Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Catching Up: Doctor Visits

We have had our share of doctor visits the past few weeks.  Alaina is doing her part to make the appointments go smoothly by sleeping and not being overly fussy.  Morning appointments really help that happen!

Our follow up at GI was very uneventful.  The doctor appreciated my spreadsheet (I love excel!) to track Justin's medicines and BMs.  So sad that I spend time tracking things like that, but very necessary.  We agreed to continue with the medicine to encourage a consistent BM routine.  We will keep in contact and reevaluate and maybe decrease the dose to every other day if things go well.  Right now he is on a double adult dose and he is still not going daily.  I was very worried about giving him so much but this is not a medicine you can overdose.  The only result of getting too much would be diarrhea.  And so far that has not happened so he's fine.  Since we left the doctor Justin is going for a day and sometimes two without a BM and we have had to add metamucil to his routine.  We also added more digestive aids and massage on his hands, feet, and tummy.  And still with all of this we are now on day four of getting nothing more than a couple of marbles every day.  I can feel the spots in his tummy, but I cannot make them come out.  I do not want to do enemas every other day so we are trying whatever we can to avoid that.  Justin doesn't appear to be bothered so it's hard to know how much is backing up.  Last week he started vomiting water again after not going for only one day.  He had a spot in his tummy that would not come out.  When it wouldn't go down, the water started coming up.  It makes me very frustrated because it is all so inconsistent.  I don't know how to solve this problem.  The one bright spot is that we have managed to get Justin (and Travis for that matter!) to learn how to swallow pills.  That makes some of Justin's medicine easier to take and I don't have to carry as many liquids when we travel!

The ophthalmologist was a little bit of nothing.  I think she was turning over a new leaf and move patients through more quickly.  This is usually our longest appointment with having to dilate Justin's eyes, but we were in and out in less than 45 minutes!  Everything is still the same.  The myelinated nerve fibers are still not causing any more near sightedness than what is expected at this age.  Good for another year!

And then there was endocrinology.  Can I just say that I really do like our endocrinologist in spite of having a difficult time understanding her Hungarian-English accent.  She is very sweet and kind to Justin and explains everything and prints out all our test results and overall does a great job of managing his care.  I do have to ask for clarification sometimes, but she doesn't mind at all.  Se even makes fun of herself sometimes when she stumbles on a word.  We have had so many appointments where she just wants to keep monitoring Justin, but this time she decided to start him on thyroid therapy.  His TSH levels went up again, and in spite of his good growth curve, she doesn't want him to get behind as he gets bigger so she wants to try a low dose of thyroid to see how he responds and then retest his blood levels in 4-6 weeks.  And guess what form the medicine comes in?  Oh yes, a pill!  The things Justin just learned to start taking last week!  How good is God?  How can I not thank Him for encouraging us to prepare for something we didn't even know was coming?  He knew!  I love it!  So taking the thyroid is going to cause us to readjust some of his other medicine because of interactions, but we'll see how it goes.  I am getting a little muddled with all Justin's meds so I packed them all up today and took them in the pharmacist and said, "Help!"  She helped me plan a routine that will get it all in and still be conducive to potty training (everything needs to be taken with 8 ounces of water!)  She knows us so well at the pharmacy.  She saw me walk up and she said, "Oh, are you here for Justin's two meds?"  And she named them right off.  Wow, we are there way too much if she knows that.  Oh yes, I know we are there way too much.

And my visit to the doctor?  My foot is broken in the same spot I did last time.  I have to wear the boot, tape toe number four to number three, ice it often, try to stay off of it for three weeks and then back for a re-examination.  I got the go-ahead to drive so at least I am mobile again! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Some Pictures

I know I haven't gotten back to blogging, and there is a lot to report, and because there is so much to report I haven't had much time to blog.  (It's a vicious cycle...)  In the meantime, here's some pictures:

Justin really understands breastfeeding, except for the part about only mommys can do it...

But his bear gets nothing but the best!

And a random picture of my girl.  She is precious!  Her face keeps changing and growing and she is really getting a personality.  People say her nose looks like Travis and I think her eyes look like my sister.  It's a beautiful combination.  I keep falling more in love!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Oops! I Did It Again

Usually I am up between three and five times during the night.  Between feeding Alaina, adjusting Justin's mask, assisting with pottying, cleaning up wet beds, soothing boys awakened with bad dreams, and breaking up fights (this is usually closer to morning when the boys are awake but not allowed out of their room yet).  It's not everything every night, but always a different and fun combination.  Some wakings are instantaneous and require quick action (like mask slipping) and others ramp up and allow for a calm readjustment from slumber (like Alaina's feedings).  The nature of mother-of-young-children's sleep is quite fitful and light and I am pretty sure I share Justin's sleep problem of not getting enough REM sleep in my attempt to be prepared for whatever the night brings.

Thursday night I had one of those instantaneous-requiring-quick-action wakings and I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.  In my quest to assess and correct the problem, I managed to kick a piece of furniture and land sprawled out on the floor.  Fortunately my cries woke Randy and I sent him to the boys' room (usually the location of the quick-action cries).  When he returned I said that I thought I needed ice.  He mumbled something non-committal and crawled back into bed.  I guess it didn't seem as bad as I felt so I crawled back into bed too.  As the sheets settled back over my feet I winced in pain.  I told Randy it hurt even for the sheets to rest on my toe.  He didn't respond.  I spent the next half hour trying to stop writhing and ignore the pain and get back to sleep.

In the morning I checked out my foot and while it hurt to walk, it didn't seem black and blue or swollen so I figured I was okay.  After breaking up a fight, I limped back into the bathroom to get ready for the day and when I glanced down I saw the beginnings of purple creeping up from the bottom of my foot around between my toes.  Uh-oh.  "So do you think you might be able to stay home today, Randy?"

After making arrangements for Travis to get to Art Camp the four of us went to the Walk-In Clinic and settled in for the long haul.  Eight x-rays and three hours later it was determined that either: 1- The break from three years ago never healed correctly or 2- I reinjured the same spot.  Since I have been walking, running, and carrying children for the past three years with no problem, I am going to go with option number two.  Randy summed it up nicely, "So, if you had never broken your foot before you wouldn't have hurt it this time."  Yes, that says it all.  My klutziness has resulted in two broken feet.  They just happen to be the same one...

I happen to have the boot I wore three years ago so I am set until I can go the podiatrist on Monday to determine if further treatment is necessary.  Randy has been trying to backtrack and say he just thought I was overexaggerating about needing ice in the middle of the night and that he never heard me say that it hurt for the sheets to be on my foot.  I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume I was slightly more awake than he was at that time of night.  Of course, he can't say anything about being accident-prone, now can he?

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I went for my 6-week post-partum check up this week and I was given the post-partum depression questionnaire to complete.  One of the questions was something about being able to laugh at things as easily as prior to giving birth.  I almost laughed right there in the office!  There wasn't a response that captured all the hilarity that we have experienced in the past six weeks!
  • We are still working on adjusting Justin's dose of medicine to create the adequate number and consistency of BMs each day.  He still goes several days without anything so then when he does deliver, it's a doosey!  Last week he was complaining about his stomach (a sign something is in the works...) but he wasn't quite ready and it was already late for nap so I put him down and told him to call me if he was ready to go potty.  I no more than closed the door when he called me and said he needed a clean diaper.  I picked him up and set him on the floor to go to the bathroom and I walked behind him.  I stepped in something wet and then took another step before I lifted my foot to see what had happened.  Justin had gone so much that it had come out the leg of his diaper and it had rolled out when I set him on the floor.  Then I had stepped in it.  It was all over every piece of clothing, including his socks.  He needed a bath and clean clothes before we could attempt nap again.  How could I get mad at him?  He was happy as can be to get a bath in the middle of the day and I was glad he had gotten it out so we just laughed and splashed and moved on to the next thing!
  • We have had lots of rain the past few weeks, sometimes coupled with thunder and lightening, sometimes not.  This week we got lots of thunder at our house and for some reason Justin decided to be frightened of it, even though he is not usually.  So he started crying.  Loudly.  His shrieks set off Alaina and she started crying too.  So I was trying to hold both of them to console them.  I had to sit down because I couldn't carry both of them, but Alaina is not well-consoled sitting down so I was trying to alternate between carrying and sitting and neither position was working well and when one died down, the other ramped up so I would attempt the most appropriate position for the loudest child at any given moment and we must have looked hysterical popping up and down.  I laughed out loud because it was simply comical!  What else could I do?  Finally I put Alaina down and got Justin a drink and snack and we sat on the floor and sang to Alaina.  (And I called Randy to see if he could come home early...)
  • I had to take Justin for him GI appointment last week.  (I will post more about that in my next moment of spare time...)  It was pouring rain when we woke up and it had already been raining which means flooding in our area.  So I knew I needed to leave early for our 8:30 am appointment.  Somehow I got behind in timing 9I know, hard to believe!) and it was time to go and Justin hadn't eaten breakfast.  I had made hard boiled eggs and I didn't get to peel them.  So my mom helped me get Justin's breakfast put on a plate to go with us.  Then Alaina, who was already in her car seat, made a dirty diaper.  It was mass chaos getting out the door!  I was on the road, moving slowly toward our appointment when I got off the freeway and stopped.  Traffic was crawling along because of high water on the feeder road, reducing traffic to one lane.  There wasn't anything to do but crawl along with everyone else and hope I could make it on time.  And brainstorm what to do it get my two children into the building without getting us completely soaked, given the horrible parking situation at this office (you know the one I am talking about...)  I made it into the parking lot at our appointment time and found a spot in the designated spots for our office, which are still far away from the doors.  I snuggled a sleeping Alaina under a blanket and picked up Justin and ran for the door.  We arrived 5 minutes late, all very awake and moderately damp.  Justin proceeded to play and Alaina and I had a great little smile discussion about the silliness of our condition.  And we waited another 30 minutes for the doctor, who was also caught in the flooding/reduced-to-one-lane feeder road.
  • Alaina is not the best sleeper or BM producer.  We have struggled to do what we can to make her comfortable, but most nights are long and include lots of walking around and bouncing up and down on the yoga ball.  This week there was one night/day where she slept 90 minutes between 3 am and 3 pm.  I finally did some work in the middle of the night in an attempt to make the morning go easier knowing I would be slightly delirious when the sun arose.  So I was unloading the dishwasher and preparing our bags for the morning therapy visit.  Alaina happily watched my preparations while I had the light on, but started wiggling and fussing when I turned them off for another attempt at returning to sleep.  Figures!  She did sleep for 30 minutes while I took a shower and got dressed.  And last week she slept all morning during Meat Day and then was awake all afternoon during Meat Day pick ups.  At least she did her part to make the morning go smoothly!
  • The power went out unexpectedly last week during the night.  No reason, just suddenly no power.  We learned that such an event causes a major problem for CPAP users: sudden confusion and inability to catch one's breath.  So Justin started screaming, causing us to wake and hit the ceiling.  My mother was with us, and she also uses the CPAP and had a similar experience so she immediately rushed for Justin's room.  We all stumbled and fumbled for Justin's room, unsure why it was so dark!  Randy got there first and my mom quickly followed toting her cell phone with her recently-downloaded flashlight app!  As soon as she saw Randy was ther she left, leaving Randy still fumbling to remove Justin's mask, uncertain which strap was the one to pull to release him.  His head cleared and his eyes focused enough to free Justin and make it back downstairs.  I shared my new knowledge and said, "The power's out."  He said, "Yeah, I figured that out already..."
  • And this morning I had breakfast all by myself!  I basked in the experience and soaked up every minute.  I thanked God for my kids and His sometimes not-so-subtle reminders that He is in control, He has a plan, and his plan is good and perfect.  And I asked Him to help me remember that so I don't need many future reminders!
And now the princess is waking (it's 8 am) so that will be all I have to say for now.  I will get back as soon as the gang allows!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cow Appreciation Day

It was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A and if you dressed like a cow you got a free meal.  It also happened to be Meat Day so I couldn't go, but my mom graciously agreed to dress up and take the boys for dinner.  Isn't she a good sport?  Of course, her dairy-farm upbringing came out and we got a lesson in cow breeds.  We learned about Jerseys, Brown Swiss, Guernseys and Holsteins.  (They were dressed as Holsteins, just so you get a lesson too...) 

And Alaina got into the party too, even though she didn't actually eat anything.  Well, maybe if you count second-hand!

Justin was hysterical with his mask!  He couldn't figure out which way was up nor could he find the eye holes so he could see.  Good thing Travis is such a good helper!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Justin's Woes

We are still struggling with Justin's constipation.  It has been a constant battle and we are no closer to solving his problem.  Since we did the colon cleanse over Father's Day weekend, we are trying to figure out the appropriate dosage of the maintenance laxative he is supposed to get every day.  The medicine comes in packets and a regular adult dose is one half to one whole packet.  We started him on one half and have since moved up to a packet and a half after not getting adequate results from the smaller doses.  I really did not want to start out with too much since it takes so long for things to move through him.  I was afraid that by the time we realized it was working it would be too late and he would be miserable while things "flowed" out.  Of course, he got stopped up again in the meantime and we had to clean him out again after he did not eat for several days and then vomited the liquid he was drinking.  (Which ended up being prune juice, not so good on carpet...)  Now he seems to be doing a little better and he even did some of his business in the potty!  Our difficulty in dosing him is the time from mouth to bottom.  Our best guess is that it's about four days for Justin.  So if we guess wrong we're too late to correct it; he's already backed up and hurting.  We've been talking with the doctor a lot and my friend posted a question on an essential oils facebook page and that yielded some new ideas for us to try.  We also go back to the doctor this coming week so I hope we can get some better answers.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth!

The boys were too busy playing, but Alaina was available to pose for a picture. 

Thanks, Grandpa Al and Tammy, for my cute outfit and sparkler hair bow!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy One Month Birthday!

Alaina had her first "birthday" so it was cause for some pictures.  She is sporting her fancy "Happy Birthday" crown!

It has been quite the month of ups and downs.  She has already had her first "sleep over" at Me-Me and Pop's because of our A/C issues.  She has gotten her first cold, causing a few sleeping issues.  She has been to the mall and mini-golfing.  She slept through them both while being held!  She eats very well and sleeps well, in her car seat.  In her bed, not so much.  I was kind of hoping for one good sleeper, but so far it hasn't happened.

She is really filling out and starting to smile and interact. She still doesn't always respond well to Travis' kisses on her nose. They make her go cross-eyed! Justin loves talking to her and gets right in her face. She doesn't quite know what to think of him! They are all enjoying the "getting-to-know-you" phase. And it's so sweet to watch.  Mommy and Daddy are definitely in love.  Randy already told me that I am going to have to be the one to tell her "no" because he's inclined to give her whatever she wants!  I think that's how the daddy-daughter relationship works!