Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Visitors



Romeni and Granddaddy arrived safely last Thursday night.  We've already been to the BX so that Reina could pick out her Xmas present - a brand new bike.  And which one do you think she picked? The pink, barbie one.  I could not sway her to even consider a different one!  Unfortunately, it was a rainy day on Saturday, but we did manage to get soccer practice in.  It went about the same as the first week, but I cut her some slack with the surgery and all.  She was kicking the ball a bit better, but it will definitely be something we will work on.  She loved her new bike. I knew she was ready, and when Dad offered (as he had earlier this year) I thought it would be sweet for him and Romeni to buy one for her and see her enjoy it - the best part of present giving!

A barbie bike with a bike for barbie
Kaiya took to Graddad and Romeni pretty quick.  That first evening she was a bit shy, not wanting to be too far from my side, but she has since warmed up. She is much more agreeable than Reina was with meeting new people - although I have to admit, Reina was always great with relatives.  Kaiya has transitioned to daycare food, which Chris and I love, since we don't have to prepare food for her each night.  They always tell me how great of an eater she is, which is something Chris and I see at home too. However, she is different than Reina in that she throws her food. I've heard of babies doing this, but I guess I was lucky with Reina, as she never did that.  Kaiya will throw the food down if she doesn't like it.  It is not pleasant!  Kaiya loves watching her big sister, and playing with all of the soccer balls lately has been something she definitely enjoys.  Maybe Reina will be our little dancer, and Kaiya will be our little soccer girl....who knows!

We've only spent 4 days with our visitors, so there's not much more to report than the new bike!  I will have to work on getting more pictures with Kaiya.  Somehow, she escaped the camera today.  Probably because she was sleeping, each time I went out with Reina, Granddad, and Romeni.  Chris went and visited Kuniko this morning, while we went to the zoo.  Reina seems to be completely recovered from her surgery. Well, except we did try gymnastics on Saturday and that didn't go well. I think the stretching, jumping, and bending gymnastics requires was too much.  Maybe next week.  We have ballet on Wednesday, so we'll see how she does with that.  She has requested a ballerina cake for her 4th birthday party, so I know she loves ballet!




Dressing up for Granddaddy

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Appendectomy


1st soccer practice on Saturday
Monday at home with Dad.  Flu?
I never thought that the first one in our family to "go under" would be one of our daughters, but that is unfortunately what happened.  It started Monday morning with an un-finished bowl of cereal and a slightly cranky, upset tummy Reina.  All else was normal.  Sunday evening we had dinner with Kuniko and ended the evening dancing and singing songs with a toy Oba-chan brought.  Saturday Reina went to her very first soccer practice.  When I received a phone call after getting to work early Monday morning, but before school started, I knew instantly it had to do with Reina's upset stomach.  The teacher said Reina was crying about her stomach, which is not normal, so I phoned up Chris and he arranged to go and pick her up for the day.  When I spoke with Chris at lunch about how Reina was doing, he said she had thrown up three times (twice at daycare before he got to her) and that she was doing ok.  When I got home, things weren't much better. She had stopped throwing up, but she was literally lying on the futon in front of the tv moaning.  Not watching tv, not happy to see me, not even sucking her thumb.  She was like that the rest of the evening, literally moaning ever so often.  She skipped dinner and bath.  For bedtime, I was worried enough to insist she sleep at the foot of our bed on the futon. She cried the whole way upstairs (the transition) and continued to do poorly on the futon.  We discussed the ER earlier but figured it was just the flu.  I did some research and appendicitis did sound like a likely candidate to me...Reina hadn't had a fever until around 5pm, so we gave her some tylenol to help with that.  Around 11pm, when the tylenol had done nothing for her  Chris said we had to take her.  I had to stay home with Kaiya (that may have been one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made) while he drove her to the ER.

In the ER (Tuesday
They admitted her to the ER fairly quickly (30 minutes).  I was awake at home, anxious about what was happening.  I recieved two text messages from Chris. The first said Reina had an X-ray.  I of course wanted more details, but I think at this point the doctors suspected an appendicitis  but weren't positive.  After the X-ray results were in-conclusive they ordered a cat-scan.  Now, I've had a cat-scan. Its not something I would imagine a three-year old tolerating very well.  But, Chris said Reina was so tired at this point, that she wasn't resisting much.  With a bit of dozing, I finally perked up again at 5am and texted Chris to see if the doctors had some type of diagnosis: appendicitis.  He told me I needed to find a way to get Kaiya to daycare, call work and take off because Reina was having an appendectomy soon. This was very scary.  I pulled it together and called a friend to come pick me up (I couldn't drive with Kaiya since Chris took the car with the carseats with him).
Tuesday - post surgery in the ICU (with morphine)

I dropped off Kaiya right at 6:30am and then I got to the hospital JUST in time to see Reina before heading to the operating room.  She looked pretty pathetic, drugged and hooked up to everything.  The doctor told us the surgery would take 45minutes.  Chris and I waited.  It was longer than 45minutes, maybe an hour.  When the doctor finally came in, he said Reina was fine (yes, this is what I needed to hear first).  Then he explained that her appendix was gangrene and burst while he was in there.  He said he had to do quite a bit of cleaning up and that her appendix was a little hard to get to behind her colon.  He said that we had to worry about infection so they would keep her in the hospital 5 - 7 days to ensure all was ok.  Whoa.  5 days.  That seemed like a long time.  We only stayed in the hospital for 2 days when Reina and Kaiya were born.  After hanging out with Reina in the operating room while she came to, they moved us to the ICU.  Reina was in and out after the surgery, slowly opening her eyes and then crying. It was heart-breaking.  She was clearly disorientated and in pain.  Man I wish I could have traded her places.

We spent Tuesday in the ICU with Reina.  Chris and I had already arranged to take the rest of the week off and fortunately Kaiya could stay in daycare for most of the day.  Chris spent the night in bed with Reina in the ICU while I went home and took care of Kaiya.  Tuesday was hard because Reina was just so drugged.  She would get infusions of antibiotic maybe every 4 hours (and did throughout her whole stay at the hospital) and they went right into an IV and lasted about 30 minutes.  She was much better after they un-hooked a lot of the things from her  so that she could move around.  When I came back for dinner around 5 - 6pm Tuesday, Reina was able to walk around with me and play "I spy."  That really helped me leave her, since I knew she was in good spirits.

Wednesday, visiting with Kaiya.  Still in a lot of pain.
On Wednesday, I came back after dropping off Kaiya early in the morning and spent the day with Reina again.  We left the ICU in a very large wheelchair, headed for 3 East, which was just another recovery wing, but with less care than the ICU.  Reina did not like moving in the wheelchair; she cried the whole way.  By Wednesday, we were trying to keep her off the morphine, and had gone to oral tylenol.  The tylenol the hospital gave her was clearly not sugared like our home version, and she spit quite a bit of it out.  I contribute this to the extra pain she was probably feeling.

Wednesday was the hardest day for me.  I think its because my expectation was that Reina would clearly be doing better 24hours after the surgery.  But, this was not the case.  She was still in enough pain that moving hurt, so she lied in bed and watched movies/cartoons all day.  I had to leave to go get Kaiya at 3.  When I went up to get Kaiya, it was very difficult seeing all of her classmates smiling.  They asked me how Reina was (or where she was) and then the teachers showed up with a balloon and card for her.  This undid me.  I thanked them before leaving in tears (I had more or less kept it together by this point, but this put me over the top).  Watching your child in pain has to be one of the hardest things to witness.  I called up a friend to keep me company and help me with Kaiya as I did some chores at home before heading to the hospital for dinner.  That night I didn't sleep very well.  Again, I just thought she was going to be better Wednesday, so I was worried that night.

Thursday, feeling much better.  
Thursday she was leaps and bounds better. I brought Cinderella, a movie I coincidently ordered for Xmas or B/day and thought it may lift her spirits. I lied in bed with her Thursday morning watching Cinderella together and felt much better.  The rest of the day Reina was clearly feeling better, laughing, talking, eating.  The doctor ensured me she was doing great (despite how I felt on Wednesday) and thought we may get to go home Friday.  Thursday, Reina also had Auntie Karen and Jackie visit with flowers and balloons and books, which Reina enjoyed (as we did too). Karen brought the balloons and books from Grandma and Halil, who helped me tremendously in getting through the night, since I was able to email with her when I was at home with Kaiya by myself.

Friday, Reina continued to look and feel better.  After waiting for the doctor to show up (with a lot of apprehension on Reina's part), he finally came around 3, interrupting Reina's nap (she did great napping, despite Chris and I right in the room with her).  The good part about the doc interrupting the nap was that he was able to cut out the first (of two) staples before Reina even realized what was going on.  The second one came out pretty easily too (and it looked pretty painless) with Reina only crying.  Chris had mentioned this to me earlier, but despite Reina's clear whining/crying throughout her whole hospital stay, she was very good at putting up with whatever the doctors or nurses were doing to her.  So, despite crying and clearly not liking the staples being removed, she kept her arms out of the way of the cut and stayed still so that the staples could be removed.  She was very excited to get out of the hospital and was able to walk all the way down to the car (carrying her wasn't really an option anyhow, with her sensitive cut, now covered with glue and tape, rather than staples).

At home, Friday starting on some stickers.
After leaving the hospital, we drove right to pick up Kaiya.  Reina's sensei came down to see her, and Reina was all smiles.  They gave us a bottle of apple juice (not sure if there was any significance to the type of present, but Reina was excited to try it when we got home).  We arranged to have Kaiya go to school for a little on Monday, so that Chris and I can get into work (we are way behind after missing all of last week).  Reina's first request when she got home was to go play with the girls outside.  We decided that she wasn't ready, so she settled for stickers on her table instead.  Now we are home and trying to resume regular life.  Saturday morning we did a bit too much, so that Saturday afternoon Reina felt a bit sore (I imagine). So we are trying to take it easy now, with not too much movement (although I think she is a bit tired of watching tv)

Obviously the appendectomy was all consuming this past week.  Chris and I were relieved to be home Friday night together with both girls home and safe.  A very stressful week.


Kaiya, soon approaching one, is getting better and better at standing by herself and even took a little step on Friday.  We are excited for more help later this week, when Romeni and Granddaddy come to visit.  And for Thanksgiving.  Thank goodness this all now, during November, the month with little work.  I am thankful to have two safe, healthy little girls...and for Chris.  Phew.  This just makes me appreciate life and the health of everyone that much more.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tired, Thirsty, Itchy, and Cold

What is this thing?

Trick-or-treating with Ako, Rana (and Skyla)










Skyla and Kazuki
The much anticipated Halloween festivities are over.  After our long Saturday morning at undo-kai (sports day) and our Halloween party at the McKinney's, we looked forward to staying at home on Sunday.  But, that afternoon, the neighborhood girls came over and we had our pumpkin carving party, with caramel apples (Reina and I made them Sunday morning and they were a big hit).  Reina choose the smallest pumpkin with the happiest face.  Reina is not much into scary things.  I didn't know how many of the girls would want to carve pumpkins, so I got 5.  Skyla and Kazuki came too, so with them and us, we had 3 left-over, one for Ako, one for Rana, and then one for the Goya sisters to share (Manaka, Miri, and Ichika).  Kaiya was great, sitting next to me and Reina in the yard, taking everything in.  All of the girls had a great time, not just carving pumpkins, but running around in the yard.
Reina with her pumpkin (Kaiya's is the little pink-haired one)

All of the girls (plus a few I don't even know!)
On Halloween, the girls' daycare went to Depot Island (Chatan Jusco area) to trick or treat.  There was some kind of festival going on so Reina went as a Greek princess (the costume we got for her two years ago in Greece - so we got some extra wear out of that!).  Kaiya and the littlest ones stayed for at school.  Unfortunately, Reina and her classmates missed her nap, on such a crucial day too, as we were going to have a late night. Reina took a little cat-nap in the car home only to turn around and head out to meet Skyla, Ako, and Rana (and their mamas) at gate one.  We headed to the food court for a quick bite to eat and then went off to trick-or-treat.  We drove over to a housing area after dinner, and went trick-or-treating.  They all loved it; Reina was the quickest I've ever seen her!  Ako and Rana would run back to their mom every time they got candy only to tell her how they got more, and Rana even kept a running tab until adding them up got too complicated!  Towards the end, Rana was getting tired.  Megumi told me Rana said she was "tired, thirsty, itchy and cold." We decided that meant it was time to go.

All in all, it was a great Halloween.  The holidays are so much more fun now with little ones to experience it with.