Six and Twenty...

Yeah, yeah, I know I haven't blogged in...well, hmmmm....looks like about 3 weeks. Ahem.  Well.  I'm back.

And for your faithfulness, you will have to endure a LOT of words today, but I will make it worth your while with a few photos.

My excuse for not blogging lately?  Yeah, well, I have several actually.  The first...

I know, at least she's a cute excuse, right?  The minute I walk in the door from work every afternoon, she runs to greet me and before I can put my purse or work bag down or even slip out of my shoes, she is in my arms.  Don't get me wrong, I love her and I love it, but I literally don't get 3 steps in the door.

My other excuse...
This girl is kickin' it in middle school, but it's a lot more work than elementary!  After I get in the door, we are usually sitting down to eat within 15 minutes.  Then, I try and entertain Kylie while simultaneously helping Jenna with her homework.  And I love this girl, but homework time is such an unhappy time in our house.  Jenna has started to realize how stupid we are and how smart she is and yet at the same time how stupid all this school work is.  We listen to her complain the ENTIRE time she is working on homework.  Math is, of course, our bone of contention.  I hated it, Steve never really did it and now Jenna hates it too.  Kylie will probably be a math whiz when Jenna has already graduated and Steve and I are too old to care anymore.

Kylie goes to bed at 8pm so by the time I put her down, I have about 90 minutes to do anything else that has to be done.  Most of the time, the housework gets totally ignored (as evidenced in the above picture) and I come to the bedroom to do some Bible study.

As an aside, our Lifegroup started a study on Galatians back before I went to China (March).  It was pretty cool because I was simultaneously doing a study with my ladies group on Romans (and Galatians is like a cliff's note version of Romans).  Anyway, I missed a good portion of the Galatians study due to our trip to China and then Kylie, so I never finished.  So a few months ago, I started over with a self study of Galatians in the same way we had studied Romans.  And then our pastor decided to do an in depth sermon series on Revelation.  And because I wanted to study Revelation in the same format I did Romans and Galatians, I was trying hard to finish up Galatians before we got too far into Revelation.  In the middle of all this, I was reading 2 different series of books that I wanted to finish.  So I'd put Kylie down and then spend the next 90 minutes doing Bible study or reading.  So it just didn't leave much time for blogging.

And honestly, there's not a lot going on.  OK, that's clearly not true.  There's plenty going on, but it's just...LIFE.

Sooooo...how 'bout a quick update?

Kylie just turned 20 months old!  I am about to have a 2 year old in the house.  I don't know if I'm ready for that.  Guess I better get that way, huh?  Kylie is running and laughing and playing all the time now.  I tell people all the time that folks say to me, "Oh, her personality is really coming out now!" when I really think they mean, "Oh my she's really into everything now isn't she?!"  Because she is.
She will sit and watch TV for a few minutes at a time.  She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (like her big sister used to) and Bubble Guppies.  She also likes Doc McStuffins and Andy Griffith (yes, she is her Daddy's daughter for sure!).

I wish I could say her speech has "exploded" but it hasn't.  It's getting better, but it's not a fast process.  She is doing speech therapy 2 days a week and the therapist is wonderful and says she is making good progress.  She has started saying "me, me, me, me" sounds as well as "n" sounds.  She says "hi" and "hello" when she sees...well anyone really.  I know it's only been a month since surgery and it will take time.  But it will be so nice to have her be able to tell us what she wants or needs rather than guessing.  The guessing game is very frustrating for her and for us.

Kylie has been home for 6 months now.  SIX MONTHS.  I can't even fathom that this is the same child as the one we brought home 6 months ago.  She is sleeping through the night again, at least for the most part.  She will go down without crying almost every night.  Some nights she wakes in the night and cries out and we'll have to go pat her for a second and tell her to go night-night and she usually does.

She is back to eating whatever she wants although I'm still a little leery of giving her anything pointy.  She eats most anything we put in front of her, but she's still learning to use eating utensils so with lots of foods we have to feed her.  From our scales at home, it looks like she weighs about 22lbs.  I'm sure she lost a pound or two from her limited diet after surgery so we are trying to make p for it.

She continues to go to the nursery at church every Sunday and since Lifegroup has started back up she goes on Sunday nights and now Wednesday nights too.  She really really loves it and we are thinking about putting her in daycare for a few hours a week.  Right now, that's unfortunately not in the budget, but we are hoping it will be sooner rather than later.

I guess that's mostly it.  I have lots of other stuff to chat about, but that's a good start.  Thanks to all of you who have asked me whether I'm still blogging.  I am.  It's just been crazy around here since the surgery...

Thanks for coming back.  I'll do better, I promise.


Happy Birthday!

I know I have been super delinquent in posting but I could not let this day go by without wishing my beautiful stepdaughter, Micah, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

I'm not sure if she'd mind for me telling her age to the world, so I won't, but she's still in her 20s and is a great mom and young woman!

So, a shout out Happy Birthday wish to Micah!!!  I love you and hope this day was the best yet!

And for everyone else...please, please, please come back tomorrow because I promise I'll have a blog up and that I'll do better going forward...



Yes, I know, I have been super slow in posting an update on Kylie's surgery.  As you can imagine, it's been crazy since finally getting home.

So, let me back up just a bit.  We got home a little before noon Sunday a week ago.  At first, she was a little hesitant to move around, but quite quickly, you could tell she was glad to be home.  It was interesting because she wouldn't smile too much as she would hold saliva in her mouth.  Sometimes she'd drool it out and sometimes she would swallow all of a sudden.  I think that would be pretty common with cleft surgeries.

She very quickly got tired of chocolate pudding which was her food of choice to begin with.  We were just thrilled she was eating, so we'd give her whatever we could.  The first few nights home weren't TOO bad, but they weren't great either.  We ended up kicking Jenna out of her bed (her room is right next to Kylie's) and Steve would sleep in there and when Kylie would wake in the night, he'd give her pain medicine and antibiotics and then put her in bed with him.  We did go ahead and start putting her right back into her crib at home for continuity's sake.

Friday night, I was "on" in Jenna's room and she ended up sleeping the night through until about 6:30am and then slept with me until about 7:15 in Jenna's bed.  Saturday night wasn't as good...she was up at 2:30 and then slept until getting up time on Sunday in the bed with me.  Since we aren't sure if it was still pain or hospital stay related, we are accommodating her.  That will end soon though.  Yesterday she went to the nursery at church and was pretty angry when I dropped her off, but she made it the entire time, thanks to her favorite teacher Ms. Darlene!  Another step in the right direction.

By the time the weekend got here, she was her normal giggly self.  We had determined her very cranky, inconsolable moods came when she was hungry.  So we milked down some instant mashed potatoes and fed those to her and the girl went THROUGH some potatoes lemme tell ya!  I think that's probably when we saw the sleep get better too.  She's been in a fairly good mood since then.

Today was her 2 week post-op visit and we were in and out in 15 minutes.  The doctor said her palate looked great and we could move on to soft foods!  Soft foods would be macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, probably some well done green beans etc.  We are very excited and hope this fills her tummy even more.  We are on this diet for another 10 days and then it's back to normal with everything else.

We go back in 14 weeks just for a quick check up.  Then, barring any unforeseen surprises or setbacks, we are done with surgeries until she's about 4 or 5 years old.  By then, she'll need a nose revision (and possibly a lip revision too) since the cartilage in her nose now is just not strong enough to hold her nose up as she grows.  They'll take some cartilage from elsewhere on her body and build her nose back up.  Then, she'll need a bone graft into her jaw somewhere between the ages of 8 and 13, but we aren't worried about any of that.  We are just thrilled that until she gets ready to start school, we should be done! 

Tennessee Early Intervention started back today and she's doing so well with that.  I'm fairly certain she's blown all our goals out of the water already and we aren't yet close to the 6 month eval.  She was already doing speech therapy twice a week but we took a break for two weeks during her surgery and recovery period.  She'll go back to see Ms. Joy tomorrow and we can already tell her speech is improving.  The doctor today said to expect and "explosion".  Her favorite word right now (and incidentally the most clear)?? 
"AMEN!"  Makes me laugh.  Every night we go to bed, we turn on the ipod music, brush her teeth (prior to surgery with no toothpaste), then read two books, then say our prayers, take a couple sips of water, turn off the side lamp, turn on the music and lights bug and then get in the bed and tell all her "babies" night night.  Now during prayer, she'll fold her hands and at the end say "Amen!"  The day before her surgery, our church had it's annual picnic and lake baptisms and after each person was baptized, everyone would clap and Kylie would say "AMEN"!  Bless!!

So I guess that's it.  She's doing exceptionally well except for a few sleeping and riding issues.  I think the problem in the car is that we always had a snack cup full of cookies or goldfish and a drink and since she's restricted from crunchy stuff, there's not much left she can have and boy does she get cranky sometimes!  Otherwise, I'm pleased to report, my girl is back!

One last thing...I had been told that we might experience a solidifying of sorts in the area of bonding during the surgery and recovery period.  I think the thought is she will have us there, she will be forced to depend on us for care and she will see that we DO care for her needs.  And in doing so, she will really bond to us much more during that period than prior to.  I was skeptical of this theory because I really thought she had bonded to us quite well already.  And then while I was holding her down for the 10 shots in the hospital, I thought she might actually go the other direction!  Well, of course, she was super snugly and loving all while we were in the hospital, but still kinda cranky most of the time.  Now, I find her absolutely snuggling up to us, patting our backs when we hold her (totally melts my heart) and just coming over to hug on us spontaneously.  It's been wonderful to see!  I know my surgeon was ultra conservative keeping us in the hospital as long as he did, but I think there were way more benefits than downsides.

That's it.  I have a few other interesting topics that I'd like to share with you.  I promise to blog again soon.  I know it's not like me to be without words.  :)  Keep visiting...I hope to have something up soon!


Home Sweet Home

We.  Are.  Home.

The doctor came in before 8am this morning and confirmed we would be going home today.  Steve went ahead and came up to the hospital, but it was nearly 2 hours before all the paperwork was done. 

Kylie fussed all the way home and was very timid once inside the house.  I gave here about 15 minutes of sitting with me and then the cats came down and she started to get more animated.  By the time I had finished unpacking and getting some laundry going, she was running around like normal.  She is a little more cranky than usual but that is likely due to residual pain.  She is now on Tylenol OTC and we have Tylenol with codeine for bedtime.  Bedtime should be interesting.  She pretty much napped in our arms this whole week and at night, she slept with us on the bed.

She ate immediately when we got home.  She's on an all liquid diet from now until next Monday when we go back to the doctor.  So her choices are currently jello, yogurt, ice cream, milkshakes, pudding etc.  If you have any other ideas of stuff like that she can have, let me know.  She can't yet have soft foods like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese.  Hopefully by next Monday we can graduate to soft foods though.

Last night was OK.  She went to bed about 8:30 and slept soundly until about 1am.  Then it took her some time to settle down into sleep again and at 2am they were in there for antibiotics, pain meds and vitals.  And she was off and on awake the rest of the morning.  I'm attempting to stay awake until bedtime.  We haven't figured out what we will do about that.  It's Steve's night "on" but since I have to go to work Tuesday, I might as well take tonight too so he'll be good and rested for Monday night.

Thanks for all the prayers.  They have certainly been felt and appreciated.  We continue to covet your prayers that this is 100% successful, that her pain remains easy to control and that her sleep patterns return to normal as soon as possible.


Still here

We are still in the hospital with Kylie.

Looks like a Sunday discharge.

Thanks for all your encouragement and prayers.  It helps.

Steve sacrificed another night of rest so I could take Jenna to cheer in her first ball game.

I love him.


We are ready to be home.

That is all.