Thursday, February 24, 2011

And it's a double!

So Xander's ear wasn't really clearing up all that well so I took him back to the Dr this morning to have him checked out. Apparently today he weighed 28 lbs- go figure! He's still running a slight temp but not too bad and it turns out that his right ear is also infected! So the tube is gone on the left and the ear drum is definitely ruptured. It also appears as if the tube is now gone on the right and his ear drum is red and inflamed so now we will start a ten day course of abx. The problem being that with his ear drum ruptured it now puts his next surgery in question. Hopefully the abx will do their work, clear up the infection quickly, and his ear drum will have time to heal before the 8th (although it would have helped had the pharmacy actually had the abx- we can't even get it till tomorrow!) but mostly we will have to wait and see. He has his pre-op appointment the 4th and they'll determine then if he can have the surgery on the 8th or not. I'm conflicted... I want him to have the surgery so we don't lose ground on the speech front and since having his adenoids out is supposed to help prevent more ear infections that would be great but then again I don't want to be repeating this in 6 months AGAIN so I want his ear drum to be well healed so that it can support the tube! But I also don't want to reschedule and have this happen again since we can't seem to go more than 2 weeks between ear infections these days. I mean it can't be great for his ear drum to be ruptured multiple times! I swear Xander's ears are going to send me over the edge one of these days.... It's time for him to grow out of this already! At least the devil child on the right is feeling better- now if only he would sleep past 4am we'd all be much better off but that is a whole other story. If anyone has suggestions on how to get a baby to sleep later in the morning I am all ears!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lambing has begun!

The first of our 2011 spring lambs was born this afternoon. Bo delivered a set of twins, unfortunetly only one of them made it. She had a ram and ewe lamb again, both black this time but the ewe lamb didn't survive. We're not exactly sure what happened b/c somehow she managed to lamb in between Frank and I checking on her. The ewe lamb was still mostly in her sack with only the head out when we found her so we're not sure if she was born alive and got too cold or if something happened during the birth and she wasn't born alive. I guess it doesn't really matter at this point- I don't know that there was anything that we could have done unless we had been there at the birth. So far #6 (the ram lambs designation- can you believe he's our 6th lamb already!!!) has been doing well. You forget how tiny they are when they are born- tiny and gangly. Lambs are just all legs! We've moved Mary into her lambing jug b/c we suspect she will be the next to deliver. When she was outside she didn't look that big but in the jug she looks simply enormous! She definitely has multiples in there- maybe even triplets again. Mary has historically been a more attentive mother than Bo so its not a bad things for her to be having multiples. Bo is just kinda flighty when it comes to her babies! We're not sure if any of the yearling ewe lambs are bred or not. You'd think it would be easy to tell if a sheep was pregnant but with all their winter wool on they are so fluffy that especially if they just have a single baby it is really hard to tell sometimes until just before they deliver! I guess we'll find out soon enough! Pictures to come...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ear Infection #10

Ear Infection #10- if you say it in a sexy voice it could almost be the name of a fancy fragrance, if only... So I feel vindicated that I know my child better that the dr b/c Alexander does in fact have an ear infection! A pretty, big, whopping, ear drum rupturing infection in his left ear. This morning he had a fever and was crying, almost inconsolable with pain in his left ear and then for better or worse his ear drum ruptured. It was almost like he was blowing his nose out his ear- yes I know your welcome for the mental picture! At least he felt better after it ruptured though- he wasn't too happy with me trying to wipe some of the goo out of his ear but he wasn't inconsolable either and after it blew his fever went down too! The really sad part is that now he has a rash on his face b/c he has had so much drainage out of his ear it's making his face break out! We are going to try ear drops for a couple days and see if that works and if not we go back to the dr on Thursday- I'm so sick of the dr office!

Friday, February 18, 2011

James is 17 months old!

And what did we do to celebrate- go to the doctor! I worked last night so the boys went to daycare and then I went and picked them up early to take them. Funnily enough I scheduled their follow ups at the same time as Frank had his annual appointment wihtout even realizing it! So Frank had his annual with Dr W and we saw the NP in the office. James' weight is down to 20 lbs even on this scale and Xander is at 26.6 lbs. James has only vomited once since Tuesday and although he is continued to have loose stools they are getting more formed. Neither of them has a fever today and Xander's diarrhea finally stopped after about 5 days so I am sure James is on the same road. I actually took James in for a follow up after the gastroenteritis and I wanted Xander checked out b/c I am pretty sure he is brewing another ear infection. James looks good even though his weight is down even more. He has a well child visit scheduled in about 3 weeks so we are assuming his weight is down b/c of different scales and also he was quite sick and that over the next few weeks he will start gaining again. He is just so tiny that when he gets sick he doesn't have much in the way of reserves. I really don't want to have to start supplementing him with pediasure so we'll hope that he starts to regain the weight on his own over the next month. According to the NP Xander does not have an ear infection but she was unable to visualize either of his tubes- as of his last check they left one was still there but extruded and the right was was supposedly still there and working although I really don't know how well it's been working recently. We can make it 2 more weeks- right?!?!?!? He is scheduled to have the tubes replaced on 3/8 we just have to make it till then. I was almost positive that he had an ear infection today so if that isn't the case maybe I am over reacting- but he keeps rubbing at his left ear especially so I am suspicious....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Xander's developmental evaluation

This morning we had Xander's yearly evaluation by RISE to determine his eligibility for continued speech therapy. It actually went really well. Because James is still so ill he spent the whole time laying in my arms like a limp noodle which meant that Xander actually got to have an eval without interference from his brother! Good for Xander, not so good for poor James. But at least James has only vomited once today and while he still has diarrhea it seems to be under control for now and thankfully we have managed to keep his bum looking pretty clear. I think if he could kick this low grade fever and drink a little more he'd be feeling a lot better, but by not drinking a ton he isn't vomiting so... time will tell. We go back to the MD on Friday for a check up. But back to Xander- Emily, his speech therapist- and one of her colleagues came this morning to do Xander's eval and he was very cooperative so that was helpful as well. Basically they play with him for a little more than an hour and give him certain tasks to complete to see where he is at in 6 different developmental areas- language, cognition, gross motor, fine motor, social-emotional, and self-help. A year ago he was significantly delayed in language, mildly delayed in cognition- mostly in areas that related to language and age appropriate in all other areas. Today he continues to be age appropriate where he was before, he is now age appropriate in cognition and mostly age appropriate in language. He has really made incredible progress with his language acquisition in the six months since he has had his tubes placed- while we have encountered other obstacles with the tube, namely recurrent ear infections- it was definitely a turning point in terms of his language acquisition. So he has most of the skills that he need to be age appropriate in language some of those skills he is exhibiting in an atypical way or they are just emerging when they should be more fully formed by now. So while this is excellent news it does raise the question of whether the school will find him delayed enough to provide speech therapy once he turns 3. He will continue to receive speech therapy from RISE until then and we have a meeting schedule with the school in the beginning of April where they will determine his eligibility for preschool. He is already on the waiting list for preschool and I believe that he is high enough on that list he should be able to attend but the benefit of his requiring speech therapy would meant they would have to take him and we wouldn't have to pay tuition- if he is enrolled in preschool as a "typical" child we have to pay tuition and and he isn't guaranteed a spot in the fall. So while I thrilled that he has made such improvement I would like him to be able to attend preschool in the fall! Now we wait until April to see what the school has to say.

Monday, February 14, 2011

James' 1st trip to the ER

Well I had hoped to spend my Valentine's Day in a more romantic fashion than in the ER but welcome to the joys of parenthood! Xander started throwing up Friday and managed to only throw up the one time. He has continued to have diarrhea and a bit of a fever but no more vominting. James started vomiting yesterday and has literally puked up every single thing that has touched his lips! I feel so bad for the little guy b/c he is obviously thirsty but he is just vomiting everything that goes into his mouth so I am really hesitant to give him any liquids. It also probably doesn't help that he had a fever too. He also started with the diarrhea last night so I stayed home from work to be with him. He vomited even in his sleep during the night- blech... This morning he was still vomiting everything he tried to drink and he had only had 1 wet diaper since Saturday so I called the Dr office when they opened and they said to go to the ER so I packed everyone up and off we went. By then I think he had realized that drinking wasn't really doing good things for him so he wasn't really wanted to eat or drink very much. His weight is at 20 lbs 12 oz which his what he weighed at his 15 mo appointment so I was not encouraged by that. Of course as soon as the PA went to examine him he had a wet diaper and b/c by then he was refusing to eat or drink he only vomited once while we were there. And that of course happened to be while he was holding a chicken nugget- mind you he hadn't actually eaten the chicken nugget- he was just holding it but then the nurse told the MD that he only vomited after eating. I have to say I wasn't particularly impressed with the ER this time around. I guess mostly I didn't feel like they were really listening to me. I wouldn't have dragged all of us to the ER if I didn't think James was pretty sick and in need of some help after all! So they started an IV and drew some labs but then after they got his labs back decided that he wasn't "dehydrated enough" to need IV fluids. At that point I should have requested a pediatric consult but I was so tired of being there really I just wanted to go home! They did at least give him some zofran, which he did not vomit back up and it did help but I don't undersatnd why since they had an IV in him they couldn't have at least given him a bolus of fluids. You know tank him up and then send us home... but I think this is one of those issues where when you know your child and what they are normally like you can say he is really sick but to an outside observer he might not look that ill. He was just makingme nervous b/c he was SO lethargic. The entire time we were in the ER he just lay in my lap or on the stretcher- he refused to even sit up. He was a total limp noodle and James is NEVER a limp noodle. He always wiggling and always on the move so to see him so still was just out of character! So he has only vomited a couple more times since we've been home and he can have another dose of zofran in a bit and we'll see where we go from here.

PS: I really didn't expect my 200th post to be about a visit to the ER. Int he future let's try to keep milestones posts about much mroe mundane things!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

one by one...

Well the sleepy morning at home turned out to be a harbinger of bad tidings... By Friday afternoon Xander was vomiting and had diarrhea! Luckily they were already home with my mom b/c the babysitter was still sick- well maybe not so lucky for my mom but at least Franka nd I didn't have to miss any more work. So far Xander has only thrown up the 1 time and since he is potty trained for the most part the diarrhea seems to be less of an issue than it has been in the past. So far his skin is intact and other than the trips to the bathroom every 15 minutes he seems to be managing it pretty well. After he threw up he was so pathetic- he just looked at me and said "mommy, what happened?" He had thrown up all over the couch and I think it just totally surprised him and neat freak that he is he was quite upset that the couch was now dirty! My mom had to head home today but at least it is the weekend and the boys are at home with daddy. We decided to skip swim class today though!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sleepy morning at home....

We've been quite busy recently. It seems like almost every morning we have somewhere we need to be, swim class or a dr appointment or daycare, etc. Today our babysitter is sick (hope you are feeling better soon BJ) so daddy stayed home from work to watch the boys. I didn't work last night so my routine on days like today is get up, spend some time with the boys, take them to daycare and then come home and take a nap, go visit the boys at daycare and then go to work. But since daddy was home today I didn't have to take them to daycare and I got to sleep a bit later b/c I didn't have to go and visit them at daycare either. So everyone stayed in their PJs and we had a nice lazy morning at home. The boys actually cuddled on the couch for a bit together- until James decided he'd really rather play than sit quietly and Xander didn't really want to be climbed all over. We made banana bread and I put some lamb ragout in the crock pot so they'd have something to eat after I went to work. The boys just played really nicely together this morning- there wasn't too much fighting over toys or too much wanton destruction. They even went upstairs and played with their trains for a while of their own accord. We let daddy sleep late which is a real treat in our house but much deserved. I even had time to get about 1/3 of the kitchen actually clean! About 11am we had some lunch and I put James down for his nap, Frank put Xander down and then I went to go take my nap. Then I woke up and went to work which was the less fun part of the day but all in all this morning was really nice!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Table and Chairs...

Who knew a table and chairs could be so much fun! Recently I have been wanting to do several activities with Xander (and James, but mostly Xander) that really require sitting at a table. I thought I'd be brave and try some painting but I also wanted to start working on some writing and schooling type activities. I bought Xander this book to help him start working on learning to write his letters. They also have one for numbers but first things first. Anyway I didn't really want to use my dining room table for painting and play dough etc and Xander never seems to want to sit at the dining room table- he is constantly trying to stand in his chair and usually ends up kneeling after we tell him to sit. Every time we have gone to a friend's house that has a child size table and chairs he immediately goes and sits and even James is drawn to a table his size. I have been trolling craigslist and used baby stores for a decent, sturdy table and chairs but haven't found anything worth my time to drive and get it. So when we were at BRU yesterday Xander kept going to this table set and sitting and playing at it. Then when I went over to the aisle where they have the tables he asked repeatedly for his own table and chair. So we splurged a bit and I bought him his very own table and chairs. I really liked this set b/c the price was quite reasonable and it was very sturdy. I also liked that fact that it came in a cherry color so it can blend with most of our other furniture and it looks like real furniture not cheap kiddy stuff. I only wish I could buy more chairs for it b/c when we have friends over we don't have extra chairs! It was pretty funny b/c when we left the store Xander was very concerned about where his table was and made me show it to him to make sure we were bringing it home. So last night I put it all together- all by myself I might add- and it was the very first thing that Xander saw when he came down the stairs this morning. He was pretty ecstatic. He and James have been playing with it all morning. Xander insisted on eating all his meals at "his" table and he has already designated which chair is his and which chair is James'. I like it b/c I can sit on the chair and not feel like I am falling on the floor or it is going to collapse under me and the table has not wobbled an iota despite 2 little boys climbing on it! So far they have played cars on it, made valentines, eaten at it, and colored. We still haven't attempted painting yet but that may have to be on the agenda for next week!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shopping in Nashua...

So today the boys and I went to Nashua for "picture day" as it is known to the men in my family. This time I actually needed to go to the dentist and since we were going to be in Nashua I figured I would take the boys to get their pictures done since it James' is basically 18 months old. So we met my mom at the dentist so she could watch them while I had my teeth cleaned. I swear having babies has totally destroyed my teeth! I have never had a cavity in my entire life and since I got pregnant the first time I have had 2. So now I have 1 that needs a filling and 2 other "spots" that they are going to watch and make sure they don't develop into cavities. I don't really mind the dentist all that much it is just somehow disconcerting to have someone drilling into your teeth- yuck! So after the dentist we headed to the mall to have the boys pictured done at Picture People.

The boys did really great with pictures- Xander has realized that he can say "cheese" and people will take his picture. he mostly enjoys looking at the picture in the viewfinder afterwards though. After pics we had lunch in the food court and did some window shopping while we waited for the pictures to be ready. We got some really fabulous pics of Xander, some great ones of James and some good ones of them together. James wasn't being the most cooperative. You can see them here.

After the mall we headed over to Babies R Us for the "Great Trade In Event" James has finally outgrown his infant seat and needs a new car seat. So we traded in an old car seat we had for 25% off a new one. We decided (ok I decided) that instead of getting James a new convertible seat we'd get Xander a booster seat and move James into Xander's convertible. That way we won't have to buy Xander a new car seat in the nearish future when he outgrows his current convertible seat. So after much debate I decided to purchase a Britax Frontier 85. It has really good safety rating and will grow with Xander hopefully until he doesn't need to be in a car seat any longer (you know when he is in high school peanut that he is...). Originally the plan was to put it in the truck but Xander really likes his Recaro so we thought he might throw a fit if we gave his favored throne to his brother so now I think we'll put it in my car and move his convertible from my car into the truck. When I pulled it out of the box at home though, James was much more interested in sitting in it than Xander! Too bad he doesn't meet the weight, age or height requirements to actually use it! We also got them a table and chairs at BRU and I put them together when we got home so hopefully I will have pics of that to post.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Joys of Brotherly Love...

This is what happens when your almost 3 y/o gets ahold of a marker! Luckily it was dry erase... What surprises me most is that James happily allowed the painting of his face.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Feet

Every little kid has their own cute and adorable way of dancing but James has been so funny recently. He does this little feet stomping thing that is adorable- he was kinda doing it before but we watched the movie Happy Feet recently and he has been doing it a lot more recently. He'll even do it now if you ask him to show you his Happy Feet!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Skating Party

Today we had a very busy day! I took the boys to swim class in the morning at the YMCA while Frank attended the town deliberative session for 2011. Then we headed over to the seacoast to attend the annual alumni skating party at PEA. We have gone the last several years and it has always been a good time. Skating, pizza, cookies, cider, and hot chocolate- where can you go wrong?!? This year we met my mom, my brothers, my sister-in-law, and all my nieces and nephews there. For Xander, May and George it was their first time on skates. We decided James was too young to give it a go this year! My mom found Xander these itty bitty tiny skates- they are so stinking cute! He managed to master walking around on them on solid ground but once he got onto the ice he just kept saying "it's too slippy." We tried to get him to do it on his own a bit but mostly we held him up or pushed him around on milk cartons. He had a blast though and didn't want to leave the ice- even to eat pizza and cookies! May did awesome, after an hour or so she was skating around without the aid of milk cartons. George had a bit more trouble but we're blaming the lack of toe picks on his skates! James spent quite a bit of time riding around in the stroller on the ice and being held by everyone. He managed to make time for pizza and cookies! In the past we've spent the night after the party at my mom's but this time we came home b/c we have a lot to get done tomorrow- pigs and steer need to get to the butcher and then there is the Super Bowl of course! but next year we are definitely staying over at my mom's. The ride home was SO long and Frank and I were spent by the time we got home. How is it that there never seem to be enough hours to sleep in the day....
Here you have Baby James and Big James!

Friday, February 4, 2011

A visit to the ENT

So as many of you know Xander has been having issues with his ears pretty much since he was a baby. He often seemed to have ear infections and we attributed his speech delay to chronic fluid in his ears. So on August 31, 2010 he has PE tubes placed in both ears. After the surgery all went well for a bit- he saw massive gains in his speech. It wasn't overnight but the explosion in language has been truly impressive. So all in all I felt pretty vindicated that the decision to place tubes was the right one. Obviously the chronic fluid had been affecting his ability to acquire language so despite the fact that his gross hearing tests were all within the acceptable range (albeit on the lower end of normal) I think it is safe to say that his hearing was definitely affected.

What hasn't been going so well is the amount of ear infections. What were frequent ear infections became pretty much constant ear infections. He always seemed to have pus or fluid draining from his ears, but at least it was draining. He never had a fever and he seemed more discomforted by the antibiotic ear drops than the infection itself. We didn't have to do oral antibiotics which was a blessing b/c they just tear up his stomach. But in the last month that picture has unfortunately changed. Xander has now had 2 ear infections where he was febrile, did not have fluid draining from his ears, and he seemed bothered and in pain from his ears constantly tugged and pulling at them, especially the left. So after his ninth (yes NINE, 9th) ear infection since the surgery my mom took him to his PCP last week where he said he did indeed have an ear infection but the tube was still present in the ear (the same picture as the time before that) of course while at the Dr office he did not have a fever! But anyway they sent him for a tympanogram after which we we referred back to ENT. My suspicion at that point was that his typanogram hadn't been very good but the NP at our regular dr office would only say that the "results were hard to read." AKA he failed miserably! I have to be honest and say I wasn't that impressed with the new NP in my dealings with her over the phone but my mom said she was good in person so I am trying to give her the benefit of the doubt.

So on Tuesday I took him back to the ENT, an appointment for which we were terribly late due to heavy snow..again, but we made it. Dr Wilson looked in his ears and guess what he had an ear infection... maybe the same on or a new one who knows at this point! But the tube in his left ear is no longer in and based on Dr Wilson examination and the typanogram his eardrum is now intact with a fluid collection behind it. The right tube does still seem to be partially patent at least. So based on the number of ear infections that he has had since the tube placement (and Dr Wilson was the first one to agree with me that given the sheer number of post tube infections he was probably having more infections pre-tubes than we realized!) the recommendation would be to replace the tubes and remove his adenoids at the same time. Apparently the adenoids can become colonized with bacteria and since the Eustachian tubes exit near the adenoids it is easy for the bacteria to cause ear infections. I think it's just because Xander has such a pin head! So March 8th we head back to the OR for PE tubes and an adenoidectomy. Hopefully this will be the last time, luckily though e now have new insurance b/c I am still working on paying the bill for the last round! With Frank's new job though we have much better benefits and Xander's surgery will be free this time around- thank goodness! Now if only we can manage to stay relatively ear infection free until then....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dear Deniz

Today I find myself thinking of you, not surprising since it's your birthday! I'm finding it hard to believe that it's been 6 whole years since you've been gone. They say that time heals all wounds and I guess in a way it does but I still catch myself thinking I've got to tell Deniz about this, and then I remember. I remember that you never got to meet Frank or sing at my wedding like we planned or meet my boys. How is it that my boys are going to grow up not knowing you! We never did get to take that trip to California or go back to Istanbul together. I feel like I never got the chance to say goodbye. Once I get pst the remembering comes the anger- why didn't you get the chance to meet Frank or sing at my wedding or meet my boys? Why didn't we have the time to go back to Istanbul or take that trip to CA? Why were you taken from us so young? I don't have the answers... but today on your birthday I was there as we brought 4 new lives into this world. And I'd like to think that each one of them has even a fraction of your spirit!

Do you know that everytime I read a Mercedes Lackey book I think of you. I still remember the very first time we met- me hiding in a corner with a book and you stopping to say hello and "I love that book." Everytime I watch the X-Files I remember those Sunday nights spent in the students lounge. I remember you and Brenda fighting for a solo in glee club singing for like an hour and Mr S still not being able to decide so you had to split it. Lighting firecrackers on the roof of your apartment in Montreal. You greeting me on crutches and saying Surprise! Touring the Botanical gardens. Hanging out in the library. Skiing in those horrible hot pink snowsuits- what were we thinking?!?!? Your smile. Trapeze school. Shopping in the covered bazaar. Singing.

After the sadness and the anger come the good memories, still tempered by sadness, but I find myself smiling as I think of our teenage selves. God we were so young! On the way to work tonight I listened to the Concert Choir cd that you made our senior year and I like to think that I can pick your voice out. We were so proud of you when you finished your engineering degree but I will always remember you best singing. And I know that even if my boys never get to meet you in person they can meet you through my memories and through your voice recorded on that cd.

Punxsutawney Phil says spring is going to come early this year- I'm taking it as a message from you! I miss you so much my love. Good Night, spoons.

In loving memory of Deniz Sarikaya, 1978-2005