Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, She's Free at Last!

Adenoid-Free, that is.

The day that Molly was placed in our arms, she had a sinus infection. A nasty, slimy-green-snot-running-out-of-her-nose sinus infection. And for the past three years we have battled the sinus infections. By battled I mean she has had at least 6 infections a year and each one took a three week course of antibiotics to cure. That's a boatload of antibiotics, folks.

Periodically, the pediatrician ordered x-rays of Molly's head to verify his sinus infection diagnoses. And each time he was correct. He said they were caused by her monstrous adenoids.

"Should we take them out?" I inquired. But it was explained to me that adenoids don't grow but heads do. She might actually grow into those adenoids. Kinda like growing into a pair of pants, I guess.

Now, I love my pediatrician, and respect his opinion. Still do. But with the last sinus infection, I had enough of waiting for Molly's head to grow. I asked for, and received a referral for an ENT.

The ENT took one look at Molly's X-rays and asked when we could schedule her surgery. "Won't her head grow?" I asked. "Might she grow into her adenoids?"

He looked me square in the eye and said, "She will NEVER grow into these adenoids. Ever."

Alrighty then, surgery it is.

****A moment to fill it the back story before I give you all the pictures.****

Molly was not digging the ENT doc. As soon as he reached over to examine Molly, she began to scream. It was the scream of death. The scream that makes your ears bleed. She continued to scream for the next half hour. No joke. The doctor actually had to call me at home later that night to discuss the surgery, because we couldn't hear each other over the screaming. Seriously.

****Back to your regularly scheduled blog.****

When we arrived at the surgery center on the adenoidectomy day, the staff had the happy juice ready. We weren't there five minutes before a sedative was administered. Praise. The. Lord! It is wrong to look forward to having your child sedated? Just saying.

Here's the play by play:

"Hey, this sedative stuff ain't bad."
"This place is getting better each passing minute."
"Just my adenoids?
Heck you can take my tonsils, too.
Why not get the appendix
and anything else I don't need
while you are at it, Doc.
I'm just sooo happy to be here."
Do they sell this stuff by the gallon? Seriously.

Another question from the "Is is Wrong" file. Is it wrong to look forward to the free time you'll have while your child is being operated on? I mean it's not like she is having a heart transplant. This was minor, minor, minor surgery. Really.

I was kinda looking forward to some time to catch up on my reading during Molly's surgery. But before I could unpack my books and get comfy, the nurse was calling us back to talk to the surgeon. Ten minutes. I only got ten stinkin' minutes. I guess it serves me right.

Anyway, the doc told us 90% of Molly's sinus cavities were blocked by her adenoids.  90%?!!  Good Golly, it's a wonder the kid could even breathe.

Still groggy, but not screaming.
Managing to crack a smile.

The doctor told Molly that she had to rest for three days. I even bought her a Snow White DVD to watch. Oh Yes, I did! See, even this anti-TV mom has a soft spot.

But my princess-obsessed daughter was feeling way too good to sit around watching a movie. She wanted to ride her bike to the park. For the record we didn't let her do that.

Until day 2.

Here's Molly 3 hours after surgery.

Cavity Free, too!

A week after Molly's surgery she visited the dentist for the very first time. She was checked out and declared cavity-free.

Sorry, no pictures. I was pulling out my dog-and-pony show in an attempt to minimize the trauma (see screaming kid at the ENT, if your short term memory is failing).

No tears at the dentist and Molly got a kickin' Snow White toothbrush, to boot.

Allergy Free...well, not so much.

But I did get the very first dandelion
bouquet from my daughter.
That's totally worth the watery eyes and sneezing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Matthew and Molly

I met my friend Peipei and her son Matthew at the park on a misty fall day. There were only 6 people there, including us, and the number quickly dwindled down to four when one mother and child gave up and headed for someplace drier.

So that left four of us: Me and Molly and Peipei and her son. I think she asked the first question: "How old is your daughter?" I told her that Molly was a year and a half. I returned the question and found that her Matthew was the same age. So we had something in common.

Then she asked me is Molly was Chinese. I said that she was from Guangdong. She told me that she was originally from Beijing, although she had lived in the US for several years. So we shared something else in common.

That was the beginning of our friendship. We met at the same park on several more occasions and as time went on, expanded to other parks, museums, and libraries. We just sort of clicked. Our kids liked playing together and it was great having someone to hang out with everyday. And we did hang out everyday, or almost everyday.

We celebrated our kids' birthdays, played at each other's homes, talked about children, husbands, ourselves. For the next year our friendship grew. And then it happened.

She told me that they were moving. Can you believe that? She had the nerve to put her kids, her husband and herself before my needs. I needed her. She was my best friend. And now she was moving. To Washington. State. Other end side of the world country.

It took me a while to get over. A long while. But we had phone calls and email; An inadequate replacement for daily interaction, but better than nothing.

Until now. Peipei and her family came into town for a quick visit. Fortunately, Molly and I were able to meet up with Peipei and Matthew for an afternoon at the zoo. It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with them in person.

The kids didn't remember each other and they were hesitant to engage for the first few minutes.

"Who is that kid and why
does he have a sticker on is head?"
"I'll sit for a picture but I don't have to like it."
Getting to know each other all over again.
Obligatory merry-go-round pic.
This is the view Peipei and I saw most of the day.
The kids enjoyed seeing all of the animals.
Matthew acting like a gorilla in the gorilla house.
Apparently Molly thinks he is acting like a dog
and is patting his head. Good boy!
Princess pose in the gorilla house.
Matthew, who has no sisters, seems oblivious.
I miss this cute face!
"Hey, ya know what?"
"You're kinda fun!"
Molly, Matthew and Peipei
 check out a digital picture.
Can't explain it, but this picture
gives me a warm fuzzy.
Reminds me of the good ol' days, I guess.
Bonding over Dippin' Dots.
Molly still princess posing,
Matthew still oblivious...
but having a great time together.
The day went by waaaaaay too fast.
I already miss them...
all over again.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hoppy Easter

When I was a kid, I lived for holidays. I counted down the days. I spent hours dreaming of the gifts or the candy or the party or the whatever.

The anticipation was so great that it was impossible to sleep on Christmas Eve; I was so giddy with excitement that I ran downstairs to take inventory of my Easter Basket at six in the morning; I planned my Trick-or-Treating route for weeks before Halloween. Bottom line: I loved holidays.

As I plan for Molly's holidays, I somehow slip back into my own childhood.  I expect her to have the same emotions. But she doesn't. Her reaction is much more guarded. She's cautious, even apprehensive. I expect unbridled joy but see a nervous, quiet little girl who is not sure how to react.

Molly's build up to the holiday is all good. She talks the talk and walks the walk. She seems eager for the actual event. But then it arrives and she isn't. You think that I would learn. Or at least be more sensitive. But every time I get the reaction, I am surprised.

I really need to get better at this. I need to stop planning for me and start planning for her. Someone remind me of this the next time a holiday rolls around.

So...was our Easter happy? Of course it was. As soon as I dropped back, called an audible and changed the game plan, Molly did enjoy her Easter. After all, when all was said and done, what's not to enjoy: lots of princess stuff and lots of candy.

Well...the candy. Sigh.

I was the kid who ate all of my holiday candy in one day. And short of a stomach ache or minor/major  weight gain, I was fine. At least I think I was. My parents may be able to tell you different, but I never had a huge reaction to sugar.

But, alas, Molly does. Too much sugar and she gets ugly. Big green monster with slime dripping from her fangs ugly. So I have to make a decision: ration the candy and be the big, bad mean mommy, or let her eat whatever she wants and watch the monster transformation while hiding behind the couch with a tranquilizer gun. 

And as only I can do, I managed to do both. I rationed the candy despite the loud protests from the monster-in-waiting. But then felt guilty so gave her a little more here and there until the whole slime-from-the-fangs things happened.

Nothing says Happy Easter like putting your kid in timeout because you gave her too much candy. Since I was to blame, I would have been happy to go sit in timeout but that would leave the monster free to seek me out and unleash her wrath upon me. So I had to put her in timeout and feel guilty for every. single. minute.

I will eventually learn from my mistakes. I will plan holidays for my daughter. I will learn to set boundaries on treats in a way that we will both be happy. I will. I really will.

I just hope she hasn't graduated and moved out of the house by the time I finally get it right.

But back to the happy.

Pictures don't lie. Molly did have a Happy Easter. Check out those smiles. And I only had to coax a few dozen of them!

Coloring Easter Eggs! Woo Hoo!
This is going to be great!
Can't wait to see me eggs!
Gee, this whole coloring eggs thing takes a while.
I must find other ways to amuse myself.
A princess pose and a basket of colored eggs.
Mommy's excitement is unleashed
in the assembly of the Easter Basket.
Molly's apprehensive approach to said Easter Basket.
Eventually she lightened up.
Afterall, there is Snow White
stiking the pose on this nifty bucket!
Obligatory Easter picture with Daddy.
Obligatory Easter picture with Mommy.
The Easter bunny prior to hiding eggs in the yard.
Ummm, no.
Tony did not wear the ears outside of the house.
"That tricky Easter Bunny!"
was Molly's mantre during the hunt.
More out front? Tricky!
Tricky? Looks a bit obvious to me.
Molly and her loot.
Posing in her Easter dress.
This dress was brought back from China
 by our dear friend, Peipei.
Looks nice with Crocs, right?
Four-year-old fashion sense.
Contemplating the timeout that
consuming this M&M will cause.
And here is the reason for the title of this post: