Monday, April 21, 2014

Life Here Lately

Hello, friends.

It's been a few weeks since a fresh post has graced my blog, and it felt like a good time for a life update. Things have been crazy.

On March 10th, my oldest son, Lukas, developed a GI issue. I say "issue" because no one really knows what the heck is going on with him. The doctors' best guess (notice I say doctorS' plural, because he has seen many!) is that he has a nasty, lingering virus. He's been tested repeatedly in an attempt to try and figure out what it is. I don't even want to tell you how many stool samples and vials of blood he's had to turn over. And let's be real - he's not collecting those stool samples on his own. (By far, the worst moments of motherhood, you guys.)

It's been 43 days, and after some slight improvements (meaning, his episodes went from 15-20 times a day, to 6-8, and down again to 3-5), he caught another virus - this time in the form of a cold, and it completely wreaked havoc on his little body. The original GI virus went back into overdrive, and he's now back to going 15-20 times a day. Thankfully, he's been on Spring vacation for this leg of the experience so he hasn't had to deal with it all at school, or fall behind his classmates in missing many days, but we haven't been able to make as many spring break plans as we would have liked!

We have a new phone call in to the doctor nearly every day with an update, and I never really know if I'll hear back, or be asked to bring him in. He has to do finger-prick tests quite often to check for anemia and dehydration, so the doctor visits are becoming an ordeal. He gets more frightened every time we go, and that's unfortunate, because he used to love going to the doctor's. He wants to be a doctor! So he'd chat with them and ask questions about their equipment. He was the best little patient, ever. But poke a 5 year old with sharp things and take some of his blood too many times, and well......clearly, that's going to change things.

I'm no doctor, but I am a Mom with those classic Mama-instincts, and I'm the one who has been the most closely involved during this ordeal, so I am pushing for treatment. An old friend recommended a specific medicine that she's seen work wonders, and after my own research on it, I've asked the doctor to consider giving it to him. I plan to couple it with probiotics if they agree, and even if he misses a few days of school while we wait for it to work - I'm hoping those things will wipe this out. But, if they say no, and I'm honestly not very hopeful as they've been hesitant to give him any sort of treatment (apparently the modern recommendation is to "wait it out"...but we've been "waiting it out" for 43 days now!!!! Time to try something proactive, folks.) then I'm not sure where we stand. I will likely request an ultrasound or x-ray at that point to rule things out, but I really don't want to have to go there. I realize those things save lives, but radiation scares me. So, last ditch effort.


Some scenes from life lately:
My boys always pile on me in the rocking chair! // We took a family walk to get lunch & Luke took his new Ninja Turtle Bike for its first real ride! // Short sleeves and sunglasses - 70 degrees and sun felt so good!

For almost the entire month of March, and a bit of April, we've been house-bound because of Luke's need to be near a bathroom at all times. We have gotten out a bit, back when he'd reduced his episodes to 3-5 a day, but that suddenly feels far in the past. And even then, we had to bring extra clothes and not stay out too long just in case. It's really been hindering our daily life, and the poor kid has dealt with a lot. Aside from the actual episodes, he gets sore at times, and his diet is very limited. Do you know how hard it is to tell a 5 year old that they can't have fruit, milk or candy for 43 days? Especially when Easter is one of those days?! (We let him have a little fruit and candy on Easter because he's been so good about it, and we didn't want him to totally miss out!)

Anyways. Dealing with Luke's episodes, researching possible causes and treatments, going to his many appointments while juggling the other two kids, and catering to the logistics of a 5 year old needing a toilet upwards of 20 times a day has been filling up the majority of our days. It's incredible how physically and mentally exhausting it has been at times - for all of us!

In the middle of all this, Matt had to travel to Charlotte. When we first moved back, he would travel to and from Charlotte a few times a year - usually to train new hires. When his company's budget could no longer afford much travel, his trips there and back dropped off, and he actually hasn't gone in years. I think I was pregnant with Henry the last time he went (H will be 3 in a few months!). There was a business conference going on over the week of Spring break, at which they asked Matt to speak as an expert in his field. He'd been working on his presentation for weeks, and then of course, had to travel to be there. It was both perfect and terrible timing. Thankfully, with Luke on break, I didn't have to worry about driving to school and back, or his hockey lesson and all of that while juggling all three kids on my own. But on the other hand, Luke was pretty bummed that his Dad was gone while he was on vacation. I did my best to fill up our days with fun stuff, but again - Luke's GI issue limited us. I think the kids had a good time, anyways, but it was difficult for me! Taking care of all three kids, both cats, and everything around the house was quite a task. I am glad that's all behind us!

So, the baby - you want to know he is, probably, hmm? ;)

He's great. He's going to be 6 months old this week, and I adore it. This next year (from 6 to 18 months) is probably my favorite phase of childhood. I'm thrilled to be entering it with him, and sad that this may be the last time! (sooob!)


Jake is my earliest mover. Last week, at 5-1/2 months old, he started army crawling! He also gets up and rocks on all fours, and sometimes throws himself in a little crawly-shift that looks like real crawling is coming soon! It's incredible to me, how he's already able to scoot around rooms. I left him playing with some toys on the living room floor the other day while I went to get a drink for the older boys, and when I turned to go back, he'd joined me in the kitchen! That blew me away!!

He's also sort of started with solid foods. In the last month, he's shown all the signs of being ready. He sits up well on his own (I usually put the Boppy around him or scoot him up against my leg just for safety, but he doesn't even really need it!), he loves watching us all eat, he's constantly grabbing for food, he's drooling like crazy - the boy is ready! Still, I'm hesitant to let him have anything consistently before 6 months. So whenever I have a banana, I let him have some too. And it's sort of in baby lead weaning fashion, because I don't do anything with it. I just let him gum it into a mushy mess until he gets some in his mouth, and he mashes it up more with gummy little smile. He LOVES it! He goes wild over it, and I have to be really careful with how much he bites off - he doesn't realize his own limits and dives right in! It's really adorable. Sometimes when he sees us eating, he makes a little chewing motion of his own to mimic us. Too funny!

He's also a big fan of spitting, babbling, and blowing bubbles with his drool. And being incredibly adorable. Which he's great at. ;)

There's not a lot of anything new in Henry's world. I always feel bad for him being the middle guy, but the truth is - it suits him. He is so go with the flow, and enjoys flying under the radar (usually so he can do something naughty!). He also discovers his likes and dislikes through Luke, so he's content with sort of "tagging along" in everything. I don't think that will always be the case, but it works for 2 year old Henry, at least. He's really, really enjoying the outdoors, lately. Luke and I are very contented with being inside - movies, books, games - we're happy. That's not to say we don't enjoy being outside - we do, very much! But Winter isn't the boring burden to us that it is to Henry. I think he'd live in a tent out back if we'd let him! Ever since the weather has turned a bit Springy, the first thing he does every morning is ask to go outside. He pulls on his little fireman rain boots and runs to climb the playset ladder or grab toys from the garage. I really adore his all-in, everything's a party approach to life! (But it does get exhausting as his Mom!)

Not a lot is new in my world! I cut my hair for the first time in 18 months - oooh! I usually only cut it 1-2 times a year, but since I was miserably pregnant with Jake last year, I just did not care. I also wanted to wait until I lost most of the baby weight so I didn't sabotage myself with a short hair cut and make myself look chubbier. Okay, silly, I know - but I have one of those faces. I still have about 10 pounds to lose, but I'm so close! And it felt good to get my hair cut. I severely overestimated the amount of conditioner I needed in the shower this morning - haha!

So that's what's been going on in our lives lately! I've got a lot on my plate this week, so I'm off to be productive. I'll share our Easter pictures soon - I hope you all had a great holiday!

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