Blogging and Praying that I never forget these days . . . .

Heart Surgery & CV ICU

September 5, 2012
 
On Wednesday we had our alarm set for 4am so that we could be at the hospital by 5:30am.  As usual I woke up before the alarm and was actually out of the shower before it went off for Jay.  We packed our last few things in the suitcase and then took a few minutes to breathe standing in our kitchen.  I was all in tiz over my living will being correct.  I guess I had to focus on one worry that morning and stay on it.  I think I had Jay read and re-read the papers a dozen times.  I was so scared I was accidentally making myself a DNR or do not resuscitate.  I wanted my intentions to be clear in case something horrible happened, but I was so nervous I had misread or missigned something.  The week before Jay and I had discussed and talked to a lawyer friend about writing our real wills, POAs, and intent for our children in case of tragedy.  Jay never made the appointment after I gently reminded and asked him several times.  Finally I dropped the subject with him.  I think it was just too much for him to handle.  All our emotions were on overload and the thought of writing all that out was just over the top. Trying to be responsible I took the hospital's papers for appointing a surrogate for health care and my living will.  I think that is where my anxiety came from with the papers.  I had to read them and fill them out alone with no one counseling me.  I was torn up on surgery morning as I signed the last spots.  I even had the registration guy and my pre op nurses make sure I did it right.  I kept telling them what I wanted and didn't want.  Finally one of the girls laughed and said, " it is all right Jessica, we understand, it is okay."  At that point I let go if it and moved on to other worries. 
 
As we left the culdesac at about 4:45am we honked a long good bye to all our wonderful friends.  Jay and I spent much of the time on the drive quiet.  It was hard to talk without crying and becoming a hot mess.  We concentrated on our christian radio station, held hands, and sang.  I think I cried the entire way there while Jay did his best to be strong for me.  As we pulled into the parking garage one of my favorite songs came on and before we lost the signal I heard my prayer. If you haven't heard it or don't usually listen to Christian radio, please look it up and listen to it.  It is so beautiful.
 
Matt Redman
10,000 Reasons
 
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

[Chorus x2]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name
---
  Once parked, Jay and I tried to pull ourselves together for the upcoming day.  Then we held each other and headed into the Heart and Vascular Center.  The guy at registration welcomed us again.  He had taken care of us on all our visits so far.  It was pleasant to see him that morning. He arm banded me and sent us to the waiting room until my preop nurse was ready. 
 
 While we were waiting on the preop nurse I decided to pause for a photo opportunity.  If you know me, then you know I always have my camera (even before camera phones).  I have a picture for everything.  I made Jay promise to take pictures good and bad for me to see once I was healed.  This was the first photos of the day.  Super woman ready to get on to the healing process!  I also took a photo of my official arm bands with my heart prayer bracelet.  I let this picture and some lyrics from the above song serve as my Facebook status on surgery morning.
 After what felt like an eternity (5 min) the preop nurse came to get me.  She introduced herself as a friend of one my co-worker friends and I got a sense of relief.  She instructed Jay to stay in the waiting room and that she would be back for him in just a few minutes.  At that moment my superwoman smile was gone and I cried like a baby.  He hugged me, kissed my forehead, and told me he would see me in just a minute.  The nurse and I headed back to a preop room.  She instructed me to change, do another scrub of my body, and get in the bed.  I focused and did the tasks at hand.  I was impressed to do another scrub.  It was my third of the morning.  I used some hibiclens in the shower and choraprep wipes before I got dressed at home.  I was one clean lady!  Once in the bed, the preop nurse came in and we went through some questions, signed my consents, and hooked me to the monitor.  Then she went and got Jay . . . thank goodness . . . I needed him there, just close to me, and to hold my hand.  He made fun of me playing on Facebook and we enjoyed some nerve driven laughs.

 Next up was the anesthesia team as they started my lines.  The anesthesia doc came in and we talked about what all they were going to do and the CRNAs started my peripheral IV.  I am never a hard stick, but this morning I was very difficult.  The CRNA that had worked with me on my TEE appointment had to stick me several times.  The student CRNA (whom had just finished her rotation at my hospital) passed on the chance to try and stick me. The anesthesia doc was looking on my right arm when the CRNA got it in my left arm.  Whew!  Thank goodness.  Once that was in and running the CRNA got ready to place my A-line and my central line.  Shortly after she pushed the drugs into my line . . . I go blank for what felt like a blink.  Next thing I remember is waking up in the intensive care unit.  Jay says the day felt forever long.  The anesthesia team had Jay go to the waiting room while they started my other IV lines.  He told me they came to get him once they were in and this is what I looked like when he returned.  I am awake in this picture, but I do not remember it or Jay leaving and coming back to me.  They gave him just a moment with me to kiss and then they took me to the operating room.  Sadly I don't recall that kiss. 
 
My details while I was in surgery are sketchy.  I have done my best to string the story together from every one's details.   From what I have been told and read, Jay did an amazing job keeping everyone updated during surgery.  My surgery was scheduled to start at 8am and it seems from his first messages that it started on time.  Prior to surgery day I made different groups on my phone and labeled them for him to send updates.  He also kept my Facebook status up to date with what he knew about how the surgery was going.  Everyone has complimented him on what a great job he did with all the information sharing.  I think it stressed him, but I am so thankful he did it.  We had people from all facets of our lives praying for us.  I feel that it was our (his) duty to let them know what was going on during surgery.  I am forever thankful that he did all this and more.
 
Jay told me that the waiting room was full of our friends and family.  He was very thankful to have such a great support group during this scary time.  It is kind of funny when he talks about being in the waiting room and who was there because every time he tells a story he mentions someone else.  I didn't see anyone but Jay that morning so each person is a surprise to me.  He will look at me like, "Yeah, they were there, don't you remember."  Then he realizes that I didn't see anyone and he will try to list all our visitors.  We are so loved.  Once surgery was complete Jay and both sets of our parents talked to Dr. Drinkwater.  He told them that everything went as planned and that we was able to do the princess cut incision under my right breast.  Dr. Drinkwater also told them how impressed he was with my heart.  He stated that as he sewed the last part of the patch my heart changed shape.  My cardiologist called Jay after he had talked to Dr. Drinkwater and explained this to him,  He said that the enlargement wasn't from muscles working too hard as everyone had thought.  Apparently it was ballooned out or aneurysm due to the increased amount of blood flow and pressure.  Once that pressure was equalized with the patch the heart returned to normal shape.  God is amazing!  Dr. Drinkwater then let them see me in the intensive care unit.  I will spare you the pictures of me on the ventilator.  They are pretty gut wrenching for even me to see, but Jay carried out his promise like he always does, and took the pictures for me.  Our parents and Jay got to spend a few minutes with me and then they were lead back to the waiting room. 

I only remember a collective few moments during my stay in the intensive care unit.  My first image is of my Nurse Brandon and his mean suction stuck down my throat.  When he first tried to wake me up I immediately started grabbed at the ventilator tube and sat up in the bed.  He promptly grabbed me by the shoulders laid me back down and knocked me back out (with meds of course).  So the lights went back out and the memory ends.  Thank you, Brandon, and I'm so sorry for being such a rowdy patient, but remember I am a nurse and that is the only way we come when we are the patients.  I was blessed with the best nurse in the unit that day. It felt like every time I opened my eyes he was right there in my face taking care of me. He calmed me, kept me from being scared, and talked me through everything.  It also wasn't so bad that he happened to be a cutie and sounded just like Matthew McConaughey.  If you have talked to me since surgery, I am sure I have told you about my nurse.

At the 5:00pm visiting time, my awesome ICU nurse let everyone in to see me.  I had prepared them all that they might not get to see me until I moved to the step down unit.  Much to our surprise, my Nurse Brandon let them all come in for a few minutes. I remember a tiny clip of this moment.    I still see everyone standing around my bed and coming in and out of the door.  I attempted to talk, but had basically no voice due to the irritation from the tube.  As you can see from the picture, I was off the ventilator by this time.  I remember being so thirsty and begging Brandon for a Cherry Coke.  He finally agreed to ice chips.  I was mad, but he was doing his job as my nurse to protect me from vomiting.  It sounds like I was rather aggressive and bossy while in the unit.  Sorry. I guess that is why Brandon kept turning off the lights with meds and putting me back to sleep.  I read in one of Jay's messages that I was myself because I rolled my eyes at him and I have a picture of my tongue sticking out at him.  Just to think all that he had been through that day and that was my reply.  Have I ever told you how much I love him?

At this point in the day I didn't feel good at all. My chest felt all crazy every time I tried to move. I remember describing it to Brandon as a horse galloping in my chest.  Then I listened to him talk to someone and use all kinds of medical jargon.  Of course that woke up my nurse brain and got me all worked up again.  He came in with more meds and told me that I had pericarditis or inflammation from the surgery and my rowdiness show.  We chatted (no telling what I said) and he calmed me again and I think I fell asleep.  Before Brandon left that evening I gave him my last plea for something to drink.  We made an agreement that he could give me ice if I would only eat one every fifteen minutes.  I would have promised him the world; so we agreed and he brought them to me.  He told me that if I got sick in the night and he heard about it the next morning I was going to be in trouble.  Then he surprised me with a Sprite to sip on through out the night.  I had to promise that I wouldn't not drink it all and that some would still be in the cup when he come back. I will never again delay in taking my patients a drink following surgery.  The thirst after surgery is just about unbearable. Well, the nursing shifts changed and a nurse that was helping my night nurse Kori came in to check on me.  She saw the gifts of ice and Sprite that Brandon had left me.  She made a fuss and threw them all in the trash can.  I about had another fit.  She had no idea what I had to do to get those drinks.  Lol.  Oh well, I tried to let it go.  She was looking out for me because no one (including me) wanted me to wretch or vomit.  As I found out later, that really hurts with a chest incision.  My beautiful Nurse Kori took great care of me that night.  She let me sleep, but was constantly checking on me and making sure I was okay.  She was there for the second visiting time of 8:30pm.  By this time everyone had gone home except Jay, my brother Josh, and sister in law Holly.  I remember a snippet of them being there in the chair by my bed.  We talked briefly and then I guess I went back to sleep because my memory fades to black.  Jay told me that Kori let him stay with me past the visiting time.  I think I remember him sitting holding my hand.  I can remember the calmness God gave me at this time.  Surgery was over, the ventilator gone, I was awake, and Jay was back at my side.  Thankful.  So Thankful for his mercy.


My Journey to a Restored Heart

Well, as most people can calculate surgery is over and behind me. My surgery was on Wednesday, September 5th, but I have struggled with writing the post. Of course, I have been extremely sore and weak. I have spent most of the past two weeks on my couch staring at the ceiling or the back of my eyelids.
After much thought, rehearsal, and prayer about this story; I have decided to just take you through the days of my healing as I felt them. I am going to attempt to let everyone in to my head during these days. I don't usually talk about emotions or show deep feelings. I don't openly talk about my faith with an audience. I don't discuss how God plays an important role in my thought processes, but he does. This life experience is teaching me to be real. I have come face to face with some really raw realizations and decisions. I believe God is showing me that to be stronger we have to admit we are weak and not in control. It is time to open up. This has been very difficult for me, but I believe it is going to make me a better friend to everyone that touches my life. It is okay to ask for help, it is conceivable to need someone, and more than anything God wants us to share these times with others. My struggles and steadiness in him will hopefully help those in my life to depend on him during hard times. I can break down and through my weakness others can help me. People want to help me. I don't always have to be in control. Whoa! That's really hard for me to swallow. . .going to be really difficult to get used to that foreign thought. Bottom line, I am going to try and this is my first attempt. If you haven't read the two previous blog posts about my health scare please refer back a few posts to "My Big Heart" and "Appt with the Surgeon". These will catch you up to speed on where the story starts below.
The Fog of the Days Before
After I knew that there was no other option but surgery it took a while to sink in. Actually to be real honest I am not sure when it did or if it fully ever did. I spent lots of time in conversation with my inner nurse, my motherhood feelings, and God. I would find myself thinking, "they are getting ready to open my chest, they are going to cut my heart" or I would be contemplating all the medical stuff I knew. Cardiopulmonary bypass machine (that one really scared me)- ventilator - numerous hours under anesthesia - incisions - big deal IV lines - pain meds - I could go on and on. Then I would work myself up to spaz level (of course this is all on the inside). Remember I am the ultimate internalizer. I did my best not to flip out my family and friends, but most importantly my husband and kids. Once at spaz level I would panic because I am a Mom and Wife. A Mom and Wife facing a huge surgery. A surgery were they were going to stop my heart, place it in their hands, and cut it to make it new. This panic would leave me at God's feet. As I cried myself to sleep I would play out my family with out me. Jay's words of "I can't do this life without you." would echo in my mind. Thoughts of Mary Kate being too little to remember me or know how much she meant to me. I wrestled with Max not having anyone to snuggle with in the days to come. I fought off thoughts of Jay trying to do this life alone. Yes, I know those are major depressed thoughts, but it was were I was and I had to climb out. I would get all worked up and then I could feel a sense of peace as God tapped me on the shoulder. He let me flesh it all out as my earthly nurse mind needed to do and then he would say "Shhh. Go to sleep little one. I am here and I am not going anywhere." From somewhere my heart rate would slow, the tears would stop, and cradled in his arms I would sleep. Each morning he would awake me with a new peace to start the day and face those who were crumbling around me in worry.
The days before surgery were spent with those that are close to us. We began our heart bracelet campaign at the end of this week. I had wanted to make some prayer bracelets for my best friends to wear while I was in surgery. I searched the hot spot of etsy.com and found several ideas. Being the crafty person I am, I combined and borrowed some of the ideas and set out to make a couple of my own. Jay and I found some line and hearts at a local store and made a few bracelets. We both put one on and gave the kids each one to wear. Some of our best friends are our neighbors and they were home as we started making the bracelets. Of course they wanted theirs to wear and they got some of the first ones. As with most things with me I intend to do something small and simple and then it mushrooms into a big deal. Well, this was an awesome caring type of mushroom. In an huge gesture of love, our neighbors posted a picture on Facebook of their hands in a circle with my bracelets.
So the mushroom began. After several comments on the picture, we decided to take them to our close work colleagues and family and as originally planned for my best friends. They went like wildfire at both our workplaces. So with the help of two special friends we got more line and more hearts and made lots of bracelets. It was so neat! I had people calling and messaging me for a bracelet. I think just about everyone in my area of the hospital had one by the time I went to surgery on Wednesday. We did our best to get the bracelets to all our family and friends. I even mailed bracelets to Alaska and Virginia. It was uplifting as people started posting pictures on Facebook of their bracelets. I think I cried every time I saw one. It was a visual of just how many people were out there praying for me.
On Friday, August 30 I worked my last day. I was surrounded by loving coworkers with lots of good luck wishes. It was a scary day because I dreaded each hour that went by as it got closer to the end. After lunch when people started leaving for the day I got that ache in my gut. Everyone gave me hugs and well wishes. I received so many insightful words for thought. I was so scared, and while at work I felt so secure. I knew I could talk about the medical stuff out loud and get educated responses. When not I work, I am the nurse, the one expected to have all the information. My family and friends looked at me for all the answers about surgery and recovery. At work I didn't have to be that person. I could ask my OR nurses, CRNAs, the anesthesia docs, the surgeons, and my Same Day Surgery girls all my detailed gross questions. Everyone was so supportive. I even had the cardiologist and two vascular surgeons that work with me calling and texting me. No one ever made me feel crazy or stupid. Some even came by the desk to talk to me when they didn't have patients on our unit. They all wanted to be there for me and walk me every step of the way. There are just no words for this type of work environment. It is so rare for such a diverse group of people to come together to support one person. By the time my day of surgery was here, I think everyone at the downtown hospital knew I was coming. I had co-workers calling friends in the Heart and Vascular Unit. I had surgeons and cardiologists calling the doctors that would be involved in my care. I had people from our anesthesia team making contact with those who would be my surgery team. I believe that my care team was handpicked person by person before I arrived. It started with friends of friends in scheduling and preop nurses and branched all the way to my discharge nurse being a friend of a friend. It felt like everyone that had a hand in my care knew about me from a co-worker before they met me.
Un-be-liev-able.
Before the end of the day, we took time to make a group photo with the bracelets. I felt so special, but really the word is blessed. I really feel like I have overused that word during this, but it is the one truest word. Blessed. As the work day ended, I dragged my feet not to leave, but the time came. I waved bye and clocked out. I barely made it to the parking lot before the tears started flowing. I balled and squalled most of the way home. It was just a moment that made surgery day feel ever too close. I was no longer the nurse . . . I was the patient. I couldn't fathom the thought of what the weeks in front of me held. I felt like I was leaving one nest of supporters behind at the hospital to face my biggest fears. I knew they would be there for me, but it was so hard to leave that day.
Over the weekend some of Jay's aunts and uncles came to visit. We usually all get together during Labor Day weekend so it was nice to see them. We got to relax and catch up some before we began tackling our before surgery to do list. On Sunday we went to church and got to see lots of our prayer warriors face to face for the first time since our news. They took the time to pray over us and discuss the upcoming days. This was uncomfortable for me at first, but I am so glad they did. As I have described myself, it is hard to sit in the middle of a group of people and let them pour out their love to me. Earlier in the week I had talked to one of my best friends about the fact that I knew my connect group would pray over me. I had admitted to her that it scared me and I didn't want to be the center of attention. We talked how we had both been in classes and prayed over people before in our lives. She told me, "Jessica, it is just what we do, you know that, just let them, don't you dare refuse it, and you might just be surprised." Then when it came time for it in class, I felt my stomach get all nervous. One of our wonderful girls in the class suggested what I was dreading and looked at me for approval. I smiled the best I could without a response and then she said exactly what I needed to hear again, "well, whether you want us to or not we are going to, because that is just what we do." Wow, before I could respond or act nervous she put me in my place just like I needed. I would almost accuse my best friend of calling her, but we won't go there . . it was another of many God things during this journey. So, Jay and I moved our chairs and everyone circled up. I broke and the tears started flowing. Again I was surrounded by caring and loving people who didn't want us to carry this load alone. They wanted to take each step with us and help us along the way. As my best friend had told me (and as I knew deep down) I was touched. I felt peace as God showed me more prayer warriors going to battle for me. God's love is absolutely amazing.
On Monday morning I had breakfast with a great group of ladies. We have all been friends for years and it felt so good to be together. Another one of my best friends contacted everyone and we met to chat and eat. I believe there were twelve of us by the time everyone arrived. It was a stress reliever to laugh and touch base with everyone before the big day. I needed so badly to see these gals one more time and this breakfast filled that need. I should have told each one how much they meant to me, but that was before surgery. (and besides it would have been a tear fest with everyones' emotions already on edge) I was still coming to grips with this whole be real thing. Say what you need to say. I hope they all know what a special place they hold in my life. Of course, the table wasn't all inclusive, there are other friends that couldn't make it or we accidently left off the list, but I can't live with regret. I hope to make sure from now on that people know where they stand with me. I want people to know when they touch my heart and how important they are in my life.
Monday afternoon my parents cooked a scrumptious meal for us. My Dad kept joking behind my back about "my last meal." It is usually funny when someone is having a casual procedure, but my Mom didn't find the humor in it this time. We also didn't want my kids to hear the remark. They knew about my heart not being right and that I was having surgery to get it fixed. Of course, they didn't understand the magnitude of the surgery. I was relieved that both my brothers and sister-in-laws were able to come to dinner. Also, my parents invited their long time best friends. There is just something about the need to be together in scary times. I just needed to be in my childhood home with my family. We didn't do anything monumental or say any big speeches. We were just close to one another and that is what I had wanted. We all got time to talk about the surgery, the recovery, the fears, and the expectations. I think this was some of my first moments of feeling the need to be real. I felt it in my heart, but it was still hard to talk. I was beginning to accept the surgery for the hugeness it was going to be in my life. I was also starting to calculate the hours until game time in my head. As the weekend was coming to a close my fears were surfacing.
Tuesday morning Jay and headed downtown for my preop appointment. I met with three pre op nurses who did my lab work, ekg, and took all my medical history. They let me talk to the anesthesia doctor and I fired all my questions at him. Jay sat in the corner and shook his head. The doctor crooked his head and looked at me. The nurses (who had worked with me on my TEE and MRI visit) laughed and said she's an RN that works in the surgery department at a sister hospital. He then totally changed his tune, (which wasn't rude to begin with) acknowledging that he had heard about me (lol) and talked facts with me. Jay then laughed because of the 180 degree turn the conversation took as he began to respect me. I love being a nurse. Once we were done with the preop appointment we headed back to town. I had an appointment for a haircut and we needed to pick up the kids. Jay and I planned an informal send off for dinner. We ordered several pizzas and let people come by and see us before surgery the next morning. Both of our parents came over to be close to me. Jay's sister and family had come in town for the surgery so they came over. Jay's brother and sister-in-law stopped by to see us. Then several of our friends from the cul-de-sac and my closest girlfriends came over to give hugs and kisses. The kids were going home with different friends for the first two nights. This gave our parents the opportunity to be at the hospital whenever they wished without the worry of our kids. As our friends left they took the kids home with them. Max didn't hold up very good at all. He hollered and screamed about snuggling. Jay had to carry him to our neighbors. In just a few quick moments our friends called and he was fine. Whew. Chaos averted. Mary Kate was much easier as usual. She walked around and gave kisses, waved bye, and headed out the door. Overall, it was a calm evening of seeing everyone for the last time before surgery. I am so glad we took this approach instead of trying to visit each house. After we turned out the lights and got in bed the tears started again. Jay held me and we talked about our fears. We prayed that God would hold me and pull me through this surgery. We also asked him to help us do his will from this experience. We truly believed that he had gotten us to this moment for a reason. We had all confidence that he would see us through it all. We wanted so badly to make sure we accomplish what we were meant to through this struggle. We acknowledged that we may never see the whole picture or understand any of it, but we wanted him to guide us where we are suppose to go next. Touch those we are meant to touch. It took a long time and with the help of some benadryl we drifted off to sleep.


The Zoo

August 14, 2012
Another out of order post . . . sorry.  I know it bothers me more than anyone.  My heart news just outweighed finishing these posts for a few weeks.  Anyways.  On one of our last days of summer we visited the zoo.  Kirkland, my second daughter, oldest child, and neighbor came along for the adventure.  It was a perfect day with cool weather and lots of clouds.  First we headed over to feed the lorikeets.  This is by far our favorite thing to do at the zoo.  Before going in the enclosure we each bought a cup of nectar to feed them.  Kirkland had never done this and got really excited as the birds came to her to eat.  Totally out of her comfort zone, she even let them sit and walk on her to eat the nectar.



Here Kirkland had two come over for a snack.  You can tell by her face that she wasn't so sure.

 
Here, we sat to watch the elephants.  They were close to the fence and moving all around us.  A new addition to the zoo is the baby giraffe.  It was so cute standing with its parents.  He looks tiny in my picture, but of course he stood taller than me.

The kids loved going into the meerkat pop up window.  They would crawl underneath and come up right next to the meerkats.  This one seemed to be talking to them and then chatting back to his fellow meerkats.  While looking at the fish, Mary Kate decided to give this ray a kiss.  She chased it up and down the glass kissing it.  I think the ray saw her because it seemed to be playing back through the glass.


I was trying to get a picture of the girls, but my sassy daughter refused.  It is a successful trip when everyone passes out on the way home.  I think they slept for another 30 min in the driveway once we were home.  Sweet kidos!  So glad we were able to spend the day together.

Random-ness

August 2012
Well, this post is totally out of chronological order due to the big heart news.  I wanted to go ahead and post it due to the cute moments it captured. 
This was a crazy trip to Kroger when the kids were excited.  Now a month later, I don't remember what was so funny, but we were definitely having a good time.  The kids love to check out in the self check out lanes.  They enjoy scanning the items and placing them in the bags.  It does take forever with both their little hands trying to do it all.  I apologize if you have been or are ever in line around us.  I like to watch and help them be independent and learn how it all works.  I am guessing that is what had just happened in this picture.


This was a special moment with Bebe. My grandfather was hospitalized in July for congestive heart failure.  After several weeks in the local hospital he was sent to a rehab hospital an hour away.  Mom spent everyday driving back and forth visiting him.  She was also taking care of my grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.  Regularly, my grandfather takes care of her with the help of a sitter a few days a week.  Max and Mary Kate really miss spending time with Bebe during these weeks.  They got all excited this day at the hospital.  They were crawling all over her giving her love so I captured a picture.   Pa was moved the later part of August to a nursing home here in town for rehab. Mom also got Nanny into an assisted living center here in town.  Now we are just waiting on Pa to be strong enough for assisted living.  Then they will be back together again.  They have been married for 67yrs and these few months apart has hurt my grandfather.  My grandmother doesn't usually know him, but he knows and wants to be there at her side.   
A laughable moment!  Jay was on a business trip so I took the kids shopping.  We went into the Coach store and Mary Kate went nuts.  She is at an age where she loves purses and bags.  (I guess some of us are still at that age.  Maybe she won't outgrow it. Hahaha.)  She went around the store and collected the wristlets on her arm before I could catch her.  Then she found a purple one.  Being her favorite color, she turned around with this pose as she sat on the floor.  She begged for a "purple purse, Mommy?"  I couldn't resist and had to get a picture to send Jay.  He told me I was nuts and that he was in trouble with both his girls in the Coach store.  True statement!!

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