Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ear Tubes

Last week we went to the ear doctor, and although N did not have any hearing loss, the doctor recommended that he get tubes to help with drainage and ventilation. This was an answer to prayer, because we had heard that there was no way that a doctor would put ear tubes in, this early in the game. Usually they want to see the kids over a period of time, and put them on daily antibiotics to control the fluid. In fact, the doctor suggested the antibiotics first, but I said that I wasn't interested in that. Wonderfully, he agreed with me, and was willing to put in the ear tubes. So we got scheduled for today at 10:45 for the operation.

N was on a fast since dinner last night. This morning he woke up and was allowed to have jello and apple juice, until 8:45 when we were to stop all fluids. I think he was a little bothered at not having any breakfast, but endured it with some whining and clinging. We (N, my mom, and me) left for the doctor's office at 10:15, and arrived in time, but there was a delay, so we waited around until 11:30 before we were taken back to pre-op. Once there, we dressed N in his gown and they weighed him (21 lbs) and measured him (28 1/4 inches). Then he played with some toys and watched a video. He was very good, although he wanted me to hold him most of the time, as he sucked his thumb. About 20 minutes before he went back, he drank a mixture of tylenol and sedative that was supposed to relax and calm him. The effect it had on him was to make him more smiley and interactive with the nurses and anesthesiologist. He wasn't as clingy and he went with the nurses with just the smallest whimper, not his usual cries and bright red face. My mom and I went to the family waiting area, and they gave us some snacks and drinks while we waited. Before we knew it, in about 15 minutes, the surgeon came out, and told us that everything went well, and that N was doing great. We were able to join him in the post-op recovery area. He was lying on his bed, sucking his thumb, and after a couple of minutes he woke up.

Some children wake up from anesthesia in a tantrum stage, kicking and screaming, but fortunately, N just wanted to be held.
So I rocked him and he woke up slowly. He drank some pedialyte, and we were given post-op instructions, and then were able to go home. It was all very quick, and easy. The doctors and nurses were absolutely wonderful, kind, friendly and caring.

This whole experience has been such a testimony to God's goodness and grace in N's life. Every step of the way he has opened doors and made the way clear, largely through friends. A big part was my next-door neighbor, Phyllis, who works at the office. From the beginning she moved our appointment from August to last Friday. She then scheduled us for his operation in record time (only 4 days from our initial exam). She waited with us in the waiting rooms, calmed our fears, talked us through the procedure, introduced us to everyone. Finally, as we were leaving today I was trying to make our 4-6 week follow up visit. The receptionist told me there were no appointments before September 19th. I decided to not make an appointment at all, because I didn't see the point of coming in 4 months from now for a post-op visit. Before we left, I went to say good-bye and thank-you to Phyllis, and she asked if I made the appointment. I explained the situation, and she went on her computer and scheduled us in for mid July! Just amazing-- I am so thankful for her and how she has helped us out in so many ways. We were originally looking at autumn before he would get the tubes in, and now, in less than two weeks from the original pediatrician's visit, we are done. Then there were friends who kindly watched E for me at last minute notice, and also, Ed's mom was able to watch Peter and Erika today. And I can't forget Jess, who helped to educate me on ear infections and ear tubes so that I would know to ask for the operation, over the antibiotics. So as you can see, God's hand can be clearly seen in this situation, working to put everything in place from start to finish so that our baby's ears could get better. I am so blessed and thankful to him for working this out. I am overwhelmed with his goodness and mercy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

what's normal, anyway?

It is so hard to tell if your child is "normal". As in developing normally, for them. I mean, I can look at other kids around the same age, and read statistics and averages, but are they still normal within the range of averages, or woefully behind? When do I step in and try to get medical/professional intervention?

These are the things we are considering as we watch N. He is a very sweet, interactive, happy little baby. He is starting to move around more, and although I wish he closer to walking, that doesn't concern me too much at this point. At least we are seeing steady progress. He started crawling 2 months ago, and has learned to go up steps, and pull himself up to a stand, and back down again. He can also cruise around furniture, and takes little steps when we hold his hands. So, slow, but steady.

On the other hand, we also have some speech delay issues. He doesn't have one word that he used for any specific object/person. It doesn't even have to be a word most people can recognize, just as long as it is consistent and deliberate for that object. He babbles constantly, and interacts with us verbally, but we are still waiting for that "mama", or "dada", or anything that resembles a name. Our concern is intensified a bit, by the worry of his hearing possibly being affected by his 5 ear infections since last September.

So we have a doctor's visit set up for this Friday at a CHOP Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. This way we can at least confirm or rule out hearing problems, and then take the next step-- surgery, therapy, etc. I guess the hardest part for me is in the not knowing. Not knowing if there actually is a problem, if I am over-reacting, if I am just being paranoid about it all. I want to appreciate him for who he is, and the pace he learns things, not judge him by Ellie's, or any other child's milestone achievements. But if there is a problem, I want to get him the help he needs. It's so hard not knowing...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Humor continued...

The other night we were eating dinner, and Ellie was inspired by my cup to tell this knock-knock joke:

Knock Knock

Who's There?


Cup Who?

Cup Yours!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Big Top

This past weekend we went to the circus. They set up a huge tent right across the street from Willow Grove Mall. Last year we went to an open air circus, so this was a different experience-- don't ever underestimate how hot it can get under one of those tents!! It must have been 100 degrees. The kids' faces were bright red, and I had to keep pouring water over N's head to keep him from overheating. But despite the stifling atmosphere, we had a good time. Lots of acrobatic acts and just strange dance-like acts with a giant slinky and an octopus man. I think N enjoyed himself the most. He loved the lights and action. His favorite act was the human cannonball. Not because of the cannonball, but because of the truck that the cannon was rolled in on. It was big and red, and totally thrilling to him. He clapped his little hands, pointed, and jumped up and down in excitement. In fact, I think my favorite part of the night was watching his reactions and seeing the circus through his one year old eyes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Backyard Barbecue

Tonight our mini-church came over for dinner. We even had a special treat of having our friend Becca come with her 3 children. Their family had moved away 2 years ago.

It took some preparation but everything ran really smoothly, and everyone enjoyed themselves. The kids ran up and down the levels and played on the swingset while the adults talked down below.

We had a delicious meal in which everyone had contributed something. Then we ended the evening with a campfire where we roasted marshmallows and made s'mores (something had been looking forward to with great anticipation "I am so excited because I saw this on t.v.!").

I too have been excited about doing this for quite awhile-- several years, in fact. It has taken a lot of work to get our backyard into condition so we could host a party. It was a lot of fun for us to be able to welcome everyone to our house, and I am looking forward to more barbecues this summer!!

Monday, May 9, 2005

Mother's Day '05

I am so thankful to the Lord that he has entrusted me to be a mother to these two little ones. I can remember a Mother's Day not too long ago when I despaired of ever having children, and now I am doubly blessed with two.

Below is a poem that was sent to me:

A Mother’s Prayer

Please forgive all those things I found out late:

Crayons can be eaten,

Child proofs caps are easily taken,

A full night’s sleep is not important,

And little ones will quickly grow

(although the days were long Lord)

But most of all please forgive my lack of faith

The many times and days

I misunderstood your kind and perfect ways

And lived in unbelief and fear

(although the days were full of you Lord)

Now take my feeble efforts Lord

And bless them with your grace

We stand together in the sinner’s place

Please fill us now with faith

(fill our days with you Lord)

Barbara Juliani

May 7, 2005

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Blessed Be Your Name

A couple of months ago we found out that friends of ours are pregnant with their second child. Shortly thereafter, they found out that he has a birth defect that will result in death either while in utero, or shortly after birth. Their strength throughout this time has been a blessing and encouragement to many. When I talked to my friend about how she was doing, she ended up in encouraging me. She said that initially they were praying that the Lord would end the pregnancy, so that they wouldn't have to go through the pain of carrying the baby to term and then losing him. But in our conversation she said to me that we all only have our children for a time, and so they just are thankful for any time they have with this little one, if it's just for the 9 months of pregnancy, or even a few moments beyond.

When we sing this song in church, I think of them, of my own parents as they struggle with my dad having cancer, and of my own life-- will I be able to say "Blessed be the name of the Lord" on "the road marked with suffering"?

Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Oh, There's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to stay
Well Blessed be your name

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Women's Retreat '05

Well, for anyone who was wondering, the women's retreat went really well. Aimee and I rode down and roomed together. We were next door to the other women in our mini church (Amy, Mardel (and Owen), Laura, and Grace) and our "sister" minichurch (Lise, Tanya, Stephanie, Rachel, and Ya-Ling). So that meant that we were all in the same small group together. We also got "our" rooms in the Bayview- the second floor suite. Mardel & co. were in that room, on account of Owen.

Anyway, after we arrived we got settled in and then went to the first meeting at 8:30. Afterwards was social time in the "canteen". We then returned to the suite to hang out, eat snacks, and play Dutch Blitz. We went to bed around 12:30. The next morning we had a meeting, and then our small group time before lunch. After lunch I napped a little, started reading Heavenly Man, and then joined some of the others who were in the suite to talk and hang out until dinner ( I also got to work on some pages in my 2002 scrapbook). After dinner we had the evening meeting. The worship, as usual, was wonderful. We then had another small group meeting in our suite until about 10 and then we played games for about an hour. Aimee and I then decided we were tired and returned to our rooms to go to bed "early". But once in bed, we started to talk and didn't stop until 2 a.m. It's funny how the dark does that to you. It's definitely the "sleep-over syndrome". The next morning Aimee and I left after breakfast, since she had to get home to go to her grandmother's funeral.

When I arrived at home, I couldn't wait to see my two little ones. E was so surprised and happy to see me. N acted like he didn't notice I had been gone. In fact, he was completely UNtraumatized by weaning and separation. I was glad that he was happy for Ed, and that all my worrying was for nothing. It was nice to get away for the weekend, but it is even nicer to be back with my family.