Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chicago trip - Part I

WOW! What a week. We feel like we were gone two weeks instead of two days. We did a lot in those two days.

Monday, his appointment with Dr. Suskind, ENT, was at nine in the morning. This meant that we had to leave home by 5. You never know what you are going to run in to with Chicago traffic. That also meant that Mommy didn't get any sleep, and Daddy got very little. We made the trip in 2 hours, and were almost 2 hours early for his appointment. THAT never happens. :)

We first saw the Resident, who cleaned out Lil Man's ears. Other than being full of hard wax, they looked pretty good. His one tube is still in the ear drum, so they didn't pull it out. The other came out the last time. He did NOT like getting his ears cleaned out. They put him in a papoose, which he does actually like. But mean Mommy had to hold his head still so they could clean him out. Not good.

Then he had his hearing tests. He passed easily in the ear with the tube and missed passing by 1% in the ear without. This is a HUGE improvement, though, almost double from last time. We are very happy. Dr. Suskind said that she has no doubts that he is actually hearing fine in the one ear. She said it is the one with the crooked ear canal, and the are very tiny. It is just hard to get a good reading more than anything. Daddy took him into the sound proof booth for the other test. He was more interested in flirting with the girl that was in there with them than responding to the test the way he should. He was trying to reach out and touch her hair. LOL! She had really long, black, shiny hair. Here is a picture of Lil Man getting the first hearing test done. He was enthralled with Barney.

We then talked to Dr. Suskind again. She wants to see him back in 6 months to check that tube, and decide then if we are going to put another set in. She also referred us to her speech therapist, Dana SusMAN. W have met with her before and really liked her, but it has been at least 2 years, maybe 3. Dr. Suskind looked at the stuff going on in Lil Man's nose - it has a HUGE scab every morning that completely blocks his airway there. She said that he has cellulitis and that we need to watch it very carefully. I just hope that it doesn't a. spread, or b. leave a huge scar. Luckily, the fix was bactroban cream. I think we own stock in this stuff. We use it for his G-tube site when it gets icky, so we didn't have to buy anything new.

After this, we headed south again to our hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Monee, IL. I TOTALLY recommend it if you have to stay up north. The rooms were soooooooo clean! They let us check in early and we lugged all of our stuff up to our room. We got everything set up so we didn't have too much to do when we got back that evening. The room had a King size bed, a fridge, microwave, coffee pot, couch. Really nice. Wireless Internet and breakfast was provided. We didn't end up using either. LOL!

Then we headed back into Chicago. FYI, for those who decide they want to visit Lincoln Park Zoo or any of the attractions close to there - DO NOT follow Mapquest/Google directions. Head on over to Lake Shore Drive and go in from that way. We spent almost 2 hours in traffic on the Stevenson to go to a couple of blocks over from where we just came from!!!! That really put a time crunch on our day. Up to then we were running early or right on time on our agenda.

After we circled the block a few times to figure out where the parking lot was, we hit the Chicago History Museum first. This isn't a huge museum, and there aren't a LOT of exhibits. The ones they have are done really well. They are all very interesting. Very kid friendly, but not a lot of the interactive stuff throughout the museum. There is a separate exhibit for kids to experience Chicago with their 5 senses. This is where we got the picture of Sr riding the big, old bike. I was really interested in seeing the Abraham Lincoln exhibits that were touted. They weren't bad, but they weren't THAT impressive either. If you are looking for Abe Lincoln stuff - go to Springfield. Sr is into the World's Fair in 18??. There was a good amount of interesting stuff on this and the Chicago Fire. We were able to get through the entire museum and the gift shop in about 2 hours. It really wasn't that busy, although a group of kids came in just as we were leaving. All in all not bad - for free. Mondays are frre and you can go to the website to see other days that they have for free. Here is a little slidshow of some of the interesting things in the museum. The diorama's of Chicago are really neat!

We walked back down to the Zoo after the museum. It was about a mile - mile and a half walk. It wasn't too bad, but it was humid out. It could have been A LOT worse, so we weren't complaining too much. And there was a breeze coming in off of the lake, so that was nice.
Lincoln Park Zoo is so worth it! It is free and open 365 days a year. The prices in the gift shops and for drinks and such were not really much more than we are paying downstate. If you go, make sure you plan for the whole day. Bring a lunch and have a picnic or have lunch at one of the the shops. Everything was CLEAN, and landscaped. You weren't going uphill in every direction like St. Louis zoo. There are several shows per day and a chance to pet some of the more exotic animals, but we missed that by the time we got there. Most of the animals were going in as it was close to closing, and I suspect, feeding time. We plan to go back sometime. Even if for just a few hours. Lil Man enjoyed just being outside and watching other kids play. He did see the lions and heard them roar - loudly! He was also able to kind-of see the penguins. He knew what was in there. The windows were steamed up a bit.

We left at closing time. We ended up getting lost in downtown Chicago. We got the $3 tour and ended up driving down Michigan Avenue, "The Magnificent Mile." Of course Sr is in the back shouting look at that , look over here ....etc. I am trying to dodge taxis and people who actually KNOW what they are doing. LOL! We ended up in the back of Water Tower place. I finally figured out how to get to the highway. We could see it, we just couldn't get there. By this time it was about 7 and we stopped for dinner at Fudruckers. Lil Man really enjoyed that. There were only about 3 other people in there and they had the music going. He was "dancing" for us.

We got back to the hotel about 8 - 8:30. Got Lil Man into the room and were settling in. Our battery had ran down on the camera at the zoo and I was trying to figure out how to make sure it was charged for the next day. I picked Lil Man up and we had a replay of the blowout when Papa and I took him to see the neurologist! Same darn overalls! I am going to quit putting him in those.....What a mess. After we got him cleaned up and recovered - we all fell asleep before 10:00!!!! That NEVER happens. We slept - hard - until the alarm went off the next morning too.

Stay tuned for Part II......

****Please let me know if you are able to see the slide shows. I can see them on the other site where I make them, but cannot see them once I put them on the blog. This is a problem with my computer or browser - something. I have trouble seeing pictures posted on other's blogs too. However, I can't tell if things are working correctly. I would appreciate it you could leave a comment if you can't see the shows. Actually, feel free to leave a comment anyway. LOL!******

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Blogger The VW's said...

I can see the slide shows and now I want to go visit these places! I'll be looking forward to Part 2!

Sounds like a busy and fun-filled couple of days! Glad you enjoyed yourself!

July 24, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

The slide shows are great! It's making me want to see Chicago (but definitely not in winter--I'm a wimp).

So glad that Lil Man's hearing is good!

July 30, 2009 at 7:06 AM  

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