Sunday, January 30, 2011


Nothing so eventful as the last couple of posts here. Leah's chin healed up pretty well. We managed to keep the bandage dry enough for a full week and the plastic surgeon removed the bandage and stitches. It looked pretty decent even upon first removal. Leah did cry when he took the bandage off, but she admitted it didn't really hurt but "I was just a little bit scared." She calmed down after he removed the first stitch and showed her that it was out and painless...and then she calmed down as he removed the rest. At his suggestion, we kept tape on it, changing the tape daily for a week - just for some extra protection. And now 2 weeks after injury it is a fairly small pink line under her chin, pretty much along the jawbone - around an inch or so long but v shaped. We're going to leave it alone and see what happens, but even if it does scar, it is in a very hidden spot. And more importantly...Leah is back on her scooter...and promises to use her hands to break her falls...not her chin.Leah still loves school and gymnastics and ballet classes. Will still thinks Leah is the most interesting and funniest thing on the planet. He's getting a bit more mobile. He can go from sitting to lying on his belly fairly gracefully now...although this usually happens while reaching for a toy and once he has said toy he does not actually want to be on his belly. He occasionally rolls from front to back...but it still hasn't quite clicked that this is the fastest way to get off of his belly. He has also managed to get from lying to sitting, but that may have been a fluke occurrence and even with some assisted practice he has not realized that he is capable of doing that regularly. Mostly once he is on his belly he pushing with his hands. He is also quite good at turning in a circle, both while sitting and while lying on his belly. But he continues to do his pathetic performance frequently...lying his head down and crying until someone helps him up. It's awfully cute. And we're confident that eventually he will figure out how to sit, crawl, stand, walk, etc.
My friends Jess & Jason Willey came for a visit this week. They have left London, where they have been living for 2.5 years, and are headed back to the US this summer. In the meantime, they are traveling the world for a few months. We were a 3 day stop on their itinerary between South Africa and Vietnam. I think they enjoyed sightseeing in HK a bit, but they also enjoyed sleeping in Leah's room (while she slept in Will's room), having some home cooked meals with us, and having their laundry done here. It was nice to see them. Will definitely took a liking to Jess and her patience for walking him around the apartment. But Jess better watch out, as Leah is moving in on her man. Leah loved playing with Jason. Every time we went out with them, she walked right up and held his hand. He was a very good sport about it. And they both read Leah a Madeline book before bed...sealing them as well-loved visitors.
That's about all the news at the moment. We are car shopping (a task I am happily leaving to Shafi). It will be nice to get a car for running errands, getting to and from the American Club, friends' apartments, etc. Chinese New Year is this coming Thursday. We're not quite sure what to expect but if nothing else it will be nice for Shafi to have a 4 day weekend. Will is turning 9 months on Sunday (a week from today)...and Leah is turning 3 years on Monday. Since many people will be away for the Chinese New Year holiday, we are having her party on the 13th. Looks like we'll have about a dozen 3-4 year olds along with their siblings and parents. It should be a casual get together at the little cafe by the beach just a block from home - with a princess theme, some pizza and drinks, and maybe some simple arts & crafts to entertain the kids.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Our first visit to the ER...

The morning started off great in the Imran household. Will started sleeping through the night a few days ago. And last night was the first time both kids slept through the night. Will went to bed about 6:30 p.m. and I didn't hear a peep from him until 6:45 this morning. Leah went to bed about 6:45 p.m. and slept until after 7 a.m. Everyone got dressed easily and ate breakfast well.

At about 8:15 I took the kids out so that Leah could ride her scooter for a bit in the carpark before her school bus arrived around 8:30. After a few minutes of riding, she fell forward and landed on her chin. The gash looked pretty big and it was bleeding a fair amount. Luckily one of the neighbor's helpers was nearby and I was able to leave Will with her while I brought Leah up to the apartment. I got her a bit cleaned up and changed her clothes. I called her pediatrician's cell phone and she answered right away - she agreed that I should take Leah to the ER at Adventist Hospital.

So Leah and I headed down to get in a taxi. There was one fueling up at the petrol station across the street from us, so we got him to take us to Adventist. Leah was pretty upset on the ride there, but I calmed her down by singing a stream of ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, and Row Your Boat for the 20 minute ride there...with a break to tell Shafi what was going on.

Shafi met us at the ER; it was very comforting for Leah to have us both there. The bleeding had mostly stopped by then, but they still took us right away. I gave them her insurance card and they took us right into the urgent care room. A nurse cleaned the outside of the wound just a bit and then the doctor came in after only a couple of minutes. Dr. Lam was very nice and sweet with Leah. He asked her if her head or neck hurt - asked me a few questions - "did she black out?", etc. He told me we had 3 options - leave it alone and it would heal on its own, use glue to close it, or use sutures to close it. I can't imagine just leaving it alone - it's a pretty big cut and fairly deep. He said the sutures would probably mean the scarring would be the least - and I said I'd like to do that but have a plastic surgeon do it. Dr. Lam told Leah she was going to get magic strings to help her chin heal.

They called a plastic surgeon, also named Dr. Lam, and he said he was able to be there in about 30-45 minutes. We 0pted to wait for him. It ended up being about an hour wait (apparently traffic) was bad. We were able to wait in a nice waiting area in a corridor with a television with some English language options. Leah was pretty calm sitting on Shafi's lap while we waited.

When Dr. Lam arrived they brought us back into the urgent care room. They put Leah on a table and wrapped a sheet around her - in effect immobilizing her arms. I stood by her legs to hold them if necessary and Shafi stood by her chest to hold her down if necessary. There were 2 nurses there assisting Dr. Lam. He was very thorough - irrigating the wound, using tweezers to get out some dirt that was lodged, and then giving her some numbing injections in and around the wound. Leah was pretty upset during most of it - crying some but also being fairly good about staying still. She got 9 stitches. Dr. Lam then put some tape and gauze on it and a clear bandage over it to keep it clean and dry.

We are supposed to just leave it alone - not allow the bandage to get too wet - and we go back in a week to have the stitches out. If the bandage does seem to be coming off or anything gets under it then we need to go back to Adventist to have it changed.

Leah was pretty exhausted after the whole thing and napped for a little over an hour when we got home. She is doing okay now. We'll have to see how long it is before she's ready to get back on the scooter.

The whole experience at the hospital was pretty good. And it sounds like the insurance will cover it - HK$735 for the attending Dr. Lam and HK $9866 for the plastic surgeon Dr. Lam. Hopefully the bills won't get rejected!

That's about all the excitement for now. Hopefully it won't bother Leah too much later today and the rest of the week. She says her chin doesn't hurt at the moment. She isn't in the happiest of moods but she's getting ice cream for hopefully she'll be feeling better soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sightseeing & recent milestones

My parents were here from the night of December 23 through the morning of January 5. That gave us a chance to do some of the local sightseeing that we hadn't gotten to yet. We spent the first day showing them around in Stanley and popping into the American Club. And they got to open the Hanukkah presents from my parents. They got quite a few clothes and toys...and Leah especially loved her princess costume.On Christmas day, we spent some time exploring Wan Chai and Causeway Bay and ate some good dim sum there. The next day we took the Star Ferry to Kowloon and explored TST a bit, including catching a dragon show and playing in the playground in Kownloon Park. A few days later we went to the Big Buddha in Lantau. It was fun to see it - and the 25 minute cable car ride up and back was nice. We showed my parents around Ocean Park. We spent most of a day there and got a chance to see a couple shows, check out the animals, and ride the kiddie rides.

We had New Years Eve dinner at a French private kitchen in Wan Chai called Le Blanc - it was a nice meal but no major NYE festivities. Then on New Years Day we did a self guided walking tour in the Western District (Sheung Wan). It was fun to see some of the dried seafood shops, the Man Mo Temple, and the Central-Midlevels Escalator. We had several other good meals during their visit - mostly Chinese food. And we went for a drink at the Intercontinental in TST to watch the light show in Central.
After 2 weeks of winter break, Leah was glad to go back to school. We also signed up for gymnastics and ballet at the American Club...both are big hits.
In other news, Will is getting very good at standing - even standing alone for a couple seconds at a time. He still shows no interest in tummy time or crawling but wants to be on his feet all the time. He loves to take steps while holding someone's fingers and can now walk quite a distance that way. He has starting feeding himself finger food - loves Gerber puffs. And we've been beefing up his diet with more protein - including congee with broccoli and fish - which he likes - although still seems to be getting used to the texture of a non-pureed food.

I took him for his flu shot on December 30 and he got weighed and measured at the doctor's office. He's now 9.55 kg (21 lbs), 76 cm (30 in) tall, and 46 cm (18 in) head circumference. That puts him above the 95th percentile in height, around the 75th percentile in weight, and also around the 75th percentile in head. He's definitely filling out again - he had been slimming down for a bit - but now he's got a cute belly, nice chubby arms and legs and a full face. The boy does love to eat! And along with that - he's sleeping better. He does wake up a few times a night and make a bit of noise, talking or fussing, but he puts himself back to sleep. Last night he officially went 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Let's hope that continues!