Hallie spent her weekend with some of her favorite people: grammy, who came in from South Jersey to see the kidlet, and her fellow commune-ers (which now includes Ethan's little brother, Cole---we need to get a picture of him up here pronto).
On Saturday, Karina was trying on her little red riding hood cape as Sharon, Grammy, and Hallie were heading out the door for one of the many frequent visits Hallie makes to the local Whole Foods Market (Hallie loves it there since it's stroller heaven and she gets to flirt with all the other kids while grabbing things off of shelves to put in her mouth. The kid has quite a reach).
While we were all standing outside, Karina kept going over to Hallie to kiss and hug her:
We thought this was very sweet and rivaled only by Karina's running into our house, rushing over to Hallie, and pronouncing "Mine, all mine!" while hugging and squeezing her.
Sunday morning we all got up bright and early to dress the kids in their Hallowe'en costumes and head over to Franklin Square for the kiddie costume trick-or-treating event. Here's our communards, minus a sleeping Cole who was dressed as a teddy bear:
Big brother Ethan, who is popular on a normally-clad day, was particularly attractive to all of the other kids in his fetching Elmo costume. And Karina made a lovely little red riding hood, indeed, and got to hold her signature basket (she is learning early on from Vanessa that it's important to have the right bag with you at all times).
Hallie was a very cute piglet, which is a sort of ironic costume given our girl's relationship to eating.
Hallie's costume is a 12-18 month size and so we thought that it would be a bit on the big side. We were wrong on this count; it was actually quite tight on her. What the kid lacks in girth she more than makes up for in length, and so we fear that it was not much fun for Hallie to run around in this particular outfit. Next year we'll get something that is two-piece just in case.
Hallie did have a nice time, though, picking flowers with mommy:
And right after that, she demanded to be changed out of her costume and took a nice long nap in the stroller while all of the other kids went on the carousel and ran around in the toddler playground. Hallie is just not used to getting up so early (9am). This will, alas, change next week when Sharon goes back to work and Hallie begins to be subjected to my schedule (I get up way early--around 5:30am--for work (not out of choice) and even though I sleep in on other days, this often means getting up no later than 7 or 7:30. Amy will be over to watch Hallie around the same time on the morning on days when I am in the office, so we expect that Hallie's internal clock will begin to reset itself sometime next week.
Hallie's early-to-rise Sunday experience was replicated on Monday, too, when we had to pry her loose from the bed and scoop her up and into her carseat to make it over to CHOP for her ear tube surgery. The surgery itself was a five to ten minute affair, but the anaesthesia (both getting numbed up and snapping out of it) dragged the experience out to four hours.
At first, that was not at all a bad experience for Hallie. Around 8am the nurses came by with 'giggle juice' for Hallie, a cocktail of tylenol and versed---the latter is all too familiar to us from the NICU days. Turns out that Hallie's response to the versed back then was probably a lot like her response to the versed this time around. Long story short, it had her in paroxysms of laughter and mirth even as it did get her, for lack of a better word, pretty stoned.
Here she is giggling with Sharon:
I really wish that we had this on digital video and not just in still form because Hallie had a pretty hilarious time of it. This reminded me of how she used to roll around on versed in the NICU even when she weighed less than a kilo. This always surprised the nurses since the drug was supposed to knock you out. Not our girl; nothing but nothing (short of pavulon, which saved her life by paralyzing her for her PDA ligation) really had that affect on her.
In any event, the surgery went well. There was a buildup of fluid in her ears, though it was not at this point infected. The ENT felt that the choice of placing tubes was very justified, and he hopes that this will make her ears less prone to infection. So do we.
The surgery had Hallie pretty cranky and tired, and so she did end up sleeping away a large portion of Monday afternoon but was more herself by Tuesday. Unfortunately, part of being Hallie is refluxing---we suspect that since it always hurts to have food in her tummy (either because it comes back up or because she is such a slow gastric emptier that she always feels bloated, or some combination thereof), she is now actively working at making herself vomit (she sticks her fingers down her throat, or eats paper, etc). This is, of course, the last thing we want her to do, and we are actively searching for something that might help. We are backing off on some of the Simply Thick, just in case the xantham gum might be constipating her; we are adding Karo Syrup to her bottles to help her move food through more (which is particularly disgusting when you consider how sickly sweet the pediasure or nutren is already); we are giving her suppositories, prunes, mylanta, miralax etc. Nothing really is helping. The erythromycin was too powerful for her system and with her tummy not emptying, it managed to push food up rather than down and make her pain worse. We are at wits end and we keep having to remind ourselves that we are just looking for a management device and not a cure. Sigh.
Anyway, that's all for now. Hallie will trick or treat this evening, after her belated 15-month checkup with her pediatrician. Hopefully he, or her feeding guru at St. Joseph's, will have some advice about what to do next. Meanwhile, we will just try to enjoy our smiley, smart, active, and very interesting little girl and be thankful for what is, and try not to focus on what is not.