Monday, January 27, 2014

Ryan's Genetic Appointment

Ryan was 5 days off her antibiotics and started the runny nose and cough again, for the 5th time in the last 2 months. I just knew she had an ear infection again! So, she will be getting tubes and I am a little scared (because of the anesthesia) but so happy for her to get some relief. Her pediatrician said she has basically had an ear infection for months now and we are just knocking the symptoms down with the antibiotics so it is time for tubes. The poor baby - I can't wait to see her healthy for more that a week at a time! I think this will also help her walking (with her balance) and her speech will take off even more (she is a talker like her momma).

The next day after the tube prescription we finally had Ryan's long awaited appointment with the genetic doctor at Arkansas Children's Hospital. I really had mixed feelings about this appointment. I was kind of shocked it was recommended to begin with, but then thought maybe I was just blind to something that was really wrong with Ryan because I am her mom and, of course, think my child is perfect :) Then, I decided it wouldn't hurt anything so Nathan and I just decided to go for it, fully expecting for the results to be good. Her pediatrician said he would refer her to one only because the physical therapist was recommending it but he did not foresee them finding anything - and that made me feel better. We had a few people hinting that she could have a genetic disorder, but we just couldn't see it.

The ACH facility was very nice and the staff was awesome. We were in our exam room for about 30 minutes waiting for the doctor, which felt like forever because of the anticipation and because I was trying to entertain a 1 year old by myself without letting her touch too much stuff and get sick again. Ryan decided it was time to walk all around the room just barely holding my finger! Seriously kid, you wait until we are at the genetic appointment to start walking?!

The doctor and 4 other doctors and genetic therapists came in to our room and Ryan just stared at them and ate her cheetos and flashed them a few smiles :) Dr. Garnica was very nice. He asked basically all the same questions the therapist had asked us about her pregnancy, delivery, and life so far. He listened to her heart beat and checked her ears and eyes. He asked me who sent me for this appointment with a puzzled look on his face. I told him her story and he said "we are not going to do any testing today". I said "are you serious?" He said "I do not think there is anything wrong with this little girl and see no signs of any genetic disorder, she is just delayed in her walking". I told him I did not even know that not testing her was an option! He said if she was still showing signs of delay in 6 months to come back, but if not to not worry about it. I was SO excited and relieved and at the same time felt guilty for even being there, like I should have fought more against anyone saying there was something wrong with her. I knew there wasn't but went to the appointment anyway. I guess I was just being thorough. While I was happy with the results, Nathan was mad that we had to even go through all that to be told she was fine - and I agree, but at least we have had the genetic doctor say himself she looks fine, so we can mark that off the list.

Now that we have that behind us we are going full steam on therapy! I got Ryan an exercise ball that we attempt to use at therapy and she hates. Well, she LOVES it at home! She is constantly wanting to use it - so I am hoping that she will let the therapist use one with her more at therapy, we shall see.

Of course Noah wanted to do some therapy too :)

After all that excitement during the week, we had a nice relaxing weekend at home playing games, building forts, and selling more baby stuff :) Happy Monday and have a good week!
Living Room Fort

Love her sweet cheeks :)

My best buddy!

They could play this for hours - momma builds the tower, they knock it down!

Fishing for dinosaurs :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What I learned over the weekend...

I had a 4 day weekend and it was packed full! On Friday I learned I had too much baby stuff and it was overwhelming. I decided it was time to let go of the stuff we were not using anymore. We haven't 100% decided to be done forever, but we are pretty sure we are done. We will decide our final decision when Ryan is around 3 years old - it will be time to do it or be done for sure. The risk factors are higher the older I get, we don't have space in our house or car for another baby right now, and our lives are not ready for a third child. However, there is still a part of me that wants 3 kids, I just don't know if it is in the cards for us. We plan, God laughs - so who knows!

I have never sold any of the kids stuff. None of it. I have ALL of Noah's clothes since he was born and he is almost 4! So, I had about 10 tubs of his clothes and 5 of Ryan's - plus the infant car seat and stroller, jumper, swings, tummy toys, bottles - SO much stuff! I was beyond overwhelmed with storing it and it is nice to be able to sell it and use the money to buy the next season of stuff they need. We still have not gotten rid of any toys yet - Ryan is still playing with most of the ones Noah is too big for and we took some to Meme's house to play with. Toys are so hard to get rid of - but I think I will soon be overwhelmed by them too and the sale will begin.

I also learned how amazing the United States service men and women are. Friday night Nathan and I went out to dinner and a movie with friends. We went to see Lone Survivor and it was an amazing story! I bit all of my finger nails off and it had my stomach in knots - but it was something I needed to see. I live in my happy little bubble and often forget about what all is going on to protect my freedom. There is so much stuff going on with our troops that so many don't know about - and that is not totally a bad thing. I will just continue to pray for them daily to all come home safely - that is all I know to do.

I learned Saturday that Noah loves his train track that Santa brought him. Yes, sadly this was the first chance we got to put it all together and play with it. Of course he had to have his dinosaurs chase the train down and make it derail :) I kept telling him to be careful not to bump the track. He came running to me while I was in the other room and said he forgot to be careful and bumped the track and wanted me to come fix it. I went in the living room and the T-Rex had destroyed the track and it was all in a pile and I swear I saw smoke coming from the pile :) Forgot to be careful huh? That kid cracks me up!

Sunday I learned that I like shrimp when Nathan cooks it a certain way and Ryan loves corn on the cob! She ate 2 pieces and said "mmmmm" the whole time she was eating it! I have never been much of a seafood fan at all but started liking catfish when I was pregnant with Noah. Now I tried shrimp in the crawfish boil that Nathan made (it had corn, potatoes, sausage, and shrimp in it) and it was really good! I have tried it a few times before and didn't like it but now I do - so strange.

On Monday Noah learned he loves You Tube! He is obsessed with watching little dinosaur videos (a lot of which are educational). He can turn the computer and internet on all by himself and we have to load the website and he takes it from there! He just amazes me!

Now, on to something we hope to learn about soon. Ryan has her genetic appointment at Arkansas Children's Hospital tomorrow. We are doing this strictly as a precaution and do not expect to have any genetic abnormalities in her results - but we are totally ok with it if there are. There are a lot of genetic disorders that kids have that are never even diagnosed because their symptoms are not very extreme and the child never shows the extreme ones. This may just give us an idea of something that could happen with her development in the future. She is already moving way faster with her therapy than I thought she would when she started after her evaluation results. She has not gagged in months since I started making sure her food was more size appropriate for her. She will even put too many pieces in her mouth and still is not gagging so I really think it is just something that happens when she takes too big of a bite or is sick and has drainage issues. She cried less than she was happy during the last few therapy sessions so we are making progress there. Her therapist did teach me things to do with her at home to help her brain remember to use the left leg more and all I have to do is say "Ryan give me your foot" and she scoots over and give it to me and she laughs and smiles while I do the therapy. So, we are asking for extra prayers tomorrow as we get the testing done and peace with the results so we can just go on with her therapy and get her running!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Germs and Therapy

Well, the second week of the year was not any better than the first - it was worse actually. I have literally been to the doctor every week (most weeks twice a week) with the kids for the last 2 months. I am not one of those moms to rush to the doctor for every fever or sniffle either - each time the kids were diagnosed with an actual diagnosis and prescription. I ended up having to take Noah to the doctor on Friday because he had a bad cough - his diagnosis was croup, which I figured it would be - he had it once before. I remembered him not caring for the medicine much, but apparently I blocked out just how bad it was. We went to the store from the doctors office and I gave him his croup medicine in the car - worst idea ever. It immediately made him vomit. (In case you were wondering, curdled milk is the worst thing to clean up). So, we had to go home and retake the medicine in the bathtub (which made him vomit again) before we cleaned up the car and headed back to the store. That night I had to give him his medicine in the tub again, and it made him vomit again, but the medicine smelled awful so I assumed it just tasted really bad. I found out I could mix it with applesauce or juice. I put 1/8 of his dose in applesauce and he threw it up - obviously this is not a taste issue and he is allergic or has a reaction to it. So, I called the Saturday clinic and was unsure if they returned phone calls on Saturday, so just loaded him up and headed back to the doctors office to get a different prescription. While checking Noah in my phone rang, it was the doctors office. They said they would just give him a one time dose of the medicine so he wouldn't have to take the other stuff anymore. The Saturday clinic is a first come first serve basis, so I was not excited to see 20 kids ahead of us. Luckily, they called Noah back within 10 minutes - they said they didn't want him to catch anything else in the waiting room! Me and the nurse had to hold Noah down and squirt the medicine in his mouth - he was so scared it was going to be the medicine that made him sick again. Then they had us wait 15 minutes to make sue he kept it down and sent us on our way!

On the way home Noah looked very sleepy, and when we got home he had a 101 temperature. I gave him some fever reducer and in 15 minutes he was running around playing like it was no big deal! It was very strange. We had a birthday party to go to that afternoon and Noah seemed to be doing a lot better and the doctor said he was not contagious so we went to the party and then I took Noah on a special date to see Frozen. During the movie his cough started getting bad again - and croup gets worse at night. That night he coughed until he puked in bed again. The next day he coughed less, but still didn't sound good. Monday he coughed a little less but still coughs a lot in his sleep - until he gags. I hate that helpless feeling when he cannot stop coughing and all I can do his clean the puke up and put him back in bed. He seems to slowly be getting better each day - it is just taking a long time this time.

Ryan seems to be doing a lot better healthwise  - just a few days of antibiotics left and hopefully no more ear infections for a while (or forever, that would be nice too). Ryan only got one therapy session in last week because of the icy weather. Her genetic test was also scheduled last week and had to be rescheduled due to the weather. This appointment time is better for a lot of reasons (time of day and time of the week) but I really wanted to go as soon as possible. But, it has been rescheduled in a few weeks so we will know if there our Ryan has any special DNA or not soon enough :)

For those of you praying for Ryan and her developmental delays - keep them coming, they are working for sure! Ryan surprised us the other day and just sat right up without pulling up on anything! I made her do it a few more times just to make sure it wasn't a fluke. I then got the camera out and she refused to do it for the camera - I do have 10 videos of her laying on the ground crying now though. Then, Ryan was standing by the couch and "cruised" all the way down the couch and loveseat! These are huge advancements and two things on her therapy list we can check off once she does them with regularity! Please keep the prayers coming - especially for Ryan to let the therapists touch her. She hates any strangers touching her (she has a very short list of those allowed to touch her) and it makes the therapists job very hard and makes her and me (or the sitter, depending on where her therapy is that day) to see her so upset. She was doing a lot better with it and has her two favorite therapists, but after the break of therapy has went back to hating it again. We will get there but we won't ever turn down prayers!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What a first week in 2014...

2014 has had a rocky start in our household health wise :( I was at the doctor with Noah on New Years Eve with matted up bloodshot eyes and a cough. Then with Ryan on January 3rd for the same thing - Ryan however, in typical Ryan style got worse rather quickly. She developed a very bad cough, worse than any cough I have even ever had. I spoke to the pediatrician on call service and they told me not to go to the ER unless she was having trouble breathing. So, we toughed it out until Monday. She was coughing until she threw up, very congested, decreased appetite, and fever - she was very sick! Once again, she has an ear infection :( This is her 4th one in the last few months and the doctor mentioned tubes, so that may be where we are headed. Noah has only had 2 ear infections ever - Ryan has had 6! I know they are different kids, but they really remind me just how different daily.

Poor sick baby at the doctor again :(
On a good note, we had a birthday party for my mom, brother, grandma, and grandpa here at my house on January 1st. We had it out in the shop connected to the house - which turned out to be the perfect space for that. The kids had room to run and play and we all had room to visit and eat. The kids also had the toy room (aka: my living room) to play in. I made chili and vegetable squares (my brothers favorite) and my mom made black eyed peas (for good luck) and my sister in law Emily brought carrot cake for the birthday cake! We had 4 eager kids ready to blow out the candles :)

We also got to check out our towns new indoor pool for a birthday party this last weekend. It is a very nice place! Noah loved it, but was done after about 30 minutes. He cannot touch so he gets bored with it easily. I could not get in with him because Ryan was too sick to swim so I had to hold her (because apparently I am the only one she wants while she is sick - which I secretly love, even if it kills by back and neck).

I hope this week is not an example of how our year is going to go health wise. But, I do hope it is an example of how good Ryan is going to do with her learning to walk! I was sitting with her on my lap and told Nathan to watch because she will stand up and sit back down real quick - well, she stood up - and stayed up for 5 seconds! This is huge! We recorded it a few times, but none were as good as that first time :) She let her favorite therapist hold her in her lap and play with her last week and played with a new therapist with little crying. I had the new therapist show me how to do some therapy at home so I can work on her too, since she isn't crazy about being touched by strangers. She even showed me things to do while just carrying her around - which I do a lot (especially when she is sick).  I always think of the lyrics "I may be weak, but your spirits strong in me. My flesh may fail, my God you never will" when I think of Ryan's journey she is going on. Her flesh failed - but God did not. I love watching Him work with her. Every time I pick Noah up after Ryan's "walking appointment" (as we call it to help him understand) he asks me " can Baby Ryan walk yet?" It won't be long and I will be saying "YES!":)