Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where is Thumbkin?

Couldn't resist posting this. Elise's dance class sings this while waiting for the mats to be put down in the room. Amelia loves to sing along....

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I put my gobbles on...

She might not be able to swim, but that's not stopping her from wearing her new "gobbles". Bless her heart...she's still terrified and in pain. She doesn't want to take the brace off because she feels secure wearing it. I'll be working on taking her out of it more often. Her fear is creating problems with toileting. We're trudging along.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

When I get my casts off...

"Hey Mom, I tell you something. When I get my casts off, I go to swimmin' pool, I put my gobbles on...."

Over the past couple of weeks, Amelia has been telling EVERYONE what she will be doing once she gets her casts off. She starts out like this, "Hey Mom, I tell you something..." and then proceeds with a list of things that she will be doing once that cast is off. It's very endearing until she does it four times in a row....during bedtime. I call that a ploy to put off going to bed, Steve doesn't. He encourages the conversation to the point of, let's say, delirium or is hysteria the word I'm looking for? Anyhoo, it's her thing...this is a video conversation she was having with her Auntie Candy. She didn't say, "I tell you something..." I never seem to be able to catch that part.

The past few weeks have gone relatively smooth. We got into a routine and I even managed to take the girls out to a couple of places with any mishaps. The biggest thing was all the stares we would get. I guess that HUGE purple arch between her legs and those purple casts were just too much for people to ignore. I started covering Amelia with a blanket, that helped. The only problem is the heat~the poor child was constantly hot. We've had the air cranked at our house for several weeks now (much to my dismay). We haven't been able to take Amelia outside until the sun goes does, etc. So being couped up in this house has been challenging for all of us. But we made it through it.

Ready to roll to St. Louie

Yesterday, we returned to St. Louis and the cast was removed. My sister made the drive with me and the girls. It's a tough trip to make in one day, but we did it. The took us into the exam room right on time and the cast saw quickly followed. Amelia is familiar with the saw, she's had several sets of casts removed. But this was different...that Spica was thick and it took about 20-25 minutes to get that sucker off! But hearing that final "pop" with the cast cracker, was music to my ears. Not so much for Millie! She was very nervous, scared, etc. I guess we still had one of the cleanest casts ever. I didn't think so since we had a couple of "incidents" over the past couple of weeks. But I guess that's nothing compared to what most kids do to their casts. All I can say is that I would have probably snapped if her cast smelled really bad for that amount of time. Thank goodness she was potty trained!

Very concerned right before the saw starts

Yes, she is screaming, but not in any pain and that is the "Arch" coming off!

Final snip and snap before the top of the cast is removed.

Kristina, the nurse came in to check the flexibility of her foot and things went to "heck in a hand basket in a hurry". Yep, the wailing and screaming began and I was scrambling for pain meds. Since this isn't my first trip to the rodeo, I made sure I packed the "leftovers" from the surgery~just in case. So I started grabbing bottles and syringes. I gave her what I thought was some liquid oxy and she started to settle down pretty quickly.

Waiting for her new harness....

The harness fitting was rather interesting and you'll see why when you see the harness. It's a rather odd device that will hold her legs out in the position that they have been in for the past six weeks. I guess it's not so comfortable to go back to the way things were right away so this device will give her support and comfort for the next couple of weeks. She wears it 24/7 for two weeks. She can come out for baths and small range of movement exercises. We were excused with some instructions and I started to pack up all the things that found their way out of the diaper bag over the past hour. Some of those "things" was the medicine that I brought with me. As I grabbed the bottle from the counter, I happened to glance at the label. Well, I thought I gave her oxycodone for the pain, when in actuality I gave her Valium. Yep, nominate me for mother of the year. Needless to say, by the time we left the office, Amelia was singing to her hands and very mellow!

After about an hour, we were ready to hit the road again. Everyone took a potty break and Amelia spent some time at her favorite "ball roll". We loaded up the car (after about 15 minutes of rearranging, packing the wheelchair etc) and got back on the road. The girls were asleep within 10 minutes~thank the Lord!

The drive home was pretty uneventful until we got to Indianapolis. Amelia announced that she needed to go potty. I found a McDonald's and whipped "Betty" off the road for a quick stop. I ever so carefully removed Amelia from her car seat and proceeded to the bathroom. It's safe to say that I developed a certain "system" for toileting over the past six weeks. It's also safe to say that system is no longer effective and I discovered that a little too late, like when I was standing in the bathroom stall with a limp toddler in my arms trying to figure out how I was going to get her out of this harness and sit her on the toilet. With the Spica, all I had to do was remove the diaper from the outside of the cast and sit her on the potty. Wellllll....now I need to FIRST remove the harness and then the diaper and THEN sit her on the potty. I got through all of that, but then I have to deal with Amelia being terrified and clinging to me for dear life. So much so, that I had to ask her to loosen her grip so I could breath. It goes without saying, the potty break was a complete disaster and we returned to the vehicle without Amelia relieving herself. I promptly gave her some pain meds and started back on the road.

Once we got home, unpacked everything and got settled. I carried Amelia upstairs to get ready for bed. It was too late to go through all the new care instructions with Steve, so we brushed our teeth and went to bed. Giggsey was very curious about Amelia's new apparatus. He was determined to protect her as soon as she came home. I was afraid he would crawl into bed with her for awhile.

Giggs, keeping watch...

Sleeping went well. Amelia woke up at 6:15 and I gave her Tylenol. After about an hour, I got her up and decided to give her a much needed bath. I knew it would be challenging and it was. She is very scared coming in and out of the harness. She doesn't want to be moved at all and cries whenever I try to move her legs and feet at all. I praying that diminishes as she becomes accustomed to not being in the Spica.

All the New Stuff she will wear for the next two weeks

Still has big smiles for Mama

She is now sleeping on the sofa. She has no interest in food right now and she does weigh a big whopping 27 lbs. She is light as a feather without her cast and harness. She feels so tiny and frail in my arms. I'll be glad when my Tiger returns. I thought she would be rearin' to go, but I guess that will be a little while coming. The next few days will be rather long since I can't see taking her out anywhere. It's like starting all over. Oh well, it's rainy today anyway and the house could use some work. There's always a bright side to everything. Whenever I leave that doctors office, I always stop and thank the Lord for the many blessings in my life and for the health of my children. Millie may seem to have so much going on, but I'd rather have this than some of the other things I witness there. You know what they say, everyone throws their troubles into a pile and you pull any one problem back out of that pile. You'll be glad to take your own problem back than to have to deal with someone else's problem. Such a very true statement!

Off to tend to the chicks and the hen house....until later...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Millie's post op check up

Steve returned to St. Louis yesterday all by his lonesome with Miss Millie for a her post op check up. This appointment is generally scheduled at the two week point. But since we live so far away, they pushed us out to three weeks to grant us a bit of a reprieve from driving back so soon. For that, we say thank you Team Dobbs!

Anyway, I released control and let Steve take Millie without me! I know, people are fainting and gasping for breathe all over the country! Yes, it is hard to believe that I let this happen. Especially after the night time diaper fiasco (a story for another time). I did this for two reasons. #1~Dear Daughter Number One had a special Mother's Day Program at her school on that exact day that I really needed to be at. I'm so very glad that I didn't miss it. I forgot my video camera, but I'm going to touch base with some other mothers to see if they have Elise on video. She didn't disappoint, "Tacky" was in rare form! #2~Dear Daughter Number Two has taken on a bit of a "tude" lately~not using her manners, throwing her food and toys and just being very nasty. Sleep has been lousy and I've resorted to moving Amelia to the spare bedroom so Elise can get a peaceful nights sleep. I'm happy to say that Millie is coming around to my way of thinking, but it's been ugly my friends. I have explained to her on several occasions that her condition does not give her a license to be rude and mean to everyone around her. I think she got the message.

So back to the important part~the appointment. Steve said that Dr. Dobbs is thrilled with Millies hips and the x-rays look great. We win the prize for the cleanest cast ever and they ranted and raved about how great her cast looked. I'm still scratching my head over that because I haven't done anything except for what they told me. But, whatever, I'll take the compliment.

THE CAST COMES OFF ON MAY 27TH!!!! I'm beside myself with glee! Yes, it comes off and she will have to wear a harness for a couple of weeks, but the cast is coming off at the six week mark, not seven weeks! I'm thrilled. I have to get the details on the harness, but I think it can be removed for bathing and hopefully she'll be able to get into the swimming pool for therapy!

Millie is thrilled and knows that we have reached the half-way point of living in Spicaville! We are on the down hill swing~yahoo!

Now if I can just get my teenager to quit stealing the wheelchair and ripping through the house in it~Millie really doesn't like sharing it with him :-)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tummy Time....

If you know anything about people that are wheelchair bound or in bed too long, you know all about the possibilities of skins sores, bed sores, etc.

Amelia spends a great deal of time on her bottom or back. The potential for skin breakdown is pretty high. If we keep her skin dry (thank goodness she's potty trained) and rotate her position, we should be able to keep her from getting any sores. She did get one while we were in the hospital, but it is all healed now.

Putting her on her tummy is a challenge thanks to the St. Louie Arch. But we manage to do so a couple of times a day for about 30 minutes each time. We pile up pillows on the floor or on the sofa and she watches a movie. Thirty minutes is about all she can stand at one time. The pics tell the story!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's a good thing....

we are finished with visits from the social worker. No too sure how this method for securing Millie into her favorite "big girl" chair would go over.

But as you can plainly see, she's THRILLED to be using it.
So what's a mother to do when she just wants to make her baby girl smile a little bit???
You do what I do and get out all of your belts and strap the little monkey in. It was a delightful dinner with her at the table in her own chair and not the wheel chair. She even feed herself for the most part!
It was a banner day for Millie Moo!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spicaville~Day 13

So here we are, 13 days in Spicaville and this is what I know:
1) Millie is losing weight. She weighs 30 pounds WITH the cast and she weighed 28 pounds at her 3 year appointment on 3/25/08. You can't tell this mother that cast only weighs 2 pounds~no sirree!
2) Can't get her outside in hot weather, which we have had in the 'Nati over the weekend. She gets way too hot and sweats way too much! I'm praying the weather cools off and we aren't struggling with the "I wanna go outside" tantrums.
3) Bathing and hair washing isn't so bad. We seem to have it down to a nice routine. Her cast is staying clean and dry~YOORAH!
4) Millies appetite is way off (see #1). We were warned that she would need to eat frequent, small meals. I could understand that if the cast was tight, but I can fit hand hands all the way through the cast now. So, I know it is not too tight. Looks like I'm going to have to start finding some high calorie things for her to ear~Lucky Girl!
5) She's sitting up straighter in the wheelchair which makes it easier to put her at the regular kitchen table. I have her strapped in with bright green luggage straps (thanks Joan!). She looks very colorful!
6) We are off the meds except for a little bit of Tylenol when she goes to bed at night. She's sleeping very well too~for that I am very thankful!
7) Millie's frustration level gets really bad when other kids are running around. This makes for difficult socializing with Elise and her friends. Still trying to sort that issue out.
8) Finally, I'd like to say we have a nice rhythm going here but the second I do that, it will all fall apart. So for now I will say we are doing pretty well.

Thanks to all my friends that are feeding us! It really does help~you just can't imagine how much I appreciate it.

Blowing bubbles with Baba

The Sweaty, Outdoor look

This girl LOVES water way too much!

Enjoying the deck with Mama

Enjoying a "tea party" at the kitchen table