Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Honeymoon in Deer Park

My kids are leaving tomorrow morning bright & early to go to Kerrville to stay with Mimi, Dan, Krista, Brother Ashton, Sister Kendall, Aunt Krista, Aunt Gena, Brother Ryan & Brother Regan. These are the names that Zeke has given everyone...he told me just yesterday that he has 3 sisters & 4 brothers. I felt pretty certain that I hadn't given birth to eight children but then I quickly realized that he was referring to all of his cousins + K. Zeke has always wanted a large family so I guess you have to grab siblings where you can get them. This evening while I was putting Zeke to bed, I released the exciting news that he would be going to Kerrville in the morning. (I have always taken Gena's advise and waited until the last minute to tell Zeke so that I don't have to answer 100 times, "is it time yet for me to go to Kerrville?"...I can just hear it now...over & over & over & over.) Zeke was elated at the news...he can't wait!

Grammy & Papa have graciously offered to take the kids for me to meet up with Gena & Dan halfway so that no group has to spend the entire day on the road. Thank you Grammy, Papa, Gena & Dan!!!

While I will miss the kiddos when they're gone, I am going to embrace the sleep with open arms! I honestly do not think I have felt this tired since post-surgery for Brad just after Kaelyn was born. I think it is just the combination of several days in the hospital with Brad + a husband with insomnia + a very sick baby. Just talk to me next week...I plan on being a new woman! I hope to spend much of the next few days either in a bubble bath, or with the massage therapist, or with Brad having a movie fest...it is going to be GREAT! I am definately going to consider it a honeymoon...even if we never leave the house! Brad & I are approaching our 8th anniversary this upcoming Tuesday so I am cooking up some special plans for fun ways to celebrate!

On a different note, I took K back to the pediatrician today to have her ears checked one more time because she didn't sleep well at all last night. He said they were still a little infected, but felt like they would finish clearing up on their own. When I told Dr. Schaffer about K's rash, he said that he thought it was just a result of her virus and did not think it was an allergic reaction to the medication. So, that is good. Her rash is finally gone and I think she is on the mend! At least now I don't have to worry about Kaelyn getting too spoiled in Kerrville b/c she is already completely rotten from me carrying her around the past 2 weeks while she has been sick.

One more thing...Brad is experiencing A LOT of back pain right now. Last night he couldn't sleep because it was giving him so much trouble. To make matters worse, at about 1am he had a back spasaming spell that kept him from being able to catch his breath. This same kind of episode happened last June and Brad's primary care physician ended up sending him by ambulance to the hospital b/c of fear of a blot clot in his lungs. I will say that I was VERY concerned when he woke me up at 1am, but we quickly realized that the pain was muscular and we did what we could to try to get him comfortable. He ended up sleeping pretty ok after taking some motrin and he fell asleep for some of the night....that was fortunate.

We are asking for prayers that Brad's back heal up and the pain quickly subsides. He is ready to focus on his physical therapy for his leg & ready to spend energy on selecting an alternative therapy option....he really does not want to be held up by any further obstacles. We are also praying for good sleep for Brad. He has had quite a lot of trouble sleeping again...he has been struggling with it for the last several weeks. We are praying that he gets good rest in these upcoming weeks so that he can feel refreshed each day and ready to move forward.

We love you all and thanks so much for checking up on our family. We really appreciate you care, love, support & prayers.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Visits to the Pediatrician

On Friday I took Zeke in to see our Pediatrician, Dr. Schaffer. I realized at our last visit with Kaelyn (on Monday) that I had not yet brought Zeke in to get his 4-year-old vaccinations. Zeke was SO brave. Zeke knew that he was going in for shots and he remembered his one flu shot the last time we were in to see the doctor. He didn't even cry for his flu shot...I was amazed. I had both the children in the office by myself that trip and I was invisioning having to soothe both kids post-injection....not really sure how I was going to do it. Then the nurse gave Zeke his shot...he gritted his teeth a little and that was it. I kept waiting for him to fall apart but he didn't. I was really shocked at how well he did.

Friday's visit was different...of course I think it had something to do with the fact that he had to get FIVE shots. Yes, you read it correctly....FIVE! Zeke was relatively calm for the first couple of shots but by the third he was some kind of upset. I felt just terrible for him. And, to make matters worse, I had promised him a post-shot prize and I didn't follow through. For Zeke's 3-year-old shots, I was ready with a special light-up sucker. When we left to go to the doctor on Friday, Zeke asked me if he would be getting a juicy sucker at the end of the appointment. Me, thinking that he was talking about the doctor-delivered sugar-free sucker, assured him that he would get his prize. It wasn't until after the FIVE shots were given and he was begging for his juicy light-up sucker that I realized what he was expecting. I really felt like a terrible mother, setting him up for shots and then not delivering his special prize he was waiting for.

Of course, I immediately drove into the nearest pharmacy so that we could find a light-up lollipop. G.G. was with us and she found him a spinning airplane, light-up lollipop...he seemed very satisfied with her selection.

Kaelyn's lastest health update has her with hives. Aunt Lisa decided yesterday that the relentless red rash that was thought to have been Roseola rash must have been hives, an allergic reaction to the Amoxocillin antibiotic she had been taking for her ear infection. She even had hives in her ears and between her fingers and toes...she looked really pitiful.

Kaelyn's health status over the last 3 1/2 weeks.
Friday a week ago-took Kaelyn to the doctor-ear infection
following weekend-high fevers/ very fussy
Monday-back to the doctor-virus
Tuesday afternoon-broke out into a rash
Wednesday-Friday -rash gets worse and worse
Saturday-took Kaelyn off antibiotic and she is looking better!
This upcoming Monday-going back to the doctor to get a new antibiotic! (thus making 4 pediatrician visits in 9 days..that is a record for the Wims')

I think we are headed toward an upcoming healthy week...yeah! We can't wait!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Update Following Dr. Brinker Appointment

We went in to see Dr. Brinker on Wednesday of this week. Bandages were removed, PT instructions were given and everything seemed to look good. The only thing that really didn't sit well with Brad was the fact that Dr. Brinker didn't want Brad to cover his incision with anything. Dr. Brinker said that he wanted the incision to be open to the air and Brad in turn replied to him, "yes, open to the air and open to all the germs!" Dr. Brinker reassured him that his incisions WERE NOT going to get infected....I liked the certainty in his voice. His leg really does look great and we are super happy about that!

I included pictures of all Brad's war wounds...by the time he is finished with all these surgeries..you could play checkers across his leg with all the criss cross scars.

It was "Umbrella Day" at school today for Zeke. He was super-excited and couldn't wait to get out the door to see what activities they would be doing with their umbrellas. He even picked out his clothes and dressed himself....WOW! I commented on the fact that his shirt matched his umbrella. His response was, "I know Mommy..I did that." As if to say..."of course Mom..that was intentional...I wanted them to match."

The Sickie

Kaelyn has been fighting one bug after another recently. First she fought a cold virus for a couple of weeks...then that turned into an ear infection....then she combined that with the Roseola virus. She has been a MESS! Over the last several days...if she hasn't been nursing, sleeping, or watching Baby Einstein..then she has been quite fussy (very unusual). We have all taken turns trying to keep her happy...Granddad pushed her in the stroller for a couple hours at one point, Nonnie has taken her outside to distract her, even Zeke pushed her around in her car....we've all put in our "Kaelyn time" this past week.

She really has been pretty pathetic. I took her outside to try to take a picture of her rash but it really isn't very visible from the camera. So, just trust me....she looks pretty awful. But today was better...so she's on the mend!

I told Zeke the other day a story about when he was little...just after we moved into this house....he used to sit in the laundry basket with his stuffed animals and make Granddad pull him around with a rope. Zeke, being the reminiscing kind of guy he is, insisted that Granddad pull him today. Of course it's a little bit more of a struggle when the rider weighs 50+ pounds. Poor Granddad's back!

Aunt Vickie & Uncle Gene (from Charlotte, NC) visited us last weekend just after Brad's surgery. It was so great to get a chance to see them. It was a pretty nutty weekend with Brad recovering and Kaelyn being sick with an ear infection....they claimed they enjoyed seeing us despite the state of our household.

Kaelyn visiting her daddy in the hospital last week.

Dinner with Friends

Matt & Kara Hartleib have been bringing us dinner almost every Sunday evening for the last several weeks. The Sunday before Brad's surgery, Kara made an amazing meal of chicken breaded in parmesan and whole wheat bread crumbs, maranara sauce, and veggies....it was SO yummy! Here we are happily enjoying the delicious meal. Thanks Matt & Kara!

A couple of weeks ago, Amber & Tom Dayton, along with the help of their life group were so kind to give Brad a new recliner. Brad's last recliner was in much need of replacement (too many recovery hours....lots of use over the last year). Brad LOVES his new chair...if only he could get to it....these 2 rascals are always jumping in before he can get to it!

Spiderman, Spiderman, Climbs the Walls Like No One Can...

We are so fortunate at the Wims' house to have a super hero living among us. I don't know about everyone else, but I sure sleep better at night knowing that I am under the watchful eye of Spiderman in the next room. Here his is showing his wall climbing skills!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Scooter Races

Kaelyn's favorite activity is riding with her daddy on his scooter. If she hears him coming down the hallway, she gets excited and immediately hurries over towards him. The other day we caught her on the scooter...she had climbed up on her own, pulled the armrest down, pushed the "on" button, and was using the stick to back the scooter into one of my bookshelves (thus knocking down several books, photos, knick knacks, etc.) The little stinker!

Early last week we had scooter races in the street in front of our house....Daddy & Kaelyn ran circles around Zeke & my scooter. They are such show offs! It was quite the sight to see.
Sorry it has taken me so long to give everyone an update on Brad. We returned home from the hospital on Thursday afternoon just in time for Kaelyn to start running high fever. I took her into the doctor Friday afternoon and it turned out she has a very bad ear infection. This weekend has been a rough one for her and she hasn't slept well. Because her fever kept spiking, I decided to take her back in to see the doctor again. The doctor ran some bloodwork on her this morning and said she has a virus along with the ear infection. She does look pretty pitiful...I will say that for her. Kaelyn decided that she does not like for doctors to look into her ears, so this time to show her disapproval, she chose to throw up all over him. That will teach him!

Brad seems to be doing pretty well. He is having some trouble sleeping at night, but his pain seems managable...that is a relief. He has an appointment to follow up with the surgeon on Wednesday morning.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Here is a picture of Zeke & Kaelyn's new playhouse...it took me a while to finally post the picture of it completed. Zeke & Kaelyn LOVE it..they play on it every day...usually multiple times a day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Today's Surgery

Brad's sugery went very well today. Dr. Marco & Dr. Brinker both seemed very pleased with the outcome which we were thrilled to hear...hooray! The doctors put a metal plate w/screws at the top of Brad's tibia to stabalize the breaks at that location and then another metal plate w/screws at the base of his fibula. Dr. Marco mentioned that Brad's fibula was already beginning to heal on its own which was good to hear.

We were told to expect Brad to stay in the hospital through Thursday or Friday. He is in a brace right now and will be non-weight bearing on the leg for at least 2 months. He has been having a little trouble with the pain medication this time...side effects making him groggy & nausious. Since then he has backed off on the medication and he seems to be doing a lot better.

Thank you for your prayers. We are SO relieved at the success of the surgery and we look forward to the days to come as Brad continues on his road to a speedy recovery. We love you all.

Rockets Shoot-around

Last week, Brad had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being invited to the Rockets Shoot-around inside their private training gym. He was fortunate enough to personally meet some of his favorite players including T-Mac, Battier, & Scola. He & Erik Shoup were able to listen in on the coaching tips and defensive schemes for Wednesday's game against Seattle. One of their favorite parts to see were the players in a relaxed environment, just goofing around with each other. (Man, that Mutombo is a talker!)

It was through the planning of Dr. Marco, his PA Jerry Buchart & Rockets trainer, Keith Jones that it was made possible for Brad. Keith went to great lengths to make Brad comfortable, to introduce him to the players and he gave Brad all kinds of REALLY cool Rockets gear (warm-ups, shorts, hats, etc). We are so appreciative of all their efforts to make this happen for Brad....thank you Keith, Dr. Marco & Jerry...he had such a great time!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Surgery Tomorrow....Lord Willing!

If this post sounds somewhat repetitive that is because it is! I know many of you have been confused about the schedule and the surgery...but do not feel alone because we have been confused too! It took us until this afternoon to work out the clearance with anesthesia...but I think we've got all the communication from Dr. Lehane through to the doctors at TX Orthopedic and we are set to go.

Brad is scheduled for surgery tomorrow to fix the 3 broken areas of his tibia & fibula while also repairing his torn tendon. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Brinker who will be assisted by Dr. Marco (who has done all of Brad's previous surgeries). It will begin at 7:30am at Texas Orthopedic Hospital (7401 Main St., Houston) and will last 2-3 hours.

We are praying for a very successful surgery, with a quick recovery...no complications, and that Brad is soon able to be back on his feet working to regain strength in his leg! I know that God's hands will be on Brad & our family tomorrow and the following days as he recovers. Thank you in advance for all of your prayers for our family. We love you all.

Funny Pictures

I thought the kids looked so cute yesterday that we had to take their picture. Sadly, this was the best one we captured. Needless to say, I don't think they were in "modeling moods." Kaelyn screamed the whole time and Zeke looks like someone kicked him in the gut. I think Callie & Jack were just distracted by the nonsense from my 2. Oh well, better luck next time. I think I have learned from the occasional photo shoot with all of them....if I ever plan to have 4 kids, I might as well give up on getting a good group shot...right Lisa?

The first photo is of Kaelyn (I don't know where she has learned this pose)....she's practicing to become a Mary Kay consultant! I can tell that in this shot she is calling her customers to check on them! She is such a quick learner! By 5 I'll have her working in my office and helping women pick out lipsticks.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Intruder

I was getting ready for bed tonight...Brad had gone to the Rockets game...my kids were in bed asleep when I heard a noise coming from my kitchen. It sounded like someone talking. I poked my head out of my room and the voices stopped. I convinced myself that I was hearing things and continued to get ready for bed.

Then it happened again...I started to hear voices, then I stepped out of my room to investigate and the noise stopped. I didn't think a lot about it at first because just before I had gone back into my room, I had decided to open several windows around the house (the cold front had come through and it felt GREAT outside.) I kept telling myself that I must be hearing the neighbors talking outside of their house & I was only hearing them through the screens.

I went in to brush my teeth and I heard the voices again. I stepped out of my room and the voices stopped.

I went back into my room and I could hear it again....then it stopped...then it started again. As soon as I started out of my bedroom the noise stopped. This time I felt certain the noise was coming from my kitchen so I picked up a pair of scissors that were laying on my dresser (heavens knows what I thought I was going to do with those...snip someone with them....ok, it just felt like the right thing to do at the time.)

As I approached the kitchen the noise started again and I realized that it was singing....as I came around the corner into my kitchen I saw a birthday card from Valerie Shoup laying on the counter. As the wind blew through the kitchen window it blew the "singing card" open long enough to throw out a few words and then the wind would die down and the singing would stop.

I promptly used those scissors to make confetti out of the card....I had to teach it a lesson for scaring me (Just Kidding Valerie....I still have it...it's much too cute to cut into shreds)

Just thought everyone could use a little laugh at my expense! Have a great day!

Happy Birthday Papa C.!

Papa C. turned 61 today so the kids & I sang to him tonight and helped celebrate with cupcakes (Zeke's favorite!).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rockets Game with Zeke

Brad was graciously given 6 tickets from a couple of his students to go to the Rockets Game this past Wedneday night...so we all got to go (including Sandra & David!) Zeke loved it...the noise, the music, the cheerleaders "that Daddy likes," & of course the basketball players.

Brad went again to the game last night and Zeke couldn't figure out why he wasn't going too!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

More Pictures

More pictures from last weekend can be viewed on the slideshow at the bottom of the page!

Monday, April 7, 2008

This Weekend- In Summary

Wow. What a weekend. Brad & I were blessed to be surrounded by a couple hundred of our closest friends & family (some friends, some family & a whole lot of Aggies) this past Friday, Saturday & Sunday. We spent time in song, time in scripture, time in communion with one another & time in prayer.

Even the entire group of Soul Union was able to be in attendence...I can't express how excited Brad was about that fact. I think he & Zeke may be Soul Union's all-time biggest fans. One of their favorite things to do is sit in the car together, turn on the Soul Union cd & sing to it at the top of their lungs...it is hysterical.

Although we were not able to spend a great deal of time talking to everyone individually, it was so encouraging to just be in the presence of all our friends while we shared time with the Lord. I loved sitting in my seat, hearing the beautiful voices of all our friends/looking to my right to see the Dyer's, looking in front to see the Schneider's/ Dennis' /Buchannon's, to my left to see the Fikes'/Winter's/Dayton's/Myrt, Kelly, Bob & everyone else.... it was such a comforting feeling just to be in your presence. We enjoy nothing more than to be with each of you, in the moment, sharing life with you.

I have been asked over & over recently how we are able to keep going when it seems that the obstacles keep presenting themselves. I have realized recently that it is through this entire struggle we have been carried. You, our family, our dearest friends have literally carried us through the most difficult time in our life. You have been there for us every step of the way & I want you to know how comforted we have been by each of you.

God's love is evident in you & that love is much greater than the pain. Through the obstacles we have been given the opportunity to see God's love in a way that we never realized before this experience. Through the suffering, our relationships have strengthened. I feel closer to God more than ever before. The struggles have given way to opportunity to receive love in a way that was not possible before this experience & through it our eyes have been opened to the true glory of God.

The love that was evidenced this weekend will carry us through the months ahead. Mike's passionate song leading, Darrin's hopeful scripture reading, & Chris' fervent, pleading prayer will be in the forefront of my mind. Our family was uplifted this weekend & God heard our prayers. I am anxiously awaiting God's miraculous healing on Brad. I cannot wait to meet together again in the months ahead for the "Praise Party" (as Shebre named it) where we will celebrate the awesome healing power of He who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

Surgery Postponed

Brad's surgery is postponed for now. Because of the lung health concerns, we are having difficulties with anesthesiologist clearance. On Wedneday afternoon at 4pm, we are going in to see Dr. Lahane, of Internal Medicine & Oncology. We saw him back in October before we were sent to MD Anderson to see Dr. Benjamin. Right now it looks like Tuesday of next week would be the earliest possible date to reschedule Brad's surgery.

In the meantime, pray for his spirits...he had himself all mentally prepared to go in for surgery tomorrow. Right now he is feeling more than disappointed.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

"My God is SO Big!"

Phillipians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Surgery This Tuesday

Ok, so here is an update....I'm a little slow with filling everyone in on this past week's details...sorry!

Tuesday (of last week): We went in to see Dr. Marco to have Brad's leg x-rayed again & to talk about our decision to have surgery. Dr. Marco said that he wanted to refer Brad to see Dr. Brinker, another orthopedic surgeon who specializes in problematic bone fractures. Dr. Marco also decided to run an ultrasound to check for blood clots due to the large amounts of swelling around Brad's knee.

Wednesday: We went to Texas Orthopedic Hospital to run the ultrasound...good news....no clots! Yeah! We then went for a marathon waiting session (5 hours) to see Dr. Brinker. He talked briefly about what the surgery would look like, then ordered a CT scan on the leg to see if there were any other fractures. The doctor also commented that he couldn't believe that Brad was in a brace & not a cast. He asked Brad, "Aren't you in a lot of pain with your leg like that?" I'm sure Brad was thinking to himself: Dude, if only you knew what my last year has looked like...this is nothing...really.

Friday: We went back to Texas Orthopedic to get the CT results and to schedule the surgery for Brad. The CT scan showed another crack on the other side of Brad's tibia along with a tear in Brad's lateral ligament near his ankle. (So, now we are tallying 3 breaks and 1 torn ligament for the fall...yikes...no wonder the man was in so much pain after he fell). Dr. Brinker said that Brad's surgery would be difficult (due to the titanium rod running through the center of the bone) but he felt that it could be successful.

So, now the plan is to go in for surgery at Texas Orthapedic Hospital (7401 S. Main, Houston) on Tuesday, April 8th at 10am. Dr. Marco will be assisting Dr. Brinker with the surgery. That is reassuring, being that Marco has done all the previous work on Brad's leg and Marco knows Brad intimately at this point.

We pray that God guides the hands of the doctors. We pray that they are successful in repairing the bones. We pray that God guards Brad from any infection & any other complications. May Brad heal quickly & may he regain his strength in that leg soon.