Sunday, September 27, 2009

Windows to the Future

The other day I was sharing a beautiful moment with Emily. We were sitting side by side on her bed reading a lovely book when she got a bit distracted. As I continued reading from her obviously tantalizing story, Emily poked her head behind the curtain at her window and was looking outside... or so I thought.

After a minute or so had passed, I began to hear squeaky noises coming from behind the curtain. Curiosity got the best of me and I peaked to see what was going on.

To my surprise, the window was not only steamy from Emily's body heat creating condensation on the cold window but it was overly wet and covered in smeary finger streaks. Emily looked at me with all the pride she could muster and said, "See!" Yeah, I saw.

"Emily, did you lick the window with your tongue?"


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another Botox Follow-Up & Braces

(Note to Facebook friends: Please click on the title and it will take you to our Blog site where you can read the whole story but can also dig into the archives and read about and see pictures of our whole adoption from Kazakhstan story!)

Emily had a botox follow-up appointment on Wednesday morning and Tom was able to join us for this one. As usual, we mentally prepped Em for what was going to happen and assured her there would be no shots! She is definitely getting more comfortable going in for her appointments these days. Since this was her daddy's first opportunity to join us for this type of appointment she took charge and showed him the ropes.

She was so full of confidence and even had an extra little spring in her step. When her name was called she marched right ahead of us, followed the nurse back to the exam room and announced to her that there would be "No Shots!" on this fine day. Right away she started asking me for her crayons. (We always take crayons along so she can draw and color on the table paper!) She carried on a pretty good conversation with one of the nurses and then hung out with us in the exam room for a little over an hour before the doctor finally came in.

I'll preface this next paragraph by saying that Emily had an excellent visit and did great the entire time. She responded to all the doctor's requests with calm self-confidence and I was so proud of her. However, I was not so proud of our doctor.

Dr. B came in over an hour after we went into the exam room. She talked very briefly with us and then worked with Emily and checked the range of the flexibility of her ankles. Emily did great and allowed her to stretch and bend her ankles.

The doctor was not impressed that Emily's range of motion didn't seem to be improving. She can barely get her right leg/foot into a 90° bend and her left leg/foot is about 7° away from getting into a 90° bend... I think she called a -7° or something like that. The doctor seemed a little frustrated or baffled or something.

The conversation then just started to get odd. She asked me if we had ever considered serial casting and that is something that we might have to consider. However, if you refer to this post from March you'll see that serial casting is something that we had been told we might need to do all along and then you'll also kindly note that it was Dr. B that told us Emily would NOT be a candidate because she was too "aggressive". Grrrr. So, yes, we had considered serial casting and our physical therapist and I actually pushed Dr. B to consider it because stretching wasn't doing the job.

Dr. B asked me to show her how we've been stretching Emily and proceeded to tell me that we've been doing it all wrong and showed us how we should be doing it. (No problem there. I appreciate constructive criticism, but didn't appreciate the accusing way in which she said it.) She mentioned that she would probably be increasing the dose for the next botox again. And then, she asked me what we knew of Emily's birth history. I told her we really didn't know anything other than the initial diagnoses she was given (and with Russian medical mindset, she had a whole list of diagnoses, most of which are very common in newborns). I told her off the top of my head I didn't remember what any of them were but that they should be in Em's paperwork because I brought it all in with me on our first visit and they made copies. At that point, the conversation got a little more odd.

The doctor asked me if we had ever had an MRI done on Emily's back/spine. (The answer was no.) At that point, she made a comment about her login to the computerized medical records being messed up and she couldn't get into the system. After joking that maybe they were telling her to just go home she left the room.... I assumed she was going to the nurses station to have one of them log in and pull Emily's records. BUT SHE NEVER CAME BACK!

A nurse came back in the room and handed us the wrap-up paperwork that listed our next appointment. Tom and I just looked at each other. Neither of us had any inkling that we were "done" with our conversation... it was almost like the doctor left in mid-thought.

Regardless, we were already not impressed with our visit that day and we were semi-okay with being done. We stopped at the front desk on the way out and set up our next appointment for mid-October and promptly asked if there are other doctors there that do the same thing as Dr. B. Out of only about 4-5 visits, Dr. B has already had 2 major strikes and 1 minor one in my book. I was hoping to give her the benefit of the doubt and chalked it up to having a bad day. However, if this is our batting record, I can't afford for Emily (and us) to keep dealing with "bad days".

We WILL return to Nationwide Children's Hospital (I am highly impressed with NCH) but we WILL NOT be returning to this doctor. It's not a good fit and we have to do what is best for Emily.

* * * * *
In other news, we heard a couple of days ago that Emily's new braces are ready and we have an appointment scheduled for Monday morning to be introduced to them. I imagine they will do a fitting and tweak them as necessary but I'll post more after that appointment to let you know how it went!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh No She Di'nt!

A few days ago we were killing time waiting for a doctor to come into the exam room [more on that later]. After nearly an hour, we broke into a challenging game of "I Spy". You know, the one that starts with, "I spy with my little eye something gray!" Without missing a beat, our little cherub immediately ran over to me and pointed to my hair!

Oh no she di'nt!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ladybug Landing

Even ladybugs have to come in
for a landing once in a while.

Monday, September 21, 2009


You know, a couple of weeks ago I posted a little snippet of our visit to Saturday in the Park. What I didn't share with you was that this was Miss Em's first exposure to Porta-Pots, Tidy Tims, Jiffy Johns, you get the idea.

Oh, how I wish I had taken a picture of the neat row of those teal outhouses.

Em's still having her ups and downs with potty training... mostly downs lately but I know she'll eventually click with it. Regardless, when the kid says she has to go, I try to find a way to help her go!

On this particular occasion, the only option was to check out the teal thrones. Thank goodness, they had a handicap "throne"! I've never seen these before, but whenever the opportunity presents itself to take Em into a handicap stall and there isn't a big line of people that truly need it, I will take it. Regular stalls simply are not meant for 1 1/2 people!

Now, we've had our share of bad experiences with public restrooms as noted here but something really freaked me out about taking her to this restroom. Something about the fact that this little kid is getting very inquisitive and has an insatiable desire to touch everything! Prior to entering the teal throne room, I felt the urge to give her the rundown... this is what to expect, this is what it's going to look like inside, I will get you ready and lift you up on the seat and you are NOT to touch anything... you know, one of those kinds of schpiels. And, you know, it didn't stand a chance of actually working.

I was highly impressed with the amount of space inside and that I might actually be able to make this work. However, latching the door presented a little more of a challenge than I expected. On top of that, I had to find someplace semi-clean to set down our bags that we were carrying so I could help her out. In the very few seconds that I took to survey my surroundings, Emily touched the floor, the toilet seat, the toilet paper dispenser and everything else that she shouldn't have. Meanwhile, I'm thinking "OH.", "Oh! Don't touch that!", "Ohhhhh, Emily, you really shouldn't have....", "Oh, Em." "Okay, let's hurry up and get outta here... hurry, let's clean up." (Run away! Run away!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

She'll Take Care of Me

Em and I took a quick trip to the grocery store yesterday before supper. She knew what was on her shopping list. As she would say, "milk and..... TIC TACS!" (She and Tom have been bonding over orange tic tacs the past couple of weeks.)

As we went up and down the aisles she helped me find the carrots, the grapes (for her favorite recipe: Frozen Grapes! And, yes, there's an exclamation mark after it when she says it!), the spaghetti sauce, you get the idea.

While we were passing through the pasta aisle we passed an older gentleman who was riding in one of the motorized carts. Of course, in typical Emily fashion she very loudly asks, "What is that?!?" right as the man rolls beside her. In a more quiet voice, I told her those were his magic wheels and they help him be able to do his shopping. Without missing a beat, my little cherub started on a long discourse about when I'm old she will let me ride in the front seat of her shopping cart and she will take me shopping... and we'll get grapes and bananas and s'getti and milk and TIC TACS! (Yes, she yelled that part too.) And then she pulled my face close to hers so that our foreheads touched and our noses smooshed and she told me that she loved me.

Oh, little girl, I hope you still feel that way when I am old.

...and, good heavens, don't forget that on a previous grocery excursion you DID tell me that you would change my diapers when I was an old lady.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Glance at Emily's Last Few Weeks

After a very nice, and quite subtle hint (ahem), I've been informed that I've neglected to update our blog over the past couple of weeks. I humbly apologize. School started shortly after our last entry and we've had a flurry of activity during the days and nights since then. Enough excuses... here's what you've been waiting for.

The first picture has absolutely nothing to do with Emily except that I took it on my way home from work and was about 15 minutes away from picking her up. Luckily, I was heading into the blue skies and away from those extremely dark clouds that were in my side mirror. We got a bit of rain that night, but nothing compared to what those clouds looked like they could have produced!

A few days later, I caught Miss Em daydreaming while watching TV and holding a lovely green marker to her cheek and LIPS.

She was a little concerned when she noticed that her hands were green from wiping her face...

But she royally freaked out when I showed her what she looked like in the mirror. It was the first time I've ever seen her run AWAY from a mirror! Thank goodness it was a Washable Crayola Marker! We even had to run her tongue over the washcloth a few times before it was pink again!

A few more days after that and Emily couldn't wait to come home and help me make supper. I put her in charge of making the salad. She makes a mean lettuce shredder and was very proud of her work!

Last Wednesday, it was time for Botox: Round 4. At weigh-in, she's now a whopping 33.5 lbs and 39 inches tall. She was friendly and chipper until the syringe came out, screamed and thrashed around like a banshee and then high-fived the doctors and all the child wranglers. It's exhausting for me, but it's becoming a quarterly norm. As promised, Em was granted ice cream as her reward for being brave. Nobody wears chocolate quite like Em!

A few days after botox/ice cream day we went to Saturday in the Park and listened to our friends Keith and Jessica sing. We made a quick loop through the park, made a tie-dyed t-shirt and went to Columbus to meet Ryan for supper and to kick off our weekend.

All that running can wear a girl out. Well, that and emptying your bookshelves and rearranging all your toys when you're supposed to be sleeping. Then, it finally came.... crash!

On a side note: All the red tape has finally been cut through, our BCMH AND insurance approvals finally came through and Emily went in this afternoon to get casts made for her braces to be made from. With the help of a movie from home, she handled it pretty well. She was pretty cooperative until the scissors came out to cut off the lightweight casts. They said it will probably be about 3 weeks before the new braces will be ready for her to try on.

And finally, for your storytime pleasure... Here's Emily reading your bedtime story: "Snow White". Enjoy. (Don't worry, she's teasing me the first few seconds of the story...)

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