Monthly Archives: April 2010

Who’s using your smartphone?

I heard on the radio yesterday that when it comes to who is using apps on smartphones, kids are taking the lead.  Parents are finding it more and more convenient to use their smartphones to keep kids entertained and can take advantage of them as educational tools as well.

Child with iPhone
photo credit:David Owen

Thankfully there is a site called Best Kids Apps that can help you weed through all those iPhone apps for kids. They break it down by age, by purpose and even list free ones!!

I’ve been pining for an iPhone for quite awhile but its just not in the budget for us right now.  But I’m happy to be entering Best Kids Apps contest to win an iPad! And if I win, I know exactly where I can find great apps to keep Brooke occupied!!

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Melano-not me!

Oh how I wish.

Unfortunately, the silly little mole that the doctor didn’t like on my hand turned out to be melanoma. Thankfully it was caught very early and is considered Melanoma In Situ-Clark level 1.  In staging terms, that’s a zero.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been so willing to be considered a zero!!

Having the mole looked at in the first place was somewhat of a fluke.  When I was living in Michigan and the seasons would change, my hands would peel.  Actually, the pointer finger on my right hand would peel for awhile and eventually it would clear up.  After our trip to Michigan in February, I wasn’t shocked when my hand started peeling like it used to.  But when it spread to my palm, other fingers and eventually my left hand, I thought it was worth getting looked at.  I tried a quick trip to the MinuteClinic at CVS but they couldn’t help me.  When I couldn’t get into a dermatologist for almost a month, I tried a doctor in family medicine but he wasn’t sure what to do about it either.  However, he offered to see if he could get me an appointment with dermatology sooner.  Imagine my relief when he came back to the exam room with the news that I could be seen in a few hours!!

In less than an hour, I was in an exam room in the Dermatology department.  While I was there to have my peeling examined, Dr. Owens was much more fascniated by the mole on the back of my hand.  He didn’t like the looks of it and encouraged me to let him remove it.  That was fine with me and it was at that point I had a bad feeling that wasn’t the end of that mole.

About a week later Dr. Owens called to give me the news that the lab results showed melanoma.  It had not spread deeper than the first layer of skin but I would still need to an excision to be 100% there was no melanoma remaining in my hand.  He was going to show my pathology reports to a surgeon the next day.  That surgeon referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon who in turn referred me to a general surgeon who specializes in Skin Cancer & Melanoma and is the Chief of Surgery at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.  Being passed around from surgeon to surgeon only increased my anxiety about the whole thing…why didn’t anyone want to do the procedure on me?  Was my case too serious or not serious enough for their time?  I still haven’t figured out the answer to that…

Tomorrow I go in for a consultation with Dr. Jackson.  It’s possible that he’ll be able to go ahead with the procedure then as well.  I’m hopeful that is the case.  If not, that means it is more complicated and will have to be done at the hospital on another day. 

Until then, I urge you to be sure you are wearing your sunscreen when you’re outside, watch for changes in any moles you may have and get a yearly skin cancer screening!!


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Wordless Wednesday – Daddy’s Girl

Daddy's Girl

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Emotional Dump

All is great when I pick up Brooke from school. She excitedly points to show me what fun video they’re watching. She obediently sits and wait for me while I pick up her daily report. We wave buh-bye to anyone who will look. Then we walk out the door and head to the car.

Enter Mr. Hyde.

She squirms and fights me getting into her carseat. She screeches and grunts her displeasure at everything in the world. We finally get home and she gets mad if I want her to walk to the door. I don’t think she has any clue how heavy she’s getting! It continues while I’m in the kitchen working on dinner. She wants to be held, a snack, her drink, a whole myriad of wants/needs.

I’ve read in various places that this is quite common. Your toddler expends so much energy and restraint being “good” in her daycare environment, that once she’s in your presence she feels free to let it all out. A phenomenon I’ve come to refer to as the “emotional dump”.

Luckily, I have found a few things that decrease the intensity of the “dumps”.

  • Keep it quiet on the car ride home.  Turn off the Veggie Tales CD, stop asking her a zillion questions about her day and let her chill.  More often than not, she fills the car with her babbles but at least its on her terms.
  • Have a snack ready.  At her old school, they ate dinner around 4:30-5:00.  Now she has a snack around 3:30 and doesn’t eat again until we get home close to 5:30-6:00.  Those who know Munch know she’s happiest when her belly is full!!

So far that’s all I’ve come up with but I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to make it work and we’ll get our happy goofy girl back!
How do you help your little one unwind after a long day at school or daycare?

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Busy, Busy Brooke!

 A lot has been going on for my little Munch!

Daycare transition is going awesome!!  They love her, she seems to be having fun, she’s napping 2+ hours every day (I want their secret!).  So far this week, she read a book about manners, played outside, sang songs during circle time, learned about colors and on and on….I’ve gotten really great feedback from her teachers.  They’ve told me that she follows directions very well, stands up for herself with the other kids, is bright, and today Ms. Ashley told me she loves her outfits.  And most of her cute new stuff from Grandpa & Grandma Marshall & Kasey was in the wash!!

We had a speech therapy evaluation on Tuesday.  While she’s very good a receptive & cognative language skills, her expressive language is a little lacking.  Miss Judy evaluated her and was very impressed with how bright she is (see, we’re not the only ones who think so!) and her problem solving skills.  I talked to her today and she does recommend therapy for a little while but thinks Brooke just needs a little boost.  We think her new, more interactive environment at school will do wonders and we’ve already seen improvement.  We’ve added “Baby” and “Bottle” to our vocabulary this week!!

The TOT Collar for her tort is doing its job apparently.  Miss Mike, her physical therapist, told Keith yesterday that she like what she sees already and to keep at it!  Brooke is still tolerating her “collar time” at home really well and still runs up to me and sits down when I tell her its time to put on her “necklace”.  Hopefully we’ll only need it a little while longer.

We’re looking foward to the UH Spring Game tomorrow. Cheerleader Brooke will be yelling and jumping all over rooting for her Coogs!!!
Cheerleader Brooke

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