Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Week

For Thanksgiving, we loaded up the van and headed to my parents. But it wasn't just for the one day. No, no. When we do things, we do them big! My parents were coming through town the weekend before Thanksgiving, so we asked if they would mind taking the boys with them. They agreed, and Saturday we kissed the boys "see ya later" as they rode off in my parents new van. This new van, luckily, has a dvd player, so the boys got in some Wiggle time. With an afternoon/evening free, Biju and I tried to use our time wisely. We grabbed lunch at BK, hit WalMart, came back to unload everything and check on movie times, then headed for dinner. We tried Ted's Montana Grill where we each had our first buffalo burger. Then it was on to the "cheap" movie place ($2.50 per ticket) where we saw The Invention of Lying. It was cute, but we were a little surprised to see so many young people in the theatre. It is NOT a movie I would take anyone under 13 to (or maybe even under 21, but thats me being a prude). Nothing horrible, just topics that need to be handled maturely.

Early Sunday, we headed up to the farm. I got to kiss the boys hello then kiss them "see you later" as I quickly left again with my mom, sister-in-law and niece. We drove the half hour to my aunt's house so I could present a Norwex party. I always love doing Norwex parties!
The rest of the week went smoothly. The boys were meant to live on a farm, I swear. We hardly saw Ajay as he was always outside playing. He didn't care too much if he was by himself or with the cousins. He did help Papa (I think everyday) with chores. I've mentioned before how my heart stops every time he gets on the tractor, but he just loves it and I know my dad is always extra cautious when he has little riders along. The chickens decided to stop laying, so he was unable to bring any eggs in.
On Wednesday, we suckered my sister-in-law, Brandi, into watching Ajay and Alex while Biju and I went to play "adult games" - which is what we call the games at the casino. Thank you, Brandi!! We got back Wed. evening and I made up some ground turkey curry. I think Dad liked it - he had 3 bowls of it!
Thursday morning we hit the oven running. The kitchen was full of the women folk getting things ready. The rest of the family started arriving around 3 and we got the main food table set up, with a dessert table not far away. We all stuffed ourselves silly, as is tradition. My aunt brought a new game for us all to try out. Its called Wits and Wagers and boy did we have fun! Biju and I ended up winning 3 of the 4 games (and in that 4th game, we lost miserably). While the big kids and adults were playing W&W, the littler ones (Alex, 21mo, Logan, 15mo, Ajay, 4, Thomas, 7) found Mom's basket of "Tupperware" (you know, those old plastic cottage cheese and sour cream bowls that you use as Tupperware?) and kept themselves busy by rolling (or throwing) them around the floor to each other.
Soon it was time for me to get my guys ready for bed. Biju played "7 1/2" with the others (a favorite game at our gatherings) while I slipped the boys into their jammies. Alex went down easily, but Ajay wanted to play with his cousins a bit longer.
Friday morning we got everything packed up and headed back home. It's always nice to visit the family and it's always nice coming back home and sleeping in your own bed. Gracie missed us and wanted cuddles once we got home. Nemo didn't look excited to see us, though (can you tell if a fish is excited?).
Here are some snaps that were taken on Thanksgiving (Mom had to e-mail them to me from her camera, as I had forgotten mine).
Here is Alex, clinging to Mommy. He had just awoken from his nap. When he went to sleep, all was normal. He woke up to find Nana and Papa's house filled with people and noise!

Here is the food table. See what I mean about too much food? After we had all eaten, Dad came back through and told us all we needed to come back in and eat some more. Yeah right!!
We had some of the usual suspects - turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, nadava, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce (not pictured), green beans, corn casserole, rolls, sage dressing, sweet potatoes (mashed this year!), etc. - and some new items - some sort of squash casserole (it was sweet, and tastey) and Dad made up a couple of tenderloins on the grill.

Here is the view of the dessert table!! Brownies, German Chocolate Cake, Amish Cinnamon Bread, Sugar Cookies (Brandi and the kids [Alex, Ajay, Brandon, 14, Jenna, 11] made these on Wednesday - if you look closely you can see a couple of "handprint" cut-out cookies!), Cranberry-Lemon cookies, Crustless Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Roll, Pumpkin IceBox Pie (made by me, recipe found in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine), Cherry Pie, Pumpkin-Cheesecake (a layer of pumpkin, a layer of cheesecake), Blackberry Pie, Pecan Pie.

And here we are getting ready to play Wits and Wagers. There are cards with questions. Each person (or teams of two, like we played) guesses what the answer is and writes it down on a card. The cards are then arranged on a piece of felt that gives ways winners get paid - 2 to 1, 3 to 1, etc. Then each person/team wages on which answer they think is correct. Really so much fun!

All in all, we were all very thankful for good food and a great time with the family!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Patient

Surgery went fine and Biju is home recovering.

We had planned on my parents coming into town last night to care for the boys this morning, but they had an emergency come up (as happens from time to time when you live on a farm and care for animals!). We called upon our trusty friends, the Rouses, to watch the boys. We dropped them off at 7:30am and Angie gave us a heads up that the road we were going to take to the Surgery Center was closed and Mapquested a different route for us. We got to the center at 8am and got checked in. (the previous part was written on Friday after the surgery, the rest is going to be written today, Sunday)

After the nurse called Biju back to get ready, I started working on a crochet project and listening to The Soloist, a book on MP3. The nurse came to get me around 9:30 to tell me he was set up and just waiting for the doctor to get done with his previous surgery. I went in and visited with him for awhile then went back out into the waiting room. I packed my stuff up and went out to the van to call Angie and check on the boys, then called my mom to talk for a bit. I had forgotten my phone, so I was using Biju's cell phone. I walked across the parking lot to grab a sandwich from Wendy's dollar menu, then headed back into the waiting room. I was able to make quite a bit of progress on my crochet project before Dr. L came out to tell me they were done. This was a little after 11am (so surgery probably only lasted about 45 minutes, I'm guessing). Dr. L showed me pictures of Biju's knee before surgery, then afterwards. He also went over some previous damage that had been done to Biju's knee about 8 years ago when he broke it (playing Badminton). About a half hour or so after speaking with the doc, the nurse came to tell me Biju was waking up. I went in to visit with him. He was still a bit groggy from the anesthesia but was coherent. I gave him some water and the nurse came to talk with us. After awhile, Biju was "with it" enough to get up to leave. The nurse went over his medications and how to care for the wound, then taught me how to work the Ice Man. The Ice Man is basically a little cooler that holds ice and water, and has a tube running to a little plastic pad. The pad goes over the area to be iced, and the ice water is continuously pumped in a cycle to keep the pad cold.

We left the center around 1 and headed to the store to buy some soup. The anesthesia wasn't playing nice with Biju's tummy so we were advised to keep food light for awhile. He got sick while I was in the store (thankfully the Center had sent home a bag for containment!). We zipped through the pharmacy drive through so they could start filling his medication, then got home. Angie pulled in the drive about one minute after we did. She took a sleeping Alex straight to his crib then pulled the car seats out of her van to move them back to ours. I got Biju set up in bed with some soup and crackers, and got his Ice Man hooked up. Once Biju had about half of his soup, he was ready to sleep. Ajay and I then headed out to pick up the medication and a handful of movies for the weekend.

The weekend has been fairly uneventful. The Ice Man goes through quite a bit of ice, but not nearly as much as we were told (we were told the cooler would need refilled every 2 hours, and we're finding it to be more like 6-8 hours). Biju's stomach is back to normal, no more nausea, so he's able to eat his normal diet.

Alex and I are sick again. More colds. Alex even has a slight fever. He was at 100.8 when he woke up. I'm wondering where the maid has gone, because the house is starting to look a little unkempt!
Here is Biju set up in bed after we got home from surgery. The boys, of course, were quite curious about what was on Daddy's leg.
Here is a close-up of the Ice Man. The cooler, the a/c adapter, the tube with a thermostat, and you can see where the tube attatches to the pad, which is under the bandages. We were told to be sure we disconnect the power before we disconnected the tube from the pad - otherwise water would spurt out! The boys are still interested in the cooler and often get reprimanded for climbing on top of it.
Biju's first physical therapy appointment is tomorrow. We'll see what type of exercises they'll want him to do from home. They will also change his bandage for the first time, and teach him how to wrap it back up. He should be back to work on Wed, then he'll be off all next week for Thanksgiving break. He should get some nice recouperation time in - we just need to be sure he gets those exercises in, too!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Knee Surgery

About a month back, Biju was playing racquetball and injured his knee. He's had x-rays and an MRI and the decision has been made that he will need surgery to mend his meniscus and a couple of ligaments. If he were to opt not to have the surgery, he could hobble around okay for awhile, then he would likely get arthritis in his knee by age 50. Then by age 60, he would probably need a knee replacement, with a second replacement at age 70 (and again at 80).
He had to swing by the doctor's office to have a chest x-ray (to be sure there was no fluid in his lungs) and have some blood drawn. His chest looks clear and we're still waiting to hear the restults of the blood tests. As long as they come back fine, the surgery will be on Friday this week. We need to be there by 7:30am, with the surgery (under general anesthetic) beginning around 8:30am. I'm hoping our neighbor will be able to take care of the boys and get Ajay to and from school. Biju thinks we'll be home by 1pm. He'll have his first physical therapy session on the following Monday and probably go back to work either Tuesday or Wednesday. In preparation for his being down for awhile, we're trying to get things done around the house - raking/bagging leaves, painting a few things around the outside of the house, and we'll be doing some big cooking. He loves his Indian food, and there are only a couple of dishes that I can do well.
I was sick last week (I think it was a cold first that slipped into the 24 hour flu - not H1N1 - then went back to a regular cold) and am still being annoyed by a sinus infection, but I'm glad that I should be feeling 100% by the time surgery comes around. The boys also had a bit of the sickies before I got it. Alex is still battling the same sinus infection I have, but Ajay barely even noticed his stuffy nose. Biju had a scratchy throat, some sneezes and sniffles, but I think he's doing better, too.
Please keep Biju and the surgeon in your prayers as we come upon this surgery!
Here are a few pics of the boys "helping" as we're getting things done around the house...

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Autumn is beautiful. It is my favorite season, and while we got smacked in the face with a cold spell, Autumn has redeemed itself. We are really enjoying some fabulous weather. We're trying to cram in some outside time before Old Man Winter arrives and we have to deal with frost nipped fingers, toes and noses.

Autumn is a time for.......

.....playing with your cousin, when school is out for the day.

.....wearing Brother's underwear on your head.

....taking a taste of the bubble water you're playing with.

.....pretending to sleep with your brother and laughing uproariously about nonsense.

.....eating snacks outside.

....finishing baby blankets....

....and finally giving them to the baby that was born back in July.

.....getting in some good fresh air.

.....just having a good ole time.

.....acting cheesy for the camera.

....eating the soil from the garden.

....gazing up at the coulds in the sky.

.....acting serious.

....acting silly.

.....dressing up for Halloween - Captain Sweet-Tooth and Airman Alex.

.......procrastinating washing off a painted eye-patch.

.....showing off a dinosaur tattoo.

....showing off all the loot from Halloween.

.....going out for a wagon ride.