In mid-June, we took Garrison to a pediatric ear-nose-throat specialist because he'd been having so many ear infections. The doctor unhesitatingly suggested that he have a myringotomy since he was well past the usual standard of six ear infections in six months. As part of that operation, small silicone tubes are placed in the tympanic membrane. Those tubes allow fluid to drain from the ear instead of remaining trapped and providing a breeding ground for bacteria. We weren't really excited about subjecting him to surgery, but we were even less excited about the prospect of even more ear infections. Beyond that, we suspect that his language development has been slowed by all the fluid in his ears that could never drain out.

So, in late June we brought him over to the Children's Hospital here in Madison. That facility is relatively new, having opened only a few years ago. It's still very much a hospital, but if you had to bring your kid in surgery that isn't a bad place to do it. The kids, generally, are immune to the dread that medical environs seem to breed in people, but the parents are almost always more quiet and subdued. After all, their kids wouldn't be at the hospital if there was nothing wrong with them. We got to the hospital and were quickly processed into a personal waiting room where Garrison proceeded to explore all avenues for mischief while we waited for him to go into surgery. There is a room in that area full of toys for the kids to use, including a real light like you might find in a surgical suite and a bed that operates like a surgical bed. We met another dad in that room with his two kids (one a girl dressed normally, one a boy in a surgical gown who wasn't that much older than Garrison). Eventually, Garrison and I went back to the surgical suite where I held him as they administered the anesthesia. Then I went back to the recovery room and waited with Sarah for fifteen minutes or so before we were called to the post-surgery room where he was waking up. It was a rough awakening for him, but eventually he stopped crying and we went back to the recovery room. We had gotten to the hospital shortly after 06:30 in the morning; Garrison went into surgery just past 08:00; and we arrived home shortly before 09:00. He was back to his old self by 09:15. Both Sarah and I felt blessed to have such a good hospital so close to home.

Post-surgery, Garrison has been using many more syllables than he did pre-surgery. All those syllables haven't led to the acquisition of too many words, but he's become extremely interested in books. If you're indoors and sitting down, he will bring you book after book so that you can read them to him. The most prominent new phrase he's learned is "all done", which he says in a sing-song voice as "all none". It's rather endearing.

Garrison's appetite is more consistent now that he's not getting ear infections every couple of weeks. He doesn't eat a lot at every meal, but the number of meals where he doesn't want to eat anything has gone way down. He's still really picky, though. Vegemite is good on bread; peanut butter is barely acceptable; everything else is not. Juice is bad; (decaf) iced coffee with milk is good. Ice cream is bad; jelly beans and gummy candies are good. Chicken is good; bison steak is good; grilled catfish is good; shrimp are very bad.

In other news, Sarah and I have been looking for a new house since February. We've seen all manor of houses in a variety of neighborhoods but have had a hard trying finding ones that actually interest us. We want a bigger house, but nothing too big and nothing too far from where we currently live. We really like our location and we're not willing to give that up for a bedroom and/or a larger kitchen. So, that limits our search significantly. In late June we made an offer on a house just a couple of blocks south of us. It was a five bedroom house that backs up to the school Garrison will attend when he gets a bit older. We toured the house twice and really made an effort to look into all its nooks and crannies before making the offer. We volleyed back and forth with the sellers several times before agreeing to a price. So, we put the wheels of real estate into motion by getting our banker involved, scheduling a home inspection, and starting to pack up the clutter in our current house.

The financing wasn't a problem, but the home inspection turned up some very expensive issues to fix. The problem with those were that the house had several other expensive issues that we already knew about. While we were willing to sink some money into the house post-purchase, like most people, our supply of funds is not infinite. So, we thought long and hard and decided to back out of the purchase. Given the extremely low interest rates and the fact that the house was so ideally located, it wasn't easy to walk away. Especially because our neighborhood is very much a seller's market and there's no guarantee that we'll find something else in the near future that meets our needs. However, we didn't like the idea that we had to buy that house because we were afraid that we wouldn't find something else.

So, we're back in the housing market again.

One of the side effects of that aborted transaction is that we now have a storage container (of PODS fame) in our driveway that is 2/3 full of stuff. The original plan was to fill the pod with all of the junk we don't use on a daily basis and ship it off to the pod storage facility for a few months while we sold our current house and moved into the new house. Then, once we were settled in, we'd arrange for the pod's delivery. That would allow us to pack and unpack in several steps on either side of the move.

With nowhere to move, though, the pod and it's 2/3 filled nature is now just a very visible conundrum. Do we unload it and get rid of it so that we can start using our driveway and garage again? Do we fill it up and send it off in the hopes that we'll find something as the fall comes around? And if we don't, then what happens? We paid for a month's use of the pod, so it makes sense to keep it around that long on the off-chance that we find another house we like, but then we can't keep the car in the garage and the pod is a bit of an eyesore in the neighborhood.

One of the upsides of not moving in the near future is that we'll actually get to see our garden progress. We've been getting raspberries for several weeks now. Because of our warm spring and wet June, we got a big, early crop this year. Garrison likes to help us pick the raspberries, in his own way. You need to get one bowl for yourself, and one bowl for him. Then, you pick two or three raspberries. Put two in your bowl and one in his. Then, let him pour out the raspberry from his bowl into yours while he says "thank you" (which comes out more as a sing-song "dank you"). That goes one for several minutes. After a while, you might notice that he's not returning any berries to you. That's because he's simply eating them. And then, once he's full, he starts calling after the dog and giving the raspberries to her. You might think that you could avoid some of those lost berries by simply not giving them to him. However, then he starts randomly pulling off complete sections of raspberry cane, often with several berries attached that are usually in various stages of ripeness. So, if you don't play his game, the overall berry loss is usually much higher.

The city is rebuilding the street in front of our house, which means that they're also doing utility work to replace gas and water mains. Garrison loves watching the backhoes, dump trucks, diggers, and the like and the drive up and down the street. From his perspective, it would be great if the city could rebuild the street every summer.

For the Fourth of July, we drove down to Whitewater to take in the 4th of July parade. In June, we took Garrison to the Taste of New Glarus and the Green County Dairy Parade in New Glarus and he loved the parade. All the vehicles, and people, and animals really had him rapt. The Whitewater parade, with the addition of marching bands, numerous fire trucks, little Shriner cars, and the like, was even better from his perspective.

Sarah's mother is in town this weekend, so we've got another pair of adult hands to help with keeping track of our extremely energetic toddler.