Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The new Sprint Mascot

Today, Julia learned how to open up the cell phone. She called several of our friends by pressing various buttons. So here's a heads up: if you get a mysterious phone call and hear heavy breathing or giggling on the other end, don't despair. It's not Freddy or Jason or Chuckie...it's Julia!

Pass the Tylenol.

Apparently it was really important that we get all of our snow for December, January, and February in the space of about 36 hours. I just finished shoveling the walk for the umpteenth time, and it's time for some painkillers. As a lifelong Minnesotan (say it with me: "Minnesoooohtan") I appreciate the value of good snow removal tools. A broom propped against the back door to get those really light fluffy flakes that fall when the clouds sneeze in October. A sturdy shovel with a handle long enough so my nose doesn't touch the sidewalk for the medium stuff. And a snowblower for those batten-down-the-hatches-here-she-comes-holy-cow-is-that-a-lot-of-snow blizzards that start in January and pretty much settle in until March.

Broom? Check.

Shovel? Check.

Snowblower? Buried in the shed under about three feet of snow.

Since this is the first real snow (and by real, I mean it will last longer than until the clouds clear) we've received this winter, there hasn't been an occasion for me to fire up the old gal. Unfortunately, by the time I finally realized that Old Man Winter meant business this time, the shed and its contents were already entombed under a foot and a half of the white stuff. It's been coming down pretty much solid since Saturday night, and though I've taken the time to keep the front walk clean (at the expense of my back, arms, legs, and several other things I won't mention) my duties as student and Papa haven't left me enough spare time to tunnel to the shed. Okay, okay, yes, I did have a few minutes free between laundry and dishes and toys and diapers and infectious disease notes, but I used them to sleep.

So now I face the prospect of trying to retrieve my faithful friend from her white prison either after everyone else is in bed or before they get up. As you can see, I'm wisely using my time now to blog for you. And why, you ask?

The gas in the tank on that snowblower has been sitting there since September. I'm sure it's become a gelatinous goo by this point. Which means that it probably won't start anyway, even if I can get it out. I have grudgingly promised my aching self to try tomorrow, if only to give my arms a reason to hope (I may be approaching the overdose point on Tylenol) but if you hear a groan/scream/snarl followed by an explosion...well, you can guess.

Ah, the joys of winter. Next year, I'm buying a Bobcat.

Monday, February 26, 2007

More snow!

As of this morning, our two day snowfall was 15 inches. That was before we got another four this afternoon. 19 inches in three days! Now all I need is a day off to enjoy it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

More pictues from yesterday (before the big blizzard)

Psymuhn poses for a picture. He likes our new camera.

Julia enjoys sitting in a snow drift. Psymuhn follows her around like a hawk. I think he is protecting her. Notice the black and pink nose on the right...... :)

Julia enjoys a sledding trip!

Here are some more pictures from yesterday. We were excited about the three inches we got. Now, there's about fifteen inches on the ground! We will have to try out the sled again. Unfortunately, being on call wiped me out and I didn't get a chance to take her outside today. Maybe tomorrow!

The snow is here!

Our House
Daddy is shoveling the walk.

Julia and Psymuhn pose for a cameo.

Our snow is here! Yesterday, we got a few inches, which is when we took these pictures. This morning, however, we woke up to a foot more! We were excited to finally get to take Julia and our puppy dog out for a walk/sled. Daddy shoveled the walk and mommy, Julia, and Psymuhn went for a little stroll. Then, we walked to our friends' house (Dan and Jessi) who live a block away. Julia loves her sled! I was worried she'd be angry about the cold, but it was actually pretty nice this weekend and she had a chance to get outside.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Where is the blizzard???

Where in the world is our snow??? Our yard is brown!

I won't smile for you!!!
....but I will try and steal the camera...

There is supposed to be snow this weekend. As you can see above, we don't have anything but a dry, brown yard. Julia has been cooped up in the house because mommy and daddy have been studying and in the hospital a lot. You can really see her burns well in one of these pictures. How the Lord has healed her!!! We're very grateful that we don't have to worry about big ugly scars or infection.
There's a little baby at St. Mary's who is in the PICU (peds intensive care unit) with burns. I felt so sorry for the poor family. He is worse off than Julia. He pulled a pot of hot coffee onto his face. He is three weeks older than Julia. I showed them pictures of Julia now for inspiration.
Have a good day, everyone. I hope we all get a nice dumping of snow this weekend to snap the drought we've had for the past two months. Julia wants to try out her new sled!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Happy baby

Julia is reading about developmental dysplasia of the hip

Today, Julia discovered that she loves to undo piles. You probably don't realize it, but your house is full of many kinds of piles that are just waiting to be messed with. Magazines, mail, plates, folded laundry, neatly placed shoes, homework...... just to name a few. According to Julia, the best thing about piles is that you can rip them apart in seconds...and it takes several minutes to get the pile back in order again. Piles that are within three feet of the floor are all fair game. STuff on the kitchen table is also fair game if you are sitting on Mommy or Daddy's lap. Mike and I spent the evening putting piles back together. Julia did just the opposite.

In surgery today, we spent five hours with a little nine month old. We fixed his bowels. Yay! It was much more rewarding than that awful colon cancer case we had yesterday. This weekend is call. It is snowing up here a lot...so if we get an interesting trauma case, I'll be sure to learn something. I would be just fine with it if nobody wanted surgery this weekend. I need sleep!

Another great day.

Hi everybody!

Our new camera is here! Mike doesn't know how to use it yet...so it will take until tomorrow to get the pictures posted. Maybe I should look at it. I am so exhausted from this surgery rotation that I have about 20 minutes of being at home before I'm ready to hit the sack. Guess the camera will have to wait until I'm a little more awake to know what's going on. We did figure out how to take pictures with the thing...just don't have the ability to make the computer and digital camera talk to each other.

Today in surgery, we had a 61 year old lady with a bowel obstruction. We took her to the OR and it turned out to be a huge colon cancer. There were metastases all over the mesentary (bowel stuff) and it had spread to her liver. Bad news!!! Message for today: find someone you love who's over 50 and tell them to get a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy a few years back would have saved this poor lady's life.

Surgery is fun. It's exhausting...long days, long cases, lots of patients...but it's really neat. My favorite part about it is how you can take a patient that has a problem, cut them open, and just fix it! It's simple, really (not the surgery itself, but the concept of it.) I would totally be a surgeon except for the fact that I'd never have any time outside of the hosptial for my dear family. Sometimes in life you just gotta make those kinds of choices. I will compromise with myself and learn how to do operative Obstetrics like C-sections and the like while I"m in residency.

Mike and I and Julia went with some friends to Mexico Lindo, a little family run mexican joint in Cloquet, for supper tonight. Yum! They have cheap food and crappy service, but it was a blast! I ordered "the special," which consisted of a variety of things I couldn't pronounce. It turned out to be tasty. I still have no idea what I ate. Mexican food is pretty predictable...it's all a mix of tortillas, rice, beans, meat, and cheese. YOu can throw in a little variety with some tomatoes and shredded lettuce on top. The only variation is what they do to the tortilla.

Today's pictures will be on today's topics. A colon and a margarita. Both are essentials.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Taking a bath with grandma! Nov, 2006

We recently bought a new digital camera from Ebay, but it's not here yet. This is an older picture, but it was cute, so it got blogged. :) Grandma Beth came to visit us in November and she is known throughout the world for her babay bath-giving abilities. When we leave Julia in her care, she always comes back squeaky clean!
Well, after a nice weekend off, it's back to the grindstone. I am on call right now. I got home around 10pm and took care of Julia til 11 so that Daddy could get his assignment in before midnight. I went to bed in my scrubs thinking I would get called in for a late-night surgery. I heard my pager go off a few minutes ago. Crap! I loathe the idea of leaving my nice warm bed for a freezing cold car and a freezing cold operating room. I called the number and nobody answered! Yay! I can sleep some more when I am finished with this blog.....so I guess that's all for today, folks! See you tomorrow. Hopefully our new camera will be here and we can upload some more pictures for you.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A glorious weekend...

Julia eats her first Nutella at Trivia Weekend, 2007

A weekend at home at last! We had a wonderful weekend doing very little. I wrote a paper on atypical antipsychotics and insulin resistance, Mike watched Julia, fixed the Chrysler, and cleaned our house. Julia was high-maintenance, but is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

One funny thing she did today: Annie and I were sitting on the couch eating popcorn. Julia was watching Annie and I stuff our faces with popcorn. (You know...when you take a handful and push it up into your face and take big mouthfulls...) I broke a few pieces up, took out the sharp parts, and gave them to Julia. Instead of eating like she usually does, carefully and meticulously, she grabbed all of the pieces in one hand and shoveled them into her mouth. Annie and I got a good laugh...she did a great imitation of our hoggish popcorn-eating.

Went to ShopKo today to buy toilet paper and a new laundry basket for Julia. Real exciting.. I was feeling lazy, so we stopped and ate dinner at Perkins with a gift certificate somebody gave us. MIke ate his first and only patty melt of his life. Julia ate most of Mike's fries and some of my bread bowl salad. Then, it was home again. We bought Julia some clothes on Ebay today because we noticed that she is growing out of all of her current wardrobe. All of her pants look like capris. Her onesies are coming unbuttoned in the crotch when she bends over. Time for some 18 month outfits!!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Julia's new hat from Grandma Beth! She actually likes to wear it!
Ahhhh...a Saturday. Spent the morning sleeping in til 7:30 (I never ever thought that 7:30 would be considered "sleeping in.") Drove Annie and myself out to "coffee cabin," this little family-owned coffee shop in Rice Lake township a few miles out of town. They have the best coffee, cheapest prices, and best studying atmosphere around. I needed to work on the paper for my psych rotation that was due two weeks ago. Annie studied for the NCLEX, a nursing exam.

Came home and studied some more, Annie made lunch for Mike and I. Annie and I attempted to take Julia outside for a walk with Psymuhn. We lasted about 20 minutes before Julia decided that being in the stroller was for the birds. Annie carried her the rest of the way home.

We had our romantic valentine's day dinner tonight. I made salmon with thyme and lemon, rice pilaf, and asparagus. There is greek Baklava waiting for us for dessert. I am still burning off the red wine I drank. Mike got a teaspoon of sugar in his dry red wine...that makes it taste more like Boone's Farm or Mogen David and then he'll drink it. Yum.? I will take my wine plain, thanks.

Tomorrow, we have to figure out how to fix the Chrysler because we have to move it across the street: alternate sides parking. We also have to order the supplies for our new hand chime choir. Rehearsal went really well last week. More on that later!

We're home for a weekend!

Wow. I forget how quickly February passes by...we're already halfway through! Mike and I are reveling in the fact that we are actually home (in Duluth) for an entire weekend. Neither one of us needs to be anywhere until MOnday morning (except for church.) Yahoo! After a grueling, but fascinating week of surgery with hours from 5:30 AM until after suppertime, I am excited to be "sleeping in" until 7:30. Maybe I should go back to bed just because I can...

Julia's burns are healing up nicely. In the picture above, you can see the harness we made for her using my nylons. Its purpose was to keep that little piece of gauze under her chin while she slept. It worked! The spot is healing. We have been putting lotion on all her burns and all you can see now is the pigmentary changes left behind. These should also clear up, but will take months. After all she's been through, a few pink spots on her face and chest sound pretty A-OK to me!

Our latest issue: the shift-interlock on the Chrysler is broken. For all of you non-car-minded folk out there, that means that when we put her into park, she doesn't know it and she won't let you take the key out. It sounds benign if you're OK with having the key in the ignition forever, but there are a few little lights on the dashboard that are also staying on ("check engine" and "cruise" to name a few.) Anyways, I decided that the little indicator light was enough to drain the battery up and disconnected the battery the last time this happened. Mike laughed at me for being so anal. There was no way a silly little check engine light was enough to drain the huge battery we put in that car last year.

So, the next time it got stuck, I left her parked in front of our house with the little lights on the dashboard happily burning. Mike wanted to go somewhere a day later, and oh! the car wouldn't start because the battery was dead.

We are going to try and jump the battery today. My husband will get a refresher course on how to hook up jumper cables while I sit in the warm car and wait.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Long week was three weeks ago, but here's a catch-up

Okay...so I never finished my story. Here's the short version: Julia's burn were bad enough to send us to the pediatric ICU for two nights at the St. Cloud Hospital. They gave her fluids and pain control. We were actually very glad that they admitted her....it would have been awful trying to control her pain at home. Grandma Beth visited us a LOT. She took Julia so mommy and daddy could eat some lunch. Pastor Timm came to see us, as did Tim, John, Jenny, Grandma Ruth, Grandpa Dave, Grandpa Dick, and Annie came. We went home with lots of baby codeine and ibuprofen.

I took a week off from my psych(o) rotation in Anoka to care for Julia. She needed three baths a day and special lotions on the burns round the clock. We rigged up a system to keep the gauze on her chest all night long with cut-off legs from my old nylons. It was very labor-intensive. Thank God, we came through all right! Julia is looking just great these days and we know it's because of all the prayers she had. So, thanks everybody. What a blessing. No burns in her eyes, no third degree, and plastics says "no scarring!"

Monday, February 5, 2007

A long week...

So it's been a long week...

On Friday, Jan 26th, Julia and I were home alone at Grandma's house in St. Cloud. Daddy was gone for the quilting retreat at Camp, Grandpa and Grandma had gone to the Cities to pick up Grandpa's new truck. I was assigned to make baked beans for Great Grandpa's birthday party. Since grandpa and grandma have a brand new kitchen with new appliances and granite countertops, this sounded like it would be an OK way to spend the evening. The kitchen is so classy that even the garbage can has its own drawer. Just pull it open and toss away.

Julia was crawling around as usual, ignoring her toys and going for more interesting destinations such as the doggie water dish; I was keeping one eye on the frying bacon at the stove and one eye on the "toddler." I drained the first batch of bacon, poured the grease into an empty microwave popcorn bag, and put it in the garbage. I closed the garbage drawer and went back to the stove. Just as I finished putting the next layer of bacon in the pan, Julia came cruising into the kitchen. I greeted her and went back to the stove. A few seconds later, I heard a blood-curdling scream from behind me. I turned around: Julia was standing up next to the garbage drawer that she had just pulled open. I checked her fingers because I assumed one had gotten pinched in the drawer mechanism. Fingers OK. Why was she so upset...?

I picked her up and looked at her. I saw hot bacon grease on my daughter's face.

I instantly plunged her into the kitchen sink and sprayed water all over her. Off went the clothes, more water. There was grease on her chest, right over the sternal notch running down to the epigastric area. I held her to my chest and tried to comfort her crying. I knew this was very, very bad. My mind started to race: how bad is she burned? Is this ER-bad? Intensive Care Unit-bad? HCMC burn unit bad? First degree burns turn red, second degree burns get blisters instantly, third degree burns are through the dermis.... Her screams continued. I grabbed the diaper bag and wrapped my wet, burned daughter in a quilt. We jumped into the front seat of our Honda and drove straight to the ER. It was the first time Julia had ever been in the front seat.