God will give you a baby in your belly."

"Is God downstairs?"

Conversation that I overheard between Violet and the mail lady: "Hi mail lady. Do you have some mail? See my jambos? "See these hearts on my jambos? Bye mail lady. Have a nice day. Are you going to go get in your white car?"

I said, "Violet, Uncle Joel might be coming over to see you today." Violet said, "Uncle Joel will say, 'Oh Wylet, you are so pretty.'"

Today she was picking dandelions and bringing them to me. I was sticking them behind my ear and she looked at me and said, "No Mama, only monkeys do that. Take those out of your ear. That's what monkeys do."

Handy Bootey

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

No Surgery Tomorrow

We saw our doctor this morning and they decided it is not safe to go ahead with surgery tomorrow. We are a little disappointed, but know that it is for the best. We are hopeful that the doctors will find a date soon and that we won't have to wait too long. Dr. K. said maybe it could happen next month, but we are not going to get our hopes up. We will pray again that Anara doesn't get sick or a fungal infection before the next surgery date.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I hate the waiting game - I would rather play Hungry Hungry Hippo

(Simpson's quote)

Anara is sleeping now and we are praying that God is healing her yeasty diaper rash right now. Hopefully when she wakes up her bottom will be nice and clear. I can't believe a small thing like diaper rash could cancel such a major procedure. I know that the doctors are looking out for Anara's best interest and we are thankful to have such great physicians looking after her. We are also thankful that most importantly the Great Physician has our best interests in mind.

Continue to pray with us that things will proceed as planned, but we trust that God has it all under control and are very grateful for His sovereignty. Things are kind of crazy right now, but we know this time is only temporary. Pray for Vi as she has to go through this stressful time without the normalcy she is used to.

We are supposed to be admitted for surgery tomorrow morning between 8-10am. We will see our urologist first and the orthopedic surgeon will make the call on the diaper rash. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday afternoon (I originally thought morning) and they still anticipate it taking 8-12 hours.

I think we will have the blog updated by a friend posting comments throughout the day. If you are holding your breath (you must be a relative) then you can check the comment from the last post to see if there is any new news.

Thanks for praying!

Bad News

Amanda took Anara in to see the surgeon this morning because he was concerned about a bad diaper rash that she's gotten over the past couple days. It's sounding right now like they may have to reschedule the surgery for a later date because it's a yeast infection and there is too great a risk of other infections developing during the surgery. It's very frustrating because we did all we could to keep her healthy leading up to this. At this point we have no idea when it would be rescheduled. We'll take her back in tomorrow morning for them to make the final call, so I guess all we can do is pray that she will be completely healed and free of this rash by then. Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement. We'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Really Walking!

I wish I could post a video because Anara is really walking. It is cute and she is so proud of herself. She has been taking several steps between people for a while now, but she never walked without someone to walk to. Now she is getting up on her own and walking all around the house. This morning she was trying to master the transition from the wood floor to the tile floor in the kitchen. She worked and worked until she could finally step over without falling. It is probably good that she started walking pre-surgery - maybe it won't take so long to get back up on her feet after surgery.

We will be admitted to the hospital Wednesday between 8-10am and her surgery will be early Thursday. It is estimated to be an 8-12 hour procedure. I am sure that Nate will post an update sometime Friday.

I am posting from Nate's computer - no news on whether they have been able to salvage our stuff. Oh well.