Monday, December 21, 2009

My Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. I have to say it was one of my best birthdays...ever. EVER! It started with Katie finding me in Phillip's room. I was just about to get him out of his crib when she came over to me trailing her favorite pink blankie made by Maureen. (You cannot separate my kiddos from the blankets Maureen makes for them, or from the nighttime afghans made by Grandma, but I digress.) So, Katie finds me and asks, "Is today your birthday, Mommy?" I told her it was indeed my birthday and she enthusiastically said, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" while giving me a hug and kiss. Phillip, who was watching everything, jumped up and down in his crib shouting, "Happy!" with a big ear-to-ear grin.

I went through all the typical morning tasks with Phillip (diaper change, nebulizer treatment as he has a bad cough, bottle, tickles) and then went back to bed for a few minutes. Katie climbed in and said, "Get ready for a birthday hug, Mommy" and hugged me. She kept giving me birthday hugs and kisses. One hug was a "special rainbow hug with sparkles that only come when I hug you, Mommy." She also told me all the things that she thought made me "beautiful".

Later in the day, Katie made my birthday cake with Peter. I was sitting at the dining room table getting materials organized for Katie's gifts for her teachers and chuckling at the conversation occurring between the two of them. Here is one particularly charming snip it from when they were cleaning up:
Peter: So who is the better cook, better baker - Daddy or Mommy?"
Katie: Me! I am the best cooker.

Katie then decorated all her jars of homemade cookie mix for her teachers.(The night before we made the jars. It was fun, but it takes some time that we waited until the next day to add the tags, ornaments, and ribbon.) Phillip kept blowing me kisses. Meanwhile, Katie was so anxious to frost the cake that when I said she would not frost until after nap time was over, she could not take a nap. Finally, I let her go get her father to frost the cake while I stayed in the other end of the house pretending to be oblivious. Katie would come to me every so often with chocolate on her face. Her face would get wiped clean and the next visit...more chocolate. Katie then placed all the candles herself.

Another thing that occurred was that Katie knew exactly which party dress she wanted to wear with which tights and which sparkly shoes and related accessories. She then told Peter, "Go change into your handsome clothes, Daddy." Peter replied, "What are my 'handsome clothes'?" Katie: "I don't know, but you have to put them on. It's Mommy's birthday."

Peter made my birthday dinner (breaded chicken cutlets, rice pilaf, and young peas). Katie declared it the best dinner ever. Phillip spit the chicken out, but happily noshed on halved blueberries and peas. Katie wanted a table cloth on the table, but Peter said we didn't need one. When it came time to light the candles....oh, you have to picture the scene in your mind's eye. Peter was using these puny, short matches that burned down to your fingers by the time you lit one candle. Well, he would light some candles and go to blow out the match before his finger burnt off only he would not turn away from the cake, so he would end up blowing out the very candles he just lit! This pattern continued for quite a few times with Katie growing exasperated with her father. Finally they were all lit and Katie helped me blow them out.

As we were enjoying cake, Katie serenaded me with three songs she created herself. They were fabulous and even Phillip smiled and clapped with enthusiasm. After dinner, Katie had us participate in a "Royal Birthday Parade". We then piled into the car and drove around looking at Christmas lights while singing Christmas carols. It truly was the best birthday ever. Best. Ever.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you all! We had a quiet one this year. I could have cooked a meal, but since no one was around, Katie and I had spaghetti and meatballs. How very untraditional of us, I know. You see, on the previous Tuesday, I had sinus surgery.

After being on antibiotics for essentially the entire year, every year, I went to an ear, nose, throat specialist. He first tried washes and sprays. No relief. Then he looked with a scope. Afterwards, I had a CT Scan. The scan showed that each sinus opening was blocked by bone. So, I scheduled surgery. I chose the Ridgefield Surgical Center because this sort of thing is all they do and to be away from viruses found in a hospital setting. The center was sparkling! The staff was running way ahead of schedule and as soon as I walked through the door, they took me back to begin prepping me.

I was nervous about anesthia. For one thing, I did not want to be intubated. And for another thing, I am always nausous. I was afraid of the vommitting upon waking up from general anesethia. Everyone tried to calm me. I took things one moment at a time. I put my head down on the operating room table and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery.

Waking up was hard. My throat was beyond dry. But the hard part was my chest. I had this really tight, wound up feeling in my chest. It felt very much like a bad asthma attack. I then began to panic which did not help matters. Eventually, I caught a small breath. Later, I needed my inhaler.

Once home, I tried to sleep, but I was overtired. Luckily, I had spent the morning making sure everything was in place for when I returned home from surgery. Fresh sheets on the bed. Pillows stacked up to make me stay in an almost 90 degree position to reduce swelling and help with drainage. Towel on the pillows in case the gauze leaked. Water and medication with medication schedule next to the bed. Premade food in the fridge to heat up for the kiddos. House cleaned and tidied up. Not perfect, but pretty good. Babysitters lined up for the next few days to help me over the long weekend.

Pain. The surgery I had was a lot of little procedures all at the same time. The doctor removed bone spurs and a bone filled with air. He then removed polyps and cysts from within one sinus. The doctor also reduced the turbinates. Finally, he corrected my severely deviated septum. The doctor used a lot of new technologies to minimize bleeding. Therefore, there was no need for packing. People always complain about packing. The doctor only had to use the splints. The splints are these long plastic things that are flat on one side and have a breathing tube on the other. They are about 3 inches long.

The discomfort was from the swelling against the splints. Also, my upper teeth ached like they were about the fall out or something. There was immense pressure behind my eyes, too. A dry throat did not help either. I suffered through the first night with fitful sleep at best. Finally, in the afternoon of the next day, I took a pain pill. It took a few doses over the course of the afternoon and evening before things were numb. I suppose the medication needs to build up in your system over time. I needed the pain meds for the first three days. Afterwards, the swelling went away and I was okay just with the antibiotic.

The bleeding stopped after three days. On Sunday night, however, Phillip did not want to come out of the bath and he flailed about wildly...hitting my nose just right. It was like a gusher! I saturated one gauze pad after another. Luckily, the doctor opened his office for me and took care of things. My nose looks the same from the outside. Inside, it is very dry and sore, but I can live with that while things heal. I pray all heals perfectly. I still do not have permission to blow my nose which is weird, but like I said, I am fine with that as long all heals perfectly. Already I can feel a difference, so the surgery was worth it!