Five-year check

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Little Sis had her 5-year checkup earlier this week, and her stats looked like this:

Height: 3′ 9.5″ (95th percentile)
Weight: 58.2 lb. (>95th percentile)

This year’s milestone questions, which I think she’s all good on:

Can your child button some of his/her clothing, or some of his/her doll clothing?
Does your child react well when you leave him/her with a friend or sitter?
Can your child walk down stairs alternating his/her feet?
Can your child jump with his/her feet apart (broad jump)?
Can your child point while counting at least three objects?
Can your child copy a square?
Can your child name at least some of the letters of the alphabet when he/she sees them?
Can your child identify and print the first letter of his/her name?
Can your child recognize and name single numbers?
Does your child recognize common street and store signs (“stop” or “open”)?


(Belated) 9-year-old well-child exam

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Big Sis had her (belated) 9-year-old well-child exam a couple weeks ago, and I forgot to update with her stats:

Height: 4’5″ (50th to 75th percentile)

Weight: 64.5 lb. (50th percentile)

BMI: 16.4 (50th to 75th percentile)

Blood pressure: 92-60

She had no visits to the doctor since her 8-year-old exam (and she might not have had any between 7 and 8 as well…). Everything looked good, and The Pedi didn’t have any concerns.

We do currently see a male pediatrician, and I’ve told The Big Sis to let me know if she ever wants to switch to one of the females in the practice, as I know that can be a preference that might develop as she gets closer to puberty and discussing girl-type things.


One year

Monday, March 21, 2016

It’s hard to believe, but today marks the one-year anniversary of breaking my ankle/foot while training for a half marathon last year. It was a pretty awful day, and of course I had no idea at that time just what an extended journey it would turn out to be, but I have come through to the other side hopefully a better person for it. I can’t say that I wish to ever repeat going through it, but I recognize that many positives did come out of the situation.

I’m at the point now, a year later, where I don’t think about my ankle for probably 95% of the time, whereas before it was a constant issue looming over me. Yes, it does stiffen overnight. I can’t really sit cross-legged on the floor. It does swell if I walk too much, especially in non-sneaker shoes. I do still walk down stairs awkwardly. Trying on new shoes is a challenge because my feet are two different sizes.

But, despite all of that, I dug deep and worked hard at recovery and have gained back a significant amount of strength, range of motion, and flexibility over the past year. In addition, I most definitely have a greater appreciation for those who deal with physical handicaps on a long-term basis, and I am amazed both at how easily a small twig can change things for a person in a mere instant, as well as just how incredible our bodies are.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I figure I added a metal plate to my body last year, so I might as well remove something to balance it out. So, to that end, I had my gallbladder removed having having sporadic issues with it for nine years now. At first my attacks were just during pregnancy, but that has changed over the last year or so, so I figured it was time to stop ignoring it.

Surgery went well, and thankfully I didn’t get sick from the anesthesia this time (unlike with my ankle surgery). The Surgeon told The Husband post-op that my gallbladder definitely needed to come out, so I’m glad I proceeded with having it done.

My pain seems to be largely under control thanks to Percocet, and the only real trouble I’m having at the moment is a raw, sore throat and a hoarse voice from the breathing tube they put in during the surgery. I didn’t have this side effect with the ankle surgery, but it’s been an annoyance this time around.

I’m taking the rest of the week off from work so I can focus on recovery, as I’m sure there will be highs and lows during the process. But, so far so good!

Stoned again

Friday, December 4, 2015

When I was pregnant with both girls, I had multiple gallstone attacks. We confirmed the presence of gallstones back in 2006 or so, but since I was pregnant, it wasn’t ideal to remove the gallbladder at the time. But then life happens, and when you’re not having symptoms outside of pregnancy, it’s hard to make yourself go in and say, “Hey, cut me open, will ya?” So I decided to take a wait-and-see approach to the gallbladder — I’d return to the doctor and do something about it if I started having attacks again. I had one in the fall of 2014, but nothing else, so I continued to look the other way.

But then I had an attack when I was in Kansas City visiting my sister in early August. Then a week before Thanksgiving, I got the initial dull pain in just the right spot that indicated an impending attack, but that time it didn’t go into a full-blown attack. However, on Thanksgiving night, after enjoying a wonderful meal with my loved ones, my gallbladder decided to protest, and I was woken up at 3 a.m. by that too-familiar pain. I’d classify it as a moderate attack, with nausea and vomiting toward the end, and it lasted until 6 a.m.

Hrm, perhaps it was time to stop ignoring my angry gallbladder.

I had to go to physical therapy for my ankle at 7:30, but I called my family doctor after that, and made an appointment to be seen late that morning. I was hoping they might be able to do the ultrasound to check for stones that day, so I skipped eating since I hadn’t felt up to eating earlier that day anyway. The doctor said it did sound consistent with stones (especially given their presence years ago, as well as a strong family history of it, with my mom and sister both having theirs removed around 2005 or so), and the nurse started calling around to find somewhere that was open that could get me in that day. They finally found one place that could take me, but not until 3 p.m., which made for a long afternoon of no eating or drinking. Since I had a pretty major headache, I went to take a nap to help ease that and also to pass the time until I could go there.

The ultrasound itself went fine. Thanksgiving leftovers didn’t seem so appealing anymore, but I took a plain turkey sandwich with me to the ultrasound so I’d have something I could eat as soon as I was allowed. I only managed to eat half the sandwich before my stomach revolted, though I did make it home before it all came back up. I still had my headache, and my stomach was very unsettled, so I went to sleep for a couple hours and woke up feeling weak but overall better. Unfortunately I had to pass on some holiday activities with my sister and her family that night, but I didn’t want to push it too much.

The family doctor’s office called on Tuesday morning, and they said my ultrasound was positive for gallstones (no surprise) and that the wall of my gallbladder was thickening, which, from what I’m reading, seems to often be a sign of gallbladder disease. They said they will refer me to a general surgeon, and that office should be calling me “within the week.” I was hoping to be able to get in this week since I’m on vacation, but as it’s Friday afternoon and I still haven’t been called, that ship has sailed. If I haven’t heard from them by Monday or Tuesday of next week, I’ll call my family doctor to find out where I need to follow up.

At this point, I’d say removal is not likely to be done this year. It would be nice since I’ve met my OOP max for the year and it would be free, but I also know that plenty of other people have the same thought and doctors tend to be pretty booked at the end of the year (not to mention them taking vacation time around the holidays). So, I’d say just after the first of the year is most likely, which might be better anyway because I’ll have new sick time available to take. And hey, I’d reach my OOP max pretty early in the year next year, which definitely has some advantages.

The Little Sis – fall parent-teacher conference

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Little Sis had her fall parent-teacher conference this week, and the report was good. They performed the Brigance Screen III on her, which is an assessment she’ll take again once she registers for kindergarten. Out of a possible score of 100, she ended up with 83.5, which is great for where she’s at in preschool. Things that took off points for her: She couldn’t tell them her birthday, phone number, or street address. She couldn’t write her last name (hey, we finally just got her to NOT mirror-write her first name!) or draw a square, rectangle, or diamond (her attempts were close, but not quite). She was able to order a group of items by color but not by size, and then she wasn’t able to walk backward toe-to-heel for four steps (who knew we should be practicing that?!).

Four-year well check

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Little Sis had her four-year checkup at the pediatrician yesterday. The Husband had to take her since I’m on crutches still, but he says everything went well.

Her stats:

Weight: 48 pounds (95th percentile)
Height: 42 1/4 inches (90th percentile)
BMI: 19 (greater than 95th percentile)

Her milestone questions:

Can your child balance on one foot for 2 seconds? (yes)
Can your child draw a circle? (yes)
Do others understand all of his/her speech? (yes)
Can your child name at least four colors? (yes)
Can your child play games with rules? (yes)

She finished up the appointment with four shots, which I remember being pretty terrible with The Big Sis. (I never even teared up during earlier shots, but I remember getting kind of upset at the four-year shots with her.) She did great with the first two, then cried with the second two, but she got her stickers and then some Dunkin Donuts with The Husband after, so it was all good. I praised her for being so brave, and she confided, “But I wasn’t all the way brave. I was scared a little.” I assured her that she had plenty of brave in her to do it, and she seemed pleased with that.

Now we get a break on shots with her — no more required until she’s 12! Hooray!

Under the knife

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

After getting a second opinion (and switching to that new doctor), I had ankle surgery on Tuesday morning, and overall everything went well. I had to be there by 8 AM, which was good because The Husband could take me after dropping the girls off at school and we didn’t have to enact Plan B for how to get me to the hospital.

I got there, went to registration, then was sent to the surgery waiting room. I was called back, had to change clothes, and after a series of questions and a bit of waiting, it was time to put in my IV. This was something I was dreading because I’ve had issues with this thing before. So I asked the nurse if she was good at sticking because I’ve had problems before, and she pulled out her ego big time. I should’ve known not even let her try, but then I thought I was being not very fair. First try: she blew out my vein. Second try: she blew out my vein. Good job, Ms. I’ve Been a Nurse 12 Years and Can Get It. She said she only does two attempts before getting someone else, and I wanted to tell her that there was no way in hell I was letting her try again anyway. I asked if they had anyone who is good at sticking kids since that takes more precision, and she didn’t really react much to that but then brought in the other nurse they had a nearby and asked if he would try. By this point, I was in tears and very upset, so he did a good job of calming me down, telling me that my job was to stay still, and his job was to get the needle in me, which thankfully he did on the first try.

We had quite a bit of waiting time after that, so we turn on the TV and watched some Three’s Company on TV Land, which entertained me quite a bit since I used to love that show when I was growing up. Finally I was taken back to the operating room at 10:55 AM. I remember moving from my initial bed over to the operating table, them giving me some oxygen via mask and strapping down my body and my arms. I also remember the anesthesiologist saying he was going to make up a cocktail for me to go to sleep. They never had me count backwards from 10 or anything like that – I was just out.

I’m told I was in surgery for a little over an hour, and that it went perfectly. The doctor told The Husband that both ends of my bone were loose, meaning there was nothing connecting them, not even really much scar tissue. So, a good sign the surgery really was necessary. He got a plate and screws in place and added in the synthetic bone graft, then put me in a splint that I will wear for a week. I go in for my follow-up appointment on Wednesday morning of this week, at which point I will have an x-ray to make sure everything looks good. I should also get clearance to move back to the cast boot, and I’ve asked if I can get a new one since my current one is pretty rank.

After I woke up in the recovery area, The Husband came back pretty soon after, and I continued to receive fluids as I woke up. I asked for some grape juice, though my stomach was angry anytime time I would swallow anything. They tried sitting me up in bed, but that almost immediately made me dizzy, lightheaded, and nauseated. I asked for something to throw up in, but I don’t think I actually threw up while at the hospital, though I could be wrong about that. I had to leave the bed down for a few more minutes, then tried again to sit up. I was having quite a bit of pain in my ankle, usually it would come and go but be very intense when I would have it. They had maxed out how much pain medicine they could give me, so we really needed to get discharged so we could go get my Percocet filled and start that.

I finally managed to get dressed with help, and they wheeled me out to the car. It felt like they were pushing the wheelchair so fast, and then I hit the hot air outside, and before we had even been in the car for 30 seconds, I was asking for a bag so I could throw up, which I did. The 20-minute drive home was pretty challenging, but I made it. I went right back to the bedroom, stopping at the bathroom first to pee, and I also threw up quite a bit then too. The Husband got me settled and then went to the pharmacy to get my Percocet and some phenergan I’d been prescribed for the nausea. I spent most of the day and evening sleeping on and off, and thankfully I was able to eat a normal dinner that night, and my appetite has been fine since then.

I spent most of the past week in bed with my leg elevated, just sleeping and reading and giving myself the time I need to recover. My ankle pain is some better now, though I do have definite moments of pain, but I was able to stop the Percocet on Saturday night and move on to ibuprofen. It’s nice to not feel like I’m in a fog all the time now. Technically I returned to work yesterday (Monday), working from home, but they went easy on me with my assignments, and I’m hoping that’ll be the case all week.


Monday, April 27, 2015

I went to the orthopedic surgeon last Thursday, and had my x-rays done (nearly five weeks post running accident). The break in my foot is healing well, but the ankle break still has a gap where the bone hasn’t come back together yet. He sees signs of healing, though, so he said I can start transitioning to weight-bearing gradually as my foot allows, remaining in the boot for another month to protect the foot as I add weight. So I’ll still be using the crutches to help me get around for a little while longer, but hopefully I’ll ditch those in the near future and can return to more of a regular daily routine.ย 

I’ll also need to get some physical therapy started (waiting to hear back from the ortho office about a question first), aiming for twice a week for that.

All in all, it’s about what I expected. I go back on May 22 for another set of x-rays to see how things are progressing.

Have some lemonade

Friday, April 3, 2015

While having a broken ankle and foot is quite a pain in the, well, foot, there are some positives to the situation. It was a silly accident that has created a major annoyance, but it certainly could have been worse.

*At least I’m not in a traditional cast. I can remove it to sleep, if I wish (though most of the time I leave it on), and I can remove it to shower, thank goodness. Also, I can remove it temporarily if it’s just feeling uncomfortable.

*At least I’m not in a cast boot with snow and ice on the ground. (Not that I’ve gone outside all that much in the past two weeks.)

*At least I’m not in a cast boot in the summertime.

*Having a cast is practically a prescription for watching Netflix as much as possible.

*We actually had very few plans this month, so we didn’t really have to cancel anything. (We had briefly pondered a small spring break trip, but that didn’t work out. Good thing now!)

*All yoga pants, all the time!

*I get a one-month pass to get out of doing dishes!

Now, all that being said, I don’t want to underplay this. It really is quite a challenge. Nearly all household and parenting duties have been shifted to The Husband, which puts a lot on him and is incredibly stressful for him (well, and for all of us). I have a very hard time asking for help on a good day, but I have to do it constantly now, and we don’t really have much local help, so that puts even more onto The Husband’s shoulders. I definitely commend him for all he’s doing, as it’s quite a bit (but also secretly hope he understands better how much “behind-the-scenes” types of things I do on a daily basis). I never realized how many things I do each day that I simply took for granted that I could do it pain-free. Putting on pants. Getting into the shower. Picking up things that fell on the floor. Going to grab some water. Putting in a DVD. Laying on my side in bed. Answering the front door. Making lunch for myself.

But, again, this is all temporary for me, and I appreciate THAT most of all.

Return to NYC (part 2)

Friday, March 27, 2015
I woke up around 4:30 the next morning (Friday, March 6), and my phone said that my flight was still listed as being on time, so I got ready, packed up, and headed toward the airport. I got through security, walked to my gate, and they were in the middle of boarding for my zone at the time, so I was able to hop in line and board the plane immediately. Even with being on the plane, I still didn’t expect that our flight would leave on time, either because of the weather in Louisville or in NYC, but sure enough we did, and we even landed at LaGuardia a little early.
I went to ground transportation to wait for the shuttle that was going to take me to Manhattan. (Much less scary and expensive than a cab ride! I did that on my first trip to the city, but hopefully never again unless it’s unavoidable for some reason.) Ultimately I was going to Serenity’s uncle’s apartment in Gramercy Park, but the closest the shuttle gets is Grand Central Terminal, plus Serenity wasn’t in town quite yet (she was driving from Boston and pushed her arrival from Thursday night to Friday morning due to snow in the NYC area), so I went to the food court area downstairs at Grand Central, grabbed a lemon blueberry scone and cinnamon sugar mini-muffin from Magnolia Bakery, and found a table to read and people-watch while I waited.
She kept me posted on her arrival time, and when she was about an hour away from arriving, I began walking from Grand Central down toward Gramercy, about 22 blocks. For the most part, the sidewalks were clear, but the sidewalk ramps were kind of nasty with hunks of sorta-melting snow and dirt, and since I had my suitcase with me, it was slow going with walking toward the apartment, but I wasn’t in any particular hurry, so that was just fine. Serenity found a nearby parking garage and arrived at the apartment probably 3 minutes before I made it there. We went inside and briefly ran into her aunt, who was packing up stuff to spend the weekend with friends (leaving us an empty apartment to ourselves while there — score!)

After we’d settled for a bit, we put on our snow boots and walked about a mile to the West Village to have falafels at Taim for lunch. Taim was a super-small restaurant with only about five or six counter seats along the front window, but thankfully we were on the late side for lunch and caught it not as crowded as it could have been, though it was quite cramped trying to eat at the small counter. (This is clearly a place that does a lot of takeout. If the weather hadn’t been so cold, it would’ve been great to take the food to a nearby park or something.) Oh, but it was so worth it, because the falafels were quite amazing! A definite score on our first meal in town.

After lunch, we headed up to the Fashion Institute to check out their free museum there, partly to get us out of the cold. (And boy, was it cold that day!) I wouldn’t call the museum ground-breaking or anything I’d recommend as a must-do in the city, but it was a decent stop for free. We left there and went to Dough, a doughnut shop on 19th Street that was highly recommended by Serenity’s aunt and uncle. The doughnuts there were huge yeast donuts, and I do have to say, they were quite delicious. I chose a hibiscus one, and she chose a chocolate one with cocoa nibs, and we split them in half so we could have some of each. So, so good!

We considered wandering around a bit since we didn’t have definite plans for that afternoon, but since we were semi-close to the apartment and had a busy evening planned as well as a full day on Saturday and Sunday, we decided to go back there for a couple hours to chill out and freshen up before heading out for our comedy show that night. We had tickets to the 7:30 p.m. “comedy for grown-ups” show at Gotham Comedy Club on 23rd St. We had pondered doing another Broadway show, but ultimately we decided we liked the $15/ticket price of the comedy club, plus it’s still a great New York City kind of thing to do.

The comedy show was in the basement venue at the club, which was pretty small. We didn’t quite have a full crowd for our show, clocking in with about 25 people in the audience by my count. I wasn’t quite sure how that’d play out with the comedians, but it turned out to be pretty good. We were the second table back, so we weren’t the main focus for audience interaction with the comedians, though we were the token married people and token parents for the comedians and interacted with a couple of them during the show. Normally that kind of thing puts me on edge, but with a small room like that (and a couple of drinks in me!), it really wasn’t a big deal. Overall the show was a lot of fun, and definitely great for the price, so I think we were both glad we did it. The first comedian wasn’t really my style, but the others were more relate-able and had a better flow.
After the show, we stopped next door at Doughnut Plant to grab a couple of doughnuts from there to try later (yes, our second doughnut stop of the day), then we walked down to about 11st St., I think, to go to a Latin/Caribbean diner we’d been hoping to try, however when we got there, the place was super-crowded and loud, so we decided to backtrack to the restaurant we’d passed that had great-smelling burgers. (I still don’t even know the name of the place!) We met up with Serenity’s uncle for dinner there since it was our only chance to see him that weekend, and the classic burger I had there was excellent, as was the pumpkin martini I enjoyed. (Wheee! Three drinks! The walk home was quite silly! But hey, at least we weren’t getting on top of each other’s shoulders like we saw some drunk girls doing. We were just in the “everything is freaking hilarious” stage of drunk. Not the “I’m a gymnast” stage.) We got to the apartment, ate our doughnuts (mine was a cashew orange blossom filled doughnut — very good!), then hit the sack, wiped out but quite happy with our reunion in the best city in the world.

8-year-old well check

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Big Sis had her 8-year-old well check on Monday, and here were her stats:

Height: 4′ 2.75″ (50th to 75th percentile)

Weight: 61 lb. (50th to 75th percentile)

BMI: 16.6 (50th to 75th percentile)

Blood pressure: 96/50

No concerns, and she continues on her growth curve just fine.

Update from the ortho

Monday, March 23, 2015

Both of my fractures are well-aligned enough that we’re trying a cast boot instead of a traditional cast. This will allow me to remove it when sleeping, if desired, and for showers. I go back for new x-rays in a month, and they’re expecting I’ll have the cast boot for 4-6 weeks. Still have a good deal of pain and swelling, and I’m not allowed to bear weight on it for now, so crutches are my friend/enemy.

After the appointment, I had to go to the county clerk’s office downtown to turn in my application for a temporary handicap tag, and that outing nearly did me in. It was a long walk on crutches from the garage to the office, then I had to stand in line for about 15-20 minutes. Have you ever stood on one leg for 15-20 minutes? My non-injured leg was on FIRE!! I was writhing and moaning the whole time, and had a nice crying spell when I got back to the car.

Though, this was a little funny. The people in front of me were nice and asked what happened, etc. The woman behind me complained about having to come to the DMV, how she was upset that her son sent her there, how she went to the courthouse first because that’s what he told her, but that was wrong, and she still wasn’t even sure she was in the right place. Absolutely no “you gonna be okay, lady?” through my grunting and writhing and sighing and near-crying. LOL

Feeling pretty emotionally and physically drained now, but I’m taking off work at least today and tomorrow, so hopefully things improve shortly.

Gimme a break

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Back in January I decided to sign up for the Horse Capital Half Marathon, which would have been my third half. I really had no intention of doing another half, but I was having trouble forcing myself to make the time for exercise, as even on a normal day, my clock goes off at 5:20 a.m. (and I’m not a morning person, so exercising before work is brutal for me), and I’m not done putting children to bed and getting necessary household tasks done until 9 or 9:30 p.m., and it’s hard to want to exercise once that’s all done. But I needed to do something, so I committed to it, tricked The Husband into signing up with me, and training began. I quickly realized, while running in the cold winter temps, that my expectations were too high, and I allowed myself more of a walking or walk/run approach instead, which eased some of the pressure I’d put on myself. The Horse Capital also has a full marathon with it, so the time limit for the course was very generous for those doing the half. Even if I walked the entire thing, I’d still be able to complete it in less than 6 hours and 15 minutes. No problemo.

I endured running through the cold temps and the snow, and I was excited that the weather was becoming more spring-like; just last week I had a run in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Hooray! My mileage was gradually increasing and things were going relatively well. I am not fast — and I’ve got to accept that I never will be — but I was at least getting out there and getting it done, which was the whole point. A mile is a mile, right?

So yesterday I was going out for a seven-mile training run. I got up, got ready, and drove my starting point. Per my plan, I walked the first mile to help warm up, as I know that if I start running any sooner than that, my calves will get too tight. I waited at a light to cross a street, and I was going to start running once I got to the other side. On the other side, there was another runner that I was going to be approaching and I had to figure out how to get around her without breaking my stride or hers. I was about four or five steps into the running I’d just started when I stepped on a small but thick twig, causing my left foot to twist. I tried catching my balance, and my foot twisted again, I think, when it landed on the sidewalk, and down I went. That approaching runner was just a few feet from me when it happened, and another runner approached us within a few seconds, so they came over to make sure I was okay. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to just shake off the fall and continue running, but I’m not sure I knew quite how bad it was.

One of the runners suggested that I could go to the nearby doughnut shop and get some ice from them, so I hobbled over there and did just that, also calling The Husband on the way to come pick me up since I knew I couldn’t walk the mile back to my car. Being a Saturday morning, the doughnut place was crazy busy, but I went up and explained the situation, and they were so incredibly nice to me. They gave me a big bag of ice, a cup of water, and someone had some ibuprofen in the back that they went to get for me. Since I was fighting back tears, I went to one of the store’s outside tables to wait the 20 minutes or so for The Husband to get there, which felt like forever, but I know it really wasn’t. The longer I sat there, the more the pain and swelling were becoming apparent, and I soon knew we’d be making a trip to urgent care that day.

The Husband finally arrived, I sent him in to buy some doughnuts (since they were so nice to me, plus it was a good salve for my situation), and I finally broke down in the car, mostly from the pain, but also just because of the situation in general. He drove me back to my car, which I thankfully was able to drive home myself (since I’d hurt my left foot). With lots of support, I hopped straight to the bedroom and iced my ankle in bed the rest of the morning and early afternoon. I had two main areas of swelling, one on my ankle, and one a little higher up on the outside of my foot. The Big Sis had her dance pictures that I didn’t want her to miss, so I decided The Husband would take her for those, and then we’d head to urgent care after they got home from that. The fact that I wasn’t really resisting a trip to urgent care was a sign that something really was wrong, as I’m often stubborn about going for medical care (since it always seems like there’s not much that can be done). I contacted a good family friend and asked if she’d be available to come over and stay with the girls for the afternoon, and thank goodness she was.

She arrived at the house around 2 p.m., and The Husband and I headed to urgent care. During the afternoon, I’d heard a few anecdotes from friends who said they’d had instances when they too thought they’d broken their ankle but it turned out to be just a bad sprain. So I was trying to prepare myself for a possible ankle break with the knowledge that it’d likely “just” be diagnosed as a sprain. We waited a little over an hour in the waiting room, then I finally was called back. Somehow the urgent care center didn’t have a wheelchair, so I was still hopping on one foot this whole time (which made me nervous I’d injure my other foot), though later they did find a rolling office chair that they used to take me to/from the x-ray room.

The nurse came in to do the intake questions and initial assessment, then took me back for x-rays, which hurt just as much as I anticipated because of how I had to position my foot on the table to get the angles they needed. We went back to the exam room and the doctor came in to do her assessment, which was uncomfortable but she didn’t push my range of motion as much as I expected so it wasn’t too bad. She went to check on the results of the x-ray, coming back to tell us that the ankle was indeed broken. I will admit, I was surprised and a little upset to hear that even though I had been trying to prepare myself for that possibility. She also said she’d like to get an x-ray view of the rest of my foot since they didn’t get that the first time (!!!), so back to the x-ray room I went. That result came back with a break in my foot as well. So from stepping on a single twig I ended up with TWO breaks.

They got my foot wrapped, cleaned up my hand that I’d scraped when catching myself, gave me scripts for some pain meds, gave me some crutches, and set up an appointment at the orthopedic doctor for Monday morning at 8 a.m. to probably do a casting. I spent the rest of yesterday afternoon/evening in the La-Z-Boy recliner, icing my ankle and trying to move as little as possible. I was hoping I’d get to sleep easily, but I was in quite a bit of pain and had trouble finding a comfortable position for sleeping, so I had trouble at first, but the second half of the night was a lot better.

My ankle and foot are still pretty swollen today but it looks a little better than yesterday. The discoloration so far is a widespread but uniform light purplish/greenish — so far I don’t have any darker bruising at the break sites.

So that’s the update for now. I’ll see the ortho tomorrow morning, and the big question is whether surgery will be required or not. (Hopefully not!) So far I’m in pretty good spirits despite the situation. There’s quite a bit that still feels daunting as it relates to making it through everyday tasks, but I figure I can either choose to feel sorry for myself, or I can try to figure out a way to make it work, and hopefully with a smile on my face. That’s not to say I won’t have complaints or frustrations as I recover, but I’ll try my hardest to make the best of it.

Swollen ankle and outer foot:

Broken ankle:

Broken foot:


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Question: What do a vasectomy patient and a Christmas tree have in common?
Answer: They both have decorative balls.


Two and through.

For as long as I’ve envisioned having kids, I pictured having no more than two. You’ll note that we hit that number with The Little Sis, so something needed to be done to avoid additional brown-eyed, dimple-cheeked babies from taking over our house.

I’ve had a Mirena for three years, but that’s not necessarily a long-term solution. As of right now, I’m undecided if I’ll have a new one put it in when the current one comes out in two years — I love it, but the insertion was very difficult (even the PA said it was the hardest one she’d done), and I’m not sure I want to do that again. I’d be open to having my tubes tied, but that’s a fairly invasive surgery, so the responsibility fell to The Husband to go the vasectomy route. He was open to the idea when we discussed it a few years ago but needed a little more time to let the idea settle. And understandably so, as it is rather permanent.

Because The Husband had maxed out his out-of-pocket commitment re: medical expenses with his gallbladder removal earlier this year, we figured it would be a good time to have this done. So he went for a urology consultation last week and scheduled the in-office surgery for today.

Overall, things went well. The doctor was great and had a sense of humor that meshed well with The Husband’s (the joke above was told by The Urologist. Also, The Husband is threatening a tattoo above his boy parts that says, “For entertainment purposes only”).

The procedure took about an hour, which was a little longer than estimated, as The Urologist ran into a little bit of trouble at one point, but all in all it was fine. We set up The Husband with some lortab, a bag of peas, a takeout pizza dinner, and an early bedtime (see also: lortab). He was in a bit of pain when he went to bed, but hopefully that’ll get better soon.

Three-year checkup? CHECK!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Husband took The Little Sis for her 3-year-old checkup yesterday, and these are the stats he reports:

Height: 40 inches (greater than 95th percentile)
Weight: 36 pounds (90th percentile)
Blood pressure: 88/56
BMI: 15.8 (50th percentile)

In addition, these were the milestone questions they had to answer:

*Can your child name a friend?
*Can your child throw a ball overhand?
*Can your child name what is in pictures?
*Can your child help brush his/her teeth?
*Can your child put 2-3 sentences together?
*Do you think others understand at least 75% of what your child says?
*Does he or she know if she is a boy or girl?

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Another school year commences

Monday, August 25, 2014

It feels like the previous school year just ended, but another school year is upon us. After an abbreviated summer, it’s time to return to the land of backpacks, lunch boxes, new shoes, and sharpened pencils. The Big Sis is beginning her 2nd grade year, and I’m optimistic that it’s going to be a great year.

I wasn’t sure a couple weeks ago, to be honest. The week before orientation, I emailed the school registrar to see if they could tell me what class she’d be in, because if she was in the 2/3 class, she’d need to buy 3rd grade supplies (I thought), and if she was in a 2nd grade class, she’d need 2nd grade supplies. The school registrar said she was in the 2/3 class, so I went out that weekend and bought the 3rd grade supplies.

Well, we went to orientation two weeks ago, and we were told she was in a straight 2nd grade class, and I’ll admit, it threw me off quite a bit. Her 1st/2nd grade teacher indicated that she’d almost certainly be in a 2nd/3rd grade class — the only question was whether they were going to have one this school year. We visited the assigned classroom, but I was still bothered by it after we got home, so I sat down and composed a few emails.

First I wrote to the school registrar to find out why I got the wrong information. She wrote back and apologized and said it was a mistake on her part. Next I wrote to The Big Sis’s new teacher to find out if she had any information about why she hadn’t been put in the 2nd/3rd grade class. She told me that she wasn’t sure about it because she’d been on her roster since July, but that there are a few other kids in her class at The Big Sis’s level, and she would make sure The Big Sis was challenged throughout the year, as she would be repeating the same 2nd grade curriculum she completed last year. This isn’t a matter of “omg, she’s SOOOO smart, so she needs to learn as much as possible…we’ve just seen in the past that if she’s bored, then her behavior suffers, so I really want to do all we can to avoid that scenario. I think this is true for most kids.

I also wrote to The Big Sis’s teacher from last year to find out if she had any insight into the matter, and it was her response that reassured me the most. She explained that the 2nd/3rd grade class isn’t structured like I was thinking (and like it has been in previous years), and they too will be completing the 2nd grade curriculum. She assured me that with small group work, one-on-one work, and with the Primary Talent Pool pullout program services, her new teacher would make sure The Big Sis was challenged, which I think is crucial for her. Since last year’s teacher knows her the best, I felt that if she believes The Big Sis will get the challenges she needs, then I should trust that and let the new teacher do her job.

I have to say, most impressive of all of this — I wrote all three of those emails at 9 p.m. on that Monday night, and I had responses from all three by 10:30 p.m. I’d call that going above and beyond, and it helped me sleep better that night.

I really do like The Big Sis’s teacher so far, and already I’ve been shown that she will do her best to challenge her. The Big Sis aced her spelling test the first two weeks, indicating the words were a little too easy for her, so each week The Big Sis has had a different set of spelling words (along with a couple other kids in the class) that she’ll study.

So far it seems like we’re starting off the school year on a good note. I look forward to seeing what the year brings.

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Wednesday roundup

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

*The Big Sis lost tooth #6 (lower right lateral incisor) on April 22. This permanent tooth is going to be met with quite a bit of crowding and most likely won’t be coming in straight at all. Like The Husband and me both, she has quite a small mouth, so we will likely be headed to The Orthodontist at some point. I got lucky, however, and never did need braces (though you’d never think that if you saw my mouth when I was a kid).

*The Big Sis had a fundraiser, Jump Rope for Heart, for the American Heart Association at school recently, where she raised $405. And guess what? That ended up being enough to make her the leading fundraiser at her school, which I could tell made her so proud. She did a little movie where she was jump-roping and asking for donations, and I posted that on my Facebook page, so she really did help with the effort. A huge thank you if you were one of those friends or family members that donated!

*I think we’re on the verge of converting The Little Sis’s crib to a toddler bed. For the past week or two, she’s been asking to go to sleep on the futon in her room, which we’ve been letting her do, then we move her to the crib before we go to bed. Last night we let her sleep on the futon for the entire night and she did well; I think this is a good way to ease her (and us) into the freedom of a toddler bed.

*The Husband is scheduled for gallbladder removal on June 11 after having issues for a few months now. This cannot come soon enough for either one of us, as his attacks have been pretty miserable. (Mostly for him, of course, though I do know the misery of that pain. His attacks are more just inconvenience for me.)

*I’m heading to NYC this time next month, and I am crazy-obsessed-over-the-top excited.


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Spring conference

Friday, April 11, 2014

On Thursday evening, we had The Big Sis’s spring parent-teacher conference, which has two parts. First, because her school is a Leader in Me school and focuses on leadership, The Big Sis led the first part of the conference, going over some of her schoolwork and curriculum with us. Next we met with The Teacher to go over her 3rd quarter report card, her latest MAP scores, and address concerns that any of us might have.

The kids haven’t taken the spring MAP test yet, so she didn’t have new scores beyond the winter ones that we already knew. However, this time she told us the percentiles, which we weren’t told before — The Big Sis tested at the 96th percentile for reading and the 99th percentile for math. She said she’ll recommend her for the split 2nd/3rd grade class next year (she’s currently in the 1st/2nd grade class as a 1st grader) if they end up having one — they won’t really know if there’s a need for a split class until probably the end of the year or over the summer.

The Teacher had absolutely no areas of concern to address with us, whether academically, socially, or otherwise. We figured her conference would be good based on what we’ve been seeing with homework and her classwork that’s been sent home, but there’s something reassuring about hearing it straight from The Teacher herself.

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Cap it

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I got a call from The Big Sis’ teacher yesterday, telling me that one of her fillings fell out at lunch. If you’ll recall, the filling on the upper right fell out back in September and they did a resin fix, hoping to get a few years out of it, but unfortunately it didn’t last that long, so that means she’s going to need a silver cap. I hate the idea of having to put so much money into a tooth that’s going to fall out eventually, but that won’t happen until she’s about 12, so it can’t be ignored.

I called the dentist, and the earliest they can get us in for it is April 15. Ugh! Thankfully The Big Sis isn’t having any pain with it (and we’re supposed to call back if she does) and we are on a cancellation list, but that seems like a long time to wait to get a cap on a tooth whose filling has fallen out. Aside from potential pain, I worry about food particles getting up there and making the tooth even more susceptible to cavities. Hopefully that won’t be an issue, though.

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What’s up, doc?

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Husband took The Big Sis for her (belated) 7-year well check. As I wasn’t there myself, I don’t have firsthand knowledge of the visit, but he took some good notes for me.

Height: 48.75 inches (Here we come, bigger amusement park rides!) (50th to 75th percentile)
Weight: 52 pounds (50th to 75to percentile)
BMI: 15.5 (50th to 75th percentile)
Blood pressure: 98/56

Milestone questions:

*Can your child tie his/her shoes?
*Can your child get him/herself dressed without any help?
*Can your child catch a ball?
*Can your child repeat back four digits in sequence?
*Can your child count to 30?
*Can your child write four words?
*Can your child read some of a page?
*Can your child skip with both feet?

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Teefers and exams

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Big Sis lost tooth #5 last night (upper right lateral incisor). She keeps asking the tooth fairy to give her some pixie dust so she can fly for two weeks. Not quite sure what to do about that — find a place that will let kids her age/size zipline? So far we’ve deflected the request well enough, but at some point that’s not going to work anymore.


The Little Sis had her 2 1/2-year checkup today, and all went well. Her last couple of visits to the doctor have started with tears as soon as she crossed the threshold to go to the back area, so I wanted to try to prepare her ahead of time. We talked the night before about how she’d have to go to the doctor, and what they’d do there. Last time, she wanted nothing to do with the scale, then they had to weigh her on the baby scale, which was even worse, so I really wanted to get her to cooperate with the standing scale. It took some coaxing, and she still wouldn’t let go of my hand, but the nurse was patient with us and she finally stepped on enough to where they got a weight they were happy with. She wouldn’t stand up against the wall to have her height measured, so they had to do that on the paper on the table, but she did well with it, surprisingly. (Usually laying down on the exam table brings about even bigger tears.)

So, the stats:

Height: 37.75 inches (greater than 98th percentile)

Weight: 32.5 pounds (95th to 98th percentile)

Head circumference: 19.5 inches (95th to 98th percentile)

I asked The Pediatrician if there’s a point at which we’re concerned her being on the higher end of the percentiles, but he answered just as I expected, saying that as long as her measurements are proportional, then there is no concern. He said that of course there’s no way to truly predict her adult height, but he wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up being 5’10” tall as an adult, which is hilarious coming from two shorter parents!

She passed her milestone questions easily:

*Can your child jump?

*Can your child point to six body parts when asked?

*Can your child put on any clothing herself?

*Does your child play pretend with toys?

*Do you think others can understand half of what your child says?

*Can your child tell you the sounds animals make?

Her physical exam went well, both from the doctor’s point of view and from hers. I could tell she wanted to get upset when he was doing the exam, but she put on her brave face and made it through, receiving the reward of TWO stickers at checkout. (Though, I forgot to get them when we checked out, and we got downstairs and I realized but didn’t want to go back up again. I hoped she’d forget, but of course she didn’t, so we went back up to get them. And I wasn’t a bit annoyed at having to do that given how HAPPY it made her.)

I took her to daycare after we left the doctor, and for about half of the 15-minute drive, she kept saying, “I wanna go back to doctor! I wanna go back to doctor!” Then, when I picked her up at daycare after work, she kept getting upset and saying that she wanted to go back to the doctor instead of going home. I kept trying to tell her that we’d already BEEN to the doctor, and that he was at home now and not there, but finally I had to “agree” to her request — telling her that yes, we’d go to the doctor … when she turns 3! ๐Ÿ™‚

On the one hand, it was frustrating having to console her about going to the doctor, but it was much better to hear that instead of her getting upset about going there, as has been the case before. We have been so fortunate with her to have minimal trips to the doctor, and I do not take that for granted one bit!

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Pull pull pull!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I forgot that particular childhood obsession when you’re trying desperately to pull out a loose tooth but can’t manage to extract it fully no matter what you try. Sure, each effort gets you a little closer, but in the end you’re still left with a tooth ensconced in your gums despite all the effort. You just want it OUT! NOW!

And that’s exactly where we find The Big Sis these days. Her first top tooth is super loose but still hanging on, and so far no matter what she tries, it won’t come out. So the past two nights have ended with her up past her bedtime trying to pull the tooth out but ultimate giving up (well, being told she had to give up) when it was time for bed and hoping the next day brings the desired result.

Funny on the timing but she had her dental checkup and cleaning today, and everything looks good. Three of her four six-year molars are all the way through, and usually they put sealants over those, but The Dentist wants to wait until all four are in so he can do them at the same time. That fourth one is just under the surface but not breaking through quite yet. Anyway, no cavities and just the usual reminder that flossing is especially important for her because her mouth is small and her teeth are super crowded.

So where did we go straight after the dentist? Out for frozen yogurt (which means an excuse for a bowl of candy for The Big Sis). I totally rock.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On the 17th, we had The Big Sis’ fall parent-teacher conference at school, which I was looking forward to. It’s one thing to know how your child is doing at home — and what you see as their strengths and weaknesses — but it’s also important to see how your child fits among his or her peers. Is she on track? Is there something we could be doing better with her at home? How can we make sure she’s challenged but not overwhelmed?

So we met with The Teacher at 5 p.m. that evening and had a nice chat about The Big Sis. We were pleased to receive an all-positive report — she’s doing well in all areas, including behaviorally, socially, and academically — and even more surprised at her fall test scores. Our school’s students take the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in the fall, winter, and spring. It is a test on the computer that takes about 45 minutes to an hour, though students have no actual time limit in completing it. The fall test is to get the baseline score, then teachers generally expect about 11 points of improvement between the fall and the spring tests.

In reading, The Bis Sis received a MAP score of 184, putting her above 2nd grade level. (She’s in a split 1st/2nd grade class, but keep in mind she’s a true 1st grader.) Then, the biggest surprise came with her math score: 198. This puts her above grade 3rd grade level for math. In the split class, students can do either 1st or 2nd grade math depending on how well they’re understanding the various concepts, and The Teacher said that The Big Sis is routinely handling the 2nd grade math just fine. This was actually a wake-up call to me to perhaps be a little less hard on her when she does struggle with something on her homework — she’s still doing better than what’s expected for her grade.

I think I mentioned before that she had been nominated by her teacher to the Primary Talent Pool program at school, and she was accepted for that, so she works with the gifted and talented teacher a few times a week, both individually and in a group with the other PTP kids in her class. Her teacher said that The Big Sis will be a great candidate for the official gifted and talented program that starts in 3rd grade, so we apply for that at the beginning of 2nd grade. (Though I’m pretty sure they changed the rules this year and you don’t apply a year ahead of time but would wait for teacher recommendations for entry in the spring of the 2nd grade year, but I need to clarify that.)

She and another boy at school have taken to each other and are inseparable, and I can see that’s true whenever I’ve been around them, but The Teacher said she’s also friends with plenty of other kids in the class as well.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this school year brings!

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Fill me in

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

On Sunday at dinnertime, The Big Sis told us she felt some sharp edges on one of her molars and said she didn’t know if something was wrong with her tooth or if she was getting one of her new molars in. I took a look, and sure enough her upper right two-year molar had some jagged edges in the back, appearing as though it had broken. A couple years ago, that was one of the teeth that she had a filling put in, so I thought there was a chance the filling came out; she was having some pain there when she ate too.

Looking back at lunch that day, The Big Sis had a weird moment where she sort of subtly spit something out in her napkin, but I didn’t question it too much because I just thought she took a bite she didn’t like and was trying to be polite and not draw attention to herself. Turns out, we think that’s when the tooth trouble started.

She was a bit freaked out about going to the dentist to have it fixed. I was hoping they’d just be able to replace the filling, but it did look like a lot of tooth was missing, so I wasn’t sure if a simple fix would be possible or if she’d have to have that tooth extracted. I sort of had to prepare The Big Sis for a variety of scenarios. We sent her to school on Monday morning and I called the dentist first thing and they were able to get us in at 9:15. I scrambled to get some of my morning work done at the office, then picked her up and drove across town to the dentist. We had almost no waiting time in the waiting room, though we did have about a 20-minute wait once we were called back (after having her x-rays done first thing).

The Dentist said he would like to try to replace the filling/missing part of the tooth with a resin bond and hope that buys us some time. He said it might last us a few years, or it might last us just a few days; it is hard to tell. If it does come out in the near future, she’ll need to have a silver cap put on that tooth. If it lasts us another 2 or 3 years, he said we’d probably try that again in order to avoid (or delay) a cap. That’s such an important molar, though — and one she won’t lose until she’s probably 12 — that saving it is a top priority.

The good news is that applying this resin bond took about 5 minutes and she didn’t even have to be numbed or sedated. We were told she could eat and drink as normal, and I had her back at school less than two hours after I picked her up. I certainly wish it hadn’t happened, but it most definitely could have been a worse scenario.

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Two-year checkup

Friday, August 9, 2013

I took The Little Sis to The Pediatrician on Thursday for her two-year well check, and everything checked out great!

The stats:

*Weight: 30 pounds (90th to 95th percentile)
*Height: 35.5 inches (90th to 95th percentile)
*Head circumference: 19 inches (50th to 75th percentile)

She met all of her milestone questions, which were:

*Can your child walk up stairs?
*Can your child stack at least 4 blocks?
*Does your child point to pictures in books?
*Does you child attempt to remove some clothing?
*Does your child use at least two-word sentences?
*Does your child say more than 40 words?

The unusual thing with this appointment is that as soon as they called us back, before we were even through the doorway, The Little Sis started crying and clinging to me — she has never done that before! They tried to weigh and measure her on the real scale, but I couldn’t get her away from me long enough to get an accurate reading. So we had to weigh her on the baby scale (which she didn’t like either) and measure her height on the exam table paper (which, again, she didn’t like).

Thankfully The Pediatrician is understanding in situations like this, and he did as much of his exam as he could with her sitting on my lap and needed her on the exam table for less than two minutes. In addition, the nurse was willing to give her the one shot she needed with her sitting in my lap, which I would have requested anyway and they’ve always let us do when possible, but it was especially helpful since she was already displeased with being there. She calmed down quickly after the shot and was fine the entire way to daycare.

So now we’re caught up on shots until age 4! (Though, those four-year shots were rough with The Big Sis! But we’ll deal with that when we get to it.)

It’s hard to believe she’s already two, but she’s at such a fun age and we’re enjoying her personality so much.

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Six-year-old stats

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Husband took The Big Sis to her six-year well check this week (yes, late…so sue me), and I am told the visit went well.

The stats:

Height: 3′ 9 3/4″ (50th to 75th percentile)

Weight: 48 pounds (50th to 75th percentile)

Blood pressure: 98/62

BMI: 16 (50th to 75th percentile)

It’s hard to believe that she’s solidly in the 50th to 75th percentile for everything, as she used to be our itty-bitty girl hovering around the 10th and 25th percentiles.

Her milestone questions this time included:

*Can she tie her own shoes? (yes!)

*Can she copy words out of a book? (yes)

*Can she catch a tennis ball? (maybe, not sure we’ve ever tried)

*Can she write down four numbers in order? (yes)

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All is well

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It was a week late thanks to her bout with RSV last week, but The Little Sis and I ventured to The Pediatrician this morning for her 18-month checkup. Nothing really big to report from the check-up; she looks nice and healthy and the doctor has no concerns. We didn’t have the usual developmental questions to answer but instead had to fill out the 18-month M-CHAT autism screening (no concerns there at this juncture).

Her stats:

*Length: 33 inches (75th to 90th percentile)

*Weight: 25 lb. 12 oz. (75th to 90th percentile)

*Head circumference: 18.5 inches (50th to 75th percentile)

She had one shot (DTaP), which made her cry for less than a minute and then she was fine and we went on our merry way.

Next check-up will be at 2 years. Wait, what? Two years?!

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Chillin’ and illin’

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I’ve hesitated to say so, for fear of jinxing it (even though I don’t truly believe in jinxing things), but we’ve been very fortunate this fall and winter when it comes to our family’s health. So many people I know have been struck by a variety of illnesses — norovirus, influenza, respiratory infections, etc. — and we’ve all somehow managed to avoid the crud. (I secretly like to think it’s because we were hit pretty hard for about the first three years of The Big Sis’ life. We paid our minor-illness dues, so to speak, and are reaping the rewards now. Crazy, right?)

Anyway, our streak unfortunately ended last Friday night when The Little Sis was fine one minute and then during dinner became lethargic, developed a cough, then finally had a fever soon after she went to bed. With flu being so prevalent this year, I wanted to get her swabbed, so I had The Husband take her to The Pediatrician on Saturday morning. (The Big Sis and I were visiting a friend out of town.) The flu swab came back negative (yay!) and The Pediatrician mentioned that there were a lot of cases of RSV going around, though at that point she didn’t have any respiratory symptoms going on. Unfortunately, she didn’t order an RSV test, and The Husband wasn’t aware that it could be tested for, so he didn’t know to request it, so they left there with “it’s probably just a virus, call us on Monday if she’s not improving.”

She definitely wasn’t improving by Monday; in fact, when she woke up, she was breathing fast (though not labored) and her lips had a purple-ish tinge to them — not good. We’ve had plenty of experience with RSV before (The Little Sis had it last year, and I lost count of how many times The Big Sis had it), so I got The Big Sis’ ProAir inhaler and we gave her some puffs of that, hoping to help her breathing. It did seem to have an effect, and her lips returned to normal color pretty quickly (whew!), but I still called The Pediatrician mid-morning and asked to be seen again, and we were in the office around noon. Poor thing was just so out of it — clingy, sad/tired eyes, lethargic — just not herself at ALL.

The Pediatrician (our usual one this time) agreed that it sounded like RSV and did a test, and I was not that surprised that it came back positive. Unfortunately there’s nothing to do to treat the virus; we just had to manage the symptoms. On Tuesday morning, The Little Sis woke up without a fever and was acting quite a bit more normal that morning but around 4 o’clock that afternoon, she was struck again and her fever returned, this time in the 103 range. Ugh. And here is where I mention that this was not the most convenient week for her to be sick. I suppose it’s not ever really convenient, but I had multiple deadlines this week for one of our busiest issues of the year, so on top of caring for her most of each day, I had to work some late nights and early mornings to get my work done. I’m ready for Friday! And it’s a long weekend, at that — it’s the first time I’ve ever had Presidents’ Day off!

Anyway, the last time she had medicine or a fever was on Tuesday night, and Wednesday was a more normal day for her. She was still fussy and clingy, but not feverish and lethargic as before. In an ideal world, I would have kept her home again today (Thursday) to let some of her chest congestion clear up, but as all working moms know, sometimes that’s just not possible and we have to send a less-than-healthy child to daycare. Sigh. (At least she shouldn’t be contagious with the fever gone 24+ hours.) She had a hard time with me leaving her at daycare this morning. Her teacher had to hold her and give her a hug and she just cried and cried as I walked out the door. Ouch. Before I shut the door, I told her teacher that she would probably be fine once I left, since she was acting mostly like herself this morning, but that she could give me a call if she just didn’t seem like herself. It’s almost pick-up time, so it looks like she made it through the entire day, and I’m eager to give my sweet girl a big hug on this Valentine’s Day.

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Ear we are again

Monday, November 19, 2012

Yesterday The Big Sis very casually told me that her ear hurt. With most kids, you might brush that off, especially considering she didn’t have any other symptoms of illness, but she’s had more than her fair share of ear infections, so when she tells me that her ear hurts, I believe her and take her to the doctor. She wasn’t in misery, so I had her go to school and I scheduled a doctor’s visit for after school to have her ear checked out. The Pediatrician looked at the right ear and said it looked perfect, then said the left ear, the painful one, was “the opposite of perfect,” and said to her, “I bet that hurts you quite a bit, doesn’t it?”

After a long hiatus from ear infections, she’s now had three since the beginning of school, so I asked at what point we should consider going back to the ENT and discuss tubes. He said they generally hesitate to do tubes for older kids since (in theory) they should outgrow the problem very soon, but once we get to 4-6 in quick succession we probably need to discuss it, so he said that yes, we’re getting close if she has any additional recurrences. It’s been interesting this time around — all three of her ear infections have come in the absence of any other symptoms.

I hope we don’t have to go the direction of tubes once again, but at least we know they’ve been helpful two other times, so if it comes to it, I’m hopeful we can get a reprieve from the constant infections (and antibiotics).

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Another checkup

Monday, November 12, 2012

On Friday I took The Little Sis to The Pediatrician for her 15-month well check, and it went quite well indeed.

Her stats:
*Length: 31 inches (75th percentile)
*Weight: 23 pounds, 8 ounces (75th to 90th percentile)
*Head circumference: 18 inches (50th to 75th percentile)

Our milestone questions were:
*Can you child walk well? (We also had to demonstrate.)
*Can your child put things into a cup?
*Can your child say 3-5 words?
*Can your child wave bye-bye?
*Does your child bring you things to show you?

(There were two other questions, but the handwriting on my notes is so bad that even I can’t interpret them!)

Not surprisingly, she didn’t like the physical exam too much and cried through the whole thing, and also cried briefly after her two shots, but she recovered quickly and found her smile once again. Yay for happy (and healthy!) babies!

The Pediatrician said she looks great and he doesn’t have any concerns, and I didn’t have any concerns of my own to discuss with him. So next check will be in three months for her 18-month checkup — hopefully we can avoid any sick visits between now and then, but considering that’s the peak of cold/flu season, I’m not holding my breath on that one. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Another open letter

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dear Modern Medicine:

I have had a sinus infection for nearly two weeks. I finally broke down and went to the doctor today in order to get some help, since I woke up today feeling worse and not better.

Please do your thing and help me feel better. I could really do without the sinus pressure and mountain of used tissues in my house.

Sniffle, Snort

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The ears have it

Thursday, October 4, 2012

After having a random ear infection in her right ear a few weeks ago, The Big Sis woke up overnight last night crying with ear pain in her left ear this time. Sure enough, I took her to the doctor this morning and found out there’s a nasty-looking infection raging in there. The first one came without any other symptoms and was completely out of the blue. This time, The Big Sis has had some minor congestion for a few days (I currently have a cold as well), but nothing that’s presented as a typical cold for her, so it was still a bit of a surprise.

I felt so bad for her last night — every time she’d try to lie down and get back to sleep, she’d cry out in pain and writhe to find a comfortable position. I immediately canceled my early-morning workout alarm and grabbed my pillows and stayed the rest of the night in her room in case she had trouble sleeping. Thankfully she stayed asleep once she finally got back to sleep, and the even better news is that she’s feeling much better this evening — some pain, but not nearly as bad as before.

I learned from the ear infection from a few weeks ago that keeping her home all day from school was not necessary since she felt fine otherwise (and was acting completely normal…and ear infections aren’t contagious), so I was able to take her in to school around 9:45 this morning and she didn’t have to missย  the entire school day this time. I guess it was a tiny risk (if her pain did become more pronounced and she was unable to focus), but it ended up working out just fine.

Now here’s hoping the ear infections stay away!! I’m glad that’s all she’s had of late, but I’d rather not deal with them at all.

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Yep, she’s a one-year-old!

Monday, August 13, 2012

After having a lovely birthday party last weekend and a fun but low-key family celebration on Tuesday, we ended last week with a visit to the ol’ pediatrician (in their new offices…my two favorites from our previous practice split off on their own and we made the switch as well) for The Little Sis’ one-year checkup.

Everything looks great! Her physical exam was perfect, and she received three shots (including one in each arm) but cried only for the duration of the shots and then stopped crying as soon as I could snuggle her more. Easy peasy.

Her stats:

Weight: 21 pounds, 14.5 ounces (50th to 75th percentile)
Height: 30 inches (75th to 90th percentile)
Head circumference: 17 3/4 inches (50th to 75th percentile)

Our infant car seat goes to 22 pounds and 30 inches, so it looks like we’ll be making the switch very, very soon (which we expected…I knew she was getting close to both measurements).

Our developmental questions this time:

*Can your baby pull herself to a stand?

*Does your baby look at toys? (there was more to this question, I think, but I forgot to jot the rest down!)

*Does your baby imitate what you and/or others do (like pretending other objects are a phone, etc.)?

*Does your baby point to objects and/or people?

*Does your baby jabber?

*Can your baby play pat-a-cake?

I was able to answer yes to all of them except the last one — and the answer to that one is: I don’t know! Confession: I’ve never played pat-a-cake with her! So, um…maybe?

We’ve got a healthy, happy girl, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

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Heal my heel from hell

Friday, June 8, 2012

I am fortunate that The Husband gives me foot rubs on request, but back in January, I noticed that I had a pain deep within my heel when he’d press the area. I didn’t think too much of it until the day in February or March when I stepped out of bed one morning with pain in my right heel and I couldn’t walk on my foot. I hobbled straight to the computer and did a few Dr. Google searches and concluded quite quickly that I had plantar fasciitis. (The dead giveaway was the heel hurting and having trouble walking after getting out of bed.) I consulted a couple of friends who deal with this ailment professionally, and I read up on some tips on how to deal with it (stretching, Aleve, ice, etc.). I even managed to make it through our week at Disney with this heel pain, but let me just say that at several points it was pretty much torture. (Walking back to the car on the last day is probably one of my worst walking experiences ever.) So in early May I had had enough and finally broke down and called a podiatrist, but the earliest I could get in was early June because she was on vacation, then whenever she had availability, I wasn’t able to come in that day because of work or some other obligation.

Anyway, I finally had my appointment on Tuesday, and it proved worth the visit. X-rays and ultrasound show that I do indeed have plantar fasciitis (no surprise there, of course), likely caused by high arches (which I never realized I had) and tight, dense calf muscles. Apparently the heel arch shouldn’t be more than 20% and mine was closer to 24%. She did an ultrasound to look at the plantar fascia, and the thickness of it should be 5 mm, but mine was at 15 mm because it had so much inflammation. She said I needed a steroid shot, which I’d been warned about hurting, so I was dreading it, but at least I was prepared.

What I was not prepared for was the fact that she told me (after the fact) that it was the most difficult steroid shot she’s ever had to give, because she met so much resistance from all of the inflammation in there. It took probably a full 3 or 4 minutes to get it all in there, all the while I’m closing my eyes and breathing through the stinging pain. I kept telling myself, “I can birth a baby without medicine, surely I can do a little shot.” In hindsight, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, though I should note I was expecting it to be pretty bad.

In order to manage the high arches, I am having custom insoles made for my shoes. They are super-pricey, so they’d better work! I have a support brace I can wear during the day, I’m to continue doing stretches, ice, and Aleve, and I’ve also got a night splint to wear for an hour each evening. She said she expects I’ll feel about 50% better when I return to pick up my orthotic inserts in a couple of weeks. I took the rest of the day off on Tuesday so I could stay off my foot, and I had quite a bit of pain during most of that day, but about an hour before bed the pain eased a bit, and when I woke up the next morning, I still had some pain, but I wasn’t limping out of bed, which I don’t remember the last time that happened. Ever since then, my pain has been pretty minimal (while wearing the support). Previously, I’d say my pain ranged from a 4 out of 10 on a good day to an 8 or 9 out of 10 on a bad day, but all day Wednesday and Thursday I felt like I was at around 1 or 2, so significant improvement. I really, really hope that continues, because this has NOT been fun to deal with.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Little Sis had a very minor cold last week, but it was accompanied by a fever and interrupted night sleep (complete with what seemed like crying in pain), so we suspected ear infection, and a trip to the doctor on Wednesday (the 23rd) confirmed that. There’s not really much else to say about it, other than the fact that it’s ear infection #3 (even though I thought we were on 4 or 5…but we’ve just had ones in January, April and now May). We’re certainly not jumping the ENT gun yet, but we’ll see how this summer goes since in theory the infections should stay away. Based on our past experience with The Big Sis, I think we’ll know when it’s time to call.

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Therapy FAIL

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Big Sis and I headed to her therapy follow-up appointment yesterday morning (The Husband stayed home with a slightly feverish Little Sis, but we came out of it without much at all. The Husband and I and her two teachers had filled out assessments, which I turned in last week. I’d asked for her teachers’ assessments the week before so I could turn them in earlier, but one teacher waited until the very last minute to give me hers, so I turned them in at the last minute. I’d been told there would still be time to score them, but apparently that wasn’t true.

So, the meeting to talk about the results of the assessments was kind of pointless without the assessment scoring completed. The Therapist felt bad (he’s not the one who does the scoring and had told me we could turn them in that day and still be okay for the appointment), but we came up with this plan. He did not charge us for the brief visit today (obviously). He will call me with the results when they are complete and we can talk about them on the phone (and hopefully will be able to send me a copy to look at). We will discuss at that time if we need to continue visits in the short term, but he suspects that will not be necessary since we seem to have a handle on things at the moment. He gave me two new teacher assessments, which we’ll have The Big Sis’ new kindergarten teachers fill out once the school year has begun, then we’ll call to make an appointment with The Therapist in mid- to late September to go over those results. In the meantime we’ll call him sooner if we feel like we have any issues that arise.

I feel pretty good with this plan. We’ve got things under control for now, and the plan goes along with our general parenting philosophy of being more proactive than reactive, so we’re well armed should there be any issues that come up in the course of the transition to kindergarten.

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Three-quarter check-up

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two birthday parties, a stomach bug (mine), a busy work deadline (mine), and a mystery fever and overnight wakefulness (The Little Sis’) have kept me from posting this sooner, but I took The Little Sis to the pediatrician for her nine-month check-up last Thursday. Her stats as of May 17:

Weight: 19 lb., 7.5 oz. (75th percentile)
Height: 28 in. (50th to 75th percentile)
Head circumference: 17.25 in. (50th percentile)

Her milestone questions, which were all met, were:

The Pediatrician said everything looks good with her and she is developing right on track. Currently at nine months old, she has two teeth, wears size 3 diapers, and is probably approaching some 12-month size clothes for the summer. (Ack! All of The Big Sis’ 12-month clothes were for winter!) Sleep seems to go in cycles, with some great nights and some not-as-great nights, and I suspect part of it is related to some possible separation anxiety. It largely remains a mystery at this point, though.

She continues to have a super-happy personality. If there is joy to be found in any object or situation, this girl will find it. The sparkle in her eye and the dimples in her cheeks just melt my heart. She’s easy-going and quite portable, which is helpful since we continue to be on the go quite a bit with her happily in tow. She loves spending time with both me and The Husband, she’s best pals with The Dog, but she thinks The Big Sis hung the moon. (And thankfully, so far, The Big Sis feels the same.)

The Little Sis’ eyes continue to darken, so I’d say we’re fairly safe in saying that she has brown eyes just like the rest of us. Her peach-fuzz hair continues to grow at an incredibly slow rate, and so far it’s still hard to tell what color it’s going to be. She is nearly the spitting image of The Big Sis when she was around 12 months old (The Big Sis was itty-bitty, so exact age-for-age comparisons aren’t quite accurate). The main difference is that The Big Sis’ face is more elongated whereas The Little Sis’ face is more round. Aside from that, The Little Sis is quite the mini-me of The Big Sis.

With her new-found mobility, she is getting into more and more around the house, which once again keeps us on our toes. The Big Sis has a Fisher Price kitchen that has two heights, and we moved it down to the lowest height last week so The Little Sis can stand there and play and BOY does she love that. It’s like the best thing EVER to her, and I can put her there to play for a good 15 or 20 minutes independently sometimes — and I can see her perfectly from the real kitchen, so it’s great when I need to get dinner made or do other things in there. The best part is when I peek in and see both girls playing at the kitchen together — I envision them in 30 years helping to prepare Thanksgiving dinner together for the whole family.

But I may be getting ahead of myself a bit… ๐Ÿ™‚

In the meantime, she continues to do well, and it’s hard to believe that the next well check will be for one year. It never stops being true — time really does fly when you’re having fun.

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A visit to the couch

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Big Sis had her therapist appointment on Monday, and I’d say overall it went well. I think we got some good validation that we’re doing all the right things with positive reinforcement and individual attention and such, and he was impressed that we were as knowledgeable as we are on the subject and basically said we were doing his job for him. (That’s probably both good and bad.) I noted that I think my main concern still was the fact that I feel like we have things mostly under control at home but there are still occasional issues that come up at school, and we didn’t really get an answer for that quite yet. He did talk about the various accommodations that can be made in school for children with a diagosis that shows an impairment, but that doesn’t necessarily help us right now as we can make suggestions to the preschool teachers but they are not required to abide by them. I understand the setup, but it’s a little frustrating to know that with school we have to be more reactive than proactive with this (if there’s ever any diagnosis at all). Again, at this point I’m not as worried about a diagnosis as I am about dealing with the behavior.

The Therapist is having The Husband and I each fill out a couple of assessments, as well as each of her teachers. My understanding is that this is not to diagnose ADHD or any other behavior disorders at this point but to instead see if there are any red flags we’re looking at. I find it so hard to answer such surveys where you have to answer on a number scale with no chance to explain anything. Anyway, we’ll send in our assessments in the coming weeks and then have a follow-up appointment on May 23 to go over the scoring. He said at that point it may be a matter of seeing how things start with kindergarten in the fall and doing another follow-up then, unless there is anything that comes out of her assessments that needs to be addressed in the meantime.

Mostly I want the physical reactions to anger and frustration to be eliminated as much as possible, particularly at school. Earlier this week, The Big Sis did something to one of her friends (I think hit her with a block when this friend started taking down a castle The Big Sis had built) that left a mark on her, and I’m told by the director that her father was LIVID. Like, she said, to the point of making threats, which I’m sure include him wanting the director to kick us out. I’m sure he assumes that we just don’t care and aren’t doing anything to change this behavior — when that’s really quite the opposite. I wish that came across to everyone we come into contact with. I’m just not sure how to further carry over her improved behavior from home to school. We talk about all of these situations as they happen and talk about better ways to deal with her anger and frustration in those cases and in general and we even practice such scenarios as much as we can — I feel like we’re doing all we can from our point of view. It’s just a frustrating position to be in, especially knowing that other parents have a very negative view of your child that you know is truly an amazing person. Overall, though, I’m trying to be optimistic and hope that she can extend her much better behavior into the realm of preschool and continue that to kindergarten in 3 1/2 months.

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Mommy instinct for the WIN!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On Sunday night, it seemed like The Little Sis might be on the verge of a cold, but she seemed perfectly fine on Monday. However, during bedtime on Monday night, she started getting a little sniffly, and sure enough she woke up about every hour or two overnight and woke up with a cold on Tuesday. Her symptoms weren’t that bad — nasal congestion and a weepy eye — but she was pretty fussy, which just isn’t her, so I stayed home with her on Tuesday since I knew I didn’t have much going on at work anyway. On Tuesday night, she again slept poorly, waking up every 15 minutes to an hour (god bless The Husband for taking overnight duty 99% of the time), and her cries sounded like she was in pain.

At about 4 o’clock in the morning, I put it all together: pained cry when lying down + weepy eye = ear infection. There weren’t any other typical ear infection symptoms like a fever, but when she’d had the weepy eye before, she’d had an infection (twice, I think). So I called the doctor in the morning and took her in. I’m pretty sure it was the fastest pediatrician visit ever in the history of the world. She came in, asked what was up, and did a brief examination. She looked first in the right ear and said that looked fine, then she looked into the left ear and said, “And there we go. That one is infected.” The one with the weepy eye.

The Pediatrician said that if The Little Sis were two or older, we’d just take a “wait it out” approach, but we can’t really do that at her current age. She prescribed augmentin this time because she said there’s one particular bacteria that is most likely causing the ear infection/weepy eye combination, and about 60% of the time that’s resistant to amoxicillin, so we’ll take a different approach this time.

I wouldn’t have considered it a wasted visit if she’d not had an ear infection since I felt like we needed to check it just in case, but I felt validated that my instinct about it was right, especially in the absence of super-clear symptoms. She had another restless night last night, but (knock on wood) so far her sleeping tonight is much better. Here’s hoping that continues.

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