Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Evening out

I met some girlfriends for a rare dinner out this evening, at the Cheesecake Factory. We had a great time talking about anything and everything. Good food and good times!

Looking forward to another evening, hopefully not too far in the future.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

An early start to the weekend

Today is one of those busy weekends when everyone has something planned (except for me, hah!) Safa left home before 7:30am for day two of a debate tournament in another high school in the area. Last night it was after 10:30pm when she got home. Hopefully today she will be back during daylight hours. She likes to stay with her friends to watch the awards, regardless if she qualifies for quarter or semi-finals.

And Hamza was at his school by 7:30 too. Zakir dropped him off for the State high school math tournament. He was finished by 11:30 and home by 12:30. We won't know the results until later, but he feels fairly confident that he did well.

That leaves Bilal. Since a Dunkin Donuts store opened in our area, he and Zakir enjoy going on the occasional weekend for breakfast. Of course, I was too lazy to get out of bed to join them, but they did bring some goodies back for me too! After breakfast and getting my weekend morning NPR fix, Bilal and I had a very challenging game of Trouble. And I barely squeaked in a win on that one. One of those rare times that I actually beat him at any board/ card game! Usually he has infinite luck!

And today is the first day in about a week that it was actually not raining. So Zakir and Bilal went outside and spent some quality time with the pup, who, admittedly, has been feeling a little neglected lately. Aside from his twice daily walks it has been too wet to spend any amount of time in the back yard. And it really was quality time, for Atlas.

He leaned into Zakir, who obliged by tickling him behind the ears. It looks like he just couldn't get close enough! Can you tell how dense his fur has become? It hasn't been chilly enough for the coat that he's grown. So when the temperature go up into the low 60s as it did today, he usually lies around lazily. For him, the colder the better.

And on the advice of our realtor we decided to get the house painted, this time with colors that are most popular in homes that are newly constructed. The color is not as warm or bright as we are used to, and it was a little depressing at first, but with the addition of a few colorful rugs, and after putting some of our photos and paintings back up it is starting to look homier. We also had the old wallpaper in the bathrooms painted over. The painters will be done by Monday evening, and then we'll have the house fully put back together again. Right now it is a little chaotic, with some of our wall art still propped up against chairs and tables. I am hoping that the newer, more neutral colors will be desirable for prospective buyers who view our home. Now it really feels as if we are living in someone else's property. Selling a house is not easy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


We took the boys to the Birmingham Home and Garden Show this weekend. We enjoy going in the Spring, we often end up with ideas for the home and yard. This time we did little more than browse, but we did take Bilal to the Home Depot setup, to let him create something from the kits they had for kids. He got a personalized orange apron, and set to work on his fire truck. Big brother helped when needed.

And the finished product, only needing a red coat of paint and some stickers. See how proud he is of his creation?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

CHD week 2013

I know it's been quiet on the blog lately, but there's really not been a lot going on in the Khan Household. But I definitely wanted to share the fact that today is CHD (Congenital Heart Defects) awareness day, and the end of CHD week. I've shared many times why I care about this. But a refresher couldn't hurt:
  1. Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is a malformation in the heart muscle present at birth.
  2. 2 million Americans are living with CHDs
  3. Each year 40,000 more US babies will be born with CHDs.  8,000 of them won’t live to see their first birthday
  4. Each year over 1,000,000 babies are born worldwide with a CHD.  100,000 of them will not live to see their first birthday.
  5. CHD is the most common and most lethal birth defect–both in the USA and throughout the world.
  6. The American Heart Association gives less than one penny per dollar raised to fight CHDs.
  7. 1 in 100 babies has a heart defect.  CHDs are as common as autism, but receive less research funding.
  8. 10% of all CHD cases evaluated in an Adult CHD clinic are first diagnosed in adulthood
  9. In the USA, twice as many children die from CHDs each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined.
  10. Congenital Heart Defects are common and deadly, yet CHD research is grossly under-funded relative to the prevalence of the disease.
  11. More than 50% of all children born with congenital heart defects will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime.
  12. CHDs are the #1 cause of birth defected related deaths.
  13. In the last decade, death rates for congenital heart defects have declined by almost 30% due to advances made through research.
  14. The cost for inpatient surgery to repair congenital heart defects exceeds $2.2 billion per year.
  15. There are more than 40 different types of CHDs.  Little is known about the cause of most of them.  There is no known prevention or cure for any of them. 

Bilal is my 1 in 100 baby, with a potentially serious heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. After surgical repair at a young age, we are blessed that he is thriving. That isn't always the case. Many children face a life full of procedures, tests and multiple open heart surgeries. In our case, Bilal has been cleared to see the cardiologist every two to three years. But the key point is, follow up must continue throughout life, ideally with a cardiologist who specializes in congenital heart defects, not just any adult cardiologist.

Screening is simple, with an inexpensive, non-invasive device called a pulse oximeter. Hospitals have them already, they just need to be used in the right setting. It may help detect a defect in a newborn, that had not been picked up prenatally. Not all defects can be picked up this way, in fact, Bilal had a normal pulse oximetry result, but it still has the potential to help detect defects before a newborn leaves the hospital with his or her family. Lives can be saved with early detection, because it can lead to early treatment. If you want to learn more, click on any of the links in the right sidebar. You'll find a wealth of information.

And of course, a cute pic of my 1 in 100:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Karate in the Community

The boys participated in their Dojo's Valentine karate demonstration at a local nursing home today. Our Sensei comes once a week to train with the residents of the nursing home, and today some new belts were awarded to the residents.

Waiting patiently during the intro
Three way sparring
One of the advances katas

Sword kata

And after the demonstration and the belts were awarded, a group photo of all the participants:

Safa, on the other hand, spent most of the day at UAB for a Chemistry study session. So she didn't have the opportunity to join in. She has also stopped formally training because her school schedule was just making it hard for her to go regularly. Maybe she'll pick it up in the future, I hope.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Future career?

Bilal (yesterday evening): I pulled my first tooth today.

Mama: But hon, none of your teeth were wiggly enough to come out. Show me which one came out.

Bilal: No Mama, not mine. My friend's tooth was very wiggly. I twisted it a tiny bit and pulled it out.

(Mama's thinking: Ugh!)

Doctor B Khan, the dentist?!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Surgery Day

I have already given the update that Bilal's surgery went well, and now the details.

We got to Children's Hospital at 7:30am, and after checking in, were assigned a room to wait in. Bilal kept himself occupied with my iPad.

In the waiting area
And after getting a room.

Bilal was a champ! The nurse asked us if he needed Versed, a medication to make him sleepy and relaxed, but he was fine, and didn't need any pre-medication. I think Mama was more anxious than he was!

After he changed into a gown the Child Life specialist came by with a new Beanie Baby toy, Paul the Walrus. She also gave him some stickers, a book and some coloring sheets. Another way to keep him busy.

The surgeon came in and chatted with us, as did the anesthesiologist. We were told what to expect and how long the procedure would take.

And after almost three hours (part of that in recovery for Bilal), he was brought back to the room again, very groggy, and puffy looking.

See the lion? That's the new toy he picked out after he woke up in recovery. He was quite sleepy and puny for a while, mostly due to the effects of anesthesia. Oxygen levels dropped into the 80s during his time in recovery and also after he came back to the room. His blood pressure was also a bit high, but this improved when it was rechecked before discharged. And his oxygen saturation also came up to 93-94% which is lower than his usual 98-99%, but acceptable.

As soon as he was awake enough and had a glass of Sprite we were allowed to go home.

All dressed, and trying to be a champ!
And after he got home he sacked out in Mama's bedroom, and watched tons of TV, without Mama getting him up to do something else. What a treat!

And an hour or so later, he looked even better!

He spent two nights downstairs in our room, which was a good idea, because during the first night he had a couple of little nosebleeds. And then the antibiotic upset his stomach, so we had to change antibiotics. Last night he stayed in his room and did fine. He had one dose of Tylenol yesterday and has not needed anything else for pain. Today he started the nasal irrigations, and he has done very well with not blowing his nose, to prevent it from bleeding. We are beyond blessed at how well he has recovered from surgery; nothing like the rough time he had after adenoid surgery last year. In fact, the plan is for him to go to school tomorrow. Thinking that half a day tomorrow will be good, and then he should start regular days by Tuesday. The hard part is going to be not doing karate and PE for two weeks. Don't know how he's going to get all that energy out!

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