Random Thoughts: The Update Version

We went to the ENT for Bun’s myringotomy follow-up. Bun is doing just great with ear tubes, and the doctor seemed very pleased. She let me take a peek in the otoscope to see what it looked like in there; it was like a pipeline. Then they gave Bun a hearing test, and she got 100%.

Which kind of surprised me only because I have to call her name about 20 times before she hears me.

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Today is the girls’ last day at DCL. I have to admit to being a chicken about the whole thing — DearDR volunteered to tell her they were leaving, and I let him do it. When I apologized for letting him to our dirty work, he said, “You’re not good at stuff like that.” Wondering exactly what he meant, I asked. “Being diplomatic,” he replied. “You’re not good at it. I am. Don’t worry about it.”

He’s right, too. I could not be called diplomatic or tactful. I think I’ve come a long way from high school though. The “no filter” years. Trust me.

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Speaking of high school, if I haven’t missed the RSVP date (and if my MIL can watch the girls overnight), we are going to go to my 20th high school reunion. Up in Erie. I don’t really want to go, except out of morbid curiosity. I’m in touch with the people I want to be in touch with from high school — all two of ’em (hi, H; hi, M). I do miss A, but she and I have grown very far apart. It happens I guess.

Between the reunion, and our vacation in Cape Cod the following week, it’s time for me to commit to getting back in shape. (Yeah, in less than 3 weeks.) I have the 30-day shred DVD. And I’m doing it.

Ouch.

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We are officially entering the Gabriel anniversary days. I will be appropriately reflective.

You’ve been warned.

Some Quick Updates

Knock on wood before you read this, but, I think things are going well with ear tubes and Bun. I had been worried; she ran a little fever last week, and this week she’s been fussing at her ears. So I took her to the pediatrician to see if everything was clear.

Her ears are all clear: no fluid, so no infection. However, the doctor observed that her throat was a little red and her nose was completely stuffed. “Do you think it’s allergies?” I asked. She said she did think that, especially with the way Bun was mouth breathing. So we’re going to try a daily dose of children’s Claritin at bedtime and see how it goes. I may put Monkey on it too; not only does she mouth-breath, she snores very loudly when she sleeps. Also, she sometimes has coughing jags at night. They usually don’t wake her up, but they are bothersome. You can see she’s not resting well.

I just called my delicate little flowers mouth breathers. Nice mom.

We go back to the ENT June 4.

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DearDR and I are spending the weekend in the house. All alone. My mom and dad have the girls in Erie for the weekend. I packed raincoats and rainboots. Forgot the umbrellas though.

And while a weekend at home sans children has myriad possibilities for fun (and these have not been completely ruled out) the fact of the matter is that we will be cleaning, sorting, steam cleaning, and painting. We are turning the Big Room, currently the guest room/Bun’s room, into the Girls’ Bedroom. We are turning what is currently Monkey’s room (aka the Little Room) into the Guest Room.

I will have pictures. I am equal parts excited and apprehensive. I think the rooms are going to look great when they are done. I hope we haven’t overestimated what we can accomplish in 48 hours (not counting eating and sleeping).

We’ll see. I showed DearDR the colors Monkey and I picked for their room. He groaned, “Why pink and purple?” I said, “You are the father of girls.”

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In spite of my daughter thinking I am 40 years old, I have heard from many people (primarily at Plurkville) who thought I was much younger, and I just want to thank them all. The high guess I got was 32 (the low was 28). That makes a girl feel pretty good. I attribute my youthful appearance to a few things:

1. Genetics. You would never guess that my mom is 64. I keep forgetting.
2. Drinking lots of water.
3. Moisturizer. During the day, moisturizer with SPF 15; foundation with SPF, too.
4. Sunscreen.
5. Flaxseed oil capsules. I started taking them at my hairstylist’s suggestion. My hair was getting really dry. The capsules plus a deeper conditioning treatment did the trick.

For all the flattery, I do have my suspicions. Like, perhaps some of these people need glasses, or that it’s my maturity level that makes me seem younger than I am. But I figure that’s just my paranoia talking. Right?

Ear Update

Thursday the verdict came in: Bun needs ear tubes. The current infection she has must be the eighth one this winter (at least the eighth — I’ve lost track) and the antibiotic she is taking for it is not kicking it. She is scheduled to go in Monday.

I am having many emotions about the whole thing. The encouraging thing has been all the support I have gotten here and elsewhere from other parents, regardless of whether or not their kids have had tubes. To a woman and man, I’ve heard nothing but good things, most along the lines of: “He/she was a completely different child afterwards.”

Reading back over what I have written, I feel pretty defeated, resigned. I was dead set against them, and we tried some alternative remedies — albeit maybe not enough chiropractic visits — but nothing has worked. And now the antibiotics are on the verge of not working either.

Looking at the history here, tubes seem so inevitable. The constant running to the doctor and the pharmacy and the chiropractor (when I could — to say that the chiropractor was difficult to get to would be understating the case; his hours were hard for this working mama, and he didn’t accept my insurance; LOVED the guy, and I miss going with the girls, but it was HARD) and leaving work early or going in late and over and over and over again.

So: tubes. Monday. I’m trying not to freak out — it is a 15 minute surgery, the guy we’re going to comes highly recommended from several sources, it’s going to be fine. Freaking out anyway, a little bit. It’s my Bun, my little girl. The most encouraging mention about tubes I got is from my friend who is a nurse anesthestist who says these surgeries are the quickest, easiest, busiest days she has had.

I am on the mend; DearDR seems to be verging on unwell, although he hasn’t had the most physically easy week; Monkey has an ear infection, too. DearDR took her, so I don’t know if tubes were mentioned. I could have wished for a better Friday, but we’re all still here. And the weather is rocking, so today we’re going to the park.

Best Intentions

I was going to throw up a post later this morning. It was going to be quick and short and random, mostly about how having to do laundry next door is putting a drag on my evening computer activities (blogging, plurking).

But now, Monkey is crying about how much her ear hurts, and she just threw up a lot of spit — not vomit — on my rug. So I’ll just throw this up now — no pun intended — to still be in compliance with Blog365. And then take her to the doctor.

Incidentally, took Bun to the ENT yesterday. She has fluid in her ears, but no infection. The doctor advised waiting at least three months, and rechecking her ears at that time. Barring infection of course.

More later.

Update: Indeed, Monkey has a raging ear infection in her left ear. No fever, no cold symptoms, and no more volumes of spit on the floor. I got the prescription filled and took her to daycare.

Today’s doctor suggested maybe removing her tonsils and/or adenoids may help with the infections. She said that the effectiveness of tubes is under review — Children’s wants to do another study. She asked if Monkey snores at night, and I said yes, she does. Monkey snores very loudly at night; she gives her daddy a run for his money in the sawing logs department. So it’s something else to look into.

The Internet, of course, has a variety of information and opinions, for and against. I’ll have to do more research, and probably see another specialist. And I wonder what impact this will have on Bun.

I just want the ear infections to end, and I get queasy when I consider all the antibiotics my girls get. I thought that Monkey would have outgrown them by now, but she hasn’t. The only year she missed having infections was from 2 to 3 years old.

Coincidentally, the same year that I was a SAHM. Bring on the mommy guilt!

I am very tired of doing this year after year. And even if Monkey were to outgrow them this year, I would still have another two years to go with Bun. What to do?

Some days, being a mommy is harder than others.

Back on the Merry-Go-Round

Last Thursday was Bun’s 2-year-old check up. They now do an autism screening questionnaire at this check up (I don’t recall them doing it for Monkey). One of the questions is, “Do you sometimes think your child is deaf?”

And I confess to thinking, “Jeez, doesn’t every parent think his or her child is deaf on occasion??”

The good news is that Bun tests normal on that questionnaire. Additionally, she’s in the 90th percentile for height and the 50th percentile for weight, so unfortunately that toddler belly is not making a comeback anytime soon. Color me not surprised.

The bad news is we have been, once again, referred to an ENT. Bun and I are going in early February.

[Aside: I made the appointment in Wexford, because that office is much easier for me to get to. DCL — the redoubtable DCL — is urging me to make the appointment in Oakland at Children’s.

I do not want to drive to Oakland. This attitude primarily bums me out because it reveals what a suburbanite I’ve become. “Oh, the traffic, the parking, whine whine whine.” Should I suck it up, and if I can get in earlier, should I drive into Oakland?]

Back to the point: this go-’round is no fun. Bun is currently on her fifth antibiotic this winter alone (dating to before Thanksgiving). That’s two ear infections (the latest one of which seems to be lingering) and one sinus infection.

What was most alarming at this most recent appointment: the doctor (whom I think of as Hot Doc, with all apologies to my own hot doc, DearDR) took his time rechecking her ears. After looking in her left ear, he said, “That one’s clear. But, I can tell that she’s had repeated ear infections, just looking in there.”

Gah!

My pediatricians are not alarmists. They are all very calm, very cool. I really like almost every one of the docs at the practice, too. They are not dismissive; they do not condescend; the answer all my questions. They are awesome with my kids, to a man and woman.

So I felt that a statement like, “I can tell she’s had repeated infections” was scary. He went on to say, “You don’t want to get into scarring, and hearing problems, so if there’s an infection in the other ear, I’m going to refer you to an ENT again.”

The other ear was still infected.

Off we go. I really liked the doctor we saw last time in Wexford, so that was another deciding factor in heading that direction.

I don’t think this latest antibiotic is helping her, either. My poor Bun.

Maybe quitting the binky will help. I may also ask about a month of antibiotics before we go to tubes, see what the prevailing feeling is.

I just want Bun to be better. Maybe it is something she will outgrow — probably. But in the meantime, it’s tough on everyone. Especially Bun — and me!

What You’ve Missed

We have had some technical difficulties, and I haven’t been able to download pictures from my camera for months. It was the digital-age equivilant of all those rolls of film you keep meaning to take to get developed, but never get around to.

These difficulties have finally been resolved, so I’ve a few images from the past few months to share.

But first!

We went to the ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat) doctor on Monday, and it could not have been a more different experience than what I was expecting. Except for the “great with kids” part — I mean, it’s part of their name. They should be great with kids.

The upshot is: No ear tubes. The doctor was really honest, and after talking with me, reviewing their charts, and checking the kids’ ears and throats, he just basically said there was nothing that indicated that they needed ear tubes any time soon.

He said that if they should develop infections over the summer, then tubes could be indicated. If they get a bunch of them this fall and winter, tubes are an option. But for the time being, in the absence of any other indicators (no fluid in the ear, no current infection, no sore throats or toncellitis [sic]), then they were in the clear. He also suggested that one reason for their rash of infections could be because of their return to daycare. Now that their immune systems have gotten a boost, we should see fewer colds, etc.

Here’s hoping! I was really relieved. I though I was going to meet a more aggressive doctor. He summed it up by saying, “If they were my kids, I wouldn’t get tubes now.” That pretty much clinched it.

We’re taking off for Seven Springs shortly. If my sis has her laptop with her, I’ll try to throw something on the blog, but it’s not going to be a top priority, if you can imagine.

In the meantime, here are some fun, photographic moments:

My little audiophile!

Happy Mother’s Day (a little late…)

Bella’s summer outdoor gift:

“I grew some hair since you were away.”

Future tomato:

Cherry tomatoes:

HUG!

Happy Independence Day!