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I Stand Triumphant

April 14th, 2007

Kenny, who is generally a stellar sleeper at night, has morphed into a nighttime terror.   Bedtime, which used to be  a sweet twenty minute ritual, has become one that stretches two hours, only to have him wake at 4 or 4:30, pathetically tired, but refusing another minute of sleep.

This usually happens whenever we return from a trip (which is unusually often for our little family), and typically takes a night or two of letting him cry for fifteen minutes or so to straighten out.   But it’s gone from bad to worse since his anything-but-vacation in the hospital last week.   It started because we slept in the same bed with him in the hospital for three nights.   Then, because of his fragile state and to watch for the fever to return, we stayed in his room for several nights when we got home until he was fast asleep, then returned to hold him if he woke up (which he did, genuinely scared) in middle of the night.   Then his Grandparents arrived to take care of him as I prepared for my surgery.   When I returned from the hospital and he saw me swollen and puffy from the I.V., drugged from the meds and unable to hold him at all, he got, understandably shaken up.   The two days I was in bed he wanted nothing to do with me; he would run in to see if I was still there, then run back out again, saying “All done, Mama.”   It was hard to go through for me, and I can only imagine how odd it must has been for him.

So he was having trouble sleeping, as his grandparents started staying in there to make sure he was asleep, then got up to hold him when he woke up in the middle of the night.   The length of time of each of these instances got longer and longer, until two nights ago, when I was actually well enough to go out on a much-needed date with Casey, we returned home to learn that Kenny had just barely fallen asleep before we got home.   And at four the next  morning, he started calling, Papa went in, and the whole house was up by 4:30.   The exact same thing happened last night.   No joke.   This resulted in an inevitable and ugly meltdown this morning at 9:30, when the exhausted Kenny just could not  take the sleep deprivation anymore.   Unfortunately, we were in the car, and by the time we got home, did he want to nap?   Yeah.   And I want to have another extemporaneous organ removed.

So Casey and I laid with him in his room for over an hour, trying to get him to nap.   That worked about as well as the time I tried to teach Dudley to fetch a diaper.

september 183.jpg  

The worst part of it all was that I was 100% aware that we were only making the problem worse by giving in to his demands that we stay in his room.   So tonight, with Casey and his dad off to an Arizona Diamondbacks game, and with his mom on my side, I put him to bed with his normal routine and left the room.

He screamed for forty minutes.   I went in and comforted him.   He screamed for another fifteen.   Casey’s mom suggested that I go outside where I couldn’t hear him.   I did.   He was asleep five minutes later.

Victory.   *sigh*

Now let’s see what happens tomorrow morning at 4, when all family members have been banned from entering Kenny’s room until it’s light out… Stay tuned….

Me; Only One Organ Short

April 12th, 2007

I’m slowly recouperating.   Casey took me to a wine bar tonight where we sampled half a dozen wines, and that certainly helped!   I still feel my insides do the tango when I shift positions, but I suppose that’s to be expected.  

Kenny is “surviving” with his grandparents.   Read: He is loving every minute!    Lunch in the living room, watching cartoons; cake and ice cream for dinner… what could be better??   No, seriously, my in-laws are doing a stellar job of taking care of him and me.   And I am a reluctant patient.   I come out at in-frequent intervals to uphold the law of the house, then disappear into narcotic-induced slumber for hours on end.   They are champs.

The bottom line is that I’m recovering, Kenny is recovering, Casey is recovering, and poor Dudley is going to the Vet again tomorrow for his yearly vaccinations.   And Grandma and Papa are holding down the fort.   I wonder if we even remember what “normal” is?

Mommy Frankenstein

April 9th, 2007

Tomorrow I go under the knife.   Say goodbye to the gall bladder.   Funny, the doctor reassured me that there’s no issue to remove it, because it isn’t really necessary in the first place.   Like the apendix.   But God gave them to me, so surely they are not accidental!   It’s not like He came up with “extra parts” when He put me together, so He stuck an extra organ or two in there.   I must admit that I’m a bit skeptical about my doc’s cavalier attitude.

If nothing else, I guess I can add this as one more reason why not to wear a bikini this summer… between my c-section scar and my accordian-like folds of skin hiding my secret six-pack abs, why not add another little demure pink trophy?   Then again, once you have an adorable kid to take to the beach with you, no one looks at you again anyway.   I could wear a Wonder Woman costume to the shore, and still have people look right past me to gaze at my sweet little perfect boy.

Can you tell I’m nervous about going to the hospital tomorrow?   I think I’m more nervous about not seeing Kenny for twenthy-four hours.   He’s like a mandatory  appendage, (unlike the unnecessary gall bladder) and it’s not easy to just take him off for the day.   I spend nearly  all of my  waking hours holding him, pinning him down to change a diaper, chasing him, being chased by him, singing to him, dancing with him, washing hummos off his face or playing with him each day.   What on earth am I going to do without him for twenty four hours???   Worse yet, with his grandparents here, will he even notice that I’m gone?

I’m being silly, I know.   It must come with the territory…

Another Drama Comes to a Close

April 8th, 2007

Kenny is home and definitely on the mend.   He swings from wildly happy and normal to clingy and tired like a yo-yo, but going to bed tonight he was in one of his silly-sweet-lovey moods.  

The doctors did finally figure out what he has, too!   It turns out that his Staph infection is merely the epidermal type: this means that he essentially got it from himself, as many people carry the Staph bacteria on their skin.   He either had a  scrape or a bug bite (most likely on his ear) that he itched and scratched  in just the right way as to bury the little bacterial bugs deep in there and spread it around his poor skin like a weed.   He will be on an antibiotic for the next seven days to kill it off completely, though you can hardly even see where it was just a few days ago.   He has had wicked diarrhea (from the medicine), and has thrown up a little, but he is a tough little bugger, and will be back to his old shenanigans in no time, no doubt.

So, as promised, here are a few of the photos I took of the last six days…

hospital april 07 001.jpg   This is what his ear looked like the morning I decided that it was more than just a bad bug bite, and took him back to the pediatrician.   We were sent to the hospital a few hours later.

 

hospital april 07 004.jpg
Kenny thought that it was pretty fun at first.   A cool robe, lots of toys, and a big room to play in…

hospital april 07 008.jpg   … and the hospital food was pretty good! This shot is right after his first I.V. went in.   You can see that his right arm is taped to a board.

… a post lunch nap…     hospital april 07 003.jpg  

hospital april 07 013.jpg  

… and a little playtime with Buttons the Bunny, a gift from the hospital.   He later threw up all over this poor bunny (during the horrible morning they were trying to get another I.V. going), and it was thrown away.   They replaced it with a green one, whom Kenny called “Buttons, too!”

hospital april 07 014.jpg   A wagon ride.   Notice the I.V. trailing behind.   This was the only way he could leave the room, since at this point his foot was bound and he couldn’t walk.

… he got a little tired of the wagon…       hospital april 07 016.jpg  

hospital april 07 019.jpg   But he was all smiles when we got home!   It’s so good to be home…

So now I have one more day before I am shuttling myself back to the hospital for my surgery.   Casey’s parents are arriving tomorrow to help with Kenny, and I am trying to get a week’s worth of catch-up done in a day.   It’s amazing how much we take our little lives and schedules for granted, isn’t it?   Suddenly the laundry and the dusting don’t seem as pressing as they did a week ago…

Happy Easter, too!   I have a lot more to day about Easter, but I will have to organize those thoughts another time.

Update, Part II

April 6th, 2007

Kenny has to stay in the hospital another night, so I have come home to take care of Dudley, and to “try” to get some sleep.   It turns out that his infection culture did grow after all, so they are able to determine that it is indeed a Staph infection.   They are keeping him another night to try and determine which strain of Staph it is (so that they can send him home with the right antibiotic), and because his fever keeps going up and down, and they require that the patient be free of a fever for twelve hours before discharge.

Kenny, on the other hand, is crawling the walls.   He’s 100% improved in his inexhaustibly excitable capacities, and he is doing somesaults on the bed out of boredom.   He’s begging to WALK, and trying desperately to escape his confinement.   To that end, I am extremely relieved, though I left poor Casey with a fired up toddler, way past bedtime, and helpless to get him to lay down and “go sleepy-time!”   I will hopeful get something resembling  a decent night’s sleep, and return over to the hospital tomorrow morning to see when they plan on releasing him.

Thanks again to all for all the prayers and hopefully tomorrow my news will be nothing but good!

A Quick Update

April 6th, 2007

I am home on a quick “walk Dudley” break.   Today is Kenny’s third day in the hospital, and we are not sure yet whether or not we will be staying another night.   He is MUCH better today – finally talking, laughing and eating again.  

Yesterday was pure Hell.   He woke up at 3 AM vomiting, and didn’t stop until five.   His I.V. came loose yesterday at about that time, and it took them six hours and NINE tries to get another one established.   Seven of those tries blew veins, and his little hands and arms are bruised and bandaged.   They finally got one in his foot, so his leg is wrapped as if it were broken, to keep him from jiggling it loose again.   He spent the rest of the day yesterday lying listlessly, sleeping on and off, as they pumped fluids and over-due  antibiotics into his little body.   He fell asleep last night at 6 and didn’t wake up again until 5 this morning – a huge relief.   He has been running a fever on and off, but the vomiting has stopped and he was able to eat again.   He’s napping again now, and I took the chance to run home for a break.   I need a walk as much as Dudley does.

The jury is still out as to what’s going on exactly.   There is definitely a bacterial infection (though they are unable to determine whether it’s Staph or Strep, due to the culture not growing), and possibly a viral infection as well.  

I’m sorry for the lack of writing finess in this post, but I promise to relay more later.   I need to get going.   Thanks to all for the prayers, and keep praying!   I’ll update when I can.

Kristjana

And Now For a Change in Venue…

April 4th, 2007

… well, not a change really.   But it looks like we’re in the hospital again.   First me (twice), then Casey, then Dudley, and now my poor, sweet Kenny.   In fact, I am writing from the “family” computer in the pediatric ward’s waiting room.   Kenny developed a swollen and violently red ear yesterday, which I got him into the doctor for right away.   She determined that it was an infected insect bite, and sent us home with a prescription.   This morning, his ear was nearly three times the size it should be, fire-engine red, and the other ear was begining to swell as well.   Back to the pediatrician’s office, where we were sent directly to be admitted overnight in the hospital. The doctor on call here determined that it is most likely a Staph infection, and he is on some pretty heavy antibiotics, via I.V.

Tell me this isn’t really happening.   Tell me that I’ve been inundated with too much Sanjaya nonsense on what used to be legitimate news outlets, and I’m going insane.   Tell me anything except that my precious little boy has his arm strapped to a board with an entire roll of duct tape and needles poking into his perfect baby skin.

He’s doing well, all considering.   He took a two and a half hour nap, dozing with me on the hospital bed.   For the last two hours this evening he’s been dancing off the walls and doing backflips in his bed, trying to escape.   And we might be here more than one night.

I’ll have to continue this update later, as I need to get back and relieve poor Casey, who is, by this time no doubt, having his eyebrows plucked out by Kenny’s good hand.     I always thought that “things” came in threes, and with my miscarriage, then my diagnosis of needing gallbladder removal surgery (which is scheduled for next tuesday), then Casey taking a micro-trip to the ER last week, that we were done.   But then again, Dudley ended up in the puppy hosptal for his vomiting episode… and now this.   I’m not qute sure where we fit  in all this  in the Master Plan, but I know that God does.   Thank God, He does.

Does This Kid Read Dr. Spock??

April 2nd, 2007

I’ve read that eighteen months of age is the most typical time for a child to begin the phase of seapartion-anxiety.   Well, Kenny was a few weeks late, but he’s definitely in the throes of it now.

Bedtime for Kenny  has finally become the drama that most moms talk about with their toddlers.   His favorite stall-tactic is to request another “Pray-er!”   This is a kid that knows his parent’s soft-spot.   Who is going to deny praying with their little one?   To give him credit, I think that he genuinely enjoys the goodnight prayer that we say, and he loves to sit and listen to us pray for him and for each other.   But he’s starting to use the “pray-er” card interchangably with “Juice!   Mo’ juice pa-leese!” and “Mama chair, song, pa-leese?” which makes me wonder if he is just playing us.   When we were in Las Vegas, I stayed with him until he fell asleep… in a strange hotel room, what more could I do?   But since we’ve been home, he has refused to go to sleep by himself.  

We used to be able to do the bedtime routine, put him in his crib with a kiss, and walk out of the room.   In fact, one of my favorite things was to then secretly listen to him on the monitor, as he talked to all of his stuffed animals, sang songs and make sweet little sounds.   Now it’s “Mama hold you!” and “Nudder song” and “Mama big bed!” (which means he wants me to lay in the bed next to his crib  until he falls asleep).   Try to put him down and walk out and you’re met with a sound that closely resembles a hyena being dis-membered.   And then he’s so worked up, sleep is nearly impossible.   We have tried to let him cry it out some, but it’s so depressing to listen to.   When he was a little younger, we did let him cry until he fell asleep, but now that he’s more vocal, it seems so cruel.  

Any thoughts out there?   It’s becoming an hour-long ordeal for us, and definitely taking away from our “alone time” in the evening.   Any advice is appreciated!

vegas 003.jpg

To the Other Man in My Life

April 1st, 2007

dudley.jpg

 

Dear Dudley,

Let me start first with a commendation:  most of the time, you are a really good dog.   You always sit and wait for the “ok” before diving into your food bowl, you sleep in your own bed (most of the time), and you are extremely protective of your littlest pack member, Kenny.   You are athletic, a great running and roller-blading partner, and you are fun to walk with.   You are very well behaved at outdoor restaurants, and you are the stud of the local dog park.   You are very sweet to want to share your bones with me,  too.   I am especially touched when I get  out of bed in the morning, and  find one neatly tucked under my pillow.   You are even cooler than the toothfairy!   How do you do that without waking me up?  

But I have a few questions for you, my furry friend:

Why do you turn around 800 times before collapsing in a “humph!” on the couch at night?   Why do you lick yourself where your manhood used to be, without even taking a breath, for hours on end?   Do you think that if you lick there long enough, they will grow back?   And why do you only destroy things only when everyone’s at home?   We can leave you for hours, and the house is perfectly intact, yet in the ten minutes it takes me to fix lunch for Kenny, you have torn a hole in the dining room chair, eaten four or five legos, chewed the heel off of one of my shoes, and then when I turn around to try and catch you, you snatch the sandwich I just made off the countertop.   Even Kenny has learned to say flawlessly, “Dudley chewed up!   New one, Mama.”   Did you know that we are on his fourth t-ball set?   And his second super-set of legos?   And why do all of his stuffed animals only have one ear?   And how is it that you have chewed the left ear off of all of them, and left the right ear completely alone?  

Oh Dudley… some days I wonder if you are deaf, since you ignore my commands to “drop” or “come” with such ease, but then I know it’s all an act when you are able to hear me lift the lid off the cookie jar from three rooms away.     And how is it that you are so terrified of garbage cans being rolled out of a driveway during our walks that you cowar behind me, wrapping your leash around my legs, and yet you attack the garage door with vigor  whenever you hear it go up?

Dudley, Dudley, Dudley… I could write a country song about you, I think.  

Love, Mama

kenny and dudley.jpg

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