Friday, March 28, 2008

NSTAR's Walk for Children's Hospital Boston

Please support our walk! as you all know, Sylvie has been a fairly regular visitor to Children's Hospital Boston--seen various specialists, been treated for dehydration after a bad bout of GI bug and this past fall had open heart surgery to correct three (thankfully minor) heart defects--and the quality of care there has always been top notch. Children's Hospital Boston is a wonderful place, a truly unique hospital—one of the best pediatric institutions in the world, giving hope to so many kids and their families, constantly finding new ways to treat or cure an amazing variety of diseases. The doctors and nurses here never say "never" and they treat kids from all over the world. Some have families who can't afford to pay for their care. Children's takes care of them all! And it's very involved with the neighborhoods around it—helping low-income and at-risk kids.

Your donation will make a difference in kids' lives!

Click HERE to sponsor one of us!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Long overdue post part 2: School is IN..and off to a bumpy start

Because of Sylvie's stomach bug, she unfortunately missed her last EI playgroup on Monday and what would have been her first day of school on it wasn't until Wednesday that our girl began her student life. Theron and I took her into school so that we could meet the teacher and her aides and see what the classroom was like. It was quite spacious and had it's own bathroom--a side benefit of this school is that they help potty train! Sylvie seemed immediately to feel at home and wandered around the room looking at all the varied activities available to her. Once the other five kids arrived and the teacher got them all together for their morning circle, Theron and I snuck out marveling at how amazing it is that our daughter is in school!

I dropped Theron off at the T station so he could get to work and then I went home to our weirdly empty house. It was just a few hours later when I got a call for the school nurse; the teacher had concerns about Sylvie's hands being cold and bluish. I let her know that it wasn't an unusual occurrence for Sylvie and that I too had poor circulation in my extremities. I think they were being extra cautious because of her history of cardiac issues which I definitely appreciated. When the school bus (which is actually a van) dropped her off later that afternoon, she seemed very happy to be home but not especially tired from her first full day at school.

Each child in the class has a folder that comes home each day with daily status reports for us parents; if the child had a good day/tired day/hard day what activities they participated in how much (if any) of their snack or lunch they ate etc. There's also usually a personal note about any special accomplishments or troubles on that day. They kept things light on her first day and basically just let her explore the room on demand. According to the day's note, Sylvie especially loved the rice table and classroom computer!

Sylvie's second day was the bumpiest so far...literally. About an hour after we put her on the bus to school, I got another call from the nurse; this time because Sylvie had fallen and hit her head right after arriving at the school. Apparently, the teacher had taken her off the bus and was helping another kid off who decided to make a break for it in the direction of the street. In grabbing the runaway, Sylvie was accidentally knocked off balance and fell. The nurse said that Sylvie was fine but had a large goose egg on her forehead and that the teacher felt terrible. Of course I wasn't thrilled to hear that this had happened but I am aware that accidents do occur and there have been days when Sylvie sported two lumps on her forehead from tumbles she took at home so I assured the nurse that as long as Sylvie was ok then I was ok too.

Guess who called me AGAIN a few hours later?
The school nurse.

Sylvie had bumped her head a second time, this time after tipping over backwards in her chair. The nurse assured me that she'd checked her out again and that Sylvie was fine...but that the poor teacher was practically in tears at this point!

Despite her bumpy second day at school, Sylvie came home in a fine mood. And though she was indeed sporting an enormous scraped knot on her forehead her 'voluminous' hair seemed to have provided enough cushioning to prevent a bump on the back of her head.

Sylvie has been a preschooler for almost a month now and seems to be enjoying it...and we've not had (and hopefully won't have) anymore calls from the school nurse!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Long overdue post part 1: Sylvie is THREE!!!

Sylvie's birthday fell on a Tuesday this year and since we wanted to have a party, we decided to celebrate a couple of days early on Sunday. We knew we'd have several small children ranging in age from 1-3.5 yrs, we wanted to make sure that they'd all be kept busy (and happy!) so we set up two play areas: one in Sylvie's room and one upstairs. The upstairs play area had a pop-up house/ball pit, tubes to crawl through and even butcher paper on the walls with a large can of crayons at hand for any aspiring muralists. Plenty of fine and gross motor therapy for all, heh.

All told we had about 25 people at the party and everyone seemed to have a great time. Sylvie enjoyed herself but seemed mostly oblivious to the fact that the party was for her. Still, she did run around saying "happy birthday! happy birthday!" at random intervals which was adorable. I managed to get a party hat on her (briefly) and she cracked up at her reflection and said "happy birthday!" a few more times because the pointy hat symbolizes birthdays to her ever since we attended baby Bryce's 1st birthday in December where many of the guests wore the hats.

We had one minor upset during the cupcake eating when Sylvie gagged and threw up. The mess was mostly contained on her booster seat tray and we were able to whisk her off to the bathroom for cleanup and a change so quickly that almost no one knew what had happened. We kept an eye on her for a bit but after a while we thought (as it turns out, incorrectly) that it was just a case of 'too much birthday' as she went right back to being her smiley self. When it came time to open presents, Sylvie was pretty 'meh' about it but Sara's enthusiasm as our self-designated helper more than made up for her lack of interest. Sylvie received many fabulous gifts including cool clothes, fun books, art supplies, a scribbly spiral pen, a wooden sandwich set, character dress-up magnets featuring Elmo and Zoe, a bucket o' play-doh fun...(plus many other things that I hope the people who gave them will not be offended by my not listing!)

The party eventually wound down and everyone headed home. Randy and Alayna stayed a bit longer and helped with the clean-up (thanks guys!) before they too departed. All was right with the world until later that night, about 2 hours after Sylvie had gone to bed, when suddenly we heard her coughing...followed by the unmistakable sound of her vomiting. Turns out the cupcake upchuck from earlier in the day was not an isolated incident as we'd hoped because the poor girl was unhappy-go-pukey all through the wee hours of the morning. This also alerted us that Sylvie's birthday soiree that day had been a possible disease vector because it was a little too coincidental that Theron had puked his guts out 2 nights prior and that he'd likely had a GI bug and not just food poisoning as we'd originally believed. (We learned later that only one party guest ended up being sick as well and her parents thought she could just as easily have gotten it from another friend she saw that same day.)

Sylvie stopped throwing up around dawn but was completely wiped the whole next day and developed a high but short lived fever of 102 that afternoon. I made sure to keep her hydrated and cooled her off with a damp cloth during the worst of the fever and after a good nights rest she was much better the following day.