Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gideon Update

On a happy note, Gideon had his development evaluation and the Physical Therapist confirmed that he's about 2-3 months behind his typical peers in regards to crawling but she also feels that it was due to being sick so long (I KNEW it!) and that he will catch up very quickly on his own. We have a recheck set up in about a month. If he is still not crawling then he will have some therapy to help him out. I don't see that happening as he is very nearly there. Up on his knees, rocking back and forth, reaching for toys on his hands and knees, going from hands and knees to sitting and back again. He does tire easily and the PT did comment on that so I am supposed to help encourage him to stay longer periods on his hands and knees to help build his stamina.

On a sour note, the moronic idiotic just plain stupid (I am trying to be nice) insurance company has rejected the doctor's referral to a nutritionist. Apparently they don't feel that a was-less-than-one-year-old suffering from weight loss and with a newly diagnosed whey protein allergy should see a nutritionist. Well, it's not the first time that TriCare (oops, did I just reveal who I was dealing with here?) has refused to pay for something. In fact, after reading over a pile of EOBs that came in the mail the other day I'm starting to wonder if they pay for much of anything at all. I think they need to rename themselves to FailCare. I've had many insurance companies in my life and TriCare so far ranks as the worst. I won't go into all of what I have been through with them because this is Gideon's update post. Shutting up now. About that anyway.

Gideon has a cold. Or environmental allergies. But his very sniffly nose started in the middle of the night and I don't know how likely that is for allergies. Poor guy's nose was running a marathon today and his eyes were red and puffy. Just what he needs. Last night he kept waking and crying but falling back to sleep before I went to him and it sounds like we're in for that again tonight. He has kept his appetite though and I am excited for his next weight check on the 7th. He looks like he has gained weight and I'm not the only one to notice.

Well, I am yawning fool to stay up so late (again) but at least I got a very important knitting project done (pictures later as usual) and then got to work on a new knitting project that I started today. This new one is a snazzy scarf made from ribbon yarn that will have rows of dropped stitches. This will be more for warmish weather and was inspired by the colors of the yarn that goes from bright blue to maroon to orange to sage which actually sounds kind of yucky in writing. I'll get pics up of that soon too. When I have time (translation: when I next choose to neglect household chores, kids or other projects).

He'd Better Not!

I had a dream last night that Rob was home! Woohoo! He was home and we went to a museum. Just the two of us. While we were on a tour and looking at ancient artifacts Rob suddenly pulls out a cigarette. When I scold him for smoking near such valuable items - or for smoking at all, he told me that he picked up the habit and that's what he does now and I would just have to deal with it. He said a number of other rude things all the while telling me that I would just have to accept the new him. Then I woke up. Whew! What a horrible dream. I do have to say one thing Jerk-Rob was a much better dresser. ;)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gideon!

Technically Gideon doesn't turn 1 until Tuesday but he enjoyed a wonderful party today. At least I thought it was wonderful. Here at the end of the day as the kids are in bed and the dishwasher is loaded my mind goes back to why I named my blog "wellblessed". I think of it frequently actually but today is a perfect example. Was it the most excellent decorations covering every inch of a grand house? No, though the decorations were pretty cute if you ask me. The best gifts in high number? Nope. An expensive cake/catered food/pony rides/clowns? Nope, not those either. What makes us well-blessed is having our friends and family who come and help when we need it and who are there on the special days that we want to share.

Matthew and Nora brought their kids a full two hours early. Matthew slaved away mowing the overgrown yard and Nora helped me with last minute tidying. Later Nora took pictures of this special event so that I could concentrate on other things and still have pictures - what a gift in itself. Jamie and her family ran to the store when they got here just so I could have Gideon's special balloon filled. Once the party started Matthew once again stepped up to man the grill so we could enjoy Polish Dogs, Brats, and terriyaki chicken patties. While Gideon "opened" his gifts Jamie captured all of the cute stuff on my new camcorder so we can send video to Rob. And at one point during the party Bob stepped out to the garage and put in an outlet for me so that I can get a freezer out there. With all this one might think I did nothing the entire time but believe me, I was still one busy lady. One busy lady who got to enjoy her baby's first birthday party, who wasn't stressed with everything that needed to get done and who felt cared for and very well-blessed the whole day. What a lucky family we are to have friends and family like this!

I know that Gideon doesn't understand what a fortunate baby he is to have so many people chip in to make his day special but he thoroughly enjoyed himself. He loves company, he loves people in general but especially people who pretty much come just to dote on him. He giggled and played until it was time to eat, opened gifts and actually played with his toys more than the boxes they came in and devoured his cake with fervor then giggled and played some more. Now you are wondering when you get to see the pictures. I bet you are! Well, you'll have to have a little patience. It's late, I'm tired, I still need to get the pics off my camera and see if I can figure out how to get the videos off the camcorder. Soon, soon. I promise! Until then I hope that you will take a moment to count your blessings.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Enter Tooth Fairy Stage Left

So you remember me telling you about Gabe's new loose tooth the other day? Well, guess whose down a tooth as of this afternoon? I took a pic but now I can't find my cord to upload my pictures so I'll post it later. Gabe handled it much better than I expected. When I was working at my sister's daycare a little boy there fainted when he lost his first tooth. I expected something more to that affect but that's not how it went down.

First, I had Bible study this morning so Gabe got to hang out with the cool babysitter there. She commented on how loose his tooth seemed. I couldn't look because for some reason I can't handle loose teeth. They freak me out. I don't know why. In my vet tech days I dreamed over what I was going to have for lunch while observing exploratory surgeries and cleaning out open wounds but for some reason I can't handle loose teeth. Anyway, afterward I ran us through the drive through at Wendy's because I had some errands we needed to get to. On the way to our next stop I hear Gabe very matter of factly state "There's a white thing in my chicken nugget and I think it's my tooth."

So here I sit wondering what the going rate is for a tooth these days. The Tooth Fairy hasn't had to visit our family before. Gabe's tooth lies waiting under his pillow and the Tooth Fairy is stumped. The Tooth Fairy also only has a $20 and is pretty darn sure that a tooth isn't worth that much. Then again, Santa did leave a few things lying around that didn't get given for Christmas. Maybe they can work out a deal.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Moment - or Two

I reach into the car to unbuckle Zion from Gabe's carseat (a story in itself). She reaches up and puts her hand gently under my chin and turns my face toward hers.

She sweetly says "Wook at me."

"Aw", I'm thinking getting ready for a tender moment between me and my girl.

Then she says just as sweetly "I said no."

Have I mentioned how much she loves pajamas? She will stay in her pjs all day if I let her. She also likes to change them. Many times each day. If I do dress her in the morning then at naptime she wants to get in pjs again. Many tantrums have occured due to my insistence that she needs to wait until bedtime to get in her pjs again. If I leave a laundry basket unattended and if it has pajamas in it then the next thing I know she's putting them on over her clothes or current pjs or even stripping so that she can change. About a week ago she came in to my room at the crack of dawn stark ravin' naked carrying a new diaper and a new pair of pjs and telling me that she needs help. She does. She needs therapy to get over her pajama obsession!

Speaking of obsessions, this girl wants yogurt for every meal of the day. I'll ask the kids "what should we have for breakfast/lunch/dinner?" and her certain response is "Yogurt!" Well, I guess sometimes it's "hmmmm, yogurt?" as if she's never heard of such a thing and isn't she just crazy for thinking of it first. Poor thing's little heart is broken every time I tell her she can't have it for lunch or dinner because she already had it for breakfast.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Space Cadet

That's what I am! I totally, totally forgot to pop on and update after Gideon's first post-hospital doctor appointment. His appointment was on Wednesday. Mostly they wanted to get his weight and I am happy to report that he gained 4 ounces! It doesn't sound like much but it is actually more than they were expecting. I also got to tell them that he has been a lot happier since coming home and actually seems to like the soy milk I've been giving him. Additionally, we are all feeling a lot better. It seems like the puking has finally stopped. Woohoo! And my bronchitis and infection are much better.

Gideon has been up on his hands a knees a few times this week and is pulling up on everything. Did I already blog my ponderings as to whether or not his allergy was making him sick enough to not be interested in moving around much even when it wasn't making him sick enough to vomit? We'll likely never know but he does seem to be feeling so much better in general. He's also been extraordinarily ticklish. I can't tell you how happy that makes ME. He's got the greatest giggle in the whole world. I hope to buy a video camera soon (our other one broke) and get some videos online.


Ah, remember this? Back a ways I used to participate in Straight Out Of the Camera Saturdays. Well, life happens and sometimes meme hosts take a break and sometimes participants take a break and well, it's just been a while. And it's not Saturday anymore but oh well. You can participate too and check out the other participants by going here - Slurping Life. And here's my entry:

The hard part was picking a picture. I haven't been behind the camera much lately. But this is one of my faves. (Is it cheating if I've posted this pic before?) Gideon and Rob the night before Rob returned to Afghanistan. I just love how he loves his Daddy even though they've been apart for most of Gideon's life. It reminds me that our time is short before Rob comes home for good and that is a happy thought I need to carry with me all the time.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hang Loose

I don't know why this particular milestone has made me so weepy. I registered Gabe for Kindergarten without even close to shedding a tear, but this? This! Last night I was helping Gabe to brush his teeth. Typically he brushes and then I go over again just to make sure that a good job was done. This time I noticed some white stuff behind one of his front teeth and it wasn't brushing away so I tried to scrape it with the pick end of the flossers we use. Well, lo and behold, it was a new tooth coming in! Sure enough, when I touched the tooth in front of it it wiggled just a little. *gasp* My baby is going to lose his first tooth! What's a mama to do?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Playing Catch Up Photo Style

A while back I promised photos of some of the knitted gifts that I was making. Here is the pacifier keeper given to my friend Jessica for her little-one-to-come. When Zion was a baby I used to pull the corner of a burp cloth through the ring of her paci. The weight of the cloth kept the bink in place, the cloth was a lot easier to find than the little bink should it fall out of her mouth and it also gave something handy to wipe drool and the like. I think this is a lot cuter. It's actually of my own design based on a pattern for a dish towel that I made. I changed the stitches, shortened it, made it on smaller needles...

And here's the little baby kimono also made for Jessica. The ladies at my MOPS table got together and we all participated in giving her a mini-shower at our last meeting (which I missed due to Gideon's hospitalization - big bummer!). Some of us knitted things, one made a cake, another put all the gifts together. It was a lot of fun! This was the first thing I made that used a "yarn over", had seams and was meant to be worn. Learning something new all the time. I hope she likes it.

Speaking of knitted gifts, after seeing Gabe's scarf Zion said she wanted one too. I knew I wanted pink but also a little something extra and pink with brown is one of my favorites color combos and is totally Zion. I wanted a stitch that showed off my yarn duo. Tried garter - nope. Tried stockinette - also a no-go. Switched to seed stitch which I love and think looks really classy. Yep. That's the one. This picture doesn't give it justice and now the scarf is a lot more progressed so I'll have to post another picture soon. This is going to be a keyhole scarf, short with a slit in it that you pass one end through to secure it in place. It turns out that since seed stitch is a lot less stretchy then others I've worked with (like Gabe's scarf which is ribbed and REALLY stretchy) so I cast on too many stitches and it's too wide for Zion. Bummer. Guess I'll just have to make this one for me and then make her a little one when I'm done. Aw, how cute, a mommy-and-me scarf set. I should go into business.

Prior to all the puke hitting the fan we were all about having some extra fun around the house. On this afternoon I put a few inches of water in the sink and let Zion have at it with some measuring things and a funnel and such.
I was really surprised at how long she spent at the sink playing by herself. Will definitely be using that little trick again in the future!

Also before the sickness: Gideon gets down and dirty with some pasta and meatballs. He loves it! I'm not sure if it's the taste or the mess-ability that he loves so much.

For a while Gideon had such sensitive skin that we had to bathe him separately and use only the mildest of soaps. Even Johnson and Johnson was too harsh. He hasn't had any problems lately though so I've been throwing 'em in the wash together. This night I thought I'd go the extra step and let them have bubbles. What a thrill! And no, Gabe and Zion don't normally wear goggles in the bath just so you know.

Gideon immediately bent over and tried to eat them. He was just a-crackin' up at himself.

And then this. Before we know it his vomiting lands him in the hospital. (Sorry for the poor quality of hospital pics, they were taken with my cell phone.) Poor little guy.
Really not feeling well but at least he's awake and out of his crib.

Jamie brought the kids to visit just about every day and with them came toys and games. Zion made cousin Jamae out of PlayDo complete with arms and "yegs" (legs).

A little sibling time. Luckily his wires and IV had a pretty good reach. After a few days when Gideon started feeling better he would perk up and get excited the second the kids walked in the door to his room. It was really sweet to see how happy he got when his big brother and sis came to see him.
Starting to feel a bit better. Sitting up and playing in bed. Still hooked up to the monitors and IV (that's what the white stocking on his foot is covering) but headed in the right direction.
"Let me out! Let me out! I'm innocent! I swear!"

Back at home and back at the familiar toy basket. He is starting to bottom scoot all over and pull himself up on his knees on everything. It won't be long now before he's up and walking.

Zion does her part to "clean up" the big "mess" at the neighborhood Easter egg hunt.
Gideon is just happy to have an egg to chew on while Gabe and Zion do all the work.

Zion is still not feeling very energetic after her bout with the flu.
Funny. There sure does seem to be a lot of one color. I hope no one notices that that isn't an Easter basket but a felt ghost bucket we got for Halloween. Oops, I guess I shouldn't have mentioned it then.
The parting shot. How cute is that face?! And these are pretty much my pictures from Easter since PukeFest '09 had an encore performance on the way to my sister's.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cutest Things Ever

Since certain someones were so sick this week we delayed going to Jamie's house for Easter. We were supposed to leave Friday and spend the weekend. But since we didn't that meant we were home for the annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt. I packed all the kids in the wagon for the short jaunt to the park. When Zion saw the colorful eggs littering the ground she exclaimed "Who made this mess?!" She patiently waited until the appointed time to help "clean up". Gabe had a different area of the park since he was in a different age bracket. I left him to his own but when Zion was done I checked on his progress. His basket was full of red eggs almost exclusively. In the area around him still lay pink, blue, yellow... all untouched. That's my boy!

Still some not-so-cuteness around. Zion has stopped puking - yeah! Gideon has stopped puking - yeah! Gabe started puking - darn it! In the car on the way to my sister's house for Easter no less. She was gracious enough to accept my two no-longer-puking children so Puking Child and I could drive all the way back home. That's a long hour. Me exhausted from cleaning up puke nearly every day for two weeks straight and him because I made him ride the whole way with a plastic bag poised under his chin. I will never pass by that certain exit on the highway without remembering my dash across four lanes (sorry folks, puking kid ya know) and bolt to the nearest gas station parking lot where I stripped Gabe of his now soaked clothes and redressed him (thank God I brought pjs for everyone to change into at Jamie's - 'cause we were staying late, ha!) all without moving him from his carseat (though I did take his straps off - now THAT would have been a neat trick). Gabe sits in the middle which otherwise would have meant I would have had to drag him over a non-puked on child in order to get him out. No way, Jose! And I was always think fondly of the gas station attendant who gave me plastic bags even though I didn't buy anything. I guess the whole "my child just puked all over my car" ruse really worked. Wait. I guess only WISH it had been a ruse. *sigh* Honestly folks, at this point I'm speechless. I don't think all four of us have been healthy for more than a few days out of the last few MONTHS. I .... I .... Nope. Pretty much speechless.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

When It Rains...

You know how the saying ends - it pours! Last night Gideon woke up at 2AM to eat. That is when I discovered that I was freezing. And yet sweating. And aching all over. Arg! I knew what it was right away - mastitis (and it was confirmed by a doc at the walk in clinich in the morning). So I have bronchitis and mastitis wonderful. While I was at the walk in clinic Zion threw up all over back at home. Bless my sis who had abandoned her life to take over mine for the last week was the unlucky one to clean it up. I wasn't sure if it was stomach flu or just the high fever since she's had a fever for the third day now and I feel nauseous when I have a fever. Now I know it's the flu as she blew up all over herself and the couch and the floor again about two hours ago. Poor thing, it was everywhere and despite her objections I made her lay in the tub so I could wash it out of her hair and give her a quick washing. So here I am, fever, coughing, achy and scrubbing the carpet and couch with foamy cleaner and then going around the house with a bucket of Pine Sol and a rag. Where could she have touched? Where has there layed puked on clothes? Luckily she wasn't feeling well enough to play today mostly just layed on the floor and the couch but scrubbing was not on my agenda for today at all. Let's hope she's done with it and that no one else gets it. Please, Lord, can we be done with all the sickness and injuries (mostly my body is just a mess for having slept in a recliner for a week, does horrible things to your hips and neck)? I would very much like to have a healthy family for Easter. As it is my weekend plans have been altered. I was going to take us all up to Jamie's for the weekend starting tomorrow but with two of us having fevers that's out. I just hope and pray that we're OK for Sunday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Gideon's Diagnosis

Oh me, oh my, what a relief to be home! That's right! We finally got to come home today. Gideon practically levitated with joy at the hospital when he saw me put my coat on. Again, just real quick, I'll come back and post more later, but up until about 20 minutes before we left they still did not have a diagnosis. Then his food allergy panel came in and lo and behold he has a dairy allergy. Boy am I glad that I kept asking about that test, the doctors weren't considering that high on the list because it is usually accompanied by eczema and diarrhea and he had neither. Still I know what we were experiencing at home and the last two major vomiting episodes followed dairy, once yogurt and once cheese. So this is not a lactose intolerance we're talking about but an honest to goodness whey protein allergy. It is encouraging that this is often something that children grow out of and also that we can "play" with Gideon's tolerance level for dairy once he's feeling better. So we can still give him bites of ice cream if we have some and give him a bit of yogurt or cheese and then wait a few days and try some more in increasing amounts. Our first order of business is to try to pack on his weight again. Poor fellow weighs less now than he did at his 9-month check and he has areas, especially around his used-to-be-chubby thighs where the skin is all baggy like he just won Biggest Loser. We have orders to supplement his diet with a non-diary Pediasure type product. We had success for the first time in Gideon's life giving him a bottle just the other day (well, Rob got him to do it when he was home on leave but then he started rejecting it again) so that will make things a bit easier. I'm also supposed to sneak olive oil into his food when I can and a few other things. I can't tell you how much the joy welled up inside me when Gideon first saw his stuffed dog from his crib. I had no idea that Gideon was actually attached to a lovey. He thoroughly and vehemently rejected every little stuffed animal that the hospital had to offer but the second he saw that dog he grabbed it and bear hugged it and bit it's nose. With Gideon that is the utmost sign of affection! He nearly squealed with joy, what a lovely reunion! And after him fighting me on sleep for the last week in the hospital to have him go down tonight without a peep was such a relief. He is really happy to be home. I will keep the blog up to date with his progress and perhaps even news on my other two kids. Yes, they still exist! They have been having fun with Jamie and Jamae all week. They even got to meet the Easter Bunny who Zion said was "nice" and let her hold his hand (though as Jamie would tell it she was terrified and wouldn't get any closer than barely arm's length).

I just want to say that all of the staff at the hospital from housekeeping to the doctors themselves were awesome. I really felt cared for and that everyone adored Gideon and really wanted the best for him. Between that and really being able to fully trust in God and not worry (to the point where a couple of times I actually felt bad for NOT worrying about my son - silly me!) this past week I was as peaceful on the inside as possible when your son is in a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV and monitors and wires everywhere and with pokes in every body part (seriously, they drew blood from every limb - or tried, and from his scalp three times) and a mystery illness that is sucking the weight off of him one ounce at a time.

And thank you all for all the prayers and e-mails and kind thoughts and comments. It's really wonderful to see how many people care about us! God bless!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Real Quick

Just a quick blurb while Gideon seems to be happy watching Big Comfy Couch. We've been in the local children's hospital since last Thursday due to Gideon's dehydration and vomiting. They also want to find out why Gideon isn't gaining weight and in fact seems to be losing weight. There have been so many blood tests and urine tests and cultures and normal results and some abnormal ones. He has seen a neurologist and later today is going to see a nephrologist (kidney specialist) and a nutritionist many times. I don't know what else to say except that I think we are both getting annoyed with being in the hospital and all the pokes and prods and being told we can probably go home "tomorrow" and then being told no. I am so very thankful that my sister was able to come and stay at the house with Gabe and Zion and I am very thankful that he has stopped vomiting! Now he just needs to gain weight! Even though he has stopped throwing up his food and is back on solids as well as nursing he is still losing weight. *sigh* I guess all I can do is pray and I hope that you'll join me. Gideon really needs it right now.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oh What A Day!

Wishing I could come on and write that I won the lottery or something but not so. Well, I guess I did if it's the vomit lottery or something. THAT I won! Got vomited on three times before lunch and once after. Poor Gideon, he just can't keep anything down. And because he seems dehydrated and we keep having these strange bouts of vomiting, off to the doctor we went. The doc is concerned because Gideon has not only NOT gained weight since his nine month check (more than two months ago) but he has lost weight (ounces, not pounds but still) and because he's not crawling or cruising (which I think is just his personality) and because of these strange puking episodes. He sent us next door to the lab for blood draws but Gideon wasn't hydrated enough so we have to go back tomorrow after hopefully letting his stomach settle and getting some more fluids in him. Then we have to go back two more times spread a week apart each because he is too little to take all the blood they need for the tests at once. He'll have food allergy tests, a CBC and liver enzymes checked. I don't remember what else. The doc also referred us to a GI specialist, a Nutritionist and a Physical Therapist for evaluations and advice. My hope is that the tests just comes back as a sensitivity to dairy and that it's something he'll outgrow.