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Monday, December 28, 2009

It's all about the hair!

Three days before Christmas, I finally understood why Liz so badly wanted a Barbie Repunzel this year. It was her No. 1 gift request and she mentioned it no fewer than about 20 times a day. She mentioned it in her letters to Santa and to every single person she saw - who she thought might have some ability to pursade the Big Man to give her a Barbie Repunzel.

Turns out, she's really in a hair phase. For those of you who don't know - Barbie Repunzel is a Barbie doll complete with an array of long hair, short hair, and even hair clippers to cut and trim Barbie's hair.

Again, I really should have known what was coming. But there it was, three days before Christmas and Liz walks into my room with this sheepish grin. Immediately from that grin I knew she had done something bad. I look carefully at her and see that a HUGE chunk of hair on her right side is missing. Yes, she cut her hair. In retrospect, it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.

But it still required an emergency hair-cut appointment two days before Christmas. And, oddly enough the mood at the salon was very tense. All of the stylists know Liz and chat and talk with her. Not this time. I had forewarned them of the major hair incident and the mood was eerily quiet.

We could have kept her hair long and used "short area" to frame the face, but she was ready to go short. So, the stylist cut about 5 inches off her length. I actually think it looks quite cute.

But it took a long time, as I expected - a full hour. At one point, Liz said: "It didn't take me this long to cut my hair."

At which point, both I and the stylist explained that it was quick for her because she's NOT a professional and didn't do it properly. Ah, another one of those teaching lessons.

I took a picture of her with my cell phone when she cut it, and Brian best describes it as a police mug shot. I texted it to my mom who promptly replied that she laughed so hard she had tears in her eyes. In other words, I think you'll get a kick out of it.

Here's that mug shot...errrr picture of her when she cut her hair. Look on the right side.

Here's the new do, complete with a similar grumpy expression and of course, a chocolate mustache. Priceless.

Ah, yes, Christmas morning wouldn't be complete without her Barbie. At first, I thought this was Barbie Repunzel, but this was her 2nd most-requested gift the Barbie Musketeer. I wanted to post this one because it shows how cute her hair looks - and yes, we get a smile. Don't worry - she did get a Barbie Repunzel and we chatted for a long time about how she should not cut her hair until she receives proper taining.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catching up in pictures

In celebration of my new laptop, which makes uploading pictures MUCH faster than the 6-year-old computer, I'll throw out some pictures from the last few months.

Here's a great photo of Liz and my dad when the three of us went camping this summer in Bremen, Ind.

Here are some really adorable pictures of Liz on her first day of Kindergarten.

Chance at about five weeks old.

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays and Brian is our expert carver.

Chance is snoozing during the pumpkin festivities.

Wait a minute... - He's awake...briefly...

On the Friday before Halloween, the Kindergartners got to dress up for school. I volunteered to help out with Liz's "Falloween" party. I kept trying to come up with a creative costume and ultimately gave up and decided to be a bag of leaves. She's a beautiful princess fairy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting back to normal

Hard to believe but young Chance Hedger is a month old now. The past month has been a whirlwind. We've been thrown back into the world of sleepless nights, poopy diapers and of course adorable baby coos.

Actually, after a brief period of having his days and nights completely turned around, he's doing much better now. Liz still has a mild case of Chance-itis (as we call it), but she too is adjusting as well.

Chance seems very mellow to us, but in recent days has shown that he too has Liz's firecracker personality. He just may not show it as often as her...give him time...

The five year age difference is good because Liz is able to communicate her anxieties about having another sibling better than a kid who might be only two or three and can't chat as well. Liz has asked us if we love her as much as we love him. We have spent extra time reassuring her of our love and have done some special things with her too.

I took Liz to the apple orchard, to lunch and the mall one Saturday for some munch-needed mommy & Liz time that also seemed to help.

She tries to "help" with her baby brother and is very proud of him, but if he's crying a lot, she won't hesitate to say: "Will someone please take care of this crying baby!"

School is going very well for her. Not surprisingly, her chatty behavior has caused a few problems at school but overall she's doing great. We were so worried about her meeting friends and so far that's not a problem at all. She's becoming good pals with another kindergartner across the street. Yesterday, two third-graders who live down the road came over and wanted to play with Liz. So, a bunch of kids played outside for quite some time, which was loads of fun for Liz. Then, she played inside with her friends from across the street.

Overall, this experience with Chance has been so different compared with Liz - mostly because we haven't been going to the doctor multiple times each week. The only medical concerns so far were his being jaundice (Liz never was), and his weight. Liz never had problems with her weight. Chance was below his birth weight for almost three weeks - which is longer than doctors want. They want children to be at birth-weight by two weeks old. At a month old, he's probably 9 pounds, which is great.

He was sleeping so much the first few weeks and I had to wake him up to feed him. Now, he's eating quite well.

Our big excitement during the delivery was Brian passing out. Right after Chance was born, Brian held the baby and suddenly began to feel very warm and hot. As soon as he said he wasn't feeling well, he handed the baby over to an intern, and I told him to put his head between his knees. In the span of 15 seconds, he was out cold. Luckily, he didn't hit his head on the floor. Whew!

When he came too, he even managed to crack a joke, saying he felt like Robin Williams in one of those bad movies (I think it was 9 Months). The medical team had him crawl out and called over the emergency team from nearby Northwestern Memorial. The nurses kept urging him to go to the hospital for more tests to make sure there were no major problems. Brian said he wanted to talk to me before making a decision. However, they wouldn't let him in the surgery room again (wise decision).

Keep in mind I'm still being operated on in the surgical room. All of a sudden, the anesthesiologist hands me his cell phone and says: "Your husband wants to talk to you." So, here I am completely cut open and now talking on the cell phone to Brian.

One of the doctors says in a surprised voice, "Lisa are you on a cell phone?" There's a curtain over me and the doctors couldn't see the cell phone, but could hear me talking.

That might have been one of the first times a patient who was undergoing surgery was talking on a cell phone. It was wild. I explained that the nurses wanted Brian to go to the ER for further testing. And it was funny because everyone in the surgical room all said that this happens all of the time and he should be fine. A turkey-sandwich seemed to be the only cure he needed.

Oddly enough, he hadn't seen any part of the surgery because of that big curtain. The issues contributing to the Great Pass Out - were a warm room, a warmer baby, plus the fact that he hadn't slept well the night before because he was nervous and he hadn't eaten anything.

He stayed out of the surgical room and was eating a turkey sandwich when Chance and I arrived in recovery!

Here are some pictures taken by a professional photographer at the hospital when he was two days old.

Here's some photos we've taken.

This was from the hospital:

He finally decided to keep those eyes open for a shot in the hospital...but only for a few minutes. Being a baby is obviously very hard work!

Here's big sis Liz holding her baby brother at home. She also did visit him at the hospital. He was three days old here.

The whole family

Here's a nice picture of Liz sleeping...just to show that Chance isn't the only one getting some mid-day naps!

Here's Chance at a month old:

Chance with Aunt Helen.

He's really alert now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chance Hedger arrives!

It only took a couple of hours, and one passed out papa in the O.R., but Chance Curtis Hedger has officially joined our happy family. He was born at 9:11 a.m. Central, weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz., measured 20 inches long and has strawberry blonde hair -- which goes great with his Spartan green MSU hat.
Here are some pics from here at the hospital. I tried getting these up on Facebook, but alas it wouldn't let me post them. The O.R. nurses were kind enough to take a few shots of him in the O.R. for me, and didn't take any shots of me, laid out on the floor after the big passing out incident. Also, you will notice that it is rare to catch my son with his eyes open. He likes to sleep I think. He gets it from both of us.

Lisa is doing well in her recovery. Much more relaxed process than with Liz, but this one also wasn't an emergency C. Happy birthday, son. You're zero and counting, buddy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Talk about excitement.

Last week, Liz had her first day of Kindergarten and tomorrow we welcome the newest member of the Hedger family.

My c-section is schedule for early Monday and we hope to get pictures out sometime on Monday of Chance Curtis Hedger. He seems to be doing quite well and we're eager to meet him.

We've been lucky to have a lot of friends pass on boys' baby clothes so we feel very fortunate!

Our other excitement of course was Liz starting Kindergarten. This, as every parent knows, is always harder for the parents! Liz has been great at school. We walked the first few days and then she took the bus on Friday.

I was a bit nervous about her taking the bus with the first step being so tall. The bus system didn't impress me early on because they weren't returning my calls and weren't being proactive in coming up with a safe plan. Luckily, her principal Mr. D. is a tremendous advocate and even called the day before school to ask about the bus system's plan. When I told him what they had created - which was essentially nothing - he said: "that's not acceptable" and we chose to walk the first few days.

It was good to walk her because then we got to go to the classroom. On Thursday, Mr. D., her teacher Mrs. M, and someone from the bus system had Liz get on the bus several times to see if she needed a stool or other assistance. Turns out she didn't even need a stool.

Friday she took the bus both ways and didn't have any problems at all.

The bus situation is kind of funny because neither Brian nor I were huge fans of the bus as children, but this was important to Liz. So, we wanted to make sure that Liz had the same opportunity to use the bus as all other kids. And, of course she was quite proud of it and excited to do it.

Mr. D. also bought the stools for her classroom. Getting stools can be trial and error and a few of them didn't work, but they've gotten additional ones that are much better. We feel quite lucky that this principal realizes that Liz needs to do the same things as all other students and is making the necessary changes to ensure that happens. Of course, I realize that the law requires that school systems accommodate for all children, but I also realize that not all school officials are as on the ball and as helpful as Mr. D.

Her teacher, Mrs. M is also great, and we've met her several times. She's also e-mailed us and that's been a huge help to stay in touch with Liz's Kindergarten activities.

Next time I post, we'll have lots of information about the newest Hedger.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kindergarten here we come

It is truly hard to believe that Liz will be starting Kindergarten on Aug. 19. The last weeks have remained crazy as we've tried to hurry and prepare the house for Baby Chance's arrival and prepare Liz for school.

She had registration last week and Brian took her and it went as well as can be expected with him describing it as a nightmare panic-inducing trip. As I said, it went as well as can be expected.

On Friday, we met with her principal and did the "walk-through" to discuss what types of adaptations we'd need for the school. This actually did go quite well. I know Liz is the first Little Person student to attend the elementary. So, I was worried about how they'd react, but the principal even had considered some issues I hadn't - such as a stool by the chalk board if the teacher has students write on the chalk board.

I'd gone to the LPA website beforehand and saw a check-list of accommodation issues and modified that list and gave it to the principal. I also wrote a one-page letter to the teacher which he said he'd pass around to all of her teachers (music, PE, etc..). And, finally I gave them a one-page fact-sheet that I'd modified from several achondroplasia fact sheets you can find on the web.

May seem like a lot of paperwork, but it's only 3 pages and I tried to make it very easy to read and focused on simple concepts.

Everything in the class can be accommodated quite easily with step stools. For now, she's fine letting her feet dangle from the chair, but I think that will likely change. When it does, we'll just get a stool for her feed. She can actually even reach a few of the drinking fountains in the hallway, which is great too!

Our only two issues are the cafeteria and the bus. The kids slide their trays along this long counter in the cafeteria to get food and it's way too high for Liz to reach. If we had a stool, it would have to be about 6-feet-long to reach the entire length of the cafeteria counter, plus very wide so that she could walk across it. So, for now we'll have someone in the cafeteria help her. I'd prefer her to be independent but for now, I think this will work.

Now, the bus is another issue too. I'm concerned about the HUGE first step on the bus. We're still debating and might walk her to school because it's only a few blocks. However, she does want to take the bus so I'd like to figure out a plan so she can take the bus. Brian or I can help her on the bus from our home, but then someone would need to help her off when she gets to school and help her on again at the end of the school day.

Liz is very excited about starting Kindergarten and our school did something new this year which was a HUGE help for incoming Kindergartners. They held a weekly summer program for 2 1/2 hours and split the children by age. So, Liz got to meet lots of other students as well as the teachers. She spent time in the school and got a great feel for the school. She's also quite comfortable with the school and by the second week, the principal knew her name.

The principal is very jovial and approachable to the students -giving them high-fives and joking with them a lot. He was also very candid in saying that we might have to make adjustments throughout the year and we agreed saying that could likely occur too.

Ideally, Baby Chance will wait until Aug. 24 so I can be there for Liz's first day of Kindergarten or if he decides to come early then we want it to be this week so I'll be back home for Kindergarten, but you just never know!

My doctor has essentially said that now since I'm 37 weeks pregnant, Baby can come any day. So, we'll see. As you can imagine, Liz is just so excited about being a big sister! I'm not sure what she's more excited about - Kindergarten or being a big sister - probably a close tie.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer of surgeries

It's been a terribly busy summer and that's mostly to blame for my non-existent posting. Brian had oral surgery with a painful extraction of wisdom teeth that were removed three weeks ago. The teeth were essentially sideways and he had pain so the teeth had to go. The procedure was more painful because of the difficult extraction.

On Wednesday, Liz had her tonsils removed, her adenoids shaved and another set of tubes put in her ears. We couldn't have her adenoids completely removed because she has a split uvula and there was potential for speech problems.

Her tonsils are huge and seem to be to blame for her destructive sleep apnea as well as the adenoids. We didn't expect to notice much improvement for a few weeks because of the post-surgical recovery time but surprisingly we have seen her snoring and breathing is already more quiet than before.

The recovery for tonsils has been much more challenging than it is for tubes. She felt horrible for a few days and even had some post-bleeding on Thursday but today felt much better for the first time. Some people tell me it only takes two days to recover from tonsils and others say two weeks. For her, it's probably somewhere in between. She's four days out now and seems much more like herself.

I loaded the freezer with Popsicles, ice cream, sundaes, sherbet and pop ups and she really hasn't eaten hardly any of the cold stuff. I'm not sure why, but she's favoring soft solid foods like cupcakes and soft pasta. It's surprising and a little annoying because now I'm eating all of the cold treats!

We decided not to take her to summer camp for two weeks, but I have a feeling she's really going to be bored by the second week at home, and we're staying away from swimming too for the time being.

I'll be the last person in our family to have surgery and that will be the c-section to deliver Baby Chance on Aug. 24 - five weeks away - unless he surprises us and come early. At this point, we decided on a c-section because of the complications with Liz and some other issues. I'd prefer a natural birth, but the doctor believes this would be better for the baby.

Liz will start Kindergarten on Aug. 19 (isn't that early) and we'll be around to help her with school and then the following Monday Chance should arrive.

She turned five on June 17 and we had a big birthday bash for her, and she's quite excited about starting Kindergarten plus being a big sister. Quite the big summer for her!

One of these days, I'll actually post her birthday pictures (hopefully before Baby Chance arrives).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hey all,

After finding some new photos on rolls of film that we hadn't developed in literally ages, almost a decade in some instances, I took a trip down Memory Lane today while Lisa was at work and Liz was at summer pre-school camp.

Then, I started playing around with the Windows media function on my laptop to see what I could come up with. What became of it was a compilation of newer and older Liz photos that I set to one of my favorite artist's music.

I didn't even think about copyright stuff -- and I'm a writer! -- until Facebook took the video down because of "alleged copyright infringement."

So, after feeling like a moron, I decided to take this video down too -- at least until I hear back from the artist's people either granting me permission to use the song or telling me to buzz off and don't even think about it etc.


-- Bri

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Preschool graduation

It's hard to believe but Liz had her preschool graduation on Friday night and will be starting Kindergarten this fall.

We've finally found the fire-wire, instrumental for downloading our own pictures. So, without further ado, here's some Liz pics from recent weeks. We'll end with a couple from the preschool graduation. It was dark in there and the video turned out much better but the few pics we got were cute.

Here are some pictures from our camera of the carnival at University of Chicago in Mid May. Here's Liz with her aunt Helen and Cousin Stephen. Helen and Liz are showing off their orange wrist-bands, which allow them to go on one of the inflatables.

Here's another great shot of Liz's face painted with that adorable butterfly. I love that photo.

Brian and Liz enjoy a train ride at the carnival at University of Chicago.

A great picture of Liz and Brian at the carnival.

Liz wears her new Princess helmet and knee pads with her traditional tricycle for her Trike-A-thon a week ago. The proceeds went to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Daddy adjusts the Princess helmet to ensure it meets proper Trike-A-Thon regulations.

Now, she's trying on the brand new Princess bike at the trike-a-thon and taking it out for a spin.

Liz, our budding photographer took this photo of me. At the time I was 5 1/2 months pregnant.

Earlier this month, Brian and Liz practice softball and T-ball in the backyard.

She's practicing her batter's stance and looking at Daddy to see if she's got it right.

For Mother's Day we went to Goshen and spent some time with my family. Here's a shot of the ladies.

Liz and that smile.

Here's Liz and her preschool buddies, the Koalas. These pictures were dark but even though it may look like she's taking a pick here, I believe she was following the motions of the song. They performed a poem and sang several songs.

Here's our preschool graduate afterward quite proud. She then proceeded to munch on cookies and punch from cups that said, "09 grad."