A Case of the Funnies with Carver John

The past week of blog posts has really focused on my son Gannon and his medical issues. Today’s blog post is all about our spunky three year old Carver and the HILARIOUS things he says.

OUT OF THE BLUE at the dinner table, Carver asked a very serious question:

“Mommy, why is President Trump not in our’s hearts anymore?”

Now before this gets political, I want you to know our family does not talk politics. I have NO idea where this came from.

Do you remember the blog post about the mysterious brown substance in our bed? Do you remember how Carver admitted to sneaking chocolate chips upstairs in the pocket of his moose pajamas? If not, check out this blog post: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/night-light/

Well, I was doing laundry the other day and look what I found:

Can you guess what it is? If you guessed “a pocket full of chocolate chips that has been through the washer and dryer” – you would be correct.

Carver is working on his “necting” skills and experimenting with tape. It is truly amazing how long these four pieces of cardboard kept this three year old busy.

Carver and Daddy were going to put together a piece of furniture. Carver needed to CHANGE HIS CLOTHES!


I didn’t have the heart to tell him how crooked his shirt was buttoned.

*stealing chips from the counter*

“Mommy don’t yell at me for taking these chips!”

This particular bible verse sparked a lot of questions one morning:

  • “Why is his beard on his belly?”
  • “Which one is Cain and which one is Abel?”
  • “Why did him break his stick?”
  • “Me not kill anyone!”
  • “Me not kill Gannon! Me love Gannon! Gannon is my brother!”
  • “How did him kill him with a rock?”
  • “Are those sheep scared?”
  • “Why did him kill him’s brother?”
  • “Me not kill anyone, that is bad.”
  • “Him go to jail?”
  • “Him can’t go live with Jesus?”
  • “Papa moo lives with Jesus.”
  • “Papa moo not kill anyone. Hims a nice guy.”

I think that’s enough bible study for the day.

*6 miles down the road*

“Are we still in Iowa?!”

Carver loves to help me with laundry and tell me which garments belongs to who.

“Mommy, why does Dadddy have so many boxings?”

I think he meant boxers.

This has been a case of the funnies with Carver John Friedman.

For more funnies from Carver, check out this blog post:

See you again tomorrow at 0530!

Gannon’s Surgery: Complications Part Four

Before you read on, you may want to catch up on the last three blog posts here:

Also – please know I do post about things other than Gannon but judging by my last 5 blog posts, it appears that “The Pink Shoelaces” revolves around my little Ganjo. It usually doesn’t but this week, it does.

Gannon woke up at 4 am – SCREAMING. Like definitely not your normal *4 am I want a bottle* like screaming. Keep in mind we haven’t even been home from the hospital for 12 hours.

I go to pull him out of his crib and he is STEAMING. I run downstairs, pull some of his scheduled pain medications and a thermometer. By the time I came back upstairs Gannon had thrown up and Gannon’s temp – 102.5. Craig thankfully caught the puke (Dad win!) ?

Specifically in the discharge instructions, it says “call the pediatric urology resident on call if fever over 101.5” ugh. So I call and he says that we need to be seen. 

Here’s the thing – obviously everyone is at a higher risk of infection post operatively but usually it’s about a week out is when a post op infection would develop. It’s been about 36 hours. 

I haul him up and take him to my ER that I work at. His lungs sounds JUNKY. He tested negative for RSV and Influenza – no ear infection – his urine sample was crystal clear no cough or runny nose but a chest X-ray shows: pneumonia. 

Ugh. Poor little tot. Yesterday was just straight up ROUGH. He was lethargic and irritable. I gave him Tylenol and an hour later his temp went from 102.5 to 103. He was working harder to breathe, we were doing nebulizers every 6 hours along with round the clock Tylenol and ibuprofen. At three am his temp was back up to 103.5! I was so worried about him. Not to mention he started having watery diarrhea. Remember last month Gannon ended up in the ER because he got so dehydrated? Fever + diarrhea + pneumonia = bad news.

I ended up making a follow up in the clinic for him this morning. I was so so worried about him. They said a lot of things like:

  • “Are you sure you’re getting enough sleep?”
  • “You seem tired.”
  • “It’s hard to be objective when you’re a healthcare provider.”
  • “He looks totally fine now!”
  • “He’s drinking okay!” 
  • “This must be so stressful for you!”

It was all very patronizing and made me feel like they thought I was crazy. So we went home.

Thankfully, Gannon is turning around this afternoon. I’m voice texting this blog post as Carver and Gannon are continuously splashing me while they take a bath. Gannon seems to be more like himself. He’s doing normal Gannon things like “kisses” (where he smacks his lips) dumping out Betsy’s water bowl. Following me around and sticking his head between my ankles when I’m cooking. His temp has settled down too. 

I so hope this is the final chapter in the Gannon saga – at least for this week. 

I’ve got a TON of new readers and followers since Gannon has been sick this week – thank you for keeping up with our little Gannon. 

I post every morning at 0530 am (including tomorrow morning) if you’d like to join our regular readership. The blog has morphed to less about nursing and more about family with a whole lot of random in between! 

You can find me on every form of social media by searching The Pink Shoelaces! 

Gannon’s Surgery: Complications Part Three

So there we were – admitted to our ninth floor room. Craig had left and it was just Gannon and I.

Gannon slept for most of the afternoon but was fussy enough he always wanted me to hold him. He was prescribed oxycodone which was a pretty strong narcotic pain medication and we gave that to him but sparingly because it can really cause constipation and God knows Gannon doesn’t need that.

The child life specialist on the floor found out it was Gannon’s birthday and brought him toys! Not just to play with, but brand new toys still in the package for Gannon to keep and take home! How sweet was that?

We ended up getting to bed around 10 pm. By 11 I woke up to our night nurse Jody talking to someone in the room. She was on the phone with anesthesia and paging them to assess Gannon. His breathing was worse again and he had that barky coupy cough that he had after anesthesia. Gannon’s oxygen was okay but he was working to breathe.

The urology resident also came to assess him and agreed that we need to give him a breathing treatment called racemic epinephrine which is specific to the upper airway. Gannon wasn’t able to get any more steroids because it had only been 12 hours or so since his last dose.

That really helped Gannon and we both went back to sleep. I was so dang tired – also keep in mind I had been up since 4 am the day before. I didn’t wake up until 8 am – the pull out couch as actually pretty comfy!

The nurses reassured me that they had been taking care of Gannon and that Dr. Storm would be rounding soon. Of course when he did come, Gannon’s breathing still wasn’t super and he wanted to keep him for just a few more hours to make sure he didn’t “rebound” from the racemic epinephrine treatment which means that his airway would swell up really fast again.

Gannon watching Blippi on Youtube on his room’s tablet

I ordered breakfast on the room’s tablet – check this out. I can browse the internet, watch Netflix, order food, control the TV, review test results, see who is on my care team, see scheduled medications for Gannon, it is so cool!

We ended up going on a walk around the unit. It you’re familiar with the University of Iowa’s children’s hospital, you may know they are known for the “Iowa Wave.” Kinnick stadium is right across the street from the University of Iowa’s children’s hospital so during every home game during the third quarter, the entire stadium turns and waves at the children watching the game from the hospital. The athletes do a ton of PR with the children’s hospital as well. It’s really a cool thing.

I wanted to get out of the room for a bit, a volunteer came and asked if she could take Gannon for another walk – YES! That was exactly enough time to get some air, get some coffee and refresh. By then Dr. Storm had rounded and we were ready for discharge! I’ve been in the hospital enough to know that “ready for discharge” means “you might leave in three hours.”

They coordinated our appointment that was originally scheduled for Thursday morning which is a texture swallow study so we got that taken care of before we left so we didn’t have to drive back the 2 hours both ways the next day.

The swallow study was disappointing. Gannon does okay with graham crackers, pudding texture, milk, puree etc. Anything more than that Gannon coughs, gags and chokes. Well they did the test. We found out Gannon does great with graham crackers, milk, pudding and puree baby food! Seriously – that’s all they gave him. I pointed out that yes we already know he does well with those foods but try giving him a tiny piece of kiwi and see how that goes. *sigh*

Not to mention, Gannon is usually so calm and chill for tests. Not the swallow study – he was MAD. It did not go well. To have put him through that to find out what we already know was annoying. Not to mention it delayed our discharge by about 3 hours.

We made it home about 6 pm, ate some pizza, bathed the kids, and we were off to bed. I dosed up Gannon with Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Everything went just fine until 4 am…

Okay – off to bed. Check back again tonight at 5:30 pm for hopefully the fourth and final chapter of this roller coaster of a week.

Gannon’s Surgery: Complications Part Two

Whew! Are you still hanging on from that cliff hanger?

If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, here’s this morning’s blog post – you should read it first or this post will be rather confusing.

After he left, he told us that Gannon was in recovery and we could go see him soon and someone would come to get us. We waited..and waited..and waited…45 minutes had passed. Where was Gannon?

FINALLY – probably a full hour after Dr. Storm told us the surgery had gone well, I was about to go ask someone what was going on, our nurse offered to take us back to recovery so we could see him.

Gannon’s recovery nurse Liz was busy working with him. Gannon was pretty slow to wake up but doing okay with some extra oxygen. Here is what we walked into:

It was kind of scary – I won’t lie. She was having trouble waking him up so I started talking to him. I couldn’t wake him up either – until I told him “Gannon! Mommy has a Ba-Ba for you!” (That’s what we call his bottle) and he started coming around.

Then things really got freaky, Gannon started coughing and coughing and having stridor – I found a video of what croup sounds like so you can hear what we heard. Gannon was struggling to move air through his larynx/voice box not only when he coughed but just when he was breathing.

I have heard this cough 1,000 times in the ER around 3 am. You can hear them checking in and everyone goes “Yup! That’s croup!” Carver had croup A LOT when he was little. It’s a narrowing of the upper airway.

Our nurse Liz seemed super surprised too. She called anesthesia right away and explained the situation. Usually Decadron (a steroid) does the trick and reduces the swelling so that’s what was ordered for Gannon. Just in general Gannon’s breathing wasn’t super. He had a lot of loose congestion and rattled when he breathed. We assumed the airway swelling was a result of the intubation from the surgery.

We were finally sent back to our previous room and now it was time to get Gannon to eat and drink. He was doing pretty good. They had given him Tylenol in the OR. They gave him a dose of Toradol in his IV, he still had the caudal block, and a dose of oxycodone. He was still pretty zonked from the surgery but overall recovering well except for that darn stridor/cough. We were actually told we were ready to be discharged and I asked if we could stay just a little longer until his breathing seemed better.

Gannon was comfortable – and then he wasn’t. Gannon started SCREAMING. He cried and cried and screamed and nothing made him comfortable. I couldn’t comfort him at All. He had already received all the pain meds he could get and he was still inconsolable. Craig and I rocked him and bounced him and tried laying him down. We even tried putting ice over his diaper to help with pain/swelling/bruising. This went on about 45 minutes. Our arms were jello from holding him and passing him back and forth.

Then Dr. Storm showed up at our door. He was surprised we were still here. He took one look at Gannon and said “We need to tuck him in for the night. There’s no way we can send him home with pain like this. Would you guys be okay with that?” YES. Not to mention every time Gannon became upset his breathing got worse and worse.

I LOVE that I didn’t have to ask or question anyone whether or not we could handle his pain at home. I so appreciate that Dr. Storm took lead and made the call to admit him. Our nurse Kelly totally agreed and we talked about how helpless we felt when he was screaming like this.

This was all great and fine but I had some phone calls to make. I took a walk to the cafeteria and got some AMAZING vanilla bean cheesecake and I called mom.

As much as Gannon is a priority in our life, Craig had a very important test to take the next day to become certified in pesticide application before planting season. Craig has been studying for weeks and it’s really difficult to reschedule. We needed to get Craig home. I would stay with Gannon. (by the way, way to go Craig! He passed with flying colors!)

So began operation skinny Pete – ha! You can read that post here if you’re up for a good laugh:

Craig stayed long enough for us to get settled into our BEAUTIFUL room for the night:

Check out our view! We were on the ninth floor room nine which happened to be the exact same room we were in when Gannon was hospitalized a year ago! What are the odds?

Gannon in the same room and same bed as when he was hospitalized at 6 weeks old at the University of Iowa

Well, again, what a long blog post. I’m going to break this up into two more chunks. Sorry guys, nap time is calling me and the boys! Check back tomorrow morning At 5:30 am and tomorrow evening At 5:30 pm for the rest of the saga.

Find out about the rest of our hospital stay, the sweet thing they did for Gannon’s birthday, why Gannon is now on antibiotics, and why we had an ER visit this morning at 0430 am!

Gannon’s Surgery: Complications Part One

Remember how I said I wasn’t going to post about Gannon for a fourth day in a row? I lied.

As many of you know, Gannon’s “simple” procedure got a lot more complicated than we expected. We ended up staying a full 24 hours in the hospital longer than we initially expected to.

The lobby of the children’s hospital is BEAUTIFUL!

Gannon was scheduled for an orchiopexy surgery. When a baby boy is forming in utero, the testicles begin in the abdomen and move their way down into the scrotum. Gannon’s left testicle made it about halfway there and then came down on its own when he was about 3 months old but the right one never did. This is fairly common and a simple procedure around the age of one can take care of it. They end up pinning the testicle in place.

Craig and I woke up early Tuesday morning – our alarm was set for 4 am. We live 2 hours away from Iowa City where Gannon’s specialists are and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s hospital. Our arrival time was 7 am so we needed to be on the road at least by 4:45.

We got all settled, got into our PACU (peri anesthesia care unit) (aka your room where you prep for surgery and recover from surgery). About a million people came and introduced themselves to us and asked a million questions each.

We met a few of our favorites who stuck with us throughout the day. Dr. Storm is Gannon’s urologist. He came in and introduced himself again. We had only seen him once in October for Gannon’s pre op appointment. He explained the procedure. He had several people following him and learning from him so we met all of them too.

Our PACU nurse Kelly was so so so great. She had a student – Ana following her who was equally as awesome. Ana spent plenty of extra time with Gannon and followed him all the way from arrival through surgery and our admission.

We also met Gannon’s anesthesia team who explained all pain relief measures they would be taking to keep Gannon comfortable. They ended up giving Gannon a block – similar to an epidural – called a caudle block to last several hours after his surgery. They also gave him some “sleepy juice” to make sure Gannon doesn’t remember the pre op and post op care.

Gannon tolerates all of this so so well. He lets them take his blood pressure and put the pulse ox on his foot, he’s just so chill. Usually babies fight everything so much. Not my Ganjo. He’s as patient as the day is long.

Before long Gannon was off. We were told it was a 2.5 hour procedure which I had no idea it would take that long. I was expecting it to take maybe 1/2 hour. Everything up until this point made me believe it was pretty quick and simple.

Gannon and his anesthesiologists.

We got updates every half hour. We were told to keep my phone on loud and not to leave the hospital and there was a patient liaison that called to give updates. Then an unexpected call came.

It was Dr. Storm. Everything was okay but they found two inguinal hernias (holes in the abdominal wall) in Gannon’s groin and wanted my permission to repair them. Of course I said yes.

Our DELICIOUS breakfast!

We continued to wait. We got an AWESOME breakfast in the cafeteria. About 2 hours later Dr. Storm came to talk to us. I’m trying to figure out how to explain this next part but it’s complicated.

Essentially there are two blood supplies to the testicle: One from up above and one from down below. Gannon’s blood vessels from up top didn’t allow them to stretch the testicle down to where it needed to be so they cut off the blood supply from above completely and will rely on the other form of blood flow to perfuse the testicle. This only happens in about 15% of cases of cryptorchidism or undescended testicles.

Then the inguinal hernias were discovered which created two more incisions than initially planned. Then they also noticed a hydrocele of the left testicle which is extra fluid and needed to drain that as well.

So instead of 3 incisions, Gannon has 7. This is all okay and fine but again, just more than we expected. We thanked Dr. Storm. Obviously he did a phenomenal job and was so great about explaining EVERYTHING to us in detail.

After he left, he told us that Gannon was in recovery and we could go see him soon and someone would come to get us. We waited..and waited..and waited…45 minutes had passed. Where was Gannon?

OOFDA! This is getting to be a LONG blog post. I’m going to have to break it into chunks. Check back again at 5:30 PM tonight for Part II of this blog post. I’m off to bed in my VERY OWN BED after I showered in my VERY OWN SHOWER! I’m learning to appreciate normalcy!

See you again tonight! Sorry for the cliff hanger – I’m zonked out tired!

Gannon’s Birth Story

February 19th, 2019. My dad was recovering in the hospital from a failed attempt to remove a tumor from his right lung. Craig and I came up to see him in the hospital. The next morning we had an ultrasound to check on Baby #2 who was much much larger than expected. I was measuring 44 weeks pregnant and was told to expect a 10+ pound baby. They told me I needed a c-section as I had a shoulder dystocia with Carver at 8lbs 6oz. There was “no way” I could attempt a vaginal delivery with Gannon.

The C-section was schedule for my 39 week mark. March 4th. I was devastated. I had planned my entire life around having the baby the week of February 25th. I had work off, it worked out with my Dad’s surgery schedule, I was so uncomfortable, I begged them to take me early. Keep in mind, I was measuring 44 WEEKS PREGNANT at 38 weeks pregnant while balancing 2 jobs and a 2 year old at home. They wouldn’t budge.

That weekend we had a horrible blizzard. Roads were shut down for days. We spent the entire day Sunday nestled in on the couch listening to the -20 below winds howl. Roads were not passable. Tow ban in effect. Northeast Iowa was SHUT. DOWN.

I couldn’t sleep for anything Sunday night. This giant baby kept kicking my bladder and as the night went on I knew something was up. I started bleeding.

I was covering childcare for mom so she could stay in the hospital with Dad. I was already awake when my alarm went off. I went to the bathroom one more time and as I stood to pull my pants up, my water broke.

YES! I was going to have a baby. BUT THE ROADS WERE STILL SHUT DOWN!

I called my mom frantically. Who was going to watch childcare kids? We can’t even get out of our driveway! What do we do with Carver? How’s Dad? Is he coming home today? Oh my God this is such a mess. I’m leaking all over. Where’s Craig? No mom I’m NOT calling 911…

Oh boy…That was a contraction…


Well we did get out of our driveway. We found someone to cover childcare. I did call 911 to ask someone to plow out our road. Contractions did pick up. No maxi pad made on this earth could contain my amniotic fluid. Craig rolled his eyes when I made him go get me a wheelchair once we got the hospital – not because I couldn’t walk but every time I took a step I leaked even more and I had new boots I didn’t want to ruin.

On our way to the hospital

They actually had to test me to make sure it was amniotic fluid. I remember laughing and laughing because DUH! OBVIOUSLY! No one in this world has enough pee in their bladder to get those two confused. Those contractions were getting harder and harder as we waited. I remember telling my nurse, “Yeah these are kind of starting to suck a lot.” She reassured me we were soon on our way to the OR.

3 hours after my water broke, in an OR suite my 8 POUND 12 OUNCE boy was born. Gannon was no where near the 10+ pounds they told us he would be.

At 38 weeks gestation, Gannon Joseph Friedman was born via cesarean section at 10:34 am in Decorah, Iowa weighing 8 lbs and 12 ounces measuring 22 inches long.

They placed him in the crook of my neck. I will never forget those moments with him. The warmth of his body against mine. His little tiny hands on my cheek. Maybe it was the morphine in my spine but it was pure euphoria.

I kept asking him “What’s your name?” We had a few ideas before we came into the hospital but nothing concrete. I could not shake the feeling that his name needed to start with a G. I kept saying the G sound over and over.

G G G G G. Craig agreed. “Grant? Graham? Gavin? I really like Grant!” We had Jennings, Gentry, Brannon, and Graham all in mind before we came to the hospital but there was only one name that clicked:

“Gannon.” I had only heard that name once before. Makinzey McKee on Teen Mom 3 named her baby Gannon and I’ve always liked the name. Plus I love first names that sound like last names. Craig agreed. Now we needed a middle name. It was pretty easy – my mom’s nickname is Jo and I want a baby named after her somehow and I don’t know if we will ever get a girl so Joseph (my mom’s name is Jo) it is!

Our WONDERFUL OB nurse showing me Gannon

In recovery we sat with our OB nurse who we just loved. (You’re so great Steph!) She helped us go through names, helped me breastfeed, checked on me and Gannon, wrote his name out on the board so we could see how it looked or if we liked it. She took care of us the next few days too. She always made sure to include Craig in the process which we both appreciated.

Breastfeeding Gannon was such a wonderful experience and I hope if/when we have a third that I will be able to do so again. I breastfed all the way to 4 months! Breastfeeding Carver was MISERABLE and I would NEVER wish that experience on anyone. I only lasted 8 weeks.

Mom and Dad were our first visitors. They stopped in on the way home from Lacrosse after being discharged after dad’s surgery. Dad wasn’t feeling well AT ALL and the visit was cut short.

Craig and I soaked up baby snuggles the entire afternoon until we had a very special visitor come…

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