Thursday, November 12, 2009

At Home

We just got home a short while ago. Ice cream finally won Bella over and once we got her to eat that she was allowed to come home. Above are some of the better pictures we took during our stay at the hospital. The last one is from this morning. She is starting to look back to normal. She was so swollen, but this morning we saw a huge difference. She is still in pain and is very careful about drinking or eating anything, but little by little she is letting us give her sips to drink and things to eat like pudding and jello.
Today was the hardest day to be at the hospital because physically she was feeling more like herself, but she couldn't get out of bed and walk around because the IV was her in her foot. We took her to the playroom and that made her happy for awhile. All day she pointed to the door and waved bye bye. She wanted to leave so bad, but she did not understand she needed to drink before she was allowed to leave.
As long as we have been by her side, we have let her keep the arm cuffs off. One reason is that she does not put her hands in her mouth normally and two because she HATES them. We make her sleep with them on and will make her have them on while she is playing on her own and running around with the boys. The trick right now is keeping snacks and food out of her reach because she wants to eat normal food, but is not allowed.
Our experience with Children's Hospital was amazing and we know she was in great hands. We also know that she has been lifted up in prayer all along and we are very grateful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Bella is out of surgery and resting. She has slept most of the day, which has been good. She was in surgery a little over 2 hours. The doctor met with us while Bella was moved to the recovery room. He said her cleft was one of the widest separations he has ever seen and that it was a difficult surgery. He said her palate is only 1/8 of an inch thick in some places and in others it is only 1/32 of an inch thick. We have to be very careful about how she eats or drinks for 2 weeks. She also has to wear arm cuffs for 1 week while she recovers. Because there was not much material, the palate does not reach completely to the sides of her mouth. The doctor explained that the gaps will fill in over time.
I don't want to go into all of the details, but right now Bella's tongue is stitched and pulled to the side of her mouth which is making it hard for her to swallow. They will pull the stitches out tomorrow morning.
When she got to the hospital this morning, she tried to put her jacket back on and started waving bye to all of the nurses. She remembered and did not want to stay.
She may or may not go home tomorrow. Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes. Will post updates soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Surgery Tomorrow

Please pray for Bella tomorrow. After waiting almost 4 years, she is finally going to have a palate. We have heard only wonderful things about the doctor and team that will be operating on her. We have to be at the hospital very early and know that she will spend at least one night there. We expect it to be a rough go for a few days and we expect her to fight the arm cuffs that she will have to keep on her arms for a week, but we know it will be worth it in the end.

We will post updates when we can!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October Wrap Up

During Aidan's fall break a couple of weeks ago, we went to the Smoky Mountains for a long weekend and rented a cabin with Michael's parents. We had a fabulous time and the mountains were just beautiful. God had painted the trees with a million different beautiful colors. This was our first vacation as a family of 5 and Bella loved every minute of it. We introduced her to all of our favorite places to go and eat. One thing we have learned about Bella is that she LOVES syrup. She will dip anything into syrup. If you ever have seen the movie "Elf", that is who she reminds us of. She had sausage, potatoes and green beans the other night. Everything got dipped. We figure we can get her to eat anything as long as syrup is on her plate. Sooo, she loved the pancake house in Gatlinburg and ate 2 HUGE pancakes.
Here are some pictures from our trip ...

We hiked, went on the alpine slide, raced cars and ate lots of yummy food. We got to see three bear cubs up in a tree. Bella loves to ride rides. She squeeled continuously while on them. The boys raced cars by themselves for the first time this year. They are both very competitive ... not sure where they get that (wink wink).

We have also had some fun days at home. Keenan, Bella and I got to play in the leaves in our backyard the other day. Keenan was all about jumping into the pile, but Bella looked at him like he was crazy. I ended up lifting her up and putting her in them. She cooperated for a couple of pictures, but then she was done with them.
I have also found out I have 3 painters. This was the first time I let Bella paint and by the time she was finished, she was a mess! I ended up taking her clothes off and at some point, she had her whole body in the paint. Needless to say, she got to take a bath - another favorite activity for her.

And last night she got to experience trick or treating. Let's just say she was not a happy bumblebee at first, but then got into the hang of it. Aidan was Indiana Jones. Keenan was the new and improved G.I. Joe. They had a great time. After trick or treating was over, we went to some friends for a little party. Everyone slept in this morning since we had an extra hour before church- yay!
Please pray for me this week. I have been working from home since we returned from China, but I go back to my regular schedule at the office this week. This is going to be not only a transition for Bella, but for me and Keenan as well. Bella and Keenan will be starting a new preschool/daycare for the 3 days that I work this week. We had to say goodbye to the preschool that Keenan has gone to for the last 2 years and that Aidan went to before that. It was such a hard decision to make because we loved it there, but feel that this new school along with some state run programs that Bella should be able to receive will be best for her. So please pray for all of the transitions and changes that we will be facing this week.