Thursday, February 26, 2009

so tired

I am so tired. This last week has been exhausting! Pequot Lakes scrappin' was a blast. Friday night I barely got anything accomplished except a few pages and then stayed up until 4:30 am giggling about what?, I can't remember! Lots of fun...

Parker has been up and down. He is not really eating anything so that has been a struggle. He complains that he has a belly ache and that he is going to throw up. Which he hasn't. But we are just dumping pain meds on an empty stomach, that would make me sick too. He isn't sleeping real well at night either. One night this week we didn't wake him up to give him his meds and he spiked a 102.4 temp and was shaking uncontrollably. So we went back to meds every 4 hours. He says the back of his mouth hurts a lot, but that's to be expected. I try brushing his teeth very carefully, but a nasty side effect of the tonsillectomy is (really) bad breath. But we feel we are over the hump with today. The doctor said day 4-5 is the hardest and then it gets better. We just need to watch between days 7-10 for the tonsil scabs to fall off and watch for any bleeding. He is a tough little guy...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

glad, that part's over with

Everything with Parker's surgery went perfectly. He was such a trooper. We got to the hospital at 7 am and completed the 2 hours of pre-op and paperwork. By 9 am he walked away with the nurse and got to push the button for the door to the operating room. He was so brave. We had a number for him and a screen to watch to see where he was with his surgery. As we were watching the screen the doctor came up behind us and said it was all over with and that it went just fine. That was at 9:40 am. We waited for them to bring him back to his room. As soon as he woke up they carried him back. He looked so tiny when the nurse brought him to us. He was beyond controllable. The nurses said it had a lot to do with the anesthesia. For the next hour or so I basically had to hold him down. He was kicking at the nurses when they came in to check on him; temp, pulse ox, etc...The worst part was he kept trying to rip out his IV. And the shouting and screaming and crying. We knew that his throat had to hurt but he didn't understand yet. He just kept trying to bury himself into my body and get away from it all. That was the hardest part of the whole experience. We finally got him to drink an apple juice and eat almost 2 Popsicles. Then he fell asleep cradled in my arms. I just held him while he slept. I made a big mistake by trying to move him to the bed alone while I got up to use the bathroom and woke him up. Bear tried to comfort him, but he kept freaking out like a wild man. When I came back to the bed he just kept trying to hide in me...it was like he couldn't get close enough. That moment is something I will never forget. By noon they told us to start waking him up to eat and drink and that when he did so they would take the IV out. He was happy about that. Through the pre-op physical last Friday to the actual surgery part, he never flinched when somebody was poking at him with a needle. He just kept calling all the little marks on his body, his pokes. He has so many pokes because he has tiny veins...which is good and bad. Tiny veins mean lots of poking to try to start and IV or take blood but also tiny veins mean less bleeding at the back of his throat. We were discharged around 1 pm. Ran some errands in Duluth and hit the road by 2 pm. We settled in last night with lasagna and garlic bread from Auntie Tammy for Emmitt and Mommy. Daddy has his Sushi (one of the errands) and Parker had mush. For the week he gets yogurt, Popsicles, applesauce, juice, drinkable yogurt, pudding and bread! I had picked up sandwiches from the Cub deli and he wanted some bread. So I ripped out the inside of my sandwich and pulled all the soft bread off the crust and he ate all of it. Said it didn't hurt at all and I am sure it filled that little tummy better. He slept really well last night. We wake him up every 4 hours to give him his meds and to stay on top of the pain. He needs to lay low for 7-10 days. Most pain peaks on day 4 or 5, so we will see how this week comes along...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

(re) scheduled

Parker is rescheduled for Monday at 7:30 am. As soon as I pulled in the driveway from my Pequot scrappin' trip I literally put my bags in the car to head to Duluth. Auntie Tammy came over to take care of Emmitt and the rest of us drove to Duluth. We are currently at the Edgewater Resort. They have a hospital rate of $58 and that included some lime green wrist bands! We thought that since he wouldn't be able to get his ears wet for awhile we would let him have one last hurrah. We had a blast, that is until somebody pooped in the lazy river and they kicked us out. We ordered a pizza and ate it on the bed...what a great pre-surgery last meal. We'll keep you updated...thanks for all the prayers!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

the next step

Yesterday we got the news we sort of expected. The ENT said that he still has fluid in his middle ear and explained the whole cycle to me.
His tonsils are so enlarged that it puts pressure on his Eustachian tubes (middle ear) which causes fluid to back up in the ear which causes the hearing loss which causes the speech problem. His adenoids are enlarged and he therefore has sleep apnea. His adenoids are also most likely the problem he has with eating, or lack of. So he would benefit from having both the tonsils and adenoids out and tubes put in his ears. His audiology appointment showed that he still has flat tymps (fluid in the middle ear) and his hearing loss was around 45 decibels. So basically put your fingers in your ears and that is what he has been hearing this whole time! It's like he has been underwater since last June. The good news is, there is no permanent damage and his hearing nerve (?) is active.
Our ENT does surgery every Monday and the youngest patients go first. Parker is scheduled for this Monday @ 11:30 am for all three procedures. We need to be in Duluth at 10:30 am. He can't have anything to eat after midnight Sunday night but can have water and clear juices like apple right up until surgery. The whole procedure takes 30 minutes. Bear and I are taking Parker down early Monday morning. We will stay overnight Monday night since he most likely won't feel up to traveling. We should be home Tuesday by lunch. For the first week he can have soft foods. So I am going to stock up on ice cream, Yo-J, juice, Gatorade, pudding and yogurt. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated...he will not eat jello. Also I have no idea if he will be able to talk right away or not??

So please say extra prayers for our little guy. We know it is very routine but it is still scary. He is going to wake up a whole new kid! He has never known anything different and thinks this is they way he should be hearing and feeling...which is all in itself so incredibly sad and happy at the same moment.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Watch Me Grow-The Whole Series

Month One
Month Two
Month Three
Month Four
Month Five
Month Six
Month Seven
Month Eight
Month Nine
Month Ten
Month Eleven
Month Twelve
I love that I did this series of pictures. I am off to Pequot Lakes Scrappin' this weekend and can't wait to put these pages together.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

off to Duluth

so we are headed to Duluth (in a blizzard) to have Parker's ENT second opinion appointment. After what happened at the preschool screening I decided to push a little harder and be that mom and take things a little more aggressively. When I hadn't heard back by 10 am on Monday after the screening I called the Duluth Clinic to be sure they saw my request in the system. They did. But it was in the wrong section of the system, so we went ahead and made the appointment for Wednesday the 18th. We just happened to get 5 inches of snow today and it is still snowing...so in Duluth terms, they probably have like a foot by now! So I got Milo to ride along with me for company and an extra set of hands.

Emmitt had his 1 year well child check yesterday and Parker had his first dentist appointment. The whole day was very interesting and exhausting. I do it to myself. I have a day off, so why not schedule everything that needs to be done, on one day, all by myself (Bear is gone for the week working). I am a glutton for punishment, I swear.

While at Emmitt's appointment-which was horrible I might add-I had the Doc just check in Parker's ears to see if he still had fluid (flat tymps) and he said "oh, yeah...when is your appointment in Duluth?". He actually let me look in his ears to see what it looked like. It was terrible. Bulging, gross, ear drums...ick! So he said the good thing is we have the appointment, the bad thing is that he has had fluid on his ears for at least 10 days.

Emmitt had 4 shots, he has bruises on one thigh. They poked his finger for lead levels. His hands were super warm, which meant he bled for a long time. Parker was really ready to leave the clinic, but I couldn't get Emmitt's finger to stop bleeding. So the nurse wrapped it tight in a bandaid and as we were walking out to the reception desk Emmitt bit the bandaid off and the blood just kept coming. So I sit down and apply pressure, all the while holding him tightly so he would quit moving, which just made him squirm and scream more! Parker is now swinging the rope gate back and forth. I finally make eye contact with the receptionist and get another bandaid, simply by mouthing the word bandaid and the look on my face. Finally got that under control and out to the car and Parker has to pee! I actually made him hold it and told him he could have a surprise at home if he made it all the way there. He did.

Later on in the afternoon I took Parker to his first dentist appointment. He did perfect. I wasn't sure if he would sit in that chair the hole time but he did. We had read Mercer Mayer's Just Going to the Dentist book a few times yesterday and then again in the waiting room. It was the perfect book. We got in there and the nurse asked if he had a cold. Nope he just sounds like that. She wasn't sure he was even breathing through his nose or if he would handle the cleaning because he wouldn't be able to breath through his mouth. Well he did. Sort of. We realized he was basically holding his breath and then taking a really big one when he needed to. I covered his mouth and asked him to breath through his nose and he can...a little. It's definitely restricted though. All the more reasons to go to Duluth!

I'll keep you updated on what happens tomorrow...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hau'oli La Hanau Emike!

Hau'oli La Hanau Emike~Happy Birthday Emmitt
Emmitt enjoyed his cupcake at Stephies. The kids had a blast with the top half of the cupcake. Live and learn mom-kids like chocolate cupcakes even if you prefer vanilla for them simply because it is less messy. I walked in after the party to see many licked off tops and mini umbrellas everywhere! Emmitt just stared at the candle.
I had the luxury of having the day off on Emmitt's birthday. It turned out that we didn't have daycare so I took the day off to hang out with my boys. They had a lot of fun that morning with the decorating. Parker helped in many ways...some times he actually helped and other times he was just in the way.
I was able to keep them busy with the blow up toys and plastic pool though~Parker kept beaking the flamingo. As in, the flamingo makes a beak noise like a duck quacks. I had put water in the bottom section of the palm tree so that when the kids knocked it over it would pop back up. They had fun tackling that.
A little luau decor aka a hammock and some flip flop lights with fake sea creatures can go far
I hung these little fold out fish and sun from the chandelier as Emmitt's Hawaiian mobile
Hau'oli La Hanau Emike~Happy Birthday Emmitt
his own personal beach cake to smash. Complete with graham cracker sand and swedish fish
And the big kahuna cake for the rest of the family. Turned out pretty cute if I say so myself
Pakeli (Parker) with his lei. We worked on saying Aloha all day. I showed him how to put a lei around the new beachcombers neck and say Aloha and give them a kiss on each cheek. So he was our official party greeter. Anytime somebody would come he would go through the role but nothing else. They kept asking for a hug too and he would say "we don't do hugs, just kiss and aloha". Guess I should have said he could ad lib if need be. This is also his new look for me when I take out the camera. Not sure why the squinting but it's what he does.
To keep Emmitt happy until supper I let him play with my cell phone. He immediately put it to his ear and walked around. I think he is calling the drool patrol...those 12 month molars are something fierce! He currently has 3 through and one more right there. He has managed these ones pretty well. Other than the drool and the whiny-mommy-clingy phase we're good!
I found a website that translated all of our names to Hawaiian. So I made Hello, My name is nametags. We stuck Emike's on his back so he would leave it on.
Grandma's Laneki (Janet) and Peki (Peggy)
Papa's Milo (Milo) and Konala (Don)...we kept calling him Canola-Oil for some reason. I really had to look at Milo's name pronunciation, it sounds like Meelo. It was crazy how a lot of our names sounded very similar once translated. Especially the guys'.Auntie Kami (Tammy) and Emmitt dancing and spinning away.
Uncle Palika (Blake) and Emmitt eating the fruit bouquet he gave Casey for Valentine's Day. Huge hit with the kids! He kept calling Emmitt the Hoover, he ate a whole slice of mango and a bunch of grapesPapa Kawika (Dave) and Grandma Aukele (Audrey) with the birthday boy himself. I had to teach mom how to hang-ten. I remember back when I went to Hawaii I was told a story about how the hand gesture came about. It was something about a sugar cane farmer waving at people driving by from the field and he was missing fingers and that is how he waved at people. Just the pinky and thumb...so I went looking for the origin.
Peki and Milo and Emike
The Ole Ohana (family) please note the squinting 3 year old
Liliana (Jillian) was the balloon collector. She went around to everybody asking and delivering their favorite color. She came all dressed up with a hot pink hula skirt and all.
Emike in the pool awaiting the cake smashing.
Maybe no smashing...yet...just a finger for now.
Okay, now a face full
and the 3 year old decided he should get in the pool with Emmitt and proceed to use his hands to eat cake too!
Blue frosting and note Chocolate cake
the cutest balloon I have ever seen and ridiculously overpriced to fill up with helium.
The whole Ohana~Keleka, Lekana, Liliana =Derek, Regan, Jillian and Brooks-who by the way has the coolest translation of them all...Palokuku! You can tell these two are still in the honeymoon phase. I think they are wishing they really were on a cruise ship on the coast of somewhere beautiful.
Kakei and Palika


The songs playing are for 2 reasons. One, I love the Hawaiian version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World and Two, I had no idea who Don Ho was and that he is obnoxiously famous for Tiny Bubbles. I have been sung that famous line from that song about 100 times in the last 2 weeks, just for not knowing who he was.

Mahalo (Thank You) to all you beachcombers! It was fun to escape the cold for a night, dress up in ridiculous outfits and watch our sweet baby turn one!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

sooo big and peekaboo

Emmitt is really into the "games" you play with babies. this is him doing soooooo big! he loves it! He stretches way up high and then waits for you to tickle his armpits.
His other favorite game is peek-a-boo. He covers his eyes and then just giggles when he uncovers and you say peek-a-boo.
He actually waits for you to say where did Emmitt go? and then the big reveal
There he is! Like it was this big mystery. We are usually playing this at the table while we eat. He does it for Parker too, which is so cute to see those two interact that way.
I have been trying to get him to put that little finger up for how old are you? are you one? But nope, he will not do it. I even try to get him to point to things to stick up that finger so it looks like he is saying "I'm one"...(which is what Parker did). But nope...all I got was this
hmmmm

Monday, February 9, 2009

crazy party planning mom part 2

after having my kids barf all night long and in between loads of laundry I decided to continue with the crazy party mom mode and make cupcakes for daycare! I am bringing them tomorrow since Thursday is the Valentine party and I would like to space out the sweets for the kids (and Steph). I should probably mention that we washed our hands a lot. Barf and daycare cupcakes probably shouldn't be in the same post...but I have zero effort to write any more on barfing. I've had it with the barf!
So I made some warm sandy beaches. Parker got to "hamma-hamma" the graham crackers until they were as small as sand. I baked, frosted, dipped the cupcakes. While daddy set up the beach umbrellas and Parker assembled.
Complete with (an upside down) Swedish fish.
I'll give you one guess as to, who do you think put blue frosting in Emmitt's hair?
Yep! That would be him...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

okay, now I just feel bad

so Friday brought a whole new swing of emotions I am not sure I knew I had. After talking to many people throughout the last 9 months I decided to take Parker's enlarged tonsils and nasally talking a different route. It started with us getting a flyer in the mail saying the State wants to test 3 and 4 year olds for preschool screening. I immediately jumped on the "why the heck do they need to screen him so young" boat and was not going to take him until next Fall when he was closer to 4. But after talking to "one of my ladies" who actually does the hearing screening part I decided to have just his hearing, speech and language tested. I had stressed my concerns to her. Like,
  • random strangers and friends and family ask if he has a cold, all.the.time
  • he talks through his nose
  • most people cannot understand him when he talks, and that I have developed a severe case of mommy translation
  • when he sleeps really hard he makes this weird spit bubble mass on his lips
  • he catches his breath when he is sleeping like he is not getting enough air
  • his tonsils are humongous and actually touch together

so she sets the whole thing up with 4 of the experts in the system and we are one of the first appointments in the day. We were planning on having Bear take Parker to the screening since he will act differently for mommy, but since this wasn't the whole screening, it was just Parker and I.

So first up is the hearing test. I wasn't even sure why we were testing the hearing, I just wanted some insight on his speech. But we get in their and the instructor tells him what to do and expect. He is supposed to wave his hand up in the air when he hears a beep, keep his eyes closed and be facing away from both of us. So the huge headphones go on and he sits in this tiny chair with his eyes closed. I was slightly surprised that he did what he was told on the first try. She takes him through a series of initial tests and beeps and he is not raising his hand. So she prompts him with a beep and then he does. We wanted to really make sure he understood what he was supposed to be doing and not just not following directions. So she continues with the test and then checks his tymps. They are flat. They are supposed to be curved. It's the part where the air (sound) goes in the ear and is supposed to hit the curve and bounce back out. His sound goes in and falls flat, like hitting a wall. Then she gives me a recap and I need layman's terms. Basically he failed the hearing portion of the screening. In order to hear the "beeps" she had to turn it up to 40 decibels. Normal conversation is 20 decibels. That hit me hard. I wasn't even planning on having his hearing tested! She says the problem is structural and most likely the pressure from his tonsils and adenoids that are causing the hearing loss. I tried hard not to break down. Not in front of Parker and we still had more testing to go through.

So off to the speech and language section. The "tester" is an acquaintance and fellow daycare mom. So she knows Parker and has heard him talk in his normal atmosphere. She is a speech therapist so I am hoping to get some insight. This test goes pretty good. I think because I know his speech isn't all there. We realize he is very descriptive when giving her answers. Like; a hat on the table and he is asked "what is that"? He doesn't just answer hat, but "a cowboy hat". Same for the "little white shoe", etc...So we wrap up the test and she gives me a recap. He failed the speech section but passed in language. She definitely says I should push for the tonsils and adenoids to come out. They are hindering many of the sounds he should be making. This age is so critical since they are little sponges and absorbing everything right now. It is a huge time in his life for speech and language. He did really well on his language-so he is smart, it's just that most don't know what he is saying! His articulation was on the lowest end of the good range. So we wrap up and head to the car.

I immediately call Bear and explain as best I can what happened and the results. We both agree that what happened last summer with the ENT we saw is just not acceptable anymore. I could barely choke out everything to him while on the phone. I get him to daycare and the one simple question of "how did it go?" caused me to break. I lost it. I felt such guilt for not knowing that my kid couldn't exactly hear. Pain for him, that he has been living like this for almost a year. Guilt for yelling at him a lot for not listening, when maybe it isn't all his fault. Worry that we may actually need to have him in for surgery. Sadness that my baby will be in pain. Anger for not trusting my instincts the first time I thought he needed to get looked at.

So I get to work for the day and try to stay strong. I call my family practitioner and leave a message for him or his nurse to call me back. When they do I tell them the screening results and that I want to see an ENT in Duluth, not the one we already saw, and that I don't know if they need to refer me or if I can make the appointment on my own. That was it...my doctor said, I understand let's do it. I requested the 13th or 16th, since I am already off from work those days and would be able to make the trip down. So now we wait until they Duluth clinic processes the request for the appointment...at least we feel like we are taking charge and are confident that we will get this taken care of sooner than later...say an extra prayer for us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

two sides to every toddler

last night, putting Parker to bed was one of the worst nights he has had...ever. even looking back to all those months he slept on the floor, in front of the gate, or at the top of the stairs. last night was bad. He came home with an attitude, was naughty at daycare, got hot sauce in his mouth for talking back repeatedly, wouldn't eat his supper, threw his dirty socks at me, and said no (with attitude) to just about every question we asked. I gave the boys a bath to try to do-something-different and Parker dumped water on Emmitt's head, threw a soaking wet rag at me and on the carpet and then splashed me after I asked him not to. So I went back to the basics. The love and logic way. It has worked in the past and still does with most situations. What works for us is: this? or this? = we get what we want...like; Parker do you want help putting your shoes? on or do it all by yourself? = his shoes are on. In the end we get what we want, while making him feel like he does have a choice in making decisions. Well in the tub and throughout the night, nothing we did was going to make the night go any faster or better. So I removed him from the tub, saying nothing to him, and went back to finish up with Emmitt. Before I knew it, Parker was in a full blown tantrum and racing back into the tub, screaming I want to take a bath with Emmitt! He had part of one leg already in the tub and I removed him again and tried to calmly tell him that for not listening to me means bath time is over. He freaked out! Barrett was upstairs when this tantrum started in. I eventually had to look the bathroom door so that I could finish up with Emmitt otherwise I was going to get whacked with the door in the back repeatedly while I got Emmitt's jammies on. Parker proceeded to kick the door and scream at me. What does Emmitt do? Starts copying the "noise" his brother is making. I think at this point I started laughing and half crying. When Emmitt and I come out of the bathroom, Parker made a mad dash for the tub, only to freak out some more that the water was all gone already. So I wrestled him into his jammies and brought him up to bed. Clearly he is tired...but it is only 7 o'clock. Oh well, tonight for your behavior you can go to bed at the same time as Emmitt. Well that didn't work so well. He kicked and screamed up the stairs, at the door, and cried to the point that I got concerned about his breathing. So Barrett and I argue about how to continue with him. Yell? Spank? Hot sauce? Rock? Hugs? Kisses? Bang our heads on the wall? Leave him alone? We try a few of the above and nothing is working. I actually took the kids temp, just to be sure he wasn't sick and I was punishing him for that. It was 97.4. So I ask him what he wants. He wants me to rock him in the chair. So I cave in and do it. I certainly don't mind rocking my child in the chair, but it is the way he went on for the night and then expects to be forgiven just like that. I know he has figured out that if he asks for one more kiss, hug, song, etc...that we will most likely give in. But enough is enough. After rocking a little more in the chair I put him to bed. Thinking he was finally over this tantrum. Nope! We shut the door, prayed he didn't wake Emmitt up again and left him up there. It was another good half hour and he was finally quiet. I went up to bed a little later and guess who was sprawled out on my half? Yep! So I move him to his bed and he managed to stay there all night. In the morning I gave him new Lightning McQueen stickers for waking up with a happy heart. He was so proud of himself! He was better at daycare today and tonight he was perfect! How? How can one day be so different from the next. Moods? I dunno. Tonight he went to bed, no screaming, no door kicking, lots of hugs and kisses and songs, with no drama! Ahhhh....

i'm officially the crazy party planning mom

so I've lost it...completely. this whole party planning thing is getting out of control! but at the same time, I am having a blast doing it. here is a preview of the shirts I have gathered for all you crazy attendees to wear. the leis have arrived via oriental trading , we are making cupcakes for daycare this weekend, and I have his actual birthday (which happens to be Friday the 13th) off-so I will have all day to decorate!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

grandma's birthday

my kids (in their matching bibs) shouting "hellllooo down there" through Auntie Tammy's laundry chute. Whatever Parker does, Emmitt does. Emmitt found this little microphone on his toy and starting "singing" in it. He realizes that it's him that is making that echo-y noise and just grins. He copies Parker with a toy truck or car. If he sees a truck, he grabs it, makes a mad dash for the kitchen hardwood floor and hits his knees, instantly making that vrrooom sound.

Hanging with Uncle Scott

My sister just kept saying, "he can't hurt anything here". I think he understood because he immediately went to the bookcase and grabbed a snowman by the jingle bells and proceeded to chew on it.

With the Birthday Girl. We had birthday lunch and dessert to celebrate Grandma Audrey's birthday. Tammy made homemade chicken noodle soup and yummy sandwiches. Mom made her own angel food cake with strawberry or blueberry topping. Emmitt ate 3/4 of a piece or cake! Tammy still has the highchair that Scott and his brothers used so we stick Emmitt in it. It doesn't have a strap, it probably never did, and Emmitt figured that out real quick. He would scoot himself halfway out and then whine at you. I would sit him upright and he would do it over again. So Tams got a belt and we strapped him in. Then he whined because he couldn't do it anymore.

Daddy and Parker wishing Grandma a Happy Birthday.