Sunday, March 30, 2008

Glorious News

Our daughter is potty-trained. Becky praised her for being a "big girl" twice for things like helping Lucy. I guess that's all she needed to make her big girl status official. One day, she was soiling diapers like any old bum on the street, and the next day she's taking off her pants, climbing onto the toilet, wiping herself, flushing, and pulling her pants back up. Maybe she was exposed to some radiation or somethings.

As a reward for her new-found independence, Sam received her very first nightgown, which also affords her only one layer of disrobing when she is called by nature.

Easter Sunday. Word to your mother.
Lucy is not potty-trained, but we do find ourselves forgetting to change her now that our diaper needs are halved.

Courtesy of Jeremiah Fernelius Shakespear.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Flat Emma

My niece, Emma is in the 1st grade and one of her assignments is to send a small, laminated version of herself to someone far away to see what kinds of adventures "Flat Emma" can have. We were the proud recipients of Flat Emma. Samantha was in one of her frenzied carnivore moods, and Flat Emma was devoured almost as soon as she came out of her envelope.

Flat Emma starts her adventure through the digestive process in Samantha's mouth, where food is chewed up and mixed with saliva. This makes food easy to swallow and starts to break down the simple starches into sugars.

Flat Emma is then pushed to the back of Sam's mouth by the tongue and then she goes through the ESOPHAGUS. This is the tube that takes food down into the stomach. It has SPHINCTERS at both ends to keep food from coming back up.

Here she is in the STOMACH. It's a bag that can stretch as more food goes into it. Those ridges are called RUGAE (roo'-gay) that help mix up the food. The stomach also makes acid that kills bacteria and breaks down the food.

After the stomach, Flat Emma goes into the SMALL INTESTINE, which could also be called the "long intestine." In a grown up, the small intestine is about 20 feet long! This is where most of the good stuff is taken out of the food so it can be used by the body.

After the small intestine, Flat Emma and all the digested food go into the LARGE INTESTINE or COLON. In the colon, most of the water is pulled out so the soupy, used up food turns into poop.

The large intestine empties into the rectum, where the poop piles up before it's pushed out. It's a good thing Samantha hasn't learned how to use the toilet. Otherwise, Flat Emma would be on her way to the Kansas City Water Treatment Plant.

Flat Emma sure had an interesting trip through the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM. Maybe next time, she'll go to Cincinnati.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bugs and Drugs

We've been struggling to get the right diagnosis and treatment from our pediatric group. Samantha's been spiking fevers for about 2 weeks. She also told us a couple times that her back hurt and we had one high blood sugar reading. They first tried to tell us that she had a virus. Then, with some insistence, they tested her for diabetes. Finally, with even more insistence, they did an additional traumatic urine collection and tested her for a urinary tract infection. The doctor seemed very surprised that we may have had a clue as to what was wrong with our daughter when the urine tested extremely positive for bacteria. She's already doing better on the antibiotics.
Don't be afraid to speak up for your children's health, folks. Those doctors are not omniscient.

If you look at our family collectively, this is what we look like. You might say that this picture is a representation of our family's soul.

Our youngest is not afraid to go after the most attractive person in the room.