Friday, September 21, 2012

The Summer with the Hip Spica Cast

This summer did not go as planned...obviously!  Keeping a just turned two year old content and happy while in a hip spica cast was anything but easy.  Thank God for technology, Grant became pretty good at using the iPad and iPhone.  Actually, he'd wake up crying at 3:00am wanting to iPad.  Jenna was great with him and tried to involve him in as many things as she could.  If she was going to do something fun she would not talk about it in front of Grant.  She was so considerate and would whisper about it to be so he didn't hear her and get upset.

Thank God for the iPad!

Getting some tummy time to give his little butt a break!

Daddy trying to feed him.  We tried everything, he did not eat too much for a few weeks.

One of the first smiles from both of us in that first week.

Big sister laying in the hospital bed with Grant.
Even though Grant is now running around again and this is all a memory, it brings tears to my eyes to see these pictures, it was such a hard time. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grant's 2nd Birthday

I'm going to back up a bit.  On Saturday, June 16th we had a small birthday party for Grant's 2nd Birthday.  The next day is when he broke his femur.  The party was fun, it was a Cars theme and he had a great time.  He still randomly will talk about "Cars Birthday Party!"

He is the sweetest kid, so funny and my little cuddler.  He is talking really well and loves doing whatever Jenna is doing. 
Some things he loves: reading, dancing, eating, singing, playing cars, playing with balls, "scaring" us, watching Elmo, and wrestling with Daddy and Jenna.

Who would have thought he wouldn't be able to enjoy his new Cars scooter for two months after he got it!?

At his two year doctor appointment (after his cast was taken off) he weighted 25 pounds (he lost a pound or two during the ordeal) and was 34.5 inches tall.  He's in 80th percentile for height and only 25th percentile for weight.  I guess two pounds makes a big difference when you're only 34 inches tall.

We love you so much buddy!  You complete our family and we love seeing you become you!  You make me laugh every day and add more joy to our lives. It's so fun to see you and Jenna together, she is a great big sister and you are a great brother!  I hope you two continue to have a great relationship!

Love always,

Your Mama

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hip Spica Cast

Life in a hip spica cast for a just turned two year old is no fun.  There were many tears shed those first couple of weeks.  There were so many unknowns, questions, fears, worries, and a lot of helpless feelings. 
You can't see the harness, but Grant had to lay down in the car, with this special harness that connected to the seat belt. 
Looking back the first couple weeks in the cast were made worse by Grant still being in pain, having muscle spasms, being on some hard medicine, not pooping, not sleeping, not eating, etc.  There were so many other factors than just the physical cast.  The very hot summer we had didn't help, we literally were stuck in the air-conditioned house, unless we went for a walk early in the morning.

Our early morning walk on Grant's 2nd Birthday, June 19
I had a constant feeling of wishing it was me that was hurt, and then feeling sick to my stomach and helpless about Grant.  My mind kept going and going about what I could do with Grant to keep him content, busy, not thinking about his cast, eating and drinking enough, just anything to pass the time. 

The picture doesn't do it justice, but you can see a small normal ankle and foot and a swollen hurt one. 
Our (luckily) still empty formal dining room became a hospital room.  We had a hospital bed for Grant (and us when necessary) to sleep in, so he could be elevated and close to us, we had a pediatric wheelchair, and the special harness to transport him in the car since he couldn't sit in the car seat.

One of our many activities that lasted all of two minutes

Every day when I felt my lowest I'd think of the amazing parents who have kids with special needs or even kids with hip dysplasia and are in hip spica casts for months, sometimes years.  They are truly angels, this is no joke, by far, the most challenging thing I've been through.  Logically I knew it could have been worse, but what we were dealing with everyday was so hard.  I had to take FMLA at work, and basically our whole summer flew out the window. 
My poor sweet Grant!  I'm so glad your memory of this will only be through pictures and stories. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Grant and the terrible horrible no good very bad day

*sorry the pictures are blurry, they are from my phone and I didn't transfer them over full size.

On June 17, Father's Day, we were enjoying a nice breakfast when everything changed in one second.  Jenna was still sitting at the kitchen table and I had just gotten Grant down from his seat.  He went behind Jenna and pulled back on her chair a bit.  She and the chair fell backwards right on Grant.  He started screaming right away and Erik scooped him right up.  He passed him off to me and Grant wasn't calming down like he usually does when I hold him.  He was flailing around and screaming harder.  While holding him I held him down towards the floor and we noticed his left leg limp looking.  Then right before our eyes we saw his left thigh swell to the size of a football.  We immediately got him in the car and went to ER.  Looking back we feel so bad that we moved him like we did and even put him in his carseat. 

This was taken about 30 minutes before he got hurt.  He was wearing his new Thomas underwear he got for his birthday over his diaper.  This is what he was wearing when we went to ER.

We got to ER and they got us back immediately.  Grant was sweating and screaming and I asked if he could have some pain meds, something was obviously wrong.  They said they needed to wait until after x-rays to see what was wrong since he might need an IV.  It was awful watching him in so much pain and not being able to help him.  I felt sick to my stomach.  They finally did the x-ray and got the results quickly.  The doctor called me out of Grant's room to show me the x-ray while Erik stayed with Grant.

He said he broke his femur, the largest and strongest bone in his body.
He said he may need surgery, this could be very bad with the veins and arteries in the thigh.
He said he needed to be transferred to a Children's Hospital immediately.
He said he wanted to air lift him, he needed to be seen by a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon.

The X-Ray of the broken femur

I felt dizzy and sick.  We were prepared for a broken bone, but didn't think it would be something that we needed to be transferred for.  Meanwhile, they were trying to get an IV in Grant for pain meds.  They tried both arms and hands and couldn't get it in.  Erik was with him most of this time while I cowardly watched from the hall.  It's heartbreaking to watch your child go through this.  I wanted to break my own leg right then and there and let him be okay.  Erik and I would GLADY take his place if we could.  They finally got the IV in his foot.

We were then told the Children's Hospital's weren't sending the helicopters due to bad storms.  They decided to send him via ambulance.  Erik sat on the hospital bed and held Grant the whole time on the ambulance ride to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.  I went home to pack bags and make sure Jenna was okay with my parents before I drove there by myself.  That was a VERY LONG DRIVE!  Poor Jenna was so sad and worried.  She felt guilty even though it wasn't her fault.

We were admitted to the Children's ER and they gave him a much higher dose of pain meds which we were so thankful for.  The doctor came in and said a lot of stuff...basically I heard:

Erik was stuck in this position for many hours just to keep Grant somewhat comfortable.This was in the ER at the Children's Hospital

Doctor:  Bad break...due to his age we aren't going to do were lucky the break didn't puncture his skin...we'll do what's called a hip spica cast...we put him under full anesthetic to do it...we'll move you up to pre-surgery soon.

Me: So, will he be okay?  Can you spell the name of that cast for me?  I want to google it. 

There had already been many tears by all of that morning so when I googled "hip spica cast" I just started crying.  I remember thinking, are you serious?  He is not even two years old, he won't be able to move, he will be stuck and miserable, it's summer and hot out, how will we do this, I don't think I'll be at work for a while.  There were so many thoughts going through our heads.  While we waited to be moved we were visited by great team members, a case manager who was taking care of us, offering us sandwiches and something to drink, an ipad to email family, anything.  We were just trying to keep Grant comfortable enough and stay quiet if he was quiet. 

We had to wait a while for his turn in surgery since there was only one Orthopedic surgeon there and they had a couple emergencies come in, much worse than Grant.  They did a good job at keeping him someone comfortable with meds until it was his turn.  They took him back, asked us what color we wanted to cast (Erik picked red since Elmo and Lightening McQueen are both red) and we were sent to the waiting room. 

This is what we saw when we were called back to see him and he was waking up.  It was so sad.

Grant and his red hip spica cast, my heart was breaking

The next day in the hospital the Physical Therapists showed us how to position him on his stomach

 Much more of the story to come...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge

It's been a few months since we've taken he kids to an indoor water park and Jenna has been dying to go.  One night we told her we had a surprise (we were just taking them to the ice cream store) and she asked if we were either going to Paris or Great Wolf Lodge. 

We finally planned a trip and decided to stay for two nights instead of one.  We had a lot of fun and the kids did great.  Grant was old enough to enjoy the little kids slides and the outside water area too.  After two nights it was time to come home, we were broke!  I think we spend $40 in the arcade and ended up with about $3.00 worth of prizes, but Jenna and Grant loved it.  

Jenna with Wolfy and Violet after pj story time

Model pose

The kids with their MagiQuest wands.  Grant didn't have a real wand, he'll probably be ready next time.

Playing outside in the spray pad!

Doesn't Jenna look so small with Grant on her lap?!

Story time...can you tell Grant is tired?

Jenna's pedicure at the Kid's Spa - Scoops.  It's a whole ice cream theme.

She loved being pampered!

Monday, June 4, 2012


This is a conversation between me and Jenna yesterday.  She really asks some tough questions sometimes.

Jenna: Mom, where does God live?
Me: In heaven.
Jenna: What does he do there?
Me: He takes care of people who don't live on earth anymore.
Jenna: You mean like, they're dead?
Me: Yes honey.

a few seconds of pause

Jenna: Does God love zombies too?
Me: Yeah, I think God loves everyone. (thinking, where the heck is she going with this and how does she even know what a Zombie is?)
Jenna: Even if they are being bad like a zombie?
Me: I think God wants us all to be good, but he still forgives and loves people who are bad too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

I had a nice Mother's Day! We are so lucky to have a lot of Mothers in our lives, and wish we could have seen them all. I was enjoying too much and didn't get many pictures of the weekend, so here are some from our phones. I'm so lucky to have two wonderful kids who make me a mother. 

Grant and his "cousin" Miles.  Grant loves babies and was excited to "hold it."

Sorry this is so blurry, my grandparents and their three great grandchildren (with one more soon to be in picutres in Sept!).  The kids are so lucky to know their GG's!

Our only family picture we got on Mothers Day weekend, towards the end of the day after we went out for ice cream.

The kids with Grandma and Grandpa S.  Glad we got a good picture of them all. 

Grant not paying attention as usual.

My gifts from Jenna.  A cute poem about "If you give a Mom a muffin" and homemade muffins, along with a handprint and picture poem.  I LOVE handmade gifts!

Grant's gifts to me.  A handprint plant with a cute Mom poem, and a art project to hang.

Jenna, Grant, and Miles, all smiling and looking at the camera, it's a miracle!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Work it!

Jenna and Grant were recently models in the Red Cross Fashion Show Fundraiser. They were too cute, that is until Grant laid down on the stage, declaring it was bed time. They had two outfits to model and Jenna loved it! Grant had more of a demanding supermodel attitude and was good if he was supplied with fruit snacks and lemonade.

Jenna said afterwards that being a model is hard work, her legs were tired from all of that walking and twirling.  The ladies in the audience loved them, but Jenna reminded them her outfits didn't come in their sizes.  Fun was had by all!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Jenna has been taking singing lessons for almost two months now.  Her teacher, Miss Hannah is great!  We will miss her this summer while she is studying abroad.  Here is Jenna singing one of the songs they've been working on.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dear Grant,

Dear Grant,
You are 21 months! You're almost two years old. You are such a fun kid, and ALL boy.  You love trucks, airplanes, dinosaurs, Elmo, balls, sticks, and eating.  It's so fun to watch you explore and learn new things.  You're talking more and more, putting words into sentences, and even throwing a couple tantrums now and then. 

Picture from Jenna's 5th Birthday in December

You love your big sister (Sissy) so much, she is the first person you ask about in the morning and cannot go to bed without a kiss and hug from all of us.  I know a time will come when you fight like crazy so I'm trying to soak up the moments now.

His "cheesy" smile, LOVE him!
We never have a dull moment with you, you're on the go, being fearless, pushing your limits, and being goofy all the time.  You love to wrestle with Sissy and Daddy, then you will come right over, plop in my lap and want to read.  You love dancing and singing too.

The first and only snowman we got to build this winter, hardly any snow!
Some of your favorites:
Food - scrambled eggs, banana's, Mandarin oranges, fruit snacks, noodles, ham, string cheese, blueberries, white cheddar mac'n'cheese, waffles
Things - Elmo, trucks, airplanes, tractors, dinosaurs, small dogs, books, and of course blankie (ne-ne) and your small Elmo doll
Daddy's hat and fleece, they almost fit honey!
Shows/Videos - Sesame Street, Thomas the Train, any Elmo song video on You Tube, The Cars Movie
Favorite Words/Sayings - Love you, Sissy, Where'd it go?, Outside, Shoes on, waffles and milk, A truck...beep beep, thank you, a book, all done, excuse me

Love babies in pj' cute!
In March you had tubes put in your ears.  We hated putting you through that, but you are seriously like a new kid.  You had so many sick days and fussy moments before, and things have been so much better after.  The ENT doctor said you had a ton of fluid in your ears, and he wouldn't be surprised if you could hear and speak better too.  You were such a trooper and the hardest part (which we were warned about) was you coming our of anesthesia.  You just cried and cried and were so out of it.  Even by that afternoon you seemed happier.

Grant - before surgery to get tubes put in.  March 2012
Grant - we love you so much!  You complete our family and watching you and Jenna grow up together is so fun.  You're such a sweet little boy and I "Lull Yu" very very much!

Love always,
Your Mom

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Jenna!!

Jenna was so lucky to be able to celebrate her birthday so many times!  She had a celebration at preschool, a party with friends at the bowling alley, and multiple parties with all of our families who did a great job to make sure we celebrtated her birthday seperate for our Christmas celebrations.

Jenna and Wyatt at their Bowling Alley Birthday party!!  Pizza, cupcakes, cookies, and bowling with 18 five year olds is an exhausting day, in case you were wondering!


The Birthday Princess

Jenna and Grant standing by Jenna's birthday cupcakes!

"I'm five!!"

We were happy GG and GG could come celebrate with us!

December 19, 2011 - our family!

Wish and dream big sweetie!