Friday, May 28, 2010

Daddy Update

**Warning- This entry is long and mildly graphic**

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has sent good thoughts, wishful thinking, and prayers my family’s way over the last couple of days.  Even when a surgery is supposedly routine, I’ve seen enough episodes Grey’s Anatomy and ER to know that things can go wrong with the simplest of surgeries.  Luckily, everything went perfectly and we could not have asked for a better outcome.

For those of you who weren’t aware of my father’s situation, a couple of months ago the doctors found that there was some sort of mass or growth the size of a golf ball in his sinus/jaw area.  On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the largest they have ever seen), they were rating this one at an 8.  After a biopsy was conducted, they learned that it was not cancerous and that in was, in fact, a cyst that was possibly caused by a wisdom tooth that had made its way up from his gum line.  They determined that the best way to remove the cyst was to essentially saw off the lower half of my father’s face and pull out the mass that way.  Then they would reattach the jaw area using screws and hinges.  With that would come industrial type support braces that would keep his teeth from moving around after the surgery for up to 10 months and he would be on a strict liquid diet until his jaw had healed.

I arrived at the hospital at about noon on the day of his surgery, and by that point, the nurses were already prepping him for his 1pm start time.  I was very impressed by the turn out of friends and family who spent time with us in the lobby of the hospital until the surgery started and the plethora of supportive phone calls that came in throughout his stay.  After countless rounds through the gift shop, my sister, LC and I convinced some members of our party to accompany us to Noodles and Co. for lunch.  It was good for all of us to get out of the hospital and walk around, because there really isn’t anything we can do for my dad by worrying in the lobby.  On our walk back to the hospital, we got a call from my aunt (my father’s sister who had stayed back at the hospital while we dined) informing us that the pager had gone off and that the doctor requested a consult.  We were a bit worried at that point since it was only about 2 ½ hours into his surgery, so we booked it back and then my aunt let us know that dad was out of surgery and would be out of recovery in about an hour. 

The good news got even better- instead of super invasive and intense surgery that we had assumed was necessary, the doctors deemed that the cyst could actually just be removed by drilling a large hole in his gum line and pull it out through there.  They also decided that braces were not needed, and instead of his diet consisting of only liquids, he can eat soft foods such as yogurt and oatmeal.

After awhile longer of sitting in the hospital lobby, we were finally able to go up and see him.  It was hard for my sisters and me to see him in pain and so out of it from coming off of the anesthetics.  The right side of his face was swelled up to about the size of a softball and he was hooked up to all sorts of IVs and oxygen.  I had to leave around 7pm, and I guess he started to feel a lot better after that.  According to my dad, he wouldn’t have even known that I was there had they not told him after he was feeling better!  LC stayed with him overnight so that mom could get some sleep at home, and she made sure that he walked around every hour as per the doctor’s directions.

By 8 am, he was ready to be released from the hospital with a slew of prescriptions and is now home on sick leave until August 1.  I visited with him today and he’s made great improvements emotionally and physically since yesterday, but he’s still got a long road ahead of him.

Again, thank you to all who have kept him in your thoughts over the last few days; I know that he appreciates it.  I also know that he’s going to get pretty sick of protein drinks and yogurt sooner than later, so if you have any soft food recs, definitely pass them on our way!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I lied...

Remember how in my last post, I claimed that summer was on its way?  Well, I lied.  Summer is definitely not coming... it's already here!  It's currently 93 degrees out, and we're under an excessive heat warning in Saint Paul.  The humidity is outrageous right now, making it hard to do much more than lay out in the yard without feeling like I'm starting to drown.

For those of you who remember, the apartment that L and I lived in for over 3 years technically had air conditioning, but the box was located in the living room, and it was rare for the bedrooms to ever actually cool down.  We've been known to move the mattress into the living room in order to sleep more comfortably.  Well, now we have central air in our new house and decided that today was the day to test it out, and thank goodness it works!  Though, we'll probably end up sleeping in the living room again in the near future due to the fact that our bedroom (located in the 1/2 level) will be just as hot and humid as it is outside...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Summer is Coming!

Well, the air is getting stickier, the neighbor kids are staying out later, and I bawled like a baby while watching the season finale of Grey's Anatomy yesterday, so summer must be just around the corner!  With summer comes a lot of fun things that we've been looking forward to doing for over a year now (i.e., spending time at the cabin for the 4th of July, celebrating our first wedding anniversary, being in M&B's wedding at the end of July, attending my cousin's wedding at the end of August in Duluth, just to name a few).  Unfortunately, I will be unable to sub during the summer months (summer vacay=no subs needed), but it looks like I might have found another nanny job to fill in the days/hours I'm not already with the tots, so I won't have to call Sallie Mae and attempt to get my huge student loan deferred for the summer months.  I'm waiting to hear back about a summer school position I applied for, but until then, it looks like one more summer of me being K: Nanny Extraordinaire.

Last week, I had a blast at M's tea party bridal shower.  After we were all done with the shower, some of us took a peak in super cool antique shop with an amazing staircase, which the shop owner was kind enough to take a picture of us posing and looking pretty with our tea attire on.

As for the animal update, Dwight has been tolerating his time outside in the pen pretty well.   At first, he was terrified and spend most of the time pleading with us to take him back inside, but now whenever we put him out, he's very content with munching on the grass, chilling with Darla, and sunning himself.  L and I have even caught him on numerous occasions staring out the window, and we can only assume it's because he wants to go out again.

Lastly, I've gotten myself back into baking again for fun.  My latest attempt was a cake for Mother's day, which turned out very well!  Eventually I will make the entire thing from scratch, but for now, the cake mix is from a box, but the vanilla buttercream frosting is all homemade.  The recipe I use can be found here at the Beantown Baker's blog, and it is amazing!  Because the only other kind of frosting I've ever attempted was of the cream cheese variety, I was hesitant to try making this kind from scratch, but with the help of my KA standmixer, it has turned out perfectly on multiple occasions now!  If you know me, you realize how excited I am about finding an amazing frosting recipe, as I am all about the frosting and believe that it can make or break the cake.

Anyways, that's all I have for you now!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Picture #1: Baby birds at my parents' house (we've got a pair of the same type of bird building their nest in our overhang above our side door!).

Picture #2: Lilacs are in full bloom, and our yard is surrounded by all sorts of shades of purple and white.

Picture #3: We finally have a real dining set!  No more crappy goodwill table and folding chairs for us anymore.  No sir-ee.

Picture #4: After spending a couple of hours out in his pen in the backyard, Dwight spent sometime getting to know our deck furniture.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Last week, I was trained in as a volunteer as a rabbit socializer for the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society (MCRS).  My job is to visit the Maplewood Petco once a week and take out the rabbits who are being housed in the hexes (if you are not familiar with Petco, the hexes are hexagonal shaped cages that they have at their stores to house rabbits and ferrets), socialize/exercise them, answer any questions people may have about the rabbits, and be an ambassador for the organization.  After my first day of volunteering, I am now the lead volunteer at my store (just a few more responsibilities, so not a lot more work than the basic volunteer position)!  So far, I've really enjoyed the organization and what I'm doing for the rabbits, though it doesn't seem like much, and I hope to do more and become even more active with MCRS.

Today was my second day with the buns, and I brought L along with me.  I was nervous that he thought that it would be dumb or lame, but he really liked it and told me that he'd like to continue going with me on Sunday mornings.  Despite the fact that he still won't let me get a dog yet, he definitely would have let me bring Teddi home right then and there if it had been possible (even the volunteers have to go through the same adoption process as others, so it's not actually possible to adopt straight from the store- they have to be adopted at an adoption event)! 

So here's my shameless plug for Teddi:  If you know of anyone who is considering adding a rabbit to their family, Teddi is the perfect choice for first time rabbit owners.  She is litter box trained, and loves to be pet (she especially loves being scratched on her back while she lies down).  She's a spunky gal who is not afraid to jump into your lap and is looking for her forever home. Visit her petfinder page here:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Scary stuff

I woke up this morning, and I could hear some helicopters circling around the lake (I only live 7-8 blocks away from Phalen).  I thought that it might be a nice morning for a quick walk down to the lake, but then I decided to search on the internet to see what kind of festival might be going on (perhaps something for May Day?) and I was shocked to find this article on the StarTrib's website:

A manhunt is under way in St. Paul after a Maplewood police officer was shot  and killed this morning near Lake Phalen.
Police from several agencies are involved in the search for at least one suspect following the shooting which occurred around 7 a.m., said Paul Schnell, a St. Paul Police Department spokesman.
Authorites are using canine dogs and helicopters as they search for the suspect in an area near English Street and Arlington Avenue on the east side of Lake Phalen.
Police have set up a large perimeter in the area as they search for the suspect or suspects.
Police will hold a press briefing this morning to give more details about the incident.

This shooting was a little too close for comfort for me (I wouldn't be surprised if our house is within that "large perimeter" that the police have set up), and I really hope that they find the suspect(s) soon.  My dad is a police officer, and these recent cop killings are starting to make me more nervous about what my dad does everyday.  I'm also nervous that whoever shot the officer could be lurking somewhere in a nearby neighborhood, so I've got my doors locked, and my phone is ready just in case I see any suspicious activity in my neck of the woods.

UPDATE:  The following article from gives more information about the situation:

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Police are looking for two suspects after another officer was fatally shot around 6:50 a.m. in Maplewood near Lake Phalen.
Sgt. Paul Schnell says the officer was responding to a carjacking that happened around 6:30 a.m. when someone walked up and shot him in his car.
Schnell says investigators believe the shooter was one of the two men involved in the carjacking. Police are looking for a white male in a white t-shirt and a black male wearing a red cap and have hundreds of officers searching the area.
Schnell says the suspects are armed and may be driving a black GMC Envoy. If you see anything suspicious, call 911 immediately.
Schnell says the Maryland Avenue and Johnson Parkway area is locked down as police look for two suspects. A command post is set up at Arlington and East Shore Drive.