Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Surgery scheduled

I will know more in a few more days, but Elizabeth's surgery is scheduled for January 20, 2010. Dr. Christopher Tiu will have my baby in his care for the surgery at Wheeling Hospital.

I'm still working on plans for her birthday party...am open to any/all ideas...and I'm initially thinking that the date of the party would be January 31st if that works for folks (if not, let me know!)...as Reid is broadcasting a game at Bluefield on the 30th...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

As usual, our Christmas has seemed like a whirl-wind affair. However, we are most lucky to be able to see both Reid's and my families on Christmas!

With Rikki & Doug in from D.C., we started off the holiday by celebrating Rick & Carol's (aka Nana & Papa) 42nd wedding anniversary on the 23rd. Elizabeth did a beautiful job setting the table - and I am a horrible mother for not capturing it in pictures. Reid and Doug went to the College Lunch afterwards so their "bro-mance" could continue to blossom.

My antibiotics finally kicked in for my ear infection and sore throat, so I was able to start enjoying the holiday so Christmas Eve was pretty uneventful - which is never a bad thing. Just enjoyed spending time with the Amoses...and I got the special treat of getting to watch my favorite Christmas movie, "Christmas Vacation" while successfully avoiding my least favorite Christmas movie, "A Christmas Story." :-)

Santa came (as did Santa Mouse -- since the cheese had a few nibbles taken out of it!) on Christmas. Elizabeth made out quite well (no surprise there!). I'm still miffed at the Disney Store for crappy merchandise...as the only thing Elizabeth asked Santa for was a doll with brown hair. Santa procured her doll with brown hair (Belle) from the Disney Store, which in a lot of ways goes against every fiber of my being as I'm not-so-much a fan of anything involving the three-effing-fingered-rat...she was gently playing with the Belle doll (no kidding)...and her freaking arm came off! Grrr! I've contacted the online Disney Store, which says they can't do anything for me since Santa procured the item in a store...so now I'm going to be calling the customer service for Disney Store...and if they can't resolve the issue, it looks like after I get the pleasure of driving to freaking Pittsburgh, someone misfortunate soul in the Disney Store in Pittsburgh will get to deal with me - and as the Mortons like to say (usually in reference to my Mom), "Don't poke the bear!"

Elizabeth really likes the Vtech KidiJamz Studio that Santa brought - complete with its 10 musical instrument sounds, 20 songs, a turntable to make the scratching sound, microphone and voice changing effects, and a detachable music device that records the little songs you make, which can then be played in the car via an audio mp3 tape jack - just like an iPod. The biggest hit of the KidiJamz Studio is the ability to plug in the kid-safe headphones so that Elizabeth can hear all of the musical stylings, and, unless she is singing along, we are saved from it!

I'm still trying to figure out the best settings for my external flash for my camera, but am looking forward to playing. I am looking forward to playing with some other toys, too...and Reid is already playing with a few of his surprises.

A visit to the Mortons involved, as it always does, a trip over the river and through the woods - to CaCa's House we go. Again I was a bad girl and didn't snap that many pictures, mainly just ones of the kiddos opening gifts. As always, we had a yummy dinner - thanks Aunt Cathy (and surprisingly Aunt Sarah for not screwing up the sweet potato casserole, yes, we set the bar that low for her...baby steps!) Mmmm...oyster casserole...

The Mountaineers hung on for a nice win on the road yesterday. We're looking forward to watching the bowl game...and Reid will be doing his gumbo dance for new year's day. If you're in our neck of the woods for new year's day, we'll be watching lots of football and eating gumbo (and a few other things like home-made pepperoni rolls, if you're not a fan of gumbo)...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Neighborhood Elf

Elizabeth has been visited by our neighborhood Elf (Marie & Jim Ritz, our next door neighbors!) Starting with the first day of December until Christmas, Elizabeth has a stocking (a HUGE stocking that they gave us to use for this purpose) that she hangs on the handle of the back door. At some point during the day, the Elf stops by and drops off a present for her! (Yes, we know that we have the best neighbors in the whole wide world!). Here's what she received from the Elf this year:

  • 10 Santa-themed candy bracelets
  • Farm animal peg puzzle
  • Sesame Street Colors, Shapes, & Opposites Flash Cards
  • "Ratatouille: I Smell a Rat" scratch & sniff book (and no, it doesn't smell like a rodent!)
  • Circus coloring book and washable crayons (oh, how well the Elf knows E!)
  • Silly Putty
  • "If You Give a Pig a Party" book
  • Pig (from the aforementioned book) stuffed animal
  • 4-pack of Play-Doh (E: "What color is this?" Me: "Aqua." E: "No! What color is this?" ...to infinity and beyond!)
  • Spin & Go Colors game
  • Cotton Candy (yummy!)
  • Slinky
  • Snoopy Christmas cup & plate
  • Mickey Mouse Club House lip balm (or as Elizabeth says it, "Mickey Mouse Club House - Come inside it's fun inside lipstick.")
  • "Dick and Jane: A Christmas Story" book
  • Pretty pony tail holders
  • Gloves & a coaster with the monogram A (she's so me with that - as she loves her coaster on the table in the kitchen for HER drink!)
  • Set of 3 Christmas bracelets
  • Expandable snowman washcloth & box of Mac & Cheese crackers
  • December 20th - a bit over-the-top: Elizabeth = snowman ornament; Kennedy = snowman bowl; me = kitchen towel with trees on it; Reid = a golf ornament
  • Holiday marshmallows
  • Jigsaw puzzle
  • Disney Princess slide puzzle*
  • Picture Story Pad (draw a picture & tell a story pad)*
* It should be noted that we left to go to Nana's & Papa's house on the evening of the 22nd. The Elf made sure that we had Elizabeth's presents for the 23rd & 24th. Marie & Jim are too much! We are the luckiest people to have them as our neighbors!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have you been good? What will Santa bring you?

On the drive from Wheeling to Fairmont last night, Reid & I were asking Elizabeth if she had been a good girl. She said yes. We asked her what Santa would bring her. She said a doll -- and everything because she wants everything.

Then I asked her if Daddy had been good. She said yes. I asked her what Santa was going to bring Daddy. She said "BEER!" Reid asked her if Mommy had been been. She said yes. Reid asked her what Santa would bring Mommy. She said a doll. I said what about stuff for Mommy's kitchen. She then determined that Santa would bring Mommy food for her kitchen.

Beer & food -- not a bad take!

I just got an email from the Portable North Pole (PNP) Communications. Let's see if Santa agrees that Elizabeth has been good and will get a doll for Christmas (click on the link below):

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

T&A and Ear Tubes :-(

We don't have the date of the surgery yet, but Elizabeth will be having a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (T&A) and ear tubes...likely in January. Happy 4th Birthday to you, Elizabeth!

I am confident that everything will be great after the surgery, but it is quite scary to sign off on the consent form that says that the anesthesia can cause death. (Any bets on whether or not Nana is now leaving the Blog site right this very minute to get the statistics on this on WebMD.)

There was fluid present in her ears today...so she has basically had fluid in her ears for at least 2+ months. Poor thing! She also was evaluated by an audiologist today who said that Elizabeth's hearing capability was a little below normal as a result of the fluid in her ears.

For 10 days prior to the surgery, E will only be allowed Tylenol if she is in need of pain medication. According to info from Dr. Chris, we can expect:

  • Sore throat (lasting 7-10 days)
  • Ear pain (this is listed for both the tubes & the T&A -- but for the tubes, it said that the ear pain would likely subside within 12-24 hours)
  • Bad breath
  • Scabs in the throat
  • Fatigue/flu-like feelings (lasting 7-10 days)
  • There can be a small amount of bleeding from her ears from the tubes, but it should dry up within 24 hours
  • Her hearing could improve the day of the surgery
The procedure for the tubes takes about 5 minutes. We don't have a time-frame for how much longer it will take for the T&A. If E were only getting the tubes in her ears, this would be relatively uneventful recovery as the only restriction is dealing with the potential water in the ears. We will be getting her custom-fit ear plugs for bathing/swimming -- as she prides herself on being able to go under water for over 10 seconds at a time!

Due to the T&A, she will need to be on a soft-food diet until she can tolerate otherwise. She is allowed "no strenuous lifting, running, or straining for 2 full weeks (fat chance!). She will have to be at home for at least 7 days following the surgery. Also, because of the risk of post-operative bleeding for up to 2 weeks after the surgery (in 3-5% of the surgeries...that will save Nana a trip to WebMD), she is not permitting to travel beyond 20 minutes from home. She will be on an antibiotic for a week following the surgery, too.

We were able to get her X-ray from Friday. Über-cool! Thanks, Dr. Chris! :-)

If anyone want the image without the text I've inserted, let me know...as I know Elizabeth is blessed to be related to some medical (Jeff) and scientific (Cathy) geeks! ;-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

X-Ray Day

When Elizabeth and I play games online at the Sesame Street, there is a put the clothes on Grover game that she really likes. Not that she likes to put Grover in all sorts of clothes, she just likes to get him dressed in the scrubs because then there is an X-Ray graphic and she can obsess about her bones and Grover's bones...

So this morning I took Elizabeth to get the X-Ray of her adenoids.

On the drive to the hospital, she she was talking about how much bigger she will be when she is four-years-old. So I was asking her what kind of birthday party she wanted. She said, "I can have Sesame Street for my birthday when I'm four and Mr. Hooper and Elmo can come. That's a good idea."

I hope she isn't disappointed that Mr. Hooper hasn't been making appearances anywhere since some time in the 80's. She liked watching him on her new movie, "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street."

Then she added, "And when I'm 18, I can have Thomas the Train!"

I'll see if she will be the most popular girl in high school her senior year when I recommend that she have a Thomas the Train party...

She was great when she got the X-Ray! We were able to do it in one take. The technicians were great. Elizabeth liked that Mommy had to wear the funny looking apron...it was much less attractive than her "apron" that looked more like a tool belt. She sniffed the flower at the right time just like they asked. What an angel!

After the techs shot the image, they were very good to let Elizabeth look at it. They pointed out her tongue, her teeth, and her big teeth. She told them that her teeth were already big. They showed me the adenoids, which, at least to me, made it look even more miraculous that she can swallow her own saliva.

E was disappointed that they didn't take an X-ray of her hand. (I'm crossing my fingers that Dr. Tiu can give us a copy or print-out of what they did shoot today - that would make her Christmas, I think!)

When we were in the car heading to daycare, she told me, "I saw my bones, and when I go to see the pandas at the zoo, I'm going to see my X-ray there. My doctor is going to bring it there - right Mommy?"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Want to Have a Picnic?

Elizabeth wanted to have a picnic this evening. So, she cooked all of the "food" in her kitchen. We had strawberry lemon aid, chicken, and soup. She put her Christmas blanket down on the living room floor, and then she set everything up. She invited a few guests. When I had Madeline on my lap for a while, I got in trouble for sharing my food with her - because you aren't supposed to share your food off of your plate.

I was lucky to get the pictures of her guests and E as she told me, "Enough with the pictures, Mommy. Now eat your food!"

Wishing you were here to partake in the fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Elizabeth-isms...part 3

"It's difficult Daddy!" she says in reference to making her radio/CD player work. Followed up by a, "Damnit! I can't get it to work!"

Please picture me putting my index finger on my nose and declaring "NOT IT!" The "D-word" isn't my swear-word of choice...nor Reid's for that matter...in fact, I've been quite good around Weezie...but kudos to her for continuing to use the word in the correct context (this isn't the first, nor I'm sure the last time she will use it!)

More Elizabeth-isms

So I'll be the first to admit that tonight's dinner (that is currently in the oven) isn't my greatest culinary achievement, it is quite a tasty dish of comfort food.

Elizabeth tells me as I'm fixing dinner that, "I want Daddy to cook dinner."

I asked her why. She said, "Because he's a good cooker."

I asked her if I was a good cooker. She said - and I quote, "Nope."

I may seriously develop a complex! It's not as if I was fixing something that ends in "roni" or "Helper"...or involve Cheese Whiz and hot dogs (that's a recipe from my youth that won't be making the Morton Family Cookbook - or will it???). It's homemade Chicken Pot Pie...and I'm actually looking forward to eating it piping hot out of the oven, even if I'm not a good cooker!


This evening, our little techno-geek said, "I need to text Alex and Caylin..."

I think we're creating a monster!

That, and she wants Santa to bring he an iPhone...in addition to, and I quote, "everything."

Good luck with that, kiddo. You've been pretty good, but let's not get crazy...start going to be within an hour of all of your daycare classmates and Mommy and Daddy might reevaluate!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

From Santa's Elves...

A little early Merry Christmas from three of
Santa's best elves - Elizabeth, Alex, & Caylin!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

ENT visit

Well, for starters, I liked Elizabeth's ENT doctor, "Dr. Chris" (aka Dr. Christopher Tiu). But when a guy who looks at things like say...tonsils...every day takes a look down your 3-year-old's mouth and says, and I quote, "WOW! Those things are huge!" That may be saying something!

Dr. Chris said they aren't the largest ones he has ever seen, but are definitely in the top 10%. Top 10 isn't bad...if you're going to do something, do it well!

To summarize...Tonsils, HUGE. Adenoids - don't know how big they are as you can't see them because of the tonsils, which are huge. We have to get an x-ray of the adenoids so that he can get a look at how big they actually are, but he's guessing they, too, are huge - behind those huge tonsils. Both will be coming out in the near future...no date set as of yet, because...

Elizabeth still has fluid in both ears, although she isn't complaining of anything. So, she will be on a 5-day dose of a steroid. She will also be seeing an audiologist (in Moundsville...good thing for a GPS as I will be making my first ever trip to Moundsville whenever we get the appointment there!) If, when we go back on the 21st for her follow-up appointment the ear infection has not cleared up or if there is any hearing loss (which, at this age is reversible), then he will put tubes in her ears.

Either/both surgeries are out-patient. She will leave the hospital 20 or so minutes after she is awakened from the general anesthesia. She will have to be out of daycare for a week after the surgery (Grandmaaaaaa!). She will be on restricted activity (no jumping, climbing, etc.) for two weeks following the surgery (that's a good one, doc!). And, because of the slight (3-5% chance of bleeding, which is typically minor bleeding (so don't go too crazy on WebMD, NANA!), we will be "grounded" to Wheeling for two weeks following her surgery.

January looks like it will be an interesting month...I wonder what theme I should set for her birthday party now???

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Is That a Frog in Your Throat?

Elizabeth, is that a frog in your throat?

Nope! Them thar is some HUGE tonsils!

They are not inflamed at the moment, they are just in their natural huge state...

Which is why she snores when she breathes, and is prone to ear infections, near continually has a cough or is clearing her throat, is a mouth breather (because if those are her tonsils and the adenoids are behind those tonsils, they, too, are likely big and partially blocking the nasal passage)...and is going to see the ENT tomorrow.

Anyone want to place bets on whether or not she gets her tonsils removed at some point in the next couple of years? Reid will set the line and take the bets...

(If you're really, really interested in a closer look - and Elizabeth isn't in your presence, you can click on either of the photos to view them at full resolution.)