Back in May, I was randomly checking Chace’s ears since he had just had an ear infection the previous week when I noticed something unusual in his left ear. It wasn’t wax and wasn’t something he stuck in there (he has put things in his nose before so I wouldn’t be surprised if he stuck something in his ear too). I made a note to have my dad (a retired pediatrician) look at it the next time we were at his house. It happened to be Graduation day for my niece and so my dad looked as well as my cousin who is an ER doctor. Luckily my dad has an otoscope at home and they were both able to look and see that it wasn’t something that was supposed to be there. My dad thought it was a foreign object that Chace had put in his ear and my cousin thought they looked like polyps but wasn’t sure. Needless to say I needed to see a specialist and soon.
My dad made an appointment with his friend, a great head and neck surgeon for the following week. The doctor looked and said that he thinks they are polyps but can’t be sure without taking them out which would require surgery given Chace’s age and tendency to move around a lot. He said we can wait and just monitor them to see if the size or shape changes and then re-evaluate in 3 months and go from there.
I was relieved but slightly nervous that something was growing in Chace’s ear. It was reassuring that he said they weren’t tumors and nothing was affecting his hearing. Fast forward 3 months and they had changed size and moved slightly so the doctor recommended that they be removed through surgery. Immediately I got nervous. My kid needed surgery and had to be under anesthesia was not something anyone wanted to hear. The surgery was scheduled and I had one week to mentally prepare myself for staying strong for Chace and everyone else.
Surgery day arrived and Chace, Daddy, Poppy and I were trying to keep busy in the early morning hours while the doctors and nurses prepared Chace and themselves. I was a nervous wreck but no one could tell. I had made the conscious decision not to tell Chace why we were there. He is good at the doctor’s office and can handle being poked and proded but that is all while I am in the room. Him having to leave the room without me would be a whole different ballgame and boy was it.
When it was time to wheel him into surgery, he heard them say, you can go wait in the waiting room and we will come get you. Chace got hysterical and kept crying “Mommy! I want Mommy!”. I was dying inside because there wasn’t anything I could do. I wanted to hold him and tell him everything would be ok and I would be there the second he woke up, but there wasn’t time and it wouldn’t have helped. All he wanted was me to take him in my arms and leave.
The surgery took less than 30 minutes and was a complete success. The doctor was able to remove the 3 things and when he did he realized they were not polyps but some sort of foreign body that Chace had put in his ear or was somehow imbedded in there and then tissue had grown over it. He sent it away to be tested just in case. When Chace was in recovery, we were allowed in to see him. If anyone has been around a child waking up from anesthesia, they know that they cry but it’s an unusual cry. I held him, talked to him and hugged him so tightly but nothing I could do would comfort him completely. Eventually he woke up and was his normal, happy self. He asked for a popsicle since he had remembered the nurse promising him one. He didn’t have pain or any recollection of the surgery. We were able to leave and just watch him carefully at home. A few days later the doctor called to confirm that the three things were in fact foreign bodies and not tumors. Thank goodness! Special thanks to my mom for watching Harper during this crazy day and my sister and her family for sending Chace all the goodies. Family is everything!
We had a very eventful Halloween this year. For the past 4 years, we have ventured down to my sister’s house for trick or treating and family time. It has become somewhat of a tradition and so this year we decided to leave after school and make it down there to have dinner and get ready for trick or treating. Normally the drive takes about 1 hour, but since it was a Friday and Halloween the drive took us almost 3 hours. Luckily the kids napped for part of the trip but it was brutal, to say the least. Once we got down there, the trick or treating had already begun so there wasn’t time for dinner (not that anyone was hungry).
We got ready (Chace was Darth Vader and Harper was Minnie Mouse) and headed out. Fun times, lots of candy and more memories were created. Each year my brother-in-law decorates his house and has scary movies playing on a projector with many scary decorations throughout their front yard. It is quite a scene and people come from all over to view it. Needless to say, Chace is not a fan. It really isn’t tailored to the under 12 crowd so we quickly move past the decor and head inside to eat dinner, play and have some quality time with my sister and her girls.
Fall means fun activities like apple picking so we gathered everyone at my parent’s house and headed about one hour away for fun on the apple farm.
We picked apples, sipped cider, ate apple pie, played games, had a simple lunch and enjoyed some family bonding time. We used to do this yearly as a kid and my sister and I are trying to bring back the tradition. We will do it again next year!
Life has gotten pretty busy and the one thing that I let slip was these letters to both of you, highlighting our memories and random daily activities. We’ve been busy these past few months to say the least.
Chace started Pre-kindergarten and is loving it. Most of the class has returned so he is settling back in just fine.
After summer school ended, we took a nice road trip to San Francisco and then Lake Tahoe and while I was nervous that you two would hate the long hours spent in the car, you actually both did really well. We managed just fine and had a fantastic time in both places.
We hiked, climbed rocks, played mini golf, skipped rocks at the lake and overall had a blast as a family.
Harper has been busy while Chace is at school. She is counting to 5, drawing every moment she possibly can and is basically running my day. She is going through the terrible two’s at the moment and that makes it hard to get the things done that I want to do. Previously I would workout after dropping Chace off at school and then go and run errands. Well, after a few too many tantrums in Trader Joe’s and at the bank, I realized that she does better when I run errands first, and then workout. It all has been an adjustment. She is down to just one nap a day and while I would love for her to sleep until she wakes up, some days we have to go and get Chace from school so her nap is sadly interrupted. Luckily, she has been a good sport about it. She knows that going to get Chace at school means more play time with the big kids on the playground.
It’s fall and one of my favorite times of year. Pumpkin patches, Halloween costumes, apple picking, butter pecan lattes from Coffee Bean, scarf and boot season(yes, even in California I wear these fall favorites).
Stitch Fix is still part of my life and I will post an updated fix soon.
Every so often I like to update both of you on your current LIKES because it’s fun to see the changes over time. Here is what we all are into these days. Never a dull moment with both of you and I love it!
Harper (15 months old)
– blueberries, persimmon, guava, peas and yogurt and eating it on her own! My Little Miss Independent
– the remote control for anything but not a toy version. It has to be the real thing!
– following around your brother
– playing on the playground at Chace’s school after we pick him up.
– reading the same 3 books over and over again.
Chace (3.5 years old)
– riding your balance bike
– gardening with me
– working on the house projects with Dad
– singing at the top of your lungs anywhere and especially Christmas songs….it’s February!
– running super fast everywhere
– art projects, music class and swinging at school
– still loves the color green, brushing his teeth, pajamas (especially Christmas ones! I see a theme here…..)
Mommy (1 year older than last year)
– Nap time for the kids, not me!
– facials, manicures and pedicures (just can’t go and have them often!)
– Watching whatever shows are taped on the DVR (there are lots now that good shows are back!)
Daddy (1 year younger than Mommy)
– Working out
– Not working
– Watching movies on the ipad while Mommy is watching TV
Before having both of you, I always told myself that I would never change who I am and what I do. Well, that was just plain crazy talk because it is pretty much impossible to not change when you welcome someone else into your world that you love more than yourself. You change in so many ways and change for the better, I might add.
I have seen a number of blogs posting about things they want their son or daughter to know and I love the lists that I have come across so far. I decided to come up with a few of my own for both of you.
10 Things I Want My Children to Know
1. Please try. I know you may not want to do something, but at least try it. It could be a new food, book or sport. Whatever it is, you have to try it out before you know if you like it. Don’t get stuck in a rut!
2. Be kind. I want you both to grow up always thinking about others. There are times when you will need to go out of your way to be kind to others and in those moments people will really see who you are. Kindness goes a long way and could really change someone’s day.
3. Smile a lot. Smiles are gifts and you can give those to complete strangers and people you see every day. They can light up a room and are contagious.
4. Be polite. Your father and I are real sticklers for teaching manners. We want you both to be well mannered but above all, ALWAYS say Please and Thank You. The rest will come with time but that is where we are starting now. You are only 3 and 1 so I think we have some time to make sure the rest are taught as well. Chace – we are starting to teach you about holding the door and letting others go first. People notice when you go out of the way to do the right thing. Always be polite.
5. Have impromptu dance parties. If you feel like dancing, then dance. In our car, house, the market, when music comes on and we feel like dancing, we dance. It will help with #3. Many people will end up smiling.
6. Take care of each other. You will always have each other and I want you both to take care of each other because after I am gone, you will only have the other to lean on.
7. Read books. I have always loved reading but I know that is not the case for everyone. Reading can open your eyes and mind to many things and it can take you places you would not normally think of. It’s great for the imagination and that’s why each and every day we read and read and read. I will never say no to buying a new book.
8. Cry if you need to. Having emotions is a good thing and showing them is even better. Don’t be afraid to cry if you need to. Just be prepared to dust yourself off and pick yourself up and move on. Crying helps get over what is bothering you.
9. Laugh and laugh a lot. I love the sound of laughter especially from you two. I want you to always have funny things in your life because while you are laughing, you are smiling and that means you are happy. Laughing can be contagious too! Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself too. It makes you stronger.
10. Learn something new everyday. Learning new things will make you better people. It doesn’t matter if it is something big or small as long as you are always learning. Be curious and ask questions whenever you are interested and want to know more.
I have no idea if this is common or only with you, Chace, but you have an obsession with your pajamas. When you come home from school (around lunchtime), you immediately want to change into pajamas. Furthermore, when you wake up in the morning, you do not have any desire to put on clothes for school. You would much rather leave the house in your pajamas. I am lucky if we get through the day with you wearing just one pajama set. Usually it is 2-3 changes throughout the day and hardly ever do they match. What is it about pajamas? I know they are comfortable, but really so are your clothes. Let’s just hope this is a phase! I guess I can’t complain too much as I’m sure it could be worse. Chace could want to be naked all the time and that would make leaving the house very difficult. I have definitely left the house with him in his pajamas to run errands. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Life of a MOM!