Friday, August 28, 2009

The saga of Isaac's femur continues...

Last Thursday, we took Isaac to Primary Children's Medical Center to have surgery to straighten out his femur. The night before the surgery, he went to a great class at the hospital where he learned all about what would happen to him during the surgery. The morning of the surgery, we arrived at 6:30. He went into surgery at 8:00, skipping down the hall holding onto the anesthesiologist's hand, which made it easier not to cry when we said goodbye. Almost five hours later, his surgeon emerged to tell us all had gone well-- they'd removed the dead bone, straightened the leg, put in a metal plate and six screws (ouch!) to stabilize things, then wrapped him all up in a lovely green spica cast.

All prepped and ready to go:

The brother and sisters descend the next day:

He'd actually been looking forward to his green cast and the chance to "spin like a turtle" while wearing it. When he woke up, he realized that another broken leg and another cast weren't as much fun as he'd been expecting. He spent the first few days a haze of narcotics. We hoped to take him home on Saturday, but he needed a permanent IV line for his antibiotics in order to come home, and when they tried to insert it on Saturday, it wouldn't go in. We came home Sunday afternoon after they finally figured it out.

Isaac is most excited about his wheelchair, the bag of presents his cousins brought, and the temporary suspension of the "no food on the carpet" rules of the house. He's finally feeling good enough to start crawling and rolling around, and I'm guessing that spinning will ensue in the next day or two. I'm most excited that he fits in the jogging stroller this time around, which makes walks around the neighborhood and the stores up the street possible. The plates and screws will come out in a year or two, but we're hoping this is the last major surgery, and definitely the last spica cast!

Home with lots of loot:

We ate some "Isaac in a cast" cake to celebrate his homecoming:

Decorating the bedroom provided a much-needed diversion:

The patient in his wheelchair:

Maren Forgotten?

When Isaac was Maren's age and I blogged every day, I posted pictures of him on my blog all the time. So I'm motivated by guilt to dedicate a post (in between pictures of my school-age kids and my sick kids) of my not-so-baby-anymore. As you can see, I'm not avoiding putting up pictures of her because she's not adorable-- I blame my broken camera and my general busyness. When she's 12, I'm sure she won't buy that excuse. I'll have to indulge her with a trip to Hawaii or something to buy off her guilt by the time she reaches that age.

The First Day...

I know it's already Friday, but Bryce and Annie went back on Monday of this week. I say "back" to school, but since it was a new school for them, there wasn't really much "back" about it. The school is much smaller (only two or three classes of each grade as opposed to six or seven) but the classes are a lot bigger (32 in Bryce's fourth-grade class and 29 in Annie's third-grade class!). They're also riding the bus for the first time this year. I walked them to the bus stop on Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday they were ready to wait by themselves-- it's only five houses down the street, but I think it makes them feel very grown up. The school day is also very different-- they start at 9 o'clock (we started at eight in Texas) and don't get home until four, so lots of the activities that we did after school (like piano practice) will probably get done in the mornings now.

It's funny because every other summer I've counted down the days of the last few weeks of school, so eager to send them back, but this summer, for the first time, summer didn't feel quite long enough. Maybe it's because we could actually go outside this summer...

The Elephant(s) in the Room

I'll update about Isaac and the first day of school and the seven books I've read and all that good stuff soon, but I had to write about the important stuff first: the boys' room. My mom came out for ten days to help with the kids during and after Isaac's surgery. We ordered bedding the day before the surgery, and the day after he got home she started painting.

Next time she visits we're going to add an acacia tree with a leopard and a monkey on the sloping ceilings, but this kept us busy for a few days, at least. I also plan to swap out the dresser for two of these:

I'm also considering getting a LACK shelf to function as a nightstand between the beds. I had planned to buy a couple of daybeds for the room, but now that the room is painted, I actually sort of like the cheap pine beds we have in there. If you were me, would you spring for these (@$500 apiece), or keep the beds we have?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

And the winner is....

Linsey! I had Eddie pick the number, so you have him to thank. I'll get it in the mail to you next week-- which will give you time to read the first book (especially when things are slow on a Saturday at work).

Thanks to everyone who participated! After all of your recommendations, I'm now 100 pages into The Help. So far it's fantastic!

The dragon tattoos will go out as soon as I get them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Ever "Hitting the Ground Running" Book Giveaway!

You know that I'm a sucker for a good book, and Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was such a fast-paced, enjoyable read that I couldn't wait for The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second volume in the Millennium trilogy, to be published in the United States; I ordered it from Europe and tore into it the minute it arrived from its transatlantic trip. I needed to know what happened to Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist RIGHT AWAY.

If you're slightly more patient than I am (it's never been my strong suit, I'm afraid), you may just be getting around to putting The Girl Who Played With Fire on your library reserve list. Well, I happen to have a copy sitting right here on my desk (thanks to the generosity of Knopf Marketing) and it could have your name on it.

But I can't just give it away-- I need you to tell me the best book you've read this summer. Comment before Wednesday, August 19th at midnight MDT, and I'll choose a comment at random. Apparently Knopf is also sending some temporary dragon tattoos my way (but I'm not sure how many). If you mention the dragon tattoo in your comments, I'll send them to people until they run out.

Thanks! And have fun reading!

Sometimes it's not such a bad thing when a kid shows up in your bed at night

Last night, Isaac decided he wanted a new bed. He'd found a box in the garage earlier in the day, filled it with pillows, had his sister strategically place balls around the perimeter for "wheels" and when bedtime rolled around, he climbed in. It took him a while, but eventually he fell asleep, feet sticking up in the air.

An hour or so later, he showed up at my bedside, climbed in beside me, and stretched out his cramped-up muscles. I put my arm around him, enjoying his warmth. If last time serves as any kind of reliable predictor for our upcoming post-surgical experience, Isaac will be spending lots of time in our bed over the next few months. But I won't be able to snuggle with his little furnace. He'll be too scratchy, and I won't feel any warmth from his body. The spica cast acts as an insulator; last time around, part of the nightly routine was lifting him out of our bed when it was time for us to sleep and putting him in the sleeping bag in the corner of our room. Every time I climbed into bed after that, the bed was as cool as if no one had been there at all.

So last night, I enjoyed the warmth and softness of Isaac.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Why we need two straight legs...

Over the last few weeks, I've run a couple of races: on July 24th, I finished the Deseret News 10K in 39:39; this morning, my mom, my brother and I all ran the Provo River Half Marathon. I ran the first half of the race with my little brother (his first half!) and then ditched him, coming in at 1:32:39 (I think). Summer running has been so great here-- a couple of days each week I try to hit the trails up in Millcreek Canyon, which is so much more scenic and temperate than the sidewalks of Houston in August. I feel like I'm finally inching off the plateau I spent most of the last year hanging out on. So this summer I'm happy for my healthy, straight legs.

Someone in my family hasn't had healthy, straight legs for the last two years. And while we've hoped that Isaac's leg would straighten on his own, and he'd be able to run without a limp, it hasn't happened. He has made a lot of progress, hiking to the Great Salt Lake and Timpanogos Cave this week, but unless he has surgery, his leg is never going to allow him to do the things other kids his age can do. So on August 20th, he's going to have his leg reset. I haven't blogged about it yet, because I think I'm still in denial. Yes, it's a pretty serious operation. Yes, it means he'll have to be in the hospital again. Yes, it means at least another six weeks of a spica cast. Yes, it means he'll start preschool late this fall. Yes, it's going to be hard. But in the end, if he has two healthy, straight legs, legs that can carry him, then it will be worth it.

Please tell me it will be worth it.