Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Grandmother's Love

Tomorrow marks the two year anniversary of the day that my son received 24% of his paternal grandmother's liver. It's hard to believe that two years ago, we had a very sick, very yellow little boy. This was taken on 02/14 of that year - 2 weeks prior to his transplant. He was so yellow, puny looking, and had the biggest ol' belly.

On February 23rd, our transplant coordinator called and said "Stacy, if Grandma's a match, we'll do the transplant on Monday the 28th". Well, please remember, February has 28 days - so March dates coincide perfectly with February. So, I calmly replied, "Oh Penny, that's great - March 28th will be perfect. It still gives us about a month to wait, and it will give us time to get ready if we do have to do living donor."

I'm not sure how many times she had to tell me, no, it was February 28th she was referring to - only 5 days away! I remember calling Randy, who called his parents. They were already headed to Kansas City so that we could travel on Thursday to St. Louis for Grandma's donor evaluation.

The next few days are a blur - I remember getting a call on Friday night at 5 p.m. saying "Grandma's a match!". We spent the weekend locating an apartment to rent for a month, getting food, and getting everyone settled in. My dad, Grandpa Elmer, our nanny, Ashley, and Morgan all drove over on Sunday. Aunt Sherry flew in - and Great Uncle Alfred and Aunt Mary Lou traveled in as well.

The transplant itself went well with very few complications. Tanner was inpatient for 10 days - Grandma for 5 days. And, the amazing thing was how much better Tanner felt after the transplant. When we came "home" to the rented apartment, it was Grandma and I. But, Grandma was post-op, too. I was exhausted feeding the little boy who's food intake more than doubled and who wanted to play ALL DAY LONG.

We were blessed by beautiful March weather. Tanner, Grandma, and I would venture to the little downtown of Kirkwood on days that we didn't have appointments at clinic. The little downtown area was full of stores that we would browse and enjoy for a few hours at a time.

It seemed like forever before we were "released" to go home to Kansas City, but in reality, it was only a little over 3-1/2 weeks after his transplant. It was Good Friday, and I couldn't think of a better holiday to be sent home considering Tanner's recent "rebirth".

Last year at this time, we held a huge Mardi Gras party to say thank you to everyone and to celebrate a year of wonderful health.

This year, we are celebrating quietly. Grandma was here last week to celebrate and watch the kids while mommy was away. Tomorrow, Tanner & Morgan are taking Oreo cookies to daycare (egg free - God Bless the Oreo Cookie Man) & we'll go out to dinner.

And, the neatest part about it all - is that when we go out tomorrow, it's our secret why. When Tanner was so sick, it was painfully obvious that the boy needed help. Today, I have a "healthy" little boy. No one can tell by looking at him how sick he is - and for that, we are truly grateful.

Thank you, Grandma.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Blue Jay

Tanner is feeling much better. So much better, that we've had a hard time getting him to go to sleep at night. We'll put him to bed at normal bedtime, and he will lay there talking and singing for up to 3 - 4 hours.

Last night was the same old story. But, around 10:00 (3 hours after his bedtime), he started to cry and scream. I ran downstairs and into his room. I was not expecting what I saw.

Tanner sitting in the middle of his bed - butt naked. Not a stitch of clothing, diaper, or anything.

Turns out he was crying because he had peed in his diaper (we've been working on potty-training) and he desperately wanted to get it off. So, he had shimmied out of his pajamas - THROUGH THE NECKHOLE - and at some point lost his diaper in the whole process. We're still not exactly sure how long it took him to shimmy out the neck hole of his zip-up front pajamas - but needless to say, we were duly impressed.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Well, I did end up making my meeting in Baltimore, I was just a day late. Amazing what Pepto will do for you.

Tanner is feeling better. Maybe too much better. He won't sleep now. We put him to bed at 7 p.m. - and hours later, he is still awake (last night it was 11 p.m.). Not sure if he's just very well rested right now, or what the scoop is. Any suggestions?

I was evicted last week. So, we spent this weekend repainting the former nursery and turning it into my office. I'll literally be working from home now. It's a mixed bag. It will be nice to be so closely located to home, but I invariably work too much. See, the office has been here one day, and already I've spent 2 hours working tonight.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Q: What will cause you to spend 48 hours in a hospital while your son receives IV fluids for severe dehydration caused by 4 days of continuous vomiting and diaherra?

A: Rotovirus.

Extra Credit: Yes, it snagged me, too, and I had to cancel my flight to Baltimore for a work meeting.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Four Dozen

The problem with putting your twins in separate classes - you have to take treats for two classes instead of one.

The problem with having a kid with an egg allergy - you volunteer to make the (egg-free) cookies instead of buying the soda.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Tanner & Morgan were singing Old MacDonald today - but today, it had a bit of a twist.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on that farm he had a daddy, E-I-E-I-O
With a No No here, and a No No there,
Here a No, There a No, Everywhere a No No...

Friday, February 09, 2007


Besides chasing after two rugrats and trying to maintain at least part of our household, most of my days are focused on my job.

My career has been an intersting one to say the least. It's definitely NOT the career I had pictured for myself when I was in high school, but boy, I sure didn't know much then. Back in those days, I dreamed of working for a large corporation and helping start-up their international business units - primarily in Russia (this was back when communism was falling). I even took Russian lessons - although don't ask me to say anything.

When I went off to college, I started at a very prestigious school on the East Coast, and then found that it wasn't to my liking. It was fiercely competitive in a huge city - something that a young girl from Iowa really wasn't ready for. Combine that with the fact that I already spent my last high school semester on the Iowa State campus, and I felt like "home" was calling me. I returned to Iowa State after only one semester at the other college.

I think it was then that I realized I would have a more "normal" career - not one that would change the way that we do things in this society or have some huge impact on life. A piece of me has always felt like I let my former self down.

I'm now in my mid-30s, and I feel even more like my career has been train-wrecked. Pre-kids, I had started my MBA. In fact, I was accepted to MBA school a few days before I found out I was pregnant, and registered for my first classes a week before I found out it was twins.

After the kids were born prematurely and Tanner had major health problems, I completely gave up hopes of getting my MBA any time soon. I even quit the job I had (not necessarily a bad thing), and returned to a former employer that would give me job flexibility. It's flexibility I desperately needed as Tanner was facing a transplant.

The cost of working for the former employer has been two fold. I actually took a salary decrease to go there - and I work remotely. The company is headquartered in Denver with offices in Knoxville and Baltimore. I have managed to work myself into a pretty key role, but that requires me to travel some. That isn't easy when you have two young children.

Now, as the children's health is less of an issue, I find myself yearning for a career track - something that will allow me to be more than just an employee. Something that will give me more power - more money - something that will grow my current resume. There have been stirrings in the company that if I am willing to move, I can move up the ladder into upper management. And, I'm not sure what I would do if I stay with this company (which has been very good to me), if I don't move.

And to complicate matters more, if I want a similar position doing similar stuff, a former co-worker of mine is now part-owner of a similar company. He's looking for someone to do the stuff that I do - and make 50% more.

It's been weighing heavily on my mind. I feel an obligation to my current employer - they stood by me durng my time of need - and they have been very flexible with my schedule. However, I feel the need to do more at this company if it is going to grow and survive in a tight economic market. And, yet, my heart is really torn. I love the home that Randy & I have built with our two hands. We designed it - it fits us and our family very well. Moving up means moving on, and I just don't know if I'm ready to make that move.