Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Day in Dears

Dear March 25, 2010,

You started off with a bang, when at approximately 12:01 a.m., Xander awoke sobbing in pain from apparent effects of his surgery. It wouldn’t have been so bad if Jer and I hadn’t gone to bed at approximately 12:00 a.m. Your early hours were spent comforting a crying boy, taking temperatures (of 102 degrees) and trying to sleep with my son shivering next to me. I thought surely the day would get better as we moved on. I was wrong.

A very tired mother

Dear honored birthday party guests,

I am so sorry to have canceled the party just an hour before it began. It seems the birthday boy’s health was not wanting to cooperate. I promise that pirate patches and buried treasure and yummy grub and games galore await you at a further date. I assure you that Xander did NOT want to cancel the party he has been talking about for months. He was, in fact, quite heartbroken.

The pirate party planner

Dear Herriman Family Medicine,

We LOVE LOVE LOVE you. You have seen us through ear aches and broken toes and immunizations and bronchitis and sore knees and and and… So I will not hold it against you that when I called to set up an appointment there, you insisted that I see Xander’s surgeon instead. How were you to know that I would have to rush like a mad woman to get Elli ready and on the bus, myself looking un-zombie like, and Xander dressed and fed in approximately 2.1 seconds in order to get seen by the urologist at Primary Children’s?? And how were you to know that he would take one look at X-man and tell me that I really should have his regular pediatrician look at him, because as a urologist, he “wasn’t very good with rashes.” (Which Xander had just broken out in). Thank you for squeezing me in after having made the long round trip to the hospital. Please tell my regular doctor that he is not to take a day off ever again, as I feel lost without his expertise. Please tell the doctor that filled in for him that I didn’t mean to question his diagnosis—it’s just that I can’t imagine what Xander might have had an allergic reaction to and why it would cause a fever. I will trust you and give him his steroids. Really, I will.

Dr. Mom

Dear Julianne,

I really can’t believe that I took off for the hospital and forgot all about picking Jessica up from school! I was in a panic. THANK-YOU for saving me. THANK-YOU for feeding her. THANK-YOU for telling me it was all a fun adventure for your kiddos, even if it wasn’t. I am glad to have you for a friend.

Ms. Scatterbrain

Dear Primary Children’s Medical Center,

I am beginning to know every square foot of you. I don’t think that’s a good thing. I will try to stay away.

Mom of many special kids

Dear Walgreen’s pharmacist.

Thanks for filling Xander’s prescription so quickly. His head to toe rash was really freaking him out. I thought I was so clever when I pulled forward and gave him his medicine right on the spot—you know, to give him a good head start on healing. I didn’t dream that he would proceed to throw up the second I gave it to him. Nor did I think he would throw up again five seconds later. I did get smart and hand him a paper bag after that, and it did catch the third round of puke. I felt almost proud of myself, until I went to take the bag and a hole broke through, gushing it all over my hands. And when I looked up and saw puke coming again—except this time mixed with blood and coming out his nose, I found myself becoming nauseous and held the broken bag in front of MYSELF. When I pulled back into the drive-through to refill the medicine that had been vomited, you were so kind to also supply me with an entire roll of paper towels. It was MUCH appreciated.

A girl who hates throw-up

Dear kiddos,

I am sorry that I was late picking you up from school. I’m sorry that the van reeked of throw-up. I am sorry you were embarrassed to drive your friend home. Hang in there.


Dear March,

Would you kindly decide if you are winter or spring. I don’t care either way—I ‘d just like to know so I don’t continue to send my kids to school in shorts when it snows, or in coats when it’s sunny.

“Just trying to be a good mother”

Dear House,

How did you get so messy???!!!! I meant to wake up early and get you all cleaned up for the party, but I just couldn’t pull myself out of bed after my sleepless night. I would really like to see carpet again sometime soon. Or maybe just one clean room… A counter, perhaps?? I know---maybe you could get a “self-cleaning” option, like the oven! That would be fabulous.


Dear piles of paperwork,

Where are you hiding Jeremy’s birth certificate?

Someone desperate to bring her daughter home from China

Dear Jesi,

You make me laugh.


Dear Herriman Baseball Little League,

You consume about 98% of my husband’s thoughts. Not that I’m jealous or anything…

A coach’s wife

Dear 2006 GMC 9-passenger conversion van in CA,

I want you. I don’t care that you’re not my favorite color, because you make up for it with your 26-inch tv that will surely help my sanity on those long drives with 7 kiddos. I love your luxurious leather seats. I love that you have 6 captain’s chairs. I love that your bench seat folds into a bed. I even love your price tag compared to others like you. You are stylin’! I wish I could afford you.

Someone who has spent HOURS looking for a vehicle to fit her family

Dear used, plain-old 12 passenger extended vans,

You are ugly. However, I am determined to look past that, as it’s looking like you are the best choice for our growing family. May my children have the confidence to be seen driving with me when they reach middle school.

Someone who just wanted to be cool

Dear March Madness,

My son is in love with you. I kind of like you myself.

A basketball fan

Dear Elli,

I love love love you. I love the way you sing all day. I love the way you ask for chocolate every 5 seconds. I love that you are giving “big hugs.” I love that you love squeezing my arms. I love the way you play the piano. I love how long your hair is getting. I do not love how you poke at your eyes all day. I do not love your tantrums. Maybe you could work on that???


Dear Frozen Pizza,

You saved the day again!

A fan


Dear March 25, 2010,

Yes, I’m writing you again. I just wanted to say, I’ll take you! You provided me another day with the family I adore. I've been sitting here smiling as I remembered you. I’ll miss you.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's been a long week...

Well, I have made it through! I was beginning to wonder when after the fourth day post-surgery, I still felt like my face had been run over by a truck. It was not fun, to say the least. But now I am in a happy place where my nose is only tender to the touch vs. being in constant pain. I am anxiously awaiting the benefits of the surgery—I am still swollen and congested on the inside, so my breathing isn’t a whole lot better. However, I can now gently blow my nose, which feels wonderful, and I have even noticed my ear congestion clearing up because of it. (:

I’m sure you wanted to know all of that…

We had many doctor appointments this past week. We had FOUR on Thursday. One of them was an ECHO for Jesi—ordered by her geneticist. She was so cute during the whole thing and loved that they sent her home with a pink, polka-dotted, homemade blanket. So all of you out there that donate things to the hospital—they REALLY are appreciated!!! It made the whole thing so much easier on her!! We are still awaiting the results.

Graci had her stress test and did alright. I had a sobering talk with the cardiologist afterward. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Afterwards, she had her appointment with a neurosurgeon. A couple of months ago we had her go to an orthopedist because of her pigeon-toedness. They did an MRI on her back, which revealed cervical stenosis. This is why we were sent to the neurosurgeon. Well, as it turns out, the cervical stenosis is the least of our worries. She has scoliosis of the spine that is quite pronounced. Also, her spinal cord is being tethered down by some strange substance. It has been stretched down like taffy and ends much lower than it should. The neurosurgeon said it was really quite bizarre and found himself fascinated with it. This is the probable cause of her feet turning in, her toes curling inward, her awkward gait, etc. It can also cause other problems, and the neurosurgeon (the best in the state) wanted to do surgery to repair it. However, after further discussion about the seriousness of her heart issues, he and I decided to hold off, at least for the time being. If it begins causing her a lot of pain or loss of sensation, we will re-evaluate.

We are so thankful for the continued support and love we are getting from church friends, neighbors, and family. Thanks so very much for the help with kids and meals and mostly for your prayers. We love you!

Tonight we were doing our nightly scripture study. Sometimes we act out a scripture story, being as how we have an entire drama troupe here. (: After totally mutilating the story of Queen Esther (our king was doing disco, his servants were giggling nonstop, Mordecai was half asleep on the bed, etc) Jer bore his testimony about how we need to have faith in the Lord when He asks us to do hard things. I looked over at our Queen Esther, in her pajamas and wearing her oxygen, and was amazed at her beauty and grace in the midst of her trials. She certainly has enough faith to be healed, but I tend to think that the Lord is testing our family to see how we deal with her health issues—if we turn to Him, trust Him, and believe that He has a plan for her.

We know He does.


PS. This is Jeremy. When I tucked Graci in to bed tonight, she spontaneously kissed me on the cheek. You don't have any idea what a huge deal that is. Our relationship continues to grow:)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Surgery Over

Christi is out of surgery and it went well. She is on some meds and is very sleepy. I would guess we'll be in the hospital another 1-2 hours. Thanks for your prayers:)


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One down, one to go...

Xander had his surgery on Monday. He was sooo brave, and everything went well, but now he is in a lot of pain. So hard to watch your child hurt!!!

I have my surgery tomorrow. I am scared! I have gone through several surgeries with my kiddos, but never one for myself. They will be straightening my septum (I've been told by three different ENTs that it is among the worse they've seen), shrinking my turbonates, and cleaning out my sinuses. Sounds like fun, eh?

Keep me in your prayers. Actually, forget that. Keep JEREMY in your prayers, as he will be taking over the household and becoming my nurse and Xander's nurse all while trying to earn a living.