photo taken by Angela Speiker

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Surgery day

Posing with Rocky just before his surgery

I didn't even think about them making gowns small enough for this little guy.

Just before going back, getting hugs with mommy and daddy

Just after coming out of surgery, groggy and so very sleepy

Zachary's surgery went pretty well yesterday. We started the routine with waking him at 1:15 am to eat a bottle, something he wasn't able to have after 1:30. Then we tried to feed him Pedialite at 5:45, but he wasn't really excited about that. He woke up at his usual 5:32 am, some kind of strange internal alarm clock thing he has going on right now. We left the house at 6:40 or so and made it to Children's Mercy by about 7:45. They took him right back to assess him, weigh him, and chat with the urologist that was doing his surgery, Dr. Murphy, and the anesthesiologist. There were many other kiddos in the same area, there for a variety of reasons I'm sure. The twins next door were both getting their tonsils out, fun! We did feel fortunate that Zach was young enough to not freak out when the nurses took him back for the actual surgery. We stood in the "hugs and kisses" area and said goodbye. Then we went to the waiting area to await word of how he was doing. That was at about 9:30 am. We hung out in the waiting area until we got a phone call at about 11:45 telling us everything was going well and he was still in surgery. Then, at about 12:15 Dr. Murphy came down and went over the details of his surgery. He said all had gone well. He did have to replace a lot of skin on the under side b/c Zach was shy in that area. The doc had to place a catheter in Zachary that he will keep in (stitched in) until Friday, where we go to the doc's office to have it removed. Let me tell you, that makes diaper changing super fun!! Leakage all over!!
We finally got to go see him at about 12:45 or so and love on our hoarse (from the vent) little groggy guy. He was crying a lot, but then would drift off into sleepiness. It was so sad to see him so cranky, as that is opposite his normal disposition. He was also pretty pale, and I didn't like that. The nurse finally removed his IV, Zach not so happy about that, and we had permission to take him home. He got some good Tylenol w/ Codeine that has helped with the pain, and we have been giving him Motrin as well for the swelling.
He has been taped up since the surgery, and Emerald was quite curious during the diaper change, "Mom, did the doctor take off his peanut?" Innocent, so sweet.
He didn't sleep really well last night, but that is to be expected. He has been a little more smiley today, especially when his siblings are around. We also called our doc and asked to have his shots postponed another week. I figure Friday will be traumatic enough with the catheter removed and the stitches taken out (especially with the upcoming MRI on Monday). Besides, we are going out of town this weekend, back to McPherson, to go to HIS baby shower :) We are super excited about that, too!!
So, surgery went well, if you can call the pain my little guy is going thru now "well". Recovery is going ok, just trying to keep the older 2 at bay from hurting the little guy. Now to prepare for the Friday appt and the MRI on Monday. Whew......I wonder just what Zach thinks we are doing to him!!
Thanks for all of your prayers--they are truly appreciated!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A rough week for Zachary

My head is always looking around for my big sister and brother, and almost always smiling this much

I'm a big boy and can sit up in my Bumbo much better these days

I love to "fly" with my arms up and feet in the air

I also play so hard that I wear myself out--crashed in the swing this morning. Notice just how many toys my siblings thought I needed to play with, they never want me to be bored or w/o toys!

Zach had his 6 month doc visit yesterday. He is up to 14 lb 3 oz now (still not on the charts)!! The big news of the day was his height, he is 26" which finally puts him at 10th% compared to other 8 month old babies!! Yeah for tall genes for the Z-man. How can he not end up long and skinny if he is anything like his daddy. His % for head circ. is leveling out and is now only at 10% instead of 30% last time. Maybe that is why he is able to hold his head up better these days. :) His neck is getting much stronger. Zach has been able to sit for short periods in a bumbo we are borrowing and even sat in the jumperoo yesterday for the first time. He really likes being able to see things out in front of him. We still need him to work on those leg muscles, as he is not a fan of standing. We did postpone his 6 month shots until after his surgery next week.

My poor little man. Within 7 days he is having 2 sedations, a surgery, an MRI, and getting his shots. Bleck!!! Many have asked what his surgery is for. He is having his circumcision done and is having some other work done on his little boy parts. He has what is called a Hypospadius. This means the doctors get to move some skin around, removing it from one area, and positioning it to another area that is lacking. They also have to bridge the hole he pees from to the correct place. It will be about a 2 hour surgery if all goes well. We are praying and hoping that all goes well! The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, August 25 (time still unknown).

Then, the following Monday, August 31, he is set to have an MRI done on the base of his spine. We are praying they don't find anything wrong in this area! We won't know immediate results from the MRI, but will meet with the neurosurgeon on Wednesday, Sept. 2 to discuss what he found. I think I will be a little nervous until we found out the results!

With both of these things, we can't feed the poor boy any food when he wakes up. How do I explain to my poor baby boy that he can't eat, and that I'm not just being a wicked witch?? He is going to be one hungry munchkin when he wakes up!

Zachary has been babbling more lately, putting together a lot of "ba ba ba's" and "ma" sounds. I think he is trying really hard to catch up to his chatty brother and sister. We also finished up on size 1 diapers yesterday. Not bad to last 8 months and just now be leaving size 1's--something some babies come home from the hospital wearing! He is mostly in size 3-6 but can wear a very few 6-9 month items.

Dr. Mike agreed with us on waiting a little while on starting cereal. We hadn't started yet mostly due to his lack of head control. We were also hoping to get him closer to his 6 month adjusted age. It was recommended to wait until after the MRI before starting on this new item. We just don't need to worry if he ends up with a fever or reaction whether it was his shots, the anesthesia, the surgery results, cereal, or a normal illness (especially since big sis is back in school and exposed to more germs). We will just control one of those things if we can.

If you have a free moment, say some prayers for our little boy. It is going to be a rough week around here. We pray that he handles the anesthesia well and that he doesn't have any complications with any of his upcoming procedures. You can also throw in a prayer that momma keeps patient and sane, especially when it comes to dealing with the big kids. It really does feel kind of minor, all of these things, compared to what some of our friends have gone through lately! Posted by Picasa

First day of preschool

Younger brother wants to be a part of this soooooo much!

Emerald started school this week. She is going in the afternoons, 4 days a week, to our local elementary school. She has a new teacher this year, and so far seems to love her. Our little girl is growing up so fast. Wasn't it just yesterday we were driving to pick her up, debating on what we should name our new little girl?? You might notice 2 different outfits. We had one on, then lunch ended up all over it, so we changed clothes! So much for trying to get anything done early! :) I am excited to try to help out in her classroom whenever I have the chance. Her teacher is getting married next month, so that should be a crazy fun time for her. Emerald Rea, we love you darling little girl. You are growing up so fast. We hope you have a great school year, where you learn a lot, meet some new friends, and show everyone what a good girl you can be.
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

15 years ago I met the love of my life!!

15 years ago I met the most wonderful man on the planet!! A fun little story about our beginning......
My very first day at K-State I walked into my new home, my dormitory Goodnow. I took the elevator up to 6th floor and got off only to be greeted by one very sweet man!! He told me what room I'd be in. My best friend, Christi, was meeting us at Goodnow and had already "met" Skip. She jokes that she met him first and opted to allow me first dibs, ha! Later that day I was shopping for school supplies and was chatting with Christi. I was talking about my new RA but couldn't remember if his name was Phil or Skip. I decided I'd call him Flip (a name that we still use today). Aug. 16, 1994......a day that changed my life! We didn't actually start dating until October, another story (involving mascara) for another time ! For now I will just say that I am so, so very happy to have met this man on that day.

Little did I know that the first person I'd meet at K-State would be a person I wake up beside each morning, a person that has shared parenthood with me, a person who has travelled the world with me, a person I will love for the rest of my life. I love you with all of my being!! I am happy that you chose me, and that you have remained by my side all these years. Our love has changed from the initial puppy-love, the first-love kind of feeling. I can't say he doesn't still give me butterflies, b/c he does at times. It changed into learning about each other, depending on each other in a new home with new jobs. We leaned on each other during some low points, and celebrated during the high points. Our love now seems to be all about sharing it with the kids--a dream we discussed all those years ago, a dream we waited so very long to achieve. We sometimes don't quite have enough time to devote to each other, but we know that the love is there. Thank you for being my best friend, thank you for sharing your life and love with me, thank you for giving me the best gift ever in our 3 kids, and thank you for supporting me as I changed careers and stay home with them each day. Thank you for going to work and working hard for our family, thank you for the love you give to all of us, and thank you for loving me unconditionally. You are the person who makes me work harder each day at gaining my way into heaven. You are the person that has been there for me for every major life event over the last 15 years. You have dried my tears in difficult times, been a shoulder to cry on when I needed it most, hugged me tight as we waited (not so) patiently for our daughter and son to walk through those doors at Gladney, lifted your head as proud as I was as we went in front of a judge declaring that we would love them as our forever family, held my hand as I laid on the operating table about to have our son, and calmed me after he was born (when I was a nervous wreck), walked beside me as we went back and forth to visit that son in the hospital, and smiled proudly as we captured (too many) photographs of our gorgeous family. You are a rock whom I always lean on and sometimes feel as if I don't support enough. Thank you for being my husband and for giving a smile, 15 years ago, to a young, nervous girl that stepped off the elevator about to start a new life--with you! I love you........always........and........forever my Flip!!Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 15, 2009

These are the days of OUR lives

We are in the (constant) process of organizing and cleaning up around here. We recently made some labels for our toy bins and opted to put pictures along with the words to help the kids support us in the clean up endeavor. These are a few of our pictures. This is what we see, step on, hear, touch, taste (that's a baby for you), and have as "decoration" around our house these days. I realize it won't always be like this, so I wanted to capture this as part of our daily life for now.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summertime fun

Is there anything better than a vanilla ice cream cone in the summer? I love this picture!

Pop Pop helping Emers

Calvin is a big boy now, he seems to be able to do so much more each day. While this little thing seems simple, it isn't for a little man!

Zachary, barefoot, hanging out as we enjoy our ice cream. He is such a laid back, easy-going baby. What an angel!

We stopped at Sonic after the touch-a-truck event. Pop Pop was just getting in town and met us there. We are fortunate to have a play area at our local Sonic. The kids love it! They also got free ice cream coupons from the event, so we let them make a mess. Daddy was playing golf that day with Uncle Jeff--a belated Father's Day gift in action. Summertime has been so much fun around here. Relaxed, calm, not doing too much. Emerald starts back at school next week and will be attending 4 days a week in the afternoons, so it might get a little crazy trying to schedule naps and outings. It will be great for her, though. She is ready. We go today to drop off her supplies and meet her teacher. She has a different teacher than last year and is excited, although she loved Ms. Stevens!
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Touch-a-truck Big shopping cart

This thing was HUGE!!

Let's hope this is the last time we see this! The expressions on each of their faces defines their personalities!

Isn't it typical, the balloons entertained them more??!! They also got little badges from the police officer

Never seen anything like this before. You sit up in the shopping cart seat (you know where you put your kid at the grocery store) and drive this strange vehicle. It looked like it had a racing type engine in it. Makes my kids look pretty small.
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More touch-a-truck

Inside the fire truck

Nana showing Calvin the "biggggggggg" tractor.

Calvin trying on the army guy hat. Emerald refused--such a girl
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Touch-a-truck event

Our local community rec center hosted a "touch-a-truck" event recently. We just knew that Calvin would love this! They gathered several constuction vehicles, emergency personnell, tractors, tow truck, cement truck, and a really big shopping cart. The kids had a blast!
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Too cute for words!

Josiah--after getting dressed up by cousin Emerald. How sweet is that?!

Emerald thought Uncle Jeff was comfy--our kids love their Uncle Jeff. We are so lucky to have him in our lives.
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The Gang

Nana and Pop Pop posing with all the grandkids. It really isn't easy trying to get all of them to look at the camera and smile!

This is the view out the main window in Laura and Shane's house. Amazing!!

We all spent a lot of time on the floor playing with babies. We also spent a lot of time playing Wii!! So fun!

I love that this is the last picture of our trip. This was just before we left Laura and Shane's house. Simon was tired, and ready for a nap, and probably ready to get his house back! He is such a sweetheart and we miss him already. Love that he clutches that blanket tight.

That is all of our Colorado pictures. Thanks for being patient as I journal this for myself. We had a great time and loved getting to spend time with Simon, Laura, and Shane. We love them so much and wish they lived closer to us. Hopefully they will allow us to come back and visit in the future :)
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