Wishing my readers the one thing in life we all strive for...a happy heart

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

We took Ava to the pumpkin patch on Sunday (10-17-10). She had a great time running around all of the pumpkins (and of course playing in all of the gravel). She picked out two little pumpkins for herself!

Monday, October 18, 2010

WalMart...A toddler's playground!

WalMart is a place that most families visit once a week or possibly even more often, but for us it is a special treat that we only get to do on vacations! Ava loves shopping! So, we headed out to buy a few essentials (like diapers)!

We grabbed the greeters attention immediately (of course, we get stares from everyone with that huge brace on)! She asked about Ava's brace and complimented her beauty then she offered Ava a couple of WalMart stickers (I think they were the ones that they put on the return items but who knows)! The greeter stuck the stickers to Ava's brace and off we went!

Ava, like most toddlers, prefers to run like a crazy person throughout stores rather then sit calmly in a shopping cart. It was getting a little late and to avoid a cranky-sleepy power struggle I decided to simply hold her hand through the store and resort to "cart restraint" only if necessary.

Ava shops using all of her 5 senses which leads to plenty of stop-and-go shopping. We stopped to sniff the flower bouquets and we tried on all of the bangle style bracelets. These types of things are very normal for us while shopping. Near the end of our shopping experience, the WalMart excitement began to get to Ava. She started to get a little wild and silly.

It all started as we walked past the lingerie department, Ava pulled me over towards the bras and stuck her face into them! She then proceeded to shake her head back and forth (yes folks, she was motor-boating the bras)!  We were almost finished shopping and just had to stop at the produce section for a few last items.

Ava was holding my hand and dragging me past all of the different fruits, touching some and sniffing others. We approached the apple display and she bent over. I assumed that she was simply sniffing the apples much like she had already done to the grapes and peaches. Wrong! When she stood up I noticed that one apple had a huge bite taken out of it. Where was that bite you might ask? In her mouth! Yes, she had helped herself to a tasty bite of apple. After that, I decided that we were definitely finished shopping.

We got in line at the checkout and as I was placing my items on the belt, Ava grabbed the display rack causing an avalanche of gift cards. What a mess! I had her help me pick them up and then we headed to the car. On the way back to Grammie and Grampa's house I noticed that she was being awfully quiet. I turned around and noticed that she had stuck her WalMart stickers all over her face! Such a silly girl! At least she really enjoyed her shopping experience!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Triangle Tilt Surgery

Warning: Photo Overload and Uncontrolled Babbling Ahead!!! 

Ava and I arrived in TX, after two very long flights, on Sept. 24th. After our flight landed in Houston, we dragged our luggage down to the car rental area where we were met with this....
 Not exactly my dream car (no offensive if it's yours)! But we can only get reimbursed for a compact car, so compact it is (and the color made it really easy to find in all the parking lots)!

I made the mistake of thinking that I could just rely on my GPS to locate the hotel. I typed in the name and came up with roughly 8 options. I didn't write down the address or the phone number(stupid, stupid, stupid) so I decided to just wing it (stupid)! Long story short, after driving around for 1hr 1/2 I stopped at a McDonald's payphone (I don't have a cell that works in the states) in the ghetto to call my mom in the middle of the night and ask for the address. We finally arrived at our hotel around 11:30pm.

The following day Ava and I rested, grabbed a few groceries, and met up with her Nana and Papa (who live in TX) for dinner and a trip to the playground. 

On Sunday, I needed to pick up my mother from the airport (she flew in from TN for the surgery). That seemed easy enough, I mean at least my GPS knew where I wanted to go! Well, the Texans and the Cowboys played a game that day and we got caught in the after-game traffic on the way. Thankfully we were just 30 mins late picking her up and she was gracious enough to act like she didn't care!

On Monday Ava had some pre-op appointments. First we went to try on her brace and make any needed adjustments (since my husband and I had to take all her measurements and email them to the company). Thankfully, we did an excellent job and no adjustments were needed.
They had lots of fun toys in the waiting room!

Ava was really excited to see that there was a cat picture in our exam room!

Trying on our new brace!

As you can see, Ava wasn't thrilled with the brace, but.....

Grammie bribed promised that if she was a big girl she could have a surprise. Her surprise was a new My Little Pony toy and she was very excited! 
In the afternoon we met with Dr. Nath to discuss the surgery. Things look promising and he felt like we would see wonderful results.

Since Ava behaved so well at her appointments, we decided to take a stroll around Hermann Park. 

We got to play on the playground,

Wander around and look at the ducks, 

And ride on the train!

Monday night we celebrated Ava's "soon-to-be new and improved arm" by eating cake for dinner!

Tuesday was the big day. Ava had to fast and she was very unhappy that I wouldn't give her any moo-milk that morning! Dr. Nath started her surgery around 8 am. When he was finished I was able to go back to the recovery area. 

Ava was in much more pain then she was after her last surgery. She was screaming and attempting to crawl out of the bed when I got back there. The nurse gave her two doses of morphine and one dose of lortab. It seemed to help slightly and we were then moved to our room. 

Of course, Ava was very thirsty so she drank 1 1/2 cans of juice. This promptly made a return visit all over my pants and the floor, so they gave her a shot to decrease nausea. Unfortunately, I didn't bring extra clothes for myself (I over packed for her last surgery and she just ended up sleeping the whole time so I thought I would downsize for this trip, clearly another bad idea)!

After a few hours of resting and cuddling, she starting to feel better. The nurses decided to move us to a bigger room down the hall. After walking to the new room, Ava decided that she really liked the hallway and she spent the next few hours dragging my mother and/or myself up and down all of them.

 (I had promised to buy her some balloons after her surgery. Best investment I have made in a long time. She also pick out that little cat while we were shopping.)

 Feeding the new cat some cereal!

She was able to sleep very well that night. When she woke up in the morning I sat her on my lap for a little cuddle, but sometime during the night she was able to shift her diaper slightly and while she was on my lap she peed. Of course all of it ended up on me. To make matters worse, she was sitting in such a location that it appeared that I had been the one to pee (again I cursed my decision to ONLY pack extra clothes for Ava)!

We spent the rest of the second day in the hospital playroom and were released around 2 pm.

We had originally planned on staying in the hotel for the remainder of the week to recuperate, but Ava seemed to bounce back pretty quickly so we changed our plans a little and headed to the Butterfly Museum.

On Friday I had to return the rental car, so on Saturday morning (when we had our flight) we had to take a taxi to the airport. There wasn't room for the car seat/brace arrangement so I held Ava in my lap for the ride (I know, I know). During the ride something didn't agree with her and she got sick all over me. Thankfully, we still had our luggage and were able to change. Normally, Ava does really well on flights but during this one she threw the mother of all tantrums (yes she was "that kid")! We finally got her calmed down and were able to avoid any further drama that day.

She was very excited to get to Grammie and Grampa's house and find that they had a cat and a dog too! So we spent the first 1/2 hr smothering petting them.

And just for good measure.....here are a few more post-op shots!

(Sorry about the messy bed-head in this one. Just wanted to give you a really good look at the brace)!

Thank you for reading and showing your concern for Ava. We are now 1 week post-op and she just had her large badge (on her shoulder) removed. She has adjusted quickly to life with only one functioning arm. She is healing well and should only have to wear the brace full time for approx. 2 more weeks (then night time for a year).