Thursday, December 31, 2009

Strangely introspective

I'm feeling a bit inward today. Mainly because I'm super sick again. I'm frankly just tired of this. I told a good friend the other day that I feel like three years of pent up stress is just coming out of me. Why it has to come out as snot is beyond me!


But the odd thing is I wouldn't have described myself as being particularly stressed over the last few years. Yes, there have been stressful moments but I don't think I function on a level of high stress all the time. So either this theory is wrong or I suck at introspection.


I think the second is likely true. I hate to think that I might not be a "deep" person, but really there is a very good chance that I am not an inwardly deep person. I think the main thing that matters is not how a person feels but what they do. That is my philosophy. So if I can control my actions I can control my feelings - right? I dunno! All I know is that I'm sick and it sucks!


No one else is sick, just me.


I am hoping though that 2010 is a great year for the Davis family. Every even year for the last six years we've had another child. Gavin 2004, Bronwyn 2006, Mari 2008. Don't expect this to reoccur for 2010.


Our plans for 2010 are pretty simple. We hope to stay healthy, to learn and grow as a family and to experience new adventures. Nothing earth shattering. Just being a family and living life day by day. I know it is good to have a plan but to be honest all we can really live is one moment at a time. That is our aim.


I do have some plans but they are simple. I'd like a new bike so as the kids get better at biking I can keep up with them. I may need to practice a bit otherwise I'll get left behind.


I'd love to get my storage room cleaned out and sorted.


I'd like to loose a few pounds, but I'm not sure I'm prepared to change my diet or my lifestyle - so that could be hard.

But for the most part we just hope to keep on as we already are. Hanging on to what happiness life brings and dealing with the struggles that also come our way.

May God bless your homes richly in the New Year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Craziness






We have been enjoying a very fun Christmas. The kids were just so cute Christmas morning. For my part it has been just jam packed with all sorts of fun. And by fun I mean, organizing, cleaning, picking up paper, doing dishes etc. Such a break from my normal routine. I should likely do a smiley face here so you all know I am joking (sort of).

Visiting and more visiting. Christmas morning the kids were excited but the real excitement came on Boxing day morning. We stayed over at Mom and Dad's Christmas night. The kids woke up very early and had to be confined in the basement. They were so excited too... wake up Grandpa! Yup. They were more excited by that than presents.

We came home Boxing day and had Brad and his girl friend Marcya (I think that is how it is spelled) that evening. We had a wonderful visit. We really like Marcya and Brad seems very happy, which makes us happy.

The following day we finally had a day to just dork around. Playing with their gifts and doing projects. We tried to take the kids skating but had to delay it an hour or two as Gavin's skates were too small and he needed new ones. We did get them out eventually. Bronwyn is not liking the whole skating experience yet. She just screamed and cried until we took her to sit down and removed her skates. She is not our adventurous child. Gavin is doing a bit better. I think we'll try to get him out a fair bit in the next few weeks so he can get used to the whole deal.

This morning we packed up the kids and headed out on an outing with the Watts family. We went out to Sandy McNabe and skated, tobogganed, had a fire and roasted wieners, drank hot chocolate etc. In true Watts fashion the toboggan hill was a bit on the deadly side. This didn't rattle me as our childhood was filled with very dangerous hills to throw ourselves down. I guess we just repeat the patterns from our childhood - or so I've heard.

The kids had a great time and they all crashed on the way back. Thankfully Mom was with us to help keep me awake (and remind me to slow down for turns and cars etc.). Mari was so good and she actually had a wonderful time. Carissa pulled her around on the sled for a long time. Mari was just all grins.

A lovely day - and now everyone is bagged.

Bring on the New Year - we can take it, I'll just likely sleep through the first month or two.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas for 2009


The season is heating up but the temperatures are staying cold. Typical Christmas season at our house.

We are very thankful for all our blessings and that includes you - our friends and loved ones.

We are also thankful for Jesus, our Lord and saviour. Remembering him is what Christmas is about, in our house anyhow.

May God bless your homes richly. Wishing you all much laughter and love over the holiday season.
We'd love to hear from you - post a comment and let us know how you are doing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mari video

So I just wanted to sneak in a little video of our little spark plug Mari.

video

We are doing fine





I haven't been posting much. Simply because I am either too tired, don't have the time or can't get myself organized to sit down and do it. December is always such a crazy month.

The kids are enjoying life these days. Likely want to be outside a bit more than they are allowed but it has been so cold. Bronwyn doesn't much like the cold or the wind so she is fine staying in more.

Last weekend we built gingerbread houses at Mom's. The kids all did such a great job. It is becoming quite the tradition. A sticky tradition but a tradition none the less. After doing the houses we were all a mess. I had icing all over my pants which is bad enough but Mari decided to lick the icing off my pants. Crazy kook!

Gavin has four days left of school before he is done for the holidays. That is pretty exciting for him. My challenge will be to keep him sufficiently occupied so he doesn't get too bored.

The kids are having a movie night right now with popcorn. Mari is marauding around trying to steel everyone's popcorn. Even though she has some of her own. I guess stolen popcorn tastes better!

Mari really is at a funny stage these days - so cute! Lots of trouble but very cute.

Earlier tonight Gavin wanted to wrestle with his dad but they had to have an early bath if they wanted to do movie night so he had a tough choice. I heard him say to his Dad, "I have an idea, how about you wrestle me out of my pajamas." I heard lots of screams and laughter after that which lead me to believe that Daddy figured this was a good compromise.

Bronwyn is doing good too. She likes to say, "That is bery cool."

Mari is stuck on the little people garage at the moment. She'd like down but I'm not sure I want to rescue her.
Our Christmas tree is up - earliest EVER. It is in varying states of decoration - some days the balls are all over the floor (thank heaven's they are plastic) and some days they are on the tree. It just depends on the mood of the kids.
Hope your Christmas is starting to look Merry.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mayhem upstairs





I have been downloading a few pictures. While I am doing this Wes is upstairs with the kids. They decided to string the lights that Grandma brought us in the kids room. I think Grandma intended them for the outside of the house. She is desperate for us to not be the only house on the blocks that doesn't do anything for Christmas!

There has been a great deal of activity, yelling, stomping, laughing and general excitement. I'll have to go up and check out what they have done.

Mom and Dad were here for supper. They were babysitting for us, as Wes and I went for Gavin's parent teacher interview. He is doing very well. It seems that he listens well, is a keener, is very clever and has finally gotten over his school-phobia.

We are very proud of the sweet boy! Now if I could figure out how to get him to be a listening keener at home - well then we'd be cooking with gas eh?

The kids played outside for a while before going to school this morning. I took these pictures. Mari can hardly move in her snowsuit and boots. Its quite funny!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Its been a week






Wow - I haven't posted in a week. I'd like to say its because I have been so busy, but I have just been a bit lazier than normal to be honest.

Even tonight I don't have too much to say. So I thought I'd dredge up some fun stories about the kids and slap a few pictures up. Just so you know we are still here.

Mari - What a girl! She is becoming such a little individual. She is a real live wire but still so sweet. Mari is our singer. I hear her in her crib in the morning singing "Da daa Da daaa" on and on. In different pitches too. She really amazes me. The other two are musical - particularly Gavin but Mari takes it to a different level. Maybe she'll be the opera singer I always wanted to be.

Mari dances too. She sways her head back and forth and then stops and stamps her feet like she's running on the spot really fast. It is so cute.

She has a couple new teeth - just in the last couple days. She seems to do her teething in rounds. The first 6 all came in within about a two week time span. Kind of nice not to have it drag out.

She has stopped throwing her food on the floor if she is done or doesn't like it. I was getting tired of mopping up all the time.

Bronwyn - Oh, Bronwyn. She was feeling not so good at the beginning of the week and she had me a bit worried, but she was her normal perky self today. She has a wonderful innate ability to get her brothers goat. I have no idea where she picks it up. She'll get a whiny singsong sort of voice and taunt, "To bad, you don't have a Mommy." And other such things. Gavin just gets so furious and then he turns it on her and does the same and then she screams blue murder. Guess she can't take what she dishes out.

She is such a chatterbox. You wouldn't believe it if you meet her. But as long as she is with people she is comfortable with she'll chatter non-stop.

Gavin - I am pretty proud of my little boy. He is pretty amazing sometimes. He told his Grandpa that he is a genius. Not quite sure where he got that idea, but his Grandpa didn't disagree with him. He often tells me that he "loves me almost as much as Mari." Apparently that is quite a lot. Thankfully he can't manhandle me the way he does her.

He is getting very good at math and has started to learn some piano too. I don't really push him, I just sort of wait for him to express interest in something and then we delve into it a bit.

They are a wonderful little group - but I have to say that - I'm their mother!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reflections while grocery shopping

I don't like grocery shopping. In fact, I hate it. Always have. Goes back to my childhood. Having said that, I do grocery shop. Tonight we were all going to go, but in the end we decided that just I would go. So off I went.

The one advantage to grocery shopping is that I get a bit of time to myself, to think a bit. Time alone is a luxury I just don't have.

I am very routine in my shopping. I have a pattern. I start at the deli counter and I move through the store from there. I could literally do it blind folded, but I'd likely hit a few other shoppers - so I don't. I decided tonight to swing by the magazines to see if there were any interesting puzzle books. Score! A math puzzle book - yeah with lots of cross sums. I love doing cross sums.

As I paced up and down the aisles, occasionally stopping to add groceries to my cart, I reflect on how my purchases have changed in the last 6 years. Mostly just a lot more food in the cart now.

"If you could read my mind" sung by Gordon Lightfoot started playing on the store sound system. Wow - now that is nostalgic. No matter who records that song it will never be as good as Gordon's version. That song is just him. I love that song. Who doesn't!

By now I'm feeling down right sentimental as I head down the spaghetti sauce aisle. Why are there so many options for spaghetti sauce - how different can all these brands be? I mean they are basically tomato sauce with herbs? Oh well.

As I push my cart into the produce area I am shocked at the number of young men shopping. Apparently this is the night to be out getting your groceries (if your a young guy). I start to laugh when I realize that my first reaction is not checking them out (as I might have 15 years ago), but rather resisting the very strong urge to turn to one of the young men and tell him to pick up his feet when he walks. Apparently once you are a mom you obtain super mom powers that give you the right to treat anyone like a child. Just cause I could be old enough to be his mom doesn't mean that I am! So I hold my tongue, and laugh at myself.

Boy, carrots, why do they sell the little bags of ready to eat carrots. I mean how hard is to peal a carrot? But who am I to... oh ya, I'm "Super Universal Mom" I don't need permission - I can have any opinion and share it randomly. Ha - OK. That idea is getting old already.

As I get to the till an amazing thing happens. I walk right up to an empty till. I start loading my groceries. The gal running them through is doing it so quickly and proficiently that I am having to rush unloading. I am a bit compulsive in my unloading. You know - heavy things first, grouped by food group as much as possible. Meat together yadaa yadaa. Again, more hang-ups from my childhood. This speed messes up my system.

The teller laughs when I tell her that she was so fast I didn't get my weekly meditation time. As I am finishing up my purchase another lively and familiar (but apparently forgettable cause I can't remember it) song blares over the speakers. As I leave the store I smile as I watch various tellers and patrons nodding their head to the beat. An infectious and happy atmosphere tonight.

Returning home I realize the stress that I often feel. The pent up energy and worry that just sits at the back of my mind. The slightest thing can bring that worry tumbling forward.

I reflect on the conversation I had with Bronwyn's cardiologist earlier in the day. A few medicine changes, a need to have another echo in a couple months, a "mild concern." None of it is earth shattering, none of it is alarming. Just a reminder that this will be with us always. Her health is always in the balance - there is no fix for it.

A tear drops from my eye. I muse on the change between my thoughts between the grocery store and home. As I throw open the door with my arms full of groceries I am met with screams of welcome.

"Mommy," says Gavin.
"Happy Birthday!" Yells Bronwyn.
"Agghhh." Growls Mari (yes she growls a lot).

Do I Worry? Sure.

Am I Loved? You betcha!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday night

We are having a quiet and relaxed Saturday night. We watched a kids movie while eating nacho chips and salsa for supper. Wes is bathing the kids now while I (well truthful while I do this but I shouldn't be doing it - hee hee) get the basement cleaned up and ready for movie night.

We had guests last night, Marj and Kayley (a K I think - sorry if I'm wrong Katie - wink wink). We just enjoyed that so much. After they left this morning we wandered over to the neighbors for "Igagks" (Bronwyn's version of Isaac) birthday party. Hard to believe he is already two. Whoo time flies.

We had a nice week. I have enjoyed my family this week. I really liked being a mom and a wife this week - even more than normal. A good week all in all.

The fog of waiting all summer for her surgery and all the drama of our time in Edmonton is lifting from my soul and I am starting to see the world around me. I am excited by things I had just been neglecting for months. I am able to see my way to organizing my world. How does the line go - My future is so bright I've gotta wear shades. Something like that.

Well - I best get my job done so the when the pajama gang descends on the basement I'm ready to start our movie night!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The dreaded shot

So we finally got the kids H1N1 shots today. It has been a bit of a drama. If you have been listening to the news at all you will have also been subjected to the wide spread panic and chaos that has surrounded this vaccination.

I had refused to take Bronwyn (who is our highest risk child) to a facility with hundreds of people to line up for hours. I just didn't see the sense in it. And then that all changed and they started doing high risk people only. The first day of the relaunch I just sat tight and watched to see what would happen. When things seem to have settled to a more rational system I decided to go the next day.

I checked the times, not aware that they were changing their times daily (and not the night before mind you). Wes came home early so we could take the kids. We drove to Stampede and it was closed. We drove to Avenida and it was closed. Huh!

So we took the kids to McDonald's as a treat - Yes the fat ban is off. Bronwyn has completed her time on the diet.

We decided to get the kids up before nap times and go this morning. We got to Stampede at 9. They were very well organized. We didn't wait at all. I had to whine and finagle to get Gavin a shot. The cut off is November 1st. His birthday was the day before - so technically he didn't make the cut off.

They kept saying no to us and Gavin thought he was off the hook. Until one of the administrators came and told us that he could have it. That is when the drama started.

The highlight was Gavin sitting on the floor wrapped around my leg, crying and refusing to stand up. Add to that a frustrated mother tell him sharply that if he didn't cooperate he would never see his new dinosaur toy again! Pretty. I know!

We finally held him down and gave him the shot. Now I have to break the news that he has to do it all again in three weeks. Ha - good times!

The material point is that we got it done. I can let go of some of my anxiety and breath a bit deeper for now.

I really don't know what to make of all of this H1N1 business. I believe for us that protecting our children (particularly Bronwyn) from bad flues is important. I am not sure that the media hype is necessary, nor do I think that general wide spread panic is necessary.

Cooler heads need to prevail and by the scene we saw this morning I think they are.

If you haven't got your kids vaccinated yet and you want to - Stampede is the place to go. It is well organized and we didn't wait at all. Now, even if there is a wait it is all indoors and they have people handing out juice. There is a waiting area with televisions to do the 15 minute wait after. It is well thought out and very organized.

It would have been nice to see this level of organization from the beginning. I can't imagine how awful last week was for the nursing staff and the administrators of the program. It wasn't their plan but they took the brunt of the chaos. They have my great admiration for even showing up for work the second week in.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween





So it is Halloween day. We had to cancel the party. Gavin is sick. Not exactly sure what is wrong. No sore throat, a wee bit of a fever but no consistently (seem mostly before bed), no throwing up, just a really lethargic little boy with no appetite, a snotty head and not much interest in anything. He didn't even object when we cancelled his birthday party.

He did insist that he could go trick or treating. He was laying on the floor in his costume at the time. I told him he could just go to the neighbors across the street and then he'd have to come home. His Daddy carried him home. I just don't know what is up. Even with all the scare and hype I don't think it is this H1N1. He just doesn't show the symptoms. There is no word on any other flu going around - no one is interested in anything else. Hummpph.

If he is still sick tomorrow I'll drag him to the doctor on Monday. Poor boy. He was actually animated for a short period of time while he opened his birthday present from us. I think he really likes it but it takes a fair bit of figuring out and assembly. It has lots of little pieces - so we have to watch Mari.

The girls had fun this evening. Bronwyn was so excited to go out trick or treating. She had a blast and quietly at a heck of a lot of candy before I noticed this evening. I had sorted through her bag and set all the stuff with fat in it (mostly chocolate stuff) aside. She can have it later - only one week left - hurrah!!

Brad and his new girlfriend, Marci, came for a visit too. I forgot they were coming and decided to try an "experiment." They show up and I got so flustered. I served the most horrible meal. Really I did. I'm not exagerating. But we laughed about it and I assured them that if they came again I'd do my best to make a few improvements.

Mari just enjoys everything! She is such a little cutie. She is just in there wanting to do everything.

I am going to try get a better night tonight - I still feel awful. Grrrr.

Hope you all had fun today and didn't eat too much candy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tomorrow will be busy




Tomorrow is Halloween and a Saturday. So as a result we are having the big man's fifth birthday on the actual day. Which is making for a crazy busy time for me. And I still feel rotten. Really I do. I was actually feeling almost over this nutty cold this weekend when Sunday night it hit me again, or maybe a new cold. Well, whatever it is I'm done!! I've had enough!

I have been scrambling today to try and do what I can. But I have had some issues. Well, lets just say one issue. Mari. Sheeesh the trouble that child can get into. Really she ought to be far more supervised than she is. Honestly!

There were a few cute moments too, but I think for me the highlight was the "laying on her belly face down" temper tantrum. That was pretty special. Neither of my other two have ever done anything like that. I blame it on the red hair (call her little Tom).

Gavin is still feeling pretty sick, pretty stuffed up still. I hope he feels back to normal for his big party tomorrow. I'd hate to cancel at this point.

I'm going to post a picture of his cake today, cause he won't see this, and if I post tomorrow it will likely be the trick-or-treaters that I post. I doesn't show too well. It is a dinosaur dig - in case you can't make it out. This is the third year running we have had a dinosaur cake. I'm running out of ideas.

I have to try find some energy from somewhere. Oh, and I can't just ask Wes to bring supper home, because we are still on this beastly diet. Grrr.

In case you are worried that I am cranky, this is nothing. You should have seen me on Wednesday, I nearly took a round out of a little snot nosed crossing guard at Gavin's school. Now that day I was grouchy. REALLY GROUCHY! Today, a bit annoyed and busy. But OK.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cardio appointment




Bronwyn had her cardiology appointment today. The fluid situation is great. It has cleared up entirely. We do need to stick to our diet though for the remaining two weeks, so that we don't have another set back. We want to ensure her body has the full time allotted to heal.

I was very encouraged by the appointment. Thrilled with how Bronwyn is doing.

Here are a couple pictures from the weekend. Mom hosted a little birthday party for Mari. I just didn't have a big party in me last weekend. Mom was great, it is a fat free cake with fat free icing. Yeah for Grandmas.

I better get myself organized here soon - because the big man turns 5 in just over a week. No fudging on his birthday - he's old enough to notice!

I'd write more but frankly I am too tired to think of anything tonight. Just wanted to let you all know how Bronwyn is doing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Plugging along

We are doing fine. Kids are great. Bronwyn has been doing well. I was a bit worried about her for a couple days, her breathing seemed a bit more laboured than normal but I think I was watching her maybe a wee bit too closely. She continues to heal and to look better every day.

They were able to pick out their Halloween costumes this morning. I'd rather have "home-made" costumes - but we never seem to have enough time. Both Gavin and Bronwyn were very specific in what they were willing to get. I offered up several options but they were only willing to pick just the one costume. I'll have to get some pictures soon.

Mari didn't care which one I picked - she was asleep.

Wes and Gavin went out for lunch - just the two of them - for fries. Both boys have been such great sports about participating in Bronwyn's wacky little diet. I thought they both could use a treat - as long as they don't tell Bronwyn!!

I have been finding it quite hard to adjust to our routines again. Not sure why, still sick, very tired and well, just recuperating from such a major interruption to our normal life. I am sure it is very normal but daily life is requiring a great deal of energy.

I have a tendency to underplay how I feel and what I have been experiencing, but to be honest I don't remember ever having such a nasty cold nor having it last so long. I'd be worried about H1N1 except I have never had a fever. I have also ruled out meningitis (there was a little baby across the hall from us with meningitis). Maybe its bronchitis. I usually wait until I am satisfied with my own diagnosis before I venture to the doctor. I don't like surprises.

I hope this week will feel a bit smoother. Although we have a ton of appointments this week. Several for Mari and a big one for Bronwyn.

I thought I'd let you all know how we are doing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mari is one

Today is Mari's first birthday. I don't have a lot of energy to do much of a party for her. Thank goodness she is only one and won't remember. The third child always gets the shaft.

She is such a little maniac. Her little personality is really coming through these days. At times that is scary and at others really funny. Mari sure has made a difference in our world and we are thrilled with her. We have several pet names for her. Gavin's favourite is "the little chalk eating monster." She will find the chalk and eat it! The little sneak.

Gavin went to school today, didn't cry and was such a big boy. It would appear that Grandpa fixed the situation. Yeah for Grandpa.

I would post pictures of the kids but I think I forgot my camera at Tom and Pam's. So no pictures.

We went to the Wiggles last night. Bronwyn loved it. When they dimmed all the lights and sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star she smiled as though they were singing it just for her. Cutie pie.

Well - that's it for today. Have to go fix another no fat meal (and I mean not even olive oil). My latest challenge!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A brief moment

We are home now and have some of the laundry done up and groceries and a few things settled. The kids are upstairs yelling at me - so things seem to be back to normal. Well if they ever were. Haa haaa - OK enough humour!

It has been my experience that time softens the memory of our experiences. Much of what was painful over the last two weeks will slowly subside and give way to much richer and longer lasting memories. There will be a grain of unpleasantness that may never go away, an understanding that hopefully helps us be more sympathetic and loving to others in their own trials.

My lasting memories are:

How kind a good family can be. How it feels to be embraced by the love of family, the warmness and kindness that gives strength for all trials. We have the most amazing family. Those near and far who have been so great.

The love of friends and what a boost that is. The friends who emailed, posted notes here or on Facebook, called, prayed, thought about us, sent cards, came to see us, and the list goes on. We are so grateful for friends.

Other parents, many who have become friends. Kim and Shannon, there is a special bond that we feel with your families. We have walked through some dark times together and have had similar but varied experiences. We just want you to know how much we are invested in your children and their success too. And we so appreciate your support.

The wonderful staff at the hospital. Now that I am out (ha ha), I can talk about how much I love that hospital - I just don't like being there. Words can't even begin to describe how I feel about Dr. Rebeyka. What do you say to a man, how do you thank a man who has done for our family this enormous thing. For him it is his "day at the office." But for us it is our child. From the surgeons to the doctors, nurses and the whole staff - we are so thankful.

Wow - this is sounding like an acceptance speech at the Oscars. So to keep that theme. I'd like to most of all thank God. He is our strength, he is gives us hope, he helps guide us, he comforts us. We are thankful not only for our faith but for our God who is all powerful and can help us navigate the trials of life.

On this, Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I ask you all to allow us to thank you for being with us on this journey and for caring for our family. You (and yes I mean you) are a blessing to us.

Thank you all - God bless all your families!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Thursday, October 08, 2009

So things change


We were about to go for a walk with Bronwyn when Lois, on of our favourite Nurse Practitioners (of course Shirley is our absolute favourite) told us to go back to our room for a bit.

They needed our room and we were going to be discharged for the night and brought back tomorrow to have her chest tubes removed. So we are at Tom and Pam's right now, chest tubes and all. We have to be back by 7 am to for blood work and then we go upstairs to have them remove her tubes. After that they will send us on our way.

A day earlier than I had scheduled - not bad!

I best run, a little girl is harassing me to get her strawberries.

I stayed last night

And now I feel worse than ever. I tell ya this cold couldn't have come at a worse time.

The team here is all aware of my agenda. To be released on Friday. Dr. Dyck suggested it now may not be until Saturday, but I warned him I might just up the anti on my nagging if they do that. He told me he's anxious to get rid of the grumpy patients (in our case parents). So funny!

I do hope that we will be out of here tomorrow, if not tomorrow for sure Saturday.

Grit, bear it!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Another day

So Bronwyn was going well today. We had her up and about a lot. She even climbed the equivalent of 4 flights of stairs. The fluids are hopefully down - but we won't know until the morning.

We sort of pushed our luck with her today and she was in a bit of pain this evening. She finally settled and fell asleep. I don't like to see her in pain but it is good to see her playing and doing somethings fairly normally.

I have decided we are leaving Friday. Now I just have to convince everyone else. I don't miss an opportunity to discuss our discharge on Friday with any of the staff. Some have been a bit confused because they haven't heard that we are on the soon to be discharged list but well, they haven't checked my notes yet.

I am doing quite a bit better. Wes stayed again tonight and I hope to be coughing less tomorrow so that I can stay over with her.

They had a turkey dinner at lunch for the patients and families. It was very nice. Lovely little event in a gloomy sort of place.

Well I have more I could tell you but I am too tired to remember it all. Oh like a surprise visit from Kim. Wonderful to see you, a bright spot in my day!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Better day

I had a very good sleep and while I am still struggling with a bad head cold, I do feel that I am on the up swing.

Bronwyn is doing well today too. The fluids are still an issue but I am hopeful that it can still be resolved in the next few days. Bronwyn was chatty and had more energy today. She just seemed a bit more like herself. She kept recalling how Uncle Jon tries to whistle (he pretends he can't and spits all over). She laughs and giggles as she remembers. So nice to see her more animated.

Kennedy and Pam came up to see her this evening. That was great for her. We took her out to the waiting area and the girls played together. Auntie Pam even made her some low fat chicken soup - which she ate and enjoyed greatly.

Wes is at the hospital again tonight. We hope that I am over the worst of this cold by tomorrow and can return to do my part tomorrow night - give Wes a break. What a great husband I have.

I am just off to bed now. May God bless you all.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A bit of a set back

Bronwyn is still having fluid leaking on her right lung. They have tested it and it has kylo in it - which means that her lymph system is leaking. This is a common side effect of the Fontan. So she has to go on a low fat diet and they hope to control the fluids that way. If they can get the fluids to stop then she is closer to getting home but the diet will have to continue for some time.

I found this pretty upsetting, not because I'm upset she has a complication. It is more that I am afraid that this is a domino affect. She isn't eating well and we have to force her to drink. The only things she has been willing to eat will now be cut out of her diet. I'm just worried she'll start having problems with her food and liquids and then they'll have to use an IV and then we are just on a different and somewhat downhill track from there.

But that is just me being pessimistic. I am also feeling pretty sick. This is the worst head cold I have had in ages. I'm too afraid to spend much time with Bronwyn. I am hoping that a good night sleep will do wonders for my cold and my attitude too.

Just pray for our little girl. I really want to get her home in time to take her to the Wiggles. Even now she keeps mentioning the concert - she is really excited. I just want her to be home.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Can't keep a princess down





Today Bronwyn is doing quite a bit better. We tried to have her in her room as little as possible. I seem to be getting a bit of a head cold. I was not sure this morning and just feeling a bit sick but not sure so I was wearing a mask just in case. Of course I wasn't aware that I'd be causing mass hysteria by doing this. I wasn't coughing, sneezing, blowing my nose or anything. Just being cautious. When they started questioning me about why I was wearing a mask and they were acting all cagey - well I snapped - a bit! But oh well - I'm trying to behave.

But now - well now I am feeling pretty snotty - so Wes is staying again and I'm going to keep my contact minimized until I'm in the pink so to say.
We tried to have Bronwyn out of the room as much as possible today. She played at the "Beach" (a special play area for kids at the Stollery) twice. We also took her downstairs to the cafeteria for supper. We also took her for a couple walks and several trips up and down the elevators. She really liked the elevator trips.

We have been forcing liquid on her. She is on restricted liquids but is having a hard time drinking even that amount of fluid. Last night they topped her up with IV, but that came out this morning. So if they have to top her up tonight they would need to use an NG tube (a feeding tube through the noise). So all day we have been telling her to drink or the doctors would need to put a straw in her nose to feed her. The line between parent and school yard bully has been a bit blurry today. When I left she was in reasonable shot of her target - so I think she will be OK.

I am hoping she has another good night. I also hope I can just sleep this cold off and have it gone in the morning. I just don't want to feel so stressed every time I go see her. I'm terrified I'll make her sick too. I go nowhere near any one else's kids and am slathering myself with antibacterial stuff.

Kennedy, Josh and Gavin did a bit of mad science this evening. A volcano I believe. Gavin and Mari have been getting a lot of attention.

Grandma, Grandpa, Gavin and Mari will return to Langdon tomorrow. Wes and I remain and hope to be released Monday or Tuesday - Monday would be better, but I'll take Tuesday also.

Friday, October 02, 2009

I ditched

So my saint of a husband offered to stay tonight with Bronwyn. Great night to offer since we now have a roommate - a six month old post op. crying baby. Ha - Wes is really going to get points for this.

I'm here with the gang at Tom and Pam's and am hoping to get some sleep tonight - although Mari is still going strong. Kennedy is trying to manage her - what a sweetie (Kennedy that is).

Well - of I go to get some rest. I hope Wes has a good night and that Bronwyn (who will get IV overnight) is perkier tomorrow.

A bit bummed

Bronwyn is still doing well. We were moved to a room where I can stay with her last night. It is not on the cardiac unit but the adjoining one - the one they keep all the contagious kids on. Lots of hand washing happening. I didn't have my bag with me - so I'm on the 36 hour of these clothes. Nice eh?

I got in my head that it would be appropriate that we get released this weekend. I even got our prescriptions lined up to fill so I can do that today. I was just so sure we'd be ready by Saturday. Well on rounds this morning that was dispelled.

I know I am unrealistic. I know I am expecting too much. I know I am pushing too hard. But I know I am more than ready to get my girl out of here.

But, suck it up and behave. My new motto.

Bronwyn is getting more energy. She by times seems in a great deal of pain, but others is more comfortable. She tried to get out of bed to come to my bed last night, but her cables wouldn't reach. So I climbed in with her and spent most of the night in the most crunched position imaginable.

Wes and Gavin are here right now - having a bite. Bronwyn is sleeping. Mari is at Uncle Tom and Pam's with the Grands. She is eating and yapping - "dadadadada." Can't get the kid to say Mom. In fact last night when I saw her she stared at me like, "You look vaguely familiar - do I know you from somewhere?"

I need a better night sleep that is all. I hate hospitals, have I mentioned that.

Bronwyn needs to drink more, pee more and poop. If she can do all that today we might still make my time frame (ok ok - I give up!).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Back to the hotel MacLeod

Great place to stay by the way. Rates are good. Beds are comfy. Company is great. There is a continental bedtime snack that is superb. This travel reporter gives it a 4 out of 5 (one point deduction because it is Edmonton and not Cuba).

Bronwyn continues to improve. She still frequently asks, pleads, begs and even demands to go home. Soon baby soon.

I have been trying to pin them down to what they want to see her do before she can go. That way I can judge how close we are to going. See Jon, not an A type personality at all.

Any how I am tired. I considered staying with her tonight in the ICE room but it is similar to the PICU. There are easy chairs you could sleep in but no beds and there are several patients in the room, lots of alarms and lights and activity. So I elected to leave. Now I am just praying that she sleeps well and doesn't miss us. The nurse assured me that if she couldn't settle her and keep her calm that they would call us to come back.

So off to sleep I go.

Day 3 - Update 2

So I guess we are moving after all. To the ICE unit - a step between the ICU and the ward. So upstairs we go. Well at least for now.

Day 3

We were hoping to be moved upstairs to the ward today. But they are short beds. For now we think we will continue in the PICU one more night. Unless something changes.

Bronwyn's colour looks good and she is increasingly more alert. There is still a lot of road to cover yet, that is another reason they are not in a hurry to move her. I am anxious to have her moved, so we can stay with her there over night.

When any one asks her how she is doing she says, "Good." No matter what they are doing to her! What a girl.

I have met a family, their little girl Kaley is in need of prayers. Those of you who pray, can you include her in your prayers. They really could use a break. A miracle would be even better.

My Mom is likely getting quite tired from chasing hurricane Mari. While Dad is still busy getting Gavin back and forth. Divide and conquer.

Love to you all!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The early news

So not much changed over night. They weened her off some of her medications, the medications to help regulate her heart beat not any of her pain meds. Her vital statistics look great. They are pleased.

She wakes a lot and wants to get all the tubes out. She cries when she wakes up.

They have closed the PICU right now for a procedure. So I am out for a bit here. She will be in the PICU at least one more night. They hope they can ship her upstairs to the ward tomorrow. At that point I will be once again a prisoner of the hospital - oops I mean a guest.

I think I have finally found someone who likes hospitals less than I do - my daughter. Between the two of us we'd have her on her way home tomorrow if we could. But patience is apparently a virtue (of which I know little).

The optimism of the medical staff is reassuring and she looks a bit better today.

Thank you all for continuing to watch our progress and for keeping us in your prayers. Our hearts are buoyed up by your love.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Update

Bronwyn had her surgery. She went in at 12:30 ish and they brought her into the PICU at about 5 pm. She is doing well. She is very thirsty and in some discomfort. They hope to manage her pain tonight and just before we left they started giving her water.

We have come home to get some sleep. They urged us to leave her tonight. It was hard but best for her. They will keep her quiet and resting.

This doesn't get easier, in fact, this was a very tough day.

Dr. Rebeyka was very pleased with how everything went. So far she is keeping up her reputation as a superstar.

We are very proud of her.

My prayer last night and today was for God to smooth our path. I am happy to report that while our path was unpleasant it was smooth.

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The things you find on a camera

We are off again tomorrow. I have been packing and pacing like a maniac, or at least that's what Wes tells me. However, I had to take time to share this.

About a week ago I went out in the evening for a VBS meeting thingy and Wes stayed home with the kids. When I got home Mari's shirt was covered in something blue. I asked Wes and he said that she got into the chalk. Now Mari loves to eat chalk. I cram the older kids easel up against the wall so she can't get at the supplies, but she still manages to find bits and pieces here and there.

We call her the "little chalk eating monster." I usually keep an ear open and if I stop hearing activity I get suspicious. The first place I look is the area around the easel.

The event passed and other than a shockingly blue poop the next day there was little after affects.

Then today I was downloading all the photos of the camera and I found this. Ahhh. What can you do eh? I suppose it could have been worse.

video

Friday, September 25, 2009

Crazy day

Wes, Bronwyn and I drove up to Edmonton yesterday afternoon. We made good time and were able to get Bronwyn to bed and have a nice visit with Peter and Marj (who have a lovely home by the way).

We had to get up very early and go to the Pre-admission Clinic by 7 am. We were on time even though they moved the public parking and the ped-way and the signage wasn't the best as we made our way through the halls.

We expected a long day. In fact I had packed a bag of tricks, toys and things to amuse Bronwyn while we waited.

Things just started moving after we got there. We left the hospital at 11am. In that time they did X-rays of Bronwyn's chest, an EKG, an Echo cardiogram (a long one too), blood work. We also had visits from a fellow on Dr. Rebeyka's team, Dr. Rebeyka, the anesthesiologist, the physiotherapist, a social worker and a complete work down by the PAC nurse.

We didn't wait more than 5 minutes for anything. You could have knocked me over with a smile by 11 am. I could not believe it! Other times we have been to Edmonton we have waited and waited and waited for everything. This was truly amazing.

I thought a lot about several families we are friends with when I read a sign in the cardiology clinic. It said, "A gentle reminder that the wait time for clinic visits is between 1 and 4 hours." 4 HOURS! Boy - I'd be mental by that point. I hope that was sarcastic. How do you do it Kim and Shannon?

We got home just after Gavin. We learned that not only did he go to school easily for Grandpa but Grandpa didn't even have to go in the building. No way!! I knew that would happen. See there is good reason to believe that the grandparents should raise the young kids - they are just better at it.

Gavin did report that he cried. They did the "Harry Fox Run" (hee hee) and they made him do big laps of the field, 3 laps in total. Apparently he got too tired and cried. See he is just like his mother.

Bronwyn was just a champ today. Really she is so amazing. I'm so proud of her. Even after the blood work she was quick to be distracted by the lovely stickers she was given. Princess have to do their best no matter what the circumstance.

Mari did great for Mom and Dad. She slept through the night - yeah for her. They insisted that she didn't "walk" yet. They were emphatic enough that I suspect she did walk. I hope she walks a bit tomorrow so I can try catch it on video.

Mom assured me that they would do fine. She said, "We raised three kids, and they all turned out, well pretty bad, but we learned a few things I guess." Cute eh?

I feel pretty excited tonight. It was a lot of driving extra driving but it is so great for Bronwyn to be home for the weekend. Hopefully we can have some fun and go up to Edmonton recharged and ready to kick some congenital heart defect BUTT.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New from our house





I realize it has been a week since we posted. I am sorry I haven't been sharing news - I have been too busy worrying about things of which I have no control. Effective I know! Good use of my time - yup that too.

Anyhow, Gavin got sick last Thursday - really sick, cold, cough etc. I was sure Bronwyn would catch it and the surgery would be off. But he is better and Bronwyn is still symptom free. I'm still just holding my breath but for now we seem to be on track.

Mari is a mischief. As I sit trying to type she is climbing up the stairs. As I rush over to get her she giggles and tries to get away. She is standing a lot. I have tried to get video of her standing but she never cooperates when I have a camera. Oh gee, now she is standing on her little musical chair - not at all scary! And yet she won't stand when I have a camera focused on her. Girls!!

Mari is also very close to walking. Tonight she actually took one step - of course no cameras. I am sure she will start to walk next week when we are away. I have asked Mom and Dad to make sure they get video for us.

Yes, Mom and Dad are going to keep Mari and Gavin here while we head up with just Bronwyn. While this splits up the family it does seem the most simple answer. Tomorrow night we are headed up for just the night. Bronwyn has an appointment on Friday. We'll head back for the weekend.

This makes it less stressful for me. I don't have to do all the packing and organizing right now. I can put some of it off until Saturday when Wes is home. Its more driving but I think we can live with that.

Gavin is still fighting kindergarten. I have informed him that he is going against law, government, society and bureaucracy- all in one. He can't win - but he doesn't seem to understand his odds.

We've had bizarrely gorgeous weather. Today it was 32. Hot!

I will try give you an update on our appointment after we return.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A few pictures






I have been taking lots of pictures but I haven't been downloading them. So I have a bunch. Here are a couple of my favourites from the last few weeks.

Monday, September 14, 2009

We have a date

They will be doing Bronwyn's surgery at the end of September, two weeks from today.

You can pray that we all stay healthy and cold free in that time.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Wow it has been a week


Time seems to be just flying and yet... last week felt like one of the longest in my life. I feel like I am working again - tied to a schedule. What a bummer.

It has been an adjustment for the whole family, this school business. But things are coming. Gavin is still reluctant to let us leave him there but once he gets over his initial anxiety he enjoys himself and he's always happy and babbling about everything he did when I pick him up.

Gavin's big interest these days is Checkers. He is good too. He beat me tonight. I mean he is really good (I'd rather say that than admit that an almost five year old can beat me with little effort).

Bronwyn is doing great. Waiting! She talks so much these days. Talks and talks and talks and talks - not all the time but when she gets on a roll - whew!

Mari is getting so cute. She can stand on her own now. A bit wobbly but she can do it. If you start to sing she begins bouncing and singing along. She is very responsive to music. She just watches the other two and just wants to do what they are doing. Mari is a very observant and curious little girl.

Me, well I have been making crab apple jelly. We have a large tree in our back yard but we have never bothered collecting the apples before. This year we did. They are small and tart. I made one batch of jelly, just from the apples I could pick from the ground with the kids. Wes got so excited by this that he went and picked more. Two large buckets more. Gee thanks honey!

So I have been making jelly for days, I can't devote a lot of time to it. Mostly if the kids are napping or asleep at night. Anyhow, if you want some give me a call - but I won't ship it so out of town folk are out of luck.

So as you see life is ticking on, nothing new, nothing exciting and yet every day is a new adventure.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Mid week blues





Gavin seems to be enjoying kindergarten, once we get him to stay, that is. Sheesh! He is giving us a run for our money, but I am sure it will be short lived (actually I'm not at all sure of that - I'm just trying to make myself feel better).

We are all just plugging along getting used to our new routine.

This weekend we went for a walk in Fish Creek Park, we took some nice photos.

They are sweet kids! Crazy as little bandits but sweet!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First day of Kindergarten




Wow! Gavin had his first day of Kindergarten today.

I expected a sea of Mom's holding back tears and unable to believe that their baby has gone from a babe in arms to Kindergarten! I guess that is sort of what I got, it translated into snap happy Moms and Dads with camera's just a blazing.

There were some tears - Gavin cried. I don't know why I expected anything different. He cried every single day of preschool. So really this is just more of the same. I guess I figured after what amounts to a two month pep talk and some other initiatives that he would have done better.

I was seriously crushed. I walked away from the school feeling defeated and sure that I would have a repeat of last year. It is demoralizing to take a kid to school and have them cry and scream every single time - really it stinks.

When I went to pick him up I realized his class was in the playground. I watched from a distance as he ran around and played like a little maniac. I felt so much better. Maybe he'll do better this year after all. He asked me as we walked away if he could go back there again. Good sign!

A little boy, Caleb attached himself to Gavin almost right away. It was pretty cute. I guess he decided that for now Gavin looked like as good a buddy as any.

Bronwyn doesn't like leaving Gavin. I brought her home for nap time. When she woke up the first thing she said was, "Lets go drop Ganna." Meaning lets pick him up (instead of drop off - that is where the drop comes in).

All in all a beautiful and nice day.

Oh, on another note. Mari stood on her own for a couple seconds last night. She managed to keep herself balanced and stand for just a brief moment. Clever girl!