Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quick update to the pukes

Jaxon did great yesterday. I reintroduced food mixed into his Pedialyte and he kept it all down, but he didn't move very much. Then last night he puked in bed, and then I didn't feel very well at bedtime either. We had the same reaction as Brady with feeling better for a day and then getting sick one last night. Jax slept fine the rest of the night thankfully and he seems much better this morning. Hopefully he'll keep some real food down today and we've seen the last of it.
Jason left for a business trip last night through late Thursday night, so hopefully we'll just be mending and disinfecting the house!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sicky City

Jaxon and I both started puking last night, and it went all.night.long. I think Jason said that Jax was up every 30 minutes and I think I was up (or just sleeping on the bathroom floor) every hour or so. Jason slept in Jax's room because he was up so often, and I wasn't exactly quiet running to the bathroom or puking in the bucket next to my bed. Brady puked 3 times total once going to bed, so it was CHAOS here. No one slept.
Jason has been running around doing laundry and taking care of things today. I took a nap upstairs most of the morning and then on the couch around 4pm. And if you know me, you know I'm sick if I'm ever laying down or even thinking about a nap. I'm just not a napper.

Jax is still vomiting pretty frequently. He's been running a low grade temperature all day. He's been on a slow Pedialyte pump all day, but he's still vomiting up stomach bile, so I know his tummy is empty. We'll keep a very slow pump on him tonight (1oz/hr) in hopes of keeping him hydrated through this bug. If he goes a whole night and day again this same way, he's going to end up in the clink on a IV, so please cross your fingers he'll be able to start keeping things down.
Brady is acting like his old self tonight and ate a whole dinner. So we're hoping he's over this.

Oh, and note to self, never... ever, eat Chinese take out when there's a pukey person in your house. That could be the WORST thing to come up repeatedly when your sick. Ugh.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Wrap Up

Hey all, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We've had a quiet last few days, and yet still "busy" somehow.
We went to Manitowoc to visit Jason's grandfather who was recently hospitalized. He was doing well when we saw him and he loved watching the boys play with his dog "Penny". That evening I did some work while Jason caught up on his football, but we ended the night watching a movie together.

Brady woke up vomiting in the morning. Wow, what a difference when Brady vomits. The poor bean was terrified and would just sob and scream while pelting us with vomit. He's not quite the master at aiming into a basin like his bro.
He spiked a fever, so he was put on Tylenol and flavored Pedialyte for the rest of the day. He woke up fever-free today and no vomiting, so it seems to have been a 24hr bug. Although he's not eating at full-speed, nor is his energy quite the same, so he's taking it easy at home today.

Jason is with his parents and a friend at the Badger game today (Saturday). I was going to take the boys to a birthday party at a gym today, but since Brady had a fever 12 hours ago with vomiting, I'm doing my duty to other mothers and keeping him home. The birthday party is for a neighbor friend, and when I stopped by with a gift last night to tell them we couldn't go, the father of the child insisted he picks up Jax to take him. I explained how he might be on his backpack and it just wouldn't work out. I got "the look" from him. Um... oh yeah, I forgot, HE'S A DOCTOR.
I was able to tweak Jax's food around today so he wouldn't be on his backpack during that time to make things easier, but how nice is that they'll pick Jax up and take him?? Mr. Greg (the neighbor/doctor) said he assumed Jax had missed out on plenty in his life and there was no reason to miss today. How sweet, I love our neighbors!
So Brady and I will be decorating the Christmas tree together and spending some one-on-one time together for about 2 hours - sounds like Heaven!

The boys proud of their turkey projects.

Then they decided to disassemble them over and over.

All the boys enjoying an ice cream cone.

Jason and the boys with Grandpa Klingeisen, Father Dick and Uncle Joe.

Brady and I playing around with Christmad decorations during our alone time.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

The boys had fun getting a break away this weekend. They seem happy to be back in their routine, but it didn't take them long to get back into their sassy-routine. Brady has a weird obsession with being in the fridge or the pantry. He constantly wants to get into packages and snack on things (while making a huge mess). I've locked everything, although he tends to break into the pantry anyway. Our problem is that he doesn't eat dinner anymore if he's able to get to snacks. Our pediatrician gave us strict instructions to not allow him to "graze on food" all day so he eats 3 solid meals and 2 snacks to help gain weight. I'm not sure what the deal is there with him. Part of the issue is that he just wants to get into the packages to make a mess.
Jax bonked his face on something today because he has a bloody gash across his nose, but he never came to me crying, so who KNOWS how he did that.
I took the boys to the chiropractor and Brady's body is back to normal from his bout of Walking Pneumonia. Jax was out a bit again because he had some vomiting over the weekend. It's always one or the other, right?

I had a great time hosting my friend Tamlyn over the weekend. We were able to get some relaxing girl time in and see our friends - Valerie, Rachel and Shannon for dinners on Fri and Sat evenings. I made sure to expose Tamlyn to Wisconsin delicacies like our beer (more importantly what a beer-chaser is with your Bloody Mary), cheese, coffee and all the diversities of our area. I took her to the German district downtown to a cheese hause to have her first fresh off the counter CHEESE CURD. We take these things for granted living here!

Here are a few photos, but the best ones are from Tamlyn's camera that I'll have to add later.

The boys showing their hospitality by putting on Tamlyn's shoes!

Tam keeping the boys busy while I pack their things. She showed them some fun games that she plays with her twin boys at home! Sure enough, Jax remembers and had me play it with him tonight.

Here is Valerie and Tamlyn enjoying some local beer brews at dinner Friday night.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Quick check in

I'm sorry for slacking on posting the last few days. I have a friend visiting from Florida and the boys are with Jason on his annual hunting trip back home on the farm.
So Daddy is getting some much needed kiddo-time, and I'm getting some free time to visit with friends and re-group a bit.

I met with Brady's speech therapists after school on Friday and we had a good talk. They agree that Brady's speech is so severely delayed, that he's not even on the same pace as the others in his speech group. We've decided to give him until after the holidays (6 weeks) to see if starts to show improvement and he'll be officially 3 1/2 years old. If no further improvement is shown, then we'll be trying to get him further intervention. We'll either try to get another one-on-one speech therapy session for him, or try to get him in Jax's Early Childhood class. The therapist brought up 'speech apraxia' to me again and said that if he doesn't show further progress, he may be headed toward this diagnosis. Either way, we have him in good hands and his issues are being addressed. I feel good about that.
In speech news for Jax, that little peanut is attempting at so many new words and even trying sentences. So I know Brady can do this, we just need to give him the right recipe to be successful.
I'm sure I'll have a full report of everyone's weekend tomorrow night, have a good weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

G-tube pads and G-tube covers

I'm dedicating this post to G-tube pads (aka - G-tube covers) since I've gotten the most questions about this subject throughout the years of this blog. My son has had a feeding tube his entire life starting with an NG tube through his nose, then a G-tube through the stomach, then a GJ-tube (we bypassed his stomach for a year) and he's been back to a G-tube for quite some time. I realized quickly that he needed a more stable pad around his stoma site than those split guaze pieces that just fall off. We've been using plain white pads with snaps for the past 18 months and they are my personal favorite because I can bleach them if they're stained with blood or any other bodily discharge (sorry for those gross words!). I also prefer a snap versus velcro as the closure because it just seems to hold up better in the wash.

I put together information I've found from notes I've made for quite some time and I wanted to share them with anyone else caring for a tube site. Many, if not most of the makers of these pads are all mothers who care for a child with a feeding tube, how fabulous is that to put your passion and talent to good work!

Step-by-step guide on how to make your own:

A complete list on the Feeding Tube Awareness website (updated Nov 2015)

Lowest cost per pad:
Julia's G-tube pads (snap, round, ~$2.00 ea or $25/12, $3.00 US shipping):

 3 Tiny Blessings (velcro/snap/magnet, round, $2.00 ea, ? shipping):
 Belly Buttons (velcro, found, 7 for $14, ? shipping):


White pads:

More great sites and options:
Beck Family Blessings (snap, round, $2.99 ea, $1.99 shipping):

Branyon’s Buttons (velcro, round, $3.50 ea, free shipping):

Button Cuddlers (velcro, round with top cover, $5.00 ea, $2.00 shipping) :

G-squares (snap, square, $5.00 ea, ? shipping):

Help us Eat (snap, round, $2.50, $2.00 shipping):

My Button Buddies (velcro, round, $5.00 ea, $1.99 shipping):

Patchwork Peddler (snap, round, $5.00 ea, $1.95 shipping):

Stacy Rae Creations (snap, round, $4.00 each, round covered $5.00 ea, ? shipping):

Suzanne’s Special Kids (snap, round, ~$3.17 ea, $2.00 shipping):

Sweet Dreams and Happy Thoughts (velcro, round, ~$2.25 ea, free shipping):

Tubie Whoobies/The Sub Shop (snap/velcro, various shapes, $4.00 ea, $2.00 shipping):

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How many trips to the pharmacy is normal?

The boys and I got some good bonding time in this weekend since it felt like week-days without any appointments, school or therapy. We even got to attend a party for a friend who did a big reveal of her twin's gender with frosting-filled cupcakes for the surprise. The boys ran around like crazy men, and then they calmed down for the last half and I was able to enjoy a conversation or two.
Rachel came over Saturday night to have some girly time with me, so that was nice! Brady woke up screaming around 1am on Friday night and I can only assume it was a bad dream. He woke up tonight after 1 hour in bed screaming again. He is fine once I come in and soothe him, so I'm not sure what that's all about. He still has a slight cough, but otherwise doing pretty great.

Brady gave me quite the surprise on Saturday morning. I was cuddling with Jax on the couch watching a cartoon and realized the house was quiet. I got up to see Brady emptying his antibiotic bottle in the sink! Mind you, this was on the top shelf in the fridge and it has a child-proof cap on it. HOW does he get into this stuff? It's made me re-think how I store all of Jax's medication bottles now!
Well I called our pediatrician's office and the nurse answered. I told her what happened and she laughed hysterically (she knows Brady well). She said she was glad it was nothing toxic (2 doses of antibiotic) but she had the doctor call more meds into the pharmacy for me to pick up. Ahhhh yes, I can only imagine the future antics!

I can't get enough of tiny people with their hands in their pockets!

Nope, doesn't get old.

Uncle D and Brady chillin' at the party.

Auntie Rachel with her hands full of 3 yr olds!

Friday, November 11, 2011

My first teacher conference!

I took Brady to the doctor yesterday and it was confirmed that his hives are an allergic reaction to the antibiotic Cefdinir. His cough is getting a bit better during the day, so the new meds must be working, but he was coughing awful while in bed last night. He even had a few "barking" coughs that had me sitting next to his bed watching him breathe while sleeping for a bit. I was going to bring him in the bathroom for a steam shower, but he ended up falling asleep after some Tylenol and an antihistamine (to help with his scratching). I had this awful scene in my head that his allergic reaction combined with the walking pneumonia was going to make it hard for him to breathe when he started doing the extreme coughing. He's his cheery self this morning, so I'm a bit relieved to see his smiley bean sitting up in bed waiting for me.

I had Jax's teacher conference this morning, and wow, that kid is really coming along! I met with the physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and his teacher.

In physical therapy he's starting to sit correctly. He used to only sit on one side of his body due to his torticollis and weak right side. In occupational therapy he's doing well with focusing on short tasks. He works best 1-on-1 of course, but the therapist said his attention is getting better. The speech therapist showed me how she uses patterned cards to go over sounds with Jax. She's starting to get the MM out of him and then the OO separately, so he's definitely showing progress. The final discussion was with the teacher, and she really has a place in her heart for this little fella. She said he is her most excited and happy student. I think it's because he's happy to be out of his bubble at home! She said he thrives off of the schedule they have in place and his biggest accomplishment has been retaining the fact he needs to WALK versus RUN. She said he attempts the songs and they no longer need to keep telling him to SIT during group time on the carpet. The therapists all agreed that Jax used to need a divider when sitting at the group table because he couldn't focus on his work and was constantly in his neighbor's business. He hasn't used a divider now for the past few weeks, so it's great to hear he's starting to grasp all these concepts!
I think school is having an amazing impact on his development and I couldn't be happier and more confident in his teacher and therapists. I really like Brady's therapists too, I just wish he had MORE than 1 class a week. This is something I'll be addressing at his next IEP meeting.

Jason is off to Vegas for a softball tournament this weekend (he's feeling much better by the way) so the boys and I will find things to keep ourselves busy this weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And now there are hives...

Ahhh yes, I can't imagine anything more fun than finding hives on your child right as your pediatrician's office is about to close. Brady took a late nap today and got up a bit after 4pm. Jason noticed Brady scratching his head and neck and sure enough, the kid had hives. I called the pediatrician right away and I had to wait for a call back. The nurse called back saying the doctor is calling in a new antibiotic for Brady and she wanted to see him in the morning as long as he wasn't showing anything more severe over night.
So one of two things is happening here. Either Brady is allergic to the antibiotic that he was Rx'd with from Urgent Care last night (which was Cefdinir) or this is a new symptom to his current illness. I assume he had a reaction to the med, but I'll follow doctor's orders and bring him in tomorrow. This will be the 6th time to the doctor in the last few weeks.
It's still better than a hospitalization, but man... I could use a third hand, or a housekeeper. Yup, I'd pick a housekeeper!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pneumonia City!

We got a call from Jason's doctor stating that his XRay results showed that he had pneumonia. Now that makes so much more sense given his constant high fevers and overall dwindling state. I called Brady's doctor to let her know Brady's cough has gotten worse and that Jason had pneumonia (and Brady started symptoms before him). The doctor wouldn't let me wait to bring him in tomorrow, so I had to take him into Children's Urgent Care this evening.
Sure enough, Brady's ear is still infected (and actually pretty gross looking - the doctor showed me) and she also diagnosed him with A-typical pneumonia, aka - walking pneumonia. I got Brady his new medication and everyone, except me, is sleeping soundly right now.
I hope all my guys get better!

One thing that stuck out to me at this doctor's office (that has never met us before) was that when the nurse was leaving the room, Brady did his typical little talking and she said, "Oh my gosh, his little noises are so cute, what is he pretending to be?"
I just sat there not understanding what she just asked and then I realized she thought Brady was making a noise rather than talking. I said, "he has a speech delay so his words sound more like noises". I could tell she felt awkward and she just smiled saying he was cute and walked out. I kinda wished I said he was pretending to be a fish or something to avoid that weird moment, but whatever... I'm a bit worn out and tired myself!
You know what, his noises ARE cute! ;)

Still mending...

Jason and Brady that is. I made Jason a doctor appointment yesterday and insisted that he go in since he kept running high fevers and having awful night sweating. The doctor said his lungs are infection-free, but he got a flu-swab, so we'll see how that comes back. Brady is still coughing horribly, so I may call the nurse and ask how long I should wait for him to be looked at again. I think he's had a cough for almost 4 weeks now and it's getting a bit worse each day it seems. Brady has never had a cough longer than a week, so this is new territory for me!
Jax had dried vomit on his pj's and pillow this morning, so that means he puked at some point last night - UGH! He acted fine this morning but I feel like I'm tip-toeing around waiting to hear him suddenly cough. He went to school just fine and seemed super pumped to see Miss Sue, so we'll see.

I took the boys to the chiropractor yesterday and Brady's body is just a mess, where Jax's was pretty good - what a switch!
In non-medical news, I'm trying really hard to get the boys to recognize colors by name. I've been using this Mancala game to group the stones by color to keep their interest (funny that we don't actually know how to use this game). I'll repeat two colors over and over and give them a marble to put in the appropriate pile. Sometimes they group them by color ok, but every time I quiz them to point out a color to me, they seem to usually get it wrong if I mix up the order. They just don't seem to grasp the concept yet, but we'll keep trying!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Winner of the Shutterfly cards!

Number 18, Esther and Bjorn! Congratulations! I will contact you with the information, thanks for entering everyone! Have fun making your cards this year and show them on your blogs so we can see!

The quickest little terrors

We had a very low key weekend. Jason's man-cold is proving to be a doozy. He started a high fever again tonight, so he's going to go to the doctor if his symptoms are as bad tomorrow. That's when I know it's bad, I've never seen this guy even take a sick day from work, let alone go to the doctor (other than the time he got stung by a bee and his face was so swollen he couldn't see!).
Brady's symptoms aren't letting up either - huh? His cough has gotten slightly worse and he still goes in-and-out of a fever (typically between 99-100.4) and he's on day 12 of his continued antibiotics. I'm not sure if/when I should contact the pediatrician for him now.
I'm feeling a bit better. My cough is still present, but I seem to "feel" better. Although the headache part just came back a little. Oddly, Jax is fine. We're not sure if this is the bug that gave him the pneumonia and he's sitting back watching us all dwindle, or if he's on the horizon. He vomited this morning, but he was getting in the truck right after his morning feed, so that one is usually not an indicator of an oncoming illness, so who knows!

Both boys still have tons of energy, so keeping them home this weekend was a bit of a chore, but it was best for them. We really wanted to take the boys swimming at the YMCA (which we plan to do every Sunday through the cold months now) but we just didn't want to expose other kids to this. We even canceled our visit with Auntie Rachel (tear).

ANYWAY, I was still able to sneak out and get some many needed groceries, and I even got a jump on a little Christmas shopping at Toys R Us while Jason was home with the boys during nap time. We have 11 kids on our list for the holidays, so I need to hit the toy store whenever I can without the kids starting now ;)
We definitely got a lot done around the house with cleaning and some yard work, and even installed a new kitchen faucet (yup, our last one broke and leaked - of course!) so even though we felt snowed-in with the sickies, somehow we still ended up being ambitious.

We gave the boys a bath during half time of the Packer game tonight. We came down and the boys were playing in the living room with us with the game on. There were a few minutes left of the game and the boys went into the family room (connected to the living room) and I heard them pull down one of their toy-totes and start to play with the toys. We finished watching the game, and this is what we walked into:

How is this even possible in less than 10 minutes??

Friday, November 4, 2011

Man cold

The boys both had great days at school today. Jaxon's teacher told me that Jax was approximating names and words and even trying to sing along to the good-bye song. I have his make-up conference before his class next Friday, so I'm sure I'll get more details on his progress.
I forgot to mention that last week after the Halloween party in Jax's class, a little boy came running out of school to his mom saying, "MOM, Jaxon was a DINOSAUR!" She smiled and looked at me saying her son was asking all week what Jaxon was going to be. How sweet that Jax is able to make friends without being very verbal - that melts my heart.

Brady actually ran and hugged me after his class today, so that was a nice change! There's a new little 3 yr old in Brady's class (still all boys) who doesn't tower over Brady like the rest of the boys. When we walked in the school, two of the boys yelled, "Brady!". They were so happy to see him back in class from being gone sick one week and then school being closed last week (he only has class one day a week). I told the teacher I was happy to see the other kids knew Brady's name and she said that Brady can point out the photos of each child by name, so he knows their names as well even though he can't say them. She said, "Brady is quite the popular little guy here!" Awe! I'm so lucky that the boys are so social given their severe delay with speech. They certainly have no problem jumping in a group to play.
Ok, I'm done bragging now that I have friendly kids.

In other news, Jason has come down with the cold that Brady and I have. Now I admit, this is a nasty virus/illness and I felt AWFUL, but I had to take care of the boys, bring them to school, therapy sessions, doctor appointments and pick up prescriptions - there's just no calling in sick for me, especially if Jay is out of town.
When I texted Jason about how sick I felt on Tuesday while he was way up north, he told me to take some vitamins. Guess what I told Jason to do tonight when he was on the couch "dying"?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More meds for the big guy

Brady's cough has gotten worse and he started a fever yesterday. I called the doctor and she wanted to see him since he's at the tail end of his antibiotics. After the boy's chiropractor appointment, I took them to the pediatrician to have Brady re-examined. The doctor said his lungs sounded good and his ear is getting better, but she doesn't think his current round of meds is quite kicking this thing. She Rx'd another round until we get his cough and fevers under control.
Jason and I have a cough, so it's going around the house. Hopefully it's nothing new for Jax to catch. Speaking of little J-man, he's doing well with his 4 smaller feeds and kicking butt with the rate increases. He puked after an applesauce bite-attempt tonight, but that was purely his gag-reflex.

The boys are in an interesting "curious" stage right now, and by that I mean... making a complete mess of everything they can think of. I came downstairs from my shower probably about 10 minutes after Jason, who was down in his office. In this time period, there was a left over bowl of macaroni and cheese sitting at the little table with a fork and a doll sitting in front of it (I had this in the fridge). So I knew Brady was in the fridge (this is a Brady thing). I went to the fridge and didn't see anything out of the ordinary. I looked in the sink and it was full of Italian salad dressing. I looked out into the garage and sure enough, the bottle was recycled. Thanks Brady. Then Brady comes up to me and pulls me. He's been doing this a lot lately instead of talking. I go with him and what do I see? Oh yes, an EGG that he cracked and poured into a cup sitting on the window bench in the living room. There was an egg shell sitting next to it (he did pretty good) and then the yolk in a cup and the rest of it dripping down the bench all over the floor. Really?
On Monday, Brady decided he wanted to dump all the salt out of my shaker into the sink, which also went all over the counter and all over the floor, between the oven and the cupboards and in my rug by the sink. Lovely. All this during a simple diaper change happening on his brother.

Now our cupboards and fridge have locks on them, which is fine except it's so inconvenient for me to unlock and re-lock each time I need to open one of these things that requires you to push two buttons at the same time and unzip the zip tie. You don't realize how much you go into the fridge or cupboard until there's a barrier!

And finally... Jaxon thinks he's a dog. He crawls around on his hands and feet (not knees) and pants with small barks. He even tries to lick you with his little tongue. He's been a dog for the last 48 hours. Ahhh yes, to be three.