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March 28, 2010

Mandarin Balloons

My kids are trying to teach me things all the time. Today Adelaide taught me the best way to eat those little canned Mandarin oranges.
"Hold them like an orange boky [bouquet]. Then put one Mandarin balloon in your mouth. Then pop the balloon."
To be more specific, each tiny vesicle of orange pulp is a balloon, and eating them one- at-a-time takes a while, but really allows you to enjoy the orange experience.


March 26, 2010

Tea for Two




Adelaide hasn't been feeling the greatest since her birthday party last weekend. It started out as the usual thing: sore throat, snotty nose, cough. But then, the cold symptoms decided to band together and collect just behind her right ear drum (or tympanic membrane) and really whoop it up. Adelaide had high fevers, malaise, and huge pain for five days before her TM finally ruptured yesterday. It's amazing how that pressure release can improve one's overall outlook. She was resting in her room yesterday morning and then suddenly sat bolt upright out of bed and said, "I'm hungry, Mama!" She cheerfully chatted all the way downstairs and tucked into a bowl of cereal with fervor. Shocked, I looked over at her happily noshing on Lucky Charms, and then I saw the boogery-colored goo oozing out of her right ear. Yuck! And yeah! Yuck and yeah!

So in the Olden Days of Medicine, like maybe 30 years ago, Joel tells me that physicians would routinely poke a little hole in kids' bulging ear drums to relive the pressure and pain of inner ear infections. The pain of the earache would be almost immediately cured, and the tympanic membrane would heal up quickly after the infection subsided without any permanent hearing loss. Somewhere along the way, somebody decided that it was a bad idea to have just any old joker take needle to someone's ear, so now pediatricians just watch and wait or start antibiotics.

This time around, we did all three! We watched as Adelaide's temperatures came and went with the peak and trough of Tylenol and Ibuprofen. We waited and waited and waited for Adelaide to improve. And then, we started a 10-day dose of Amoxicillin.

And finally, yesterday, after much anticipation, the thing that really needed to happen all along did ...

And the goo has given us a tangible opportunity to discuss the bodily functions that Adelaide has been so fascinated by lately. There's been loads of chat about nerves, guts, blood, and germs since we gave Adelaide the First Human Body Encyclopedia for her birthday. The book has gone over like gangbusters and it's fun when we can see the body's good work in action!

And, to boot, Adelaide has a fantastic new auditory corner in her developing vocabulary, which includes gems like, "otoscope," "cochlea," "pinna," "Eustachian tube," and of course, "TM".

March 25, 2010

It's Not Every Day ...

That the President of the United States stops by your place of work.

Today, Mr. Obama is coming to Iowa City to tour the hospital and to give a speech about his new healthcare measure.

Tickets became available for the speech on Monday, the day that it was announced that the President would be visiting Iowa City. 3,000 tickets are available to attend his speech. 16,500 people applied for the tickets.

We applied for the tickets, but did not get the call from the White House saying that we were among the chosen.

Still, Mr. Obama will tour my workplace today. It's funny to think about our president riding our elevators, taking lunch at our gloomy cafeteria, standing in line at our pharmacy, walking our low-ceilinged hallways, and maybe visiting patients in the not-so-pretty parts of the hospital. It's sort of like a celebrity is visiting ... I wonder if all the nurses are making sure that patients have their teeth brushed this morning. I wonder if the cafeteria will still be serving those awful, soggy french fries. I wonder who among us will get a chance to say, "Hi" and "Here's what I think ..."

Even though the President will probably be long gone by the time I start my shift today, I can't help but daydream about what I would say to him if I ran into him the hallway.

(Joel and I have a "No Politics" clause for the weblog, so I won't discuss what I'd say here, but I do have a little speech prepared, just in case.)

March 24, 2010

Someday We'll Look Back and Laugh ...


Ophelia got into my stash of birthday presents for Henry. She chewed up two books, a bathtub toy, a pair of sandals, and a button-down shirt.

Joel thought it was fitting that she chewed up a book called Munch.

Today, I fail to see the humor.

March 21, 2010

Fest at the Nest


On Saturday, we hosted a birthday bash for Adelaide and a fellow preschool chum, Ella, at an indoor gymnastics arena called the Gym Nest.


All the partygoers had a brilliant time, jumping on trampolines, "swimming" in the foam pit, leaping onto poofy mats from high places, and generally running crazy willy-nilly all over the place. Some of the equipment seemed a little dangerous at times ... Seeing small children fly off the trampoline onto the hard floor mats was kind of shocking in our world of soft, no teeter-totter, playgrounds. Still, no harm, no foul, right? Most of the kids who bumped, fell, or bashed just got up again and ran off to the next thing, giggling.


After the kids played, played, played for about an hour, we all enjoyed a little refreshment.


And Adelaide got to blow out a second set of birthday candles while all of her friends sang and cheered.

P.S. And on your way out, just remember what your mom told you:


Because Béla Károlyi might be looking for new blood.

March 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Adelaide!


Can one get sentimental when his or her daughter turns four?
(Breakfast at the pastry shop, consisting of a chocolate brownie, wearing her new spring dress.)


(Playing at the pedestrian mall playground, treasuring her birthday necklace.)


Without a doubt.
(Birthday gum! Carefully expectorated into its wrapper upon depletion of its flavor.)


Make a wish, Adelaide ... We wish the world for you!

March 11, 2010

Storytime Selections


Storytime before nap today included a couple of Adelaide's latest favorites ...

On our left is a copy of a delightful Charlie and Lola book by Lauren Child. For those of you who are familiar with this Brit-Kid-Lit duo, you'll smile to hear that Charlie and Lola is Adelaide's favorite and her best. The C&L series of books and cartoons based on the books center around the day-to-day happenings in the petite lives of Charlie and his little sister Lola. Every story and episode begins with Charlie saying, "I have this little sister Lola. She is small and very funny," but when you ask Adelaide how the stories begin she'll say, "I have this little sister Lola. She is smooth and very funny." Those Londonish accents from the T.V. show are sometimes tricky.

On our right is a macabre non-fiction history book entitled Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker. The book chronicles the work of a group of forensic historians and archaeologists, unearthing the bones of early American settlers from Seventeenth Century. The book is full of glossy, full-color photos of digs. The photos include graphic images of skeletons half-peeking out of their graves as archaeologists carefully brush the dust from their noses and survey sites in pith helmets and khahis. Adelaide clutches this book close to her chest and says, "I'm going to be an Ark-Le-Ologist."


"After I'm a mom, and a dentist, and a doctor."


While Adelaide and I discuss the finer points of ArkLeOlogy, Henry is happiest left to his own devices in Adelaide's room. There are no silly baby toys here!


March 10, 2010

Naps & Eyeballs

Not last night, but the night before ... I worked until about midnight.

I crawled into bed and slept peacefully until about 5 a.m., when seemingly simultaneously, Ophelia started yowlping downstairs and Adelaide started yowlping from across the hall. Joel and I sprang from our slumber to tend to the beasts: Ophelia spotted a raccoon in the backyard; Adelaide wet the bed.

When all was right with the world again (after about 30 minutes work), it was basically time to get up and make coffee anyway ... Later in the morning, Adelaide complained of a little bit of a sore throat and had the sneezies, and asked if she could stay home from school. I compromised: Adelaide would go to school in the morning, but then I'd pick her up before lunch. We'd lunch at home, nap, and then go to the library! What a fun idea, especially the nap!

Can you guess that my perfect plans quickly went awry?

Well, we all had a good lunch, anyway. I'd snuggled a scratchy-voiced Adelaide and a go-with-the-flow Hal into bed, and thought "I'll just do up the lunch dishes and then snuggle up myself!" All of a sudden the quiet of the house was broken by a shrieking, screaming banshee-like wail.


I ran upstairs to find Adelaide in her bed, rubbing her eyes.

"What happened?"


I scooped Adelaide up and took her into the bathroom for a closer look. Adelaide's left cheek had angry, red, puffy scratch marks, and her left eye had some broken blood vessels. Adelaide assured me that she could see, but I decided that we'd better go to the doctor anyway. No naps today! I woke Hal and in no time everybody was secured into the van and off we went.

I juggled our two temperamental kids at the doctor's office with the help of various nurses, residents, and receptionists ... It takes a village, doesn't it? After some looking and restraining (yuck) and flashlights and flourescent dye and black lights, we determined that Adelaide's vision was unaffected and that her eye was a-okay.

We met Papa - our Blood Bank Hero - for a cookie after our trials, and we're on our way back home at 4:00. "Missed nap," I thought as I drove home. When we got home and we're parked in the garage, I looked to the backseat and saw that both kids were blissfully snoring away.

March 7, 2010

Adelaide's Very First Dance Recital