Hope

Hope

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Break

We are all back into the swing of things coming off of spring break from last week.
Jason and I were in Costa Rica for a company incentive trip and the boys had their babysitter here doing SO much fun stuff. They went to a children's museum, a Brewer game, a movie and the zoo! They had a blast for sure, and they stayed healthy which was giving me the chance to relax a little more while being away.
We enjoyed our trip away, but it was a quick 3 days there with the other 2 days committed to travel to get there and back. It was great to see the ocean and sun again!

We are already doing preparations for summer school and first grade for the boys this month. We have the boy's IEP meetings over the next week to make their plans for first grade. I'm pretty sure how Brady's will go, but I'm not totally sure how Jax's will go. Brady was recommended for the 'extended school year speech therapy' again this summer. Only students who would regress without the summer therapy qualify for this program. We planned on putting the boys in some fun summer school courses, so Jay and I had to figure out Brady's schedule since he'll be pulled out for 30 mins of therapy. Otherwise it's all FUN classes for them since neither need extra help in reading or math. I'm wondering if I should find something OT related for Jax and his writing, but I hate to pile on the therapies over summer since he does have feeding therapy each week too. I'll have to see what the options are where he takes feeding.

The boys are signed up for Dr Seuss Galore, Science experiments and Playground games. They'll attend each morning for the first 6 weeks of summer, which makes childcare a little easier until August. They're pumped for these fun classes, which are for FIRST graders... so weird to think of them as that when June comes :)


Jason brought the boys an Air Force One and limo kit from DC. The boys like to play "protect President Obama" with it - too cute!

Jax learning to work hard at a shake - he usually doesn't have enough power to do it!

First Bunny photo on a whim - they were SO pumped! And the only kids not dressed up :)

I will miss these nights some day...

An intense game of Guess Who.

Egg hunt and basket search on Easter morning!

They found them in the basement bathroom shower!

TOTALLY spoiled this year since we wanted to leave them with some fun stuff to keep busy while we were gone. I pulled everything out for a photo and they're DYING for the photo to be DONE!

This wrestling championship belt will be a toy-staple for a LONG time around here...

Jay and I loving a mariachi band in Costa Rica during dinner one night.

Our favorite hidden lunch spot down the beach on our last afternoon. Lola's!

Home and the boys are SO happy! Brady wore his pirate costume every moment for the entire weekend.

Brady's second tooth is out!

What a nice "helpful" dad... he's just holding the tissue up because it's bleeding here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

All Good

We've had a busy week. We had Jay's oldest goddaughter visit from New Mexico (Olivia!) Thursday-Saturday. Jay's cousin was getting married in Green Bay on Saturday, so we made the trek up there and dropped Olivia off with the family. She will be 17 and a senior in high school soon, and our youngest godchild will be 7 months then with a baptism coming up in May. Jay and I have been blessed with a total of 7 godchildren!

The boys had their last night of baseball camp on Sunday night and they're already asking when their little league starts!
They start spring break on Friday and have a fun museum trip tomorrow for their last day of school. Jason and I leave Sunday night for the week in Costa Rica for a work-reward trip. I've been prepping the house, meds, supplies and sitters for the boys. I *think* I'll get on the plane without an anxiety attack for leaving them, but send good thoughts that they don't start an illness to really push me over the edge! My poor sitter had to listen to me ramble for TWO hours on Sunday reviewing protocols, she's a saint!
The boys are SO pumped for spring break since they'll be going to a Brewer game one of the nights and a bunch of other activities planned - they should have a blast.

Everyone is in good health and spirits this week, let's keep it GOING! Brady's skin allergy to the antibiotic was still giving him trouble into this week with bright red patches when he'd be running around or getting a bath, but it's really calmed down now. The doc said it should be gone by this Friday, so let's hope we don't have to deal with that anymore. He couldn't stop SNEEZING and scratching during the wedding ceremony and his skin kind of exploded, so I'm glad it's much better now - his body does NOT like Amoxicillin. NOTED.
Jason gets back tonight from Washington DC, so the boys are pretty pumped about that. I survived just fine over the past 4 days - mostly because the boys DID have such good health and attended school :)




Hunky cousins


Anesah has to deal with these goons

It's not a party until thumb wars break out!
Auntie Christa schooling Jax

Uncle Clint fighting the good fight.

Last night of baseball camp

My handsome little men

Brady requested the David Beckham haircut - love that kid!



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bruises and hives

My titles are amazing lately aren't they? They kind of make me laugh with how much they make us sound like we should be living in the coo-coo house at this point.

The boys are doing well. Brady finished up his antibiotic from the random strep throat he had. On day 9 he got a horrible rash on his legs, which we assumed was just eczema flaring up from the meds. He was extremely upset at the pain level, so we soaked him in an oatmeal bath and gently put his steroid cream on him. He was better the next day, but then got a 2 day headache and his body exploded in itchiness. He broke open his skin with the scratching, and he looked battered.
I brought him to the doctor yesterday and she found a few hives in the mix of all the scratch marks and just a bit of his eczema flaring up. She determined that he was on day 4 of an allergic reaction of the antibiotic. The good news was that he was probably half way done with the reaction and we only had to give him Benadryl at night and Claritin during the day and expect it to be gone by this weekend. The bad news is that Amoxicillin goes on his "allergy' list. He's also allergic to Cefdinir, which the doc said is a very similar drug-family, so she wasn't surprised.
Brady hadn't had an antibiotic for years, so it's a slow process to find out what he's sensitive to and what he's not.
Then there's Jax who has had many antibiotics over the years and has zero allergies to any of them - once again, they are completely different little people.

Jax gave me a little shock on Tuesday night. Jason was out at a late appointment, so I was alone with the boys and giving them a bath. I went to wash up Jax and found this extremely large, painful-looking bruise spanning from the top of his shin up to his knee. I asked him what happened and he said he had no idea. My first instinct was to figure out if this was an injury or if something weird was going on with him medically (with him lately, I put nothing past his mystery body!).
I texted a photo to Shannon to ask her nurse-opinion and she said that since she could see some swelling, she assumed injury - which kids at this age can do and not realize. That made me feel better. But given the severity of the bruise, I felt I should KNOW what he did. I asked if it was baseball, knowing it was his left knee and he favors that leg (you should see every single pair of jeans he puts a hole in THAT knee). He said he assumed it was baseball and that it was no big deal - he was fine. Hmm, he wanted to stop talking about it, which was a clue to me, that something was up.

I texted Jason a photo of it asking if he could've done it 2 days prior in baseball. Jason said, NO since he dressed Jax the night before and it wasn't there. So I interrogated Jax a bit asking if he fell, banged it or hurt it somehow. He said no to all. Then I said, "did someone hurt you?". He was silent. OMG.
(insert heart attack)
He then tells me that his friend at school pushed him down during recess, but it was just for fun playing the "pushing game". He told me who it was, and I immediately felt that this was just a game amongst young boys and not something 'mean spirited'. I asked if he told his teacher and he said he did. I told him I was going to ask his teacher if this was true and he said OK!

I sent an email and a photo of the leg to his teacher that night and she confirmed that it did happen, but she had NO idea that Jax was hurt in any way and she felt terrible. I didn't want to make her feel bad,.. I mean, Jax didn't even tell ME and I had to find it and question him repeatedly. The teacher said she also asked Jax repeatedly to make sure he wasn't 'covering for his buddy', which Jax would do, but it was determined to be a game that she put a stop to. She spoke to the class the next day to remind them that games like that are dangerous and she also had another talk with Jax that it's important to talk about injuries and she won't pull him out of activities or class if he tells her (which is why he never tells people when he's hurt).
(sigh)

We have conferences at the school tonight, so I'm sure I'll have fun reports for the next post. We also have a family wedding to attend this weekend, and Jay's goddaughter from New Mexico (Olivia) is staying with us leading up to it. Jason will be leaving right away Sunday for Washington DC for a conference through Wednesday, so it will just be me holding down the fort! Send coffee if you think of it :)

Some Saturday night classiness (Jax refuses to wear his 'spring hat' because he saw a tag in it before I could cut it out).

Sunday lunch celebrating the Bonin kid's birthday!

2 out of 3 were up for photos - too cute!

We were determined to get another Jason-Kelsey photo

I love how excited Drew is watching this game!
This was the bruise I found, oy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Another flu and a first for strep!

We are really kicking 2015 off with a bang I guess!
The boys both woke up with sore throats last Thursday morning (their first day of a 4-day weekend). I knew something was probably up since they've only had sore throats really once before and that was in Jan with the flu. I waited a day to see if anything else popped up. Jax had some asthma overnight so he bought himself a trip to the doctor. Brady was feeling much better.

The doc did a strep test and that was NEGATIVE and his lungs were clear. So I started to pack up and thanked the doc assuming it was just a cold that we'd have to treat his lungs for. She stared at him and said something was off. She asked us to stay for a flu-test. Which came back positive in 1 minute for Influenza B. Oh geeze, what a vaccine-fail for this kid this year. TWO rounds of flu in one season, wow.
The doc asked if Brady had ANY symptoms and I said he had a sore throat the day before but was much better. She asked to swab him. He was NOT HAPPY AT ALL. It took the doctor, the nurse and me to hold him down for these swabs. He literally jumped off the table and ran out the door!
His flu-swab was negative but he was positive for STREP.
What.the.hell.

How is that even possible?
So, Brady got an antibiotic and Jax got Tamiflu and they sent in their swabs to culture. Brady has been doing great since we caught his strep right away - he wasn't even meant to be a patient that day! Jax was caught early too, although the cough overnight kept us up-and-down for a few nights to treat with breathing treatments, test his O2 etc. I brought Jax back in yesterday (Tuesday) for a lung-check and he's' doing GREAT. It was 4 days of non-stop care, but he did so well considering how badly he reacts to these sorts of illnesses. He's still on breathing treatments at home and at school this week, but so far he's great.
We'll know by Friday if they've cross-contaminated each other since the incubation period can be 5 days.

Otherwise we're still doing our daily grind. We're getting our house damages assessed finally by our insurance company today, which has been assessed by a few different companies. We'll be happy when work to repair all that starts. Well, we'll be happier when it's done and behind us!

I received a call from the school Occupational Therapist last week stating that she is going to start Jax back in the program. He was on consultative services this year, and the team has expressed strong concerns to get him back into full OT services to really address his fine motor skills, specifically his hand writing. I was going to PLEAD with the school next month in his yearly IEP meeting, so I'm relieved that I don't need to do that. Next week we have conferences and then next month we have both boy's IEPs for 1st grade - wow, crazy hey?
I think Brady's will be pretty straight forward with daily services (hopefully) and ways to help him in the classroom. I also feel that while his reading capabilities have surprised us this year, I'm noticing his ability to write isn't keeping up. Not his penmanship, but his ability to sound out words to try and write them on his own, which I know is a big issue for kids with Apraxia - for obvious issues. So, I' hoping to address that.
Jax's IEP will be all over the place. While he's a smart little whip with above grade reading, he still struggles a lot of areas. We also need to make it necessary that he's pulled out for snacks since they don't do that anymore in 1st grade. Just random things like that...



Glad this was happening the night before flu and strep symptoms came about!

This is how Brady rolls into the chiropractor's office.

They were acting out their pjs. Jax was a tough tiger and Brady was dancing.

Brady loooooves the camera!

Projects while sick!

St Pats day!

Jax when he was down and out.

Finishing up crafts. Yes, Brady wears a cape or some piece of costume at ALL times.

Brady on his way to baseball camp on Sunday night. Jax stayed home to cuddle with mom!

A bit of a St Pats photo shoot before school...

Oh Brady...


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

School fundraiser

Things have been quiet lately, which is GOOD.
We had the boy's Italian Night at school last weekend. It's the largest fundraiser the school has through the year. The kids just love running room to room playing games trying to win prizes and munching on the spaghetti.
They had face painting, so Brady was PUMPED and wanted to look like a pirate. Jax has never allowed anyone to paint his face to this point. He still has sensory issues with things touching his face, which is a big part of his feeding disorder still. Brady and I were waiting in line and Jax kept coming over by us. I convinced him to give it a try and he agreed to it, then he backed out, then he agreed to it, and backed out again. On the third try, he decided to be brave and try it ONLY if the painter didn't touch his mouth or do too much.
So... in total Jax fashion, the little elf chose to have a single FLAME painted on his cheek. After the painter did the bottom half, she asked if he could handle her going up the side of his face and he said he'd be brave and do it.

It's so interesting that he can handle needles and so much pain, but a brush stroke along his face makes him sweat with anxiety. While Brady can't even watch Jax get his nightly shots but would allow someone to paint his body if he could!

The boys have off school Thursday and Friday this week, so we have a looong 4-day weekend at home. I'm going to start Jax back up on his hunger-inducing medication during this time since he's a zombie the first day on it given that it's an antihistamine. He only does well with if for about 8-10 days before he's too acclimated to it for it to work. Most kids do well for 2 weeks, but clearly Jax has a fast metabolism. We're really on the mission to get him bigger and while my scale at home isn't the same at the hospital, I *think* he's gained 2 lbs since his feeding clinic in January. Which is a HUGE gain for him since he couldn't do that in a whole year in the past. I'm supposed to run him in for a weight check at the clinic this month, so I may do that this week with him off so I have an accurate number. He's looking SO good lately!


This kid. He wears this hat every single day that he comes home until he goes to bed.

Brady getting his faced painted.

Jax too!


I asked him to give me a pirate face and this is what he gave me..

Jax said this is what a flame would be like!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Awards, Camps and LEAKS

A few new things these past few days. First of all, Jason and I attended the Wisconsin Mass Mutual Awards Banquet in Madison last Friday night. Jason received an award for '2014 Leaders', which is such an honor! He is the only agent with under 4 years experience (he only had 8 months in 2014!) to get this - I'm so proud of him! Because of this honor, we'll all be going to Orlando in July for a 3-day trip with the boys from his company. We plan to extend the trip by two days to surprise the boys with a day at Legoland as a birthday gift, they are going to FREAK!
Jason also did such an outstanding job in his first year that he qualified for himself AND me to go to Costa Rica in April (sort of a President's Club)... oh my God! He's the only first year agent to qualify - he likes to overachieve :) I'm excited for what he'll bring in 2015 with a full 12 months to work with. Our family and friends have been so supportive in his first year - we're so grateful!

The boys started baseball camp. It's on Sunday evenings for a few weeks to work on batting, fielding and throwing at an indoor venue. Jay wanted the boys to have someone other than himself coach them a bit before the spring/summer league starts - that yes, he coaches for!
The boys are excited because the neighbor boys are all in it too - good for them all to get together once a week during the cold months like this. We all hibernate!

Jay and I are about to pull our hair out with some house issues... again. Apparently getting new windows (which kept all the moisture IN) and getting new insulation (that now we found out isn't the right code and it covered our vents) caused moisture to collect and come through our bathroom ceiling including the tiled ceiling of our walk-in shower - and some other issues. We've had a company come out and do a complete review of the issues that's being submitted to insurance and clearly the insulation company will be getting a call.
ugh.
Apparently we may have to replace ceilings, showers, walls, insulation, install new vents etc etc - it's a nightmare. Of course! I'm so tempted to look for a brand new house and be done with this non-stop mess. My dreams of a new kitchen keep getting farther and farther a reality. But alas... we love our neighborhood and couldn't dream to leave... (waaaaaah for our first world problem...)

Jason giving his best Brady-smile and his award!

Bedtime book~ you can see how Jax sleeps each night with his backpack hung on his dresser.

Dr Seuss Day! Brady snuck away to paint his face and his teacher thought it was so cute, she sent me this photo!

Jax working on his throwing at camp.