Saturday, January 22, 2011

Daniel is now on his 3rd cast in a week. One of his nurses back in the NICU once suggested that we call him 'Houdini' as he had an uncanny knack of locating his monitor attachments, pulling them loose and breaking free. Well, he's figured out how to get out of a plaster-cast too.

He is back to his ususal, cheeky-chappy self: toothless grins and chuckles. He's also quite the ladies' man. He and I were waiting outside this ice-cream shop this evening while Nicci was inside and he managed to get two 'honnies' into conversation, one of which offered him some of her ice cream. He politely, but nonchalantly declined. He of course had a better offer, his preferred dairy product - Mummy's milk.

It really seems now that Daniel is 'at home' at home. It took him a while to get used to his new surroundings, but now we have finally unpacked all the boxes his arms are flapping as wildly as they always used to when he gets excited (yes, both of them - we need to watch out we don't get clobbered by the rock-solid one) AND (most exciting of all), he is sleeping through the night again!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shhhhh!! It's Daniel here, and Mummy and Daddy have gone to bed... They still don't know how I broke my arm (and PLEASE don't tell them), but I thought I'd fill the blog-readers in on what REALLY happened...

Well, it was last Monday during 'nap time'. You see, that's the ONLY space in the day when Mum leaves me on my own in my room - she thinks I'm sleeping, but THAT's the time in the day that I sneak out...

Last Monday I thought I'd go and make friends with some of the local pre-school crowd - so I rolled my way down to the park - these LA kids are a tough bunch - we hung out for a bit and then a dispute broke out about who was cooler: my Daddy or superman... the other kids were saying superman was the coolest - I couldn't let that go, so, I'm sorry to admit it, but we had a bit of a punch-up... I ended up falling off the climbing frame and had to sneak back into bed and try to disguise my broken arm for as long as I could so that Mum wouldn't get suspicious.

All I can say is this: you should see the other guy! Let's just say that no-one is going to be disputing that MY Dad is the coolest from now on!

I'm sneaking back to bed now. Mumm's the word.
So, here are the pictures of my little chick with a broken wing...

The first was taken on Saturday - the emergency room put a 1/2 cast on to keep the arm straight over the weekend before he got to see the specialist pediatric orthopedist today...

This second photo was taken today. They took some high-def x-rays and those images clearly showed that Daniel has completely broken one of the bones in his left forearm - it's not a little fracture, the bone has completely broken. I still can't believe it. How did we miss THAT happening? Thankfully, the bones are still in alignment - but he is going to have to be in this HUGE cast for 3 weeks. He's still smiley and good-natured as always - but we are all having very disturbed nights, since I think the bulky cast wakes him up whenever he moves in his sleep... I have a feeling these next 3 weeks could go SLOWLY!
I don't know why I didn't mention it before, but this last week, our lovely friend Jude has been in LA on a work trip and has spent the weekends either side with us... she has been absolutely brilliant, just going with the flow and being completely un-fazed by Daniel's unsettled state (which we now know was due to him having a broken arm - what awful parents!).

However, Jude's grace and patience were tested to the MAX on Saturday - we had planned a day sight-seeing, relaxing by the pool, eating fish and chips on the beach while we watched the sunset before she took a shower at ours and caught her flight home... instead, we spent the entire day at the emergency room and had to take her to the airport straight from the hospital - MISERABLE - AND they wouldn't even let her sit with us for most of the day because only parents were allowed through to the clinical area... we thank God for the lovely friends he has given us!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hi there… I'm afraid I still have not got around to taking any photos of our new home - this last week has not been easy, but I want you to know before I go any further that we are all OK!

However... we took Daniel to A&E yesterday because since Tuesday he had seemed to be protecting his left arm – wincing when we put his arm through clothing, crying occasionally when we touched it and not using it as much when playing… he has generally been quite unsettled this week as well…

Yesterday morning we noticed that he seemed not to have very much strength in his left grasp – he needed to use his right arm to help him pick up toys – so we decided to take him to the emergency clinic at our pediatricians… they did x-rays and then sent us to A&E for a second opinion since there was a shadow on his left radius (forearm bone) which might indicate a fracture… having got to the pediatric clinic at 10am, we did not leave A&E until 6pm - so it was a LONG day - and the outcome is that Daniel DOES have a very small fracture in one of the bones in his left forearm – apparently the fracture only goes part of the way across the bone, so it is not very serious – but he has come home with his arm splinted and in a cast…

He is amazing. All day at the hospital he was smiling and laughing – charming all the nurses and being completely wonderful. Even this week, although he has cried more than usual, he has still been totally lovely for a lot of the time – and he’s been coping with the pain of a broken arm… I just can’t believe what a lovely character he has! MUCH nicer than me!

We have absolutely NO idea how he managed to fracture his arm – he slipped in the bath the other day and I had to grab him to stop him banging his head… but he didn’t cry and it didn’t seem a big thing… he also fell the other day when he slipped sideways when he was standing at the sofa – but again, no tears and we didn’t think anything of it… we are both totally stumped to explain it… but it has happened…

We’re seeing the specialist pediatric orthopedist on Monday and he’ll tell us what’s what in terms of recovery – but it might be that he is in a cast for 6 weeks… we’ll see.

We are continuing to preach to ourselves that this is all part of God’s good plan for our little boy – but I am struggling to hang on to that truth if I’m honest – it just feels as though he’s already been through SO much in his little life – I don’t understand why something ELSE had to happen… and looking after a baby with a hot, uncomfortable and heavy cast on his arm, which we must not get wet, is going to be challenging – I am feeling a bit sorry for myself having to cope with this in a new place where I don’t know anyone…

God IS good… He IS. Please do pray for us all – and especially for that precious little boy as he copes with the uncomfortable and confusing reality of having his arm in a bulky cast… although actually, he seems absolutely FINE this morning - I think he's loving the attention - it's his parents that are struggling with it!

One thing that has made me smile is that whenever anyone sees Daniel & Ed together, they all say that Daniel is the spitting image of his Father. I have been slightly stumped to know what genetic material I have contributed to the mix... well, as many of you will know, I broke MY left arm THREE times before I hit my teens. It seems that Daniel has inherited his Father’s good looks and chilled personality but the ONLY thing I can see that he’s inherited from ME so far is WEAK BONES in his LEFT arm!!! At this rate, he’ll beat my left-arm-breakage total before he hits school!

Daniel is down for his nap right now, but when he wakes up, I'll take a photo of the wounded soldier for you and upload it... you never know, I might just take those photos of our new home too! Watch this space!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dearest friends and family!

So, this is our FIRST post from our NEW home in LA! And, although we are still surrounded by boxes, it is really starting to feel like home... I think we're going to be really happy here.

We arrived on the afternoon of the 29th and, after a cursory look at our empty new home, headed straight for Hollywood! We had drinks overlooking the city and then walked down Hollywood boulevard before driving back to a local Italian restaurant near our home. David and Emily stayed at a hotel near the airport and left very early on the morning of the 30th, leaving the Gilchrist family to live minimalisticly until Monday, when our stuff arrived!

Although it was frustrating to have a few days in an empty apartment, it meant that we had time to explore the local neighbourhood. In one direction, we are a 2 minute walk from the Marina - and around the Marina there is a lovely 1/2 hour walk to our local shops - and then, in the other direction, we are a 2 minute walk from the quieter end of Venice beach and the gorgeous Venice canals! It feels like a really fun area, with lots of life and things to do... simply perfect for an 18 month stint in the sunshine!

We tried out 2 churches on Sunday - and although both of them are good, we did not have a sure sense that either of them was the one the Lord wants us to settle in during our time here. We are trying one more local church this Sunday and then we'll travel the 1/2 hour south to Rick Warren's church the following week... we're praying that the Lord will make it clear which one He wants us to join!

Although I am coping admirably (!), it seems that the stresses of moving do not suit the Gilchrist men! Ed has come down with a nasty man cold (although he is feeling much better today) and Daniel has decided that sleeping through the night has gone out of fashion. He seems fine throughout the day, but he has been crying in his sleep quite often and is waking every few hours wanting a cuddle. I guess all the change we've been through over the past few weeks is quite a lot for the little fella to cope with... isn't it great to know that, just as this move is part of the perfect plan that our Heavenly Father has mapped out for Ed and I, so we can trust that this is all part of preparing our son for a constantly changing and uncertain world where the ONLY firm ground to stand is Jesus!

I haven't found the camera yet, so no photos this time (sorry!) - once I find it (!) I will try to take some pictures of our new home so that you can get a taste for the new Gilchrist pad!

One last thing - apologies if you have sent us an email in the past few weeks - we only got Internet set up a couple of days ago and have a mountain of emails to wade through - we're doing our best! Please don't think we're ignoring you!