Sunday, September 28, 2014

Twenty-One Months Old

Today Sprout is twenty-one months old!

It's hard to believe our little girl is going to be two the next time the seasons change.  I'm am amazed at how quickly she is growing up.

Along with growing up, it feels like her personality is becoming more defined.  Overall she is a funny, joy-filled, and go-with-the-flow little girl.  She has the best smile.  That said, she also definitely knows her own mind and do what she wants to do quite independently.  She will let you know if she's not happy about something.

Her vocabulary continues to explode.  There is no way to list all the words she is saying, but two word phrases are becoming commonplace.  Lots of descriptions -"big dog", "high plane", etc.  She calls her brother by his nickname now and will always ask for him when she wakes up.  She narrates her day "milk" (so that I will nurse her when she wakes up), "down" (off the bed), "knock" (so we will open the door), "brush" (her teeth), etc.

She has (adorably) started singing.  I am so excited for her music classes that start next week, I think she will LOVE them.  Her current favourite songs are The Wheels on the Bus (the babies on the bus go "milk, milk, milk") and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? (she will finish each sentence) and Let It Go ("ice!" "dance!")

Speaking of dancing.  Oh my goodness.  This girl loves to dance.  It is so fun to watch.  She is pretty agile for a toddler.  Don't get me wrong, there is no grace, but her moves definitely have some skill --spinning on one foot, somersaults, etc.  In fact, I'd have to say she is pretty agile overall.  She runs and jumps and climbs and slides and hangs off monkey bars and all sorts of things.  She is, however, the absolutely s l o w e s t stair climber in the universe.  We live in a three-story walk up.  It is painful.  (More often than not I end up carrying her up the stairs because I just can't wait 45+ minutes for her to make her way up on her own.)  And though she is agile, she really does not enjoy play that is too rough (she freaks out when turned upside down, for example) and is quite cautious in her play (going down the slide on her tummy, for example).  This week she starts swimming lessons.  I hope she enjoys them, but anticipate going under the water to be where she protests.

She is a sweet, sweet child.  She loves her babies and stuffed animals.  She also loves cuddles and doting on others.  She'll brush your hair, wash her brother's back in the bathtub, etc.  Her hugs are full -contact and just the best.

I know I've said this before, but given the chance she would listen to you read books all day.  She still loves Each Peach Pear Plum and also has been enjoying Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin (which I think we forgot at Grandma and Grandpa's house --poor Sprout!).

I've been trying to do some art with the kids, and Sprout really seems to be enjoying it.  She covers papers in big crayon circles.  She also likes playdoh and painting.

Food is about the same.  She did eat some strawberries last week, which was a first (she never liked them before) and also has started eating vanilla yogurt.  Not sure why the change, but I'll take it!  She's been pushing her food away and saying "done" before she's really done lately, but I think she's cutting a tooth, so that could explain it.

Sleep is also about the same.  We did have one or two 6am wake-ups this month.  It was heavenly.

She's moving into 24m/2T clothing and size 6 (6!) shoes.  Though I know this is pretty average, she seems big to me, given her brother's stature.

I think that pretty much sums it up for the month.  The next month is going to bring some big changes for our family (more on that to follow) so I hope she is able to maintain her go-with-the-flow happy disposition.  She is such a sweetheart.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

No Answers

Or perhaps I should say no definitive answers.

We had a follow up with The Bean's pediatrician today to go over the results of his (second set of) blood work and ultrasound.

The ultrasound didn't show much.   A small blockage, likely because he had to poop, and some swollen lymph nodes in the lower right quadrant of his intestine.  These could be causing some of the pain he's been experiencing.  Unfortunately my question about how we could treat any potential pain resulting from this was met with a big shrug from the doctor.  Dr. Google tells me that warm compresses may help ease discomfort.  Jen started giving him warm compresses for his tummy a few weeks ago.  Score one for mom-tuition.

The blood work was not entirely conclusive.

I didn't get into the details last time, but one of the results that had shown up was anemia without iron deficiency.  Everything looked normal with his red blood cells this time, so we are taking that off the list of potential concerns.

Next there was some indication of eosinophilic enteritis.  Unfortunately something happened with the blood work (I have no idea what) and they didn't have these results yet.  The pediatrician was supposed to call this afternoon after the results came in, but no call.  Which makes me assume no results yet.  Basically they want to check whether the number of eosinophis is still elevated.

The final note worth point on the last set of blood work had to do The Bean's IgA levels.  The results had shown an IgA deficiency.  (They look for IgA antibodies when testing for crohn's/colitis.)  The second set of blood work showed the same thing: IgA deficiency.  There are a few things to note here:
-We will have to do a scope to see if the issues he's having are from crohn's/colitis.
-The doctors (The Bean's pediatrician and the allergist/immunologist he has on staff) want us to do more blood work to test for other Ig deficiencies.
-IgA deficiency is hereditary.  Jen's dad also has IgA deficiency which they discovered when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer last year.  We don't know if Jen does too, but we may request her levels be tested.

We currently have an appointment with a GI specialist schedule for the end of January, which is a horribly long time.  However, since the results are so bizarre, and our pediatrician has no idea what's going on he is going to push to get this bumped up significantly.  We plan on holding off on any further testing until after we see her so as to minimize blood-draw related trauma to The Bean.  He flipped out last time I took him in and we know she will order more  --better to get it over with all in one go.

So, for now, we wait.  Warm compresses on the tummy.  Immediate antibiotic treatment for any infections he may get between now and then.  Washed blood, should he (god forbid) need a blood transfusion.

Hopefully we get some answers soon.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Project 52: The Past Month

A portrait of my children, every week for a year.


The Bean: Our budding photographer.
Sprout: Little monkey girl.


The Bean: Loves spinning on the swings.
Sprout: Her thinking face.


The Bean: Was on his best behaviour to earn a ride on the merry-go-round at the zoo.
Sprout:  Not so sure about the merry-go-round at the zoo.


The Bean: The world is his playground.
Sprout: Sick little bug.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Good Things

I feel like I am long overdue on a real update here.  The end of the summer has been a bit crazy.  All the usual summer activity, but also trying to get to the bottom of The Bean's health issues, some welcome but exhausting days of work, etc. etc.  It's a bit hard to even know where to begin.  So, in lieu of a real post, here's a little list of some good things:

1) All The Bean's labs are done!  We should have results early this coming week and hopefully be able to address whatever it is that has been going on.
Not so good: He freaked out when going in for the second set of blood work.  I think he was very worried about the pain.  Fortunately the hospital staff though to distract him with an iPad.  Genius.  He calmed down and they were able to draw the blood without any additional distress.  He was a bit concerned about the ultrasound the following week too, but was fine once it was happening.

2) I got work!  Which means I made some money!  In some ways it was nice to have a "break" from the everyday routine, but the job was exhausting.  (Childcare on a reality television shoot.)  I ended up having to cancel my last day on set because Sprout had a high fever and it wouldn't have been fair to anyone to have someone else watch her.  She basically nursed and whined and slept the whole day.  Poor bug.  She still isn't 100%, though she is getting there.

3) The potential for more work!  One of the schools I subbed at last year has added me to their list again and already booked me for two days later this month.  Another school, the school I interviewed at when I was newly pregnant with Sprout, also is adding me to their sub list.  I am SO happy that I am going to have the opportunity to work there.  It seems like an amazing school.  Not to get ahead of myself, but I there is the smallest sliver of hope that this could some day translate into a full-time position at there, though at this point I'd take a full time position just about anywhere.

4) I have the best wife ever.  She watched the kids solo for two very long days while I worked and then took the day off work to watch them for a third day when our babysitter wasn't available.  It certainly wasn't convenient for her, but she was so understanding about it.  Also, she cooks and cleans and gives really good massages and reads the kids books using funny voices.  

5) It's almost fall.  To quote Lola, who one of The Bean's current favourite storybook characters, fall is "my favourite and my best."  Crisp air.  Colourful leaves.  Mug after mug of warm tea.  Yes: favourite and best.

6)  I've been crocheting a little bit.  and reading a little bit.  I still need to get away from browsing the internet during my downtime.  It's really is such a waste of time.  But yay for crochet and books.

7)  Ani DiFranco has a new album coming out.  'Nuf said.

8) Friends getting married.  Friends having babies.  Friends who are happy and enjoying life.  It makes me happy too.

9) Baking!  Yum.  Found a new recipe, which I seem to enjoy more than anyone else, so likely won't be making it again any time soon.  But also there are some over ripe bananas and a can of pumpkin puree just waiting to be made into breads.

10) A trip out to see family soon.  A friend coming to visit soon.  Looking forward to spending time with people we love who live too far away.

And on that note, I need to go get ready for #8, part 1.  (A night out!  Can you believe it?!)