Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hurting my wrist

I'm writing this even though I shouldn't be using my wrist.

About a month ago some how I hurt my wrist. I don't know if it was picking up a strugging Ethan or something from our move but it got worse and worse until I got to the point where I couldn't pick up a plate with my left hand without wincing in pain.

Ken insisted I go see the hand doctor and after xray (showing nothing) and an MRI we finally had an answer. I had sprained a ligament and the sheath around it was sprained as well. I'm now in a splint up to my elbow for a month and if that doesn't work I'll need surgery. As you can probably imagine using a splint isn't really easy for a mother of two and someone with two jobs requiring two hands.

I've had to take a month off working at the fabric shop and am working at a modified activity level at my nanny position. It's hard to stop myself from folding laundry, cleaning dishes, typing with two hands, etc, but I need to do it. I'm not allowed to grip or use repetitive motion with my left hand for a month up to 25% of the time. Or lift, pull, push more than 5 lbs.

It'll be a long month but hopefully the rest will do it and surgery will not be necessary. If it is then it's going to be a long journey.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lila turns 21 months

Miss Lila turned 21 months old on Saturday. The time is passing far too quickly.

We've been lucky that she has held onto her morning naps and still enjoys an hour or more of nap time each morning. Lately, it doesn't happen every morning due to running errands, dropping off Ethan at school or because she just doesn't want to sleep. She happily stays in her crib talking and singing to her baby.

Lila is a dare devil and has been for quite some time. She loves climbing and jumping on the furniture. Something she learned from her big brother despite constant reminders to both of them that they will fall and get hurt.

Lila has the sweetest giggle, although sometimes this giggle is her way of convincing you that she isn't doing something she shouldn't be doing.

Lately, she's begun talking more. She now says, "tada", "What's that?", "bubba" (Ethan), and many more I can't seem to remember right now. She's a constant chatterbox and seems to not really care who she's talking to or how loud she's talking. Sounds like somebody else I know all too well.

She loves to sing wherever she is. Her favorite and the easiest song to tell and understand her while singing is "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". She absolutely adores singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" especially with her Nana who holds a special part of her heart. Finally my mom got one grandkid to want to run to her first.

Recently, she was upgraded to her very own room and loves being able to sleep in and have quiet in her room once again. It's taken some adjustment for Ethan to get used to sleeping alone.

Did I mention how much she loves her baby, Jacob. The doll was mine when I was little. It's a big doll to lug around, but she does. She pretends to change his diaper, constantly wants us to dress and undress him, feeds him and puts him to bed while singing to him in his very own cradle. She's the best little mommy.

I can't believe she's already almost 2 and soon I'll be planning her 2nd birthday party. Stop growing Lila. Stay mommy's baby forever.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Clinic Update

Ethan went in for his quarterly CF clinic visit today. We also went to see his GI doctor.

Our first stop was seeing his GI doctor and his dietician. They spoke to me about his vitamin E levels and also his need for a medication he's been taking to decrease his liver enzymes. After discussing it with his GI doctor we decided to take Ethan off of the med for the liver enzymes for a month and have him retested in a month to see if his level increase. My concern was that if we took it him off it for more than a month that his levels would increase quickly and he'd have more liver damage. This seemed like a good compromise and made this mom feel less nervous about taking him off of the med.

We also talked about his vitamin E levels. They were elevated about two years ago. We changed some of his diet and took him off of his daily vitamin on the weekends. We decided to take him off vitamins some days because of the elevated levels/ We will have him take the vitamin 4 days a week and have him retested in a month.

The GI doctor did an exam and found that his bowels are clear and that he sounds great. No concerns from her. We will go to have another abdominal ultrasound in a year to see if the lymphnod she was concerned about initially has decreased or stayed the same. I like that it'll be a year before we have to do another abdominal ultrasound.

Next we met with his CF team. First we met with his doctor. He did an exam and again his lungs were clear and he didn't have too many cocoa puffs in his ears and nose. That's the joke the CF doc always has for Ethan. "What am I going to find in your ears?" Today Ethan's response was "Coconuts!"

We talked about his sleeps habits and if he's sleeping better. I told him that Ethan's been sleeping much better but now that we've moved he's coming into our room during the night to sleep on the ground. He promised him that he would give him 5 stickers if he stayed in his own bed tonight. We'll see if that happens. I hope it works!

Ethan saw the respiratory therapist today as well. Today was the first day Ethan got a chance to blow into the machine that shows the stats of how well you are breathing. He has a lot of work to do before we get true levels but he had fun learning. The respiratory therapist thinks he'll be good at it by spring, but for now we'll be practicing at home.

We go back in 3 months unless something happens. I left with a very tired Ethan who missed his nap because of clinic. We had a very busy day including Ethan's school in the morning and a lunch date at McDonald's just me and Ethan.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ethan goes to school

Ethan started preschool this week at First Covenant Preschool. He is a Blessed Bumblebee and he has 2 teachers with 12 students in his class including him.

We are very excited for this new experience in Ethan's life. He has gone 2 days now and he loves it! He talks about how he shares with other children and how he loves playing outside. The first day he took a good nap after school. He was worn out!

We love that his school is a church and that he will be learning about God every day. We love that the first 45 minutes of class every day is free time and that this school will give him the structured (knowing what's coming next) day he needs.

I hope that he learns more everyday and enjoys some free time away from us as well. My hope over the next couple weeks is that he makes friends. He's already made friends with both of his teachers.

Once I figure out how to get photos onto my computer again I'll add a photo.

The house is ours!

About 2 weeks ago our old house and our new house closed on the same day! A few days later we said goodbye to our small 2 bedroom house and said hello to a 3 bedroom with a den house.

The selling/buying process was much more complicated and stressful that we thought. We were told when signing our closing documents that most people don't buy and sell at the exact same time because it's hard to line everything up and it's so stressful. I know why now. I'm just happy the process is over.

We are settling into our new home. Lila and Ethan now have their own rooms across the house from each other. I'm loving how at night I can put Lila to bed first and then read books with Ethan and have cuddle time with him alone. He's been having a hard time staying in his bed during the night. He says "I can't be by myself". He ends up in our room every night sometime between 2 and 5am on the floor. It seems like he is staying in bed longer each night so hopefully soon he'll stay in his bed until 6am. Thankfully he's been going right back to sleep when he comes in and he doesn't wake us.

I love our new kitchen. Granite counter tops and a pantry! You have no idea how excited I was when I saw the pantry. It's a good thing we have the pantry because I would have had to go back to putting extra items in the garage. I have just enough space in the kitchen for everything I need and the rest I'm going to sell at a garage sale in September.

Our backyard is not very big and is undone. It has a cement patio and a retaining wall. Other than that, it's dirt and rocks. We also have a hornet/wasp problem with nests everywhere under the eaves. Also pigeons and doves love our house leaving nests for their babies in the eaves in the back patio. We love that their is a pergula in the backyard.

So far the neighborhood is very quiet despite a few loud cars/trucks across the street but we haven't really heard them. We've met a few of the neighbors including a grandmother down the street who raises her granddaughter who is 2 and will probably end up having playdates with my mother in law.

I've also met another family that has kids the same age as mine that live near the park. We are still digging our way out of the boxes. Most of what's supposed to be inside is inside, it just may not be put away yet :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Our House

About a month ago we listed our house for sale. We've been needing a larger home since Lila came. She spent the first year of her life sleeping in the laundry room. We made it work because we couldn't sell our house and have a down payment for another while the market was bad.

We spent about a month getting the house ready to list and it's been 5 weeks since we listed. We've had many showings but no offers. After a couple price reductions we're hoping that we'll find buyers very soon. I'm very tired of keeping the house clean especially with my little mess makers.

We've found a house we want but obviously can't put in an offer until ours is under contract. The new house will have 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and will be around 1800 square feet. It'll be nice to spread out and have separate rooms for Lila & Ethan and a dedicated office for Ken and me. Since Ethan & Lila have been sharing a room for the last 6 months it will be great for them to be separated since they think it's party time at 5am each morning.

Hopefully we'll have a big announcement over the coming weeks of our house being under contract. We're excited to move onto the next house in a new neighborhood. Although we do wish we could take our neighbors with us. We'll see how fast the house goes now that the price has been lowered.

Ethan & discipline

I'm overdue for an update on Ethan's behavior. We are still have problems with Ethan's behavior and it's gradually getting worse. I am going to be going back for parent counselling next Friday to see if the counselor can help us navigate the next steps in discipline for Ethan.

Currently, he's saying words he shouldn't be and being rude and disrespectful to us. It doesn't appear that he does any of this with anyone besides us. He gets angry really easily and when he does he throws and hits things. He's mean to Lila which I know could just be normal behavior for siblings but it doesn't seem right.

He's still a very lovable little boy and does love one-on-one time. I think some or all of this started when Lila came. I thought by now it would have settled down now that she's been here a year and a half. I think he isn't getting enough quality one-on-one time with each of us. A week ago Ken and I took him to a Rivercats game just the three of us. He behaved most of the night and it was a late night. We need to plan more trips just the three of us or a date for daddy & Ethan or mommy & Ethan.

I'll try to update after our visit with the counselor, but I've not been great about updating the blog so it may be awhile. Please be praying for us and our family as we try to decipher what's the best game plan for dealing with Ethan's behavior. Nobody ever tells you how hard raising kids will be. If they did we all may have decided not to have kids :)

Lila @ almost 19 months old

Lila is almost 19 months old now. I've lost track of everything she's doing now since I packed the calendar I was keeping track of for milestones.

At 19 months she's saying about 12-15 words including: mama, daddy, bubba, brother, baby, papa, car, Lila (I think by accident) and a few other words I can't remember. She's into everything. She's much more active than Ethan was at this age. She can walk up the stairs holding onto the wall with one hand. Something Ethan didn't do until he was 2. She's knows how and when to climb down from the couch or our bed. I'm still not completely comfortable with her being on our bed by herself since it's high but she's getting there.

At Lila's 18 month checkup she was almost 27 lbs and 34 inches long!!! Ethan is 39 inches so this came as a surprise to me. She's always been very long for her age. I believe she's in the 96th percentile or somewhere close to that for height. She's also in the 90's for head circumference and weight. My big girl!

Lila seems to still be fairly easy. Although, she can get loud (both of my kids are loud) and whiny at times. She seems to be picking up some bad habits from her brother. When she's mad she will throw her baby on the ground. It drives her crazy that she's thrown her baby down though so she immediately picks her up and puts her back into the baby's highchair.

She has quite the face when she's upset. I need to capture a photo of it. She's very dramatic. She loves to pretend she's on the phone and walk around like I do talking away as she walks.

Recently, she went swimming for the 2nd time. The first being last summer when she was 6 months old. This year she didn't seem to like the water but gradually got used to it and we're hoping the next time she's in the pool she will like it.

Sorry for the lack of photos on the blog. We've been having problems with our shared drive and I don't always have access. I'll post photos as soon as it's fixed.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ethan's health

Ethan still remains in good health. Although lately he's been having GI issues. We had to do a clean out once a few months ago at home. One of the most disgusting experiences ever.

On Wednesday at clinic, we were told he had another bowel blockage and that it was substantial. We immediately started treatment at home to help clear it. I think we're on the way towards unblocking it, but we may need some extra help. If it doesn't pass while at home, we may have to add additional medications or even be hospitalized. We're waiting to have a conversation about what's next with his doctors today.

Good news! At clinic Ethan weighed 37 lbs and was 39.5 inches tall. He gained 2 lbs and 2.5 inches in just 3 months. He's a short little guy so seeing him grow taller was encouraging. I'm surprised he's gained weight so quickly, but very happy he did.

Ethan was a champ at clinic as usual. He no longer has to be held down for sputum tests. He sits in my lap, opens his mouth and gags. The respiratory guy loves him because he's so compliant. I wish he was more compliant about treatments at home.

On Thursday, just a day after the GI issue was found, Ethan got sick with a cold. Needless to say, we're overwhelmed with two issues at the same time. Thankfully no one else is sick (knock on wood) in our house.

We'll see how today goes and hopefully we'll bypass a visit to Camp Kaiser. It's been almost 2 years exactly since Ethan's last visit to the hospital and we'd like to keep it that way.

I'll update (hopefully) on my blog and definitely on facebook. Fingers crossed it's all clear and his cold goes away quickly with extra treatments.

Friday, April 4, 2014

It's been too long...

It's been far too long since I've posted. A lot is happening in our family right now.

Ethan still loves TobyMac

We are still dealing with behavior issues with Ethan including hitting, pushing, name-calling, the list goes on. We began seeing a child psychologist a few weeks ago to see if he can help us. We also still continue to have problems with getting Ethan to bed without him coming out saying "I heard something" or waking up in the middle of the night.

For now, he's doing fairly well with the going to bed part, but he's still waking up scared and sleeping on the floor next to our bed. It's annoying to be woken up in the middle of the night and everybody is tired when 6am rolls around and Lila is ready for the day to begin.

Lila is into everything. Her recent love is climbing on pretty much everything. She likes to climb onto her brother's vest machine and clap with excitement over her achievement. She also recently started climbing on top of the ottoman. However, she doesn't quite understand that she can't just walk off of the side of it.

She wants to do everything that Ethan does including going up and down the stairs and she's getting more independent despite my hopes that she wasn't so independent yet. She's head strong and stubborn, just like her brother, and has a temper. She cries when she doesn't get her way.

Ken and I are busy preparing for the upcoming walk for CF in May. Ken's on the planning committee and gone for meeting about twice a month until the walk in 6 weeks. We're also busy setting up our team and collecting donations. We're hoping to raise $8,000 as a team this year, which would be our all time highest year of donations if we do it.

A few weeks ago I went back to work for a family I nannyed for before Ethan was born. I love being back and the kids seem to be adjusting to me being there very well. I love that we just picked up where we left 4 years ago. I'm working in the evenings so that pulls me away from the kids 3 nights a week but it's working although Ken has them all to himself on those nights.

I'm still working at the fabric shop in addition to the nanny position. Our hope is to save as much money as we can in the next 6-12 months and to buy a larger home. Our family is quickly outgrowing our 2 bedroom house and the kids have gotten to the point where they really need to be separated at bedtime. Lila's in our laundry room again because of Ethan's sleep problems, even though she tends to sleep right through the screaming.

That's what is happening in our family lately. I'll post more photos later.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Update on our family

It's a new year so here's an update on what's happening in our family.

Ken is still working in IT for the state and got a promotion last year. It was a long time coming and we enjoy saving his raise every month. He enjoys his job and is learning a lot with his new promotion.

Last year, Ken leased an electric vehicle making our gas bill every month cut in half. He is able to charge for free at work and park for free downtown where he works. This has been a big deal for our family as we try to save as much as we can every month.

In June, we leased a Kia Sorento as our family car. I have been wanting a bigger car for a few years now and I was very excited to finally get into my dream car. It has a 3rd row seat and a back-up camera which makes me feel safer driving it.

In early July, I started working at an Etsy shop cutting fabric and shipping it out. I love it! It's only 12-13 hours a week, but gives me flexibility to change hours if necessary for sickness or doctor appointments. I love being home with the kids most of the time, but it's also been a great getaway.

Ethan continues to be in good health. He was sick only 2 or 3 times in 2013 and each time it didn't last very long. He has stayed out of the hospital for 18 months now. He has not cultured anything in those 18 months which has made us more confident in our ability to get him healthy. Some of it is luck and the other is preventative care.

There is a new drug combo that is in the trial phase right now that will target his gene mutation (Double Delta F508). This drug will make it so that any mucus in his body will break down and leave his body like any other person would. This will be life-changing for us. It could mean less treatments down the road and less or no hospitalizations and definitely could mean not culturing these super bugs because they will be able to pass normally. We are very excited to see what the fall and early 2015 bring in research and treatments for Ethan. We are so close to something great!

Lila will be 14 months in a week. She is talking and making lots of noise lately. She started walking a little over a month ago and is into everything. She loves her brother but sometimes can't seem to get away fast enough from him. We just got her to stop taking bottles and the kids newest accomplishment is sleeping in the same bedroom at night. Ken tried it while I was away for the weekend and they have done it ever since with no difficulties. We are happy to finally be putting away the pack 'n play that she has been sleeping in the laundry room for over a year.

We are still living in a 2 bedroom house, but making it work for the time being. We love our neighbors!

Our family is looking forward to what 2014 brings us. That's just some of what we've been up to lately :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

We have a walker!

Lila started walking on January 4th and now she's walking almost everywhere. Earlier this week I saw her walk from the couch to her toys, pick up a shape sorter box, walk it back to the couch and play with it. It's amazing how fast they learn to do new things.

Lila is now 13 months old and talking a lot more. She likes to say "Tickle, tickle, tickle" when she goes up and tickles my belly. She cracks up when she does this. Her other words are "daddy", "mama" and sometimes I think I hear her saying "What's that?" but I'm not completely sure. I'm guessing the words will come quickly at this point. She's so full of gibber jabber that I think it won't be long before she's talking more.

I'll have to post a video of her walking once we get one :)

My little cheeseball