Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two Weeks Post - Op: An Upper Lip Makes a World of Difference.

In public, I mean. Hell, I love my daughter. Anyone, I think, can tell that. But this was completely unexpected. I mean, I know that I cried out in exasperation every single time someone said something about my Kaylee, but I didn't expect this at all.

Kaylee, you see, can sit in the shopping cart like a big girl now. She can move around and she looks at everything, she points to things and I tell her what they are, and then she laughs. Then she looks around at other people walking by, and she laughs. While we were in the checkout line yesterday at good old King Soopers, no less than four women came up and asked questions about her, told me how wonderfully beautiful her eyes are, and not a single person inquired about her forming scar.

Quite a welcome surprise. These women were extremely impressed with how Kaylee girl can sit straight up in a shopping cart. They were impressed when she reached out to grab the plastic bags in the cart and laughed when Kaylee tried to murder my hair (again).

"How old is she?" "Oh, she is so precious!" "Look at those big blue eyes!" "She has to take after her daddy!" "look at that smile!"

I have to admit I was proud. I thought to myself...this is what it feels like to not have to answer questions about her deformity all the time.  And it might be horrible, but that is what I thought. Instead of dreading the person who is looking at her with strange, curious inquisition, now I get a little excited that I get to talk about how she sits up like a big girl, how she is growing so quickly, and how much she is just my little angel. I'm turning into one of those moms...the ones who brag incessantly about their children...aren't I?

Oh, well. Some pictures of the loverly Monster then?

Happy Monster with Daddy!

Pissed off Monster, in bed on her tummy.

Indifferent Monster in the exersaucer.

Just saw a "So Easy A Caveman Could Do It" Geico commercial. See the utter confusion on the Monster's face?

Stop taking the picture already would you?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two Weeks - Post Op Pics!

So, a few good things:

1. Kaylee is allowed solids again. We started with infant cereal again. :)
2. Kaylee's final bit of scabbing fell off in her sleep last night. :)
3. Kaylee is absolutely loving her sock monkey.

So, pictures of it all.
What is the up?

I just sneezed freaking cereal. It sucked.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Healing - The Tape Meets It's End!

So, Kaylee's tape finally fell off. It fell off in her sleep last night, just as I thought it might. She is such a cutie pie. Her nose looks good, and so does her lip. So far it doesn't look too bad. A bit red, but that is the way it is with any scarring.

Overall she is a happy kid. She loves to be outside in the open air. I cannot wait for summer when I can take her to her swimming lessons. I just hope the doctors don't decide to have her palate surgery in the middle of, say, July...that would suck. No swimming for her. But we shall see, in the end it will happen when it happens.

Kaylee and I spent the day at my mom's house. She has my niece and nephew there from Japan. I went to help her take care of them. They are fun. Little Azaria laughs all the time. And Baby Jeesus is awesome - he definitely loves the slide at the park. I wish I could catch a picture of that, but since I have to catch him on the way down it makes sense that I cannot get that pic. Maybe I will have my sister help me with it, because that smile when he is on his way down is precious. Overall I think they are adjusting well to life in the States, soon though my sister and her husband will be here and a family will be reunited. <3

In other news: I have a stock pile of baby food for Kaylee in the freezer. I have carrots, peas, green beans, bananas, sweet potato and squash in  cube form stuck in freezer bags. She seriously has food for a month LOL. I actually really dig making her baby food because I think it will be healthier in the long run for her. I just need to work on pureeing some meats for her as well; protein baby, protein.

So, that is about it. We have a follow up appointment in Denver on the 11th of April, that will be fun. Otherwise we are good for a few months, treatment wise. Now it is just a matter of really enjoying my baby girl. I can't wait for it to get warm to go swimming! Anyway, I have to go. I need to clean tomorrow's supply of bottles and whatnot.


Stop looking at me!

Hey, what is that over there? *tries to roll over*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Six Months Old - Part Two!

So, I said I would post pictures of the half-birthday celebration, which wasn't really a celebration, but I had to mark the occasion somehow.  So, without further ado (and not so much fanfare, since this is not an official birthday)....





I can has?

Six Months Old.

I can hardly believe it.

It wasn't that long ago that I was finding out that I was pregnant. A little over a year. What a difference that year and six months has made.

October of 2009, I was dying. By February 2010, I was growing life. Today, I have a six month old monster, who I can not imagine my life without. It's nuts to me.

Anywho...I will post pictures of Kaylee' Six Month Old celebration later on tonight. It is nothing big, just some fun for the girl is all. <3 In the mean time....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Recovery Day Four!

Kaylee is doing really so well. She's taking her meds like a champ and she hardly grabs at her face at all. I am, of course, assuming that she will start to scratch a lot in a couple of days when the sutures really start healing, but we will deal with that when we come around to it.

So, let's see. She is eating well, she is loving the outdoors, she met her cousins from Japan today (they are sooo cute), and she totally has this thing where she licks her lips a lot! I imagine it just feels so strange to her to not have this massive hard plastic device in her mouth. It is really cute. She's starting to pull herself into a sitting position all on her own, and she is trying her damnedest to army crawl from one end of the room to another.

She loves to look at herself in the mirror, take her to one and she just squeals and giggles with delight. All in all, I would say that she is a normal baby. Well, normal by our standards anyway: she still falls asleep to "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen and she still stares at the TV screen when the trademark red Netflix screen comes on the Xbox. LOL.

I just love my little girl.

Oh, and that whole thing about missing her wide smile? Oh boy do I miss it, but gosh - she looks so amazing and she smiles just like her father! Anyway, I have a screaming baby on my hands, just wanted to say hello!

Lickin my lips!

Well, hello there!

I'm licking off the remnants of my dinners!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Surgery Day - The Very First Surgery.

Ha ha! I figured out my username and password for this blog! For whatever reason I couldn't remember it and I didn't get to "live blog" like I wanted to :( But it is ok. I am blogging now!

Kaylee, Grant and I ended up at The Children's Hospital around 10:00 am. We checked in and waited to be called upstairs to the surgery procedure waiting room on the second floor.

Kaylee and her Daddy.
We waited for about fifteen minutes or so and we were in her post op room, where her history was taken, height, weight, and she was changed into Children's Hospital finery.

Does this dress make my butt look big? Ugh, it doesn't even match my clutch!
She even played a little in her bed while everyone came and went to ask the same questions over and over again. She was measured (26 inches) and weighed (17.5 pounds), and then she played some more.

Sitting like a big girl, and still smiling!

Sock removal process: 0% complete. Initiate alternative protocols: roll over. are upside down!
 Then she was swooped away where they put my girl to sleep, inserted an IV and taken into surgery. Grant and I went down to the cafeteria where we were greeted with an abundance of yum, and we ate said yum (pizza). Then we were called back up to see miss thing around 2:45 pm.

A little swollen, but she looks just like her dad now!
 She was very, very groggy and sleepy so we let her sleep. Around six she started to stir, so we tried to feed her like we were told to - she hated it. I was so flustered I couldn't even get a picture :( Grant wanted so badly to cheer her up so he went and bought her a sock monkey!

My head is swimming...why?

After trying and failing to get her to eat she slept for a few hours and then woke up to (of all things) play! She had a happy for just a few minutes and wanted to play, so we played.

I am still a happy Kaylee, I want to grab my toes!
Finally, at 9 she was hungry enough to eat. She ate six whole ounces of food, although it took longer than usual (for obvious reasons) and then again two hours later around eleven she ate a whole seven ounces. She's doing so well that they took her off of the IV fluids not too long ago, and she is now safely swaddled with her animal print no-no's and sleeping the night away (at least I hope so because I am tired).

She looks amazing! More like her father than before, but that is awesome! She is doing really well and she doesn't mind the no-no's as much as I thought, but that could be because she is still slightly loopy from anesthesia. In any case, the lip repair is done, and ear tubes are in place. We have a follow up in a couple of weeks and then we will be a-okay for a few months before we are back here to have her palate repaired. That one might be the hard one, not sure. But for now, we are not going to worry about any future surgeries, we are going to live in this moment for just a while. Until morning anyway.

So, that was her very first surgery. Not as harrowing as I had originally thought, but hey, what else did I have to go on? Have a good night, internet. Love you,     Kaylee's Mom

Monday, March 14, 2011

Surgery Day! Today...

...or in about 12 hours. I cannot sleep right now. I've got everything ready, but I can't sleep at all. I feel like I am dragging on and on. I am just nervous about everything.

Not only is my Monster going in for surgery, but one of my sisters is in Japan. She is stationed out there and has been for a few years. She has been called upon to help with cleaning and rescue efforts. She is a wonderful mother to two beautiful kids. My nephew and my niece are set to come home to America soon, if there are any military flights that are going out. I am worried for my sister, my brother-in-law, Baby Jesus, and Azaria.

I am just worried in general I guess. :(

Anyway, I just wanted to say goodnight. We'll see you all tomorrow. I'll be blogging for most of the day, until Monster is out of surgery. <3 JESS

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Week 18 - Part Three: Kids Can be Cruel.

When I think about the fact that my daughter is going to have surgery soon, I think about all the harder things: feeding with stitches, the no-no's, Kaylee's discomfort, worry about anesthesia etc, etc. Today, I had to say it, I am going to be thankful when this surgery is over, so we can finally get rid of the NAM, and the tape. I am going to be so relieved.

It all started where things normally start for me: Wal-Mart. I hate Wal-Mart, with a passion. It seems like every single time I go to that damned store I get harassed, or embarrassed in some way. One time, I was waiting in line, and my pants decided they no longer wanted to stay on, the whole of the front end of Wal-Mart saw my flowery undies. Once, I was expressly told that I was an illegal immigrant who couldn't read. Those things didn't really bother me. I mean, I was embarrassed that my pants fell down, and I have certainly been called worse things by better people, but it was a child (no more than 10 years old) today, that actually made me sad.

I took my darling girl grocery shopping with me, I like to get her out of the house and I just like taking her with me. While in the check out line, I was emptying my groceries onto the moving belt, minding my own and popping in to make Kaylee smile when a mother with her four children got in line behind me. I could tell they were all related because they all had the same sandy hair, freckles and bright green/blue eyes. As I finished loading my bagged groceries into my cart and moved to pay, I noticed the boy looking in at Kaylee. I didn't mind she likes it when people peek in on her, she is friendly like that.

The following words were passed between this little boy, and his older brother, and his mother:
"Hey, this girl has something on her face." he said, rather loudly.
"Shhh, you're being loud." replied the brother.
"But look how ugly that is. What is wrong with this kid's face? Ewww, [enter evil child chuckle here]." He looked at me directly, knowing that I had heard him.
"Seriously, shut up. You are embarrassing us." his brother scolded, with a look of apology on his face.
"Yeah, but look how gross it is, it's in her nose!" the boy said.
"Mom, tell him to stop." the older boy told his mom.
"What? I didn't hear anything." said the mother while absentmindedly thumbing through a magazine.
"I wonder what is wrong with her..." the young boy thought out loud.

"NOTHING is WRONG with her. She's just fine thank you very much." I said in response.
"Excuse me, you don't talk to my child like that." The mother scolded.
"If you taught your child to shut his mouth, I wouldn't have to talk to him like that. Teach your kid some manners." I walked off, head high yet heart heavy.

How could someone not teach this little boy some semblance of manners? His mom was right there. I remember when I was a child, if me or my sisters or my brother said anything like that we would get a pinch so hard in the arm or leg that it would shut us up. Our parents taught us how to behave in public. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. We were taught that.

I guess it just made me think of how grateful I will be when my daughter will be able to sit in her car seat at the store and someone can just pop their head in and say "Ahhh, what a cutie." That will be the first thing they say. I guess one could call it superficial, they could call it vain, but I just want people to look at the beautiful tiny human I was blessed with and not have to see all the tape, the nasal stent wire, and the duoderm on her cheeks. I want for people to see who she really is, not what she looks like.

I'm sorry, I know my posts have been a little depressing as of late. I am really emotional about this, more-so now that surgery is in two days. I just wish some people would teach others about kindness, and manners, instead of letting snooty nosed brats open their mouths and make fun of a defenseless baby while her mother is in ear shot.

Sorry, I guess I just got upset today. Anyway, that is all for now. I will talk to you all later, you will get a picture posting on Monday night, before bed - pictures of the Kaylee girl's last wide smiles. Thank you, whoever you are, for reading through this entire thing.

This is how excited she gets when she sees Ronan the Destroyer. They love each other so much!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Week 18 - Surgery: The Details.

So, we got the call from Dr. A's office to let us know what is going to happen on Tuesday.

Kaylee's surgery is at 12:15pm. We need to be there 2 hours earlier for check in and anesthesia. She cannot have any thing to eat after 6:15am. She will be allowed to drink water, Pedialyte, or watered down apple juice until 9:15am. After that, she can't have anything.

Surgery will take approximately 2 hours, and she will be in a recovery room for 2 hours afterward. She will be spending the night, and maybe a lot of the next day, depending on how well she comes off of the anesthetic and if she can eat a certain amount.

She will have desolving stitches and no-no's on her arms for up to two weeks. She will have a follow up in April.

That is about it. A lot simpler that I originally thought. As I said before, I will be basically live blogging the event before, during and after with lots of pictures (both here and on facebook) should anyone want to follow progress.

In any case, I just wanted to say hello and tell everyone what is going on. So, now I leave you with a bit of cute with a story behind it:
Kaylee grabbed Jack by the throat and said "Jack Skellington, I choke you." She then slowly put his head in her mouth, slobbered Jack and threw him on the floor. "Jack, you suck." Then Kaylee laughed the evil laugh of a girl who will one day rule the world. The end.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Week 18 - The Final Countdown.

So, here we are. We've made it to the last week of her NAM. Oh boy. It's really starting to sink in that this is going to happen. My Kaylee is going to have surgery.

Her adjustment went well. There was only one thing the good old Dr. H wanted to do and that was to raise up her nostril just the tiniest bit. I was nervous after what happened last week and having to go to the office in Cherry Creek. But she raised it just a smidge and Kaylee was completely okay with it.

In other Kaylee news: she is doing wonderfully when it comes to sitting up and rolling over. She likes to be sat down and then she rolls onto her side to roll onto her stomach; it is the cutest thing. Now if I could only get her to do it on video. As soon as the camera comes out she gets performance anxiety and just stares at me. LOL. I love my little cutie.

Anyway, we took pictures of Kaylee with Dr. H and the dental hygienist Jessica for her last visit to the office. They were sad, they said that they are going to miss her. Considering how close Children's Hospital is to the dentist office I figure we will pop in and say hello every time we have to go the Hospital for a checkup. Plus, Dr. H is going to be Kaylee's dentist forever. I know it is a far drive just for dental care, but Dr. H knows Kaylee's mouth and I think she is the best for the job.

So, yeah. here are some awesome-sauce pictures of my Kaylee on the first day of her last week with the NAM.
I'm ready to go now! I look pretty.
Oh! I have shoes on.
Seriously...take them off. I can't feel my feet. (She started crying shortly after this pic was taken. I think because she couldn't touch her toes.)   

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Week 17 Part 2 - Monster Screams Loudly.

Well. The last three days of our lives have not been very pleasant at all.

Normally, on adjustment day, Kaylee is a little grumpy. The change in the NAM is not super severe, but it is enough to cause a couple of hours of discomfort. This was the case, as usual, for us on Tuesday. She was a little grumpy, and upset about the bulk of the nasal stent; however, that is pretty much par for the course for us.

The day after the adjustment she usually has forgotten that her NAM was ever changed and life goes on as usual. But for us on Wednesday, she was more grumpy than normal. I did all of the normal Kaylee distractions that I could to keep her occupied. As the day wore on she became more and more distraught. She cried really badly before  bed, and would only go to sleep if Daddy held her. Once she exhausted herself with enough crying*, she went to bed for about 10 hours straight.

Then, this morning, she woke me up with the most terrible screams I have ever heard from a baby...any baby, not just her, but any baby I have ever come into contact with. We tried everything we could think of: changed diaper, changed clothing, cleaned orifices, played, cuddled, tried to feed; not a single thing worked. She cried for three hours straight. Finally, around 11 am it was time to change her taping. The moment I removed the NAM - complete silence and then a tiny baby sigh of relief. I didn't even know that babies knew how to sigh.

At that point Kaylee had not eaten more than two ounces of food. We tried to feed her with a syringe, when that didn't work she had cereal spoon fed to her. Then she grumpily slept for a couple of hours, tossed and turned in her pack and play, and then cried randomly when she would accidentally touch her upper lips. 

I called Dr. H because I was so incredibly worried. Kaylee wouldn't even  let me touch her cheeks she hurt that badly. Dr. H had us in today at her Cherry Creek office so that she could see what the problem was and fix it. Once it was fixed and put back in place Kaylee was happy as a peach. And then she ate. A lot. A total of 24 ounces in about 4 hours. She was that hungry.

Now she is contentedly asleep in her crib, swaddled, warm, and NAM in place. Now I can breathe a sigh of relief.

After we got home from our emergency trip to Denver, Kaylee discovered Daddy's hat!
It's an Evil Monkey hat.

She really enjoyed wearing it.

And looking at herself in the mirror whilst wearing said hat.
* Just to clarify: we do not do the cry it out method. We put her down and let her fuss for ten minutes, but she never cries on her own for longer than that.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Week 17 - Two Weeks Left.

Well. Today has not been a good one for my little Kaylee girl. She is very, very upset. To say the very least.

She had an addition placed on her nasal stent which is pushing the gums down toward her lower jaw. So, it hurts. I think that the piece that was added also blocks her airway a little. She seemed to have some trouble breathing, so I loosened her mustache and went with a more triple stretch than a double on her rubber bands to compensate. She should get used to it soon. She just stopped crying about ten minutes ago, and I can finally breathe a little. My poor, poor girl.

In other news, we are still on for surgery in two weeks exactly. It has been quite a ride so far, and now we are looking at an even bigger one with her first of many surgeries. I am excited, yet nervous and just a little bit afraid. Excited because she will finally have an upper lip and no more NAM. Nervous because my daughter is going in for surgery. Afraid because she is my daughter, and the last thing any parent wants is to have their daughter or son go through something like this. Alas, we shall persevere.

Kaylee was a superstar for her appointment today though, she had the room full of pediatric dentists laughing. She just loves to giggle at people and make them smile. She showed off all of her newly acquired skills like rolling over, and sitting on her own. And she even grabbed a few handfuls of hair (which she loves doing thanks to Grandma M). She is such a happy little girl and the world loves her.

I leave you with a pile of cute: Kaylee Monster.
Hello world. I am on my Exersaucer.


No, I was not just pulling on my NAM.