Archive for May, 2007

Survival mode

May 31, 2007

The posts are getting sparse, but only for a little while, folks. Ben’s going through a rough patch here, but I”m sure he’ll pull out of it soon. Nothing big, it’s nothing with his heart. Really, he’s healthy and doing fine. He’s just not sleeping well, which means none of us are sleeping well. Ben really has lots of trouble in the heat…he just hates it…and so when the nights get warm, he doesn’t sleep well. If Ben had his way he would sleep in a 60 degree room under heavy blankets all year long. He’s very much like his mom that way. Anyway…for about two months now, he’s been waking up in the middle of the night again. At first we figured out it was because he was “turtling” himself…that is he was rolling onto his back and couldn’t make himself comfy again (Ben sleeps on his tummy and has since about five months of age). Well now he is much more proficient at the rolling and moving himself into comfortable positions. Part of this may be from us positioning him on his side to sleep when he was in the hospital. But then it warmed up outside and now he’s unhappy again. We did finally turn on the air yesterday, and it helped somewhat. Why finally? Since our house is a tri-level, our family room is comfortable all year around…in the summer it is very nice and cool down there because it’s half underground. We rarely need the air except to sleep on the very hottest days of summer, so we keep the bills low by keeping it off. We have found that Ben will sleep in the pack and play down here in the family room at night…which is great. But then he’s up at first light singing to greet the day. Good during the winter when sunrise is at seven thirty. Bad in the summer when sunrise is at six. Since afternoons are so warm, Ben is not napping (he REALLY needs naps, too). There is too much going on down in the family room to put him for a nap there, so that’s right out. Oh, silly silly me for bragging about Ben’s sleeping habits for so long. I’m so foolish and proud. The good news is that I know that this is going to pass. I know that all kids go through phases with sleep, and it’s going to be fine. We just have to stick it out. But that’s hard.
A bit harder to take is Ben’s eating habits. He is going through another “I’m not going to eat phase” right now. I’ve become used to this. He eats like crazy for a week or two, then lives on air and milk for the next week or two. Until he went in the hospital a month ago, Ben was still on a whole milk/formula mix because he needed the calories. In the hospital they gave us straight milk, so that’s what we gave him when we got home. In one month he has lost nine ounces. It sounds like a little bit, but when you consider he only barely weighed fifteen and a half pounds and now he’s down to fourteen six, it’s a lot. Last week he was at the doctor for vomiting blood again (and still we aren’t quite sure why he does this occasionally, but we know it’s from his tonsils/throat, not from his tummy…small comfort) and they weighed him…today we went in for the fifteen month check up and weighed him again, no change. SO…he’s not gaining. His body uses each and every spare calorie just to live. So the long and short of this is that the doctor put him on Pediasure, which is high-octane. In addition to this, the doc said that although we are doing a good job of feeding Ben nutritious foods, if Ben goes through phases where he only wants to eat yogurt, that’s what we should give him…not try to get the veggies in. I always try to give Ben some balanced food choices, and if he won’t eat we just offer him food more often. But I don’t let him eat yogurt and fruit for every meal…but I can see the point of getting the calories in, so maybe we’ll try that. Ben LOVES yogurt. We buy a huge container of Vanilla whole milk yogurt at Trader Joes about every week and a half, and he just goes through it like crazy. So we’ll try that, and the pediasure and see what happens.
So the lack of sleep and fussy eating have just made for a fussy Ben lately, he’s been very demanding. Not that it’s a chore, but there are only so many hours in the day when we can shake rings at each other and sing about wheels on the bus and whatnot. Such is parenthood, right? There is good news, and fun news. Ben is really starting to get the hang of rolling…and I think he’s starting to roll to get things now…which is fun to watch. He is SUCH a wiggler! OH, and he is getting much stronger in his lower abdomen and hips. I put him in the Bumbo chair the other day when we were outside. Ben decided he wanted the grass, doubled over to get it…then fussed because he was doubled over in an awkward position, but pulled himself back up to sitting. This is a HUGE deal for him. I”m quite excited to see it. 🙂 We have signed him up for summer physical therapy, and he had his evaluation the other day. A frustrating moment: The therapist we will see this summer is the same one we see at school, since our district contracts out for their therapists. All year long I have been telling Ben’s teacher and his therapist that he is NOT good in the afternoon (when his therapy is scheduled) and he isn’t making good progress because he doesn’t respond when I have to wake him up from a sound nap to get to PT…We have to plan our day around getting him enough sleep to go to a half hour therapy appointment, and he barely makes it the whole half hour he’s so tired. Well, his evaluation the other day was at eleven thirty in the morning. His therapist kept telling me “he’s so active! I’ve never seen him this active! He’s so full of personality!” Um, hello? Morning person, right here…the tiny man…yeah, morning person. *sigh* Next year Ben will be in a group therapy setting, and that will be in the morning, so that will hopefully be better. And this summer we’ll go in the morning, too, so that will be very good. I hope it really helps him make some progress toward sitting and crawling.
Well, this turned out to be a long entry. I need to post more often than every two weeks, apparently. Cheers, everyone!
Oh yeah! There are pictures

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Busy Spring!

May 14, 2007

Hi everyone,

It has really been a busy spring, we haven’t had time to post to the journal in a long time, it seems like forever. Ben has been up to his old tricks (new tricks), that is he’s growing by leaps and bounds, and has picked up a few new tricks. Most noteably, he is starting to show interest in feeding himself a few things. He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of small objects, like veggie puffs and cheerios, although he loves them he has trouble getting them in his mouth. We’re working on the pincher grasp. BUT, Ben LOVES graham crackers, and he is all about eating them all by himself. He is really quite proud of himself when he can eat his own cookies. Pictures are below. Man are those things messy.

This weekend we went birding at Point Pelee in Canada. It’s an annual event in Scott’s family, and now in ours. Last year was the first year since we’ve been married that Scott and I didn’t go, and we missed it. Two days of walking in the woods, looking at birds and nature, fun with the family. A nice way to spend mother’s day. Ben had a great time and was really very very good. He’s turned into quite a good little traveler! We didn’t see a whole lot of birds, but it was beautiful weather. There are some who would argue that good weather pretty much means you won’t see a lot of birds, and from the looks of it this weekend, that’s true.

Both of Ben’s grandma’s got DVD’s of Ben for Mother’s day. They had the slideshow from Ben’s first birthday, as well as many video clips from the video camera. Yes, you may all be appropriately jealous. So, if you want to see the DVD, hunt yourself down a grandmother and ask her. 🙂

There are a few pictures put text here

Home sweet home

May 6, 2007

Well, we got home yesterday about noon. Ben came off the oxygen yesterday morning, and by lunchtime was doing well enough to get sprung. He is still congested, but he is more himself, and is much more comfortable. We will be giving him nebulizer treatments as needed until his congestion clears up, and we are using “percussive therapy” (beating on his chest and back) to help him break up that congestion and get it out. Ben is so much more himself, which is a huge relief. He is eating like CRAZY…he was eating twice his normal amounts in the hospital…his body apparently needed to catch up and do some recovering.

Being in the hospital is never fun, but boy do those people at Children’s know their stuff. They are great people, talented doctors, and we never fear the advice or care Ben gets there. All three of us were exhausted yesterday, I took an hour and a half nap, and we all went to bed early and slept like the dead. Hopefully Ben will be on the mend this week. We are still planning on going to Canada next weekend for our yearly Birding trip, and the docs said there is no reason why Ben can’t go, especially if he is feeling better. We’re all looking forward to a little outdoor time.

More later, Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers…Ben is doing so much better. 🙂

The story…some of it….

May 2, 2007

So here is what is going on….

Since Ben’s vomiting blood episode two weeks ago, he has not been himself, which is why we haven’t posted much. Last week he developed a cough, but it was small, he didn’t sound congested, and even though he was irritable, we thought he was okay. He didn’t sleep through the night at all last week. Sunday night the cough sounded worse, so on Monday morning I called the Pediatrician. We got an appointment at 2:15, and by the time I had wrestled with Ben all day (he obviously did not feel good) and got him there, he was lethargic, and he was bluish. They put a pulse-ox monitor on him, which measures the saturation of Oxygen in his blood, and it was at 47% (normal for Ben is around 80%, normal for us is high nineties to 100%). They gave him a breathing treatment and put him on Oxygen, then Ben and I got in the back of a car (a resident that was at the office that day drove us) to Huron Valley Sinai hospital. (Dear Mr. Policeman reading this: Please ignore that last sentence and assume that nothing illegal was done).
At the hospital they prepared him for transport to Childrens. His Pediatrician had called ahead to Ben’s Cardiologist so that they were aware he was coming in, and we went by ambulance to Children’s. I kept calling Scott and giving him updates every time we moved. We drove 80 during rush hour, sometimes on the side of the road, lights and sirens blazing, to get to the hospital.
After four hours in the ER (it really wasn’t as bad as it sounds…no, really, it wasn’t!) we got a room, and that’s where we’ve been ever since. Ben was much better today, although he is still on Oxygen, he is receiving breathing treatments via nebulizer much less frequently and his chest sounds better, so some of the congestion is breaking up. The doctor said this morning that MAYBE we can go home tomorrow, but we are all waiting to see…we obviously dont’ want to come home too soon.
Scott and I are home for a few hours to eat and to get some sleep, real sleep (neither of us has slept more than four hours at a stretch since monday, and for me that extends to sunday). My mom and dad are at Children’s with Ben. Since he refuses to wear an oxygen mask, we have to hold a tube over his face. Nasal prongs are RIGHT OUT. We tried that and it was disaster. Oh my, was it a disaster. Scott and I will head back to the hospital at four or five tomorrow morning and take back over.
We’ll let you know more when we do.

very very fast

May 1, 2007

Just home for a minute…Ben was rushed to children’s hospital yesterday after his pediatrician diagnosed a bronchial infection. He went by ambulance so he could receive oxygen on the way. We spent last night and are spending tonight too….we think he’s getting better, but we’re not sure yet. He’s definately breathing better but is still on Oxygen for now.
We’ll update when we can!!!