Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's been going on then?

We've had some nice weather

I enjoy comparing to how crap the weather is back home. A good gloat now and then can't do harm.

We're been sick, but determined not to let it completely get us down. So in the past couple of days we've been outdoors, planting seeds, flying kites, playing games, having picnics, building planters,

dying eggs (which Zoe then ate when we weren't looking!), swinging, riding bikes (the kids anyway), going for walks and having fun.

I wanted to update on the Clindamycin situation. Thanks so much for all your advice. We figured out something that works. Thankfully, Turtle is the most incredibly sweet natured boy so this really works. I start with one fork with a tiny bit of peanut butter and the pudding on it, no medicine and tell him, "this is the yummy one". He takes it enthusiastically. Then I layer one big spoon with peanut butter, then pudding, then empty the entire capsule on it, then cover it again with pudding and a couple dods of peanut butter on the tip. I am honest and say, "now here's the yucky one, open up nice and big". He cringes and opens up, sometimes I have to help him open it wider, but he takes it. He saves it in his mouth for a while before he can bring himself to swallow. You can see him shudder a couple of times.

I give him loads of praise and he dances to it and feels dead chuffed. He then sucks his other medication down as though it were sweet honey, in desperation to remove the flavor. So it's working, it's not pleasant, but he's taking his doses.

I wanted to share a funny from Zoe this morning. She heard us singing, "our God is a great big God" and joined in, "Our God is a zing bing bong". She couldn't tell what we were singing.

We're had some awesome conversations about grace. I love how my Uncle Fred explained it once, that in a system of law if you do something right you awe rewarded. If you do something wrong you are punished. Jesus died and flipped it. You do something wrong you are rewarded, and if you are righteous you are punished. Well, only one has ever been 100% right, blameless, and he was punished to initiate this system of grace. So now, even though we mess up and do things wrong, we are rewarded! Rewarded with unconditional love, with comfort, heaven, with forgiveness. It's mind blowing. Of course, it doesn't mean we sin more to gain more reward. The reward is already ours to claim. My kids are so wise, they say things that really get me thinking and they grasp spiritual concepts so easily. I remember how it was before my mind got clouded with grown up stuff. I want to be more like that again.

I'm loving this time of year. I'm coming out of hibernation and coming alive again. I'm ready to move and groove and shake it up a bit. Hibernation is great and all, but time moves strangely in the house. It's hard to tell one day from another. You lay down in bed and it feels like you were just there a moment ago, though at the time it had seemed like a really long day. You get sucked in and the longer you stay in the harder it is to ever leave. But then the grass turns green and the birds sing and you swear one of them said your name, so you do leave and you're so glad you did. We're waiting for Turtle to be done with his meds and then we're going to go camping, baby. Any suggestions for vegetarian camping food would be much appreciated.

Happy Spring everybody. And Happy Easter. Celebrate the weather, celebrate the awesome new system of grace. It's all good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Whoever said success tastes good?

It feels like a Monday today. Because it's the first day of something new.

Turtle had a hospital appointment yesterday. It was an 8am appointment in Omaha, which is an hour and a half from here (in our van, faster with a different vehicle probably). We dressed the kids the night before so we could carry them from the bed to the car in the morning without too much bother.

The Infectious Disease Dr told us his labs are looking good and since his knee isn't as swollen, she thought it was time to take his PICC out. I didn't want to believe it, it seemed to good to be true. The IV treatments had been taking over our lives. Through the day and night, trying to get him to stay still on the bed while I pumped the meds through, an hr and half at a time. And all the home nurse appointments, dressing changes, blood draws were all getting old. His skin is so red raw from the dressing, it looks horribly painful and he signs sore next to it a few times a day.

So when they took his PICC out and sent us out with oral antibiotics to give him 2 varieties, 3 times a day for 2-3 weeks, I skipped into the waiting room and greeted Rene with a huge grin, singing:

I've got no strings to hold me down

To make me fret, or make me frown

I had strings

But now I'm free
There are no strings on me

I was so happy to be done with the tubes and the pump and the syringes. I was elated.

The feeling lasted until I attempted to give him his first dose of clindamycin. They gave him it in capsules to break apart and put in food to disguise the flavor, apparently the liquid tastes worse.

I am telling you now, I can't believe it's true because I highly doubt it's possible for anything on earth to taste worse. This is the most disgusting substance known to man. I'd rather drink a pint of gasoline than to take a dose of clindamycin. I'm not exaggerating.

I was singing to myself, unknowing of the trauma I was about to encounter, mixing up a pot of organic butterscotch pudding to put his capsule into. Turtle was resting on my hip watching me stir, inhaling deeply while puffs of sweet fragrance drifted up to his nostrils. He was kicking his legs, staring at the pot and vocalizing his approval, "yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah YEAH!"

Finally it was ready and cool enough to eat. I put it in a bowl while his patience wore completely out and drool formed in his mouth. Then I opened the capsule and poured it in his bowl. There was a little of the power left, I wanted to test its potency so I put a tiny bit on my finger tip and tasted it.

My tongue immediately reacted to the assault and began trying to make me gag. My eyes almost burst out of my head from the pressure it took to stop me from yelling out in disgust. It seemed that the whole room air was filled with the most intense foul, bitter flavor that I was hopeless to get rid of. In desperation, I began throwing miscellaneous food and drink items in my mouth. I brushed my teeth and swished mouth wash around. But everything I tried tasted like clindamycin, it twas as though I were piling more of the stuff in there with every new attempt to flush it out. The flavor hung around for a few hours yet.

Sacrificially, I tasted some of the medication-from-hell/pudding mixture. It was at least as vile as the initial fingertip sample I had endured. I added tons of raw honey....nope, no improvement. Half a bottle of maple syrup. This is one expensive bowl of pudding! Still just as offensive. The stuff is sharp enough, it will penetrate any flavor. It's undefeatable and nondisguisable. It's the super bad guy of yucky, no no, it's the super hero good guy, because the good guys always win and clindamycin will not be conquered.

I managed to get him to take 2 bites of the stuff, by some miracle. And that was all he was going to open up for. I seriously don't blame him. You can't imagine how disgusting this stuff is.

So today is the start of a new era. Administering drugs through the PICC is a thing of the past, replaced now with trying to force this stuff down him for the next 2-3 weeks, 3 times a day.

We bought tons of unhealthy, strongly flavored and sugared food we'd never give our kids otherwise.

This morning I tried splitting it in 3. One third went into the nutella, another into apple sauce and the last into chocolate pudding. Bless his heart, he tried 2 bites of each of them. I don't know if he'll ever trust me to feed him again. But he'd better, because he's just about due his second dose...

If anyone has any tips on how to make this stuff more...survivable, please let me know and I'll love you forever (how's that for motivation. Everybody needs love). Cause the way it's going just now, he's missing a lot of doses, which is not a good situation. And this might very well put him off of eating ever again, which wouldn't be great either.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A photo? From me? Shock horror etc.

It's been ages since I posted photos. And alas, this still is not a recent one. But a recently edited one...does that count?

I wanted to join in i heart faces again, in hopes to get the ball rolling with photography again. I'm so behind in edits...
This week's theme is angles.

I want to add a disclaimer that I know this was badly done. I was using the mouse pad thingy on the laptop on a version on ps without any of my actions or shortcuts. So it's really naff but works for the purpose of getting me remotivated.

Click the pic below to join in

i-stormy and I fixed it

The stupid autoplay thing should be fixed now. It was driving me nuts. I love smugmug, but am unhappy with the way you have to take weird routes to get past certain bugs. The customer supprt is great and all, but anyway.

Here's my wee girly in i-stormy. She excluded stormy from the show this time, but she's cute so she can do whatever she wants.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Can't wait to see this film (and an update on the wee guy)

I'll start with the update on Turtle. He had an orthopedics appointment today. I was expecting it to go badly, because he has been crying in pain again at night. Rene kindly took him while I stayed home with the girls.

Turns out the Dr said he is doing perfectly. He x rayed the bone and the bone is still fine! That was the main worry. He also said that when he operated on Turtle's knee, he saw that his muscle, which was badly infected, had torn and was bleeding (I didn't know muscles could bleed?!) and everything. It was in very bad shape. He said it will take a while to heal, but it's coming along just great. Turtle is allowed to be out of his cast as long as he can cope with it. We've to put it back on when it starts to hurt, to give him a break.

He's still not bending his knee, but he's limping around, causing mischief as though he had no disadvantage. So it's all good.

Now about the film. This documentary comes out in May, and it looks great. It follows 4 babies from 4 diverse cultures, (Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco, Tokyo) and it seems from the trailer that the message is one of a universal human nature. We may have different techniques, baby gear, language, skin tone, customs etc. But we were all made by the same God (I doubt the documentary goes down that particular alley, but I'm goin' there) and at the core of it, we are all the same. We have the same human nature. History, present, future, all over the world. We're all people.

But best of all, it looks like an adorably cute movie. Beautiful videography, adorable footage, lighthearted and sweet. Watch the trailer. There was no way to embed it here, but it won't take that much effort to just click on this link. You can do it, you know you want to.

awesome Babies trailer

and here's a weird pic of my boy and I, because I'm quirky.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My turn to be humiliated (ikaya)

Don't worry, we have a go at Daddy too, but this week I got to embarrass myself also. Turtle was supposed to star in this one. He was going to say "arrr" on queue. He is rather good at it. He was all psyched and ready to go. And then when his moment arrived we discovered he had taken a last minute trip to the land of nod. I was his understudy. There is no dignity in it. The things us mothers will do to please our kids, I'm tellin' ya.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Zoe has an idea, Turtle's recovery and i-Stormy


We recorded this the day before we ended up in hospital. Uncle Doug had the file for me the next day but I didn't have the chance to put it up. So here it is now, on a Friday. i-Stormy gets weirder and weirder with every episode. That's Lana for ya. I sure love her.


I am missing the whole Tot Talk Tuesday thing. I'm forgetting so many of the cute things they are saying. But I am such a rebel against routine...TTT was starting to feel too much like a chore. I'm so terrible it's shameful.

If you have never met me and are new to this blog then you may not know that Zoe is quite a handful. She's the perfect example of the euphemism, "spirited child". I swear she is like 99.8% choleric temperament type. The wiki describes Cholerics as such,

"A person who is choleric is a doer. They have a lot of ambition, energy, and passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and political figures were cholerics."

She's made for greatness. She's a born leader. And it's a heck of a lot of personality in one little body. I love her like crazy.

Zoe turned 3 last weekend. She had a great day. I didn't get many photos because my indoor lenses are broken, and I don't have photoshop on this computer yet, so here's an older photo.

Aw, she looks so harmless there. Which is certainly not the case.

Yes that's how far behind in photo editing I am, the most recent pics I have are from before Winter. I'm ashamed. The rest are stuck on a harddrive in my laptop that blew up, Rene thinks we'll be able to recover them so I'm not too worried. We just need to buy some bits and bobs first.

So one aspect of Zoe's personality that I have been surprised to see blossoming as she gained a year, has been a diplomatic one. Zoe the diplomat, who'd have thunk it? Her elder sisters can be...frank and blunt at the best of times. Downright brutal at others. For example, we were enjoying an innocent song of "Old MacDonald" on finishing up our lunch a couple of days ago. When it was Kaya's turn to name the animals that he had some of on that farm, she suggested, "Mummies". Not as in dead bodies all wrapped up, rather the British endearing title for the maternal figure. It was a very harsh reality check when I heard the noises a "Mummy" might make on the farm. With a "RENE! (with antagonistic intonation) here and a "ZOE, STOP THAT!" there, here a "Aw, poor Turtle" (did I sense some resentment), there a "Kaya, could you please get that for me".

Hmmm, I'm getting the impression that perhaps they might think I don't treat them each equally. Poor Lana, apparently I don't even give her a look in. They're probably right. Kaya and Lana continued with the mocking and Zoe was the only one to notice the gulp and the defeated look in my eyes while I smiled politely and tried to sing along and take a joke. So Zoe piped in, "Everywhere an 'I love you'".

Her recent new phrase is, "I have an idea!!"

And she uses it well. She is so good at coming up with compromises, even when it's mostly HER doing the compromising, she's happy so long as it was her "idea" in the first place. Of course, she uses it to her own advantage also,
"Can I have some water in here?"
"No honey"
"But, why?"
"Because I don't want it to spill everywhere, I just cleaned the floor"
"*gasps, face lights up and fingers point to the sky* I have an idea!!! *queue singsong tone* I pway wiff water in here, and DEN, I get a towel and cwean it UP!!!!"
"*sigh* OK, it's a good idea"

"Can I pwease have some ice cweam?"
"No, it's almost supper time"
"I have an IDEA!!!! You make the supper, I eat my supper all wup and DEN I can have some ice cweam!!!"

I've tried using it on her, but it just doesn't work unless it's HER idea. I suppose it's all part of the Choleric temperament. Still, I'm glad to see her personality being put to good use. She's making some big compromises. Like when her sister beat her to the computer, normally she would just stick her talons out and start expressing her distaste for the situation all over her sisters arms. This morning she gasped and said, "I have an IDEA!! Nana can pway the computer, and DEN when she is all done, she can get off da chair and I can sit in it and then I can pway da computer."

I see only good things coming of this.


He is doing really well. Still on antibiotics, which means we get about 5 hours sleep per night, because of the schedule they are on. Rene copes pretty well on 5 hours, I just plain don't. I'm falling about the place, grumpy and tired.

But Turtle's responding really well. He had an appointment with the Orthopedic Doc today. We were hoping to have the cast taken off, but he said it needs to stay on for one more week, he was really wobbly on his leg. They will x ray it again to check for bone damage, and then he needs another x ray in a year, to double check. The kid has had so many x-rays now, I am sooo not comfortable with that. I don't really know what other choice I have though...

We're still being brought meals every day. I feel so spoiled but it also helps sooo much. I don't know how we'd co-ordinate grocery shopping and cooking just now. We are so off our routine and kind of still just in survival mode. The meals have been yummy and soooooo helpful. We are so lucky and blessed to be so well taken care of.


Oh and I just wanted to say, I finally got round to reading the twilight series. I just finished eclipse. 1 more to go. I am LOVING them. I love the whole high school, vampire, romance thing anyway. So I guess it was inevitable that I would enjoy it. I watched the first movie a while back and wasn't overly taken, but I wanted to give the book a shot and I'm glad I did. I am sucked into the saga now. I want to watch the film again because I'm sure I'll have a new appreciation for it.
< /geekmode >