Monday, June 29, 2009

Ladies First!

The Monkey just told me that the next time we go out to the car I should go first. I asked him why, he said it's because ladies should always go first.


He said he saw it on Lady and the Tramp.

See, some television is a good thing.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Second opinion on the Chipmunk!

Last weekend was tough!  Friday was the first day the Chipmunk had just milk in his bottles - according to his sheet from daycare, he did just fine.  Before Friday we were slowly reducing the amount of formula and increasing the amount of milk in his bottles - he was doing fine with this, so it made sense to do away with the formula altogether.  Unfortunately, he refused to take more than 2 ounces on Saturday, and 4 ounces on Sunday.  Also, on Saturday, he refused to feed his Gerber addiction.  Thankfully he came to his senses on Sunday and ate solids, even though we still couldn't get him to drink anything.  By the end of the weekend the Chipmunk was a basket case (as were we).
So, on Monday I called the Pediatrician and told them that I thought his reflux was acting up.  They asked me why I thought that and told them what he had consumed in the last 48 hours and how he was acting whenever I tried to get him to drink anything (in pain, wanting to drink but as soon as the bottle was in his mouth pulling away and screaming). 
Needless to say, I got the green light to bring him in right away.  By doing this, I accidentally got a second opinion on his eating problems.
It turns out the appointment I brought him to on Monday was with the Physician's Assistant.  Not only was she concerned with the amount that he had ingested over the weekend, but she was very concerned about his weight overall.  Apparently, the bare minimum they like to see at 12 months is that the baby has tripled his birth weight.  The Chipmunk was born at 6 pounds 13 ounces - triple that would be 20 pounds 7 ounces.  The Chipmunk was only 19 pounds at 12 months and 5 days.  Obviously, he's not even close to what their bare minimum for weight gain is.
Another thing that had her concerned was the fact that he had obliterated their other bare minimum for weight gain at his 6 month check-up.  At 6 months, they like to see a doubling of the baby's birth weight.  Double his birth weight is 13 pounds 10 ounces - he was over 16 pounds at 6 months.  According to the PA for him to slow down this much just as solid foods are being introduced is a huge red flag that something is wrong.  Why didn't his regular doctor pick up on this?!  Who knows. 
The upside of all this though is the Chipmunk has some sort of swallow study scheduled for Tuesday.  According to the person who scheduled it the Chipmunk has to drink a bottle of Barium for the radiologist to be able to watch as it goes through his digestive system on an x-ray.  I don't see this being very successful since I can't get him to drink a bottle of milk - how the hell am I supposed to get him to drink something he's never had before?  However, if we are successful with getting him to take the Barium and end up finding out that something is wrong we're going to be in the market for a new doctor. 
Any suggestions on how we go about doing that?  Clearly our current technique of choosing someone (walking into the closest one to our house and finding out if they are accepting new patients) hasn't worked.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why do I have to be right all the time?

Boo - I was right
The Chipmunk hasn't even reached 19.5 pounds.  In fact, he's only 19 pounds.
This puts him in the 5th percentile for weight - he was in the 45th at his 9 month check-up.  Why such a huge drop?
I'm sure this is because he can't keep most solid foods down.  If he would just quit puking, I'm sure he would put on some weight.  At the rate he's going, he will still be facing backwards in his car seat when he's 18 months old.
The doctor doesn't seem concerned.  His exact words - "he's a got a skinny brother, why should he be any different". 
Yes, his brother is skinny.  But, at least the Monkey has managed to stay on the same growth chart each time they weigh him.  The doctor didn't even appear as if he wanted to talk about it.  As soon as I brought up his eating issues and the fact that he doesn't drink as much milk as he needs to the doctor started to leave.  As I continued to talk about it, he was in the doorway of the exam room with the door open and getting ready to walk away.  That made me so angry!
I just don't know whether or not I should be worried.  Hubby says that since the doctor isn't worried, then neither is he - after all, the doctor has been doing this for a long time, we should trust his judgment. 
But what if he's wrong?  What if something is actually wrong with the Chipmunk?  I realize he hasn't lost any weight, but half a pound gain in three months?  Surely that should be sounding some alarms - at least they are for me.  I just don't know what to do about it, if anything.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

You want what now?

The daycare we send the kids to is a home-based daycare, certified by the state, run by a woman named MJ.  She has three boys of her own.  In addition to our two boys, she has three other boys attending daycare.  So I guess you could say she knows boys.  Obviously, she's had her own boys since infanthood, but she has also had two of the other boys since they were itty bitty (not including the Chipmunk).  So I guess you could say she also knows how baby's work - although she is a little perplexed by the Chipmunk's problems with eating (as are we). 
Even though his eating problems are annoying, we've all been dealing with them.  We tell her if we've tried anything new and whether he was able to keep it down (normally we don't have good news for her), and she tells us if she's tried anything new and whether he was able to keep it down.  She's normally more successful than we are with the introduction of new foods.  So far, she has been able to get him to successfully eat Cheerios and any type of cracker (saltine, club, cheez it, get the idea).  She has tried cheese, pancakes, mac-n-cheese, and a grilled cheese sandwich (in itty bitty pieces).  All of these were immediately puked back up.  So, as much as I would love for him to give up his Gerber addiction, it's currently really the only way for him to get his nutrients.
Because of her state certification she is subject to home visits from the people running the program (I'm assuming this is to make sure she isn't beating the kids or something like that).  During the last few months the person visiting has been able to witness the problems the Chipmunk has with most table foods.
Also because of her state certification she gets to participate in the USDA food program.  This means that she is able to get her weekly food bill subsidized for the meals that the daycare kids eat while they are under her care.  This program has been especially useful for us since it meant that we didn't have to provide formula for the time that the Chipmunk was there - this practically cut our formula budget in half!  On the other hand, we still have to provide the baby food he eats while he is there.  However, now that the chipmunk is one he appears to be under different guidelines for what he is supposed to be eating. 
When we picked the kids up yesterday we had note waiting for us stating that we needed to provide a doctor's note to MJ to be able to continue feeding the Chipmunk his Gerber goodness. 
Say what now?!
I need a doctors note to provide the food that I want my child to eat?
Apparently, according to the USDA program guidelines, he's supposed to be getting all of his nourishment from regular table food and milk.  And anything that differs from these guidelines needs to be approved by a doctor in order for MJ to remain in the program.
The last time I brought up the subject of the Chipmunk's super sensitive gag reflex with the doctor was at his 9 month well-baby check-up.  The doctor's response "oh, my son did the same thing - he'll grow out of it eventually".  Yeah, thanks - I didn't really think he'd still be eating Gerber's in College. 

I get the feeling I'll get laughed out of the doctors office when I bring up my request for signed permission to continue feeding my child baby food.  Based on previous experience with the guy, once he finds out that the Chipmunk is able to tolerate Cheerios and crackers he'll refuse to sign such a request.  After all, if he can tolerate those other things he should be able to tolerate everything else.
I feel like I should lie to the doctor and tell him that the Chipmunk's not able to keep anything down.  On the other hand, I feel like I should tell the doctor the truth.  Unfortunately, I feel like telling the truth would result in not getting permission for the food that he needs while he is at daycare.  My logical side tells me to tell the guy the truth, because who knows what that might tell him medically.  But I really don't want the Chipmunk to become malnourished - or worse (is it really worse?), end up in the hospital because he can't keep anything down.  I especially don't want him to start hating food because he starts throwing up every time we sit him down to eat.  I honestly have no idea what to do.  We didn't have this problem when the Monkey was a baby - at this age he ate anything that was put in front of him (unlike now, when he exists solely on water and air). 
Maybe we should hope that the water and air diet works for the Chipmunk too - that just seems like the logical next step to me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Guess the baby-weight

Our main car is a Dodge Neon.  It's supposed to seat five.  I say the only way it's going to seat five is if it's two adults and three very small, not in any type of car/booster seat, children.  So really, it seats four with room for jackets.
Hubby and I commute together practically everyday.  This means that all four members of our family squeeze into the (very small) family car at least twice a day (it's especially funny when we have to go to Costco or Lowe's). 
The Chipmunk is still facing backwards in his car seat, even though he turned 1 yesterday and could theoretically be turned around.  To accommodate the rear-facing car seat the front passenger has to ride sitting straight up with his/her knees up against the dashboard - this is safe, right?  We're waiting until his one year check-up on Friday to determine if he has reached 20 pounds yet.  At his nine month check-up he was only 18.5 pounds, so there's a good chance that he hasn't made it (especially with all the puking and teething he's been doing lately).  As much as I would love to turn the seat around, I do want to make sure the Chipmunk has reached the appropriate weight to do so. 
I'm guessing he's not 19.5 pounds yet, let alone 20.  How much do you think he weighs?


My camera is dead. 
It's been dying for a few months now, but there was always some way to bring it back to life.  Right now it's on life support when it really shouldn't be.  It can't take pictures at all, though it can show you what's on the memory card.  That's not what I want, or need from it.  It lasted for just over 5 years.  I think it's lived a good life.
I was so disappointed yesterday when I wasn't going to be able to take a picture of the Chipmunk trying to figure out what that hot glowing thing in front of him was (it was the candle on top of the cupcake he puked up).  We gave the Monkey a really cheap digital camera for Christmas but we hadn't seen what it can produce until right before we sang Happy Birthday to the Chipmunk.  It's crap.  All of the pictures look like they were taken by someone in a car that was going 60 mph.  We ended up using a disposable camera the Monkey had been given from my in-laws, but who knows if the pictures will actually come out (or if we'll even bring it to be developed). 
So, I'm looking for a new camera.  I want a DSLR, but I really can't afford one.  Of the cheaper varieties I have seen, none of them come with a lens - I think they're kind of important, right?  Can I use the camera without a lens?  Also, if I could afford a cheap to mid-range one, which one would be the best?  Also also, can DSLR's shoot video?  Or, will I have to get a different device for that?
I hate that the camera chose now to completely crap out.  I don't want to go back to my 35mm.  I like the instant gratification of knowing whether or not what I took is the shot I wanted.   I don't want to be a professional photographer or anything, but something decent would be great.  I'm desperate right now and I don't think that's the best attitude to go shopping with since I'll probably end up getting whatever looks nice but might not do what I want.
So - help me choose a camera.  If it means that I'll have to wait until our tax return next year, then so be it...I guess.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Chipmunk!

One year ago, at this very moment, you were ripped out of the womb you had made your home. You were so in love with this place that you decided that an extra 6 (six!) days inside was appropriate. You probably would have liked longer but some doctor got it in her head that you were in distress and had to come out RIGHT NOW. She was probably right, you know. After all, she did have a lot of schooling to determine what was best for you (and only you).

I can't complain about your extended stay in my body too much, at least in there I knew you were well taken care of. Also, you managed to let the Monkey keep his birthday all to himself. Once you were out though, you were all on your own - and you weren't great at it to begin with either.

At first, you needed CPAP to help you breath, but were shortly able to adjust to a nasal cannula. I don't think you liked it very much. You managed to pull it out of your nose every chance you got. Unfortunately, you had to have it attached to your face at all times until you were 11 weeks old. That's a long time for you - almost a quarter of your life so far. The doctor kept telling us that if we were living at sea level you wouldn't need it. He told us this so many times that I finally asked him if he would like us to move, and I was serious. He didn't say anything after that. Thankfully, you were taken off of the supplemental oxygen and haven't looked back.

I've been worried about the damage the lack of oxygen has done - if any. It's probably still too early to tell, but I don't think you are going to have any problems (hopefully I didn't just jinx you). You have managed to do everything before your brother did. You were rolling over before you were three months old - the Monkey was six months. In fact, you started rolling just a few days after the supplemental oxygen was removed - I'm so glad you waited, I can't imagine the trouble you would have gotten into if you had gotten tangled in the oxygen tubing! You were crawling at seven months - the Monkey was almost eight months. I can't remember when you started sitting, but I'm pretty sure that was before your brother too. You haven't started walking yet so I think the Monkey will have you beat here. You're trying to walk, and are taking a few steps, but if you want to beat your brother you're going to have to take 23 steps all on your own within the next three days - I just don't see this happening. Go ahead, prove me wrong! Although you're excelling in physical areas, you are not yet able to show us whether the oxygen deprivation has affected your cognitive ability. I guess only time will tell here.

You are a very serious baby. It takes a lot to make you laugh. But when you do, it's the best sound I have ever heard.

You are still having trouble eating food that isn't pureed into an itty bitty pulp. Hopefully you will outgrow this soon. I felt so bad when we tried feeding you a cupcake tonight and you puked up the entire contents of your stomach! You were doing ok at first, but the 4th bite sent you over the edge. You love food so much, it doesn't seem fair to withhold the good stuff from you. We thought that you'd be able to handle the cupcake in very small pieces because you are now able to eat Cheerios and some crackers. At least, as long as you've had nothing else in the last hour you're able to eat these things without throwing up. I hope you get over this soon, you look so desperate to eat what's on our plates.

You're also doing better about letting Daddy give you a bottle - I am very grateful for this. In fact last night you only wanted a sip when I tried giving you your bottle. Because of this I decided to let Daddy put you to bed. When Daddy tried, you drank the whole damn thing! Can you keep this up please? Daddy was beginning to think you didn't like him as much as me - we don't want him thinking that do we?

You are my last baby. How I wish this weren't so. Unfortunately, I don't think my body could handle another pregnancy - and I want to be around for you and your brother for a long time. I wish you weren't growing up so fast, but then again I can't wait until you get to the stage that your brother is at right now. You are both going to be amazing people and I can't wait to see who you are going to be.

Happy Birthday! I love you to bits and pieces!