Monday, January 28, 2013

The casts are off!

I went back and looked over my blog entries and I realized I never blogged about Kylie's surgery! I certainly didn't want to leave this adventure out...
On December 10th, we drove Kylie to Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas to have heel cord lengthening surgery.  The hospital is an amazing place for children.  Everything centers around kids and the people who work and volunteer there are very friendly and helpful.  There are tons of elder volunteers who serve at the hospital and they are adorable and seem so happy to be there.
Kylie wasn't scared at all, in fact, she was almost giddy about the surgery.  We met with some different people and got her checked in, she got her blood checked by this awesome lady name Sheila who had all of her walls covered with pictures of children.  She was so cool and Kylie didn't feel a thing when she took her blood - she was a pro! After she was done, Kylie got to pick out a Barbie from their toy closet (so cool) and she found the perfect one.  It was a ballerina Barbie who could go up on her toes.  It's like it was meant for her!
After meeting with the doctor and getting settled in, they let us leave the hospital to take her to dinner that evening.  We headed to the Galleria and ate at the Grand Luxe Cafe.  Very yummy and lots of food.  It was bedtime by the time we got back to the hospital so we said good night to Adam (he went to a hotel) and I stayed with her since only one person could stay in the room.
She didn't have her surgery until after 2:00 on the 11th, so she got to hang out and go to Child Life which is a great place they have for kids to play with toys, play games or do arts and crafts. A great little getaway in the hospital.  Kylie did some glitter snowflakes and Christmas trees for us to take home and whooped her dad in air hockey a few times.
When it was time for the surgery, she was still so brave.  I could tell she started to get a bit nervous when it was go time, but she stayed calm (just wanted me to be close:) They gave her a sedative to relax her a bit and when it took affect, oh my goodness, it was hilarious! I was laughing so hard I was literally crying.  She was being so silly, like a tipsy sorority girl (I can say that because I was a sorority girl). It completely blessed me to be able to laugh so hard at a time when I would have otherwise been a nervous wreck. Laughter really is the best medicine.  It does a heart good.
So, they took her away and we didn't get word they were done for about an hour or so.  We stopped in the gift shop to get her some goodies while she was gone.
They made two incisions in her heel cord so that it would allow them to set her foot in a neutral position and the heel cord would be able to stretch and also heal in the new position.  Amazing!  She came out with two beautiful casts, one pink and one purple.  They were super cute! She was pretty drowsy for a few hours, but back to her same perky self before too long.  Walking around went super slow at first as she adjusted to her knew "shoes" and discomfort from the surgery.
We were taken care of so well at Scottish Rite.  I am so glad we chose to go there.  It was a great experience.  When we got home, she used her walker for a few days, but before too long, she was walking on those casts like they weren't even there.  It didn't slow her down that much at all.  All of her friends, family and sweet teachers signed her casts and I know that made her feel so special.
Bathing proved to be quite interesting.  I had to buy a bath seat because it was just too hard to do baths another way!  Soon enough, we had our system down though.
Fast forward six weeks...
By now, she is running and practically jumping in her casts.  They don't slow her down a bit!  It's become second nature to her at this point.
On January 23rd, we headed back to Scottish Rite to see the doctor and have her casts removed.  I had no idea what it would be like once they were off.  Her feet were extremely sensitive to touch.  I wasn't sure we were going to walk out of there.  She was able to wash her feet and soak them for a bit(peeeee uuuuuuuwwwww).  Casts are gross! Not washing an area for six weeks is just wrong! Luckily, they got clean again:)  Walking is still somewhat difficult as she retrains herself on how to move her feet and hold her posture.  She has been such a trooper and hasn't complained at all!  I admire that little girl so much.  She is so brave.
Looks like we'll see some big improvements in  a few weeks!!!!

 Bunny got to make the trip.
 Grandma Mary came for a while too!
 Coolest casts ever!
Who couldn't love this girl?

It's Great to Be 8!!!

On January 24th Kylie turned 8 years old!  Wow!  I can't believe she is already 8.  I've said that every year- "I can't believe she's..."  The day before her birthday we went to Dallas to get her casts taken off.  That was interesting for sure.  I had no idea what it would be like when she got them off.  Her feet were extremely sensitive and were stuck in the flat position.  She couldn't walk on her tip-toes to save her life! Weird.  I guess I was very naive to think she would get her casts off and just take off walking.  Durrr.... not so much.  She is still working at it and walking very slow.  We're having to basically retrain her body to walk correctly from her feet all the way up to her posture.  She has a tendency to walk like a penguin with her fit pointing out and her knees really stiff and straight.  Bless her heart. She is one tough cookie and has hardly complained at all. What a brave soul she is.

We did get to visit the American Girl store before we left Dallas.  Grandma Mary gave her a gift card, so she got Saige, the doll of the year who loves horses and some outifts and accessories.  She was really excited to get Saige!  Now, we need a doll closet for all her cute doll clothes!

Her birthday was a great day!  She stayed home from school because she couldn't get around well at all yet.  I had to work, but I was able to get a little bit of time with her during the day and took her to Freddy's, her favorite burger place, for lunch!  We played with her American Girl dolls and got ready for her Safari party that night.

We invited family over to celebrate her birthday that night. We decorated in Safari, so zebra and leopard prints with a splash of pink, of course! G randma Debbie made her an 8 layer zebra cake...unbelievable!  Thank goodness for Grandma Debbie.  She is so sweet to go our of her way to make amazing cakes for the kids' birthdays!  She even found zebra print sugar sheets.  It was beautiful AND tasted amazing.

Kylie chose to eat pizza since that is by far her favorite food, so that made it pretty easy on us.  She got some cool new swag to enjoy and everyone had a great time.  We're going to test out her cake pop maker today to make cake pops for school tomorrow.  Let's hope that goes well!

Today was her first day back at school.  I'm feeling anxious about how she's holding up, but I'm sure she's just fine.  I don't know why I worry, she's such a strong, courageous young lady.  But, she's still my little girl and I always want to me there for her. 

Happy 8th Birthday Kylie Marie.  My life was forever changed 8 years ago.  I never realized how much I would be blessed by my children. It's beyond measure!!!

 Grandma's 8 Layer Cake!
 Girly Safari Decor
 Sweet! Kids Bop CD!
 Carter likes his leopard shades:)
Silly bear hat for a silly 8 year old!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

It's a New Year... a clean slate, a fresh start! I like the New Year.  So, maybe the resolutions are cliche', but it's nice to have a goal even it's a small, silly one.  What are my resolutions? Of course the typical, get healthier, in better shape, maybe lose a few (or many) lbs.  I actually just bought a juicer and I'm really excited about it.  I've heard the health benefits from juicing can be really great! I'd really like to start taking care of my body better.  I'm not getting younger and I'd like to take care of myself in every way I can.  Being a working mom is so incredibly demanding.  Obviously showing in my lack of blogging - ugh.  Hopefully I will be able to blog more consistently now.  The last few months of the year are always crazy with work, school, holidays, etc.  And, adding Kylie's surgery in there certainly added to the madness.
The resolution I really want to make a priority is JOY.  Joy in the everyday, joy in the moment, joy in the simple and the chaos, joy in the challenge.  And on top of this joy... CONTENTMENT.  To be content with where I am right now.  Not where I was or where I hope to be, but where I am RIGHT NOW, because where I am is exactly where God wants me to be.  That's not always easy and sometimes I feel like a child who is kicking and screaming in protest.  But, I'm God's child and I know He will always hold on no matter how much I kick and scream.  Some of the most precious moments I've had with my children are after they have been scolded, especially if it's led to a spanking which isn't often.  It's a raw moment of vulnerability and it's a precious moment.  I find I am the closest to my children in those times.  Even through the tears (sometimes my own).
Christmas has come and gone, but the memories I spent with my family are ones I will always treasure. It's not often we get uninterrupted time together.  Time to just hang out and be together and I really enjoyed it.  We had a little cabin fever as we ended up the break, so we were ready for our routine to start again!  It's amazing how my whole view about Christmas is so different now.  Growing up it was always about Santa and presents and treats, well about me!  What I wanted and liked!  What was in it for me.  But now, I could honestly not open a single present and be completely fine with it.  I love watching others open presents and see the joy when they receive something they love.  I love giving someone a gift I've really put efforts into making very special.  Really now it was about just being together and being so grateful for Jesus and what his birth meant. I love it! It's not about me at all:)
Kylie is totally into the gifts.  The more the merrier with her.  She loves her things and the more glamorous the better.  I love giving her things that I know she will love.  She gets so excited! And way dramatic! Jackson really got it this year.  This is the first year he really understood and was really anxious for Christmas morning. I can't tell you how many times he said "Awesome."  It was adorable.  My little Carter man was still clueless but man did he dig the new fire truck he got.  The minute he saw it, I just knew it was a hit!  So tons of presents, treats, and meals later it was a magical holiday.
On New Year's Eve I decided to take the kiddos to a fireworks stand to buy some sparklers.  We bought these two big sword-looking things (like I have a clue what it does), some long, big sparklers and then some regular ones.  Kylie was into it right away.  Of course, Jackson (my cautious one) was not too sure he wanted anything to do with this madness.  Luckily when we got to the last few he decided to join in.  Carter just enjoyed the light show as he chilled in his swing.  Another memory I will always treasure! Thank you Lord for giving me these precious moments!
Now we're back into the swing of things.  I'm finishing up a HUGE project at work that is taking a ton of hours and I will be super happy when it's all done.  That will be a big weight lifted off.  It's always the hardest time of the year for me due to the hours involved, but I'll get through it!  I'm thinking about taking a ME day when it's all done to celebrate it's completion!
Kylie goes back to Scottish Rite on the 23rd to get her casts off! The day before her birthday, so that worked out perfectly.  I'm anxious to see what it will be like.  Will she just walk normal right away?  Will she be wobbly and awkward for a while?  I guess we'll see!  I haven't even posted pics of her in her cast!  AAAAAHHHH! 
Well, here's a to GREAT 2013!!!  I have a good feeling about this one...