Thursday, September 23, 2010


After months and months of anticipation, worry, anger, frustration, and general over-the-top freaking out...Emmett's surgery is done.  It took all of an hour.

I wonder if it hadn't come on the heals of his heart issues whether I'd have been such a basket case.  I really was a basket case.  We noticed the bump early, and doctors seemed to want to ignore it.  I really fought to get an actual diagnosis.  I'm glad I did, but I'm a little frustrated that I had to fight so hard for it.

While its certainly not on the same level as his heart stuff, and in the end it was an elective surgery...I think it was the right thing to do.  It could have seriously interfered with the development of the bones in his skull.

The surgeon said it went really well.  They got it all and sent it for pathology (standard for anything they remove during surgery).  She said it looked like it was a dermoid cyst (as expected).  "What else would it be?" were her exact words.  I certainly could have given her a list of thoughts that had gone through my head as to what it could be...but I didn't want to look like a crazy person.

I think the hardest part for Emmett was the fasting.  He woke up from the surgery howling like a wild animal and wouldn't stop until he'd had two bottles of water, a popsicle, a bottle of milk, some juice, and a granola bar.  The nurses were less than impressed that he skipped ahead a few steps in the eating process (he was supposed to stay on clear fluids until this evening).  He didn't throw up though, and there really was no other way of consoling HA!

After that, he was happy as a clam.  We were home by lunchtime with a happy, though tired little man.  He has a dressing on his head which we can remove after a few days, and we return to see the surgeon at the end of October.

So that's it...I don't know what to do with myself...there are no surgeries on the horizon (knock on wood).  While parents of cardiac babies never really know what's coming next until it hits them, it's nice to have ticked off so many things on Emmetts health 'to do' list.

With any luck...that's the end of his time in the O.R. until he's a VERY old man!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Sometimes, after nights like tonight, when I arrive home over an hour late from a shift because patients were heavy on the call-bell, I was bogged down with admissions and paperwork, and I feel like I ran around all night and accomplished nothing....I need to remind myself why I love being a nurse (and I usually do).

1.  It's NEVER boring.
2.  I have the privilege of being invited into peoples lives when they are at their most vulnerable.
3.  Once in a while, I feel like I actually made an impact on someones life.
4.  I learn something new every day that I go to work.
5.  I've got the best dinnertime topics for my non-medical friends and family.
5.  Nurses ROCK!  And I get to call them my friends :)

There's more, but I'm too worn out to think about it anymore.  My next installment will be titled:  Why I hate the inventor of the call-bell.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not so crazy craziness...

It has been SUCH a crazy week!  Owen started school and piano lessons.  My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are in town from Vancouver so we spent Monday and Tuesday at Uncle Bob and Tante Rolande's cottage..  I hosted a dinner party for seven on retrospect it doesn't sound THAT crazy...but it sure felt insane!

Yesterday we went out to Orleans to visit my parents and ended up going up to the Mer Bleue boardwalk.  I haven't been there in years!  I can't believe I hadn't thought to bring the kids there sooner.  It was really fascinating and beautiful.  It made me want to do a school project on bogs!

It's great for kids because they know they are expected to stay on the boardwalk, so they can't take off too far on you.  They had a really great time (and so did I).  I'm waiting for the pictures my dad took and will post them when/if I get them...

In some sad news...Glenda and Mike are leaving me :(  I'm not very good at pretending I'm happy they live out West.  But I do love them and wish them safe travels....

A little canoe trip that happened on Tuesday at Uncle Bob and Tante Rolande's cottage.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Owen went back to school today!  Yay!  It was time.  He was getting seriously bored of me despite my best efforts.  He even told me so :(

He's in senior kindergarten this year at a public school.  I'd really wanted to send him to catholic school, but I much preferred the Early French Immersion program offered at the public board.  His lessons will be 100% french both this year and next year. The english will be fazed in by grade 6/7 when it will be a 50/50 split between french and english.

He's still doing half days (afternoons) and his school won't even be changing to full days for Felix next year.  I'm happy with half days.  I'm not ready to let him go fully...I've got another year to work on it.

So here we go with another year of buses, and books, and old friends, and new.  I really do love the school year.  I love the routine it brings with it and I know Owen does too. 

I'll have to work on some new tricks for next summer so the "boring old mom" doesn't rear her ugly head again :S

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fairwell Sissy-Poo

Today my baby sister is going away to college.

There are 12 years between Kathleen and I.  We've always been close, but I feel like, lately, we've reached a stage where we can talk...really sisters.  Now she's going away.

She took a few years off after high school and many people thought that was it.  She'd never go back.  But I knew.  I always knew she would.  My sister is a smart cookie.

So I'm both sad and excited for her today as she takes off on a new adventure.  I'll miss her.  But I'm also really, really proud of her.  I can't wait to see what big things she does with her life.

I love you Kathleen!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

We're the Lucky Ones

Emmett had a visit with his cardiologist today.  His blood pressure is where she wants it and though he needs to stay on his meds, she thinks he'll outgrow his need for them in the next few months.

For those of you who don't know....Emmett was born with a congenital defect.  An aortic coarctation to be exact.  His aorta was so narrow that he went into heart failure at 10 days old (we hadn't known about his problem before then).  He had heart surgery at 13 days old, and has since needed a balloon cath to fix it again when he was 6 months old.  He's doing really well.  Super well!!  I know we're the lucky ones.

The thing is...I want to talk about it.  A lot.  While I don't want his heart issues to define him, I'm still living with the fear.  I probably always will.  He'll be followed for life with yearly echoes.  Before every visit I'll be holding my breath.  Every little sniffle, every little cold, every scrape I'll likely be wondering (at the back of my mind) if its somehow related to his heart.  Silly.  I know. 

I was looking at pictures the other day of his first week with us.  It made me sad to think that it was the only real baby time we got with him.  I barely remember it.  I only got 8 days of breastfeeding difficulties, 8 days of being frustrated at having to wake up with a crying baby, 8 days of poop-watching (you know what I mean moms).  At the time, I was exhausted and I wish I could do it all over again.  I didn't get enough time before we were hit with surgeries, and IV's, and caths.

I'd call Sandra nightly from the hospital in tears saying: "He had such a good day, why am I crying?!?!".  Every night I'd be surprised by the response "Because you had a baby 2 weeks ago!".  I'd honestly forget.

Anyhow...I don't plan on making this blog about Emmett or his heart.  In the grand scheme of family life, it only takes up a moderate fraction of my daily thoughts.  But its there...always.  So remember to cherish those frustrating moments with your babies.  We never know when we could be wishing for the sleepless nights...
The calm before the storm.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I camp.

I camp.  I don't feel I have the right to call myself a "camper" just yet...maybe never.  I didn't grow up camping.  We were more of a cottaging family.  But I knew when I married my husband that I would someday get roped into it.  Let me tell you...I resisted as long as I could!  The truth is...I really like it and I wish I'd done it sooner!  (No I-told-you-so's please Glenda) 

This summer, we've made a few forays into the wilderness.  OK...that's a stretch...I'm a very pampered camper.  We have a two room tent, a queen-sized blow-up mattress, etc., etc.  But still...this is more than I thought I'd be able to do with three young children.  Money (or lack of) has definitely been a deciding factor in our accommodation choices.

Our first "outing" was a one night affair to ease me in.  I will NEVER do that again.  It's too much work doing all the set up and take down for what turns into, essentially, a few hours of actual fun-time.  I almost gave up on the notion of camping after that one.  Luckily we stuck with it and headed out east for some adventures.  We camped in the Bay of Fundy (SO much fun!), and PEI (SO buggy!).  It was fun, but I think this past weekend was the most fun so far.  It probably had a little to do with the company and the extra hands and eyes they brought with them to keep the kiddos in line.

We went up to Murphy's Point with Sandra and Eric and their clan (Fred - 4, and Annabelle - 1 1/2) and Ryan. Tristan and Mikaela joined us on Saturday night.  It was lovely for the kids to have friends there, and even more wonderful for Dave and I to have our friends there.  Hiking, swimming, campfire cooking, and dirty little boys (and one girl) dominated the weekend. 

I think that was our last trip for the year, but I can't wait to do it all over again next year!

Our campsite.  Notice that massive orange tent.  That's ours.  Ryan's is hiding behind it...

Owen hiking with his buddy Fred.
More hiking...
Felix in a hole.
Emmett loving the water!
Kids at the beach.
Felix is not too sure what to do with his new little friend.  I think the frog is experiencing some serious shock at this point.
Loving...Annabelle style :P
Goodbye until next year camping....