Friday, January 13, 2012

Tank's Surgery

Tank had his first surgery when he was 21 months old. I shared a bit about that day here. He had his adenoids de-bulked and tubes inserted into his ear drums (Myringotomy). No doubt, it was a rough day. Unfortunately, his second surgery this past week was much worse. He had his adenoids de-bulked again (apparently they can grow back!), new tubes inserted into his ear drums, and his tonsils removed

I'll be honest, I was not prepared for how difficult the healing process would be after a tonsillectomy. It was heart wrenching to watch our baby boy suffer so intensely. Plus, going through this with a child too young to reason with, or explain what's happening, or tell him it's going to be ok, made it even worse.

Let's start from the beginning.....

With his surgery at 10am, I was sure that the fasting was going to be an issue. This boy likes to eat! But with all the commotion of admitting, meeting with nurses and taking vitals he didn't seem to notice. This was a blessing.

Check out his face in the second pic. The blood pressure cuff was inflated.

We soon headed upstairs to the pre-op waiting room. I vividly remember this room from last time. I remember the sick and panicky feeling I had as soon as we set foot inside. I remember we waited for over an hour, which didn't help the panic. This time I was prepared to wait and already knew the worst part would be the separation when they took him into the operating room. I tried not to imagine how scared he would be or picture his crying face or hear his
voice calling out for me. Even now I can't keep my composure writing about it.

When it was time for him to go the nurse asked if he would like to go "for a ride in the wagon". They have a red wagon that's used to lure bring children into the OR. He willingly climbed in and buckled up. It's hard not to feel guilty knowing exactly what was going to happen to him when he has no idea. One of the added pains of doing this with a child too young to explain this too.

It was one hour later they called me up to the recovery room on the fifth floor. Only one of us was allowed to go and the nurse had given us this big speech about understanding what being in the recovery room would be like and to be sure whichever one of us went could handle it. I had gone last year and was quite sure I would be fine. I'm a farm girl after all!

I rushed up to the fifth floor and to my weeping, disoriented, hurting little man. He looked rough and didn't seem to know I was there. He kept calling for "mama". I would turn his head so he would see it was me, he would relax and lay his head down against me, and then five seconds later he would cry out for me and we'd go through the whole thing again.

Soon the surgeon arrived and started telling me how the procedure had gone. She talked about the fine details of the after care and how to handle the situation if bleeding should occur. It was around this time that another child was wheeled into recovery. She was making inhuman noises and had medical equipment coming out of everywhere. It was then I noticed the man next to us
who had bags of blood hanging off his bed. Then things got a little fuzzy..... I could see the doctor's lips moving but I couldn't hear her any more. I felt very hot and could feel my legs going. I quickly sat down in the rocking chair to catch myself. The nurse took Tank and forced my head between my knee's. Cold wet clothes and ice packs were flying everywhere. Tank was screaming bloody murder, and I was so embarrassed I thought I might die.

I'm mortified to report that both Tank and I were wheeled back to his hospital room on a stretcher.

For the first 5-6 hours Tank was eating freezies, playing with his toys, and seemed to be in a manageable amount of pain. I thought, no problem, we can handle this.

Then 6pm hit. The pain got so intense he refused to swallow - even his own saliva. He drooled, and cried, and was extremely restless. He went back and forth between Andy and I, refused to drink anything or take his meds without a fight. It was horrible.

Things did not improve as the night went on. By morning he was croupy and his throat was dry. This is bad. It was a long and difficult day of forcing liquids into him. The doctor left it up to us whether we wanted to stay another night or head home. We thought he would do better at home, and so we were discharged.

I'm happy to report that we were correct. Soon after we got home Tank took his meds willingly, had a drink, and even ate some yogurt. We were thrilled. He's had a few bouts of refusing to swallow since we've been home. This is not fun for anyone involved, but we're getting through it. It stinks having to wake him multiple times a night but we know we have to stay ahead of the pain.

A side effect neither Andy or I had expected is Tanks voice sounds different. Just slightly different and likely not many other's will notice it, but we do.

We are currently on day 5 and the recovery time is a full two weeks. I sincerely hope we are through the worst of it though I've heard nightmares about days 7-10 when the wound scabs up and begins to pull.

Hopefully he's too young to remember any of this, but I can promise you his mama and daddy will remember every bit of it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

So in love....

...with this place! You may recall we visited the cottage back in September and I shared a bit about that in this post. It's a special place with special people.

It doesn't get much better than campfires, smores, hot chocolate with marshmallows, playing in the leaves, and hide & seek in the dark...which I have a sneaky suspicion the adults enjoyed more than the kid's! It's strangely amusing scaring the daylights out of kids!

What? Just me?

I grew up on a farm in northern Ontario, and some of the simple pleasures I enjoyed as a child are not a part of my kids every day lives. Things like wide open spaces to run, play and explore. Don't get me wrong, my kids have very blessed lives, but there's something about country living that will always be near and dear to me. Whether it's visiting my family on the farm, or a weekend at the cottage. It feels like home.

I think these folks might have something to do with that too....

My little lumber Jack!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Patch!

This years trip to the pumpkin patch was much less eventful than last years. For starters, I actually brought home pumpkins! It was a couple weeks back and the hubs was away with the good camera. All I had was my ipod camera so the pictures aren't as nice as most years.

Of course I tried to capture the annual shot of the kids on the hay bails (apparently I missed a year)....


Then it was off to find the perfect pumpkins!

I told Sassy if she could carry this one to the truck, she could take it home.

I'm happy to report we took home normal sized pumpkins and they adorn our front step.

They also had the haunted house set up inside the barn. Tank was very interested in all the freaky witches and skulls hanging from the rafters. While repeating "too scary!" he moved from one to other examining the ugly faces. Sassy L, not to be shamed by her little brother's bravery, followed at a distance. And it was all I could do to not reach out and tickle up her back like a spider. I'm cruel that way.

So that was it. Nothing overly special. Yet immensely special because of the tradition and the memories we made with each other. A lesson I'm trying to get through my thick skull lately is how I need to relax and just enjoy time with my kids. Because it won't be long before they don't want to go to the pumpkin patch with mom anymore. What a sad day that will be...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blonde Brownies

These brownies are quick, easy and they feed a crowd. I needed something to bring in to work to help celebrate with a friend who's welcoming a new baby. I didn't have a lot of time and needed it to be ingredients I always have on hand. Enter blonde brownies!


1 cup golden crisco
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (opt)


Preheat the oven to 350 (325 if your oven is hot).
Beat together crisco and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into wet ingredients along with chocolate chips.
Press into a 9x13 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not over bake!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Memories Made

Last weekend we were lucky enough to spend the weekend at my Aunt and Uncles new cottage up north. It's totally amazing, and....well, up north which made it extra perfect to me.

There was smores and campfire, eating outside and playing in the water. But the most memorable thing for my kidlets was their first fishing experience. Uncle Evan delivered big time on this adventure.

Of course Tank needed no encouragement what-so-ever to jump into the boat and hit the water....

Sassy L was a completely different story. She repeatedly asked questions like "Can the boat tip? How does it float? What if sinks? Are you sure there aren't holes in it?" Once we coaxed her into the boat the questions turned into frantic statements "We're moving! It's tipping! Don't stand up! Slow down! I'm gonna fall in! Why do bad things happen to good people?!"

Then we started up the boat and pushed off shore.

My poor child...I've never seen a kid so cautious and worrisome. Of course like many things in the past, once she calmed the heck down she realized she was enjoying herself. We found a quiet spot, cast in our lines, and waited for the fish to bite. That seemed to distract her.

And looky here, she even caught her very first fish! (Well, Evan caught it and she helped reel it in, but that counts right?) Evan tried to convince her to kiss her fish...

In the end, she decided she liked fishing and would like to do it again soon!

It was one of those weekends you think - we'll remember that one forever. A big thank you to my aunt and uncle, and E&L for their wonderful hospitality!

Oh, one more things to share. Here's a video of Tank fishing...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How can it be? My baby is three!

To wrap up our family "birthday season", it was Tanks birthday last week. Today we celebrated with my parents who are here visiting for the weekend. My mom is very artistic, so I saved this little mission for her....

Didn't she do an amazing job?!

Tank loves McQueen, and was definitely fascinated by this cake. He kept say "It's McQueen?!" It was as much a question as a statement. He wasn't sure whether to eat it or play with it! Don't worry, he got over that quickly. In not time had red and black lips covered in icing.

And so we embark on another year. A year that will hopefully bring potty training, less temper tantrums, and lets go big and hope for no antibiotics! (I know....unlikely.) I can hardly fathom that this time next year I will be preparing to send my baby big boy to JK. Yikes!

For tonight, we tucked him into his lightening McQueen bed, sang 'Jesus Loves Me' and hope he'll sleep past 7am....

First snuggles with grandma 3 years ago...

Sweet D, you are so loved!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

10 Years...

I'm a couple weeks late on this, but on July 28th the hubs and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.

Over the years I've posted for our seventh, eighth and ninth anniversaries. I enjoyed going back and reading them again this year. It's strange to think that we've been married for 10 years. I don't know why.

A few random facts about us:
  • We started dating when we were 15 and 16 years old. (I'm older, if you were wondering...)
  • The best man at our wedding (Jeremy) was the son of the best man at my parents wedding.
  • Andy's father was the photographer at my parents wedding. (That's not really about us per say, but a weird family connection none the less.)
  • We're not so much "honey" or "sweetie" or "love-muffin" kinda people. We often refer to each other as "dude". I sometimes get "Lady" or "Wife" when he's trying to mess with me.
  • We both love to watch hockey and are die hard Leafs fans.
  • We can quote Friends like it all happened to us. Actually, we're a little like Chandler and Monica...or some may say a lot like them.
  • We don't really have "a song", but there have been a few songs over the years that really hit home with both of us. Brad Paisley's "I thought I loved you then" is definitely one of those songs.
After 10 years of marriage and fifteen years together I still love this man with all my heart! I honestly can't imagine what my life would be like without him in it. He keeps me centered, grounded, and makes me a better person.

Here's a picture from 1996...

Fifteen years and a couple kids later....

I've never thought of life in 10 year increments until this moment. Here's the next 10 years....dude!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Second Times a Charm! Or Should I Say Pretty Pink Earrings....

I came home today to this note....

Cute right? The only thing is, we tried this once before. She wanted to get her ears pierced for her birthday 2 months ago, but chickened out at the last minute. Since then she's mentioned a few times that she still wants to get her ears pierced. I told her she needs to be really sure this time. I guess she figured putting it in writing was a firm demonstration of how serious she was. Plus, she had that look in her eye. When Sassy L makes her mind up about something, it usually happens.

So, I obliged and off we went to the mall. At the jewelry store the nice lady informed us that she could pierce her ears tonight, but that she was the only one in so they would have to be done one at time. I had promised Sassy L that we would find somewhere that did them both at the same time. I was seven when I got my ears pierced and that was back before anyone thought of doing them both at the same time. My mother tells me I almost walked out with one ear pierced. I would not let them near me after they did the first one. I believe some serious bribery was involved to get the second ear pierced.

I asked Sassy L if she was brave enough to do them one at a time. She quickly nodded her head.... 'No'. Then the lady jumped in saying 'oh come on sweetie, it doesn't hurt at all!', which I thought was cruel because as I recall it does hurt. I had been fairly honest with her that it would hurt a little.

With a little encouragement (and lies from the sales lady) she was back to her resolved self and we headed off to pick out earrings. She picked out these sweet little pink "diamond" studs. They were perfect for her! And she bravely climbed up into the chair. I'll let you watch the rest for yourself...

Needless to say, I am very proud of my girl! Not one single tear! She can't stop staring at them in the mirror. And I can't stop staring at her and wondering how the heck she got so old....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Mother....

My mother has this habit of minimizing things. From experience, it can sound a little like this:

"Oh, by the way, a 600 lb cow fell on your dad last Sunday. He spent some time in the hospital, but he's fine."


"Your brother had a little chimney fire at their place the other night. Luckily the fire department got their before the whole house went up. Did I not mention this last time we talked?"


"So it turns out the electric cattle fence will knock a grown man unconscious if they touch it. Oh, who found this out? Your father."

In unrelated news, it's possible my father is accident prone.

The most recent example went a little like this "I took a little tumble off the step. I seem to have landed on my arm, but I think it's fine."

If you looked through the pictures from the last post, you will have seen what my mother's arm actually looked like. Let's refresh our memories, shall we?

Despite her saying it was ... you guessed it.... "fine", I could tell she was hurting. The first night we drugged her up good with advil and tylenol so she could sleep. Some people may have considered a trip to emerg....but not my mother. After all, it's "fine".

I called mom tonight to see how the arm was doing. She said "oh, it's got some good color too it now", and promised to send me a picture after we got off the phone. I'm not sure if this is related to her minimizing how bad it looks, or if words simply couldn't describe it.

Here's what it looks like tonight....

My mother may minimize things. But she is one of the toughest ladies I know!! I guess having six brother's will do that to ya!
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