Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dayna's Bone Graft

Yesterday, Dayna went in for her "big" surgery. This is the one that will determine a lot of her oral/dental/craniofacial future. She needed a bone graft that will eventually create a complete upper jaw for her. This allows her fistula (remaining hole behind her top teeth) to close completely and creates bone so we can do necessary dental implants and orthodontia down the road.

I write this post to be able to give information to other parents down the road. I didn't have a lot of information from other parents myself, as the procedure is somewhat new. Our doctor used a BMP procedure (bone morphogenetic protein). This takes a synthetic protein that is injected in the graft site. A traditional graft takes bone from the patient's hip, or from cadaver bone. Because we used BMP, she will have no healing required from her hip. This will mean quicker recovery and less pain. Our research has shown us that a BMP has the same chance of failing as a traditional hip graft.

It was an outpatient procedure done by an oral surgeon (as opposed to a plastic surgeon). It was supposed to be 90 minutes, but hers took about 2 hours. Because her surgery got a late start, and wasn't first thing in the morning, we didn't leave the hospital until about 9:00 last night.

While in surgery, one of her top baby teeth fell out. It had no bone to connect to and just came free. So in addition to a visit to the hospital, Dayna will also receive a visit from the tooth fairy.

Once out of surgery and in our room, Dayna took one dose of the narcotic painkiller. She was pretty much out for the next 4 hours. At that point, she took regular Tylenol and didn't complain of pain again.

She is extremely swollen, but by the time we left the hospital, her pain level was at a 2. She took the narcotic again at bedtime, mostly so she would sleep (since she took a 6 hour nap total in the afternoon).

This morning, she was asking for a smoothie. Her pain was at a 1 (and that was a headache.) She took ibuprofen and has been pretty much at a 0 all day with only one more dose of ibuprofen after a nap. She's eaten a cup-o-noodles and 2 more smoothies. Her appetite is fine.

One thing we did notice was a lot more initial oozing after this surgery than we've seen before. It was pretty messy. But by this morning, the oozing was mostly saliva with little blood.

At this point, we'll check back with the doctor next week. She's on limited activity and a soft diet for 2-3 weeks. The biggest concern is that she could take a blow to the face, causing the graft to fail.

All in all, this was the hardest surgery for her to wake up from. Her swelling is considerable, but her pain is remarkably under control (almost non-existent.) She can't smile yet, her speech is slurred, and the muscles in her face aren't quite working yet because of all the swelling. She drinks from a syringe, because a cup is a bit too hard for her to handle right now. Baby spoons are just the right size, and since they're rubber tipped, seem to be perfect for her.

Her palate with expander before surgery

Dayna's an old pro - she was telling the Child Life Specialist the ropes

With snuggle blankie - ready to go

Goofing with Mom

Loving on Dad

Showing her mad UNO skills while waiting

Showing Daddy how to crush some candy

Post-op; notice the swelling in her cheeks

Puffy cheeks and lips that celebrities would envy

24 hours later - still puffy and swollen - especially her right cheek

Christmas 2013

Quite possibly a tradition we'll need to start - Raspberry Cream Cheese Braid for breakfast

Baby Abby was a huge hit

She goes everywhere

Baby Alayna had to get in the fun, too

Even Humphrey got some Christmas Pop Tarts

Enjoying the tea party set from Miss Kelly (Annie's daycare provider) - note Baby Abby enjoying a cuppa
Opening one present on Christmas Eve

I think Annie likes this whole present thing

New Christmas jammies

Daddy reading "The Night Before Christmas"

You can see just how well Annie paid attention

Christmas morning - ready to go!

Only a 2-year-old would be excited about new undies for Christmas!

Sunday School Program

Blue dress in the middle

Blue dress sitting down and looking like she's sweet and angelic

Ringing her bells

This was the first song I ever sang with the Cherub Choir when I was three

Meeting Santa / A Christmas Carol

The pictures tell the story - not unlike our experience getting Annie's passport photo taken.

 We were blessed with tickets to see A Christmas Carol for Dan's 40th birthday. Dayna felt so grown up! (And I think Dan just felt...old!)

One of Dayna's friends from the Singing Christmas Tree was in the cast

Christmas Program

I must say, I enjoy being on the "other" side of elementary Christmas programs. I appreciate all the work the teachers put in to make it happen, and I get to be the parent focused on one child - mine!

Dayna's music teacher did it again this year! It was her last holiday program (4th and 5th do a program at a different time of the year.) If I do say so myself, 3rd graders stole the show with their closer - complete with kick line!

Blue dress, first row, 5th one in

Could that be her arm going in the opposite direction? There's always one!

We ADORE Mrs. Hall - an amazing teacher in a string of amazing teachers

Mrs. Bebout, Dayna's music teacher - she makes a point to come see Dayna in the Singing Christmas Tree each year and supports all of Dayna's musical activities

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Getting to Know You

I had a little fun in December asking my friends about some of their favorite Christmas traditions, movies, songs, etc. I felt it's only fair to share my own answers.

1. What is your favorite funny Christmas movie?

2. What is your favorite sentimental Christmas movie?
I'm quickly becoming a fan of the foreign (Finland) movie "Christmas Story" that shares the history of St. Nicholas.

3. What is your favorite animated Christmas movie?
 A Year Without a Santa Claus (and I'm missing my copy...just in case you ever need a gift idea!)

4. What is your favorite Christmas candy?
 My grandmother's English Toffee

5. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
 Soft sugar cookies with frosting

6. What is your favorite Christmas hymn?
Hark the Herald Angels Sing (the verse that says "mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die" pretty much sums up the gospel)
7. What is your favorite secular Christmas song?  
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

8. What is your favorite line from a Christmas movie?
 "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"

9. What is your favorite song from a Christmas movie?
The Heat Miser song from "Year Without a Santa Claus"
10. What is your favorite Christmas scent?
Fresh cut Christmas tree
11. What is your favorite Christmas gift you received as a child (besides a Baby?)
My life-size Raggedy Ann doll
12. Do you have a strange or unusual Christmas tradition?
We find a night to surprise our girls after they've gone to bed, make hot cocoa, get dressed in our pajamas and go on a "Pajama Run" - looking at Christmas lights, counting nativities and talking about how Jesus is the Light of the World.
13. What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?
 Going home from the candlelight service at church and seeing the flashing red light at the top of a radio tower and thinking it was Rudolph. I would hurry my dad to get home so I could be in bed before Santa. It never dawned on me that same light flashed the other 364 nights of the year.

14. What is your favorite Christmas gift you received as an adult (besides a Baby?) 
Our first married Christmas was my first Christmas to not go home. I was dreadfully homesick. My parents sent us a Douglas Fir from a tree farm in Oregon via UPS so I could have a little bit of Oregon in my apartment in Nebraska.

15. What is your best Christmas memory as an adult?
When one of my nieces pulled off the surprise of all surprises and got her sister home from Maine to Oregon for Christmas. Watching the look on my sister's face when she saw her daughter and realized all of the details that went in to pulling off this surprise.

16. Christmas trees - real or artificial?
Being an Oregonian through and through, I can't fathom ever getting an artificial tree. I'm half thinking about getting a Douglas Fir sent via UPS again one of these years.

17. When do you start listening to Christmas music?
As a music teacher, it never really ends...preparations always begin in the summer, or even before. But willingly listening to Christmas music? Probably a week or so before Thanksgiving...but only in the car where no one else can give me a hard time about it.

18. What's for Christmas dinner?
This year we were invited to have prime rib at the home of a friend's parents. I got to make the pies!

19. How do you do most of your Christmas shopping?
In bits and pieces online or on my way home from work. I do enjoy getting out at least once and seeing the hustle and bustle at a busy shopping center or mall. It feels so festive to me. Call me crazy...

20. When do you open your gifts?
The girls open one gift on Christmas Eve (usually pajamas), and the rest come Christmas morning after we've read the Christmas story from the Bible.

21. How often do you send Christmas greetings?
Every year

22. What color of outdoor Christmas lights do you like best?
I love crisp, straight white lights, as well as illuminated wreaths and trees on a front porch. I also love red and white lights that remind me of candy canes. Not a fan of crooked lights or shaggy looking icicles.

23. What color of lights are on your tree?
Red globes and white fairy lights. Again...a huge fan of red and white at Christmas.

24. If you could revisit any Christmas from your past, which would you choose?
When I was five, my grandparents came to Oregon from Nebraska. My cousins and I put on a play - The Three Bears meet 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. I also had a major part in my Kindergarten play. It was a very fun year.

December Photo Project - Part 4

December 22 - We got caught out and about and ended up at McD's for dinner. Love this man who keeps me laughing as he "takes" a selfie duck face with a McDonald's pie. — with Dan Wilson.

December 23 - making an "indoor snowman" with shaving cream and corn starch

December 24 - Finished crocheting the stocking for Little Bit on the way to church. I bought the yarn over 10 years ago (they don't make it anymore) and had 3 inches to spare! (I was getting pretty worried.)

December Photo Project - Week 3

December 15 - The second time we left the house to make it to the 10:30 service at church. We live 40 minutes away.
December 16 - says it all
December 17 - my husband takes such good care of me
December 18 - little fingers that thought 1 gift label wasn't enough for her cousin

December 19 - My sweet, disheveled family after our annual "Pajama Run" - over an hour past bedtime!

(added bonus to my "beautiful mess" - if you look closely, you'll see the empty frames on the wall. I'm getting closer - frames are up, but pictures of child #2 still need to be printed.)
December 20 - the impeccable table manners of my girls...slurping their noodles and soup just like in China.

December 21 - Realizing an hour late, while still in pajamas, that the caroling party was tonight, and not tomorrow. What a beautiful mess it turned out to be - watching my girls shake the jingle bells and spending time with friends...while hiding my wet hair under a Santa hat!

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Photo Project - Week 2

December 8 - after a year in their cases, our clarinets saw the light of day when we played for church

December 9 - the disappointment of an 8-year-old who made a list, checked it twice, and still didn't get a snow day

December 10 - the telltale signs of a little one who decorated her chair with stickers while the rest of us were baking

December 11 - holding the gingerbread steady while the frosting sets

December 12 - getting ready to install the zipper on a Christmas dress

December 13 - two very sick girls, changing the best laid plans for Daddy's 40th birthday

December 14 - trying a new icing recipe, leaving the cookies much runnier (at first) than intended