Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Sorry readers, for the long pause in my posting.  I was swamped over the weekend with family events and Christian's birthday party.  Then last night, and again tonight, I had to bring home some work to do after Christian fell asleep.  I plan on posting tomorrow, along with some birthday party photos, so stay tuned.
The floorplans and specs I have to do are mocking me from the table, so I better get to it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love at First Sight

One year ago today, Christian and I met for the first time!  He was so adorable with the puzzled look on his face, in his mismatched clothes, shoes two sizes too big and that goofy pink girl's hat.  The memory will be with me for the rest of my life.

I remember having to bribe him with the music box to get him to sit on my lap, which only lasted a few minutes.  He would stand about six feet away from me, listening to the music, and when it wound down, he would come over to me, say "la, la, la", hand me the box to start it again.  We did this over and over and over, each time he would stand a little closer, until he was right by my knee.  I carefully set him on my lap, played the music over and over, until he lost that cautious look on his face.

That music box was our connection. When I went back on the second court trip, he took one look at the music box and ran to me to be picked up.  It was my lifeline to sanity when we were on that painful nine hour airplane ride home.  He carried it around every day for almost two months when we got home and then other toys took his attention.

Coincidentally, he discovered it this morning and just HAD to take it to school.  He played it over and over again in the car, to and from school, and this evening too.  Hearing that song and seeing him hold it, brought back so many memories.  It doesn't seem like he's been home for eight months already!

Finalizing details for his birthday party on Sunday!  I think I'm having more fun planning it than he will at the party :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Post Surgery

Friday morning Christian had a surgerical procedure.  I figured it would not be a big deal and I didn't need any help...wrong!  He had a bad reaction to one of the drugs and when he woke up he was like a wild animal. He was screaming, kicking, thrashing around, and you could tell by his eyes that he wasn't with it. It took three nurses to help me keep a hold of him because he was trying to fling himself out of the bed/crib.  I would hold him but he would push against me so hard, that at one point I actually dropped him and was thankfully right by the bed and swung around just in time so he landed on the bed.  We thought we would just leave him in the bed after that, but he kept thrashing around and banging his head on the metal rail.  I was calm but could feel the fear welling up fast.  What the hell was wrong with him?  How long will this last?

While he was thrashing around, his IV came out and blood went everywhere.  I had him in my arms, one nurse holding his arm while another nurse worked on getting the IV plug out and a band-aid on.  By the time it was done, there was blood on the bed, floor and all down the front of me.  (Later when we left the hospital, people were staring at me and the blood all over the front of me.  Would have been interesting to know what they were thinking. )  They called the anesthetist doctor to come up because Christian's reaction was so bad.  After about 10 minutes into his bad reaction, they gave him Tylenol.  After another 10 minutes he had calmed down enough for me to be able to hold on to him, but he was still crying and pushing on me.  I walked up and down the hall a bit and that helped some.  After a total of 30 minutes, he fell asleep and I plopped into a chair, exhausted.  Of course after the drama was over is when the doctor shows up.

The nurse explained to him what happened and he said people do have bad reactions to that drug and it appears that Christian had a REALLY bad reaction.   I asked if it was over, because I didn't want to go through that again by myself when we got home. He said it has run it's course and when he wakes up, he should be "normal".  Sure enough, when he woke up he was tired, but his normal self, thank God!

He did ok the rest of Friday and also on Saturday.  Today was another story.  The surgerical site was causing him ALOT of pain and I felt so helpless because there was nothing I could do to help him.  They gave us Tylenol with codine but it didn't seem to help that much to me.  When it would hit, he would scream in pain, fall to the floor and thrash around. It would pass quickly and then he would cautiously go back to playing.  I had him stay still as much as you can make a toddler by reading, coloring, play-doh, you name it, we did it. 

I'm going to take him to preschool tomorrow and will see how that goes.  He may not be able to stay the whole day and I'm going to tell the teachers that if he's too uncomfortable, to definitely call me and I'll take him home.  I just pray he is a fast healer.  I made sure the nurse wrote down the name of the drug that he reacted to, so if he has to have it again in his future, we'll know what to expect. I also know now to ask for help for these types of situations.  I see an early bedtime for me tonight :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Allergies Confirmed

I have never had an allergy test done, and after witnessing what Christian went through, I don't ever want to.
He was a real trooper, only cried a little, and then got down off the exam table and played. I was told he was allergic to nuts, so for the past eight months, I have not fed him any.  My pediatrician told me to wait about six months before we had him tested for environmental allergies, to give his body time to aclimate to his new surroundings.

So it's the eight month mark, instead of six (we've had so much going on) and off we went to the allergist on Tuesday.  Deep down I was hoping they were wrong and he wasn't allergic to nuts because that's such a tricky allergy to have.  The two nurses stood on either side of him, while I faced him, holding his arms under mine and hugging him to keep him from moving.  In both hands, they held these plastic things with multiple tiny needle/pins. On the count of three, they both stuck these things into his back.  He cried out, arched into me with amazing strength.  They quickly did the same for round two and then we waited.  The doctor came back into the room fifteen minutes later to see which spots swelled up.

After the exam, it was determined that yes indeed, Christian is allergic to tree nuts.  He's not allergic to peanuts however, because they fall into a different family of nuts, but every other nut, nut extract, nut butter, nut oil he is allergic too.  Even though I knew that was going to be the outcome, I was still sad it turned out that way.  He's also allergic to dust and dust mites.  Yeah he doesn't stand a chance with that in my house :)
A type of mold and spring grasses round out the allergy list.  I was doing ok, until the doctor started talking about Epipens.

All I've seen of Epipens, is the dramatic situations on TV where the person instanteously vomits, can't breath and are scrambling for their Epipen.  It all turns out that they ate something they didn't realize had their allergen in it.  So at the sound of the word Epipen, and these images conjuring up in my mind, I got very anxious very quickly.  I asked her all sorts of questions; what are the symptoms, when do I use the Epipen, how many nuts will it take to set off a reaction, etc.  Because I have never seen an allergic reaction with Christian, we do not know the severity of what his reaction may be, thus I now carry an Epipen.  I will now be intensely reading food labels and educating people he spends time with about this allergy.  I was freaked out when I read the long list of what he cannot eat and saw a few items listed that contained nut extracts.  I didn't know those items contained the nut extracts which made me nervous about what else has the extracts that I don't know about and that he may eat.  The last eight months I've done fine with not letting him have any nuts, including peanuts, so I'm not sure why I am anxious all of the sudden.  I just need to keep doing what I've been doing, pay closer attention and let the people around him know.  I guess having that Epipen has made it more real and more serious, knowing that I may have to actually use it one day.  I pray not. Actually I'm extremely hesitant to let him have any peanuts/peanut butter, even though the doctor said he wasn't allergic, because what if something happens.  Take a deep breath Amy.

The doctor gave me a prescription for two Epipens so I could leave one at school.  The teachers are all trained in First Aid and CPR, including administering Epipens, so that's a relief.  I lef the trainer pen with them, just in case, so they could practice if they wanted to.  I made a list of all the nuts and their derivatives of what he cannot eat, along with emergency contact names and numbers and put one in my purse and the other attached to his diaper bag.  The scary part is that Christian is too young to understand and be able to tell people he cannot eat nuts, and what might happen when I am not with him. So after I take a deep breath and get centered about the nut allergy, I'll attack the house to reduce the dust and dust mites.

A little side note:  did you know that if you have a stuffed animal that is not washable, you can put it in the freezer overnight and that will kill any dust mites on it?  I did not know that, the doctor told me.  So my freezer is going to be packed full of stuffed animals this weekend :)

Have to make the final preparations for his birthday party next weekend! His third birthday, my first with him, I am SO excited!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Birthday, Horse and Cars

Christian had a big weekend!  We drove two hours to my 11 yr old niece's birthday party on Friday night.  It was at this fun pizza/arcade place and Christian was running everywhere! My family took turns keeping track of him so I got to visit with everyone a little bit at a time.  Then we went to my parents house to spend the night and take care of some family things.

We headed to my sister's house because Christian was adamant he was going to ride their horse.  Of course that didn't happen, he would just barely pet her.  He gets so excited, but when the horse got close, he realized how big she was and got nervous.  Then we puttered around, sitting on the tractor, lawn mower and ATV.  Then we headed to the trampoline, which was so funny to watch.  He was just an out of control bouncing ball in there and laughing the whole time.  He was panting by the time he got out with the biggest smile spread across his face.  Nap time that afternoon was easy :)  Then after supper, we headed to the cone shop for an ice cream cone treat, with about a quarter of it ending up all over his car seat.

He did pretty good in church this past Sunday. He whispered, which usually isn't the case, and wasn't up and down as much as he usually is.  I think he's slowly understanding that church time is quiet time.  YAY!  Although he did give a little shout out when he spied Aunt Lisa up in the choir loft.  My brother-in-law said I was officially inducted into being a parent that day.  At the end of church, after communion, when everyone had finished praying and was sitting waiting for the priest to give the final blessing, Christian thought is was the perfect time to poke me in the chest and say, very loudly, "boobies!"  Real nice.  It didn't help that my family started giggling, which of course made him think it was funny, so he said it again.  Thankfully the music started to drown him out!

After church we headed back to my sister's because Christian wanted to "ride the horse." My nephew Kolby took him into the corral and he petted the horse.  Then my brother-in-law got a lead rope and brought the horse over to us.  Abby climbed on and we thought Christian would get up with her, but he wouldn't. I plopped him up there anyway and after Abby hooked her arm around him, he was better, but it only lasted a couple of minutes and he wanted down.  Uncle Bob showed him how to hold the rope and helped him lead the horse around, which he loved.  Then I decided to climb on to see if he would sit up there with me and he did!  We rode around a bit and he had a good time.  Then we headed back over to the trampoline where he had a big time again.  He was asleep in about two minutes after we got in the car to come home.

I just love that my family has diverse interests and things at their homes for Christian to experience.  He is learning so much just by being exposed to it all and he's talking so much more.  The next hurdle is getting him to not be afraid of dogs!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cutting Teeth and Grass

Christian is cutting in his back teeth and he's miserable. When he eats food he fusses and constantly puts his finger in his mouth saying, 'ow, ow".  Then I need to brush his teeth very gently but it never fails, I end up hitting that sore spot, makes me feel so bad.  At least I have Anbesol to numb his gums and that seems to help.

I pick him up at school today and he's cutting the grass.....with a little plastic push mower.  He looked at me with such pride on his face and a grin that stretched across his whole face.  He was having a blast!
I told him it was time to go and he told me he wasn't done yet.  He had to make several more trips around the play area until he felt like his job was done.  I told him when he gets bigger, he can cut my grass any time he wants :)

Christian has been obessed with cars for a while now, but I see the inklings of a change coming.  Not to say he'll give up his beloved cars, but horses have been on his mind alot lately.  My sister has a horse and he says he'll ride on it with Uncle Bob, on Uncle Bob's lap.  Ummm, not sure he'll actually get on the horse, but we;ll try it and see.  I guess I better tell Uncle Bob he's going to be giving a horse ride huh! My 11 yr old niece said she'd take Christian for a ride, like that's a good idea.  So we're going to try the ride this weekend and I'll let you all know how it goes.  Wish us luck!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Boats, Trams and Horses

Christian has had alot of adventure the last several days.  The preschool took all the kids to Forest Park on Thursday morning and they rode in the paddle boats.  He had SO much fun, he's still talking about it tonight.  I was supposed to go as a chaperone, but due to a deadline at work, I wasn't able to make it.  I was really bummed because it's the first time he's been in a boat, or on water like that, and I was part concerned about how we would react and the other part didn't want to miss his excitement, if it went in that direction. He did great, he loved it and I stayed at work so I could make the house payment :)  The kids in his boat got excited when they saw the ducks and stood up, only to be quickly told by the teacher to sit down!  The water is around two feet deep where they were, so that's a plus.

We did more play-doh on Friday and I was trying to think of what we could do over the upcoming HOT weekend...again.  To my delight, we woke up to 80 degree weather on Saturday, so I decided to head out to Grant's Farm.  I wanted to get there as early as possible to avoid the rising heat that was coming, so we got there a few minutes after they opened. On the way there, I was preparing Christian for everything we would do and see, including the tram ride. I told him that he had to stay sitting down or he might fall out and it was my job as his Mommy to keep him safe, so he needed to listen to me. We walked right up to the tram, I had one leg up and he pushed back saying, "no, no, no."  Inwardly I groaned.  I told him it would be alright, picked him up, climbed on and sat him on my lap. He was leaning out trying to get off and thankfully one of the workers saw my predictament.  He came over and started chatting with Christian, telling him all the animals he would see, making animal noises and funny faces.  Christian immediatley calmed down and then pointed forward saying, "go, go."

Off we went on the tram ride and we saw so many animals.  At every turn, Christian was like, "Oh!, Oh!"  We came around one bend and a very large cow with very large horns was sitting right at the edge of the road.  These animals are so used to these trams that they are not fazed by them at all.  When we passed the cow, Christian leaned back against me and said, "Whoa!"  turned to me and said, "see that?"  I told him we would see some horses and after every animal we saw, he would ask me if horses were next.  He zeroed in on horses and kept asking over and over and over, I was so glad that tram stopped so we could get to the horses.

The Goats.  Anyone who has been to Grant's Farm, knows about The Goats. We bought the milk bottle and I asked Christian several times if he was sure he wanted to go inside the pen with the hundreds of crazy little goats.  I didn't really say that, but you can tell my level of love for these little creatures.  Another little boy was inside and being basically mauled by three goats, up on their hind legs with the forelegs on the kid's chest, pushing to get his milk bottle.  I told Christian that the goats will jump up on him like that little boy.  He wanted to go inside.  Who am I to keep him from experiencing new things right?  Through the turnstile we go, one goat was there to greet Christian, eye to eye, "UP!, UP!, OUT!, OUT!" Now this wonderful place has the exit turnstile across the pen, so with Christian in my arms still shouting out, I wade through the goats, trying not to trip over them.  One was brazen enough to jump up on me and got my shorts filthy.  I was not pleased.  We stood outside the pen and Christian held the bottle for a goat who stuck his head through the fence. We made it out of The Goats alive!

We saw all the animals, between the "horses, horses" request and headed for the stables. We hiked across the parking lot to the Clydesdales and Christian LOVED them! He wanted to pet the horses that were in their stalls, behind the bars, but none of them would come close enough. We went outside and two smaller horses were standing at the fence, letting everyone pet them, so we headed over. He was squealing with excitement, saying he wanted to pet them over and over.  When we got close, I think he realized how big they were and decided he didn't want to get close. After some coaxing, we got to the fence and I managed to get him to pet the horse twice, but that was enough for him.  As we left, he wanted to go back and pet them.....figures.  I'm just glad he had a good time and we made it back home before the temperature reached it's 94 degree mark!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Clear Talking

It's like a switch was turned on and Christian is talking more and clearer too!  Of course he hasn't quite got down the whole "inside voice" concept, but at least I can understand him much better :) As expected, he struggles with the "S", "F" and the two letter groups "CH", "ST", "TH", etc.  (no I do not remember the proper grammer term for those two letter sounds)

I feel bad because he's been in the house so much the past few weeks due to the extreme heat.  I've been trying to find new things, and like I mentioned earlier, we did the play-doh thing.  He had so much fun!  I rationed the amount of each color so the whole can wouldn't be gray at the end.  He actually didn't want to mix them up, which surprised me.  I made a dog out of green and his ears, tail and legs were magenta.  It only took two bounces across the table before the legs fell off....oops!  He got the hang of it and started layering the colors.  I got a fork and bottle cap to make shapes and designs and then I broke out the cookie cutters.  We had Christmas play-doh cookies in July. So we'll probably do it again this weekend.

This past weekend we ran around town getting decorations and invitations for his birthday party the end of August.  I managed to find alot of things on sale and mostly exactly what I wanted, which is tough with me. I get these ideas in my head and then drive myself crazy trying to make them happen. This time is wasn't too tough! Due to his love of cars, I am doing a "Hot Wheels" theme.  I'm making cupcakes and putting a little hot wheels car on top of each of them. We have Hot Wheels invitations, plates and balloons and plain orange cups and napkins.  I couldn't find a checkered flag banner but did find stiff felt that was 2 pieces for $1.  So I bought three and cut three triangles out of each.  I'll hang them at the edge of the table like pennants.  This is SO much fun, planning his party!  I just have to keep a rein on myself so I don't spend too much money.  I can't wait to see his face when he sees all those cupcakes with little cars on them :)

We had to cancel our plans to go to the Zoo this coming Saturday because it's supposed to be 95*.  So I'm off to think up some more fun and interesting things to do for this weekend.