Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sometimes She Confuses Me (Shorts)

Lately my daughter has been talking about "biting snakes" which I assume are snakes that bite, as opposed to those that don't. Generally, she talks about being scared of biting snakes and look out because there are biting snakes over there (with the crocodilles and giants who invade our house, apparently). And then the other morning, she shared this nugget of information:

Pumpkin: Biting snakes are scared of ghosts. Biting ghosts.
After a short pause, while I stood there a bit confused, but hadn't said anything...
Pumpkin: Biting ghosts are the same as regular ghosts except they are not regular. They are biting ghosts.

Glad we got that all cleared up!

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The other morning in the car, we had the following conversation:
Pumpkin: Do you want to hear a song about the highway?
caramama: I really do.
Pumpkin: Highway, highway. Every day is the highway.
Highway, highway. Every day is the highway.*
Pumpkin stops singing and asks me: Do you want to hear a song about the low way**?
caramama: Definitely.
Pumpkin: But I'm not done with the song about the highway!
caramama, trying not to laugh: Okay. Then let's hear the rest of the highway song.
Pumpkin continues to sing all sorts of "lyrics" about not rolling windows down on the highway because it's too windy and goodness knows what else.

I didn't do was ask her why she would offer up a different song when she wanted to sing more of the first song. I didn't bother to go there, because I suspect the answer would have confused me just as much.

*She totally made this song up. She makes up a lot of songs, and she's getting really good at it.

**For like a year now she's been distinguishing roads by whether they are highways or "low ways" such as neighborhood roads. We think it's so cute that we keep calling them that too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The ENT Specialist's Recommendation

A few weeks ago, I brought the Pumpkin to an appointment with an ENT specialist recommended by our pediatrician. After the multiple ear infections last winter/spring (five total) plus the regularity of liquid build up in her ears when she had any sort of cold, the pediatrician thought it would be a good idea to get her ears checked out by a specialist. Knowing that we tend on the side of less medical intervention, she recommended a specialist she said was generally conservative in his recommendations.

I put off making the appointment, as I tend to do. The Pumpkin's ears weren't bothering her this summer, so I just wasn't thinking about it or worried about it. But then, we started having sleep issues again. And then I read a blog post about tonsils and adenoids that got me thinking: Maybe there is more to the ear infections and even sleep issues. Maybe there is some underlying health reason for both, in addition to my girl's personality making it difficult for her to go to sleep and sleep well.

After just a little bit of research on adenoids and a phone call with the pediatrician, I made the appointment with the ENT. I knew going in that she wasn't having any ear issues, but I was going to see if he said anything about her adenoids. And if he didn't bring it up, I was going to.

The Pumpkin did great for her appointment. The doctor was an older man who was really good with kids, and even had Spiderman cuff links and a Mickey Mouse watch, both of which my daughter loved. He asked some general questions related to her health, ears and sleep.

Here was the conversation as he was checking her out:

ENT Doc: Does she breath through her mouth at night?
caramama: Yes.
ENT Doc: Does she ever snore?
caramama: Yeah. That's actually how we know for sure she's fallen asleep at night. She starts snoring gently.
ENT Doc: Does she come in your room at night?
caramama: Oh yeah.
ENT Doc: Often?
caramama: Oh yeah.

We talked a bit about the ear infections and how the liquid buildup could have been because the adenoids are blocking the normal drainage... or something like that.

Sure enough, her ears looked fine but her adenoids were enlarged. My mother's instinct was right on!

Then, I discussed with the generally conservative doctor whether or not she should have surgery. Here's how that conversation went:

ENT Doc: Well, next time she's asleep, go into her room and check on her. See if she is breathing through her mouth, snoring, and tossing and turning a lot.
caramama: Doctor, I can tell you now. She does all of those things. She sleeps with us enough for me to know for sure.
ENT Doc: So her sleep is regularly disrupted? Does she seem tired during the day?
caramama: She's never slept well, and she does have signs that she is sleep deprived (this was part of what I discussed on the phone with our pediatrician). She has trouble focusing, she gets fussy, and she gets that wildness that kids get when they are over-tired. I mean she gets those things more than I've seen in other kids her age.
ENT Doc: It sounds to me like the enlarged adenoids are affecting her quality of life.
caramama: Probably our whole household's quality of life!
We both chuckled.
ENT Doc: When the quality of life is being affected, especially to this degree, I do recommend surgery.

So, that's where we are. The ENT doctor recommends surgery for my 3.5 year old's enlarged adenoids. Luckily her tonsils are fine, so it would just be to remove the adenoids. Londo and I talked it over, and we think we should have it done. We discussed it again with our pediatrician, and she agrees that we should do it. There doesn't appear to be any negative consequences of having the adenoids removed (aside from dealing with the surgery itself), and it could greatly improve her sleep and quality of life.

Now, I just have to stop sitting on this referral and make the appointment for the surgery. I know I need to, and I should do it sooner rather than later. But I'm finding it really hard to make the call for surgery, aside from my normal procrastination of making appointments. Cause, you know, it's surgery. For my 3.5 year old. My firstborn. My little girl.

This is the part of being a parent that sucks. Having to do the hard stuff when it's probably best for the child. Sigh...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Question of the Week - At the Zoo

The rainy, cloudy skies cleared Saturday morning, making it a lovely day for an outdoor activity. It was sunny and warm, but not hot. A perfect day to go to the zoo! We packed up a day bag, put the double stroller in the car, and headed down into the city and to the zoo.

Since the Pumpkin was born, we've been to the DC zoo quite a few times. However, each time it has been hectic at one point or another. Either we leave late after a baby's morning nap and then don't have much time there in the afternoon, or we have to leave early for an afternoon nap. Because of the time crunch, we usually hit a few key spots and then go. This time, with one child who doesn't nap and the other who has napped in a stroller, we thought things might be different, though we were ready to be flexible.

We got there a little before 11:00 and saw the lions and tigers lying around looking beautiful. Then, we stopped in the restaurant for lunch. After lunch, we decided to stroll all the way to the top of the zoo (the DC zoo is on a big hill, and we usually park at the bottom). After all, neither Londo nor I could remember the last time we saw the animals at the top of the hill other than the Bird House. We usually were busy hitting other spots in our targeted visits.

By the time we got to the top of the hill, the Pookie had fallen asleep in the stroller. I got the Pumpkin out so we could walk around and see the cheetah and zebras, while Londo continued to stroller the napping Pookie. And then we continued down the path to so many other animals!

What a blast we had! The Pumpkin walked or rode on my back in a piggy-back ride. We took the time to visit houses that we had passed by in the past and to go down smaller paths to see animals like the giant anteater or the gibbons. Once the Pookie woke up (after about 45 minutes!), the Pumpkin went back in the double stroller with him, they had a snack, and we continued down the path all the way to the bottom to visit Amazonia, a house I'd never even been to before!

It was a beautiful day, and we all had so much fun. What a difference it is to be able to spend a leisurely, full day at the zoo seeing whatever we want. Not only did we get to see our favorite animals, but we got to see many others that we normally don't get the opportunity to see.

This week's question of the week is:

What is your favorite animal at the zoo? Or what is your kids' favorite animal(s)?

My favorite is the tiger, so we always make a point to walk around the great cats' habitat. My second favorite is the elephant, and we usually see them out in their yard, too.

My daughter says her favorite is the monkey, although at the DC zoo we see the orangutans, gorillas and gibbons, all of which she loves to see. We especially love to see the baby gorilla, Kibibi, with her mommy. She says her second favorite is the zebra, and we saw three of those at the zoo.

I think my son's favorite was the gibbon, since he kept pointing to the gibbon hanging and swinging at the top of the net over their yard, babbling excitedly at us and the gibbon. I think he would have liked the elephants, but he was sleeping when we saw them. Oh, he did also get really excited about the gorillas, sitting up and widening his eyes when he saw the first one in the yard.

What about you and your kids? What are you favorite animals at the zoo? Do you get to go much? Are you at a point where you can enjoy a whole day out there or anywhere?