Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sasha Kay!

Yesterday, May 25th, was Sasha's first birthday. Nothing says Happy Birthday better than 4 shots in the legs. That's right....we scheduled Sasha's 12 month well-baby exam for yesterday. Even after being through this with Sophia, I still HATE it when they have to get shots. She took them like a champ, and we were able to go out for dinner afterwards to celebrate her being 1. Tonight we're going to let her dive into the birthday cake that Sophia baked for her. Kids birthdays are so much fun!

Not much else new to report. Daddy took Sophia to see Shrek the Third today. I think he might have been more excited about it than she was. I'm sure they are having fun...and I'm also sure Sophia is getting all of the treats an almost 3 yr. old could dream of.

We are laying low this weekend. My 10K is Monday morning, and that is only major event we have planned. We hope you all enjoy your long Memorial Day weekend, too. We wish we could have joined Madelaine & Co. in the Great Strides Walk this weekend in South Dakota. Hopefully someone will send me some pictures (hint, hint...Mary?? Edie?? Laurie??)

Love to you all.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Back in town

Hi everyone!!!
We are back home after a week in South Dakota!! What a fun trip...we were able to spend so much time with grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins! I know the girls had a blast. Sophia keeps asking if we're going to go back to South Dakota tomorrow. I don't think she realizes that doing that would require her to sit in her carseat for another 6 hrs.

Sasha had a great check-up with the neurosurgeon's clinic before we left. The Nurse Practioner is very happy with her progress and with the way her incision is healing. She told us that we need to wait a full year from the time of surgery until we will know what her head and face shape will be. Currently, her right eye is still a bit smaller than her left eye, and we asked the NP if that is permanent. She told us that since her right eye has had that shape for almost her full first year since birth, it won't just automatically take a "normal" shape immediately after surgery. Her head needs time to grow into the new space the surgery created. Some good advice she gave us is to take a picture of Sasha once a month and compare how her face is changing. Since we see her everyday, the changes will not be obvious to us. Comparing pictures taken one month apart will show us more significant changes.

While were in SD, Sasha learned a few things.... She learned how to say "papa" - "BA-BA"; how to sign dog and what a dog says (thanks to Dudley); she learned what a monkey says; and she also took a couple of steps. We're not sure if she'll actually walk soon....but she is doing all of the things a 1 year old should be doing!

Sophia is doing great, too. She hasn't stopped pushing her new baby (Baby Madelaine) and stroller around since we got home! She has also named Sasha's new baby "Baby Oven" and Missy's real baby "Shirt-Pants". For those who don't know, she named the baby at Grandma Cathie's house "Couchies". I used to think she might be a Mensa, but now I'm having second thoughts.....

OH, and special thanks to Grandma Sweetie, Papa Wendy, Grandma Honey, Papa Joe and Aunt Mary for making the special trip down to Denver after Edie's graduation!! It was fun having you here.

Friday, May 11, 2007


This week has flown by!! The girls are both doing fantastic. Sasha has been a champ - she is sleeping great, babbling, chasing Sophia around like never before, and she is completely off all pain meds. Her head still has a bit of swelling; mostly around her right eye where they did most of the reconstuctive work. We have a check-up today with the the neurosurgery clinic to make sure her incision is doing well (it looks good to us) and to ask any post-op questions we have.

Sophia had her program at school this week. The kids sang all of the songs they have learned throughout the year. Sophia didn't really sing...she just kind of sat and stared at all of the parents watching. That is actually what most of the kids from her class did, so maybe it is an age thing?? Everytime she saw Michael in the crowd she would brighten up and point at him...I'm so glad he was able to come and watch.

CONGRATULATIONS to Edie on graduating from college!!! We're heading to Fort Collins tonight, and graduation is bright and early tomorrow morning. Nice work, Edie....

The picture above is of Sophia and her good buddy Aidan...playing doctor. I couldn't miss the photo op.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Feeling refreshed

Surprisingly, Miss Sasha slept through the night last night! She woke up fussing a few times, but nothing lasted long enough for us to have to go in her room. I think we're all feeling pretty good today! The picture above was taken yesterday.

Sophia is doing well...although she had a bit of a grumpy wake up today. Probably because she skipped dinner last night. She kept saying she couldn't eat dinner because her tummy was full of cookies. Cute.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Sasha is home! We were discharged from the hospital late this morning, and it feels so good to have everyone under one roof again. Sasha's swelling has really decreased, and today she is looking good. Her forehead is still puffy, and her head is a little "alien shaped"...but it will continue to improve each day. She has a black and blue eyelid on the right side, but otherwise no other bruising yet.

Sophia is happy to have her buddy back. We are keeping a very close eye on them together, a.) because Sasha is fearless and will try anything Sophia doeas, and b.) because Sophia likes to body slam her little sister on occasion. Michael and I are working on finding a good balance of protecting Sasha's head, but still allowing her to explore and be a kid.

Michael and I are off to bed soon. We're both in need of some shut-eye. Hospitals are like Vegas...time stands still and nobody sleeps.

Talk to you all soon! I'll post some pictures and send an ofoto link when I have a chance.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sasha Balboa


First of all, we want to thank everyone for all of their thoughts, prayers and support before/during/after Sasha's surgery.

Sasha is doing fantastic; she is smiling and happy...and shouting orders in Russian.

For those who don't know, the operation lasted from 7:30 am Friday until about 12:30pm...a long 5 hours for us, to say the least. We were able to see Sasha in the recovery room at about 1pm, and she looked better than we expected. Her face and head had not yet started to swell at this point. Her incision is a wavy line that goes from ear to ear (like a headband), and it is held together by stitches that will dissolve (we have pictures if you'd like to see the incision, let me know).

Because of all of the lines, IVs, monitors, drains, and such that she had connected to her, we weren't able to hold her right away. She spent the first full day in the Pediatric ICU (PICU), where she had one-on-one nurse care. She slept a lot, and ate very little early on. I spent the night with her, while Michael went home to spend time with Sophia. At about 2am Saturday morning (18 hrs post-op), I woke up to Sasha sitting up in her crib saying "ba-ba-ba-ba-ba". It was the best sound ever....she sounded so happy.

Saturday, the swelling in Sasha's head and face worsened. Her left eye was completely closed, and her head and forehead were very puffy. Late Saturday afternoon, both eyes were completely swollen shut. It didn't seem to bother Sasha too much. I think she decided that since she couldn't open her eyes, she'd just sleep. She slept from noon Saturday until about 8pm that night. She proceeded to wake up, drink a bottle....throw up the entire bottle (on me), and then go back to sleep until about 2am again. At 2, she wanted to eat, talk and play. I was able to get her back to bed at 5 until 6:30. It was a long night for me, but the relief of her being ok is overshadowing the exhaustion.

Sasha is now only on oral Tylenol and Motrin for pain relief. As of late this morning, she can see out of a teeny tiny opening in her left eye(see picture above - taken this morning in the cafeteria). Being able to see helps her mood tremendously. She also saw Sophia for the first time today, and she changed from extremely fussy to happy and blowing raspberries. It is amazing what a strong bond these two have already...and it choked me up to see how quickly Sophia was able to make Sasha giggle.

Sasha is at 48 hours post-op right now, and we think that her swelling has peaked. Daddy is at the hospital with her, and I'm home with Sophia spending some much-needed time with her and time away from the hospital. We think Sasha will be discharged tomorrow. The doctors would like to see both eyes open, and they want to be sure she can tolerate her pain with over the counter medicine. So far so good.

We again want to thank everyone for their thoughts. Thanks also to Grandma Cathie and Papa Jim for coming down and taking such great care of Sophia. She had a blast.

On another note, Michael, the girls and I want to wish Madelaine a speedy recovery. Hugs and get well kisses are coming your way. We can't wait to see you all this weekend.

Love you all.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Baby Schneller Update

Well, the Little Shrimp is due to make his or her debut in about 3 months, so I thought I'd post a picture of Missy's bump for all those who haven't seen her in awhile. Cute, huh?? Hey Mis, eat some doughnuts.

We are all so excited to meet the newest little member of the family. Sophia thinks Missy has "boy baby" in her tummy. I think it is a girl with "Papa Jim goes here" written on her little pinky.