An irreverent look at motherhood and family life in a new state of normal.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My girls and I are spending the summer at Grammy and Papa Kanen's house. They are having a blast playing with their cousins and just having fun destroying everything here. My mom has always taken better pictures of the kids than any professional photographer.

Abby and Seb were supposed to be in my cousins wedding but plans changed. We got them dressed up anyway and took some pictures.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Playing Make Believe and Another Update on Dad

Today Abby and Seb were using a skate board as a car. Apparently they were driving to school. Seb decided they needed gas. Abby still refers to glass as gas. She hears Grammy talking about glass cleaner so much (my mom is like the greek dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding: "Just put some Windex on it...") that she assumed Seb was talking about glass cleaner. She says, "Yeah! Let's get some gas ceaner!" So off they go, coming back with watering cans full of water. Abby is cleaning the skate board with "gas ceaner" and Seb is filling up the tank with "gas" and off they go. They played at this all morning. So much fun to watch.

Dad is still up in Denver. He was not responding well to the antibiotics so they switched his meds. He is very sick (a side affect of the meds) and puking and stuff. His surgery is scheduled for today at 5:30. They are re sectioning his bowel in the hopes of removing all pockets that cause the abscesses and such. We'll see how he does. You can still send him stuff here. Casey and I are going up on the weekend to see him and will take him all the mail. He has received many cards and letters and it just makes his day to open them. Please continue to pray for a full recovery. We will continue to update this blog and my mom updates her's almost every day with the news of how he is doing. Please leave them messages on this blog, her blog, and her facebook. Please don't call as telling the story over and over is kinda wearing on her.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back From Montana and An Update on Dad.. again

I stopped in Denver on the way back from Montana to meet up with Mom and Dad and Casey and her boys. Dad was going back to Swedish Medical to get his drains removed. They didn't like the look of one but they had a temporary Dr. as Dad's regular specialist was called into emergency surgery. The temp just went ahead and removed the drains. When we got back to Alamosa, we could tell he wasn't feeling well. Saturday afternoon he started running a fever again and that night Mom took him to the ER. They did a 5th CT scan and at first thought it was a false alarm but after running it by a radiologist, it revealed another abscess. This morning Mom took him back to Denver to be checked out by the specialist and possibly be readmitted, re drained and all that.
It's hard to see my dad be sick and sick and sick. I know what it's like to be down and for someone who doesn't like to be sick at all, it's really hard. Dad has never been one to twiddle his thumbs and wait for recovery. He's either sick (and I mean, DOWN FOR THE COUNT) or he's going full speed. This illness has caused him to be in the in between for days at a time. He'll be feeling better and try and get back on the fast track and something else will happen and he'll be down again. It's spirit crushing.

On a different note, Casey and I stopped at a museum while Dad was getting his drains prematurely removed. We had a blast.

I went on a long bike ride with the kids in the chariot behind me. Cate screamed, Abby giggled and Mommy's legs are killing her today. I took my new double stroller for a walk with the babies in it. Seemed to go better than the bike ride. Maybe because it was only for 30 minutes instead of 1.75 hours.

Well, more later. Right now Abby is demanding that I sing a "pupcake" song while she strums the guitar.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reflections on Two Year Olds

I have been the mother of a two year old for four months now and that qualifies me to make a few reflections. Sadly it qualifies me to do little else but... here we go. In my humble opinion, two year olds have three modes: demanding, shy, and dead asleep.

Demanding seems to be how they wake up to the world. "Mommy, I need to go pee." No please and thank yous. Just straight demands. "I want milk."

"Can you say, 'Please'?"

"Pweeeeessee... *he he he*"

"Ok. (grumbling under my breath) You ungrateful booger..."

"Mommy, have the buttons. (translation: "Change the channel. The news is getting boring.") Want watch Cars." Handing me the remote, "Have the buttons! HAVE THE BUTTONS!!!! HAVE IT!! HAVE... IT...!!!!"

"K, Mommy is trying to feed the baby. Can you wait?"


The great part about shy mode is that when people are around, the demands get quiet or non-existent. She will pull at my hand until I fall over or whisper in my ear until it's dripping wet from her spitting in it but at least she isn't yelling.

One lady I was talking to was ignoring her 6 year old son just long enough for him to get grabby. The height of his hands when he was reaching up for her was right at boob level and he grabbed those knockers and squeezed saying in a quiet but urgent voice, "Moooooom! I need you!" It was hilarious!

When the demands come with unreasonable crying, you know the last mode is approaching. Although the crying may be annoying you to the point where your eyes might pop out of your head, you can rejoice in the fact that blessed sleep is on the way. It's almost nap time (or bed time), people!

Although I have been going through the stages with Abby, I have been having a blast teaching her to play make believe, listening to her learn to make sentences and misuse the English language (wish I could get more of that on video but shy mode seems to kick in in front of the camera as well), and generally just be around each other.

I noticed how beautiful she was the other day at the breakfast table with her wavy hair all down on her shoulders and her blue eyes looking up at me as she said, "HEY! Don't take Abby's coffee (hot chocolate) away!" Dang, we make cute kids...

Monday, July 5, 2010

An Update on Dad

Dad is doing way better. Apparently draining the fluid from the abscesses made him feel a ton better. That kind of pressure is the kind that can't be taken care of with pain drugs. He's in the hospital in Denver still. They put a "thingy" in his arm for him to get nourishment so he doesn't have to eat or drink or anything like that. He doesn't have to be stuck as often either. When I talked to him this morning, he seemed to be in high spirits. They have a plan to get his bowel tissue healed up so they can do the final cut and get out the bad stuff. It's still going to be a major surgery and he can't be off the introveinous nourishment until he has had his bowel re-sectioning. He is singing the praises of Mom as she has been by his side the whole time. Of course, he's still on pain meds so... he might be singing the praises of the IV machine but we all know how the Kanen family is affected by narcotics. We still don't know how long it is going to take for this tissue to get better, the surgery to be done, and for things to get back to normal. It is possible that he will be able to go home with the "thingy" in his arm and have a home health nurse come and "feed" him but we don't know when or if that is going to happen.

Please feel free to leave notes to Dad and Mom on this blog. They access it from their laptop in the hospital. You can also FB them or email them if you have those addresses.

If you want to send him a card or letter or something cool like that, please send it to their house in Alamosa for now as we don't know when he is getting out of the Denver hospital. Mom is staying at Beardsley's condo in Aurora so here is that address as well if you want to try and get him something right away.

Don and Sue Kanen
c/o David Beardsley
3872 South Dallas St. Unit 103

Aurora, CO 80014

The Alamosa house address is:
106 Willowcreek Pl.
Alamosa, CO 81101

4th of July in MONTANA!

That's right people, it's the 4th of July already. Can you believe it?! We are here with Andy's brother Kevin and his wife Karen for a few days. Andy is staying with them here in BEAUTIFUL Montana while he gets it together for us to come and join him. Their friends Nancy and Steve invited us to their house for a 4th celebration. These people really know how to do a party. Here is Nancy cooking for the 50 or so people who showed up.
This is Steve who was the master of ceremonies. He had tons of games for us to play as we waited for the long northern twilight to fade for the fireworks. They finally got so antsy about getting to the pyro section of the program, they lit off a few and set the field on fire a couple of times. Good thing there were alot of guys there who were all itching to stomp on the flames...

There are two reasons why this picture is in here. One, I wanted everyone to see the crazy dark and ominous clouds that are July weather in Montana. Awesome right? We were freezing but we still had a good time which brings me to the kid in this picture. Notice that he's wearing a wetsuit. He wore it the whole night. His teeth were chattering and he was way to skinny to have any body fat to protect him from the weather but he soldiered on in that suit. What a hoot!

Here are the girls just because they are so darn cute...

Greatest part of the night was meeting this lady. Laura (yes, another Laura) who is a total hoot. We had a blast just chatting and laughing and basically, we just had a great time.

Here's a fun trick Laura and Nancy's daughters were doing. Ahhh... swing acrobatics. How fun were those?!

There were games for the adults as well - namely a game of tug of war that ripped the skin right off our hands. I left the games for a hot second to check on Cate who was sleeping in the house and as I walked in, I heard screaming. I mean, this was major SCREAMING... like, bloody murder. I raced toward the noise and found, in the bathroom, one of Nancy's 4 year old twins on the potty crying and screaming, "I'M DONE! WHERE ARE YOU?!" I stood there trying to decide what to do.

"Jonas, what do you need buddy?"

"I was ju-u-u-st g-g-going pee but then I went p-p-pooop. Now I need someone to w-w-w-wipe me."

I can handle that. I wiped the poor kid and he said, "I though I heard someone making noise but they were baby noises. Then I heard someone else and I thought it was a grown up. I'm so glad you came."

So, my good deed for the day: I rescued a well trained kid from the toilet.

Here are some other cute pictures from the day.

This is one of the twins. She's a CUTIE! They both are.

Laura and her daughter had patriotic tonails for the 4th.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

One Sick Puppy

Well, many of you know that my dad has been sick. Here's the scoop:

Several weeks ago on a Thursday, Dad started to feel cramps and he knew another attack of diverticulitis was coming on. He had an attack of this a while back and was in the hospital for a couple of days. This time he thought he could wait it out at home but finally went to his doctor and was admitted to the hospital. The doctors tried to control the symptoms with antibiotics and pain meds. After 10 days, he was sent home. He wasn't getting better there so my mom called the doctor and insisted that he be checked out again. The doctor in Alamosa contacted a specialist in Denver who wanted to admit him to a hospital up there. Two nights ago Mom drove him up to Denver and he was admitted. They did another CT scan on him and found some large abscess on his colon. They drained the fluid and found several perforations in his bowel tissue. He is now not allowed to eat or drink anything until they can do something about the perforations as that is was is causing the infections, fevers and high white cell count. Pretty much, he is one sick puppy and he needs prayer.

My mom is pretty stressed so DON'T CALL HER! She needs to have rest and not to have to repeat the story and updates to everyone. If she needs something, she has been at this for several weeks and is not above calling someone for help. Dad really doesn't want any visitors right now but he loves to get letters, facebook/email messages, and text messages. Please help him keep his spirits up by sending him cards (short messages that he can read between sleeping times).

I will be updating my blog as I get more information. For now, he is going to have to have a colon re-sectioning soon. This is a major surgery and may or may not include a colostomy. We don't know when he will have this surgery but the doctors want to get him well enough to handle major surgery first. This could be several weeks and from what I'm hearing, he's not getting out of the hospital until this happens so he could be in Denver for a while.