Fries are done

Monday, June 30, 2008

"You are in so much trouble with her..."

You know, people look at Carina's adorable little face and say, "You are in so much trouble..." Implying of course, that we'll be fighting off the boys as she gets older, or that she is going to manipulating everyone with her charms. Well, they have no idea.

This girl is all about pushing her limits and seeing what her body can take. Or maybe she's just trying to keep up with Dante. I think she has a permanent bruise on her forehead from tripping and smacking her head so many times. She had the collarbone incident, of course. (Which has healed well, luckily.) The following week, while trying to climb up unassisted like her big brother, she took a header off of a hammock. The next week she tripped at the pool and had a big bump on her forehead. Now, we're visiting Gomma's house in CT, I turn around to open the blinds in the kitchen and I hear her slip...

Carina was trying to climb up into the kitchen chair, slipped halfway and smacked her face on the arm of the chair so hard that she split a hole in her lip. I yelled for Chris to get out of bed (I'm still not sure what the crash was that I heard when I scared him awake) as I tried to calm her and Dante down. We had a lovely trip to the local emergency center and Carina now has 2 stitches in her lip. The cut was pretty wide and wouldn't heal nicely without. She screamed the whole time but as soon as we let her go, she calmed down. I would've screamed too seeing that big ol' needle coming at my face. The doctor was very nice and caring and was particularly concerned about how the line of her lips would heal.

Now, what do you think she did when she got up from her nap today?... Tried climbing the same chair! AARRRGGHHH! She was definitely more mellow, and not feeling her best, but she will be fine, I'm sure. Not so sure about us though. After all that I then proceeded to smack my chin so hard on a cabinet, I almost split it, and then went to kill a bug in the car and smacked the metal LATCH hook instead, with the heel of my hand. I can still feel the pain up my arm hours later. Maybe I should be in bed now...

Let's catch up, shall we?

We spent a wonderfully, relaxing week at Alligator Point beach, thanks to Lyndall and Bolling, again. This year was not quite as relaxing as years past- chasing two toddlers around doesn't stop in a different location. But, just being somewhere where you didn't have all the things "you should be doing" staring you in the face is amazing. The kids had a great time and keep asking to go back.

We came home and spent the next week and a half taking care of doctor visits for everyone. Dante had an audiology appointment, where he tested out his acting skills faking it in the sound booth. Chris had his own audiology appointment, trying to determine some ear pain from all those years rocking out, but now he has no excuse for saying he can't hear me; his hearing was just about perfect. We did Carina's follow-up x-ray. We met the surgeon to have Dante's port removed. (We have scheduled that for the end of July. )

We spent a day at All Children's Hospital, getting a GFR study done to check Dante's kidneys and a speech evaluation. We start the morning with a port access and an IV (which after it is used, he doesn't want out. Go figure.) They inject him with something radioactive and send us on our way. We spend about 2 hours with Heather, testing Dante's speech and language skills, due to his hearing loss. He needs some help with "s" and "sh". She suggested therapy to get him on track. (Ready for this cost? They suggest twice a week. Insurance says, OK at $25 a session for 60 days. If he still needs more, the doctor has to appeal. Yikes.)

From that appointment, we return to Nuclear Medicine for our first of 3 blood draws. It actually ended up being an all-right day. I had packed a ton of activities and we didn't do any of them! We visited Sara, from Child Life. Dante ran up and gave her a hug. We had a great time catching up and Dante was belly laughing and being super silly. He obviously remembered being comfortable and happy with her. It was great to see her and still don't know how we would have been where we are today without her support!

Every hour for 3 hours, we return for blood draws, in between playing in the play room.

When it's time to remove his port, I realize that this might be the last time his port is used...and strangely enough, I feel sad about it. How weird. I think the sadness had more to do with emotion of all we've seen with it, the nervousness of having it removed and something else happening, but really, no longer having the super easy way to get his labs done!

We're looking forward to some other fun activities this summer, minus hospital visits, of course. Lots of swimming, playing and hanging out with friends. Along with potty training and pacifier weaning for Carina... Hopefully lots of yoga for mommy too!

Oh, and by the way, the GFR test came back normal. Woo Hoo!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Words We Like to Hear

"Normal CT with no tumor recurrence." "...Axillary lymph nodes seen...are subcentimeter and symmetric in appearance." (in the past couple of CTs, his axillary lymph nodes on one side had been enlarged, so this is good!)

And now we take a huge sigh of relief and thanks. What a great way to start our summer vacation!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Apparently, they don't bounce until 7

Carina had her first trip to the ER this week. Carina had been playing with Karlie and Kristine, just sitting eating some snack in a little toddler-size chair. She turned to watch Karlie walk by and tipped over. She seemed generally OK, but more weepy than she usually gets after falling. Then she starts favoring her one arm and saying, "Neck. Hurt." The doctor's office says, "Yep, she needs an X-ray..."

Most parents probably worry about kids falling off the monkey bars and breaking something, not a chair 9 inches from the floor. Carina has a broken collarbone! And as Chris said, "Apparently, they don't bounce until 7!" She did really well in the ER, throwing the biggest fit for the bracelet. They tell us, "She'll have to have her arm strapped to her body for 3-4 weeks...Oh, and be careful, she might be off balance and tip off and re-injure her collarbone." Great. I could already see Dante tormenting her. She did fine that night with one arm in use. Thanks to Dr. P the next morning, she fashioned a bandage around her shoulders so that she has full use of both arms. (Whew.) There are 2 problems with this. One - Since she can use her arm, she is using her arm. She is quickly realizing how much it hurts to do the stuff she is used to. And when she trips, as 2 year-olds are apt to do, she braces her fall with her bad arm/shoulder. OUCH! Two - we can't wash the bandage for 3-4 weeks. EWWWW... At least we can bathe her.

It was a great lesson to tell my middle school students why they shouldn't lean back in their chairs!

The next day was Dante's CT scan appointment. While he looks like an old pro in these photos, the port access was MUCH tougher than usual. He hasn't had his port accessed since January and having been away from it all for so long, he was very anxious. It took both of us holding him down to get it done. Luckily, if he is still, it takes all of about 20 seconds. Of course, later, he told us that he didn't want his "port out."

Radiology was the usual chaos, but Amy took good care of us and.....big news...Dante did his CT scan with NO meds! Perhaps it was the game of hide-and-seek we played in the room and hallway or the light-up maracas and dancing around, but we just tried it and he did it! Wow - so much quicker and easier. We didn't hear results, so I am taking that as good news. I will post as soon as we hear something.

Over at the clinic, Dante and Daddy played a rousing game of Disney Princess Memory game. (It's pretty tough when all the cards look alike!) They took some more blood work, removed his port and we were on our way.

I just had to post this photo. This was something the two of them completely did on their own. They went and sat down right in the middle of Uncle Mike's flower bed and starting reading a book together and sharing snack, ignoring everyone around them. The majority of time, they are always playing together, laughing together, and wondering what the other one is doing. It is pretty cool to see. Now, if I could just convince Dante that Carina did in fact hurt her shoulder and shouldn't wrestle like she usually does we'll do O.K.