Yes, it is!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Out Of the Mouths Of Babes Part ?

As usual, my kids seem to come up with the funniest expressions.  Even at times when they make me unhappy with their behavior.
Last night, dinner consisted of turkey breast cooked in the crock pot, red-skin mashed potatoes, and artisan rolls.  I should explain that I do not force my children to eat foods that I know they do not like.  But, if I know they have a history of liking a certain food and then refuse to eat it, well then, that's a different story.  And my kids know the rule of no ice-cream until they eat all or most of their dinner.  So, last night, Ben was resisting eating his potatoes.  He tried to be sneaky and throw them in the trash can. Of course, he got another serving put on his plate.  A few moments later, everyone else had finished eating and I was cleaning up the kitchen when Ben called out to me to show me his plate.  From a short distance, it looked as if Ben had eaten his potatoes.  I told him to bring his plate to the sink but as he was doing so, I noticed something. Something that I admit to doing myself during my childhood.  Ben had spread his potatoes around in an attempt to make it look like he ate some of the potatoes.  He also had stirred some into his cup of water.  Being the mean mommy I am, I told Ben to open his mouth and I started to spoon the potatoes into his mouth.  The first spoonful promptly landed on the tile floor.  Of course it was intentional.  And thank God for dogs as one of     them came to the rescue to do kitchen floor duty.  So, I spooned another dollop into Ben's mouth.  He refused to swallow and kept trying to whine with a mouthful of potatoes.  I told Ben to get a clean cup of water and wash the potatoes down with the water.  He took the cup up to his lips but not like a normal little boy would do.  No, he thought it would be so cool to hold his head down over the cup of water and hold it there.  I knew what he was doing, though, and when I asked, he shook his head in denial.  I took the cup from Ben and sure enough, there was the dollop of potatoes in the cup of water.  Yes, gross!  I looked at Ben and told him that was naughty and that he would not be getting ice-cream.  Being the charming little boy that he is, Ben sort of grinned, looked around him, and then ever so gingerly put his finger up to his lips and said "ssshhhhh".  I tried so hard to keep a straight and stern-looking face.  And Ben knew it.  So did Jackie as she started to giggle, too.  I just could not keep the laughter inside. 
Today, I picked up the kids after school so we could go to Jackie's physical therapy appointment.  The kids' behavior was less than stellar (as usual) in the car.  About halfway during our drive to the appointment, Jackie let one rip (hopefully, you get my drift).  I mean, it was loud.  And long.  And wicked.  Jackie giggled.  I rolled my eyes.  And Ben?  Well, he looked over at Jackie and asked "You feel better, Dackie?"  (yes, that's how Ben pronounces Jackie's name).  I couldn't help but laugh.  Again.  My children know how to get me almost every time I become annoyed with them. 
And that's one thing I love about being a mom to my kids. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Instead of Flowers...

he brings me this:
 
Yeah, haha, the hubster thinks he's so cute.  But he might have a point here.  After all, my children are perpetual criers, although they are no longer babies.  Well, not in the physical sense.   And if one dog barks, the other one barks, too.  And everyone needs to learn how to clean up after themselves and put things where they belong.  No wonder there's always a woman yelling somewhere in the mix.  Hmm,  come to think of it, the hubster did have dreams of becoming a redneck at one time. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Have Been Inspired Once Again

I don't know why it took me so long to come up with an idea after yesterday's debacle with Jackie at the egg hunt.  Wait... I know why.  It was because in the past, I let my anger  and hurt for my daughter get in the way.  You see, she struggled during egg hunts and would always come away nearly empty handed and in tears.  It broke my heart to see my little girl struggle.  For a couple of years, I didn't even bother to take my children to egg hunts and I would even hope and pray that they wouldn't mention going to one.  It seemed like Jackie would always get trampled or kids would grab an egg from Jackie just as she was reaching for it.  And it hurt to have to just stand back and watch from the side.
Jackie may look "normal" but the hemiparesis on her left side still causes problems for her in some ways.  Like with the egg hunt, she can drape her basket from her left arm while using her strong right hand to pick up eggs.  But, she does not have the quick enough reflexes to protect herself from others who grab the egg from her.  I know it shouldn't bother me, but it does.  Especially when I have to deal with a hurting little girl.  It hurts me to see my Jackie hurt.
So yesterday (Saturday), we were invited to attend an Easter event at a church very close to where we live.  There was an egg hunt, drawings for bicycles, face painting, balloons, cake walk, food, and more.  It was such a beautiful day for it.  For the egg hunt, there were different sections based on age groups.  Since I took the kids alone and Ben was 4 years old, I had to let Jackie be on her own at her age group section.  However, I was still able to keep an eye on her from a distance while I stayed at Ben's section.   Ben did a good job collecting eggs.  As soon as it appeared his section had picked up all of the eggs, I ran over to Jackie's section to retrieve her.  Just as I got there, Jackie saw me and immediately ran over to me and started to cry.  She said that some of the kids kept grabbing eggs from her hand just as she was picking them up.  She was able to get 4-5 eggs while most of the other kids had full or nearly full baskets.  Then when she saw how many eggs Ben was able to pick up, she couldn't help but cry even more.  My heart hurt for my little girl.  I was immediately reminded of the time when Jackie was 4 years old.  I had taken her to the church across from where we live.  Jackie had recently fractured her clavicle and she was wearing a figure 8 brace.  On top of that, she had minimal use of her left hand.  Since it was so crowded, the workers allowed me to help Jackie by holding her basket while she picked up eggs.  As soon as the whistle sounded, the kids took off.  I tried to help Jackie but every time she would reach down to pick up an egg, another kid would grab it away.  It took everything in me to not say something to one of them.  When it was over, Jackie ended up with no eggs at all.  However, one little girl noticed that Jackie didn't have any eggs in her basket so she put an egg in there.  Sweet.  That was the last public egg hunt we had gone to until yesterday.  For the past couple of years, we did our own egg hunt at home.
So yesterday, after the egg hunt, we all gathered around a stage for a little entertainment. Jackie seemed to really enjoy the show.  While I sat there watching my daughter enjoy the entertainment, I couldn't help but reflect on what had just happened and feel a twinge of sadness for Jackie.  She looks so "normal" but certain things are still a struggle for her.  In the past, I admit that I have gotten a bit angry inside at the treatment she encountered at events such as these, but this time was different.  I wasn't angry.  I began to think.  And wonder, was there anything in our area for those who have special needs?  Could I recall a time when I saw somebody in a wheelchair participate in an egg hunt?  Unfortunately, the answer is no.  I know there are all sorts of events throughout the year for those who are on the autism spectrum. Then the idea hit me.  I should look into putting together an egg hunt next year for those who are in wheelchairs. And for those who have limitations in mobility.  For those, with any type of special need, who might otherwise avoid egg hunts.  Ideas started to come to me about how I could put together an event such as this.  But... how could I plan an egg hunt for those who use wheelchairs or walkers?  Then, another thought.  I'll somehow put together something on a hard surface.  Put up some props, maybe in somewhat of an obstacle course, and place eggs within reach of a wheelchair bound person.  And for those who are mobile, I can plan a "regular" hunt on the lawn.  I know I can do this.
And then I thought about how I can teach sharing and helping.  One rule of the egg hunt would be no grabbing eggs from others but if you see a friend struggling to reach an egg, then go over and pick that egg up and hand it over to that person.  I want this egg hunt to be fair to all who participate.  I want to open it up to all ages who have some type of limitation, from mild to severe.
Just as everything was wrapping up at this event, I encountered a girl who I recognized from Zumba.  She came over and said hello, hugged me, and then asked if we enjoyed it.  I told her yes.  But then, I elaborated by explaining what happened with Jackie and how ideas started to come to me about what I can do next year for special needs individuals.  Then she took off and came back with another lady who happened to put together this year's event.  She immediately apologized for what happened to my daughter but I told her that no apology was needed because this only inspired me to take action next year to reach out to our special needs community.  This lady, Kim, immediately agreed that there is a need for this and promised to put together such an event next year.  Oh no, I told her that I want to be a big part of this, too. After all, I was the one who was inspired by seeing the struggle that my daughter went through.  Kim promised to be in touch.
I am already so excited about planning next year's special event.  I know I can do it.  This would be another good way for me to get out of my comfort zone and become involved in the community. And I would love to see it become a yearly event. 
So now, what to do?  When do I start to plan?  What all will I need to buy?  What kind of prizes do I buy? How do I pay for it all?  Do I ask for donations?  That last one would be a difficult one for me to do but I know I can do it.  I have so many questions and thoughts swirling in my head already.  Can you tell I'm excited about this?  I often doubt myself and think that I'm not capable of being a leader.  But this time, I'm going to do it.  And it's all for my precious daughter and others like her.

Adoption: Another Passion of Mine

During my childhood, I used to say that I was never going to get married and I was never going to have children.  The idea of either one actually frightened me.  I did not have the best example of marriage and I was not sure if I could ever raise a child without abusing him/her.  Even as young adult, my thoughts didn't change on marriage but, I began to think that perhaps I would adopt someday.  My desire to adopt was given a boost when I went on a trip to Romania.  I had the opportunity to visit one of the "better" orphanages in that country one day and I immediately fell in love with one little girl in particular.  Her name was Lumanita.  She was about age 4 and oh, so beautiful.  When it was time for me and my group to leave that day,  Lumanita grabbed hold of me so tightly and wailed.  It broke my heart.  Thankfully, the orphanage worker allowed me to walk Lumanita upstairs to the room where the kids were being served their lunch.  I have never forgotten that day and Lumanita will always be in my heart.  I thought, "if only I had my life together and felt ready to raise a child, I would jump at the chance to adopt her."  I felt such love for that beautiful little girl.  As the years passed, I often found myself thinking about her.  And I thought that I might even go back to Romania to adopt Lumanita.  But, unfortunately, I let too many things hold me back such as my emotional health at that time, my fear of what people would think (especially as a single parent),  and the huge financial expense of international adoption. 
Even though I had a desire to adopt a child someday, I was still confused about my feelings on marriage.  I did know, however, that I wanted to adopt a special needs child, meaning an older child, bi/multi-racial child, minor disability, cleft lip/palate. More time passed before I even felt the slightest bit ready to adopt such a child.  Before I met my husband, I actually inquired about and received information on adoption through the foster care system in Florida where I lived at the time. 
I was still contemplating the foster-to-adopt route when I met Tim.  After having been involved in an abusive relationship just a couple of years prior, I was not quite sure about dating.  I was content being single and enjoying my freedom.  However, Tim pursued me and eventually, love happened.  Then marriage.  Tim said he was open to adoption but I did not get the feeling that he truly was 100% on board with the idea.  We received adoption paperwork from an attorney and began to fill it all out.  I got the referral letters done first thing and my and Tim's fingerprints were already done.  When I tried to discuss this with my mother-in-law, she did not give a favorable response to the idea.  At. All.  This makes me sad that she may not have loved whatever child Tim and I could potentially have adopted.  Then Tim got orders to transfer to South Carolina (due to the war, the orders were put on hold until a year later when we got orders to move here to Illinois, instead).  So, once again, I saw this as another roadblock to adoption so I didn't pursue it any further.  
Now that Tim and I have 2 (surprise) biological children,  I am still open to the idea of adoption.  Including a special needs child.  I already have 2 children with special needs.  What's one more?  Unfortunately, I don't think Tim is open to the idea.  Plus, we still have some work to do on our own relationship before we even consider bringing another child into our fold.
Even if I never realize my dream of adopting, I still feel like I can do my part to help orphans who need to be adopted into loving homes.  I follow a handful of blogs by families who have adopted special needs children.  And I feel honored that I have been able to help in small ways such as purchasing items from those holding adoption fundraisers.  Just this past week, I received 3 of my items that I ordered from 2 different adoptive families.  These are items that will actually help to spread the word about adoption.   
The first item I ordered is a window decal.  I ordered it from Christine at www.smilesandtrials.blogspot.com.  She and her husband have a large, beautiful family and they are getting ready to add 2 more precious boys to their fold.  Here is a picture of the decal (there are 4 different styles available.)  It isn't the best picture as the decal is still on the backing.  I hope to attach it to my car soon.

I ordered t-shirts for my children from another family who has adopted several special needs children and are on their way to adopting 2 more orphans from Eastern Europe.  Shelly's incredible family story can be found at www.carringtonscourage.blogspot.com.  I love the slogan on these t-shirts and it has become my own motto.  I've never been a material person so to live simply is okay by me.  And I certainly hope that I can continue to teach my children that the world isn't all about them but about helping others.  I'm excited about my children helping to spread the word about adoption.
I wish there was some way that I can find Lumanita.  I don't even know where I could begin.  I will never forget her.



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jackie Is Now An Official Bike Rider

This is a huge accomplishment for my little girl.  And I am one proud mom. 
Up until last year, Jackie didn't seem too interested in riding on 2 wheels.  She was happy with her bike with training wheels and so was I.  I just wasn't ready to risk her incurring more injuries even though she does wear a bike helmet.  About a year and a half ago, T bought Jackie a Princess bike after she outgrew the toddler bike.  The training wheels on this new bike were set so that she would get the hang of balancing.  Unfortunately, Jackie did not like how the training wheels made her bike lean slightly.  She preferred to use her scooter or the toddler bike.  But, then her little friend across the street learned to ride her own 2 wheel bike.  Jackie was a bit distressed about this and kept complaining that it wasn't fair because A was younger than her and she was already riding on 2 wheels.  T and I took the training wheels off the Princess bike and worked with Jackie to no avail.  Jackie grew frustrated and eventually asked her dad to put the training wheels back on. Then the bike sat in the basement.  We didn't push the issue although I knew that it still bothered her that her younger friend was getting ahead of Jackie in her bike riding skills.  I explained to Jackie that not everyone learns to ride on 2 wheels at the same age.  I also explained to her that it would be a little more difficult for her because of her CP but that I knew she would eventually learn how to ride.  As Fall turned into Winter and bikes went into storage for the season, Jackie didn't say anything more about the issue.
Several weeks ago, Jackie's friend got a new, bigger bike.  We had just arrived home from gymnastics when Jackie noticed A riding her new bike.  Jackie immediately ran inside the house and told her dad to remove the training wheels from her Princess bike.  Jackie said that it just was not fair that A could ride a 2 wheel bike and that she even got a bigger bike.  Jackie often forgets that even though A is a year and a half younger than her, A is also a little bigger (and stronger) than Jackie.  So, of course, A needed a little bigger bike. 
So, T took the training wheels off the bike and brought it up from the basement.  He and I took turns helping Jackie to balance on her bike.  Finally, Jackie got the hang of pedaling while at the same time balancing.  But, she just couldn't seem to get beyond the front half of our yard.  Jackie would occasionally say something about not being able to do it but I constantly reminded her that yes, she could do it.  She just had to concentrate and to remember to work hard on using her weak left side.  Then her determination would set in again.  Finally, Jackie was able to keep her bike upright for the length of our front yard.  We started to measure her progress by the number of houses she could pass. 
Jackie worked hard and she was finally able to almost get past a couple of houses.  Then it was time to go inside for the night.
The next day, Jackie was so excited to practice her bike-riding skills again.  Before the night was over, she was able to ride the length of 3 houses.  The next night carried inclement weather so we had to wait another day for bike riding.  The night after, I went to my Zumba class.  When I arrived back home, Jackie was so proud to announce that she rode her bike past 5 houses before stopping.   For the next couple of days, Jackie continued to practice.
A week ago on Tuesday,  Jackie made a huge leap in her confidence with her riding skills.  I was not at all prepared for it.  I was still wearing my clothes that I had worn to my subbing job that day, including open toe short heel sandals.  I did not think that Jackie would make such a huge leap from just a day before.  Jackie asked me to help her get started and as soon as I let go of her seat, she took off.  Suddenly she was gone around the corner of the street (our house is the 2nd from the corner) so I started to run after her, in my short heel sandals.  Then Ben started running with me and pulling on my shirt.  Needless to say, it was a bit of a struggle to try to catch up with Jackie.  Just as I got a glimpse of Jackie, she disappeared around the next corner down the street over from us.  I tried so hard to catch up with her, calling for her to slow down or stop.  But I just could not keep up (and Jackie apparently was not hearing me), especially with Ben at my heels and with shoes that just are not made for running.   I was so worried that somebody might start to back out of their driveway and not see Jackie.  I just had to say a prayer that Jackie would be safe until I could catch up with her.  Finally, at the very end of the street on the corner, I saw Jackie ditch her bike, stand up, then start to run toward me.  I called out to her to go back and get the bike but she just kept running toward me.  Finally, we caught up to each other and Jackie had the biggest grin on her face.  She did it!  She was so proud as was I.  By this time, T realized that we were all gone and he rode up on my bike and finished taking Jackie around the neighborhood.  Of course, I had to start her off and told her to keep going because Daddy was also riding a bike.  Ben and I trekked back home, me in my very uncomfortable shoes.  The look on Jackie's face was priceless and I really wish I had my phone camera with me.  I totally did not expect Jackie to just take off like that.  She blew me away.
After that, I told Jackie her next step was to start pedaling on her own.  Then she would be an official bike rider.  And once she becomes proficient at riding, we will need to get her a little bit bigger bike.  Even the neighbor noticed that Jackie's legs seemed to be a little leggy for her bike.  Last year, that bike seemed to be just a little too big for Jackie.  But,no longer.  My little girl is growing up and it is bittersweet.. 
For the past few days, Jackie has been working on starting to pedal on her own.  She has the idea but she just could not get the hang of it.  I'm not sure if it's because her weak leg just would not cooperate or if Jackie was not confident enough that she could do it.  But this evening, Jackie and I worked on this and she finally got it.  It takes Jackie a little longer to get started but she has it.  I am one proud mom. 
For those who know about my daughter, this is a huge accomplishment for her.  Her weak left side does cause some balance issues for her and this was the biggest obstacle that she needed to overcome to ride on 2 wheels.  I knew she could do it.  It may not have come quickly for Jackie but she has it now.
So now, Jackie just needs to practice a little more on getting started and become a more proficient bike rider so that she doesn't look like she's getting off-balance sometimes.  Then we will get her a bigger bike.  Jackie is beyond excited about her new skill and I am beyond proud.  In fact, I was nearly brought to tears of joy last week when Jackie just suddenly took off and rode almost half the neighborhood without stopping. And again tonight, when Jackie kept trying and trying to pedal off on her own when she finally got it.  Jackie may have to struggle a little more than the typical little girl her age but I have no doubt that when Jackie puts her mind to something, she will do it.  It might take a little longer but she will do it.  It may not look perfect to others, but she will do it.  She is my little hero because she has come so far in her physical progress since being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. 
I did get Jackie on video this evening but I cannot figure out how to download from my "smart"phone onto this blog.  Such precious memories.

Monday, April 2, 2012

"Do What Your Mama Says"

I'm becoming more than a little bit frustrated.  It doesn't matter how often I have asked T to help me with parenting and discipline, it always got right back to the same old routine.
So tonight was a night from hell.  Everything was fine until I came home from Target with a few essentials that we needed for the next day or two.  It was already 8:15 and the kids were still nowhere near ready for bed.  I immediately told Ben to get his pajamas on and brush his teeth.  Well, he was determined that he was going to have ice-cream that he usually never gets because he doesn't eat dinner.  So, he grabbed his dinner that he didn't touch earlier and proceeded to quickly eat it.  Normally, I wouldn't allow this because I expect my children to be finished before I have the kitchen cleaned up after dinnertime.  But in order to keep it as peaceful as the day had been, I gave Ben a time limit to finish up, get his pajamas on, and then he could get ice-cream.  While Ben was finishing his ice-cream, Jackie came in and demanded ice-cream even though I had already told her that since she didn't eat any of the salad that she asked for and only ate a small portion of her spaghetti, she would not get ice-cream.  She asked for a Hershey kiss to which I relented only because she did eat a small portion of her dinner.  After she ate the Hershey kiss, Jackie started in on her drama because I wouldn't give her ice-cream.  I raised my voice while I tried to explain why she couldn't get ice-cream.  Jackie continued to sob, loudly.  So, I gave her a small amount of ice-cream to placate her.  But, Jackie was not happy.  She expected a large amount of ice-cream.  I may have given in already but I was not about to give in to giving her a large bowl of ice-cream.  I was firm and gave Jackie 2 choices, the small amount or none at all.  She continued with the drama and put the little bowl in the freezer.  If she couldn't have the amount that she wanted, then she wasn't going to have any at all.  Fine with me.  In the meantime, Ben still had not picked up his toys like I asked him to.  When T asked what was going on, I told him and so he told Ben "do what your Mama says."  I kindly reminded T about being united as parents and to not say "do what your mama says" because this makes me out to always be the bad guy. I just can't seem to get T to understand this. 
So while I'm trying to deal with Jackie and get her ready for bed, Ben comes around with Jackie's homework.  I kindly asked him for it and he grinned and acted like he was going to color it. When I asked him again, he still refused so I walked toward him to take the paper away from him.  Ben immediately took off, with paper in hand, toward my bedroom where T was busy doing his own thing.  Apparently, this disrupted T enough that it made him a bit angry so he grabbed Ben and took him to his bedroom.  Well, things just went downhill from there.  I went to help Jackie finish getting ready for bed and I could hear T getting frustrated with Ben and even getting a little rough.  By this time, it was around 8:45 pm.  I prefer my children to be in bed by 8:30 but lately, this has been very difficult to achieve.  I can relate to what single parents have to endure during bedtime, especially with more than one child.
After I finished with Jackie, I went to Ben's room to "relieve" T.  Ben was extremely hysterical by this point so I held him until he calmed down enough for me to talk to him about his actions.
After the kids were both in bed, T came out and started in on me.  I then expressed my frustrations when it comes to co-parenting the children.  Apparently, he has certain shows that are very important to him.  I totally understand that but we also have DVR.  He also accused me of yelling at the kids as soon as I came in from Target.  I admit that made me angry because it was not true.  As soon as I came in the door, I noticed Ben had grabbed his cold dinner because he noticed that I had bought some ice-cream and he knew the only way he could get ice-cream was to eat dinner.  I did not yell at Ben.  I was firm when I told him that he had a time limit and that he must be dressed for bed and have his toys picked up before he gets the ice-cream.  Is that fair?  Then I called for Jackie to get ready for bed but T called out that she was still working on her homework.  Okay, fine.  But then she came out and wanted ice-cream because it wasn't fair that Ben got some and she didn't.  I explained to her why she wasn't going to get ice-cream.  But when she started with the major water works and the uncontrollable sobbing, I raised my voice so that she could hear me explain my position.  Perhaps that wasn't right but I didn't yell at her.
When I tried to explain to T my frustrations about bedtime and that they really should be in bed no later than 8:30, T chimed in and said that 9:00 pm is a more reasonable bedtime?  Really?  For a 4 year old and 7 year old?  Hmm, I had much, MUCH earlier bedtimes at that age.  Plus, with the sleep issues that Ben has been having for the past month, I totally disagree with the late bedtime.  T thinks that if Ben goes to bed later, then he'll sleep in later for me.  That's wrong.  I've noticed that whenever Ben goes to bed very late, he is up extremely early the next morning.   Ben has been waking up in the middle of the night every. single. night for the past nearly month.  Ben went through this before he turned 3 years old and I took him to the doctor.  The doctor back then said this was a normal thing and that Ben was healthy.  I'm at a loss what to think about this latest ordeal with Ben.  Ben wakes up and he climbs in bed with us in the middle of the night and T acts irritated that this is becoming a habit.  I so often feel like I am left having to deal with and/or come up with a solution to certain situations, such as this, on my own.
I am the primary caretaker for my children and I pretty much do all the bedtime routines.  A few years ago, I did tell T that he had to do one night a week to help me out.  I really want him to be more involved in this but I always get the impression from him that it's my responsibility, not his.
So, again, I am left looking for a solution to this latest debacle.  I guess I should also do some more research on how to handle a situation such as Jackie's tonight.  And how to handle when one parent always says "do what your mama says" instead of just personally directing the child to obedience.  And really, what is a good bedtime for young children?  I personally think 9:00 pm is too late.  My preference is to have my children in their rooms reading by 8:00 pm and lights out no later than 8:30.

The Adventures (er, Misadventures?) of Lucy

Lucy injured her ACL a few months ago.  The vet recommended surgery to repair it.  I did get a second opinion and that vet also recommended surgery.  Since it was so close to our trip back home for Christmas, I put off the surgery since Lucy didn't seem to be in pain.  But in the last month, Lucy started exhibiting signs that she was in pain so we decided to go forward with surgery.  But whew, what an adventure it has been. 
We scheduled the surgery for March 14th and this involved an overnight stay.  The following day, I went to pick Lucy up from the vet.  I'm so thankful that we were able to have the surgery performed on her because it ended up that her ACL was completely ruptured, not just torn.  She also had developed a little bit of arthritis.  No wonder she was in so much pain. The technician also explained that Lucy had destroyed her bandage that morning so she was on her 2nd bandage.  She was also wearing an e-collar to prevent her from chewing off the bandage.  I took Lucy home where she slept for most of the day.
 By the next morning (Friday), I noticed Lucy's bandage seemed to be slipping down and I could see the top of the sutures.  It also appeared that Lucy had chewed an edge of the bandage.  So, it was back to the vet where Lucy had to have yet another bandage replaced.  By that evening, however, Lucy had begun to chew the edge of the bandage again.  But I was able to repair it with a small bandage and medical tape.  But Lucy kept reaching the edge of the bandage even with the e-collar on.  I had a slightly larger e-collar in the basement so I put that one on.  It worked until Monday evening when Lucy was successful at tearing off not only the bandage I put on there but the original one.  So, it was back to the vet again on Tuesday morning where she got another replacement bandage.  By this time, Lucy was becoming well known at the vet and everyone there couldn't help but chuckle, especially when we were called into the exam room and Lucy put the brakes on with her paws. 
Wednesday morning, after I woke up and got Jackie off to school, I noticed Lucy had somehow managed to destroy her new bandage but this time, she had gotten down to the sutures and destroyed them.  And her leg was bleeding.  Ugh, this time, it was no longer funny.  I got Lucy back to the vet's office where it was determine that she was going to have to have the sutures completely replaced to put on IV antibiotic to prevent infection.  And it required another overnight stay.  I was beginning to wonder if we made the right decision to go forward with the surgery. 
The next day (Thursday), I went to pick up Lucy and this time, she was sporting a very large e-collar. And a hard splint underneath the bandage.  I couldn't help but burst out in laughter at the ridiculousness of it all.  She looked like she was wearing a satellite dish.  Even the vet and techs were laughing.  It was quite a humorous scene.  But it worked.
We were sent home with a new round of oral antibiotics and an anxiety medication to help keep Lucy calm.  And an appointment to return the next day to check on the surgery site and replace the bandage again.  This time, the vet was very pleased to see that the e-collar was working this time to keep Lucy from destroying the bandage and sutures. 
We were given an appointment to return a week later to have the bandage and sutures removed.  Thankfully, that satellite-dish sized collar worked and we made it through the next week without a call to the vet.  Until... until the day before the scheduled suture removal when Tim woke up to find that Lucy's e-collar was not on her and that half of her bandage was missing.  She apparently had a fun time shredding the bandage and left the mess on Ben's bedroom floor.  Since it was the day before her appointment and the wound looked closed, I refused to call the vet again. So, I just got a couple of soft paper towels and medical tape and wrapped up the part that was exposed.  It sufficed until the next day.
The next day at Lucy's appointment, I explained about the home repair on the bandage.  The staff got a kick out of Lucy's antics.  But thankfully, the surgery site looked good and the bandage was able to come off for good.  Whew!  I wasn't sure I could take another day of this ordeal.  Lucy had an agenda and she was sticking to it no matter what. 
So all was well until the evening after the sutures were removed.  This next part is not for the faint of heart.  I let the dogs out to do their business.  After awhile when I let them in, I notice Lucy had something hanging off of her.  I called her over and when I looked closer, I noticed that this strange object was not hanging off of her.  It was hanging out of her!  Ugh.  I grabbed a bunch of paper towels and a plastic bag to pull the object out.  It was a bandage, at least 7-8 inches long.  Only Lucy.  Then I started to worry about an obstruction and how much more money this mutt was going to cost us.
I called the vet's office again the next day and before I could even explain what was going on, I heard nothing but laughter in the background.  Yes, Lucy has a reputation there for sure.  I explained what happened the previous night and the staff member immediately got the vet on the line for me.  She explained what symptoms to watch out for that would indicate obstruction and told me to call immediately if any of those symptoms started. 
Thankfully, there is no sign of obstruction.  But since the bandage and sutures were removed, Lucy has been acting somewhat depressed.  Perhaps she misses all the attention?  I don't know.  Or maybe she needs Prozac.