Thursday, June 24, 2010

Uro King Gets Fed

I forgot to even mention that today was a big Urology appointment day. Guess that shows how much this stuff is on my mind, eh?  Well, Kingsley did fabulous. He had a renal (kidney) ultrasound followed by an appointment with his urologist.

The ultrasound was uneventful. He didn't fuss too much, but I had one of those weird moments that happen every so often.  While the u/s was happening, I gave him my finger to suck on for a little while to keep him happy. The u/s tech said: "Oh-oh! Looks like someone's ready for his bottle!"  No big deal. I have been exclusively breastfeeding Kingsley since he came home from the hospital, but I get that not everyone does. After the ultrasound was done, the tech left the room to check the images and I fed Kingsley. She returned and did a bit of a double take. She said the images were fine and then: "You can keep breastfeeding him for a few more minutes, then I'll give you directions to the urologist."  It was really weird. I nursed the girls too, so I get that some people think it's odd or whatever after a certain age, but for Pete's sake, he hasn't even started solid food yet! She acted like she had caught me doing something I shouldn't be doing. Okeedokey.

Anyway, after waiting for another hour and a half we got in with the Uro. He was brief and to the point: King's bladder and kidneys look great, everything is relaxing, continue with what we're doing. I asked him about our cath'ing schedule. We're supposed to do it 4 times a day. Kingsley goes to bed at about 7pm and doesn't wake up until after 7am.  I've been cath'ing him at about 8am when we wake up, early afternoon, before he goes to bed and when I go to bed around 11:30.  The late night one is irritating because I barely get anything and it means I never get to just go to bed when I decide I'm tired. He said I could drop the middle of the night one, but add another cath throughout the day. Hm. That's no fun either! It's working perfectly with our day since we're home for Cordelia's nap anyway and that means she's out of the way when I do it. The way I figure now, I'd have to do it before lunch and just before Cordelia wakes up from her nap.  That means we have to be home for lunch.  Herein lies my dilemma. Do I want to sleep or do I want to get out of my house? Decisions, decisions.


He's upped his medication and we're going to try a new antibiotic.  If all goes well at the urodynamic study in the fall and he goes UTI-free, we an drop the antibiotic and see how he does without it. That makes me happy.

Oddly enough, when the urologist walked in the examination room I was breastfeeding Kingsley again. He didn't flinch.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gratuitous

I got new photo software and I've been playing with it for 2 days now. I luuuuurve it!
Kingsley and Rachel's little feet. I love chubby feet.
Action shot - Kingsley was wiggling his foot.

How about those rolls, eh?
Another action shot - rolling over.
For reasons that only make sense to kids, Rachel and Cordelia LOVE climbing in my bed and getting under the covers every morning. They have no interest in sleeping, just pretending. If they can get King under the sheets, it's just gravy.
Well, he is a pretty cute thing to find in your bed.
His eyes slay me.
Me and my little frog.
Deep thinker.

So, there. That's about as artsy fartsy as I can get. Thank God for software because I could never figure out how to do this stuff on my own!


 
Apparently there was an earthquake here today, right on the border of Ontario and Quebec but felt all the way down to Michigan and New York. I feel a little cheated because we didn't feel a thing! People just in the next neighbourhood over felt rumblings and had pictures tilt on their walls. Crazy!


 
And in TWO MORE SLEEPS I finally get to introduce Kingsley to his Aunt Kristi. My sister lives waaaay over in BC with her husband and my two gorgeous nieces, Kamille and Karis. They come home twice a year and were last here at Christmas, before Kingsley was born. We've gone there twice, once on each of my last two maternity leaves, but likely won't be able to visit them again for awhile, until I am more comfortable travelling that far with Kingsley. I'm so excited to see them!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Becoming Five

My sister bought me a book for my birthday this year called: Love, Mommy: Writing Love Letters to Your Baby.  Such a cute book and a great idea. The author basically walks you through writing letters to your children about their early years to read in their later years. It inspired me to write letters to my girls, but I figure this is enough of a tale for Kingsley to read one day. ;)

One of the topics that she mentions writing about is the moment you knew that you were a mother.  I remember the moment with each of my girls. The moment I knew that they were mine and I was theirs and there was no going back. With Rachel, it was the trip from the delivery room to my hospital room. It's interesting, because I've heard other mothers talk about this trip as well. Sort of like the opposite of the Walk of Shame, it's like the ultimate Walk of Pride. Although I doubt many women actually walk... anyway. I recall holding my new baby as they wheeled my bed through the hall and I could've burst I was so overwhelmed and ready to just leap up and show her off to the world. She was MINE! I had made this perfect little being. I was a MOMMY.  It was about 3:30 on a Sunday morning, but there were still enough people in the hallways and they all smiled at us as we passed. There goes a new mom. That was me. I can go back to that moment like it was 5 minutes ago.

With Cordelia, it was later. I had her at 12:50pm on the Tuesday after the May long weekend.  I stayed the night and was all set to go home the next day but the doctor wanted Cordie to stay an extra night because she was making odd noises when she breathed. I reluctantly agreed and settled back into my hospital bed. Wednesday night was the American Idol finale: David vs David. I had all the nurses coming and going wanting to check out how the show was going. Cordelia was doing the typical dreaded second night cluster feed. She nursed the whole night. Literally, the whole night. I thought I was going to be sucked dry by morning.  But at some point during that long long night, she became mine. I tossed out all resistance and just lay in bed with her and let her do whatever she needed to feel okay. She needed me, just me and absolutely nothing else.

Now, Kingsley was a completely different birth, as you know. It was days before I got to really hold him and snuggle his little body. The surgery, tubes, monitors, big scary back incision... I don't know if I remember the moment he became mine so much as I remember the moment he became OURS. So it's appropriate that I recall this today, on Father's Day because it was Jeff who did it for me.  The day after he was born, Kingsley was moved from the PCCU up to the 7th Floor - a reduction from 1:1 care to 1:3 care.  Very exciting for us.  He lucked out and had his own room tucked away in the corner.  I was down on the 4th floor but Jeff and I would make the trip up and hang out between  meals (and doses of drugs for me). 


The morning after his big move, Jeff and I walked up. I was trailing behind because walking was still hard to do at that point. Jeff walked into the room, opened the door on the isolet, bent down and said: "Hey, Kinger."  That's it. Those two words changed my whole world. We are a family of nicknames and short forms, to the point where Jeff used to complain that Rachel and Cordelia would never learn to respond to their actual names because I never used them.  That was the first time anyone had ever called Kingsley something other than 'Kingsley'.  It hit me in that moment that King was no longer the baby inside me that only I 'knew'. He was ours and we were officially a family of five.

Our first family picture

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Little Things

You know those days when you can't stop thinking all of those big ugly thoughts that begin with things like: "What if...", "What will happen when..." "Will he ever..." "How will he..." "Why..." "It's not fair..." and before you know it you're so overwhelmed with these thoughts and everything stinks and you just want to crawl into bed with your sweet, beautiful child and shut the ugly diagnosis and labels away where they can't find you?  Those days suck.

They are also sneaky. Like, they'll just jump out at you. One minute you'll be at the park, watching kids run around, next thing you know the big ugly rain cloud in your head is reminding you that running is not likely in his future.  Before you know it, you're sobbing on the phone to your husband/mom/sister/girlfriend about incoherent things like shoes and sand and grass in your toes.

Well, no worries, I'm not having one of those days. Not today anyway. ;) 

I found this book: 14000 Things to be Happy About.  I take no credit for finding it on my own, I am a very easy sell. Another blogger said it was good and shortly after I found myself on Chapters.ca, credit card in hand, happily loading books into my shopping cart to qualify for my free shipping. In any case, I am in love with this book! It has opened my eyes to a whole glass-half-full world that I have never recognized before. I find myself pausing throughout my day and thinking: THAT is something to be happy about.

Those of you who have known me awhile know that I tend to see the glass half empty by nature.  And the glass is probably dirty, too. Although I am a behaviourist through and through, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has never been my forte. Replace a negative thought with a positive?  Right.  Focus on the here and now? I'll get on that.

For some reason though, this book is doing it for me! I am finding that in looking around at the little things in my day that are just amazing and taking a moment to acknowledge them is doing wonders for keeping my head right here, right now. Will Kingsley walk? I don't know. But striped rompers on little boys sure are a reason to be happy. Will Chiari rear it's ugly face?  Maybe. But in the mean time, a dancing two year old is a huge reason to be happy. Will King's shunt malfunction?  Probably. And there is something about holding hands with a child that means you just have to be happy. See what I mean? Happy happy happy.

And while I'm feeling the happy, I'll spread some to you. Here are some of my recent reasons to be happy:

Babies sleeping in plain white onesies
The smell of flowers in the air
Cloudless days
The smell of water coming out of a hose
The taste of water coming out of a hose
Blue shirts on blue eyed boys
Finding a bathing suit you like
Singing Happy Birthday
Counting down the sleeps until something good (6 sleeps until my sister meets Kingsley!!)
Homemade gifts
Baby fat
Dancing like a total dork when no one is watching
Weekly flyers
The lingering thoughts after finishing a really good book that stay with you for days
Salt water pools
Listening to your kids make each other laugh
Good hair days
Dos Equis commercials (I could watch these all day, they never get old!)
SYTYCD
People who watch sports games while wearing a jersey for their team
The September issue of girlie magazines
Red haired kids
The Glee soundtracks
The way babies arms go out the same way when they're sleeping on their backs
When your windshield wiper or turn signal is in time with the song on the radio
Chocolate mint tea
The way babies lips move in their sleep like they're still sucking
Finding out that someone you know knows someone else you know
When kids talk in their sleep
The way little kids say certain words wrong
To-Do lists that actually get done (it's a fantasy of mine)
Songs that take you back to That Time and That Moment

And this video, which is my red haired kid dancing to the Glee soundtrack. Yes, that is a booty shake. Love it.

It really is the little things that make life so amazing.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Assessments and Assurance

Wednesday, Kingsley had his first Home Visiting Program for Infants (HVPI) visit! YAY!! What that means is that a Parent-Infant therapist comes to our house every other week and keeps tabs on King, give us things to work on and do assessments to see how he's coming along.  Our PIT (haha, I just made that up. I wonder if they call themselves PIT's? Too long to write it all out) is an OT, but has training in all areas. She was great... and I'm not just saying that in case one of you PIT's is reading this ;)  Kingsley was in love with her, just smiling and goo'ing.  She brought along a second PIT to make sure all the introductory business was covered.

I found it quite odd yet again to be on this side of services. For one thing, I was quite paranoid about my house and went on a massive cleaning binge. I'm sure it wasn't even noticeable, but I noticed!  I am incredibly aware of how horribly stained our stupid off-white carpet is. Between Jeff and Rachel, and now Cordelia, the carpet looks like a herd of wild animals trooped through and knocked over 4 pots of coffee. Pretty close to the truth! Anyway, it made me think of my clients and how it must feel to have someone in your house every day. I wonder if you get to a point where you just stop caring and don't clean up for them. Actually, I know that happens and some things are now making more sense, haha! 

They started off asking about the services Kingsley already receives and the people he has appointments with. They warned about the intrusiveness of them coming in my home for an hour every two weeks. I had to chuckle. How about 25 hours, every single week? My poor clients.

Kingsley was napping at first, but when he woke up he was all smiles. I told them about my concerns regarding his trunk/neck weakness, his distaste for tummy time, and that he's doing fabulously otherwise. They played with him on the floor for awhile, testing out his tracking, reaching, and that sort of thing. He rolled over for them (Good boy!) and didn't put up a fuss at all. He was doing a bit of the looking-to-the-left thing that he does which I hadn't seen him do much of lately.

We discussed different ways of supporting him and getting him to work on supporting himself.  They gave me a few ideas on how to play with him.  Then, before they left they did a little assessment. It was just a parent questionnaire and it was for 4 month olds (next level was 6 months). He scored well in Social, Communication and Problem Solving. A bit low, but okay in Fine Motor. He scored low in Gross Motor, but that's not really surprising. It asked about whether he stood on flat feet when he was standing (can't stand, but if he did his feet wouldn't be flat anyway) and a couple other foot/leg related things that I've already forgotten but that he can't do and may not ever do.

All in all, a successful visit. They offered me a copy of Welcome to Holland before they left. I politely declined. Ha! No clogs for me this summer, tyvm.

After they left, King was beat. We had gone to another fab yoga class that morning and my poor boy was just stretched, strengthened, toned and massaged into a nice, long nap.  He woke up in time to wish Jeff a Happy Birthday though! :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hair

Most of you Mama's out there know that around 4-5 months post partum you lose your hair. My stylist explained that during pregnancy you grow a lot of extra hair for some reason and once your hormones all balance, you lose it. I'm losing it. I have handfuls coming out whenever I shower.  I don't think you can really tell if you see me since my hair is on the thicker side to begin with.  I don't mind losing it, but I hate when it grows back! It'll be just in time for the July/August humidity: a halo of new baby hair regrowth. Lovely.

Kinglsey is also losing hair.  I can't believe how much hair he had at birth compared to now.  He hasn't lost it all though. There's a strip of dark hair in the back still and a blonde layer on top. Blonde! My dark haired baby looks like he may end up being the fairest of the three. 

What a stud. I can't believe how old he looks now compared to then! Five months old today.  YAY!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kingsley's First Vaca

My parents graciously agreed to take the girls for a couple days while Jeff and I went to Niagara Falls with Kingsley.  We left packed up and left Sunday morning. The drive was uneventful. We had it well timed so King slept for the first hour or two. Just outside NF, he woke up and was quite pissed off to be stuck in his carseat still. Luckily, we found a restaurant as soon as we got into town and stopped for lunch.
So happy to be free!

After lunch, Kingsley and I dropped Jeff off at the casino. It seems that Kingsley is considered a minor in danger of corruption via rampant gambling and so was not allowed inside. Haha! Sometimes rules are weird. In any case, it allowed Jeff and I to part ways and adopt a Don't Ask Don't Tell policy regarding money as King and I headed for the Canada One Factory Outlet mall. I adore the early months of babyhood when babies are so portable! Kingsley was an absolute angel. He smiled and gooed at everyone between brief naps as I searched for deals.  This was also when I had my first experience doing King's business in a public place. They had a nice big family washroom with a change table thing so we got down to it. Other than the annoying man who kept trying to get the door open, it went smoothly. 

After shopping, we met up with Jeff, checked into our hotel and headed out for dinner. We had an amazing table overlooking the falls. Once again, Kingsley was a trooper. Who says you can't take a baby to a fancy restaurant? 
Our view of the Canadian side of the falls
Kingsley went to bed when we got home (and so did Jeff), but I had big plans for that evening. At 10pm, there were fireworks over the falls and I wanted to be there. So, we tied on my sleeping boy and headed out. Except I totally underestimated how long it would get there and we saw the fireworks from above the buildings en route. They ended just when we got there! Aw, lousy. Anyway, neither of us had ever seen the falls at night and it was quite beautiful. So quiet, despite the crowds of people. The sound of the water crashing was hypnotic.
American side of the Falls
Canadian side of the Falls
We stopped for a drink on a patio on the way home. He may not be able to gamble, but apparently it's okay to have a baby in a bar in Niagara Falls.

We started our day today with a swim in the hotel pool, then headed down to Clifton Hill to do the cheesey tourist things. We headed home mid-afternoon, back to the girls and normal life.  I am so excited for our next vacation now. After the cottage next month, I'm having ideas about 2-3 day getaways all over the area.  I had worries about not being able to travel much because of Kingsley, but we live in such an amazing part of Canada and there is so much to see and do right here!



(just rubbing in the fact that I am way better at winning stuff than Jeff is)

Vacationing with the Boy

Jeff and I got an amazing deal on a hotel stay in Niagara Falls, so I planned a whole birthday trip away for him. And since Kingsley is attached to me for the forseeable future, he tagged along. It was a fabulous trip! Only two days, but two very enjoyable days away from our usual life.

I wasn't sure how things would work out with Kingsley on our first vacation, but he was great! Cathing him in a public washroom was definitely a unique experience, but not nearly as awkward as I thought it would be. Didn't cramp our holiday one bit and has gotten me really excited to hit the road again!

Give me some time and I'll show you how cute he was at the Falls.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Wait is Over and the Wait is Neverending

Good news/bad news.

The good news is, we got in with the home visiting program! Our first visit for Kingsley will be next Wednesday. I'm so very excited about this!

The bad news is after they cancelled and rescheduled his appointment twice, the only SB Clinic appointment they can give us to meet the developmental paediatrician is on the day Jeff and I (and Kingsley) are out of town for Jeff's birthday.  We booked the hotel, babysitter, etc months ago and Jeff has taken a day off work (which he never does), so it's kind of a big deal.  As a result, the receptionist (in a rather snotty voice, I might add) informed me that we now won't see the dev paed until the fall.  This makes me grouchy.  He'll be 8 months old! They couldn't have squeezed him in once in the last two months after cancelling twice?  This whole Clinic thing is getting a bit disappointing.

But, two steps forward, one step back. Kingsley is doing fabulously well and is as cute as ever.
(not impressed with the wait)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Better

Alright, things are better now. Last week I had made the mistake of googling. Wiki sucks, can I say that?  I read the wiki blurb on Chiari and then some of the links it had.  If you've never done it, don't do it now.  It's not really accurate and the articles it links to are misleading. And scary. The word 'mortality' comes up a lot. Bad news.  I knew/know that what I was reading wasn't the full story, but the Mama part of my brain could not calm down enough to let the researcher in me come out and analyze what I was reading. Welcome to my world of panic.

But, there are some things that are guaranteed to cheer me up: shopping, a clean house, time with friends, and answers, and this weekend I got a little of everything. 

My mother in law took the girls for the day on Friday, so my house got cleaned. It's amazing how I could barely get the floors vacuumed when it was just Rachel, but give me a day with one kid now and I can get a billion and one things done. Not only did I get the house cleaned, but I also got to talk to one of my besties (thank you, JJ!) who always makes me think clearly and feel like a million bucks.  Then King and I squeezed in a workout thanks to all the suggestions I received for working out his torso (thank you!!).  He's such a superstar, have I said that? ;)

Friday was also an awesome mail day.  There's something about opening up the mailbox and finding stuff you ordered and forgot about or magazines or something free... and Friday I got all three! A box of free samples, the latest Glow, and the book Living with Spina Bifida. Perfect timing.  I tore it open and flipped to the pages on Chiari. Sigh of relief. Mortality shmortality.  Take that wiki.

I said shopping makes me happy, too, right? I went shopping at the LCBO. How's that for happy? ;)  So, my Friday ended with a huge jug of Sangria and a bonfire in the middle of a thunderstorm with my friends.

Crisis averted.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stop the Ride...

... I want to get off.

I'm tired of the roller coaster. I was so worried the past week about Kingsley not making milestones, then beyond ecstatic yesterday and today about how AMAZING he's doing! And now I've horribly crashed.

I googled. Why oh why did I feel the need to google, I have no idea. I can't even talk about what I googled because it was just bad news and I have no idea what I was actually reading or whether it's true... it just broke my heart for Kingsley though. I think I need another SB break.  Stop reading, stop thinking. Just be with Kingsley and leave it at that.

Blah. I hate stinkin' Spina Bifida.  I am now going to drown my sorrows in frozen no-name Cool Whip.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

ROCKSTAR

I can't even begin to tell you what a rockstar Kingsley is. Remember how I was worried about his development and so scared that he wouldn't hit milestones and ever conquer the tummy time...

Well, check this out!!

KINGSLEY ROLLED OVER!!!  I put him on his tummy in the hallway while I was getting the bath ready for the three of them, but was distracted by how darn cute Kinger was just lying there so I started taking pictures. He hiked himself up on his side, then more, then more, then next thing I knew he was on his back!

I flipped the switch to video, put him back on his tummy and he did it again!

And apparently photobucket hates me because it's not working! 

After their bath, I put him back out to get him out of the way and he kept rolling over! I think he was just showing off at that point. Huge puffy diaper, big chubby tummy, thunder thighs and a thing on his foot and this boy rolled anyway. I was so proud I could have exploded on the spot. Kingsley is amazing.

Incidentally, this is the exact same age both girls were when they first rolled over. Who would've thought I'd ever get this excited about my baby rolling over!
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