Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday fun

Here we are at Tuesday already! Time sure does go by quickly when you are busy! Here is a quick recap of our last couple of days:

Sunday - spent the day cleaning and Mat went in to work for a few hours to work in peace. When he got home, it was time to work in the yard. Even though it is the end of October, we are still experiencing 90 degree days, so the kids put on thier bathing suits and played in the water and with the water table while we worked. They had a great time. Everyone was tired and went to be early!

Monday - no school for any of the kids today. Today was a teacher work day, so everyone was home with me all day. We played and just goofed around. Everyone behaved really well, and we all had fun. It was a rainy day for the most part, so we were stuck inside, but that didn't seem to matter.

Tuesday - Today Arlington and Finley went to school for the day. Cainan had speech therapy this morning and then an appointment for a helmet adjustment and then an appointment with the surgeon. As most of you know, Cainan's palate surgery is on November 12th. So today the surgeon wanted to discuss that surgery with us and what he would be doing. He also wanted to see how Cainan's lip was coming along. We are now massaging it three times a day to break up the scar tissue and soften his lip. Hopefully he will start to look less and less like Elvis overtime. The doctor is going to start giving him injections in his lip to help with that as well. They will do the first one during his next surgery, and then he will get some in the office after that. Fun times! But his head is showing some nice rounding, so his helmet got adjusted - yeah! And speech therapy went well. Cainan still isn't saying much while we are there, but I am getting a lot of good pointers from the therapist that are really helping him progress at home. Tonight we cleaned up because tomorrow we are having a Halloween party before trick or treat. Arlington is so excited!

Some fun stuff:
Arlington - she said/did something funny the other day that I wanted to share. We don't let her watch a lot of TV, but she really wanted to watch Scooby Doo on Sunday morning while I was cleaning. I came in the living room and caught her digging around in a cereal box. I asked her what she was doing, and she said, "the TV told me there were prizes in the cereal box, so I am looking for it." That is so great - the TV is now giving her directions.

Finley - learned to say the word "please" and do the sign for it. She is so cute when she says it. She also says "moon". Don't know why. She just likes being cute I guess. But she remains our little "bad baby". That girl is just trouble! She likes mischief very much.

Cainan - learned to say "hi"and "bye" and do the sign for please. We were really impressed. He says hi all the time to people now. The "bye" doesn't come as easy. He is doing a lot more babbling AND a lot LESS drooling. We used to have to change his bib 6-7 times a day. Now we are down to 1-2. I actually see him close his mouth more to swallow and wipe the saliva away from his lips. Yeah! That is great progress.

Here are numerous pictures from the last several days. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pumpkin patch day!

Well, today we went to the pumpkins patch for Cainan's first Halloween. Just a brief recap of the last couple of days for us. But before that, I want to say happy birthday to my dad (on the 24th), happy birthday to Zac - Mat's brother (on the 25th) and happy anniversary to my brother AJ and my sister-in-law Tricia! (on the 26th)

Wednesday: I didn't have to work this Wed. I got to come home. We didn't need so much staff, so I got the day off. I was glad because I have been feeling under the weather. Arlington has given me her cold, and I am still feeling it. So I was glad for the time off. I came home and tried to relax, but I still felt like I needed to be somewhat productive around the house! I finished painting in Cainan's room. We are really close to having his room completely done - yeah!

Thursday - Cainan had a small check up today. He just went in for shots - didn't see the doctor, just the medical assistant. They gave him 6 shots, poor guy! Mat took him to the appointment since I was working. He also had some blood drawn because when he was there the last time, they did a lead level and it came back slightly elevated. The normal range is between 0-10, and Cainan's was a 7. The doctor wasn't that surprised since he is from China, but wanted to make sure the level was on its way down. The doctor wasn't concerned, since he was still in the normal range, and said the level should come down to 0 on its own over time, but just wanted to keep an eye on it. We do have a good pediatrician! Just one more thing that had me a little worked up! I feel like we can't get out from underneath the stress! Between Cainan and Finley, we are losing a lot of sleep these days.
Cainan went to school after his appointment, but by the end of the day, he had a fever from his shots. (or so we thought at the time!) He was really hot, so when he came home he didn't want to eat much and fell asleep early. We gave him some tylenol and that brought his fever down.
But there is a funny story that went along with the doctor's visit. Mat said he and the medical assistant were talking, and she asked how long we have had Cainan. Mat told her, and with ALL seriousness she responded, "so are you going to keep him?" I guess Cainan is our new puppy.

Friday - Cainan felt cool by this morning so we sent him to school. He did well all day. But when he got home in the evening, he didn't want to eat dinner. He didn't eat ANYTHING. That was a first. He just cried and cried, so we put him to bed. We were supposed to go to a trick or treat thing with some friends this evening, but it got rained out. It was good in a way, because Cainan just clearly didn't feel well.

Saturday - Cainan woke up not feeling that well this morning. And wouldn't eat breakfast or lunch! By the time he did finally eat, it had been over 24 hours since he had any food at all. We were pretty upset. We finally got him to eat some fruit and some pediasure after his VERY short nap today. Oh, and by the way, he woke up at 5am! It has been a long day. He was so overtired, that I knew he would take a short nap, and sure enough - one hour later, he was up. He was miserable the entire day. He cried basically non-stop all morning, and all afternoon. Finally after some food he looked a little better, but still not himself. He basically just sat around all evening after we came back from the pumpkin patch, and then we put him to bed after some dinner. His fever is back - not really high, but he is warm. So no helmet for him until it goes down (helmet rules). I gave him some medication before bed, but let's hope he sleeps okay and feels better by tomorrow. I am not sure if he is still feeling the effects of the shots or he is now coming down with something. I wouldn't be surprised with us being sick and he just starting daycare. But his timing is a little bad. With a major surgery in two weeks, we are desparately trying to keep him well. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Anyway - back to the pumpkin patch! One of my favorite trips of the year. We are not big Halloween people, but we love the fall. We have lived in warm weather for 6 years, and this is the time of year I REALLY miss the cool weather of the fall. We went to the pumpkin patch and it was 80 degrees, but we still had a lot of fun. Finley was a riot - she loves every pumpkin and went around trying to pick them all up! She was really into it. Arlington couldn't decide on just one. She wanted to biggest pumpkin they had, of course, but in the end we talked her into a manageable sized one. Cainan wasn't sure what to make of the whole experience. I think he was feeling sick, so he wasn't really into it. But I am sure it looked a little scary to him. All of these big orange things that mommy and daddy want him to pose on. But he was a trooper and we got a few good pictures.
The carving at home was fun as well. Arlington doesn't really like to scoop out the pumpkin with her hands, but we finally got her to touch it this year. She used a spoon for awhile, and then stuck her hands right in. Finley just wanted to eat it all. She kept trying to put it in her mouth. But she got the idea and helped us pick the seeds out after awhile and put them in a bowl. We roasted the seeds in the oven and ate some this evening - yum!! Another one of our favorites!

Finley also has a few new words. She is getting really good at repeating what we say now, so her words are coming faster these days. But she has learned to say "yes" and "nice". She pats Cainan all the time and says "nice". She is getting better with touching him nicely. He still winces a little when he sees her coming!
Arlington is slowly learning to read. Now that she is getting the sounds of the letters down, she can sound out the words a little easier. We have taught her to spell, write and recognize (newest words) baby, yes, no, cat, dog just today! Our Arlington is a fast learner. Add that to the 10 or so words she can already write and spell, and I think she is getting the idea. We will have her reading in now time. Hard to believe it! I can still picture her at Finley's age.

Here are some pictures from today. I didn't take any before today because we have been busy, but there are a lot, I apologize! I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday in Florida

Update time! Here is what we are doing (besides sweating to death) here in Florida. It has been 90 degrees every day and humid. I am SOOOOOOO ready for it to cool off. I think we are supposed to have a slightly cooler weekend. I am over all this hot weather.

Sunday - Mat's mom and dad came down for a visit. They arrived at our house around 1pm with our niece. We were happy to see them. The babies had tuckered out early and were already in bed, but Arlington was waiting for them! Our niece had taken a nap in the car so she was ready to play! She and Arlington had a great time playing until the babies got up from their nap. This was the first time Mat's parents got to meet Cainan, so that was exciting! Their grandkids multiplied from 3 to 5 in the last 2 months!! And both the latest editions were boys. We need someone in the family to round out the numbers!! (and takers????) Anyway, we had a nice visit. The grandparents played with the kids, then we decided to brave dinner out with everyone. I am sure everyone who looked at us with these 4 kids under the age of 5 felt bad for us! Considering my niece is only 8 months older than the babies I am sure we looked insane to all onlookers! But the dinner went off without a hitch thanks to the fact we had four adults and lots of snacks! Everyone was well behaved and it was fun. By the time we got home it was times for baths and bed. All of the kids were tired and everyone went to bed without problems!

Monday - Mat's parents volunteered to stay home with all three little ones today and pick up Arlington at Pre-K at 11:30! Now, my in laws raised 5 kids (one set of twins even) so I knew they could do it. They had a really great day and everyone behaved very well. Arlington was the only one that didn't nap. Mat and I went to work and when we got home, dinner was waiting and all of the kids were fed. Ahhhhhhh..... My mother in law said being with all of them brought back a lot of memories! :) But the help was nice. They left to go back to Jacksonville to help my sister-in-law around 6:30pm and will stay with her until the weekend.

Tuesday - today Cainan got his thumb splints. He hated them at first, of course, but got used to them this evening. We got them this morning, but decided not to put them on for school today until I had a chance to mess with them. They seem a little big, but I think they made them as small as they could. He has the tiniest little hands! And his thumbs are really small, so they look very weird in these splints. The splints have a metal piece between the thumb and the rest of his fingers, so he can't bend his thumb in at all. He figured out how to pick things up with them tonight, so that is progress. We are to take them off for eating, but for the rest of the time, they should stay on. Even at night. He will wear them until at least January when we see he doctor again. As long as they do the trick, I am all for it! At least they are washable (unlike the helmet)! He looks like he has boxing gloves on. Too funny. Poor guy. But this is one more step in the right direction.
And Arlington had an eye doctor appointment today. The eye doctor wanted to have her checked before she went to kindergarten, so we went today. Eyes were perfect. She was a really good girl. The appointment was long, but she was a trooper. The only thing she didn't like was getting her eyes dilated. It made everything blurry and that made her mad. She wanted to sit and do a puzzle and read a book and couldn't. But by this evening she was all better!

Arlington is feeling much better. Today was her last day of antibiotic. Let's hope the ear infection is gone for good this time. She still has a little bit of a head cold, bu not much. The worst part is - she passed the cold to Finley (of course) and to me. So Finley is sick again!!!! And I got it to. Whatever it is, must be strong because I don't get sick easy! 10 years of pediatric nursing and I have an immune system that is "strong like bull".

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday update

Well another week has come to a close and we have been busy as always! Here is what is going on with us

Wednesday - Arlington stayed home from school since she had a fever the day before. She ran a low fever first thing in the morning, but then was good the rest of the day. Mat was home with her since I was working and he could work from home.

Thursday - Arlington felt well, so she went to school. However, when she got home from school, she wasn't looking great again. At dinner she started to cry and said her throat and ears hurt. Luckily we have a very nice, urgent care that is never busy near by our house (that sees kids). This is where we took her the last time she complained about her ear (which was just two weeks ago). Mat took her and I stayed home with the babies and we took a walk after dinner. They were back within about 45 minutes. Her throat was red, but no infection. But she has a double ear infection. Ugh! Another one? That kid that is never sick! The pediatrician did say that around age 4 or 5 they get 8-10 infections, so I guess this isn't that unusual. So she is on an antibiotic
Finley learned to say "moo" and it is funny when she does it. She is also saying a lot of words more clearly, and seems to be understanding more and more direction. She is also the ham of the family and always trying to get a laugh.
Cainan is finally realizing he has lips. He has started licking them, and rubbing his tongue and hands against them, which is great! First step to getting him to stop drooling so much. The speech therapist wants him to lick his lips and play a lot of games of putting food on his lips and letting him lick it off to get him used to them being there, and keeping them closed together. He still breathes through his mouth and that is causing him to drool a lot more. Once step at a time.

Friday - No school for Arlington today. She was sick yesterday (and running a fever) so she was home with Mat again. She felt fine, but stayed pretty much on the couch or in her room playing. Poor kid - can't catch a break and Mat had to work from home two days this week. No fun for anyone. Both the babies went to school with no problems, although Finley came home sneezing. I forbid her to get a cold!!! (ha) Tonight I went out with a few of my girlfriends to dinner. We went to a yummy sushi restaurant and had a nice kid free evening. Although, we decided to sit outside at the restaurant, and it isn't under cover. We had an umbrella over our table, but it started to rain, then the wind started to blow the rain around, and we were chased inside. We were finished eating, but stuck inside the bar area where it was really loud! We stayed there about 1 hour, then couldn't stand it anymore, and decided to run for it. I know - where was our umbrella? Well, they call Florida the "sunshine state" - who needs an umbrella. We were soaked, but it was fun.

Saturday - Arlington woke up feeling great, so she went off to her scheduled playdate today. She played with her best little friend all afternoon. They went to the pumpkin patch and picked out pumpkins to decorate and had a blast all afternoon. I will take a picture of her with her pumpkin tomorrow and post it next week. She picked a pumpkins about as big as she is! But she had a good time. Mat went to work for the afternoon and I stayed here and cleaned the house while the babies took a nap. Once everyone was home and awake we had dinner and just played and finished cleaning up. We hung some pictures in Cainan's room as well. His room is getting close to being finished! A slow project now that he is here and we are so busy! I usually work on projects like that while the kids sleep, but can't while he is in there! Oh well. We are getting there.
Finley learned to give kisses when asked. It is really cute! She is picking up stuff really quickly. Cainan has started saying "la la la" or something like it! He doesn't have a roof of the mouth, but he sticks his tongue between his teeth to make the sounds. We count it as a victory!
Tomorrow Mat's mom and dad are coming in for a visit and will be here until Monday night! My sister in law Carrie and her baby so they are down helping her (she lives in Jacksonville Florida) and are coming to visit us for a day and bring our niece with them. So that is why we are cleaning! Ha!
Yes we are proud aunt and uncle tonight of a healthy baby boy! We have a nephew! He is so cute and has a ton of black hair. He was 7 pounds, 11 ounces. They came home this morning. My niece is almost 2, so hopefully she will adjust to her new little brother. She will be a great big sister! We can't wait to hold that baby! Congratulations Carrie and Jonathan! We love you!
Here are a few pictures

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Biweekly update

Okay - so now that not much is happening as often,I am going to update twice a week - hopefully on Tuesdays and Saturdays (for all of you faithful readers!)

Here is what has been happening
Sunday -church. Went better this time! Cainan didn't cry and seemed to have a good time in Sunday school. We went out to lunch as a family. We haven't done that since before Cainan's surgery, but now that he is on a regular diet, we went out. We had a good time and everyone behaved themselves. It is kind of a circus getting two highchairs while we are out, but we manage. Luckily Arlington can entertain herself with crayons! And the babies are kept happy as long as they can keep snacking.

Monday - Finley had her blood drawn. Not fun. She had to be stuck twice - the first time they bruised her immediately and didn't get any blood. But the second one worked. She cried, but didn't move, which made it go faster. We had to wait 2 hours, though, to get her blood drawn. But Finley entertained all the people in the waiting room and was a really good girl while we waited. Arlington and Cainan went to school for half the day and I picked them up before lunch and brought them home. The rest of the day was uneventful!

Tuesday - Finley had her urine catheterization done this morning. Even less fun than the blood draw. She was really upset, but they got what they needed. And she was weighed and we were happy to report that she has gained 1 pound in about 2 weeks! Yeah! She is now up to 19 pounds, 9 ounces. Let's hope she stays well and stays that weight. We are to continue the fatty diet until we get her over 20 pounds and back on the chart! Hopefully all the blood and urine tests will come back normal and it was just a virus that was causing her weight loss. Poor baby - let's hope so.
Cainan also had his helmet appointment today, so after Finley had her test, she went to school for the day with Arlington. Cainan and I had to go to Fort Lauderdale. These days I don't look forward to because it takes about 5 hours from start to finish. First, Ft. Lauderdale is about 1 1/2 hours away. Then we wait for about 1 1/2 hours before we are even seen, a half an hour for her to look at his helmet, shave it and adjust it, and then 1 1/2 hours back home. So from 12:30-5:30 was tied up for that. Isn't that crazy? We had to go every two weeks, but today got the good news that we can now go every 3 weeks! Yeah! We see her one more time on the 30th of this month (two weeks from now), and then not again until the 20th of November. Yahoo!!! That will help. Since he is older and he isn't growing as fast as young babies (who are the general people who get these helmets) she doesn't need to see him. BUT the even better news is that the helmet seems to be working. The helmet person saw some definite rounding in his head! We noticed it too. He is looking great!
I also ran into Dr. Stelnicki (helmet place is part of his office) and asked him if we are to start massaging Cainan's scar. He said yes - three times a day. See, after the cleft surgery, once it is healed, we have to massage the scar area to get it to relax and to make it less noticable. We have noticed that the scar has been pulling his lip up in that area a little. He is starting to look like Elvis. Massaging the scar will help that. We have to apply hard pressure to the knot that is in it (feels like a little stone) to massage that out. We did it the first time tonight, and let me tell you - he screamed his head off!!! He doesn't really like to have his lip and nose touched - can you blame him? He was SO mad at us afterward - he wouldn't even look at us, and didn't want me to hold him. I feel so bad, but it has to be done. We also have to rub vitamin E on it. Ugh.

As for Cainan - he has been becoming more and more cuddly with us. It has been a break through the last couple of days. Before we would hold him, but after awhile, he just wanted down. Now, the last couple of days, he has been laying his head on our shoulder and hugging us when he is upset or just wants to be held. It is so nice, and will really help us bond with him. We are really pleased! And he is saying "hi" now. And babbling a lot more, and putting his hands in his mouth, and doing general baby things. It is nice to see.

Arlington is doing fine! Loved decorating a pumpking this week and can't wait to get the big one that we will carve. She is still deciding on what she wants to be for Halloween and has it narrowed down to Tinkerbell or Supergirl. She is sick right now. For a girl who hasn't been sick in a long time, she has had two colds in a row. I think she is just worn down. This is the first time she has gone to school 5 days a week, so she is adjusting. She is just tired and running a low fever. She is staying home from school tomorrow to rest.

Enjoy some pictures

Saturday, October 13, 2007

2 months ago today.....

Cainan came into our family. It has been two months since Gotcha day. Hard to believe! And what a two months it has been. He is a very different boy than the little guy Mat was handed on August 13th. Each day we see changes in him for the better. He is turning into quite the character!

Yesterday marked the one month mark until he has his palate surgery. This month is basically him getting used to school and a few appointments (mostly on Tuesdays) for his helmet and speech therapy. But other than that, a quiet month. It is nice to be in a little routine of school, work, and free time for a change. His first 8 weeks home were so fast and busy that we are glad for the "sort of" slow down. We know that all of this will soon be a distant memory and he will just be a little boy again.

His first school week went off without a hitch. Let's hope it continues. The only thing is that they take them outside twice during the day (which is great), but here in Florida it is still 90 degrees most days. He is sweating like crazy due to the helmet, and that he is just a sweaty kid! So his heat rash has returned. It is on the back of his knees, inside his elbows, belly, diaper area, and of course, his head. Benadryl seems to be knocking it back, and hopefully by the time he returns to school next week, it will be all but gone. He will adjust, and soon, we will be having cooler days. Plus, this is the first week he has worn his helmet for long stretches. In the beginning we were removing it every hour, then every two, etc. Now we should be leaving it on the full 23 hours, and he is having to adjust to that. It is not nearly as bad as it was the first time he got the helmet, but he does have some red heat rash areas on his head.

Finley is doing well. Has been a good eater this last week, and seems to have escaped this week's worth of school without a cold! Let's knock on wood just in case! Her vocabulary grows every day. She continues to impress us with her language skills. She says about 20 words now, and tries to mimic everything we say, and has her own babble that she thinks we understand. She is still picking on Cainan, though. Mat caught them tonight - Cainan just sitting in the playroom, and Finley standing over him hitting him in the head with a baby doll. He wasn't crying, just sitting there. I think the helmet was taking the brunt of it. She is too weird. It is unpredictable. She will just reach over and bop him in the head from time to time. He never fights back. If he did, I think she would quit. She isn't overly aggressive - just decides he needs a good whack now and then.

Arlington remains the ever great big sister. She spends most of her days getting the babies to play with her and doing art project after art project. That girl loves to draw and color. And she loves to just make things. She can sit for hours just working at the table with different art supplies. It is neat to see her little mind work! She also loves to pull the babies in the wagon on our evening walks. She loves to hear them giggle when she runs with them in tow! I don't know what I would do without her most days. She is part of the "team" when it comes to chasing the little ones.

Work finished well for me this week, and I am still happy I went back! It was a busy week! I ended up working 30 hours in those three days, and I was tired by last night. I have a busy month ahead with work, but it will be good for me for awhile. I am going to be taking some time off again for Cainan's next surgery, so the extra work this month will be good. The kids I care for have gotten so big in the 6 weeks I was gone! They all look huge to me. It was fun to see them again. I work in the toddler room at my center - isn't that funny? I don't really ever get to escape the age at work or at home! But I love it.

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

First day of work and school

Today was Cainan's first day of daycare! His daddy forgot to take his picture this morning, so we will take one tomorrow and pretend it was his first day (ha). After getting three kids ready for school all by himself, I am not worried about a little picture! That was a big enough accomplishment! But Cainan did very well. I called and checked on him and he hadn't cried at all. But Finley did the same thing. It was a novelty for two days, and then after that, she really cried when we left for about 1 week. Then she was over it, and now she doesn't mind it at all! So we may see the same thing from Cainan. I am glad it is Mat taking him and not me! We will see how it goes the rest of the week. I am hopeful he will do well. But he took a good nap and the teachers said he seemed to have fun. He made it all the way until 4pm without a hitch until some little bully decided to push him down and his bumped his lip. His lip started bleeding because he bit it, and the teachers kind of panicked (because of his cleft), but he bumped his bottom lip, so no worries. But guess who the bully was? Yep - his very own sister, Finley. Wasn't that nice of her? She is going through a tough time right now - not wanting us to leave the room at night when it is time for sleep, and being rough with Cainan. We are giving her a lot of individual attention, so it is just a phase. She really wants to be mommy's only baby, I think, and doesn't like sharing the spotlight.

Anyway, Cainan is okay. He has a fat lip and a little cut. He kept rubbing it, and we put some ice on it. I am sure by the morning he will be back to normal. And hopefully now that the teachers see how Finley is going after Cainan, they will keep her away from him the best they can.
And my first day back at work went very well. It was a long day - 6:30-5:15. But it was nice to get back and see my kids (patients) and co-workers. I work in a small place and we are all close, so it was nice to chat with them and have lunch with adults, and have adult conversations. Yes, I am a pediatric nurse and I still have to change diapers and wipe noses, and break up fights, and feed people, but it is just different. I can't explain it - it just is. I know I will be a much better mother because I am working. Now when I get home, I can't wait to see the kids and play with them the whole evening.

And Finley- we got a call from the allergist today that her lab results were back. I asked for them, and the answer I got was, "you need to set up an appointment with the doctor to get the results". Huh? So you want me to pay money to sit in front of the doctor and have him read me a paper when he could do that over the phone? Drag my kids there on my day off from work? Not a chance. So I asked for a medical record release form, had Mat sign it, and send it back and requested her records. Dummies. So we got them faxed to us this afternoon - free of charge. (ha!) She is allergic to dogs (which we knew), eggs (which we suspected) and peanuts! (UGH!) the same as Arlington (food allergy wise). What is that about? Oh well - should have known. But she just mildly allergic to all three, so I think she will probably outgrow at least the food ones with time.

We also have a court date for Cainan's readoption. Since I didn't travel, he needs to be readopted here in the United States to make him a full citizen. Then he will get a social security number and even a Florida birth certificate (which he needs for kindergarten but I still think is funny). The date is November 5th. We are looking forward to that. We are greatful that we can get it done before his palate surgery.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Speech Therapy day

Cainan had his second speech therapy today. He wasn't as stubborn as he was last time, but still wouldn't make any sounds while he was there. Sigh. I guess it isn't going to be easy to get our 16 month old to cooperate. We won't be seeing the therapist again until the 30th. We don't need to see her much right now because he is so young and he still has to have his palate surgery. It will be nice to have a break. We are busy every Tuesday for the rest of the month anyway with different things.

Arlington and Finley went to school today but just for the morning. I picked them up before lunch and they spent the rest of the day at home. Everyone took a little rest (except for mom!) and then just spent the evening playing at home. A very relaxing, uneventful day.

Tomorrow I return to work and Cainan starts daycare! Should be interesting. I am looking forward to going back to work. I say that now. After a few weeks, I am sure I will wish I was off again! :) But it will be nice to get back into my routine and get Cainan to school. I think after he adjusts to being there he will do well. I have seen a change in Finley in these last couple of months for the better. So we shall see! Mat is on his own in the morning getting the kids ready since I have to be at work at 6:30. He will be just fine. It is a little chaotic, but since everyone can feed themselves, it goes pretty well!

Anyway, after tomorrow report on school and work, I probably will cut back on the blog for awhile. Going back to work will make it hard for me to update everyday, so it will probably go down to once-twice a week! But I will keep up with it, I promise, at least that much and still post pictures!
Nighty night!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Occupatinal Therapy day

Today we took Cainan to Occupational Therapy (OT). He was stubborn as usual, but it went pretty well. We were there for 1 hour while she evaluated him and gave us some exercises to work on at home. She found that he doesn't track toys as well as she would like. We think the helmet might have been getting in the way AND he was being stubborn. At home we did the tracking of toys with him and he followed them just fine - as long as his helmet was off. She gave us some massaging techniques because his muscles in his thumb are really tight from him keeping them bent all the time. He doesn't like it because it means sitting still, but we have to do it several times a day. He will get over it. And we had to put away all the little toys and we are to concentrate on him handling only larger toys which spread his hand out and make him grasp with his thumb. So all the little toys got moved to Finleys room and all the little ones stayed in the playroom. We need to stretch his palm muscles out - he doesn't have a good arch to his palm from keeping his thumb in all this time. The braces he is getting will help as well. So that is what we will work on with OT. I don't know when we will see her next. She has to submit the paperwork to our insurance company and then we just wait and see if they will let him continue. We think they will since he was diagnosed with trigger thumb and that is classified as an injury!

Also, we met with the general surgeon who will do his circumcision. We were going to get that done this month, while we didn't have any other surgeries, but I found out today he needs to be intubated for that surgery (tube in his throat vs. just a mask). He can't have that until he has his palate repaired. So we decided (the doctor and us) that we will wait for that until January or February. It is nothing major - just a 20 minute outpatient surgery - but it is on hold. So at least we got the appointment out of the way. That way, in the new year, we just have to set up the surgery.

Today there was no school for anyone, so Mat was home with the girls while I took Cainan to his appointments. The girls were pretty well behaved today. Finley was having kind of a tough time with sharing with Cainan. She kept pushing him down. She is a little bully sometimes! She has these days where she just doesn't want him in her space and wants mom and dad all to herself, and so she is rough with Cainan. Poor guy just kind of takes it. For the most part, she is fine. Ebb and Flow.

Here are some pictures from today

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The weekend is going by fast!

Well Sunday is almost over! We have had a nice weekend. Last night Arlington, though, started complaining of her ear hurting. She proceeded to tell us that it has been hurting for two days. It was around 5pm when she announced this. She has had a bad cold all week, so I wasn't surprised. But 5pm on a Saturday? We luckily have an urgent care near by and Mat took her there. She does have an ear infection, so she is on an antibiotic. Why not? The other two kids are on them as well, so why shouldn't she join in the fun? I tell you - we cannot get around being sick in this house! Maybe our winter will be better than our summer. :) But she feels fine, but I am glad she is old enough to tell us what is wrong. We did tell her that it would be better if she told us right away. I think she was worried that the doctor would give her a shot if she had to go.

Then last night Mat took Arlington to a puppet show at our church. She really enjoyed that. They had a free dinner and show and had a lot of fun. She came home talking all about it. I am glad she got to do something fun without the babies tagging along.

This morning we all went to church as a group. This was the first time Cainan got to go. Since he has been pretty high maintenance with his surgeries, we haven't taken him. But today Mat and I had to teach Sunday school, so we took him along. We drop off him and Finley in the nursery. We teach Arlington's class, so she went with us. Well, half way though the Sunday school Cainan had gotten himself so upset that the teacher brought him down to us for comfort. He was crying so hard! We were really surprised - I didn't think he would care about being left there. But she handed him over and he stopped crying. So I guess he has bonded with us after all. I have never really been separated from him since he came home, but he is so easy going, we couldn't believe his reaction. We were a little sad that he was so upset, but also happy that he wanted us so much that he cried! That is actually a good thing! What worries me is the separation come this Wednesday when I return to work. I am not sure what is going to happen with that! He is going to have to stay all day. Let's hope that he takes to it after a day or two. He will have to go three full days a week. Finley will be in his class, but this morning - that wasn't much comfort for him. We shall see!
Cainan also said "mama" today. He put the syllables together! We were very pleased. We are trying to work on the suggestions the therapist gave us, and getting him to repeat syllables over and over is one thing she wanted him to do.

Finley is feeling much, much better. Her cold is completely gone. I am sure once she returns to school this week she will get a new one, but for now she is doing well and eating great! And she learned to say "baby". She says it over and over. It is cute. And she tries to say "butterfly". She just chats and chats with incoherent words all day long - really cute.

Here are some pictures from today. I know they are a little "baby" heavy, but Arlington was busy watching a movie with daddy and I was trying some different pictures out!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Finley's 15 month appointment

Friday was Finley's 15 month appointment. She is healthy but just really underweight. With all of the sickness she has had since starting daycare, she is only 18 pounds, 8 ounces. That isn't even on the chart. The doctor wants her to drink two cans of pediasure a day and eat a lot of fatty food. Finley is a good eater, but just doesn't have much of an appetite when she is ill. And she HATES pediasure. I can't hide that stuff if I tried. I even tried making her a smoothy with strawberry pediasure, bananas, sugar and ice cream. She refused to drink it! Cainan, on the other hand, was mad when that drink was gone! :) But I remember that Arlington was the same. She wasn't quite as small as Finley is, but she didn't like pediasure. So we used half and half and heavy whipping cream mixed in with her whole milk. Now Finley does like that and drank two cups of that already today. We will get to the point where it is very little whole milk and mostly half and half. But she needs to pick up weight. The doctor drew some blood to make sure that everything else was fine, but expected all the blood work to come back normal. Her being sick for basically two months straight with a very little appetite hasn't given her much of an opportunity to pack on the pounds. But today, she had sausage and banana for breakfast, and two pieces of bologna and grapes for lunch. Plus all of her milk. So days like this- as long as they continue - will help her gain.

Cainan is doing well. He has one more day after today for us to change the dressing in his nose, and then he will be all done with that and the arm restraints! He will be so happy! He will then be able to go onto a soft diet and be able to feed himself again. That will also make him really happy.

Arlington is doing great as well. We had a playdate this morning with a little friend of hers from school. She got a chance to run around the playground for a few hours and I got some adult conversation with her mom. It was nice! My parents stayed home with the babies and Mat got some work done.

My parents left this afternoon and we are on our own with the three kids once again. It was nice to have the help this week. It was a nice break for all of us, and gave us a chance to recharge and realize we can do this! Now that Cainan is on the mend, things will be easier until his next surgery in November. We will be getting back to normal this week with all three kids being in school and I return to work as of Wednesday. I am looking forward to returning and getting back into our life routine.

Here are some pictures

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thursday appointments

Today Cainan was measured for his thumb splints. He didn't really like that. It didn't hurt him at all, but he is tired of people in nurses uniforms messing with him. It only took about 10 minutes, and they said the braces would be in around 1 week from now. By then, at least, his arm splints will be off and he can move his arms around. Poor little guy. Can't catch a break. But we need to get the thumbs straightened out because he just doesn't use them and OT needs him to have the stents for his therapy so he can start to use a pincer grasp.

That was his only appointment today and now he is TRULY done for the week. Arlington had a dentist appointment this afternoon. We picked her up from pre-K at 11:30 then took her to lunch (just she and I and her Grammy) at her favorite restaurant - Johnny Rockets. This is a 50's style restaurant where the wait staff dances to 50's music and they have a juke box. The best part - they give her a balloon. :P After lunch we took her to the library so she could pick some new books and we stayed and read there for a little while, then went on to the dentist. The dentist appointment went fine. Arlington LOVES going to the dentist. I don't mean that sarcastically - she actually asks to go. It is a children's dentistry and the dentist is a nice woman and all the staff is terrific. They play first and she gets to pick things out of the prize box, etc. And her teeth are great - no problems!

This evening we just played with the kids. Cainan was in a great mood - really starting to come alive. Now that he is healed pretty much 100% he is more playful. He was having a great time tonight and it was nice to see. He and Finley are playing better and better together every day. And Arlington continues to be the queen of them all!
Here are some pictures from today

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Finley's allergy doctor visit

Today Finley had an allergy doctor visit. Although we think that most of her nose running and stuffiness is due to her just starting daycare, we do believe that some of it is due to allergy. Since she is allergic to dogs and did have the reaction to eggs, we decided to have her have the full workup for allergies. We took her to the allergist this morning and they did one skin test on her where the egg did turn positive for allergy. But peanut was negative! Yeah! After they did that, the nurse decided to call the insurance company to see if they would pay for her to have the RAST blood test instead. They would just draw one large tube of blood and that would test for every allergy. That would be so much better instead of hours at the allergist with her getting skin tests. So the insurance company said yes, so we had that done instead. She was really good for it. She sat really still the whole time they were looking for a vein, and just cried a little when they stuck her. We should have the results within a week and then we will know if she just has those two allergies or a few more.

I picked up Arlington at pre-K early today and had all three kids home this afternoon. We didn't do much - just played and everyone took a good afternoon nap. We had a really nice stress free day. Not much to report for today for a change! Enjoy a few pictures from today

The babies playing with a diaper box

Finley playing in a box

Arlington and Papa reading a book

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Post operative visit to Dr. Stelnicki

Today we had our post op visit to our craniofacial specialist. He took a look at Cainan's lip and nose and said all looked great. He wants us to keep the gauze in until Monday and then we can be done with that. The stitches that are still there (which there aren't many) will disolve on their own in time. He has to stay on the full liquid diet until next Monday, and then he can move to a soft diet for a week or two and then back to a regular diet. The doctor doesn't want to see him again until the 30th of October, and then on the 12th of November will be his palate surgery. So that was all good news.
The lady that takes care of the helmet adjusted Cainan's helmet. He still has a red area on his head that looks a little "angry" so he has to leave the helmet off for 24 hours. She shaved some of the helmet back and thinks that will solve it, so tomorrow he can wear it again. This helmet just won't sit right on his head. The lady did say that she did see some rounding to his head, though which is good news. So it is doing it's job. He will continue to wear it until we are satisfied with the roundness of his head.
This morning before those appointments he had his first speech therapy appointment. Today was just the evaluation to see his needs. The speech therapist was pleased that he was making some sounds and learned some signs and wants us to continue. I got a lot of suggestions of what to work on at home, and she will see us next week. Then she said we probably won't need to see her every week until he gets a little older - after his palate surgery for sure. So that is good - we will probably see her every 2-3 weeks at first. Yeah! So we may get a break after all! Things are looking up.
That is the end of Cainan's appointments for the week. Yahoo! Tomorrow Finley has an appointment, so we still have running around to do, but thankfully my parents are in visiting so Cainan doesn't have to go with us. He can stay home and play all day for the next 5 days and doesn't have to go anywhere! He will be so happy!
Finley is doing well. A lot less coughing today and more like herself. She didn't go to school today. This week she will just go Monday and Thursday to give her a chance to heal completely. Plus, with my parents here, it gives them a chance to play with her.
Arlington is now sick! I cannot remember the last time that girl had a cold. Whatever Finley had - Arlington got it. She is still acting okay, but she is all stuffed up and sneezing a lot. Poor girl. She will just go to school in the mornings for the next two days, and possibly Friday as well if she still is feeling under the weather. But as long as she isn't running a fever and feeling generally okay, she needs to go to pre-kindergarten. It is a big deal if they miss, so we try not to.
Here are some pictures from today. You get to see Cainan how he will look once all his extra stuff is gone! We gave him a break from the cotton in the nose, his helmet and his arm braces all at once!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Orthopedic Appointment today

Well, our day started busy with Mat gone. But everyone cooperated and got up at three different times so that I could get them all ready in peace! We were out the door by 7:45am because I needed to have the girls to school by 8am to make our 9am therapy appointment (we had to register at the hospital first). I got there and got registered and went down to the appointment in time to find out that the occupational therapist we were seeing got called to jury duty. Her assistant called me at 8am, but we were already gone. Oh well. At least now I am registered! The bummer part is that now I won't be able to see the therapist until the 15th because next Monday (God willing) is supposed to be our court date to have Cainan readopted! (yeah) Then he will be an official United States citizen. Anyway, we had some time to kill so we ran a few errands before our orthopedic doctor appointment at 10am.
The doctor looked at his thumbs and did a few different tests and decided Cainan has one of two issues. He thinks there is a possibility that he has something called "trigger thumb". I guess there is a sheath inside along the muscle of the thumb that sometimes can get into a sort of bump and cause it to get stuck and cause the thumb to be bent the way Cainan's are. The child can still open and close his thumbs, but at some point it starts to hurt because the thumb gets "stuck" due to this bump, so the child doesn't want to open his thumb anymore. The only thing that made the doctor think this is NOT what Cainan has is the fact that he didn't really whince in pain when the doctor moved his thumb around, AND Cainan will open his thumb on occasion.
The second thought the doctor had was that it was something developmental. Something in his brain didn't make him move on to the next step where he should have learned to use his thumbs, and then he just got comfortable not using them. This is more likely the case. It is unusual, but it does happen. The doctor asked if we have seen a neurologist, and suggested we should. Great - another doctor! We are going to wait on that one for awhile. He didn't seem overly concerned about it, and wanted to try some thumb splints over the next couple of months to get him used to having his thumbs out and using them. That will probably correct the problem. We have to make a separate appointment for those at a place that will fit him and order the splints specific to his finger size. What they do is pull the thumbs out and keep them straight, and after awhile his body will adjust to the position and he won't need the splints any more.
If it is by some chance the "trigger thumb" then he will have to have- yep you guessed it - surgery. The doctor said it is a simple surgery - kind of like a surgery they would do for carpal tunnel. BUT that would only be that if in January his thumbs still haven't corrected themselves and a neurologist says he is developmentally on track.
So now he gets yet something else he needs to wear. We will start the thumb splints as soon as they come in. This is something we want to correct while he is young. The glasses can wait, but this really can't. The doctor also wants him to have occupational therapy. We are working on it, but as you know - insurance is standing in the way. Although, now that we have a diagnosis of "trigger thumb" that is an injury and THAT is covered. (yes) So we may be able to use that diagnosis to get him the occupational therapy he needs even if in the end it turns out not to be that.
Sorry, no pictures from today. We were busy all morning and after nap we are going to get the girls at school and head for the airport. Tomorrow - more pictures!