Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cringe reflex

Tommy took Oliver to the mall yesterday so he could play at the indoor playground (we have a surprisingly kid-friendly mall and O is a card-caring kidgit - kudos to the design team and their awesome little kidgit characters!). But I digress....he said later they were walking around and there was a woman and her dog walking nearby. Wanting to really get Oliver happy, they toddled towards the middle-aged woman and her medium-sized white dog (if only you were reading this, Lady I'm Talking About). As they approached, Tommy asked, "Is your dog nice?" Her response: "Yes, if she wasn't, I wouldn't have brought her to the mall." THEN SHE TURNED AROUND AND WALKED AWAY...away from OLIVER.

I get more and more furious every time I think about this woman. CLEARLY she wanted a little attention if she's going to go so far as to bring a DOG to a MALL and yet when said attention approached in all their insanely cute glory, she could only be rude. SURELY she's cringing right now for saying such a thing, right? RIGHT???? And yet, the line sounded so...rehearsed.


(I made up a joke similar to the "What do a lawyer and a catfish have in common? One's a parasite eating bottom dweller and the other is a fish"-joke but it reads rude. I'm sure you can come up with one since you know what a female dog is.)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Major Milestone: 1st Macaroni Art

Have I mentioned how awesome Oliver's daycare lady is? Well, Miss Donna is AWESOME. I knew she was The One when she said, "If the bigger kids are going to fingerpaint, then so is Oliver." She's very crafty, appreciates input (we gave her the new They Might Be Giants cd/dvd, Here Come the ABCs for Valentines Day and though she hates that the songs get wedged in her head, she appreciates the new material), and is great with giving her own input. So of course I was thrilled when this came home with Oliver one day. His first macaroni art. I'm sure you can see how perfectly he captures the conflict of old and new ideas in post-Communist Germany while still bringing whimsy and fun to such a culture clash. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to my first macaroni bracelet.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You know I'm okay, right?

Every now and then I go into a dark place. I've got one of THOSE brains that just circles and circles and sucks in problems and what-ifs like a cow in a tornado.

Sometimes, there's a lot of cows.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jinx of the Blog?

Invariably...or relatively so....if I gush about how great my husband is, the very next day we have a fight or a tiff or some other unpleasant nash. Well, apparently this jinx applies to moods as well because no sooner had I bored myself writing my previous post that I soon turned to mush.

I went downstairs to do the Big Wash of bottles, sippy cups, and other handwashables and I just plain ached. Why is it, if it's "just" an organ, do I ache in my heart? I guess it's more of an ache in my core (and not in the trendy muscular sense) but I associate it with my heart which doesn't help with the heart references. And yet, at times it helps to cry. A lot of times. Cleanses the soul, core, heart, whatever. And doing dishes is one of those commonplace chores that's kind of therapeutic in it's plain-ness where you can fit a crying jag in quite nicely. A crying jag and a chat with the God of My Choice over recent events, past bad decisions and the question of residual karmic consequences. I think He assures me I'm being too hard on myself. I hope I got it right when I heard a quiet voice saying everything will work out.

And as Luck, or something more bitter, would have it, this feeling went Pavlovian. Tonight when I went downstairs to do the handwashables, the tears came with me.

Didn't help that they didn't call today to book his MRA appointment. Didn't help that at a rather rough point at work, a woman I work with who I adore and whose birthday is a day after mine read our horoscope:
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Entertain everyone with your Leo charm and you will gain popularity today. Emotional issues with someone you love will escalate if you ignore his or her complaints. Put some time aside to take care of personal matters.

Didn't help that he threw a little tantrum because he was tired and was inconsolable a little too long for my tastes ("Could he be hurting himself? Is his blood pressure getting high? Do I just give him a cookie to calm him down? Are these emotions escalating? Am I ignoring viable complaints?").

And yet, it's what I signed up for. And it's all worked out so far. When I was pregnant, they saw fluid on his brain, that passed. When he was born, he couldn't shake the jaundice, that passed. When he had a questionably large head and we had to wait for a CAT scan, those results showed he just has a giant head, so that passed.

This too shall pass.

Better get to my loving husband who is a little worried about the current tear flow. Man he rocks.

I'm not afraid of you, Jinx...okay, well maybe a little.

This is going to be a bumpy ride.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just checking in

We had a good day today. Nothing super special because the weather SUCKED but we did go to the mall so Oliver could play at the indoor playground and hopefully learn to crawl.

He's 16 months old, isn't walking, but hasn't ever really crawled. He did the army crawl for a while then he learned to sit up on his own and that morphed into a scoot. Have you ever seen a dog drag its butt across the carpet? That is what O's scoot first looked like but he has since mastered it and he can really work up some speed on the hardwoods. And yet, suddenly, the woman that comes to analyze him feels that he needs to learn to crawl before he learns to walk (which is soon, Baby, SOON - he can walk along side you holding your pants leg for support). I think he needs to know how to crawl just for all the boy stuff he's going to do so a friend suggested tunnels. Her son learned to get on his knees that way. She loaned us the play tunnel she got at IKEA but it's long and thus intimidating so off to the mall we went cursing that we didn't bring any hand sanitizer but getting over it pretty quickly.

He did okay in the tunnels but had so much fun walking around, watching the kids, and just checking things out. When huddled in a little structure, a really cool boy named Nathan popped in. Turns out, he was born on the day Tommy and I were married. How cool is that?

Wow, I'm kind of boring myself. I guess the point of this tome is: we're doing really good. The near future is definitely looming but we're doing our best to have fun and if that means crawling around questionably sanitary play structures and spongy, bouncy carpet then Bring It On.

Did I tell you Oliver is starting to blow kisses. Dreamy.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Remote

Scene: Us in the living room, about to watch the second half of the first season of Weeds, one of the greatest shows EVER. Me standing, him reading Mental Floss next to the remote
Me: Will see what the weather is supposed to do.

Him: It's dark out.

Me: [laughing hysterically because well, it IS the best medicine]

Him: I hope you still think I'm funny in 50 years.

Me: I hope I know what day it is in 50 years.

The man wants to be married to me for 50 more years. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

El corazon

I think the God of Your Choice is big into tests. And it's your job to do your best to pass said tests. Here's a catch-up on the current test I'm taking:

Yesterday, we took Oliver in to have a diaper rash looked at (I thought it was a little bit of a yeast infection, it was, ointment given) so while we were there I asked to get the confirmation that all went well with his echocardiogram that was done on October 17th (at his one-year check-up, his doctor heard a heart murmur that had been unheard of since birth). I thought it was going to be like the CAT scan he had where "no news is good news," well, it turns out, "no news is O's pediatrician isn't really on the ball." Turns out, the "ECHO noted elevated velocities in the arch and aortic narrowing suggestive of coarctation." We turn to webmd for understanding:

Coarctation of the aorta is a common heart defect present at birth. With this defect, a portion of the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body (aorta) is abnormally narrowed or pinched. Coarctation of the aorta reduces blood flow to the body, requiring the heart to pump harder to meet the body's demands, which over time can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, or other complications.

The most obvious symptoms of coarctation of the aorta are signs of heart failure-such as difficulty breathing, poor weight gain, sweating, and being sleepy and fussy most of the time-and decreased pulses in the legs. This condition is usually detected in newborns during normal blood pressure checks and by listening to the heart. Further tests, such as echocardiography, may be done to confirm the diagnosis.

Coarctation of the aorta requires surgery. If the condition is not repaired, a person with coarctation of the aorta may not live past the age of 40 or 50.

And here's more.

We now have an appointment tomorrow at Yale Pediatric Med Ctr to meet with a doctor who will probably do another echo and if need be, he can do some sort of procedure where they blow up the aorta to check it out further. The wonderful, wonderful nurse knew exactly how to talk to me when I said, "What does this procedure entail or do I want to know just yet?" She responded, "You probably don't want to know just yet but it's better than surgery." And she stressed that surgery isn't always the only option and the fact that he's growing like crazy is a really good sign that this all could be relatively minor.

So we have an appointment tomorrow at 2:45. I'll let you know more when I do.

After an EKG, several blood pressure tests, and another echocardiogram (all of which O did splendidly except for the EKG because the woman wasn't all that pleasant),the doctor does not feel that it is a coarctation. He is a little concerned that the aorta may have a bit of a twist to it which could cause problems as he grows or could fix itself. Either way, he wants to repeat the process in 3 months and keep an eye on it somewhat regularly - fine by us!

Thanks so much for keeping us in your thoughts and thanks again for just being there (I'm here for you, you know that, right?),

Kay, Tommy, and the rockin' Oliver ("He's bigger than my 4 year old!" the doctor was quoted as saying. And after we talked about how much he's sleeping and confirmed it's because he's growing and not heart-related, he asked, "Wanna trade?")

2/14/07 – a day of hearts
We are off to Yale tomorrow for Oliver's follow-up heart testing. I'm not too worried about it and still remain oh-so thankful that The Big Dogs are keeping an eye on everything...but just in case, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. If you need something to focus on, here he is in all his Valentine's glory.

2/15/07 (the day after Valentine’s Day – heart, heart, heart)
We had another round of heart testing today which included another echocardiogram and EKG. What I thought was going to be a, "Okay, come back again in 6 months to so we can keep monitoring him" sadly was not. As of right now, it looks like Oliver's heart issue may be a coarctation after all (see below). The next step is to get an MRI to get a better look at what his heart is doing then there are two options for treatment. The first is the heart catheterization and the second is surgery (both mentioned in the link below). There are definitely pros and cons in both (the former would probably need another session in a couple of years and a stint years after that, the latter is heart surgery but would probably not need followups) and right now, our doctor, who is a specialist in the former feels surgery may be the better option judging by how much of the aorta/ventricle is involved.

Either way, Oliver's age is PERFECT for either decision. His insane but proportional growth (he is now 36 1/2" long and 35 pounds) is a good sign of good health. And our doctor and his colleague are pediatric cardiologist specialists at Yale.

So they will call me early next week to schedule the MRI which are usually done on Thursdays for pediatrics. Our doctor will meet with his colleague to get his take on things and we will talk in the middle of the week to discuss the MRI and the next steps.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and I will do my best to keep you updated.

Oliver is in great spirits (he HATED the EKG but forgave the woman soon enough). Tommy and I are hanging in there. I had a margarita at dinner and it was delicious. Tommy is up to something for tomorrow for my Valentine's Day present (the hints are: "no opened-toed shoes, wear something I wouldn't mind getting dirty, no jewelry, and we'll be gone for two hours counting the commute") so that's a nice distraction. And we both know that it'll all work out and this too shall pass - it's just getting to "it" and the "pass" that's the tricky part.

Correction: I kept saying MRI when really it's probably going to be an MRA.

Today was Tommy's Valentine surprise for me (not sure if that's what you had confused with "today") - he took me to the penguin contact program at the Mystic Aquarium - I got to pet a penguin and listen to her heartbeat (seriously, enough about hearts!). It was so cool!!!!!! And we got there early so we were able to look around the aquarium - there's currently a bat exhibit there and it's designed really well so you can see them really closely - I love me some cute little bats.

It was a really nice distraction...though I did get a teensy bit choked up when I first thought of the heartbeat coincidence....but no one saw. Then later I was at the commissary and that damn Dido song (Resting Here with Me) came on and it was all I could do to not break down in front of all the payday shoppers (seriously, you NEED two carts?). That song killed me when Tommy was out to sea and the sob saga continues.

I now hate not being around Oliver. He's at such a precious age right now. Really trying to walk on his own but can't let go of the one finger of mine or Tommy's. His little Frankenstein walk is just priceless.

I’m just saying, if anything bad ever happened, you can find me tagging Great White sharks for science while wearing a chum necklace.