Tuesday, May 3, 2016

So much to do...

Last week/weekend seemed crazy-busy and my to-do list continues to grow.

Before we get to all that though, I'm going to start with today and then bounce back to last week just because today was so beautiful and warm enough that just a light jacket was all that was needed to feel comfortable which was a welcome change from the rain and cold of last week.

The girls and I hit up one of the local playgrounds after school to burn off some energy.

Spring in Chicago means dandelions. We did our part to keep them propagating by blowing their seeds all over the park.
Jumping off of high things is the newest way that the girls keep my heart pumping.

The trees are finally blooming and leafing out.
I remember when the girls were tiny enough that I would push them in these swings, using blankets to keep them propped up so they wouldn't fall over. Now they are climbing in themselves and standing up to swing.
Jumping back to last week....we started with a visit to the dentist who discovered that Lucy had either a tooth erupting into her cleft or the actifuse from her bone graft was making a break for it...again.
That necessitated a visit with the surgeon out in the 'burbs two days later, making for a lost day of school when it was combined with another doctor visit (this time for Kate) that morning.  More on that visit next. In the meantime, after we met with Dr. Vicari for Lucy's cleft (he confirmed it was the actifuse coming through but that there is no hurry to have another surgery; we can watch and wait for now) we ended up meeting with most of the cleft team since Lucy had not had an evaluation for a couple of years.

She had a hearing test which she mostly passed (she had trouble with the highest sound but it was still within the lowest limits of normal)
while Kate and I waited in the hallway
and she had a meeting with the speech pathologist. She recommended that we pursue speech therapy through the school system once we move so I added it to my list. Lucy's main issues are a slight lisp with her "s" sounds and saying "w" for r (just like Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd!) that are unrelated to her cleft but that should be taken care of while she's younger and easier to change in speech habits.

Now on to Kate who had been complaining of a tummy ache and various other issues for nearly 10 days so I took her to Dr. E for a checkup. She checked out fine as did the urine test so she's been on a bland diet since then which LETMETELLYOU, is not fun with a child who loves to eat. Oatmeal and rice and plain chicken does not for a happy, adventurous eater make. But, some of her symptoms have subsided so there we are.

Two days later, I took Kate to see the ENT since she had been having rather severe and prolonged nose bleeds. So severe and prolonged that we almost ended up in the ER with one of them after an hour of non-stop bleeding. Of course, it finally stopped right as I was pulling up to the ER at 5am (she had awakened at 4am to a blood bath on her pillow--I'm amazed my blood pressure is as low as it is sometimes....). Anyway, the ENT is the same one we used when Lucy had her eartubes installed, Dr. Rastatter, who is just as nice as can be. He examined Kate and said that her left nostril did have some blood vessels that were quite close to the surface and that he could cauterize them but that he normally didn't do that on children under 10-12 unless they were under anesthesia. After chatting with Kate for a bit, though, he decided to see if she could tolerate him opening up her nose with his nose-opening tool and doing a dry-run with a q-tip type thingy (I'm feeling quite verklempt on the proper terminology of medical instruments at the moment).
When that went well, he said that, although she would be his youngest patient ever to have this done in his office, he thought she was mature enough to handle it. In went a cotton ball with numbing cream for a few minutes while he prepped the cauterizing tool, which basically looked to me like one of the burning incense sticks we lit at the Buddhist temple in Houston.
She came though it like a champ and even when she told him it was burning she didn't move or try to grab at her nose. He got it all done in less than 2 minutes and that was that. We need to keep it moisturized with bacitracin for a week but other than that, it seems to be working. Not a drop of blood since. And she is still thrilled that he told her, "You are my new favorite patient--I am amazed how well you did. I have 12 year olds that can't sit that still!"

Haircuts were up next after school and then Patty decided to have a little fun with their hair color, much to the girls' delight. Now they can match Mama's hair (theirs is temporary, mine is a bit more permanent and was done last week).

Julie came on Saturday so I could catch a break from managing children. I headed out to IKEA to price out a new bed for Lucy and various other pieces of furniture that we might need soon. Well, I think everyone in the surrounding three states was in that store WITH THEIR CHILDREN...it was wall-to-wall people on every level. Seriously, it was miserable. On top of that, it was pouring rain and 38 degrees with gusty winds so getting back to the car that I had parked 3 football fields away was no picnic.

Feeling decidedly uncharitable towards my fellow man I turned the car heater on in the hopes of drying out and turned the car wheels in the direction of our new home. I'm not really sure what I was going to do once I got there since I can't just walk up to the house and invite myself in. But our new neighborhood was just what I needed to slough off the past 3 hours of jostling people and crying preschoolers. All the trees were blooming, there were no cars and no people about since it was nasty weather and when I turned the corner on our street I came upon a family of deer grazing in the yard next door.

All of this happened while Len was on an extended guys weekend to Key West. He and his childhood friends have been meeting once/twice a year for decades to catch up, relax and generally laze about, mostly at Mack's house since he has a pool and a lake with a boat. This year, since they are all turning 50, they headed for Key West and went fishing. I do believe that this is the first time EVER that pictures have been taken during guys weekend. They are getting lax in their old age...

Mike, Mack, Len and Kevin--ready to set sail for the day.
Enjoying a decidedly non-Chicago day.
I think I'll just leave it there. Warm sunny weather and a pool.....more on my to-do-before-we-can-move-list for another post.

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