-Does that mean I get to have another sleepover!?
-Yes! You can stay two nights with Oma and Opa and one night with Papa and Gar!
-So, you know how Isaac really doesn't like to eat, and it always makes him cry, and he has to watch Toy Story, just so that he'll eat? Well, this surgery is going to help him grow. They're going to make a hole in his belly, and then put a tube in it, and that's how he will eat.
-Oh...but will it hurt him?
-Yes, it will hurt at first, but after it heals then he will be fine.
-Will it have blood coming out of it?
-Yes, there will be a little bit of blood, but it won't be a big deal. We'll just clean it up and wait for it to heal.
-So after he has the tube then he won't cry anymore when he eats?
-We hope not. He might cry at first because it's like a boo-boo, but soon he'll feel better.
-Well, I don't want him to cry anymore.
-I know, I don't either. That's why he needs the surgery. He needs to grow stronger so that he can learn to walk and run, and chase you around! And you know what? After the first tube heals, then they put in what's called a Mic-Key Button?
-Like Mickey Mouse! Will it look like Mickey Mouse?
-No, not really, but it will attach to his belly and then we'll lift the lid and feed him.
-Well, how are you going to find a really tiny spoon to put in the tube?
-No, we don't need a spoon, but I'll show you how the whole thing works and you can help me.
-Will I be able to tickle him?
-No, not until he heals and gets the Mic-Key button.
-What if I tickle him very carefully? (FYI, there is no such thing as a careful tickle attack from a four year old.)
-No, we'll have to wait until he heals all the way.
-Okay! Well, I'm so excited to have a sleepover!!!
And like other sleepovers, I do hope all of her dreams come true at this one too! Such a silly girl.
I realized on Sunday that I am full blown photography snob. I hate to admit it, but when I saw that for some reason the last batch of pictures I took on vacation were JPEGs, well, I got a little mad. And in my already bad mood, I blamed Walter. He completely denied every changing my setting from RAW to JPEG, but I said, "well I certainly didn't do it." I'm still not sure who did it, but shame on them!
In an effort to relieve the stress of bedtime from Walter, we've been trying a new bedtime routine with Isabella. It seems to work, despite the fact that she comes out of her room to tell us really important things about ten times before she submits to staying in her bed and going to sleep. Her excuse is always this, "every time I start to close my eyes I just have a bad dream." We've asked her to describe these bad dreams...
-I was in a room and there a was a really big lion and Stella jumped out and attacked it, and it ran away.
-Well, that's good right? That means that Stella scared it away.
-Well, yeah, but then there was blood all over the world from the lion. And then Stella threw up.
And last night...
-Mommy, I just need to tell you something really important.
-Okay, come tell me.
-When I close my eyes I start to have a really bad dream.
-Can you describe your dream?
-(in a very sad and pathetic voice)Well, well, it's about all of the (hiccup) things that I'm not allowed to do.
-What are you not allowed to do that is upsetting you?
-(pathetic voice is escalating) I just, I'm not allowed to like, go to a big school (sob), and I'm not allowed to get the mail (bigger sob), and I can't go to work (hiccup), and there's just all of these things I'm not allowed to do!
While watching Toy Story the other day she said,
-Mommy, I wish I could jump on my bed like Andy.
-Well, everyone has different rules.
-How about we change the rule from no jumping on the bed, to jumping on the bed.
-I'll think about it.
At the Norfolk Botanical Garden...
I want to go back.
All of the other parents were walking around telling their kids it was too cold to play in the water. We're pretty cool parents. I got some weird looks for letting Isaac scoot up to the water, fully clothed. I swear this one mom almost rushed to rescue him and gave me a dirty look because I was letting him do that. Sorry, I'm cooler than you, that's just the way it is!
At age four, Isabella is at times, completely hilarious, completely annoying, bossy, smart, entertaining, whiny, emotional, dramatic, loving, and full of energy. As a four year old, she can manage bathing herself, brushing her teeth, dressing herself, playing in the yard by herself (with Stella on guard), she entertains Isaac while I brush the dreads out of his hair, can set the table, put her dirty clothes in her laundry basket, and honestly, sometimes when I look at her, I have flashbacks of the times when she and I would sit at Starbucks, she with her little cup and me with my coffee, and watch the trains go by. Or when she would sit on my lap while I sewed and she would remove the pins for me, and I can't believe how life has changed in such a short time. She was so different at eighteen months than Isaac is, and I don't want this to sound bad, or like I don't appreciate what I have with Isaac, but I'm so glad I got to experience all of those things with Isabella. And I'm thankful for Isaac and the way he has changed us and for the way he will make Isabella accepting of everyone no matter what their challenges may be.
The summer before I left for my freshman year of college (at Bowling Green University--worst place on earth, by the way), I worked at a daycare center. I know, really bad idea for me. I don't handle that many children very well. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking. Anyway, there was a little boy in my three and four year old class who had Down Syndrome, and I always thought, I don't know how his mom handles all of that. I could never be a mom to a special needs child. Wow, first of all, I was a really dumb, judgmental eighteen year old, secondly, now I'm that mom. God chose Isaac for us for a reason, and I'm sure he'll exceed expectations--he already is, with physical therapy! But I never imagined that I would be headed to the hospital for my son's third surgery. Or that his eating would become so bad that he would need to be tube-fed. I didn't even know such a thing existed. Thank God it does though, because honestly, we wouldn't be able to wait another week for this surgery. I took Isaac for a feeding evaluation at a different hospital on Monday, and they said that at this point, his oral aversion to food and drinking, is so severe that eventually, he will stop eating by mouth, and if they could get him in for a surgery that day, they would have recommended it. It's true, we're at a bad point, but that doesn't make this surgery any easier.
It's heartbreaking watching him come out of anesthesia, not know what's going on. His mouth is always dry, and his lips chapped. His cry is always hoarse from being intubated, and as a mother, I always feel helpless. So I'm ready to get this over with. So if you pray, pray that the intubation goes smoothly, because they always have trouble, and that establishing an IV doesn't take too long and doesn't require too many pricks, and just for healing, so that Isaac can resume normal activity. If intubation goes well they're more likely to give him narcotics post-op, otherwise he has to be on Tylenol, like with the last surgery. I don't know about you, but Tylenol just does not do the trick in these scenarios.
Thank you for thinking of us, and I'll keep you posted!