Wednesday, September 30, 2009

this week at the academy

For those of you interested to know what we do on a day to day basis, I thought I'd share what's on this week's agenda. In addition to the basic reading, writing, arithmetic stuff, we are learning about germs. We are reading Pasteur's Fight Against Microbes. At the end of the week we are going to be growing our own germs in a petri dish, and then kill them with antibacterial gel. (this all came in a science kit I bought a while back from NOEO) Since we are heading into cold and flu season, I want to show the kids why it's so important to wash their hands.
The kids are also learning their 10 commandments, with the help of some nifty 10 Commandments stickers I picked up.

Along with our new math and Explode the Code books that arrived this week, we received a box set of the American Girl Kirsten books and have started reading those to the girls. Our family is from Sweden, and I thought the books would be just a fun starting point to learn about their heritage. Both girls want to celebrate St. Lucia's Day this year, which happens to fall on the day after Bella's birthday.
Next week: Mummies!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Don't say spatula!

I think most parents, at some point, have to let their children know that there are just certain words they are not allowed to say. Children are like little sponges, and everything they soak up, seeps out at some point. Almost always, they end up hearing such words from simply walking behind employees in a store or stopped at a red light with the window down. (the words coming from the next car over, not our, just to clarify) You've probably figure out that this is going to be about naughty words and our kids, and you probably also have figured out that the word in question is in fact NOT the word spatula. However, it is another word that starts with the letter S. I don't think I need to go further than that. The following happened while I was on bed rest, and watching You've Got Mail (alone) in my room.

My bedroom is right off our living room. In fact, my bedroom door is right next to the computer desk. My bedroom door was shut, but I guess the kids could hear parts of the movie in the living room. (don't worry, Jeremy was home to watch them) Jeremy had come in the room to help me, and we then hear Bella ask Genna "what does s* mean?" (yup, that word is in that movie. I guess I didn't have my mommy ears on the last time I watched it) Genna then launched into a tirade, and had it been another child I would have thought they were doing this to try to get a free pass. What we heard was as follows: "Bella! Don't ever say s*! Mom said we are never to say s*! I know you just heard s* on the movie, but s* is a very bad word. If mom hears you say s* you will lose privileges for saying s*. S* is only a word that naughty people say and if you say s* then you are being naughty too."

Uh, yeah. We had a talk with both girls after that!

Friday, September 25, 2009

getting back in the groove

Sorry for the lack of stories lately, it's taking some time to get back in step with life. (funny how life just keeps chuggin' along even when you're stopped) Micaiah is doing great. He's healing up just as he should be, and personality wise he's back to himself for the most part. His schedule is a bit off though, and he's still sensitive to being left alone right now. We're also trying to get school going full time, which is a bit of a challenge right now because Nahshon has decided to start his terrible two's early. My mind has also been very occupied lately with dear friends going through one medical crisis after another. It's been a lot in a very little time, but I'm hopeful that next week things will smooth out (and maybe I'll come up with some amazing ideas to keep Nahshon busy and happy for more than 3 minutes), and we'll find our groove again.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

sign of the times?

Bought my 5 year old a winter coat, it has a cell phone pocket inside. And just to make sure there is no mistake of it's purpose, it has a picture of a cell phone on it. Bought my 8 year old a light jacket, it had a special iPod pocket inside the regular pocket. Funny how things have changed in 20 years.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Power of prayer, power of touch. AKA: we're home

I have to first start this by saying thank you to all who prayed for Micaiah, as well as the rest of us, during this unexpected medical emergency. Also, to those of you who have children with chronic medical conditions and/or have been through multiple or more serious surgeries, I applaud you. I don't know how you managed it.

Now to our story.......

Friday morning around 10am Micaiah had a bottle of formula, and when he finished he immediately threw it up. Shortly after he fell asleep and had a pretty long nap. I figured he must have a little stomach bug. When he woke up I tried to feed him, but he only took a few little sips and immediately it all came back up. But this time, it came up as that horrible yellow stomach bile. This is pretty much how the entire day went. He was throwing up the bile constantly, and not eating. I was mostly concerned about his hydration, but being a mom of many, I have learned that stomach bugs often clear themselves out in 24 hours and then the kiddos are right back to eating everything in sight. Because I was a little worried, and work was slow, Jeremy came home early that night. (he got home around 7:30pm, and normally on a Friday night he gets home after midnight) When Jeremy came in, he layed down on the bed with Micaiah and Cai was smiling, cooing, and acting as if nothing was wrong. Jeremy and I both shrugged it off and figured we'd use the rest of the night to clean house. I went off to take a shower and left him with the baby. A few minutes into the shower I hear the kids yelling to each other to get dressed, we're headed to the hospital. I quickly get out and ask Jeremy what happened, which he then reports he changed the baby's diaper and there was blood. Yeah, that's never a good sign. We decided a divide and conquer was the best approach, so my mom came and picked up 3 and we dropped off 2 to Jeremy's mom on our way to the hospital.

We check in at the ER at Seattle Children's Hospital, and once again Micaiah is all smiles and just fine. The triage nurse checks him out; no fever and all looks OK for the moment. We are sent back out to the waiting room and told it may be about 2 hours until we are seen. OK, fine, 2 hours isn't that bad considering we at an ER on a Friday night. 10-15 minutes pass, I'm holding Micaiah, and realized he's filled his diaper. I take him to the bathroom to change him and the diaper is full of blood. I give the diaper to Jeremy and tell him to show the triage nurse immediately. Within 5 minutes we were in a room and had a team of nurses and docs coming in and out. Not too much longer and nurses were starting an IV, and docs were ordering ultrasounds and x-rays. I knew they thought it was serious, but they were sort of dancing around the issue. I suppose it was to help keep us calm, but as Jeremy can firmly report, I HATE when people do that. It took all my restraint to not yell "OUT WITH IT ALREADY MAN!" The suspected culprit was Intussusception. (doesn't quite roll off the tongue like Mississippi) Basically they suspected his bowel had slid up inside itself. (think of a long telescope that slides into itself) Our awesome nurse from the ER stayed with us for the Xray and ultrasound, and helped keep us occupied while we waited for all the white coats to agree on a plan. Someone came in to tell us, in that same round about way I hate, that it was in fact Intussusception. They said they were going to start with a non-surgical procedure (an air enema) to try to correct the problem. They assured us that this has a very high success rate, especially in babies. I opted not to be present for the procedure, so Jeremy went in instead. I knew it would be too hard on me, which would cause Micaiah to stress. Luckily my wonderful cousin was willing to stay up and chat on the phone with me while I waited in the hall. About 45 minutes to an hour later Jeremy came out and said it didn't work, but they might try again in a few hours. Our nurse took us back to our ER room at that point. It wasn't long before a round of surgeons were coming in (one after another it seemed...... I wonder if they all knew the others were coming), and explaining that instead Cai was going for surgery very soon. I think that was the moment we were sucked into the time warp, when suddenly minutes seem like hours, and hours seems like days.

A couple hours later we're standing at our baby's bedside, just outside the "doors". You know, those dreaded doors you see in movies. Those doors where you kiss your loved one and say see you later, praying that when the surgeon comes back through those doors he's smiling and not looking down at the floor and sadly removing his scrub cap. I remember a very short nurse wearing gold Mr. T chains saying he'd be back, and returning with the anesthesiologist. As she was talking, I found myself half listening and half sizing her up. I was trying to guess her age, how long she'd been doing this, if this was going to turn out like Dennis Quad's twins, just the usual parent stuff. I heard her say something about working with a resident anesthesiologist, and suddenly there was a child beside her and I was thinking "you need to run along before you're late for your shift at sunglass hut little one, we're waiting for a resident anesthesiologist". While the little Mr. T nurse, the child late for the Sunglass Hut shift, and the anesthesiologist were having a random side discussion about redesigning the ID bands I realized Doogie was the resident we were waiting for. Jeremy must have sensed my apprehension because he took that moment to remind me we were at one of the best hospitals around; a sentiment I quickly came to be annoyed with.

Then it was TIME. Time to kiss my baby and send him through THE DOORS. He was sleeping when I leaned down to give him a long kiss on the forehead. He smelled like warm, homemade playdough, and I quickly had visions of rainy winter afternoons at home and memories not yet made. I had been praying all evening, and I fully believe God has a plan, but at this moment made sure to tell God that I'm not done with that child and I want him back after he goes through the doors. So, they took him and left us there in the dark hallway. I turned around before they got to the doors (I knew I couldn't watch that), and headed to our dark little waiting room. We sat in silence for a bit, and prayed. I soon realized I needed a distraction or I was going to drive myself mad with worry. So what do you do at 4am when you need a distraction but don't want to watch reruns of ER, Law and Order, or infomercials? You flip to the movie channel the hospital offers and watch Paul Blart Mall Cop. Don't judge. I was stressed. We were told the surgery would take about 2 hours, but every footstep or opening of a door made my heart jump. Jeremy kept reminding me about being in a great hospital, blah blah blah...... But all I could think about (and reminded my helpful husband) was that somewhere Doogie Howser was pumping our baby full of drugs while nurse Mr T looked on and some strange man cut him open to take out his insides. (they are called insides for a reason, they are supposed to stay inside the body!) Now, I am FULLY aware that in the grand scheme of things, his surgery was relatively minor and it's not like he was having brain surgery, but he's just a baby, and he's MY baby. Finally around 7am the surgeon came to our room, smiling. He reported that all went well. He said Micaiah had one of the most extensive cases of Intussusception he's ever seen, and was amazed that none of the tissue had died. They did take out his appendix, but did not have to cut out any of the bowel. About an hour later they let us in to see him.

Thankfully they warned us in advance that he may have a NG tube (that tube that goes through the nose and into the stomach), because it was very hard to see my sweet boy with that taped down to his soft cheek. He had monitors and tubes everywhere, and looked so small in his hospital crib. Shortly later they moved us to the surgical floor, which became home for a few days. They gave Micaiah an epidural during surgery to cut down on the amount of pain meds he would need, but he still ended up needing shots of morphine every 4 hours for 48 hours after surgery. We were super fortunate that we only had a roommate for a few hours on the first day, and then got a roommate around 5pm the night before we were released. The first while after the surgery Micaiah was pretty sleepy, but got really agitated when we tried to touch him so we weren't able to hold him despite the doctors telling us that babies recover faster when held. Once we were finally able to hold him the next day though, I barely put him down, nor did he want to be put down. We were super fortunate to have the same nurse for 3 days, as she really got to know Micaiah well.

Sunday was the hardest day. His anesthesia had worn off, but was still in a lot of pain. Every 4 hours on the dot he'd start screaming in pain. He also hated his NG tube and his IV, and he kept using the hand with the IV to punch himself in the nose, trying to get the tubes out. My poor baby. Sunday evening the docs came by and said they weren't going to let him eat until Tuesday, and we would not be released for 3-5 days after that. In the middle of the night while we were all sleeping though, Micaiah made an amazing turn around. By 8am Monday the nose tube was removed, by 9am the monitors were off, and by 11am the nurse brought in a 2oz bottle of Pedialyte to start his feedings. He did so well with the first feeding that by 2pm we were told one more bottle of pedialyte and then back to regular feedings whenever he was hungry. He was off the morphine, and had just one dose of Tylenol on Monday. Our lovely friend Rene headed over at that time, which was just the pick me up I needed to get through our last night. (especially since I'd be going it alone as Jeremy and I decided he needed to go round up the kids and get them home.) We were told we'd be headed home by lunch time the next day. Since we were first under the impression we'd be staying until the end of the week, this was music to our ears. The fact that we'd make it home for Genna's birthday on Wednesday made it doubly sweet.

All went smoothly Tuesday morning, and when the white coats came around at 10am they decided we could be given our walking papers and sent on our way. We had only one little hiccup that morning. When the nurse unwrapped his hand to remove the IV line and the arm board, his skin was burned and blistered. It was just as shocking to her as it was to me; it looked horrible! The nurse thinks he must have had a reaction to something, and was also sucking on his hand so there was a lot of moisture trapped under there too. It doesn't seem to bother him though, and we were still let out as planned. Being out in the sunshine and fresh air, walking to the car with my little boy in tow was the greatest feeling ever. It felt like it had been so long, I could hardly believe it was all done and we were on the way home.

We've been home since Tuesday afternoon, and doing pretty well. We've all been rather sleepy, but we're slowly getting back to normal life. Micaiah is a little more sensitive now to being put down or left alone than he was before the hospital, but he's very quickly getting back to being his happy self. He's got a two inch battle scar on his belly, and his hand still looks bad, but I can see he's healing up quickly. He had many many people praying for him, and we appreciate that more than we can say. Clearly God heard all those prayers.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

come back next week

I have taken up temporary residence at Seattle Children's Hospital. I'm posting from a computer in the family room right now. Baby Micaiah had to have emergency surgery at 4am on Saturday, the 12th. I have no idea when we'll be home, but it looks like not until the end of the week. Come back then for the story.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

That's it, I'm old

Today Bella and I had to make a run to Toys-R-Us, and since we were there, we decided to mosey around the store a bit and see what's new. (by the way, when was the last time YOU moseyed?) One of the new items they had out on demo was the Splatster from Fisher Price. Basically it's an electronic art system you hook up to your TV. I realize there are a couple different "art" activities on this toy, but the one we looked at was spin art. When I was a kid (there, I said it. The official "you're getting old" phrase), spin art was something you did with paper, paint, and a little machine that was covered in a rainbow of splattered paint and had a spinning thingy in the middle that you clipped your paper on. Sure the "spin art" on the screen looked kind of neat when we finished, but then what? Do you print it out to hang it up? (I don't even know if you can print your creations with this machine) Maybe I'm just odd, but I think it's much cooler to hang up a paint project that has been made with real paint. What's wrong with good old fashioned crayons and markers? Real plastic stencils? Paper and sticky white glue you peel off you fingers? Perhaps I'm just too old to "get it" anymore.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


What exactly is Secret Celebrity Cereal? What is that supposed to mean? I guess I'll find out soon enough, because I bought it for my daughter to have on her birthday! HA! (she's a huge Hannah Montana fan) I'll update you next week and let you know if any of us have turned into secret celebrities. Actually, I guess I wouldn't be able to tell you because it would be a secret. Well, just keep an eye out for any new celebrities that look and sound just like one of us in a wig.

too much good stuff!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is coming to the theater this month, Toys Story 3 is coming to the theater June 2010, Toy Story 1 and 2 are going to be shown in 3-D in the theaters in October, and I just found out Where the Wild Things Are is coming to the theater next month! (although the previews for Wild Things didn't look all that impressive, so that is one we may opt to pick up when it comes to RedBox rather than paying to see it in the theater) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was one of my all time favorite books as a kid, and my boys are big Toy Story fans, so I'm pretty sure we'll be making plans soon for some family fun nights at the movies!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

wrong bear

Driving to the zoo, we passed a truck with a few Bamboo trees in the back. Jeremy asked the kids if they knew who ate Bamboo, which
Genna replied with "the channel 8 guy!" No, I'm sorry, the answer we were looking for was Panda Bear. While we realize that Bear Grylls from Discovery channel's Man vs. Wild show uses Bamboo in his demonstrations, he is not known as a regular eater of the leaves.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Uh, Happy Birthday, Penguia

On Monday night Bella announced that today is Penguia's birthday. You might be wondering who Penguia is (or you might not, and figure who or what ever it is, will just fit right into this silly family). Penguia is Bella's stuffed penguin she made at Build-A-Bear on her 3rd birthday. Anyhow, it seems that today Penguia turned 4 years old. Bella, being the good penguin lover that she is, wanted to make sure Penguia had a splendid birthday. Somehow in all of her excited chattering about today, I got roped in to throwing Penguia a birthday party. I made lasagna, fresh green beans, and garlic bread for lunch. (Penguia's favorite lunch of course) We played pin the tail on the mouse, and finished off our evening by baking a carrot cake (from scratch) at Penguia's request. (penguia helped, naturally) I even made my own cream cheese frosting, all for a stuffed animal. The things we do for our children........ :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I guess that's sister speak for "I love you"

Genna to Isaac:

You are necessary and annoying!

just stumbled upon this

Family: A social unit where the father is concerned with parking space, the children with outer space, and the mother with closet space. ~Evan Esar

My children are a blessing......

but sometimes I'd like to bless others with them! (like when a "helper" comes along while I'm trying to fix a toy and in their attempt to help I quickly snatch up the super glue, which then explodes on my hands, and I spend 20 minutes in the shower with nail polish remover trying to get my fingers back to at least being able to bend.)

Having said that though, I'm actually very glad that in the midst of all the back to school madness, we are not part of it! Our declaration of intent has been filed, our crayon and glue boxes are stocked, we've been slowly working into our school work over the past month and a half (the last bit of curriculum will be arriving next week); all in all life is grand!