Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another set of Tonsils

Nater Mater had his tonsils out yesterday and he rocked his surgery. He didn't even cry or fuss about not getting breakfast or his typical morning, first-thing-upon-arising sippie cup that we can't seem to shake the habit of.
His behavior on the whole sippie cup thing probebly had a lot to do with us pulling him out of bed at 5:45am and popping him un-expectedly into a warm bubble bath in order to give him the required pre-surgery scrub-down.
I think he was simply in shock and forgot to ask for the cup. We then whisked him out, dried him off, clothed him in his favorite Lightning McQueen outfit and carried him to the warm car.
Not once on the whole 45 minute drive to the hospital did he ask for his suppie cup.
Even after we got to the hospital and waited on all the paper-work and sign in and check-in rigamaroll he didn't ask for the beloved cup.
Thank you Jesus! This was seriously a concern of ours. Some kids have pacifiers. Some kids have blankies. This kid has a sippie cup and he ain't given' it up without a serious fight. (One that I'm not willling to take on right now).

He was excited about the Tiger Gown they gave him to wear. He has a little stuffed tiger he sleeps with at night (not as important as the cup of water that he loveingly cradles every night), but none-the-less loved.

He was really excited about the 3rd floor room with a view where we allowed him to climb into the window sill and watch the cars coming and going out of the Parking Garage across the street. Still no request for sippie cup. So far so good.

He was even more excited about the half dozen Lightning McQueen stickers that the sweet nurse brought him to play with while we waited for surgery. She had astutely noticed that he was decked out in Lightning McQueen gear from head to toe including his socks. He stuck them all over his legs; stood up, gasped when they pulled on his leg hairs and begged me to help him "get dose off!"

He moved them to the front of his Tiger Gown instead.

We passed the waiting time by reading stories, re-sticking stickers to other body parts and playing in the huge window.

Both Luke and I were nervous. Both of us have had this lingering fear in the back of our minds of this surgery. The last time he was sedated was a nightmare. The vomit. The limp and gray little body still stand out clearly in our minds.

His ENT ran extra tests, extra bloodwork; even a bleed-time test where they cut his arm and made his sit there with a pressure cuff on until he quit bleeding to see if he also has signs of the bleeding history that runs in our family. What just-turned-3-year-old gets his arm sliced and sits still while the nurse dabs around the cut every 30 seconds? He did. Everything came back normal.
We've prayed a lot about this surgery. Do we go ahead? Do we wait and continue on the normal allergy path? The constant up and down at night with breathing masks and an irrate and scared little boy has all pointed yes. The history of anesthesia said no.

We reviewed all the medical history and the circumstances around the last sedation and gave the green light.

Then at 8am, they brought him his "goofy juice;" told us not to let him try and walk because he'd fall over and said the'd be back in a few to take him to surgery.
He was truly loopy and when the nurse came and "vroom! vroomed!" him out the door and down the hall, Luke and I stared long and hard after that hospital bed, turned around, shut the door and cried together.

We prayed. We prayed for the doctors. We prayed for the nurses and we prayed for his little body to respond the way they said he should.

Thirty minutes later I heard what I thought was him wailing down the hall. That wail was the sweetest thing to a mother's ears. About 20 minutes later they wheeled him back in. The sweet nurse said she'd been holding him in recovery while he cried for "mommy."

He was horse. He was scared and he wanted mommy. He thrashed around for another 30 minutes until they brought him some more medicine that calmed him down and knocked him out again.

His surgeon came in and told us that everything went well. He said the adnoids weren't large but they were currently infected. I was surprised. He hadn't been sick since his broncitis a couple of weeks previous. The surgeon said that it looked like they were possibly chronically inflamed due to his allergies and that taking them out had been a wise idea. He also said that when they removed the tonsils, they were larger than when they had looked at the exam. All-in-all, he should start feeling better and hopefully this will help with his allergy symptoms.

He slept for a solid 2 1/2 hours after that and didn't even flinch when a nurse came in every 15 minutes to take his vitals via his big toe.

It was then that I noticed I had put on a pair of socks that morning with a hole in my big toe. Oh well. I'm sure they've seen worse.

Another nurse came in and said that we needed to wake him and make him drink. He could have the beloved sippie cup as long as we didn't think it would hit the back of his throat. Ummm, no. Not unless his mouth suddenly grew 3x larger. We woke him up and handed him his long-lost friend. He took one sip and cried.

The requirement to get out was he had to drink a whole 8 oz. Mr. Smiles and Precious Jewel never did quite get the required amount down, but were released after 4 1/2 hours. I wondered how we were going to convince a 3-year-old to drink when his throat had just been cut up.

The nurse told him he could have anything he wanted: Apple juice, milk, slushie, sprite, etc. He lit up and horsely whispered "juice!" She took the cup and brought it back with the requested liquid and in less than 10 minutes he drank it ALL. She looked a little a bit surprised and then declaired he could go home!

We were surprised. That was it?! Well, lets go!

We drove our precious little package to the Pharmacy to pick up the Rx he would be needing the next several days and then drove home.

All-in-all he's doing great! Friday was his worst day. He cried or slept most of the day much to the dismay of his little friend that I sit for.

We're still waiting to see if this will help his sleep at night. Right now we have to wake him up every 4 hours to give him his meds. and make him drink.

I'll let you know.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Goat Yogurt. I did it!

It worked!!! I finally got it to work. I have tried making yogurt for Mr. Smiles for some time now and it always flops. He loved yogurt, milk, cheese before all the diagnosis of the milk allergy. It just didn't love him. At all.
But the yogurt I have tried making for him wouldn't set and is just at runny as milk. So this time, I ordered some starter from a goat milk supply company and then waited for time (and the courage to try it again).
Then, thanks to another website I found via Pinterest, an easy peasy recipe came along and I thought, "I can do that! "
All it took was my crockpot, timing and a heavy bathtowel.
I have bought goat milk yogurt before and tried using that as my starter. Every recipe says it should work. It hasn't. But the starter from Caprine Supply Company where I get all my cheese making supplies and goat milking supplies also carried a starter that could be used in goat's milk.

So, I mixed all the ingredients, followed the directions to the letter, covered it all with a heavy bathtowel and then waited.

The next morning? Yogurt!!! Real spoonable yogurt. It was a little liquidy on top just like when you first open a carton of yogurt, but then it thickened up in the refrigerator just like the store-bought-cow's-milk stuff.

Mr. Smiles was so excited that he then asked if I could make him blueberry yogurt: his favorite.

Yup! I yanked open our freezer, gleefully grabbed the berries we had picked last summer, and dumped a cup (or two) into the blender with a handful of flaxseed and honey and turned that baby on.
Viola!! blueberry (and may I say very healthy) goat's milk yogurt that Ben ate right down before I took him to school.

So, excited for him because it has been 3 long years without his beloved yogurt and now I can make it by the gallon!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Camping Failure 101 and other Weekend Highlights

We finally did it by golly...
even if we only lasted about 12 hours!
We went camping together as a WHOLE Family last weekend.

Luke only has one weekend off a month and the last 2 months he's been gone on that weekend.
And, you can't take the whole family camping when the whole family isn't there.
So, we have all been waiting patiently (and sometimes impatiently) for daddy to be home on a weekend so we could use the tent we'd bought this summer.

We had planned on going to this beautiful spot about 2 hours away, but by the time he and I both finished work, had the van all loaded, goats milked, puppies locked up, etc... etc... we decided to just go to a place 30 minutes from home.
No one likes setting up tents in the dark with 4 hungry kids waiting 2 hours past dinnertime for me to cook dinner over an open fire.
No One.
We decided not to push the issue.
Little did we realize just how cold it would get.
Little did we realize that if your sleeping and tent gear is marked for 45 degrees that you really should not try pushing that mark when the night lows hit the upper 20s.
Blessedly, I had brought pads and an extra sleeping bag to sleep on and a huge down quilt that covered at least 3 of us 6, but that left the other 3 of us freezing....
At about midnight when Precious Jewel climbed uncontrollably shivering into my bag (a cocoon-style bag that is NOT meant for 4 pairs of feet), I began to think that it might be worth waking everyone up and packing up all gear to drive home.
Within 20 more minutes, Good Lookin' crawled shivering into the bag with Luke.
We began discussing out-loud if it was worth staying and getting no sleep or leaving and risking kids thinking they'd had a nap and still getting no sleep.
The 2 hot-pocket sleeper boys snored on and the 2 skinny cold sleepers smashed up nuxt to us stopped shivering (we decided to stay).
Needless to say, I also forgot flashlights of any kind.
Who forgets flashlights when camping?!
That is the funnest part of camping...telling stories in the tent at dark with a flashlight in your face!
This also became an issue when child #2 wakes up to use the the the dark.
The bathroom....a dark outhouse-type building that is unlit and a full 100 yards away.
I'd also forgotten toilet paper.
Also not a good score for camping record keeping.

We did SURVIVE the night and before dawn broke over the misty hills (cue dramatic music now), Luke was up and building a fire, so there would be at least a little bit of warmth for the kids to crawl out too.

In spite of the cold, it was pretty.
Really pretty.
I had anticipated a morning of hiking and taking hundreds of gorgeous pictures of the beautiful fall that has exploded here.

I settled for a 20 foot walk to the lake for some pre-sunlit pictures of the mist rising off the lake before Luke's call to pack 'em up and move them out came.

We were going home where we could warm cold little bodies (and big ones), take hot showers and drink hot chocolate (since I had brought the hot chocolate but neglected to pack the kettle).
Next time, I'll make my usual packing list DAYS in advance...weeks even!

That, and we told the kids no more camping trips until next June when we're sure to have a night that is at least 45 degrees.

Amazingly, (the troopers that they are) the kids said they had a great time and didn't protest when we told them they could hike in our own woods...after the sun warmed up the day and we'd all thawed out.

And, it always helps to bribe them with the promised S'mores by taking off the grate to our fireplace for them to roast marshmallows in.
Did I mention that it's a gas fireplace?
There is no real coals and they lit every marshmallow on fire....over the living room carpet?
Deep Breaths.
I have chills just thinking about it.

But, they were happy and so were we.

The next day of our wonderful weekend with daddy, we finally gutted...

...and carved the pumpkins that had been bought a month previous.

It may have been the day before Halloween but you can't do the annual pumpkin carving without the Master Carver to carve!

I must say, he did a pretty good job of fulfilling each kids wish.