Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ptosis - levator resection surgery

we knew from the time daxton was a few days old that his sweet little eye lid on the left side just wasn't going to fully open without some coaxing.  when he was first born the doctors told us to apply warm compresses and see if that would help.  after that wasn't doing much they then suggested a blocked tear duct was causing some issues and then finally derived with the diagnosis of ptosis.  they weren't sure how severe it would be when he was just a little fella, so his opthomologist suggested waiting until he was three years old to do the re-evaluation and consideration of corrective surgery.

the doctor had assessed that he had 30% of the range of the right eye's lid use and he was a good candidate for the surgery.  it was hard to believe the time had come so quickly.  however there was no question of if we'd elect to do the surgery for him.  his primary doctor's office questioned us about it each time he came in and we reassured them we were going through with the levator resection surgery.  we knew just from watching him that he was compensating for not being able to see things by holding his head certain ways - tipping it back to see tall people or trying to open his eyes wider just to take it all in.  there were multiple occasions where kids made fun of him and we knew that it would only get worse as children get older and they tend to compare differences. 

three years came and went and we faced november 11th 2014 like champs.  (well, dax was a champ and will and i were sleepless babies.)  we had to be at the hospital at 6:15am which meant we needed to leave our house by 5:15am which meant we had to get up at around 4:30.  for me this meant no sleep.  i am a night owl and rarely fall asleep before 1am on a good night.  we had to get sweet sleepy dax from his slumber.  we'd told him several days ahead that we were going to the hospital and the dr. was going to do a surgery on his eye to help him see better but it still came as a shock when we woke him up from a dead sleep to put on his coat and hat.  we loaded him up into the car and began the nervous drive across town.  he was quickly checked in to registration and then the wait began to have him called back to the prep area.

dax had a blast playing in the waiting area and even thought it was fun to go back and play on the "pad-pad" while the nurses scurried around doing all of their pre-op work.  will and i sat nervously as we waited for his turn in the operating room.  the doctor went over the procedure again with us and then we met with the anesthesiologist who must have had to prepare us for the worst but it was just making my stomach churn in knots.  he gave us scenarios of daxton  throwing up and regressing with his speech and functions.  it was all just too much.  but, at this point what are your options?  so, before we knew it our sweet fella was being whisked away on a stretcher by two nurses who told him it was like "lightening mcqueen" and they raced him off to surgery.  we gathered up his things, not really looking at each other once he was gone and we've both since admitted to be crying.

we made it out to the waiting room for what we were told was going to be a one and a half hour procedure.  we waited.  and waited.  and waited.  they'd given us a tiny little status card with a number on it that you were supposed to use to watch your patient's status on the monitors with.  but, we kept watching and our sweet little's status was just not changing from OR to recovery.  so, after over two hours of nothing will had to go and ask what was going on.  the receptionist called back and got him an update that while things were taking longer than expected, they were going well and they were closing him back up at that time.  shew!  i was still on pins and needles until the doctor finally came out to give us the low down - but at least we could breathe!  

once the doctor came out and gave us the good news we were then taken back to the recovery area after about twenty more minutes wait.  when we rounded the corner we heard dax crying and both of our hearts went into a bit of a panic.  last november (when dax had his ear tubes/adenoid removal surgery) he did not do so well coming out of anesthesia and this is what we were fearing most from this procedure.  then, when we saw him he was being held by one nurse, connected to monitors, with his entire left side of his face patched over.  gulp.  it was a rough twenty or so minutes while we attempted to calm him.  (i applied do terra essential oils while nobody was looking and he did calm down a great deal.)  however, i figured out that they'd given him NO pain medication and i immediately demanded that they give him something.  it took quite a long time and i threatened to go to a pharmacy in the hospital and buy something to give him and they finally produced some tylenol with codeine.  after the dose of meds he was free to leave after thirty minutes.  he was doing well, so at that time we packed up our things and scooted back home.

the first night was a little rough, but we were sent home with ointment to place on his eyeball every hour and another ointment to go across the eyelid where the sutures were once daily.  every time you put on the ointment you also have to remove the guard and therefore remove the tape that holds the guard in place.  after removing this guard several times we noticed sweet boy's skin was becoming irritated.  it seemed the tape given to us in the hospital was some sort of industrial strength and it was literally pulling off his top layer of skin!  oyesa!  once we noticed all of this we attempted to get better tape, some duo derm, apply the tape in different areas each time, and remove with a warm wash rag held against the skin.  however, it was a little too late and sweet boy was already a little traumatized.  sigh.

the doctor told us that his eye would need to be covered by a clear plastic guard for two weeks, it may not ever fully close again, and it may take up to a year for it to come to its final resting state - which could be wider or lower than the other lid.  with all of the extreme information we didn't really know what to expect.  however, we have been pleasantly surprised in all of the following ways:
  • how he had very few side effects from the anestesia
  • how willing sweet boy is to work with us on keeping on the eye "bubble" (as he calls it)
  • how he keeps tiny fingers away from his eye
  • how he is recovering so quickly
  • how amazing his eye looks
  • how he can already blink his eye and force his faced into a squinched up position to close it if he wants
  • how adaptable sweet boy is
this is one snapshot of daxton watching about the fifty third showing of "the fox and the hound" which he absolutely fell in love with during this time.
tomorrow we go in for daxton's follow up appointment with his eye doctor and we're fully expecting to hear that the eye "bubble" can be removed just in time for a happy thanksgiving!  we're so thankful we did the surgery and daxton already tells us that his eye is "all better".   

(so, no regrets here except for telling the nurses prior to surgery that we wanted him to have pain medication as soon as they were able to give it to him.  no reason for unnecessary suffering.)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mommy's Freckles

Look!

Over there to the right!  See that book cover?  It's a link!

Announcing the "publication" of a book [Mommy's Freckles] written by yours truly in the fundraising efforts for our second transracial adoption!  This sweet little book is written through the perspective of my precious son Dax's eyes and tells the story of a family built by transracial adoption which reminds us that while we're not all entirely the same, we share lots of similar traits. Likewise, regardless of how similar or different we are we're all made in God's image and we're all perfect in His eyes!

Get your ebook version available for download on your ipad or a soft back printed copy today!

One hundred percent of the sales of this book go to benefit our second domestic transracial adoption.

Much Love,
Adri, Will & Dax

Monday, November 10, 2014

dax is three!

grab a cup of coffee and settle in, because this is going to be a little lengthy.

halloween was mostly fantastic.  daxton found out in the early evening that he was going to be buzz lightyear.  he was so impressed with his costume that he could not wait to get it on.  will helped him get fully dressed and then he proceeded to strike some poses and even show off his costume to his buzz lightyear toy.

he had a great time trick-or-treating!  he went from door to door, up and down long driveways and sidewalks, to ring the doorbells standing on his tippy toes to say "twick-or-twee"!  he always took just one piece of candy and was sure to follow it up with "thank you and happy hawwowee"!  we were very pleased with his manners and super exited how happy he was to be running around collecting something he'd never even eaten before.  he ended up scoring about three lollies from the grand adventure and i think some monster must have eaten the rest of his loot.

the reason things were only mostly fantastic was right before this shot of dax and buzz i realized something was wrong with my camera lens.  it was making a strange noise and i could not get the lens to adjust.  i left his room and went to check it out and heard something rattling around inside.  not good.  sigh.  then, after further inspection i found a metal clip was broken off flopping around inside the body of the lens.  yuck.  a trip to best buy where it was purchased confirmed the warranty was expired and then a trip to a real camera store a few days later confirmed we'd have to mail it back to canon to have them see if it could be repaired and if it would be cost prohibitive since it's likely going to be pretty expensive.  bigger sigh.  and so i go not only into dax's birthday, but the busiest holiday season of the year with my favorite lens in the crapper.  poops.



friday we took the day off and took dax to his favorite park.  we wanted to spend a little one on one with him before all the birthday craziness commenced.  he had fun running all over the place, playing in the sand, going up and down the slides, and swinging on swings.  he cried when we had to leave, but we had to make it to a doctor's appointment before the fam started arriving.  he did well at the doctor and when we got home it was about ten minutes before namaw and poppie arrived.  we had fun hanging out and watching namaw play the guitar.  shortly thereafter we had more guests when gran and nani arrived.  dax was pushing the limits of his day without a nap, but we survived through dinner and got ready for the big day.

that night we set a ton of balloons outside of daxton's door.  then, in the morning we serenaded him with our rendition of happy birthday.  we won't quit our day jobs.  then, it was off to the living room to start the approximately 12 hour package opening extravaganza.  personally i did not feel like i had purchased too many gifts, especially since i bought some here, some there, some two weeks later, etc.  however, when everyone else showed up with the same over the top amount the kid had seriously a package an hour to open, plus all of the frenzy from the birthday party.  shew!



we treated him to a cinnamon roll number three.  when we asked him if he wanted cinnamon rolls he said "no rolls" and then when he saw it he called it cake, and definitely wanted some - so we all played along.

after cake he had lots of energy to open some big gifts so he started with a giant box from namaw and poppie.  he was excited to see it was a farm and we had daddy build it so he could start playing immediately! 
after the farm was played out he bounced back to hungry hippo that he'd opened earlier and gran had to check out the "woo-wie" doll.

after lots of present opening and playing we all got ready to head to the gym for dax's birthday party.  he'd invited his entire class from preschool, some friends from church, and some of our neighbors.  we were excited that lots of people could make it since it was going to be dax's first party with friends.  we, of course had a buzz lightyear theme and served cake and popcorn - just like dax likes!

an amazing local cake baker/decorator made daxton a buzz cake.  he was amazed with the fact that buzz was coming right out of the cake!  there were also some alien cupcakes for the kids and parents to enjoy after the kids played at the gym.  everyone had fun bouncing, doing the obstacle course, playing with the hula hoops, going down the slide, playing with the parachute, and just running around and being somewhat crazy.  after enjoying the cupcakes and opening gifts dax thanked everyone for coming and we headed home.  we weren't out of the parking lot for three minutes before dax fell fast asleep.


however, once we got home he woke up during a diaper change and we couldn't get him back to sleep.  since we knew his birthmom was coming we let him fight it and stay awake, praying he wouldn't be too moody when she was able to make it.  

dax was super excited when the door bell rang and it was for him!  he opened the door and found his birthmom, half brother, and a cousin.  they all came in to play and wish dax a happy birthday.  it was great to catch up, show them the pictures from the party, and watch the kids play together.  we're always so thankful for the time that we can share together.  the most exciting little tid bit of the evening was when we learned that dax's birthmom has the same difficulty in keeping her pinky down if she holds up three fingers.  dax's pre-school teacher said she'd been working with him on that this week and he just couldn't keep that pinky down.  we'd noticed its cuteness as well, and we think its so precious that we can know where he gets that from.

will and i both commented that we think this might have been dax's happiest birthday ever.  he was surrounded by family and friends, got to play all day long, was the center of attention, got a phone call from the paw patrol, and got to eat cake at every meal!  there's no doubt how much this boy is loved - and so on that note, let me wish my boy a happy birthday.

Dax,

You are the most amazing boy I know.  

I love your tender heart and the fact that you are always concerned when you hear a baby cry or think someone has a boo boo or hurt feelings.  I love how you run and hug me screaming "mommy" when I pick you up from pre-school.  I love how you want to "talk to Jesus" each morning as we pass by the stained glass windows at church.  I love how you're working so hard on your words and building your vocabulary and numbers.  I love all of the little projects you bring home from school each week, and how proud you are when we hang them on the wall.  I love how you love your daddy and you're always so excited when he comes home from work, and how you comment in the morning that "he'll be right back" - even though daddy's work days are about 12 hours long.  I love how you're trying new foods and even if you don't like something you at least let it touch your tongue before you say "ewwww - yuck"!  I love how you love to run, jump, and play outside.  I love watching you run with a huge grin on your face - feeling the wind as you scamper down the sidewalk and run off into the yard.  I love how you get so excited over simple things like ice, or airplanes flying in the sky, or even seeing a store display with some character from the movie frozen.  I love your innocence and how you always say a cheery "hi" to everyone we meet.  I love how you're still slightly offended if they don't respond.

There's not one thing I don't love about you, but the thing I love most is that I get to be your mommy.  It really makes me cry just thinking about how amazingly wonderful it is that God gave me the special gift of being your mom.  It's the best thing I've ever known and I'm so thankful for every second we've been given to watch you grow, learn, and love.

Love, 
Mommy

Poppie, Namaw, Will, Dax, Adri, Nani, Gran

(tomorrow is the big ptosis corrective surgery, so we'll chat more on that asap.)


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

jack o'lantern

somehow we've gotten to the end of october already!  it seems like time is just flying by and we're entering the busiest season of the year.  soon we'll be trick or treating, having daxton's birthday, recovering from his eye surgery, celebrating thanksgiving, and having a merry Christmas!

last night we carved a simple little pumpkin so that we'd have one on our porch this friday.  i had grandiose plans of carving a buzz lightyear pumpkin and even pinned several ideas, but as the time has gotten closer and the nights have gotten shorter we're just running out of time.  so, we pulled out the garbage bag, a giant spoon, a knife, a marker, and selected a pumpkin from the porch.  we thought dax was going to LOVE playing in the pumpkin guts but he ended up having a pretty big meltdown with a lot of "no punki, no, no carv, no gut, no!"  so, will and i just ended up doing the work to get something primitive accomplished so we could get a candle in its belly.  i ended up with a toothpick through my finger and screamed for a medic (just like you see on chopped) after we punched the pumpkin's eye ball out and needed to perform surgery on the jack o'lantern to get his eye reinstalled - but i survived and dax thought it was pretty interesting/entertaining.  

once we got the guts out and mr. pumpkin was all carved up dax thought he was a lot better looking.  he put his "hat" on and then wanted to smile and talk with him.
dax helped daddy put the pumpkin on the porch and told him bye bye until he could see him again in the morning.  he was not as excited as we'd hoped, but we anticipate that trick or treating will be a more successful activity on friday once he finds out he's going to be a certain special disney character.

on a sort of related note we have a ps -

several weeks ago we took dax to our favorite pumpkin patch and he had a blast of a time playing in the hay, riding a choo choo train, taking a hay ride, searching for pumpkins, and jumping around.  we always love our special day at the pumpkin patch since it's where will and i spent so many trips to various pumpkin patches longing to be parents.  (previous posts)  we always love sharing this trip with our sweet boy.

here are our favorite pics from that trip.


dax picked our pumpkins.  he loved the green ones, which we let him bring home - but unfortunately they all rotted before the main event so we had to buy some replacements from the grocery store.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

bye bye "pie!"

it's official.  the passie is no more.  (in our house it was always dubbed the "pie" and i cannot say pie will be no more because then i might actually banish real pie and that would be terrible.  so here, i'll just refer to it as passie, so then everyone knows what we're really talking about.)

dax has been infatuated with the passie since he was a wee little baby.  it wasn't until he was about a year old that i really started to see that it may later become a problem, but at that time i thought well - he's a little guy its no big deal.  so, at about 18 months we made sure he only had it at home, then at two years we made sure he only had it in his bed or in the car, and then recently it was only in bed.  we'd tried a couple of times in between to just take it away all together and were met with full on revolt of this crazy notion.  so, as weak parents we caved within half an hour each time and just said at the next milestone we'd pull up our big parent pants and take it away.  never happened.

fast forward to last week.  it was long about tuesday that the passie got a slit in it from dax chewing on it.  he and i talked about how it was breaking and when it broke we'd have to get rid of it because it would no longer be safe.  we talked about how he did not really need it anymore because he was a big boy and that passies were for babies.  he seemed to be listening and so we thought we might be on to something.  on wednesday night at bed time we told him that we would take him to the disney store and let him pick out a toy in exchange for the passie.  he agreed that was a good idea, but went right back to hard workin' that passie.  i talked about it with him again on thursday and built up the excitement for what was about to happen and did a walk through demonstration of him giving me the passie and me giving him a toy.  he just wanted the passie back, but he was hearing what i was saying.  then, friday came.

on friday i was over the top about how great it was going to be to trade in the passie for the new toy.  he was getting pretty excited.  when daddy got home from work we put the passie in a zip lock bag and all piled in the car towards the store.  when we got there we talked again in the parking garage about what we were going to do inside the mall.  he really seemed okay with the concept.

forgive my quality as i came from the phone.
he grabbed the bag, inspected it, and was ready to run into the mall.  we followed him and guided him down the elevator and off to the disney store.  he loves the store because it has a motion display, a movie screen, and of course a million characters with gobs of paraphernalia.  he quickly ran to the buzz light year display and squatted down to check out buzz and all of his buttons.  after playing with him for about three minutes he laid down the passie in a bag and walked over to look at woody.  i pointed out to will that he was already over the passie.  we let him wander the store and check out all of his favorites.  we were probably in there for over an hour.  (the store is not that big, but its as close to disney world as you get in north carolina.)  it became pretty apparent that we were going to have to get two toys - blade from planes and buzz from toy story.  for the cost of trading in the passie, we were fine with that.  daddy stood in the long line and waited our turn.  when the time got close i got dax over into the line and told the cashier what our payment terms were.  

forgive my quality as i came from the phone.
dax handed over the passie in a bag as he sat on the counter.  he was irritated that we had to put the buzz in the bag, but once he saw that the bag had disney characters he was okay with it.  and so happily - he left the store.  we made it to the clarks store (two doors down) before he had to open the bag and open the box to retrieve buzz.  the shoe salesman actually cut buzz from his twist ties to please our happy fellow.  as we left the building he said "bye bye pie!"  memories of passie were long gone.

or were they?

well, he was happy in the car and we took him to an old fashioned diner.  we wanted to go somewhere he would find fun and where he could be loud (himself) if needed.  he loved putting money into the juke box on the table and didn't really care that ours was broken and would only play one song.  in the end it was just about putting the money in and getting it back out, so i gave him a stack of 2 pence coins that he played with.  he was happy with his mickey shaped pancakes, a slurp of a chocolate shake, and being allowed to stand up in the booth.  

forgive my quality as i came from the phone.
 the ride home was a bit long, about 40 minutes, and we thought for sure he'd fall asleep in the car.  he was up way after his bed time and we were hoping this would work to our advantage.  when we got home he was really sleepy, but not asleep.  as soon as we got into his room he asked for the "pie".  then, started the quiver lip.  the quiver lip kills me.  first of all its precious and second of all its sad that he is sad.  its too much.  however, this is why we left the passie at the store.  it was as much for him knowing it was traded in for buzz as it was for will and i to not have something to fall back on.  at one point will went to get his phone out of his pocket and dax thought for sure he was going for the passie.  he started to cry.  we told him that he had buzz now and the passie was gone.  he really did sob in mourning.  we hugged on him, loved on him, cradled him, and rocked him while he processed it all.  in the end he wanted to read every book that was out (we usually just do 3, but we did 8) - just to prolong the inevitable.  once we were done with books and we told him no more books he wanted to watch a tv show.  we told him it was too late and he needed to go to sleep.  in his bed.  with buzz.  he ran and got buzz and put him in the bed and then smiled and ran to me.  he hugged me in a full body hug as i sat on the floor.  will smiled as tears ran down my face because he knew that i knew at that moment that dax got it.  the passie was gone and buzz was here in his place.

he's looked terribly sad each night when it's time to actually lay down and put his head on raffie (that's what he uses for his pillow) and on the first night he wasn't quite sure what to do with his hands, but each night gets a little easier than the first and by the third night he wasn't even asking for it any more.  


nap times are still pretty rough because we're battling the fact that he soothed himself to sleep with the passie and the fact that he's exerting some independence about almost being three years old (gasp) and so he likes to say "no nap", "no nigh nigh", "no bed", "no mommy, no".  he says all this with his back to me, arms crossed, in a very sassy tone.  i laugh (to myself of course) and i ask him where did he learn this?  of course he wont divulge his sources, but it makes for rough afternoons.  pretty much all this week he's either fallen asleep on my lap, on the couch, or not napped at all.  today however, i finally won the battle.  he is resting now, as i type in his bed with nothing but a raffie and buzz by his side.

so, we're really calling it a huge success and there's no looking back.


to infinity and beyond!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

preschool

wednesday was dax's first day at preschool.  it's hard to believe he is already in "school", but he is more than ready.  since i work from home he's been getting pretty bored with the situation lately and we're excited that he'll get to go to preschool two days a week for 3.5 hours where they'll focus on making friends, learning about Jesus, and having a grand old time.  

his first day went very well and he got a good report.  he ate all of his lunch and even took a nap that evening.  he's a little social butterfly, so we think it's really going to be a lot of fun for him to build friendships and find some play mates.

the school/church is only two miles from our house, so we're really blessed to have a quick commute to and from.  the teachers and director are so friendly and genuine loving people that we feel uber comfortable leaving our sweet boy in their care.  we know they're focused on showing the love of Christ to these littles and we're excited for this opportunity for him.
 


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

project: big boy bed



the finished product
we could not be more thrilled with project:  big boy bed.   we didn't want to jinx ourselves, but things have gone really well for us so far as the transition goes from crib to dax's big boy bed.  we kept him involved in the entire process and talked a lot about the change that was about to happen, and we really think he was ready for the big day.

here are some snap shots of daxton seeing his big boy bed for the first time.


climbing up!

bouncing!  that's what tiggers do best!

clearing everything off the bed!

except for raffie.

being a silly goose.

testing out the resting.
knock on wood he's slept one week without incident.  he still asks to go to "nigh nigh" when he's tired and we've only had a couple of nights where he couldn't resist the urge to stay awake and read some books or check things out.  naps have been harder than bed time (i think just because of the day light and the fact that he's not THAT tired yet).  however, today he took a 4 hour nap, so maybe we're working back into a pattern.

we have a baby gate on the door, so this helps to keep him safe and from wandering the house in the middle of the night.  we think the thing that we have going for us is that he likes his bed and his room, and often will just ask to go in there to play - so hopefully that will never change.