Monday, January 31, 2011

New Class

We're still sick here, but it seems to finally be improving. I'm so tired of cold season and winter. We definitely have Spring Fever here and we have a couple months to go yet! I did get out today for a bit, but only for the drive-thru pharmacy and dropping off library movies, so I never had to get the kids out of the car which was nice. I've been having some sore stomach muscles, probably just the body getting ready for everything. It wasn't like a contraction though, I had tight muscles for like 10 minutes and it hurt so bad to cough. I haven't done anything strenuous either, I've been very inactive lately! I was bummed to miss out on our support group tonight, it's nice to be able to get out of the house for something fun a couple times a week.

I got a call from Dawson's teacher, the afternoon class is officially going to happen and the bus has no problem adding him to the afternoon route. His new class is 1 to 3:30pm, there's only 4 in the class, all boys so that will be nice for him. He'll get lots of individual attention. He starts the new class next Monday, but that's the day of his Neurologist appointment that's in the afternoon so I'll have to keep him out that day.

Hopefully the afternoon class will have more benefits than hassles. It's hard getting up that early when we have a later schedule in general, so this will be more relaxing and allow us all to get a full night of sleep. I'll have to get a new time for OT and stuff, but I'm thinking of asking his teacher if she feels he needs outside OT, especially with having such a small class, they'll be able to work more closely with him. He's not responding very well to the OT at home, he does better in a structured environment and just acts out at home. If he doesn't need it, I can just keep Tyler's OT time and he'll have uninterrupted time with his therapist without Dawson there. The only other thing is Tyler's IVIG appointments once a month, I used Dawson's time in school to go to the appointment and that gave Dan enough time to sleep so he didn't have to get up super early and watch him. So we'll have to figure out something for that, but I think they only plan to have him on it during cold season anyway, then only give it to him if his level gets low.

Tyler responded to a request today! I don't usually ask him for things, I usually ask Dawson since he knows how, so it's easy to forget to work on things with Tyler too and not just rely on the easy way. So I asked him to give me a ball tonight, just to see if he knew what it meant. The ball was behind him. He turned, looked around a bit and then excitedly grabbed the ball and brought it to me. I have asked him for his shoes a few times and he won't until he sees us putting on shoes and then he'll do it, so it was nice to see him act on just a verbal request. Dawson loves helping me every chance he gets. He'll watch for me to be done with something just so he can bring my bowl to the sink or throw something away. He'll also bring me the remote if I ask. I've tried telling him it's called a remote, but he still only responds if I call it "buttons".

I have no idea if I'll go skating tomorrow, this cold has been getting better quickly so I'm still waiting to see how I feel. I'm starting to wonder how many more weeks of skating I'll be able to do. It's mostly just very tiring, I don't get sore or anything so far. Only 9 weeks until my due date! It's still hard to grasp that we'll have another baby here soon, and 3 kids! Makes me a bit nervous, I only have 2 arms!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Emergency Room

This cold hasn't been fun at all. The boys just seemed to have a runny nose. Dawson's is gone, Tyler's is lingering as usual. My cold thankfully seemed to get pretty fairly quick, by day 3 I was feeling much less stuffy and had more energy, but I was also a bit out of breath. It felt like I had to cough to clear my airway, but coughing did nothing. Friday it was a little worse and today it was worse again. It got worse after a shower and even cold air wasn't helping it any. I finally decided to go get it checked out, I was worried about pneumonia, bronchitis or something like that. We got to the ER around 6pm, they sent us right up to the labor and delivery floor. Standard procedure for people over 20 weeks pregnant. They wanted me to change into a gown and all that right away, which I thought was a bit over the edge for a resperatory concern! So I told her I'm only there to get my lungs checked out, so they let me stay dressed for now.

I told them I wasn't concerned about the baby, but they had me lay down and hooked me up to the monitors anyway. Sure enough, no contractions, good heartbeat and baby was very active, so they let me off the monitors. Dan was having trouble with the kids, so it was nice to be able to get back up and help out a bit. My lungs looked good, so my OB said she wanted to run labs since I looked a bit pale and also do a CT scan incase I have blood clots in my lungs. The labs weren't bad at all, but that arm is bugging me quite a bit. For the CT they had to put in an IV to run dye through my veins, but they had to put it in an artery. The nurse took a look at my arms and said she won't even bother trying because she didn't see one at all. Apparently I have close veins, but not arteries. So she brought the head person in to give it a try. She rubbed and poked her finger around and finally felt one, but couldn't see it. She decided to go for that one and thankfully got it in the first try, though it really hurt! Poor Tyler was beside himself, all worried about his mommy getting poked with needles. When they were done he came over and looked at it, then cuddled up to me.

We seemed to wait forever for them to come get me for the scan, the boys were getting so antsy. Even with snacks, a few small toys and their dvd player, they were still bored and bouncing off the walls. Getting into everything they could find. Dawson preferred the nurse buttons, sanitizer and climbing on furniture. Tyler was into the cabinets mostly, otherwise he wanted to cuddle with me, watch tv and nurse. It's our usual hospital thing, so he seemed to jump right into that. They both looked a bit traumatized when I got wheeled out of the room. Dawson cried and got in the stroller, waiting for Dan to take him and follow me. The dye they put in was weird. She warned me that I'd feel warm all over and feel like I was peeing my pants. She was right! I felt like my veins were getting flushed, I felt it rushing up my arm and all over my face. It was a weird, uncomfortable feeling. I felt a little woosy after that, but not too bad. She said to drink plenty of fluids to help my kidneys process the dye and to get it out of my system for the baby.

I asked about my labs once I got back and the nurse said she couldn't interpret my labs to me and my Dr just went into an emergency c-section, so I had to wait. A little later I just asked if they could print off my labs so I could look at them, since I can just read them myself anyway. She said she couldn't, I'd have to fill out a form to request medical records. I forgot about their rediculous system, Children's has never blinked an eye when asked for a lab printout! She said she could read them off to me though, so she just told me the numbers. Thankfully everything looked good. My hemoglobin was slightly lower than normal, but that's common with pregnancy too. I asked the OB when she got back and she said it's actually a bit higher than it was before when they told me it was low at 28 weeks. It was 10.8 then, now it's 11.4. The CT results came back good too, so she said I could go home. It's frustrating not finding anything, but at least we know my lungs are clear and it's not something serious. Hopefully whatever it is will go away soon!

Dawson has been doing good, he went back to school once his cold was gone and his teacher said he enjoyed the topic this week, vehicles! I'm sure he was in his element there, no wonder he came home in such a good mood! His teacher called me and said because of more kids joining the program, she's starting an afternoon class and wanted to know if I'd like to move Dawson into that one since we aren't morning people. Sounds good to me! Dan is looking for a 1st shift job, but so far there isn't any available. So it'd be nice to be able to see him and not have to get up so soon after to get Dawson up and on the bus. She's going to see if it'll work out with the bus and then get back to me. I'm not sure how soon it would start, but he'll have the same teachers and classroom, just different kids. We'll have to make some changes to other things though, like the OT lady. I guess we'll figure that out if it happens. It would be good to be able to get more sleep at night.

Yesterday Dawson was looking at the construction trucks on his sippy cup and we were talking about all the little things on there. He pointed out that the trucks have eyes and said "silly!". Then he stared at the cup a little more and burst into giggles, pointing and saying "truck....eyes!". He thought it was completely hillarious. He looked at it some more and burst into giggles again, he did it many times until we were both about teary-eyed from laughing about his silly sippy cup.

Tyler has been so talkative lately, he babbles like he's actually talking to us, instead of just babbling in general. He also is starting to imitate more. Dawson was looking at a farm book with animal sound buttons and was repeating the noises. Then Tyler was repeating the noises too! He also tried to imitate a couple words I said the other day. Today I asked him if he wanted more peaches. We had been doing hand-over-hand signing "more" with him, then he started taking my hands and doing it. This time I asked him and signed it first as usual, but put my hands back in my lap and he just decided to make the sign all by himself. We knew he could do it, he was just being stubborn!

Dawson was so tired with his cold that he actually took a nap! But of course he wouldn't admit he was tired, so he just fell asleep here!
 Then he woke up and moved to the floor.
 Tyler saw me with the camera and was being goofy......

and pretty darn cute too!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Last night Tyler's fever went up, but thankfully came down after a couple hours. My thermometers claimed he was only at 97, but he felt more like 100-101. At 101 we have to head to the ER, so it was frustrating not having an accurate temp. I took off some of his clothes, he drank a full sippy of pediasure, nursed and fell asleep with me. When I woke up and checked on him a couple hours later he was much cooler. He didn't really want to get up, I canceled Dawson's school stuff and OT for the day since Dawson was stuffy when I woke him up too. So I put him back to bed and he slept for a couple more hours. Tyler finally got up around noon and had some energy, but it didn't last long. He went between cuddling with me on the couch and playing a bit.

We were unsure how Tyler would do today, plus I woke up feeling like total crap too. Dan decided to stay home and help out with the kids since I was getting dizzy if I was up for much at all, plus if Tyler had to head to the ER, I'd be too tired to take the boys myself. The boys loved having Dadddy home and so did I. He got some stuff done, fed the kids and really helped out a lot. Tyler was crabby and irritable for most of the day. Late afternoon he got mopy and miserable. He finally just cuddled up with me on the couch and went to sleep for a couple hours. We both got a good nap in, it was nice! I felt much better afterward, but he just wanted to stay and relax for quite a while afterward. I did get some laundry folded, Dan had done most of it, but doesn't know the boy's stuff. Some of their stuff is hard to tell apart.

This baby has been very active today! Rolling around and stretching my belly. It's often very uncomfortable when he stretches so much. It's hard when I'm cuddling Tyler and Baby is kicking at him, it hurts! I've also been getting more acid reflux lately. Not specific to any foods, probably just running out of room in there! It stinks being sick while pregnant, one or the other is tiring enough!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tyler Worries and Skating

A little insight on some of the things I have to think about everyday. I'm doing better not thinking much about what might happen later on if Tyler is actually relapsing. I still have to watch him closely each day though, just incase. Watching and worrying about Tyler is stressful, especially when he does things out of the ordinary, like falling asleep in his highchair during breakfast this morning. Before he was diagnosed, he'd fall asleep standing up in his jumperoo or exersaucer and I'd take a pic. How cute is he, falling asleep standing up?! Of course now that I know the reason, I just get worried! This picture was taken just 5 days before he was diagnosed. 
He woke up at the little noise of the camera being turned on, but layed his head back again. I love this bib, I found it at Kmart right before Thanksgiving.
Another thing I have to watch for is bruises. I'm always checking him over for bruises and making mental notes of how long each one has been there. It's hard since he's a busy, crazy toddler and often falls and gets bruises. Plus his brother tackling him often causes bruises too. The bigger ones aren't usually an issue, it's the small random ones that cause worry. His platelets have been really good recently, but his last labs did show a slightly lower count. Still a good number, but it can drop quickly. It's hard to see, but he has 3 bruises in a row going up from his wrist. Looks like someone could've just taken his arm and left fingerprint bruises, which shouldn't happen if the platelets are good. So he could be starting to bruise easily, but it also could've been just 3 random bumps. Who knows! It really starts to drive a person crazy. At least his bone marrow site healed quickly, so that's a good sign. He also got a scrape the other day and it didn't bleed much at all, so that's another good sign. So for now I'm not too worried, but still keeping a close eye on things.
I had been ticking Tyler and Dawson wanted in on the fun too
 Mommy's hand was coming to get him!
 Goofy little boys! They were both growling and getting ready to tackle me.
 It's hard getting them both to sit still for a picture! First just Tyler was moving away, so I was holding him in place when Dawson decided he was done sitting still since it'd been a few seconds.
 Tyler getting sleepy before bed. He went and layed on the couch and almost fell asleep when it was about bedtime tonight. He's usually very active and energetic until I put him in his crib.
 Dawson went and jumped on the couch near him, so Tyler moved to the recliner next to the couch and ended up laying on my sweatshirt.
 Dawson decided to sit still for a picture
 This is what I often get when trying to take pics of Dawson, he just won't sit still!

I went skating this evening, it was nice to get out, talk to friends and get a break. My skate decided to loosen up on me tonight, not a clue why! I suddenly felt more unstable so I checked it out and the one set of wheels were just flopping all over the place! Thankfully a friend tightened them back up, but he didn't see any cause for the problem. I thought that was weird since they were just fine when I took them off on Saturday! Maybe Dan will have an idea why they did that. It's not the first time, they did that once last year too. The boys enjoyed their time with the sitter, I think it's nice for them to have a break and get to play with someone else too.

Bedtime tonight went well. Tyler took his meds well but felt warm. I took his temp and it was 99.2. He usually runs about 97.5. Hopefully the fever will go away overnight, anything over 101 is a mandatory ER visit and I'm really not in the mood for another hospital stay. The fever is probably why he was so tired tonight, but what's the fever from?! I've been feeling ok lately, but I've had a headache all day, no doubt from all the stress and worry. I'm gonna go relax, watch some tv and have a bowl of ice cream. Right after I sneek in and check on Tyler's fever again!

Monday, January 24, 2011

IVIG and Support Group

IVIG days are always long, thankfully it's only once a month. I schedule them for Mondays so Dawson will be in school and Dan can still sleep in a bit. So I get up at 7:30am to get Dawson up and ready for school. While he's watching Blues Clues and eating cheerios, Tyler wakes up and wants to nurse, so I lay back in bed while he nurses for about 15-20 minutes. Then we get up, which often isn't approved by Tyler, but he doesn't fuss for very long. Tyler watches the cartoons and sits on the couch while I bring Dawson out to the bus. Once I'm back in, I get Tyler dressed and get his Emla cream on his port, it's a topical numbing cream so he can't feel the needle going in. He always hates getting it on because I use that press n seal plastic wrap stuff to cover the cream with. It sticks to the skin and doesn't irritate him as much as the tagaderm dressings do. It's crinkly though and he hates anything being here. Thankfully it's winter and by the time his shirt and coat is on, he can't get to it at all. The bus comes at 8:30 and we need to be at the clinic by 9am, so I'm practically running around once I get back into the house. Thankfully this time I caught Tyler with his hand in his pants and he wasn't able to get his hand free in time to protest the Emla.

Tyler knows his way around the clinic and still doesn't complain about going there. He loves being able to do things himself, so I just get him out of the car and let him walk in. Good thing, because on these long infusion days I have the diaper bag, laptop bag, toy bag and cooler bag, so it's nice not to have to carry Tyler too. We have a special parking pass for the clinic, so we get one of the 2 spots right behind the handicap spots, so it's nice being right by the sidewalk so he can walk the entire way and be safe. He runs to the door and hits the handicap button, then runs down the hallway and around the corner to the handicap button that opens the Short Stay doors and runs inside. He runs right into "his" room, since they usually have the crib in the same room, we're often put in the same room. He goes to the bench to have his coat removed and then goes to the crib because he knows the Child Life lady has already put his favorite toys up there for him. The nurse then puts on Blues Clues for him (they have some movies there) and then we get on with the appointment.

Thankfully accessing his port goes very well as long as the above steps are followed properly. If he doesn't have Blues Clues, it doesn't go so well. Otherwise he's totally entertained and barely even needs to be restrained during the process. A huge change from the beginning! They have to scrub his port for 30-45 seconds to sterilize it, then stick the needle in and put a big piece of tape over it. He usually looks down once the needle is in, watches his blood come out for labs and then goes back to watching tv.

We have to wait for the pharmacy to prepare the IVIG, they aren't allowed to order it until we're checked into the clinic, so it's often an hour by the time we actually get it started. He gets steroids, tylenol and benedryl before we get the IVIG started. The benedryl makes him nap everytime, often most of the infusion but last time he only slept for maybe 30 minutes and was back up for the entire time. That made for a tough day! This time he did nap the whole time. Wouldn't sleep in the crib, he had to stay on my lap, but I was still able to go online and that helped pass time. They started out giving it to him at a slower pace, but now that he's used to it and hasn't had any side effects they're able to give it to him faster. They bump up the speed every 30 minutes now, instead of every hour. So now it only takes 2 1/2 hours, plus 30 minutes after it's done to watch for reactions. But with the time it takes to get it started, we were there 4 hours.

I talked to the Oncologist while we were there. She checked him over and said he looked good. I asked her about waiting 3 months for the biopsy, if it would spread too fast if he really is relapsing. She wasn't worried at all, she said it would show up in his bloodwork before then anyway, so we'll just keep watching that. I asked her if we should do extra bloodwork and she didn't think that was necessary. We've been doing it once a month, so it's gonna feel like a long wait until his next labs! Just another thing to wait for. She said she was confident that if he needed labs done before the month is up that I would notice it since I've been so observant and intuitive in the past. Always nice to hear compliments from medical professionals, but it's also more stress on me to keep an eye on him! Not that I don't already, but it just feels like extra pressure and I'm always wondering those last couple weeks how his counts are doing and if he will make it the whole month without needing labs. I got so used to doing them every 2 weeks, it's stressful going longer. Especially since they raised his chemo dose a little while ago.
Dan got Dawson off the bus. He set up the train tracks for him, which were a big hit. Dawson happily played with his train and Dan was able to get some things done. It was nice to come home to the dishes done, garbages out and the bathroom sink cleaned. :)

Tyler and I stopped at the library on the way home, it's so nice and much quicker doing errands with just 1 child. I got some more things done once Dan went to work, I sorted through a ton of papers on the table and got a small bag full of junk to throw away. I also got the rest of the bottle stuff gathered up and into a box. I just need to go through it and find a home for it. I have so much pump stuff from the hospital, I really need to downsize.

I didn't get too much time at home, we left at 4 to go to the post office. I got a package shipped to Canada, that was a first. Apparently you have to fill out a form to ship stuff there, so that was a pain. I hadn't bothered with the stroller this time, so I was holding Tyler and trying to fill out a form at the counter while Dawson was running around the small post office. Thankfully we were the only ones there and he wasn't getting into anything. Afterward we went to Walmart for some groceries. Dawson likes helping me put things into the cart. He'll also decide to sit in the cart with Tyler sometimes. Other times he'll just run off out of the blue and then he gets stuck in the cart, much to his dismay and ends up throwing a tantrum. Seems like on those days, everyone else's children are behaving perfectly. It's so embarrasssing to have a tantruming toddler in the store, but I just keep reminding myself that those perfectly behaving children all have their bad moments in stores too! I always feel bad when it's someone else's toddler and mine are being very well behaved.

If there's anything good about below freezing weather, it's being able to get groceries and not worry about them getting hot in the car. We had our support group at the school and it gets out at 8pm, so I prefer getting our errands done before class so the kids can get home and wind down before bed. The kids had a lot of fun in class. I was working on some puzzles with Dawson. He's starting to be able to do real puzzles that go together, instead of the ones that just have 1 hole for each animal and everything is seperate. His OT lady brought some real puzzles, but he didn't have much interest in them. They were Pooh and some other random things. I found some vehicle puzzles and he was all about those. He had those puzzles together pretty quick. He loves cars and knows where the wheels and different parts go, so it was easier for him. He can also recognize his name. I spelled his name with magnetic letters, we said all the letters and then I traced my finger under the word and he said "Dawson!".

Tyler didn't shed a tear or even look for me when I left the room, so that was nice. He gets lots of attention in class, he's quite popular. He has an assistant who has claimed him for herself and 3 little girls who are about 6-8 years old who follow him around, play with him and help him with everything. Sometimes I think it's a bit much, the poor kid can't even stand up on his own when he falls, he always has one of them helping him up. I saw a couple of them picking him up. Not far off the ground, mostly helping him onto things, but I still don't like that. If he didn't have a port it wouldn't be as big of a deal, but you really have to be careful how you pick him up and the way they were doing it wasn't good. So I talked to the assistant and explained about his port, so she said she'd keep an eye on them. One of the girl's mom was there when I was explaining it and she explained to her daughter why she shouldn't pick him up. I just don't want to see his stitches get ripped out again, the poor boy doesn't need any more extra surgeries.

Dawson was much better about bedtime, I took away his ladder again and he had no choice but to stay in bed. He didn't fuss at all and quieted down very quickly. I had put Tyler in the bottom bunk after he woke up like I had been doing, but he woke up twice after that and didn't seem to like it, so I put him back in his crib and he didn't wake up again. He's so attached and comfortable in his crib, he does go to sleep really good, but I think the change to the bed might still be tough. I'm hoping that having his nightlight by the bed will really help. He loves watching his nightlight, it changes colors and is by the head of his bed. So maybe once that's switched over too, it'll feel more like his bed. I'm still not sure when I'll switch Tyler over. Probably pretty soon though, I want to give him a couple months to get used to it before I have the baby to deal with too.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dawson Switched to Top Bunk

My dad came over today and brought the bed rail and ladder he made for the bunk bed. The boys loved watching him put it on, they were intrigued by the power tools. Tyler kept saying "oooh, what that?" to everything and they kept climbing up and down the ladder. They are very good about getting on and off the bed. Tyler we have to watch carefully though, because he often misses the ladder, but once he finds it he's very careful. I got the rest of the bedding on the bed also.

Dan and I both did some cleaning, him on his side of the closet and I did some in the boy's room. There's a corner of the room with a lot of things with no home after the re-arranging, so I worked on that. I got a lot of things sorted, thrown away, put a button on a shirt and some other little things I've been meaning to do.

Tonight I moved Dawson to the top bunk. He didn't want to go to bed until I asked him if he wanted to sleep up there. He grinned and said "sleep up there", then was happy to get his pjs on and go to bed. He climbed right up there but didn't want to lay down. He seemed to realize he needed to sleep and then wasn't interested anymore. I put Tyler in his crib and had to tell Dawson a few times to stay in bed. I went back in there a bit later and put Dawson back in his bed again. Even while I was in there he tried coming down. It didn't seem out of fear, mostly just didn't want to stay in bed. I removed the ladder and showed him I was putting it across the room. He said "oh no, down!" and "stuck!". I told him he needs to stay in his bed and sleep. He fussed for a bit but didn't cry, then fell asleep shortly after.

With Tyler I've been putting him in his crib to start with, but if he wakes up in the middle of the night I'll move him to the bottom bunk. I've done that a couple times now and it's been working pretty good. He's conscious enough to know where he is, but tired enough to just fall asleep right away. It's nice that he's able to get up on his own in the morning too instead of relying on me to get him out of his crib.

Tomorrow Tyler has his IVIG infusion, so Dawson will go to school and then Tyler and I will head right to the clinic as soon as Dawson is on the bus. I'm hoping to talk to the Oncologist about some things also.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dawson's Bed and 50's Night

We got Dawson's mattress up on his bed and put him up there to see what he thinks of it. He really seemed to like it, he was smiling and exploring. He learned he can touch the ceiling! He also learned that if he stands up and jumps on the bed, his head hits the ceiling pretty hard since it's only about 2 inches away from the ceiling to begin with! I didn't think he'd do it again, but he did the 2nd time I put him up there too.
Tyler wanted to check it out too. He thought it was lots of fun and kept going up to the bed saying "what that?" everytime we were in his room. It doesn't sound much like "what that", but I can tell it's what he's saying.
I told Dawson he would be sleeping up here on this bed, so he layed down and said "sleeping!"
Yep, he really likes it. :)
Tonight was 50s night at the roller rink. I had my doubts about finding something to wear, but my poodle skirt did fit snug under my belly so I wore it. As I was looking for a shirt, Dawson kept coming in the room, looking at my skirt and saying "silly!". The purple shirt was the only thing that remotely matched that fit me! People were impressed I managed to dress up. It was fun, but skating a 2nd time in a week was very tiring, so I took a couple long breaks.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tyler's Biopsy Results

Tyler's Oncologist called this afternoon with the results from the genetics test. Last time they only tested 400 cells and found no cancer. This time they tested 1,000 cells and found 3 cancer cells. He's not sure if this could be leftover cells that just haven't been killed yet, or if Tyler is relapsing. He wants to do another biopsy in 3 months, mid-April. Right after the baby is due! Nothing about this has been convenient, but this will be difficult to figure out.

After talking to some other infant Leukemia moms, I'm not sure I want to wait 3 months, this type of cancer is very aggressive and could spread quickly. I have a couple other infant Leukemia moms who are going to ask their Oncologists for opinions on waiting that long. I also don't know if my sanity can make it 3 months! Having everything up in the air is very stressful. The more I think about it, the more I wonder how it would even be possible for him to have cells left at all. His Oncologist seemed surprised also. He was already down to less than 5% cells in July 09, after only 1 month of chemo. So how could the next 17 months of chemo not easily knock those out? Hopefully I'm wrong, but logically it doesn't make much sense.

On Monday Tyler has his monthly IVIG infusion and the other Oncologist will be there. I plan to ask her what she thinks about waiting 3 months and we'll go from there. Tyler's main Oncologist said he'd update her on the situation since he knows we see her monthly.

Tyler is doing well otherwise though, he's very active and happy. His runny nose finally cleared up and he's doing fine with the higher chemo dose. Last time he started limping and having little energy. This time I saw that for a few days but it stopped and has been fine since. I guess we'll see how he does with it this week, he gets the strongest stuff on Monday evening.

Mattress and Cute Busy Boys

It was very cold today, with the windchill it got down to -23 for a high and -40 for a low. Dawson woke up easily this morning. He was happy to go to school, the bus in the morning has gotten much better since I started driving him out to the road. It's about a block's length from our apartment to the road and the cold and wind bothers him even if it's in the 30's, so I started driving him down there in December. His teacher said he had a good day at school but sometimes it took a while to get focused and follow their routine.

Tyler enjoyed his morning with just me. We played trains for a bit and then he decided he wanted to nurse. It's our usual routine that's often disrupted on school days. So he went and stood by my bed to ask to come up there and we both napped for a while. It was nice to get a little extra sleep and it's always fun cuddling up to my cute little guy. I had set my phone to wake up before my mom and grandma stopped by. Thankfully Tyler happily woke up and was fine with getting up. He often wants to stay longer. He's been saying "bye-bye" when he waves and even tells me "tank ooo" when I do something for him, it's so cute!

My mom came and dropped off a mattress for the top bunk. My brother got a new mattress and they gave us the old one. My dad is making us a railing and ladder for the bunk bed too. Hopefully the transition will go well. I had planned on getting Dawson up there by the beginning of the month since it takes him a while to settle into a new routine. Hopefully we'll be able to make the switch soon. Right now he rarely sleeps in his own bed, he always crawls into Tyler's crib. Last night he slept in his own bed, mostly because he was asleep when I put him to bed. Tonight Tyler had fallen asleep on the couch so I let Dawson go to bed alone, hoping he wouldn't be as tempted to crawl into the crib with no Tyler to play with. But when I went in there later to put Tyler to bed, I found Dawson sleeping in the crib. I really can't lift Dawson out of the crib these days, so I just decided to put Tyler in Dawson's bed, since that will be his bed eventually anyway. Tyler pretty much slept through his diaper change and chemo anyway, so was barely awake when I put him in the bed. He didn't protest at all, I turned on the crib turtle and he watched that and dosed off again. I got a big foam pillow to put at the edge of the bed incase he rolls. I do have a guard for when he's in the bed all the time, I just didn't want to wake him up messing with it. I guess we'll see what he thinks of the bed. I'm hoping if he wakes up in the bed, he'll see it as a place that he slept and realize it's ok. The last time I layed him down in there at night he freaked out and wanted back in his crib.

Here's my belly at 29 weeks
 Dawson was intrigued by my camera and liked the flash, so he kept saying ready-set-go and then smiling for a pic. Then we'd look and see how it turned out. It's fun when he gets interested, I rarely get any pics of him looking at the camera at all, let alone smiling.

The boys love playing with the ride on toy in the kitchen. They also love messing up the kitchen as you can see, many things keep getting put onto the table to get away from Tyler!
 He was waiting for me to give him a push

 Watching Dawson ride on the toy, waiting for him to come try to run into him
 Dawson was rolling it into me and thought it was very funny

 Tyler was getting into trouble while I was distracted with Dawson

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Still Waiting

I really hate waiting for test results, especially very important ones! They told me 1-2 days for the genetics test and today was day 2. I called the Children's clinic and they said they'd have someone call me today, but nobody did. Hopefully tomorrow I'll hear something.

Dawson didn't get to school today, I overslept but I do feel a lot more rested today. I think Dawson needed the extra day too, he seemed a bit off this morning but was doing better this evening. He even went to sleep in his own bed instead of Tyler's crib! He had a fun time in class tonight for the support group. He still just plays on his own, he was playing with trains and not doing so well with sharing. He must've had about 20 train cars on his track and wouldn't let the other boy who was interested have any. Doesn't matter how many cars or trains there are, there's never enough to share! Something they've been working on at school with him. He also ran off in the store again today. I've been trying to let him walk more, but he often just decides to run off. He never stays right by me, he usually goes up and down the aisle we're in but sometimes decides to venture further and take the entire length of the main store aisle instead. He did ok with OT today, he was a little uncooperative at first, but eventually focused more toward the end.

Tyler had a good day, he seemed a little sore at times but for the most part he was active and energetic. By evening he was getting more clingy and just wanted to cuddle. He's so cute when he cuddles, he'll lean towards me so I'll kiss his cheek, then he'll keep bobbing his head toward me until he's gotten enough kisses. He did great with OT today. She was impressed at how energetic and talkative he was. He was babbling constantly and very enthusiastic about the session.

The Occupational therapist's supervisor stopped in for a quick visit today, they're required to do that every so often. I asked her what's going on with Speech, since they put that on hold and never got back to me. She agreed that they really could use Speech and said she'd ask them what's going on. I did find out that our original Speech therapist isn't there anymore, so they probably have a much tighter schedule than before.

I'm also still waiting to hear from the BMT unit about the cord blood banking. They were going to see if our insurance would cover collection and processing and get back to me. I also need to figure out how we're going to get the cord blood to the UofM, so lots to think about with that too. Seems like I'm always waiting on something!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back to Normal

Today went well, Tyler woke up happy and didn't seem sore at all so I was relieved about that. We're getting back into our normal routine again. The Occupational Therapist came and worked with the boys. Dawson had a hard time concentrating, I think having a weird couple of days threw him off. Hopefully he'll get back into routine quickly. He goes to school tomorrow and OT is coming again also. I kept Dawson home all last week so he didn't bring home any illness or anything, so it'll be nice to get back to our normal schedule.

I got a call from Neurology at Children's and made an appointment for Dawson on Feb 7th. My mom is going to take Tyler while we go. That will be good practice for when I have this baby too, Tyler hasn't been away from me very much.

I had a good day, I picked up all the toys and Dan vacuumed for me. Thankfully the boys went easy and didn't dump them all out again. I really need to go through and get rid of the toys they don't play with. There's so much that just gets dumped out and never played with. Of course a lot of it is baby toys so I can't get rid of those yet, but I at least want to get them put away until they're needed.

I went skating tonight and even got some errands ran. Those things go so much faster without the kids! Skating went well, I was pretty tired still from my long day yesterday but it was fun talking to friends and getting out of the house. When I got home Tyler decided to slide over the back of the couch to get to me. He was slow and careful about it but the short drop to the ground hurt his hips. He looked surprised and cried, so we cuddled and he nursed a while and fell asleep. Dawson fell asleep on the couch too, so it was nice not having to deal with bedtime, I just put them in their beds and they stayed asleep. :)

I usually try to put pics in all my blog posts, but lately we just haven't been doing as much since it's winter and we're cooped up inside, so I don't seem to get the camera out as much. Here's some pics from the last couple weeks.

Tyler was having a crazy hair day. His hair is so light and wispy, but if you look close you can see it sticking up.
 Tyler's newest food are bananas. He refused the last time I tried but now he suddenly loves them. We had just gotten home from his biopsy and he decided he wanted a snack before bed.
 He's always in such a good mood after procedures, I would be whiney and on the couch if someone drilled into my hip!
 After seeing Tyler do it on the webcam sunday night, Dawson had to put toys on their little table and knock them off himself. They were getting pretty goofy and giggly. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bone Marrow Biopsy

I'm so glad we don't have to do this much anymore! Our morning actually went very smooth, it helps that we've pretty much perfected the process. We had gathered everything we need the night before so it was all ready to go. Camera, bag of toys, laptop, snacks, diaper bag, diaper bag. We got the cooler for Tyler's pediasure and our drinks in the morning and Dan loaded everything up. Once the van was running and parked right outside the door I got Tyler out of his crib, changed his diaper and put his jeans on. I had him sleep in his onsie shirt so I didn't have to distrub him too much. He stirred a bit, but slept through it pretty well. He's not used to getting up until 9am and Dan isn't used to getting up until about 1-2pm since he works 2nd shift, so it's always tough on all of us! I put his coat and shoes on right in his room and I already had my stuff on. I carried him out to his carseat and the cold air woke him up. I gave him his apple juice, one of the only allowed things he can have 2 hours before the procedure. He fell asleep after that and slept the whole way there. It was a really slow drive, we were cruising at 5mph for a while on the freeway, it was very icy and snowing. We saw about 4 cars in the ditch but thankfully made it there ok and even on time!

Tyler woke up once we got there, he was excited to be somewhere as usual. He loves the monkeys hanging from the ceiling of the skyway on the way in. They changed the hospital around when they renovated, they told us they're now using the Short Stay for procedures. I went to where Short Stay used to be but it wasn't there! So we followed the signs to the new one and found ourselves in the former PICU unit. They've changed the place around so much that I didn't even realize that was it until we were in there and suddenly realized where we were. It looked the exact same as they had it before, only with empty beds. That somehow didn't help much though, because I can still clearly picture everyone who was in there and the place still had a gloomy feel to me.

They gave us a room and we settled in. Tyler did ok for vitals but just wanted to go play. We found the little toy room and ended up giving him a ride in a cosy coupe car. We walked around the unit many times until they called us back in the room for labs. We couldn't get the dvd player in the room to work, so we had to access his port without his cartoons. They had some on regular tv, but since we don't have tv at home he didn't know what any of the shows were and wasn't that interested. It went ok though, it's harder to hold him totally still with my big belly in the way.

They told us they do biopsies last, but because of his age they'd look into that. Thankfully they did get to him very quickly, pretty much right after they put the port in. Dan and I walked around for 15 minutes and he was done but still sleeping when we got back. It went very smoothly and they said they were able to give him less propofol than usual. They just start with a little, just enough to get him to sleep. Then they start and if he moves to the feel of pain, they give him some more. When I watched his spinal taps he actually reached back and tried to grab the needle from them. I have a hard time with that, I'd prefer him not have to struggle at all, but there's such a risk with Propofol that too much would be a huge risk, so they have to do it that way.

He woke up very quickly but was quiet. He drank some juice and we were told 30 minutes to leave once he did. He layed still for a while, watching Blues Clues on his portable dvd player, then he decided he wanted out of there, so he sat up and was going to get off the bed. He was mad that I wouldn't let him walk around, so he nursed for a while and fell back asleep. He was quite excited once it was time to leave, he wanted to walk but I wouldn't let him yet, he rode in the stroller and was pointing to the door and saying "Go Go Go!"

We had some things to do in the cities too, so we got those done. We went to the junk yard for a part Dan needed for his truck. It was a quick 15 minute run in to get it. I was hoping he'd take longer, I wanted a nap! Then we went to a dealer for a part for my van, then to Motherhood Maternity for nursing bras. They're the only store that carry my size and we don't have one in town. We walked around the mall a bit after that, Tyler wanted to walk so I let him. I was hoping he'd take it easy, but instead he hit the ground running. He ran all over the place and never seemed sore at all. I did have him take a few breaks, he doesn't know to take it easy, he seems to ignore pain and keep pushing on. I've seen him limping around in the past and he'll still run some places. We stopped at Cinnabon in the mall for a big cinnamon roll. He loves those and I figured we all deserved a treat. :) 

Our last stop was Babies R Us. I haven't been there since 2007 when we bought Dawson's carseat/stroller combo and I thought it'd be fun to look around and see if they have anything interesting. They always have the biggest variety of stuff and things I've never heard of. My biggest amusement was the Nap Nanny.  $129 for a colorful foam lounger thing seems a bit rediculous to me! I always just prop them up in the boppy or put them in the bouncy seat. I just had to share, I found it funny. Dawson was a colicky, hard to get to sleep baby and I still wouldn't have bothered with this thing! Sometimes babies just need their mommy and no amount of money can do much about that.

We stopped to eat on the way to get Dawson from my parent's house and got there around 8pm I think it was. Dawson was very happy to see me and seemed ready to come home. The boys really enjoyed chasing and playing once we got home and they went to bed very well after their long day. Dawson spent the day with my mom at my grandma's house, she's in the process of moving slowly. Sounds like he had a great day and was very well behaved. Hearing words like "perfect" in the grocery store makes me wonder if she really had MY child all day! The things my mom was describing like standing still at the register are things I've never experienced. It's really not fair!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Preparing for the Biopsy

Today was a bit crazy. Dan went and got the right headlight bulb for my van right away today, the parts guy had given us the wrong one last night. I can see the road again! Always helps. :)  The headlights were adjusted weird too, so that wasn't helping matters.

My mom called and asked if she could come get Dawson early. I admit, I wasn't going to complain! The boys had been bothering eachother all day and I was looking forward to some peace. So she came and got Dawson at 4pm. I had told him she was coming and he was going to sleep at her house, but I'm not sure if he really understood me or not. He was just repeating everything I said. He was quite happy once she showed up though and I think it was when I was packing up his things that he got the hint that something was going on. We got his pillow and bedtime music turtle by the door and he was looking a bit nervous and excited. He was very happy when it came time to put him in Grandma's van. :)

Tyler was excited to have Dawson gone at first, he went around playing with all the toys that Dawson won't allow him to play with. That lasted a couple hours. Then he ran up and down the hallway a couple times, growling and giggling and seemed to realize that not having Dawson here had it's downfalls. Nobody to run and play with. So he ran over to me and started playing rough with me instead. So I ended up getting a bit of a workout playing and chasing him all over the place. Having 2 might have many difficulties, but I do sure like them being able to entertain eachother for small parts of the day! He seemed a bit lost and lonely after that, so clung to me a lot.

Dan decided we should go out to eat. Dawson is very hard to eat out with, but Tyler is usually very well behaved. So we went to Applebees. Tyler colored a bit, ate some animal crackers and then loved the kid's basket that came for him. Once my meal came he decided my plate was up for grabs too, including my steak. Yep, the boy loves his steak. He ripped off very small pieces at a time and mostly just sucked the juice out of the rest. He sat pretty nice in a booster on the booth, but once he was full and decided he was bored, he got squirmy and we got a highchair for him. He played with an empty cup and a straw for a while, played in some mashed potatoes and then decided he was very done with the place. Thankfully we were done too, so that was nicely timed.

Once we got home I was chatting with my mom online and asked for a webcam chat. Dawson was very excited to see me and Tyler. Even Tyler was looking and grinning at Dawson, it was obvious they'd missed eachother. So cute!! They were talking/babbling at eachother for a bit and then Tyler got to playing so I aimed the camera at him. He was saying "ready-set-go" and knocking animals and other toys off their little table. Dawson was really getting into it, saying it along with Tyler and I and giggling hysterically when the toys fell off the table. It's something they do here and it was cute that they kinda got to play together tonight before bed. Tyler seemed a bit less lonely after that and went to bed happy. Thankfully he didn't give me any trouble, I'd wondered if he would miss his brother at bedtime but I never heard a peep from him.

We have to leave at 5:30am for Tyler's biopsy, it's a 1.5 to 2 hour drive, so I like to be there early. Especially since the Oncology procedures are all scheduled at the same time and it's first come, first serve. Hopefully we can get in and out of there in a reasonable amount of time. He's scheduled for 7:30am and if we're out by noon I'll be very impressed.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Shoes and a Re-Arranged Room

Today was a pretty good day. Dan got some used tires for the truck, he needed some before he sold it, so once they're on there we can put it up for sale. Yay!

I heard about a huge sale at Target, so we went to the mall and looked around. I didn't find much, but got a spring jacket for Dawson for $5. We then walked around the mall to let the boys run out some energy, they had lots of fun. We passed the shoe store where I always get my shoes and they had a huge sale going. It's been a year since I bought shoes so I decided to look. Found a nice white and blue pair of Asics for $40 off their usual price. Mine are almost worn out anyway and they don't have sales often, but thankfully everytime I've needed shoes I find them on sale.

We got home and decided to re-arrange the boys' room. We'd already moved the bunk bed a few weeks ago, so we just had to switch the crib and 2 of the dressers around. We just got the big stuff done, I still need to organize the rest of it, but at least that's something I can do myself now that the heavy lifting is out of the way. Feels good to have another big thing crossed off my list.

Tyler seems to be feeling better today, he had lots of energy and never took a nap. He loved the cinnamon bites we got at the mall and had fun running around the mall. He wasn't quite sure about us moving his crib across the room, he wanted to go in it to check things out as soon as it was moved and he was fine when I put him to bed. He did wake up and was unsure of things tonight though, but after some reassurance he seems to be ok.

Dawson had a rough morning. I think going to school really helps him, we kept him home this week to make sure he didn't pick up any illness so Tyler could do his bone marrow biopsy on Monday. He keeps asking me about school every morning and almost everytime we need to go someplace. Hopefully he'll be able to get back on that routine next week when he goes back on Wednesday.

I called the clinic about the referral and they said that Children's hadn't gotten back to them about setting up an appointment yet, so we'll have to do that on Monday. I'll have to see if they get anywhere over the phone, otherwise I just might stop in myself since we'll be there anyway.

Baby has been super active lately, he seems to be turning around now, he's found my ribs a few times instead of kicking my hip bones. I've been pretty sore, I had a hard time walking around the mall today, it feels like I have a strained groin muscle or something, but I don't remember straining it. Been having some back pain too, it's not too bad but it's a constant dull ache. Doesn't help that I have to carry Tyler a lot. I've been working on having him walk places, but sometimes that just doesn't work. I can't remember if I was this sore with the last 2, maybe I was and just don't remember. Of course chasing 2 toddlers might have something to do with it! Hopefully I'll have a productive weekend anyway and be able to keep my mind off of Monday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Labs and Phone Calls

That pretty much sums up my day. I called the Oncologist this morning, who agreed that Tyler should have some labs done since he's been so tired lately. So I called and made an appt for labs at noon at the Plaza. The Oncologist called back saying he'd like Tyler to see a Dr also to make sure he doesn't have any other issues, especially with the biopsy coming up. So I called back and asked them to have a Dr come to the short stay when we get there, which wasn't a problem. His counts were low, but not enough to stop chemo. We're just watching him for now. He was energetic this morning, but then took a 2 1/2 hour nap cuddled up to me on the couch and wasn't very hungry today either. His energy did come back in the evening.

I made the rest of my OB appointments. Once I hit 36 weeks I'll be going in every week. We have scheduled up to 39 weeks. It's nice to have those in place. I also scheduled Tyler's next Oncology and IVIG appointments for February. I played phone tag with the referral office at our clinic for Dawson. The pediatrician did send the referral, she asked me what days would work best, but I missed the 2nd call while doing labs and ended up leaving a message. She did say that it would be the Neurologist at Children's where we'd go, so now I just need a date. I'm really hoping there isn't a long wait. I didn't get ahold of the cord blood unit either, so hopefully tomorrow.

I got a little cleaning done today. I looked over my to-do list but everything seemed so overwhelming. Either the jobs were too physical for me or too tedious and I really didn't want to get too deep into anything this evening. I collected the rest of the ball pit balls and cleaned off some of the junk on the top of my dresser. It's a long dresser and it's full of stuff. I haven't even unpacked my bathroom kit from our hospital days, I still have extra of everything in there. I suppose I could put that away now! I always use the top of my dresser for baby supplies and things I'll need in the middle of the night while Baby is staying in our room. It really wasn't helping that I'd put a couple things away and Tyler would be dragging even more things out of the room!

Dawson was being very difficult this evening. He had taken a nap and was upset that he'd fallen asleep. He rarely lets himself take a nap, he only sleeps at night. So he was crying and not knowing what to do with himself. Then he wanted food, but didn't know what. Then it was a movie, so I got that going, only to be asked for a different movie. He didn't stop crying and screaming for an entire hour, it was very frustrating. So once he finally got settled down, I got to go clean a bit. I also made some cookies, they were a much needed sanity boost. :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Skating and School

The adult night session at the roller rink has started up again on Tuesday nights, so I've been going to that as usual. This was the 2nd week. Our friends Brian and Jessie were there, so it was nice talking to them. I often get asked why I still go skating when I'm pregnant. If I wasn't comfortable with it, I wouldn't be doing it! I've been skating for almost 10 years now and this session has only adults. It's always the same people, they know how to skate and aren't going to fall down and trip me like kids might do. I'm still feeling very comfortable and balanced, plus I'm taking it easy and taking breaks. It's nice to get out of the house just by myself once a week. I like having that to look forward to, it really helps my sanity! The session goes until the end of March, but I'm just taking it week by week and seeing how I feel at the time.

We had our usual Wednesday night support group at the Sauk Rapids preschool school tonight. All the kids there are on an IEP and have developmental delays and some with medical concerns. It's a lot better than the regular ECFE groups because this one is very conscious about everyone and I've never seen a runny nose or coughing kid there like I always did when we went to the regular ECFE group. We have pizza, then they take the kids to the gym to play, then a classroom to play some more. Both boys really love it and always scarf down their pizza and run to the door. Tyler had a tough time the first couple times, but now he's almost the first one to want to leave. It's great that he feels comfortable leaving me, it took quite a while for him to be ok with that, he's been very attached to his mommy.

Tonight I asked Dawson if he wants to go to school. He perked up and said "ok school!" and started heading towards the door. Then he paused and said "with Tywer?". I said yes, with Tyler. He got a big grin and said "OK! School, with Tywer" and ran to the door. How cute is that?! I've never even heard him say "with" before, and didn't even know he knew the word or the concept, but apparently he does! It's so great to see how attached he is to Tyler, especially since at first he didn't want anything to do with him at all! It will be interesting to see how he is with the new baby, if he'll be more interested since he's had a little sibling once already, or if he'll be uninterested again because it's just a baby who can't run and play with him.

Tyler is having a bit of a tough day today, he's been napping, which he never does, and really moody which is odd too. So I'm hoping his Dr will agree that he should have labs tomorrow to see what's going on. We did raise his chemo dose and the last time he was on that dose his counts went way down too. We were hoping his extra couple pounds would help him handle it better. I guess we'll see.

Dawson's teacher has recommended getting a medical evaluation for Dawson. It will help him get more services. I had thought about waiting, but then I thought maybe we should get it done while I still only have 2 kids to bring to the appointment! So I called the pediatrician today for a referral and they're going to call me back tomorrow.

Lots of phone calls to make tomorrow, besides the Dr and whoever they say to make an appt with for Dawson, I have to call and check on the status of our cord blood banking stuff. Last I checked they were going to talk to our insurance to see if they'll cover the fees to collect and harvest it. It's up to us to get it there, which I wasn't expecting, so we'll have to figure that out too. I also have to call and set up more OB appts, I'll be going in every other week starting next month already! I can't believe I'm already to that point! I also have to call the Oncologist for an order, clinic for a lab appt, then the Oncologist again to discuss the results, plus the receptionist to make more appointments for Tyler. If anyone has any insight on when #3 will arrive so I know when to make all these appointments, I'd love to hear it! ;)  On top of that, Dawson's teacher is coming over between 1-2pm. Some days are so full between appts, teachers and phone calls! Hopefully I won't have to play phone tag with to many people.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

28 Week OB Appointment

I had my 1 hour Glucose test today to test for Gestational Diabeties. I've never had it before, but since I have big babies they insisted on me taking it at 14 and 28 weeks, instead of just the usual 28 weeks. It wasn't bad at all this time, I was too busy trying to entertain the boys to think about it much. Dawson kept trying to re-set my timer, which wouldn't have been funny at all! She said she'd actually have to make me re-do it if he did that.

My exam went well, I gained 5 pounds this month, my blood pressure was good and the baby's heartbeat was about 140. So all looked good. She did the belly measurement and looked surprised. She's not my regular OB, she wasn't available this week. I'm measuring 2 weeks ahead of schedule. I was with Tyler too, but not until the very end. So it looks like I've got another big baby! Can't say I'm too surprised though, just nervous to see how everything will go in the end. My OB is going to keep a close eye on the measurements and probably do an ultrasound toward the end to see how big he is. They can estimate weight, but it's often 1-2 pounds off, so I'm not sure how helpful that will be. I'm hoping he'll just decide to come a bit early and make things easier for everyone, but if not I'll probably be induced. I don't want to end up with a cesarean, the thought makes me very nervous!

After the exam I still had 40 minutes to entertain the boys. I figured I could let them run some energy out by walking the halls of the clinic, it's a huge place. She told me we can wait in either of the waiting rooms, but doesn't want me walking around much because that burns off the sugar easier and would be cheating the test. Thankfully I brought the portable DVD player, a bag full of toys and a couple snacks. That kept them occupied for pretty much all of it. We did end up switching waiting rooms because another kid started taking Dawson's toys to play with for himself. The whole point in bringing toys is to avoid the waiting room toy germs!! So we gathered up our toys and moved, the mom actually looked annoyed. Sorry, but I'm not here to entertain your child! Once we found a peaceful spot, they had settled down again. By the time Dawson decided he was done with the place, I decided to check on my time and they said I only had 1 minute left! So she just sent us in anyway and waited until it beeped.

Labs really don't bother me anymore. I used to get a bit dizzy and I couldn't watch, but after all Tyler's stuff it really doesn't matter. Poor Tyler didn't like them poking his mommy though. He was sweet and held my free hand while going between giving the nurse dirty looks and fussing. He was very happy to be out of there. "Yay, go, go, go!" :)

We went to the mall to run off some energy. The boys love walking in the mall and we always get looks and comments. They've been doing much better about listening. If Tyler sees me heading in a different direction, he'll follow. Dawson was also very good about stopping and coming back when I asked him to. He tends to get quite a ways ahead of us.

I got a call from the clinic which got me worried. Good results come in the mail, bad results come with a same-day phone call! She said my Glucose test was fine (whew!), but my hemoglobin is low. I was relieved, I know nothing about blood sugar, but hemoglobin I do know. So I've been working on that. I'm also glad that there's another reason why I've been so tired lately. I assumed it was just being pregnant and chasing 2 toddlers all day! 3rd trimester can be especially tiring so I didn't question it. Hopefully once I get my hemoglobin up I'll have more energy. Hemoglobin is also very important for the cord blood banking, so I will be keeping on top of the iron foods from now on! My next appointment is in 4 weeks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Slowly making progress

I'm so tired! Today I deflated the ball pit, the boys had all the balls out of it and were just knocking it over and jumping on it anyway, so I decided it was time for a break. I had kept the bag for the 100 balls, so I went around and found them all. Just that was a huge improvement, not having 100 balls all over the place to step on. Having the ball pit deflated was nice too.

Next we made a little progress on the dining room floor. We had a multiple drawer storage thing that I was keeping sippies, bibs, bottles and those types of things in. Tyler took it upon himself to completely empty it. I had tons of bottles, nipples and breast pump parts from our hospital days. My only issue was, it hurts to bend over more than about twice these days! So the other day I had made a place for the sippies in a bin thing on the counter and today Dan gathered up a bunch of the bottle stuff and we put that up there too. It needs a lot more done, but it's a start.

The biggest thing we did was tackle our walk-in closet. It really wasn't a walk-in anymore, it was more of a lean-in, since the entire closet was full of stuff. It had been neat, but things kept getting aquired and put on the floor, stacked up, etc. Once the Christmas stuff was put away, or more accurately, tossed in wherever it fit, we really couldn't go in there at all. So we completly emptied the bottom of the closet and went through things. We were able to combine boxes, ended up with a big duffel bag full of garbage (it was garbage, so ended up with all the garbage in it). There's a grocery box full of stuff to donate and about 4-5 boxes that no longer need to be in there. Plus we made a little room on the shelves above the racks by filling some totes that weren't full on the bottom. It was a long, tedious job but the results look great! We have our walk-in floor space back, plus the space under the clothes rack on my side even has room for more if needed. The boys had a big problem with us putting a gate up at our door and not letting them in, so I spent half my time just trying to keep them out from under our feet. We're both pretty tired. Dan went into the job thinking he'd get the entire room done today, but since I've been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing lately and know how long of a process it can be! I was just happy to have the bottom of the closet cleaned out.

I'm really hoping to get more cleaning done tomorrow, even with other things on the agenda. I made a huge to-do list on the computer which pretty much has every area of the place that needs work, plus some other specific things too. It's a very long list, but it's nice to have that visual and be able to cross things off as they get done. Dan plans to go to the junkyard tomorrow so he can move forward with fixing vehicles and we're also hoping to go see my Grandma's new house that she built and is working on moving into. I've been wanting to see it for quite a while, but we're either too busy or we have a cold, so couldn't go.

Dawson is now eating oranges! He sees Tyler and I eating them all the time and suddenly decided to join in and eat a few slices. It's great seeing him try something new, that hasn't happened in a long time. I've also noticed in the last couple days that his words are less choppy. One thing we'd been working on is saying "I-want-____". He would say it just like that, 1 word at a time, very slowly. He's just started saying it as a flowing sentence now and it's so nice to hear that coming together. He only does it about half the time, but it's a big improvement.

Tyler imitated another word today and continued to use it. We had sold our old fake tree and bought a new one on clearance after Christmas. We decided to set it up, make sure the lights work and all that before putting it in storage. The boys were excited to see it all set up and Tyler even said "tree!" and was excitedly pointing at all the lights. He seems to be missing that first letter sound in many of his words, so "tree" is missing the T sound. Dawson does that too, we just keep emphasizing it and he sometimes works on it and picks it up, but always needs that reminder. I did get Tyler to get very close once, so it's great that he seems to want to say things and does pay attention to those sounds.

Baby #3 was so active this evening! I was getting so sore, trying to get things done and he was practicing kick boxing in there or something. This little guy is very strong! I'm pretty relaxed about the baby so far. I feel pretty prepared, we sure didn't need to buy clothes or anything, we have enough diapers to last the first few months thanks to a good deal on Craigslist. The only thing we still need is a name. My boy name list is feeling pretty picked over and I can't seem to find many new ones that get my attention. It will be a big relief getting that figured out. I just hope it happens before April!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Welcome 2011

It's been months since I've updated, we've just been so busy! Lots to look forward to in 2011. Baby is due April 4th and Tyler will be done with treatmet in June! At the time of diagnosis, 2011 seemed so far away, but here it is! Hopefully it'll be a good year. Here's the latest on us from the last few months.

Dan has been doing good, busy with work and until recently had been going to his parent's house every weekend to work on vehicles. We've had a lot of vehicle switching lately. We bought a black Town and Country van May 09 and finally got time to fix it up this summer. Got it going and I'm loving it. My car will be sold once it gets warm enough for him to fix and sell it. He fixed his truck, sold his blue car and is now driving the truck, but plans to sell that too. It's nice getting some projects done, things sold and making progress on reducing clutter. He's also been helping me with things inside too, we rearranged the living room and are now working on the boy's room. It's nice having him home more often now.

I have been doing pretty good, I'll be 28 weeks on Monday, just started 3rd Trimester. We found out in November that it's another boy! I'm sure he'll fit in well with his crazy brothers. He's very active and running out of room in there already it seems. I've been more sore, achy and very tired in the last couple of weeks. I had a bad cold and now it's mostly pregnancy related tiredness. I'm very anxious for winter to be over, I'm not a big fan of being cooped up. We've been going to a special ed support group on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The kids go off to play in a classroom while the adults talk. I've learned a lot there and it's nice to have some adult conversation without worrying about watching the kids. Adult night at the roller rink just started up this week too on Tuesday nights, so I'll be going to that every week as long as I'm feeling up to it. I'm taking it easy, lots of breaks, but this week went well and I was still feeling good. Didn't even get the usual blisters after not skating in a while.

Dawson is enjoying preschool, his teacher says he's doing great. His cognitive skills are average, he knows his ABCs, can count to 10, basic shapes, most colors and can even sing the ABC song, along with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. If you ask him what he is, he'll say "cute and sweet and silly". I think that describes him pretty well. I had been telling him that he's cute and sweet, he added the silly part on his own. He's been talking more now and using more 2-3 word sentences. Communication is much easier now, he can say "I want ___", so it's nice to not have to guess what he wants. Though sometimes he struggles to find the word for what he wants, he's usually able to let me know verbally. He's getting much more expressive too, his questions sound like questions, etc.

A couple weeks before Christmas, his speech and occupational therapy center called and said they were putting a hold on services because Dawson was being uncooperative. Not only him, but they put Tyler on hold too, lumping them together, which I thought was very unfair to Tyler! His behavior had been getting worse and worse. He was more frustrated and acting aggressive, mostly toward Tyler. His eating had also become more picky. All very gradually, I figured it was a 3 year old thing. A mom in my support group suggested I get him checked out for a bowl obstruction, so I took him to the Dr for an abdominal x-ray the next morning. Sure enough, he was completely blocked up. They gave him laxitives and suppositories. I also did prune juice, which actually seemed to be doing more than the other stuff. After 2 weeks he was eating more and his behaviors were getting much better. They don't want to x-ray him again unless we suspect another problem, but we're pretty sure the issue is resolved. As far as potty training goes, he hasn't even started yet. He rarely lets me know when he needs a diaper and when he does it's usually been there a while and is starting to bother him. He refuses to sit on the potty at all, he yells no and runs away when I suggest it. So we're just offering and trying to promote awareness for now.

Tyler has been doing great. He's getting monthly IVIG infusions, which is a 4 hour IV infusion to help support his immune system during cold/flu season. It helps him prevent getting sick, not fight things off. He's still been getting colds, but thankfully nothing worse so far. Other than that we just see the Oncologist once a month. He has a bone marrow biopsy on the 17th that will tell us if the cancer is still gone. He's been a very active, happy little guy. The chemo doesn't seem to be affecting him at all, it probably helps that it's all he's ever known, as far as he remembers. He's a few months behind, but finally starting to talk now. He can say "pizza, good job, yay did it, ready-go" He's also trying to imitate. The other day I heard him faintly say "bye" as he was waving, though it was missing the B. He babbles and talks a lot more now and seems excited about it. I think now that he's started, the words will really start coming. His OT lady got him to color for the first time this week. He wasn't interested at all in such a boring activity before, but he's decided to try it out now. He did great and was even scribbling in circles. His teachers and I agree that he's definitely making a lot of progress and seems to have much more communication than Dawson did at this age. He comes to me when he needs something, will make a little noise and then go over to what he needs. When he has a dirty diaper he'll come to me too, which is a great sign.

He's been getting into more things. His favorite is climbing up onto the table. We keep the chairs on their side, but Dawson sits them up and Tyler never fails to notice the moment someone has left one up! He loves going places and has been listening a little better. He walks by himself from the van into the library, walmart and he walks around the inside of the mall too. His favorite is the 2 ramps they have where the mall changes levels a little bit. He goes around and up the 4 stairs and then runs back down the ramp again. It used to be hard to get him away from it, but he's been better about listening and will walk away without a tantrum now. He really likes being able to have more independence. When we go to the library or the clinic, he'll push all the handicap door buttons to let himself in. He even finds his way to the short stay from the parking lot and walks right over to the nurse's station, gets his attention and continues on to the toys. I can't believe how big he's getting!

Here's me in the beginning of December.

             Tyler at his appointment at Childrens before Christmas

 He got a gift from the Drs and Nurses since it was just before Christmas. He got some play cups for the bathtub. Though at the moment, the bag was much more fun. :)
 Tyler loved opening presents on Christmas. He quickly got the concept of unwrapping and both boys pretty much helped eachother unwrap all the presents. Many were big, so there was enough room to go around anyway. Here he's unwrapping a bag of balls.
 Tyler had as much fun climbing onto the boxes as he did unwrapping them.
 Dawson was most excited to unwrap one of his favorite shows, Word World.
 Tyler walking on some boxes. This was a fun challenge, taking that step from one box to the other.
 Tyler got a gumball toy. You put balls into the top, push a lever and they come out the bottom. He's always loved this toy when his therapist brings it. They've both played with it a lot.
 They got a tall car ramp toy. The ramps go on both sides, so it's easier to share. :)
 Tyler got a ball pit house. He loves the ball pit at the school, but we try to avoid those germy public things like that. So I found one for a good price and decided to get it. Not quite sure what I was thinking, but hey, it's been fun. And messy. Unfortunately, within a couple days they already managed to rip a corner at the seam. It didn't puncture the inflated part, but the next week somehow one of the yellow columns that holds it up got a hole or something in it. Can't find it, but it deflates quickly. So we have a leaning house. Now the big challenge is trying to jump in through the roof, since it's lower to the ground. I'm thinking these boys are going to bring down this house completely by the end of the month at least. So we're left with 150 balls to trip over, they're everywhere! Not only all over the living room, but in the bedroom, I'm even tossing them out of the bathroom, though I have no clue how they get in since the door is always shut. I even found one in the apartment hallway when I got the mail today. Probably got kicked out when one of the boys went out the door. It's amusing. We keep tossing them back in, plus if I see Dawson dumping them out on purpose I'll have him put them back, which he doesn't enjoy so much but it's good for him to listen and clean up a bit. Not sure what next, we're thinking of getting a big appliance box or something and see how long that lasts.
 Tyler sure does like it though, he's spent many hours in this thing, so we've definitely gotten our money's worth out of it.
 Dawson spends just as much time in there as Tyler, maybe even more! It's a bummer the house didn't stand up to our little monsters. It's a Little Tikes thing, so I thought it'd be stronger than that.