Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So Long September....

Wow! We are already at the end of September. Where has the month/year gone?! Time flies when you are having fun....and we certainly have had a lot of fun this year. Ella continues to impress us with new things every day. It's hard to I believe that just six months ago we started her growth hormone therapy. The shots have become just a routine part of our day now. The benefits of growth hormone have made such a difference. I really feel it was the best decision we could have ever made for Ella.

I know that kids change so much, so quickly in a year, but I feel like for Ella the changes and growing she has experienced are almost at light speed. Looking at pictures from just six months ago really show how much she has changed....and going back to pictures from last fall, her growth is amazing!

Picking pumpkins last fall...look how tiny she looks. Wow!
We have a BIG appointment with endocrinology on October 4th. Dr. Gleason hasn't seen Ella since July 5th. (I am a little crazy about these dates...each visit marks a milestone in it's own right!) She has definitely grown in height since her last check-up. She even has some too-short pants now! Weight may be another issue. All the height combined with a lot more activity has turned Pnut into a string bean. I'm not overly concerned though since her eating is much, much better now. I really don't think we could ever have imagined one year ago where we would be today.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Dipping Queen

It has been a really busy month for us with Ella starting school, Jason's work and travel schedule has been hectic and we've had lots of good reasons to go back to Woburn on the weekends. We decided to lay low this weekend though and unfortunately that meant missing out on family fun (sorry we missed Keira and Lyla's party). Ella and I both had colds all week and I didn't want to risk spreading any more of our germs. It was really nice to not be running around and busy and definitely what we all needed. Of course by Sunday afternoon, the walls of the house were closing in on us and I needed to find something to do. Jason was recruiting in Ontario, so it was a girls afternoon!

The dipping queen! More bbq sauce please...
Ella loves to eat out and Panera is our usual go-to spot. I thought we'd change it up today and try Friendly's. It has been a long time since I have been to a Friendly's, but I knew it was kid friendly and I also knew if anything Ella would at least eat the ice cream. It was also a little treat since we try stick to a pretty healthy eating plan at home. Ella ate and ate and ate. She polished off nearly everything I ordered for her....chicken strips, carrots, and french fries and of course she saved room for her sundae. She really enjoyed dipping EVERYTHING in the bbq sauce that was served with her chicken. She used so much bbq sauce that I had to ask the waiter for a second order. She topped it all off with ice cream. I thought she would explode when I lifted her from the high chair. This was by far the most she has ever eaten in one sitting. She was so happy walking out of the restaurant.

Now if I could just get her to eat her meals at home that well, we'll be packing on the lbs in no time!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hairy Situation!

Mom, I could probably get through this tunnel faster if
my hair wasn't in my face!
It's back...Ella's "mullet" hairdo is making a comeback these days. Her cute little face is framed by a mop-top of dirty blond/light brown/sometimes-with-a-tint-of-red, stick straight hair. It's creeping over her eyes, barely skimming her ears and always close to a matted mess in the back. I have had it cut once and it was very nice and neat for a little while. I was assured by Cha-cha (the wonderful and quick hairdresser) that the cut would help Ella's hair "grow in better". Here we are a few months later and Ella's 'do is looking more like a don't.

Here's a good side view of the "mullett"!
HELP! Do I cut her hair again...(and risk her forever having a "boy" haircut)? Or do I stick it out and hope that by some stroke of luck her hair makes it past this horrible stage? I can usually manage to keep her hair looking neat with pig tails, pony tails and clips, but that's not always the case. I can already hear the conversation in about 13 years...."mom, how could you let my hair look like that!"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Frequent Flyers

Such a trooper...all smiles even when she isn't feeling good!
If the ENT doctor's office handed out freguent flyer miles per visit, we would be well on our way to our first free trip. Today will mark my third visit in two weeks to Ella's ear specialist. I am 99% sure she has ANOTHER ear infection. The poor girl spent the better part of the last two days pulling at her right ear, she has a low grade fever, stuffy nose, and many of the other symptoms that are all too familiar for us. The tell-tale sign of an ear infection with Ella is that she won't drink anything. If my instincts are correct, this will be Ella's 2nd ear infection this month. She was just cleared last week after battling a double ear infection. This is not good considering she had tubes put in this summer. The tubes are supposed to help with infections and drainage and they are helping, but for some reason she can't shake these infections. The doctor told me last week that there is so much fluid draining from her ears at this point, her ears and the tubes can't keep up. She had a build up of wax and fluid once again which has a serious impact on her hearing. For every step forward Ella is taking in her development, these ear issues set her back. It's an ugly cyle :-(

I need answers. I need to find a way to make Ella feel better. It breaks my heart to see her battling constant ear problems. It effects so much. She doesn't like to drink because its painful to swallow, her balance is thrown off and even riding in the car hurts because of the pressure. Not to mention, it's hard to grow a vocabulary and improve speech when you still can't hear well. Whenever we run into an issue like this I turn into "Crazy Col". I scour the internet for information, I badger friends and colleagues for advice and I bombard the doctors with questions.  Right now I am consumed with finding a way to help Ella. I have a full list of questions for Dr. Scheid today....mostly concerning how diet may effect Ella. I am considering a switch to soy milk to see if that helps curb these ear infections. I also wonder if there is a coralation between the excess fluid and hormones. I am no medical expert, but I am a mom and I will stop at nothing to get answers.

To be continued....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mom Guilt

Ella is heading off to her second day of school today...and the first day that Jason has to get her there before heading to work. Since I go to work at 3:30 am, the mornings are Daddy Daycare. Ella and Jason have breakfast together, a little playtime and usually a morning walk with Tucker before our babysitter comes for a few hours. Jason is a pro by now...managing to get it all done and get himself out the door (most days on time!)

Ella and me at the Tulip Festival Mother's Day weekend

In an effort to keep Ella out of daycare, we have both worked some crazy schedules in order to be home with Ella as much as possible. At times, this has been stressful and quite a juggling act, but in the long run WELL WORTH IT. We make a pretty good team and seem to have our routines down to a science (after two years!). I have no doubt that Jason and Ella will be just fine getting out the door to school and work on time. But...I am sitting in the live truck this morning, thinking about what THIS morning will be like. I left Ella's clothes out, her shoes are at the door and we even had a crash course on hair with daddy last night. Everything will go smoothly and it's nothing Jason can't handle. Still, I am sad that I can't be there to be the one helping get her ready. My mom was always home with us and the one to get us out the door to school. I guess it's more of that "mom guilt" that creeps in every so often. Every working mom makes sacrafices. I get up early and choose to work the am shift so that I can be home in the afternoon with Ella. I get to pick her up from school. I take her to swimming. I can play all afternoon and I can put her to bed. I am really only gone for a few hours in the morning. I can't complain considering I could be working all day or even all night. It's never enough though. It's a balance that I will never be satisfied with.

This is "guilt" I will have to live least until I win the lottery or find a way to clone myself. For now, I will just wait for my phone call this morning from Jason saying all went well (secretly, I can't wait to see how he does with her hair ;-) haha!) and by 1:00 HOPEFULLY my guilt will be tucked neatly away in the back of my mind again when I see Ella's smiling face and hear all about her day at school.

Family photo...LOVE xxoo

Friday, September 9, 2011

First Day of School

September 8, 2011 - Ella's "first day of school"
Thursday was Ella's first day of school...well the closest thing a 2 year old has for school! She had a successful start to Toddler Group. It was an exciting morning in our house. Ella was in a great mood and ready to go. She even cooperated perfectly for the obligatory first day of school picture. While Ella was happy and seemingly unaware of where we were headed at 8am...Jason and I were a mixed bag of emotions. In reality, you could probably say we were nervous wrecks (though neither one of us would admit it!) This was the first time we were leaving our little Pnut with strangers, outside of our house. We knew she was going to be in good hands. I had visited Unity Sunshine, toured the classroom, met the teachers and therapists, and even spoke to her teacher on the phone this week. We had good recommendations as well. Jen (Ella's PT) worked at Unity for several years. She explained the program to us and even walked me through much of the registration process.

There was no reason for us to be nervous. Ella walked into the classroom, right to the center of the room, looked around and seemed pretty impressed. There were kids everywhere. The drop-off room was busy with kids arriving and moms and dads meeting teachers and saying their goodbyes. Jason and I put her stuff in her cubby and chatted with the staff briefly. All the while, Ella never looked back! She didn't seem  concerned at all that we just brought her to this new place. She just stood there in the middle, taking everything in. We said our quick goodbyes, she waved to us and we were off. You would think that relief would set in....haha, NOPE! I even walked back to peek in the window of the classroom to make sure she was okay. Jason was worried because she was standing alone. We hashed out every situation possible during her two and a half hours in the classroom. Of course, all our worry was for nothing. Ella was all smiles and playing with another little girl when I arrived to pick her up. Her teachers said she had a good day!

We all survived day one. There were no tears (not even from me!), positive feedback, and lots of smiles and laughing from Ella for the rest of the day. I can't wait to see how well she does with all this change. Ella ALWAYS seems to rise to the occasion and impress us. I think this experience will lead to tremendous growth for Ella...and for Jason and me :-)

Friday, September 2, 2011

HUGE Personality!

There is little doubt that Ella does NOT have any of Jason's reserved personality. There is not a shy bone in this girl's body. She loves anyone that will hold her. She is full of hugs every time she meets someone new. She is quite the social butterfly. That was very clear this week when she had to come along to a work event.

News 10 hosted a fundraiser for Irene relief at the Saratoga Race Track. I have been reporting on the damage all week and was asked to share some of my personal experiences on our evening shows.  The storm certainly left it's mark here in upstate New York. Record flooding has literally wiped out entire towns. It is so sad to see. Every story has been so emotional. I am always humbled when I am talking to someone who has lost so much and they can still smile and see hope in the future. It makes you step back and realize that everyday problems that stress you out are minor compared to the heartache and loss these people are dealing with.

Ella helping Dave get the show on the air.
I took Ella to the track fundraiser with me...the one thing about every tv station I have worked at is that they tend to be "family friendly". Ella has been to the studio plenty of times and is pretty familiar with many of my co-workers. I had no doubt she would be on her best behavior at the track. She was walking all around our track set.

Posing with Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings.
 She helped our producer Dave make sure the show was perfect. She was very well behaved for our field producer Nicole (who watched Ella during my live shots). She posed for photos with Albany Major Jerry Jennings and she was all smiles for Billy Fucillo, the owner of several local car dealerships. Billy has a HUGE personality (anyone who has seen the commercials would agree with this), but he had some competition with Ella. She hugged Billy and was all smiles like she has known him forever!
One of my great co-workers Nicole with a worn out Ella.
Being cute takes lots of energy!

It was a great day at the track. It am happy that I could bring Ella with me. I will be able to share these stories with her when she is older. The event made me proud to work for WTEN. I am very lucky to have so much...a beautiful little girl, a loving family, the best friends in the world, and a job that allows me to meet new people and learn something different every day to name a just a few things. The list of "good" in my life, in the words of Billy, is HUGE!
Ella with Billy Fucillo...Pnut meets HUGE!