The Road to Recovery

Category : Anna

We’re on the mends!  Anna’s surgery went as planned and we’re on day 4 of recovery.  I’m going to re-cap the last few days more for my own journey and Anna’s so bare with me!

Wednesday night:  Anna was in a great mood, ate a great dinner, was running around with her friends at church.  All while mom and dad were getting eaten from the inside out that temporarily we’d be bringing her down.  We both knew and agreed to have this done with her history of strep, but it’s never easy to put your child through surgery.  That night we let her stay up a little bit later to eat whatever she wanted (cookies and a little pop).  After she went to bed, Gary and I prepared our bag for the next day and hit the hay.

Thursday morning: We all agreed to not eat breakfast as Anna wasn’t allowed to eat after midnight.  So we brought Izzy to daycare for the day as we knew it would be a long day for us let alone for a 3 year old.  We arrived at 8:45am, got checked in, Anna doned a pretty green bracelet and off we went to start our day.  They brought us to a mostly pediatric wing to a nice private room.  The nurse came in to talk to us and gave Anna her tiger hospital PJ’s which she really didn’t want.  On top of it all, each time a nurse, doctor or anesthesiologist came in before anything began, Anna would cover her mouth.  We kept reminding her that no one was coming in to take her tonsils while she was awake.  We felt so bad.  Meanwhile, we watched cartoons, cuddled on the chair and talked a little more about her surgery.

Around 9:50 am (our scheduled time of surgery), the nurse brought in a relaxant for Anna.  It started to take effect within 15 minutes.  I think they give this to the patient, not just for them but for the parents.  She was hilarious!  Not that you want to picture your 4 year old drunk, but she was so slap happy and out of it that I thought of it.  At one point she was playing on my iPhone sitting up in bed and she was leaning so far forward that her head was touching the bed.  She also thought it was great that she was in a crib (the rails were up on her bed) and exclaimed it with a smile!  So funny and it left us feeling a little better.  She whimpered a little bit while the nurse wheeled her out but before she rounded the corner, she was talking with the nurse.  Gary’s dad also came to sit with us just before Anna was wheeled away.

Around noon, I heard her cries coming around the corner and then I felt terrible.  Everything went smoothly but she was out of sorts with a sore throat and an IV in a strange place.  Almost right away she wanted to try a popsicle – that went down good.  Then a bite or 2 of Jello but instead she wanted another popsicle.  Then we had a couple rounds of vomiting.  Poor thing!  The night before, she was given a present from her Sunday School teacher and told she could have it until after surgery.  So she spotted it and wanted to open it.  It brought a small smile to her face thankfully – momma needed that!  Gary and his dad arrived shortly there after and took over the consoling.  I headed to lunch and they held down the fort catching up on some Jake and the Neverland Pirates of course!  She hadn’t thrown up since and we had made an ultrasound appointment to check on baby #3 while we were there in recovery so Gary and I headed out (all is well and I’ll make another post about he/she soon).  Anna stayed with Aunt Sheila and Grandpa while we did that and found she threw up another 2 times.  Total mom/dad guilt there.  After some IV finagling and some pain for Anna, she got some anti-nausea meds and started to perk up.

We got our discharge papers, a suppository (not cool!), a new elephant friend from the nurses and a 2 week recovery and headed home around 4:30.  Unfortunately on the way home, we had one more round of vomiting.  But ever since then, she’s been on the mends.  Daddy spent the night next to her in the living room, giving her meds and liquids, night 2 and 3 she ended up on the floor in our room and last night she spent the night in her bed.  We’ve been giving her pain meds every 4-5 hours, making sure she’s drinking/eating enough fluids to stay hydrated and slowly trying soft foods again.  She’s been babying her voice and limits what she says but we’ve had glimmers of normalcy for her as she read to herself in bed last night and sings along with Veggie Tales every once in awhile.  So we’re on the mends and hopefully lesser visits to the doctor for throat swabbing and shots in the rear for strep!

Thanks for reading my novel and keep Anna in your prayers as she’s a little more sensitive to things than usual while the rest of us try to get back to normal!

The downside of being parents

Category : Anna, Blogger Posts : 2007-2010

Just say a little prayer for us this week.  We made the decision a few weeks ago to get Anna’s tonsils out after having strep throat 7 times in the last 13 months.  She’s been feeling really good lately and we’ve had some really fun days together as a family, so the thought of putting her through surgery is weighing on our mind.  I know it’s very routine and she’ll be much better off without these things but neither Gary or I have had surgery nor been under anesthesia before so it’s all a bit new and nerve-racking to us.  So prayers for calmness for all of us and a quick recovery!

Oh I give up…

Category : Anna, Isabella

So yesterday I didn’t win any parent of the year award but I was able to refocus my frustrations and made some changes.  My dear sweet Isabella (side note: who’s middle name should have been “Pay Attention”) has given me grief lately in regards to discipline.  She almost laughs at me when I’m at my angriest with her.  Yesterday, she even pulled a monkey face when I was sternly talking to her.  Nothing phases this girl.  Except daddy.  I thought for the longest time Anna and I would butt heads (ok, give that one time) as we’re so alike and Izzy and I would be able to work it out.  Nope.  Ok, so she’s not quite 3 and that’s a big assumption, but right now it’s how I feel.

Yesterday, I put them down for a “nap”.  The term nap is used loosely with these 2.  Izzy needs a nap and refused to take one on occasion.  She sings, grabs books off her shelf, turns on her light and plays, removes things from her room and loudly shuts the door.  Yelling does no good, spankings don’t do so much but removing everything from her room is a little bit humbling for her.  Then she has to earn back to her toys into her room and be able to play with them again.  But she needs to nap as she’s so crabby after dinner and crashes almost immediately when we put her down at night.  So I refuse to give in to this little goob and she will nap.  She will!

Miss Anna on the other hand, is like her parents.  She doesn’t need a nap.  She proves that by not napping and then being able to stay up till 10 without being a crab.  It’s truly is scary how similar we are.  So yesterday, I was on the phone and she was calling me in a normal tone for about 4-5 “mommy’s”.  Then all of a sudden she starts to scream it.  Then Izzy joins in.  My phone call was about done and I ran up to their room and (this is where no awards were handed out) I screamed back.  I was so angry.  So after I cooled down, talked to Gary about it, I returned to them.  Calmly, we started doing lots of chores.  :)  Mommy switched her tone and they started to understand.

They cleaned their rooms (one had to empty hers, again), sorted and hung up laundry, put away laundry, gather garbage, put some other things away, were told only one thing goes in bed with them (not a zoo or a daycare), no stories at bedtime, no books in bed and they were going to bed early.

So with all that said.  Naps are still on for the stubborn, almost 3 year old as I know she needs it.  Nap time for Thing 1 will be quiet time where she can read and play quietly in her room till her alarm goes off and hopefully the “mommy” calling will cease and she won’t have to nap “because I don’t like naps” when she doesn’t need one.

White flag has been waved.

Anna’ Antics | Pt.3

Category : Anna

Just before naptime one day, Anna came up with this:

Anna:  This is my special baby.

Me:  Why is that?

Anna:  Because it was growing in my belly.

Me:  ::thought, should I ask this, well yeah I do::  Oh really?  How did it come out of your belly?

Anna:  ::Hands up by her mouth::  The doctor took her out of my mouth.

Oh the things this girl comes up with.  Some quite accurate, some far from accurate and for that I am thankful.  :)

She’s 4!

Category : Anna

Our book loving, rollercoaster rider, crafting partner, hair down or with a bow, popcorn eating with daddy, “mommy”, girly girl is 4 today!  As I write this, it’s about hour away from that actual moment where Gary and I turned from being a couple to a family.

She came into the world planned from beginning to end.  We “tried” for her, got pregnant right away, found out I need Lovenox and heprin shots for all my pregnancies so in the end, she was a planned induction (I couldn’t have an epidural if we didn’t plan my shots correctly).  With about an hour and half of pushing, she came out, all 6 pounds 9 ounces of her.  From there she changed our lives.  She showed us how to love so much bigger and so much deeper than what Gary and I already had experienced as a married couple.

She’s a sweet, partly shy, fun loving little girl who loves being the big sister (a lil’ bossy thing as times), loves her sister in the coolest ways – so fun to see the sister bond, has her daddy’s love of popcorn and her mommy’s lovea of anything art.  She’s eager to learn and excited for school next year.

Happy Birthday Miss Anna Banana, we love you!


Daddy, Mommy and Izzy

So tiny… newborn.

That face!  1 year

Finally getting hair!  2 years

Those big blue eyes!  3 years

The birthday girl today!

Anna’s Antics | Pt.2

Category : Anna

A conversation on our way to dinner last night:

Anna:  I don’t like this dress.

Christie: Why don’t you like your dress?

Anna:  Because it has black on it.  I don’t like black.  My favorite colors are pink and purple.

Christie: No kidding.  :)   Well I like that dress, Anna.

Anna:  Well then you should wear it.

Gary: *Buries his head in his hands.*

Anna’s Antics | Pt.1

Category : Anna

In talking with the girls about what to be for Halloween:

Anna: I want to be a princess (who knew?!)

Izzy:  I want to be a pwincess too!

Anna: No.  Izzy, you can by my prince.

Gary and I look at eachother and just shake our heads.

Happy Halloween!

Category : Anna, Isabella

::::::::::: So this one is a smidge late, but I had it written and was just waiting to add pictures.  Time escaped me and here you go, Happy Halloween in March!” :::::::::::::

This year we weren’t able to make it out to the pumpkin patch to get our pumpkins.  Something about 70 MPH winds and 40 degrees doesn’t scream let’s play outside!  So we instead went to our local market and picked up a couple pumpkins, on sale mind you, and headed home.  Because of our lack of time and ability to get our pumpkins, we finished carving them just before our Trick or Treating Saturday night.  Anna enjoying playing with the goop and Izzy just didn’t know what to think of it.  Needless to say she was done quite a bit sooner than Anna.  Anna chose a monster for her pumpkin (thank goodness it was a 2 of 5 difficulty rather than mommy’s last years choice of 5 of 5).

Gary decided Izzy’s would have their names on it.  All was going so wonderfully carving our pumpkins…. until I broke the wonderful little, feels cheap but works amazing, pumpkin carver.  The harder one was done when it happened and the name carving ended with a serated steak knife and a broken “zz” in Izzy’s name.  Nothing that a little toothpick won’t fix!

We all ate dinner together, once a month cooking lasagna, which was delicious.  Then as the sun was setting (way to early these days), we dressed the wee ones in their pumpkin costumes.  Back up…..  So I had been asking Anna what she wanted to be for Halloween.  I think this is the first year she’s getting it.  So at first, we were a spider.  Then we were a ghost.  Finally I got her to say pumpkin a few times.  Well I had planned on Izzy being the pumpkin as Anna was last year.  So the hunt was on for another pumpkin costume.  I just so happen to find the same costume, just a size smaller at the thrift store for $6.  Good thing Miss Izzy is a bit on the short and squat size that the smaller size fit her perfectly and the little taller skinny mini Anna fit into the costume she wore last year.  And it was so.

Back to present….  We get them dressed in their orange finery and off we went into fairly decent weather for trick or treating (last year we lasted the neighborhood it was so stinkin’ cold and windy).  We hit up some neighbors and headed over to the bigger neighborhood next to us.  Ann was her usual “excited to go but won’t say a word” self when we got up to the door.  So her little sister took up the slack and said in the cutest little voice “trick o treat” and “happy hawoween!”  Not only did she know what to say to get candy, every time we loaded her back up into the wagon, she said “this house” so we’d move along to the next house.  Stinker!  Well, we made a haul of course!  Even need to dump the excess in the wagon to fill up our buckets again!  Anna decided which 2 people would accompany her to the door, Grandpa and Daddy, Aunt Sheila and Mommy.  Too funny.  They had a great time and it just amazes how much Izzy already has caught on to, even earlier than Anna did!

Another successful trick or treating night!

Startin’em young

Category : Anna

We changed the past, well my past anyway.  I grew up fearing, wincing, cringing at the thought of even talking about the dentist.  I remember going for my pre-school dental exam and my mom putting it off well into the school year.  I think I needed to do another one to enter highschool or play in junior high sports and the papers just sat in the van, never to be filled out or spoke of.  I know my dad tried to get my mom to take us to the dentist, but my mom had this extreme hatred/fear of going to the dentist.  I don’t really know the full story of why, but I know she had braces when she married my dad, had the front ones taken off for their wedding and then put back on.  I think she had a few cavities but never went in from the time I was in pre-school until she got sick in 2001.  At that time, some of her teeth had gotten so bad they had to pull 5 teeth before they start treatment.  That in itself would be awful to endure!  So during the year my mom was sick, my grandma took me to the dentist despite my mother’s harsh glares.  Grandma could have sworn I had lots of cavities for how long it’s been but I walked out of there with no cavities and the start of my widsom teeth coming in.  I was quite proud of myself (and relieved I must say).

A couple years past, since that last visit.  My mom had passed away and Gary and I got married.  We decided we would erase that I fear I grew up with about going to the dentist and set a good example for our future children.  Once my insurance had been set up at work, we headed in to the dentist.  Long story short, I ended up with 5 cavities and was in desperate need to have my widsom teeth removed.  Ever since then, we’ve been going religiously every 6 months, getting cavities filled, both of us had our wisdom teeth removed, Gary’s had numerous root canals, caps and a bridge (I think) along with getting a lot better brushes, mouthwash and flossing.

Why do I tell you all this?  We had Anna’s first cleaning.  And let me tell you, I thought it would end up in me sitting on Anna while prying her mouth open just to have her clean her teeth.  Our shy, doesn’t like to be poked and prodded at the doctor, easily scared Anna put on a happy face, sat in the big chair with the big bright light and opened her mouth on her own!  I talked about going to the dentist for days now, telling her about Emilie, the big chair, the big light, getting her teeth cleaned by a toothbrush like mommy and daddy’s and getting a new toothbrush.  She never once said she didn’t want to go, always knew what to do and climbed all over me when I was in the chair getting my teeth cleaned.  Granted she didn’t like the sucker.  AT ALL.  But a swish and a spit did the trick along with mommy handling the sucker.  She was a rock star, everything checked out great and ended up with a new “Mr. Queen” toothbrush with new flossers and toothpaste.

I’m glad things went this well.  Izzy seemed eager too, so hopefully next year she’ll be just as easy in the chair as Anna was.  Now she knows what to expect and it won’t be a traumatic experience as I thought it would be all these years.

And wouldn’t you know it, mommy didn’t grab the camera.

Somebody turned the Big 3!

Category : Anna

We have a 3 year old!  Anna had not just a birthday but a birthday week!  This is the first time her birthday fell on a weekday so we kicked off her birthday on October 18 with her favorite meal, spaghetti!  At first it was peanut butter toast (p-toast as she has abbreviated it) and I wonder where she gets that from……?  So I said no a real dinner (who gives their kids toast for dinner….err…) so she picked spaghetti which she surprisingly says correctly.

Let me back up, she started out her day with bringing treats to Ms Michelle’s house and she was quite excited to pass them out.  It’s amazing what happens between 2 and 3 years old.  Last year, she probably didn’t even get that it was her birthday.  This year, she totally gets it.  She had a great day at daycare and then we started out the night with dinner.

On the way home from daycare, I told her what we would do.  We would eat dinner, then open presents.  Usually eating spaghetti takes a bit of time as 3 helpings is usually in order.  This time, she knew that the faster and the sooner she said she was done, the closer we were to gifts.  So we wrapped up dinner and headed to the living room where she discovered her gifts before dinner, behind the couch.  She was anxious to rip out the tissue paper to reveal all the gift ideas she gave us in the weeks prior.  Her first one was a united states puzzle.  I know, I know.  She’s only 3.  But this year we’ve talked and went to Colorado for vacation, daddy went to Florida for work, Grandma and Grandpa Tiemens live in Chicago so we thought it would be great to show her what it all means.  She loved it naturally b/c it was a puzzle but when we sat down to show her those couple things, it started to click a little.  Then we went back to matching state shapes to the puzzle pieces.  :)   Her 2nd gift was her very own digital camera.  We were going to get her an actual camera that took nicer pictures, simple of course but we decided that the imminant death of a nice camera over-rided nice pictures by a 3 year old.  :)   So far, she’s like clicking the button taking fuzzy pictures, pointing the lens at her nose and just listening to the noises.  Perfect.  :)

We ended the night with a birthday cake and ice cream with some birthday wishes from both grandparents.  She had a great day and a great night!

The weekend brought her birthday party with more family, more cake and more gifts.  We had a great time and once again realized that cake and coffee may be a better choice than dinner and dessert for all our family.  It’s exhausting!  Either way, had a great time seeing Anna open all her gifts (even if she got really overwhelmed with all the people staring at her) and catching up with family.  She got lots of awesome clothes (thank you!), new books, dot paints,  games, sock monkey, lace cards, dress up doll, kitchen sink, Wii game and the piece de resistance, the shopping cart.  The shopping cart wants to be brought to every room and every floor, hidden from Izzy and filled to the brim with whatever she can fit in there.  Too funny.  It’ll go well with the kitchen we’re making them for Christmas along with pots and pans, food, aprons, etc.  Can’t wait to show you the kitchen!

Anywho, the weekend ended great, celebrated little girl who’s had a big year and is ready for another year of growing. (I’ll get pictures up soon, too!)

Happy Birthday to the Anna Banana!


Gary, Christie, Anna and Isabella