Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Well we're here. Surgery #1 ( the major one) is over. Doctor was pleased with the surgery. I am in the hospital until tomorrow, at least. I am sore, sore, SORE! But this afternoon has been much better than this morning.

I am eating my third liquid meal of the day. Not all that exciting, but at least I graduated from ice chips, which is all they'd let me have yesterday.

Updating by iPod is HARD, so I will have to update more when I have access to a PC and an actual keyboard. Or when I get a chance to see and quiz the doctor.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chez Grammy

So, Olivia and I went to Joe's parents' house last night to drop off some of the larger "supplies" for Olivia's stay with them while we are gone. Grammy and Grampy get the bouncy house and Liv's bike for the week, and I also went ahead and packed her clothes and shoes. (Surprisingly, or not so, packing so many clothes up did not at all affect my ability to clothe the child for the rest of the week. She has more changes of clothes than Vanna. I kid you not. All hand-me-down. Yay, cousins!)

On the hour-long drive to their house, Olivia kept asking me why her bike and bouncy house were in the back of the van. I decided it was time to explain her impending visit with Grammy and Grampy so she could prepare herself for the extended stay.

Me: "You are going to go stay with Grammy & Grampy for awhile, starting next week."

Liv: "Why?"

Me: "Because Mommy has a pain in her tummy, and she has to go to the hospital so the doctor can fix it."

Liv: "Why?"

Me: "Well, honey, there's something inside Mommy's tummy that hurts her and the doctor is going to make it all better. Isn't that nice?"

Liv: "Is Daddy going to the doctor too?"

Me: "Yes, Daddy has to drive Mommy."

Liv: "Why?"

Me: "Because Mommy will be taking medicine and won't be able to drive."

Liv: "Oh. Why?"

It was a bit circular from there. A lot of "Why". Welcome to the "Why" stage of childhood.

But, ultimately, she got it. I think. Because when we were at Grammy and Grampy's last night, after Olivia showed off her mad bike-riding skills (declaring, "Look, Mommy! I'm super awesome!"), Grammy was asking her if she was excited to come visit them next week. And Olivia said, "Yeah, I'm going to stay here with you and Grampy! Mommy has to go to the doctor because she has a pain in her tummy. The doctor's going to take the pain out at the hospital. Grammy, can I run in the sprinkler?"

Hmmm...doesn't appear that she is dwelling on Mommy's surgery too much, does it?

So, I think it will all be OK. I think she'll be fine. The separation will probably be harder on me than it is on her. They have all these plans for outings and fun stuff to do. She probably won't want to come home with us when we get back.

Maybe that's what worries me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

By this time next week...

...I will just be coming out of surgery. I think. That makes my head hurt.

None of the unknown aspects of surgery are freaking me out at all. Just the known one. I hate the I-V catheter in my hand. Hate it. And I have a sneaky suspicion that I will have to live with that thing in my hand for the duration of my stay in the hospital. Which is 2-3 days. And let me just say...last time? When the I-V was removed around 3 p.m. on the SAME DAY AS SURGERY? I HATED THAT. So I'm fretting over whether they'll leave the stupid thing in for days, until I'm released. Which, I imagine, they probably will. And my hand already hurts just thinking about it!

We haven't yet explained to Olivia that she'll be staying for a long, long time with Grammy & Grampy. She knows that she has a camping trip coming up with Grandma and Grandpa (over Labor Day weekend). And she's excited about that. She's done it before. It's a few days, and there will be lots of cousins around to distract her sufficiently. But she doesn't know that she'll be coming from Grammy & Grampy's and returning to them after the camping is over. She LOVES Grammy & Grampy. But she's never spent the night at their house. Not to mention two weeks worth of nights. Gah!

She also doesn't know that Mommy will be in the hospital...a place reserved, in her mind, for car accident victims. (Nothing like scaring your child into keeping her seat belt buckled.) Not really sure how she's going to react to THAT news.

Just how much do you tell a not-yet-three-year-old?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I haven't written much lately, because writing gets my brain moving and thinking about things going on and things coming up. And right now I'd just rather not think about anything. Because when I do, there's all this anxiety.

We have about ten days left until we leave for Omaha.

In ten days, we'll be driving hundreds of miles to a hospital where I'll undergo two procedures to clean up endometriosis and adhesions. The first surgery requires a hospital stay. I try not to think about it because hospital stay = pain. The outpatient laparoscopy is bad enough, but laparotomy? I have no experience with how this is going to go, and that makes me very uncomfortable.

I've been in contact with the doctor's billing office. They can't give me an estimate of costs yet because our insurance hasn't processed the claims from the last surgery. Though insurance is supposed to cover these things at a certain rate, I have all this anxiety about them denying this for one reason or another. And then what? I can't even think about that.

My husband has to be away from his office and with me this whole time. And that's just hard.

We don't have a hotel arranged yet. That's a pretty minor thing and easily solved...but it's one more thing to deal with.

Worst...Olivia is staying home with grandparents. For two and a half weeks. While I'll be biding my time waiting and healing between the two surgeries, the best I can do is talk to her on the phone.

I can't even put it into words. Just anxiety.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two weeks and other things

Gah! Two weeks from today, my husband and I will deposit our daughter at the grandparents and leave for more than two weeks for surgery and more surgery. I'm trying not to think about it. I have a few anxieties about this surgery. I have A LOT of anxieties about leaving Olivia for so long.

I am sad because I read a bunch of you bloggers who are going to The Blathering, which is within driving distance for me this year, and I can't go. I mean, I guess I technically could. But it's my anniversary weekend, and it comes on the heels of surgery recovery and just a month back into "normal" and, I don't know...it's just overwhelming to think about adding something ELSE into the schedule. But I am still sad.

Go here and support my friends, Troy and Amber, as they prepare to adopt their second child from Ethiopia. And make sure to look at some of the photos of their little Silas. He's a cutie!

Happy Birthday to my husband, Joe, tomorrow. I am ever grateful for his presence in my life.

That's all for today.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A break

My brother's family is in town today to visit our beloved Local Theme Park with their kids, so Olivia and I are joining them. Olivia, of course, works best with a nap. Since we are only five minutes away we left after lunch in pursuit of a nice, long rest. We brought my niece, Macey, youngest of their kids, to take a nap too. Both girls are sleeping peacefully. I'm wasting time.

I have some CUTE pics from the morning, but since I don't share pics of other people's kids without their consent, you don't get to see them. So here's one of Olivia at a birthday party yesterday.

Just squeezing in as much summer fun as possible before I start babysitting again...Thursday! I can't believe school is already starting.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Birthmother's blues

I went to birthmother's latest court hearing (regarding her three other kids, all in foster care) yesterday, as moral support for her. And I learned a lot...stuff I won't say here out of respect for her privacy. Let's just say that this whole thing will likely end in a month, and not in her favor. And that's probably best for the kids. There are two sides to every story, and I learned just enough yesterday to come to that conclusion.

Even so, my heart aches for her. She screwed up royally, and often. And she didn't get her act together in time to impress the court. She didn't take it seriously until it was too late. To lose your kids...that's a harsh way to learn a life lesson.

Now, at least, she is getting her life on a better track. I just hope she keeps moving in the right direction no matter what the outcome of this case.

And her birthday is tomorrow. She'll be 23. So young. So troubled.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Training pants are a worthless crutch.

Although I haven't talked about it here, we've been off and on with the potty training for five months. FIVE. MONTHS. Geez.

It started in March, when I noticed that Olivia was dry for long periods of time, so we started the "potty chart" to encourage her to use the potty. We were successful in cutting down on the number of diapers we used per day, but that was about it. Olivia got lazy and stopped using the potty on any regular basis. I got lazy and discontinued the chart.

She would potty off and on through the rest of the school year, but training was hard with other kids in the house, and then there was surgery, and then vacation...I just decided to put it off until we had a few weeks at home that we could dedicate to this. All the while, we'd been sinking money into training pants for ease of pulling off and on when she deigned to use the potty.

And then...we went to Branson for a week with the family. And I changed her training pants exactly once a day...when she pooped. Olivia seemed pretty scared to poop in the potty, but since we were vacationing all week and both of us were there to remind her (not to mention, the rest of the family), she peed in the potty all week. Stayed dry...all week. Even overnight. It was evident that she was ready.

But when we got home, she adamantly refused to use the potty. Wet her training pants regularly. Didn't see the need to stop playing to go to the bathroom. She'd even change her own training pants if I wasn't watching. She KNEW she had to use the potty...she just didn't care. I got so frustrated and angry. I asked her why she didn't use the potty. And she said, "No, Mommy, it's OK. I just pee in my diaper."

And there it was. Training pants = diaper. Why on earth would she bother herself with using the potty when she'd been using her "diaper" for her whole life. Duh, Mommy.

So we switched to undies and didn't look back. It's been nearly three weeks, and I think I can safely declare that she is fully potty trained. We're still using the training pants at night, but most nights it is an unnecessary precaution.

It appears that the only motivation Olivia needed to start pooping in the potty was having undies instead of a diaper. It was rough at first, and I had to watch her like a hawk for the signs of needing to poop. But now? She just goes into the bathroom by herself, does her business, wipes, washes her hands.

We are successful at home and away from home. All it took was undies (and a lot of explanation, repetition, etc, but that's true with teaching most things). I don't know why it took us so long to figure this out. But this diaperless existence...feels like a huge success for both of us.