Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We arrived safely and soundly in Omaha Monday night. Mike and I were so tired after our long trip! Thank goodness we were greeted by Owen's aunts, who were so happy to watch him while we took a little nap. Tuesday was filled with finishing up the last minute details for Christmas. Shopping, cooking, and wrapping! We also got to see some good friends and spend time with the Walsh's. Wednesday morning, I got together with a good friend from college for coffee. When I got home, we celebrated Christmas with Mike's family. We had such a nice time and received lots of nice presents. Because Mimi had just watched Owen the week before, she knew just what he wanted... Elmo and Choo Choo's. Don't you just love Owen's gift bow headband?
While we were opening presents, my mom and sister both called to let me know my youngest brother, Sam, was admitted to the hospital. He had been sick with mono for two weeks and had been steadily getting sicker (despite 4 doctors visits in the meantime.) They didn't know what was wrong with him but he had been having back/ side pain for the last several days and could barely walk. The doctors were guessing he had pneumonia or pyelonephritis or something like that, but weren't sure. How horrible, to be so sick, and even worse, to be in the hospital on Christmas Eve. My parents said he was going to be ok, so we packed up and went to Charter Oak, IA with Mike's family to spend the night at his grandparent's house.

We went to Mass and in their small town and it only lasted about 35 min, which was about the perfect amount of time for Owen. Afterwards, we went back to their house to cook dinner.

Mike's aunt and uncle and cousins arrived awhile later and we ate and exchanged gifts. All the while, we keep hearing worse news about Sam. The pulmonologist has reviewed the cat scan it showed his right lung to be 2/3 full of puss and abcesses. Gross! (Sorry, Sam!) He would need a thoracotomy (a surgery in which they open up your lung.) They eventually decided it would be on Christmas day around 2 pm.
Christmas morning we packed up and were on the road before 8 am. We had an uneventful drive, except for the loss of our only remaining pacifier. Owen threw it somewhere in the back and we stopped and dug and hunted, but we couldn't find it. Big bummer! He eventually cried himself out and fell asleep.
We made it to the hospital around noon and Sam looked pretty rough. We visited for awhile before heading to the Schieber house to unload the car and drop Lola off with the other dogs. We changed Owen and headed back to the hospital. They let us all go see him in the pre-op area (even Owen) before his surgery. I don't know if they normally do that, but it was Christmas, and he was the only patient. His surgery lasted about 2.5 hours which was what the surgeon told us was the best case scenario. Also, they were able to extubate him while he was in the operating room which was a good sign. After surgery, we got to see him in the recovery room again. He was really sleepy but when he saw my brother Alex, he said "What's up dude?" It was pretty funny! And a sign that he was going to be okay. He spent the night in ICU and Mike, Owen, and I went back to my parent's house.

The next morning we went back and he was quickly transferred to the CCU or step-down unit. More good signs! Later that day we celebrated Christmas with my family at home and then again with Sam in the hospital. We received lots of nice gifts, but we all felt bad because Sam wasn't there.

We ended up staying through Monday morning. Mike and Owen were both troopers, spending lots of time in various hospital lounges and waiting rooms and occasionally making the long trek over to the kids play area by the hospital cafeteria, as well as alone at my parent's house.

Owen was great on the car ride home. We got him a strawberry milkshake at DQ and he was in heaven. He drank half of it without coming up for air! Christmas was very strange this year, but it was nice that we all got to be together. It really made me appreciate all of the hospital staff who worked on Christmas. I always grumble about working on the holidays, but after this year, I know I'll try harder to focus on feeling bad for the patients who are stuck there on the holidays instead of feeling sorry for myself. Sam got to go home from the hospital Tuesday night. He is doing well, other than having a hard time staying comfortable on the pain medication, which I guess is more or less to be expected, but too bad.

Christmas #1

The day after I got home from Mexico, Santa decided to stop by one afternoon while Owen was napping. We were all very relieved, because we were worried Santa wouldn't be able to find us in Omaha/ IA/ Kansas City.

Owen got a baby and a bowling set, among other things.

Mommy got some new slippers,

and Daddy got a new sweatshirt with promises of a sweater to come.

We had lots of fun playing with Owen's new toys. I worked the next three nights and then Monday morning, I picked up the boys after my shift and we headed to Omaha.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Since Em and my Mom graduated from nursing school 3 and a half years ago, the three of us have been talking about celebrating with some kind of tropical girls getaway. I kind of thought it would never happen, but in August they called me. They had found a great deal online and my Dad offered to pay (thank you SO much, Dad! The trip was amazing!) We have to book today, they said. Oh my goodness, I thought. I couldn't even begin to think of leaving Owen (and of course Mike, too.) We called Mike's Mom and she enthusiastically said she could come any time and would stay as long as we needed her. Well, I called them back and the trip was booked. I anxiously/nervously/excitedly awaited December 14th for the next several months. It seemed so far off, but I knew it would come up so quickly. And, it did. I can't believe it's over and I'm already home! It almost seems like a dream, as I sit in Evanston knowing the windchill outside is -30 right now (that's right!)

We had a great time. It was so relaxing! I'm almost embarrassed to say that we didn't even leave the resort. We spent our days lounging at the pool and the beach, sipping Pina Coladas, margaritas, and other delicious drinks. We also ate (and ate, and ate!) We all got along well, too.
Owen, Mike, and Mimi did just fine without me, too. It was so nice of her to come watch Owen all week. I really appreciate it and can't thank her enough. This trip came at a great time. With all we've been through in the last few weeks, it was so nice to just get away. I'm not quite ready to book another trip, but I think the fun memories of this one will get me through the long, cold winter and help me be a better mom, wife, and nurse. Hopefully, we'll eventually do it again! And, if you're looking for a resort in Playa Del Carmen, I highly recommend Secrets Meroma Beach.

It's so funny to be in 80 degree weather around the winter holidays. One of our waiters told us that he thought it had been kind of "cold" while we were there. I'll take that kind of "cold" anytime!

With Freddy, our favorite waiter (after a couple of margaritas!)

Is that you, Santa Claus?!

We took Owen to see Santa at Petsmart again this year. When we got about 10 feet from Santa, he pretty much freaked out and started screaming at the top of his lungs for several minutes. Eventually, the photographer started dancing around with a silly dog toy and Owen stopped crying long enough to get a couple of pictures. Please note the tears still on his cheeks. So sad. The whole ordeal left me wondering, are we really mean parents for subjecting him to this? Or, would we be worse if we didn't take him to see Santa? Also, after we paid some managerish looking woman came up to us and asked if it was our child who was screaming like that. She could hear him all the way in the back of the store. Thanks lady. We were wondering.

This accidental video is kind of funny or sad (again, I'm not sure which.) Hopefuly next year will be better.

Trying to catch up (as always)...

Early December came with visitors! Yea! Em and Jim came to visit and got more than they bargained for... a sick Owen and a sick puppy. I had to work 3 nights in a row, and poor Mike got to be the nurse. Owen had never had a fever (other than after immunizations) and he spiked up to 104.2. Needless to say, I was a little stressed! He layed around for a day and a half before his fever spiked. I didn't even know what to do with him. I couldn't even imagine it was possible that Owen could be awake and lay on my lap for hours at a time! He is usually SO busy! Thank goodness it was short lived!

Here he is after some Motrin. Thank goodness for that stuff! Still not feeling too well, but attempting to smile!

Poor Lola was having horrible GI issues for the better part of a week. You don't even want to know... Let's just say we're having the rugs cleaned...

Here is Owen, feeling a little better, layed out on the couch and talking on the phone. This kid loves talking on the phone. I don't even want to think about his teenage years!

Happy 28th Birthday, Daddy! We celebrated with eggnog, angelfood cake, and of course, Long John Silver's.

Because it's been so cold and snowy here, we've been spending way too much time in the house. One day Owen was randomly doing a bunch of yoga poses. I enjoy yoga, but I've never done it in front of him. It was pretty funny!

Downward dog, with the dog...

Cobra pose

Nice shoes...

Owen and Mommy's photo shoot...

Owen's Christmas sweater done at last!

It fits nicely in the body, but it could be a bit longer. At least it will be ok for Christmas. This kid is really tall... I need to remember to make things a little longer in the future.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The real biggest loser...

I just saw a commercial for American Idol (which starts up again 13 and 14th!!!) I am so excited. I am so embarrassed...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Don't exactly know what I was thinking...

Here is a silly picture of Owen in his overalls. We took his shirt off because we were having chili for dinner. Mike thought the hat was a nice touch!

Sunday morning, after working all night and then going to church, I decided to stop and get some doughnuts! For some reason, I got Owen a sprinkle doughnut. What a mess! He loved it, though! Thank goodness we have Lola to clean up our crumbs!
Here is a picture of Owen and I in the tunnel. I'm surprised we didn't get stuck!