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Elizabeth visited an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist today for an(other) expert opinion on her hemangiomas. 

 

We made sure to get there early since we had been sternly advised that being late would incur us a $50 cancellation fee.  The clinic has what must be the prettiest waiting room in all of Ottawa, and one of the best toys ever.  It was a wooden board with grooves for cars.  On one side (pictured) the cars were all emergency vehicles (police cars, ambulances etc).  On the other, they were construction vehicles.  Elizabeth loved moving the vehicles around the board, even if she did tend to cause a lot of traffic jams!

 

The appointment itself was very brief.  He looked up her nose, in her ears and down her throat before pronouncing her healthy.  The best part is not having to go back. 

 

We're not entirely sure that the appointment was strictly necessary, given that she had already been looked over by the plastic surgeons and dermatologists, but he did provide a few tidbits that were helpful.  Elizabeth has been scratching at her outer ear, so I was relieved to hear that her ears are perfectly fine. Secondly,  I've been experiencing some breastfeeding issues in the last week and this visit allowed me to rule out the possibility of thrush.



   



This afternoon, Yukiko and I bundled all three car seats into the back of our Ford Focus and went to Hog's Back Falls to play in the leaves.  We had a fabulous, but not really blog-worthy time.

 

So I thought I'd talk about swine flu vaccinations instead (tee hee). 

 

I've been following the hand-wringing about the flu vaccines with interest since the H1N1 vaccine was just approved here in Canada and a decision will soon be needed on whether to get the seasonal flu shots.  In fact, Elizabeth and I both qualify for H1N1 shots as of Monday.

 

I'm a long time advocate of flu shots, despite a huge dislike of needles.  In my opinion, the evidence on the effectiveness of the flu shots is quite compelling.  There's also pretty fantastic summary of flu vaccine efficacy if you are looking for a quick science-based overview of the research without the side of hysteria that seems to go along with the topic.

 

I find it terribly ridiculous that so many people believe it is okay to skip the shot based on information they haven't confirmed given to them by word of mouth, and yet don't think twice about going out in public when sick.  Public service announcement:  If you are sick, stay home!  Or at least away from me!


Of course, it doesn't help that Health Canada has done a terrible PR job this year, nor that a lot of the "information" out there is just short of bizarre.  Some folks believe that the flu shot campaign is actually a deep seated government plot to tag and track the population or even kill us all off (as conspiracy theories go, this one gets double points because we're being injected with mysterious DNA markers as part of the elimination campaign).

 

One acquaintance of mine told me they weren't going to get the shot "because it's just the same as last year's".  Even assuming that was true, it turned out that they hadn't personally received the shot last year, because "lots of health professionals don't get the shot themselves".  Never mind that many health professionals don't practice what they preach in other areas such as smoking. 

 

Deciding whether to get the H1N1 flu shot or not was fairly straightforward for me and Brendan.  We found this article on H1N1 facts from the Globe and Mail particularly helpful.

 

Deciding whether to get the H1N1 flu shot for Elizabeth was a little bit more complicated.  The full strength adjuvant shot wasn't recommended for children. Would the non-adjuvant version of the vaccine be available for kids?  Then I found out that the adjuvant contains thimersol, but only 1/5 the amount in your standard tuna sandwich.  The non-adjuvant version that's coming has ten times the amount.  Hmm.



   



Elizabeth loves drinking from a cup.  She loves to imitate Mom and Dad drinking water by tilting it towards her mouth.  She prefers not to have assistance, but even her best attempts to drink from an open cup involve dumping a lot of water everywhere but her mouth. 

 

So lately we've been experimenting with a sippy cup. The only problem is that she has no idea that she is supposed to suck on the spout.  She gnaws away at it, trying in vain to extract liquid through sheer chomping effort.  We tried a number of different spouts, but eventually had to remove the control valve for now as suggested in this list of sippy cup introduction do's and don'ts.  This only works since she usually doesn't hold the cup at a high enough angle to release the liquid.  Periodically she gets it high enough to get a mouthful of water.  Once she tastes water, she'll stop gnawing and start lapping at the water (a bit like a dog).  Then the only problem is that she's so proud of herself that she gets a huge smile and water starts leaking out the corners of her mouth.

 

We're assuming that she'll get the hang of this eventually!



   



I recently read a report on a study about when babies learn to detect danger (and its correlation with the development of locomotion).  According to the study, when threatened with looming objects, babies develop the same kind of neural activity as adults around the time that they learn to crawl.

 

When I first read the report, I imagined the conversations the researchers must have had when designing their study.  First, they had to choose a looming object, and then they had to figure out how to threaten babies with it.  I was also fascinated by the idea that we don't develop the ability to notice we're about to be flattened until we can do something about it.

 

Elizabeth does seem to acknowledge dangerous situations - pausing to register things hovering over her head, cliffs, etc.  However, we can't help but notice that while her ability to detect danger seems to be developing just fine, her desire to reach the shiny usually overrides any sense of caution.  Good thing she's not that fast yet!

 

Oh - and in case you are wondering, Uncle Dave and Brendan were building a bedframe.  No comment on the balcony bonfire...



   



You know it's getting cold when the winter clothing appears.  Elizabeth isn't a huge fan of snow suits or bunting bags because they restrict her movement quite a lot, but she puts up with it as long as there are enough interesting things to look at!  Like Mr Pumpkin Head, who lives down the street!  Elizabeth fits her winter clothes much better than last winter.  Wasn't she tiny?  (She's wearing the same snowsuit if you follow the link.  Or rather, drowning in it...)

 

During our walk today we stopped at Fifth Avenue Court to stretch our legs. It was the first time I've been, but I suspect not the last!  Elizabeth loved watching the fans, fountain and playing with the foliage.  While we were there, we met another baby aged six months.  Her grandmother brought little Sophie over to meet Elizabeth.  "Sophie has never seen another baby before", she said.  I was pretty surprised!  Sophie was quite fascinated to meet another baby, so I recommended babytime - we'll see if she appears at Sunnyside on Tuesday.

 

 



   

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