Sunday, May 18, 2014


What is a Z-Plasty?  


A Z-Plasty is when a Z shaped incision is made.  In my daughter's case, this was done on her leg and fingers. 


Why in this manner?  

So that the scars will eventually be less visible.

Is this necessary?  Well...yes.  We cannot treat her club foot until it is receiving the blood flow that it needs and she will have increased use of her fingers if they are separated.

Here is the band on her leg.  It is very tight, almost like an elastic band was wrapped around it as tightly as can be.

Why all of the pictures?  I was a little sad/terrified/anxious the night before surgery.  My little baby girl has never been treated surgically prior to this.  As silly as this is, I was feeling down that she would never look just like she did again.

However, this little one was content just jumping on the bed, and sharing a grinder with me.

We arrived at the hotel pretty late...

and we giggled and cuddled until almost midnight.

Goodbye, cute-little-tootsie-as-I-know-it.

Goodbye, happy-little-middle-of-the-night-silly-face.

The surgical team was fantastic. As she went under the music therapist played the guitar and sang sweet songs to her.  I held her in my arms right in the operating room until she was asleep.   I wandered around downtown Boston aimlessly for a couple of hours.  I couldn't just sit and wait.

When she woke up she jumped into my arms...and fell back asleep.  I held her for hours.

When she woke up she was ready to eat and inspect her boo-boos.

Her cuddly new animals kept her calm and content.  Miraculously, she did not need pain medication post-op.  She ate faster than usual. We took a walk and we watched a video with her new friend, another beautiful little patient--also a little lady from China.

The next day the nurse showed me how to dress her surgical spots.  This is about 18 hours post-op.

She was discharged a few hours later and we went home.

We struggled to keep her foot elevated over the weekend.  Julia Mei wanted to be worn so badly that she wrapped herself in my Beco.

We spent 2 full days sitting around.

There was no pain.

The tears only came as I cleaned and re-wrapped her fingers and leg.

And her we are, 3 days post-op.  Do you see the zigzag cuts?  As she grows those will barely be visible.  The blood is flowing nicely into her foot.  She moved her toes.  The color is matching the rest of her body.  Thank you for taking care of my baby, Shriners Hospital. 

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Run Mom Run

While in China, I was going back and forth with a friend.  I considered joining a gym with her. I downloaded their class schedule on my phone and figured out how many I could probably make it to weekly after the kids went to bed.  Really--what was I thinking?  Did I think I'd have all sorts of extra time once I got home? I must have been feeling pretty confident about parenting 6 kids while working full time while I was halfway around the world. 
There will never be enough hours in the day--a single parent or even a parent of 1 child could tell you that.  I will not have enough time to deep clean or finish laundry for at least the next 10 years.
While feeling completely confident that I could do it all, I did end up signing up for a 1/2 marathon.  I had another friend sign me up since I was on the plane back to the United States with two screaming children when signups opened. Once I got home I put off training. It was frigid I put off training for exactly 3 months, until I could no longer wait for 40 degree weather to actually show up and for me to find the time to actually train. I stopped obsessing about beating my own PR (Personal Record) and focused on just finishing. I trained in a just 4 weeks (*obviously not ideal and please do not do this*).
I was up at 6 a.m. on weekends so that I could be home with the kids by 8 for breakfast. 
I dropped my daughter off at softball a few nights a week and ran until she was done.
After the race, I came home to my fan club of 6. I don't think any of them realize how far 13.1 miles actually is, but they were really excited anyway. We tried to take a picture know how that goes. 

Life resumed immediately: grocery shopping,  2 soccer games and a baseball game consumed the rest of my day.

There is no rest for a mom with 6 kids, that's for sure. But sometimes a mom needs to just blast some music and run.

Time to just whip out the double BOB, throw a 3rd child on my back and just take some long walks for now. As long as it's not too hot or cold (or windy), I'll sign up for some more 5k or 10k races too--and maybe another half in the fall. Happy running!
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