Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review

Well I read my 2010<-(this is a link) year in review this morning and was happy to see I accomplished (and then some) my goals for 2010.
Yes, I'm approximately the same weight. Yes, I got a kindle and therefore have read a lot more which I am loving. I am trying to keep my car clean, but now that I drive an awesome mom van there is a lot more room for mess, and therefore it may just appear cleaner. Ella is walking; that was a good one. And I accomplished my biggest goal, of having a new baby, expecting a baby, or adopting a baby. In fact I'm going to give myself an A+ on that one.
Year in Review--without looking back on blog posts, just what stands out in my mind.
January 2010--set goal to have a new baby by Jan 1, 2011. Asked Zar if we could adopt a baby from Haiti. He said no. Asked if, just IF, someone knocked on our door and offered us a baby, if we would take it. He said yes. A few days later that practically happened. We met Ava's first mom, loved her, committed to her and Ava, and began our very short adoption journey.
February--I'm sure it was quite cold and unpleasant. I do hate February. Luckily we had a few marvelous days in Disneyland, always a highlight of the year. Ella LOVED the characters, so many cute pictures. Oh, and I dragged Zar in to an ENT to have his tonsils looked at. He has always been a big, BIG snore-er and I had begun videotaping his apnea episodes at night to prove he was practically dying. In fact this may have happened in January, but the surgery--to take out his giant tonsils and open up his apparently at some point broken nose, was in February. He bravely succumbed.
March--On March 5th Zar called saying he was coughing up a little blood. That night it seemed to be not normal, so we called the on-call ENT and he met us at the hospital. By the time we got there Zar was coughing up A LOT of blood. He rushed him into surgery and I went and camped out in the waiting room, all by myself as it was late at night. And I ate. And ate. And ate. I was really, really taken with how much I was eating, and how it wasn't even making a dent in my hunger. And I can eat a lot under any circumstances, but this was extreme. Zar was released from the hospital at 2 am, I think, and after he was tucked in a drug induced sleep I took a pregnancy test I happened to have. And you know the result. So I stood in the bathroom and cried and shook, and knew, JUST KNEW, that this was another baby with trisomy. I lay in bed and pondered our adoption, and this new baby, and decided that I was NOT going to get to the end of the year and have ALMOST adopted a baby, and HAD a new baby which had passed away, and NOT have a new baby in arms. From then on there was no question on going through with the adoption. Two weeks later I told Zar I was pregnant. He got a big ole rash from the antibiotic they put him on after his surgery. He was not too happy I had put him through the whole ordeal, but goodness it was sure worth it. (for me.)
April--I took Ava's birth mom for her first appointment with my wonderful OB. A couple days later I went back for my first appointment. What a jolly laugh he had. I told Ava's birth mom I was pregnant, and she was nothing but excited, and I was relieved. I went to the neonatologist, had a first trimester screen done, which came back low risk for down syndrome, but high for trisomy 13 or 18. Which pretty much sealed the deal for me. However we went ahead and did a CVS which showed another girl, with the same diagnosis as Charlotte. Many tears all around. Oh well. Forge ahead.
May--On May 5th Ava was born via c-section. Oh she was tiny and sweet, at 5 lbs 14 oz. Oh she was a good girl right from the start, oh how dear, so dear. I spent a few days in the hospital hanging out with Ava and her birthmom, watching movies, had a bad encounter with a very poor creepy social worker, who was eventually fired for what happened. Heh heh. Took sweet Ava home, and found that the upside of actually giving birth is you are THAT MUCH more tired that you don't realize how exhausted you are from caring for a newborn.
June--I was pregnant, I had an infant, I had a 20 month old, I'm sure I pined for a nap. I cut my hair. My sister had her twin girls a few weeks early, but they did great, and suddenly my parents had FIVE granddaughters whereas just months before they had one living and one in heaven. Sheesh.
July--Ella was afraid of the fireworks at first, but warmed up slowly.
August--We went to Newport Beach where I had the awesome experience of sobbing at the waters edge with my giant belly, screaming toddler, and confused and frightened 3 month old. Lots of stares. Figured I would have to live and die in that spot as there was no way I could get back to the condo on my own and my family had changed their usual beach spot for the first time in like 20 years. Said some bad words. Was rescued by my parents after some frantic phone calls.
September--Was pregnant. Getting bigger by the second. At some point Zar got a new job at WGU which was such a giant thrill I can't even tell you. I got off the phone and yelled "HOT DOG!" and then had to watch a few hours of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse when Ella heard me.
October--oh I was SO uncomfortable. I had been getting a massage every other week which was all that kept me going. I highly recommend prenatal massage from someone who specializes in it. Ella turned 2 and I made a cake with Minnies. Then I scheduled and rescheduled my c-section. On October 17 Lily was born in the same room by the same doc as Charlotte, Ella and Ava. She was BIG, 7 lbs 13 oz and my uterus had nearly exploded due to fluid issues, and I was advised not to get preg ever again. (tiny smiley face). Lily spent 20 minutes with us and started grunting, and was whisked off to the NICU where she did pretty well for a few days, and then aspirated her milk and was whisked up to Primary Children's NICU where she spent the next month.
November--Lily got a g-tube and a nissen, went in and out of heart failure, was set up for heart surgery and then canceled, and eventually, finally, came home. A week later she had a couple blue spells and we went to the ER, but never really figured anything out.
December--Our adoption was FINALIZED!! We took Ava to the temple (post coming soon). Ella and Ava began playing together like sisters instead of just crawling on each other, laughing and clapping, so, so fun. Lily had more blue spells, had a normal EEG, and heart surgery may happen in February. She also got a terrible rash from the antibiotic she was put on to prevent UTIs. Rough month for Lily, let's hope 2011 treats her better! I went back to Bikram yoga after 2 years and am currently obsessed.

By January 1st 2012 I will:
Be approximately the same weight, but HEALTHY. Fit even.
I will have made many wonderful memories with my family. I will still be blogging. I will be a calm and peaceful mother. If Lily is still with us I will have done a good job on her daily physical therapy, and held her a lot. I will have devoted individual time to each of my girls, and my husband, and myself. I will have mastered Ava's hair care. I will have put Ella in a fun and safe preschool. I will stay positive. I will not FREAK OUT when the house is a mess and act like I'm going to end my life over it.
This was a wild, wild year. I am hoping for a more quiet one in 2011. 2010 gave me many, many gifts and now I just want to enjoy them and care for them and give them many snuggles.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Ava's fave present--the paper it came in
Yawn, another Elmo

The big hit--cozy coupe

Yawn, swedish fish
Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 23, 2010


It's Final!

60 Floors up!

Another quick and crazy trip to Vegas for Zar and his dad to go to the Bowl game. We won't focus on that, however.
As a Christmas Surprise in-laws got us rooms on the top floor of the Wynn. AWESOME. Plus it rained like crazy the entire time so we (as in the girls and I) spent very little time outside of the room. A brief venture out for some shopping and a bowl of noodles was enough. We just got in our jammies, turned on the TV and sat up in the cozy clouds for one day and two nights.
Ella took four baths in 24 hours, delighted with the TV that showed cartoons in the bathroom. We finally got the call verifying that Ava's adoption is final, which filled me with joy even though I already was considering it done. It was Lily's first trip and she did great. We took way too many oxygen tanks and had a detour in St. George on the way home when her oximeter probe stopped picking up for a replacement (LOVING IHC Homecare) but other than that it was all surprisingly easy, probably due to the fact that this isn't our first rodeo.
After a long ride home we are ready to jump right into Christmas mode and make the most of Ava's and Lily's first Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

3 Santas 3 kiddos

One Santa
Santa Two
Santa Three with One Baby...
Two Babies...

(Any co-workers take a close look at Santa Two...)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Impressive because there aren't piles and piles of toys, blocks, chewed up grapes and sippy cups surrounding Ava. Not so impressive because Ella is down for a nap.

Little Fatty Face.
Don't feel bad for her. Aunt Alex gives insulting nicknames to everyone...

...Smella and the best kid kitty ever.

Isn't that the cutest banana ever? Ella enjoyed eating it like a monkey, continuing her ever progressing Monkey Research.

Hilarious--I noticed our little nativity was missing Baby Jesus who had been replaced by this peanut ornament. Two year olds are awesome. Baby Jesus mysteriously returned this morning with tomato sauce on his blankie. Hmmm.
Home detoxing from all the stress and chocolate of the last few days. I ate like CRAZY yesterday, including a few plates of Christmas goodies that were meant to go out to neighbors. Sorry neighbors. Last night while eating pizza and hershey's kisses on the couch I decided to stay home today, catch up on laundry, cleaning, and other chores and consume nothing but water, spinach smoothies and a pomegranate. Add a bag of microwave popcorn to that list and I'm doing alright. Dinner doesn't count though. We are having Ultra Mormon Night and having Hawaiian Haystacks.
I am coming to terms with the fact that Christmas is next week. I didn't do cards this year, which is kind of a crime as we have two new babies. I am going to try and get a Valentines Day card out. No promises though. Lily may be having open heart surgery that month. Well back to the Baby Zoo.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

(Not Quite) Adoption Day!

I'm the Littlest Big Sister!!
Rare--3 sisters in the same picture!
And now for today's proceedings...

Getting my Hair done...

Waiting outside the Court Room with Dad....Hi Mom...

AND Done! (almost.)
Well, we almost finalized today! Yay!

In fact let's just say we did. Our part is done. Tomorrow a couple of original documents will be turned in (as opposed to the copies our attorney tried to get away with) and it will be complete.
I have been so very anxious this week as adoption day approached. I just knew something would go less than smoothly, and I can't tell you how relieved I am that it was just a paperwork issue, not the judge deciding I'm not capable of handling 3 kids 2 and under. Our judge is not known for being all snuggly and sweet and taking families into chambers and saying this is the best part of her job and let's all have a hug. I was quite shocked at how tough she was on Ava's birth mom (who handled her with INCREDIBLE grace) 7 months ago, so I have been nervous.
Because of this nervousness and feeling that things weren't going to go perfectly, we didn't treat today as a big happy celebration and invite our families to come and throw a party afterwards. We are saving that for our Temple day, which should be on the 30th, if all our T's get crossed in time. That is the day that I can focus on now (or will be able to tomorrow). I am so excited for that day, our true Adoption Day, our Forever Family Day. I could easily get all mushy and weepy right now about how much I love Ava, how much I love her Birth Mom, how grateful I am that they both came into my life, how I consider Ava my daughter and Birth mom my family, but it's still premature! The way I feel about it is today we got our marriage license and on the 30th is our WEDDING. Not many people get to celebrate a 2nd Wedding Day with all their friends and family and kids right there with them. I have felt that Ava has been part of our family ever since she was born so it's nice for the Law to recognize this fact. Now I just want to get her in that white dress!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's barely 9 pm on Saturday night and I am FIGHTING to stay awake. Can't wait to crawl into bed. It must be going around because Ava was fighting it too and has since been plopped into her crib with nary a whimper. There are about 7 trips up the stairs to come to transport Lily and all her paraphernalia and that's the only reason I'm not already sacked out.
Saturday--my day of rest--ie the day I go to work. Who knew I would eventually be saying "wow one more day of work a week would sure be nice..."
All girls are still somewhat snotty, Ella has developed a good deep rattle as well. Lily seemed more clear and then got her first Synagis shot yesterday (very expensive monthly RSV protection) and then had a couple of big desats last night. We are postulating that any fever, however slight, causes these little episodes. Luckily she pulls herself out of it (especially lucky since I slept right through the alarm last night) and they weren't as dramatic as last time. Darn it though. Not cool Lily. First outpatient cardiology appointment on Monday, we will see if they have any ideas. Also we will see if her echo shows any worsening of her pressures. I do not expect improvements based on the last few weeks. Zar and I briefly discussed "where we are" currently on surgeries if they would likely improve her cardio-pulmonary status, and we would still "strongly consider" major interventions.

In better news, she is doing great in physical therapy and shows a lot of potential. She is tolerating her increased feeds well so she isn't on the tube 24 hours a day.
Man, Cindy Crawford is REALLY wearing me out!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Staying Active

I never used to eat burgers. I didn't even like them. I still don't like them all that much. And yet, I find myself eating burgers these days...quite a bit more often. Like yesterday. And today. And fries, lets not forget those. I have those even more than burgers. And I'm embarrassed to admit that we can't even drive by a Sonic or McDonalds without Ella screeching "FRIES!" from the backseat, even from a dead sleep. Or so it seems.
When I was hideously pregnant I would promise myself once this baby came I would become an ATHLETE. Zar got a real kick out of that. I would say "Once I'm not hideously pregnant I will run and lift and rise early in the morning to do so, arriving home just as my husband leaves for work and my babies awake, and I will glow. I will smile, pat my face dry and attack my day feeling like a goddess." Turns out life didn't get easier once the giant belly was gone. Turns out it's much more busy, strangely. And turns out I value sleep, far, FAR more than I do a chilly power walk.
I am also concerned for Ella, who can spend the entire day camped out on the couch demanding a steady diet of Minnie, Elmo, and fruit snacks. I would say "Well, her sister is in the NICU" or "Well she has a snotty nose" or "Well we had a hard night" and I would let this happen. (She inherited this from dad; I am not a lover of TV. Not all day TV anyway.) But in the summer I would take her to the park nearly every day I had off and let her play for hours while I lounged with Ava under the weight of my terrifying belly. It was a grand summer, even under the circumstances. And afterwards Ella would sleep for hours, and sometimes, so would I.
Now it is miserable and cold. Yesterday I got desperate, loaded up my brood and took them to "The Indoor Park", aka, Arctic Circle, where Ella ran between the slide and our table to get another fry. Yes she was active, but really? We left covered in fry sauce and general fast food grubbiness. And yet, we went back today again, this time with a friend and her son, and I had ANOTHER burger and pile of fries. A spinach smoothie each morning probably does not counteract this. And yes, carrying two infant seats and an oxygen tank in and out is a work out, and looks quite pathetic...but I wouldn't say I broke a sweat.
So my goal, now, in this strange new world of triple motherhood/special needs motherhood/trying to eventually go back to work, is not to Become An Athlete, but just not to gain 30 lbs. I logged back into the ole Weight Watchers, the only thing that has even really worked for me, and found they have totally changed their program which is just too exhausting for me to figure out right now. And they don't have low point items at Arctic Circle. I have delved back into my extensive workout dvd collection, choosing Cindy Crawford's "Shape Your Body" circa 1992, a classic, yes, but did we ever really think, even in high school, that Cindy got that bod doing leg swings and side bends? Plus leg swings become more difficult with two mobile children and a lot of tubes and wires snaking about my living room.
I will continue to look for solutions. Could I have done a few scissor arms and small twists during this rare triple nap instead of blogging about burgers? Yes. But one must have priorities. And maternity pants are really quite cozy.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Happy 32nd Birthday Zar

Zar is 32 today! We had pancakes. All three girls woke up all crusty and gross, so we have spent a quiet day at home. Right now everyone is asleep but me, so I am quickly catching up on the blog.
Lily has had no other episodes since her last one on Tuesday. She clearly has a cold bug and I'm chalking it all up to that, fingers crossed.
She has seen her surgeon, her physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist since our ER visit. We have turned up her continuous feeds so she now gets a few hours off the pump each day and she is tolerating it well. We will continue to work in the direction of bolus feeds. Her therapists felt she has a lot to work with physically. She tries to lift her head when on her tummy, moves all her limbs and grasps, and was clearly interested in sucking on a milk soaked q-tip. All great signs.
We are seeing therapy more this week and next Monday she is going to cardiology for another echo and we will see if her numbers and pressures have gotten worse. Her sats have been a bit harder to keep up which of course is easily related to the cold and resulting snot.
I'm very excited for some upcoming Christmas activities--we are going to a Hope Kids Christmas party, a Make a Wish Christmas party (which will be our first time in the Make a wish building as Boof never actually "made her wish") an Angels Hands Christmas party, and various other fun activities. I made it to the Festival of Trees the other night which I thought might make me very sad as we didn't do a tree this year due to life craziness. Instead it helped me finally get into the Christmas spirit. Now if I could just get Zar to help me get the tree up the basement stairs.
We also have Ava's finalization coming up, which I just want over and done with. That will feel so awesome to walk out of that court house. Ava is pulling up to stand and this morning she forgot she can't walk yet and let go of my shoulder--falling flat on her back. With her giant 95th percentile head, it was quite a thunderous boom. She whimpered for a minute while Ella yelled "WHA HAPPENED!? WHA HAPPENED!?" and then was happy again.
Ella has a crusty nose, loves our new "big car" and chocolate milk, and enjoys talking about the potty but not actually using it.
Update complete.