Saturday, August 31, 2013
Imagine you're going through your everyday life just being a normal person when suddenly a dome drops out of the sky, effectively trapping you, your neighbors, and your enemies in your small town. All of a sudden you're very aware of resources such as food and water and your fellow townspeople and their weird/creepy habits. You try very hard to keep your secrets and family safe. This scenario is what happens in Stephen King's novel Under the Dome, which has now been turned into a summer miniseries. It's my newest obsession.
You know when you're reading a really good book or watching a great series and you want to put life on hold so you can find out what happens next in the story? Well, this is what's currently going on with us. R started watching Under the Dome when it first premiered this summer. He kept telling me about how good it was and how we needed to watch it together. I finally watched the first episode and was hooked. We quickly caught up on all of the DVR'd episodes and have stayed up way too late watching the show.
I don't know how the series fares compared to the book. With other King novels that have been turned into film adaptations, I've been disappointed. So much of King's stories are psychological and scare the heck out of you while you're reading; some of that material just isn't easy to translate into a film. I'm on the waiting list at the library for Under the Dome so hopefully I'll be able to compare the two soon. Until then, if you need something to watch, I highly recommend this series!
Monday, August 19, 2013
Because of her history, we were referred to the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor at Children's Hospital. Z actually had her consultation on her first birthday, poor girl. At the appointment, they did a hearing test to see if the infections had caused any damage. Luckily, her hearing was perfect and she didn't fuss at all. The audiologists were impressed with Z's laid back nature and said she had made their job easier and had subsequently made their morning. Way to go, Z! Next we saw the ENT. Z's ears were perfect and there was no fluid from her last infection. The doctor said at that point, the surgery was optional, but if Z got another infection, she'd definitely need the tubes. We left feeling excited and hopeful that she'd never come down with another infection.
Fast forward 10 days: Z was fussy all night and woke up with a low-grade fever. I took her to the pediatrician, and surprise, surprise, she had another infection. It took 3 days for me to get through to Children's because nobody was returning my voicemails, but I finally was able to schedule Z's tube surgery for this morning.
The entire ear tube procedure is an easy one: the doctor merely inserts a tiny--and I mean tiny, since it's no bigger than the size of this 'i'--tube into the patient's ear drum, which allows fluid to drain out. When fluid is retained, it harbors bacteria and becomes infected frequently. Until the child's ear is fully formed, the fluid can't drain out. After 6-12 months, the tubes fall out on their own, the hole seals itself, and voila, you've got a happy kid with fully-developed ears. The tubes don't eliminate the odds of getting an infection, but they do make it easier to treat and often cut down on the number of infections a kid will have.
We had to arrive at Children's at 6:15 this morning. Naturally, I didn't sleep much last night because I was afraid we'd oversleep and miss the appointment. Z was also really clingy last night, probably because she could pick up on our stress. When we walked into the Same Day Surgery waiting room, it was packed! From the looks of it, there were a lot of kids there for procedures that were far more invasive and serious than ear tubes, so once again I realized how lucky we are for our healthy little Z. Our nurse came and got us and took us to the pre-op room. She went over Z's health history, listened to her breathing, checked temperature and weight, and printed off Z's hospital bracelets. There was a cool playroom down the hall so we went to play there; we also waited in the room and were able to watch Clifford, which made Z a very happy camper. The ENT's assistants came and talked to us, then the anesthesia general practitioner came in and talked about Z's overall health. The nurse brought Z a mixture of Tylenol and oxycodone, which Z sucked down. The nurse and general practitioner were impressed and said they usually have to fight kids to take the medicine; we call medicine "yum yums" and make a big deal out of it tasting good, so we've never had problems with Z taking her medicine. Before we knew it, the anesthesiologists came to talk things over and take Z. They asked what flavor of laughing gas Z would like--cherry--then they took her off. She didn't even cry or look back. We waited in the room for only 7 minutes, then the ENT doctor came back and said everything was great and went well. There was no lingering fluid from her recent infections, and no signs of permanent damage from the infections. We have to go back in 4-8 weeks for a checkup.
We went to recovery to see Z. She was really mad at the nurses but calmed down when we held her. She took a bit to come out of it, and was sleepy. She woke up for some graham crackers and water though. On the way home, she projectile vomited, which is very common after this procedure. We came home and she ate a bit, then went down for a nap. It's been almost 3 hours and she's still dozing. The girl never naps!
I'm just so glad this is over. Yes, it's best for Z to not be in constant pain or taking antibiotics constantly, but it's terrifying when your kid has to go under. There are risks anytime surgery is performed or anesthesia is involved. Yes, the procedure only took 7 minutes. Yes, everyone says it's harder on the parents than the children. It's still scary though. There's nothing like being down at Children's Hospital to make you realize how good you've got it, and how lucky you are for your biggest problem being ear infections.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
We went to the Zoo on Saturday because the weather was so gorgeous. We got there at 8:30 (when you’ve got little ones, they don’t sleep in on weekends so you don’t either) and had a blast! The Children’s Zoo is free before 9, which is very cool. Z had a great time looking at everything and petting the goats. She even brushed one!
In the morning, all of the animals are alert and moving around because they’ve just been fed. Even the large tortoises were slowly walking around their habitat. We saw the newest elephant, Priya, eating a tree branch. Although she’s a couple months old, she’s still tiny compared to her sister and mother. Z had fun in the snake house and liked knocking on the anaconda’s window and whispering to it.
Our little excursion made me realize how lucky STL citizens are to have such a wonderful zoo. I don’t think it’s really something we give much thought to because it’s always available to us, but having a free zoo that’s well maintained, operated, and exceptional at caring for animals is rare. The St. Louis Zoo also offers numerous programs, classes and volunteer opportunities.
For my sister’s birthday last year, we signed her up for the Zoo Parents Program. In this program, you can “adopt” an animal, and your membership goes toward providing the animal with food and care. All of the parents are prominently featured on flat screen televisions in the Living World, as well as on the zoo’s website. H is the proud mother of a red kangaroo; last time H visited the zoo, she saw her kangaroo with a baby in her pouch!
Bottom line of this disjointed post: it’s important to support our local nonprofits and their missions. We’re lucky to have such an outstanding organization so close to home.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Sunday, August 11, 2013
I'm currently halfway through my master's in Nonprofit Management. I'm really enjoying the classes and projects, but sometimes I wish I could fast forward and have the degree already. After a long day of work, coming home and getting ready for tomorrow, cooking, doing bath time and bed time and story time, the last thing I want to do is write a paper or do research about some aspect of nonprofits. I keep plugging along though, and reminding myself that the short-term annoyance will have huge payoffs. I really do like what I'm studying and I'm passionate about nonprofits. So that helps. I also have a wonderfully supportive husband who wants to start his MBA, so the sooner I finish my master's, the sooner he can start his!
My program is designed for working adults, so there are two courses taught per semester, and the entire degree takes two years because the classes are taught on a rotating basis. For some weird reason though, the classes that are offered this fall are the ones that were taught in the spring. So, I'm being forced to take a semester off. Not that I mind...it'll be nice to have a break. At the same time, I'm a little behind because I took two semesters off when Z was born, so having a break is probably not ideal. Oh well. I suppose I'll have more time to blog now that I don't have papers to write. Maybe I'll start some sort of artsy project. Or look into master's programs in art history or Egyptology (Who am I kidding? I've already looked into those and have made a tentative game plan.) What can I say? I really like learning.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Friday, August 2, 2013
|This is the street we walked down to get to the Arc de Triomphe.|
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 and was a neoclassical interpretation of the triumphal Arch of Constantine in the Roman forum. We have all learned about Napoleon’s lofty aims to take over Europe, and by creating his arch, he solidified his role as emperor, or so he thought (the fact that he hadn’t won the battle was a moot point). The arch was built at the end of the Champs-Elysees, the iconic Parisian street that today is known for its high-end stores and world-class restaurants. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (from World War I) rests underneath the center of the arch.