Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

My reign as stay-at-home-mom ends in 2 days :( I can't believe how those 3 months of family leave have flown by. I just keep kissing and hugging the boys. It's like I'm never going to see them again. But, really, when you think about it I'll spend about 9 hours at work when I'm used to spending that time with the kiddos. There were so many things I had planned to do on my "time off". HA! I was going to make cookie dough ahead of time to freeze, clean the garage, get Jeffrey to the dentist for the 1st time, see my family more, cook, walk/exercise, ...blah, blah, blah.  Looking back I now realize I should've just set one goal: enjoy my boys. Luckily, I did do this. I just stressed about not getting other stuff done.
One huge positive about me going back to work is that I don't have to worry about the boys when I'm not home. Jamie starts his 3 months of family leave.  He is such a great dad and is super competent to be Mr. Mom. I know he's nervous because he'll be leaving his first graders for 3 months and having to spend some cold winter months with the boys at home. Please pray for us on Wednesday when we both start, in a sense, our new jobs.

One thing that will be done as of Monday is my last official clinic visit to Baltimore. Jeffrey has a post op appointment at 8:30 and PT at 1. Hopefully, we'll get some cool xrays and hear some good news about how well Jeff's bone is growing. If we're really lucky, we'll get a date for fixator removal. That should be interesting.
Well,...this is me signing off for this Sunday. I'm going to go stuff my face due to stress and attempt to start some lesson plans for my return to work on December 1st. Wish me luck!!!
These are some of the things I'll miss:
Belly time watching Pocoyo
Trips to DQ for playing and eating
Making forts
Brothers playing outside
Hanging with cousin Mandi
Cute and crazy Jack E.


Lunch together



Monday, November 22, 2010

You HAVE TO eat that bacon before you get any apples or grapes!

Post Jeffrey shower (reason for being naked while Jack is in fleece)
Jeffrey had his 4 year old check-up at the pediatrician last week. I love going there because Jeffrey is like a celebrity now. The nurses and receptionists all know him because of his fixator. Some saw him in the paper. They all ask how his leg is doing. His response...? GREAT!
I brought his walker with us since he's been using it to get around the house after the most recent surgery. He had been scooting on his butt (which covered his velcro-sided pants with Cooper fur! Eww!) Then he gradually moved onto using his walker. Our main concern with his walking is when he sticks his left hip up and out to accommodate for his right hip not extending fully and we remind him to keep his right foot straight. His foot really turns in, but we think it's because of his flexible ankle due to the Fibular Hemimelia (FH). Wow, that lead to a slight tangent. Anyway, we go into the pediatrician with his walker. As soon as we get called into the room Jeffrey was all like look at me walking with no walker. It was like I was an idiot for bringing the walker, he walks all the time like this. Ha! Well, that was the first day he stopped using the walker. It was nice.
Dr. M. came in and he's so great with my boys.  Jeffrey really likes him because he messes with Jeff. The first thing he did was bring my skin and bones child to the scale. He picked him up and put him over his shoulder and was pretending to take him away. Jeffrey was cracking up! He came back from the scale slightly disappointed. Jeffrey is weighing in at a whopping 32 lbs!!! (That's sarcasm for those of you without kids! To put things into perspective my Jack who's 1 1/2 weighs like 25 lbs.)
So Dr. M. advises us to fatten this kid up. Well, good luck with that because we've been trying to do that since he was a baby. He recommended we do the same things now as he said to then, like feed him bacon, bacon fat, olive oil, extra butter...etc. Gross, right? He has always liked butter with his food, I mean like chunks of as a side. We don't give that to him, but lately he'll take the unmelted wad of butter from his waffle, veggies, oatmeal and just pick it up and eat it. (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth) The latest drink of choice...ready for this...? Chocolate milk, but not just any chocolate milk. It's 3 oz of whole milk, 3 oz of half and half (ew) all mixed with chocolate syrup! Then the doc mentions Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Tastykakes. Yum!! The very things I've been trying to avoid!!! Now, doctor's orders...they have to be in the house.
Jamie and I found ourselves at the breakfast table the other day saying, "Eat that bacon." Jeff requested more fruit. "You have to eat that bacon before you get any more apples or grapes!" What is wrong with this statement??
Our latest goals...grow good bone and fatten up our son. Gee, we wonder why obesity is a problem in our country!?

Monday, November 15, 2010


What a great morning!!!! Jeff and Jack were in great spirits!
Get this one! Jeff did great unwrapping, great in the shower and awesome wrapping during pincare!
Thumbs up for rockin' pincare!

Jamie was so great and inspirational with Jeffrey's pincare this weekend. He cut his hair, while Jeffrey cracked up. I failed to mention he put on a mask! They did pincare and showered all with Jeffrey cracking up. What can I say, my hubby is the man!
I think I just get caught up with getting it done and being frustrated that I don't have fun and let the poor kid be a kid.
Today I did my best to be calm and goofy. For some crazy reason it worked. In the shower Jeff wore his purple goggles and we let it rain with the shower head. Jack even joined us by taking his shirt off and playing in the water from outside of the tub. We all were laughing. This is how pincare should be everyday.
I know this post isn't that exciting, but I feel like I've been such a Debbie Downer that I had to share some happiness and success in the world of pincare.
Here's to the rest of a great day!!!

Here are a few random pictures of belly time: (belly time is what Jeffrey does 2x a day to help with his hip extension. He can't lay flat so letting gravity take it's course and stretching his muscle  by pulling his leg up are what we do!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Poor Jack E.

My poor little man. He is so cute but he has my grace and agility. This basically means he's a mess and he's always hurting himself. He runs around the house and falls constantly. On Halloween night we were at a split level house and have gone up the concrete stairs to get there. My little Jack-in-the-box tumbled backward, head over heels down about 5 steps to a landing. Needless to say, Halloween night was over at that point. Luckily, he cried and didn't sustain any (noticeable) damage.
Jack in the Box :)
His little head scrape scabbing over

Then, a few days ago he ran into the door jam of the bathroom head first. He was running down the wood floor of the hallway and slipped on his socks. He fell head first, but his head slammed into the molding. I heard it, saw it and saw the aftermath. YIKES!!!
Nice lump, right?
This poor kid doesn't stand a chance! God love him!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Life is getting shorter

I swear that pincare is shaving off a few years of my life. With a screaming 4-year old, a climbing up my back toddler and a dog breathing down my neck (with smelly poop-eating breath) all at the same time, I have lost at least 3 years today on my heart!

Friday, November 5, 2010

What a Week!

Last week Jeffrey was having trouble lifting his leg and walking and was just not himself. He was cranky and crying a lot. That was his body's way of saying, "Something's not right!"
I e-mailed Dr. Standard and the physical therapist in Baltimore. The PA called me back and said it's hard to diagnose Jeffrey over the phone and to bring him down. So....Wednesday morning I quick got the kids dressed and ready. Wiped my tears, hoping that nothing was going to be wrong. Jack went to Ms. Chris' (she rocks) and Jeff and I made the drive down to Baltimore!

We got xrays and saw Dr. Standard. It is not a clinic day so the doctor had to come out of surgery to talk to us.
After looking at Jeff's xrays, Dr. S said he had a loose screw (go figure!). Actually, it was two loose screws. The xray showed a dark gray area around those pins, meaning the bone was not keeping the pin in tight. 
the top 1st and 3rd pins are the ones that were loose
This was probably the reason he has had trouble in PT and at home. The plan??? SURGERY! UGH! That is so not what I wanted to hear. Surgery would entail taking out the 2 loose pins and putting a new one in a new spot at the top of the femur to keep it all stable.
I called Jamie as soon as we were out of the office and back in the waiting room. I hated to interrupt his class but I knew he'd want to know what was going on. Poor guy. I had him worried. I know it's gotta be hard not being able to be with us because of work. I told him all the info. We agreed that one good and scary thing about having this surgery is that Dr. Standard mentioned maybe taking off the tibial pins and the arch across the knee. Interesting....
We were waiting for an official surgery date. They wanted to do it that Friday, but selfish me knew we had Pippet's wedding and didn't want to miss our good friend's wedding. We scheduled it for Tuesday, November 2nd, if he could wait that long.
We took it easy on Halloween using the double stroller.
Jeffrey (aka Star Wars Man), Gaetan, Max, Jack (in the box)
Fast forward to Monday night. My sister, Jen, graciously, volunteered to take Jack E. overnight. That way Jamie and I could both be with Jeffrey the whole time. We stayed overnight at the Hackerman-Patz House since we had to be at the hospital by 6 a.m. for his 7:30 surgery.
watching tv at HP before heading to the hospital

The half hour surgery ended up having us wait for like 2 hours before we heard anything. That made us even more nervous. The anesthesiologist came out to bring us to the post-op recovery area to see our boy. We didn't know how we'd find him. He was talking and wanted to sit up.  He said he wasn't in pain. He was looking around and reading numbers on signs. He drank down 3 things of apple juice. NO O.J. this time. We learned our lesson.
I broke out my camera to take this pic and he freaked.
eating graham crackers post-op
We were all like, "What's wrong? What hurts?" "I want mommy to stop taking pictures!! WAAHHH!!!" haha and oops.
All he wanted to do was get in his stroller and leave. I was anxious to see what his new fixator gadgets looked like and what the bottom of his leg looked like minus the fixator part.
fixator on top, bottom all wrapped in an ace bandage, fixatorless
Now, it's Thursday. The first few days have gone surprisingly well. Today was the first day of post-op pincare. Thank God Jamie was home so we could go at this thing together. We took turns doing woundcare and holding Jeff's hands. I am posting pics below of the new "ghetto rigged" fixator and his pin holes from the tibia. Squeamish beware!
left and right pins are brand new, middle pin, the original (I think)

holes where pins used to be in tibia

Gentle was the word repeated over and over again by all hospital staff and the PTs. His tibia is now like swiss cheese. It has holes in it. Yea, no pressure mom and dad, but don't let your child do anything a 4 year old might do. haha He could break his leg. Greeeeeat!

Oh, did I mention this was all on the hush from my parents? Well, they are on a cruise around Hawaii. My mom, who hates boats and hates water at night, went on a cruise. I figured being nervous and stressed about that was enough. I was not going to add to it. There is nothing they can do. I wasn't going to blog or post on FB in case they'd catch it. Well, now they know, so the secret is out.

We don't go back to see Dr. Standard for 4 weeks. He recommended no PT until our next clinic visit with him. That will be nice b/c it will free up our schedule quite a bit :) Enjoy our latest adventure.