Saturday, September 26, 2009

the forgotten one...

I know it seems like I have forgotten about poor Emily the past several posts, LOL. Believe me I have not. We talk on the phone, text and chat via FB regularly. It's just that she hasn't had anything quite as "nerve-wracking" going on as David's ears. She was here the last two weekends helping me since my back was messed up and spending time with our closet friends - the Holliday family!

School is going well for Emily though she does complain often of being bored. Her grades are good though. Should be A's and B's at the end of this first 9-week-period. I think the complaints are part of that - hello parents, welcome to the beginning of teenage angst. Boys are a definite part of life now and the terminology they use just makes me shudder. Even though at 13 they of course don't date, don't drive, etc. Barely talk to the boy at school and on text messages - they say they are "going out" or "hooking up". I hate those phrases, but alas teenagers today. As the relationships begin with boys I hope she always remembers that she's God's child and the values we've taught her. The thing that I find funny is once she does start actually dating (years away) there will be 2 dad's to grill the poor sob that comes to pick her up.

Emily's dance team has been performing at the football games on Tuesday and Thursday nights for her school. It's fun to watch them. Today they are doing something really special - they were invited to perform with the Auburn band at halftime of tonight's game vs. Ball State. They will practice with the dancers this morning and then the band this afternoon all in preparation for tonight. She's really excited - even though she's a BAMA fan (yuck). I'm really really really bummed that Dan and I won't be there. We had tickets and then let them go back because David was supposed to have surgery yesterday and be recovering today. I knew he would need/want me and not a sitter after surgery. Of course the surgery didn't happen, but we had already let our tickets go :( Her mom is going to take pics and video it for us though. I'll share them as soon as I get them.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Hospital Veteran

David is such a trooper through all his doctor visits and surgery trips. He never complains, whines or anything. He just goes with the flow and makes everyone he encounters smile and laugh a little. Here are a couple of shots in his pre-op room today while we were waiting. Even though doc wasn't able to do the surgery he still poked and prodded around in there and subsequently irritated the tumor so it bled some while we were there and then again some when we got home. It finally eased off until he and Dan started playing "chasing monsters"... So I think he needs to take it a little easy tomorrow. Blood filled ear is not something you like to see in a four-year-old. With that in mind he isn't going to play soccer in the morning. I don't want him out there running around and his ear starts up again. Thankfully being four he doesn't really understand that he's missing a game tomorrow.

Update on the Adventures of David's Ear

We made it to Children's Outpatient facility on Acton Road this morning and everything progressed as expected. They had been back with David about 10 minutes when the doctor came out to talk to us. Once he had David asleep and could look more closely in the ear he found more than he expected. There is a tumor about the size of a large grape. It appears to be a combination of a bony tumor, granular tumor and fleshy tumor... He said very very unusual/rare not ever seen one quite like it. A bit of a surprise coming from a veteran Ped Ent Specialist. He said they could not remove it at the outpatient facility. It will require the full hospital OR, his entire team and an overnight stay. He will have to cut and drill and some other things... And rather than go in through the ear canal they will have to go in behind the ear and kind of "pull the ear back"... He is sure it is benign and no way related to cancer, but they will send it to pathology to be sure.

So they woke David up and we brought him home. The surgery is scheduled for this coming Wednesday at Children's downtown in Birmingham. If things go as planned David will be out of school only Wed - Fri and back on the following Monday.

Please keep him in your prayers and I will let you know more as it happens.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

David's 1st Pep Rally

Today was spirit day at David's school. The new cheerleader's were introduced along with the soccer players. David was thrilled to wear his soccer jersey today. And he was fascinated that our friend Hayden is a "cheetahleader". Here are some pics from the day:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

David at School

Here are several different photos of David at school over the past few weeks.
The first couple of pictures are from the Spanish Fiesta. They are learning about Mexico's culture, language, history, etc. During the Fiesta they decorated cupcakes in the color's of Mexico's flag.

This next shot was taken during a watermelon break on Red day. They did several things with the color red that week, but watermelon was by far the most fun! Not sure about David's expression though LOL.

The kids have a great playground for their free play time each day. They also have actual PE with a coach 3 days a week.

Last week was the anniversary of the school and one of the celebrations held was releasing "Blessings" to the community. All the children at school did blessings and attached them to the balloons and then after a special blessing of the blessings by the Priests the balloons were released.

Last week they had a visit at the school by David Sargent, Jr. - a children's book writer. He brought his dogs (whom the books are about) and they put on a little show for the kid. David came home with two books signed by the author and the dogs!! They are great books and David especially loves it since he got to meet the dogs.

Monday, September 21, 2009

So I Don't Like Obama - It Doesn't Mean I Am a Rascist!!

I have bronchitis - YUCK. A cold, turned sinus infection, turned bronchitis. Pri-med yesterday for a breathing treatment, shot, x-ray, blood-work and 4 prescriptions. UGH... Taking it easy today while the boy is at school.

So anyway - since I feel so yucky I don't have it in me to put together anything for the blog today. But I was reading a blog of a friend of mine and he was discussing an issue that I feel very strongly about and I agree with what he's written, as I do most things he writes LOL. Great minds do think alike after all. So anyway - this topic addresses the face that some on the left like to pull out the race card against us on the right when we disagree with Obama... If you'd like to read his post click here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ear Update :)

Just talked to the nurse at Children's from the ENT Clinic... After reviewing the CT results doc has decided not a cholesteatoma after all. It is an aural polyp over the ear tube. This can be removed via outpatient surgery. The surgery will be next Friday. There is a small possibility that a few scarier conditions could show up once the polyp is excised and biopsied, but not likely.

This is great news!!!!

Coffee, Oatmeal, Fox News and a Racing Mind

I like change in some areas of my life and even a little spontaneity, but I have found that I am most content when our days follow a routine. The routine for our family during the school year is getting up early, taking David to school then come home pour a fresh cup of coffee, make some oatmeal, come in here to my study and turn on Fox News. I check out my friends blogs, facebook and then if compelled sign on here to write something for you guys. Even if I have a busy day ahead or errands to run, it seems to work best if I come in here first and just have a little bit of me time.

I think one of the big reasons I love this time of year is because David is in school. There is no pressure on me to try and fill his days with stimulation, rather than giving in to TV shows all day. When David is here with me there are usually 3 components to our days: 1st - alone play time for him in the mornings while I work; 2nd - craft/reading/play-doh/game/etc. something productive that we do together; 3rd - TV. Some days we do more productive activities than others, some days we don't. But the pressure is always there. And he wants productive activity - he wants to cut and color and glue and paste and read and ask why and why and why. He wants to sound out letters and figure out which words start with which letters. He wants to sort things and build things. He wants to imagine he is in a spaceship. He wants to count high and decide if 15 comes before or after 16. He wants to sing. He wants to dance. He wants to play sports. He wants to play on the computer.... and so on and so on. He is full of curiosity, imagination, energy, laughter, etc. and I love him more than I can breathe, but I cannot fulfill all those needs he has. After a few days with me his BORED and tells me so. Then I feel guilty and feel that I am not doing what I should as a mother. So after much rambling - I love the routine we have during school time.

School - he LOVES it. I cannot believe how happy he is. I mean he's always loved school, but this is different. He talks about it constantly and about his friends and all his teachers. Each day I think "oh that's his favorite friend or class or project", but the next day he is just as excited about another friend or another class LOL. And his school is amazing to me and fulfills all the things he needs when he is away from home. In addition to his regular teacher he has a music teacher, Spanish teacher, computer teacher and PE coach. They also go to the library each Friday. Stories, crafts, letters, abound LOL. They have a letter person each week and that sets the theme for the week. This week has been "Pointy Patches P". Pretty funny. And he is learning his address, which is really cute. I could go on and on about the great things they do, but you get the idea. And I have a super-happy, very-stimulated, little boy.

Since this post seems to be about David, I'll continue on him. Most of you know about the trials and tribulations we have had with his ears since he was only a couple of months old. Well the latest issue - ruptured ear drum was the final straw for me. Multiple surgeries, countless antibiotics - oral and drops... Nothing seems to be working for him.

So yesterday we him took him to Children's Hospital in Birmingham and saw an ENT Pediatric Specialist. After seeing 2 nurses, an intern - who suctioned stuff out of his ear, the Doc, having a hearing test and having a CT Scan... it turns out there is a real problem. His worst ear - the left - has a cholesteatoma. What you ask? I did too - couldn't say it, couldn't spell it and had never heard of it until yesterday. I have copied and pasted a summary of this below.

Cholesteatoma and Chronic Mastoiditis
The middle ear and the mastoid are directly connected to each other and are normally filled with air.
Air enters the middle ear via the eustachian tube which opens into the deep portion of the nasal chamber. Recurrent middle ear infections may be due to poor function of the eustachian tube. Although most middle ear infections resolve, some recur or persist. Those chronic infections may lead to damage of the
ear drum that can result in a perforation or, in some cases to recurrent infections of the mastoid, or even cholesteatoma. Cholesteatoma is an epithelial cyst (made from the tissue and cells that make skin). Technically, it is not a tumor, but it grows independently. Cholesteatomas grow slowly, yet are able to erode and destroy bone in their path. Most commonly bone destruction is manifest as erosion of the vibrating bones of hearing, but cholesteatoma can erode into the inner ear, leading to nerve deafness and vertigo, or can erode into the intracranial cavity leading to infection around or inside the brain. Cholesteatoma can erode the bone surrounding and protecting the facial nerve, and can lead to facial weakness, or in severe cases paralysis.
Cholesteatoma is treated by microsurgery. Several different types and degrees of tymanomastoidectomy surgery exist for cholesteatoma. The appropriate surgery is selected on the basis of the size and location of the cholesteatoma. Reconstruction of damaged ossicles is also possible, but may require additional surgery depending on the findings at the initial surgery. Cholesteatoma surgery can be lengthy, since it requires meticulous microdissection, but success rates for control of cholesteatoma are high and risks of surgery are low.

So now you know what I know. I am awaiting a call from the doc at Children's after he reviews yesterday's CT Scan and notes, etc. from David's prior surgeries. Based on his review he will be able to tell his surgical plan and if there are any options available. From what I understand the surgery will happen relatively quickly. Please pray for the surgeons wisdom and David's health.

Time for more coffee and for me to get a little work done. I'll let you know when we know more.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Today is September 11th

I don't have any poignant words, I'm not a writer. But today clenches my heart and makes me pray and makes me even more proud of our military. Pray for the country today and all the people associated with 9/11.

I have a little vent this morning. Those that follow my blog have probably heard it before. I have a major problem with negativity. The way I was raised, the struggles I've faced in life, my personality... who knows. It just really gets on my nerves. And especially today of all days - as I watch the memorial services and the families of people who really have something to be negative about and then I hear somebody with a good life be negative it just ticks me off LOL.

Yesterday, as I mentioned, I went to the back doctor for my surgery follow-up. I am in trouble for over-doing it. According to them I was doing and going WAY to much. So I am in the bed again for 2 more weeks. I can drive and do an hour or two of stuff each day, but that is it. I felt especially bad this morning so Dan got David dressed and to school - late, but they made it ;). I see what they mean to because the over-doing has caught up with me this week and I feel really bad.

I have tried a couple of sports with David in the past only to realize he was way too immature. And rather than "fight" with him about doing it I just pulled him out. I figured I would know when he was ready. One more little thing to add to the ever-growing list of what I love about his school is the soccer program. They have a great economical program that practices on site right after school. His teammates are his friends from school. I signed him up hoping he was ready this time... and I think he is!!! Yesterday was the first practice. I got there with about 15 minutes left and he was out there listening to the coach and doing his drills, etc. He LOVED it. I can't wait to watch the games, I'm sure it will be hilarious since they are all 4 and 5. As we were driving home though I have to admit I got a little teary eyed as I looked in the back seat and my baby boy is running at the mouth about friends and soccer and he looks so big in his cleats and shin guards and practice clothes. WOW - my baby boy is growing up all the time!!

Oh forgot to tell you one more little thing. David loves music and singing and dancing - he's starting to get a little self conscious though :(. Anyway most days he mentions the songs they sang at school at chapel. He says the music is pretty and beautiful. One day he told me the Lord is Mighty, but he was a little confused about the fact that the Lord is God ;). Yesterday he told me the King is Exalted Forever. I said yes he is and did you know the King is God? Yes, God is Exalted Forever... and I get the tone and the look of what do you think I'm stupid LOL. They learn so fast - the phrase little sponges that one of my friends uses is so apt. I feel so blessed that he goes to chapel everyday and starts his day with worship and praising our Father!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall is Here... for football anyway

Can you believe that today is Sept. 10th - where has the year gone. I am sure you all heard growing up "enjoy the slow time", etc. because when you get older and have kids, time will fly by. And it sure does!! It came so fast this year I totally wasn't prepared. Usually I have watched and read lots of stuff about preseason college ball and can tell you misc. bits of useless trivia about my team - Auburn Tigers... this year I didn't even know the first game was on TV LOL. I knew it was Saturday night, but thought is was only a radio broadcast. So we went to our friends to watch the Bama game with them and I missed the Auburn game, what a dork ;) The night was fun though - our favorite people, great food and a good game.

So I know you have been wondering if we are alive over here since it has been about 3 weeks since I've posted. Yes we are alive. Back surgery went as expected. I am up and moving now and trying to get back into a normal routine, but the pain is still pretty bad. I see the surgeon today for a routine follow-up appointment. I am anxious to ask how long before I feel good - I don't remember from the first time. I want to take a minute and thank all my wonderful friends and family who took care of David and brought wonderful meals to my family. There is no way we could have survived without you guys. Kim and family, Dianne, my dad and Barbara, Penny, Stephanie, Kim S., Jamie, Jerica, Lauren, Christy and her dad!!!

Here's a quick list of the misc. things that went on in our family while I was out of the blogging loop:
**Emily and Dan both had the flu
**Dan took David to the doctor (first time for daddy) and he had yet another ear infection - a really bad one with blisters
**5 days later I took him back to the doctor b/c he was no better and there was horrendous stuff coming out of his ear (I am used to ear infection drainage - this was not the normal stuff). Turned out the eardrum ruptured. Wow - we understood then why he had been in such severe pain.
**Both kids have settled in school and are doing really well.
**Emily's had 2 football games so far. I had to miss the first, but we went to the second and she looked great. The whole dance team did a fabulous job. And it was fun to watch a little JV football.
**David is playing soccer at school and today is the first practice.
**My housekeeper quit, young and immature - I think because we had to do a little constructive criticism review LOL... whatever. We'll find someone else, it was just crappy timing because she quit when I was down and out with my back.

I think that's all to do a quick catch-up on us. We are busy with work and kids and recuperating. Just normal life stuff. I am way over-due on pictures of the "new and improved house" and I will take some soon and get them posted.