Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cake Therapy

It's that time of year again . . . . birthday cake making.  I'm sad to be making this without my best friend, but life moves on . . . even if I don't want it too.  I did consider not making anything super fancy this year because my friend won't be with me (I may come up with all the ideas but she is one that makes it all happen).  But thinking through it I figured that I need to make a cake, not necessarily for my daughter (does she really care? she's happy with just about anything).  No, making this cake is more of therapy for myself.  I do have fun baking and creating, this is the time that I have an excuse to make art.  I'm a terrible drawer! but I do like creating things and baking and this puts them together!
So lets talk cake.  My daughter has been taking ice skating lessons this year so we are doing an ice skate theme cake.  It's not going to be super crazy, I want to keep it simple . . . . simple and easy . . . except for making the ice skate I'm hoping it shouldn't be too hard (but things always go wrong and the "easy" things always seem hard).  As far as the cake flavor I'm making a peanut butter cup cake (chocolate cake with peanut butter filling). A new friend is coming over tomorrow and we shall make a cake . . . . it will be great (hopefully my kids will let us work).

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Surgery #2 - Done

Friday, Feburary 10, my daughter had tubes put in her ears.  Things went very smoothly . . . I see that it makes a huge difference when 10 month old vs an almost 6 year old has surgery.  My daughters hearing is much in proved and for that we are thankful!  You can read more about the surgery in details here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Surgery #1 - Done

So yesterday was my baby's surgery.  To be honest I hadn't put much thought into it, I didn't think it would be a huge deal.  It's just a common everyday surgery, I had gone through it with my first son.  Really though our focus is on our daughter's surgery on Friday.  (She is going to have tubes put in which should fix her hearing loss that she has been suffering from for about 1 1/2 years.)  But I guess because he is 10 months old instead of a newborn the surgery is more involved (at least I wasn't given any other options and I'm kicking myself for not researching to see if there really was).

The surgical staff was very nice and took great care of us.  my only complaint was the doctor seemed to be in too big of hurry to stop and really answer my questions.  I think he was trying to make up time and get back on schedule, my son's surgery ended up started 30 minutes late.

The staff explained to me what was going to happen to try and prepare me but when it all happened I some how didn't feel prepared for it.  I carried my son into the operating room and placed him on the table.  All these hands appeared putting lots of monitors on his tiny body.  There were sweet voices to go with all these hands calling my son's name and telling him sweet encouraging things.  They encouraged me to keep talking to him and then they put a mask over his face to breath in the anesthesia.  He squirmed and cried a little and that's not pleasant to watch but that wasn't really the hardest thing for me.  I watched him fall asleep but you could tell he wasn't really sleeping a nice peaceful sleep.  He looked drugged, his eyes were open but you knew he wasn't there.  That was hard!  As I looked at him I thought to myself, what in the world am I doing to him, they just put drugs into my tiny little boy and now he looks . . . . awful.  As they pulled me away from him everybody began to ask "Are you ok?".  My thoughts were "Absolutely Not!! What are you doing to him!! Isn't there another way!" But I sweetly said "Yea, I'm fine." Then my thoughts went straight to Friday and how I would have to watch that whole thing again with my daughter.  I almost lost it, I don't think I can do that again!

I packed up my things and headed to the waiting area and did just that.  It was nice to get texts from people and to know that they were thinking about us.  I HATE being alone and somehow that made it feel like I wasn't alone.

The surgery took an hour, the doctor thought it would only take a half hour.  When he came out and talked to me he said that nothing happened out of the ordinary but that my son was a little oozy making things go a little slower.  I'm not sure what oozy means but the doctor did ask if he had recently had a cold because that can cause oozy-ness.  After giving me care instructions he sent me back to the waiting room for the nurses to call me back when my son was ready in the recovery room.

When I walked back there I didn't even recognize my son.  They had a do rag on his head, an IV in his arm and he was just laying there "asleep" but not looking very peaceful, you know that drug sleep.  I began to talk to him trying to get him to wake up and that's when the screaming began.  You have to understand my son is the happiest baby with biggest smiles on this planet.  He has the sweetest personality but this awful drug turned him into a cranky monster (ok, maybe not that bad but it gets my point across that he wasn't himself).  I immediately began to nurse him and that calmed him down but he would end up just going back to sleep.  Every time I would try and move him he would just scream, push and kick me.  It was hard to handle him all by myself, the nurses tried to help but didn't really know how.  I didn't really know what to do.  So I tried to be as still as possible and we sat there nursing for about an hour.  It was a sweet time.  I finally was able to get him to sit up and dress him so we could go home.

He spent the rest of the day sleeping or nursing and sleeping.  It was about the time his daddy came home and carried him around that his smiles came back and he actually began to crawl around. 

Overall everything went smoothly but I'm so glad that it's over.  We have a ways to go with the healing but we are on the way to recovery.  Unfortunately, we get to do it all again on Friday.  I'm thinking it shouldn't be as bad with my daughter but I'll be prepared this time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Long Wait

Well . . . the time has finally come, surgery.  It has been almost a year and it is finally here.  This week my oldest and youngest are going under the knife.  I think about this and it's crazy, we have been working toward this since before we left China.  We tried to get things taken care of while we were still there but it was difficult and so we ended up deciding just to wait till we were here  Once in America we had to get insurance, then find doctors, make appointments, get referrals, make more appointments, wait for those appointments, go to the appointment, schedule surgery dates, wait for the dates . . . . 5 months later, it's here!
I'm thankful to be back in America so we can get these procedures done here but MAN, it's about time!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Slippery Slope

Well, today marks 5 months since we repatriated but lately I feel like it's only been weeks.  I'm not really sure why . . . I knew it would take a while to feel acclimate back but I feel like I'm moving backwards.  I was beginning to feel more comfortable here, accepting my new life, getting into the swing of things, feeling the grove . . . but I'm feeling like a fish out of water again.  Shouldn't it just get easier and easier?  I feel like it's getting harder and harder!  I find that I miss my friends even more, I still don't find life in America that easy . . . I mean, really, how many different kinds of chips do I really need to have to pick from! I miss life in China so much that I dream about it almost every night.  The dreams are so vivid and real that I wake up from them, thinking about them and that puts me in gear to think about China for the rest of the day.  I'm getting down because I feel like I should be past this, but I'm not so something must be wrong with me.  Look at my husband . . . he doesn't seem to be struggling!
As I sit and write and look over my words I remember the post-field seminar we went to and remember the little graph they made about acclimating back to your home country.  There was this little line that moved up and down and up and down and then back up and down again showing how there is slow movement toward "fitting in" with a little bit of "falling out".  I'm on that down again slope . . . and that's okay.  It's just as I'm on this downward slope I feel like I might not make it to the back up again part.  I just hope that I can find the strength and energy to climb that line back up again.