Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Purchase

We’ve had a crazy couple weeks.  There is all the normal life and business stuff going on, plus we had a twist thrown at us.  The Purchase!  It is something we have been planning to do for quite a while.  However, we weren’t planning on things happening so fast!!!

Today we signed a contract to buy our very first brand new construction home!!!!  Oh my.  It is sooooo exciting plus a whole truckload of other emotions all at once.

It all started a little over a year ago  few years ago.  My mom mentioned she was going to be retiring soon.  She mentioned she would probably spend time with both Tawni {my little sister} and us each year and need a bedroom at both of our places.  I think over time she realized that she would have a lot more comfort if she picked one of us to establish her primary residence with.  Her and Tawni have been living together for most of Tawni’s life, and we really really wanted her to come live with us.  I miss my mom a lot moving away from my home state.

Fast forward to within this last year and we firmed up plans for her to come live with us when she retires.  Our house is quite small so it definitely wouldn’t work long term.  We explored quite a few timelines of making the moves for all of us.  Our latest consensus was to wait until her official retirement to all find somewhere to live and move together.    Her retirement date is 12/31/13.   We’ve been casually looking at new home construction in our tiny take home car area for Guy’s work.  We also have some very not normal needs so finding a plan to work for us was really hard.  Looking at resale homes would probably not find us anything that would work in 5 years of looking.

I, being the inquisitive sort of planner, talked to our amazing real estate agents waaaay ahead of schedule to appraise them of our upcoming plans and get a feel for their thoughts.  We also found a community and plan that we all really liked.

Two weeks ago our agents informed me during an unrelated conversation we really should consider moving on it NOW.  ASAP.   Guy also saw a couple articles about how the new home construction in our area is projected to raise significantly over the next 12 months.

Uh oh…  So we regrouped.

That led us to today when we signed a contract for our very own brand new construction home!!!  So exciting.

Now we just need to sell ours.  Oh and my poor mom is having heart issues and need to get an ablation done next week along with new medication to treat her issues.  I feel so bad for her to be worried about signing contracts out of state and getting her home listed.

So I’ll be praying for my mama, getting our house ready to list soon, taking care of my little kiddos and working my tail off during the busy season.  :-) I have faith it is all going to work out better then ok and we’ll make it through with smiles continually on our faces.

1 week after surgery

Our Landon is showing all signs of being pain tolerant like his mama.  YAY!!  He’s only taking alternating doses of Tylenol and Ibuprofen three times a day.

He had the big partial cast dressing up almost to his armpit for the first 6 days.  Yesterday we went in for his first dressing change.  Since I went by myself there are no images.  Guy was pretty bummed I didn’t at least get one of his hand completely free of bandages.  Guy really wanted to see what it looked like.

First off.  I’m going to complain a little.  The hospital wants a 5 out of 5 rating at every visit.  Hmmmmm.  Not gonna happen from me.  The waiting room and check in is ridiculously long.  I arrived just before my appointment time to find a 20 minute line.  There were two receptionists and a trainee who was only observing {no one spoke to her that I could see}.  It took them 20 minutes to check in the 6 people in front of me.  Wow, that is beyond slow.  You do have the option to check in online, but you still have to tell them your there waiting in the same line.  The first time we went there the check in was faster, but the doctor was over an hour and a half behind.  It is Duke hospital.   Ok  complaints over.  I’m perfectly willing to go through all this mess and drama for a doctor recommended by all the health professionals I know.  :-)

There were several adorable babies in line with us.  One little girl just turned 10 months.  She was a micro premie born at 1 pound.  This little girl was small, but she was on track with any 10 month old in skills and had no eye sight or other issues from being born so premature.  That is sooooo rare.  What a blessing for that family!!  The other little boy was two weeks older then Landon.  Of course, that meant we had the obligatory ‘size’ conversation.  People without little ones his age or who aren’t around kids his age generally take his age and it makes no impression on them.  For those who are around little ones his age they are usually utterly amazed and in disbelief.  It is funny to watch and then we go on to talk about where his height could possibly come from in our families.  :-)

Landon started demanding my iPad the moment we sat down in the waiting room.  We got called back surprisingly quickly.  He followed the iPad to the scale and then into his room.  We waited there for about 10 minutes.  The first step of the process was to unwrap the big bandage and take off the  partial cast giving it the hard structure.    He then soaked his hand in a bath of water and hydrogen peroxide.  I was informed later we would be buying many of those for our daily dressing changes coming up.  He soaked his hand for 25 minutes.

The doctor came in and pealed it off while Landon was doing his flighty iPad wanderings {the kid has a super short attention span sometimes often}.   His fingers didn’t look nearly as bad as I thought they would!  It was scabby around all the edges.  It was so incredibly strange to see two separate fingers!!!  It made my tummy flutter in excitement.  I wasn’t expecting that reaction at all.  So weird.  And it caused a dumb mom moment…

I told Landon to look at his fingers!  He looked and did not like!  Dr. Marcus nicely told me he didn’t like looking at it and to distract him.  lol  Dur….  Do I really highlight my hair now a days or is it really still blond?!!

He got a strip of yellow loose woven fabric around the incision lines then some padding between the fingers to keep them apart so the web heals properly.  Then there was some gauze wrapped around to the wrist and a piece of tape to hold it together.  Nice and simple.  Landon did not like it at first.  He was quite grumpy for several hours and also took a nap during the long drive back in addition to a normal afternoon nap.   He didn’t try to mess with it much yesterday.

We did get woken up at 4:00 am to him having taken every little bit of the dressing off!  Well, at least Guy got to see what it looked like.  He held Landon’s arm while I put his dressing back together with a new piece of stuffing gauze and a more robust piece of tape almost like a hard shell around his dressing.  He hasn’t tried to take it off again.

Here’s a phone pic of Landon this morning after dropping the twins off at school.

Surgery for sweet Landon



Guy did a fantastic job of first remembering to start preparing the kids for Landon’s surgery and then by talking to them several times in the days leading up to it.  We woke the morning of surgery with all three kids coming into our bedroom about the normal time.  After a few hugs, kisses, cuddles and mandatory potty breaks the kids all jumped into the big bathtub together.  I went from room to room gathering clothes, a fresh diaper, lotion and towels for after bath.  About the time I finished putting the last bit of lotion on Landon my brain kicked in to with the realization lotion probably was somewhere on a list of what not to do just prior to surgery.  Too late.  At least it was a more natural shea butter  lotion.



The next part of the plan in keeping Landon occupied until we left was the iPad.  He got to navigate willy nilly to briefly view many programs for about  8 minutes before Miss Maddie was interfering with his happy place.  I was trying to shove down some cereal at breakneck speed before he saw me.  Luckily, he did stay in our bedroom long enough for me to finish.  With about 15 minutes left before we headed out he started going back and forth between being distracted by iPad adventures and demanding milk.  This kid is a milk junkie and would love to drink a minimum of a 1/2 gallon a day if we let him.  Usually, he has 1 10-12 oz serving and sometimes two a day.  It’s what he asks for in lieu of food most of the time.

 




After some mini melt downs we loaded into the car with snacks {for me and my friend Denise while we waited}, a cup of apple juice, a travel mug of Gatorade, the diaper bag, his bear, my camera, phone and iPad.  Denise met us by the freeway and off we went to be delayed 20 minutes by stop & go traffic.  At the hospital Landon and I headed to check in while she parked the car.  Unfortunately for her, I forgot to give her the lowdown on our hybrid car.  She called Guy who walked her through our ‘fancy’ car.  lol  Sorry girl!!



The receptionist at check in was a bit stern looking {I eventually won her over}, and matter of factly checked us in.  We didn’t make it 4 steps away towards the waiting area when Landon started scream crying with his failed attempts at removing his wrist band.  A nurse made eye contact with me and I talk/hollered at her asking if he could get a new band on his ankle.  We got one about two minutes later from a less stern receptionist whom Landon thanked when she put a new band on his ankle.  Maybe he was reminded of his cruise safety band {tolerated on his ankle} used in the case of emergency.  I’m sure he would have rather been eating all that yummy food in awesome locations!




Ten or fifteen minutes later we headed back to pre-op.  Landon did a fantastic job getting on the scale for his weight.  He gave me trouble getting him undressed and really pitched a fit about the smelly rough polyester tigger gown.  Why did someone pick a Tigger like character on a greyish-beige gown.  We saw a bed being pushed by later that looked like it had nasty blood and fluids all over wadded up dressings.  YUK!  After wrestling my little hungry man into his Tigger gown I tried the hospital socks.  Nope.  No chance.  A nurse or tech and the nurse anesthetist came in almost together.  They were both asking me Q’s so I gave Landon my phone.  He called daddy twice, my friend Wendy twice and the hospital once.  Hmmmm, wish I had thought to bring in the backpack with the iPad in it.  lol  Guy said Landon actually had a conversation with him too.  The poor nurse/tech was all confused and apologized for asking questions twice as it was just too much confusion for her with the nurse anesthetist and Landon also taking bits of my attention.  It was comical and I just ran interference with Landon while answering questions from both of them.  It was like a doubles tennis match with three balls.  :-)









Denise was allowed in just after Doctor Marcus {Dr. Jeffery Marcus with Duke for anyone needing a pediatric plastic surgeon in the Raleigh area} visited with me.  Yay, we had an iPad to keep Landon happy and save everyone on my list from potentially being called!  The doctor went over the surgery again along with some of the post follow up care.  When asking him about what kind of dressing we would have at a certain stage of his healing because we would be at Disney World he commented we could do a follow up at Disney.  lol  We’ll be there at the same time.  He asked for a few tips and I’ll be putting together a little something for him to look at when we meet on Monday.   It’s always cool to make personal connections.  Oh and the anesthesiologist also came in somewhere during all those other visits.




Our anesthesia team let me know we made a boo boo.  The nurse anesthetist who talked to me the day before mentioned we could give him clear liquid like apple juice before arriving to the hospital.  She mentioned it was ok to have it right up to arrival time.  I questioned her since I thought he could have nothing for 6 hours prior.  She confirmed again he could have them up to arrival time.  Never believe something that isn’t true.  Not too big a deal as we only had to wait an additional 45 minutes, but I like to be a model patient who gets everything right.  More importantly it totally sucks to know you are delaying all those people there now just waiting to do the surgery and get on with their day!  Landon was a happy happy camper through all this as he played with the iPad.







Our nurse anesthetist  came in to take him away.  I took a few pictures of him engrossed in the iPad and Not wanting the blanket on him.  Landon barely consented to leaving the iPad alone long enough to hug and kiss me.  The guy was great with Landon.  By the time they were 5 feet out of our stall he had Landon paying attention to him and the route they were taking to surgery.  Landon eagerly got up on his knees to push the door button at the end of the hall.  He slightly smiled in response to my vigorous waiving as they rounded the corner out of sight.









My friend Denise is a cryer.  She pops out her tears over most things.  I think it is an outward reflection of her amazing heart full of compassion and warmth.  She was totally amazed at my tear free goodbye as my precious little toddler was wheeled away to surgery.  I knew it was nervous time as the next 1.5-3 hours ticked by slowly, but as per my usual the outward show was calm and somewhat happy.  My first order of business during the wait was to go get food.  The more exciting my life is, the more my body burns through calories {hmmm, more excitement not surgical might not be so bad… Weight loss!!}.  We headed down to the little cafe.  Just after paying for the food my pager goes off.  Slight panic.  I headed quickly off to find out what that was about assuring Denise it was to give back the iPad.  Inside I wasn’t 100% sure.




Thankfully it was for the iPad.  Our stern receptionist broke away from checking in other patients to give me the iPad with a smile.  She also reset the pager.  Those pagers are amazing.  It’s the same type of system you see in a busy busy chain restaurant.   Denise and I munched on some really tasty turkey and smoked gouda grilled panini’s down in the lobby.  YUM.



Just as we were on the last few bites the pager goes off again.  This time I was totally feeling panicky!  We hopped up and headed up to the receptionist.  She let us know that the surgery officially started so we’d know about how long the next wait would be.  I told her, with a smile, that page was not expected and totally had me a little scared.   She let me know I might also get a mid surgery update page.



We didn’t.  I’m so grateful for an awesome friend to talk about all sorts of interesting, special and not so special moments with while waiting.  It really helped the time go by much faster then it would have had I been alone.  Guy was taking care of getting Blake and Maddie to school and back.  The surgery into the initial recovery went almost 3 hours instead of the 1.5-2 estimated.  Once we got into the recovery room Dr. Marcus gave us a rundown of the surgery as well as post op care.  Landon woke up almost immediately upon our arrival.  After being really grumpy and fighting us quite a bit he settled into my chest where his whole body sighed in relief.  He was so much more comfortable snuggled up to me.  Boy did that make me feel about 10000% important.  :-)




He didn’t really want anything to eat or drink and only took a tiny sip of the apple juice.  We all talked around the milk word so as not to set him off.  They pretty much cleared him and us to get the heck out of there in what felt like 10 minutes after walking in there.  It was probably more like 30 minutes from walking in to walking into the car park.  I carried Landon’s precious and sweet 40 pound dead weight to the car.  Denise was sure we would have to wander the whole car park before finding the car and encouraged me to stay behind while she got it.  Nah, I had faith and if we walked a while it would have been ok too.  We walked right up to the car.



Landon was super quite and mellow the whole ride home.  After we left Denise at her car we got to an intersection within a mile from home.  Landon excitedly exclaimed from the back seat “go there” pointing in the direction of our home.  He saw Maddie first calling out “Mia” with a big wave.  He was so happy to be home.  He instantly snuggled on the couch with daddy.  He also downed two 12 ounce sippy cups of milk then proceeded to snack on some chips and queso with Maddie.



The rest of the evening he wanted to watch TV or play with an electronic {big surprise!} and alternated between quite and dancing around the room to a Wiggles song.  He went right down for bed hanging tightly to his teddy like he had most of the day.  Oh, I forgot to mention our doctor is also in love with Australia and New Zealand and got excited over seeing Landon’s teddy from the Royal Hobart Hospital.  I get the impression he would love to live there if they would let him in.  But both Australia and New Zealand have wicked immigration laws that allow very few people into their countries.



Back to Landon.  He’ll have some sort of bandage on his hand for around 6 weeks.  Right now it is almost up to his armpit.  Depending on how well he tolerates it, the new bandages will work their way down until it is just his palm and fingers.  We’ll also be responsible for daily dressing changes starting in two weeks.



Day two has been a mix of no sleep, sleep, happy, angry, frustrated, cuddly, and definitely obsessed with electronics again.  In many ways he has adapted to using his bandaged arm as one together appendage.   In other ways he has certain ideas of how things should be.  If those certain ideas need two hands he gets very frustrated and refuses to do whatever it is he wanted to do with a modification outside his certain way of doing it.  Landon, Guy and I didn’t sleep much after 3:15 am, but tonight is a different opportunity to get some great sleep.  :-) As with all things, he will heal with time, and we’ll all be back to normal in short order.

What a moment!

We were eating our awesome Easter dinner sitting Japanese style around the coffee table.  {Yes, this is our usual place to partake of food.}  Madison and I were both enjoying our corn on the cob.  I had her giggling with all the funny faces I was making as the yummy corn kernels popped off the cob into my mouth.  All of a sudden she looks at me with complete panic and yelps in pain.  Her bottom front tooth is bleeding, and all of the corn kernels look like broken teeth.  After determining her teeth are all there with the bottom of her tooth is bleeding my own panic {imagining a razor blade or some other foreign object has hurt my kid!} subsides with the realization she has her very first loose tooth!  She is still kind of panic crying and my excitement makes her laugh.  Then.  She panics again as she realizes it will likely cause her more pain as it comes out.  For the next few minutes she goes back and forth between excitement and panic as the thoughts of all that loosing her first tooth means.

She’s excited to beat Blake at something.



She really wants daddy to hold her hand when it comes out.



She is soooo much closer to being a big kid.



She does NOT want it to be pulled out.



She’s excited.



She’s scared.



Wait!!!

Excited



Scared



Excited


The girl cannot decide what she feels.  We loved every moment of it.  It was seriously one of the cutest moments we’ve had with her.