Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Immunology blood test results

I get it, but I don't get it. Maybe someone here can give experience?

The doctor called me as I was putting the boys in the bath, so they were loud and running around pant-less suddenly. But the doc said that he passed the first part of the test (Omg, I feel awful because I don't know what part this was and can't remember if she even told me - I'm sure she did since she is extremely thorough).

But he did not pass the second part, but apparently it's no cause for alarm. She said they tested his antibody counts for immunizations and he didn't show the proper numbers for a child who has been immunized. Does that make sense? She said one of the immunizations that was low didn't really concern her since Jax finishes the series of it next month at his 4 year check up, so that may be the issue for that one (maybe MMR?) but the other one has been finished.
She said that at Jax's appt next month, he'll be getting an extra immunization (the one he tested low for, again, I suck and have no idea which one it is) and then 4 weeks later, we'll re-do the blood test.

I first thought after getting off the phone that maybe it was an oral immunization that he got as a baby and threw up some of it, but she said it was a booster, so that can't be it.

Apparently MOST kids with this issue show a good antibody count after a new round and it's rare to be low again. Although if it is, then we will go down the Immunology Specialist World road I guess. So all we can do is wait a few months since he gets his 4 year old shots on July 18, and then we will redo his blood work by the end of August to see if the numbers are all normal.



In fun news, Jax fed himself half of his own snack today! Brady wanted one of Jax's pudding snacks, which made Jax say "puddin peeez!" So I put him in his chair, opened the snack and walked away to get his cup for milk. When I got back to the table, he was feeding HIMSELF. Of course the spoon was heaping with pudding and he is super uncoordinated getting it in his mouth, but wow, I just let the kid go to town! He ate half of it and then he told me to SIT, so I finished feeding him the rest. He took a few bites on his own at dinner too (pureed spaghetti), so we're definitely going in the right direction! And the spaghetti was the consistency of a thick paste, so he's moving forward with texture as well - woot woot!


How awesome is this??

And this would be Big B with marker and stickers on his face!



Monday, May 28, 2012

Whirlwind Weekend

This long holiday weekend has jut flown by. I feel like I blinked and it's suddenly over!

Jason was flying in from Texas on Friday evening and we were meeting with Dennis and Rachel at the house for some pizza and visiting with the crazy boys. Jason's plane ended up delayed because a passenger refused to turn off his iPod. Isn't that insane?! A plane-full of people trying to get out on a Friday evening of a holiday weekend. I'm surprised someone didn't tackle the person! He was escorted off by police, it's just such nonsense of some people.

Jason took the boys to Manitowoc to visit with his grandpa and pick up the trailer from his parents (to get some yard work done at our house over the next month). I was in Chicago helping my friend Janel wedding dress shop. That evening Jason and I worked on some paperwork together, and suddenly the night was over and it was Sunday!

Mama Letts came to visit for the afternoon and to babysit that evening. During the day, we all went to lunch where our neighbors have their boat docked. The boys weren't the best behaved because they wanted to play in the sand and water instead of sitting to eat, so that didn't last long. We took them to Pewaukee Lake Beach, and it was PACKED. So we just walked them up and down the shore and let them get wet. We ditched the crowd and came home to run in the sprinkler to beat the extreme heat.

Jason and I met up with our neighbors and some other friends at the boat docks for a band and some fun later that evening. Suddenly today was Monday, and we decided to take the boys to the Memorial Day parade. The parade was delayed 30 minutes and it was SO HOT. By the time it started, we couldn't stand out there very long and left after about 20 minutes.

The Bonin family came over for lunch shortly after we got back. We had a nice little visit and we all got good time in with each other's kiddos.

We're unwinding this evening and preparing for the week. Jay and I will get some work in while we listen to the crazy storms going on.

How could I forget about the hornets? Last night there was a big old hornet in our master bedroom bathroom. Jason killed it and we carried on. This morning, there was another one in our bedroom... what the heck?? And then ANOTHER one, ohhhhhh no way. So obviously there's some way a nest of them are getting into our bedroom area. Not good since Jay and I are both allergic to bees, so I assume it would be highly possible the boys could be as well. And of course, we find this out on a holiday weekend, so being a Terminex member doesn't matter. Jay did a little investigating and he can only come up with a possible entrance of the bathroom fan. Blech, either way, Terminex will be called immediately tomorrow, but until then, I'm terrified of our room and bathroom! So much so, that I am considering the guest room tonight! I just can't handle bees, spiders, snakes or mice - if any of those are in my room, I'm outta there!
So wish us luck...

Our neighbors gave the boys a bag of old costumes. They were in Heaven!

Livin' the dream Brady!

Ranch mustache on Jax!

Yup, Brady wore his "Woody" hat and boots to dinner and to bed that night.

The boys checking out the neighbor's boat at the dock with Matt.


Sprinkler time!

Our clan at the Sand Bar.

Awe, a turkey and her 10 babies! Are they called turk-lets?

Jason and Brady trying to pass time waiting for the parade to start.

The Bonin babies and boys playing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

IEP Results

I've had a busy week, but am very happy to be done with both boy's IEP meetings. We have a plan set for next year, and I'm at total peace with it. I don't know the exact schedule yet, but I do know the boys will be in a preschool course for 3 afternoons a week from 12:30-3. I  don't know the days yet, but will know closer to fall when the schedule is set. We're going to have the boys together assuming it won't be a problem since they don't stick to each other when in social groups, but if they do for some reason, we have the opportunity to separate them for one of the afternoons.

I had two VERY different meetings for the boys. Brady's meeting was Wednesday morning at the school district office (Jay was home with the boys for that hour thankfully). I don't know how to explain IEP meetings to anyone who has never had a child with extra "needs". Even when you're prepared, and you were the one who called and asked for re-testing because you KNEW there was a problem, it's STILL hard to listen to strangers read their reports to you and look at you when they're done. I will say that everyone I met with was very kind and most of them I met last year when they tested the boys. No one said anything offensive or hurtful like I read about online from other parents who have IEP nightmares, so I'm grateful for that.

So.... Brady. Well, last year he only scored significantly delayed in speech, so he was put in his speech class.Then we realized quickly he was not thriving in that class, so his therapist added a one-on-one session. That has helped, but his progress was not exactly moving much. I noticed a very big difference between Jax and Brady this past year. Jax was always behind Brady in every developmental measurement. Suddenly a change happened in Jax and he not only caught up to Brady, but he passed right by him and poor Brady has been kind of... stuck. Brady still has the upper hand with gross motor and fine motor skills, but in the area of cognition and communication, the poor bean just didn't seem to advance.

Our observations at home were definitely confirmed with his test results, almost to a point of painful though. Brady shows a significant delay in cognition, personal/social and communication. I was SHOCKED when they said personal/social, but when they explained that a lot of the testing for that area requires the child to speak, it made a bit more sense (he can't tell you his name, age or refer to people by name without prompts etc). Brady's communication actually scored in the severe disability range, making him practically non-verbal. Again, we do know this, but omg it hurts to hear and then sit there with a straight face. His receptive understanding is of course leaps and bounds above his expressive, so we talked about his Apraxia of Speech needing to be targeted.

It was agreed that Brady would be in the Early Childhood preschool program with most of his target being on attention, cognition, and speech.

Jax's IEP meeting was this morning in his classroom before school started (the boys played while we met). It was AMAZING. Jax met every single goal from last year and he officially does not have a delay in cognition (HAPPY TEARS). The therapists and teacher told me that Jax came into the program with a tough disposition of attention to break through to actually work with him. He now shows an equivalent attention span of a typical 3-4 year old and zero behavior issues (take that possible ADD!), so I am over the moon to hear this!

Jax still shows a delay in speech, and fine and gross motor skills. We obviously know his issues with speech now are Apraxia-based, but he definitely has shown growth in this area and attempts 4 word sentences. Jax still has a lot of uncoordination with gross motor skills, so he will actually be a part of a specially designed physical education course along with his physical therapy. He still shows a weakness on his right side from his torticollis (neck muscles grew wrong because he was positioned awkward under Brady in utero) and low muscle tone. He's met all his goals, but he has a new set to meet this next year. The therapist recommends that he get re-fit for a new pair of ankle braces, so it doesn't look like those will be going anywhere anytime soon. I do need to start alternating between socks/shoes/braces and easy sandals this summer to give him more support.
Jax will have occupational therapy to continue growth with the coordination of his hands. The therapist was so excited to tell me how Jax has grown in his readiness skills and he's so eager and happy to try anything.

I will say that out of all the people I met with this week, the same word kept coming up about both boys - enthusiastic. Yup, they definitely are! The boys must save up all their whining and meltdowns for me!!
I'm very excited for the Early Childhood program to get their hands on Brady next year and to see both of their progress!

Jax's tummy is back to normal. He just needed a gut-break for two days of applesauce and Pedialyte with full night feedings. He was a bit resistant to get back to normal feeding with those breaks, but after a few time outs and some stern talks, he's back to his normal resistance, ha, ugh.

In other news, I found some summer-help! I asked the neighbor's nanny if she knew anyone and it turned out that a friend of hers is a 4k teacher and works at a daycare part time in the summer. I contacted her to see if she wanted 4-6 hours of extra work (the daycare is near my house) and she accepted. How lucky are we??? So she starts next week for two afternoons. I'm really looking forward to getting some work done while knowing the boys are having fun outside, with a preschool teacher no less (and I'm not up every night working until 11pm). So we'll see how that all goes.

I'm sure I'll have plenty of pictures to post after this weekend. I'm on my laptop waiting for Brady's speech class to finish up, so I don't have access, sorry! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jaxon's Toys for Tubies

After the experience of living in the hospital with Jax for a few weeks going through the feeding clinic, I realized a few things. Not all families can have a parent with their child throughout the entire day, and not all children have many belongings with them.
I did notice however that the few parents I was able to speak to, were all too familiar with the hospital and all the various medical issues that land them there, and with a tube inside their child.
You can see the hope and fear at the same time in their eyes. They're trying so hard to be strong for their child, while wondering if it will work, while watching their kids go through agonizing sessions of fear repeatedly over and over each day while being inside an institution. No one ever said, "why me?", they just wiped away any tears and cheered each other on in the parent lounge with every news of an eaten bite, or swallowed liquid.

I find myself wondering time-to-time who is going through the program right now. I wonder if they're making strides, beating odds or if they're struggling.
We were extremely lucky to have such great results, and even more lucky that Jaxon thought he was at a fun camp rather than institutionalized. He of course had some very tough days of therapy and starvation, but he forged through. He is still forging through at home as an outpatient who consults each month (and mom via phone to the docs). The fact Jax uses his MOUTH now to consume anything is life changing - the program is life changing. Programs like this are not very old and are developing to be better and better every year. With the medical advancements of kids getting a chance at life by living off feeding tubes as babies, and then learning to live without them once medically stable is something totally new in the past few decades. Even children being able to be mobile while on a feeding tube is completely new and life changing. We are so lucky in this regard.

We still fight the good fight every day to continue moving forward, but I can't help but to look back and wonder how the other kids are doing. We were so blessed to have so many amazing friends send Jaxon a toy, a card, a balloon or even just good thoughts through phone calls or messages for me to read to him. He was so excited each day to see what else was coming and I swear it lifted any cloud in the room from the struggles and tears that day.

 In honor of this amazing progress, we're throwing a "Carnival of HOPE" along with the boy's birthday party. We always said we'd have a big party if Jax ever started to eat, and well, it's here. His road to learn how to eat everyday food (non-puree) is still far off, but there's an end in sight of his feeding tube (he uses it for one feeding at night in bed). Let's celebrate! And what better way than to give back? Generosity and empathy will be early lessons for my little guys.

Please help send encouragement and hope to all the kids going through this life changing program. They've been through so much, so please help me make at least one of their days a little brighter while they work on their own miracles.

An Amazon wish list has been created and accessed HERE, and will stay at the top of the blog through the boy's birthday in July.
Thank you!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Sicky Whisperer

Jax has the pukes. He got sick after each meal and snack, even when I only gave 2 oz. I called his feeding psychologist to consult what to do. We decided that I'd give him a little Zofran (anti-nausea) medication and give small doses of Pedialyte and maybe a little applesauce and hope it was just a bad tummy-day.
Jax took his first medication by mouth today! I wasn't sure how he would react, so I put a little water in a syringe and played "squirt the water in your mouth" game with both boys. Then I put the medicine in and told Jax it would TASTE. I put half of it in his mouth and he said, "MMM!". Hilarious (and it actually does not taste very good), so I gave him the rest and he took it just fine. I was SO excited that I almost paged the doctor to tell her, but decided she may not want to be bothered with that! The medication is water consistency, so the real test will be when he needs something thick like Tylenol.
Jax took a few tsp's of applesauce and a few sips of Pedialyte for dinner, but I don't think he liked the cherry flavor of the drink.
We realized he felt a little warm, but his temp was only in the high 99s, so now I'm thinking his GI symptoms are proving to show a possible little bug. I SWEAR TO GOD that Jax's gut is the Sicky Whisperer and tells us a day in advance before he shows symptoms of an illness. I'm not gonna lie... a small part of me is relieved to see him show an illness. The thought of him just puking for no reason like he did for the first 3 years makes me... well, I have no words to describe that feeling.
So hopefully Jax has a quick little bug. I mixed half his formula with Pedialyte and turned down his pump rate, so we'll see how he does with something in his belly. He had a nice warm bath and is in bed a bit early.
I have to get used to treating him like a regular kid if he gets sick. Just give small amounts of liquid and hang tough (knowing he pukes more than a regular kid). He isn't showing lethargy, cough, runny nose - he just got a little slower moving as the night went on and a very low grade fever that I didn't treat so I can see if he actually does get a fever tonight. We do still have that handy night-tube that I get to lean on, so that helps.

We had a nice free day today, and the boys "helped me" plant flowers, so they were quite dirty. Brady is pretty much obsessed with the hose and Jax was very territorial of the shovel. I will miss the days when these little guys want to help me with flowers!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rashes, Poos and Promotions - Oh my!

We've had quite the interesting last few days.

On Monday night, I realized Jax had developed a rash in the areas the sun had touched him (neck, cheeks, arms) and he was itching it pretty badly. I gave him a bath and put cortisone cream on it. I assumed his skin was reacting to being in heat and the sun for the first time since last summer. I kept my eye on it and after 72 hours it was still present. I called the nurse and she said to come in the next day if it was still there, but she was also assuming it was sun related.

That evening, we saw that Brady started to get the rash on his arms and cheeks as well. We WERE outside those few days in between, but I was sure to use a lot of sunscreen and hats for the boys. We brought them in to the doctor on Friday afternoon and she confirmed that the boys were actually have a reaction to the sunscreen and the sun. Mixed together, they were getting a photo(something) chemical reaction. Oh my gosh, I felt SO bad for continuing to put this sunscreen on them and let them go outside!
It turns out that children can suddenly show a sensitivity or allergy to products, which is exactly what happened. The doc also mentioned that those nice new convenient spray cans of sunscreen are filled with chemicals that can actually be harmful in the long run. How IRONIC is that? I mean, you put this on your kids to prevent sunburns and cancer and here the stuff is riddled with cancer causing chemicals. I swear it's hard to win as a parent.

So we were given a prescription for some steroid cream to help the current rash and told to buy SUNBLOCK rather than sunscreen and the zinc/mineral based lotions are the best. I found a sunblock stick by Alveeno for the boy's faces and a tube of sunblock made by the same company I use for the boy's bubble bath and soap (Baby Ganics). Once you read what it is all "free of", it makes you realize how much crap is in the stuff we've been using. All I care is that it's waterproof and will stay on!
So, while this was a pain in the butt, and I feel bad for my itchy, rashy kids, it's a very simple fix.

Ok, onto the Poo story. I smelled a funk in the air and asked Brady if he pooped. He nodded, so I told him to go to the changing area. Suddenly Jax jumps up, runs to the bathroom, grabs the little frog potty and yells, "POOO". I helped him with this pants and sat him down. Sure enough, the little guy went poo on the potty. This was the first time he told me he had to go, initiated it and went - AWESOME JOB JAX!! We still just talk about it a lot, but don't push it. It's so nice to see it starting to click! The pediatrician asked on Friday if there's been any interested and we told her Jax's moment and she gave him a high five and that kid grinned EAR to EAR! She said to keep it positive, not to push and the whole experience will be much easier if we wait until they're fully ready. She thinks Jax will be ready before Brady, but Brady may follow suit faster with Jax to copy.

Now for the promotion! I got one (SMILE)! It's a significant jump, but of course I can only commit to so many hours with all the boy's needs and Jason's position having him gone so often, but it does feel nice to wear a different hat than just MOM. It will work out nicely in the fall when the boys are in school 2 hours an afternoon 3x/week (that's what we think will be the outcome of their IEPs next week), but until then in the summer, I'm going to need a helper for about 2 hours for 2-3 afternoons. Someone to just play with the boys outside, go for walks, maybe go to their speech therapy. I'm working most nights until 10pm the way it is now, and I just can't take anymore hours from the boys during the day, so to keep a good balance of them getting outside, and me getting SOME work done as well, it's time to take that step forward and get some help.
It's a very strange step for me since I've been the boy's constant care taker for almost every moment of each day, but I think it will be good for everyone. Haha, listen to me, it sounds like the boys are going off to camp for a month or something!
So I'm on the hunt - any suggestions of how to find someone for about 4-9 hrs a week?

The large can of Banana Boat spray is what we've been using for the past 2 summers. I will miss the convenient spray can!

**EDIT TO ADD: Thanks for the safe list Shana! Here is a list of the safest products to use (thankfully I got one that was on it!)

EWG’s Safest Sunscreens for 2012

Many great sunscreens made the EWG list this year. You can see the full safe sunscreen list at EWG, but here are 10 top choices to get you going.
  1. Adorable Baby Clear Baby Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
  2. Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30
  3. Sunbow Dora the Explorer Sunscreen, Pink, SPF 30
  4. The Honest Company Sunscreen, SPF 20
  5. TruBaby Water & Play Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30+
  6. California Baby Fragrance-Free Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
  7. BabyGanics Cover Up Baby Sunscreen for Face & Body, Fragrance Free, SPF 50+
  8. Earth’s Best Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
  9. Badger Lightly Scented Lavender Sunscreen, SPF 30
  10. BurnOut Kids Physical Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Here is what to avoid:

2012 Hall of Shame Sunscreens

Along with the safest sunscreens, each year, EWG releases their list of the worst sunscreens on the market, or their “hall of shame” list. This year, the following sunscreens made the list of shame…
  • Synthetic chemical sunscreens: Sunscreens like Banana Boat Kids Quik Blok Sunblock Spray Lotion and SPF 35 and Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+ are dvertised for babies and kids but contains oxybenzone, a synthetic chemical that can disrupt hormones and cause allergic reactions.
  • Sunscreens with vitamin A: EWG notes that vitamin A, also known as “retinyl palmitate” or “retinol palmitate” on ingredient lists, shouldn’t be in sunscreen due to vitamin A’s link to skin tumors and lesions in some studies. There’s debate about this issue, as some people think vitamin A is not a huge danger, but sunscreens with this ingrediant did make the EWG hall of shame list this year. Typical offenders include sunscreens like Banana Boat Baby Tear Free Sunblock Lotion, SPF 50+, Arbonne Baby Care Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 and Australian Gold Baby Formula Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50+.
  • Sunscreens labeled higher than SPF 50: EWG points out that, “Sky-high SPF products may protect from sunburn, caused primarily by UVB rays, but they leave children vulnerable to skin-damaging UVA rays.” Higher SPFs may also lull parents into a false sense of security, letting them think they don’t need to apply more sunscreen. With this in mind, EWG says to cut back on high SPF sunscreen like Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool Sunblock Stick, SPF 70.
  • Sprays and powders: Aerosol spray sunscreen is often marketed to kids, yet sprays pose serious inhalation risks and make it easy to miss spots of skin, leaving your child exposed to harmful rays. Two hall of shame sprays this year include CVS Kids Fast Cover Continuous Clear Spray, SPF 50 and Rite Aid Baby Continuous Spray Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50. Another problem are loose powder sunscreens which emit a plume of airborne particles. If inhaled, these powders may damage lungs. EWG notes that, “Powdered sunscreens may also contain nanoscale and micronized zinc oxide, which can cause lung inflammation and worse.” GO!screen Natural Mineral PowderBlock Brush-On Sunscreen, SPF 30 is one such powder.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Feeding appt follow up

So the good and bad news is that Jax weighed in about the same at 24lbs. Actually he was an ounce less, but they consider that "maintaning".

They see the weigh-in before coming into the room to meet with us. Yesterday's meeting was a check-in with the feeding psychologist and dietician to review weight and behavior. They were happy to hear he had a cold to explain the lack of weight gain, and that he did HOLD his weight. He still hasn't had any tube feedings during the day since leaving the clinic, so they were very pleased to hear he was able to get through an illness this way. So that was the good news.

The bad news is that he only weighs 24lbs. So while it's great he maintained his weight during illness without extra use of his tube, it's not so great when his weight is still this low. They will be happy to see him maintain his weight during illness when his weight is at a more acceptable place. So we still need to play catch up.

Our plan is to add a few more teaspoons of Carnation Instant Powder to his milk mixture, and for him to drink that instead of water when coming in from playing outside and thirsty. Which needs to be his "snack" since they don't want him screwing up his appetite for meals/snacks. Also, if he's resisitent to his puree food, we just push more milk since that is what has the most calories, protein, vitamins and fat.

Instead of meeting in 4 weeks for our next checkup, we're going a full 6 weeks when the full Feeding/GI team is scheduled to follow up. In these 6 weeks we're hoping for some good gaining and a further plan of action.

The dietician said she wasn't concerned with Jax's weight from appointment-to-appointment so much as his overall weight issues for the past 2.5 years (he weighed only a pound less at 15 months old). I got all nervous when she said that and felt myself getting flushed. I asked, "do you think something else is wrong with him?", and she replied that she knows Jax gained a half pound when not sick, and then maintained when sick, so far now, she's focusing on that. So we are REALLY going to work on Jax gaining weight without the use of his tube during the day.

Jax had his blood drawn for the Immunologist that the pediatrician is consulting for all the asthma and pneumonia issues Jax had over the winter, so I'll be waiting to hear from her with whatever those results show.

I also discussed our plans for a big toy donation to the Feeding clinic. This summer we're throwing a large carnival across our and our neighbor's lawn (with the generous sponsorship of some friends and their company's equipment) for the boy's birthday and a big celebration of Jax's progress. Instead of birthday presents, we're running a toy drive in Jax's name for kids going through the Intensive Inpatient Feeding program. The doctors were almost in tears when I told them our plans - there are so many children who have nothing when staying for this program and often don't even have their parents with them throughout the stay. I'm in the middle of setting it all up to run online up until the party, so stay tuned for that coming next week!

Oh, and to leave this post on a funny. I couldn't figure out for the life of me why our garage door was having problems closing for the past 3 days and now suddenly stopped working. Jason found a bunch of wire chewed through from our visitor the other night. That raccoon really trashed the place!
::sigh:: Silly critter.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Uninvited Guest

It's not the best feeling in the world to be laying in bed and suddenly hear your garbage cans fall to the ground in your garage. Especially when the door is shut. Jason and I sat up listening to something in our garage on Sunday night - creepy!
Jason cracked the door open and saw our garbage cans knocked over with garbage everywhere, some wood laying on our truck and other things just basically trashed including the screen ripped out of the window. Then he saw it. A raccoon up on top of his skis, playing dead. He called me down and I snapped a photo. We made noise to try and get it to move, but since the garage door opening didn't even budge him, we just left the garage door open and left him alone.
He left at some point and we were left with the mess in the garage. I have no idea how that critter got stuck in there when I closed the garage door. That's what we get for living in a conservancy I guess!

See our new friend up there?

Playing outside today!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Busy weekend

We've been some busy little bees this weekend.
On Saturday morning we hit the road down to Chicago to go to the Shedd Aquarium. We saw the Aquatic show and the 4-D short movie. I wondered what 4-D meant, and it is so neat! We had wind in our face, bubbles in the air, smells, a vibrating seat and we were even misted with water a few times! Then of course there's the amazing REAL animals all over the aquarium.
The boys were well behaved, but places like this affirm my displeasure for crowds of people. Especially when you're navigating around with preschoolers.
We sat down to eat and I had to practically force feed Jax some of his milk. He gets so stimulated, that he just does NOT want to eat or drink anything. One of his glass jars of baby food broke in his backpack. Um, neat. But we got it all cleaned up and carried on our way.
We were actually home by the late afternoon and got to relax for a little bit.

We were all just hanging out in the living room talking about what to make or order for dinner when Jason recognized that Brady was kind of pacing the room. He asked Brady if he was going to poop and I'm not quite sure if we got an answer out of him or not, but I put him on the potty just in case. Nothing happened. Then we decided to put him on the froggy potty in the living room by us and offer a cookie if he pooped on the potty. He sat for awhile and nothing happened. I gave him a cookie for trying. We realized he didn't go that day, which is crazy for this 3x/day kid, so I knew he had to go. I told him he could have one more cookie if he just tried. We all took our attention off him and watched a cartoon for a little bit. Guess what... Brady pooped in the potty! We sang and cheered and he was SO proud of himself! Jax got jealous and took his pants and diaper off to sit on the potty (after it was cleaned) and he grunted and pushed with no results, but it was nice to see that we'll be able to bounce each other's victories off the other child as encouragement.

So both boys have had a poo-moment on a potty. This hasn't kicked off their desire AT ALL to tell us that they ever have to go or anything, but it's nice baby steps of introduction for when they are showing more signs of being ready. I have to admit, it's so adorable to see their proud faces. I can't wait to get their tiny bums in underoos!

Today (Happy Mother's Day everyone!) we were spontaneous. Jason took the boys to the gym, and I went grocery shopping with coffee in sweet, sweet, (sweet) peace. When I came back, Jax ran at me with an arm full of flowers and shouted "Ha-mm Mmm DAY!" and Jason said we were packing up to go to the Brewer game for the afternoon since it was SO nice out. (Now of course the boys and Jason had addressed Mother's Day when we first got up with a card and tokens of love. I realized after typing that, that it sounded like no one even mentioned it to me until half way through the morning!)

The game was sold out, so "good" seats were not going to happen since we were buying 4. We ended up by Bernie Brewer at the very top with my back against the wall, whew! We got to our seats pretty early, so we were able to get the boys situated with eating before the large crowds came in. Again... I struggled with Jax. He ate half of a pudding and then he would just not drink his milk. Of course this gives me anxiety because I knew he just walked so far and burned up so many calories. The child would also NOT let us carry him even though he lags so far behind because he can't walk very fast, even with his braces on. Stubborn little fella'. He must get that from his father (ha). In all honesty though, the boys were AMAZING during the game. They were better behaved at the game than they are at home. They never left their seat area and we stayed until the end of the 7th inning. They just love going to the games.

But as for the EATING portion, Jason and I had to resort to being mean to Jax. We told him that if he didn't drink his milk, we were going to pack up and go home without seeing the game even start. He drank some. Then stopped again. At this point the Nat'l Anthem is over and I have to tell him that the entire stadium is waiting for him to finish his milk so the game can start.
True story.
He drank half of it. I told him that the next time I brought out the milk, he had to drink it, or we were leaving. I brought it back out 3 innings later, and he finished it. So as you can see... it's like pulling TEETH to get him to consume his food or milk while out. It's SO SO SO frustrating. It would of course be much easier to just "hook him up" and throw the backpack back on, but of course we don't consider that an option.
I'm a bit stressed because Jax has his feeding team follow up on Wednesday where he'll be weighed and assessed with the dietician. I don't have a good feeling about this weigh-in. With all the puking he did from the cold, and all the running around he's been doing now that it's nicer out - goooooo, I'm seriously scared to even look at the scale.

Annnnnyway. We have a busy little week. Jason is out of town Mon-Wed, and I have something going each day for the boys. Tomorrow morning is Brady's IEP evaluation. Tuesday and Friday, they both of school as usual, but on Wednesday, they both have a chiropractor follow-up and then Jax's feeding team appt with a trip to the lab afterward. Jax will have his blood drawn for the Immunologist that our pediatrician is consulting. I don't know what they're testing for, and for once, I'm not even going to ask and just wait to hear about it all after they have results. I figure it can't be anything too serious or pressing since they were willing to let Jax take the labs when he was at the hospital for his next feeding team appt.

Aquatic show (Brady and Jason)

Jax getting his hands wet with some shells.



A huge electric eel that I swear was there when I was a kid!



I do not remember the last time I saw this scene!

CHEEEEE!

Mother's Day game!

Jax was PUMPED about his bobble head they gave to everyone at the door.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ha-mm bur-mm dada!

Jason is finally "in" his thirties today, turning 31. Jaxon was so excited to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, which sounded like "Ha-mm bur-mm dada!" and jumped around like a kangaroo until he opened presents. Brady just wanted to eat the cookie cake, ha!
Otherwise, this week has been pretty standard. Brady cries unless he has all his guys in bed with him. He was rather upset last night until I realized that Capt America was under the couch and not in bed with him. Jax has been singing the Spider Man theme song (the 1960's cartoon version) every day and I NEED to capture this on video. He also does a cute Itsy-bitsy spider and Alphabet song, all of which you can catch maybe 1-2 words out of. All of these things are adorable and fleeting.

One NON-adorable thing that happened was Jax hitting me for the first time. I know I'm extremely lucky that my almost 4 year old has never hit me before, but it shocked me since he's never done it. He was extremely mad at me and and hit me with his fist. He was then even further hysterical when I marched him into his room to sit on his bed alone. I think he picked it up from Brady or watching some of the "super hero" cartoons.
Brady has done it off and on over the course of the past few months, and knows he has to take a time out, so there's many times now he'll put his fist up, we STARE at him and re-thinks and puts it down. Now... to get the boys to stop hitting EACH OTHER may be a lifetime goal.

Brady is obsessed with the cheese slicer.

I couldn't believe he was so willing to eat a salad, but I have a feeling it was because HE cut up the veggies.

Some pumped up little boys over a baseball cookie cake.

Boys outside being silly


Pure childhood right here.

Can you hear Brady saying, "cheeee!"?

Jason's birthday dinner - Brady decided he would ONLY eat with chopsticks, which means I basically fed him.

Jax and Jason watching the chefs light up their grills. (that's Jax's yummy pureed pb&j and it looks like he drank all his chocolate milk, but Brady traded with him after he finished his own)

A sparkler on Jason's birthday dessert! Jax is trying to blow it out!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Parties!

What a fun weekend for the kids.
On Saturday, Uncle Rick stopped by since he was down in our area for a basketball camp for cousin Kyle. The boys loved playing with him. We went to a birthday party later in the afternoon at Marshall and Cecelia's house. There was a big bounce house and the theme was super heros and tutus (I think it was called Tulle and Trouble - very creative). The boys got capes and masks and the girls got tutus as favors, how cute is that?

The highlight, other than the fun bounce house, was the pinata game at the end. It was so cute to see the kids line up for their turns and collect their "loot" at the end.
We went to our neighbor's house for a Cinco de Mayo party later that evening. It was so cute to see the kids all running around in sombrero hats. Fajitas and margaritas for the grown ups, mmm!
Today, the neighbor kids are at our house playing while Jason and their parents are doing a local charity run. I was going to play with all the kids at the park, but given the fact it's very wet outside, we decided to just play at the house while they run.

Once the kids are all bathed up and in bed tonight, Jay and I will be burning the midnight oil trying to get some more work done that we couldn't finish on Friday night. I'd love to start my Monday with a  bigger dent in that paperwork!

J, B and Mars as some capped avengers!

Mmm, look at the yummy cupcakes!

Yes, that child in front of Jax is taller at the age of 2.5. Jax is our little gnome!

The calm before the storm of basement that now looks like a tornado flew through it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Near death of a pillow

The boys had fun days at "school" yesterday. Brady did a lot of work with his mouth muscles with fruit loops and coco puffs. He has to hold the cereal in a certain position in his mouth and then make a sound. It's helping him to train his mouth. He loves the echo-microphone, and after about 10x, he typically can make the sound, so that's all coming along good.

I had to take Brady to the pediatrician to get his ears looked at. He still has his cold, which isn't a big deal, but he kept pointing to his left ear and whining or crying. Each time we asked if it hurt, he said yes. The doc checked him out and it turned out he did NOT have an infection. She said it looks slightly bulging, so he certainly can feel it, but no meds - yay! I brought the boys to the chiro on Monday for adjustments hoping it keep ear infections away from this cold, so who knows, maybe it helped.
Jax is still having some puke-issues during meal time with this cold. I had to put the highchair outside and hose it down after dinner. Blech.

The boys played outside most of the afternoon today and got completely filthy like little boys do!

I walked into this after being in the laundry room. I was SO angry I immediately sent the boys up into their rooms for a time out. Then I realized it was the stuffing from pillows that zip, so I was able to re-stuff and zip. Thankfully it was fine, but omg, WHY are little boys so curious?