Author Archives: jessemag

First Day of School

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And, we’re back!  I have determined it is much easier to blog about children you don’t have yet but desire terribly, than it is to blog about the ones you have and must clothe and feed daily 🙂  That being said, I’m overjoyed to be on the “busy doing” end of the spectrum where time and energy to blog are diminished, but the laughs and messes and kisses virtually wipe out all memory of the “busy waiting” phase.

Anyway, Glory had her first day of school!  But this statement requires explanation.  In December Saige started talking to Miss Betsy, our developmental therapist, a skill she had been hiding from Betsy for months.  This led to Saige being dismissed from First Steps developmental therapy.  Shortly thereafter, she met all the goals set for her by Miss Kendra, the physical therapist, which meant she was done with PT as well!  Betsy and Kendra continued to come provide therapy for Glory up until the week before her birthday, February 24, at which point Glory aged out of First Step services.

In order to receive speech and physical therapy, Glory now attends the school system’s developmental preschool which by God’s grace is housed at the elementary school that Emet attends.  She is enrolled in the afternoon class, which is from 11:40am to 2:30pm Monday through Thursday.  Jamin has been attending Little Seeds Preschool, which is not far away, but begins at 11:45am and ends at 2:15pm, MWF.  So, we made the difficult decision to move him to Parkside as well for the remainder of Pre-K.  This means that on M-Th, Parkside has 3 Magnuson kids, and I only have 1!  It is so weird.

Both Jamin and Glory started at their new school last Monday, on Glory’s 3rd birthday.  Glory loves going to school, and is wasted by the time I get her home.  She tries telling me a little about it, but it is difficult to understand when I don’t have much context to go on.  Jamin seems to like his new class alright.  He misses his friends at Little Seeds, and sent them a letter last week.  He isn’t talking about any friends in particular, but he loved the dental unit they did last week and came home with some cute crafts.

For me, this new system is working out well.  Saige gets to talk to me all she wants and more 😛  She wants to know when she gets to go to school, but is content to do the grocery shopping alone with Mommy.  Hopefully we’ll get used to these changes soon and incorporate some play dates into our schedule!

A change of pace

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Something happened yesterday.  Glory decided to walk!

We’ve known she could for a while now.  We could feel how strong and stable she was becoming, but she just wouldn’t walk without holding on to someone or something.  She’s been tearing around with her baby stroller, and can even hold the hand of a limp puppet while I hold its other hand.  But until yesterday, the most she would take was a step or two on her own.  Then, while I was in the church nursery with her, she walked on her own.  She would get a book from the shelf, turn around, and take the 4 or 5 steps to bring it to me.  We’d read it, and she’d walk back to the shelf for another book.  When church was out, we went upstairs, and she walked to her daddy.  Then she walked to our pastor.  Then she started letting go of my hand herself to take a few steps toward wherever she wanted to go!  We are so, so proud of her!  And she is proud of herself!  When she woke up this morning, she wanted her shoes on right away 🙂  She isn’t to the point she is walking exclusively, but we know that will come.  Wow, God has done great things in this little girl!

One year a Magnuson

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Saige actually became a Magnuson on 12/11/12, but the 10th was her Gotcha Day, and it is, in fact, already the 11th in China, so the title stands.

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Our Saige Annalise came to us a serious, quiet baby who watched much and said little.  At least the first day.  Then she became this angry spitfire, constantly on the verge of a tantrum, especially when food was in sight.  Fast forward one year, and her brother dangles animal crackers in her face and she begins to sniff.  I remind her that I will give her some too, but first I have to finish changing diapers, so she holds it together and patiently waits for her “cackers.”  Then, as I brush Glory’s teeth before bed, I hear her singing away, “Jesus is with me,” reading the book of the same title.  Coming to a page she doesn’t know, she bursts into the bathroom, holding the book out to me, demanding, “Whadisay?”  Upon receiving an answer, she says, “Oh (pause to process).  Oh tay,” and marches back to her room to continue reading/singing her song.

And I go on to sing in my heart, “What a mighty God we serve!  Oh, what a mighty God we serve!”

What a difference a year makes…

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Glory’s Gotcha Day, December 2, 2012 (you can read the original post here)

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Glory today, December 2, 2013

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(Please ignore the fact that she is pretending to be in time out.  For whatever reason, the girls think this is a great game!)

And today, the girl who at 21 months could not bear any weight at all on her legs, managed to get her feet under her, lift her hands off the floor and reach up to me, holding a standing position for an instant 🙂  God is good!

Cleft lip/nose surgery

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The last three days have been full- full of packing, preparations, surgery, and recovery.  I spent a fair portion of Monday fretting, and sensing this strange feeling that wasn’t quite worry, and contained an element of grief.  I don’t like taking my baby to be operated on, and to have her beautiful 20131008_080037 (2)face cosmetically altered became difficult there in the end.  Knowing I will never see that big smile I’ve come to love is sad to me, and put me on the verge of tears more than once.  But I asked for prayer, and friends and family prayed for peace which became the pervading sensation.  I felt peace as we loaded up the car at 5 AM Tuesday, I felt peace as we registered Glory at the hospital at 6:30 AM, and still as we waited in the pre-op room with her for the next 2.5 hours, and then as she was taken from us, I think she, too, was at peace because though she cried out once, the nurse reported that she did great, took the mask, and drifted off with no problem.  We felt peace and complete absence of anxiety (which on this occasion seemed noteworthy and not merely logical) as we waited during her 3 hour procedure to be completed.  Over and over I was reminded of Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

When Glory had been moved to recovery and we were taken to see her, she was resting quietly in the nurses arms.  Upon seeing us, she1383436_10153328344880352_1476781927_n (2) began to cry my name, twisting up her swollen, slightly bruised face that now has a dark line of tiny stitches from the base of her nose all the way down through her lip.  It broke my heart, and again relief and grief mixed as I cried with her.

Glory is a great patient.  She may get mad, she may scream, but she doesn’t fight and make it difficult to do what needs to be done.  As she was transported to her room for observation for the night, she cried and aggravated the fresh incisions, causing them to seep (which, by the way, is nurse for ‘bleed!’).  She had to be cleaned up, and kept telling us she was all done.  In fact, each time a nurse came into the room, she told them, “No, all done.  Bye bye.”  But she was compliant, and amazingly helpful when she wanted to be.  When we were finally alone in her room, she said, “Home,” so we told her she would have to drink water first.  So the little girl, with a sore, bloody lip, promptly downed 6 oz of water and then repeated, “Home.”  She was not happy about being told that she would still have to stay the night, and retaliated by rejecting fluids for the next 20 hours.

Her afternoon was spent snoozing on either Mommy’s or Daddy’s lap, crying only when we moved her or put her in the bed for any reason.  We were blessed by a visit from our former youth group girls, Mary and Dani, who are IUPUI nursing students.  The girls picked up dinner and some snacks for us, and filled us in on what God is doing in their lives.  Truly I could ask nothing more than for God to work in my children as He has done in these girls.  How they cause me to rejoice!

Around 10 PM, Glory finally co1381209_10151764201519247_454447796_n (2)nsented to sleeping in the bed, so Jesse and I were able to crash for a few hours, waking every so often to see Glory’s nurse giving her pain medication or providing some other care.  At 4:30 this morning, Glory decided she had had enough of the bed and wanted to be held.  Not long after 6 AM we were visited by Glory’s surgeon, Dr. Flores, and shortly there after, by other members of the Plastics team.  Dr. Flores said the only thing keeping us in the hospital was Glory’s fluid intake, so we earnestly encouraged her to drink!

We began to see Glory act like herself around 8 AM.  She colored with Daddy, looked at books, played with stuffed animals, and would close her eyes and ask, “Mommy, (where) are you?” then open them and act surprised to find me there changing her diaper.  She started talking about anything and everything, repeating words and talking about home and her siblings.  Jesse said he thought she was really enjoying being the only child for a day 🙂

By about 10 AM, Glory drank her required 4 oz of juice, and we were free to go as soon as the prescription fophoto (2)r her pain med arrived, and the doctor signed the orders.  At 11, we were on our way out the door!  We arrived home in time for lunch, and greeted by “Welcome Home Glory” in chalk on the driveway.  The boys came out, eager to see what Glory’s lip looks like, and Saige pretended not to care at all that we were home, the little stink!  My mom is in town this week to help out, and so Emet, Jamin and Saige stayed home with her while we were away.  It sounds like they had fun!  Chalk, dress up, going to the park- good times!  Grandma is super tired, though, and barely made it through the boys’ bedtime story tonight.

From here, we keep Glory’s incision clean and free of clots.  She is wearing restraints that prevent her from moving her elbows so she can’t touch her face.  She is to eat soft foods for at least the next week, and may only drink from an open cup, so no sippys.  Next Tuesday I will take her back to Riley to have the stitches removed, which will take place under anesthesia.  She is taking pain medication every 4 hours, and will hopefully sleep well tonight so we can!  She will wear her arm restraints for the next 3 wee1393214_10153331957265352_487064218_n (2)ks, and have a follow up appointment at that time. All the children, and even the dog, have been given strict instructions not to touch Glory’s face.  I may have to put her in a bubble for the next few weeks!

Thanks for your continued prayers.  Recovery will take some time and effort, and is always challenging when there are 3 other active children in the house.  We know that God is with us, and will protect and heal Glory even as normal life is bumping and crashing around her.  “Peace… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  Peace.

Dental surgery

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Glory handled her dental surgery on Wednesday like a champ!  Thank you for praying for her!  We arrived at the hospital at 5:50 AM, and got all the paperwork and pre-op stuff taken care of.  We prayed with both the dentist performing the procedure, and with the anesthesiologist.  They took her back at 7:30, and she finished up around 9.  Dr. Steinmetz, Glory’s dentist, said it took 30 minutes for the anesthesiologist to find a vein in our little girl!  Poor baby!  Thankfully, she was already gassed prior to the poking, prodding and pricking.  The procedure itself went really well, and the tooth Dr. Steinmetz was most concerned about did not have to be extracted.  In the end, Glory had 4 baby root canals and 8 caps.  Dr. Steinmetz diagnosed her as having enamel hypoplasia, which means the enamel did not properly develop on her baby teeth, which could have been caused by malnutrition, illness, fever or infection during the time of teeth formation.  Her permanent teeth will likely be just fine, but these baby teeth are very susceptible to cavities.

Glory and I arrived home around 10 AM, and she slept until 2:15.  Once she was up, she snuggled a lot, played a little, and soothed herself by sucking the back of her hand in true Glory fashion.  We were blessed to have lots of help during the day- one neighbor did both directions on our preschool carpool, and another walked Emet home for me, while a family from church brought us dinner, with a special assortment of soft foods just for Glory.  We are thankful for God’s provision in even the tiniest details.

Here's our Glory-girl, playing with the camera while waiting for her turn in the OR.  Love that grin!

Here’s our Glory-girl, playing with the camera while waiting for her turn in the OR. Love that grin!

Results

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Today was busy, with lots of up and downs, and left me mentally and emotionally exhausted!  It would have been a challenging day in and of itself, with two girls feeling under the weather, a PT appointment, doctors appointment, and a little boy crazy excited about his 5th birthday next week.  But in addition to all that, I was on and off the phone with doctors offices for a good bit of the day, getting alternately good and bad news.  The final result is that Glory will have dental surgery performed by our pediatric dentist on September 25, and her lip surgery will go on as scheduled on October 8 at Riley.  The plastic surgeon said no to doing both procedures in one day, but that it should not be a problem for Glory to undergo anesthesia an additional time so long as there is at least a week between the procedures.  So there we are.  We did not have to push back the lip surgery, and things are set up and ready to go.

I think what is most incredible to me about today is that our church has been doing a 40 Days of Prayer, and today was the day that the church was to specifically pray for our family.  And Who do you suppose orchestrated that?  It certainly wasn’t Leo, our church intern who composed the 40 Days of Prayer booklet we are using!  I can’t imagine what this day would have been like without so many lifting us up before the one Who Sees Me (Gen. 16:13).

We appreciate continued prayers for Glory and her health.  She has a cold, a slight fever, and is a bit grumpy (not as grumpy as Saige, however, who has the same symptoms).  Glory must be cleared by her pediatrician for the dental surgery to take place, and illness will do us no favors.

Thank you, and praise the Lord!