Saturday, July 26, 2008

we're home!

So apparently last night Brandon slept very, very little. A couple of hours, total. When Jackie and I got there around 7am this morning, he looked like the Night of the Living Dead - but he was fairly cheerful, all things considered.

We were in the playroom at around 8am when the doctor came in and told us that Brandon would be going home within an hour or two. Less than five minutes after he left, Brandon threw up. So there went that. We were told he would be able to leave at noon - IF he didn't throw up again and drank at least one (4oz) juice. Having stayed at this hospital twice before, I knew that really meant 1PM at the earliest. Probably more like 2 or 3.

A little while after losing his breakfast (all one bite of pancakes and two sips of milk), Brandon laid down on the floor of the playroom and came very, very close to falling asleep. He didn't want to go back to his room, but I dragged him back, acquired his overdue dose of tylenol with codeine, and managed to wrangle an hour-long nap out of him.

Well anyway, we ended up leaving at 1:05, which was a lot earlier than I was expecting. And they didn't even make us stop at the pharmacy on the way out - imagine that, the Pediatric Ward actually gives you your discharge meds when they discharge you. (Along with a stuffed Mickey Mouse and one last popsicle.)

So now Brandon is eating watermelon chunks and watching Disney movies while I bounce Jackie on the exercise ball and Brian (who just got home from work) is taking a nap to make up for last night (when he slept for less than an hour). Things are more or less back to normal.

Friday, July 25, 2008


So...things took a bit of a turn for the worse when I went back to the hospital with dinner. Brandon's dinner was being delivered right as I got there, and I found Brandon playing with Daddy next door in the playroom. He seemed excited to go back to his room and eat dinner, and he climbed right onto his bed and started eating lemon jello and the peach yogurt I had brought from home, along with the Capri Sun packet which we had dumped into a Mickey Mouse sippy cup (he'd been refusing to drink from a straw all day, for whatever reason).

Then he saw the food Brian was eating. He asked for chicken and of course we couldn't give it to him. This devolved into a minor tantrum, wanting to go back to the play room. I eventually brought him over there when he calmed down a bit and said "please".

Eventually, though...and I don't even remember exactly how it happened...he threw another tantrum that just would not quit. About a half an hour into it (at 7pm), his new nurse (new shift) came in, and I asked her if they could give him something to help him sleep. She looked at me like I was the worst mother ever and said, "we don't do that." She said that he'd be getting more Tylenol with codeine at 8:30 and that should help him sleep. "It didn't help him take a nap," I said. Because it really didn't.

After about an hour I finally got Brandon to calm down a bit - the only thing that keeps him calm is sitting in my lap and watching Dan Zanes videos on my iPod. Unfortunately, I can't take care of Jackson (who has been on a kick lately of barely eating during the day and nursing practically nonstop all night) while Brandon is on my lap, so even though they would have let me stay and keep the baby with me (since I'm breastfeeding), and even though I wanted to stay, and Brian wanted me to stay, and Lord knows Brandon wanted me to just wasn't physically possible for me to take care of both kids at the same time by myself. So Brian stayed.

The only thing more heartbreaking than listening to your child screaming "Home! Home! Home!" when you can't bring him home, is hearing him scream "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" as you walk away.

The last time I talked to Brian on the phone, at 9:20, Brandon was still screaming. That's almost 2.5 hours of almost non-stop screaming, and he had surgery on his throat this morning! I'm quite honestly shocked that they won't just sedate the poor kid. I'm going to be honest with you, he's had tantrums like this at bedtime a couple of times before, always when he's overtired and in extreme pain from teething. (Which he happens to be right now, on top of the surgery.) And you know what finally helps him to calm down and fall asleep? A dose of benadryl. Don't get me wrong, I don't regularly drug my child, but if he is just completely unable to calm down and go to sleep, I help him out. That's what he needs now. And they won't give it to him, they're letting him scream himself hoarse. Despite having had surgery on his throat 13 hours ago. It's mind-boggling.

All I can do now is hope and pray that he's calmed down and gone to sleep. I wish I was able to be there. I wish that we had gotten this done before Jackie was born. I wish that this was easier for everybody, especially Brandon. But right now I have to go try to get some sleep so that I can get through tomorrow.

a huge sigh of relief

I'm home getting dinner for Brian and myself and I just wanted to let everyone know that Brandon is doing great. A little cranky, and a little drooly because he's afraid to swallow, but otherwise fine. Thank you so much to everyone for your comments, emails and MySpace messages, it really means a lot to us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

a simple request

I don't ask for things. I never ask for help, ever...that's my major issue. I'd rather take it all on myself and soldier on through whatever happens than be a burden on anyone else. But I'm asking for help now, because I really need it.

I need prayers, vibes, good thoughts, whatever kind of positive energy you can send my family's way.

Ever since I found out that Brandon's tonsil-and-adenoid-ectomy involves general anesthesia (not the sleepy/amnesiac/not-completely-out stuff that they used for his frenulectomy) I've been trying so hard not to think about it that I've been having panic attacks and nightmares about completely unrelated things. Like, "if I push the stroller down this hill, Jackie will fall out and land in the street" and "if I go snorkeling I will get run over by a jetski and get smushed into the reef" and "I don't know what to make for dinner". Despite the fact that I have pushed the stroller down that hill hundreds of times and there are no jetskis in Hanauma Bay and it's just dinner for Pete's sake.

So please keep us in your thoughts the day after tomorrow, Thursday July 24, when Brandon will be in the hospital. I would really appreciate it. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

some lucky kid is going to get a wig of genuine hawaii-grown hair

So it turns out I was wrong and just not paying attention when I read the Locks of Love website - the longest layer has to be at least 10 inches, so I had more than enough hair to donate. So I did it today. The woman who cut my hair actually did it in four separate ponytails so I could keep as much length as I just really have a lot of hair. It's crazy fine, so there's never enough to really do anything with it, but despite its fineness, there's really quite a lot of it, so it always takes forever to cut it, or curl it, or whatever.

Well anyway. It actually came out really nice, especially considering that I got 10 inches cut off and it was a free haircut! (The kiddie place where I get Brandon's hair cut will cut your hair for free if you're donating to Locks of Love.) Even Brian had to admit that it actually looks good - he was concerned that short hair would be, well, a little bit unflattering, considering that I'm carrying about 20 extra pounds at the moment. But it didn't end up as short as I thought it was going to ... sorry, I just lost my train of thought, Jack woke up crying and Brandon had his foot in his bowl of ramen noodles. You can't make this stuff up.

Anyway. My hair looks and feels good.

Me (taking out my camera): "I need before and after pictures. For my blog."
Brian (rolling eyes): "Bloggers."

Not the best pictures ever, but you get the idea.

Monday, July 7, 2008

just letting y'all know

My in-laws are visiting right now, and the day after they leave, we're going to the Big Island. So that's why I haven't been posting much lately, and probably won't be posting much for the next week or so.

Brandon isn't handling the disruption to his schedule very well; he's doing his best but he is only two after all, so hopefully we won't be doing too much more that's past his bedtime. We had to leave the luau tonight before the show started because he was outright weeping. It was no worse than I was expecting.

The fireworks on the 4th weren't exactly a hit with him, either. He liked them a lot at first, but I think they went on for too long...I don't think it was the noise, I think we were just too close to where they were being set off. I remember being scared by fireworks when I was a kid, when they look like they're coming right at you, you know?

It's tough to be two and a half.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

puttin' it out there in the Universe

Pray for me that when we get to Japan, there's a used Mazda Premacy available, in our price range. Because apparently that's what they call the Mazda 5 over there, and dammit, I love my car! It seems that it's been available there for a couple of years longer than it has been here, so I'm actually pretty hopeful. I just feel like I'd be a lot more comfortable in a familiar vehicle...except that the steering wheel will be on the other side of the car. You know what, driving on the other side of the street doesn't freak me out nearly as much as driving on the other side of the car! That is definitely going to take some getting used to.

It's kind of funny, I'm hopeful about the car, and the phone (more about that later) but I am absolutely expecting the worst as far as housing. Everyone says that we'll be able to afford something pretty nice if we live off base, which is probably what we're going to end up doing, if only because it'll be (a lot) quicker than the waiting list for base housing. Living off base in another country scares the crap out of me, but whatever. Anyway, everyone says we'll be able to get someplace decent, but I still have it in my head that we'll be in a 2 bedroom apartment, on the 65th floor, with paper walls and a kerosene heater and no air conditioning and windows that don't open. And no elevators. Obviously it couldn't possibly be even close to that bad, but I'd rather expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised.

But when it comes to the car, for some reason I'm able to be optimistic. I guess because it just isn't as important and I won't be as disappointed when I don't get what I want. I mean, we're pretty much going to drive to the supermarket and take public transportation everywhere else anyway.

As for the phone... I am totally getting an iPhone when we get there; they'll be available in Japan later this month. Of course there are much, much cooler phones available there, but let's face it, I'm a Mac person. I have three Macs. I also have a .mac membership, which means that I'll automatically be enrolled in the Mobile Me service whenever it finally rolls out. So if I have an iPhone, too, then my contacts, calendar, email, photos, etc, will all be automatically synced between all three computers and my phone. How can I pass that up? I don't need the latest and greatest Japanese technology. The latest and greatest American technology is good enough for me.

But who knows, I may very well change my mind when I get there and see what's available. I've always been a little bit of a techie. I have a temporal artery thermometer, for Pete's sake! I feel like Dr. Crusher every time I use it. It's very cool.