Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dayna's Top Seven

Tonight marks the last night Dayna will be seven. To keep with tradition over the last few years, I asked her to make a list of the seven best things that happened to her this year.

7. Going to San Francisco two times (although she admits she was pretty tired the second time around...on a layover coming home from China.)

6. Jumping off the diving board without any sort of floats and swimming by herself to the edge of the pool. (We don't have pictures of this, but we did get to see the US Olympic Swim finals in Omaha as well.)
5. Waking up in her own house on Christmas morning.
4. Being in charge of the bake sale at Annie's adoption fundraiser.
3. Going to second grade and making new friends.
2. Going to China and getting to see the Great Wall.
1. Becoming a big sister to Annie.

A Day at the Park

Spring seems to finally be here (although I do hear rumors of freezing rain again tomorrow...in MAY!) Dan's folks came down on Sunday to help us celebrate Dayna's birthday, and we took advantage of the sun to do a little swinging and sliding at the park down the street.

On the Road Again

I confess, two things today brought me to tears. The first was when we found out that our hard drive is irretrievable. That was a really, really, really tough pill to swallow. We're getting it back, and hopefully in a few years retrieval capability may improve and we may rescue those pictures yet. In the meantime, we've contacted families we traveled with to see if they have any pictures, and there is another family leaving next week for Nanyang. We've requested pictures from them as well (of the orphanage and around the city.)

But since there's nothing left to do (except maybe feel some regret), I suppose I need to allow myself to move on.

Which leads me to the second thing that brought me to tears. I laced up my shoes and ran again today. This was the first time since my injury at the end of October. I'm 20 pounds heavier since the 5K I ran in September...partly due to my eating habits, but a lot to do with the fact that I haven't been able to do much moving. I spent 2 months on crutches with no weight bearing. Now, after 4 months of physical therapy, one major setback, and a 3-week trip to China (which included a lot of pain), I have been cleared to run.

So I booted up a great playlist and created my own mix for week one of Couch to 5K. They weren't great intervals, and I only ran the first 6 today. But still...I ran. I think the only time I've ever felt this good about a run was the half marathon. In a way, I've trained 4 months for today's little outing, just like I trained 4 months for the half.

It's good to be on the road again. So, I ask...what are your favorite songs on your workout playlist?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Computer Update

We're still without a laptop, and all of our pictures from China. BUT...one of the places that Dan called about recovering our hard drive sent him a coupon for several hundred dollars off their service. This is the same place that won't charge us if they can't recover anything.

So our hard drive is somewhere in California, getting ready to go into a dust-free room. Continued prayers that they can recover our pictures and the rest of our data, and that the cost wouldn't leave us eating Ramen for the next three years.

We should know in the next few days if they were able to recover anything. In the meantime, it's still tricky finding time to sneak down to the basement and get any decent computer time.

And if you've seen recent posts, you'll see that Dan's got the camera back out and we're working hard to store up some new memories!

Hamster Dance

While visiting friends in Beijing, Dayna became enamored with their pet hamster. For years, she has been begging, pleading, and praying for a pet...specifically a cat or dog. But now, she's got hamster fever! Almost from the moment we set foot in our house after returning from China, Dayna had set up a hamster habitat in her room. Shoe box. Easter grass (for bedding). Torn blue paper (simulated water). Unpopped popcorn (food). Toilet paper tubes. And her Zhu Zhu pet.

She has changed the bedding, food and water every day, let the Zhu Zhu pet out to play for a little bit, and otherwise done every thing she could to prove she was ready for a pet. Her chores have been done in a timely manner, and every possible book about hamsters that is available in Eastern Nebraska has been checked out of the library, studied and memorized.
 To Dayna's delight, we opened some birthday presents a little early on Sunday. We shall be shopping for Hammy the Hamster on Wednesday night.

Budding Artists

We are so excited to have a new family moving in across the street. They have 2 daughters: one is Dayna's age and the other is a year older. On Saturday afternoon, the girls came over and played in our front yard with Dayna and Annie. It did my heart so well to see 4 girls playing together and making beautiful pictures (and messes, as you can see from Annie's face and pants) in our driveway. Can't wait to see what the summer holds!

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Well-Worn Path

Our little Ford Escape has been traveling quite the trek lately between our home and Boys Town National Research Hospital. Since we came home on April 3, I have been to the doctor's office 4 separate times with a little one in tow. Today, I made 4 more appointments. Fortunately, everything we need is on the same campus (minus one visit) - the pediatricians, specialists, and even the hospital where Annie's surgeries will be.

It started with a nasty sinus infection that Annie had for who knows how long. After she ended the first round of antibiotics, we went back for a "well" checkup. Well...if it weren't for my mom accompanying me to this appointment, I don't know what we would have done.

Annie's appointment was at 11:15. Right before lunchtime. No problem...we'll be in and out by noon, right? Wrong...at noon, the doctor popped in to apologize for being late, and that he'd be right back after a phone call. (Before I continue...let me state emphatically that I LOVE our pediatrician, and his clinic.) By now, we've missed lunch. (A bit more traumatic for Annie than my mom and I, but even grown ups get a bit cranky without food.) By the time the physical was over, Annie was a mess! I asked if I could feed her before the shots and was cautioned against it, because she might throw up.

30 minutes later, we still hadn't seen a nurse with shots. I popped my head out and was told they were almost ready. There were so many tests to run and shots to give that it took 2 nurses over 30 minutes to prepare everything!

Step One: a catheter. No go...Annie had nothing to do with that. She had just relieved her bladder, and there was nothing left to collect. They tried twice. Poor girl was beside herself. (Have I mentioned that now we've missed lunch AND we're in the middle of naptime?)

Step Two: blood draws. They got half of what they needed from one arm, nothing from the other, and the rest from her fingertip.

Step Three: TB test. Attempt one: no good. Attempt two: good to go.

Step Four: 5! Count them...FIVE shots. For a total of 9 or 10 immunizations (thank heaven for combination doses!)

We did request titers to be run to see which immunizations she really needed (we have a full record from China, but no doses or dates were given.) Apparently, the only titer they would run was for Hep B. (Fortunately that one came back good...no Hep B series for her!)

[Side note: My friend Maralee recently posted a series of very interesting articles about immunizations on her blog. You can see them at A Musing Maralee.]

By the time we left the office, it was 2:30 (did I mention it was an 11:15 appointment?) We've now missed lunch, nap, AND the afternoon bottle. The nurses were kind and did bring us a bottle for Annie, but because of her cleft, she wasn't able to use theirs. Apparently it didn't make her ill when I poured their formula into her used (but rinsed) bottle.

When we got home, Annie CRASHED. She slept in my arms for about 2 hours. Poor girl. And as soon as she woke up, her stool sample was ready. Why, oh why, couldn't she have done that earlier? We were there over 3 hours! So Dan (my hero) drove back with that precious little baggie.

Two days later, we had to return to read the TB test, and to try to cath her again for a urine sample. Mama Bear made some rather strong requests: to NOT be placed in the same exam room, and to allow Annie to sit on a little potty chair or put a bag on rather than attempt another catheter. They did comply. So after many, many, many cups of water, we finally got just enough! The doctor also made a surprise visit (we were supposed to only be seeing the nurse) to inform us that the stool sample very clearly showed our girl had giardia (a water-borne parasite.) Our dear pharmacist in our small town took awhile to learn how to compound the right medication; apparently toddlers with giardia just aren't very common in small town Nebraska.

A few days later, we finish up this round of medication when Dayna informs us her ear was hurting at dinner time. She has a very high pain threshhold, so when she said the pain was a 4 out of 5, I took it seriously. Back to Boys Town we go. Sure enough...she has an ear infection. It was after hours, and I was surprised to see Rosie on duty. Rosie was one of the nurses who went through Annie's awful appointment a week earlier. She didn't recognize me at first (I had a different child with me), but when she did, her tone went flat as she said, "Oh, it's you." Apparently that appointment was just as painful for her as it was for us. All is well now, though!

So here we are, in the middle of life with two cleft-affected kiddos. I made more appointments today for both girls to see the craniofacial team, and for Annie to see a pediatric ophthamologist and ENT (they are nothing, if not thorough at Boys Town when it comes to screening international adoptees.) We could wait on the ENT for our cleft appointment, but she seems to really be struggling to hear us, and we thought it wise to get her ears checked sooner rather than later.

So what will the weekend bring? Hopefully nothing medically related.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bedtime Snuggles and Stories

Just a few more pictures from some recent evenings at bedtime. The girls love their stories...and tickling...and kissing...and otherwise putting off sleep.

"Nice Baby" and Crayons

She's finally slowing down enough to get some pictures!

This morning, Annie really started to get into playing "Nice Baby" (that is...where she feeds the baby a bottle and pats her on the back, rather than throwing her across the room). It helped that the rocking chair is just a *little* too big, and she couldn't get out before I took some pictures.

I also managed to make a menu and shopping list this morning while she was coloring (mostly on the book, a little on the table). The picture doesn't lie. I really think she's a lefty!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hard Drive Issues

Well, we're home. Slowly settling in, and I know I have 9 more blog entries to write by next week. Computer issues have been complicated in the Wilson home since our return.

While we were in China, some sort of bizarre short circuit started to happen with the power button on the laptop. One day during naptime, I counted over 15 times that the laptop randomly shut itself off, then turned back on again. We learned to save often as we were writing our website updates.

Once we got home, before we had a chance to look at the computer, it got jarred. Not much...about a half inch. Enough to completely kill the hard drive. So we have lost everything. Our Gotcha video, our China pictures, everything.

Dan has taken the HD to a few places in Lincoln, as well has the IT guys at his work. Nobody can recover anything. Apparently, something happened to moving parts. Our only option now is to send it away and have someone try to reassemble the hard drive in a dust free room - to the tune of $700. Money we just don't have right now. (Actually, who regularly has that much extra cash on hand?)

So, if you have suggestions or want to join us in praying for another solution, we'd sure appreciate it.

And because we no longer have a working laptop, our only computer is in the basement. A room we haven't yet introduced to Annie (and by the time we baby proof the area, she'll be old enough to be down here!) So it's a rare thing that I can sneak down here long enough to get some typing done.

But somehow...I KNOW I'll still manage to get 10 entries by the end of the month. My OCD self just won't allow me to settle for anything less!