Saturday, May 31, 2008

On the Road with a Stomach Bug, Part 1

We survived the trip but just barely! The kids and I joined my parents on a road adventure to Tennessee and Georgia to visit two of my three siblings. My husband was unable to get off work, so he didn't have the pleasure of joining us. My mom and I have made this trip multiple times, including once when Delaney and Landon were only four months old and HATED their car seats!

Delaney was already ill with a stomach bug when we began our trip to TN to see Aunt Brandy and her family. We had to make many stops to change VERY soiled diapers. Problems in that region accompanied by sitting in the car for prolonged amounts of time added up to a MAJOR diaper rash. She was miserable! Every time she would need to "go," she would cry out and at the same time say, "I'm okay, I'm okay." It was heartbreaking. Needless to say, we had to stop for the night rather than driving straight through as planned. Her little bottom needed a break! Up to this point, the boys did great and enjoyed their own personal dvd players. Barney entertained Landon, while Rylan preferred The Wiggles.

Our stay at the hotel ~

Rylan helped Papa with the luggage cart.

Landon slept well in bed with Papa and Grammy!

Delaney felt miserable. It was so sad!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We're still here!

It's been awhile! There are one hundred things I could post about, but I just don't have time (or energy!). We went from Rylan's surgery and recovery (which was rough), to illnesses x 3 + the daddy, to yet another illness (so far, just 1 toddler), and now I'm trying to prepare us for a 12-hour-each-way, plus stops, road trip. We will be gone for 10 days. I probably won't get to post while we're away, so there will be even more to post about when I return!

Rylan recovered well from his palate surgery. We will see the surgeon again when we return, but he is through with the arm restraints! Yea! He is officially crawling on his hands and knees and starting to pull up to a standing position and also stand on his feet with his hands on the floor...not bad for a 13 1/2 month old, huh!

Delaney and Landon are amazing me everyday with their speech and vocabulary! I can't believe how quickly they advanced from a few isolated words to entire 4, 5, or 6 word sentences.

Delaney loves to give "Bear Hugs" and also counts to ten! She started out counting like this: "one, two, freak, fork, nine, ten" but now she pronounces three and four correctly and counts all the way to ten accurately most of the time! She also knows how to say, "pweeeeeeeeeeeease," when she REALLY wants something!

Landon's favorite word is truck; however, his "tr" sounds like an "f" sound! That's a fun one to explain at church! He also counts some and uses his manners. He will always say, "Bless you, Mama," when I sneeze! His favorite activity right now is to "seep" (sweep).

Poor Rylan! EVERYTHING is already being blamed on him! He doesn't even have to be in the same room. If there is a problem...Delaney or Landon begin screaming, "No, no, Ry-Ry!" If someone gets tripped by air, it's Ry-Ry's fault. Stumped toe? Ry-Ry. Toy breaks. Ry-Ry, again. Delaney even shouted, "No, Ry-Ry," right before she threw up all over the car today when I finally got out to run errands! (That's another post and part of the illnesses I mentioned!) Rylan is REALLY impressive to be able to have all that control over his siblings even while he's sleeping! Where can I get some of those powers?

Well, that's more than I thought I had time for, but now I REALLY need to pack (or can I just blame Ry-Ry if I don't get it done tonight?).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Surgery Update

I'm super behind in blogging (I still need to blog about Easter!), so I need to back up from surgery day just a little. Rylan finished an antibiotic on Monday evening a week ago for an ear infection that started the day of his birthday party. Monday evening, he began getting irritable again. I figured he wasn't over the ear infection. He continued to be irritable on Tuesday and then began running a fever of 102.1 on Wednesday. It didn't go below 100 for a couple of days. My pediatrician isn't in the office on Wednesdays, and Rylan was going to see his ENT for his pre-op appointment on Thursday anyway, so I waited it out. He was sleeping okay about every other night. In the meantime, I started to feel bumps on both sides of his bottom gums, so I started to think maybe he was teething. We went to our appointment on Thursday, and the Dr. said he definitely had a lot of fluid, but his ears were NOT infected. Since the surgery was scheduled for 8 am on Monday morning, we had to show up at the hospital anyway because there was no way to update the hospital on his situation over the weekend. He continued to run a fever until sometime on Friday. He was still cranky on Saturday evening and Sunday.

On Monday morning, we woke Rylan up at 6:15 to go to the hospital. He seemed confused, but he did not fuss. He did not go to sleep on the way to the hospital. When we got there, he was very playful and smiley. He did not even seem hungry! Of course, he doesn't usually eat breakfast until 9 am! The nurse put his bracelet on his wrist, and he had it off within seconds! She put it back on "tighter" and it took a little longer, but he got it off again! This time it went on his other ankle. He worked on the ankle bracelets as well but wasn't successful!

Before surgery, the surgeon came in and was very concerned about the fever. He did not acknowledge that it could be teething since most Dr.'s say that fever is not related to teething. For awhile, I thought he was going to cancel surgery. When he heard Rylan just "recovered" from an ear infection, he decided that must be the reason for the fever, so he went ahead with surgery.

Rylan went back for surgery at 8:07 am. Less than 15 minutes later, the ENT came out and told us that all went well with the tubes and that the surgeon had started on his palate. We were updated every hour for the next two hours. Then an hour later the surgeon appeared and let us know that everything went well, and Rylan was in recovery! The surgery lasted a little over 3 hours, which was at least an hour and a half less than the lip repair surgery! We still weren't able to see him for a little over an hour, but finally, they let us see him in recovery. He had received quite a bit of pain medicine and was sleeping, so we just let him sleep until he woke up on his own about an hour later. They did not have a room for us for another 8 hours, so we spent the entire afternoon & evening in recovery watching patients come and go. Rylan wouldn't take any fluid from a syringe or a cup. We kept trying but he would scream if we put anything near his mouth. We finally got a room and tried to get some sleep. He settled down and dozed off for awhile, but then he started crying. He received more meds, and we tried to give him something to drink, but he refused. This continued through the night. We took turns holding him in the rocker.

Finally, around 8 am, with a little distraction from "The Wiggles" we were able to get him to take some ice cream! However that was it for awhile. We were discharged around 4 pm. We spent the night at home trying to get him to drink and rest comfortably.

He went for a ride in the wagon after "breakfast" and saw the aquarium! He actually enjoyed the ride. These pictures were taken when we returned to the room. Apparently, he wasn't through riding!

These pictures were taken shortly before leaving! The quilt and stuffed lion were gifts from a special elderly lady who made the quilt specifically for him when we found out he would have a cleft. She said he would be lionhearted. He definitely has been!

Home update: Rylan started taking a little more fluid when we got home. He likes Jell-O, much to his Grammy's dismay! He slept off and on (in bed with us). Today we tried to put him back "on schedule." He took two decent naps in his crib and is now sleeping in his crib for the night (we hope). We'll see! I think his biggest issue is the restraints! He just can't get comfortable. On the plus side, though, he is learning to crawl on his hands and knees! It is bittersweet for me because I love his lopsided combat crawl! I'll have to see if I can "cheat" and take the restraints off, so I can try to get some video of the combat crawl.

More updates coming! Delaney and Landon have been up to some really cute stuff! Rylan's kind of gotten all the press with his birthday and surgery! Now, I'm going to try to get some sleep while Rylan's sleeping!

Thursday morning update: Rylan woke up a 2 am and spent the rest of the night in bed with us--not sleeping! I gave him some Tylenol--He DOES NOT like the pain medicine the Dr. prescribed (like mother, like son?). I offered him some Jell-O and juice around 4 am, but he only took a little. He fussed most of the morning. So, of course, he is sleepy now and sleeping great in his crib.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

12 Months

Rylan's 12 month appointment went well...just the normal stuff! Here are his stats:

Height: 28 1/2 inches (The Dr. thought this was probably inaccurate based on his nine month measurement, which I don't remember right now!)

Weight: 19.4 lbs (I was surprised! I thought he was over 20 lbs! I guess he seems so big compared to his siblings.)

Dr. Karen was not very concerned about him not crawling, pulling up, cruising, or walking. She just wants to follow up at his 15 month visit. The biggest news for us is that he can drink whole milk now! No more formula! We have been buying formula for 26 months...over half of that time for at least 2 babies! (There was a brief period where we didn't use as much formula since Rylan had mostly expressed breast milk for awhile.) What a difference that will make in our grocery bill!

These photos are from his one year sitting! Doesn't he look like such a big boy!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Rylan!

366 Days ago you came into our lives, and we've been smitten ever since! You are such a happy, content baby! You're a mama's boy, and I love it! Those big brown eyes melt my heart! You're sweet, lovable, and laid back but "Watch Out!" If you get riled up about something, everyone will hear about it! Your first word was "Mama," which was such a gift to me since "Dada" was the only vocabulary of your siblings for a long time! The only other recognizable word you say is "Ry-Ry," the name lovingly given to you by your sister! You also make sounds like a duck and even flap your arms occasionally! You've been a real trooper through your endless Dr. appointments, difficult feedings, palatal obturator, and surgery! You did better than I could have ever imagined! I was sad that my baby would never look the same again. I didn't even recognize you after surgery! But now I am attached to your "new look" and can hardly remember you any other way! Your new precious smile opened up those big, brown eyes, my gift to you! You're a little lazy in your advanced age! You just began "creeping" this month and getting yourself into a sitting position this week! I feel sure you will make excellent progress in the near future! You will have surgery again in two weeks! It will be interesting this time since you are "mobile" and feeding yourself! The arm restraints and liquid diet will not satisfy you, I'm sure! However, you have amazed me before with your ability to adapt! I love you more than you will ever know. I am so thankful for my "little" surprise! You have been in our lives for only a year, but it feels like forever in my heart! It's as though you've always been with me! Happy 1st birthday, Rylan Nathanael!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Significant Day!

Since Rylan's palate repair surgery is four weeks from tomorrow, I am forced to take drastic measures to wean him from the bottle. I've been trying to slowly introduce him to a cup for months but he has resisted every effort I've made. He LOVES his bottle. However, he may not use a bottle after surgery, so he has to be efficient with another method of nourishing his body with fluid, which brings me to today.

In honor of the 1 year anniversary since Delaney and Landon took their LAST bottle (exactly two weeks before Rylan was born), Rylan drank his last bottle tonight. Tomorrow he will ONLY be offered liquid in a cup. I used the "cold turkey" approach with Delaney and Landon because they were also resistant to trying a cup. Rylan was scheduled for delivery a month later, and I didn't want 3 on bottles! I thought it would be a tortuous event for everyone involved. However, Delaney and Landon proved me wrong and gave very little, if any, of a fight. I wanted to approach the weaning process with a gentler method this time, but Rylan is giving me no choice. Since he is MY BABY, and there is not another one on the way, I would be in NO hurry! Unfortunately, Rylan's surgeon feels differently about the matter. He MUST be weaned before surgery! Hopefully, it will go better than expected, but Rylan is very obstinate about sipping anything from a cup. Therefore, I'm afraid it will be a VERY long week!

Here he is playing with the camera! He is a little performer! He has no idea what he is in for!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rylan's Birth

Since Rylan's 1st birthday is approaching, I want to document a few things from this past year. (I really wish I would have started this blogging thing sooner!)

March 30,2007
I was up all night with intense gas-like pains! I was miserable and regretting the chili I had for dinner! I got up when the alarm clock went off (very unusual for me), not like I had slept anyway, and proceeded to get ready for school. (I was teaching 2nd grade.) My husband had to get Delaney and Landon ready for school because I could barely stand up! I showed up at my classroom and immediately went across the hall to my co-worker and very close friend's room. I will let her tell "the rest of the story..."

This is from the email she sent to the entire school after Rylan's arrival...

There once was a cute little blonde 2nd grade teacher who was very pregnant with her 3rd child in under 2 years (crazy woman :-)). One day she came to school very upset and crying complaining of gas pain that she had been experiencing since 11:00 p.m. the night before. It was hurting so bad
that she got a sub and decided to go home. Her good friend from across the hall (who is crazy too with 3 children in 4 years) told her that she thought that was NOT GAS PAIN AND THAT SHE COULD BE IN LABOR and to go call her doctor. So, being a good girl the 2nd grade teacher called her doctor only to find out that he was out of town. The nurse told her to go to her hospital to Labor and Delivery just to be on the safe side. The second grade teacher called her husband to take her to the hospital. She was nervous though, fearing it was really only gas and would feel silly going to the
hospital for gas pain. Meanwhile, the good friend from across the hall was in a bit of a panic, having had 2 of 3 babies so quickly the midwife was not present...that she called every 15 minutes to make sure she was okay...and sure enough the cute little 2nd grade teacher was having contractions! They tried to stop her contractions because she had not dilated yet but the little fella was ready to meet his family! So...

Rylan Nathanael arrived on Friday, March 30th at 4:35 p.m. by c-section. He is 6lbs. 7 oz. and 19 1/2 inches. He has brown hair and is adorable! Mom and baby are doing great and Delaney and Landon are loving their little brother, so is Daddy.
I should mention that I had never been in labor before. Delaney and Landon were delivered at 33 1/2 weeks because Landon was IUGR. (More on their story another time!)

Rylan was over 3 weeks early and LABOR never crossed my mind! I had NO idea!

Here is a newborn picture of Rylan...