Thursday, February 28, 2013

Open Heart Surgery

It's been a touchy day around our house this morning.  We haven't really experienced anything like this before.   When a loved one has to go into surgery.  The hardest part is that my mom wasn't here for us.  I guess that is one of the difficult things about having parents who are serving a mision for the church.  They are pretty dedicated to their service and aren't able to fly home for events like this. Even an event as significant as Open Heart Surgery.

The inspiring thing today was watching my kids rally around me and support each other.  I didn't expect them to face this so young.  At only three years old this is a lot to try to understand.

In a year or so, when JT is done with his schooling, he will be able to perform these types of surgeries with his new skills.  I think we can all take comfort in that.  And I look forward to the day when this is his responsibility.

But for now, with my Mom on her mission, and JT still in school, it all came down to me.

The Patient: our beloved (though often stinky and dirty) "Boom Boom".  Macie's Best Friend since birth.

 As you can see, he has been in pretty bad shape.  Besides the stains (and yes, he has always been Gray- he isn't that dirty!) and the noticeably saggy bottom ( let's be honest, it happens to all of us with age and wear) there are three large holes in his chest.

 You can see that the poor patient has a hole in his back making it an even more serious case when you see how easy it is to stick a finger through his chest cavity.

Like I said, I was on my own.  No support.  No one with experience in these types of situations.  Just me and my kids and a needle and thread.

I have seen enough of Gray's Anatomy to know that Family is not normally allowed in the OR for surgery.  But how could I send Macie and Blake away?  After all, Macie needs to be stroking his tiny tail between her fingers for comfort.  So with needle and thread, a child on my lap tugging on his lifeless tail, I held the patient, Boom Boom, in my hands and I went to work.

After what felt like hours in the OR (stitching 6 holes front and back) he woke up in recovery in the loving arms of his best friend Macie.

"Now you can grow big like me and start walking and talking Boom Boom!"  Macie exclaimed as she snuggled the mangled stitched up mess of her Kitty.

I didn't have it in me to explain to her that even stitched up (and maybe run through the wash on Delicate- since my stitches won't hold up to Normal Wash) Boom Boom may never be the same again.  And most likely won't grow up to live a normal life and walk and talk like her.  I guess I am just not the surgeon they needed me to be.

Hopefully this repair will last until my Mom (the real stuffed animal surgeon) gets home from her mission, or until JT perfects his suturing technique (preferably on someone else before we make Boom Boom go back under the needle).

Thanks for all of your love and good thoughts as we went through this trial.  Boom Boom promises to take a bath to show his gratitude.

Monday, February 11, 2013

90 More Days??

Today kicks off my second round of 90 Day Goals.  I joined a group a few years ago where we set goals in 5 areas of our lives and devote 90 days to completing them.  It was life changing last time- and I am hoping for the same thing this time.  The goals are suppose to make you a little uncomfortable, maybe seem slightly out of reach, or at least cause you to have to stay focused and work hard for the entire 90 days.  What may seem like a challenge to me could be laughable to most of you (really,  you may laugh at me) but that is the fun of goal setting with a group.  We help each other, encourage each other, and strengthen each other throughout the entire process.

So that I can have it in a hard copy somewhere, and with the hopes that some of you might help me stay accountable or cheer me on, I am writing them down here.

Here we go, 90 Days.

Run a Half Marathon.  (You know how I always laugh when I see a 13.1 sticker on the back of someone's car because it doesn't look nearly as tough as a 26.3 sticker? Yep, that will be me!)
I am most nervous/excited for this goal.  Coming off a recent back injury it seems nearly impossible, but I am determined to work hard (and carefully) to get my body to do this!  Anyone want to join me??
Give up all soda (and replace with water).
No fast food or french fries.
These last two are going to be pretty challenging.  Way harder than they should be.  Mostly because I have emotional attachments to both.  Soda has always been my special treat, my little pick me up, my reward for a hard day.  It is a quick answer to the kids driving me nuts, to attacking a daunting cleaning task, or to a girl's night out. It means much more to me than caffeine.  But I have read enough articles, and have a healthy enough fear of cancer that I am realizing it is time to start eliminating the carcinogens that I can control. Pouty Face.  The same goes for fast food.  It is the answer to a busy day, to an already messy kitchen, to a special treat with my kids (not so special anymore since we do it all the time!), or to simple lack of planning.  But I know I would feel better (do better in a half marathon) and be a better mom without it.
Wow.  I think I will need a therapist just to get through this one aspect of the next 90 days!

Sudoku Yes, I am going to play sudoku for 5 minutes a day.  What, you say?  Katie playing with numbers? Isn't that like handing your kids a pack of matches? Something you just don't do.  We all know I have had an abusive relationship with all things numbers.  But they are supposedly good for your brain (like green veggies for your body) so it is time I plug my nose and swallow.
Learn 10 new technical things- whether on my phone or my new silhouette. This is where you can laugh.  Don't most people love to play with their new technology?  Aren't most husbands asking their wives to turn off the silhouette and come to bed? Well, it all overwhelms me- and hurts my brain.  But I desperately want to overcome that.  So this is a good place to start.

Read and implemant the book The Magic.  It was referred to me by fellow goal groupers when  I was looking for something a little different than a Gratitude Journal.  A physical way to really count my blessing and immerse myself in positivity.
Pray for, and do a simple act of kindness every day.  This may be as simple as a text to someone I haven't talked to in a long time or as big as doing someone's dishes. (If you knew how much I can't stand other peoples' dirty dishes you would gasp with admiration that I am considering doing them as an act of kindness) I have had really amazing experiences doing this in the past- for a week at a time- so I am looking forward to seeing some tender moments over the next few months.
Daily Calendar I did this last 90 Day Goals and loved it.  As a Stay at Home Mom it is easy to not budget your time well.  (At least when your kids are all at home and not in school/sports/mutual etc) This is to help me be more productive - so that I am able to do accomplish all of these goals.
Connect with my Children Daily I am really excited for this one as well. I am going to leave my phone, the computer, all distraction in another room and get down on the floor with my kids.  It is so easy to get busy doing all of the "necessary" things in my day with my kids near me, but not connecting with me.

Budget, Budget, Budget Plan it, stick to it, love it, live it.  I am going to cut out unnecessary spending. (Cutting out soda and fast food is going to take care of a big part of that!) And find a way to lessen the amount of student loans we are borrowing.

Study Lesson Material for my class every day. I teach the 16 and 17 year old Sunday School class at church.  (Which I love)  And we have a new (amazing) curriculum this year.  Each lesson is more of a topical and less of a chronoligical study of scripture.  So I will study material based on the topic throughout the week. *very excited for this one*
Prayer I would like to improve my relationship with my Heavenly Father through better prayer.  Last 90 Day Goals, one of my goals was to pray in the mornings, I did this by making my bed in the morning.  The extra few minutes in my room slowed me down enough to remember to pray.  Now I would like to spend a few minutes meditating and clearing my mind so that my prayers are more focused and sincere.
Go to the Temple Every Month.  This has always been a no brainer for me.  JT and I have had a good habit of going every month since we started dating.  But with him in school, and studying every minute that he isn't in school, this has really slipped the last 6 months.  It shows how quickly something can go from an easy way of life to a habit of the past.  So, it is back on my radar and on my list of things to do.

Today kicks it all off.  I am really excited and nervous when I see how much I have bit off.  It is a lot to commit and hope for, but I am determined and I have a great support group to help me accomplish it.

So if you see me sneaking in to the McDonalds Drive Thru for $1 worth of "Happiness" (which is what we call soda ever since McD's had that awesome bill board that said that Happiness only costs $1 - with a picture of giant ice cold soda) you have my permission to call me, yell out your window, or crash into the side of the restaraunt to prevent me from making a bad choice!

Wish me luck, I only have 90 more days!