Sunday, February 22, 2009


Jake's not allowed to put his hands in his mouth, because he could damage the palate repair.

That's never been a big issue with him, but he has put his fingers in his mouth before, so we have to watch him. We got some help from the hospital, though, in a couple of velcro arm restraints. With them on, he can't bend his arms at the elbow and thus can't put his hands to his mouth.

He handles them pretty well, although at bedtime he has acted fussy and wanted them off. No way are we going to let him sleep right now without them. So, we give him breaks throughout the day, but we make sure at least one of us can keep an eye on him at all times.

Well, last night when Mama made us chocolate milkshakes I carried Jake's to the table for him. He sat down on his little stool and I handed him his milkshake. Jake took it in his hands and held it up, anxiously anticipating the taste of the goodness. But try as he might, he couldn't take a drink - that's because Baba forgot to take his restraints off! Sorry Jake, I'm new at this parent stuff.

Jake's doing well. He gets a little cranky when the pain reliever wears off, but all in all he's doing OK. He really wants to eat solid food, and he would love to feed himself, but we have to say no to both. That has generated some tears, but we can't run the risk of him poking a hole in his new palate.

Here are a couple of pics showing what the poor guy has to deal with.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's Baba's birthday!

Of course his best present was Jake's new palate and coming home from the hospital!

In celebration tonight we are going to have a nice supper (Jake's pureed of course) and chocolate milkshakes! (modified later: the milkshakes -- a Jake first -- and the pureed potato soup were hits).

A few weeks ago Jake spent an evening working on his first birthday present for Baba. This is him hard at work.

Happy birthday Baba!

An artist's beginning:

Paintin' the town:

A serious artist at work:

No pictures, please. I am working:

The finished product:

We're home!

Woo hoo! We're out of the hospital and home.

Jake drank enough, and his stats were great, so the doctors said he could go home. We were all glad to be out of the hospital.

Poor little guy. We asked him this morning what his dog's name was (It's Hot Rod), and he started to say it and got about as far as Haa before he stopped with the funny look on his face, like he just realized something. I think that something was that he no longer has a big hole in the roof of his mouth. He started moving his tongue around, like he was feeling around in his mouth with it. We've got to be careful with him doing that, though, so he doesn't do any damage to the repairs.

Later on in the morning, he was jabbering like always, still pronouncing things as he has been, but we will work on that.

Kevin and Violet

Friday, February 20, 2009

Successful surgery

We're in Jake's hospital room now. Mama is at his bedside watching him sleep as I do this update.

Jake's surgery was a success. The doctor said they accomplished what they wanted to do. They fixed his palate and put tubes in his ears. He went to surgery one-half hour late and was done in less than an hour and a half.

I went in with him to the operating room when they put him under. That happened pretty fast. I expected him to put up a bit of a fuss, but he surprised me. They sat him on the operating table and put the mask up to him. I thought they were just showing him the mask, but no, they were putting him under. He was out in no time, then they hooked up an IV to put him further to sleep so they could operate. Maybe it was the breathing treatment with the nebulizer he had a couple of weeks ago that got him used to having something in his face, but he didn't fuss at all about the mask.

He was not a happy boy when he came out of it in the recovery room, but we were there to greet him when he woke up. He's obviously in pain a lot (but they give him some good stuff. LOL), so that is not a surprise he was cranky.

He threw up a couple of times, the second time in his room. It was a lot of the blood he swallowed during it all. Boy, he sure felt better after that! We even watched Wild, Wild West Elmo! Grandma and Grandpa came down to see him and spent a few hours here. He was happy to see them when he came around enough to know who they were when they showed up not too long after he went to recovery.

We get to go home Saturday, if his oxygen level is good (which it is so far) and he can drink and pee. He has done both of those, too, although it took him a while to really drink anything. But, he's had some apple juice and seems to like it. Poor kid is probably hungry, too, but it's no solid food for a while, and he's got to keep his fingers out of his mouth while the palate heals. So far, that hasn't been an issue, but we've got a few weeks of recovery to go.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It's comforting for Mama and Baba to know so many people care.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Requesting prayers

Jake's surgery is late Friday morning.
He will stay overnight in the hospital in OKC and recuperate for at least 3 weeks.
The doctors say he will be in a lot of pain and confused about the new palate in his mouth.
Please pray that the attachment bonds we've made in the past four months will be enough to sustain him through this tough time.
It is so hard knowing our sweet, little boy who is sleeping like an angel right now will be in so much pain this time tomorrow and be clueless as to why.
This love God has blessed us with toward this little boy, whom we've only known by heart for less than a year and in the flesh for just more than four months, simply is amazing. We didn't know it was possible to love this much.

Kevin and Violet

Monday, February 16, 2009

The sweet things of life ...

Jake was eating strawberries (they were huge! and a gift from Grandma and Grandpa) and chocolate (a gift from Grandma) Monday morning as a sort-of after-breakfast dessert.
He had a big day with his great aunt and uncle and his cousins Sunday (thanks for the trampoline fun Aly!), and we delivered Grandma's dog Copper home. Lots of fun, but it was a long day, and we forgot the camera.
We did have it Monday morning though.
Here's what our guy thinks about his Valentine's weekend treats.

I can't believe my parents make me eat this stuff:

I'm going to get you Strawberry:

Hee, hee, hee. Just foolin.' OK, this is how I really feel about strawberries and chocolate:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What's that scar?

As Jake was getting his first haircut Saturday, the stylist stopped at one point and said "Look's like he's got quite a scar here."

What? Scar? I thought we had looked him over pretty well from head to toe. Did we miss something? Sure enough there on the left side of his head was this inch long or so red, slightly curved streak. OMG, how could we have missed that? What is it? One of the first things that ran through my mind was Jeff Gammage's book "China Ghosts." If you have read it you know what I mean. If you haven't, just after Jeff and his wife got their daughter they noticed some terrible scarring on the side of her head. At that point, they had just received her, and instead of crying she was one of the babies that shut down, leading them to wonder if the scars they saw meant something was wrong with her. Thankfully for them she was fine, but they never did find out what happened to her to cause the scars.

Anyway, all this ran through my head in a matter of seconds. I couldn't see what she was talking about at first, but as the stylist and I looked closer we realized it was ink!

Jake had been coloring with his Crayola Pip-Squeaks washable markers earlier in the day. At one point, he had tucked one behind his ear. LOL. The "scar" was just Jake accidentally marking on himself. Then, as we turned him around to cut the hair on the other side of his head more marks showed up. This time they were purple marks behind his right ear from another of his markers.



Our first big boy haircut

Jake and I went Saturday to get his first official haircut since he's been home with us. We've given him a trim before and he had haircuts in China (everyone remembers the pics of him shaved bald except for his little tuft of hair in front), but this was his first big boy haircut.

Of course, he fell asleep coming into town, and when we got to Pro Cuts he woke up and wondered where we were. It's a place he hasn't seen before. We went in and he was very quiet, just looking around at everything, trying to soak it all in. As we were taking our coats off, another customer, a young woman, remarked about how cute he is. We get that a lot! LOL

As we sat there waiting our turn, he didn't make a peep. Just sat there on my lap looking around. I asked him "Do you want to get a haircut?" and he nodded solemnly. A little later, I asked him again and he nodded again. Just before our turn came, I asked him one last time and got another solemn nod.

When it came his turn, the kind woman who cut his hair decided we should try just him in a booster seat. Well, that didn't go so well. As soon as I set him down on it he started to cry - the first sounds he had made since we went it. So, we ended up with me sitting down and him on my lap. (Sorry, but since it was just us, we didn't have a camera person, so no photos of the actual haircut).

He did really well after that. Not another peep out of him, and the stylist was so good to him, telling him what a big boy he was. In the end, he got a nice trim and a sucker.

Here are a couple of photos to show his haircut off. It was hard to get him to pose today, he wasn't in a posing mood, which is kind of unusual for him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wild Wild West Jake

Since watching "Elmo's Wild Wild West" (numerous times), Jake's newest game is to get in his wagon and head off with various stuffed animals in tow. So guess where he headed after bathtime tonight?

Howdy Ma'am. Real cowboys wear their hats backward

Head 'em up, move 'em out

Jake can't show his face. He's a wanted man: Wanted for bedtime!

Mickey Mouse Club was taken, so Jake opted for the Dirty Sock Gang (see above photos)

Sometimes a cowboy has to pull his own wagon

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Salt of the earth

Kevin and Jacob and I decided to get out for the afternoon and visit nearby Salt Plains.
It was a little bit of a trip, so Jake had his nap in the car seat after church and fellowship dinner before we went on the walking trail.
Baba and I went so far that we decided it would be just as well to push on rather than backtrack. It was quite the walk, carrying the Little Man part way.
Unfortunately there was not a lot of wildlife. Usually the place is teeming with birds and wildlife, but this is the fewest fowl we've seen. But it is the middle of winter, although by the warm temperatures we've been having lately you wouldn't know it.
We saw an armadillo, ducks, geese, deer and 3 humans. Jake swung in our arms, jumped, made his own tracks in the dirt, rode Baba's and Mama's shoulders and made a lot of goofy faces.
It was a great day.

OK, I'm not sure about all this walking stuff:

Jake was fascinated with the water:

There are the ducks:

A closer look:

OK, so where did you say the car was?

Now this is more like it. This walkin' stuff ain't so bad:

Just because Mama really liked this photo:

Jake's first ride on Mama's shoulders. Hair is a hazard:

Oh thank goodness, the car. That was a long walk:

Bye, bye:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Woo Hoo! We're better!

Jake is a lot better now. His fever is gone, he's sleeping better and he's eating again! Thanks to everyone for your concern.

He's still got a cough, so we are continuing the nebulizer treatment. But it sure is good to have our little man back!