Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Man Behind the Mess

Don't let this sweet, innocent (yet drooly) face fool you. This is the face of trouble.

Take today for instance. Here he is messily eating some pretzels (yes, that is chewed up soggy pretzel dripping down his chin).

Innocent enough, until it turned into this-- upside down shaking of the pretzel box.

Which led of course, to this.

(FYI, I did not stand idly by as this happened. But by the time I realized what was going on it was too late, so I just grabbed my camera.)

But complaining about his mess-making skills is not the real reason for this post. The more astute reader(s) may have noted the fact that he is mess-making with pretzels. And pretzels are made from wheat. And wheat, before today, was on his no-no list.

We got test results! And they were good!!!

Derek's biopsy results are in and they show no eosinophil cells at all! This is great news, as it rules out the EE condition that we were concerned about. The results also re-checked for celiac disease, and that is not present either! The doctor told me that the lack of eosinophils in his esophagus and colon are good indicators that he may eventually have better luck outgrowing his many food allergies as well! :) As you can tell, we were allowed to add wheat back into his diet, as his numbers went down and hopefully we wont see any kind of reaction from it. We are so happy for the good news, and thankful to God for answering our prayers in just the way we were hoping. Thanks to all of you who have prayed us through this trial.

Of course, we're not out of the woods yet, as little man still doesn't eat much. The current plan is to remain on the toddler formula for a couple more months to see if his body decides it's ready to eat enough to nourish him. He'll also stay on his reflux medication until we follow up again with the doctor in 1-2 months.

Oh, and here's another innocent looking face which is not all it seems.

Little Miss Thang it appears has been throwin' down at preschool-- taking toys from other kids, and even pitching a fit for having to give a toy back. Looks like she got more than just her daddy's looks! Did I ever mention that Josh got caught in kindergarten peeing out the bathroom window?? We may be in for some trouble...

What a little thug.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snowy Days

On Saturday morning, after spending a few hours cooped up in the house we decided that if our kids wanted to live to see ages 4 and 2, it would be a good idea to get outside for a bit. So we did!
Here is Alex showing you her snowman. You can see how precious my fresh veggies are to me-- I could have made his mouth out of candy or something, but I decided it was better to sacrifice a carrot ;)

One would think that if you lived in snowy Idaho, then you would have mittens for your offspring. One would be wrong. But socks work too!

This is our snow angel!

I call this one, kids on a bench in the snow. I'm so creative!
This morning we woke up to about 6 inches of fresh snow! Well, that's kind of a guess. I didn't go out and measure it or anything, but it looks like about 6 inches, give or take a foot. So Josh and Alex are out sledding, Derek's napping, and I'm off to enjoy the quiet. Until I hear the rumble in the garage that indicates that hot chocolate is urgently needed.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mr. Tough Guy

You can't doubt that Derek is a tough guy-- I mean check out his black eye!

I'd like to say that he got into a fist-fight at a playdate over a cute girl, but that would be stretching the truth. Well, not even stretching, more like just flat-out lying. The truth is that mommy let him fall into the edge of the dryer. Oops! I should have gotten a picture sooner; it was much worse. But I digress...

Derek really is a tough kid-- he did so well during his procedure this morning!

Yesterday he was on a clear-liquid only diet and he would occasionally beg pathetically at the pantry door and make me feel like a villain for not feeding him. By the time they took him away to the operating room this morning, it had been 14 hours since he'd had anything to eat OR drink! But instead of fussing, he was busy playing peek-a-boo with the nurses, saying bye-bye to anyone who walked in and out of the room, making friends in the playroom, and just being as sweet as can be.

I snapped a couple of pictures as we were waiting to get started, and I told him that he'd get more pity if he put on his most pathetic look (I told him to channel that look from the pantry door yesterday) and he complied. I promise he wasn't as sad as these shots seem-- though he was exhausted. We woke him up at 5:45am for the hour drive to Boise

We got some more snow last night and the roads were terrible. I think the hardest part of the day was just getting to the hospital! (If Derek could read he'd be giving me a dirty look for that comment; I'm guessing the drive wasn't the worst part for him.)
The procedure went smoothly and Derek didn't seem to be too uncomfortable after waking up. He wasn't a big fan of the IV they put in his foot, but once it was out he seemed to cheer up. After getting home, he was his old self again!

Thanks to you all for your thoughts and prayers today! I must say that considering the circumstances, I felt very peaceful while he was in the operating room. I even managed not to cry as they carried him away-- though the tears threatened to come. He was so sweet waving bye-bye to me as the anesthesiologist walked away with him.

The doctor reported that things looked fairly normal in the scopes-- we'll have to wait until the biopsy results are in next week to get a diagnosis. We would appreciate continued prayers for that.

We are so thankful to God for keeping our baby safe today!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A post without pictures is like...

...well I don't really know what it's like, but it's definitely no fun. So sorry up front, but I'm way lazy tonight and don't feel like uploading from my camera.
Anyway this is just a quick post to fill you in on the latest from our little troublemaker. (That would be Derek.)
The critter is still not enjoying eating food these days, so he will be having a procedure done on Friday to help us find out what is his major malfunction (name that movie!). They are going to do a scope of his esophagus and take some biopsies to help determine if his lack of eating is a result of silent reflux (silent because he doesn't throw up-- at least, I don't think so. If he does, he is very stealthy and makes it to the toilet) or another condition called eosinophilic esophagitis. Say that three times fast. Or just call it EE, like the doctors do. Anyway, this EE thing, though treatable with medication, is unfortunately a life-long condition. So if you're the praying type, please join us in praying for a safe procedure for Derek (general anesthesia this time!), and also for favorable test results that do not show EE.
But, as Alex and I were discussing at bedtime tonight over the fine literary piece "The Crippled Lamb", God made us all different and for a purpose. So no matter what we find out from this test, Derek is still our sweet son and perfect in our eyes.
Oh, and Derek would also like me to pass along to you that while he is anesthetized, they will also be violating him with a scope from the other end. Just for good measure. And if he understood what that meant, he would express great displeasure.
Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Be Careful

Do you guys know the Christian children's song "Oh Be Careful Little Eyes"?
If you don't, it goes like this-- Oh be careful little eyes what you see, (repeat), for the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see.
Then there are a few more verses-- little ears what you hear, little mouth what you say, and little feet where you go.
Alex was singing this song in the bathtub tonight and when she ran out of verses, I overheard her making up some of her own. My personal favorite was when she started singing..."Oh be careful little soap what you wash..." hehe :)

And as a reward for reading this random post, here are some equally random pictures...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Good Mornings

We were having trouble recently with Alex waking up early-- like between 5-6am, and deciding that she didn't want to go back to sleep. I'd heard about a special clock made for kids that tells them when it's okay to get out of bed. It has some kind of night-light on it that turns from a night scene to a daytime scene at whatever time you program it to do so. I was intrigued and started searching online for where to buy it. Turns out they are made in England and with shipping costs, would be over $80.00. Kind of pricey for a kid's clock, don't you think? So Josh and I made the poor-man's version and bought Alex a butterfly nightlight and one of those lamp timers. We set it to 6:30am for the first night, and just kept moving the time back slowly. Now it's set for 7:05, and she knows that she can't call for us or get out of bed until her butterfly wakes up. It's worked great!

Do you know what this monkey did this week for the very first time?
At the age of 3 years and 8 months, Alex got out of bed by herself in the morning! (After her butterfly was awake, of course.) When we moved her to a big-girl bed at 2 years old, we told her to call for us in the morning and not to get out of bed until we came for her. She never questioned it and it's taken her this long to come to the conclusion that maybe she can just come get us herself. Funny monkey! (Although she did kind of freak us out the first morning we found her standing next to the bed staring at us)
In another not-so-amusing 'first' this week, she colored all over her windowsill with red crayon. Good thing for my Mr Clean Magic Eraser!

Our first baby is growing up so fast

Now we're just waiting to see what her she's got up her sleeve next ;)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Diamonds, Gold, & EleCare

So here is the toddler formula that Derek's doctor has prescribed for him to help him gain weight. (It is a a completely broken-down, hypoallergenic formula)

For a quick recap...
Derek + milk= Very bad
Derek + peanuts= Very bad (at least according to the tests, he's never actually had them)
Derek + eggs= Very bad (ditto as peanuts)
Derek + oats/wheat/barley= questionable

Despite all of those allergies, there are still foods for him to eat, however Derek does not like to eat. Not sure why-- we're working on a diagnosis, possibly reflux-related, but suffice it to say that there have been days when he has barely eaten a thing. Thus, no weight gain for a long time. He still looks relatively normal since he was a gargantuan sized baby and had rolls enough to live off of for awhile.
Anyway, his doctor wants this EleCare to be his primary source of nutrition until we can get him eating again. We turned in paperwork to Tricare, the military insurance company, and waited and hoped that they would help pay for the formula, as we'd heard it was crazy expensive.
They did!! What a blessing!
It was even more of a blessing than we thought, because when we went to pick up a month's supply, we had some serious sticker-shock!
Here is the shipment we received-- 2 cases with 6 cans each, plus 3 additional cans to make a total of 15 cans of formula

Here is the price tag!
You can click on the picture to see it clearly...if you have trouble believing that price.

Wow, let's break that down--

15 cans costs $928.68, which means 1 can is $61.92. 1 can lasts us for about 2 days, meaning that each sippy full of formula that Derek drinks costs about $5.00!
What do you have to say about that Derek?

I know!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My apologies...

...to all 5 of you who have been wondering where my posts are. Actually Grandma was here visiting, so I guess I only need to apologize to 4 of you. Alas, I was wrapped up with Christmas (pun intended), and all that jazz. But here I am to catch you up on all the super-important things you missed if you don't live in Idaho.

1)It's been snowing. A lot. But that is good, because while Grandma was here Josh and I went skiing. A lot. Sorry Grandma, please come back again and we wont leave you will the kids the whole time. Unless there is still good skiing.

2)We got Alex a Christmas gift that gives back...

When we saw this actual vacuum on sale at WalMart (aka the only store in town) for $9.00, we decided to take back the $24.00 toy one we had gotten her. This way, she can be productive while she plays. It's the perfect size-- we just leave the telescoping hand down. Now Alex, stop coloring and go play with that vacuum. Mommy's bedroom first, please.

3)I'm loving this kid!

Okay, that's not really new, but I've got to tell you that he is just the sweetest thing ever. He loves to cuddle and give hugs and kisses and I just want to freeze him right where he is. No growing up allowed! Well actually, it might be nice if he did grow a little...our last doctor's visit showed that he technically hasn't grown in 7 months. Yikes! So he's been put on a special toddler formula to help him gain weight...more on that later. But seriously, I love this kid.

4)Alex is a princess-- didn't you know??

She is going to be the flower girl in Aunt Jessie's wedding this summer (Josh's sister), so we tried on some dresses for fun. She loves pretty things! And I love her ;)
So that's (some) of what we've been up to the past couple of weeks. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and are enjoying a fresh start to a new year! I think this will be the year that I become organized on-time patient well-rested in-shape older.