Saturday, May 31, 2008

this one's for jenny who had to ask what else could possibly go wrong

I guess to really start at the beginning I need to start way back in February, after Ainsley's second surgery, when the surgeons left a piece of gauze in her nasal cavity that worked it's way down into her cleft palate and needed to be removed by a Pediatric ENT locally. At the time, there was no sign of infection and so both doctors (ENT & pediatrician) elected not to put her on an antibiotic. However, for the next few months, Ainsley would have lots of congestion, and what would appear to be recurrent sinus infections. So fast forward to the beginning of May, to her "well-child" exam when I mentioned to our pediatrician that she was still having some sinus issues, and so she decided to put Ainsley on a course of antibiotics in an effort to get whatever this was cleared up before her next surgery. And that seemed to do the trick. She didn't seem as congested, she acted like she felt better, she was happy and content and she even stopped drooling! For the first time in a year, I didn't have to even put a bib on her, much less change it 5 times a day. But the best part, she was even sleeping better, waking only once a night and taking a decent 2-3 hour nap every day. All was right with the world. Wouldn't it be great if I could end this story right now??

About a week after her last dose of antibiotic, Ainsley woke up one morning with lots of congestion, and for lack of a more pleasant word, thick, green snot all over her face. This, of course, happened to be the morning of Emily's birthday and one of the events that precipitated the "Nobody's making a big deal out of my birthday" meltdown. The other event was Jackson throwing up since 4am that morning. I was a little distracted. And just to be clear, it's not that I forgot to say "Happy Birthday" to her. I mean, I know you're probably picturing that scene in Sixteen Candles where everyone is rushing around Samantha and she's just standing there with this shocked look on her face because she can't believe no one is acknowledging her birthday. It wasn't like that at all. I said "Good Morning" and wished her a Happy Birthday when I came down to get a bowl for Jack to puke in. And for the record, Doug also wished her a Happy Birthday, and Ryan said he didn't say anything when Emily came down for breakfast because his mouth was full of oatmeal, but he did hum the Happy Birthday song. Wait a minute...what was my point? Oh, right, green snot.

Well, Ainsley was pretty miserable the whole weekend and so first thing Tuesday morning, I called our pediatrician to see what we should do, and she said she wanted to put Ainsley on another course of antibiotics and that we should make an appointment to see the ENT again, just to make sure there wasn't something else in her nasal cavity, like a stitch that never dissolved, or something that could explain why she's still having all this congestion. The earliest appointment I could get with the ENT was for Friday, which was fine. I figured that would give the antibiotic a few days to start clearing everything up so hopefully he could have a better view. I was a little concerned when she woke up with a cough on Wednesday morning but that was nothing compared to the full blown panic I felt when she woke up in the wee hours Thursday morning in respiratory distress. She was wheezing and unable to take a full breath, and so her whole body was moving every time she tried to take a breath. I imagine it is what an asthma attack would be like. So, Ainsley and I got to take our first trip to the ER in the 9 months we've lived here. Babies in respiratory distress are given high priority, so we didn't have to wait at all to be seen by a doctor. Ainsley was given a dose of prednisone and we did 2 albuterol breathing treatments, and that got her breathing almost back to normal. She was still wheezing a little, but she was much calmer and even smiling by the time we were ready to leave. They did a chest x-ray just to make sure there wasn't anything else going on, and when that came back clear, she was given a diagnosis of bronchiolitis, or a viral infection in the tiny air tubes deep in the lungs that happens to children under 3. Also, the doctor said one of her ears looked a little red, but that could just be because she had been crying.

So, we came home, got a few hours of sleep, dropped the big kids off at school and headed to our pediatrician's office. Ainsley was still a little wheezy, so the doctor decided it would be a good idea to arrange for us to have a portable nebulizer so we could give Ainsley breathing treatments at home and she also gave us a prescription for another couple of days of prednisone. I mentioned that the doctor in the ER said Ainsley's ear looked a little red and so she looked at both ears and said, "Her ears look great." (an important point for the rest of the story.)

So I headed to the ENT office with hope that we would soon know the root of all the problems Ainsley has been having. The doctor said there wasn't anything in her nasal cavity, and it didn't really even look like her sinuses cavities were infected. He did swab the inside of her nose for bacteria, but he was more concerned about her ears...and as it turns out, both of her ear tubes were blocked. In one ear, the tube is actually being pushed out and is essentially non-functioning. And she had an ear infection in the other ear. He was able to clear the blockages and clear out some of the fluid in the infected ear, but he is sure she is going to need new tubes. He wrote us a prescription for ear drops and told us to continue with the antibiotic she is already taking and hopefully this will clear up the ear infection. If she does improve, we might be able to wait until mid-August and have her tubes replaced during her next surgery, but if not, we will most likely have to have the tubes replaced before her next surgery, which means having to put her under anesthesia again.

Not to be all gloom and doom, there is an upside to all of this. At least we know what's been bothering Ainsley and we can treat it. Knowing is half the battle, right? Also, taking an oral steroid for several days has completely cleared up her eczema and now she has sweet, baby-soft skin again! Oh, and with all the prescriptions we've been filling, I have a new group of friends in the Target pharmacy. We're thinking of starting a book club. But the coolest thing of all? In the middle of all of this drama, Ainsley has decided she's ready to walk! Here she goes!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

holiday weekend

We did all the fun things you're supposed to do over Memorial Day weekend...grilled out, saw an unprecedented (for us, anyway) 2 movies in the theater, watched the Indy 500 (in real time, something we were never able to do in Indy!) and even played in the sprinkler. But the real holiday celebrated in this house was, of course, Emily's 9th Birthday!

Friday night, we kicked off the festivities with Emily's friend Aurora coming over to stay the weekend with us. Then we had pizza & movie night...make your own pizzas and National Treasure 2. Emily requested cheesecake for her actual birthday cake.

Saturday was Emily's Birthday Party. Her friend, Emily, came over and the girls tie-dyed t-shirts (pink and purple, of course!) and listened to music and played with Emily's 2nd favorite birthday present...her Tamagotchi.

And her first favorite present? Her new pink digital camera! You can see her holding it in this picture along with her other birthday cake...Cake Batter Confetti from Cold Stone Creamery.

I totally got off easy in the cake department this year.

The rest of the weekend we spent doing all of the other fun things mentioned above. And other than the first meltdown because no one was making a very big deal about her birthday (seriously...) and the next one because I was making scrambled eggs for breakfast instead of say, an omelet or over-easy eggs, I think it was a wonderful weekend. I hope she thought so too.

Happy #9 Mimi!! xoxo

Friday, May 23, 2008


Three days ago we found out the date of Ainsley's next surgery and ever since, she's been sleeping through the night. I knew she'd figure out this whole sleeping thing just in time for it to be messed up again. But whatever, she's sleeping through the! Unfortunately for me, every night that she has slept through the night, Jackson has been awake in the wee hours. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I do believe that "Operation Tag-Team-Make-Mom-Crazy" has officially begun.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

summer camp blues

Ryan wants to go to summer camp. But not just any camp. A camp based on one of his favorite book series. A day camp. In another state. Over a thousand miles away. A camp that is already booked solid for this year. Logistical issues aside, it would also cost a small fortune to not only attend this camp, but also the transportation and lodging costs associated with attending said camp. But my child is a dreamer. And he is not going to let a little thing like money interfere with the summer camp of his dreams. So after he was told about how much this camp would cost, he began to figure out how long it would take him to save up all the money he would need. He decided that given his current rate of allowance, it would take about 48 months.

Ryan: "So, about 2 years."
Doug: "Um, don't you mean 4 years?"
Ryan: "Well, I think I can probably do it in 2 years if I count birthday money, Christmas money, and street money."
Doug: "Street money?"
Ryan: "Yeah, you know, money you find in the street."
Doug: "And does that happen often?"
Ryan: (sigh) "No, not really."

bring on the fury

Here she is! The newest member of The Fury soccer team! Emily went through three days of tryouts and landed a spot on the team in the competitive soccer league. Practice two days a week, games on Saturdays and Sundays, full year commitment. I'm looking at it as the first step to a full-ride soccer scholarship in about 9 years!


As I parked in the parking lot of Jack's preschool this morning, another mother with 2 little girls in the backseat pulled in and parked in one of the spaces in front of me. Across the top of the windshield of the car was a large, purple decal that said "Spoiled One" and there was also a vanity plate on the front that read, "Super Bitch." As I was leaving the school and walking back to my car, I noticed another sticker in the back windshield - "Husband and Dog Missing. $200 reward for the dog."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

you don't even want to know my third thought

Ainsley was a little grumpy yesterday, most likely having everything to do with her 3rd and 4th molars coming in. I thought maybe it would do us both good to go for a walk. Nothing major, just a few times up to the cul-de-sac and back. As I was coming down the hill, I went a little past our house and came upon a dead mouse in the street. My first thought was, "Huh, glad we decided not to kill that snake since it looks like we have mice in the neighborhood." And my second thought was, "Oh, crap."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

april photos

I'm a little late, but I finally have our April photos ready to go and if you click here you can see them all. Except the one of Doug after the Farmer's Market. Which I won't post as long as he's nice to me. Or unless someone makes me a good offer...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

yes, i know what you mean

"Wow, it's down to three out of, what, a hundred thousand? Is that what they said?"

"Does it make me a "glass-half-full" kind of person to say that it would totally suck to get that far and only be third?"

"Not at all. I think it makes you a "glass-half-empty" kind of person."

"Oh, right..."


So, we won our first soccer game on Saturday! And by we, I mean the team that Emily plays on and Doug coaches...The Purple Lightning! I am just the obnoxious soccer mom. Really, I am. I'm the obnoxious soccer mom that paces the sidelines and cheers loud enough for my daughter to pretend she doesn't know who I am. I'm the obnoxious soccer mom that tries to tell the coach what the girls should be doing even though the only thing I know for sure about soccer is that when the ball goes into the net, it is called a goal and a point is scored. (Of course telling the coach how to coach would be much more obnoxious if the coach wasn't my husband. At least, I think.) But as obnoxious as I tend to be, at least I'm not this other really obnoxious soccer mom (ROSM). ROSM gets very upset when we don't win and one time actually left the game 5 minutes early, saying, "This team is a trainwreck!" as she was packing up her chair. ROSM sits next to me during one game and yells at her daughter the entire game to be "more aggressive" and "quit watching the ball go past" her and then tells me at the next practice how her daughter just gets so frustrated because she "totally brings it" to every game and is upset that no one else does. ROSM doesn't understand how the teams were picked this season and thinks that they should have just built the team around her daughter and one of the other players on the team, since they are really the best ones. (Even though Emily can run circles around both of those "best ones", but I didn't go there with her.) And then after almost an entire season of talking trash about our "trainwreck" team, when the coach for the challenge team comes to observe our game, this game on Saturday that we are actually winning, she gushes about how hard our team has worked and how well they are doing. Seriously, I may be obnoxious, but if I ever even remotely act like ROSM, someone please punch me in the face.

Anyway, we will be at the soccer fields twice this weekend...a game on Saturday and one on finish out the season and hopefully grab another win before going into the tournament. And if we don't grab another win? Well, then I hope they at least have a good time. Isn't that what it's all supposed to be about? Go Lightning!!

he doesn't think anyone will belive he did this

"Ugh, I feel lousy this morning. I have absolutely no energy."

"That's because I made you eat Orange Chicken last night."

"Probably. I should have stuck to my guns and just had soup."

"Those were your guns? Just having soup?"

"Well, last night those were my guns."

(Alternately kissing his biceps) "These are my guns!"

Friday, May 9, 2008

soon he begins his summer internship at hallmark

I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I'm a rotten mother. Sometimes I get so focused on getting things done around the house that I lose all perspective. Like how I will have just finished cleaning the kitchen floor and someone, say Ryan, comes in from playing outside and instead of being thankful that he was playing outside so I could get some work done, I start to freak out because he just tracked 4 specks of red clay dirt on the floor I just cleaned. And then I go off on some ludicrous diatribe about how all I ever do is clean and re-clean the same things because nobody cares and wah, wah, wah, poor me, which, of course is totally true, but not something Ryan really wants to hear, evidently, because he rolls his eyes and walks out of the room, muttering something about how I totally make such big deals about nothing at all. Now, this sort of thing happens more often around here than I care to admit. But after this specific episode, something must have clicked with Ryan because he did something that he has never done before. He actually came back a few minutes later to finish the conversation:

Ryan: Mom? First of all, I just want to say thank you for all the hard work that you do.
Me: eyeing him suspiciously
Ryan: Really! And second, I just want you to know that I know how you feel. It's like how sometimes I think I do a really good job sweeping the floor but then no one says anything about it.
Me: Well, Ryan, at least you get paid for sweeping the floor.
Ryan: True. But you get paid too. In love. And good-night kisses.

Monday, May 5, 2008

when you try to eat a popsicle that's bigger than you



our last first birthday

It is so hard to believe, but on Saturday we celebrated Ainsley's First Birthday! Where has the time gone? Just one short year ago we welcomed this little girl into our family:

And she has grown to be this beautifully precocious one-year-old:

okay, where you can actually see her face...

Here is her tower of First Birthday cupcakes:

And here she is eating the one on top, after Jack helped her blow out the candle of course.

And here she is, eating a little more, with Jack's help again!

Snakes and surgeries aside, it's been a great year!

Happy Birthday, sweet peanut!

Friday, May 2, 2008

post traumatic stress

Last night, I dreamed that I bent down to pick up Ainsley and the tail end of a snake was in her mouth...the rest of it was wrapped around her neck. I just rolled my eyes and held her closer to Doug and said, "Um, honey...can I have a little help here?" And so he unwrapped the snake from her neck and took it away. "Maybe we should kill it this time!" I called out to him, but he was already gone.

And so in addition to waking me up three times a night, she's also wreaking havoc on the precious little sleep I am getting.

I am so waking her up every Saturday morning at 6am when she's a teenager...