Today is a good place to be.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spooky Halloween!

This is my favorite halloween picture of 2010!
 Check out all this LOOT!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kathryn Surgery Pics

Of course, I documented Kathryn's Surgery with a ton of pictures! 

This is on the ride in:  Wonder what we are doing up so early?

She got that cute pillow from the admissions lady.  Grandma made that beautiful quilt.  And of course Elmo was along for fun.  But she did not like being on that bed.  Those jammies seemed familiar too, maybe today wasn't going to be such a good day.

Much better in Daddy's arms.

Woo Hoo- Look at me!

I am QUEEN of the play room(who else plays in here at 7AM?)

Was the surgery worth it for this popsicle?  I think so!

The IV was put in her foot.  They poked each of her hands twice and the other foot once.  Its a good thing it was on her foot- every time she saw it she freaked out- if it had been in her hand we would have been miserable.  Thankfully she was "under" when they put the IV in.

Look at how loved Kathryn is!

She was great snuggle material!

She tried to get Melia and Uncle Richard to make a break for it.  But they wouldn't.

She enjoyed her wagon rides- she took one on Monday evening and three on Tuesday.

Melia's Cell phone can play Elmo video's- how cool is that? 

Yea- Mommy is a wee-bit tired.

The view from the window we didn't have in our half of the room.

This pretty much how I slept all night- and a took a little nap before her catheter was taken out.

Her super fun bear puzzle. 

So sweet!

So cute!
We love you Baby Kathryn! 

Bilateral Ureteral Reimplantation - Complete

The surgery went very well and all Jeremy and I can say is how thankful we are that we have this experience behind us and now all we need to do is focus on getting our little one better.

To say I was stressed out would be an understatement.  I tried, but I was stressed and stressed equals grumpy and mean.  My poor kids took the brunt of it.  I felt like the worlds worste Mother Sunday morning after yelling at my kids and leaving for church without them.  But I pulled it together, turned around and picked them up and really tried to make our afternoon much better.  I gave Kathryn a bath in the evening and afterwards lotioned and massaged her.  I  kissed her little tummy knowing that would be the last time I would see her perfect little skin there.  It was a hard night.  She just laughed because mommy was being so silly.

I didn't sleep much Sunday night- this was after taking a sleep aid too.  We got up at 4:45 and I quickly made some muffin batter for my sister to bake after we left, then got showered and ready.  Jeremy packed up the car.  My sister Amy showed up to stay with the kids and then later take them to school.  Kathryn was still sleeping and we woke up her up and changed her diaper.  And then we were off.  I was worried we would be late.  It didn't help the clock in Jeremy's car was fast(We left the van for Jeremy's mom to bring the kids over later).  I did not openly stress out though- I needed to be as calm as possible for our little peanut.  She was in good spirits and we got to the hospital and checked in.

After I promised to pay them for our charges(offering my first born wasn't a payment option- how odd), we were taken up to children's surgery.  We had vitals taken and bracelets put on and then more waiting for the operating team.  We waited in the children's playroom, which was empty and Kathryn was pleased beyond measure.  Then it was time to go to the basement.  The operating transition room was brightly decorated and they had toys for Kathryn to play with.  We met her nurse, her anethesizologist, and then Dr. Lashley came out and talked with us.  We felt very comfortable and very ready to part.  We gave last minute kisses and they took her from my arms and whisked her away before either of us really knew what was happening.  The nurse showed us where the waiting room was.  We got a pager that would go off when we had half an hour before the end of the surgery so we could make sure to be down in the waiting room. 

Jeremy and I went up to the atrium and watched the storm and had some breakfast.  My stomach was in major knots, so breakfast didn't agree so much with me.  We tried to keep our mind off the stresses of the day, but we just couldn't.  We ended up going down to the family waiting area about an hour and a half into the surgery.  They came out to update us and let us know the first kidney was repaired and they were starting on the second kidney.  I had a mix of emotions.  I was grateful everything was going well, but I had a visual of my sweet baby open on an operating table- and that was a terrifying thought.  There was a little old man manning the desk in the waiting room.  He was pretty sharp-  made me miss my own Dad a bit.  This guy asked everyone as they came in who they were and matched them up to the patient and doctor on his list and then when the time came to get updated he knew exactly who needed it.  I was impressed he could remember so much and so well.  I don't think that could be a job I could handle!

At this point in the morning all the surgeries were ending and families were starting to leave the waiting room and I just kept waiting for our turn.  Finally Dr. Lashley came out a little after 11:00 to tell us everything went fine.  It was actually less complicated than he had planned as she ended up only have one ureter on the one said instead of two.  So this was good.  He told us they would call us when she started waking up in recovery.  Again we kept waiting for our turn and I was starting to get nervous.  Finally the little man in the room asked me if I would mind going back to help them wake her up and I was more than happy to do so.  She had been sleeping for about 45 minutes and they thought it might be easier for her if I was there.  I will say it was emotional to look at her laying there completely out.  Soon she woke up after I started talking to her and she looked around and tried to focus, but mostly just chilled out.  She had no nausea.  There were two other children in the room and they were not having such an easy time coming out of it, so the nurse in charge of Kathryn was trying to get her out of there quickly before Kathryn decided to start crying too.  But she never fell into doing what the crowd was doing and stayed pretty calm.

We went up to our room on the 3rd floor.  We walked into our room and I saw an amazing view of the Fremont Bridge, but we were sharing the room and the windows were not in our half.  In fact, our half of the room had the door to the room so we had a lot of movement with the other family and their nurses coming and going .  The girl next to us was around 5-6 and had a similar procedure as Kathryn, but had terrible nausea and was not happy.  The poor family was sorry they were so loud for us with our sweet baby, but I tried to explain we were used to older children- their child was not used to younger children and I imagine it would be hard to hear a baby when you were not used to it.  It was hard to have to share, mostly because when you are concerned for your own child and then have to be concerned that you might disrupt another persons child too, its very stressful.  Emmanuel hospital is building an all new children's hospital so sharing rooms will not be an issue, but this hospital won't be done for several years.  Hopefully we will never have to go to that one. 

Kathryn had some pain when we got into the room.  Our nurse was great an we made a great pain plan and got her comfortable almost immediately.  She did not want to lay in her crib, so we held her.  My stomach felt much better once I had her in my arms.  She had a Popsicle right away and was good about drinking her juice. 

We had several visitors.  Grandma and Grandpa Frederick came to see us.  She was so happy to snuggle with Grandma.  Jeremy and I took this time to go get some lunch.  We shared a sandwich and salad.  I was done eating and started to panic that I was not with Kathryn and ditched Jeremy at the cafeteria to make sure my baby was OK.  Of course, she was fine and hadn't even cried while I was out. 

My dear friend Marcie came to see us.  Kathryn liked the attention and really loved the stickers she brought(She put them all in her Kathryn photo book).  Aunt Tamara stopped in on her way home from work.  Grandma Sue came after picking the kids up at school.  The kids were very happy to see Kathryn, and she was happy to see them.  Unfortunately the room was not very comfortable for visitors, so they were not happy to stick around.  I think Nathan was a little nervous that he might hurt Kathryn and didn't want to get too close.  Grandma took the kids out to the hall after saying good-bye and Jeremy stuck around for a little bit longer and then left to go have dinner with them and went home to spend the night with the kids.  My parents left shortly after that too.  My dear friend Melia came and brought me some dinner and hung out.  The nurses saw her in her scrubs(she works at a urology clinic at this hospital actually) and knew they were in good company.  My sweet sister Amy and her hubby Richard came to see us too.  We had a good time.  During this time Kathryn decided to dump her cup of cranberry juice on me.  I had a clean shirt, but no clean pants so I was issued a hospital pair(not scrubs though- they don't give parents scrubs so as not to confuse them into thinking they might actually be medical professionals).  That evening we took Kathryn on a wagon ride.  She was glad to be able to get out and about I think. 

Sleeping was tough.  She wouldn't let me lay her down- and I don't blame her.  I did go through the go-to-bed routine, and then we watched Curious George until she fell asleep around 11.  At this point we were 45 mins away from another vitals check, so I stayed awake.  I also knew there would be no point in setting up the cot since I though Kathryn would be more comfortable in my arms in the rocking chair- so I rocked her all night long.  My arms and legs were sore, but Kathryn slept through the night for the most part.  They came in for another vitals check around 4AM.  I knew the Doctor would be there around 5AM, so I got up and tried to change her diaper(She was still catheterized and it was a bit tricky getting everything changed making sure I didn't hurt her wound at her "bikini" line. 

The doctor came in to check on her and it was nice to talk to him.  We had a plan to take out her catheter after breakfast and then see if she could pee on her own.  Once she could do that we were free to go home.  I was very excited at that thought.  I called Jeremy around 6 and asked him to come in.  I was tired and very sore and needed a few minutes to myself.  He had already been up with the kids who were so excited Grandma was at our house they got up super early.  He got to the hospital around 7  and I excused myself for some me-time.  I went to get breakfast, but nothing sounded good.  Thankfully my sister brought me some banana bread the night before and I ended up eating more of that. 

My dear friend Tami came to see us too.  By this point the family next to us had left and we had a quiet room.  We opened the curtains between the two designated areas and we were able to enjoy our view.  Kathryn was able to get a good hour long nap before they pulled out her catheter.  We just needed her to pee.  She had a deadline.  So pee.  Please!  The deadline came and went with nothing coming out.  They did a quick ultra sound and we found her bladder was definately full enough to be able to pee, so we just needed to wait a bit more.  We took a few more wagon rides and she was having some pain passing gas. We had a new deadline of 1:45.  If she couldn't go on her own they would re-cath her to empty her bladder before leaving, or they would send her home with another "Foley" that we would have to go into the doctor the next day to have removed.  Thankfully she met her 1:45 deadline and we were kicked out with nothing extra to take care of. 

Kathryn slept most of the way home and we stopped to get her prescriptions dropped off- I waited in the car while Jeremy ran them in.  At home Grandma Conser was with the kids and Grandpa Conser had just driven up to join them as well.  I ran upstairs to shower and get the hospital smell off of me.  Kathryn was thrilled to be home and was running around like a crazy baby!  It seriously didn't seem like she had had a surgery at all.  I was a bit worried, but felt like she probably wouldn't be running around if she wasn't in pain- right?  My parents brought us dinner and enjoyed Kathryn's "show".  The big kids were a bit emotional too, but I tried to spend a few minutes of one on one time with both of them.  I wish I had planned on spending more one on one time- I forget about how sensitive and concerned they are about their baby sister.

Kathryn paid for her over exertion though- she slept for 13 hours Tuesday night- which is not typical for her.  I woke up later(Jeremy had the day off and was up with the kids) and realized she wasn't up yet and I worried for a few minutes.  We went in and woke her up and she was fine- but very tired.  Her urine will be bloody for a few weeks, and it was very bloody this morning, and she threw up a little bit.  Both items are on the list to call the doctor about- but I wasn't wanting to call him.  So we watched her all morning and felt she was doing OK.  She took it much easier.  Grandma and Grandpa Conser came over with Cousin Carina around noon to visit.  They noted her much more subdued activity level.  My kids didn't have school today thanks to Parent Teacher Conferences, so they went to Grandma and Grandpa Frederick's to play, which allowed Kathryn to be much more calm.  In fact, her nap this afternoon was taken on me downstairs on the couch- its been a long time since we have done that. 

She ramped up activity again tonight- I am thinking it might be a need to release energy as children just simply need to do.  I tried to keep her calmer tonight.  She fought going to bed a little harder tonight, but she did settle down on her own.  Tomorrow kids are back to school and Jeremy is back to work.  My Aunt Renetta is coming over to visit for a bit in the afternoon.  I have had very sweet friends offer to bring me dinner through Friday. 

I am feeling very loved and supported.  Its a blessing to be at this place in my life.  I know while Jeremy and I sat together in the waiting room, we were not alone in our anxiety, our concern, our love for our child.  We have friends from all over the globe who were thinking of our precious baby, sending her good thoughts, sending her prayers, and just plain caring about her and the rest of us.  I am overwhelmed and touched at the care and compassion the world has shown this one little child.  She matters.  She is important.  There are people out there whose job is her welfare and comfort.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Kathryn Loves

If you love Kathryn, you will love this video- she is just the cutest little thing. 

Does anyone want to disagree?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Orange Evening!

Today was supposed to be the "calm before the storm" or storms as the weather person put it.  The rains were supposed to come in around six and stay until next May.  We had planned to go to the pumpkin patch tomorrow, but decided to get a jump on it and the weather and we met Jeremyon his way home from work out at Baggenstos Family Farm.  They have a cute little set up and a huge corn maze along with a hay ride down to another field to pick out the perfect pumpkin.  We did not partake of the corn maze this year-But it looked awesome!  Nathan found his pumpkin right away.  Leila searched and searched and searched and searched, and finally found the perfect one(Which could by no means be the one I was pointing out to her).  We had fun- the weather was perfect and we found the perfect pumpkins for our little punkins.

(This is my favorite of all the photos- the kids naturally held hands as the tractor pulled away. How sweet is that?)

Busy is Good

Its the weekend before Surgery-

Last week was a little crazy with Kathryn having a  UTI and my not knowing for a day and half if she would indeed have the surgery or not.  The urologist was able to get her on treatment and feels fine about her having surgery.  Now she has a cold and I am praying every day that this cold departs and will not cause delay or complications on Monday.

I am super busy with things I just can't quite get done.  I have help coming over today to finish up putting away laundry(Thanks Mom!). I will make it my weekend goal to get my room and upstairs vacuumed and put away nicely.  We have let our kitchen go for two days it seriously looks like a health hazard and plus there are no more spoons or forks for the baby to take out of the drawer and stick in the couches so she is not knowing how to spend her time.

We had parent teacher conferences last night and are pleased with our children's achievement's and their future goals.  I love my kids and am so glad we have them in the programs they are currently in. 

Tonight we will try to do a pumpkin patch hoping it stays dry as it most likely won't be dry tomorrow.  Tomorrow is movie morning for Jeremy an the kids.  We want to spend the afternoon and evening together to enjoy our good time as a family.  Hopefully we will be hanging in a clean house- but I might entice Jeremy to a drive in the changing leaves.

Sunday is the kids Primary Program at church- they both have parts memorized and it should prove to be very entertaining.  I teach Nathan's class now, so I will be up with him.  I can't see my Leila where I sit, but that should be OK.  I have some other things to do on Sunday, but hopefully it will be a chill-out day and we will enjoy our family time.

I am so tired.  I am anxious about the surgery, but I am also ready to deal with it and the emotions that go along with it.  I just wish I could sleep a few more hours every single day.  It seems the moment I get up I have to start doing because I just feel I have so much to do I can't waste a minute.  I have so much in my life.  I have been making lists of to-do's and wants and things I just need to get out of my  head.  All of this is very comforting, however I started a list of what I am thankful for and that list won't seem to end.  Talk about comfort. 

One thing I am thankful is all the love and support my friends are offering.  I have so many calls and e-mails to see how we are doing, what can be done for us, and just that we are in your prayers and thoughts.  Thank you.  The surgery is scheduled for Monday at 8AM.  Hopefully we will only spend one night there, but there is a real possibility of spending two nights.  We do not have access to a computer at the hospital. I do not have a cell phone- so I will try to update as soon as I can.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Nathan really did enjoy soccer even though the above picture doesn't show it(he hates hates hates having his picture taken- if you can enlarge the picture look at that perfect pout!).  The best part was his buddy Jofess was on his team(they have matching shirts from last year).  The coach figured out pretty quick that they didn't need to play together otherwise soccer quickly became a full contact sport.

My sister belongs to an organization out in Hillsboro that is all volunteer and allows children to enjoy the game and not deal with the more competitive side of things.  We have joined in the past several years.  Leila decided soccer isn't her thing.  Its perfect for those of us with kids who aren't sure they want to be competitive and those parents of us who don't have the cash.  Our Nathan is pretty good- we enjoy watching him play and one day might put him in the city league and see how he really does!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Up or Down?

Should I wear up?
 Or Down?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Unwelcome visitors

You are not invited into my home.  How dare you just show up.  And show up as a surprise.  And show up on a day when I already had so much to do and deal with.  How dare you mess with my children, mess up my clean bedding, make all our toys undesirable.  I hate you and wish there was no such thing as YOU!

Yep- we got LICE!  Lucky us.  I kept the kids home and we started treating the hair.  Nathan was lucky and we shaved his using the 1/8" setting on the clippers.  Too bad I can't even do that very well.  Made "nit-picking" much easier.  I haven't noticed any in Kathryn's hair, but might treat her anyway. 

I will say it was enjoyable to spend more than just a few minutes with my children as a captive audience.  They had to rest at my feet while I picked through their hair-- I felt like a momma monkey.  We had sweet conversations and while they wiggled a little, I enjoyed the closeness and experience.  We have had a great day- the kids are being very helpful and getting along very nicely.

If there are no living lice in the morning they can go to school.  I called the school and asked if they would be sending out a notice to the families- but no.  Apparently the Oregon Health Department has decided lice are not shared at school- contact isn't close enough.  But I seriously don't know where else they could have gotten it.  The only other kids they spend time with are the kids at church- and there is no head contact there- and their cousins, which they haven't even seen them much  lately.  Oh wait- we did do OMSI on Friday?  Maybe....  but seriously-- who cares?  So long as I kill them all. 


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Leila and two of her favorite things

Or Kathryn and two of her favorite things....

The Life of Two

This is how the cool kids are wearin' it...

The Fun Run

    I volunteered at the kids school for the fun run and marked off the kids as they passed the lap mark.  The fun run is a fundraiser where 100% of the money raised goes to the kids-- spefically their field trips.  This past year the Parent Teacher Club invested in an electronic reader board and spent all the money on that and other unexpected costs, so our kids have $0 in the budget for having fun.  I was excited to help out- and boy was this fun- the first group was the 4th graders- they had plenty of markers so I cheered on the kids.  I knew a few of them from our bus stop.  The second group was the 5th graders.  Again, I knew a couple of them.  We volunteers finally figured out how to mark the big packs of kids and I had several kids who kept coming over to me each lap so we developed a bit of a relationship.  These kids had a blast and really gave it their all.  I hated running in school- so I was super impressed to see the kids doing it.  I had a 5th grader I wanted to adopt.  He ran 22 laps- around 5.5 miles!  Wow!  There was another boy whose goal was 18 laps.  He didn't want to stop for water because it would waste time- but I told him he needed to, and like a good boy, he listened.  (Gosh, what a MOM I have turned into!)

The after those two groups out came the kindergartners.  Any thoughts we volunteers had to make things run smoothly went out the window.  The kids ran in packs and were not capable of getting marked off other than a single file line.  It was pretty funny actually.

Nathan reminded me of a rubber band-- he would go super fast then then slow down to almost a stop, and the get super excited and take off again and slow down.  I also noticed the kinderkids would often just sit down when they felt  they were too tired.  Nathan would go over to them and ask them if they needed help- he would spend a minute on them, and then off he would go.  A few times I saw him go backwards, but the teachers seemed to keep him on track.  Kathryn really wanted to get down with him(I wore her in the eurgo-baby).  I let her down and Nathan held her hand and walked with her.  So very very cute. She was thrilled and he was proud.  What better combo?  Nathan's tally sheet said he ran 6 laps.  That is a mile and a half!  I am so impressed with him.

Leila's group was after lunch so I couldn't stick around. She ran 10 laps, which is 2 1/2 miles!  Way to go long-legged Leila!  Both my kids amaze me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cool Video about Jeremy's Work

Jeremy puts up with my scrap booking, blogging, and other such interests in my life. He is quite supportive- and if you saw our office and the piles of crap I have on hand you would agree.  He even comes up with ideas for layouts, themes and blog topics(I had him actually scrapbook a page with me- he liked doing it, but will never do another one because of all the grief his buddies gave him- after I proudly told them of course).  

So, here is a video Jeremy suggested, very strongly, that I post about Climax Portable Machine and Tool.  Its actually pretty cool: