Zev Newsletter

October 1998

We offered Jonathan the choice between T-Ball and Gymnastics classes and he picked T-Ball. Then we made the mistake of going bumper bowling with a friend of Jonathan 's. After one frame, Jonathan was hooked. It seemed like a good way to build arm strength, and bowling has a soft spot in our hearts, and Benjamin is no trouble at all in the alley (he loves to watch the bowlers and roll the balls back and forth on the shelves), so we added another after school activity to the list. Now he goes to T-Ball on Tuesday, we go to the library every Wednesday, he has bowling on Friday, Soccer games on Saturday and also there's soccer practice one evening which floats around. Jackie's going to change her name to "Taxi!"

Ben, our houseguest from Houston, went home to move his family out to Los Angeles. After a week, his wife, Debbie, flew out with their toddler, Channah Leah, while Ben and their 4-year-old, Rachel, drove the car out. Since their home had no furniture, we naturally invited the family to stay with us. The kids got along fabulously. You'd expect some friction, especially between the two toddlers, but there has been almost none. Benjamin has only shown possessiveness about one toy, and Jonathan hasn't been possessive at all. It's actually easier to watch all four kids than to watch only our two. On the other hand, meals are definitely tougher.

In the middle of the month, Marc 's mother, Blanche, was feeling some pain, and had an angiogram. This made Marc a little nervous, because she's only once had an angiogram without having an angioplasty too. Sure enough, the angiogram found scar tissue developing near the new stents that had been inserted in New York in July. This was problematic because angioplasties are not as effective against scar tissue. However, there's a new theory being developed that radiation can be used to prevent scar growth, just as it prevents tumor growth. They proposed that she be part of a trial of a brand new device called the Intravascular Radiation Delivery System. An angioplasty involving this new device was scheduled for the following Friday.

Marc , who had been coughing all month, decided to see a doctor about it, and was diagnosed with a throat infection, ear infections in both ears and walking pneumonia. Benjamin had been coughing too, and Jonathan was doing this funny throat-clearing thing whenever he eats, so we decided to take them into the doctor as well. The boys were diagnosed as having post-nasal drip, probably from allergies. Jonathan was put on Claritin, and Benjamin on an antihistamine at night, and a cough suppressant/expectorant during the day. Benjamin 's troubles may be related to the fact that all four canine teeth are breaking through, and are taking FOREVER to come in.

Normally, Marc would take his mother to the hospital for the angioplasty, but since he had walking pneumonia (which is contagious), staying away from the hospital seemed advisable. So Jackie volunteered to drive her down and Marc stayed home to watch the boys. The angioplasty was in danger of being cancelled several times, first because there was difficulty obtaining the radiation. Then, after Blanche was prepped, there was some emergency, which postponed the procedure and almost cancelled it. But finally, it was done, and the doctors were quite pleased with how it went.

Blanche recovered quickly from her angioplasty. On the other hand Marc and the boys did not seem to improve. The following Sunday at family dinner at Jackie's mom's house, Benjamin threw up twice, although other than the throwing up, did not seem sick at all. Then, the Thursday after that, both boys had low-grade fevers and Benjamin threw up again. Jackie kept Jonathan home from YMCA, but sent him to school, as his temperature was less than 100. She took Benjamin to the doctor, who determined that he had the beginnings of an ear infection and put him on antibiotics. Just to make sure Jackie was not feeling left out, the next day she developed laryngitis. The good news is that by the end of the month, everyone was feeling better. Whew!

Benjamin is slowly developing a vocabulary. In addition to last month's words, ("Uh-Oh," "Yea!" and "Bye, Bye"), he now says "ba-ball" (ball), "mo" (more), both "da-da" and "da-di" (usually, but not exclusively to or about Marc ), "eye" (while poking your eye out), "baby" and "ba-loo" (balloon). He also responds to "Who's the best boy in the whole wide world?" with a very clear "ME!" and brings us the "Hop on Pop" book saying "pop pop pop." There are other words that he will say, but only if you say them first, like "kitty," "ma-ma" and "we're number one!" Ok, we admit that the last on sounds more like "rur rur ra rur," but we give him credit for trying. He also said his first two-word sentence. After he dropped a ball, he said, (drum roll, please) "uh-oh, ba-ball!"

Jonathan and Benjamin both dressed as Superman for Halloween. It was very cute. Jonathan went up to each door saying, "Treat or Treat! Two supermans are here!" After collecting enough candy to rot every tooth in his head, Jonathan promply forgot all about the candy's existence. We haven't reminded him. Not that the candy isn't being eaten!

Until next month!

Jackie, Marc , Jonathan , and Benjamin