Sunday, January 30, 2011

Birthday Lunch

Today our family gathered at Daddy Steve & Namaw's house to celebrate my birthday!  I know it was last week...but since Daddy Steve & Namaw had pneumonia and the flu last week....we though it'd be smart to wait and celebrate this weekend.  The boys were excited to go over and wait for their uncles and aunts to arrive.  I went ahead with them while Mike went to pick up the food.
Barrett got out one of Daddy Steve's music books and asked him to play the guitar.  Daddy Steve was happy to put on a little concert for his grandson!
Mike picked up all the fixings for fajitas from On the Border for lunch.  It was delicious!!!!  I'm glad there's enough for leftovers.  We'll get to enjoy it for a few more days!
After lunch the guys headed outside to go see the vines in the greenbelt behind Daddy Steve & Namaw's house.  Then they played baseball for a while with Brody and all the other neighborhood kids.  Barrett wasn't feeling well and asked to go to sleep during lunch.  He slept until it was time to go home!  Brody, on the other hand, had no intentions of taking a nap.  He stayed at Daddy Steve and Namaw's house and played outside with the neighborhood kids until it was dark outside!  It was a fun day for all of us...but I think it was a truly AWESOME day for Brody!

Friday, January 28, 2011

On the mend

Barrett has been doing very well in the days following surgery.  He's not a big fan of the eye drops...but we don't have to use a straight jacket to get them in.  He'll lie still for us...he just makes us pry his eyes open!  The whites of his eyes are still very bloody looking, but they're getting better each day.  The tears of blood have stopped (back to normal tears) and he hasn't had any pain!  When I ask him if his eyes hurt his response is, "No.  Not at all!"  I'm so thankful that he hasn't had much pain!  Just the threat of the "special sleeves" have kept him from getting anywhere near touching his eyes.  We go back to Dr. P on the 4th and I'll be excited to see what he can tell about Barrett's vision.  The double vision has ended and as far as we can tell it appears that he's tracking well and seeing well with both eyes! 
As I think it should be, he's been spoiled a little bit this week.  Tyler brought by a stuffed puppy, Daddy Steve and Namaw got him some new chapstick (for the importance of chapstick look back at our New Mexico posts), Grammy sent a dump truck in the mail, and Sharon & Sheila sent him a fun book and stickers.  He's also enjoyed the luxury of sleeping on the camo couch (the kid size couch that flips out to a bed) on our bedroom floor (so that we could keep an eye on him during the night).  He thought it was cool to be able to see me in bed while he was sleeping. 
Barrett didn't go back to school this week and I didn't take him to the gym with me...but I think we'll be able to get back into our normal routine next week.  He has lots of energy and wants to run and play just like normal.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Barrett's Surgery

This morning started early.  The alarm went off at 5:30 am.  We drug ourselves out of bed, got dressed, and then carried Barrett to the Jeep to head to the hospital.  He was excited about going to the hospital (probably the only time in his life...if there's a next time he'll know what it's about and won't be looking forward to it!)  After checking in and changing into a gown, he snuggled with his bears...
and then had fun drawing on the heat sensitive drawing board.
After meeting with numerous nurses, the anesthesiologist, and the "child life specialist" (aka lady who brings toys around), Dr. P came in to see us.  We talked about the procedure and then he prayed with us before he left.  There's a tremendous amount of peace that comes over you when your doctor prays with you before he operates on your child.  It's truly a blessing to have such a skilled physician who believes in the ultimate Healer! 

After Dr. P left I held Barrett while the nurse gave him some morphine and a sedative (via a vial squirted up his nose!)  The drugs helped him to relax and they said it would also make it so he wouldn't remember us leaving him.  After the drugs took effect they wheeled him back to the operating room where the anesthesiologist would administer the anesthesia and then they would insert the IV and a breathing tube...and then begin the surgery.  The strabismus surgery involves cutting the inner eye muscle on both of Barrett's eyes, repositioning the eyes, and then reattaching the muscles.  The goal is not only cosmetic (both his eyes focusing straight), but also preserved vision.  The hope is that by correctly aligning the eyes his brain will begain to use both eyes to see in conjunction with one another (rather than only using one eye at a time as has been happening).  Only time will tell if the surgery has been successful.

After they wheeled Barrett off, Mike and I grabbed some breakfast and coffee from the hotel Starbucks and then headed for the surgery waiting room.  We were met in the hall by Ryan Inlow who was there to pray with us and wait with us.  Since the hospital asks that each family have only 2 people waiting in the waiting room (due to limited space), he prayed with us and then we went in to the waiting room to wait on our own.  Not 5 minutes after we sat down the phone in the waiting room rang and the attendendant asked for Barrett's parents to answer the phone.  Our hearts dropped!  Why would they already be calling us?  What had happened?!?  I was able to breathe again when the nurse on the other end of the phone said, "I was just calling to let you know that Barrett is doing well and Dr. P will come out and visit with you after he completes the surgery."  Whew!  We were glad there wasn't a problem and that everything was going well.

A little over an hour after we left Barrett, Dr. P came out to meet with us.  His part of the surgery was over and was successful!  Praise the Lord!  He reitterated to us that we won't know for several weeks to months how successful the surgery has been and also told us that we might see wild alignment of his eyes (up/down/side) until his muscles adjust to their new position.  He told us that the nurses would be out in about 1/2 hour to take us back to see Barrett.

This is what we saw when we walked through the doors to recovery....
It took us over an hour to get Barrett to wake up.  We expected the nurses to be pushing us to make him stay awake (that's what nurses do to adults coming out of anesthesia)...but they handle it different in the pediatric ward.  They told us to let him rest for awhile and that he'd wake up in his own time.
After an hour of deep sleep (snoring and drooling), they finally said it was ok for us to start gently waking him.  It took a while, but he finally opened his eyes to the mention of a popcicle.  They had him in arm restraints ("special sleeves") so that he wouldn't rub or touch his eyes, so Mike fed him the popcicle.

He was still very tired, but since he kept down the popcicle and apple juice, they allowed us to take him home.  He was starving when we got home and was dying for a pop tart (of all things?!?! lol)  You'll notice that his eyes are very bloody looking.  They will probably look like this for a week or so.  He's also crying bloody tears.  It's sad to watch!
Barrett wasn't messing with his eyes when we took the "special sleeves" off, so we left them off for his nap and just had him sleep in the media room where we could see him.  He played for a little while when he woke up and then he just wanted me to hold him.  He kept telling me, "I do not like my surgery!"

A little after 5 pm Tyler showed up at our house with a cute puppy for Barrett.  Barrett wouldn't talk for the first 1/2 hour, but then he must have started feeling a little better and wanted to play with Tyler (and Brody and Daddy).  We ate dinner together and then the boys played until bed time.  Just before bed time Caleb and Audria stopped by to check on Barrett.
Much to Brody's dismay, we're having Barrett sleep on the floor in our room tonight (Brody wanted him to sleep in his room!)  We're praying we all get a good night's sleep.  It's been a long day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Surgery Scheduled

Barrett's eye surgery is scheduled for 8:00 am tomorrow.  We're supposed to be to the hospital at 6:30 am.  Keep Barrett and the doctors in your prayers.  We'll let you know how it goes sometime tomorrow.

Pictures for B's bed

The other day Brody woke up from his nap with a plan.  He told me, "When Daddy gets home I want him to go outside and play football, baseball, and soccer with me and I want you to take pictures of us playing.  Then I want you to print the pictures so I can hang them on my bed!"  It was getting dark outside so the pictures weren't the greatest...but it's not the picture quality that Brody was concerned with.  He just wanted to be able to look at pictures of him and his Daddy playing ball as he goes to sleep at night.  Here's the collage I made for him to hang on his bed. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pre-op Appointment

Yesterday we went to a pre-op appointment for Barrett's eye surgery.  Barrett was old enough this time to read the chart (they use a picture chart) for the doctor.  I could tell that is right eye is seeing much better than the left eye, however, he is still seeing out of his left eye (praise the Lord!)  His eyes haven't gotten worse and the patching we've been doing has helped a tiny bit.  At the last appointment when his right eye was covered and his left eye was focusing, his left eye would immediately lose focus when his right eye was uncovered.  At this appointment his left eye held focus...until he blinked.  So it wasn't a drastic improvement...but improvement is improvement!  We have been trying to do everything possible to keep his left eye strong so that his brain doesn't stop using it all together.

Surgery is still scheduled for next Tuesday (January 25th).  We'll find out the day before the surgery time.  The surgery sounds like it won't be too bad.  They will cut the inside muscle on both eyes, reposition the eyes, and reattach the muscles.  We'll put drops in his eyes for 7-10 days afterwards, but we won't have to patch (at least until the post-op appointment where we might get different instructions).  They said every child recovers differently.  He could be up and ready to play a few hours after surgery or he might feel like laying around for a day or two.  His eyes will be bloody red for about a week after the surgery and they said that for the first day or so his eyes might be all around the place (like focusing in, out, and even up or down!  CRAZY!!!)

At this point the doctor thinks that Barrett will still be in glasses after surgery (for his vision).  Our prayers at this time are that they will be able to straighten Barrett's eyes with one surgery and that once his eyes have healed his brain will use both eyes together (rather than only focusing one eye at a time).  Thanks for your prayers and we'll let you know the surgery time next week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

School Art

Most of the papers the boys bring home from school end up in the recycle bin (while they're not looking).  But there are a select few that I fall in love with and I hang on the fridge or put away to look back at years from now.  On Thursday I was emptying Brody's backpack and was about to throw away his "O" page (where he'd written the letter O in various colors of crayon).  I turned it over before I put it in the trash and saw this picture:
He had drawn a picture of our family!  He said that after they finish writing their letter (and after Mrs. Pam checks it and puts a sticker on it), Mrs. Pam lets them turn the page over and draw a picture.  He said that he wanted to draw a picture of our family.  It's the first family portrait he's done...and you better believe it's hanging on the fridge!

The picture below has been hanging on our fridge since the beginning of school LAST year!  His teacher (Mrs. Linda) told me that she was sitting there drawing a picture with him (she drew the tree...not him!) and she said, "Wow!  You're writing some good 'T's'!"  He turned to her and said very matter of factly, "Those aren't "T's"...those are crosses.  Jesus died on the cross for our sins and he loves me!"  Not only am I reminded of my precious son when I see this drawing on our fridge, but I'm also reminded about our precious Savior and His love for me.  Faith through the eyes of a child...humbling and inspiring.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Homemade Donuts

I was a little concerned about breakfast this morning.  For some reason the boys have decided they want pop tarts (the kind without the icing) instead of a Daddy Bar (Natures Valley Sweet & Salty bars).  Since I'm not used to the Pop Tart requests...I'm not stocked up on Pop Tarts!  We ran out yesterday and I was a little afraid of their (especially Barrett's) reaction to the news this morning.  So, I made some biscuits and eggs.  Around breakfast time the doorbell rang.  I opened the door to find this on our porch...
I looked up to see Paula (aka Romaine) driving off.  I knew that meant there was something yummy in this box.  I opened it up to find baked white whole wheat powdered donuts. 
Here's proof that everyone (Barrett, Autumn, & Brody) LOVED them!  Of course, can anything taste bac when it's covered in powdered sugar?!?  THANKS PAULA for the special treat!!!



Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The other day while I was at work (aka Daddy Steve & Namaw's house), Brody was carrying around a piece from the Hangman game.  Namaw asked him what letter he was carrying around and he said it was a "T".  She said, "Let's think of some words that begin with T."  He said, "That's easy...TAX!"  I guess that's what happens when he goes to work with me at a CPA firm!  The first T word that came to mind wasn't Truck or was Tax! lol

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Goodbye Snow Covered Mountains

This morning we woke up to the sad realization that we had to pack up the cars and leave the snowy mountains of New Mexico.  Before we left, we enjoyed a few more moments viewing the beauty of the mountains.  Ann is the beauty in this picture ;)
A few cute pics of Tyler and Ann looking out the window at the snow covered mountains.

Goodbye mountain cabin!  We enjoyed getting to know you!
It was just a little COLD as we pulled onto the snowpacked road.  Brrrrrrrrr!  The weatherman said the windchills were in the negative teens!

We drove  It was 9 am (mountain time) when we left New Mexico and it we didn't make it to our house in TX until after 10 pm.  As much as we enjoyed a wonderful vacation with our family, it felt amazing to sleep in our own beds again!
A big thanks to Daddy Steve & Namaw for planning this vacation and helping us make some life long memories together!