Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Weekend of Blessings

It has been a weekend to remember! We have crammed a birthday celebration, Easter worship, and Easter dinner into the past two days and it has been wonderful!

We started off our Saturday letting Eli, Cara, and Brady open their presents from us. Even though their birthday wasn’t until Sunday, we celebrated it on Saturday.

For the quite a while, Cara has been telling us that all she wants for her birthday is a Rapunzel doll. She was so precious when she opened her present and saw Rapunzel. She actually said, “Mommy, all of my dreams are coming true!”


The boys each got a small present and they were equally thrilled!  Brady got a Batman car and Eli a pirate set. I love the way Eli sat back and analyzed the box after he opened it!



After presents it was time for the kids to get dressed. Then they spent some time playing in the basement with Grandma and Grandpa so that we could get things set up!


The kids each selected a picture for their birthday cake.  I bet this is the first time the lady at the store ever made a Spiderman/Ariel/Batman cake. The funniest thing about the cake is that when I picked it up I didn’t notice that Brady’s name was spelled wrong. It wasn’t until I was in line with 5 people behind me that I realized it said “Brody.” I just had to laugh because I had no time to go back and at that point, I was taking my Brody cake and going home. I was able to drag the tail of the cursive “o” with a toothpick and make it into an “a.” Needless to say, “Happy Birthday Brody” has become our new family joke. Not like the kid had a tough week or anything?!?




Party time!

Our adorable friend Jessica!


After brunch, our special guest  The Easter Bunny arrived!



We had our indoor Easter egg hunt and then everyone snuggled up with the Easter Bunny for a group picture!


Next it was time for presents! Our friends and family are so generous…coming to a birthday party for triplets means three times the presents!


Eli caught himself a butterfly!


Time for cake! Of course we sung Happy Birthday three separate times for our three 4 year olds!



I couldn’t help but think of those American Cancer Society Happy Birthday commercials as everyone sung to Brady. Yes, we are SO thankful for another birthday!


With the birthday party over, Matt and I began the process of re-cleaning the house and preparing for Easter! We decided to ask the Easter Bunny to just put the kids’ baskets next to their beds. This allowed us a few extra minutes to rest in bed while the kids excitedly emptied their baskets! I love that they are so happy to get things like new socks, notebooks to write in, and maybe a few pieces of candy!

Then the marathon was on! Time to get the 6 of us dressed and out the door to church! With 2 minutes to spare I asked the kids to sit on the steps for a few pictures.



I can hardly stand how cute the boys were in their new boat shoes! They were definitely a size too big, but oh my, the cuteness!



There were a lot of special things going on at church today too! They big kids celebrated their birthday during Sunday school. Eli, Cara, and Brady also got to ring the church bell in honor of their birthday!



I adore this picture of Cara!





Youth Group of the future!



Amidst a weekend of presents, cake, Easter outfits, and time with family, we were able to focus our joy on the glorious resurrection of Savior, Jesus Christ! We serve a living God and the best gift of all is the HOPE, GRACE, and LIFE that He gave to us by sending His son to die on the cross.

Happy Easter to you and yours!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Smooth Sailing

Aside from Matt and I oversleeping by an hour, everything went wonderfully today! We had planned on leaving extra early anyway, so the late start didn't affect our day too much.

Upon arriving at Strong at 9am, we dropped off Brady's urine sample at the lab. Next it was on to the hospital gift shop where we did some Easter and birthday shopping! We decided to go and check in a little bit early at the MRI department.

As soon as we got to the waiting room, the nurse came out to get us. When we walked into the anesthesia care unit, the anesthesiologist was there waiting for us. The best part? He was flipping through Brady's chart one page at a time. Can you imagine? An anesthesiologist reading through the entire chart?!? He had me at hello.

After reviewing our conversation from the day before, he assured us that the plan was to use gas to put Brady to sleep for the first 5 minutes, insert the IV, and then use propofol throughout. He also said that to prevent nausea, he would give him Zofran (anti-nausea) before he woke up. Matt and I were beyond ecstatic that he "got it." We felt very confident leaving Brady in his care.

Brady did great throughout the morning, despite being unable to eat anything. He is such a great sport about things, he really is. I'm continually astounded at how God has protected the level of trust he has in Matt and I. It is clear to see that he always knows things will be okay if we are near. Matt accompanied him back to the MRI room and held him as he went to sleep. He certainly doesn't like this part as he is very fearful of the mask they hold over his face. Thankfully he is only upset for a few seconds before falling asleep.

I'm so thankful that Matt is willing to protect me from this part of the process. I have done it before and it really upset me. I would do it again of course if need be, but the fact that Matt does this for me makes me love him all the more. I can never forget the days of walking Brady back to surgery that night he was diagnosed, holding him down during hour-long nuclear scans, holding his head to a table while a tube was forced down his nose and throat, being barely able to stand as I watched him be extubated and come off of a ventilator, and seeing his tears stream as drainage tubes were pulled from his chest and back. To spare me from more of these moments is a tremendous act of love!

He ended up going in 30 minutes early at 10am. At 1pm they came and got us. It was wonderful to come into the room and see that he was still sleeping. What a difference from last time when we could hear him screaming from the hallway and walked in to find him raging and covered with vomit. He woke up very, very groggy, but not sick. It took him about 20 minutes to be lucid and able to sit up and talk. His first request was for a cookie. That's my boy.

We were able to leave within about 45 minutes and were home around 3. On the way home, Brady ate a few chicken nuggets, some french fries, and two more cookies. He was making up for lost time. He even acted silly a few times which just made Matt and I so happy.

He made it all the way to bedtime without sleeping or resting! He was his good old self and wanted to carry on with his usual crazy-boy stuff. Things were pretty quiet in he and Eli's room as soon as lights went out.

At 9pm tonight we got the call that makes us jump for joy. The oncologist called to say that things look, "rock solid normal." I didn't even compose myself to ask any specific questions. I just said, "THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CALLING!" We are going to have a follow up appointment on Thursday, so I can save all of nitty gritty stuff for then. For tonight, I have 4 healthy and happy kids all tucked in their beds.

Thank you Lord!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Scan Day

Tomorrow is Brady's 6 month scan. I can't believe it is here already again, but alas, it is time! I have been working hard to coordinate with an anesthesiologist ahead of time. A week's worth of phone calls to secretaries, coordinators, nurses, nurse practitioners, and finally an anesthesiologist himself have been made. I feel confident with the anesthesiologist we are assigned to tomorrow will listen to our concerns. I spoke with him directly tonight and after listening to our past experiences, he saw no reason why we can't proceed with using gas just to get Brady "under" and then use propofol throughout. He seemed to feel the whole situation was quite simple and clear to understand. I agreed and am hopeful that tomorrow will go a whole let better than last time. Brady's scan time isn't until 10:30 with us arriving at 9:30. I'm sad that sweet Brady won't be able to eat anything all morning. He has always surprised us with how tolerant he is of everything and I'm praying that this time he will do the same. We are going to leave the house around 7:45 and get to Rochester earlier than we need do. I thought maybe we could spend some time checking out toys at Walmart. Perhaps this will be a better distraction than sitting at home watching the other kids eat breakfast! With the three to four scan time, I'm hoping to be home by 4! Please pray for our strength as we hand Brady over to the MRI team and for the many hours he will be under anesthesia. That part just never gets easy for me. I hate letting him go and being without him for those long hours. Matt and I will spend our time on one of our famous "hospital dates." As twisted as it sounds, it usually is some of the best uninterrupted time with have together all year!!! Pray for Brady's comfort before, during, and after his scans. And of course, pray for a great report! We would love nothing more than to celebrate the kids' birthday this weekend and celebrate great health for each one!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mama's Busy

I want to preface this post by saying, I wouldn't trade being a busy "stay at home mom" for any other job. At this point in life I much prefer being serving my family, being busy by choice, and being my own boss! But my oh my, I've never been busier. It's the type of busy where you can only tackle what needs to be done for the next day between the hours of 10pm and midnight. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a planner and like to do things much in advance. However, amidst the current demands of life, I count my day a success if I manage to accomplish just the "must dos" for that day before my head hits the pillow around 12:30am. The kids' activities are starting to fill up my calendar, which has been an adjustment for me! Right now I'm attempting to keep up with their activities without crossing off any of my own. We will see how long I can keep that up! The kids seem to be enjoying T-ball! I haven't been able to go to a practice yet, but Matt has. I laugh so hard when he tells me stories of their attempts at running bases, catching, and throwing. Let's just say we have one boy who is very intent on listening and learning the game, one boy who runs the bases in any order he feels like it, and one girl who considers T-ball practice more of a social event. I just can't wait to share video of their first game which is coming up April 30th. I really need to start planning Eli, Cara, and Brady's birthday party which is less than 2 weeks away! They are just so excited this year and with their birthday falling on Easter, that whole weekend is going to be one big blessing. I can't wait! Brady's scans are next Tuesday. I was able to connect with a Nurse Practitioner at Strong who handles pediatric anesthesia consultations. She didn't feel it was worth my time to bring Brady in for a consult. She did, however, listen to all of my concerns, agreed that we needed to address them, and is working to connect us with a specific anesthesiologist that she works with and trusts. The plan is for this doctor to call me the day before the scans to thoroughly discuss past experiences and expectations for that day. We are praying for an early scan time given that Brady will be NPO after midnight. The older he gets, the harder the process seems to be. With age comes awareness, and with awareness comes fear, unfortunately. Thank you for keeping Brady, Matt, and I in your prayers in the coming week.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Silly Things My Kids Do

Cara is just slightly obsessed with the character Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled. At a play date a few weeks ago she adored trying on another little girl’s long blonde wig. Since we don’t have a long blond wig at our place, Cara had to improvise using a tan blanket and her brothers’ pirate scarf to hold everything in place. This picture cracks me up as she looks more like she belongs in a Christmas pageant.


Allie and Grandma Sandy came up with a game where Allie gets wrapped up like a taco. It is a riot to hear her say, “I’m an Allie taco!”


Keeping with the Rapunzel theme, the boys started pretending to be Flynn Rider. It was funny because one day I noticed they were running around with this old purse my mom brought over for the girls to play with. They were fighting over it and I asked them, "Why are you guys fighting over Cara’s purse?!?” That is why Eli stopped, put his hand up and said, “No mom, it’s not a purse. It’s a satchel! And I’m Flynn Rider!” Okay then.


Their imaginations continued to astound me as Eli opened his satchel to show me that they had “stolen” one of Cara’s princess crowns…just like in the movie.


The girl roommates in our house are starting to get into some serious mischief when they are supposed to be sleeping. Even though I was none too happy to find that Cara had climbed into Allie’s crib, I do absolutely love this cute picture!


The boys can often be found running around engaged in foam sword fights. Matt and I had to buy swords just to protect ourselves when they want to have a big play fight. Once in a while I will come around the corner and see this…


I think the words that came out of his mouth were, “Join my pirate crew mom, or WALK THE PLANK!”


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Two Years Ago and Today

Two years ago I was feeling like this as we were preparing for this life-changing day. Can you believe it has been two years? Honestly it does kind of seem like forever ago. Maybe you were one who prayed for us that day. If I haven't done so in the last two years, may I please take this opportunity to thank you. Thank you for interceeding on Brady's behalf. Certainly the outcome of that day is proof-positive that God does answer prayer! There was no way for me to know two years ago where we would find ourselves today. Little did I know (but I DID hope) that I would be spending the day with Brady, but a healthy and whole Brady! This little guy has quite the busy calendar this next month or so. After his appointment with Dr. Sanders a few weeks ago, next up on the line up was a PT appointment and his 4 year old well-child visit which we also counted as his pre-anesthesia physical. I went in with a list of 6 issues to discuss with the doctor (just trying to get my money's worth!). Brady continues to have fluid in his ears. I have been trying Nasonex every morning with him, which basically turns into a daily headlock. He absolutely hates it and there is no other way to get him to do it than to just hold him and get it done. Of course in true Brady-style, he is fine within 2 seconds after it is done. Despite trying this though, the fluid is still there. The doctor explained that after 3 months, Brady could be a candidate for tubes in his ears. So, it looks like we will add another specialist, this time an ENT, to Brady's impressive list. I knew it was time to ask for help with the anesthesia issue that comes up with each scan. The thought of going in there on April 19th and worry that once again we will have to try and fight to get our voices heard by anesthesiologists makes me sick. We are just unwilling to take this risk again, we have had far too many bad expereinces. Anesthesia is safe, but when complications arise, it just introduces the risk for potentially dangerous situations. So what to do... I explained my concerns and asked if there is some way for she and I to come up with a written document explaining past experiences and the bad reactions he has had. It seems ridduculous to even have to think about doing such a thing, as one woudl assume this is the information that is in his chart...the information that one woudl assume is read by the anesthesia team each time. But please trust me, this does not happen. I have seen one doctor go back and casually flip through his chart. It is shocking and to me, unacceptable. Her recommendation is that we contact the anesthesia department and set up a consultation in the next week or so. She suggests that we find one doctor we trust and have him go through his chart, document the bad reactions his has had, and write a reccomendation based on his professional opinion. I like this idea since it will be coming from an anesthesiologist, rather than just myself or the pediatrician. Now I just have to find out if such an appointment is even possible. She also commented that it woudl be wise to have such a plan in writing in case we need to document any malpractice. Yuck. I will have some phone calls to make in coming days to set up two more appointments for Brady boy! In happier news, we got to have lunch together, snuggled up close in a booth at a great diner. Of course, pancakes and bacon were on Brady's plate. He was quite disappointed that the syrup selection was limited to...maple!