Saturday, July 31, 2010


3 = the number of times I just stabbed my finger while sewing on one snap at 12:45 am

4 = the number of times I've been peed on, so far, while holding Jeffrey's leg as he sat on the potty!

15= approximate number of times we've eaten out the last 2 weeks (no oven or stove at the house, plus who has time to cook?)

383= number of pictures I've taken, so far, since the day of Jeffrey's surgery ( I'm slacking)

46 = amount in dollars we've spent on tolls in the last 2 weeks traveling to Baltimore, MD

70 = the amount in dollars we spent for our first pharmacy visit for meds and a FEW medical supplies (i.e. saline, gauze)

4 = number of care packages Jeffrey received between Tuesday and Friday (He LOVES them all! and the cards too, of course! Well, he just throws the cards, I enjoy reading them and knowing people are thinking of us)

100 = approximate number of times Jeffrey said, "I can do it myself" usually followed by, "Watch!... See I told you I could do it!"

Can you top my stats? What have you been up to?

It's good to see, some things never change

Only a few hours home and Jeffrey was already climbing on the couch with his cars and playing baseball with daddy. The comments from his parents?..."oh, ...ow...I don't think you
Jeff?...What are you...? Maybe you shouldn't..." We figured just let him be. He's 3!
Boys back together
Giving mom and dad a heart attack
Saturday morning the fam had a breakfast outing to the Hollywood Diner. It went very well, if I do say so myself. Jeffrey walked with his walker all the way to the car, in the parking lot and through the diner, in and out. Everyone we saw was overly nice once they saw the little child with a disability. (side note: imagine if the whole world acted that way to everyone all the time. Boy, would this world be a different place. Granted, I'm guilty of over niceness in those situations too. Something to think about, I guess)
At Hollywooooooood
Then today he was reluctant to swim in Grandma's pool because that meant pin care, duhn, duhn, duhnnnnn! Pin care = pain! Swimming is something he once enjoyed that he has to learn to enjoy again; one baby step at a time.

He ended the day with a little PT time with daddy. Also, I helped him beat some boards on Super Mario. Brought back some good memories :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Keep your eyes peeled

"Mom, today I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled for worker guys and school buses, " Jeffery tells me as we cross the street headed to therapy. "Hey! There's a worker guy! 'HI!' I saw a worker guy, check!"
Every day for the past 5 days, Jeffrey and I have been camped out for at least a half hour/hour watching excavators, skid steers and dump trucks do their thing on one part of the hospital. We just sit, relax, wave and marvel in awe of the diggers. It really is cool to watch. We saw the excavator change digging tools a few times and they even unearthed this huge concrete "thing" (for lack of a better term).
I think the construction workers get a kick out of the fact that we just watch them for entertainment and they wave back and smile. Either that or they are cursing us under their breath for watching them perform hard labor. Either way, it is a good way to pass the time. Now you know the inspiration for his naming of his external fixator, "The Excavator."
Just livin the dream

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Signs you may not be in the best area

Rolling up into Walgreen's, Jeffrey and I are greeted by a guard/police officer. Okay, he just happens to be in the area. Then we head into the store and get our bearings of what aisles may have what we need. We find the soap aisle only to come across the body wash that was not so accessible. It was actually locked a it was dangerous or expensive. I understand electronics being locked up, but soap? Really? What kind of mischief can one get into with body wash? Now, I'm just curious!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Suck it up!

"You're fine, get up!" I say to baby Jack as he falls yesterday, "It's not like you have 9 pins stuck in your bones or anything!" (That second part is what I murmured slightly sarcastically, but partly serious.)
After seeing what these kids have to go through and hearing their screams and cries I have a higher tolerance for complaining about stuff. I like to complain. It's one of the things I do best, other than forget stuff. I now realize I need to "suck it up" a whole heck of  a lot more and think of these tough cookies while doing it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Busy Sunday

Sunday was another day of 1sts. We had our first outing and our first visitors.
We wanted to get out. Hmm...where could we go that's reasonably affordable and had the stuff we needed?? Where else, but Walmart?!
Playing with his arm rest that we took off so he could fit in his booster
 We loaded Jeffrey into a stifling hot car, the wheelchair in the trunk, and ourselves in the front seat of a car we hadn't sat in since Tuesday. The trip was successful, but Jeffrey was rubbing his eyes before we even got to the store. It's about a 10 minute drive.
When we arrived back at the house around 12:45, Grandmom, Poppy and Jack E. were waiting for us at the door.
Jack wasn't quite sure what to think of that contraption
 It was so good to see everyone. We all enjoyed lunch together and went back to the house until like 9ish. The kids played and Jeffrey used his walker a bit (which was awesome!!!!) He saw other kids doing it and he wanted to. Ahhh..the positive side to peer pressure :)
Trucks with little brother, Jack
Walking with Daddy
Being silly with Grandmom
Then, after dinner, the boys watched a little tv in the common area.
Jeffrey, Poppy, Jack, Jamie
Sadly, Jeffrey and I said goodbye to Daddy that night. He'll be back for a visit on Tuesday. We can't wait! Is it Tuesday yet???


As of about 12:30 Saturday afternoon we were no longer property of the hospital. Woohoo! The IV came out early on, we had PT, did pin care (which should really be renamed, torture), played "Cars" on the Wii with another 3 year old boy in the hospital play room and then ventured to the cafeteria to pick out a yummy meal.
Over the course of leaving the hospital today and arriving with Jeffrey back to Hackerman-Patz we heard  stories of such strength from 2 other families. We thought we had it hard. One woman told us her son had 2 heart attacks at the age of 3 months and this slowed his growth. Things didn't go well with another one of his surgeries and he was on life support. He's had multiple surgeries and now he's in a soft cast. He was a cutie. We also met a 15 year old girl and her mom. At birth, this girl's one foot was at the level of her other knee. She has been stretched 22 cm. By looking at her today you would never know. This is her third surgery and she has her last fixator on. She's had a super hip surgery, a spica cast (full-body cast), and fixators. She was soo great. She ate lunch next to us at the house and then offered to play ping-pong with Jeffrey. Well, if you know anything about Jeffrey he loves sports so he was bascially like, bring on the pong! They must've played together wheelchair vs. wheelchair for like an hour. Surprise, the people watching were impressed with Jeffrey's ability. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but the kid has some mad skills :)
We also met a cutie-patooti, Madeline. She is also 3 and can't be kept down :) Her surgery was 4 weeks ago. She is walking, yes walking, with her fixator all over the house. She and Jeffrey have colored, shared peas and a juice box together. For some reason he keeps calling her Anaya. When we walk past her door, he asks for her. When we leave the room he says, "I wonder if Madeline (aka Anaya) is out." They plan to be here until the middle of August, like us.
Thanks to Madeline, Jeffrey, on the day of hospital discharge, got out of his wheelchair to sit with her. Then he wanted to get on the floor and play trucks. Jamie and I exchanged a puzzled "uh...should we do this? Is it okay" look.  We figured if he wanted to that we should try to help.
Do you think he was fine? Of course he was. He was using his hand to lift and move the fixator. Again, we were slightly freaked out by that. He even attempted to stand on his own, perhaps forgetting he even had one on.
Dumping with Dad

After dinner, we ended the night with a little PT. Happy Birthday, daddy!!
It's now 1:30 a.m. Monday morning. My alarm woke me up. (It's the every-four-hours-pain-meds alarm.) I figured, why not catch up on my update? I'm only 2 days behind! Sorry to keep you hanging. This morning at 8:00 is our first official outpatient PT. That should be interesting. Let someone else torture Jeffrey for a change. I think it's also his first official turning day too. Turning day? you may wonder. Well, that's what we'll be doing 4 times a day. We have an allen wrench that we insert into one of the pieces of hardware on his leg and we crank out a quarter turn 4x daily. That will space out the broken femur and give us the eventual length. It's amazing what they can do.
So, I'm gonna add some pics and go back to sleep.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Notice anything different about me?

Here is a picture of Jeffrey. Other than the fact that he is clearly in a tv coma, do you notice anything different?? No??? It's good that you don't since the epidural is now OUT!!! Woohoo! We are watching Madagascar and relaxing. Hopefully, we'll ALL be headed back to "Peppermin-Pats" tomorrow. No more hospital! We can go mingle with the other kids and feel somewhat normal again. Well, as normal as you can be with an "excavator" attached to your leg.  What is an excavator? you may wonder. If you looked it up it would tell you it's a type of digging truck. To Jeffrey the word  "excavator" now has a new meaning. It's what he's named his "external fixator".
I love how he renames things. He's renamed the Hackerman-Patz house and yesterday he renamed the Occupational Therapist. Her name is Retu, but he calls her Rintoo, like from Ni Hao Kai-Lan.
He is also a sweetie in that he offers food to random people. The anesthesiologist, Leo, came in to take the epidural catheter out and Jeffrey offered him a carrot from his dinner plate. Leo requested the chocolate brownie cupcake, but Jeff was reluctant to give it up. Can't deny he's my son.
He is my big boy! He keeps randomly saying, "Mom,.....I love you!" 
Madagascar is now over and we are about to snack on a little Rice Krispie treat and chocolate milk before the next dose of pain meds. Then read a story, tell a pretend story and go to sleep :) Let's pray that his night goes well. Talk to ya tomorrow.
P.S. We miss you, Jack E. boy!!! Mommy, Daddy and Jeffrey will see you soon!

"I can do it, I know I can!"

Words from one tough 3 year old. We wheeled back from the playroom for lunch (mind you, he likes to wheel himself) and he wanted to get back into bed to eat.
Jamie and I prepare to hoist Jeffrey to his bed, when Jeff says, "I wanna do it." Uh, okay, just how is that gonna happen, I wondered. Then as if he could read my thoughts, he spouts out, "I can do it! I know I can!"
1st time standing with the help of Dad and Brita, PT

We love that he is determined and don't want to discourage him from doing things he sets his mind to. So...we attempted to support him in his endeavors to stand. He did it with lots of help since he still has the epidural in and his legs feel funky. He got a little freaked out and we got him back into bed. I'm telling you, even though I look down at him, I look up to him!
Today was a good day. He had breakfast,  blew some bubbles and a pinwheel, had PT, played Madagascar again on XBOX 360, shot some hoops with both hands (even the weak one that has the IV), took some oral meds and got a lollipop :) He is now resting from his morning of excitement.
Rest, baby, rest

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 1 Down

Surgery day has come and gone. All went well yesterday and the night was good too. Only one parent gets to stay at Jeffrey's bedside at a time. Last night mommy got to. I was hoping daddy could get some well needed rest back at the Hackerman-Patz House, however, he had to wait for a washer to be free so he could wash and dry Jeffrey's pukey Phillies blanket. [side note: Jeffrey got sick because right after surgery he requested orange juice and even though the nurses were hesitant, he got some. (charming little devil) Well, the orange juice made a reappearance right before Jeff had his dinner of pancake (just 1). The poor little guy felt bad because he was all wet and the bed was too. It was his first little wipe down/bath. So instead he later had dry Rice Krispies and ice chips for dinner. MMmmmm! I must say though that his dinner was better than our hospital food dinner. Luckily the cafeteria has really good food!] Shocker, I got off topic!

Brace yourself, here comes a fixator picture! Gotta love the smiley face on his knee!
The osteotomy went well and the pins are in! This external fixator is called an "Orthofix".

Okay, so post op was all good. The poor little guy was fighting off sleep. I think he just didn't want to miss anything. Plus, the last time he fell asleep, in the OR, they stuck this big metal erector set on his leg, which is uh, well, not comfy. I can't say we blame him for wanting to be aware of all that's done to him. He's cried a few times but not so much out of pain but fear. He said, "I don't like when people come with tools." Again, I'm right there with ya, buddy.
He still is not feeling much pain due to the epidural that will be in for a few days. He seems to be most bothered by the IV in his hand and the catheter which was referred to by the PT as his "tinkle tube", that cracked me up.
He had some nice distractions today. He got to ride in his wheelchair for the first time. We rolled on out to the play room to shoot some hoops, chuck some beanbags, paint and even use mommy's camera to take some interesting photos!

Daddy is dumping beanbags out of a spotted kangaroo
Artist at work

He kept requesting, "When can I get down and play?" Ya figure, to him, a play room means you run around and play. Here we were telling him he has to stay in this chair on wheels and watch the other kids' siblings dribble and shoot basketballs and walk around. I think Jeff was slightly discouraged that he couldn't be, well...himself! The good news is that as soon as the epidural and the catheter are out, he is free to get down and around as much as he can tolerate.
He keeps asking, "When are we going back to Peppermin-Pats?" The house we are staying in, The Hackerman-Patz House, has been renamed by Jeffrey in honor of Peppermint Patty, the Charlie Brown Peanuts character. Too cute!
Well, the little dude is sleeping, finally!!! I'm going to upload some pics and rest my eyes as well. Thanks for tuning in!
Still his goofy self

(I'm going to apologize now for any grammatical errors. I typed all this and honestly don't feel like proofreading. Feel free to let me know if something just doesn't make sense)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If I don't sleep...

If I don't sleep, does that mean that tomorrow won't come? I feel like it's the movie "Groundhog Day". Tomorrow has replayed in my mind hypothetically for a while. I'd think about what Jeff will be like, how we'll occupy ourselves during surgery, will the time of surgery seem like an eternity? Tomorrow it happens for real!
No more cramming in the fun before "it"!
 CoCo Key water park: done, 

Having Friends over for one last get-together: done,

Ocean City: done,

Inner Harbor: done,(got rained on, but done)
(Picture to follow soon, not uploaded yet! I know I'm a slacker. haha)

So after blogging, I've decided to accept the fact that tomorrow is coming whether we are ready or not. 6:30 a.m. is when we are supposed to arrive at the hospital with a groggy 3 1/2 year old. Luckily, we only have to walk across the streeet. His surgery is at 8:30. It is supposed to last about 3 hours with a recovery time of 1 hour. We figure we'll see him around 12:30ish. While he is in surgery Jamie and I will be in a class learning how to care for his external fixator and what signs to look for as far as infection. Gotta love when you hear the words "oozing", "pus", and "crust". 
Anywho, since the room is super dark only to be lit by the glow of my screen and both Jamie and Jeff have passed out from sheer exhaustion and lack of sleep I too am going to sleep!
Please send lots of good thoughts our way. We need the strength for us and for Jeffrey.
Good night and thanks for listening (reading)!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Tears Cometh

Last night we had friends over for a last hurrah before our big trip. It was a nice relaxing night where we stuffed our faces, enjoyed some laughs and had fun watching the little ones play. As the last guest was leaving, (Lauren), she gave me a hug and I started to cry. Finally, I cried! I mean, I've cried over this before but at that hugging moment...wait....more tears are filling my eyes as I that moment I saw flash in my head Jeffrey being Jeffrey. Memories of him playing baseball, shooting hoops, kicking the soccer ball and anything else in his way (including Cooper or Jack), whacking slapshots with the hockey stick, taking double tubbies with him and Jack splashing each other and plotting together to soak mom, making a water slide out of our Fisher Price slide and our $9 blow up pool, tackling daddy and Jack while they crack up...etc. This was what I finally thought about. I realized that in 4 days, it all ends for quite a while. In 4 days my big boy, my 3 1/2 year old will undergo a serious surgery followed by intense pain and he probably won't understand why.

Thank God for my rock, Jamie. He always reminds me what a strong kid Jeffrey is and how tough we can be as a family to be there for Jeffrey. As wild, crazy, out of control energetic Jeffrey can be, maybe this will help him become more self-aware.
I truly believe that God has a plan for each and every one of us. Jeffrey is our boy, short leg, 9 toes and all :) We wouldn't trade him for the world. He is such a special boy and he will get through this with an amazing attitude.

I'll end with what he said last night while playing hockey with dad. Jamie: "Jeffrey, can you go give mommy a hug?" Jeffrey: "Why she cryin'?" Me: "Because I love you." Jeffrey wipes my tears and says, "Mommy, I need you to not cry. We need friends to play and be happy." Well, there you have it. The selfish little guy just wanted a third hockey player! haha

Saturday, July 10, 2010

And so it begins

Here we are, about a week and a half away from an event that will change our big boy’s life forever.
It seemed like just yesterday we were told, Jeffrey will have surgery to stretch his leg when he’s about 6 or 7. Well, in November of 2009 we were asked , “Are you ready to schedule the surgery?” SURGERY? NOW? He just turned 3!!
So, here we are July 10, 2010 trying to jam in as much activity that a 3 ½ year old can take each day. (Well, apparently he can take a lot more activity than mom and dad!) We have something planned almost every day for him to just enjoy being able to run, jump, tackle his brother, kick, climb, swim…and be his energetic self. Once July 21st comes and for about 6 to 8 months after that he will be carried, pushed in a wheelchair/stroller or pulled in a wagon while sporting an external bar fixator attached to his femur with pins.
Everyone has been so great and offering so much support and prayer already.
It’s odd because it really hasn’t hit me yet. I mean, I know it’s coming really fast, but…I don’t know…I think we’ve been so busy that I haven’t had much time to stop and process it all yet.
Well, let the official countdown begin: 11 days from today