Saturday, December 3, 2016

#lighttheworld




I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am a Mormon.  The Mormon church has started a service campaign during the month of December called Light The World.  This campaign encourages people of all faiths and ideologies to find good in the world and in the people around them.  

Today is Day Three.  One of the challenges for today was to think about the people around you and point out the specific virtues they have; the ones that perhaps they do not see.
This got me thinking about the people in my life.  Some of them I have more contact with than others, but so many of these people have affected the way I live my life for the better.  Many of them I have not seen in years.  Thanks to social media, however, they are still able to have an affect on me, perhaps without even knowing it.

First, and perhaps most obviously, are my parents. Vince and Joyce, they are good eggs.


They raised three children in a very specific way.  They were incredibly strict as we were small children.  As we got older, they loosened the reigns and allowed us to make our own decisions.  Most importantly they did not try and shield us from the consequences of those decisions, whether positive or negative. They did not hover, they trusted us to be adults when perhaps, we shouldn't have been trusted with such a great responsibility. They have supported every endeavor, adventure and opportunity I have pursued, even when it was not necessarily what they would have wanted me to do.  They not only allowed me, but encouraged me to discover who I am, apart from them.  They have demanded that I think for myself, I decide for myself, and I not allow myself to place blame or burden on another person for my own actions.  Likewise, they have had the same expectations for my brother and sister. 

Aside from the parents that they inherently are, they as individuals are extraordinary.

My father is incredibly generous. He is generous with his time, with his resources, with his talents.  He will help anybody, at any time. More times that I can count I have been witness to him giving money, a meal, a ride, or a tank of gas to someone in need.  

My mother is very head-strong, she is goal oriented.  She sees the good in everyone around her, and almost refuses to acknowledge the bad.  She believes that people are inherently good and her relationships with others are built upon that belief.

These are good people.

The next person I thought about is my best friend, Sara.  




Sara and I met 12 1/2 years ago in her freshman dorm room. It took us about 5 minutes of talking and that was it.  We were best friends and have been ever since.  We are so entirely different. She loves small children with every fiber of her being.  All of them.  She is cautious. She wants to settle down and build roots somewhere. She has always been the cute one.   I am not quite sure how to hold a small child that doesn't belong to me. I am impulsive.  Staying in one place to long makes me nervous.  I have always been the tall one.

And yet we are so alike.  We need each other.  We love our families.  We are patient and forgiving with each other. 

I love her and I want her to know that I admire all these things about her. I especially admire the things about her that I am not.  

The next person that I thought of was my sister in-law, Brianne.



Brianne is incredible.  She used to be an elementary school educator, and is a natural and very talented and also very patient teacher.  I watch how she talks to, encourages, corrects and disciplines her children and it is an art.  It is a talent. 

Brianne is organized and composed, even when she thinks she isn't.  This lady totally has her S*&% together, and if she were to ever read this, I'm certain she will gasp and laugh nervously at that.  

The last (though really not last because I thought of so many different people that it was difficult to pick just a few) is my friend Randy.  



I met Randy nearly 9 years ago as we were both preparing to live in Korea and be missionaries for our church. When I first met him I thought he was a questionable human being. I soon learned that I had a friend for life. He is someone that I do not see often, but I consider him a very close friend.  He is loyal, and I know if I were ever in a bind, he would help me out, no questions asked.  He loves people and he knows how to create relationships that are solid, no matter how far the distance.  I have a deep love and respect for this guy.


These are just a few of the people in my life.  There are so very many more that have beautiful qualities.  I love being encouraged to think about these people and their qualities, to focus my thoughts on someone other than myself and on something other than what I am currently experiencing.







Thursday, September 29, 2016

Duty to God and his country

This is my older brother.


His name is Anthony.  He is a lot of things. He is a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a runner, and also really tall.  In addition to all of these things, he is in the United States Air Force.  This last statement means different things to different people.  To some it brings a feeling of pride, to others, a feeling of anger, to some a deep concern and to others still, resentment.  Perhaps if you knew Anthony as a person you would think differently about his choice of life paths (and perhaps you wouldn't).  

Anthony is incredibly loyal.  He is duty driven.  He is very self-motivated.  

Anthony has always wanted to be in the military.  Since the time he was about 11 he knew that was the road he wanted to take.  His motivation was not fueled by the desire to become wealthy, it was not driven by the need to be recognized.  It wasn't even the benefits, stability or good pension offered by the United States military.  Anthony's determination to be in the military came from a deep and unyielding desire to serve and to protect.  He loves his country, but recognizes its flaws.  He has always wanted to be part of the force that strives to maintain the freedoms this country was founded upon, despite those flaws. He has worked tirelessly at this goal, and has nearly been knocked down completely in the process.  He has not let that discourage him, however, and is continuing to achieve that initial goal.

Anthony is, as of recently, on his first deployment overseas, away from his wife and three children.  He will be staying in the Middle East for 6 months, missing major holidays, birthdays and various other milestones.  I cannot speak for others, but his motives are completely selfless.  He left his family and flew off into the seemingly unknown.


I have attempted to put myself in the shoes of his wife, my sister-in-law.  I have wondered countless times what my reaction would be if my husband was being sent away to a war zone, or if I myself was being sent to a war zone to be apart from my family for that long, or in many cases, longer.  The only thing that has settled my heart in this is knowing that he is doing exactly what he has always wanted to do.

I have realized it is easy to be selfish given the situation, but I know this is what my brother has always wanted, and I know he is doing it for me, and for you, and for that guy over there, and for the lady next to you. Regardless of whether or not we (or they) want to accept his "gift", he is giving it.  Because of this, instead of lamenting and "wo-is-me"ing, I have decided to be proud of him, to show him my love, confidence and support.  I am eternally grateful for the kind souls along his way even thus far that have shown small tokens of respect.  To the man who gave up his first class seat for the young guy in uniform, your kindness has been read about across the country. To the ticket agent who stifled tears while checking him onto the flight, we see you.  To the line full of passengers watching this soldier hug his family with their own tears streaming down faces, thank you for recognizing that this is not easy.


My mind has also wandered to those who are vehemently against the military and its operations.  I respect and I understand that position.  I know that I do not always agree with the undertakings of the military. So how can this position  be maintained while still having respect for the people who are sacrificing for you?  I believe it is possible.  I suggest that it is a similar to having differing religious, political, social or educational beliefs as someone.  I respect and am grateful for opposing ideals and relish in learning about them, though I may not adopt them as my own.   Perhaps if you are reading this and disagree entirely with what is happening, you can read between the lines a bit and understand that this is about a human being who has dedicated his entire professional life to something he deeply believes in, whether the rest of us do or not.  Aaron Tippin said it perfectly when he said "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything."

This is Anthony's something, and he is damn good at it.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How to Count Blessings

I was recently sitting in a class where the teacher asked the students, "How many of you have had days where you just feel like everything is going wrong?"  And I thought, "Me. Today. Yesterday. Probably tomorrow."  I'm good at making everything about me.

Knowing full well I was feeling sorry for myself and wallowing, I tried to do as the teacher directed and "count my blessings". Man, it was hard. There are plenty of them out there, I just wasn't particularly interested in focusing on them. I'm trying to do better.

My grandmother passed away last night.  I tried to get to her. I hurried as fast as one can when having to rely on flights, time change, children and a husband. I prayed that I would be able to catch her last breaths and kiss her on the forehead and thank her for loving me. Loving everyone. Even when we didn't necessarily deserve it.  I didn't make it. Three hours too late.

"I should have taken the earlier flight."  "I should have come yesterday."  "I should have scanned that letter and emailed it instead of sending it in the mail."  "I should have called more often."  "I should have had the kids send pictures more often."  "I should have been better." But I didn't and I wasn't. But Grandma is OK with that.  I know she is because I know my grandmother.

From the time I was in the 6th grade I called her granny...because she hated it.  When you close your eyes and think about a typical grandmother, Granny was not really that.  She was sassy. She was realistic. She was accepting. She had opinions. She told people her opinions. She never once baked me cookies. She more than once bought me good Mexican food. She more than once let me drink Coke when my parents weren't around. She let me borrow her car whenever, for whatever. Just bring it back. She stopped wearing a bra when she was 64 because "I'm and old lady. I can do whatever I want. And I do NOT want to wear a bra!" She bossed my grandfather around like a BOSS. She had season tickets to Major League Baseball games and WNBA basketball games.  And took me. Often! Granny forgave everyone, even when they didn't deserve it. Granny served. She has done more humanitarian projects from the comfort of her own home than anyone I know of.  She has knit hats, made blankets, put together hygiene kits, made toy packets. Hundreds and hundreds of these things.

Granny hated flying.  Granny especially hated flying over the ocean. My family lived across the ocean for a long time and she made it perfectly clear that it was our responsibility to visit her because if she came to visit us, her plane would certainly crash and she would die.

Paranoid.  Granny was paranoid. She was claustrophobic. She was happy to let people help her. She also always needed to be helping and taking care of other people. Even after grandpa died she always had people living in her house. She didn't want to be alone. But she also wanted people to take care of. And she did.

Granny was old.  Old people die.  I know how this works.  But this one isn't sitting well for me.  When grandpa died I felt a lot of relief.  Relief for grandpa, relief for grandma. Relief for my dad who worked tirelessly to take care of my grandfather as he got sick. But grandma. Grandma was always there. She was able. She was capable.  She was supposed to be that cockroach that was still here after everyone else died.

I loved her.  I love her. I miss her. I have regrets. I believe regrets can be good if they motivate us to change. I am motivated. She is one of my many blessings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Shrine Grind


Image result for shriners
www.sanjacintomasons.com

In the past several months our family has developed a special relationship with the Shriners. For those of you who don't know, Shriners International is a fraternity that describes itself as "a brotherhood based on fun,  fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth." (Thank you Wikipedia for the description)

So....what does that have to do with us? The Shriners have several children's hospitals across the nation that specialize in orthopedics, spinal cord injuries, burn care, and.....dun dun dun...cleft lip and palate care! For all of the 4 people who may read this blog, if you did not know, baby Holland has (had!!) a cleft soft palate that she was born with.  When we moved to Utah we didn't know how the care was going to be and how we were going to pay for it. In Columbus we loved the children's hospital and had excellent insurance and we had Holland's care all planned out. Then we moved. We were nervous to say the least. 

On our way from Columbus to Salt Lake we stayed the night in Cheyenne where we met a woman who was associated with the Shriners and told us about their hospitals. 

Salt Lake has a Shriners hospital!! Awesome!! Oh but they don't do cleft care. Shoot. So they referred us to Portland, the closest Shriner hospital to do cleft care. I thought that was strange seeing as Portland is quite a distance from Salt Lake City, but we decided it was a good idea to get all the information before dismissing Shriners as an option for Holly's care. Within a very short time I learned a few things:

1. Southwest Airlines partners with the Shrine brotherhood and gives green passes (charitable flights) to patients, regardless of the family's financial status.. 

2. It doesn't matter who you are or what your income (high or low), everyone associated with the Shriners wants to help the children in need of medical care.

3. A lot of people with hearts of gold are helping children they will likely never meet in this life, and they are doing in because they want to. 


After a few days of research and talking to different sources I found myself with a Southwest flight reservation for Holland and myself to the Portland Shriners Hospital at no cost to us. And so we were off to Portland. We went about three months ago for an initial consultation and then scheduled her surgery, easy as that.

This past week Wednesday, September 2, Holland and I left Andrew and Keane at home and embarked on a 5 day Portland adventure with my mom, who flew out to help.

Airplane selfie!
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Let's cut to the chase, we arrived, we met "the moo" (that's an endearing name I've used for my mom for probably 17 years or so), we picked up the rental car and took off for the hospital. Holland had a pre-op appointment where we met with the nurse practitioner, the anesthesiologist, a clinical social worker and a handful of other people who deemed us (her) ready to go under the knife.

Another beautiful thing about this organization is that they provide free lodging for people traveling to receive care at their hospital.  There is a section of the hospital that has been transformed into "Family Guest Rooms".  Our room wasn't fancy, but it was a great place to be able to relax, yet be close to (as in..on the third floor of) the hospital.  This was especially useful because we had to check in the next morning (floor one) at 6am.


During the pre-op appointment the nurse gave us some Hibiclens (which is a soap that kills...everything) to wash Holls with that evening, as well as in the morning before we checked her in.  Remember how we had to check her in at 6 am?  That means we had to bathe her PRE-6am!
Evening bath in the giant, medical grade bathtub that floats above the ground and can be raised or lowered. 

The pre-6am bath was a little less formal and took place in the sink in our room...


AND then we found ourselves in our pre-op room, except it's pretty difficult to contain Holland anywhere so really, we started in the pre-op room, then ventured all over the surgical center.  We were the first ones there and Holland was the youngest patient being operated on that day so she pretty much had the attention of everyone: nurses, doctors of all sorts, other patients, other patients' parents, everyone.
Trying to check in
As in the previous blog about her ear tubes, even a children's hospital doesn't provide proper sized attire. This stunning gown was fit for a three year old, so we rigged it.

Nurse Rheannon was first to meet Holland 


We cruised the halls looking for other friends


Getting ready to go back with our good friend the anesthesiologist, Dr. Klein.
We were given a play by play before it even took place.  Dr. Klein takes her back, knocks her out within 3 minutes of being gone so she doesn't have time to miss mom, They intubeate her, put the heart and vital monitors on her, get her stabilized and watch her for awhile to be sure she is stable, then chop chop!

Our surgeon, Dr. Nguyen (pronounced WEN, you all probably knew that but I did not, and every time I saw that name previously I simply pronounced it "Nuh blah blah" in my head because I didn't know how to even pretend to say it), who stands about 5 feet tall, came and talked to us. He is fabulous, gave us some ideas of what to do for the rest of our stay in Portland, and seemed to think Holland wouldn't really need much down time except for the rest of that day.

I asked the OR (thats operating room in this context, not to be confused with the abbreviation for Oregon, HAH!) nurse if she would take my camera and snap some pictures during the operation.  She looked at me like I was totes cray-cray, but agreed.

Warning: the following picture is not for the faint of heart.  The only picture that was taken in the OR was this one:


Why the taped eyes?  Apparently the eyes flutter and even blink when under general anesthesia.  Apparently Dr. Nguyen didn't want Holland staring at him while he had his hands shoved in her mouth.

Well, Moo Face and I had 2 hours to kill and I'm not really the type to sit and worry about what COULD or MIGHT happen (plus they had our phone numbers so..) and so we ate breakfast and then went on a small exploration journey around the mountain that Shriners Hospital sits on.  

You know you are in Oregon when hospital employees camp out at a nearby park and walk up to work.


We walked briskly for an hour or so and then received the call that Holland was in recovery and would be waking up soon.  At that point we weren't totally sure where we were or how to get back.  We ended up going through the VA hospital, across a sky-walk to the main building of Oregon Health and Science University hospital and finally across the street to Shriners (apparently in Oregon all medical facilities must live on top of a hill).

We met with Dr. N and he told us everything went well.  The repair was totally successful.  Oh and Yahoo!  She gets to wear splints on her arms for 6 weeks!  Oh and even better, she has to eat mushy food for 6 weeks as well!  Wouldn't want her to rip up the sutures and land back for a second repair.  Finally we could go to recovery and see her.

She was less than thrilled with her then current state of being.


The only way to keep her from wailing a sad, painful cry was the keep the bottle (which had Pedialyte in it, hence the orange color) in her mouth.  She didn't drink, she just wanted it there.
They moved us back to the pre-op room and Holland went between a drowsy, half-drugged state and screaming what would have been obscenities if she knew how.

SUPER uncomfortable rocking chair
 After awhile the only way we could keep her calm was to turn on The Piano Guys youtube videos.  So for about an hour we watched those non stop.


After about 2.5 hours she was released!  We could go (up to our room on the third floor, which is where we spent the rest of the day)!


For the remainder of the day Holland was drowsy, super fussy, and unhappy with her new arm accessories.  When the pain meds wore off it was easy to tell because she just held her mouth open and whimpered.


Still sleeping off the anesthesia

Drugs make us happpyyy!
We didn't know what to expect from her the next day but what we got was a baby ready to CRUISE! (After she basically slept until 10:30am...)

Sleeping in...
 So we went to the beach!  We drove about an hour and a half to the Oregon coast to a little town called Cannon Beach.  It was freezing, but Holland was happy to be there, and all she wanted to do was crawl around!  So we let'er.







Moo face played in the tide pools with her.  Pants even came off after awhile.  Just for Holland, it was too cold for the rest of us.



The next day we went to Tillamook, Oregon and toured the cheese factory!  I mean as long as we had a happy baby and time to kill, why not make a vacation out of it!




She was way too comfortable behind the wheel.
 Now if you take a look in a lot of these POST-op pictures you will notice that Holland is wearing a head band.  Maybe this is cruel, I don't really know (or care?) but I decided that while she can't bend her elbows to put anything in her mouth and coincidentally pull things off of her head, I would take this time to teach the girl to leave a bow on her head.  In her previous, pre-splint life I had given up.  But now, ha HA, I win.  At least for  weeks.


 Then we journeyed back to Portland and met up with some of my cousins and their families (all of whom I had not seen in years and years and years. And years).  What better place to do that than Voodoo Doughnuts!




We got there early, I had to go potty, THIS was the key they gave me.


We ate our doughnuts, we visited with family.  And yes, the doughnuts are all they are hyped up to be.  Plus the atmosphere is so great.

The next day, our last day in Portland, was Sunday.  It was rainy, cold and pretty dreary.

We went to the Mormon temple in Portland (actually located about 15 minutes south in Tigard).  SOOO beautiful!  It's located right in the middle of the forest, and it was really just lovely.

Image result for shriners
www.sanjacintomasons.org



We then went and had some AMAZING Korean food with one of my companions from when I went on a Mormon Mission, SHOUT OUT SARAH HEALEY!


LOVE her




The only way she can hold her bottle
And then we came home.  That was it.  The Moo and I  (and Holland!) had a great time on a trip that was sort of supposed to be purely medical.  We stayed extra days to make sure that Holland was going to recover well as well as to be prepared for any complications that may arise, but instead we just got to hang out and see the sights!  Holland is doing great, by the way!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Letter To The Girl At The Truck Stop in Kingman, AZ

Dear cute, blond 18 year old girl who almost ran me and my two little kids over,

Hi, it's me, the lady with those two small kids that you almost backed in to while driving in reverse at about 30 MPH in a parking lot.

I was watching you from the moment you got into your car because that's what I do, I watch when people are in their car, especially when I am a pedestrian, and try and anticipate what they will do and where they are going in attempts to avoid being run down.

My kids, by the way, are Keane, age 3, and Holland, age almost 11 months.  I try and be responsible in parking lots and keep them by me, this time was no different.  Holland was on my hip and Keane was holding my hand.  They rely on me to keep them safe, and I was doing the best I could.

When you started backing up I noticed you did not turn your head around to check behind you.  "Perhaps she is looking in her rear-view mirror" I thought, which, while not how you are supposed to back up, would have been fine because I was in sight of the mirror.  I don't think you used your mirror.  All of the sudden you backed up FAST, and your car was headed straight for me (and therefore Keane and Holland).  I screamed as loud as I could several times and finally had to jump out of the way.  As I dragged Keane by his arm out of the way I watched you drive right over the spot we had been standing.  And then I became upset.

When you finally saw me, why did you throw your hands up in the air and say "WHAT?!"?  Why did you refuse to roll down your window?  It was unnecessary for me to have to tell you to roll down your window.  Typically when someone is standing outside your car window looking at you saying "HELLO???" you roll down your window.

Now here is what really baffles me, when you DID finally roll down your window and acknowledge my presence YOU started screaming at ME!  Now, perhaps I'm wrong (except that I'm not) but I believe when you almost kill three humans in a parking lot the correct response is "OHHH my goodness, I am so sorry, I did NOT see you there!!!!!"  But instead you say "What is your PROBLEM??"

And this...this is when I lost it.

I want to apologize for that.  I shouldn't have screamed at you and your mom who was in the passenger's seat.  I mean that sincerely.  I do think it's important you understand where I'm coming from, however.

I believe our...um...conversation...went something like this.

Me: WHAT?? What is MY problem?  YOU WOULD HAVE RUN US OVER IF I HADN'T JUMPED OUT OF THE WAY!  I HAVE TWO SMALL KIDS AND YOUR CAR WOULD HAVE BEEN RIGHT ON TOP OF US RIGHT THIS SECOND BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT WATCHING WHERE YOU WERE GOING.  WE ARE IN A PARKING LOT!!!!!! USE YOUR EYEBALLS!"

At this point your mom is trying to convince you to "just apologize to her so we can go" (thanks mom, thanks for teaching your daughter respect for others and to take responsibilities for her own actions.  #parentingfail)

You: (eyes roll,) "ugh, I'm SORRY.  YOUR kid is so SMALL that I couldn't see him!! ITS NOT MY FAULT!!!!"

Me: "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  HE WAS HOLDING MY HAND THE ENTIRE TIME.  HE WAS LESS THAN AN INCH FROM MY SIDE AND GUESS WHAT?  I'M TALLER THAN YOUR CAR. DON'T BLAME THIS ON HIM!!!!"

Mom: Hey, she is scared too!  Just leave her alone!

Now I agree, at this point you were probably scared that I was going to jump in your car window and strangle you.  And again, I shouldn't have been screaming.

You: "STOP SCREAMING AT ME.  IT'S NOT MY FAULT YOUR SON IS SO SMALL!  I SAID I WAS SORRY!!"

Me: "OHHHHHH MY GOSH!  AGAIN DO NOT BLAME THIS ON HIM!  HE WAS RIGHT NEXT TO ME THE WHOLE TIME.  Oh my goodness!!! (I gesture toward mom) And you, are you mom??

Mom: Yes...

Me: And you are what, 16?

You: 18!!!  UGH!

Me: "Mom, you are letting her blame this on me.  I shouldn't be yelling and I'm sorry but do you realize she almost ran us over?  Like, LITERALLY almost ran us over!?  "

Mom: "Hey!  She is scared too! She said she is sorry!"

Me: I CANNOT BELIEVE NEITHER OF YOU CARE THAT YOU ALMOST RAN US OVER.  LIKE HIT US WITH A CAR!!!  DO YOU GUYS NOT GET IT???  WATCH WHERE YOU ARE DRIVING, WE ARE IN A PARKING LOT, NOT ON THE FREEWAY!!  THERE ARE PEOPLE WALKING ALL OVER THE PLACE, WHY THE HECK WERE YOU GOING SO FAST????  YOU WEREN'T PAYING ATTENTION TO ANYONE!!  AND I WASN'T EVEN THAT CLOSE YOU TO, PLUUUUSSSSS I WAS THERE FIRST! DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS?  IN A FREAKING PARKING LOT!!!!!  YOU TWO ARE UNBELIEVABLE!!!!"

Mom: She said sorry!!!!  She was scared!!!

Me: "Yeah, obviously!"

That's when I walked away, shaking from anger as well as with fear for my kids.

I realized quickly that if I had been able to remain calm, perhaps I could have explained myself better and you would have understood that you were in fact at fault and that the consequences could have been really serious, having drastic effects on both of our lives.

Instead I blew a gasket and because of that you probably immediately updated your Facebook status with something like "PSYCHO LADY JUST CHEWED ME OUT FOR NO REASON!  CRAZY B%$#@   #ihateher  #iamperfect  #andhertwobrats #crazylady  #imawesome  #shescrazy  #mymomsmybestie"

I hope you understand that while hitting ME with your car would have likely just injured me, you very possibly could have killed my son who was walking.  Do you understand that killing him could get you tried for involuntary manslaughter?  Honey, you are 18, that's an adult sentence.  I don't mean to be melodramatic, or to exaggerate the situation, but that is how close you were to us.  Close enough for me to   And me?  You could have killed my child.  Does that not bring you back down to earth momentarily?

I hope you also realize that your mom did you a huge disservice by "taking your side".  Once again, she had your back when I was barking down your throat, but she didn't correct your driving, she didn't kindly tell you that you did in fact make a mistake, and she did not help you see what the situation could have turned into if I had not acted fast enough.  That makes me sad for both you and her.

In the end I really DO hope you accept my apology for lashing out.  That was out of line and uncalled for.  I'm not typically a total crazy lady.  Usually I'm level headed and composed.  Apparently not when my kids' safety is jeopardized, however.


Oh yeah, you are 18 now.  It's time to step up and be an adult.


--Brittney

 




Monday, February 16, 2015

Baby H goes under the knife

Today was the first of several surgeries that little miss Holland will undergo.  Thankfully they start off with an easy procedure: ear tubes!   She DID have to go under general anesthesia, but the surgery was only about ten minutes.

The hardest part of the whole ordeal?  She couldn't eat (drink) anything after 3am!  Luckily our children's hospital, Nationwide Children's, schedules their surgeries by age, youngest to oldest.  Holland was number 1!

I woke her up to eat at 2am, and then again at 3am, and then said a little prayer that she wouldn't freak out when I had to wake her up just before 6am to head to the surgery center.  She rocked it.

Holland's pre-surgery jitters


She slept until I had to get her out of her carseat for the nurse to weigh and measure her.  She flirted, giggled and made eyes at the male nurse who bought into all of her smooth moves.

When we got to our pre-op room Holly girl finally realized she was hungry and screamed while I changed her into her fancy hospital pajamas which happened to be fit for a two year old.  The only thing that would calm her down was her binky and standing in front of the television so she could watch Mickey Mouse.

Putting on the fancy tie-in-the-back gown


"I'm Hungry Mother, I Really Am!"

Holly's surgery time was 7:30am, and so obviously at 7:30 we were still waiting in the pre-op room.  Apparently even the first appointment of the day is difficult to keep punctual as I saw our doc walk in at 7:31am.  So..we took some selfies!

After meeting with Mr. Anesthesiologist and Mr. ENT surgeon the nurse came to take Holland back. I all but begged to be able to watch the surgery, promising I wouldn't break down crying but apparently there are policies in place to keep crazy people who like to see blood and guts out of the O.R.  

"Gonna get some tubes in my ears" SELFIE!!!

I got to sit in the waiting room and watch the news while waiting. Finally I got to go back to the recovery room where a nurse was holding little sister. I got her and immediately she began screaming for food.  Bottle inserted into mouth! She ate, and she went to sleep. Workin' on sleeping of the anesthesia.

Sleep sleepy sleep

After awhile I was told I could change her back into her own PJs and get ready to take her home.  The surgeon came in to debrief me and told me that when he vacuumed out her ears before inserting the tubes a TON of "goop" came out.  He said it was the consistency of rubber cement and that it was a really good idea to get the tubes sooner rather than later.



Let's get ready to go home, mamma!

Doc said she would have some bloody drainage out of her ears for a few days, but that she would be able to sleep better and be less irritable.  That's incredible because she is already the most un-irritable baby ever! She maybe she will just start sleeping through the night (of course now that I've written that she never will!). 

Little lady still has a long road ahead of her, and this is not the last surgery she will have to undergo. She is one step ahead now, however.

Now we all need a nap.