The Ear Tubes are In

From March 2009

Today was the Silas' scheduled surgery to get ear tubes inserted in both ears. If you look up information about ear tubs (there's a good overview of infections and tubes here) you'll see they aren't really tubes at all-- more like little flat disks with a whole in them. They're tiny but the point is to drain the fluid that in Silas' case has been hanging around at least 4 months.

The timing of the surgery couldn't have been better. We were to arrive at the hospital at 9:15 and the surgery was scheduled for 10:45 am. Silas couldn't eat after last night but he could have clear liquids up until 7:30 this morning. Included in the "clear liquid" category was juice (a rare treat at our house) and jello. So the boys both had a "hospital morning" breakfast of juice and jello and then we were off to drop Henry at school and take Silas on to the hospital.

Silas was in great spirits and not the least bit upset all morning while we went to the hospital, got settled in our room, got Silas in his gown and his vitals checked. He loved the sliding glass doors that separated each room and they helped to pass the time while we waited. We talked everything over with a few anesthesiologists and his mild cold was considered within the normal range and not a reason to cancel the surgery. After meeting with the Dr. and another anesthesiologist we were all ready to go.

From March 2009

It really helped having gone through surgery with Henry before. I asked if i could take Silas back and the anesthesiologist agreed. Silas did get upset as we started to walk down to the operating room although they let me carry him and i'm sure he would have been more upset if i wasn't there. When we got into the operating room he calmed down and the nurses and the anesthesiologist were great with him. I have to say i've never had anything other than amazing experiences at Children's Hospital. It took just a minute or two while he breathed in the strawberry gas to fall asleep. He was quiet while it was happening, stroking his bunny and baby and with his pacifier. They're really wonderful about accommodating all the soothing loveys kids have. I was taken back to meet JT and we went to the waiting room.

They told us the procedure was so quick that we should stay put rather than going to get something to eat. I didn't look at the clock but i would guess it was 20 minutes before they were calling us back. We met with the Dr. who told us everything went fine, that ear drum had been pushed back, most probably because the fluid had been there a very long time. He said normally this wasn't a problem but that sometimes it could cause the tubes to fall out early. So, we'll just have to wait and see.

A few more minutes passed and then we got to go back to see Silas who had already woken up. He was cuddling with a nurse and quiet but heaving as if he had been sobbing. They said he had been really upset and just kept calling for "mommy." He was very sweet and just wanted to cuddle and be held. They said some kids were very difficult to console when they came out of anesthesia so it was nice that he was looking for some much cuddling. After a few minutes we got to go to a recovery room with Silas and he really settled down at that point. He sat in my lap and watched "Diego" which was on tv and decided he was all for the apple juice and animal crackers that had been offered to him.

By the time the show was over we were getting the discharge instructions and we were all done and leaving the hospital by a little after noon. You really would not have know that he had surgery basically from the minute we left the hospital. He napped like normal and was his usual active self all evening.

Henry on the other hand was a basket case today. Very emotional, quick to get frustrated and break down, temper tantrums, the works. So maybe he was just acting out on Silas' behalf. We're not sure but we're hoping tomorrow goes more smoothly. All expectations are that everyone will be back at school tomorrow.


Birthday Planning

From March 2009

I know i stopped abruptly last night. I had a lot of updates to provide and i literally ran out of steam. I've been having to work most evenings and after the dishes and a load of laundry are done that's just about all i can muster.

So, now i've got some time but i'm not sure i'll remember what updates i wanted to provide. Let's see-- oh yes birthdays! We're anticipating Silas turning 2 about a week from now. We're going to have a small celebration with family that night and i hope going to go to Monkey Island Saturday morning. We've got Kerala's birthday party that afternoon and i run the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday so it's more than a full weekend.

Then two weeks later we'll be having our third annual "Chicago hot dog" party for both boys. Henry settled on a pirate theme and we've been having lots of fun researching ideas and brainstorming our own as well. We're looking forward to JT's parents visiting and being able to help us out with the party.

From March 2009

Silas is on schedule to get his ear tubes next Wednesday. We had his pre-op physical today and of course he's congested so we're supposed to keep an eye on it and come back in if the cough gets worse or he has a fever. Hopefully it will clear up on his own and he'll be able to go ahead with the tubes as planned.

I'm surprised it's taken this long but Silas is in a wicked "no" phase. We just recently passed out of the "mine" phase so i guess this is the logical progression. I have to say he says "no" in a really, really cute way. I need to start video-taping some things again. If i can find a few moments i'll try to post some video in the next few weeks.


We can almost taste the spring

From March 2009

Planting is still a long way off for us, but i did throw down some more grass seed in the backyard and we've hit a streak of high forties/low-fifties sporadically up into the sixties and seventies. We've all capitalized on any warm weather that's come our way by making frequent trips to the park, walking to dinner, and debuting the bubble train!

Silas is particularly obsessed with being outside and is often inconsolable when he finds out you're not going to the park. We decided to go out to dinner last night and while Silas rode in the stroller Henry walked the whole way there and back-- just over 2 miles. We had more than one conversation about trying to find enough energy but he did great. We're hoping to get him more and more comfortable walking long distances soon. It's almost hard to imagine a time in the somewhat near future when we won't need a stroller anymore!

From March 2009

The big news is that Silas has to get tubes put in his ear because of persistent fluid. He goes for his pre-op physical tomorrow and then gets the tubes put in next Wednesday the 25th. The surgery itself is very straightforward and only about 15 minutes, but the do use general anesthesia which of course we wish none of us had to go through again. Not only does the fluid lead to frequent ear infections, but a hearing test revealed a pretty profound loss of hearing in both ears due to the fluid. My understanding is that once the fluid is drained his hearing should return to normal and hopefully we'll see some improvements in his speech development.

From March 2009

I'll try to post more soon but i'm exhausted now so heading to bed. There are new pictures up in the March album on Picasa.


There will come a time when we can get out of the house

I know truly warm weather is awhile off. Chicago doesn't have much of a spring if you are looking for 60 degree days (although we're supposed to have one tomorrow). You have to be content with the 40s and 50s with some warmer days thrown in. But really, as long as you aren't silly enough to think you can stop wearing your coat, that's fine. We can definitely stop by the park on the way home from school or take bike ride around the block before getting dinner. We can certainly let the boys play in the back yard a bit on their own (as we peer frequently out the window.)

All of these things are coming, and we're excited. We do have to figure out what to do with transport options for the boys this year. Last summer Henry got to where he was completely proficient on his tricycle even without assistance. Silas was happy to ride in his wagon unless he was trying to touch the moving wheels. This year Henry is too big for the tricycle and Silas keeps exclaiming "mine!" when he sees it (that's a pattern with Silas of late.)

Clearly it's time to get Henry a bike. The only question is whether to go the traditional tiny kids bike with training wheels which essentially is like a tricycle or to go with a more European-style balance bike that actually allows to learn how to balance gradually. I know that the balance bike would be best physically for Henry-- but will he think it's as cool as the other boys at the park with spider man bikes? I'm not sure yet and i'm hoping we'll get a chance to see how strongly he feels about one type of bike over another as we're outside more in the next several weeks.