Friday, August 27, 2010

The Best

... dahlias, Legos, sun, rain, rest, fun, family, together...

I'll be back here in a little bit.

Photo credits to my sister-in-law LLR. Thank you!

Friday, August 13, 2010


To wrap up the whole medical saga I wanted to share about our second trip to Walter Reed this morning. William underwent a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a very quick and easy procedure to examine his hiney from the inside. I was thrilled to be allowed to stay in the exam room with him while the doctor did the scoping and was fascinated to see for myself what his little insides look like. This confirmed what has been the diagnosis all along, cow's-milk protein allergy. He took a couple of biopsies which will take some time to process, but otherwise we have no further cause for concern at this time.

Incidentally - absolutely all the staff we have encountered at WR from doctors on down have been the most knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, kind, compassionate bunch of people I have encountered anywhere in a long time - huge props to the pediatric department there.

The doctor took a lot of time to explain everything, answered all my accumulated questions from our last visit, and assured me that we can stay the course with breastfeeding and monitoring his blood levels. And even if the anemia worsens and we need to turn to formula he explained a lot of ways to approach the transition that would reduce the bottle trauma and even still include some breastfeeding.

(Have I mentioned that I think I would like to go into medicine in some form, if and when I return to the workforce?)

Anyway, this morning a huge relief from all the guessing, wondering, trial-and-error, partial information and other vagaries of the past 7 weeks. It was also a huge relief to have Don (and Amy) along on this trip.

And there's the relief that FINALLY Don has a weekend off after 12 straight days of busy, stressful work (which always leaves me with busy, stressful days home by myself with the kids). And best of all, just two more days of work after the weekend and then we will begin two and a half weeks of leave - wonderful.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. Wishing you a happy, calm, and peaceful weekend.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Girl

Thought it was only fair to give the girl some of her own airtime, and there is certainly no shortage of material when it comes to my amazing Amy.

One of her latest things is building "houses" with VHS tapes. She devotes a serious level of concentration to this task.

Also note the shoes in these pictures. This morning I pulled out all her shoes (that she hasn't worn in months) from the hall closet under the suspicion that none of them would fit - I was right. I did remember, however, this pair of purple shoes purchased ages ago on clearance when they were several sizes too big. They fit her now, and she was quite happy to put them on and off by herself and wore them around the house all afternoon. When I pointed out that maybe they would feel more comfortable on the correct feet she said "No Mommy, I like it just the way I am."

She is also very into the concept of "what to be when you grow up" and will usually answer that she wants to be a teacher or a nurse. And I love it when she asks me what I want to be when I grow up...

She often remarks to me that maybe I'll be able to [fit in her friend's tiny play tent, wear her shoes, etc] when I grow up. Yesterday over lunch I stopped myself before launching into an explanation of what growing up means, because I realized how very wise her understanding of it actually is. To her, she IS grown up, and can do all sorts of wonderful things like crawl in tiny places and wear fancy dress up clothes, and she just wants to encourage me that surely some day I'll be able do all those fun things, too.

Being grown up is certainly fun, but I don't think anything compares to the endless possibilities in the wondrous world of an almost-three-year-old.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Boy

The title of this photo shoot could be: "101 ways to take a blurry picture" - so many cute poses that are miserably out of focus. Drat!

I thought I'd take a minute to give a complete and thorough update for any who are interested about William's medical situation (if you're not interested, just tell me how cute the pictures are and then please feel free to move on). I wish I could.

Starting at about 5 weeks my boy started having some blood in his stool - nothing dramatic, but enough to go, "hey, that's probably not a good thing." A quick visit to the pediatrician (in CT, no less, since we were visiting my folks at the time) confirmed that this was nothing to be terribly concerned about, likely just a milk allergy. I was instructed to avoid dairy and make an appointment to see his regular pediatrician when we got home.

We did that, and saw her several more times, each time with the same update of "he is doing so well and is a picture of health... except for his diapers"... anyway, I think she ran out of good ideas and so referred us to the pediatric GI specialist in DC. Oh, and over the course of these 6+ weeks I have been honing my diet to avoid all possible allergens and not starve myself in the process. Not a whole lot changed in the poop department, though he has continued to thrive otherwise.

Today was our big trip to DC and the doctor was generally very reassuring that the diagnosis was correct given his symptoms, and was very much in favor of continued breastfeeding as long has his anemia did not worsen.

Oh, and I can stop making myself nuts with the diet - apparently milk and soy are really the only two proteins proven to be offenders in this instance, so as long as I stay clear of them I can re-expand my food choices. Yes.

But wait, there's more! The phone rings at 9:00 tonight and it is the doctor with lab results showing that the anemia is worse and he wants to see him again and do a quick scope and biopsy to make sure we know what we are dealing with. So, we get to drive back to DC again on Friday - yippee. In the meantime, iron drops and increased vigilance to make sure he is still eating well and not becoming lethargic. Vigilance is what I do best.

So, that's the rundown. More nitty-gritty than I generally want my blog posts to be, but as I have alluded to this whole situation several times I figured I might as well put it all out there so I don't have to keep explaining myself. Thanks as always for listening!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Days

... are pretty much consumed by these two kiddos. Every day I have high hopes that I'll get caught up with something else, but by the time 8pm rolls around and everyone is in bed my free time is too often spent with a little internet time, a little TV, a decision that surely I'll have more time/energy tomorrow.

But despite the annoyingly uncrossed-off to-do list I have squeezed in a few extras on most days. This week my project has been the kitchen: rearranging a few things to free up counter space and make better use of limited storage, and making room for more ingredients and less ready-made food. My evolving diet experiment has now become a rather pleasant challenge, and since allergies and diet-restrictions are very in right now it's easy to find substitute ingredients and recipes. Like these wheat-dairy-egg-free banana muffins.

And my happy, smiley boy actually seems to be a bit improved in the diaper department, so I am cautiously optimistic that we are finally making progress. He's still gaining weight like a champ, sleeping well, and getting stronger and more fun by the minute. We did manage to get an appointment to see the pediatric GI specialist next week, so I'm hoping that will provide confirmation that we are on the right course.

All this allergy business should start to clear up by the time he is six months or so, and I'm happy to stick it out until then. The time is flying, anyway!