Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Recovery Looks Like

Since ChinaBean's surgery, we have been in full recovery mode, which thankfully has been fun (mostly). She is amazing; a child's ability to heal, is amazing.

Here we are with ChinaBean's surgeon, Dr. Fortuna the day after ChinaBean was discharged from the hospital.  
We were working on bribing, I mean
encouraging, ChinaBean with chocolate
to sit still for an echo.  It worked!
Such a happy girl as she meets more extended family.

So, would you look this good 8 days after you had open heart surgery? Playing outside and enjoying the blue skies and green grass was my wish for this summer.

Both big sisters attended school in the US.  LBean was in first grade and EBean was in half-day preschool.  One day after I picked up EBean from school, we headed to a local park for a picnic.  ChinaBean is not supposed to be around large crowds for 6 weeks, so no big trips to Walmart or the church nursery yet.  But, we have tried to get outside and we've walked through a few of the small stores in town while she's in her stroller (and she can't touch any germy things)!

Yes, more matching dresses!
We've played...I remembered when this park was built and the entire community came together to build it within a few days.  It's fun to be able to take my girls there now.

We've eaten...Enjoying another hot dog at LBean's birthday party.

We've done a bit of reading.

And, hopefully daddy will be happy, we've introduced ChinaBean to BBQ sauce!

The challenging part of the recovery period has been changing the new habits that ChinaBean developed while traveling and during her time in the hospital.  Mainly, not sleeping in her own bed.  For about 5 weeks she was co-sleeping with us, which worked great in all the hotels and it was very comforting to her in the hospital.  But, it was not a practical long-term solution for me as I try to put three girls to bed on my own this summer.  

I am happy to report that ChinaBean is sleeping well in her own pack 'n play after about 3 nights of resistance.  We are also done buying formula and washing bottles and the paci goes "night-night" in the pack 'n play during the day until nap time or bed time.  Ayi (our housekeeper/babysitter/auntie/teammate) is not going to recognize her when we get home!  We are also working through ChinaBean's new medicine routine, which involves doses of medicine at 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 2 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.  The 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. is pretty short for me and my beauty sleep.

On a completely different note, we've had a few funny moments as our family has experienced re-entry to the US.  Shortly after we landed, LBean told me she was sad that we were leaving China because Pizza Hut was there.  (For the record, I don't think LBean has ever eaten at Pizza Hut in China.  Now, Papa John's that's a different story...)  Oh boy, I was so excited with her that we were returning to the land the introduced the world to Pizza Hut!  (And, we still haven't been to Pizza Hut.)

For EBean, her funny moment came when I told her to just get some water from the sink.  "I can do that?" she asked.  "But it's from the sink!  I can drink sink water?"  Yes, you can!  Although I have to admit, I still pause at the thought.

Several expats that I've talked to mention feeling overwhelmed in the grocery store because of all of the choices that exist.  So far, that hasn't bothered me yet, but I did find the Taco Bell drive-thru menu very overwhelming!  As for groceries, I am not hesitating to buy as many blackberries, raspberries, blueberries or blocks of cheese my girls want.

Bring on the rest of summer!


  1. Ah, these pictures were great to see! Amelia looks like she is entering in well to life in America. We are praying for her continued recovery. Lily's probably about done with school now and it looks like you girls will have a lovely summer! We sure miss you all. Lots of love, Dina

  2. We miss you too Dina! I hope that all those last minute plans and to-dos before you return to the US for the summer go well.