Where the Wild Things Are

by Kayte

Max and Lola’s costumes this year were from the book Where the Wild Things Are – Max in the Wolf Suit and Lola the Wild Thing.



Max and Lola had a big Halloween celebration at school today – costume parade, trick-or-treating at the classrooms, make-and-take holiday crafts and a potluck brunch.


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Lola still had a cough today, but her fever has subsided and she was acting pretty normal so we let her go to school to participate in the festivities. We rested during the afternoon and went out for a very brief trick-or-treating walk just to say hi to a few of our neighbors. The kids ended up with enough candy to last them until next Halloween!



Post-Op Recovery

by Kayte

We are 3-days post-op from Max’s hemangioma and Lola’s ear tube surgeries. Max is doing so great that sometimes we forget he had surgery and accidentally pick him up by the armpits. But he says otherwise it doesn’t hurt and hasn’t asked for any pain medication. He’ll be good to go back to school tomorrow.


Lola has had a pretty persistent cough since Friday, and over the weekend she developed a fever that spiked at 103.8* – yikes. We called the ENT doctor on-call at the hospital, but he didn’t think it had anything to do with the ear tube surgery since it is such a simple procedure. The degree of fever doesn’t necessarily correlate with degree of sickness either, and her fever responded well to Tylenol, so we’re just watching for now. Lola’s been sleeping more during the day, but super alert and acting like herself when awake, so we’ll see. Doctors always say to look at the patient, not the numbers.

Trunk or Treat 2016

by Kayte

Max stayed home from school today after his surgery for a little R&R, but he didn’t seem to need it. He was running around like normal (even doing yoga!) and refused my offer of medicine for pain. He probably would have been fine going to school, but it was fun to stay home together and watch a movie 🙂

We figured both the kids were well enough to go to the annual Trunk or Treat event at their school. Nana came with again, and Brody was even able to get out of work early, so we had a nice family outing. This year there were lots of games for the kids to play, a taco truck for dinner, and of course the candy! We had lots of fun and are so happy to be part of our awesome school community.









Apparently “Say ‘Trunk or Treat!'” is not the thing to say when taking a photo.

Double Surgery

by Kayte

Today was the day of Max’s hemangioma and Lola’s ear tube surgeries. We weren’t sure if scheduling them on the same day was crazy efficient or just plain crazy, but it ended up working out really well. They were both scheduled for around two in the afternoon, and we were able to all stay together during pre- and post-op. Surgery was an hour late, Max slept for two hours post-op, and we ended up driving home in rush hour traffic; so we’re really glad that we only had to do this whole thing once.


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Max and Lola were both amazing – there was no fuss and they both just went along with the flow. They each drank a shot of Versed (a sedative, aka “Happy Juice”) before surgery so that helped when it came time to take them away for surgery. Max’s medicine took effect right away and he got pretty goofy. Meanwhile Lola got super agitated and kept trying to climb out of bed (which she couldn’t do because the medicine makes them tippy). Different personalities shining through.


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Lola’s surgery only took a matter of minutes – we had barely sat down in the waiting room before the doctor came to talk to us. He said everything went well and they got a lot of thick, syrupy liquid out of Lola’s right ear. She’s on antibiotic ear drops for a few days, but otherwise back to normal activity. Max’s surgery took a little longer, but only about a half hour. The doctor said the incision ended up being a little longer than he anticipated, but it still shouldn’t be too bad of a scar. Max’s incision is closed with absorbable sutures, medical glue and covered in a skinny piece of derma-bond so we can’t see much, but it should be pretty healed up in two weeks when we go back for our follow-up appointment. Max is supposed to stay home from school tomorrow and take it easy, but back to regular activity after that.



Very glad to have these two surgeries out of the way with relative ease!

Weight: 37lb 8oz
Height: 41 inches

Weight: 29lb 11oz
Height: 40 inches

Costume Party

by Kayte

This weekend we went to our friends’ annual Halloween party. This year the kids were old enough for activities – cookie decorating, pumpkin painting and canvas painting. We enjoyed a great potluck lunch with a cotton candy machine for dessert. It was very good to see our old friends who we haven’t seen in awhile.





Field Trip: Underwood Farms

by Kayte

Today was our annual [field] trip to the local Fall Harvest Festival with Max & Lola’s school. Unfortunately we’ve been experiencing a heat wave in the 90s these past couple days, so it felt nothing like fall, and we weren’t able to stay for very long. We did manage to climb the hay pyramid, take a tractor ride and pick pumpkins, but that was about all before we had to throw in the [sweaty] towel. I think next year we will base our timing of the trip solely on weather forecast.




Pumpkin Festival

by Kayte

This weekend we went to the Pumpkin Festival in Calabasas. There were lots of things for the kids to do including jumpy houses, slides, games, pumpkin painting, pinewood derby and lots of candy. The overcast weather even cooperated and it actually felt like fall!

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Life-Sized Candyland

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Pinewood Derby


Everything is Broken

by Kayte

The kids sure do love them some Bob Dylan.

Broken lines broken strings
Broken threads broken springs
Broken idols broken heads
People sleeping in broken beds
Ain’t no use jiving
Ain’t no use joking
Everything is broken.


by Kayte

Blue hoodies and fuzzy jackets.

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Face Forward

by Kayte

Lola’s official weigh-in at 40 inches yesterday put her over the limit for her rear-facing carseat, so we turned her around to face forward. I must admit it’s pretty nice to be able to look back and see her face, and there’s a lot more room in the backseat – but only on the condition that it’s safe! She seems pretty happy seeing all the new sights.

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30th Percentile!

by Kayte

Lola had her six-month checkup with the endocrinologist today. She gained another 2 pounds and grew another 2 inches which puts her in the 3rd percentile for weight and the 30th percentile for height! Needless to say the doctor was very happy with her progress.



They also did an x-ray which put Lola’s bone age at 2.75 years. According to the doctor this is actually a good thing because it shows that she still has a lot of potential for growth. If Lola’s bone age matched her actual age it would mean that she was maxed out at the 30th percentile, but because her bone age is nearly 2 years behind her actual age, she still has room to grow.


I never noticed this on her chart before but I think based on our (parents’) height the doctor has her natural growth potential (stature) highlighted at the 50-80% range between 5’5″ to 5’7″.



Height: 40 inches
Weight: 29.5 pounds

UCLA NICU Reunion 2016

by Kayte

Today we took the kids to their second NICU reunion of 2016, this time at UCLA. It was kid heaven: bounce houses, a petting zoo, police car, ambulance, cotton candy, ice cream, a candy store and more. They ran around and had a blast. Unfortunately we didn’t see many people we knew except our favorite RT; one of our primary nurses moved out of state, the other was planning her wedding, and a lot of the other nurses don’t work at UCLA anymore. So it didn’t feel as personal this time around, but we still had some fun.






Go Bruins!




by Kayte

Lola’s MRSA eye infection came back for a FOURTH time this week, so today I had a long conversation with our pediatrician about MRSA. Basically the MRSA bacteria lives in your nose and on your skin and usually does not cause infections in healthy people – it’s estimated that 50% of the population is colonized with MRSA. Unfortunately this year our family has experienced MRSA eye infections (Lola), skin infections (myself) and pneumonia (Lola). The pediatrician wants to treat the current eye infection plus start a decolonization protocol to stop new infections from forming. We’re starting a 21-day course of 4X/day antibiotic eye drops (Lola), 3X/day antibiotic nasal swab (whole family) and antimicrobial soap (whole family); plus a lot of extra laundering of linens/clothes and scrubbing of house surfaces. The pediatrician is trying to avoid oral antibiotics which kill lots of good bacteria in the body and can cause all sorts of additional intestinal problems.

This whole thing isn’t guaranteed to be 100% effective, but it’s worth a shot if there’s a chance of protecting our family (especially Lola). There’s a pretty good chance that the MRSA could come back (especially if we spend any more time in the hospital) but at least we’ll be clean for a little while. Plus, our 21-day course ends the day before Lola’s ear tube surgery and Max’s hemangioma surgery, so at least I know we’ll be “clean” heading into those two medical procedures.

Bright Star

by Kayte

After thirty-six sessions our insurance benefits finally ran out for the year, so today was our last day of private PT at the clinic. We had grown quite close to some of the therapists in the last six months and it was a bittersweet session. On the one hand we said “Hopefully we’ll see you next year!” [when the insurance restarts] but on the other hand it really would be better if Lola didn’t need extra PT. In the meantime Lola will continue to get PT at school and we will supplement with lots of park play and fun exercise.


Secret Life of Pets

by Kayte

The kids had the day off school today (l’shana tova!) so we got the family together for Max & Lola’s first-ever movie in a theater. Cousin Booker is a seasoned movie-goer, but I had been holding off with Max & Lola because I wasn’t sure how well they would sit through a whole movie (hence the Nana-reinforcement). Turns out they did great and we all had a really fun time watching The Secret Life of Pets and chowing popcorn. I hadn’t been in a movie theater myself for about 4-1/2 years, so it was nice to get out and do something different.

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L’shana Tova!

by Kayte

Happy New Year 5777!

Sea Horses

by Kayte

Max and Lola finished their short session of four group fall swim lessons today. We definitely didn’t see as much progress as the private lessons they took over the summer, but we were just hoping to maintain and keep them comfortable in the [heated] water, as our own pool is starting to get chilly as the nights get cooler. Mission accomplished.