Monday, January 23, 2017

Missing the snow

While we have been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather lately, I know one little girl who has been badly missing the snow.  Winter is Eliana's favorite season, and every time it rains in winter, she asks why the clouds are confused.  Don't they know it is supposed to snow in winter and not rain?  During the summer, it can take a little convincing to get Eliana to go outside.  She would much rather sit on the couch and play with her toys than go outside when it is hot (unless we are going swimming).  However, when there is snow outside, you can hardly get dressed fast enough, she wants to go out so bad.  She will stay outside for hours, saying she is not cold, playing and eating the snow.  This was the first real snowfall we had in December.  She took her brother outside and played while Magdalena and I watched from the window.

Dressed for the snow

William eating snow

We are staying warm inside


And my wet, rosy cheeked children have come inside for hot chocolate. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A trip to the doctor with William

We have discovered why William has been sleeping so poorly the last few nights.  He has had a cold/cough and has woken himself up several times coughing at night, but then he started waking up just crying.  Two nights ago, Laney actually slept 8 hours in a row (midnight to 8am) but during that time, William woke up twice.  I just can't catch a break.  So after this went on for three nights, I took William in to the pediatrician.  It turns out he has strep throat.  That's a new one for us - he's had lots of ear infections, but not strep throat yet.  Currently I have us quarantined until the antibiotic has a chance to kick in.  Luckily the weather was so nice this weekend that it didn't matter so much that we couldn't go anywhere but the backyard.  Here's hoping the antibiotic gets him sleeping better too.

William has been, as our health insurance dubs it, a "high utilizer of healthcare services."  He has had eczema since he was a little baby.  He been on antibiotics several times for severe ear infections.  Then this past fall he went to see an allergist.  For a while, William was throwing up all the time, usually three or more times a week.  He wouldn't act sick or be running a fever.  He would just out of the blue throw up every bit of what was in his belly.  At first I would keep him home and thought he had gastroenteritis.  But when it kept happening over and over without other signs of illness, I figured it had to be something other than a GI bug.  David and I both suspected he had some sort of food allergy that was making him throw up (he also occasionally got a blotchy red rash after eating but we could never pinpoint what food was causing it).  I thought it was eggs and stopped giving those to him.  However, that didn't seem to help.  At his two year check up, I mentioned this constant throwing up to his pediatrician.  She noted that he appeared healthy and was not failing to thrive despite the vomiting.  She still ordered a blood test for food allergies. 

A couple days after the blood work, a nurse called me with the results.  She was quite worked up and said that William's test showed that he had multiple food allergies including milk, wheat, corn, soy, walnuts, peanuts, eggs, and several others that I can't remember.  I was overwhelmed!  He was allergic to everything he liked to eat - what in the world was I going to feed him? I asked the nurse what I should do and she advised me to stop feeding him everything that came back positive on the test.  I said, "Well, what's left?  What can he eat??"  She replied that he was not allergic to shellfish ... Great.  So I guess we will start eating shrimp for every meal.  The nurse also said the doctor had put in a prescription for an epi pen for William along with a referral to an allergist.  I had David pick up the epi pen (at quite a hefty price) but I did not stop feeding Will.  He was allergic to too many things.  We decided that since he had not had a bad reaction to any food such as hives or swelling, we would just wait for the allergist to advise us.  I spent the next month reading food labels and thinking of all the things William wouldn't be able to eat.  The ingredient I was most surprised about was corn.  I didn't think that would be in many food, but you wouldn't believe how many things have corn syrup in them.  I felt a lot of compassion and empathy for parents of kids with severe food allergies.  What a stressful way to live!! How could you send your child to school or to a birthday party?  How could you ever eat out of the house?  It was an eye opening experience.

When we saw the allergist, they did a skin prick test for 30 of the most common allergies, including the 10 foods William has already been tested for.  Poor guy was so mad at me.  I hated holding him while the nurse stuck his back several times.  Five minutes into the test, here is what his back looked like. 

Do you see all the raised red dots?  I thought, oh geez, he's allergic to everything!  But when the doctor looked a him, he pointed out the three largest dots and said those were the only ones that were big enough to count as "true" allergies.  So William is allergic to grass, mold, and peanuts.  The peanut allergy is fairly mild and since William has tolerated eating peanut butter, the doctor said we should continue to give him peanuts.  In fact, it would be best for him to be exposed to peanuts often to help him outgrow the allergy.  Otherwise, William has multiple food "sensitivities" but no other true allergies.  I felt so relieve.  The allergist was also happy that I had not cut any food out of his diet because sometimes it can be harder to reintroduce things once they have been removed. 

So why the throwing up?  The allergist said he could have a specific esinophilic esophogitis that would require GI to scope him to diagnose, but it seemed unnecessary.  While the throwing up is annoying and messy, as my ped had pointed out, he is growing fine.  Most likely it is something he will outgrow.  Which by this point he basically has.  William still has a very high gag reflex.  If he eats too much, coughs hard, or chokes just a little on something, he will throw up and usually throws up a lot!  But the number of instances of vomiting has greatly diminished.  I feel bad now that we put him through so many tests for something that he outgrew within the year.  Hindsight is 20/20.

Our crazy little Will - he always keeps us on his toes. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

The current state of sleep at our house

Here is an example of a slightly worse than usual but not that uncommon of a night of sleep in this house:

Last night we managed to have all three kids in bed by 7:30pm.  I knew it was too good to last, so I snuck in a quick nap on the couch.  At 8, Laney woke up.  Amazingly, after nursing, she went back to sleep pretty quickly.  Bed before 9pm is a very early night for her.  Once she was down again, I cleaned up the kitchen and got ready for bed.  David and I were in bed by 9:30pm, which is a really early night for us.  At 11, Laney woke up.  David went in to rock her to sleep.  At midnight, William (who has a cold right now) woke himself up by coughing.  I went in there and took a few minutes to comfort him and get him to go back to sleep.  He woke up again at 2:30am.  This time he was really upset for some reason, and it probably took me 20 minutes to get him to settle down and finally fall asleep.  At 4:30, Laney woke up again to nurse.  After nursing, she fell asleep and I put her to bed. She immediately woke up and started crying.  So we played this game on and off for the next thirty minutes.  At 5:20, David's alarm goes off and he gets up to get ready for work.  I'm still with Laney.  At 5:40, Eliana comes in Laney's room and tells me she's ready to get up and have breakfast.  I tell her that despite the fact that her father is showering, it is not morning time, it is the middle of the night, and she needs to go back to bed.  Eliana heads back to her room but 5 minutes later she is up, insisting that she can't sleep and that she is ready for breakfast.  So I pass the girls off to David and head back to bed myself.  At 6, David brings Laney back to me to nurse.  Then she finally falls asleep.  At 6:15, David goes to work.  I tell Eliana she can stay up, but she has to sit on the couch reading books until it is morning time.  I sleep like the dead from 6:15 until 7am, when William comes in my room to let me know he is ready for breakfast.  Looks like it's time for the day to start.

I realize this probably isn't that unusual for any mom of three kids 5 and under, but I really struggle with it sometimes.  It's like those kids conspire against me at the beginning of the night.  They make a plan of each waking up at different hours to ensure I never get too many hours of sleep in a row.  I just remind myself that this is just a stage and that eventually I will get to sleep again...

She's so stinkin' cute!  Good thing or I would almost not want to keep you...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I'm back

Wow, time flies!  Need I say that life has been busy with the holidays, three kids, going back to work, and a husband in fellowship working 80+ hours a week?  Before Laney, I used to stay up late occasionally after the kids went to bed to blog.  Now, with Laney, she goes to bed so late and sleeps so erratically, that as soon as she is down for the night, I race to bed with the hope that I will get to close my eyes before she is up again.  Her latest trick is to be up from 3am to 5am.  All week, we have done battle during those wee hours of the morning.  Laney will wake up, nurse, and fall back asleep, but the second I lay her down in her crib, she starts wailing.  I pick her up, she falls asleep, I lay her down, and she cries.  She's driving me crazy!! But somehow that sweet smile and ready laugh wins me back over at the break of day.  As I said, I am back to work now, but just two days a week.  On my days off, I get to sleep in a little bit.  Laney will usually sleep until 8 or 9am, after I finally get her back to bed.  Being so tired this past week, I have been convincing the big kids we should snuggle in bed for a while when they get up before we start our day. 

this is my "sleeping in" (David, by this time, is long gone at work)
While I have not been posting lately, I have written tons of blog entries in my head.  Hopefully I can get some of them caught up soon.  I was just going through some pictures and I can hardly believe how much Laney has grown up already!  I want to get some of the cute baby pictures up before she is all grown up!!

So to totally skip over Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was baking with William last week.  He told me he would be the mixer and I could be the pourer.  We made blueberry muffins from this recipe, which I have to say were delicious!

Look at this big kid! No longer a toddler, he seems to have grown up so much recently.
At lunch that day we played a new game.  We had gotten at pack of cards from Chick-fil-a called "Games to play at dinner." It contains cards that each have a different game to play while sitting down such as "guess what is in my hand" or "Mrs. Paghetti's Spaghetti." I actually really enjoyed the games and so did the kids.  Some were a little hard to play with a two year old and a five year old (like naming animals with each letter of the alphabet).  However, we found many that we could all play pretty well. One game was called "Family Awards." In this game, you think of an award to give to each name in the family.  For example, I started and gave myself the award "Best at folding laundry" and gave Eliana the award "Best at making Laney smile." After those examples, Eliana really ran with things and came up with the following awards for her family members. 

Daddy - Best at taking care of patients
Will - Best at eating blueberries the fastest
Laney - Best at laughing at Eliana
Grandma Flanigan - Best at babysitting
Grandpa Flanigan - Best at making noise
Grandma Bond - Best at getting stuff and helping
Grandpa Bond - Best at taking naps
Uncle Ray - Best at fixing stuff
Aunt Rhonda - Best at driving
Uncle Roger - Best at taking care of Aunt Hannah
Aunt Hannah - Best at waiting on Uncle Roger

(at this point, all of the awards became best at taking care of so and so, so I quit the game).  I was cracking up with this game.  She came up with some great awards (Grandpa Bond being one of my favorites).  Way to go Chick-fil-a.  This was one kids meal toy that even I liked!
Making Laney smile