Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I Love My Lips!

It's a lip, it's a lip, it's a lip, lip, lip! Well, it wasn't Larry's lips but Philip's that got a complete overhaul today. Today was the big day of his 3rd surgery to correct the cleft in his lip and palate. It was a big day all around as Adora went to court this morning to meet up with Nehemiah's dad who was a no-show (boo hoo on him!). While Adora was in court, Muffy showed up to help out. Fr. Joel arrived home from work shortly before noon - just in enough time to load Philip and Nathan up in the car and get us all to the hospital. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Theresa picked up Miriam and took her to her dentist appointment, Adora arrived back home and Muffy took the girls back to her place for a couple of days. The hospital called this morning to ask if we could get there a couple of hours earlier than scheduled - NOT!

We arrived at the hospital and Philip went through the usual formalities. He sat around in a hospital-issue gown, 2 cheeks to the wind, while getting his vitals, Mom and Dad did paperwork, he visited with the anesthesiologist, a child care worker showed him the "medicine mask" and hooked him up with a handheld Playstation (he died and went to Heaven before he even hit the surgery table!) and the surgeon came in, chatted him up and wrote on his face, complete with his initials.

Dad accompanied him into the surgical room where some guy named Charlie talked him up until he fell dead asleep and they kicked Fr. Joel out. Then the waiting began. They called us about 40 minutes later (around 4:00) to say that they had just begun the surgery and all was going well. Three chapters of a Patrick O'Brien novel and too many episodes of Divorce Court later his doctor appeared on the scene with Philip's tooth in a little sample cup with a dollar taped to the top. The surgery went well, he said and all but one goal was accomplished. Here were the goals, just for the record:

1. Repair aveolar cleft in the palate (this involved removing the baby tooth in the gap of the cleft, taking a piece of bone out of Philip's left hip and using it to build a bridge across the gap caused by the cleft).

2. Close up the fistula (aka hole) running from the roof of Philip's mouth into his nostril (never again will he spit stuff out of his nose).

3. Revise the lip where a previous surgery had left a small peak on the top edge of his lip.

4. Remove scar tissue from a previous surgery.

Goals 1-3 were accomplished with flying colors. Number 4 will require a brief (10 minute) second surgery in a couple of months.

We were able to go in and visit with Philip in the recovery room where he remained for about 1 1/2 hours. This was also our first clue that the evening was not going to go as planned. We had brought Nathan along as he still requires milking every few hours and the plan was for me and little Naters to spend the night nursing Philip back to health in the hospital. This being flu and RSV season, no children under the age of 16 are currently allowed in the hospital areas where there are patients so...we had to take turns alternately visiting with Philip and bouncing Nathan on our knees (although Charlie did volunteer to babysit briefly so we could both go into recovery together at first..what a guy!). This also meant that Mom and baby were going home while Dad stayed behind to fill the nursing skin off of Philip's teeth, he's definitely a Daddy's boy anyway. It was a bit problematic for Fr. Joel, however, when we realized the extra socks and undies I had packed weren't exactly going to fit him comfortably...

So here I am at home, very late at night, typing this out for all the world to read while Fr. Joel tries to get comfy in a pull-out chair and make Philip pee in a container (apparently he's decided to compete with his little brother, Bladder of Steel who, incidentally, has completely reverted back to diapers since his great pottying victory nigh 6 days ago).

Somewhere on my camera are before pictures. I'll take some after shots and try to get them up here on the blog.

But for now, I'm turning in!

Friday, February 16, 2007

More Rules to Live By

Sometimes I find myself saying the durndest things....

You may not make noseprints in your cornbread.

You may not hide your food in the Advent wreath.

If you find yourself licking your plate, you are *not* having good table manners.

Saying goodnight does not involve the word dupa.

You may not wear your veil to the dinner table.

Do not put your foot in a hot oven.

You may not boss people around when you are only wearing your underwear.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Well, John Michael decided today was the day to become a big boy. Adora convinced him that only babies wear diapers and if he's going to be a baby then he can only eat baby food...and she made a big kid only Valentine cheesecake. That did it. The diaper came off, the underpants went on and the wait began to see if Bladder of Steel could make it to the potty in time. About half-way through supper he got a funny look on his face, announced that he was about to have wet pants and ran to his little potty (conveniently placed within eyeshot of the dining room table). About a minute later the little potty was full! John took care of his business and returned to the table only to sneak off and back to the potty a few minutes later. As soon as we realized he was missing (hey, with 13 bodies in the house it's not hard to misplace one once in a while) all eyes were on the potty where John was sporting a determined look and proclaimed that he would also be pooping. Sure enough he was right. I asked him to empty out his little potty and after a few too many minutes in the bathroom, I walked in to find him scrubbing the small potty receptacle with the toilet brush - by golly if he was going to be a big boy, he was going to go all out! Well, Bob the Builder was so pleased to hear about John Michael's accomplishment that he once again called him personally to congratulate him. A couple of other sibs got in on the Bob action and Ben swears his voice is a dead ringer for Deacon Jeff but maybe that's just a funny coincidence...Big Boy to the bitter end of the day, John insisted on taking his first shower as well instead of a bath. He did don a night-time diaper with promises of dry, clean pants all day tomorrow to earn him the privelege of wearing underpants to bed too! baby's growing up!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Animal Sounds

I was running through animal sounds with David the other day and got these responses:

David, what does a dog say?

Woof! Woof!

What does a cat say?


What does a lion say?


What does a chicken say?


What does a bear say?


That's my boy...

Just now I was rounding up John Michael and David for naps. I asked John if he was ready for a nap and he replied to me, "No, I am not ready for a nap but only say the word and I shall be healed." I got a big chuckle out of that and related the story to Fr. Joel but admitted that I was pondering which exact words would heal him from this anti-napism. He suggested, "Behold the nap of John. Blessed are they who nap until Supper."

We had some friends over the other night and John brought along his guitar while Fr. Joel was jamming on his recorders. When they ran out of songs to sing, they asked the kids for requests. John Michael begged them to play "Tinkle, Tinkle Little Star" which, we decided after trying out his version, begs the question where *does* rain come from?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Friday, February 09, 2007

Three Princesses and A Prince

Another local church sponsored a Father/Daughter Princess Dance. A few of the families from our church decided it was a worth-while event and a whole slew of happy girls prepared for their big night out tonight. Our girls made themselves tiaras, picked out their princess dresses and donned their prettiest jewels. Then they anxiously awaited Daddy's return from work.
Daddy came home with flowers for each of the girls. They, meanwhile, had carefully selected his blue suit and the handprint tie (he was opting to be "Daddy" for the evening rather than wear his usual formal "Father" attire) and thus they sealed his fate as the father of daughters. His fashion sense will never again go unnoticed... The event was a brilliant success. The hosting church is a large, well-organized body who really knows how to throw a nice party. They joined hundreds of other young princesses and their dads, danced the night away, had a sit-down dinner and were treated to a presentation about Queen Esther and her love for her Lord. It was a night to remember for many years to come!