Rock Climbing and Grandparents and Surgeries - Oh My!

One thing is for sure... we'll never accused of sitting around during our limited time in California.

Last Friday I took Sheridan to an ENT to have her adenoids and tonsils evaluated as she's been exhibiting most of the same symptoms Riley did prior to her adenoidectomy eighteen months ago. After a thorough examination and an x-ray of the soft tissues in her face, the ENT discovered that her adenoids are between 50-75% obstructing her breathing, and she'd be best served by having them, along with her enlarged tonsils, removed. Fabulous! We're now awaiting the insurance company approval, which we should have by the end of the week, and then we can schedule her outpatient procedure for the first week of June.

On top of scheduling Sheridan's surgery, Matt needs to have another gum micro grafting surgery to repair one tooth that didn't take during last summer's surgery. Never a dull moment, eh?

My parents and brother Randy came down this weekend to hang with the girlies. It was a whirlwind weekend. On Friday, my mom was schlepped around to doctors appointments with me, while my dad ran around with me to the girls schools, worked a little in the hotel, and spent the afternoon with Riley. Saturday we took the girls rock climbing, an activity that my brother introduced to the girls several visits ago. We found a place to climb nearby our hotel, though it didn't remotely compare to the climbing gym near my parents house. But it was adequate enough, despite my brother not being able to climb himself, and having to belay the girls as they didn't have the auto belay safety system. Like a whiz, Riley climbed quickly and swiftly to the top. Sheridan on the other hand surprised us all, and after a little tentativeness (is that a word?), climbed steadily and slowly to the top. You go girlfriend! After a trip to the park and dinner with my parents and their friends, the girls crashed out.

This upcoming week is already proving quite busy with more doctors appointments, lots of pre-consumables shopping sprees, and actually beginning some preparations for baby Perlman.

For those of you who've inquired about Matt... he's doing well, albeit very busy. He's dealing with household staff issues - including completely firing the maid who after not showing up for two weeks, had the audacity to call and ask him for more money and a letter of recommendation. Oh the nerve. He's also had some car issues, is constantly consoling a very sad dog who clearly misses us, and is trying to get everything in order to fly out here in just 12 short days! We can't wait.

Until I write again... here are some photos of the girls and their rock climbing expedition!


Wayward Observations From a 4, 6, and 35 Year Old

Over the past few weeks as we've finally settled in to our temporary lives here, the girls have made many comments about the differences between living in India and Southern California.

While Sheridan's observations are nowhere near as prophetic as Riley's, she does notice some changes. Such as how much colder it is here than in Chennai. And how clean it is at her school. And how much bigger it is than her old preschool. And how the teachers aren't called Auntie's...

Riley on the other hand goes through the litany of differences on an almost daily basis. It usually starts with how much better it is here because there are less bugs. And then moves into what she calls the "cool factor" that her school cafeteria offers three choices for lunch... and the bathroom isn't in the classroom, but rather outside and around the corner. Very exciting stuff for a six year old. She also loves taking baths now because the water is clear, not brown when it comes out of the faucet (um... yeah, I like that one too). Riley remarks how clean everything is too. Stores, roads, cars, the hotel room... nothing can be too clean for my neat freak. But there is one thing she does miss in India. When we're stuck in traffic, we're stuck... we can't just honk and go around the cars. There are rules here, and we actually have to follow them. Bummer ' cuz I do miss that one too.

I've also had a chance to notice a few things of my own. Like how I can totally embarrass my six year old. Rock on! Last week I dropped Riley off at school wearing the same sweat pants that I slept in the night before and a sweatshirt that I threw over my tank top. No big deal. I'm pregnant and have very few clothing options, right? WRONG!! Apparently she considered what I was wearing pajamas and she was mortified. You would have thought with all the whining and complaining that I drove to school naked, got out, and walked her to her classroom. I didn't. All I was doing was dropping her off at the curb. Arghhh.

Riley also has an issue with my car. I clearly don't wash it enough for her taste. Every single day she tells me that it's too dirty and she doesn't even want to touch the door anymore.... or be seen with me in it. So after 3 weeks, I broke down and finally took it to the car wash. And when Riley saw the car after school she couldn't contain herself. She thanked me again and again, gushing about how clean the car was and how excited that the inside was vacuumed too. Oh the drama...

My other observations? The cars here are nice!! After being overseas for so long, I'm not used to seeing so many nice cars in such a small geographic vicinity. When I drop Riley off at school, my itty bitty Nissan rental is usually sandwiched in between a gaggle of Range Rovers, Land Rovers, Escalades, Lexus SUVs, BMWs, Mercedes Benzs... Wow do I feel out of place. And my "school drop-off outfits" are SO not up to par with the JCC scene. I must have missed the memo that the outfit of choice is a track suit or yoga pants, sports bras with tight t-shirts, and perfectly coiffed hair (the uniform of the stay-at-home-mom here). Sheridan should just be darn lucky if my face is washed and I'm wearing a bra...

Twenty two days and counting. It can't come soon enough... as someone actually asked me today if I was carrying twins. Come on? Seriously?


34ish Weeks.. and STILL Counting

So here we both are... in all our glory. I had a big scan at the perinatologists yesterday to see how the munchkin is progressing, and according to all of the measurements, it's on the above-average side. Sure I know that there's always variations in the numbers, but right now baby Perlman is measuring in the 60th percentile at around 5 lbs 12 oz.

I had an extra long scan as my amniotic fluid is elevated and we had to see if there was a concrete reason as to why. In looking at everything in high definition, they did a 4D ultrasound - my first ever! While it still looks like a wrinkled monkey to me... it was fun to get a print out and guess which girlie the baby will come out resembling. Now I just need to find their baby photos to take with us to the hospital... in about 4 more weeks. And yes, very much counting!


So Where Did I Leave Off?

We've now been in California for 11 days and I can safely say that I am finally over my jet lag. Hooray! The girls were pretty fantastic and managed to sleep through the night from the get-go... but I had a wee bit of trouble. I could barely keep my eyes open starting around 2pm every afternoon and struggled to stay awake the rest of the day. Then, I'd immediately crash on the couch mere seconds after I got the girls to bed, and be wide awake at 4 am, getting a solid 8 hours of sleep (though they weren't always the most helpful 8 hours...).

The girls are now both officially enrolled in their respective schools, and I could not be happier how everything worked out. Sheridan is going to preschool at the JCC, and Riley was accepted to the elementary school that's right around the corner from both our hotel AND the JCC. It's awesome. Of course, it will be even better when Riley actually goes to school... they're still on spring break! Sheridan has gone to school for a week now and aside from it not offering the most academic curriculum (or any for that matter), it does have wide variety of activities in a very clean and inviting environment. And it all comes with the low, low price of almost $1000 a month. I'm obviously in minor shell shock over the prices, which are at least 4 times what I'm used to paying overseas. Holy nickel and dime batman!

On the positive side, along with the high price tag of the JCC comes the plethora of after school activities for the kids. They have everything from chess, rock climbing, gymnastics, swimming, hip hop to Hebrew classes, yoga, and puppetry. We decided to just sign up for swimming and Sheridan is now taking weekly private swim lessons, while Riley has joined the non-competitive swim team. They practice daily from 3:30 - 4:15 pm, and focus on everything we wanted to accomplish in private lessons for a fraction of the price.

The girls have even had a few opportunities to see their cousins and meet some new friends. Earlier this week we hung out with two sorority sisters who I haven't seen since 1994 and had a super fun play date with all our girlies. One of them even sends her girls to the same JCC with Sheridan. We also went to two Passover Seders where the girls stayed up way too late having too much fun with all their cousins. Let the re-connection begin!

As for me at almost 34 weeks pregnant, I'm feeling good and ever so thankful that we came back to the States when we did. Upon seeing my real OB/GYN, who reviewed my blood work and last three months of information, he immediately agreed that we have some problems and sent me to see several different specialists. So in addition to my twice weekly non-stress tests, bi-weekly OB appointments, I'm also seeing a perinatologist, hematologist, vascular surgeon, and endocrinologist. The very short version of the long story is that my platelets have dropped to disturbingly low levels, and with all the medication I'm on, they need to be monitored very closely, with plans in place for the day of delivery. No worries though... because for once I have faith in the medical personnel and am confident that all will turn out exactly the way it's supposed to. Five more weeks and definitely counting!

I'm off now to park my tushy on the couch, watch some garbage TV, and wish that Matt was here with us, waking me up and sending me to bed after sleeping through yet another show. And maybe offering a little help with the girlies would be nice too! Happy Friday.


We're Here... and We're Tired!

It took eight bags of luggage, two planes, twenty-three hours of flight time (not including waiting in airports and layovers), two children's movies that were repeated several times, horrible confirmed kids meals, lots of chocolate, little sleep, and some serious caffeine to keep my sanity as the girls and I made our way safely here to Newport Beach. My saving grace in this expedition? Two easy travelers... and business class seats.

We arrived Monday afternoon to beautiful crisp weather and a hotel villa hand picked for us by the manager... it sure did pay off meeting him face-to-face back in December and detailing all of my needs. My in-laws met us at the hotel with a big bag of Trader Joe's goodies and the girls favorite teddy bears that they always sleep with at their house, just as we were checking into our room. Perfect timing. Then I left the girls and it was off to get my rental car (that I have to exchange tomorrow because there are WAY too many blind spots on it). A quick pizza dinner, a much needed bath, the girls fell asleep at 8:30 pm... and slept through the night until 7:15 am. Hooray for a glorious first night!

It was a busy day today with the never ending paperwork for the girls schools, a few shopping excursions to Target and Pavilions, and of course, my first of many Starbucks runs. We enrolled Sheridan at the JCC where after an hour of contemplating, I decided to start her tomorrow. She has a great deal of energy and they have the facilities to help burn some of it off. The teachers and director appear excited to have her join in the Passover program tomorrow, and I am thrilled to get a few more errands completed with one less appendage attached...

After all the planning and preparations, it feels good to finally be in California... and under the care and supervision of a real doctor. It also doesn't hurt to be able to hop into my own car and drive anywhere at anytime... it's the little things that are really going to make my next few months complete.

For now, a couple nights of sleep will really help all of us completely acclimate to the 12.5 hour time change.

In fact, I think I'll start right now.

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