Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ear update

So yesterday I took James (and Xander) to the ENT. James had his post-op tubes/adenoidectomy appointment and since I wasn't able to get an appointment for Xander b/c the office was so booked up the secretary told me to bring him in with James. I'm not sure the PA was thrilled with that plan but a tube check is pretty quick all things considered. All 4 tubes are patent and in place and Xander has no more drainage from his infected ear! On Sunday the drainage from his ear wasn't that much better despite almost 6 days of Bactrim so I was concerned that we were heading towards IV abx but Monday he woke up and the drainage was essentially gone. He told me his ear was "all better mommy." So "sigh" the bactrim has done the trick so far. Yesterday he developed a fine rash all over the back of his neck. Given that there is a history of sulfa allergies in the family I was concerned that he might be developing an allergy, but it was gone this morning. We spent the day at the beach yesterday before going to the dr so it was probably just his swim shirt rubbing against his neck. He does seem to be super sensitive to tags these days. I'm not keen on cutting all the tags out his shirts though.

We have had a busy few days. Tuesday we spent running errands and Wednesday we were at the beach all day. I would post pictures but I never got my camera out of the bag we were having too much fun! I bought a season's pass to Wares Grove Beach so I imagine we will be spending quite a bit of time there! I'm working all weekend so happy early 4th to everyone!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yarn Along

 Well I have been busy knitting this week- knitting and working that is! It's been totally crazy at work recently. Apparently it was a long winter! My house is a total wreck- luckily the kids have been able to play outside most of the time recently so they haven't been able to wreak as much havoc on the inside as normal but since I have been knitting when I should be cleaning.... oh well. There will plenty of time to clean this winter right?!?!?!?!? So I started out by finishing up the reusable swiffer cover that I was working on. Since I haven't been doing much cleaning I haven't actually had a chance to use it yet but I am hopeful that $1 worth of yarn and my time will be worth many boxes of refills.  I may need to make several though in order to keep up with my cleaning habits.  It fits the swiffer pretty well at least.  I made one for myself and I also made one for the Diva knitted swap that I am doing right now. I used this pattern.

Then I finished up my project for the Diva swap.  I wasn't sure that I was going to make it by the deadline but I have it all done and waiting to go to the post office today!  I just need to write the card to go in it. I got some great cards that have saying like "A day without knitting is like a day without sunshine" and "I think I'll knit another row." I used this pattern.  It was the first time that I made gloves/mittens and they weren't nearly as difficult as I thought they were going to be. I have another pattern that I wanted to try but I have been afraid b/c it is for gloves but I think I might give it a go after this experiment.  I had a few problems with the left mitt in this pattern but after frogging half of it several times I think i finally got it worked out to my satisfication. I did have a major issue with the neck warmer but I was able to email the pattern designer (gotta love rav...) and discovered that it wasn't me being unable to count or screwing up- there was actually a mistake in the pattern! So after much frustration I got them all finished and blocked up. Rav details here.

Then I decided to jump into the milo vest craze!  I want to make Milo vests for both boys using some malabrigo solis that I recently got but I have a friend who is having a baby in December and I wanted to have something to exhibit at the fair so I started a nb milo to get me in the mood.  i am using malabrigo rios in raverly red for this and it is just the softest thing ever! I'm glad I did a test run with this one because I had a hard time with the underarms at first so I'm glad it it just on the nb size.  I'll probably do a hat and skirty and maybe even some booties to complete the set- we'll see.  I'd really like to do an owlie sleep sack but just one more thing to add to the queue....  So given all that and studying for my IBCLC exam I haven't done much pleasure reading.  I haven't even finished the book I started last week- how sad is that?!?! 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Xander's Errand Sweater

So I finished Xander's errand sweater today. I did end up ordering some more yarn because I knew it would bother me forever that it wasn't the way it was "supposed" to be. I ordered it from the same place that I got it from before and it ended up even being from the same dye lot so it was meant to be! Once I got the yarn it was quick and easy to finish up that sleeve cuff and weave in that last end and it was all done! I haven't blocked it out yet but Xander seemed to enjoy wearing it regardless. I had to bribe him to get him take it off. It might have something to do with the yarn- I used a cascade 128 Superwash 100% wool. It is super soft and thick and squishy. Hence the reason that I didn't want him to wear it when it was 80 degrees out! You can see all the details and my commentary on the pattern here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

An Answer...sort of

So we finally have part of an answer to the ongoing saga of Xander's ears. He started with that ear infection last Monday, by saturday it wasn't better so Frank took him back to the dr and started him on Augmentin. Well he was on the Augmentin for 5 days and his ear looked just as bad as it started out looking so I called the dr again and he had us bring him in for a culture and changed his abx. Well his culture came back positive for MRSA. So in a way I am glad to have an answer but this was certainly not the answer I was hoping for! His sensitivities came back today and a sulfa abx should work this time. So we started him on Bactrim today and hopefully that will clear it up... at least for now. We go to the pediatric allergy and ENT specialists at CHaD August 2nd (heck of a lot better than September).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yarn Along

So I have actually been doing quite a bit of knitting recently- we'll call it an excuse not to clean my house even when I really need to! And I have had some motivation to keep going. I swear I am much more productive in the knitting department when I am really into the project I am working on! Frank says that I have been a knitting fool recently... really I think I have just gotten faster so I am knitting the same amount but now he is seeing more fruit from my labors. I almost finished another Errand Sweater this week. This is the pattern that I am testing for one of the diaper divas. I can tell you I love how quick it knits up! Unfortunately I ran out of yarn with one sleeve cuff left to go so I am trying to debate whether or not it is worth buying another ball of yarn simply to finish one sleeve cuff or if I should frog the other sleeve cuff and "make it work." Practically I should frog the other sleeve b/c really it isn't worth a whole ball of yarn just to finish 5 rows but another part of me knows that I am just going to be annoyed with it if it doesn't come out the way "it was supposed to!" Mom was making a sweater for May and she ran out of yarn too so I am guessing that the yardage estimates in the pattern are a tad short. Otherwise though I like the pattern a lot.

So since I have been debating the yarn issue I started in on a few other projects for a diva knitted item swap that I am doing- and need to get cracking on because I am 8 days away from the sending deadline and nowhere near done! I have been making reusable swiffer covers from this pattern which I think is completely brilliant b/c I got the yarn on clearance at Wal Mart for $1 and I made a reusable cover with it. It makes my frugal heart sing. I did discover along the way though that some of the yarn that I got is 100yds and some of it is 120yds so one was a better deal than the other but I think I'll survive the 20 yd shortage! Once I have made a few more up I'll have enough scraps to make a truly hideous scrap one but since I am just going to scrub the floor with it who cares! I had been very resistant to working with cotton yarn previously and while I still think it's a pain to work with it has grown on me a bit. It does feel softer once the item is knitted up. I bought a bunch of clearance yarn so I might actually have to make some dishcloths....

The other knitted item in my photo is a teaser shot for my swap partner...another first try at a new pattern so hopefully it works out b/c I am not going to have time to start something else before the swap deadline! I started that book the the other day too- "Heaven is for Real" and it's a pretty cool story. I like that he gets across his message without being too preachy. I'm only part of the way through but I am enjoying it so far. It definitely makes me want to take the boys seriously if they complain about a stomach ache!

Xander is still battling the ear infection of last week. Frank had to take him back to the dr this weekend b/c he had thick green/yellow pus draining from his left ear and after a week of ear drops it should have been better. They started him on Augmentin by mouth then but by yesterday it still didn't look too much better so I took him back to the dr again and they cultured the drainage. We're supposed to change his antibiotics and start him on a decongestant to see if that helps. Hopefully once we know what is growing in his ear we can get the right abx to treat it! It takes 48 hours to get the result of the culture though. In the meantime we have an appointment scheduled to see out local allergist at the end of July and hopefully we'll be able to get an appointment with the pediatric allergist and ENT at CHAD sometime in the vaguely near future- it looks like September though before we can get an appointment. I tried to get him into see his ENT here to get his ear checked out but even they couldn't see him until next week. James has his post-op appointment next Wed though so I am just going to bring Xander and ask him to look at his ears too. Usually every time we have had an appointment with him in the past he always checks out both boys. Mostly though we are both pretty frustrated with this whole process. It's like we traded one problem for another. Sure Xander had a few ear infections before he had tubes but nothing like he has had since! But he can hear now and he has made dramatic improvements in his speech so... I guess it is just the ongoing struggle to know or at least believe that you are doing what is right and best for your child. I know that for his speech and hearing issues doing PE tubes was the best option, but a second surgery later and 15+ ear infections I am not so sure it was the best choice for his overall health. Then again we had no way of knowing that he would have all these problems so.... hindsight is 20/20.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

We spent some time outside the four of us today- the hour or so inbetween me sleeping and going back to work. The boys were "helping" Frank till the garden. It's been so rainy and wet this year that we are WAY behind in term sof planting. At this point I am not even sure we will have a garden this year.

The boys and I made this cake for Frank earlier this week since I had to work Father's Day. It came out really cute! We had fun with the decorating anyway!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yarn Along

So this week I haven't been doing much reading but I've been knitting! I volunteered to test a pattern for one of the Divas and spent the weekend doing just that. I got this lovely yarn at NE Fabrics b/c I didn't have enough chunky yarn at home and then I set right to work. The pattern is Ella's Errand Sweater by Shonny Isley. I knit the whole sweater in one weekend so I am a fan! I'd never really worked with chunky yarn before so I was amazed at how fast it knit up. It came out as a really cute little sweater that fit James really well. Most everything that I have knit up till this point has been huge so it was nice to have something that fit just right! You can see more details on my raverly page here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

James' 1st trip to the OR

This morning I took James to have his first (and hopefully last) set of PE tubes placed and his adenoids removed. My mom came and stayed with Xander so I could takes James by myself and Frank could still go to work. We weren't the first case this time which really surprised me given that Xander was first both times and he was older both times. So we didn't have to be there quite as early which would have been nice if James had slept slightly later but of course today he decided to get up at the butt crack of dawn. I needed a bulletproof vest this morning! Trying to keep James from nursing for like 3 hours was the most challenging thing about today. So we got there, got checked in, hurried up and waited for the anesthesiologist to come so I could sign consent for the surgery. We gave him his versed to relax him and then he snuggled up in my lap and got all googly eyed. I was able to just hand him over to the nurse with no fuss or muss! I had a slight moment of panic after I went to the waiting room and they paged the pediatrician stat to the recovery room but it was the case before James that had some problems and they seemed to everything under control once I got back to the recovery room. Everything went well with his surgery and Dr Wilson brought me back to the recovery room and we beat James there! So I was waiting for him when they wheeled him out and I was able to pick him right up and snuggle him. He was starting to get fussy so I just put him to breast and he calmed right down. He nursed the whole time while he was in that twilight zone and then he just sort of looked up at me and was like "hi mommy." And then we went home. It was amazingly painless relatively speaking. We even stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home. He fell asleep on the way home and did take a good long nap this afternoon but now he's wrestling with Xander so I am guessing he is back to his old self!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Xander's 3 yr appointment

Xander had his 3 year well child visit this morning. It went well. All in all he is a pretty healthy guy so... He weighed in at 29lbs and was 35 in tall. Which puts him in about the 5-10th percentile for both and at a good height to weight ratio. I go back and forth about worrying about his size. If he is going to be short there isn't much I can do about it! But sometimes when I am folding laundry (as I folded more laundry than I would like to discuss this weekend...) I get anxious that his size 2s are still too big on him for the most part! And when he is multiple kids his own age it is really striking how really tiny he is but he holds his own so I guess I need to let it go. He is eating and except for his speech he is developing normally. He is plenty active that is for sure!

Speech is going well. He is on a hiatus from speech until school starts in the fall but we still see the speech therapist weekly for James so he is kinda getting it anyway! It probably helps that most days now he can actually hear us talking to him. He has another ear infection in the left ear today. He's been averaging about 1 infection a month since his 2nd set of tubes in March, which I guess is a lot but is such a vast improvement over then near constant infections before. These seem to respond well to antibiotic ear drops and clear up quickly. The biggest problem really is keeping the drainage from causing breakdown on his ear lobe. Xander still hates the ear drops but he submits a little bit easier these days b/c he knows it's coming no matter what. I found that if I told him it was time for drops he screams bloody murder but he'll lay down and take it. I hate to hear him scream but I don't think it is fair to sneak up on him with them either- that just makes it worse! He does seem to hve a constant clear running nose so we are going to go see an allergis for him. Given my history and his constant running nose plus the ear infections that haven't really cleared up with multiple sets of PE tubes and an adenoidectomy it's time to explore other avenues for "fixing" his ears. I am not looking forward to skin testing on him or the possibility of having to majorly alter his diet but if it will prevent ear infections then we'll do what it takes... Can you imagine how bad his ears would be if we did any of the things that supposedly make ear infection worse (formula, smoking, not vaccinating, etc...)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yarn Along

So I finished the Hobby horse and decided to move onto some quicker smaller projects for awhile before I tackle the next "big" thing. Mostly I haven't decided what the next big thing is going to be yet so.... The two above are some charity hats for the hospital where I work. We are always woefully short of boy hats so I try to make boyee things whenever possible. I also knitted up a couple more Bel Cloche hats for my SIL and my friend's daughter. I still love that pattern- it is so cute! Next I am going to make some hats for Ginny's Knit for Japan campaign. I have a bunch of bulky yarn to use my from my stash to get those done but I need to get cracking b/c the deadline is fast approaching! All this while I decided what to do next. I want to make a vest for myself but I don't know that I am ready for something that big... so then I want to make some Milo vests for the boys but I also want to make a Twisted Tree pullover for Xander. I also love the pembroke vest and I want to knit up the whole Spud and Chloe on the farm so needless to say I think I need to find some more focus before I decide what to do next!

Reading wise I have been trying to be good about studying more for my IBCLC boards but I have to say I am having a hard time focusing on it. Learning about cranial nerves and innervation along with the fat/protein/casein composition of milk is just making me fall asleep! Helping mothers breastfeed in person I love but I'm feeling frustrated cramming all these facts into my head when I probably won't use them past my boards. That being said mixed in with all the factoids is some really great information that will help me in practice so I keep slogging. This book has tons of great pictures so it is a nice change from reading! Gotta go take a nap so I can make it though work tonight!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's a Girl!

Lucy, our long overdue cow, had her calf early this morning (perhaps late, late last night). Another little girl for the farm! She is a very sweet little red angus/jersey cross who we decided to call Annabelle! Welcome!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Getaway to Lincoln, NH

So Tuesday we took off for a couple days to Lincoln, NH. Frank had a training there and since I wasn't working the boys and I joined him. We stayed at a very nice resort there in a one bedroom condo. Because we decided to go last minute we got a very reasonable rate and having a separate place for the boys and us to sleep was a blessing. I really enjoyed the condo stay b/c having the kitchen meant that we could eat in and save some money on restaurant meals and also keep the kiddos contained. The resort also had movie nights, a swimming pool, and a playground. All in all the hotel worked out very well. We were only going to stay one night and we ended up extending to 2 nights b/c we were having fun.

James had speech therapy Tuesday morning and I had a pair of pants that I was hemming for friend to wear to a job interview so despite my attempts to make an early start we really didn't get going till mid morning. I loaded up the car and installed the portable DVD player with the hopes of keeping the kids occupied on the almost 3 hour drive. Then I had to look all over the front pasture for Lucy b/c she is due any day with her calf and I needed to check on her before we left but I couldn't fin her. I had to walk practically the whole pasture before I finally found her tucked in a corner by the fence- without calf i might add! I finished the pants, James finished his speech therapy and off we headed. First stop was the post office to mail a package for a diva swap, then we stopped in Keene to drop off the aforementioned pants, then headed up Route 9. We made it almost to Hillsborough before James started to get really antsy so i stopped at the McDonalds there to get him some food, which did pacify him. Then we stopped at LL Bean in Concord and hit a 50% off kids sale so I got some shoes for $10- score! and a few $3 t-shirts for Xander who for some reason is woefully short of t-shirts. It might have something to do with the fact that he changes his clothing 3 times a day and gets every single outfit filthy dirty! Playing outside is wonderful but oh the laundry!!!!

After LL Bean we made a bee line for Lincoln, got to the hotel, checked in, and unloaded the car. By the time we finished that Frank had joined us so we had some snacks and then headed up to Franconia Notch State Park to go and hike the flume trail. These pictures are all from that hike. It's 2 miles round trip with maybe an extra 1/2 mile for some of the side trips we took. The flume is simply cool! It's a nice shady hike too so you don't get sunburned or too hot. Xander walked the first mile and a half or so and then he got tired so Frank carried him in the backpack the rest of the way. James was supposed to be riding in the backpack with daddy but he decided he wanted me to carry him instead of daddy so I carried him the whole way in my SSC- good thing I brought it! It was a pretty good workout all things considered and a beautiful hike.

After leaving the flume we headed up to Profile Lake to look at the where the Old Man on the Mountain used to be...I can't believe it has been almost 10 years since he fell. It totally doesn't seem that long ago. Frank never got to see hims till up on the mountain but they are in the process of doing a memorial so we got to see the beginning of that although Frank thought it was already completed and it looks like they have just started. So we walked the path around Profile Lake, saw what they have completed, dipped our toes in the lake and headed back to the hotel. We bought leftovers from Xander's party so we had kebobs and fruit for supper. We were going to head down for the movie but the boys were pretty much done by that point we bathed them and then we all fell into bed. James woke up at about 4:30 am but he snuggled into bed with me and went back to sleep so that was nice.

Wednesday Frank went to his training. The kids both slept late and so did mommy! After breakfast we headed down to the playground which the boys enjoyed but I think it was really meant for slightly bigger kids. After the playground we went to Clark's Trading Post, which would have been much more fun had it all been open. Just the general store was open which is really just a cheesy souvenir shop but we did get to look at the bears through a window. We'll have to go back sometime when the whole place is open b/c I am sure Xander will love the trains! After Clark's the kids were ready for a nap so we grabbed some lunch and headed back to the hotel. The boys napped- well Xander napped and James played in his pack n play while I took a bubble bath- yeah for jacuzzi tubs! Then James and I played until Frank got back and Xander woke up. We tried to go to the Lost River after that but they closed early that day b/c of a tornado watch- so lame! It was sunny and only a few clouds in sight. I'll admit it did rain a few drops but there were no tornadoes anywhere near by!

So we went back to the hotel very disappointed and decided to go for a swim. So we frolicked in the hotel pool for quite a while! After that we got some pizza and had dinner. Then went back to the playground and then went down to the lobby for movie night- it was Open Season II. Sadly the boys weren't wildly interested in the movie but they quite enjoyed the popcorn! James woke up again in the middle of the night and came to bed with us but after being really restless about the time that Frank left he fell back asleep and slept pretty soundly. Frank had to leave very early to make it back in time for work. Xander and I got up not too ling after and Xadner watched tv while I packed everything up and James slept. once James woke up and they had breakfast we headed home. We stopped in Tilton at the Tanger Outlets on the way home. I have never been there before but it was really quite nice. We got there a little before they opened so we made a bathroom pit stop and a playground stop and then went to gymboree- which was our original mission. I had a coupon for $5 off so I "needed" to use it! They actually had a really nice selection of things. The outlet in Kittery is always kinda bare but this one had tons of nice, well marked down things. So I got Xander a bunch of t-shirts and a couple for James too. I like gymboree b/c I find that their boy clothes are cuter than most and they are pretty durable, plus they have a good rewards program. They run huge but as long as you know that.. it doesn't really matter. I did get Xander mostly size 3 shirts though b/c I want them to last. I really need to spend some time weeding through their drawers soon! One of my least favorite mom chores but I need to move James into more 18 month stuff.

After Tilton we headed home. I dropped the boys off at daycare on the way and went home to take nap b/c I had to be at work at 5pm. I managed to get a couple hours of sleep so that was good and I made it through the night at work! All in all it was a fun little trip and we'll have to go again. I think the next time though we'll plan on going on a weekend or mid-week a little later in the season so that more of the attractions will actually be open!

ps- does anyone else think that James just looks a tiny little bit like me?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chillin with dad

Aren't they cute!?!?!?