Friday, June 30, 2006

8 Days Post-op

Here is Miles' ear yesterday. You can see the facial bruising has gone down a lot. Unfortunately, it looks like his face is dirty now. Of course, as you can tell by the cheerio in this pic, it probably was a bit dirty, LOL.

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And a picture of him at his new school. He started on Wednesday. Two hours Wed., a half day yesterday, and a full day today. It will be his first time in a full-day program. We debated whether we should do it or not, but he loves school and my mom, who is a Montessori teacher, thought he'd love it. We figure we can always take him back down to half days, if needed. So far he LOVES his new school. I can't wait to hear how his day went today.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Our kids are so darn cute

My mom just gave me a CD of photos. These first were taken while Jack was with Grandma and Grandpa, while we were in LA.

Does he not have the most beautiful brown eyes?

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Look! "Beh-plane!"

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Anthills are cool.

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I'm so glad my Grandma's a Montessori teacher!

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Is there something in my hair?

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And finally one of Miles taken just before the surgery. I hope to post some pics of his healing ear soon.

Here's my goofy gus!

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

4 Days Post-op

Here are pictures of Miles' ear today. It really doesn't seem to be bothering him at all, other than the occasional picking. He's still upset that he can't go swimming. Tonight we're allowed to wash his hair after we slather the sponge with vaseline. He needs it!

You can see that the bruising on his face is pretty bad. The next pic is the stitching Dr. R. made to get rid of the alopecia from the incision on the first surgery. It's healing really nicely.

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And for comic relief, here are some pics of the boys eating their Tofutti chocolate "ice cream" sandwiches after dinner last night:

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2 Days Post-op

Here are some pictures of Miles' ear after the post-op with Dr. Reinisch. Dr. R. cleaned up the ears a bit, which made them bleed again, blah. But I guess at least it's new blood rather than old, crusty blood.

These pictures were taken at LAX after the appointment--we were finally on our way home! It was so great to finally get here.

The "new" ear with sponge still in place, thank goodness!

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The back of the other ear, where Dr. R. was trying to clean up the scarring from the skin graft from the first operation:

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Breaking news on the missing back pack: thank goodness for library books! Apparently a kid from Colorado Springs took it accidentally and they didn't notice until they got to their destination. The tracked us down through the library books that were in there and will hopefully will be sending it soon. So it looks like Jack will be getting a new backpack (the replacement one we got in Anaheim) and some of the other doubled up stuff. We're just glad to have the irreplaceable stuff back.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Day after stage 2 surgery

Miles is doing well. We've been taking it easy. Here are his ears.

His "new" ear is pretty swollen and bruised:

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The back of his other ear is still pretty icky. We're slowly getting it cleaned up. It bled a fair amount yesterday, so we don't want to open up any of the scabs.

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We had a very leisurely morning, then took a walk in the gardens below Yamashiro, the restaurant up the hill and also owned by our hotel. It has famous views of the city and beautiful Japanese gardens and walk ways.

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This afternoon we went to El Capitan theater and saw the movie "Cars," which was really cute. The theater is owned by Disney and absolutely gorgeous. They really do it up. It starts with an old time movie theater organist, where the organ and player disappear into the stage when done. Then there is a live pre-show, where they have a pit crew and have kids come up and try doing the pit stuff. Miles enjoyed the movie for the most part, but he still has a hard time sitting through an entire movie.

He still has not needed any pain medications and the ear doesn't bother him much--we just occasionally have to remind him not to touch it. The only real problem we've had is when we returned from the movie and he saw some people in the pool and really wanted to go swimming. We told him that Dr. R. said he can't get his ear wet for a while, and he started crying and said that he "doesn't want his new ear anymore," which just broke my heart. It's hard for 4 year olds to understand when they can't do something they want, like swim.

We are missing Jack desperately, but it doesn't sound like he's missing us much! I think he's having a blast with Grandma and Grandpa. I heard they were going to a farm today. Here are some pics my mom has sent me.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Day of Stage 2 Surgery

Warning:

Some of the pics ahead are not for the really squeamish (although they're not that bad).

Today was the surgery and it went much more smoothly than the first. We had to be at the surgical center at 6:15 am, but there was a mix up in scheduling, so Dr. Reinisch didn't get things started until 8:00 am. It was a long wait! Here is one last pic of Miles' ear post stage 1 and pre stage 2 and then some pics of him in the waiting room:

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We finally got to preop and he got his versaid. Here he is as it takes effect:

Getting silly with the anaesthesiologist:

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Feeling pretty good:

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Wasted:

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Down right out of it:

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The surgery took about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Dr. R. told us he would remove the hair that was growing in his ear (from the skin graft). He also stitched up the area on the head where the incision was made the first time and where the hair was not growing back very well. I recently read on the microtia yahoo board that someone was concerned about hair not growing back after medpor. Well, Dr. R. will fix that! He also did some work on the back of the other ear, because he wasn't very happy with the scarring from the skin graft.

Here is Miles following the surgery, asleep and after he came to. Thankfully he did not freak out when he woke up, like last time. There are some pics of his "newly revised ear." Note that there is a sponge in the ear that should fall out on its own in 1-3 weeks. We got some great news too: Dr. R. will be travelling through Denver in one month, so we're going to get to have a post-op! It's nice to have the expert look at it in person to ensure that it is healing properly.

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Back of other ear. It's been a bit drippy:

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Incision where there was scar and hair "loss." Dr. R. says the stitching together should fix that:

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And Miles back at the Magic Castle Hotel:

Enjoying a popsicle (we're going to have to work on the pj stains):

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We have our post-op on Thursday morning at CHLA, then fly back that afternoon. Miles is allowed to wash his hair this weekend, after we cover the sponge with vaseline.

Currently he is laying on the fold out couch/bed in the living room and watching his favorite television shows. He just finished some cheese and crackers and seems relatively happy. We haven't even had to give him pain meds yet. So, so far so good!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Surgery Tomorrow & What We've Been Up To

Well, we're finally getting around to updating this blog. It has been a really hectic few days! But we've had fun. We probably over did it, considering Miles' surgery is tomorrow morning, but we had a blast (for the most part).

We left early Friday morning and the trip did not start out well. We parked in long term parking at the airport and took the bus in. We were the last ones to get off the very full bus and discovered that either a) someone had taken Miles' rolling backpack or b) the bus driver set it out with someone else's baggage at another stop. I'm suspecting the latter. We were all really upset. We had just gotten Miles a brand new hotwheels backpack the night before and filled it with a few new toys, his favorite toys, his favorite books on CD, and some library books. I'm particularly upset about losing the latter two, since I'm not sure where to get the CD books and we'll probably have to pay a lot to replace the library ones. So one of the first things we did when we got to Anaheim was to go to Target and at least replace the backpack and toys that we could--an expense we REALLY didn't need right now. But when a little boy is about to have surgery he needs some toys and fun things to do.

The plane that was just supposed to briefly stop in Las Vegas, ended up being a full on layover. We had to change planes after all and wait and therefore got in late to LAX, thus missing our lunch reservations at Goofy's Playhouse. It's probably just as well, since Miles seems to be afraid of Disney characters in costume after all. The kid loves roller coasters, but is afraid of a big Winnie the Pooh--go figure.

That night we ended up eating at Rainforest Cafe in downtown Disney, which was a little too expensive, but fun. We stayed for the next 3 nights at the Candy Cane Inn, which I would NOT recommend. The first night, I went out to the balcony/walk way to talk to my mom on the phone, when I noticed a RAT about 20 feet away. I then realized that the tree across from our room was full of at least 4 rats. Absolutely disgusting! They "upgraded" us to a room that was older and not as nice, but farther from the busy street and no trees directly next to us. Blech.

Then the next day was the big day at Disney. As I just said, Miles LOVES rollercoasters. On his first one he even put his hands in the air. That's my boy! You can definitely tell he has some Coakley blood in him--we can't wait to take him to Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world one of these days.

Here are some pictures from Disney. Warning: this blog post is going to have a lot!

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Later in the day we left Disney to rest, shower (it was SO hot!) and eat dinner. We went back to ride some more rides and watch the fireworks. Here is what Miles looked like about 5 minutes before the fireworks started:

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Then, once they started, he FREAKED out. He was terrified, so we had to try to rush out of the park. Oh, I forgot to mention that some jerk stole the stroller we rented, so poor Brian had to carry him and it took forever, because half the park was roped off for the fireworks. I wish I had been able to see the fireworks; what little I saw looked really cool.

The next day we slept in, but then drove to San Diego to meet my friend Jen, her little girl Kaia, and her husband Randy at the zoo. Wow that place is huge! I feel like we saw just a small percentage of it. Here are some pics.

Miles with the biggest orangatan I've ever seen:

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Miles with his cool new twirly beanie. It's so cute:

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Today we briefly went back to downtown Disney to get Jack and Miles little souvenirs. Then we went to Venice Beach and had a nice, relaxing late morning/afternoon. We played in the ocean and sand and had a relaxing outdoor lunch.

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Notice our little friend in front of the bucket:

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Then we finally got to the Magic Castle, which is absolutely wonderful. I cannot say how much I love this hotel. They are so nice and the facilities are amazing. They've been giving us the "royal treatment" because of the business they've received from our recommendations. Here we are in the pool, which is really nice. They give you popsicles poolside too! :-)

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Tomorrow we have to be at the surgical center at 6:15 am. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.