Friday, July 28, 2017

Shoe obsession

And the shoe obsession continues! This girl never gets tired of wearing my shoes around the house. Almost every day, she manages to get into my closet and pull out almost every single pair of shoes I own to either just look at or to try on. As long as I can remember Little Dorrit has been into shoes. She's also fascinated by gloves, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, nail polish and about any other sort of girly girl.

It's so much fun to observe all the differences between her and Trotwood. Having a little girl around the house sure is a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I think you're pretty.


Tonight, as I was putting to bed my sweet almost-eight-year-old little boy, he looked at me for a few seconds and the said, "Mom, I think you are pretty." Surprised by his comment, especially since I felt the complete opposite of "pretty" with no make-up on, my greasy hair in a pony tail, glasses on my face - oh, and let's not forget the several blemishes that have broken out on my face and neck lately or those pesky 15 pounds I can't seem to get rid of - I said, "Thank you." Then I told him, I thought he was handsome. Not realizing there was more to come, I continued to tuck him in bed. He kept looking at me and said, "I just think you are so pretty! I know why Daddy married you - it's because you are so very pretty!" Laughing, I thanked him again and we talked about how beauty on the inside makes a person more beautiful on the outside.

After this conversation about beauty, he proceeded to apologize for some misbehaving he'd done the previous night (which I'd completely forgotten about because we'd already worked through it) and then he thanked me for all the things that his Daddy and I do for him. Then he told me how much he loved me. I was completely touched by such an unexpected and genuine show of affection from him. We are always affectionate in our family - we frequently tell each other we love each other and give kisses and hugs. But this was just different. It was so innocent and full and heartfelt and spontaneous. And yet, it was just a few minutes out of our busy lives. But it's these brief moments that light my life and fill me up. I am so grateful for how thoughtful and sweet my almost-eight-year-old can be and I am so grateful for him in my life. This Sunday, he's going to turn eight years old and it seems only a few days ago he was mispronouncing words like using words like balloon and peanut butter. There are still a few words like "regular" and "calculator" that he still doesn't get quite right and every time he says "reg-le-are" or "klak-u-lator," I smile and think, "I really should correct him." but I just don't have the heart to correct it all just yet. It is still just beautiful music to my ears.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Hello.

Hello.

It's been a few months. And I'm not sure where to start! We've had many adventures in the last few months so I'll try to just provide a short run down.

Trotwood finished the second grade. Hooray! Despite complaining almost every day about having to go to school, he was actually a little sad on the last day of school. The night before his last day, he was really sad because he said he would really miss his teacher. I encouraged him to write a letter to his teacher and told him we could get her a gift the next morning before school (also because I'm the absolute worst at trying to plan teacher gifts in advance). He wrote her a really sweet note and then picked out some yellow roses to give her. Sometimes, he has such a sweet, tender little heart. I cried a little on his last day of school because he's just growing up so fast and I'm so proud of the person he is becoming. Here he is first day of second grade on the left and last day of second grade on the right.

Little Dorrit is doing really well! We are so happy with how well she is doing. She only goes to physical therapy once a week and I anticipate that at some point this year, she'll be able to stop altogether. She is super chatty and sassy. And she adores her brother and just wants to do whatever he does most of the time. And lately, she has taken to wearing a Batman cape and socks on her hands around the house. She's always been fascinated with gloves, shoes, and jewelry. I just think it's hilarious when she pulls her socks off of her feet and puts them on her hands to wear as "gloves."
I'll leave off here for now and provide a few more updates in another post.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

First [real] bath

On Tuesday, Little Dorrit had her first real bath where we could put more of an inch of water in the tub and she loved it! Because she wasn't used to having so much water in the tub, she kept slipping and sliding all over the place. Another thing she kept doing was using the red cup in her hand to pour water all over her belly. It was so neat to see her just enjoying such a simple thing - she's never really felt water over that part of her chest/stomach before so I imagine it was a new and different sensation for her. One of her favorite things to do is color and for Christmas, she got some bathtub crayons that we've been waiting to break out until this very moment. The bathtub crayons were a hit and I think her only complaint would be that bathtime wasn't long enough! 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ports and lines

For the last two days, Mr. Rochester and I have both successfully stuck the port on the first try where we were able to draw back and see a blood return. This is great news for us! We've only been able to do this because honestly, we have the best home health nurse. She's come to our home once a week to see us since Little Dorrit came home from the hospital - and for the last four days, she's come every day, first to teach us how to use the port and then to supervise us as we do it. Throughout the whole process, she's provided great encouragement and advice to us which has helped us feel better about learning how to use it. However, tomorrow, we're on our own! I feel like we are familiar enough with the process to administer the medicine on our own and we "understand" what we are supposed to do if we stick Little D. and miss the port, it will just be a matter of practicing.

One of the big differences between using the port and using the Broviac is that now when we give Little Dorrit her medication, it's a sterile procedure since we are actually putting a needle through her skin. So, we have to put on sterile gloves, use a sterile field and make sure that nothing contaminates the gloves, needle, field, etc.

Here's a video we recently made of what we did to give Little Dorrit her Ceprotin when we were using the central line. Using the port is a bit different.
I'd love to share how we give her medicine through her port but I imagine it will be awhile - right now there is a lot of crying involved with one person wrestling an angry two year old while the other one attempts to stick the port as sterile-ly as possible.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Learning to use the port

This morning Little Dorrit's nurse came to teach us how to use the port to give Little D. her medicine. Mr. Rochester did a great job of removing the dressing and the needle. Then he administered the medicine while I held down Little Dorrit. She cried a lot but I think, mainly because we have to hold her down. And she hates that. At one point, the nurse was holding her legs while I was holding her arms so nothing "unclean" got in the way of the sterile area in which Mr. Rochester was working.

Tomorrow, it's my turn to learn how to stick Agnes in her port to give her the Ceprotin. Honestly, for me, the whole sterile procedure is a little overwhelming. And I am terrible at it! I know I should think positively but I'm really just being realistic. Before we were able to take Little Dorrit home from the hospital, we had to show that we could perform the dressing change for her Broviac (which is also a sterile procedure). I think I went through about five different pairs of sterile gloves when it was my turn to practice changing her dressing. Tears were also shed. After several attempts, we were able to prove we could perform the dressing change but thankfully, when we got home our home health nurses did it for us every week and spared me the trauma. But this is something different. We will have to access her port every day to give her her medication which means we will just have to get used to it. I know we will but it will just take time.

This is the first picture, I think, we have over our little girl with nothing hanging out of her chest. (Don't mind the books - she loves "reading" books and taking them off the shelves. Also, she's obsessed with the gloves the nurses use.) This sweet thing has many scars on her body but "Though she be but little, she is fierce!" And she is fiercely full of joy. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Her normal self

Little Dorrit's surgery went well and she is quickly recovering. It didn't take her long to get back to her normal cheery self and we are so glad she's feeling better. The only thing she seems to struggle with is climbing up onto the couch. She'll look at us with her arms outstretched and say in a pitiful voice "Can't climb." I believe she is still a little sore from the surgery but her main hindrance comes from the bulkiness of the needle and dressing over her port.