Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Still On

So, last Tuesday Jim took Izzy back down to Children's Hospital to have her left arm recast AGAIN!

What we didn't expect was a verbal lashing from the surgeon.  I understand he was concerned about the viability of her new thumbs, but he was insinuating we didn't and that we were providing poor care.

Jim handled it very well.  He explained that although he understands his concern for our daughter, he will NOT attack our character or accuse us of some sort of neglect; and we'd like an explanation for why the cast keeps coming off, not an attack.  

It makes me angry just thinking about it!  

Moving on...

Even though Izzy is already a very cautious, sedate child we have had to make some changes to our home life and schedule.  Izzy is now homebound.  She only leaves the house to go to church and even then she does not go in the nursery.  

It breaks my heart for me to say no every time she asks, "I come?" when she knows I'm going somewhere.

We are now 8 days with the new casts.  A record!  The new casts have both slipped a bit, but the left one has slipped much lower.  We are determined to keep this new set on, so Jim fashioned a harness of sorts to counteract the gravity and other forces pulling down on the casts.  She's pretty patient about wearing it as you can see in the picture below.

While the other kids were in the pool, she decided the doggie water was more her speed.
Next appointment is Tuesday the 25th.  Praying the casts stay on until then and that they will take them off for good and provide us with some splints/braces instead.

Looking forward to her wonderful OT to come back and show Izzy how to use those amazing new thumbs!

Monday, March 3, 2014

It Fell Off Again!


This is getting crazy!

Isabel's cast fell off of her left hand again!  AGAIN!!

Jim was at work today so I bandaged it up the best I could.

Luckily, she has a post-op appt already scheduled for tomorrow morning at Children's Hospital.  We're becoming regulars down there! : )

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Goodbye February

I am NOT sorry to see you go!

February was a hard month.  February was a month full of surgeries, more therapies then I can count, a minor car accident, false labor pains and a faulty cast!

I am done with that hard month and happily welcome in March!

I am weary, but have renewed hope in all that lies ahead.

Recovery for Isabel with her new hands!

Continued improvement for Jim's shoulder!

New addition joining our family in early May! : )

Growing a missions organization!   

And all that God has in store for us!

Field trip at Huntington Library and Gardens.  Love that place!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Izzy's Puzzle Fun

Isabel does NOT like to be left out… of anything.  We have had to modify our lives so that she can be included with her two giant casts.  

When the older children are doing their schoolwork, she loves to do puzzles.  Kind of hard to do when you can't use your hands!  So, we have had to provide a little extra assistance to help her do her puzzles.  I laid the pieces out just below the spot where they go so she can just sort of "push" them in.  She was so proud and happy, though!

That sense of accomplishment is so important!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Puddle Fun

We finally got some rain yesterday and more coming tonight!!  Thank goodness!  We need it!

Anna, Nate and I ventured out to the meadow preserve by our house to play in the puddles.  He was running and having so much fun I decided to take a video...

That didn't slow him down.

This was after "the fall."

He could have stayed there for hours, if I let him. : )

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spoke Too Soon

Well, just before dinnertime last night, Isabel's cast fell off of her left hand!  Oh boy!!

My husband is the resident physician in our house.  He did a very careful job wrapping her hand and arm up. It was so important to protect that new thumb!

She did great last night and this morning before heading down to Children's Hospital to have her arm re-casted.  They are there now finishing up.

Jim said the new cast is a bit smaller which is nice for Isabel.  Never a dull moment around here!
Taken last night when the cast came off
Early this morning, about to head to the hospital

Monday, February 24, 2014

Still Doing Great!

Izzy was doing so well that we decided to go to church yesterday.  We kept her with us in church instead of putting her in Sunday School.  Didn't think she was quite ready for that! ; )

It was a challenge finding a dress with armholes big enough to fit over the casts, but I think it turned out well.  She was definitely excited to dress up and go to church!

Ready for church
With Daniel, her special helper
Her brother, Daniel, has been a wonderful helper to Izzy.  He fed her breakfast Sunday morning.  He peels tangerines and hand feeds her slices.  He builds Lego creations for her.  She points to the pieces and he builds it for her.  He is always there for encouragement, kind words and a hug.  

In fact, all of the kids have been great.  I told my mom that it has been a pleasure to watch so many acts of service and selflessness by my children in my own home.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Being Home is the Best Medicine

Izzy and Jim came home early afternoon yesterday.  She was still on a lot of medication, so quite groggy.  But she was eating and a bit chatty after a couple hours.

 She slept 10 hours straight last night, managed to get out of bed on her own and came into our room at 6am.  Other than a few tears when we had to give her the pain medication, she's been a very happy girl.  She asked for me to take her on a walk this morning, so the 5 younger kids and I walked about 3 miles this morning.  (Izzy was in a stroller, of course!)

We came home, had lunch and now she is playing Legos with her siblings; well, the best she can with double casts on her arms! : )

She is so obviously happy to be home.  All the kids are so happy to have her home.  Now we go on with our new normal for the next 6 weeks until the casts come off.

Thank you to all who remembered and prayed for our little girl.  The surgeon was very happy, Jim actually had a better experience then anticipated and best of all Isabel had no post-op trouble and adjusted to these enormous casts quite well.  Praying for continued healing!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Post-Op Pics

Well, the surgery ended up taking 5 hours instead of the 3 hours as expected.  That was because they had to remove the non-functioning thumb on her left hand and the casting alone took a lot of time (as you can see in the picture below).  Those casts are HUGE!

Poor Baby Girl!
 Jim took these screen-capture shots of her hands after surgery and before they were casted.

Left hand
Right hand
That's just amazing to me!  I have to admit that I had a lot of reservations about going through with this surgery.  Time will tell with her hand function over the next few months.  We have a wonderful occupational therapist; at least until Izzy ages out of the program in June.

What is just wonderful news is that she had NO post-op stress like she had last time… no racing heart or high temperature for hours.  Thank you Jesus!!

We anticipate Jim and Izzy coming home tomorrow afternoon.  Her care will require all of us.  Already the kids are eager to have her home to take care of her.

There is no shortage of love in our home for our sweet Isabel!!

Praying for a good night's rest for Jim too!

In Surgery Now

Isabel went into surgery at 8:45am PST.  The surgery is supposed to last 3 hours, so we wait.

Jim sent me a couple pictures this morning from the hospital.

In the surgical waiting room early this morning.
Just before she went into surgery.  She looks so sad! :(

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tomorrow's the Big Day!

Surgery day for Isabel.

The day that was postponed from last November because of her heart.

The day that I wasn't sure we were going to do.  Tomorrow at 4:30am Jim and Isabel will leave for Children's Hospital for all the pre-surgery steps and a 8:30am surgery time.

The surgery is called pollicization surgery.  This is a follow up to her centralization surgery last April because her bilateral radial dysplasia.

We are praying for a successful surgery with no complications; especially post-surgery.  (She had a racing heart and extremely high fever for hours after surgery last time.)

We are praying that Isabel is not afraid and feels the love of her family and friends from afar.

We are praying for strength and wisdom for Jim as he goes through his day. (Especially being only 2 weeks post-surgery himself.)

Thank you for praying with us.  I will you keep you posted throughout the day.

Swimming in February?

Even though we live in a sunny state, we do live in a valley that has cold temps in the winter.  This winter has been pretty mild, but still the pool water was no more than 60 degrees.  These hardy girls didn't care, though!  The water was beckoning them…

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Surgery Went Well!

After a night's stay in the hospital for observation, Jim is home and recovering well!  The surgeon said that the damage in his shoulder was as expected and he made the corrective cuts.  Now it's up to Jim to keep that arm moving at home and at physical therapy… every day for the next 2 weeks! 

So, so happy that all went well with his surgery and he is home!

One surgery down, one to go.  Isabel's surgery is on the 20th.  Hers is definitely going to be more complex and involve a much greater recovery time.  Poor little thing! : (

At the beach a couple weeks ago.  Lovely winter weather!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Season of Surgeries

Well, what a season God has us in right now!!  Last fall we dealt with illness after illness as my boys brought home stomach flu, strep throat, croup and the good ol' flu from preschool.  This was on top of me going through first trimester ills. Then my husband went to Africa on a missions trip and broke his arm!  Isabel's surgery date in late November was delayed because of concerns about her heart.  

Now Jim has been having complications from his broken arm and will have surgery tomorrow.  In addition, Isabel's surgery is scheduled for February 20th.  He is the one who will be taking her to Children's Hospital and staying the night with her since a germ-y hospital is not the best place for me at almost 7 months pregnant and I can't really sleep in the glorified window seat they provide for you to sleep on! ; )  This was our plan all along, but he will only be 2 wks post-op himself so we are praying for quick healing for him.

I know that through all this God will be right there giving me the grace and strength to do all the tasks I do in a day plus care for my husband and daughter post-operatively.  If you could please remember my husband in your prayers for a successful surgery tomorrow morning, I'd appreciate it.

I'll keep you posted.  Thank you!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

4D Ultrasound Picture

I had another ultrasound last week.  Ever since my first was born 4 wks early due to severe low levels of amniotic fluid, I've been going to a high-risk pregnancy doctor for my ultrasounds for all subsequent pregnancies.  I also get ultrasounds more often.  Last week I got to see a great 4D picture of the baby.  At just 23 weeks, this just amazes me.  Our sweet little girl is growing and developing and we thank God that He chose to bless us one more time!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pregnancy Pains

Being old and pregnant just don't go well together!

Add to that this being my 6th pregnancy… oh, boy!!

I am now 5 months along and it's been a rough road.  I had the all-day nausea and exhaustion in the first trimester.  I also have developed that all-to-unsightly and painful varicose veins with a good amount of ugly spider veins to go with it.  (Only on the left leg though!)

But this new symptom… ugh!

I am bloated and gassy ALL THE TIME.  It's painful and uncomfortable. TMI, I'm sure, but it has to be stated that this is the worse symptom I've experienced thus far.  

I am still able to run on the treadmill 3 days/wk.  I eat healthily (usually).  I cannot put my finger on it.  What is causing this?  

My OB thought I wasn't drinking enough water, so I upped the water.  That didn't work.

I thought maybe it was the one cup of tea with cream I was having every morning.  So, I cut that out.  Nope, that wasn't it.

I am on a quest to figure this one out.  Whether or not I do, I DO know that a baby girl is in there growing and staying healthy.  That truly is worth it!

And just in case you need a lovely pregnancy profile shot, here is me in all my bloated preggy-ness! :)

22 weeks!

Friday, January 3, 2014


Don't really like them.  Never do them.  

What we started about 3 years ago was having the kids choose a charity to support and decide both how much they would contribute for the year and how they planned on raising the money.

In the past, they have chosen to support Threshold Ministries, Loaves and Fishes and Gospel for Asia.  They have used their birthday money.  Our children have fed the neighbors' animals and brought in their mail and newspapers while they were out of town.  Will has also gone around the neighborhood asking for odd jobs for the neighbors to donate whatever they want knowing that the money would go to support his charity.  We have such nice neighbors! : )

This year, we have done something different.  On Sunday before New Year's Day I asked the children 2 questions:

1. How can you have a closer relationship with God this year?

2. Which 'fruit of the Spirit' do you need to improve upon, with God's help? Give tangible, real-life examples of how you will do this.

I gave them until New Year's Day to think and pray about it.  Jim and I did it too.  On Wednesday, we discussed it as a family.  The 3 older children are the only ones who did the assignment.  The others listened in.  

I loved hearing what they had to share.

Pray more and read God's Word consistently.

Gentleness, kindness, self-control, love.

We will check in with each other as a family once a week and encourage each other throughout the week to stay committed.  

As a family, we feel that God is calling us to do more and that He is preparing us for something greater than we can imagine.  We are not sure what that is yet or when it will come.  Question 1 will help us stay nearer to Him to hear that call and Question 2 will better prepare us for that calling when it comes.  

For us, it's much better then making resolutions! : )