Friday, August 28, 2009

Click on a picture to see the bigger collage....

A day in pictures...Surgery Day
The yellow pj pictures are from before surgery.
The others are all from after surgery.
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We survived. I think.

Well, thats another hurdle behind us. We all survived in one piece, except one of us is a little sore and a few of us are a little worn out and I think one of us didn't sleep much at all last night. We will survive. This is all I can muster for now:

  • Even a toddler knows when something is about to happen. Kale constantly wanted OUT of his hospital room. Anywhere but in there was where he wanted to be.
  • You can watch them give your son "goofy juice" and then wonder if it was just flavored and colored water because he isn't acting sleepy, goofy, or any manner of sluggish. AND since they claim it will make him that way, he can't be running around so you have to hold him. This kid is always in motion people. Always. He didn't want to be held and he sure wasn't feeling goofy, sleepy, or sluggish. My arms are sore. Who needs a gym when you can just wrestle a toddler for 30 minutes straight.
  • When they say that they are going to take your son down the hall, they must secretly whisper: and we will make you hand your crying, kicking, screaming son over to us and then we will walk the remainder of the longest hallway EVER with him looking over our shoulder back at you while he screams Momma, Dada.
  • The longest hallway EVER is in Arkansas Children's Hospital Outpatient Surgery Ward. I had to plant my feet to make sure I didn't take off chasing them down that stupidly long hallway.
  • Turns out I can feel guily, awful, and bawl my eyes out over handing my son off to someone. I will NOT do it that way again. If he has to have surgery in the future, if I have to I will resort to putting on scrubs and being the newest intern on the block...
  • There is a correlation between me messing around with Kale's stuff in his stroller and us getting phone calls from the doctor and recovery room. I went over to do something (I don't remember what) and the doctor called...since I was closest, I got to talk to the doctor...all went well and was finished. Then, as we waited for the call back to recovery, I decided to walk over to get Kale's clothes from the stroller. I had picked up a diaper, shirt and just grabbed his shirt when they called. If there is a next time, I am taking the stroller and don't care if he has outgrown it....there is a correlation between that thing and good phone calls in those types of situations. Don't tell me I am insane. I already know this fact.
  • They ended up having to give him an IV and obviously some pain meds through the IV because for a brief moment the doctor thought it might take longer than planned. It was VERY obvious that he was NOT in pain when he finally woke up. It was longer than the 30 minutes they told us it might be, which nearly drove me past my level of being patient while our son was just laying back there.
  • They left his IV in just as a precaution. Well, its not every day that a toddler discovers a board, tape, and tube connected to his ankle. He found it very interesting for about .029 seconds and then was very determined to pull out the IV. He failed, but only because the orange popsicle arrived and then we kept that leg covered with a blanket.
  • Two orange popsicles later, it looked like the orange glob had attacked both me and Kale (and the floor). His hands looked like he had molested an orange marker or doused them in orange finger paint. least it all matched his hair, which was also sticky from orange popsicle.
  • Once they took out the IV, they decided to let us go because we were going anyway. We got Kale washed off and dressed and all our stuff gathered and stood in the doorway. The nurse looked at us and said "I think ya'll are ready to go". Yep, you got it lady!
  • Anesthesia can cause funny things to happen in the rear end department. There was a lot of diaper rumbling going on...and continues to be. He was on diaper number 3 and needed to be changed when I left for work this morning. Who knew Kale could give his daddy a good run for his money in the "rear end noised a man can make" department!
Thats all I got for now. I need a morning coke. And thank the good Lord above that its Friday and after 4:45 today, I don't have to be back at work for 10 days!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Going in a circle

Lately, I feel like I am going in a circle. No, not the way that all moms feel so many more times than they want to admit. Its a different circle. Maybe it is a mom circle, just one that is still new to me.

Kale has surgery tomorrow. Its outpatient. He will be "under" for probably 30 minutes or less. I am totally freaked out by it.

I have been thinking a lot lately about my ability to hand Kale over to someone else. As in, hand him off to my mom, daycare, etc. I don't think I struggle with it the way that some mom's do. And I feel guilty for that. Mom guilt is a funny thing. I don't think I will ever get a real handle on it. I don't feel guilty (usually) for handing him off, because usually its for a good reason (my sanity, going to work, etc). I feel guilty that I don't shed tears when the other mom's do. I feel guilty that my son transitions like a champ while the other kids cling. Yes, I know, mother guilt makes no sense.

I have thought about it long enough that I have a pretty good theory, at least for the moment. My theory is this. Kale was literally taken from my body and after a 10 second visit with me, he was taken to another part of the hospital. I didn't see him for the next 10 or so hours. I had to trust nurses I had met were taking good care of him. I had to trust that when Ep and my parents and anyone else shared "Kale updates", that they were giving me the whole picture. I was on a drip that took me to the land of the black hole. So, I had to trust.

I had to trust again when I got discharged from the hospital and we had to leave Kale there. I had to trust those nurses that had bonded with my son and husband. I was busy getting well, while they were busy taking care of my son.

When Kale was 17 days old, I learned a whole new level of trust and probably one of the hardest lessons a parent can learn. Sometimes, you can't fix whatever is wrong with your child. You have to hand him over to Someone who can. All you can do is fall on your knees and pray that God enables the doctors and nurses to keep your child alive. You have to stand back in a corner and be told to look away when they do things to your child that they don't want you to remember. By the way, you remember, but you don't have the visual to go with it. For 2-3 hours we watched as they worked on stabilizing Kale. There was nothing we could do except pray and be there to support him. I know those two things weren't little. The praying part was big. I don't think I have ever prayed that hard or felt so helpless in my entire life. I had to hand my kid over to God. Its easy to do that in the good times. I will be honest here. Its not always so easy to do that in the hardest of times. I have faith, but I am also very human. Then, we had to watch as they took Kale upstairs to the Cardio ICU. We couldn't go with him. That was hard. We had to wait until he was moved to his "bed" and settled. Well, after an hour or so, I went looking for him. This time, I didn't leave the hospital the entire time he was inpatient. But I did have to give him time to rest and take care of myself. During those times, I had to trust his nurse was watching over him well.

So, when you have had to trust other people with your child's life not once but twice in a time span of less than a month and ALL before he was even supposed to be born in the first place. Whether you like it or not, feel guilty or not, if does affect your ability to hand your child off to someone else and trust them to care for him.

And just as I come to terms with this, there is a new factor. Tomorrow will be different. Its something we have known about for a while. I have known that I will hand him off either before or after he is sedated and someone else will be in charge of him for a bit. Its different this time. My momma bear protectiveness is seemingly in full freak out mode. Last night, he had a hard time sleeping. Before he landed in our bed for the remainder of the night, I seriously thought about going back into his room and just sleeping in there with him so I could hold him close. The tears that didn't come when I handed him off at daycare on the first few days or even after we transitioned to a new class last week are now working overtime at the mere thought of handing him over for an hour tomorrow morning. I know that daycare and outpatient surgery are different. But in reality, its the same thing...handing your child off to someone and expecting them to watch over him while you aren't there.

Oh the glory of being a mommy and going in circles and thinking your have yourself figured out and then realizing that you don't have a clue!

I know this probably seems like one big ramble, but its what has been going on in my head for days now. I had to get it out and want to be able to look back on it in the event that another circle leads me back to here...

Friday, August 21, 2009

David's wedding

David, my long time guy friend, FINALLY got married. Yea! I have already asked him when the babies will begin to appear. His first response to me was 3 years. At his wedding, I heard him say 2 years. I bet by this week, its down to 1 year, what do you bet?

He and I have been friends since high school and I love him dearly. NO, now don't start. Its not and never has been THAT kind of love. The only time we have held hands was in support of one another during a rough time and there has never been any kissing or hanky panky involved (unless you count a few brother/sister type pecks on the cheek). I helped him stay out of the principal's office in high school. He met my dad by going to fast on radar. He nearly came undone when he realized that was MY dad who pulled him over. My mom still knows his favorite brand of cereal. After his freshman year of college, I traveled with his mom to bring him home for the summer. I stayed with him in the dorm...and we slept on the only available option...a twin size mattress. We slept back to back and somehow neither one of us fell off the mattress and onto the concrete floor. Maybe it was because we only got about 4 hours of sleep that night. I spent a week with him in Colorado living in his room in a fraternity house. I slept on the couch and by mid-week the few other guys in the house (it was summer) truly understood that he had not brought home a live-in lover.

Ok, back to the wedding. I was so excited to see his family and meet the love of his life. She rocks. The wedding was beautiful, although Ep spent the entire wedding in the truck with Kale because there was no way Kale was going to stay quiet in a glass chapel and because you aren't allowed to be anywhere but the glass chapel, at least according to the groundskeepers. Seriously, they couldn't even go on the very pedestrian friendly paths. Ok, well, whatever. I enjoyed the wedding and resisted the urge to stand up and yell HOORAY when they said "I do". I did give my buddy a low five as he walked out of the chapel with his bride. I still have no idea how he convinced her to marry him and that is said with all my love. David will laugh if he read that and also say it is true.

We hit the reception. And I mean hit. Kale tore through the place at Mach 5 and had it all explored in 3.2 seconds. A sit down meal. With a non-sit-down-to-eat-for-more-than-ten-minutes toddler who was already pushing his bedtime. Wow. We lived. Kale and my parents were back at the hotel by 9pm and Kale slept all night. We had fun until they closed down the reception at 10pm. I saw people I hadn't seen in quite a while. I realized that some people never change. Oh, and we had fun. We took the truck back to the hotel and utilized the $5/person limo ride. Ep expected a bus. I expected a limo. By the way...shhh, but it was my first limo ride ever. Yep, really. At my age. They were skipped at prom, my wedding, and everything in between. We joined some of my old buddies and thier wives and had a good time.

One of the funniest things I heard all night: When leaving the reception, people were making comments about changing into more comfortable clothes. I made the comment that this was the first time I had worn a dress in I don't know when, so I wasn't going to change. One of my old buddies laughed and said he was going to admit what he had told his wife earlier in the evening..."I don't think I have EVER seen Marcia in a dress." True, he probably hadn't. I wore a dress to school two times in high school: one was required while I gave a speech in class and the other was the result of a dare. I didn't exactly show up to soccer practice with the boys in a dress either. Most days, I don't think they remembered I was even a girl.

I wish I would have had more time with my buddy. However, I was glad to see him happy and in love. That is a very, very good thing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am like a library completely overdue. Anyone who knows me well at all will know that when I get this quiet, something is happening in the background. And yes, that is the case. I don't have time to update in detail now, but when I do have time, here is what you might read about:

My work---wow, never realized it could become so dramatic. I can't, or rather won't, say much. God forgive me, but what goes around comes around and I am smiling about it. I try not to smile about it, but I can't help it. However, I can say someone on our team has seemingly been put on administrative leave. We don't know when he will return. Today, the idea of him returning next week was eliminated. I don't think its related to the frustration he brought to my desk two weeks ago, but I am sure that his behavior at that time did not help his situation. I got caught between a rock and a hard place. My boss is out on maternity leave, so I marched myself down to HR for some help. Another member of our team retired a few months ago. Can you say stressful? I better stop there...

David's wedding--see the next post for that one!

He can shake yes--I randomly discovered that Kale knows how to say yes by shaking his head. He can't/won't (thats a different story) say either no or yes, but he can shake his head to indicate either one. I asked if he wanted a fruit bar for breakfast and he nodded yes. I picked my chin up off the kitchen floor and asked again. Same response. Wow. And its been going ever since. We get yes or no, just without words. Stubborn kid!

Surprise--Catfish Hole--last weekend on the way to a wedding, we stopped for the night in Alma. No trip to Alma is complete without a trip to eat at Catfish Hole. Not even Conway traffice can come between us and Catfish Hole. Anyone who has ever lived in/near Conway will appreciate that line. For the record, Ep still and will seemingly forever have Conway traffic freakoutitus. God forbid that we actually be stuck in Conway traffic. Just mentioning it can bring beads of sweat to Ep's forhead. We have been known to be fully packed and ready to go at 5pm, but we can't leave our house until 6pm because if we aren't over the bridge by 4pm we will get stuck in Conway traffic and thus its just not worth leaving at that point until after 6pm. Yep, its that bad. Back to Catfish Hole. We made it through Conway traffic and arrived around 7pm with a soaked little boy. Apparently, he opened some major flood gates. We changed him in the parking lot and headed for the door. I start saying "No way!" and Ep looks at me like "what could we possibly have forgotten now?" and I again say "No Way!!!" I ask him if he remebers my friend Kim who has the kids who hate wearing clothes. As he looks at me like I am a loon, he says yes. I said, well, there she is and there are her kids (wearing clothes, I should add). We walk on around the corner and there sits Robin Harper, who I love like crazy. She trusted me with her kids. I am completely sold that God allowed me to keep her kids so I could be ready for at least half the stuff that Kale will put me through. It was just a good time and for once the food took a back seat to all the happiness I got from seeing some much missed friends.

Have you seen a hecicaca? If not, go to the airport and look to the sky. When you hear a dull roar, you will know that a hecicaca is near. Oh no, that is NOT an airplane or plane. Its a hecicaca. If it flies with an engine, then its a hecicaca. You can ask, Kale do you see the plane and he will say hecicaca. So far, he loves things with wheels and things that fly. He will eventually kill me with worry, I am sure of it. He is his father's son and we both love to be adventurous. Yep, dead.

Bobby? Baby? Goggy? It seems that each day brings forth a new word. I am sure that school is only adding to the mix of his words. However, nobody gave us a Kale-ese word manual, so most days we go through a series of this? this? this? when trying to figure out what his new word represents. Some days, I think he does it just to stump us. At the moment, I think Bobby is bootie, baby is baby, and goggy is doggy. Yesterday it was ice, ice, ice all the way home from school. I can't figure out why they would have been around ice at school. We don't live in Alaska and its August in the south for gracious sakes. I still don't know if ice is ice or something else. My poor head.

Treating new school like an old school pro--they transitioned to new classes this week at Kale's school. I was sure he wouldn't transition well. To spite me, he had to have been one of the easiest transition in the whole place! Even the toddler director commented that he transitioned like he had been doing it since he was born. In a way, he has. I won't go there. Kale went from being the baby of the class to the second oldest in his new class. This also means that all of his former classmates when to another class, but never fear because they are all in one big classroom that is divided by a half wall in 2/3 of the room. So, if he starts to long for the older kids...they are right there to remind him that he was once the baby of the class. By the time he gets picked up in the afternoon, they are usually all combined back into one group. The older kids, one little girl in particular, will tell Kale when I show up if he happens to not see me. So, if I want to spy on him, I have to not only hide from him but also the little tattle-tale! She literally says Kale, Momma. Kale, Momma. And like her little soldier he pops up and comes looking for me.

Funny what happens at school vs home--namely, nap time. Getting Kale to lay down for a nap without a bottle at home is like asking Ep to walk on a tightrope suspended 50ft in the air without a safety net. Its not going to happen. Well, it can, but you have to engage in world war 4, 5, and 6 to get it accomplished. By then, you need a nap as well. First week of transition and I am all worried about his nap time getting all messed up. In his old classroom, they gave him a bottle between lunch and naptime. He can't lay down with it at school because it breaks the DHS rules. Little stinker. You know what he did this week. He went over to his mat in his new room, laid down, no bottle involved after lunch, and went to sleep. They say that that kids will act differently at school. Ya think? His teacher did say that he was talking after he laid down and she told him to be quiet and covered him up...and he got quiet. Seriously? That actually works? He knows what it means to be quiet? For real? Ugh. Again, I am dead.

We need to check out--and thats all I am saying about that.

Ok, gotta run. Ya'll are just going to have to be patient. Ha! The queen of impatience telling everyone else to be patient. Yep, that would be me being the pot and that makes you the kettle!

Kale and his cousin Fletcher

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Monday for the books, no repeats please

Well, it had to happen sometime. Kale finally got sick and has ran a fever. He apparently picked up a "fever" virus somewhere along the way. He was cranky on Sunday night, but then nearly slept all night. When he started whining, Ep went to get him and found a pee soaked bed. Somehow he managed to pee on every single piece of bedding--both sheets, blanket, quilt, and all the way through to the mattress pad. We had just transitioned him to the full size bed for the first night, so all of that bedding didn't even survive the first full night before it needed to be washed.
Kale was just in a diaper when Ep put him in the bed with me...and he was as hot as the roman candle Larry tried to shoot off last month. I mean HOT. I called for a consult, since she happened to still be visiting from the weekend. My mom said he was a firecracker. We took his temp and he was at 101 and some change. Not good. This is the first time Kale has ever run a fever. I called the doctor and God must surely love me because they had an available appointment in an hour ON A MONDAY MORNING! Wow! Last time we called on a Monday, it was 3:30pm for the earliest appt! So, fever virus it is. Kale was clingy, lethargic, achy, and HOT. A dose of Motrin helped all of that, at least a little bit. After the doctor visit, we met Mema and Papaw at Cracker Barrell for an early lunch. Kale fell asleep on the way home, and continued his nap in our bed. I was tired I napped as well. Kale slept for over 3 hours and I slept a good part of that as well. Mistake! Oh well. His daddy got a good dose of a not feeling well little boy last night as well. I ended up sleeping (or rather, laying awake) next to Kale because every time I would hear him whimper or make a noise, I was absolutely certain that his fever was running out of control and would get too high while I was sleeping (or laying awake) in our room. By the time I resigned to sleeping in his room, I crawled into bed with a cold little boy. Cold? Yep. The motrin was working overtime! It cracked the higer fever (for now) and he is just running a really low grade fever now, if any at all. He is running all over the house and throwing matchbox cars across the room at I think we are on our way to a full recovery!
Hopefully, I can send him to school tomorrow. He has to have a fever below a certain level for 24 hours before he can return. So, I need to find out what the magic number might be and see if we qualify!
We are going to run errands watch out world!

We crack ourselves up...taken last week on a rainy deck afternoon.