Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The storm of the century is upon us in these parts.  It started snowing on Saturday and hasn't stopped, extending the long Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend indefinitely.  It's piling up around here - about a foot and a half in some places!  That's the most snow we've ever had and the "big storm" hasn't even arrived yet!  

Of course these two cuties don't seem to mind too much.  Their sled has been getting a good workout and I've been busy making sure there is no shortage of hot cider, hot chocolate, homemade chicken noodle soup and apple crisp.

Jason spent most of the day on Sunday shoveling the driveway - a task I view as both time consuming and futile, but which he seems to enjoy.

After it snowed most of the day the girls started having to wade through the fluff to play outside.

Isabelle has mastered her snowman-making technique...

...and Madeleine has become a skilled supervisor.

By nightfall our poor Japanese Maple was almost buried, Isabelle was knee deep...

...and Maddy couldn't walk far without falling.

In the end it was just more relaxing to sink in and look up at the "marshmallow trees".

The storm has not been without its mini disasters.  We were without power for over 2 hours today.  While I'd like to say I channelled my inner Laura Ingalls by stoking up the bonfire and toasting potatoes to be used as hand and foot warmers, it was really more a feeling of impending doom that settled over me as the minutes ticked by.  No heat, no working appliances, a quickly fading cell phone battery - it all added up to a feeling of being cut off from the outside world in our eerily quiet neighborhood.  With no status updates coming in from friends it was easy to imagine the world had been taken over by brain-eating zombies and we were the last outpost at the ends of the earth.  Okay, I know I'm being overly dramatic - but have you SEEN The Walking Dead?!

Thankfully the power came back on and I was able to check in on my newest obsession - The Pioneer Woman.  I know I'm probably the last to discover her amazing blog but she's totally my new best friend.  Plus, she has a Saturday morning cooking show on Food Network?!  I'm in love.  If you haven't checked her out, go ahead and click on the link - I dare you not to join me in fanatic land. 

Well, no school again tomorrow - I guess we'll be home enjoying our winter wonderland!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tonsils - Who Needs Them?

It all started at her 3-year-old well child visit with an innocuous:  "Does Madeleine snore?  She has some pretty big tonsils.  She might have obstructed sleep apnea."  Which then led to me panicking thinking Maddy would surely stop breathing in the middle of the night, which then led to a slumber party in Mommy and Daddy's room to monitor her air intake.  A couple weeks later we found ourselves at Children's Hospital, seeing the Otolaryngologist.  He too seemed dismayed at the size of Maddy's tonsils, "Wow, they're almost touching!  They're taking up almost her entire throat!"  Geez, he must see thousands of throats a year but it's our daughter he labels with circus sideshow-sized tonsils.  Well, they are pretty miraculous.

Bright and early Saturday morning we loaded Maddy into the car and made the trek back to Children's.  This was all very thrilling for Madeleine, who was quite pleased her beautiful tonsils were chosen to go in a jar in Dr. T's office.  She only had a brief moment of uncertainty the night before when I told her she would be just fine.  She gave herself a good look in the mirror and said, "Well...I hope so."

Upon our arrival, she was treated like royalty:  a new stuffed animal, special jammies, heated blankets and a special bracelet.  Not to mention the undivided attention from a huge team of doctors and nurses.  Plus, she was going to get to breathe strawberry air to put her to sleep!    

I was able to be with her in the OR until she went to sleep.  Everyone at Children's was SO great!  We are very lucky to have such a great facility for children close to our home.  The procedure itself only took about 20 minutes but we were there for several hours including the pre-show and waiting for Maddy to sleep it off.  When she was finally wheeled back to us she looked very nonplussed and regal, sitting up in the crib, holding a giant Popsicle.  She was a bit groggy but insisted on removing her own IV before we left, much to the amazement of the nurses.  (She also prefers to administer her own medication and, had the anesthesiologist not arrived promptly, would have preferred to remove her own tonsils as well.)

While Madeleine was otherwise disposed, Isabelle was having a terrific time spending the night and morning with her best friend Delaney.  In fact, Isabelle was so well taken care of by my friend Erica, and had such a great time eating out, going to Build-a-Bear and picking out best friend jewelry, it's a wonder she wanted to come home at all!

Maddy's first few hours home were great since she was still pretty loaded up with pain killers and morphine.  We were able to get some fluids into her and get her settled on the couch.  The first night home was pretty rough with Maddy being up several times with pain but I do see she's improving.  She's now just taking regular Tylenol for pain.

One would think that having all the Popsicles, ice cream, pudding, and jello one could want would be pretty fantastic.  Unfortunately, even for a 3-year-old, sweets grow tiresome.  Maddy is still not eating very much, although last night she was sitting on my lap at the dinner table, fake sleeping, when all of a sudden her hand shot across the table, grabbed my sandwich and got a bite in her mouth before I could stop her.  Luckily it went down okay and now I know the sneaky lengths she'll go to to have what her tummy desires - despite the pain.

Now all we need to do is keep her home resting on the couch doing low-key activities for the next week.  That shouldn't be too hard, should it?  Yes, that is the vomit bucket on her head.  It also serves as a great top hat.